I have done it. I have taken “step three” towards competing in a half-Ironman race. I have made a commitment. I purchased an entry to the Atlantic City Half Ironman race, September 17th, 2017. I have nine months to train. In between, I have a marathon and a half marathon already registered. Then I will do an Olympic triathlon in June, probably, to train and be acclimated to the transitions and rhythms of the sport.
I’m hiring a coach to get me there. I’m going to be training for nine straight months, good and hard. I’m going to be run-heavy in the summer to heat condition. I’m going to commit and not take things for granted based on a good race or two in the spring. I’m going to take the whole season seriously and “professionally”. My knee has been twingey for 8 months now. I have to be smart about this.
I’m excited and scared. I know what it’s like to compete in a triathlon now. I’ve done it. I completed one. It took me 3 hours and it was a lot of fun, and a lot of work, but I did it. This one will be harder. It’s more than twice as far for the bike and run legs. It will be a challenge. A big one.
The swim is 1.2 miles. That’s very manageable. Especially in the ocean, where it’s buoyant. I love swimming and I feel comfortable in the water. The water temperature will be about 70 degrees Farenheit, so I shouldn’t need to worry about managing a wet suit. It’ll be cool but not risk hypothermia to wear no top.
The bike is 56 miles. This is a big deal. The furthest I’ve ever ridden without stopping is about 30 miles. So I’m definitely going to need to put in some big rides to train. Some really big rides. But the course is pretty flat, and that means it should be easy on my knee and relatively fast.
The run is 13.1 miles. Half a marathon. I’ve done a lot of those. I’ve even done a couple immediately after a half marathon. My only fear is that it will be hot and humid. There is nothing I can do about that. I’ll just have to lumber through and make sure that I get enough heat training in and stay hydrated.
That’s the race: 70.3 miles on a Sunday morning in New Jersey in September. Either I’ll make it or I won’t. But I’m gonna work like hell to get there.