The Ironman

In the late summer of 2010, I made a rather last minute decision to join a friend of mine as he biked from New York to Chicago.  It was by far the farthest bike ride I had ever done and we covered the 1,000 miles (1,600km) between the two cities at a rate of about 90 miles (145km) per day.  When we were done, instead of simply sitting backing and enjoying the achievement, I managed to talk myself into a world of trouble.

“90 miles a day and we did it with gear.  That’s like the biking from an Ironman every day.”

“Uh, yeah, except there’s no swimming or running.”  My friend astutely observed.

“Well yeah, but with some training it’d be doable.  I mean the biking is the longest part, right?”  In retrospect, my naivety was truly awe inspiring.

“Are you trying to tell me you could do an Ironman?” He asked incredulously.

“Well with some practice….”

“Dude, there’s no way.  $200 says there’s no way.”  And so it began.

An Ironman is one of the world’s most difficult athletic challenges and consists of a 2.5 mile (3.8km) swim, a 112 miles (180km) of biking and a full marathon to top it all off.  There were only a few problems:

  1. I’d never run farther than 5km.
  2. I barely knew how to swim.
  3. I couldn’t afford to train or register.

I guess it could have been worse.  At least I knew how to ride a bike.

The beginning of an Ironman, my Ironman actually (photo by Phillip Reiner)

Perhaps, it was simple idiocy, but I didn’t care. I went to my blog and made my mission public.  I knew I didn’t care enough to achieve it purely out of self-motivation.  I would do it for my friends and for every other person plagued by self-doubt.  I would prove the impossible was possible.

What followed was a yearlong Odyssey that led me to the inaugural Ironman Wales.  The details of the race itself can be read in my three part write up by clicking the parts below:

Swimming       Biking       Running

Additional postings relating to the lead up to and preparation for the race can be found by clicking on the “Ironman” category in the right-hand column, or by chronologically searching the archives.  Enjoy!

Tenby, Wales - beautiful, but not nearly as flat as I thought it would be.


4 thoughts on “The Ironman

  1. I love it when you put conversations into your posts. Very funny.

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