The Ironman that never was.

This morning, I felt shattered, so I decided not to get up and go for a swim. Then I made the radical decision to ignore my schedule entirely, so instead of rescheduling my swim for after work, I decided to have a rest day. This is quite unlike me, but I felt that my body needed a break.

Anyway, since I don’t really have any exciting (or even vaguely interesting) tales to recount about my day, I thought I might get back to something that happened in May that I didn’t blog about at the time.

On 23rd May, I received the following email:

IM Bolton

Understandably, I was a little shocked and surprised… especially as it gave me NINE WEEKS to train. I’m not even really sure why I entered the competition. I honestly never thought that I’d be chosen.

Here’s my response:
Facebook message about Ironman Facebook message about Ironman Facebook message about Ironman  Facebook message about Ironman

Deciding what to do was one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever had to make. I desperately wanted to do it, but I knew I had to be realistic about my chances. I was willing to give up my social life for the following couple of months, but I knew that even giving up every waking hour might not be enough.

The mandatory cut off time for the 2.4 mile swim is 2 hours and 20 minutes. Whilst that might be easy for many people, I had only been having swimming lessons for three months. I had braved swimming in the lake at Eastleigh, but my longest ever swim had been 3 laps of the lap (1050m), which is a long way off the 3.8k swim in an Ironman! I had also never cycled even half of the distance and only owned my hybrid bike.

So, in the end, I emailed SportPursuit and declined the place. I am confident that I will do an Ironman one day, but I want to go into the race as well prepared as possible having covered the full distance of each leg at some stage before the event.

Whilst it’s not always obvious, it does seem that everything happens for a reason in life. One of the amazing coaches at Embrace Sports (Graeme Buscke) was hoping to qualify for Kona this year. He had already completed Ironman South Africa earlier this year, but his race didn’t go to plan. After I rejected the place, SportPursuit chose Graeme as one of their representatives. Graeme had an amazing race, finishing first in his age group and 13th overall, thereby qualifying for Kona. What a legend!


3 Responses

  1. Seems like a sensible decision, but keep at it, you’ll get there. I’m dancing around the idea of signing up for one next year. It’s definitely not a decision to be taken lightly

    • Thanks. I’m starting to wonder whether I might bring a 70.3 forward in my training schedule… but I’m already signed up for a marathon in September and another in April, so next year might be too early for that. Good luck with whatever you decide!

  2. Makes perfect sense, an Ironman is no small undertaking and doing it under prepared may well have put you off for life 🙂

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