Monday, March 10, 2014

The Ironman Itch: Part I

As I wrote about a few months ago, I‘m a big believer in letting motivation guide which races I do. Last year I was highly motivated for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 St. George in May. From there my motivation turned to speed, racing a gamut of four Olympic and a funky Sprint/Olympic hybrid distance throughout the season. I was motivated to qualify for Nationals at Echo, to beat my time on a course I’d done years before, and, frankly, to beat down a few friendly rivals at others.

This year my motivation is different, with the focus on putting together a breakthrough race at the 70.3 distance. It’s not about qualifying for anything or beating anyone but the clock. I’ll have three cracks at it, going back to St. George, followed by Ironman 70.3 Boise in June and the UT state half Ironman championships in Sep.

I “became an Ironman” in 2012, which was an awesome experience. That was obviously a huge motivation for me, built up over several years. It crossed my mind at least once a day for a long time afterwards, especially due to the brutal weather conditions that day. I knew I wasn’t a “one and done” when it came to Ironman, but I also knew I’d probably take a couple years off. I just wasn’t motivated to do one every year, as some people are. Short-course racing is my strong suit, and I enjoy racing fast and often. As everyone knows, it’s also a step up in terms of time (& money!) to do an Ironman. I went into IMSG having done just enough in training to go the distance on that course, that day. For a while I thought Ironman would be like the Olympics or the World Cup for me… every 4 years. I set my sights on 2016, although I must say I’ve been getting the itch again of late. If the motivation (and spousal support) is strong enough, I just may need to move that up a year. Having done three 70.3s herself, I know my wife will be tackling Ironman in the near future as well, so I have that in my favor. Last time I checked most IM races still sell out a year in advance, so that means I’ll have to decide in the next few months. With my “home state” Ironman of St. George no longer around (having shifted to a 70.3 last year) the choice of which to do isn’t so obvious. Part of me is motivated to do another epic course, but another part is motivated to knock hours off my 2012 time on a more friendly course and hopefully better weather day. Stay tuned for Part II, in which I’ll write about some of the options I’m toying with and the pros/cons of each!

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