Parts 1 and 2 dealt with the mechanics of the race. Just the facts ma’am. But the Ironman Journey is so much more than a series of discrete events leading to the finish line. The third part of my report as I planned it in my head was the “touchy-feely” portion. How did it “feel”? Real Men can feel free to stop reading right now.
I've been in triathlon for 17 years. On some level I knew that I would compete in an Ironman race one day. And I knew that the one race I wanted to do as my first was Ironman Canada. Having reached a stage in life where we have a little more discretionary time I was open to the idea of entering the 2011 event. The idea became a reality when the Monday after the 2010 there were actually spots available on line. Kate and I talked it over and with her support I pulled the trigger. My Ironman Journey started that night.
|Photos by Kate...|
|2011 IMC Tweet Up.|
|...so she's not in any of them!|
So how did it feel? Well, I’ll start at the end.
I did my preparation.
I made a plan.
I trusted my preparation.
I executed my plan.
And I got the results I was hoping for.
I can’t think of many things more satisfying than that.
As far as emotions go it was all very interesting. Training for IMC was not that different than training in years leading up to it. Just more. And with more structure. Living in a cold climate, early season training took place in some pretty horrible weather. Other years I would have blown some workouts off. This year I didn't. I knew this would make me mentally stronger and it did. In later stages of training when it got tough I told myself I had not gone out in the snow the rain the wind and the cold for months only to let up when conditions were not perfect. I carried these thoughts all the way through the race.
To my great surprise the most emotional I got in the 10 month journey was at the end of my last short brick the day before the race. I had done all the workouts, There was no more training to be done. It had been such a big part of my life for over ten months. I was happy and sad at the same time.
|When is a smile not a smile?|
As I said in Part 1, much of race day went by like a dream. There are parts I now remember very vividly but there were large parts where the details seem blurry. I set off with the intention to enjoy every moment of the day and I did almost that. I swear I raced all day with a smile on my face. The bike pictures tell a different story. But the smile from mile 21 on was real and I think the pictures back that up. From about 5km out I felt like I was flying. No, not running fast. Flying. I’m a little disappointed to see in my finishing video that what I felt was a full on sprint was actually more of a shuffle. Oh well.
In the days following the race I heard a lot of people say “Best Day Ever”. So was it so for me? No. Sorry. I have to save that for the day I got married, the births of my children and some of their amazing accomplishments. But as far as selfish “ME!” events go? Yes, this may have been my best day. And frankly in my view Ironman, at least the way I approach it, is a pretty selfish pursuit. The athlete asks a lot of friends and family who surround him. For that reason I don’t intend to do Ironman more often than once every other year. I chose to make the sacrifices I deemed necessary to have the Ironman result I wanted. My friends and family did not. I would not ask them to do so continually.
|Relaxing with Kate-Quail's Gate, Kelowna|
Thanks so much for reading
|A satisfied Ironmanman and his wine... Waiting for a taxi|