I’m sometimes asked why I would willingly put myself through all this training, let alone a full Ironman. My usual answer: “It’s fun.”
That’s an excellent summary, but of course it isn’t all fun. There’s plenty of misery, plenty of mornings when I didn’t get quite enough sleep but still drag myself out of bed to go swim those laps. There’s times on the bike where my ass is hurting like crazy, where I nearly die several times from jack-ass drivers or surprise pot-holes of doom. I’m forced to be ridiculously consistent with stretching my legs throughout the day, every day, to keep from hurting my knees when I run. I’m constantly saying no to social outings I’d love to attend, not just during the week, but most weekends too, since they conflict with either a training session or sleep the night before a training session. I have to be careful with what I eat and when, not just for the veganism, but to make sure digestive issues don’t mess up training.
So, yeah, there’s a lot of suck, but most of it is in the parts of my life that aren’t training or racing. Once I’m out there, even in training, I’m usually having a good time. Often, I’m having a great time. Every now and then, I’m having the time of my life. Crossing the finish line, especially when everything clicks and I’m able to really give it everything I’ve got, then dig down and find a little more, and a little more, until by the time I’m done I’m nearly in tears from the relief… that’s straight up magic. That’s unicorns on roller skates gliding along rainbow-glitter slip-n-slides serving you moonbeam milkshakes. It is, in a word or two, the point.
Join me, won’t you?