Things will never be the same again

mdotThings like this don’t happen very often. It has been a build up. I remember the my first couple group rides. I was on a mountain bike with slicks. I got dropped left in the middle of nowhere, corn stalks and grain towers, I didn’t make it home til dark. 5 years later, I won my first race soloing off the front of the Cat 3 state road race. This was huge for me, goosebumps and all.

My first run over 15 years later. I purchased a treadmill to drop a few pounds. Starting off with just 10 minutes was more than enough. I built my way up to doing my first 5k running race. Something clicked and I was hooked. The next couple of years I did every local race all the way up to the Lincoln Memorial Half. This was fun, but I needed more.

That fall I registered for my first marathon, the St. Louis Marathon. I thought that this was the end all. But after finishing in just over 4 hour, I still had unfinished business. I signed up again, but this time I was going to train right. I did much better, trimming over a half hour off my original time. I was satified. But Boston was still on my bucked list.

Running was great, but I needed something more. I had been riding, but not seriously. I challenged myself one summer to do the Stoneman Sprint Triathlon, not knowing how to swim. How hard could it be? 500 yards? Well, I about drowned in that first triathlon, but I finished somewhere in the top half. Something about all three disciplines stuck with me. I wanted more. The next summer I took some basic swim lessons and made it through the swim in much better shape. I wasn’t fast but I think I came close to a top ten finish. And then again the next summer.

This year I have not done but one or two running races and hit at least 4 olympic distance triathlons. In one month I will be heading to Austin with Jason to do our longest race yet, the Longhorn 70.3. This took a little time to muster up the courage to do. I don’t think the question was could I do it, but how fast. I know I can swim 1.2 miles, I can easily bike 56 and run 13, but can I package it all together without cramping or falling apart?

Jason and I have been talking for a while now about doing a full Ironman. Crazy talk… Come on… Really… A 2.4 mile swim? A 112 mile bike? And then a Marathon, 26.2 miles? That is frickin’ nutz! But for some reason, every time I stopped at a stop light, or got passed by some hot chick in a ferrarri the car had a 140.6 bumper sticker. You know those damn oval stickers with the black border that say “140.6”. You see a lot of 13.1 or 26.2 and even the 70.3 stickers. Most normal people don’t have a clue as to what that means.

Once you do an Ironman, you get to put the title of “Ironman” before your name. You get to put a 140.6 sticker on your car. You can get an m-dot tatoo. You get to replace your wardrobe with Ironman crested apparel. And best of all you can reference your Ironman finish in any conversation you are having, it’s called “IM Dropping”.

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After reviewing all the benefits of becoming an Ironman, I convinced Jason to attempt to register for Ironman Wisconsin. Registration for next years race opened the day after this years race. Which was Monday at noon. I have heard how hard it is to register for this race online. Many people encouraged me to go up and volunteer so I could get first dibs. But I decided to play it safe and register online. What’s the worst/best thing that could happen, I don’t get in.

Well high noon rolled around. I had my active account ready and started clicking away. “Server busy, please try back later” I got this response several times. But I just kept hitting refresh. I have been know to snip a few ebay auctions or two in my time…. The screen came up to register. My heart rate accelerated. Holy shit, what was I doing? I filled in all the fields and submitted the form.

Congratulation! You are registered!

I was on an instant HIGH!

Jason called, we both got registered. I texted Eric Sommer just to see if he was interested.

Minutes later, I got a text back. It was Eric, he said something about blacking out and waking up to “Congratulation! You are registered!” How cool! My training pool just increased by one. Next I emailed Dan Dungan. A little later I got an email back. He was in! 4 people going to Wisconsin baby!

I immediately tweeted my actions, facebook too. I was being congratulated just for registering, how cool is that? I couldn’t think of anything else. It was kind of like Christmas Eve, and I was tingling all over.

This will be a long challenging year of training, building up to next September. Things will never be the same again.