November 26, 2014

Impossible Goal Achieved: Finished an Ironman

A lot of you think you dreams, aspirations or life goals are impossible to achieve. I’m sure some of you don’t even want to try because you might fail.

For me, I just completed my toughest event to date — the full Vineman which is an Ironman distance triathlon.

I’m pretty sore. Sunburned. Can’t seem to walk in a straight line. Steps, forget about it, they are evil. My digestive track is shot to hell. Dehydrated. My emotions swing from happy, sad, crying and all within a few minutes. Was it worth the pain and suffering? Was it worth all the training and sacrifice? Hell yeah!

Doing an Ironman was a life goal. It was a big, scary, life goal that I could have failed at but I didn’t because I trained hard and did what I had to do to finish.

It’s not like I’m blazing any trails or breaking any records. I ended up doing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in 13:53:21. (the clock below is event time. My wave started 6 minutes later). Calories consumed: 11,925. Finishing with a smile on my face: Priceless:

I met a ton of nice people (Michael, thanks for helping me get through the run) who were positive and eager to help out a fellow triathlete. I saw people struggle with every conceivable problem — cramps, dehydration, bike crashes, nutrition, sunburn, mechanical failures, kicked in the face (me included) and mental breakdowns.

Each of you has limits that you place on yourself. Each of these limits hold you back from achieving whatever goal you have in mind. Your Impossible Goals may not be something as physical as an Ironman but it’s just as important as anyone else’s goals and you need to give it a shot.

Thanks to everyone (volunteers, you rock!) who helped me achieve one of my life goals. Now, I need to figure out what to do next once I can walk upright.

 

Race Highlights and Struggles

  • Cutting my finger setting up T1 (Swim to Bike). It did not stop bleeding till I put my bike gloves on.

  • Getting kicked in the face on the swim. I almost lost my goggles

  • Calf cramp on the swim. Thankfully, the water was shallow and I could stand up and stretch. In places, it was 1 foot deep.

  • The guy who gave me Ibuprofen at a bike stop. What a life saver.

  • The volunteers were amazing. What a bunch of positive, upbeat people.

  • Turtle helmet guy who road shirtless and then changed into a Superman costume.

  • The volunteers with the garden hoses. I can’t even begin to explain how good that feels.

  • My running partner, Michael, who pushed me to get in under 14 hours!

  • The women who lost her daughter last week and still found the courage to finish strong. You are inspiring.

  • Team In Training’s Iron Team. Man, you guys pulled out all the stops to get your folks across the finish line.

  • To the cow bell volunteer who would play the Mission Impossible theme every time I would run by because I was wearing my Impossible T-shirt.

Past Training Updates

I somewhat chronicled by training via these posts. If you did not get a chance to take a look, go check them out.