Rather should I say that when you spend money on a race, you are one step further at being more motivated to actually complete the race. There was only one race that I missed. The reason was illness. Normally, I don’t mind running when I have the sniffles, but this was the full on nasty flu where my body felt so limp that I could barely get out of bed. Otherwise, when I spend money on a race I make sure that money doesn’t go to waste!
So, I have been thinking about doing a Half Ironman for quite some time… since this past summer when I completed my first two sprint triathlons. I was considering the next step, an Olympic distance, but for some reason I just decided to skip that step. I don’t know, I guess I figured that I might as well go the distance on this one. And it’s not like I did a 10K or a 15K before my first half marathon. I managed a 5K, but that would be similar to the sprint triathlon in this situation.
The constant debate in my head wasn’t about whether or not I would do a Half Ironman (eventually followed by a full IM of course), but about when I would do it. I knew it would be during the summer at some point, but I was really opposed to completing one during our vacation or even after our vacation. I’m sure my husband would love me to pieces if I woke up at 5:00 AM in our little camper to go train for 4 or 5 hours. I’m sure I would be able to find some nice lakes to swim in though. Okay, so it would be ideal to find a race that I can complete before our vacation. Then I could just relax (you know, relax while on vacation with 3 little kids).
That was settled. I needed to find a Half that I could do in May or June. Well, one popped up on my radar right away. It was a Half Ironman in Kansas. Yay Toto! It is at the beginning of June (right around my birthday… but just after it so I could race with the next age group and have a better chance of not coming in last). Then I started reading the reviews. Lots of hills on the bike. Wind, lots of wind. Choppy lake… waves about 3 feet high. Running in circles. Running in 95 degree heat. Wow! That sounds like fun! Sign me up! I do love challenges right? Sure.
Aha! I was waiting for this. Another triathlon series, HITS, was considering it’s Colorado date and location. I was waiting, patiently, because I am so very patient. Okay, I was about ready to sign up for Kansas and an 8 hour drive across no man’s land when I noticed that HITS had posted its date and location: Grand Junction in May! Whew! I had been so worried that they were going to hold their event in July. I’m all over that.
Wait, I just realized something. This HITS triathlon venue is not Ironman. Everyone knows the big wigs… you know, the IRONMAN folks. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. This HITS Half Triathlon is the SAME distance as a Half IM. Seriously people, it is the same thing! I know those hardheaded IM folks would beg to disagree. Okay, so maybe I will only be getting in the water with 700 people instead of 2,000 people! I guess that means that I am not tough enough to call myself a Half Ironman! (not that anyone really calls themselves half of an Ironman, but you know what I mean… you have to start somewhere). Whatever, I am just a beginner. I will stick with the smaller event for now. I don’t really like crowds anyway. But, I am thinking that I may have to consider an IM event for my FULL. Okay, that’s settled. I will eventually be able to put the sticker on my truck after all. No worries about finding that tatoo parlor… that big red M insignia doesn’t do my skin justice. I might have to figure something else out. Ideas anyone?
So, I will be in Grand Junction in May. Too bad I won’t be able to let loose at sea level, but at least it is about 2,000 feet lower than where I am now. I don’t think I will need to worry about scalding temperatures during the run, but I will have to deal with freezing my tushy off in the lake. Let’s do this! 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run here I come!