A friend of mine that I usually ride with asked me to check out the Vineman Ironman in 2013 (http://www.vineman.com/Ironman_70_3_Vineman.htm). Normally I’d regard this sort of thing with a high level of disdain and ridicule but I’m giving it some thought. Don’t tell him that though. It’s a half ironman which consists of 56 miles on the bike, 13.1 miles running, and 1.2 miles of swimming.
The bicycling portion I can do already, when healthy after just a few weeks of getting back into shape after this cold. The longest ride I’ve done in the last couple months was a 50 miler with a ton of climbing and it looks like the course for the Vineman is only about 2000 feet (compared to the 4-5000 feet on the other ride I did). I’m sure there’ll be different strategies and ways to push that I’ll have to learn to prepare me for:
The running portion. If I run slow enough I think I could run 13 miles. Perhaps not after riding 56 miles though so there’s a lot of conditioning I’d have to do for that. I’d really have to toughen up my feet. I don’t much care for having runner’s problems with my feet. Hell I don’t want to have runner’s problems at all. There are some horrid and painful, not to mention ugly, things that can happen to you as a result of distance running.
On the up side with running, you can do trail running which takes you out into the wilderness and see places you’d never see otherwise. That’s one of the things I like about bicycling too, but trail running would definitely take me even further into nature.
The swim is probably the most foreign portion of this whole thing. I’ve never really done any swimming. There’s a whole collection of old family videos showing me sitting on the steps of a pool screaming my head off. My parents tried to get me to join the swim team when I was probably seven or eight years old. I took one look at the team photo, saw a bunch of boys wearing speedos, and that was it. Someone tried to tell me that I could start by wearing swim trunks and build up to the speedo but I wasn’t having any of it.
So I’d really have to figure out the proper technique for a triathlon, get some endurance and muscle mass, and then learn how to swim decently in a wet-suit.
For everything I’d really need to figure out nutrition and find ways to get the calories I need to support that kind of activity. There are the concerns of training six days a week and the amount of money I’d have to spend to support this sort of thing … and whether I want to give up all my time and energy for this.
On the other hand, it would give me something to do with all my time and energy that wouldn’t involve sitting at home trying to figure out where I went wrong. And when I finish I’ll be in fantastic shape and quite the physical specimen, which I could use to attract all the nonexistent women I see on a regular basis. So at least there’s that.