As over a thousand athletes from around the world prepare to jump into the sea off East Coast Park in Singapore, I was safely in bed, dreaming of the next time I’ll get to do the same. Today’s the second annual Aviva Ironman 70.3 Singapore Triathlon and I’m in two minds about not being able to be there to participate. I’d love to have been able to try to better the fairly dismal time that I set last year and to have experienced the highs and lows of the triathlon again. But on the other hand, I’m glad to have taken the enforced break from triathlon as it’s helped me not just to appreciate it more but also allowed me to think about why I want to continue to participate in races.
The story behind triathlon is told here and the short version of that is that I do it because I can. It’s showed me how much one can do if one puts one’s mind to things and has given me a certain amount of discipline as far as the rest of my life is concerned. The Ironman 70.3 race* was the longest triathlon that I ever participated in and though my time was quite horrible by any standard, it remains an achievement that I’ll always remember. If someone asked me 5 years ago if I’d do something like this, I’d have snorted in derision and laughed. But it’s done. Then now what?
I’ve often been asked when I’m going to do an Ironman race or if I’ve run a full marathon. My normal answer is that I’m flat footed, have a gait that’s similar to a rheumatic duck and have not the constitution nor desire to run for 4-5 hours on end. While this might seem like I’m shying away from a possible challenge, I’m also of the opinion that I need to respect the race and do justice to it with proper preparation. If I don’t think I can prepare fully for a race, I won’t do it and I don’t think I can really prepare myself for an Ironman. I want to be able to enjoy the preparation leading up to a race and not be overly stressed about whether I’m training enough and all. If I don’t think I can commit to the preparation, I won’t do it. So this is where I am and probably where I’ll stay but I’m happy with my getting this far all the same.
That being said, I’ve started training for another big event of a different sort. And I still waddle like that rheumatic duck. More details of that project in the coming months.
Quackman. Waddle on…
* The Ironman 70.3 series are triathlons that are often called Half-Ironman races because they’re exactly half the length of a full Ironman. 70.3 denotes the number of miles travelled – swim 1.2 miles (1.9km), cycle 56 miles (90km), run 13.1 miles (13.1km).