On Tuesday, I was checking Facebook briefly when something caught my eye. My entire newsfeed is dominated by running-related updates, so I was bound to find out about this the day the news was released….The Ironman 70.3 series is holding its 24th event next September: in Princeton.* Holy crap.
A half Ironman has been on my radar since last summer after I participated in a 5k open water swim at the shore. Having really enjoyed that, plus doing “brick runs” out of necessity on a daily basis (including today actually), plus just generally being able to run hard through fatigue have caused me to get that tingling, excited feeling when I think about what I could potentially do in a half Ironman. Aside from the 56-mile bike (more on that issue later…though I discussed it before), the distances seem just right in terms of a balance between speed and endurance. In other words, I think the event could be an ideal event for me. Okay, let me take that one step further: I think, with proper training, I could place very well in my age group in such an event. Training for a half Ironman next September does not sound that difficult to me: race Boston, rest up, train all summer. I swim and bike as part of training for running-only races anyway. The only thing in my way right now is…well, a rather huge obstacle, not going to lie.
Money. On December 16th, registration opens and the cost will be $275. If you don’t get in on the first day, I believe it goes up to $300, with incremental price increases after that if it doesn’t sell out beforehand. And, it looks like it will. At first I was thinking of trying to find some way, any way (well, legal way I mean) to get this money by the time registration opens, because I feel compelled to do it. Perfect timing, perfect location, perfect distance.
At first, this was going to be an angry post, about how it’s not the triathletes who work hard or have talent that get to become great, it’s the ones who have the means by which to make the first steps to get there: register for the event. Buy a road bike. But now, it’s just become a sort of surrender. That’s the way it is. I could train as hard as I could on my hybrid bike, and go out of my way to sneak into accessible pools. I could put the registration on my credit card and watch as it takes months and months and months to pay off, while I cut back further on groceries and other priorities. In the end though, don’t others win? Maybe I should wait. I guess another half Ironman will come around at a time I’m also ready to race it, and I have the money to spend on it. So that’s where I’m at now. It’s not an option. I have to tell myself that.
It’s hard to be patient when I’m not injured…who would have thought! I think what’s happening is it bothers me to have found a setback to racing and training that is not an injury. I’m not complaining though, obviously this wouldn’t be a frustration of mine if I didn’t feel physically capable of such a race in the first place….I am grateful to have gotten this far. To future 70.3s! <cringe>
*Note: It’s not really going to be in Princeton. It will be at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, where the NJ State Tri and the Perfect 10 are held. CGI Racing is actually partnering with Ironman 70.3 for the event as the race directors.