It is inevitable, that when you finish a half ironman event, you will be asked, “So you think you’ll do a full ironman?” I was asked not even an hour after finishing mine, in fact, I was already thinking about whether or not I’d do a full one while riding my bike during the race.
I spared some details of the bike portion in my race recap, mostly because I didn’t want the post to get too lengthy. Also because maybe it’s TMI, but this is my blog and I type the dirty truth. The part that I skipped was how I’ve never been so happy to get off of a bike in my life by the end of those 56 miles. Things were starting to hurt… in the hoo-ha region. Yes, I wore tri shorts, they have padding, and I used chamois cream. In the last 6 miles or so I cringed at every creek in the road that my bike rumbled over, at one point I even groaned a loud “OUCH!!” Before I was even finished with the ride I thought to myself that I don’t ever want to do a full ironman.
Days later, hoo-ha healed, the question lingered, do I want to do a full ironman? I know I’m capable of doing one, but do I want to? Prior to completing half the distance, it was something that I was pretty sure that I wanted to do. Maybe it’s a bit silly that the thought of spending 7+ hours on the bike is what’s turning me off from the idea. Or maybe that’s a very reasonable thought.
So here’s where this gets interesting, and excuse the next few minutes of shameless gushing. I attended a trail run with Dean Karnazes. I literally ran with Dean Karnazes! You don’t need to pinch me, I have this picture to prove it wasn’t a dream!
I was running on a narrow trail in front of a running legend, pacing off of the sound of his footsteps. It was absolutely magical. When the trail widened enough he was running at my side. I had no words, but needed to take this opportunity to talk with the runner whose books I’ve devoured and have been forever inspired by. The only thing that came to mind was, “So what would you say to someone who is thinking about doing an IronMan?”
He told me that if the idea is there you do it, don’t let the chance go by, just go with it. I agreed, and then asked him about his son completing his first marathon, asked about his daughter, he asked me what’s fun to do in Madison, I HAD A CONVERSATION WITH DEAN KARNAZES!!!! This was the most incredible hour of my entire running life. It was seven miles in heaven.
After the run was over, the crew went back to The North Face store to grab a post run snack and get a picture and autograph by the Ultra Marathon Man. I watched him write my autograph and microscopic tears of joy welled in my eyes. This is what he wrote: