Now that the Olympics are in full swing, it seems like everyone is paying attention to sports (other than baseball, basketball, etc). I have been asked many times this week, at the gym, on the street, at the deli, "Are you in the Olympics?". It's kind of hard to explain the complicated qualification process and that I didn't even get a chance to try out. Instead, I simply say, "No, not this time - the New York City Ironman is my Olympics".
In a little under two weeks I, (along with my brother-in-law, several close friends and what seems like half of Wall Street), will be competing in the inagural NYC Ironman. As soon as this race was announced I knew I wanted to take on the challenge and, I told the race director John Korff, I'm in. In typical NY'er fashion, he looked at me a little skeptically and said, "Oh, ok." But here we are just days away and yes, I'm still in! Even my coach asked me a few weeks ago, "Are you still thinking of Ironman? We have time, but we don't have a lot of time. If you can focus for the next month or so, you can have a decent debut at this distance." And I said, YES, I'M IN! It's not in me to let a big race happen on my home turf without even giving it a try. I have always wanted to run a marathon (remind me of that at mile 15 of the race!) and I have also always wanted to try an Ironman, so without a ticket to London and a race in my backyard...here we go!!
There are so many unknowns going into this race. In a way, it's like a distance swimmer sprinting, or a miler suddenly doing hurdles. I'm going away from something I've become accustomed to and have been fairly successful in (the Olympic distance races) to something that may very likely be out of my comfort zone. But, I'm a firm believer in introducing new challenges into life- call me crazy, but I have always been known to take a risky leap to learn and grow as an athlete and person. So maybe I will learn that I don't like puking on my bike or getting kankles (or whatever horror stories I have heard from Ironman), but I am willing to find out on August 11! So far, I know that I have done more in the way of biking and running than I ever have in my 4 years of triathlon. I have cried more than once. I have been rescued from the bike shop more than once. And, yet, I have surprised myself and surpassed my expectations more than once. I have no idea how things will play out on raceday, but bring it on!