ironman thoughts

Every year, I think about doing a triathlon. And every year, I decide against it. Misguidedly, after running a marathon, I feel like competing in anything but a full-fledged Ironman would be a disappointment. My thinking is that if I can already run for 26 miles; how hard could it be to swim the additional 2.4 and bike 112 miles. So I go and choose a race (Ironmans are far and few in between), backward schedule a training plan against it and then buy a monthly pass for the local pool. I throw on my goggles and quickly learn there is no way that I can swim for even .24 miles. I get out of the pool and leave my triathlon thoughts behind. Swimming shouldn’t be my only concern, as I have never biked more than 50 miles and my current bicycle falls into the “beach cruiser” category. Hence, thanks to a healthy mix of overconfidence and incompetence, I have opted against doing a triathlon in both 2004 and 2005.

Here we go again. It’s the year 2006, I feel completely underchallenged by my lethargic workout routine. I am also in terrible shape, thanks to a month of health-related hard liquor habits in China. And once again, I am toying with the thought of competing in a triathlon. But this time, I am willing to settle for a half-Ironman, or quite possibly even the Olympic distance.

Here are my choices:

• September 2, Umpqua Ultimate Half Iron in Sutherlin, Oregon
• September 2, Titanium Man Road Bike Triathlon in Kennewick, Washington
• September 10, Big Kahuna Triathlon, Santa Cruz, California
• September 10, Duke Half Iron Distance, Raleigh, N.C.
• September 17, Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon, Aurora, CO
• October 1, Fountain Man Triathlon in Mesa, AZ
• October 1, South Carolina Half Iron Distance, Greenwood, SC
• October 29, Soma Half Ironman Triathlon in Tempe AZ

If you live near any of these places, drop me an email. The same holds true if anyone is up for a weeklong road trip in a convertible.* I’m either going to compete locally, or turn this into a very fun trip. Either way, 2006 is the year to compete in a Triathlon. No matter what.

* Only respond if you actually drive a convertible.**



  1. Anonymous March 15, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    You’re living in Nike-land and you’re not sure if you want to do a triathlon? Just do it!

  2. Anonymous March 19, 2006 at 12:35 am

    Colorado in September is beautiful. The aspens are changing, it’s still green, and the mountain trails are empty of summer visitors. Of course, there is always a chance snowstorm then too. You really should consider Aurora/Denver for your endeavor. (Aurora is 20 minutes east of Denver; Denver is an hour from the real Rocky Mountains.)

  3. Anonymous March 19, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Hands down, the most difficult part of a triathlon is the swim. Even if you are a good swimmer, once you exit the water and transition onto the bike all your body wants to do is vomit for the first ten minutes of the bike ride. Once you get passed that it becomes a lot easier
    Also, consider doing a duathlon (Run, Bike, Run) these are the best races for the aquatically challenged.