Why do an Ironman?

We originally had the idea that I should attempt to do an Ironman last October.  After hearing Joseph’s diagnosis and how there was no known cure we were left feeling quite powerless and depressed.  How could we just sit around and do nothing?  When you become a parent you suddenly discover all these primal instincts you never knew you had.  One of the strongest is to protect and care for your children at all costs.  No parent could just sit there and do nothing and we were no exception.  We knew that there are many scientists out there actively researching cures and treatments for Leukodystrophy, so what better way to help Joseph than to try and help support the scientists do their job?  So what should I do to raise money?

It had to be something BIG.

Many of you will know already that neither myself nor Colette are strangers to a spot of exercise.  Colette has taken part in cycle races at the highest level and has represented her country many times.  I don’t quite have a CV to match her (nowhere near in fact!), but I have already done two Ironman distance triathlons and done alot of cycle racing.  I last did an Ironman triathlon in 2000 (Ironman Roth in Germany), since then choosing to focus on my favorite sport which is cycling.  By switching to cycling I’ve not so much as got a toe wet in a pool in 8 years, nor have I done much running, save for running late, as people that know me will regularly point out!

Ancient cyclist (courtesy: Arthur Weasley / Wikimedia)So choosing anything less than an Ironman would feel like cheating somehow.  The Ironman will still be a huge challenge for me.  After 8 years of no swimming you can’t just dive into a pool and swim almost 4km.  Nor can you just stick on a pair of trainers and run a marathon!  In the last 8 years my body has become very much the body of a cyclist: big legs and a wasted upper body. In fact a cyclist is like a modern day Tyrannosaurus Rex except with nicer teeth (check out the silly arms!). Have you ever seen a swimming T. Rex?  I bet they’d need armbands.  Running is even worse – there’s no freewheeling or breaststroking when you run.  In the past 8 years my legs have got strong but the joints and tendons have softened up due to the low impact nature of cycling.  Just running a 5km would leave me crippled for days.

The other thing that has changed since my last Ironman is the amount of free time I have for training.  Training is absolutely key to doing an Ironman.  In fact, I think the race itself is relatively easy compared with the amount of training you have to do in the months beforehand.  You can’t just turn up on the day and expect to get round.  You have to have done lots of time consuming training.  Finding the time and energy to train has been much tougher than it used to be: work is a lot more time consuming nowadays and, most importantly, we are a family of three now rather than two care-free adults!

And on that note I’d better go to bed and get some R&R!

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