Monday, December 5, 2011

Reality Check for IM-Lou

Cons of doing a FULL Ironman:

  1. The swim: 2.4 miles of swimming which must be completed in 2 hours and 20 minutes. My swim time at the 2011 Tremont (Sprint) Triathlon was 9:09 for 400 yards. That converts to (making broad assumptions on keeping that pace for 2.4 miles) 1.49 miles per hour. Based on that pace, I could complete the 2.4 miles in 1 hour and 40-50 minutes. Almost two hours of swimming. Whew! Sure would hate to drown and get a DNF. 
  2. The Bike: 112 miles in 8 hours or so if you include transition time. Bike has to be completed by 5:30 pm.  Based on my 2011 Triathlon, my bike pace of 16.3 miles / hour, it would take me a good 7 hours to complete. Not a lot of buffer there when you start thinking about fatigue.
  3. The Run: 26.2 miles in 6.5-7.5 hours. Now let's not even look at my triathlon pace because let's face it at this point all of that will be out the window. It will be a matter of sheer will, putting one foot directly in front of the other in order to complete a FULL FREAKING MARATHON by midnight. I would have to run a mile every 15 minutes in hopes of finishing by midnight! I've never run more than 13.1 miles at one time and the lactic acid build up at that time was crazy, but I also didn't allow myself to walk and I know I would walk during the marathon portion of IM. Heck, even The Legend has said he has walked. 
Let's look at some data. Here are two recent finishes for two people I know who competed in IronMan Wisconsin in 2010. IM-WI is known for it's hilly, challenging course: 

Looks good, doesn't it? Doable......realistic......But I fill myself when doubts when I know how much stronger these athletes are than I am. I am not particularly strong in any of the three legs of the triathlon. I just get out and do it, and smile while I'm at it. I really don't want to lose the smile. 

Here is where I will probably end up....hopefully. This is the final woman to cross the line before the 17 hour cutoff of the 2010 IM-WI: 

Honestly, I wouldn't care as long as I finished within the 17 hours required. 

But I am still haunted with the question, am I ready? This is a big leap in my training for the year. I'm still debating. Still analyzing. Still swaying on the big rusty fence. 

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