A double Ironman is typically known as 281.2 miles over the course of two days. The time limit is 48 hours so you do have the opportunity to sit back and take a nap, but even that just sounds bananas. Of course, when I registered for Ironman Texas I had no clue that I would be doing my version of a double Ironman. No I won’t be doing them within 48 hours or even 4-8 weeks of each other but instead I am doing them almost exactly 5 months apart.
I registered for Ironman Texas in June of 2011, but my goal race was always Ironman Arizona. Not sure why I wanted to race IMAZ so bad (maybe to meet Emz?) but it was the one race I HAD to do. After volunteering for IMTX last year, I got the feeling that I would register for the event and that through a little bit of a monkey wrench into the IMAZ plan.
After speaking with my wife and my coach it was decided that doing a second Ironman in the same calendar year was feasible. I would already have a base from IMTX and Ironman Arizona was far enough away to recover, train and taper. The financial piece to this puzzle was taken care of when I picked up a sponsor to pay for the travel and races. Along the lines I have picked up other sponsors that are helping with just about everything else from recovery products (Arctic Ease) to fueling (Boundless Nutrition and CorePower) to my passion of cooking (Grapevine Grains.) Without these sponsors I don’t know that I would be able to accomplish this task financially.
The next question to answer was Why? Why do this? I think the answer lies somewhere between multiple answers. As I said I had wanted to race IMAZ since I got into the sport. It was a must and so I wanted it to be my first. The other reason was in the form of a question: Why Not? I don’t back down from challenges. I think it would be a gratifying feather in my cap to have accomplished two Ironman races in the same year. Of course with that can come the dreaded burn-out. The I HATE this stuff and don’t want to do it again.
I will not lie, but that is a very real concern of mine. I love pushing my body over and over. I love seeing the progress that I am making. I love dialing in my diet and nutrition. All these things fuel me, but what if I have a horror of a time at the race? What if I am so drained that I just don’t want to race again. My answer to that has been: If you hate it that much it wouldn’t matter if the next race was in 5 months or 5 years.
The one question that hung in the air for me was whether or not to race 70.3 Austin again this year. After reading this article I am leaning toward not participating in this event. I am already racing Rev3 OOB in August as well as the US Open Championships in October. Adding the additional Half-Ironman will probably not help me as that means entering the race with no taper and then having to recover. That will just be too much, or at least that is what I’m telling myself right now. Yes, that may change in a week when I ask the question: WHY NOT?
HAVE YOU RACED TWO IRONMAN RACES IN THE SAME CALENDAR YEAR?
DO YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF WITH THE WHY NOT QUESTION?