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Well the 35th Ironman in Kona Hawaii is over. Ever since 2004 I have perked up and taken sharp notice as the date rolls around. Before this date I never took much interest in the Ironman race. I knew Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Julie Moss, Paula Newby-Fraser, all triathletes from the road racing running scene so I would check in a little from time to time during the event.
The 2004 date I speak of is when I made my Ironman attempt. Yes I said attempt, I tried and I failed to finish the 2004 World Championships of Ironman. The Kona Ironman distances of a 2.4 mile ocean swim, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles spit me out as I elapsed the 10.5 hour cut off from start of swim to end of bike, I was 95 miles into the bike when my day ended.
So during this week I get all stirred up in mind and body to try again. I remember how the qualifying and training for Ironman took me to new heights in body, mind and spirit. Completely consuming me, it’s a feeling I enjoy, a willingness to go after such a physical prize. Each year I go through these feeling and each year I let that desire go. I just don’t have the energy or to be honest with myself, the true desire that a commitment like that takes.
My experience with Kona is a keeper, from every bit of the bummed out feeling of being pulled off the bike course to the euphoria of finishing that bewitching ocean swim. It all gave me lifelong memories, it was a true extreme adventure. Really, isn’t that what extreme is about, pushing ourselves, altering what we think is possible, thus leaving us changed? At least I think so.
I’m also thinking about the people I know that started in the 2013 handcycle division. The friends of mine Susan Katz, had a day that ended too soon by 6 and half minutes, Jason Fowler had a PR at 10:45:25 and Scot Hollonbeck, a first time start and finish with 12:37:54 and their extreme adventures.
And I’m thinking about the ones I don’t know that set new records, Minda Dentler, now the first female handcycler to finish an Iroman World Championship with a course record of 14:39:14 and Tomas Fruhwirth winning the division with a new course record of 09:02:55, now how’s that for extreme adventure.
What made me think I wanted to take on the Ironman event in 2004 was a sense of mighty mouse-ness after winning the over all world cup title in cross country skiing that season. A friend suggested I try the triathlon for variety. To be clear there are several distances of triathlons. I fancied myself an endurance athlete so I set my sites on the Grand Daddy of triathlons, the full Ironman.
A challenge, I dear say. I had not swum in 10 years, my biking skills were lacking to say it mildly, ah but my run was stellar, 1 out of 3 meant I had my work cut out for me, yipeey. On May 1st 2004 I began training for the June 10th Half Ironman qualifier, yes Alice you have to qualify to go to the Big Show. I qualified with 3 minutes to spare, onward to my extreme adventure.
Moving on from half Ironman to a full was a completely different training beast. I would strap myself to the end of the pool to swim 2 hours continuously in place because there is only one turn on the Kona Ironman course. The hours on the bike were mind bending with relentless eating and drinking. Which brings the question up, how do you pee? I self cath so I had my pants adapted with a crotch wiz-zip for easy open and let it fly.
October comes and I arrived on the island a week before the Ironman. My first morning swimming in Captain Cook Bay wild dolphins surrounded and swam with me for an hour. They were effortless, magical, swimming creatures jumping beside me, checking me out as I checked them out. The water was so clear and they were so close I could see their scars from life in the ocean. My hope was to swim like the dolphins.
My Ironman extreme adventure finally arrives and I swim not quite dolphin-esk at 1:42:01. My first transition from swim to bike, close to five minutes. The ride had its flashes of brilliance and some “how much farther?” through the windy lava fields. But without exception one thought repeated, if I could make the bike cut off my run would be stellar, but I never got the chance.
The best advice I got before my extreme adventure and has stayed with me in life, was from David Bailey 2000 Ironman Champion, “don’t become attached to anything you feel out there, good or bad, it will change, all day long.” And so it is, I let go.
Blessings to All, In Joy Candace
© 2013 Candace Cable | |
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