Why on earth would you do an Ironman?

I had a lovely friend recently ask me to convince her to do an Ironman.  Yep, straight up, she told me to sell it to her.  I had to pitch the benefits to her.  I had to explain “why on earth anyone would do an Ironman”.

Initially I stumbled, laughed, paused,  swore and then laughed again.

I should have been able to eagerly answer the question with bouts of enthusiasm, but rather the above happened.  It took me a while.   I guess I wanted to pause and give the answer the credit it deserves, because as we all know, you can’t and shouldn’t take competing in an Ironman lightly (click here to read about some honest truths about Ironman).  A lot goes into the decision.

So here’s my pitch.  My view. Why I sign up for Ironmans….

#1   That brief moment after you have finished

Everyone has their moment of “I’ve done it”.  For many it is as they are running down the finish chute.  The euphoria of hearing “you are an Ironman” and getting the medal.  I get that, but for me my “moment” never seems to be in the finish chute.  I tend to have my moment later that night, when I’m sitting alone on my bed.  I usually just smile and think “boom, I just did that”.

That feeling is amazing.  Whether the day has gone to plan or not, I’ve always enjoyed THAT moment.  It also seems to come with a bit of relief.  Relief that the structure of training life has come to an end and that you can have some time to rest and reunite with the things you’ve sacrificed over the training months.

To those of you who have done an Ironman, when do you have your “moment”?  Feel free to share in the comments.

#2  The training moments

There seems to be a theme –  Moments.  I love training moments.  They are many types…..

The “F#@K yeah” moments – after you’ve finished a really hard  session and you’ve nailed it.

The “F#$k no” moments – when you’re alarm goes off and you don’t want to get up, but you do.  Or you session has been terrible, but you’ve got it done.

The “STOP IT” moments – when you’re friends have you laughing so much during a session you think you’ll wet yourself

The “GO ME” moments – when you see improvement and you quietly think to yourself  “go me“.

#3  The challenges, setbacks and successes
As cliche as it sounds, when there are challenges and setbacks, success can feel even sweeter.  And trust me, Ironman will present you with plenty of challenges and setbacks!  In a weird way, that’s part of the appeal.

Ironman Kona The energy lab
Goodness me. Here’s the energy lab giving me a nice bloody challenging “moment”. Funnily, this is a favourite picture!

#4  The friendships

There is something about running or riding with a group of friends when you all have a similar focus.  It  makes you all connect.  I love the friendships I’ve formed thanks to Ironman.  Some of whom I may have never have got to know unless we spent six hours on a bike together.

training buddies Ironman

#5  Being a part of something bigger than everyday life

I like being a part of something bigger than my day to day life.  Bigger than work.  Something that inspires me.  Something that gets me going and stirs a bit of fire in my soul.  Ironman can do that…. be warned, it can also do the opposite if things get out of balance!

#6 For the love – the love swimming, riding and running

I actually love swimming, riding and running – YUP, all three.  I would miss one if I only did the other two.  If you don’t love the actual disciplines, it will make for a long training build up.  You need to find the love in what you do – it makes it so much more enjoyable.  so-much-more-png

After my friend asked for me for the Ironman pitch, I created this above image.  I felt it summed it up.  Sometimes it’s just the “so much mores” that you can’t measure that make it worth it.

How was that pitch?  What did I miss?

Happy training Ironchicks,

long run reality






Featured Image photo credit; R. Johnstone  2015 (who photographed “our” Port Macquarie Ironman rock).

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