Thursday, August 05, 2010

You Think You're Hardcore Until You Meet an Ironman

Marathoners. They seem normal to me now. My life's surrounded by them.

Triathletes. I'm impressed with the entire process - the wet suits, tri bikes, transition logistics...

IRONMEN. Really? Regular people can complete Ironman distances (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile ride, then a 26.2 mile run)? Now I'm amazed.

It makes marathon training look easy.

To put it in to perspective, a marathon accounts for only 1/3 of a Ironman, so I suppose we could say training for a marathon is only 33% (or maybe less) of that of an Ironman.

I met Jim over four years ago. He is my best friend's fiance. He wasn't an Ironman then, but he had it on his mind.

He completed Ironman Louisville in 2008 and is preparing to do the same race again this year. I can speak of the training process only through what I see and hear from him.

It involves very long bike rides, hours in the pool, lots of running, serious eating and sleeping.

Last week he drove up to get some open water swim time in at Ohio Street Beach.

I'm too scared to get in there and try. He swam a few miles in it.

After he finished, I met him to presumably hand back his bag so he could head home. I was incorrect. He grabbed just his hat and running shoes and asked me where he could pick up the lakefront path. He had a quick 8 miler to knock out.

Jim can eat with the best of them. He holds a record for most shrimp ate at one Red Lobster location due to a bet with co-workers to which, he won. The bet involved the losers buying the winner's meal. Jim was so confident he'd win, he didn't bring any money with him.

I know people that love sleep, but Jim's a professional. A recent rehab of their bedroom includes a top-line memory foam bed, high thread count sheets, and black out curtains.

In late August, Jim will go down to Louisville to better his 2008 finishing time. His sister Jen will go with him, competing in her first Ironman.

I wish them the best of luck.

No comments: