Ironman Boulder 2014: An Oblortunity

Scene: 0659 on Tuesday, July 16th. I am at the kitchen table with The Boy and we are drinking coffee and listening to NPR. I am waiting for the clock to strike 0700 to register for the Boulder Triathlon Series (Boulder 70.3, 5150 and Boulder Ironman).


The Boy: That’s insane!

Me: What? I’m not listening. I’m trying not to throw up.

The Boy: Would you feel like you’d throw up if you were buying a thousand dollar dress?

Me: Sort of, but not as much

The Boy: Think of it as a dress, but with more obligation. And opportunity. An oblortunity.


And I clicked a few buttons. And I registered for an Ironman. (No joke, just typing that made me a little dizzy).


If you aren’t familiar with the insanity that’s an Ironman, it’s a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. All back-to-back-to-back. There are a few problems with this:


  1. It’s insane. And that’s coming from a clinical psychologist.
  2. Although my Cervelo challenge is half way done (!) and I’m more comfortable on a bike, I’m still not comfortable with lots of bike things (i.e.  going fast, maneuvering quickly, anything other than going straight and flat and uninterrupted).


Weird Kat secret: I have always wanted to do an Ironman. I remember watching Kona as a kid on TV and thinking it was weird and crazy and inspiring. When I was wrapping up my ultraracing career the goal was an Ironman but a bad herniated disc derailed that. Moving to Colorado got me even further away from endurance sports because I was having so much fun playing in nature.


Fast forward to last week when there was some down time at work so I started talking endurance with the med student. The med student who was a pro cyclist. The med student who qualified for Kona. The med student who spent the next few hours convincing me to do an Ironman and reminding me of my youth watching Kona.


I went home that night to my beloved and explained to him that I wanted to do an Ironman. Not just that I wanted to do an Ironman, but I wanted to train for an Ironman, which means two-a-days, weekends full of longs runs and rides (which means less of all the Colorado things we love do to, like ski, backpack and drink beer), and me having fewer resources to be an active partner. As we talked, I felt selfish and really questioned why I wanted to do an Ironman and what it would be like if I never did. With a  lot of discussion, The Boy said he’d support me and if we looked at the next 10 years that now was the best time to do it, and he’d even do the training (minus the swimming) with me. With the  agreement that our family was more important than Ironman, I also gave him carte blanche to nix the Ironman at any time without question if he thought it was negatively affecting our family*. And so, here begins the long road to August 2014 and the Boulder Ironman.