I finally pulled the trigger on race photos. It cost $100, but that’s a small price to pay for a Wisconsin kid who . . . went back home, ran under the Ironman arch, then got a picture of it with his favorite State Capitol in the background.
My life isn’t THAT boring, but I do think about this moment a lot. It’s not about how awesome I am, in fact the thought I have most often is:
It just doesn’t seem real.
As much as I trained . . . as much as I built my confidence for Ironman . . . it’s still 140.6 miles of endurance. Back in the day, using those numbers and my name in the same sentence would have gotten belly laughs from my homies.
One year before Ironman the conquest seemed as realistic as climbing Mt. Everest, swimming the English Channel, or getting a good night’s sleep. But, as the picture proves (assuming you don’t think I took a short cut) I actually did complete an Ironman.
It was really, really hard, but something propelled me to pursue the unthinkable that day. My furthest combination of swim, bike, run before that was 1/2 the distance. Half.
But the body and mind are truly capable of more than we know.
Sometimes I ask myself if I could have ran even one more mile that day. I know the answer is yes, it would have been the most painful 10 minutes of my athletic career, by far. Did I have two more miles? Probably not.
It’s crazy how we adjust our goals to a specific target. I was mentally programmed to go 140.6 and that was about my limit. What if I had trained for 200? What is our real potential?
It really makes me wonder. Not only physically, but mentally. I mean, realistically I pulled this feat together in just over ONE YEAR . . . at 50 years old. What else can I do? What else can you do?
Until I figure out what’s next, I’ll probably keep looking at pictures of me and that guy in the blue shirt while trying to understand Ironman Wisconsin on a deeper level. It was a wildly surreal experience that took forever, and went by in a flash.