So I did it. It's official. I clicked the registration button. On May 14, 2016, I'll be toeing the line with 2,500 other triathletes at the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN North American Championship in The Woodlands, Texas.
This will be my second IRONMAN triathlon, after finishing IRONMAN Arizona in 2014. At IMAZ, I had one goal: finish the race.
Although I thought I'd do better, I finished with a decent time of 13:30. After the race, though, I was burnt out. So badly, in fact, that I've hardly swum, biked or ran since the race. And that was last November--10 months ago.
I figured it's time to get my head in the game again. What better way than by signing up for a race, and letting thousands of people follow the ups and downs of my age-group journey?
For those of you unfamiliar with the race, an IRONMAN consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Athletes have 17 hours to finish the event, with top pros finishing in the low eight-hour range.
Despite being generally OK with my mid-13 hour finish, my goal is to finish sub-13 this time around. Shouldn't be too tough, right? More experience and a smarter approach should shave off 30 minutes. On paper that might be the case, but my situation has changed greatly since November 2014.
I've graduated from grad school, moved to Texas and started a big boy job. Although I now have IRONMAN experience under my belt, training will be a new challenge. No longer can I ditch a Wednesday class and go for an 80-mile ride. I, like thousands of others, will be working around a full-time work schedule, fitting in a swim, bike or run wherever there's room.
IRONMAN is more than just a physical race; it saps your time and mental strength, as well. I'll have to find a new balance while training for IMTX, an overarching theme all IRONMAN competitors go through.
For the next eight months I'll be sharing my journey to IMTX with you--from training and gear to health and physical development. Keep up with my current progress on Twitter (@nystrummin and @active) and on Instagram (@nystrummin and @activedotcom).
Interested in starting your own IRONMAN journey? Check out IRONMAN.com for a race near you.