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Ironman Deflation
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So I am at a party where a number of folks just became aware that I am an Ironman-I am asked what are the distances -as I explain each leg the "oohs and ahhs" and "thats incredible" are rolling in (I am enjoying my rock star moment) it crescendos when I explain that the last leg is a marathon... then a guy who was speaking another group at the party turns around with irritation in his voice and says " I read that a 70 year old nun does that event, how hard can it be?" That is Ironman Deflation. What prompted this post is a great quote I just read in another post: "Ironmans are very easy to finish, very hard to race". That is a secret which should be closely guarded.....
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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IMHO that quote is wrong, and this is an issue of perspective. Ask anyone who "races" Ironmans if they could go out and do the swim in 2hrs, ride the bike in 8hrs, then do the run in 7 and they wouldn't be able to do it. That's fu*king nuts.

Ask anyone who "finishes" an Ironman to race it in under 10, and they'd have the same response.

Eganski tweets
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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"Ironmans are very easy to finish, very hard to race". That is a secret which should be closely guarded.....

Ha! Very true.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Ironmans are not very easy to finish - that quote is bullsh!t.

Regardless... there's always a negative nancy in every group, making sure to keep you in check. This same person will also dole out fitness advice when they themselves are pushing 300lbs. Don't worry about it. It doesn't even make sense to try to justify things to this irrational type.


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WeBike.us | 2012 IMAZ Race Report
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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I bet most fit people could not finish one of the events and if they did they would be WHIPPED
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Re: Ironman Deflation [DawnT] [ In reply to ]
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I second that quote for anyone who does a little exercise.

Dave

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Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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it would seem that completing the actual Ironman race is easy
the hard part would be getting to the start line
the training is incredibly difficult so that the "race" isnt because you've done it all before

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Yes. Always punch people in the face when their interests are different than yours. There can be no other way.
-one_lap
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Re: Ironman Deflation [mrtrik] [ In reply to ]
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They are very easy to finish relative to how difficult it appears...Most non triathletes (and actually some triathletes) people believe that at the end of the ironman you "run" a marathon. The truth is most run/walk and some just walk the marathon with the ability to stop every mile to munch on fruit, water, gels chicken broth etc. The point is there is a disconnect between the perception and the reality. In my first IM I was blown away by the amount of walking by over half the field. Prior to my experience at IM I often wondered how did "Bob who is overweight and not in the greatest shape finish an ironman" The light bulb went off when I actually did an IM. Racing an IM is completely different......
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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You raise an interesting point.

There is likely some small culture of people who do Ironman for the "ohh-ahh" factor. Everybody looks for that in life, myself included.

Endurance sports are a demanding mistress though. People start endurance sports for one reason, but stay for other reasons as they expereince the sport. If the reasons for participating is to impress others the romance is generally short lived. As you experienced with your conversation, there is always a higher bar.

I think the reasons people stay in the sport are internal as opposed to external. It isn't to show off or acheive a particular result for most MOP'ers. It is for a list of reasons as individual as the number of competitors. There are likely some common threads, but this sport pushes different buttons for everyone.

People may come to the sport or an impressive line on their personal resume. They stay for other reasons even they may not fully understand.


Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Ironman Deflation [eganski] [ In reply to ]
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I have tremendous respect for anyone with the mental fortitude to be out there for 16+ hours. My one IM was just over 11 hrs and that was more than long enough for me.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Its better the sprint triathlon deflation

which happens when a total idiot (me) meets a poorly marked turn on the bike course and cuts the bike course short by accident and drops out completely.

sigh



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Its my personal standard that I haven't finished a triathlon unless I at least jog the whole run.

But that personal standard would change if I were 70 years old I'm sure!

In Reply To:
They are very easy to finish relative to how difficult it appears...Most non triathletes (and actually some triathletes) people believe that at the end of the ironman you "run" a marathon. The truth is most run/walk and some just walk the marathon with the ability to stop every mile to munch on fruit, water, gels chicken broth etc. The point is there is a disconnect between the perception and the reality. In my first IM I was blown away by the amount of walking by over half the field. Prior to my experience at IM I often wondered how did "Bob who is overweight and not in the greatest shape finish an ironman" The light bulb went off when I actually did an IM. Racing an IM is completely different......



Kat Hunter reports on the San Dimas Stage Race from inside the GC winning team
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter
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Re: Ironman Deflation [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Tom, I completely agree. I would expect that a large percentage of folks only do one IM. The percentage of folks who do a second IM probably is very close to the percentage of folks who do a third, fourth etc. The vanity participants are out after one IM because their is nothing gained in the second (your an IM whether you do 1 or 30 IMs). I am not sure there is anything you can do about it- there are always puriest in any sport who complain about the folks who are in their sport for vanity reasons (e.g. withness the tremendous increase in particpants in mountain climbing and surfing).
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Re: Ironman Deflation [DawnT] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
"Ironmans are very easy to finish, very hard to race". That is a secret which should be closely guarded.....

Na, baby, na. I finished a dozen IM under 12 hours and raced IMC fast enough to qualify for Kona a couple of times. I'm currently training a bit more than an hour a day. I'm pretty sure I could finish by midnight, but there's no way it would be "very easy."
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Re: Ironman Deflation [Mark Lemmon] [ In reply to ]
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The quote does not necessarily mean you finish in 17 hours. It means you can get off the bike and can decide to lollygag the marathon and have a fun enjoyable day. There are a slew of folks walking/jogging in packs just having a good time- taking pictures with friends on the course etc and finishing in 14-15 hours. The experience of those folks is very easy compared to the athlete who gets off the bike and goes out to truly "run" or "run/jog" the marathon.... If someone told you when you were in sub 12 shape to go out and do a 14 hour IM I suspect you would view that as very easy (very easy relative to a sub 12). I dont think anyone would say that 17 hours out on a course for an out of shape person is easy...
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Just curious: do you think you can randomly pull anyone off the street, even someone who looks like they're in good shape, and have him or her complete an ironman in 17 hours?

Tom C.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [John M] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
I have tremendous respect for anyone with the mental fortitude to be out there for 16+ hours. My one IM was just over 11 hrs and that was more than long enough for me.


I agree totally with that one, I have 2 IM finishes now, both close to 11hrs, yet I am always blown away by the folks who are still out there at 15 16 hrs+ pushing themselves to finish.
we had a discussion about it at my tri club, the fastest of the group was a 9:30 racer, the slowest mid 13's. everyone felt that if they were staring down the barrel of a 16hr finish, every one of us would likely have cracked and gone back to the home early.
The pros and the fast AGers are great to watch and cheer for, but those folks who finish in the dark are where the spirit of the race lies.



I reject your reality and substitute my own!
Adam Savage
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Re: Ironman Deflation [Tom C.] [ In reply to ]
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no, certainly not randomly. But can 5 of the spin instructors at my YMCA , assuming basic swimming skills, get through an IM with some training-absolutely. The point again is not that its so easy anyone can do it with no training- its simply that the IM is not as tough as most people percieve it to be because if your in shape (i.e., you have some background in endurance event, swimming, biking, running, xctry ski etc.) you only need to swim and bike before your long walk, perhaps some jogging... It really is not that hard because few folks really run the marathon..for those who do- its tough as nails!
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Re: Ironman Deflation [slidecontrol] [ In reply to ]
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yes and no....and your post goes to the crux of the IM- there are folks who train very hard to race ironman and there are folks who decide they will train for 6-9 months to "do" an IM. So one 40 year old is out there year in and year out doing his tues am track workouts and thurs bike thresholds trying to max is FTP and VDOT. The other 40 year old is just making sure he gets 3 swims 3 bikes and 3 runs in a week building his or her base so that he can go the IM distance on race day. Come race day the racer lays it all on the line - continues to turn his legs even though he has nothing left and his body says stop.. goes sub 10- .. The 40 year "doer" gets through the swim in 1:55 s, bikes for 7:00 and then jogs and walks the marathon (with meal stops every mile) finishing 16-17 hours. Why does the latter embody Ironman??? I have tremendous respect for those folks who finish in 17 hours and trained real hard just to finish- that is truly amazing. There are however, alot of folks who could go 12-13 hours with some serious training but do minimal training and finish in 16-17 to say they did IM-- they don't embody IM to me.... I will take the racer anytime.....It takes much more mental fortitude to keep running when you want to walk than it takes to keep walking when you want to stop....
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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I think people are missing a huge factor; the mental aspect.
If you are expecting to go sub 12 and have a bad day...dehydration, stomach, sickness, cramps, is finishing in 16+ an easy day?

There is a point in every persons race where they have to decide whether they can keep going at the pace they are on or whether they have to slow down. If someone sets out to do a 15 hour race and pushes themselves to achieve that goal is it any different than someone who has the ability to do a 11 hour race and completes it. There are a lot of variables age, ability choice of lifestyle.

What I don't understand is the athlete that chooses to fly on the bike and then has nothing left for the run. The great run split will not miraculously occur on race day. Plan a whole race and when you finish along side me in 13:33 don't try and explain how you had to walk the run so your time is so slow. Many people walk the run for different reasons, but the finishline tells you how you managed your day.



it turns out that our OP is only "mostly" dead........ ElGordo
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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I agree to a certain extent but I think at the time you are met with the doubt from someone outside the circle it's an opportunity to point out the benefits of the race.

I think a larger part of the triathlon is the training it takes to get there. While the day might be limited to 17hrs you had to put in many days if not years of training and pushing thru pain and injury, dealing with nutrition problems and a multitude of other triathlon factors.

Triathlon racing or finishing is beyond the day and I think it's a testiment to the sport that it not only is open to participation but embraces the 70yr old trying to push thru their own limitations. For many the race isn't about time it's about the obstacle which is multi-faceted.

Any mispelled words are intentional as is the improper grammar and sentence structure.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Fair enough. See I think that anyone who wants to can complete an ironman and I am living proof of that. I did it because I wanted to and I would agree with you that the 5 spin instructors you refer to could do so also if they wanted to. But I also think that "wanting to" is nothing to be scoffed at. Another poster touched on this issue far more eloquently than I. When it comes down to it, it's all about desire. Sure we have different starting points, different strengths and weaknesses, different physical attibutes and limitations. But to me it is the desire that distinguishes us in life. Training for an ironman takes great sacrifices in terms of your free time-- personal and family relationships can suffer-- and you necessarily give up or put on hold other interests and pursuits. Whether the goal is finishing or winning your age group you have to make those sacrifices. Sometimes, not always, those who excel at the sport-- no matter whether you define it for yourself as winning your age group or beating your time--is the result of making more sacrifices. I had a friend who was a green beret. He told me he made the cut not because he was the fittest, fastest or strongest in his class but because he wanted it more.

I think that can be an admirable quality in a person, and if I were picking teams for anything I'd rather have the 70 year old nun than the wise ass you ran into at the party.

Tom C.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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at risk of contradicting myself, I agree with you as well.
my view is coloured by what I saw at the end of IMNZ 08
part of me goes to the finish at 11:40pm to cheer for those who have endured the longest day of their lives ( small twisted part of goes to see who 'just misses out' )

but this year, one woman stood out in terms of grit. unfortunately I don't think she was recorded as a finisher ( a couple of minutes past 12pm. I don't know her story either, was she the racer who had a bad day? or the participant whose only goal was to finish? I'll probably never find out.

with only a few hundred meters to go, the clock ticked over 17hrs, yet, unable to walk fully upright and in obvious pain and some distress at not making the cutoff, she held her chin up, and marched as hard as she could to the line, the crowd went nuts, Mike Reilly was leaping about like a school kid. She paused at the tape, and acknowledged the crowd ( there was still a tape held up for her to cross ) and then she disappeared into the tent.

I was rapt when word came back up the course earlier in the day that Cam taken the win, and even more elated when Jo held off a strong challenge to avenge her defeat at the Tauranga half IM.

but that lone woman will remain an inspiration to me for a long time to come.



I reject your reality and substitute my own!
Adam Savage
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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Ha! I always try to get that out first. After the oohhs and aahhs I say it is about deciding you want to finish. After all, there is a 70+ year old nun who picked up the sport in her 50's. People still shake their heads.
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Re: Ironman Deflation [zerobars] [ In reply to ]
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"Ironmans are very easy to finish, very hard to race". That is a secret which should be closely guarded.....
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I agree. Any reasonably fit and healthy person can finish an Ironman distance event in 17 hours after 3-4 months of swim, bike,run training.
Anybody who watched the last 2 hours of an Ironman finish line can attest to that. I know couple people who can barely run a sub 30 minute 5K finished an Ironman.
This also applies to marathons with 7 hour finishing times as well.
The reason for this is totally commercial $$$$ and please do not start the whatever gets them off the couch argument.
If you are not racing it the whole thing is a joke.

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I see obsessed people.
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