If you're a triathlete you know the drill.
"Oh, you do triathlons? That's the Ironman right?"
I'm sure some advertising mogul somewhere hears the cha-ching every time someone asks that question. For those of us who Tri, but not of the Ironman variety there always seems to be a let down with anyone you meet when you explain the distance or event you do compete in. As if the 1500m swim, 35k bike, and 10k run that are XTERRA Nationals in Tahoe are something for your typical weekend warrior and not really that impressive....
Part of my attitude is jealousy. I admit it. Part of it is also probably fear; I'm less inclined to admit to that. This January I'll be running the PF Changs RocknRoll 1/2 marathon here in Phoenix. This will be a big jump for me in terms of my endurance sport career and will mark the longest event I've ever competed in running wise. With all the longer run training, something I needed for next year's XTERRA season anyway, has come this nagging voice in my head that screams Ironman. Now, at this point the whole thing would be just dumb, but that 70.3 distance is sounding pretty tempting.
Is is the recognition? The personal challenge? I think it's a little of both. I raced XTERRA this year and in my first season I made Nationals. Did I have a solid performance at the big dance? No. Is there room for improvement? Tons. But instead of just focusing on XTERRA this next year I'm looking for a little added adventure, some spice, and that may just take the form of a 1/2 Ironman - 70.3.