Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Post Where We Actually Pick a Race

So once I decided to do an Ironman, I thought it would just be a matter of picking what race I wanted, paying the rather exorbitant fee, and signing up.

Then, of course, training until I almost died and racing a grueling 17-hour event. No problem.

I knew I wanted to try to train for the Ironman in conjunction with training for the NYC marathon (for which I'm guaranteed entry on Nov 2, 2014). I found out that IM Arizona was November 16, 2014 -- almost perfect for training for both events at once, although perhaps just a bit too close together. No matter, I'd take it.

Me with Princess & Hippie at various crazeries
I was ready to sign up. I mentioned it to my two partners in crime, Hippie & Princess, and they were wildly enthusiastic about us all doing IM Arizona together. We were thrilled at the thought.

But then we found out IM Arizona sold out in less than 1 minute last year. Less than ONE MINUTE.

The chances of one of us getting a spot when registration opens on November 18 was slim. All three of us getting a spot? Near impossible.

So we reevaluated our game plan and looked at all the Ironmans available in the second half of 2014: Lake Placid (July 27), Boulder (Aug 3), Louisville, KY (Aug 24), Madison, WI (Sept 7), Lake Tahoe (Sept 21), Florida (Nov 2), and Cancun (Nov 30).

I sent Princess & Hippie a painfully long email discussing what I thought were the pros and cons of each
race. Some only had charity spots available so were twice as expensive, some would require air travel (and with 10 kids between our three families, that could get quite expensive), and some were known to be pretty brutal courses - not necessarily good for three IM novices.

In the end we decided to go with IM Louisville.

It's within driving distance for everybody (I live in VA, Hippie & Princess live in IN), it's a relatively good time of the year for the kids in terms of school, it's not an expensive place to visit (like Cancun or Tahoe would be), and most importantly it wasn't a race that sells out in less than five minutes (it usually sells out about 4-5 months in advance).

The REALLY REALLY bad thing about IM Kentucky: August in Kentucky. Hot and humid. And hot.

Not the conditions I would choose if I was going out to, say, cycle 112 miles and then run 26.2 miles just for fun. But if allows me to complete an Ironman with my two besties? I'll take it.

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