Ironman Arizona Decision Factors

Whew – with yesterday’s announcement, I couldn’t help but to choke up at all of your amazing comments — thank you so much! However, I also received a couple of sly comments and I wanted to address a couple of key decision factors that influenced my decision to take such a big risk and completely alter my life for the next 346 days. This post isn’t about recognizing the sly comments, but instead about the honest process I took to decide to evolve from a runner to a triathlete.

Ironman Was A Family Decision

As much as I have dreams for myself, a goal like Ironman includes countless hours of training, especially in the last three months leading up to the race, and as a newlywed it was important to me that Chicken Face understood the commitment. It was also important that we talked about this decision as I didn’t want to be the selfish one in our relationship – it is our first year of marriage afterall! However, with Chicken Face working and in grad school, I thought it would be an optimal time as he too is busy with his personal goals. He’s amazing as he fully supports this journey and is willing to have patience with me as my free time will be sparse.

Ironman Training Will Not Be Attempted Alone

I am 110% confident that I would not, and could not, do Ironman training on my own. I can Google until my eyes turn blue, but I know that I absolutely needed a coach throughout the entire process. Thankfully, a friend of mine recommended a coach in the area as he helped her train for her first Ironman.  He is an elite Ironman sponsored by Powerbar and after interviewing him to ensure that he can put up with my countless questions, I’m excited to be working with a professional. He’ll be helping me not only put a training plan together, but also with lactic threshold testing, bike fittings, bike trainings, organizing and executing group workouts with the other Ironman athletes he’s coaching, and more. I’ll ask him if I can share his info, but for now, we’ll call him Coach Paul.

I Know I Don’t Know How To Swim and Bike

Yes, I know that my swimming and cycling is novice – beginner at best. However, this is also the reason why I hired Coach Paul. He’s not one of those coaches that limits how often you can email, call, text, etc. with him (yes, I’ve seen coaches actually offer that crap) and he knows that these are my weak areas. While someone of my level could probably train for an Ironman in eight months, I’m taking a full year to train and ensure that I am not rushing into anything. This is also why I’ve scheduled a variety of triathlons in my 2012 race schedule to help me lead up to this event. You can see the race schedule here.

Stretched Too Thin

For a long time, I thought I’d complete an Ironman after my time at my current job. However, I realized that perhaps I was the one creating that issue. Instead, I started (and am still having) conversations with my managers to ensure that they understand what training for an Ironman really means. Thankfully, I have managers that understand and recognize the importance of what I’m about to attempt. Thus, I’m working to ensure that my life has as much work-life balance as possible, including not feeling guilty if I leave the office at 5:30.

Am I Crazy Stupid or Stupid Crazy?

I know that there will be problems along the way and going into the Ironman may leave some people scratching their heads, but I’m doing my best to try and set myself up for success. When I’ve told people in my person, I’ve had every response from, “Wow – that’s amazing…” to “Yikes. You need to get to work…” and “Do you even know how to swim?” To the nay-sayers: whatever. To everyone else who has my back: I won’t let you down.

So allow me to say thank you in advance as I continue to find my way throughout this process and ramble on about Ironman training from a complete newbie’s POV.

Happy Running (or should I say Tri-ing).

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37 Responses to Ironman Arizona Decision Factors

  1. Ashley says:

    You are going to kill it- I can’t believe anyone would nay say you!

  2. people are sometimes crazy. i’m so excited for you!!

  3. Marlene says:

    Well said, sister.

    People are constantly telling me that running is what most triathletes struggle with the most. You have that in ‘da bag so you are several steps ahead already! At least, that’s what I keep telling myself after signing up for a half ironman with my very limited experience. 😉

    There will always be nay-sayers, but I’m glad you’re not letting them get to you. Clearly a lot of thought and preparation has gone into this decision and you are doing what”s right for you (and CF) at this time in your life. And it’s going to be amazing!!!

    I, for one, can’t wait to follow along!

  4. Nicole says:

    you will rock this i KNOW IT!!!!!! :) :)

  5. Lizzy says:

    YOU are going to ROCK Ironman Arizona!!! what a great one to do!! no one knows your abilities but YOU, if you think you can, then you definitely can!! ignore those sly comments…they are not necessary!!! don’t ever doubt yourself! I am with you on the stupid crazzzzy!!!

  6. Don’t worry about those negative people! They don’t know what they are talking about because you are going to do amazing! I’m so happy that someone else who is a newbie is doing long distance triathlons. I am only doing a half but an Ironman is definitely in my future

  7. Anita says:

    For every negative comment, remember there are probably 10 others rooting for you! Forget about them! You’re definitely an inspiration!

  8. Shannon says:

    I really love this post because I definitely want to complete an IronMan, but I’m really not a swimmer (as in, can barely swim a lap now), so seeing you say that you’re a beginner swimmer as you embark on this really inspires me to get my act together. So looking forward to reading about your training over the next year and cheer you on!

  9. Meggie says:

    I have a coach for running (when I’m training, that is) and I love it. It takes the guesswork out of it. And I ask her a million questions, too.

    I am so excited to follow your training! I want you to do a post on “how to swim without gasping for breath.” Seriously, 50 m right now is an issue…

    I think my swimming career will be very short lived.


  10. Layla says:

    I am really, truly excited for you! I whole-heartedly believe that life needs to be lived NOW rather than later. If you were to put off this dream for another year, what would that accomplish? You wouldn’t become any less busy, and you’d only be left to wonder, “What if I’d done this last year?” You’ve got the support of your family and friends, you’ve talked to your employer, you’ve researched coaches, and you have the experience of training plans and smaller triathlons. I think you’re in the perfect place to take on this new adventure. Go get ’em!!

  11. so so so excited for you page! i cant wait to see you CRUSH this! i hope i can do one some day but for now i will settle for cheering you on from afar :)

  12. It sounds like you really thought this through and I for one am extremely stoked to follow your training!!

  13. Charlotte says:

    Your running level is amazing and I’m sure you have the athletic capability to excel at swimming and running as well. Like you said you also have one year to prepare so how could we not support you?!
    Go Page!

  14. Kristine says:

    Hell yes! I think that is amazing and I KNOW you will be more than prepared come November. You’re going to rock it Iron(wo)man!

  15. Jenn says:

    Umm, if I’m still living in third-world-million-time-zones-away I’ll totally stalk you online all the way to your finish next November. The word ‘inspring’ gets thrown around a lot, but as someone who wants to do this IronMan thing someday too (and frankly has no business posing as a triathlete) I’m truly inspired. All the best in tackling your new goal!

  16. Katy says:

    I am SO excited for you, Page!!! And I am excited you have this awesome blog so I can READ about your journey to the Ironman! :) I had coffee with Christine G. yesterday, she’s so sweet! We were talking about how much fun we had at dinner that night! Come back and visit us soon!!!!

  17. Christie says:

    I just found your blog! Excited to follow you through your training… I will be training for my first HIM so hopefully I can get some great tips from you :) Good luck girl!

  18. Beth says:

    Don’t worry about other people, a year is PLENTY of time to work on any weaknesses and be completely prepared for 140.6 miles by November. Good luck!!

  19. Jessica B. says:

    I love that you are doing this! I ahve been temped so many times to start training for one and just don’t have the time and money right now and Marathoning is my first love and I don’t want to give that up just yet!

  20. A2 says:

    First stop needs to be

  21. Alexia says:

    Every step you take, every stroke you take, every turn of those pedals – Page! You are an inspiration. I am anxious to hear about your journey toward this goal – thanks for letting your readers be a part of it! You are going to rock that race! xox

  22. katie says:

    Go on and do your thing, girl. Ignore the haters.

  23. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers; you’re giving yourself a full year to train! Keep up the positive attitude!

  24. XLMIC says:

    You know how I feel about naysayers.

    Just remember to eat lots of bananas.

  25. J says:

    Such a big and awesome decision! I am excited to follow you through all your training and to see what it is like. I don’t think I could ever do an ironman! Majoy props!

  26. Todd says:

    If not now, when?
    I’m 42 and put alot off, that I’m attempting to do now with 2 kids, full time job, etc…
    Don’t put this off, you made the right decision, go for it.
    You made 2 smart moves with respect to your decision:
    1. Decided to do it now,
    2. Got a coach.
    Make that 3.
    3. You talked it over with Chicken Face.

    You are not crazy…

    Best of luck to you.


  27. I think going after something this big is so admirable, and I think the way you are approaching it is super smart!

    And to all the nay-sayers…
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

  28. Allison says:

    It sounds like you have a great plan for getting to the start line at IMAZ ready to rock!

  29. Nelly says:

    Great post, I really appreciated reading all the rationale behind why you decided to do the ironman. Though I hope that people’s comments on the last post didn’t make you feel like you were forced to explain yourself above.

    I’ll admit I was a little surprised seeing that you registered for a full ironman. I don’t think you’ve done a half ironman yet, though I assume that you will do one next year before your full ironman.

    It seems like you are approaching this challenge perfectly with the hiring of a coach.
    -We know how insane of a runner you are, so you got the marathon part nailed.
    -And I seem to recall that you recently swam a mile nonstop, that is pretty impressive. Swimming 2.4 should be fine for you once you work up to it.
    -I don’t seem to recall seeing much biking on your blog, this might be the area that you have to work the hardest at I would guess. But you’ll get there.

    You’ve got this.

    Not sure if you follow other triathletes, a couple that I follow are:

  30. Sesa says:

    Hey, I don’t know how to swim either, and people still tell me to sign up for a tri. Someone told me to just wear those butterfly wings in the water …

    Of course there are always going to be the odd ducks who express doubts. Just smile and move along — because in your heart you know you can do an Ironman!

    You are going to kick butt in Arizona, just like you do in all your other athletic pursuits. Looking forward to reading about your training and event.

  31. Page, you inspire me! this well-thought out goal is truly amazing. You not only thought of yourself but how it would impact your marriage and I too think your timing is right. Page the IM!! So excited to follow you on your journey! And, my butt still misses you!

  32. Lol…..Part of me is super-curious what constitutes a “sly comment.” 😉

    (PS, I hope I have not just made a sly comment….)

  33. Ceri says:

    Doesn’t sound crazy to me. It sounds challenging and fun. Kick ass.

  34. Ida says:

    I love your blog and just wanted to say I think you will do great in AZ. Also there a ton of splash ‘n Dashes in the bay area that can help you prepare for the swim. I’m excited to read about your training!

  35. Rachel says:

    i often have people comment on why i try to do so much when i’m so young. it’s all “you’ll have plenty of time to do these things, why the rush?” for me, though, there will not be a perfect time to do something like an IM. there will always be things to stand in the way, work, school, family…. and honestly, we never do know how much time we have, so i figure you just have to go for it! i hope to be starting grad school next fall and will be crazy busy, so right now this whole thing just seems more doable.

    i hired a coach as well and it’s made this whole thing so much less daunting! my weak areas are most definitely the swim and bike, and considering that the latter is disproportionately longer than the other legs in an IM, i need all the help i can get! the thing to remember is that we have a loooong time to train and get ready for this. ignore the naysayers, believe in yourself, and embrace the epic journey to come!

  36. Laura says:

    WHO is leaving you sly comments and nay-sayyin’?! That’s ridiculous! You’re a rock star. And you’re going to breaze through this thing. I know it. You’re totally ready.

  37. Abigail says:

    Just started following you recently and have been loving your blog.

    I cannot believe people left you sly comments!! I think your newest iron man goal is AMAZING and INSPIRATIONAL.From this post it is clear you’ve thought this through, and I am very excited to read about your race journey. You are totally going to rock this. =)

    Happy Training!!!

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