Since the Ironman has a substantial bike component — I don’t know what other adjective describes 112 miles — I knew I needed to start learning how to really bike. My plan was to swim through the winter and start biking in the spring. Weather’s slowly changing, and that time is now.
I picked up a road bike two weeks ago. Went out that afternoon for 12 miles on the bike path that runs from my town north. Short and sweet, my goal was really to just try it out.
First thought: it didn’t suck. That was my big fear. But it was also true that swimming was much better than I’d feared. So good all around.
Second thought: it might be bad for me to say, but a couple miles in I realized that as long as I put in the time and the work and the hours and the miles, I can do the Ironman. I mean, I always thought I could — plenty of people do, even as plenty of people fail and even more never consider trying. But I felt like it was really real.
My 12 miles and change took me a little less than an hour, putting me at 12-13 mph. I have to look up that segment of the ironman and look at last year’s times to see where I should be aiming. Working backwards, though, is tough: 12 mph into 112 miles is over 9 hours; that is too darn long!