General Discussion Triathlon Talk » I did IM and so what? Rss Feed  
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2014-08-01 8:12 AM
in reply to: #5033591

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
thanks OP for posting and congrats on your finish (hopefully as time passes you'll have more positive feelings about it). Very valuable to hear this perspective and I'm glad a few others who feel similarly chimed in. It's a cautionary tale to guys like me. 51 weeks away from IM try #1, and a wholly improbale IM finisher b/c of everything else in my life. I approach races just looking to finish and enjoy the journey and reap the benefits of training, and have balanced everything well enough so far. I made the decision to go for the full with my wife's support, and we all know it will be demanding. that said, I have a tendency to obsess I'm going to bookmark this thead and come back to read it often to remind myself not to take tri too seriously, to train hard in the time we've set aside for that (up to ~15 hrs max per week, early mornings before everyone is up), not to sweat it if training doesn't go exaclty according to plan, and most importantly to be fully there when I'm not training.


2014-08-01 9:31 AM
in reply to: leftrunner


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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Sorry to hear you didnt feel the super satisfaction that so many others have declared they did. I started triathlon with the goal of completing a full IM but as i have trained and raced in the last 2 years the thought of doing a full IM has become less of a desire. I consider the required amount of training time away from my wife (our children are all grown) and also the financial aspect of not only the IM entry fee but the travel and boarding expenses to seem kind of rediculous and not worth it for 1 race. Just my .02. I can do local sprint and olympic races for about $65-75 with no other expense requirement and get good personal satisfaction from them. And the training time is reasonable. At this point I am still considering doing a half IM simply because I live only about 1.5 hrs from Muncie, Indiana so just the cost of entry fee to do it and not alot more training time commitment required from what i already do for Olympic distance.

As others have said, this is a very to "each his own" sport and I applaud you and any others that complete the full distance. When and if I complete the half distance maybe the bug will bite for me to be interested once again to do a full. Don't know!
2014-08-01 10:10 AM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

My IM experience was totally worth it, but I did it when my kids were adults and my step kids were teenagers with their own lives and interests, and I was living in a relatively low maintenance rental property, and I had a very flexible work schedule. I also chose let go of all other hobbies and personal pursuits. I can't imagine going through all that with younger kids, or more household responsibilities, or with a different work life. I may do it again, I may not. I do enjoy having my life back, but I miss the drive and focus I had during the build to Ironman. 

2014-08-01 10:19 AM
in reply to: mrbbrad

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
I haven't done one, but it it possible you built it up too much in your head? It's aphenomenal accomplishment, but it's not necessarily the be-all and end all of existence.

Out of curiosity, how many tris had you done prior to your IM?

I would think that someone who had done fewer races leading up to their first IM would tend to see it as a more life-chaning, earth-shattering accomplishment than someone who was in the sport for many years prior to tackling the IM distance.

2014-08-01 10:36 AM
in reply to: jmk-brooklyn

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

 

Sounds like you may just have lost a bit of perspective during training OP. Yes the training is important, but it should not be all consuming. I read somewhere on BT to not sweat the missed training sessions, don't try to make them up, just make sure you don't skip the long rides/runs and let the rest come. 

There were more than a few days where something came up or I felt like my wife was feeling neglected when I was IM training, so I made it a solid point to skip a training session and to do something with or for her and to verbally tell her how appreciative I was of her support. Those days really seemed to be nice "reset" days for her, charged her batteries about the whole IM thing and helped to keep us both happy.

Don't beat yourself up too much, enjoy the accomplishment, take some time for the rest of the summer to do some fun out of the ordinary things with your family. Re-evaluate tri this winter and go from there.

2014-08-01 10:50 AM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

My wife runs, I do tri's, our kids are comp swimmers and we both sacrifice some in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  That said I won't ever be doing a IM, no desire with my work/business load and family time/swim meets. I'm good with HIM & shorter. I enjoy doping sprints as I can limit peak amount of training time and still do well.



2014-08-01 11:15 AM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

Originally posted by Donto

My wife runs, I do tri's, our kids are comp swimmers and we both sacrifice some in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  That said I won't ever be doing a IM, no desire with my work/business load and family time/swim meets. I'm good with HIM & shorter. I enjoy doping sprints as I can limit peak amount of training time and still do well.

I think that's frowned upon.

2014-08-02 8:58 AM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Sorry the experience wasn't worth it. I'm training a lot right now for IMMT and I'm thinking the same thing. The training is tough, I wish I could spend more time with my kids (that partially a lie since there have been times when having to go on a 6 hr. long ride was a gift) and it puts a lot of pressure on my awesome wife. I keep telling myself that it will all be worth it when I cross the line but in truth I'm not enjoying myself much these days. My guess is I'll be one and done - but I'm hoping the race changes my perspective on the training.
2014-08-02 11:32 AM
in reply to: Qua17

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Sorry to read you didn't get as much satisfaction as you had hoped from your IM. It is a pretty challenging and special accomplishment though, so hopefully some day you can take pride in that alone. I can understand your comment about it being a selfish endeavor, in fact anything we embark on that is solo and takes a lot of hours is selfish by nature, whether it is writing, creating visual arts, playing golf, woodworking, etc. I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with taking time for yourself to pursue your own interests, but balance is definitely the key.

An IM takes a LOT of hours and after training for and participating in a HIM, I reconsidered my one-time goal of shooting for an IM. Just didn't have enough passion to devote the hours to doing it right (which is the only way I would do it.) So, actually, went back to concentrating more on an old passion of mine, running. I still participate in Sprints and a few Oly's, although as time goes by I'll probably just revert to Sprints, because I have fun at those distances. But now, my hours (not as many as for an IM) are spent running. Makes me happy, healthy, and emotionally balanced.

I don't have the family issues that the OP and others have since losing my son 10 years ago and not having a significant other even longer than that, but I do, unfortunately, have to work for a living, so there are still balance issues.

Anyway, follow your heart and don't feel bad about what you have done, it was a great accomplishment and now you can close that chapter.
2014-08-03 10:53 PM
in reply to: topolina

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
I just did my first IM. I have 2 PT jobs, I am a wife, and a mother of 3 kids (11 - 15 yrs old) and I did all my training in the early morning and when the kids were in school where my schedule permitted. I planned my IM around their sports schedules. Never missed any of their events, practices, recitals, etc. There were about 5 Saturdays that I was MIA for most of the day (again I left very early AM). My family were my biggest supporters at the race. They were everywhere. I loved my experience, and love being a good role model for my kids that I am antsy to do another one. My experience was awesome! I do have to admit, I feel a little let down, but you always feel that immediately after a big event (wedding, party, IM, etc). I just need to set up my next goal.
2014-08-04 3:48 AM
in reply to: clemson05

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Originally posted by clemson05

The first coherent thing I said to my wife after my last (and first) IM is "I have got to do this again."

Honestly the training had some very low days where I questioned why I did this and if it was worth it but the second I crossed the finish line and earned the title of ironman it was all worth it. I will agree that it does require a lot of time and energy but my wife and I (no kids at this point) had a long conversation before I ever signed up and I would not have done it without her full blessing.


I could have written this! I'm just considering my 2nd IM distance race with 2 kids. Yes it is a selfish sport but you've got to balance it out, and make sacrifices in other areas and make the most of all the time that you are with the family. It can be a slight anti climax but most big goals / events are once they're over and done with I find.


2014-08-04 9:07 AM
in reply to: grahamclarke_6

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
I can 100% agree with you on this. I have done 1 full and the stress it put on the family was tough. I was riding at 4am so I could get home at 10 for the kids soccer games. I would start my long runs at 11 pm and run till 2 am so I would not disturb the kids life. I am at a point now where I am thinking of doing it again but I do not want to put that on my family again but turning 50 next means i have only a few years left to try it again and hope for a better result. I went into my first full well under trained and not ready for it and it showed up during the day. the only thing really holding me back is the tiem away from my family
2014-08-04 2:13 PM
in reply to: braciole

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

There will be no trumpets blaring after the finish line. The next day you are an Ironman but that and $5 will buy you a latte.

Becoming an "Ironman" is not in the same class of things as earning a master's degree, or graduating medical or law school, or passing the bar.  This isn't years of dedication paying off with something that has value in the open market, not really. You shouldn't go into it thinking the hours dedicated to it are going to be worth it in the end; instead the hours dedicated to training have to be worth it along the way. 

Time - the hours of your life - is the only real thing you have.  You can convert it into money by working your job. You can convert it into leisure, watching TV or the clouds go by.  You can convert it into experiences - climbing a mountain, crossing the IM finish line.  You can spend it on your loved ones, your children, your spouse.  You can spend it all on yourself or spend it all on others.  You can use it to invest in yourself - mentally through education, physically through training. Obviously some activities combine many of the above.

It's all about balance, whatever that means for you.

2014-08-04 2:21 PM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Originally posted by leftrunner

I don't want to discourage anyone else. I wasn't very good at keeping it in perspective. I was never looking to podium or KQ or even break 13hrs, but I thought I needed to live every moment training or thinking about training.


I just did my first, IMLP, and I had many times where I was thinking that way prior to the race as well. Every now and then I had to take a step back and reevaluate things. It's easy to get overly consumed with preparation and training when something that large is looming in the future.

Personally, I thought it was a great experience; I made some good friends during the training and gained a new perspective on the distance and what I was capable of completing. I think it really does come down to what you expect from it. I wasn't looking for anything life changing, just a good challenge. I had periods during training that I was questioning the time it took away from other activities and my family but in the long run we felt it was worth it. I plan on signing up for another in 2016, next year will be limited to a couple of 70.3s.

My wife enjoyed the spectating, even in the bad weather, and had fun meeting new people during the event. It's also motivated her to delve into biking a little more and she's enjoying that.

Speaking of what got neglected, I now have all the projects around the house to complete.

Find the distance or challenge that works for you and fits your life, then go for it. It doesn't have to be IM or even tris, I've gone through many other activities, hobbies and challenges before tris and I expect I'll move onto something else sometime down the road.

All that said, I hope you had a good race in LP. Even with all the fun weather in the morning.
2014-08-14 9:01 AM
in reply to: braciole

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
OK. 2 1/2 weeks later and 1 huge family trip to the Galapagos Islands, and I have a renewed sense of what it all meant. I am back in the good graces of the whole family, especially my wife. I have a fall marathon in my sights. I can see an IM in the distant (>5 years) future, but who knows.

Thanks to all who contributed to the discussion, your words have helped me get through the post IM funk and see it for what it was, the day and the 6 months leading up to it.
2014-08-14 9:52 AM
in reply to: braciole

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Today it is eleven days since I finished IM Boulder, I feel mostly recovered but still feel a little fatigued at the end of a run or ride.

When I ran through the finish chute in Boulder I was mostly glad that I was done, sure it was awesome to hear Mike Reilly say "You are an Ironman" but it wasn't a life changing event. I am glad that I did the IM but at least for now I do not have any desire to do another IM. Compared to short course tris, HIMs, HMs, stand-alone marathons and long bike rides the IM just wasn't fun for me.

The main issue with doing the IM for me was that the training took me away from other races and activities. This year was the first year that I did not do a long Relay (such as Ragnar) with our running club because it was two weeks before Boulder. I didn't do the local Tri because it was one week after Boulder, I also didn't do several 5k and 10k races that I normally do because they conflicted with my training plans.

My plan over the next year is to focus on shorter races such as 5k and 10k and the local short course Tri Series (two sprints and two Olys), for that I will have to work on my speed.

The thing that i did enjoy about doing the IM was the amount of crowd support. I was amazed at the number of people that came out to cheer for the swim start (especially since spectators could not drive out to the reservoir on their own) , glad to see people parked along the bike course shouting encouragement and happy to see all of the support along the run course.





2014-08-14 10:53 AM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Great topic and and congratulations to all of you.
As selfish as we all are I don't see enough mention about the healthy lifestyle as a role model for our children. My kids have little idea of what I do at work all day, we have some fun at home, and then I'm also a disciplinarian. They'll never see me in the Super Bowl or whatever but they see me set incredibly challenging goals for myself, exercise every day, and make smart choices about eating and other possibly unhealthy habits... and I've surrounded myself with new friends living a similar lifestyle. You don't have to hammer it home but it will sink in over time and as they grow into teens and adults. I guess this is what I'm most proud of after my own immediate goals. I think of it as a hobby that would be replaced by something else. It's not fair to the half IMers but if you're into golf, auto repair, woodworking, etc. you're still going to spend the money and time without some of the personal or family pride. all depends
I'm in the peak weeks of my first IM. The commitment away from my family has not been as bad as expected but I will say the financial obligations have been more. Often, if you're at this level of life-affirmation, mid-life crisis (call it what you will) you're able to make it work. Life is a balance and keeping a healthy/family takes constant care as something new will always pop up. My family doesn't seem to care what I'm doing at 5am or the fact that I go to bed without watching the late news anymore. I'm probably averaging 10 hours/wk with peak weeks only at 12. No, I don't have the lifestyle for 20 hour weeks where I'm winning a Kona slot but I also still have a happy family. You, everyone, has to analyze their own lives to see what they have room for according to their goals and priorities. Maybe you liked playing golf, your wife loves going out at night, or your kids are active or need extra care - well forget IM because it doesn't fit into the life you've been given/chosen.
It's hard enough to manage our own lives, then there's the spouse and kids! I can't begin to claim I can tell someone else how to manage their own. Best of luck to you all.
2014-08-14 10:59 AM
in reply to: Nussy

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

Friends and training buddies have told me for years that I should go IM, that I'm capable, blah blah blah.  I've enjoyed spectating for their IMs, and even volunteering for my friend's first IMFL '10.  But I have no desire to go all in.  My kids and wife would resent me for good.

 

Now, if after the kids are grown and gone, and I'm still able, and they want to jump into IM distance, then that's another story, but right now, nope.

 

This from a 41 year old male 4x HIM finisher, 7x marathoner, and one 100-mile tri finisher, married, with 2 kids.

2014-08-14 11:04 AM
in reply to: WI1st timer

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
No direspenct to the expereienced. I can't speak to actually finishing but it weighs on my mind daily as I consider signing up for #2 the day BEFORE my first.
2014-08-14 11:04 AM
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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

When I finished my IM I didn't get a "bug" from it, but I never got the marathon bug either.  Long course racing just doesn't suit well for me.  I enjoy short course much better.  I felt like for the cost of an IM I could do a full season of short course racing, have more time outside of training, and feel the same level of accomplishment.  

When people ask me what IM was like, my response is "it's much more fun to say you've done an IM than it is to do one".



Edited by msteiner 2014-08-14 11:04 AM
2014-08-29 1:15 PM
in reply to: msteiner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?
Its an interesting question and I think it really comes down to what motivates people and what they want to get out of the sport. I oscillate between just enjoying the training, to enjoying the small races, to enjoying the particular challenges of long-course racing. I have to admit I did enjoy the "stud" factor of ridiculously long training days when I trained for my (one and only) IM. You don't get nearly as many oohs and aaahs from casual bystanders when you say you are training for a sprint triathlon ("what's that, just a 5K run right? I might just do it with you") versus an IM ("dude, seriously, thats nuts"). But did the IM change me in any way? No, not really. Its just a race. I enjoyed the training cycle immensely and got to know some guys better through the long training days, and that was worth it. I am lucky that I have a job where I could take half days off for the long rides so my kids didn't even notice I was gone for 5 hours. And I can't help but be amazed at the training volume it took and can scarely remember just how much work it was. But as I toy with signing up for another at some point, I am constantly questionning the need to do it. I think to do IM you really have to enjoy the training a lot because the training cycle is long and hard and something has to carry you through those hard days...something more than the wonder of finishing. :-) I DO think its cool to have done one though.

And I think fgump should do it...you could just do a 12 wk plan from your normal base training, which is pretty solid regardless. And then set your goals based on (as we have discussed before) "the time you have available" :-) If you ever decide to do one, ping me and I will modify my aspirations :-)


2014-08-29 1:33 PM
in reply to: leftrunner

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Subject: RE: I did IM and so what?

Originally posted by leftrunner I did my first IM and it wasn't worth it. Too much time away from family. Too selfish. Anyone else agree?

 

I completely get what you are saying.  I did my first (of someday more than 1) IM's last year at IMAZ and it was a long summer away from my wife, kids, yard work, the golf course, and all other things I enjoy.  I went into it with the comitment from my family that I may be gone more than normal.  It was a lot more than I thought, but I went after IM with a "finish on my feet" mentality.  I do believe that IM is a special accomplishment and I did think it was totally worth it.

My wife and kids telling me how proud they were of me made it worth it.

 

 

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