Watching a Friend Finish

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Today, thanks to Ironman Live, I got to watch a friend finish his ironman. With athlete tracker, I’m still watching my other friends finish up ironman boulder.

The guy in the pictures is not just a great racer but a good friend and a great guy all around! We swam together for a while when I first moved to Amarillo before he left to train else where, and I miss training with him. His attitude always cheered everyone up around him, and he genuinely cared about the people training around him. It is incredibly hard to find someone who can match paces with me in the swim and wants to train as much as I do. Add to that his infectious work ethic and generous spirit – and it becomes almost impossible.

Yep, I was lucky to get to train with him, and I’m glad I got to watch him finish so well at his first ironman even if I couldn’t be there in person.

Hanging around with him and the rest of these guys in the pool and outside the pool, I’m more and more tempted to train up for an ironman. They get talking about training schedules and distances, the problems and rewards, and you get sucked in to another world. It’s a world where 3-6 hour rides are normal, and marathons are just beginning points for greater training opportunities. But it does suck you in.

As a swimmer, I’m fairly competitive in the water portion of that world, but after that, there’s just no way I can keep up right now.

But are ironman triathlons really a testament to endurance over health? I’m not really sure that the distance is healthy or sane for everyone. I’ll admit, the pros handle it with ease perhaps from some balance of training, genes, and psychology. But for the rest? I don’t know that it would be healthy for me.

I’m setting my sights lower for now. I want to finish up a few sprints triathlons and a marathon before attempting an olympic distance triathlon. Next Saturday, I have a short sprint and another a month later. Let’s see how well I can do with the shorter distances and then I’ll work my way up to something longer.

Right now, I am just celebrating my friends’s accomplishments and trying not to get sucked into that world of super distances despite the temptation. It is incredible that there are people out there (some closer than you think) that can really keep running after 13 hours or go 112 miles in less than 5 hours. Great work all you Amarillo Racers! Wish I could have been in Boulder to cheer you on!

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About Sean Smith

Husband, Father, Pastor, Swimmer, Writer, Reader, and attempted Adventurer!
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