Why 140.6 ? Why now? And why Ironman France?

by Amy  - March 14, 2013

 Why 140.6, why now and why Ironman France?

This is the second part of something I started in January. Part One is here.

I’ve started this post a few times – saved and deleted. In it’s first draft it was going to be the story of how I started this journey and the good things training does for my life. But really you can read that on another blog because many triathletes have similar stories, I think.

Why 140.6 – to be honest I don’t have a great answer for that. Really. I just stepped up into it until it became, well, why not 140.6?

Is it just about the bumper sticker … nope.

The jump from 70.3 to 140.6 is a big jump

Admittedly this is a big jump. A 70.3 is a big race and this is double that. In fact there isn’t even much way except excessive training to prepare for this big jump.

To be honest, this is the first race I’m going into thinking – I may not finish. In the past it’s always been I wonder how long I’ll take to finish. Will I be the last finisher? Not, will I finish.

That’s a weird feeling. It did freak me out for a while but now it’s kind of liberating. I’m training. I’m doing all I can and then I’m going to go try and do my race. At the moment I’m just concentrating on my training and that’s okay.  

Is it for the tattoo … nope.

Why now?

There is a motivational saying, “One day I will not be able to do this. Today is not that day.” This = running or swimming or cycling or working or whatever you need it to be and it helps motivate me out the door to do whatever it is I’m avoiding doing.

Not to be too “greeting card” but that’s my “why”. Several years ago my dad developed heart disease went on to have bypass surgery which bought him a few years.  Then he died of heart disease. It’s not an unusual story – it happens to a lot of people.

But sitting in the hospital after his first major heart attack (which happened at my house … not fun I don’t recommend it as a family event) his doctor who is also my doctor looked at me and said, “you have now gone from the lowest risk category to the highest in terms of heart disease.”

I was 23 and ran marathons as a hobby. I was healthy enough that I saw my doctor twice a year. Once for the annual sinus infection and once for a checkup. And now I was at risk for heart disease … really.

Life is short. Yes, really.

I don’t think about it all the time but it did stick. My dad was not yet 70 when he died. When I turned 35 I had the morbid thought that this might be my halfway point.

That in a nutshell is what drives me to not let this pass me by. While I hope to be that cute grey-haired old lady out there in her 70s or 80s cranking out miles and cruising through races I know it might not be the case. I also thought I would be a cute little pregnant runner. Instead I swelled to the size of an elephant and couldn’t move without barfing. That’s just to say things don’t always work out the way I plan them.

I don’t want to look back and wonder if I could have done this.

I’m going to try my very best to tackle this crazy race now while I have the chance. Training for an Ironman is a huge drain on family time and at the moment my family is very supportive. My husband happily pays for all the crap that I buy and my kids know I’m not here on Saturday or Sunday mornings. They also think it’s very normal for mommies to have a garage full of bikes and they don’t even ask daddy to fix their bikes – only mommy.

I do also sort of think that this Ironman thing is a little different from marathons. You meet a lot of folks running and run/walking marathons well into their 60s and 70s and even 80s. So I’ve always just sort of felt like I’d be able to do that forever. But with Ironman I guess I don’t feel that way – I have a little bit of fear that if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it.

Why Ironman France?

Oh geez. That part really is just an accident. My brother had backed out of racing IM Wisconsin with me. For good reasons and I wasn’t upset but that left me needing a race. I honestly just wanted a summer race given the family schedule. I was thinking Vineman in California but it has a half at the same time which is not as much fun and my husband thought it might be too hilly. (It’s a little ironic now that I look back on it).

I was at breakfast with my team and we bounced around ideas including France. It seemed to me in my addled post-ride stupor that many people were signing up.

So, I came home after this 90 mile ride and my husband said again I don’t know if Vineman (the other race I was considering) is such a good idea.

I said “how about France?”

And he said, “okay.”

I said, “Are you sure?”

He said,” yes.”

I said,  “Should I register? It’s expensive and there’s no refund.”

And he said, “Yes.” So I did.

It was not thought out very well actually. There are a lot of days when I wish I’d picked Idaho or even Lake Placid. But I didn’t. I thought about backing out but then I decided let’s go for it. So, off we go to France.

this is my training buddy benji finishing IM France last year. He says I’m gonna love it and I believe him because he did it.

Wish me luck. because I’m gonna need it.


So, how about you? Have you decided to take on a big race like Ironman? What made you decide to do it? 

Training for You

Grab my Steps for Happiness as a Stepparent

Training Ironman France 2013 - 10 weeks to go


Amy Stone (she/her/hers) is a life coach who helps adults in blended families. She is a mom, step-mom and a step-grandma. Other random fun facts include that She is a 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher and many many marathons and shorter races. She created amysaysso.com.

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