I thought hunting was gear-intensive.
Wednesday afternoon I hit the road for Lake Placid, New York, the Taylor Family Truckster absolutely loaded to the hilt.
The truck carried five bikes, four men and everything we’ll need (hopefully, I’m sure we forgot something) for Sunday’s Lake Placid Ironman race.
One of the guys in my truck isn’t racing. He’s a spectator, and is taking golf clubs.
There have been a few times over the past year that I’ve wondered why I didn’t become obsessed with something like golf. Or bowling. Or darts.
Sunday morning we’ll run into Mirror Lake for a 2.4-mile swim. Then we’ll mount our bikes for a 112-mile ride through the Adirondacks. And then we’ll plod our way through a 26.2-mile marathon.
That’s 140.6 miles.
When I’ve told people the race distance, the reaction I usually get is, “Are you insane?”
Not insane. A little off center? Yes.
It’s not an accident that the eight of us from Roanoke (well, one guy is from Salem) call ourselves the Crazy 8.
I always say that for me, I don’t just train to race. I race to train.
I crave competition. Always have. But I also love training, in part because it’s often a social undertaking. With eight of us working to prepare together for this thing, I’ve had lots of training swims, bikes and runs with friends.
Training is also great because it’s encouraging to see progress.
When the goal is something like an Ironman, training takes quite a bit of time. Like all of the 2,200 or so athletes who’ll race Sunday, I’ve had to make sacrifices since my training started in earnest in January. I haven’t gotten to fish as much as I would like. Or shoot my bow. And I certainly haven’t had time to just sit on the couch and veg out!
Just as significant, my family has had to make sacrifices. When Dad has to ride his bike for six hours on a Saturday, that cuts into family time. That’s been the hardest part for me. It’s why, even though I have a feeling I will want to do more of these, I’ve already said I won’t do one next year.
As much as I’ve enjoyed the training, I’m looking forward to scaling back after the race, doing some fishing, shooting my bow, getting ready for deer season, and maybe even vegging out on the couch a little. OK, no couch vegging. I’ve never been able to do that.
I hauled my laptop with me. I will try to file a few dispatches from New York. Maybe even a fishing report. (Yes, I did a fishing rod, just in case. And our place is right by the Ausable River!)
At some point after my return (assuming I don’t disintegrate on the course), I’ll be writing up a story about the journey for The Roanoke Times. Not this weekend’s journey, but the one that the Crazy 8 started last July when we signed up for this thing!