2013 will begin my push towards the Ironman Legacy Program of 12 Ironman completions. For those that are unaware, if you complete 12 official Ironman races and have never done Hawaii then you will get to go to the Big Dance. It also requires that 10, 11, and 12 must be in consecutive years. Sara thought it would be cool to get my 12 in by the time I reach 49 so that, with a little luck, I might get to do Hawaii when I'm 50 and when Sara's 40. We call it our 50-40 trip!
So far I've done 6 Ironmans consisting of: 1989 Ironman Canada (when I was 23), 2000, 2002, 2004, 2011 Ironman Lake Placid and 2006 Ironman Wisconsin. For 2013 I am signed up for Ironman Lake Placid and Ironman Florida (my first flat course - interested to see if I enjoy it).
Currently I am building a base and believe I am ahead of schedule. I really didn't have a 2012 season because of surgery on my leg which put me on the shelf for all of July and half of August. I'm getting into the pool twice weekly for at least 1600m per session. I'm working on technique and committing to intervals, either long or short, during each session.
I've had a couple of opportunities to get outside but mostly it's trainer time. My sessions have been usually an hour in length and my longest ride to date has been 1:40. I mix it up with tempo work and 30sec hard/30sec easy for at least 30 minutes. I will likely begin to mix in some mountain biking to break the monotony.
I'm currently running 3-4 times per week with a couple of 5-milers, one shorter tempo session and a long run that has maxed out at 12.5 miles to date. I will incorporate a couple of races over the winter and build distance for the Around the Bay 30K in late March. This race is great because it forces you out the door when it's cold! It is also the oldest race in North America.
The cool thing about Ironman racing is the build. Over time, with consistency and avoiding plateaus, you get into great shape. You hope that you've been smart in training so that you arrive at the start line healthy and ready to have a great performance.
There is no guarantee that I will make the 12 Ironman minimun for the Legacy Program but you never know unless you try. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the journey - hell, I've already got a few flights worth of airmiles built up! If I get to do Hawaii I would be obviously pumped and I would cruise it so that I soak up every moment. More than that, though, is all the memories of the journey that may lead me there....with many more to come.