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Iron Dreams

So a week or two ago, I wrote about the impact that Ironman Lake Placid had on me. How following 3 blogger buddies that day inspired me to go from maybe a half ironman one day to definitely doing a full 140.6. I also wrote about the conversation I had with my wife Julie about the sacrifice that she would no doubt have to endure and how doing 140.6 miles was something I had to do; that it was part of my evolution as a man; how it would contribute to the feeling that I can do anything I put my mind to; and how it would remind me that the 22 year old guy working down the hall can’t do anything I can’t do. All of these things are very important to me as a man. I’ve said this before, but as a former muscle head type dude, I’ve realized that life is no longer about how many people I can beat up. With the addition of another child, a good career and a supportive wife, it has become more about living long and making those years the best quality years they can be.

Anyway, you might remember that the timeline I set out for myself had me doing an Olympic tri this fall, September 10 to be exact, a 70.3 next fall, probably Ironman Pocono 70.3 and then hopefully a full 140.6 in the summer or fall of 2013. Then I began getting some support/pressure from some folks on twitter that I should quit messing around and do one sooner. All of the encouragement and support form those people meant a lot and I thought that maybe I’d give it a shot. Then, my Julie reminded me that in all likelihood, we’ll still be a little short on cash next year as she finishes up her masters degree and I start mine. And how could I forget that the year after that she wanted to have another baby. So in reality, I was looking more at 2014 for my Ironman.

Well, then I was looking at a friend’s race schedule and saw the ChesapeakeMan 140.6. This race has a significantly lower entrance fee that would most likely allow me to get my new bike and afford to race a full distance triathlon. Great right? Well I have some reservations about doing this race. The biggest and probably the most shallow is that this isn’t an Ironman branded event. While I have no problem doing such a race in the future, I can’t get an M Dot tattoo if I don’t do an Ironman branded event. I can’t hear Mike Reilly call me an Ironman etc etc. I know these are shallow reasons, but knowing that I’ll be struggling physically that day, I’d like to have as much of the other things go well for my first full 140.6.

I have a lot to think about and people with whom I need to talk this over and I really want to hear what you have to say. So please, add your two cents….

Thanks for reading.


About paddyb76

Aspiring triathlete and endurance athlete. Husband, father and teacher. Always seeking a better life.


10 thoughts on “Iron Dreams

  1. This is all about fulfilling a your dream, so you have to do what feels right. If I were in your shoes, I think I’d wait for the race that felt right, if the ChesapeakeMan didn’t feel like the dream race.

    Posted by Kevin H | August 9, 2011, 3:31 pm
  2. Don’t let the lack of WTC turn you away from doing a race that is accessible to you. That sounds like an awesome race. Seriously, that race looks really fantastic. One of the things that I struggle with is affording all the races I want to go to – WTC races are EXPENSIVE. If that was near me, I would choose that race over WTC simply for cost. Plus it has fabulous reviews!

    First of all, if you go the distance, you are an Ironman. That doesn’t change. You will have earned any tattoo you want (M-Dot happens to be a logo of WTC, but really, it represents so much more), it isn’t like 140.6 is easier or less meaningful if it isn’t WTC sanctioned. The Great Floridian is an awesome 140.6 that my friend KC did for her first IM, and it is not WTC sanctioned but she is definitely still an Ironman. Try not to get too hung up on the WTC hype. This is a journey about you and stretching your limits.

    I think those races that are not taken over by WTC are actually better, there just isn’t anything near me. Ok. Mike Reilly won’t be there to say your name, but there are so many reasons to do an IM distance race, hearing him say my name was at the bottom. I didn’t even know he really did that.

    Posted by caratunkgirl | August 9, 2011, 3:45 pm
    • I respect your opinion, and certainly I respect everything that KC has done, she’s an amazing athlete. There is a lot to think about here and I guess just because I don’t do a WTC event as my first doesn’t mean I’m never going to.

      Posted by paddyb76 | August 9, 2011, 9:43 pm
    • I couldn’t agree more. Both caratunkgirl (above) and Jason (below) make great cases for non-WTC events. Besides, you don’t need an M-Dot tattoo. A “140.6” will serve the purpose. And if anyone doesn’t get it, just tell them that was your cell block and number.

      Posted by Bees | August 17, 2011, 11:02 pm
  3. Mandy took the words right out of my mouth.

    I was going to point you to KC and read her blog and tell me she is not an Ironman. She is just pure bada$$ and one of my true inspirations. I follow KC religiously and hang on every word she says because she knows how to live the lifestyle.

    I know it is the thing to do to get an M-Dot tattoo but let me say this: I don’t have one and won’t get one either. I have a turtle with 26.2 and 70.3 in it right now and once IMTX is over the 140.6 will go in there but it won’t have anything to do with the M-Dot.

    I am racing a number of WTC events but once my schedule clears up I will be racing in the HITS series and Rev3 races because I think that a smaller event like them will be more fun.

    Don’t let the whole WTC/M-Dot tattoo thing stop you from pursuing your dream.

    Lastly, take a look at the race our boy is doing for his first140.6: http://www.redmantriathlon.com/

    No M-Dots there.

    Pursue your dream whichever race you choose as you’ve got our support.

    Posted by Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race | August 9, 2011, 7:15 pm
  4. So tough to sort all this out. I totally respect your opinion and will likely be emailing you with more questions and ideas to bounce off you. First off, one thing that comes to mind is that I should probably do a 70.3 earlier in the season. I could do Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in early June (on the same course) or I could do Rev3 Quassy in around the same time. Rev3 would give me a better feel of a smaller race and I think would be more fun.

    Posted by paddyb76 | August 9, 2011, 10:13 pm
  5. ahhh yes. THE EPIC DILEMMA!

    If you think you are the only person to go back and forth with this, you are wrong.

    Will I get an M-Dot tattoo? YES. Here is why, to ME, the mdot symbolizes the journey, the distance, the dedication… NOT the brand. It is my body I am branding with a tattoo that means something to me. If someone comes up to me and goes, which Ironman did you do? I say Cedar Point. If they give me shit, I will ask, hmmmm how far was your race? OH? 140.6 miles also, interesting. That is an “ironman” distance then right? Yes? Gotcha, EAT IT! haha.

    Why did we do Rev 3? Number 1, WTC is super expensive. Number 2, Rev3 is very family oriented and they put on A GREAT event from what I have seen. Number 3, no travel costs for us, no bike shipping, and race fees are cheap. I am not a doctor, I cannot afford to travel across America and ship my gear to me to show up and race. I am super happy that there are other race organizations out there offering this distance, its kinda a big deal. As of right now, this is Rev3’s only 140.6 race they offer, you know darn well that they are going to go over and above the call of duty to make this a success.

    NOW, devil’s advocate… what if ironman in general was your dream, the brand of WTC? Then you need to make some sacrifices and make that your first.

    Personally my wife and I don’t care to do an Ironman WTC event as our first. We have done 2 ironman brand 70.3’s They do put on an exceptional race.

    All in all, I am getting a tattoo. I am getting an MDot, what it means to me is completely different than anyone else. I did the distance, I earned the logo. Simple.

    Posted by Matt Oravec | August 12, 2011, 8:12 am
    • You’re definitely helping me make this decision easier. When I think of you or H., or KC, I don’t have any less respect for you because you’re doing Rev3CP or because she did the GFT. 140.6 is 140.6

      Posted by paddyb76 | August 12, 2011, 10:12 am
  6. Yes. But as previously said by someone else too… if your dream goal is IRONMAN brand race, that is where the decision is tough. And believe me, I get it. We will most likely do another at somepoint, at that point we will bite the bullet and go for “The” race experience.

    Like I said, I get it. Its a tough decision as you stated. No regrets though buddy, when you make your choice, it’s all in and go for it.

    Keep up the great work!

    Posted by Matt Oravec | August 12, 2011, 10:32 am

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