Monday, October 24, 2005

What would it mean to excel?

At Ironman Florida, just for a wild-ass example, what would it mean to excel in the event? For me?

I'm all about objectivity. It's all in the numbers.

In iron-distance events, in highly objective terms, "to finish is to win". So crossing the finish line and doing the distance, while meeting the swim (2:20), bike (10:15), and total (17:00) cutoffs and earning a medal, is to earn the name Ironman. That's a victory for anyone who accomplishes it. Period. That would be my primary goal in any Ironman triathlon.

But at the same time, I'm interested (just for curiosity's sake) to see how fast the people in my category did the course. It is a race, after all.

What would it take to be "above average"?

Clydesdale women 40 & over, median -1 performance:
2004: Swim: 1:25:08, Bike: 7:00:24, Run: 5:20:34 Total: 15:03:27
2003: Swim: 2:07:29, Bike: 6:46:00, Run: 6:12:50 Total: 15:30:59
2002: Swim: 1:17:16, Bike: 5:55:08, Run: 4:23:31 Total: 11:53:42 whoa!

Women 45-49, median -1 performance:
2004: Swim: 1:44:43, Bike: 7:01:17, Run: 5:11:41, Total: 14:14:59
2003: Swim: 1:41:36, Bike: 6:39:22, Run: 4:31:05, Total: 13:13:48
2002: Swim: 1:56:10, Bike: 6:41:22, Run: 5:10:15, Total: 14:00:02

Jeez. Those are some fast women. Impressive performances! That seem right now, by the way, totally out of reach for this old body. I think I'm scaring myself. I also think it would be very wise to wait until I age up a group or two, and get an IM finish or two under my belt, before I even consider looking at those median age group times again! I'm kind of surprised how much spread there is in those numbers, as well. They're not as clear-cut as I had hoped - between 11:53 and 15:30 is a gigantic spread. I'll be watching the 2005 Ironman Florida results with interest to see how fast the competitors do the course this year.


Mica said...

I'm in suspense about your decision..."Will she or won't she?" :)

Lynne said...

Just to finish within the cut offs are what I would be shooting for... You would be excelling to make those.

And not that you couldn't post those times, but what would it take away from your life to even make an honest stab at them?? That's too many lone road hours, hours in the gym/pool away from your little ones...That's when the sport becomes your life, and not just a part of it...

Flatman said...

You've got to quit worrying about other people's times, Nancy. You have said it yourself a thousand times (even in this post), to finish is to win. The goal is to just cross the finish line before the cutoff and vertical. You can do this! You know what needs to be done (probably better than most), so get busy and do it. You've got over a year to whip yourself into Ironman shape...

I believe in you and I bet there are countless other readers and friends out there that do to!

PuddyRat said...

I, too, would concentrate on finishing. For a first IM, that's all you can do. Don't worry about anyone else. Trust me when I say taking care of YOU out there is more than a full-time job.

And as one who is "aging up" for my next attempt at an IM (considering I didn't finish the first one), I don't really expect it to get any easier. There are some darned speedy ladies in the next age group.

One last thing...a lot of those Athenas are height/weight proportionate. I know and train with the Athena that took 3rd in the over 40 category at IMC this year. Even though she is over 150 pounds (barely), she is also about 6 feet tall. While I'm happy for her, it kinda irks me, you know? Ah well. What can we do?

Again...just finish. That's more than enough.