Tuesday, August 31, 2010
My Husband the Ironman, Part 1
Before I tell of Jason's Ironman adventure, I must begin with a bit of background on this amazing man I call my husband. Jason has been a runner most of his adult life. I'm not sure if he started in middle school or high school, but he ran in college and continued with the sport afterward. His focus since I have known him has been mostly on the marathon, although he runs all distances from the 5k to the occasional 50k.
He achieved his best marathon time a little over a year ago, running a 2:38 at the Rocket City Marathon in December of 2008. After that, he set a new marathon goal for himself and went after it with a vengeance. His usual 80 mile week bumped up to 100+ which included speed work at least 3 times a week. He was invited to run the San Fransisco Marathon in July of 2009 and he was hoping for a personal record there.
I'm not sure if it was a combination of the hills, the heat, or over training, but Jason did not reach his goal that day, finishing with a 2:51. He had run himself into the ground and his body simply said, "enough." I don't think either one of us realized just how injured he was until he ran the Air Force Marathon with me two months later. We ran a 4:04 and it was harder on him than it was on me.
I finally suggested physical therapy and Jason agreed. He began going to Nesin Therapy weekly and while he did begin to improve, it was a slow and painful process. His frustration and discouragement was evident, and I was at a loss as to how to help him.
Then, in October he sent me an e-mail saying he'd like to try something new. He wanted to sign up for the Louisville, KY Ironman and begin training for it. He wanted a new goal that left plenty of time to heal and prepare. He wrote, It is next August, so it gives me an entire winter to learn how to bike and swim and get back to where I can run. It would help me to have a goal, something to reach for.
He wanted my permission because of the investment in time it would be, and without hesitation, I said yes. If this Ironman training would give Jason the motivation and purpose he needed to get through this injury, I was all for it. I e-mailed him back with hotel reservations for August in Louisville, KY saying, "For your something new."
So before he had a bike...or knew much about riding...or if he liked to ride at all, let alone swim, Jason signed himself up for the Louisville, KY Ironman. He had 316 days.