Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Am I Having a Mid-Life Fitness Crisis?

I'm 37 years old today. I don't generally make a big deal about my birthday. My father's funeral was held on my birthday many years ago, and it's just a bittersweet date ever since then. However, 37 feels old. In fact, I told my wife I'm officially middle age now. And along with that feeling comes what I suppose is a bit of a mid-life crisis.

That crisis has manifested itself in the form of a pretty crazy fitness goal I'm setting for myself. This weekend I learned about the Ultraman Florida race, a sort of crazy combination of ultramarathoning and triathloning. This is a three day stage race consisting of a total of 6.2 miles of swimming, 261.4 miles of biking and 52.4 miles of running. Crazy, totally crazy. And I desperately want to do it! Or at least try to do it.

I'm 37 years old today. The race is held in mid February, so just before my birthday. That gives me three opportunities to take a shot at the race before my 40th birthday. And that's the goal, to complete the Ultraman Florida before (or on, if the dates worked out that way) my 40th birthday.

Now this is no normal race. You don't simply pay an entry fee and show up. You have to put together a resume of significant endurance accomplishments and then apply for entry into one of only 40 spots. So this goal offers no guarantees. There's no sure-fire way to make sure I achieve it. Just doing the training may not be enough. I might not even get the opportunity to try. There are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of reason I may not complete this goal. Yet, I'm making it a serious goal anyway.

I'm working on that resume. I have a 50 mile ultramarathon under my belt. I'll add an iron distance triathlon in October this year at the Great Floridian Triathlon. I'm also planning to run a 50k ultramarathon in April this year. And I'm planning on taking a shot at the 100 mile ultramarathon distance next year. Should all this go according to plan, perhaps I'll be able to apply for the 2017 race. And that leaves 2018 as a back-up year in case things don't go according to plan or I simply don't get accepted.

I also have to admit, this goal doesn't really fit with the "Cheaply Seeking Fitness" theme. Simply put, it ain't cheap. The entry fee is steep, hotels are needed for myself and race crew for several nights, time off of work comes with costs, and on and on. And the cost may ultimately be the factor that prevents me from completing this goal. But I'll cross that bridge once I'm ready to apply.

In the mean time, it's time to start training. It's time to get serious about endurance work. It's time to bike more. And it's time to really learn how to swim.

I'm 37 years old today. I'm getting old. It's time to get busy.

This is crazy.

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