What did I learn from an Ironman race? (Part I- You are not alone)

The glorious moment after finishing my first 70.3 Ironman! ^_^

I did my first Ironman 70.3 (ironman.com) in my life on 26 November 2017. I swam 1.9km, rode 90km and then ran a half marathon 21km. I finished the race in 6 hrs, 24 mins and 59 seconds. My result was not super great, but I am proud of it; very proud of it!

I learned a lot from my Ironman race and I will share with you in a series of blogs. If you are interested in doing an Ironman 70.3, then wait for my blogs about how to prepare for a 70.3; a training plan for an ordinary citizen like I. If I could do it, then you can do it.

The biggest lesson or inspiration I had learned from my Ironman race was that it’s a teamwork and team efforts. While Ironman is an indiviudal sport (unless you do a relay Ironman as a team), it takes team efforts to finish an Ironman race. What team?

During my 3-month training leading to my Ironman race in late November, I usually spent 6 hours cycling and runing on Saturdays and at least one hour ocean swim on Sundays. On weekdays, my training routine was to do cycling on Tuesday, swimming on Wednesday, running on Thursday and then pool swim on Friday. My team was led by my wife and two young kids (11 yo, and 7 yo) and I have a normal job (in fact, a busy job!) in a university. While I was training to achieve my goal, it’s my team leader that made sure I could spend time on training by sorting out all things at home, especially kids.

I learned to appreciate how lucky I was to spend time doing my first Ironman. I learned that I could finish my race because of my great wife who supported me through the journey. I learned to be grateful that I had a healthy body from my parents that allowed me to do my Ironman. I learned to appreciate my strong will that helped me to sustain the pain during training sessions and also the pain during the race.

Without a great team, I won’t be able to finish my race. I remember someone asked me a couple of years ago why every book author (I’m a book author, by the way) thanks their family in the Preface of a book. My impression of that question was that he thought it was a ‘formality’ to do so. In fact, it’s not. Unless you live alone, achieving some major milestones in your life is not only because you are great. It’s often because someone made you great; they are usually your family and your parents who gave you an opportunity to become great; you are just the person to make it happen! You are simply not great without the team.

Thank you, Eva and kids. My first Ironman finisher medal is dedicated to you for your true love and tolerance.

Dr. C. Richie Wu @ REEAConsulting.com
(NB: I’m known as ‘Richie’ among my Ironman mates and I love this nickname, too. Thanks, ‘Ironman’, G.)

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