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ironman finish?

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ironman finish?

Post  John Kilpatrick on Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:45 pm

OK, it is driving me nuts. I have said all along that I was NOT going to do the ironman (2 weeks out now). I had trained well for it and was really coming along, gaining a lot of confidence. Then bang, I'm hurt again with the stress fx (pelvis). It's been since mid July (3 months now) and I have only recently began running short distances and haven't cycled at all until tonight. I have been swimming quite a bit and have been doing the insanity workout as well (just finished my 2 months of that).

Question - how stupid is it to go and try to simply finish an ironman. I know that I will probably DNF because I am in no way, shape, or form ready to complete it, let alone compete in it. But, I am registered, it was expensive and I would sort of like to experience what I can of it. Is there anything ethically wrong with just going to see what you can do with the idea being that you won't be able to finish it? Or, is it completely cheesy to maybe see how the day goes and actually try to finish it even with an absurdly bad time (knowing that it is unrealistic that I will be able to finish at all). The risk is reinjuring the pelvis especially because I am so far out of running shape but there may be an outside chance I could just walk the 26.2 (never done that either though so I don't know). I've never dropped out of a race, let alone gone into one with the idea that I probably won't finish - any thoughts? I feel weird about completely punking out of the event but also weird about punking out of it halfway through... HELP...

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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Chris M on Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:51 pm

Stop worrying about it so much. The ONLY issue I would worry about is whether you will hurt yourself more participating in it. If the answer is no and if you know you will stop and DNF as soon as health and further injury becomes a real possibilty, do it. Even if you think there's a less than 10% chance you will be anything but a DNF, you are a registered participant and should do what you can. Maybe its just a real long swim and then an hour on the bike before you call it quits. Maybe you complete the whole bike ride and that's it. Or maybe liek you said you walk the marathon. So what? Just don't hurt yourself further and anything from DNF to a 22 hour finish is all good so long as you have fun.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:00 pm

I'd second what Chris said entirely. As long as you know that you can and WILL drop if there is risk of serious injury, then why not. I'm kind of approaching NY in that manner too as I know I'm not near ready to "race" 26.2 miles, but I can certainly run some of it. I've already come to terms with the fact that I can bail as soon as I get to Manhatten and I've prepped everyone for that chance. Go for it - just promise us all that you will drop out if you know it isn't right.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:47 pm

I hate to repeat the others, but they hit it right on the head. As long as you know when to stop and not risk re-injury, then I say GO FOR IT!!
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  fostever on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:46 pm

I guess my first question would be wouldn't the insanity workouts have aggravated the injury more or at least delayed the healing process? It's a pelvic stress fracture, right? I'd say consult the doctor who diagnosed the fracture and when he says no, bag it. I think you are looking for someone to be a partner in your craziness. lol I can relate to not wanting to waste the fees and stuff. Could you check with the race and see if they would defer the fees until next year? It won't hurt to at least ask.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  mul21 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:55 pm

Knowing your history a bit, and being of somewhat like mind, I wouldn't even think about starting it because I know I'd be tempted to try to finish it. I wouldn't even tempt fate and risk aggravating the injury.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Jerry on Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:11 pm

SIMPLY finish an ironman? I would definitely do it for the sake of the title. lol!
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:08 am

mul21 wrote:Knowing your history a bit, and being of somewhat like mind, I wouldn't even think about starting it because I know I'd be tempted to try to finish it. I wouldn't even tempt fate and risk aggravating the injury.

This.

John, you and I have had some pretty honest chats here and on FB, and I want to challenge you to honestly and truthfully answer the following question to yourself: will you drop out if you feel like you're causing yourself harm?

You need to be at a level of 100% YES before you even think about your T1 and T2.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  T Miller on Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:15 am

I totally agree that the only risk is re-injury.

I think you should first see if you can defer until next year. (a bunch of my buddies are doing it next year and there is a very remote possibility that I will too.)
If you can't defer it then I think you should definitely do the swim, possibly do the bike and seriously consider not doing the run. I think it would be pretty easy to control yourself ahead of time by not taking the proper items for transition. If you don't take your running shoes then I don't think there is any chance that you'll attempt to run in your cycling shoes. Same goes for your bike Smile Whatever you do I hope that you don't set yourself back any more than you've already been setback.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  John Kilpatrick on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:18 am

Chris M wrote:Stop worrying about it so much. The ONLY issue I would worry about is whether you will hurt yourself more participating in it. If the answer is no and if you know you will stop and DNF as soon as health and further injury becomes a real possibilty, do it. Even if you think there's a less than 10% chance you will be anything but a DNF, you are a registered participant and should do what you can. Maybe its just a real long swim and then an hour on the bike before you call it quits. Maybe you complete the whole bike ride and that's it. Or maybe liek you said you walk the marathon. So what? Just don't hurt yourself further and anything from DNF to a 22 hour finish is all good so long as you have fun.
Thanks Chris - the thought of a DNF is a bummer but I am getting my mind wrapped around it.

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:I'd second what Chris said entirely. As long as you know that you can and WILL drop if there is risk of serious injury, then why not. I'm kind of approaching NY in that manner too as I know I'm not near ready to "race" 26.2 miles, but I can certainly run some of it. I've already come to terms with the fact that I can bail as soon as I get to Manhatten and I've prepped everyone for that chance. Go for it - just promise us all that you will drop out if you know it isn't right.
Thanks Michele - It would be sort of nice to just have an inkling into the ironman experience even if I can't go the distance.

Nick Morris wrote:I hate to repeat the others, but they hit it right on the head. As long as you know when to stop and not risk re-injury, then I say GO FOR IT!!
Knowing when to stop is the biggest thing!

fostever wrote:I guess my first question would be wouldn't the insanity workouts have aggravated the injury more or at least delayed the healing process? It's a pelvic stress fracture, right? I'd say consult the doctor who diagnosed the fracture and when he says no, bag it. I think you are looking for someone to be a partner in your craziness. lol I can relate to not wanting to waste the fees and stuff. Could you check with the race and see if they would defer the fees until next year? It won't hurt to at least ask.
Thanks Steven - yes, I might of slowed the healing with insanity, but it is relatively low-impact (as opposed to 2-3 hour runs anyway). It did keep me from going insane (no pun intended) and did help to strengthen my core (even though I still look like a pudgy middle aged non-athletic person!). I've checked with ironman and no luck on deferring the race - I don't want to be crazy though, I just want to give it a whirl but not hurt anything worse. I'm already resigned to the fact that I will miss my spring marathon again (not running enough yet to effectively train) and this would be at least something that I can do.

mul21 wrote:Knowing your history a bit, and being of somewhat like mind, I wouldn't even think about starting it because I know I'd be tempted to try to finish it. I wouldn't even tempt fate and risk aggravating the injury.
Good point Jim - that same thing scares me too. The only thing I am banking on helping me is that this has happened to me twice now and I pretty well know the difference now between a muscle hurt and an actual injury hurt - I could be WAY wrong on this, but I've got it in my head that if it starts to hurt I can bail before doing any real damage to it.
Jerry wrote:SIMPLY finish an ironman? I would definitely do it for the sake of the title. lol!
I don't know Jerry - not sure what finishing it really means if you sort of pudge your way through it?


Mike MacLellan wrote:
mul21 wrote:Knowing your history a bit, and being of somewhat like mind, I wouldn't even think about starting it because I know I'd be tempted to try to finish it. I wouldn't even tempt fate and risk aggravating the injury.

This.

John, you and I have had some pretty honest chats here and on FB, and I want to challenge you to honestly and truthfully answer the following question to yourself: will you drop out if you feel like you're causing yourself harm?

You need to be at a level of 100% YES before you even think about your T1 and T2.
Thanks for the thoughts - and yes, we have had some serious talks that have been important to me. I could NOT of said yes previously and I would not of been happy to just finish previously, but now I'm OK with the thought of bailing. I wouldn't be happy about it, but I guess I'm getting right with the thought that there will be no shame in it either. It may be a moot point though, as I may not even be able to finish the bike ride without dropping...

T Miller wrote:I totally agree that the only risk is re-injury.

I think you should first see if you can defer until next year. (a bunch of my buddies are doing it next year and there is a very remote possibility that I will too.)
If you can't defer it then I think you should definitely do the swim, possibly do the bike and seriously consider not doing the run. I think it would be pretty easy to control yourself ahead of time by not taking the proper items for transition. If you don't take your running shoes then I don't think there is any chance that you'll attempt to run in your cycling shoes. Same goes for your bike Smile Whatever you do I hope that you don't set yourself back any more than you've already been setback.
Thanks Tim - no deferral for me. I'm not even sure that you could walk the whole thing and even finish in time. Or, if you could, would it hurt. So far running has been OK, but the longest I've ran in the past three weeks is recent runs of 4-5 miles. Cardio-wise they feel easy at 7:30-8:30 paces but that obviously is NOT training for a marathon, let alone an IM. But, that is a good idea - not take my running shoes at all...

I'm still chewing on everything and thanks for the comments all - I'm leaning towards just doing what I can and bailing at the first sign of trouble. Based on my comments here I'm thinking maybe I will set up my T1 and T2, but just keep in my mind that I probably won't be able to finish so I won't be disappointed if and when I bail out. Maybe the only thing worse than a DNF is a DNS?

Thanks guys - good to have you all...

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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Dave-O on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:50 am

I can only tell you what I would do. Coming off a pelvic stress fracture that required months of training, I absolutely would not enter a marathon, let alone an Ironman.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Chris Coleman on Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:59 pm

If you are sure doing the swim won't hurt you, OK. Going into the bike and run sections with no realistic hope of a decent time, because of injury, seems pointless. Risking further injury (and it really is hard not to push oneself in a race) seems worth than pointless. I think you should get on with the real business of rehab. Defer, if possible. Otherwise, the entry cost is better wasted than spent on aggravating the injury.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  John Kilpatrick on Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:54 pm

Dave-O wrote:I can only tell you what I would do. Coming off a pelvic stress fracture that required months of training, I absolutely would not enter a marathon, let alone an Ironman.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose.
Thanks Dave - good point. More to chew on. Still haven't decided yet what to do but now the scales are leveling a little bit...

Chris Coleman wrote:If you are sure doing the swim won't hurt you, OK. Going into the bike and run sections with no realistic hope of a decent time, because of injury, seems pointless. Risking further injury (and it really is hard not to push oneself in a race) seems worth than pointless. I think you should get on with the real business of rehab. Defer, if possible. Otherwise, the entry cost is better wasted than spent on aggravating the injury.
The swim is no problem - do more than that distance basically every morning at swim practice (although not in a race) - but just finished a 5K swim a bit ago with no problems whatsoever.

Another good point - there is a part of me that thinks that just finishing an ironman would be really cool and there is a chance that I could do that if I laid back quite a bit. Maybe that is just my inexperience talking as I haven't done much in the way of endurance races (one 70.3 and one marathon) in my lifetime. It would be a huge bummer to hurt it for the third time and have to go back to the drawing board once again though.

Wish I had a crystal ball - but then, don't we all?

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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Mike MacLellan on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:01 pm

Consider this possibility:

You can definitely finish it (read: not a stellar time), but you WILL be injured by the end and will have to start back at square one the next day.

Worth it? If so, do it. If not, don't.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Mark B on Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:55 pm

Your first instinct was correct. Don't do it.

You can never know which additional step will push you over the edge from recovering to reinjured.

It's not worth it. Heal up and do your next Ironman when you're ready.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  mul21 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:02 pm

Ok, seems we need some blunt objectivity here. Don't be a moron. Don't even consider doing it. Live to fight another day after you've healed completely, have been given 100% clearance from a doctor, and have put in a solid training cycle. End of story.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:11 pm

Ok, John - I said you could do it if you were certain that you would not get injured, but let me give you a little personal history lto contemplate.

1) December, 2002 - I severely sprained my ankle and had to take off 8 wks. I then bounced into training and ran Boston - it was a miserable experience and one of my worst marathons, ever.

2) January, 2008, I was suffering from a nasty bout of PF. I was running, but very poorly. I smartly deferred Boston, went up and watched the trials, and booked a flight out that Sunday afternoon so I would not go to Hopkington. I also took myself out of my pacing job at Delaware that May and a race in SD that June. I ran a very excellent time at St. George in October.

3) Hurt my right hamstring (it is the weak one) playing tennis in May, 2010. It bothered me on and off all summer and I knew that it wasn't right. I opted out of a marathon and other races that fall and ran a fantastic Spring, Summer, and Fall, 2011.

Now of course, I am coming back from an achilles injury suffered in July. I've been running since August 30th and progressing quite evenly. I've been backing off when it wasn't right and running on it when it was fine. I will be toeing the line in NY, but I have already decided that I will bail at 1st Ave if the achilles isn't right as I don't want to risk Boston.

For whatever it is worth - I might do the swim and some of the bike (only if you have been cycling) and then call it a day. You will have had the experience.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  John Kilpatrick on Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:18 pm

OK - thanks guys. Sometimes I might need saving from myself. The risks aren't worth the rewards and I said that a long time ago. I just get wound up thinking about the ironman and what almost was. No real sense in doing it for some crappy time - sort of like there is no sense (at least to me - not to throw stones at others who do it!!!) in just walking a 7 hour marathon. Yes, you did it, but not exactly what the spirit of a marathon is. I get it. I might just be a spectator and might just save the money on a motel room.

Once again - thanks all.


Boy, I can't wait to get back to running.... It will be a year in November and counting since a race....

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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:36 pm

Have you thought about volunteering? One of the best times that I ever had was volunteering at IM Florida when I friend of mine from MI competed. I got to "strip" lots of wet suits off very fit athletes and "catch" some of those very same fit ones after the run. it was one of the best experiences that my family and I ever had (my daughter was 14 and they even let her catch runners with her Dad).
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:34 pm

John Kilpatrick wrote:OK - thanks guys. Sometimes I might need saving from myself. The risks aren't worth the rewards and I said that a long time ago. I just get wound up thinking about the ironman and what almost was. No real sense in doing it for some crappy time - sort of like there is no sense (at least to me - not to throw stones at others who do it!!!) in just walking a 7 hour marathon. Yes, you did it, but not exactly what the spirit of a marathon is. I get it. I might just be a spectator and might just save the money on a motel room.

Once again - thanks all.


Boy, I can't wait to get back to running.... It will be a year in November and counting since a race....



Probably the best decision that you can make. I know that it was a tough one for you and that you are itching to race, but you'll be better off in the long run for not trying to just "finish" this one. Hope that you continue to heal up and come back with a vengence!!
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:02 am

Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Have you thought about volunteering? One of the best times that I ever had was volunteering at IM Florida when I friend of mine from MI competed. I got to "strip" lots of wet suits off very fit athletes and "catch" some of those very same fit ones after the run. it was one of the best experiences that my family and I ever had (my daughter was 14 and they even let her catch runners with her Dad).
I volunteered last year and it was a good experience - but I think I'm going to save the gas/hotel costs on this one...

Nick Morris wrote:Probably the best decision that you can make. I know that it was a tough one for you and that you are itching to race, but you'll be better off in the long run for not trying to just "finish" this one. Hope that you continue to heal up and come back with a vengence!!
Thanks Nick - someday I will be back....

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Re: ironman finish?

Post  T Miller on Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:24 am

John Kilpatrick wrote:
Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Have you thought about volunteering? One of the best times that I ever had was volunteering at IM Florida when I friend of mine from MI competed. I got to "strip" lots of wet suits off very fit athletes and "catch" some of those very same fit ones after the run. it was one of the best experiences that my family and I ever had (my daughter was 14 and they even let her catch runners with her Dad).
I volunteered last year and it was a good experience - but I think I'm going to save the gas/hotel costs on this one...

Nick Morris wrote:Probably the best decision that you can make. I know that it was a tough one for you and that you are itching to race, but you'll be better off in the long run for not trying to just "finish" this one. Hope that you continue to heal up and come back with a vengence!!
Thanks Nick - someday I will be back....

John, Be patient and you will be back better and stronger than before.

We have female friend here that has Crowns disease and she has just recovered from having a femoral stress fracture. She is back to running now and has recently set a 1.5 minute PR in a 5k and last weekend she set a 7 minute half marathon PR while running easily in a training run. She says that she feels like she has a bionic leg. I believe that she did insanity or one of the other beach body routines while she was down.

Your time will come.
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Re: ironman finish?

Post  Julie on Wed Oct 17, 2012 11:37 am

I don't have anything to add, but just wanted to say I hope you heal completely soon so you can get back into pain free running (and swimming and biking). I know running is an important part of life that makes the rest of life much easier and I do hope you heal up soon.
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