New Experience #32: IronWolf (Almost)

I am not quite an IronWolf. A few posts ago, I discussed my experiences with swimming and mentioned that it was connected to a challenge. My new-ish employer, CSU-Pueblo, has a wellness group called Stronger as a Pack. The school mascot is the Thunderwolf, which was chosen to replace the previously-used Indian mascot. You can read the thunderwolf’s story here. And Stronger as a Pack has a now-annual challenge called the IronWolf.

The goal of the IronWolf is to complete the distances of an IRONMAN triathlon–2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run–over the course of a month. There are some group events, and everyone tracks their progress using Google Sheets so you can see how others are doing. I figured it would be a good way to meet some people on campus, learn some new routes, and improve my fitness.

All was well for a while. Swimming was challenging (as discussed), but I’d finished the bike miles by mid-month and, after a pulled calf muscle forced a change from running to walking, I was on track to get everything done. Then, as it so often does, life interfered. I rode up the hill to campus on Bike to Work day, worked, swam 30 laps, biked home in the rain, then stayed up until midnight dealing with stressful business/real estate issues. 

The next day I woke up tired, and was sick by the end of the day. I managed a few walks over the next several days, but wasn’t able to even try swimming until Tuesday of this week, when I managed 22 laps with a combination of kickboarding and crawl. Sadly, I felt much worse after that session and my recovery went backwards.

I was reading a Tim Ferriss post on LinkedIn the same day, in which he says, “Making health #1 50% of the time doesn’t work. It’s absolute — all or nothing. If it’s #1 50% of the time, you’ll compromise precisely when it’s most important.” That was enough for me to realize that I needed to just stop rather than trying to get the last 41 laps in.

So, I’m not quite an IronWolf, but maybe I know when to quit. And it was fun while it lasted. And I still got the t-shirt, even if I won’t get a medal.

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