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Staring Down The Barrel Of A Half Ironman Competition

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Doug Dunbar
Doug is co-anchor of CBS 11 News at 5, 6 and 10 p.m. He is a mult...
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KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – 70.3.

That’s how many miles there are in a half Ironman competition. This is the year I’ve promised myself that I will travel that 70.3.

How fast, or slow I do it, well, that’s an entirely different story!

I’ve been competing in sprint distance triathlons for a few years now. Most sprints consist of roughly a 300 yard swim, a 12 to 16 mile bike, and a 5k run.

They are truly “races.”

A lot of competitors can go near full throttle for an hour, to an hour and 15 minutes. But this half Iron, this is a different animal for sure.

I have a number of friends who have competed in half Irons, and the full Ironman triathlons, they are a wonderful source of information.

I have an incredible respect for the athletes who go the distance. There are many good swimmers, cyclists and runners out there, but when you put all three together, those single event stars often fade.

Finding that individual sweet spot on just how far to push yourself in each discipline to finish strong is as tough a mental game as the training itself.

Triathlon is a fun, vibrant, as “serious as you want to make it” sport.

I have been dealing with an Achilles injury for more than a year now, and it’s getting better, but painfully slowly.

My doctor told me in December that it’s time to go ahead and begin running again, after not training for running all of 2011.

Bottom line, when I run, it hurts.

But he tells me that there’s not much chance of blowing my Achilles with triathlon training, so back in December, I began running again.

There’s still a nice lump on my Achilles, but for now, it’s doable. I don’t plan on breaking any land speed records, for me, a solid finish is all I’m looking for first time out.

I am eyeballing the Half Ironman in Galveston on April 1, but have not signed up as of this writing. I’m waiting for just a little more training time on the bike and run before going all in. But without question, I’ll be signed up for Ironman 70.3 in Austin in October.

So, consider this the beginning of some updates along the way in my journey to 70.3.