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My “Almost” Ironman Story

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My “Almost” Ironman Story

I recently crossed off a BIG bucket list item when I completed my first Ironman triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26+ mile run) in early October. I was convinced that this would be a “one and done” event – do the Ironman, finish it, and be done with it forever.

Mother Nature reared its ugly head, however, and due to unsafe conditions in the river, the swim part of the race was cancelled. Even though I completed the bike and the run and heard the words “Jeff Sallade – you are an Ironman!”, I came away feeling like I didn’t really finish the full race. That leaves me and my friends from the Medford Milers in search of another Ironman to do next year.

My non-triathlon friends think I am crazy for going through this again. The training for the race is by far the most time consuming and exhausting experience I have put myself through. (My wife would agree – I am married to a saint)

It is also the most physically rewarding process I have experienced – both the training and the actual race allowed me to see what I am made of and I became addicted to testing my physical limits each training session. I also became addicted to lying on the ground and not being able to move for an hour after I finished the long training sessions.

The thought of doing it all over again is daunting, but each time I feel like not doing it, I think about what it will feel like to cross the finish line and that keeps me going.

The photo above is me seeing my daughter out on the run portion of the race and is my favorite picture of the day. It is early on in the run so I look like I still have energy – not what I looked like the last few miles. The support of my family the day of the race as well as through all of the training was unbelievable – I am forever grateful to them for their sacrifices.

I hope to publish a picture next year of me crossing the finish line after having done the entire race. Then I can officially cross it off my bucket list and be done with the Ironman.

Jeff Sallade PT, DPT, OCS, SCS, CSCS, Co-Owner

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