Of Cats, Ironmen, And New Year’s Resolutions – First Time Ironman Racers Take Note!

Myles came bearing a cat!

Myles came bearing a cat! Thank you Myles (and Tara), it was time for a cat.

Good morning, or evening, or whatever, welcome!

I looked down, and there was cat.

I looked down, and there was Cat.

Taking on an endurance sport as your new year’s resolution is like taking on a cat.

I’ve never had to seek out a sport or a cat. They walk into my life. And now it’s another cat.

I looked down and there I espied Cat! A ginger cat! A cat that we tentatively named Marmeduke, after ‘The Marmalade Cat.’ No, that’s Orlando! We have yet to name this cat of 12 hours in our family, and Cat cares not a hoot. Just like the Ironman doesn’t give a hoot whether you win or lose, finish or DNF. It, like the cat, does it’s thing.

Your endurance sport will have to jockey for position in the family, starting low on the totem pole!

Scooter, in his party suit (it’s cold outside), meets and challenges Cat. Your endurance sport will have to jockey for position in the family, starting low on the totem pole – so, take care!

Having entered nine full Ironman races, and finished six (each DNF had a good reason, I hasten to add), one in 13:34 at age 67 (the year of my abdominal aortic aneurysm – boy, that was interesting), my thoughts moved to all those first time Ironman racers and their dreams for 2014. About half the field much of the time, and all their hopes and dreams to finish, or unwisely dreams of a fast race. Let’s set the record straight before the gun goes off: doing a full Ironman is about 3x as hard as a half Ironman. So if you did a sub-6 hour half, just be happy with 14 in a full, and a sub-13 would be a miracle.

Finish NOT vomiting, not with a pulled calf, not in the ambulance. Just finish smiling and happy – now there’s the real goal for first timers.

So why is taking on an endurance sport like taking on a cat? The following, amongst others:

  1. You have to feed them, so precious resources are required to be justified in the family budget.

    cycling, friend, reader of my blog, FitOldDog's advice, safe exercise for better health,

    Sue, FitOldDog’s cycling partner and great person, on one of those days we did our 32-mile loop to ‘visit the cats.’

  2. They take time, and your other family members might not like that, so a considerable degree of diplomacy will be required to avoid ruffling too many feathers.
  3. They come with intermittent inconvenience (e.g. visits to the vet or the physical therapist).
  4. They might just decide to bite you – what you going to do now?
  5. Sometimes you want to roll over and go to sleep – best of luck with that.
  6. The rewards are priceless.

Enjoy our great sport. Enjoy it wisely and it will treat you well (not guaranteed when it comes to the cat).

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Oh yes, these are my goals: “Finish NOT vomiting, not with a pulled calf, not in the ambulance.” I love new beginnings though, Happy New Year!

  2. Great post Kevin. Welcome back!

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.