I've been very busy lately working to help build the iHope foundation that seeks to provide low-income students who display outstanding character and work ethic traits with technological resources. In lieu of obtaining sponsors to help me with my racing I've gone to local businesses in our community seeking support for iHope. I have laid out various levels of support for the iHope cause. In return I will race through 2013 representing those businesses that support iHope. I am also hopeful of getting friends, family, followers, and fans on board to support this cause realizing that an iHope gift could potentially be a life-changing gift for these students. At times I wondered if all this work is worth the effort. I know it is. I am so thrilled to announce that local grocery chain Hy-Vee and local bank First Central State Bank have both contributed to the iHope foundation.
Hy-Vee and First Central State Bank have always been into giving back to the community and I'm so glad they thought iHope was a worthy cause. Hy-Vee has invested a lot of money into helping Iowa reach the Governor's goal of becoming the healthiest state. They are sponsors of countless local road races, they are the main sponsor of triathlon's biggest prize purse race in the world, the Hy-Vee Triathlon which is held annually in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition Hy-Vee contributes so much more. I recently noticed Hy-Vee gives an annual scholarship to a Pleasant Valley graduate. The Hy-Vee that supported iHope is the one on Devils Glen Road. I worked there from the time I was 16 until I graduated from college and I learned the values of hard work and working as a team during my time there. Thanks Hy-Vee for supporting my race effort by supporting iHope!
First Central State Bank is also very committed to making the community a better place. They have banks in Le Claire, Eldridge, Long Grove, and DeWitt, Iowa. They have been the title sponsor of the First Central State Bank Crossroads Triathlon since the start of the race nearly 10 years ago. They are very active in Le Claire in setting up annual Tug Fest events as well as an important part of Chamber of Commerce in our community. I'll be racing with a First Central State Bank sticker on my helmet this year! I realize the businesses have chosen to help build the iHope Foundation not because of my racing but because of the good they see in this foundation. If you are willing and able to help with the foundation I'd be grateful to any amount you can give. You can click here to make a tax deductible donation. I have an iHope page at the top of this blog where you can read the story about how iHope was born and learn more about how we aim to make a difference in our community.
I hope to earn as much money as I can racing this year for iHope. Weeks 5 and 6 were big steps towards the goals I have. The mountain that looked so dauntingly big when I began 6 weeks ago is not looking nearly as large any more. I still have a long way to go but I'm starting to feel pretty fit. For the first time this year I weighed in under 160 lbs. so I'm getting closer to race weight. I am glad I'm not racing a triathlon for awhile but I now feel like if I had to race this weekend I could hold my own. Week 5 was a nice week of 20.5 hours training time with 170 bike miles, 41 run miles, and 12,500 yards swimming. Week 6 was a huge week with spring break. My total training time was 26.5 hours. I biked 235 miles, ran 53 miles, and swam 16,000 yards (all highs for the season). My swimming has seen big improvements over the past few weeks. I'm also starting to feel the run fitness come back. I've been meeting a nice group for Sunday morning runs and this past weekend was my longest this year at 80 minutes. 6 weeks ago my first run was 22 minutes and every minute was tougher than any of the 80 minutes this week on the long run. I feel stronger and my weights are as high as they were all of last year. This upcoming weekend I'm going to race a hard effort in a local 5k. I want to find out where my fitness is at. I also know the race will serve as a great workout. I am looking forward to the weather turning so I can begin riding the bike outdoors more often although I do enjoy riding the trainer and will continue to do so for part of my training even when the weather is nice. I'm waiting to hear back from more businesses and have one tentative right now that I'll wait to announce. If you know of a business that would be interested in sponsoring me by making an iHope contribution please let me know and I'll get the information sent out. It's been a lot of fun knowing that getting into great shape is for a much greater cause than just me. Hopefully by this time in the year you have laid out some fitness goals you would like to achieve this year. I can tell you it is never to late to begin working for those. I started so much later than I ever have and I'm realizing already what a good move this was. I'm feeling extremely fresh, healthy, and most importantly motivated. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!