Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ironman North Carolina...3 weeks

It's been quite a while since I've posted.  I began training for 2016 with ambitious goals and signed up for about 6 races.  Early on things were going very well.  I was feeling fit and excited to race a lot of events from June to October.  I signed up for Ironman North Carolina back in March when things were going well...and then reality hit.  In June I raced the Pigman Sprint and did not fare well.  I was not recovering well and training was getting very difficult and was not very fun.  Jen had gotten a promotion at the Arsenal and had a very demanding work schedule.  I found myself spending a lot more time at home with the kids and a lot less time training.  I was content with all of this.  I opted to stop training and skip the races I had signed up for.  I was okay serving as Super Dad rather than Triathlete Dad.  I was planning not to race Ironman North Carolina.  Life had taken over and things were just simply too busy.  And then life for me took a drastic turn.

On July 21 my life changed and I have endured the biggest personal struggle I have ever faced.  It has tested my spirit, my heart, my ambitions, my optimistic outlook on life, and my self-confidence.  I turned to working out to cope with my situation.  For the first time in a long time working out gave me a sense of satisfaction like I have not had in quite some time.  I entered in the DeWitt Crossroads triathlon after just a couple weeks and raced fairly well.  I was still overweight tipping the scales at about 170 lbs.  I won the race and felt strong knowing I had gained quite a bit of fitness in my first couple weeks back at it.  The next weekend I won the Du State Duathlon and was proud to be able to donate my winnings to the iHope Foundation (since inception in 2013 we have raised over $70,000.00 and impacted the lives of 13 individuals with a gift of an iPad and a $1,000.00 scholarship).  It was then I decided I NEEDED to race Ironman North Carolina.  I needed a goal to focus on...something I had control over.  I set my sights to getting into the best shape I possibly could by the October 22nd race date.  I haven't looked back.  I have gone from 172 lbs. on July 21 to 151 lbs.  I have done 4 runs over 20 miles with my last one of 23 miles @ 6:33 pace.  It felt effortless running the last 10 miles @ 6:10 pace.  I have done 3 rides over 100 miles and hope to get in 1-2 more prior to race day.  I have averaged just over 60 miles a week running over the past 8 weeks.  I am leaner and stronger (thanks to Cross Fit Bettendorf) than I have ever been going into an Ironman race.  Last year at this race I was on 8:40 pace with 10 miles to go.  I was humbled and forced to walk most of the last 3 miles crossing the finish line in 9 hrs. 13 minutes.  I've wanted so badly to break the 9 hour mark since I started racing this Ironman distance.  I have completed 9 of them and have been in the low-9's on 5 different occasions.  This time I'm ready!  I will go to North Carolina and go under 9 hours on October 22nd.  I am SUPER excited for this race.  My parents are driving out to watch me compete at the Ironman distance for the first time.  My brother and his family are going along with 2 of the coaches from our PV girl's basketball staff.

Since July 21 I have realized in life there are times when things don't go as expected.  Ironman has a way of throwing unexpected curve balls at you in a 1 day metaphor of life where so many emotions...highs and lows can be endured.  I have realized through my 1 day metaphors racing this distance that the lows will disappear and the highs will come back...much like they will in life.  I'm DREAMING as BIG as ever before.  I CANNOT WAIT for October 22nd...and I promise to update more regularly.  I appreciate all the support, thoughts, and prayers as this day approaches.  It will be one I will never forget.  Thanks for following...DREAM BIG!!


Anonymous said...

You will do awesome!


Anonymous said...

Let's Go! I knew you would!

See you out there!