I have never been an athletic person. Growing up, I played tennis for a while as a kid, taking regular lessons and entering a few tournaments, but that all ended in my mid teens. I have always been overweight by varying degrees.
As my 40th birthday approached, I decided I wanted to get in shape before I turned 40. I decided to start running and I did that by following the C25K plan. This was a 9-week plan that started with alternating running and walking and eventually building up to running 5K continuously. At the same time, I started to track all my food and worked on losing weight.
This plan went great and seeing the progress as I worked towards running 5K and also losing weight was extremely motivating. I eventually graduated from the C25K plan and continued to extend my runs to 10K and more. I was hooked!
Like many newly hooked runners, I started to dream of running a marathon and I signed up for the 2007 Chicago Marathon. I continued to train, but again, like many new runners, I did too much too soon and injured my Achilles during my building up. That put a damper on my marathon training, but I did what I could and made it to the starting line, albeit under trained.
The 2007 Chicago Marathon was a really hot one and it was famous for have been stopped with runner being diverted at a certain point. I felt lucky in that I had already passed that, despite a lot of cramping, and was actually able to complete the full marathon in 5:35
After the marathon, I eventually stopped running and the next few years would be marked with my restarting running (using the C25K plan), run for 6 months and stop again, only to pick it back up 6 months later. Most of the times I would stop either because I lost motivation or because of Achilles issues which has plagued me for years, and still continues to do so.
Fast forward to early 2018. I again decided to start back running in order to lose weight. After a bout of run/walking, I decided I wanted to do things a bit differently. I decided to try cycling. I figured the cross training would be good and it would allow me to get in much more exercise time while not having to run as much. I bought a road bike at the end of March and started to ride. I would alternate my running and riding days. I started to foster dreams of doing a duathlon.
At the end of April, I had a chance to support my sister and a few of her friends as they did an Ironman. Up until then, I always thought of Ironman races as races for extremely fit and trim athletes, but while I was there, it was an eye opener. I saw people of all shapes and sizes, many that were more overweight than me, and people of all ages, again, many much older than me. If started to think that if they could do an Ironman, then perhaps I can.
The only thing stopping me was that I had zero swim endurance. For my scuba Divemaster certification, I had to swim 400m and while there was no time limit, it took me almost 18 mins to do. I remember one of my sisters friends asking if I would ever do an Ironman and response was no since I couldn’t swim.
I left the Ironman that day, but over the next few days and weeks, the thought kept peculating through my mind. I would love to do an Ironman. I was hooked! Now I just needed to figure out how to get there. My main focus would have to be on swimming.
And so my journey begins as I try and Transition2Tri, and more specifically, to an Ironman triathlon…..