In July of 2007 I decided to commit to a lifetime goal of mine: complete and Ironman triathlon. The Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run or full marathon. Since one of my high school swim coaches (Cassie Dunn) introduced triathlons to me in 2003 I have been hooked. I have competed through southern New England for the last 5 years.
In the summer of 2005, while working a program for incoming students at Springfield College, I met Rich Veres. Rich is from admissions at the college and also participates in triathlons. While we had some down time on one of the days, he told me about the Ironman he completed in Lake Placid, New York. The following day Rich brought in his photo album and informed me of a Half-Iron triathlon in Rhode Island that was 3 months away. At the conclusion of the summer I completed my first Half-Iron Triathlon in Naragansette, Rhode Island. A few days following the race I added a new lifetime goal: complete a full Ironman.
Fast forward 2 years later. I am in the computer lab at Springfield College, operating 4 different computers in order to register for Ironman Lake Placid of 2008. This race generally fills up in only a few hours so I needed to make sure I was one for the 2400 athletes that would compete in 2008. At 10:00 am sharp I logged onto the site and got right in; good thing considering the race sold out in only 45 minutes! That was it, I had committed to a goal and was both excited and nervous about what the upcoming year would bring for me.
Throughout the past year I have been working part time, while finishing up my Masters degree in Physical Therapy and training for the big day. Training was a little difficult through the winter as I was not committed to the pool all winter long for the first time in 8 years. I decided to focus more on running and entered the Hyannis Marathon in February 2008. The majority of my running took place on the weekend around the Snow Storm Classic 5k/10K race series in Forest Park in Springfield. Most Saturdays I would attend a spin class in Westfield with Kara taught by her Uncle and then would head off to Forest Park for a run with many of the Cyclonauts (the cyclonauts is the multisport team I joined in 2006).
In no time at all it was February and time to head to the Cape. Kara was awesome in supporting me as she subjected herself to sitting outside in 35 degree weather for 4 hours while I went for a run. Also at the race was my "big sister" Mandy Partyka. Mandy is Rich's sister in law and a great person to be around. When too many people take racing too seriously Mandy lightens the mood and relaxes you. She has also been a huge supporter since I have known her, always providing words of encouragment and congratulatory remarks. With the 2 of them there I knew it would be a good day. Sure enough, after 4:00:04 I crossed the line stoked to be done and feeling good (the good feeling only lasted for about 5 minutes before I started freezing from being in wet clothes).
Since the marathon, I have competed in 6 tri's and multiple road races. Training is going well and the big day is less than a month out. That is it for now, time to get back to studying (I'm about a month away from taking the National Physical Therapy Exam). More to come shortly