1. I finished my first half ironman. On May 20, 2007, I completed my first Half Ironman here in Orlando at Ironman Florida 70.3 in a little over 9 hours. My time was horrible but I look at this as achieving one very important goal: I finished! I have had so many trainers in the past tell me that it would be impossible for someone with a weight problem (I ran the race at a weight over 200lbs) to accomplish this goal..but here I sit...Half Ironman medal in hand and a true sense of accomplishment.
2.I completed 7 half marathons in 2007. Considering the fact that I HATE to run and would much prefer to be on my bike or in the water, this is a major deal. I still have this terrible fear of the full marathon (I have only completed ONE full marathon in my short endurance sports career) but completing this multiple of races is a huge accomplishment for me.
3. I lost 30 more lbs. during the summer of 2007. After facing the fact that I am still wrestling with an eating disorder, I decided to get help and also be a part of a thyroid study at Duke University. I went to a treatment center for eating disorders called Structure House and entered a clinical trail for a new thyroid medication. During those 3 months, I went from 217lbs to 187lbs and have lost and additional 5 pounds since I have been back in Orlando.
2008 holds the promise of an Ironman year. I am a firm believer in : If first you don't succeed..you try try again...and this is just what I am going to do.
As I stood on the beach in Panama City and watched my dear friend, Rick Stafford, start and complete Ironman Florida 2007, I was filled with joy and sadness. It was our goal to run this race together and become Ironmen together...but it wasn't to be. Rick completed the race..and I acted as his crew chief and my heart broke as the gun went off and I stood there on the beach. There were 100's of people around but in that moment, I was totally alone. The tears ran down my face as I watched a dream slip away. Even my close friends Debbie and Beth were there to give me a hug and a kind word, but it was so hard. It was in that moment that I promised to not feel this way again...that in 12 months...I would be back on this beach..in a wetsuit..waiting for my chance to become an Ironman.
The training is brutal..and long...and the dedication to the race will take time away from the ones you love but it is truly a life dream of mine. Since the first time I ran a triathlon, I realized that I wanted to be an Ironman....