Thursday, December 27, 2007

Saying goodbye to 2007

Well...its about that time.  Time to think about the last 12 months and to focus on a NEW year full of promise and hope.  As I look back on my goals for 2007, I could be quite disappointed..or quite pleased (kinda like the glass being half full or empty) is a recap.

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 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 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....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Welcome to the Journey

Keeping a journal is not foreign to me...keeping a journal online...well...thats something new and different in my world.  I felt that this journey to a life goal should be here I am..spilling my guts for the world to see.

I think this should begin with a little background.  I believe my journey to Ironman actually started almost 9 years ago.  At that time, I was 380lbs and in a battle for my life.  I had so many things wrong with my health that to list them here would take too much time..but trust me..the list is long: heart, blood pressure, borderline diabetic etc.  I decided to enter a clinical trial related to the Roux N Y Gatric Bypass.  I spent 3 days in ICU...7 days in the hospital and 6 week in recovery. Of the 12 that entered the clinical trial, 9 died.  I was one of the lucky ones.

After my surgery, my doctor told me that beginning a workout program would mean the maximum amount of weight loss.  I began working with a trainer twice a week and walking 3 days a week. The process was slow, but before I knew it, I was walking over a mile.  A year after my surgery, my trainer suggested that I enter the Danskin triathlon at Walt Disney World.  A 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 2 mile run sounded like an Ironman to me...but after 9 months of training, I completed my first triathlon in 2 hours and 20 minutes (thats not a typo) that point..I was hooked on the sport.

Since that day,I have lost 193lbs. I have done 45 triathlon, 18 half marathons, 1 marathon, 1 24 hour adventure race, and one Half Ironman.  My life goal became becoming an Ironman shortly after entering the sport and it has been my focus for the last year.

I signed up for Ironman Florida 2007 and trained for 7 months before being diagnosed with Acute Anemia and a B12 deficiency.  After a few months of Iron supplementation along with regular B12 shots, my levels had increased but were not high enough to safely race at Ironman Florida.  I was crushed! This goal that I had put so much hard work into had been taken away.  I decided to have a 24 hour pity party and then move forward.

I have signed up for Ironman Florida 2008 and continue to train.  My levels are almost normal now but still required infusion therapy.  My doctor says I should be in good shape if I continue with proper nutrition by January.

I have hired the most amazing trainer .  His name is Hector Torres (learn more about him at :  I believe he is a piece of the puzzle I have been missing to acheive my life goal.

So follow me wont you...??? Follow my journey from Obesity to Ironman