How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

How to Maintain Fitness and Wellness Habits: Tips and Techniques

Maintaining your fitness and wellness habits can be challenging, especially when life gets
busy. However, developing simple and effective strategies will help you stay on track and
keep your health a priority. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to
staying fit and healthy, complete with tips and techniques that you can implement in your
daily routine.

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6 Tips For Quality Run Training

6 Tips For Quality Run Training

Tips for Quality Run Training Train no faster than one pace quicker than the race you are training for. For example, 5k pace is good for an Olympic-distance race, while half-marathon pace suffices...

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Dopey Challenge – IronGoof or IronDope?

Dopey Challenge – IronGoof or IronDope?

Flashback to 2012 when this blog and business started.  I completed Ironman Florida in November of 2011 only to do the Goofy Challenge the first week in January.  (Well, there were two half marathons, a 10k and a 12 mile obstacle run in between, but they didn’t contribute.) My friend Tara Belfi called me an Iron Goofy and I liked it, but because I wanted to associate it more with fun then a character I shortened it to IronGoof.  This year mimicked that same experience, but with an added bonus.  Instead of the Disney Goofy Challenge, which is a half-marathon on Saturday and a full marathon on Sunday, I added a 5k on Thursday and a 10k on Friday which made up the Inaugural Disney Dopey Challenge.


I have to put it out there that I personally am a fan of runDisney and the races they put on.  Every athlete I have spoken to that has competed in Disney races seems to be black or white.  They either love em’ or dislike em’.  I personally really enjoy them.  Can they still be improved upon?  Sure, but not my much.  The organization from expo to finish line is top notch and figuring that Disney brings in an extra 40,000+ runners for their Walt Disney Marathon Weekend it is no small feet.

I had a little issue this year.  I started a job the end of November that made me a full time employee instead of contractor.  It is the first time in eight years that I have been an employee and since I ended up already having to take time off, I didn’t really want to take the chance of blowing it, so I ended up doing a lot of driving back and forth the first few days.  Wednesday was the only day that was open for me to pick up my Dopey packet, so I got on the Selmon Expressway right after work, took the brand new Rte 4 connector and drove directly to the ESPN Sports Complex to pick up my packet.  Parking was easy with attendants, waiving their flags and lead me right to the perfect spot and then pointed me in the direction of the first building which held packet pickup.  There were no lines and about 5 minutes after walking in I was walking out of the first building and on to the second building which held all the cool swag and vendor booths.

There was a quick stop at the new runDisney Instagram photo booth, but before I knew it I was walking to1521348_10151779218582030_1784623104_n the far end of the Josten Feldhouse to pick up my t-shirts and swag.  The excitement was high, the environment sparked with a combination of anxiety and the magic aura that can only come from Disney.  One interesting experience was after I was handed my swag bag which I looked as though it already had all of the shirts, I was told to go and pick up my 5k shirt.  What?  I have no idea what happened but for challenge athletes the bag had every t-shirt, which in my case was 5 of them except for the first one.  Oh well, it was only an extra few minutes to grab it  All of the t-shirts where Champion Tech shirts except for…yep…you guessed it, the 5k shirt.  That was cotton.  No biggie, you can’t have it all…right?  I bumped in to a few running buddies before hanging out with some of the Fit2Run gang.  A side note, I found out later that Fit2Run opened a store in Downtown Disney.  How cool!

After a little bit of looking around I headed to Coronado Springs to get some dinner and some sleep.  4am was going to come extremely fast.  One thing I love about runners, they are the nicest people in the world and I think we end up with a sixth sense.   I wasn’t carrying anything and I was still dressed in work clothes so there was nothing to distinguish me as a runner and yet I was singled out while getting dinner by a few different people.   Kate and Kathleen from Chicago whom were running with TNT,  Steven and Marta from Texas and another couple of girls from DC.  Each of the groups started talking to me at different times about what races they were doing on top of the normal niceties.  Maybe the magic of Disney gives runners a connection boost that allows us to sense other runners.  It was fun though.

Coronado put me up in one of the business cabanas, so I was provided with access to the business lounges which had breakfast and snacks as well as coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine.  Not to shabby since I didn’t have to pay extra for it.  I slept pretty well that night.  Go figure.

IMAG0078-TWINKLEI woke up easy enough and headed for the bus stop where specialty coach buses were transporting athletes and spectathletes, to and from the race site at the Epcot Center parking lot.  This experience was pretty much the same for all four races.  I would get off the bus, walk with a group through bag check, stopped at the Team in Training tent and heard the Mission Moment, dropped gear off at bag check and met up with whomever I was going to start with that day and headed to the corral.  For the 5k it was good friend and client Hugo Scavino and training buddies Holly Tripp and Teresa Gadient.  We took a few pics and took our spots in corral A.

The official training partner for the Walt Disney Marathon Weekend this year was Jeff Galloway and he was there not only with a training group but also gave words of wisdom before the 5k.  I saw him a few times on the course and chatted with him.  He is a really nice guy.

With all the Disney flare, each wave is started with fireworks going off above the start line and we were off. 745968-1007-0042s The weather was a balmy 50 degrees that morning so it was a great morning to run.  Since it was only a 5k I ended up leaving on a long sleeve running shirt, which ended up being too warm, but I could handle it for about 25 minutes which is what I ran the 5k in with a couple of stops for pictures and a slow first mile.  I had three more events to run in, so I was not going all out for any of them.  I was there to have a good time and that is exactly what I did.  I crossed the finish line and was given a Pluto plastic medal, which was fine because it was billed as a Family Fun Run.  They didn’t want any of those kids swinging real medals around and getting hurt.  Chalk another one up for Disney.

After a couple of shots with friends it was easy to find the buses and head back to Coronado Springs.  After a quick shower and a shave, I headed back to Tampa and was sitting at my desk by 8:30.  Easy breezy.

Too keep this post a little shorter than usual, (I know, I know, “Too Late”) the 10k, while being the IMAG0083inaugural race was basically the repeat of the 5k except double the distance, and it ended with a metal medal instead of a plastic one.  One little side note, each of the races are represented by a different character.  The 5k is represented by Pluto, the 10k is Minnie Mouse, the Half Marathon is Donald Duck and of course the Marathon is represented by, yes, you guessed it, Mickey Mouse.  They each are at the starting line and the finish line.

After crossing the finishliine around 49 minutes, again taking time during the race for pics, I found the bus, went back to the resort, took a shower, and headed back to Tampa and at my desk by 9am.


The routine adjusted slightly when I returned back to the resort that night, because I didn’t have to drive back to Tampa, because it was going to be Saturday.  Yeah baby!  Of course I had another event to run in so I did not get to sleep in, but who cares right?  I was at Disney surrounded by 20,000 other athletes and spectathletes.  To tell you the truth I couldn’t wait.

We had dinner in Downtown Disney at Bongos surrounded by my PKD cohorts, Tara Belfi, Patti Rowland and Amy Hackford.  Every year since 2010 when we ran the Disney Half-Marathon for PKD we get together at least one night.  These are some amazing women.  Patti took on the Dopey and crushed it.  Tara and Amy challenged Goofy and made me proud.

The other really nice thing was that my coach and really good friend Amy Eck was in town from Hawaii to run the Goofy Challenge, so I would get to spend the next couple of days running with her.

The Half Marathon and Full Marathon while still the same starting routine changed slightly.  While I wasput in Corral A for the 5k and 10k for the final two I was assigned Corral C.  Of course, the ladies I was running with were all assigned different corrals so we ended up deciding on Corral F.  Each Corral starts what seemed like 5 minutes apart from each other.  This is an attempt to keep the crowding issue at bay and it does to a point.  Each corral seems to have thousands of people in it, so at first it feels daunting, but it does spread out a few miles into the course.746734-1033-0039s

The half marathon runs through two parks and the marathon runs through all four plus ESPN all along the course there are characters to take pictures with, DJs playing music and motivating the crowd, cheerleaders, and marching bands.  For the Half Marathon Aid stations are set up about every two miles and for the marathon after the first 5 miles it is almost every single mile.

For both the races I ran with Amy, Miranda Lessie, Llex Landreth and Amy Torguson joined us for the

746265-1013-0033s half.  It was my first time helping to pace at a much slower time than I would usually run.  While it was very enjoyable to just run for fun and encourage along the way, it was much more difficult on my body than I ever imagined.   The theory of “Time on Feet” gained it’s relevance to me during the marathon.  After all I did the Chicago Marathon as a training run coming in at 3:53 and I walked some of that too.  Here I was coming at slightly over 5 hours.  I was surprised that I was hurting slightly throughout my legs.

I will put out one small item of criticism.  Cliff is the nutrition vendor at Disney.  At the 8 mile mark at the half marathon the aid station had Cliff Shot gels for the runners, which was fine, but for the marathon it didn’t start until mile 11.  It could be more beneficial for the runners to have the Cliff shots at least every 4 miles from the start.  For newer runners, glycogen stores are heavily depleted by mile 11 and it is very hard to fill these stores but it is easy to top them off.  This is really my only criticism on the direction of the event.

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1517432_10152171749423606_1913644572_nAfter we finished and took our pictures, we hung out and drank some beer, stretched and talked with some of our friends.  Jeff Lessie met us there after his 3 hour finish.  I felt bad for him having to wait for us for two hours.  All in all it was a really great time.  I did not make the mistake of just heading back to the room and taking a nap.  I stretched, rolled and continued to walk a bit and I believe that helped me recover quite a bit faster.  I did not feel as tight or sore on Monday when I woke up and headed back to Tampa.


745949-1003-0033s 755658-1001-0030s746818-1008-0021s 747997-1011-0050s

I walked ran a little 5k on the treadmill at home and that cleared some of the toxins in my legs and then rolled and used my lacrosse ball for most of Monday.  By Tuesday I was feeling great.  Of course I know my body enough that I had to make sure I was fully recovered, so it was a very easy week.  Mostly I just did my P90X3 workouts being that they are all only 30 minutes and that seemed to do the trick.

I am one to very much recommend the Disney Races.  The energy in the air, the support of the crowd and especially the other runners is infectious plus it’s Disney.  It makes me feel like a kid again.


 747150-1014-0049s 755627-1002-0004s 1003175_10152171748778606_89454847_n 1511661_10152171741978606_1851359394_n 1545067_10152171741733606_2078310021_n 1545173_10152171748998606_1852916053_n

Goof Views and News #1

Goof Views and News #1

Hey there boys and girls, guys and gals.  It’s the Goof comin’ at ya from Tampa, Florida to give you the first episode of what I hope to be one of many.

The Goof Views and News.

These will be personal perceptions made during specific times or events that may resonate some of you and news of events that have happened or will happen in the future.  For instance, as I have posted on FB and Twitter, I have registered for the Chicago Marathon as I did in 2011 prior to the Florida Ironman.  Ta da!  The first news of the post.

The Views (Seeing through the eyes of the Goof)

I was at Disney World this weekend enjoying some rest and relaxation and I wouldn’t say it was an epiphany, but it was a clarification of sorts.  I just happened to be in line at Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrow Land when I saw a couple coming toward me. He was a larger man riding in one of those motorized carts, and she was walking beside him.  She wasn’t a small person either.  They obviously were not concerned about their conversation being overheard and I heard him swear at her for some reason.  She yelled back at him, “Well if you would do something about it, you wouldn’t have to ride around in that thing.”  He snapped back with, “You think it is that easy, well you try it.”  She ended up retorting with, “I am! You <insert explicative here>!  You don’t see me needing a <insert another explicative> wheelchair. Do Ya?”  The large man pushed what I assumed to be the accelerator and moved ahead of her.

This is what I recall, it may not have been their exact words, but it did make me look around a bit more during my weekend visit.  Without being completely rude I started focussing on the more obese adults and I noticed something.  Ninety-five percent of the adults that were obese looked miserable.  I am not including people that just had a few extra pounds on them, I am talking about adults that were obviously fat.

There was not one of them that looked like they were having any fun.  Here we are in the happiest place on earth, with perfect weather, scents of food, and sweetness in the air, upbeat music, not a noticeable speck of negative energy in the place and these people are miserable.  Why would anyone want to do that to themselves?  Don’t get me wrong, I have never been that big.  I have been fat where I needed to take some pounds off, but never obese, so I can only imagine how hard it is, but to willingly stay in misery, just sounds exhausting to me.

Later, I sought out children that were, let’s just say, were in need of some more activity, which took all of thirty seconds.  While there were some that were running around, in my estimate, seventy to eighty percent of them were whining for somewhere to sit down.  Sit?  When there are rides, and new things to touch, smell and see?  Of course, most of them had parents that were in the same condition.  Go figure.

There are articles on articles explaining the epidemic we have in this country of obesity, but they are words on a page and maybe a picture.  I was able to watch this before my very eyes and they burned with disgust, pity, and sadness.  The next morning, I got up and ran six miles to clear the images from my head and come up with some kind of dream resolution.  The next time you are at an event or a place where there are families and a lot of people become aware of this. (Athletes: the Gasparilla Distance Weekend coming up, would not be a good place for this kind of perception.)

After mulling this around for the last few days, my desire to help has increased.  I know there are an abundance of people with this same desire and some of them more so if they have been able to overcome this obstacle for themselves, but I really want to help and the kids even more so.  We need to bring this epidemic more into the open and encourage people to move around and do something for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.

On to the News

I have entered into a partnership with Brenton Ford from Effortless Swimming.  He has a new program called Swimprove where a swimmer can log into a website and access an abundance of material to help them swim faster and more efficiently   As I have stated in numerous posts before, I really need help on my swimming.

I will be accessing his website and will be following his advice to the letter and bringing you my results, epiphany’s and observations.  This program of Brenton’s is not just for beginning swimmers, but for triathletes, open water swimmers and masters swimmers that would like to improve and become faster.  Included is not freestyle but the butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke as well.  I am really excited to get started and document what I have learned.

Gasparilla is this weekend and I am taking on the Beck’s Lite Challenge, so I will be running the 15k and 5k on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.

Which races are you running?

I am currently coaching at FitNiche on Tuesday’s with a new program called the Technical Tune-up.  I have a number of runners just looking to have a structured workout that includes warm-ups, and cooldowns and gives them access to a coach running with them paying close attention to their form in order to create more efficiency and keep them injury free.  Most of my runners are return clients, but I do have some new clients that have joined the flock.  I am really excited to be coaching again.  The program goes for 8 weeks and then renews.  I still have some slots available, so if you feel like you are getting injured a lot or just not making any progress, or just want a structured workout, come on out.  Tuesday Nights starting at 6:30 pm at FitNiche in Hyde Park Village.

The owner and I are working on the marketing for a new course as well, but I will announce that later when the details are flushed out.

That is it for this episode of the Goof Views and News.  Have an amazing week and train hard athletes, but also train smart.

Carpe Viam!!

Early ChristmaRamaKwanzaKah for the Goof

My Thursday turned out to be an extremely awesome day.   At work things seem to take a positive step and coaching at Fit2Run last night was enlightening and productive, but the best part was all the cool stuff I received without notice.

I went to Fit2Run last night just to mainly help out with the Half Marathon groups.  There are runners that are training for all the races coming up; the Clearwater Holiday Halfathon, the Clearwater Marathon, Disney Distance Weekend and the Princess Half, Gasparilla, Best Damn Race and the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon.  Thursday’s are speedwork days for these runners and Eric planned numerous one minute sprints with one minute rest in between.  I have no idea how many we did, but I was tuckered afterward.  Of course I can’t help but put in my own two cents as a coach with runners when I notice issues in their form.  One runner I spent about fifteen minutes on his form and things changed immediately for him and he was so grateful.  That is the best gift I was given, but they just kept coming.

I was leaving for the night when Eric caught me and told me the Brooks representative sent gifts for us.  I got a brand new pair of Brooks Green Silence which are incredibly light.  I haven’t run in them yet but I am totally looking forward to it.  They sure look cool, am I right?  I did try them on and they are so comfortable, that I am aching to get a run in them tomorrow.  With the Brandon Half Marathon on Sunday I probably won’t do too much but I it is going to be fun.

The gifts didn’t stop there.  Eric handed me two more packages from Brooks.  This really awesome running jacket and a pair of shorts.  James said that he is getting all sorts of compliments on the jackets and the models are not even out yet so he can’t put them in the store yet.  What an awesome night.  Speed work and then early holiday gifts….what could be better than that?

I will tell you, a package arriving with the new Nikon Coolpix S10 that’s what!

Taken with my 3 mp camera phone
I will tell you, a package arriving with the new
 Nikon Coolpix S10
that’s what!  

Pretty sweet right?  The camera fits perfectly in that little change pocket in your jeans and can be taken anywhere.  I was thinking it would be perfect for this blog.  It takes pics from 2-10 megapixels, has a flash, a 5x optical zoom, virtual stabilization, HD video the works.  I was so excited as I was playing around with it, unfortunately, I am sad to say, as a Nikon it does not live up to my expectations.  I am going to write a full review as a posting later on, but the gist is that the pics are grainy when the light is not optimal.

Taken with the Nikon Coolpix S10

As you can see, this was in decent light with a flash and my beautiful little Mikali looks grainy.  I took a bunch of pics with different settings and this was the best one.  *sniff* *sigh*

I have repackaged it up and I am returning it to Amazon.  It sucks because the camera is just perfectly convenient.  This is the first version of this camera, so it’s obvious I have not learned my lesson on buying the first generation of electronics as of yet.

I have signed up with the ladies to do a picture a day holiday challenge, where I post one photo a day that coincides with a word for that day.  If you see anything in the area that makes you think of the daily word let me know, or take the challenge yourself.  Just take the pic and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #Holidayaday.

Carpe Viam!
Goof Views and News #1

State of the Goof

State of the Goof

With the start of the page on Facebook and the redesign of this blog, I feel like maybe I need to reintroduce myself and why this blog is becoming important to me. While also giving you the state of the goof.

Re-Introducing Brad Minus

I have been missing a gene in my DNA strand my whole life. It is not all that uncommon, but the drive to overcome it tends to become an obsession. Now and my whole life I have been missing the athletic gene. You know that ability to run fast, jump high, with the natural athleticism to compete in most sports even at a sandlot level and actually make a difference.

Most sports I have participated in either I was a detriment to my team, or I have to work two to three times as hard in order to gain an ounce of progress. Do you remember that kid in school that was continually picked last at the playground or rode the bench during organized sports? Yeah, that was me. What made it worse was my father was this big-time high school and club baseball player and track star, so of course, I was a disappointment in that arena. Of course for me, while it is a huge battle for any athletic undertaking, the slightest of rewards become twice as sweet.

Endurance Sports

Triathlon and running have been my latest love. Over the last few years, I have competed in all distances of races from 5Ks to Marathons and Sprint Distance Triathlon to the all mighty Ironman.

I have never won a race and have only made the top ten in my age group when the complement of athletes competing was small, however, I find small victories for myself. Sometimes, it is as small as completing the swim of a long course triathlon without resorting to the breast or backstroke. Other times it’s completing the bike averaging just one more mile-an-hour faster than last time, and then there are the times it is just surviving.

The funny thing is even with only these small personal racing credits, I have been given the honor of coaching new and returning 5k runners. I thought the most amazing feeling might be running across the finish line of the Ironman with the crowd cheering and the loudspeaker blaring “Brad Minus, from Tampa Florida you are an Ironman”.

Don’t get me wrong it was, but it was just a close second to watching a few of my runners, who started with no experience and the inability to run for sixty seconds, come across the finish line of their first 5k race with a smile on their face knowing the ran the complete distance without stopping.


Maybe I am just a sap, but I really enjoy watching people obtain success in any part of their life. Is it crazy that someone telling me “Thank you” after twelve weeks of coaching means more to me than training my own butt off for 30 weeks? Is it nuts that I really enjoy picking someone up in a marathon who is not having a great race and motivating them to the finish line 15 minutes faster than their personal record? I don’t know if it is or not, but the smile on their face is thanks enough for me.

See what I mean about the little victories?

If you know me personally then you know why this blog is called IronGoof, but for those being introduced for the first time, well it was two personal victories. One I have already mentioned. In 2011 I trained for and completed the Florida Ironman in Panama City Beach. Two months later, I completed the Disney Goofy Challenge in Orlando Florida which comprises of a weekend with a half-marathon on one day followed by a full marathon the next. After talking with a good friend I had met a year earlier at the same race, she teased me by calling me an iron goofy and it kinda stuck with me.


I hope to continue to bring you highlights from races and more state of the goof. Especially posts from events I am either competing in personally or spectate as a friend or coach. I also hope to write reviews on articles, opinions on products, perceptions on the culture of running and triathlon. Sometimes I will give my own personal thoughts and theories on how to run, train, ride, (heaven forbid)swim, strength train, eat and have a blast doing it. Even as I write what I want to do with this blog I am getting excited.

I also like to read other peoples blogs and when I see one that I think, you and the other readers might benefit from I will share it here as well as on my FB page.

With that, I bring this “State of the Goof No.1” to a close. Have a great week everyone.

Live Strong and have fun doing it.

So here we go!!

It’s January 9th and I have been trying to provide a base now since November 6th.  I think I am doing pretty well.  I couldn’t swim 600 yards without changing up strokes from freestyle to sidestroke, to breaststroke.  Now I can go about 800 yards with strictly least in a pool.  Yesterday, January 8th 2011, I ran the Disney Half-Marathon without stopping in 1:59:32.  It is not great, but not that this is an excuse, but it was extremely crowded and I was in the very back of the pack.  Last week I cycled 40 miles, with a 5K run at the end.  I think as far as my endurance factor goes I am a little a head of the game.

Just to give the story as to why.  People think I am nuts…why train for an event where you swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles and then run a marathon?  It started two years ago.  I had been working my ass off 12 -15 hour days including weekends.  I was feeling drained and I was due for a physical with a complete blood workup.  Dr. Gold basically said I was in horrible shape.  My cholesterol was high, my triglycerides were high, my good cholesterol was low, my sugar was high…I am sure the picture was obvious.  This was only 3 years after separating for the second time from the military.  I couldn’t believe I let myself get so out of shape.
Kim and I were walking around Hyde Park Village about three weeks later and we walked past Lifestyles Family Fitness.  There was a poster in the window for a Boot Camp Class. We went in and contracted to use the gym, I enrolled in Boot Camp and Kim hired a personal trainer to get her started again.  Well, from the first class I was hooked.  They had these teasers prior to the beginning of the real class and it was an intense 35 minutes of cardio, strength training, agility, stability and core exercises.  I loved it, coming from a military background where this is what we did everyday.  The difference was the emphasis on form and injury reduction. Well, the instructors, Nicole Sturtze, and Zach Thompson were a hell of lot nicer than my drill sergeants.  Two days a week for an hour I put 100% effort and sweat-ed profuciously and loved it.  One Monday morning, my eyes popped open at 5:30am and I was wide awake.  I thought, eh why not go for a run.  I ran for four miles and felt like a million dollars.  The next day after boot camp I saw a flyer for another class called Punch & Crunch, and thought, eh why not give it a try.  Melissa Trinidad was teaching, and I knew she was one of the top trainers at the gym, not to mention she was really cute.  Again, I was hooked after the first class.  Boxing paired with cardio and core was awesome.  Within a month of starting to work out twice a week, I had now more than doubled my workouts to 5 days a week.  Monday, I ran or worked out on my own, Tuesday & Thursday was Boot Camp, Wednesday and Saturday was Punch & Crunch, Friday and Sunday I took off.  Next, a friend in Boot Camp told me about this Hot Yoga down the street from the gym.  I never sweated so much in my life and felt so rejuvenated afterward.  Now I was at 6 days a week.  
Next came the game changer – Scott Bragan, another Boot Camp friend, started mentioning the Chicago Marathon and how he was doing it for charity.  The PKD foundation.  Perocystic Kidney Disease.  His mother-in-law had a transplant, his wife was diagnosed with it, and his daughter had a 50/50 chance of coming down with it because she carried the gene.  My need to help kicked in, so I decided to talk to him about it, and before I knew it we had 10 members of Team Tampa PKD and were starting a plan to fund raise to a goal of $25,000!!  With that we also trained together.  Two six week sessions of boot camp, combined with Punch & Crunch, and Yoga allowed my first training run, to be 9 miles.  I couldn’t believe I was starting to train for a marathon and I could already comfortably run 9 miles.  I was jazzed.  
Well, Scott also mentioned another activity he did…Triathlons.  I had partaken in a couple of triathlons in high school and I enjoyed them, so I thought, what a great way to break up the training for the marathon by swimming and biking and participating in a couple of sprint triathlons as well.  I ended up participating in two that summer, the Mease Plant Point and the Top Gun and loved them…well…except for the swim.  I just wanted to get that over with. 
We did end up raising the 25000 bucks and then some and everyone finished the marathon with decent times, except for me.  I ended up injuring myself two weeks before with a herniated disc at L5/S1 and was in recovery during the marathon.  I did go to Chicago that weekend and I did take some great pics, and cheer on my team, but I was really bummed.  That was October 2009.
Since then I have been in a few more small races, 5Ks and 10Ks, a couple of half-marathons, three more triathlons and have continued to train.  I have not missed a boot camp session since then and I feel I am pretty good shape.  Last November a friend from a running group I have been running  with, the Blue Sharks, told me she did a couple of Full Ironman Triathlons.  I was really impressed.  She then mentioned she was going to volunteer at the Florida Ironman and asked if I wanted to go.  I thought it would be really cool to see all these elite athletes do this incredible event.  I went and had an awesome time and got hooked.  I was in the transition tent from the Bike to the Run and the Pro-athletes came in and they were systematic and quick.  Then the age-groupers came in and some of them were the same as the pros and some of them just took there time, had a break and then continued on to the run.  I was enthralled at the amount of people, and all the types of people that were going through this event.  Of course the next part is what really hooked me.  About 9pm we all decided to hang out at the finish line.  Let me preface this by saying the race started at 7 am, so this was 14 hours after the start of the race…Four…teen…..hours! Teresa (the culprit who hooked me into this) said this was the best part of the race because this is the “regular” people finished.  The people who had regular jobs, kids, responsibilities that had to fit all this training in apart from that.  Coming over the finish line were women and men in excess of 280 pounds, a blind man, a disabled man, men and women in excess of 60 years old, and my favorite a 16 time age grouper that was 76.  Yes, that’s right SEVENTY-SIX years old and he came over the finish line before the cut-off of 17 hours.  There are those people like myself who do not look there age.  There are seventy-six year olds out there whom look fifty or even 60.  No…this guy looked the all of seventy-six he was.  This is what got me hooked…if they could do it…I definitely could do it.   
The plan
I have to mention that I really do not want to be racing for 17 hours.  If I finish it in 16 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds…I will be happy that I completed it, but I really do not want to be racing for that long.  I found a guy Ben Greenfield who is an awesome athlete and a very knowledgeable athlete whom has developed a plan to get average joes like me through the Ironman with an acceptable amount of training hours that might not completely infringe on my responsibilities.  I also have met with a swim coach, my doctor, my chiropractor and a license massage therapist whom is also a bio-mechanics expert and a USAT Level 1 certified trainer.  With all this support, I hope to conquer this quest.  
At the moment I am doing my own base training right now, with an emphasis on getting comfortable in the saddle of my bike, and becoming relaxed and efficient in the water.  Ben’s plan is a 36 week plan, so it does not actually start until the last week in February.  I have increased my weekday workouts from an hour to two in order to get my body used to working hard longer, and continue to do boot camp.
Here is to hoping my plan works out, and no injuries or re-injuries will stop me.
Live Strong, Finish Stronger!!!