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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Tribute #6 – Jessica Crate

Tribute #6 – Jessica Crate

It was apparent this was coming, right?  This woman was all over my Rock ‘n’ Roll recap, so the JC1inspiration was already foreshadowed and if you didn’t read the last post, then prepare to be inspired.

Jessica and I met on a set of commercial we were doing for some insurance company.  I never actual saw the final cut, but then again, that happens quite frequently.  We were actually placed in the roles of runners, which is why it made so much sense.  I was in a conversation about running and all of the sudden, I heard this upbeat, sultry voice from behind me enter into the conversation.  I turned around to see this tall, athletically thin, beautiful blond woman behind me.  Her hair in a ponytail, wearing a Newton visor and radiating the intense positive aura all around her.  There was more to this attraction then the minimalistic pure blood American male to the tall, stunningly gorgeous, platinum blond female(See? I am not denying the obvious).  The energy radiating from this woman was intense.

JC6

We conversed in detail all the while waiting for the lighting to be rigged, and shots set up.  I came to find her life as intoxicating as Jessica herself.  This woman is an Elite Runner holding course records in the Gasparilla Half-Marathon, St. Pete Women’s Half-Marathon and the St. Pete Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon.  As of last year she began competing in triathlon only to make it to Las Vegas for the 70.3 World Championships her first year.  If that wasn’t enough, she also coaches other elite athletes, has her own marketing company, and recently created her own Not-for-profit.  She is committed to giving back.

As I have continued to attempt climb inside her head and soul to try and understand what drives her, I have yet to hear her utter a negative word about anything or anyone.  She truly believes in winning not only the race, but in life itself.  If there is ever the opportunity to meet this unbelievable athlete and woman, do so.  Before you know it, you will be winning to.  Let me introduce you to my good friend, Jessica Crate.

Jessica Crate

Birthdate/Sign:  07/25/1985, Leojc10
Place of Birth: Victoria, British Columbia CANADA
Place growing up: Lived all over the US…. Oregon, California, Wisconsin, NY during Elementary School years.
High School: Sarnia, Ontario CANADA
High School sports: EVERYTHING! Lol…. I think I tried out for and was on every team! Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Softball, Gymnastics, Swimming, Dance, Cheerleading, Track & Field, Cross-country, I even dabbled in Girls Rugby (big mistake-haha).
College: Arizona State for 2 years studying Exercise Science and Kinesiology and was Academic and Varsity Scholar athlete for Track and XC(Cross Country) both years.
College Sports:  Track and XC, but also dabbled in Soccer, Yoga, Strength training and swimming.Transferred to Florida State University for my last 2 years to pursue Pre- Medical Studies and continued my Minors in Psychology and French. Also ran on the Varsity Track and XC Teams and made it to National Championships all 4 collegiate years. ūüôā
Other Sports:  I currently work out 2-3 times daily and mix up my training with cycling, running, swimming, yoga, P90X, SUP (stand up paddleboarding), surfing, adventure/mud racing, volleyball, waterskiing, snowboarding…. You name it!

 

When was it you started competing and why?
I was born a competitor and my Mom tells me I literally came into this world “running” as I was born 1 month pre-mature. Clearly I was eager to get moving at an early age ūüėČ
I grew up in a very athletic family, so “friendly competition” has been a part of my life since my early years. I love to win and have a burning desire for change for the better. Thus, I’m always looking to improve and hone my skills.

 

What is it that keeps you running after all of this time?
I absolutely LOVE a challenge, I love growing, running is a part of me, and a HUGE part of my life, friendships, relationships and what I do. Others inspire me to KEEP running and in return I hope to inspire others in the process.

 

In our private conversations you have basically told me that this year you have decided to give back.   How did that come about?
 I have been overseas on several missions trips and have had the privilege of traveling the JC7world for racing, training and competing. Being awarded a full-ride scholarship to two D1 Schools for both athletics and academics was not only a blessing, but I felt it a responsibility to essentially “Give Back” all that had been given to me. Upon graduating from college, I partnered with Olympic athlete, Jon Rankin, to launch our own Non-profit organization entitled “Giving Athletics, Inc”, who’s mission is to “Inspire Social change through athletic participation.” It has been so rewarding to help others by fitting them with clothes and shoes that allow them to participate in sports and gain an education. ūüôā

 

If you could give me one adjective to describe the feeling you get when you are working what would it be?
Exhilaration, FREEDOM, accomplishment, energy!

 

When and why did you start competing in triathlon?
Back in April 2011, I had been training hard to qualify for the Olympic Trials in the Marathon. I JC3had raced several marathons already, but my coach believed I was ready based on my workouts and marathon times. However, at mile 14, I side- stepped around some runners at a water station and snapped my foot. The adrenaline, high pain tolerance and my will to finish wouldn’t let me quit, so I ran the last 12.2 miles on a broken foot. I requalified for Boston, but obviously did more damage to my foot by continuing the race. My Olympic Trials dreams were shattered and I was now in a boot, unable to run. I began physical therapy and realized that I was going to go crazy if I couldn’t run, so I picked up swimming and cycling. Long story short, I started sprint triathlons, qualified for USAT Age Group Nationals in the ITU distance and soon I was embarking on tri training. I ended up qualifying for the USAT ITU World Championships and setting new goals, like Ironman 70.3. Now, here I am! Runner turned Triathlete ūüėČ

 

What projects are involved with besides running races?
I currently own a marketing company “CRATE, Inc.”, coach and train athletes in addition to my training, while working with a neutraceutical company, LifeVantage. I have found my purpose and passion in life and live to lead a legacy by coaching, training and inspiring others to achieve their goals and dreams.

 

What would you say is your greatest obstacle  you ever overcameJC9
Breaking my foot in the Boston marathon, overcoming that injury and breaking onto the triathlon scene to qualify for 2 World Championships last year as well as set 3 course records in half marathons throughout the state of Florida.

 

What is your greatest victory?
My greatest victory is overcoming so many failures to continue succeeding. I firmly believe, and as the most successful people will tell you, you have to fail FORWARD. The faster you fail, the quicker you’ll succeed.

 

What are you favorite quotes?
My business partners and teammates know my favorite slogans, amongst many “Jessica-isms” are: “K.I.S.S.” (Keep it simple silly), “Relax, Smile and Breathe”, “Live life to the fullest”, “Go BIG or go home!”

 

If you’d like more information on where she will be next or to sign up for a training session, contact her at [email protected]

Or visit her website: www.jessicacrate.com

Carpe Viam!

JC5

Jessica and the Goof

Thinking about Ironman, and help for a great cause.

The political season is over!  Finally, the earful of negative spouting and cursing from each candidate is finished and our communities can get back to the business of living and of course, working out.

I have an affinity for doing my best thinking in the shower.  I know, kind of weird right.  It must be because there is nothing in there except the overwhelming peace of the hot water being sprayed all over….uh…..well, you know what I mean. (At least I hope.) Anyway, I was trying to figure out how can I possibly complete all of my workouts for Ironman without it obsessively impacting my life as it did last year.  I am still having an issue with it, but I think I figured it out to a point.  I know I have three workouts in each event, plus 3 strength workouts, and hopefully 1 yoga class per week.  Here is what I have so far:

Monday – Interval Swim, Strength
Tuesday –  Tempo Swim, Interval Bike (2-a-day)
Wednesday – Interval Run, Strength
Thursday – Tempo Run, Tempo Bike (2-a-day)
Friday – Long Swim (as recovery)
Saturday – Long Bike ( Subst. Bricks), Yoga
Sunday – Long Run, Strength (Subst. Swim Bricks)

As you can see if I can pull this off then I only have two nights a week where I have 2-a-days and they are bike workouts and can be completed in front of the TV using commercials for intervals.  Saturday will still be long workouts, but Sundays should be done by late morning.  It works out within my groups as well, since Wednesday morning is track with Coach Dror,  my interval workout, Thursday, I have been running with Jackie and crew since they do their easy runs which is tempo for me, and the weekends will continue to be long bike workouts and bricks with the A-Train.  I am also contemplating swim workouts on Monday and Tuesday possibly being at the University of Tampa and their masters program which may provide some instruction, but mainly accountability.

I really do not have to start all of this until January if I decide to do Ironman Louisville, or March if I decide to compete only in Ironman Florida, but it has been rattling around inside my brain because I really want to perform much better this time.  I am planning on pushing my body to its limits at IMFL and to find out what I really can do, and that is going to take planning, commitment, desire, passion, but most of intelligence.  It is going to take smarts to know when and how to recover which is not something I have been all to familiar with.

I am not sure whom is all reading my blog but for those of you whom are not followers of Sneakers & Fingerpaints, or Crazy Running Girl, there is a virtual run campaign for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  I donated my 7.5 mile PR this morning, and I hope you will help as well.

The American Red Cross is still taking donations to help the Hurricane Sandy victims from this past weekend. Also, now not only are they recovering from that storm and rebuilding, but they are awaiting a snow storm on their door step. To Donate, click here.  Any amount, big or small, can make a big difference!

Crazy Running Girl did a post on a Virtual Run to help the victims of Sandy.

With a minimum donation of $10, you can go to the link above to register to run in the month of November – there are also prizes to be won as well & all proceeds would go to the American Red Cross too! Nothing like a great, virtual run, for a great cause!

Carpe Viam!!

Tribute Tuesday #3 – Lisa Jamison

There are people that come into our lives that defy all expectation.¬† Have you ever met someone whom you previously had heard about, or may even have spoken to, only to find out they not only lived up to their values and skill but by far exceeded them?¬† It doesn’t happen often right?¬† I can truthfully state this about my massage therapist, confidant, and friend; Lisa Jamison.

I was given a brief introduction to Lisa by my good friend Scott Bragan.¬† He mentioned that he made massage a big part of his training, and in his opinion how much of an expert Lisa was, and how she worked with him on some injuries and ailments. ¬†I finally decided to talk to her and see if she could help me. ¬†(I will give you my story about my injury in another posting, but I currently have a L5/S1 herniated disc in my back) ¬†I had been going to a chiropractor for my injury and they were keeping me running, but I felt like I had to make frequent visits, but that all changed when I met Lisa. ¬†The first thing she did was look at my posture and how I hold myself, and immediately gave me analogies to think about, and exercises to do during the day to help. ¬†She assessed my injuries and then……and then, she went to work on me.

All I can say is O-M-G! ¬†That first massage was an experience. ¬†She loosened up muscles I didn’t even know I had, all the¬†while¬†telling me what she was doing and why she was doing it. ¬†Lisa and I are both talkers so we also were getting to know each other. ¬†It turns out, she is not only an LMT, but a USAT Level 1 coach, a Yogi, a Certified Personal Trainer and an IRONMAN. ¬†At this time I was still seeing my orthopedist and my¬†neuro-surgeon. ¬†Lisa educated me more on bio-mechanics than either of my doctors, and when I questioned them about the aspects of my anatomy Lisa educated me on, they both looked like a deer in headlights. ¬†Lisa’s knowledge and experience was far superior. ¬†¬†First impression; this woman knows her stuff.

Lisa at Fight for Air Climb 2012

As we continued our professional relationship we started to become friends, and I learned that she was not only passionate about helping athletes, but also para-athletes.  She was close personal friends with Scott Rigsby, the first double amputee to finish the Kona Ironman!  She was also contracted by tri-clubs all over the nation, to meet them at races and work on their athletes and their para-athletes.  Whenever I had a question about about form, posture, or training Lisa always either knew or found a way to help me out.  Second Impression; she cares about her clients and will go to great extents for them. Amazing!

Then she told me the story about her brother-in-law that passed a day before she was to compete in Ironman Florida. ¬†This immediately brought tears to my eyes, and continues to whenever I recall her words about him. ¬†She did end up competing in the race, but returned home immediately afterward. ¬†She said that her brother-in-law, Mike Dalton, wouldn’t have it any other way. ¬†Currently, she has dedicated herself to American Lung Association and the Fight for Air stair climbs across the country dedicating herself for another friend taken from her, John Foley. ¬†Lisa started Team Foley and she recruits athletes every year to do the Tampa Stair Climb at the Bank of America building. ¬†Last year I participated, wouldn’t you know it, WE WON! ¬†Yep, I stepped up the 42 flight climb with Team Foley and I would do it again in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact I am already signed up for 2013. ¬†Lisa also completes stair climbs all over to include the Sears (not Willis) Tower in Chicago. ¬†Can you imagine 103 flights? ¬†She does it and often.
Third impression I am in love with this woman.  I defy anyone to meet her and not feel the same way.


Lisa Jamison
DOB:  March 27,  Aries 
POB:  Massachusetts 
Grew Up:  Vernon, CT 
High School: Rockville HS 
High School Sports:  Drill team/Dance squad, figure skated(outside of school) 
College: University of Connecticut
Sports:  Inline Speed Skate (as an adult), Triathlon, Running

I describe you as the best LMT in the Tampa Bay area. How and why did you start with massage and sports training? 
I studied Sports Med/Athletic Training in college. ¬†Through college I worked in the fitness industry (I was one of the early ones‚Ķ”aerobic instructor”). ¬†After college I spent time working as an athletic trainer and teacher while still doing some fitness work on the side. ¬†At some point I could see that I wanted to spend more time working in the fitness industry, but liked the sports training model. ¬†It seemed to me that if people could take their workouts and view them as something as they “got to do” vs what they “had to do”, our health and fitness might be more enjoyable. ¬†I started personal training in the late 1980’s. ¬†I moved here in 1991 and have just kept plugging along. ¬†I read a lot, take a lot of classes, and just keep trying to throw something new into my “bag of tricks”. ¬†I went to massage school about 8 years ago.


If you could give me one adjective to describe the feeling  you get when you are working what would it be?

I like the aspect of the day that keeps me looking for a different way to get the job done. ¬†Maybe that’s because I need to shake things up for my own sanity, and maybe that’s because healthy clients are in their for the long haul and may get bored doing the same thing over and over again. ¬†I can’t think of an adjective‚Ķbut I do get lost in my own head while I’m working in a the quiet of massage. ¬†While training and watching people in their setting, it’s almost like I can get in their body and feel it. ¬†

Lisa at IMFL

When and why did you start competing in triathlon?
It was the late 90’s. ¬†I was working with a lot of triathletes, finishing up with a stint in speed skating and looking for the next sport. ¬†I knew I’d get involved in triathlon, but was afraid of the swim. ¬†I didn’t rush into it. ¬†I participated without training for a couple of years, then changed my workouts to focus on triathlon a little bit. ¬†After a few years I started legitimately training for it. ¬†Now it’s been a couple of years since I’ve raced. ¬†Not sure what will happen next.¬†

What is one thing you love most about triathlon?
The people, the training partners, the group of people.  I really like the balance of the group training for an individual sport.  I like having to get lost in your own head in the midst of a crowd.   

After being in the business as long as you have, what possesses you to still take the classes for continuing Ed that you do?
I have to for many reasons. ¬†I am self employed and live alone; if I don’t work, there isn’t money coming in. ¬†I learned very early on that people’s incomes can change, and you will be the first person they give up in difficult economic times. ¬†If I weren’t “multi-talented”, I wouldn’t work. ¬†I always have to be looking ahead to see what else I can do. ¬†Personally, I like a day that’s filled with different things. ¬†I enjoy being able to train a few fitness clients, work on¬†re-patterning¬†a skill with an athlete, do a relaxation massage, help with injury rehab, do some yoga, and meditate. ¬†I like group work as well as private work. ¬†I’m a teacher at heart, so as long as somebody is learning something, I go home feeling like I made a difference

Lisa & the Goof at the Fight for Air Climb


What was the turning point for you to decide make this a career?
All through high school I volunteered in hospitals and physical therapy clinics. ¬†I always said I wanted to work with a “well” community, or one that was injured but was motivated to come back strong. ¬†I started working in fitness in 1981 and it’s just all evolved from there. ¬†I’ve just had to set the path for what I’ve wanted to do.

What would you say is your greatest obstacle  you ever overcame?
There wasn’t a career in “personal training” or “corrective exercise” or even massage during my early days. ¬†I’ve always referred to myself as a bit of a hybrid. ¬†Now the hybrid careers are becoming more popular. ¬†I wish I knew that‚ĶI would have saved a lot of time looking for the career that was right for me spent more time “just doing it”.

What is your greatest victory?
When I can help someone get that “a-ha” moment and their day/life/sport makes more sense

Final Impression: I want to be just like Lisa when I grow up.

Carpe Viam!!
For More Info and to register or help click above


The Nutty No-Excuse Goof

The line to register for IMFL 2013

To coin a bad phrase; “Oops, I did it again.” ¬†I signed up for Ironman Florida for 2013. ¬†The energy of Ironman is intoxicating and if you have any ambitions of competing in one you have to go and either spectate or volunteer. ¬†You will either be so overwhelmed that you end up scared out of your mind, or you become so energized you sign up the next day. ¬†I again had no intention of signing up. ¬†I was planning on doing another Ironman, but I was thinking another location like Arizona, but between Pete, Jaime, Kat, Stan, Tom, Ken, Chuck, Todd, (and probably a few others I am missing), I couldn’t help but think how much fun it would be. ¬†I basically trained mostly on my own for my Ironman in 2011, but this time it will probably be a lot more fun.

Anne, Marai and I after they both crossed the Finish Line

What also helped was volunteering the day before and getting to be right there for my friends and watch them compete. ¬†Anne, Marai, Eve, Summer, Kat, David,¬†Rick,¬†Iron Rick, Mary-Ellen, Carola and Jessica all did amazing. ¬†A few of them with PRs if not for the IM distance but for this course. ¬†I was so honored to be able to¬†sneak¬†in and put Anne’s Medal around her neck. ¬†It seemed to mean a lot to her, and it meant a great deal for me as well. ¬†It also helped to be there when Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae ran past me and I cheered for her through the bull horn I was yelling through for gear bag numbers. ¬†To be so close to someone with her talent is so inspiring. ¬†She took 2nd and locked up her spot for Kona 2013, so I imagine her off-season will be nice and relaxing now that she is engaged.

Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae as she zipped by me

Being that last year my goal was to do an Ironman, and I accomplished it.  This year, I may have to up the ante by adding Ironman Louisville to the list to make this the year of two Ironman distance races.  I am still not quite decided yet as there are logistics that have to be worked out, but I have heard good things about Louisville and because it is in the heat of August and is not the most popular Ironman, the registration stays open longer.  This allows me a little bit of time.  (Of course, I just put out a chunk of money for both the IMFL race and the deposit on the rental for next year, so I need a couple more weeks to save to pay for it.)

I feel like I am stronger than last year and I am definitely faster on the bike and run.  The swim still has a lot to be desired, so my focus on the off season will be a lot more swimming.  I am setting up my goals for next year.

The Goals

The Three of us…again.

Swim: 90 minutes or less (Aim: 1:15) – 1:15 – 1:30
Bike: Avg 20 mph or higher (Aim 21.5 mph) – 5:15 – 5:40
Run: Avg 9 min/miiles or less (Aim: 8:00) – 3:45 – 4:00
Transitions: 5 min or less – 10:00
Total: 10:40 – 11:20

The Plan:
Swim: 3x Week (Drills + Intervals, Tempo, Long)
Bike: 3x Week (Intervals, Tempo, Long)
Run: 3x Week (Speed, Tempo, Long)


The Periodization Cycle:
Strength: 3x Week (Heavy, Supersets, Endurance)
Yoga/Stretch: 2x per week (possibly more in Recovery Weeks)
To include A LOT of BRICKS!!!

2 Week – Base (Low Intensity, High Duration)
2 Week – Build (Med Intensity, Med Duration)
1 Week – Peak (High Intensity, Low Duration)
1 Week – Recovery (Low Intensity, Low Duration)

I decided last night to put my own plan together with the help of a bunch of resources to include what worked for me over the last year.  I will definitely be building in weekend workouts with the A-Train and speed workouts with Progressive, but besides that, if anyone wants to work out with me during the week, you are more than welcome.

The Goof’ On-Duty

I wanted to put this out there to not only give a glimpse into what goes on inside a goofy brain like mine but also to make myself accountable. ¬†I hope to continue to blog about this new journey and while I am learning and experiencing I may be able to bring an ounce of motivational inspiration to anyone whom thought doing an Ironman was beyond their reach, because let’s face it; if I can do it, anyone can do it.

CARPE VIAM!

(Seize the Way! or Seize the Road)

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 freestyle..at 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.

Background
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!!!