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The Courage To Attempt: Ironman Pocono Mountains

True stories from this weekend:

Triathletes have a lot of heart. You have to in order not to get intimidated by swimming, biking and running all on the same day.

Unless you’re under the age of  10, of course.

I spent my weekend with the world’s best training partner and 2,000 other athletes. We all gathered in the Pocono area of Pennsylvania for the inaugural Pocono Mountains 70.3 Ironman Competition.

What can I say about the race? The swim had been canceled 48 hours before we arrived because of dangerous conditions and the bike course is hillier than the Bear Mountain loops I had done over the summer and I never got to the run.

That’s right…never got to the run.

My bike chain housing had decided it had done enough at mile 40 and ‘snap’, it was not only down and out but the bike guys couldn’t repair it.

I have never seen the SAG vans at races and yesterday I rode in one with other athletes. When I heard my race number radioed in with “athlete #xx, DNF’, I started to sob.  I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t.

You see, I started training almost eight months ago and never let up. I think I gave up dates and time with friends and sleep. Oh, the sleep. The Delicious Sleep.

And to not be able to finish just made me so sad. Then I looked around at the other people in the SAG van with me and we were all there for similar reasons: Broken bikes.  This competition felt a little like being on Survivor, minus the cameras.

I joked at the start of all of this training that I was entering a new lifestyle, but the truth is, I did. I cut off all of my hair, I changed my diet,  I learned to go to sleep and, in the most amazing feat of ‘change’, I started to simply remove things from my life that were no longer working.

And it’s been so empowering and amazing and I am grateful to the Ironman Competition organizers for giving me a reason to focus my energies on important things.

My tri partner (the greatest tri partner in the world) finished strong and looked great with his medal. He gave me a big hug the day of the race, then found us another competition for the Spring of 2012.

That’s right….we do this again in eight months. Training for him starts in a few weeks. For me? Last night. And it felt great.

I do have to thank all of my friends and family for their love and support. Let’s play it again in a few months. 😉



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Bugger, stupid bike, I think next time you should ride an old dragster. I had one when I was a kid and it never let me down, had three gears and looked awesome.


I swear I just know so little about bikes! But I will in 8 months, lol. Or else!


By next spring – we all will know more about bikes than is necessary. As I said before – I’m glad it was the bike broke and not you …

You went so far just entering … you have no idea just how inspirational that is…

Here’s to Spring 2012 …


We WILL know more about bikes by next year, lol. All of us.

I just sent my tri partner my thoughts on goals for the next race and asked if it is possible for a human to change in 8 months. He sent me back a smiley face and said yes!


Wow! I didn’t realize you were training for a triathlon, for some reason. I knew about your running, not the rest.

How disappointing. I have a good friend who broke her wrist the day before the World Championship in Hawaii. It sounds like there’s a certain element of luck in pulling it all off. Anyway, I like the way you’ve reframed this and your super partner supported you with your new goal.

Congratulations, you are positively inspirational~~

Big hugs and lots of clapping~~~~


Hi Zaz!!!!

Yep, this would have been my second tri of the season, the first, a spring, was my warm-up. :)

Let me say, these events are skill and luck and sheer ‘whatever’! There are so many things that you realize you just don’t know. Ouch on your friend’s wrist! I hope she was able to heal quickly!!


You’re showing lots of heart there, Bubbles. Imagine your kick butt athlete self in eight months. Oh, my.


Oh , my, indeed. I don’t know if it is heart of lack of fear or both. Yeah, it’s maybe both! I’m looking at cyclocomps this weekend thanks to you.

Temper Tantrum

Hey, girl. I think it’s righteous that you did this. I used to live on my bike back in the day. I really miss it. Hey! When (if) I get my big payout, I’m buying myself a new bicycle. Thanks for the inspiration (meh, gay word).

So where exactly is the next event? You should organize a blogger’s bash there so we can cheer you on. Not that I would go. You know, the social anxiety and such. But I can pretend I would…


Oh! I can’t wait to hear what kind of bike you decide to get if you do end up getting a new one!

It’s the Eagleman 70.3 in Columbia, MD. 8 months….3 days! We should just do virtual cheering anyway. I hear it’s hot. :)


The two of you on bicycles? A certain Queen song does spring to mind. … haha


You know, there is a tandem race. We should all pair off and enter! Just a thought.


Thanks for joining in on our random posting here, Mike. :)


Hello all. I agree with you – 100% +. Thank you for the information. Mike.

Christy G

‘athlete # XX DNF’ . Seeing the words in your blog made me say ‘Awwwww’ and the tears run down my cheeks.

Each time is a learning lesson … I’m here to help you up, dust you off and hold your hand.

You inspire me !


What? You all inspire me. :)

It’s funny, as nutty as my mom was, to be honest, she never told me ‘I couldn’t’ so sometimes, I do these things and people wonder why and it’s really just because no one ever told me it wouldn’t make sense. Go figure. :)


The longest journey begins with one step, but sometimes it ends abruptly when your chain breaks. At the risk of being too much of a twerp, them’s the breaks.:D But you’ve picked yourself up, dusted off, and started right back into it. Good on ya! I’ll have to pencil the spring event into my calendar and start thumbing my way up to Columbia. If I do, there’ll be a red velvet cupcake waiting for you at the finish line.

The Day The Tri Died

[…] And then the Poconos happened. And I lost something. […]

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