Hill Seeker

Being goofy minutes before the Capital View Triathlon start

It’s race week!  Not for me, but for my friend Lisa Ruth who is doing her first IronMan! Since the day that I found out that she was training for it, I’ve been bombarding her with questions. So why stop with the questions now? Now is a good a time as any to do a Q&A!

Do you remember the moment that you decided to register and train for your first IronMan?
I had heard that volunteering for IMWI was really fun, and had a friend that was doing it in 2010.  I volunteered at the Badger Ridge Middle School in Verona, which is about a block away from my house.  It was so inspiring seeing all these people, not just “professionals” do this.  Then I went down to watch Dave on the run portion, and I was hooked.  I got this overwhelming feeling of….happiness, excitement, joy….and I wasn’t even competing!  That was my first year of being on the JDRF Team Western Wisconsin, raising money for a cure for Type 1 diabetes by committing to train for and ride a century (100 mi).  Some of my JDRF teammates had done an IM previously, and some were looking to sign up for 2012.  I was already taking masters swim, and after discussing with my swim and bike coaches, it seemed like I was not being ludicrous by dreaming of becoming an Ironman.

What was going on in your mind while you waited in line to register?
Truthfully, all I felt was excitement.  I knew that 4 teammates from my JDRF Ride to Cure team were doing it, and I had also already signed up with the Endurance House Becoming an Ironman team.  There were butterflies in my stomach, but I knew I wanted to do it.  I was waiting for that “lead ball in the pit of my stomach” after I had paid for it and was walking away, but I just kept feeling more and more excited about it.

Tell me about your favorite part of training, and what was your most memorable training workout that you had this year?
I had always envisioned training with friends and having fun – and that is what happened.  I am really blessed to have a lot of friends that also do triathlon and/or cycling and running events.  I also took an open water swim class that was amazing, and a lot of fun.
My most memorable training workout had to be my first half ironman distance event.  I really had a lot of fun, no pressure other than to not hurt myself, and a lot of my friends had driven up to watch. My previous events had all been out of town, so I did not know how great it is to have that support on race day.  It was also the first time I realized how much my parents worry when I am racing.

Did you have any funny race-day dreams?
The funniest had to be when I dreamt it was about 2:00 PM in the afternoon, and apparently I did not bring my bike.  I wasn’t concerned though, because I still felt that finishing was totally doable.

What’s the dumbest thing someone has said to you when you mention that you’re training for IronMan?
Before I signed up, when I was telling people it was my intention to sign up, the most common winner is:  But you haven’t even done a marathon, have you? (From people who also had not done a marathon).  Since signing up, I’ve really only gotten great, positive comments.  If there were negatives I guess I’ve forgotten them or took them for what they were – most of the time it was concern because people think the amount of training I do is unsafe, or it was from someone who wants to do what I am doing but something is holding them back.  There have been some people that are no longer in my life – some people just don’t get what I am trying to do, or are upset that I am doing something for myself, that may not include them.  That’s life, though.  This event is life changing – but it’s a positive thing, and one that is a finite period of time.  If those people could not be there for me for this, they would have eventually dropped out of my life anyway, I think.

What do you say to someone who says “I’d train for an IronMan but ____blah,blah,excuse,blah___ ” ??
You clearly do not want to do it. Anything big / worthwhile / difficult / rewarding to do always has obstacles – you just don’t want to make the time to do it.  And that’s ok.  But know if you ever do, I would be happy to help you find resources to help you achieve that goal.

tumblr_m93yia8DXX1qgnu8ro1_500What are you looking forward to the most on race day?

Crossing the finish line – seeing my family and friends there, and making them proud.


I CAN NOT WAIT to be there cheering for you Lisa Ruth!  Best of luck to you and have the happiest 140.6 miles!!


9 thoughts on “Hill Seeker

  1. I stopped to read this just before pulling my wetsuit on and heading out for my 1st open water swim! It’s a great motivator – thank you S&R.

    No hills where I’m going, but lots of waves 😀

  2. Wonderful perspective…Isn’t it funny how we all deal with the same type of people/reactions. The human psyche is a funny, funny thing!! Best of Luck Lisa….May the Force Be With You and everyone else out there….
    Race Safe, Race Strong, and have one hell of a good time!! Steena, look forward to hearing all about the adventure known as : Sign Up Day…

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