Social Networking

St. George on My Mind

It has been just under a year since I made the decision that I wanted to do a full Ironman triathlon.  Originally I wanted to try and do it this year but I felt it was important to do at least one 70.3 before I did a 140.6.  And since you have to sign up for most Ironman a full year in advance, it meant I can’t do one until 2012. As a result I am watching a bunch of my new friends (people I have met since I have started this journey) getting ready to do Ironman St. George tomorrow, and it has me excited.  For some people this will be their first and for others it is just the first for the year!

Many of them have been tweeting the last couple days about tapering for the race, getting their bikes tuned up one last time, packing their snacks for the ride, and even sharing pictures of their transition bags .  Their excitement is fueling my fire to continue to train for something that is still a year away.  I am not a patient person so planning for something that is a year away is tough.  Yesterday, the biggest inspiration came from a friend  in the form of an email that was sent out to a bunch of us.  It read as follows:

“I can’t believe the big day is finally here! Ironman St. George will start at 7 am Saturday May 7th (6 am in CA, 9 am in NH). I have been training hard for 7 months now and am both nervous and excited. Yesterday was very windy making for a cold, choppy swim and windy bike ride. Today there is no wind and the water was warmer (62) and flat, perfect for race day conditions! I’m hoping for a windless day on Saturday even though the highs look to be about 90 when we start the marathon. I am hoping to complete the course in under 11 1/2 hours, but weather among other things will play a part in my time. St. George is a beautiful town and I am racing with several really good friends so whatever the outcome it will be a incredible day. The journey getting here has been amazing and I am a different person because of it. I love everything about this crazy race called the Ironman, the friends I have made and what it has shown me about myself. The journey getting here has been amazing and I am a different person because of it.

Many of you have asked about following my race on Saturday. You can go to and at the top of the page will be a header for St. George and a subtitle that says Athlete Tracker. Click on that and you can put in either my name or my bib # which is 262 (very lucky #, 26.2 miles in a marathon!). There will be an update after the swim and then several throughout the ride and run course.

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement over the past year and for understanding all of the things I have missed due to training. It will all be worth it this Saturday. And to all the moms out there, have a very Happy Mothers Day!”

All I could think of was the letter I will get to write next year! One more year and it will be my turn!

Good luck to those racing tomorrow!  I can’t wait to hear your stories of how your day went becoming an Ironman!

One of my friends who is competing tomorrow found a shirt for me!

One of my teammates tweeted this picture. I am so jealous!

Say it

I have written before about how much support I have gotten from social networking (Twitter, Dailymile, Facebook, etc…).  This week was yet another case of that.  I am thinking about taking my running to a new place; off the road and onto the trails.  And thanks to finding someone local that has a passion for trail running I am considering doing an ultra distance event on the trails.

I have met some awesome people/athletes through Twitter and the Dailymile that have experience with doing ultras.  I tweeted them this week to say I was thinking about doing a 50K and I got a reply that really helped me commit to it. “Which one? & what’s this “might” stuff? Go for it!! See it, say it, Make it Happen!!” was the reply.  It was the “say it” part that got me charged up.  Once you “say it” in one of these social environments, your support group (crew) immediately grows; as does the accountability level.  Having those people to lean on for support and watch over you as you train will help keep me honest in my training.  It motivates me in a way I never knew possible!

I am so lucky to have connected with people that share this passion.  What will you all help me do next? I’m gonna need you big time for my first full Ironman in 2012!

It takes a village (or at least 344 followers and 183 friends)

WARNING!!!! The sappy-factor maybe a little high in this post.

One of the things I had found missing in my training was people who understood me.  Up until very recently it was common for many of the people in my life to ask me “why?” Why do you want to run? Why do you get up so early? Why would you do a marathon? Why would you want to do an Ironman? I didn’t have enough people that understood why I was was running or training.  I had a few people I trained with who got it but I still felt like I needed more support.  Specifically support from people who understood what I was going through.

Enter social networking.  I had been active on Facebook  for awhile but that was mostly to keep in touch with those in my life that I no longer could see or talk to on a regular basis.  But I needed contact with people like me; not just people from my past/present.  So someone told me about Dailymile.  I joined and started logging my workouts.  Loved it! But once I finally started twitter it all came together.  I am now surrounded by a community (a village, if you will) of people “like me”.  People who understand why I get sad after a big race is over.  People who understand why taking a day or two off from training can feel like the end of the world.  People who get excited when you sign up for an even bigger challenge than the last.  With the use of  sites, geography doesn’t matter!  You can connect with anyone almost anywhere.

So I am thankful for the people I have met and those I haven’t yet.  It is because of you that I will accomplish things that I never thought I would.

*Picture was taken by one of my village people (@Quadrathon) of @bfrein , me, and my husband on a ride.