"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It is official, I have lost my damn mind

In 2005, when I was training for my first triathlon with Team in Training I stumbled upon Athena Diaries. I am not sure what I put into the Google box, but I am very grateful to the Search Gods. I read her poem Why I Run and then I read her entire blog over the next couple of days. The parallels between her story and mine gave me hope that I could actually do this "sports" thing. To be honest, her story has more bad circumstances and mine has more bad choices, but both resulted in a major life transformation including education, better partner choices, and an appreciation for the life we now have.

I know it is cliche to say it changed my life, but in a way it did. It gave me hope and lit a fire. I had always secretly (VERY secretly) dreamed of being able to complete a marathon, but I thought I could never do something that required that sort of sustained effort. Reading her race reports and training trials and tribulations made me believe I could do it and as a result I have run a marathon.

When I read her IRONMAN race report. I was blown away. By the end I was speechless, crying, and blown away. Whoa. An IRONMAN. That, my friends, is some serious, balls to the wall, bad ass status!

(I am sorry. I would like to say for the record that my mother is a very classy woman and is in NO way responsible for the crass daughter she somehow raised. She would tell you that I am my father's daughter. She is right.)

Then through her blog list I also found Jane (Born Again Athlete) whose story is equally inspiring. I was immediately drawn to her honesty and humor (and let's be honest Toby, her adorable and much beloved pug, on the front page of her blog didn't hurt! I am drawn to animal people) and then I saw that she had made these HUGE gains in her fitness in one year. Her first big event was the MS150. That is a 150 mile bike ride. I have yet to ride 150 miles in one week and she rode it in ONE DAY! Now, she is doing an IRONMAN this July. In fucking Austria, no less! Whoa.

Every time I am trying to talk myself out of riding my bike, I tell myself "Jane would ride. Get your ass on that bike!"

ShirelyPerly turned 40, found her inner athlete and now kicks ass and takes names all over the country!

Alright, get to it Stacey, why have you lost your damn mind?

I am going for it.

IRONMAN in 2009

You can say it. It is ok. I have lost my damn mind.

These may be the scariest words I have ever typed, but damn it, if not now, when? I have officially registered for my first Half-Ironman distance triathlon on August 2 this summer (Barb's Race) and I have talked to my coach about getting me ready for an Ironman distance in 2009.

I am trying to decide on which Ironman. I need a late 2009 race for obvious reasons (those being that I need A LOT of time to get ready) Here are the options: I don't know much about either, so I am looking for opinions.

1. Ironman Tempe (November 2009)

Pros: In November gives me 19 months to get ready. No ocean swim, and water is supposed to be calm in the lake. Official Ironman (cool stuff)

Cons: can be hot, really hot.

2. Redman Full (September 2009)

Pros: Supposed to be a relatively fast, rolling hills course. Easier registration

Cons: Not an official Ironman event

Holy shit. I don't know if I am brave enough to post this.


Anonymous said...

I agree...you have lost your damn mind. But I will cheer you on like a damn fool anyway! WOOO HOO!!!!! IF ANYONE CAN, STACEY CAN! SWIM-BIKE-RUN, B!TCH, SMI-BIKE-RUN!

I have a running buddy here in Chicago who just amped her regimen to include her first triathalon and I'm cheering her on too. But an ironman? That does take balls, whether you own a set, or grow a set for the sole purpose of the ironman. I have no balls and will not be growing any. In fact, just completing a marathon in my circles, took balls. (for some reason I'm enjoying talking about balls. Myabe b/c it's 2am and I should be sleeping.)

Southbaygirl said...

Stacey-I'm voting for Tempe! A non-ocean swim sounds PERFECT!!! And I'm incredibly proud of you for committing yourself to such an unbelievable endeavor!!! You rock!!!

Joy | Love | Chaos said...



I don't have any experience with either of those races, but I'm terribly excited for you! YESYESYES!

Lou said...

YOU ARE MY HERO. Ever since I signed up for my very first sprint triathlon, I have been thinking "I hope I love this because I'm going to do an Ironman someday." For realz. Do the real thing... I vote for Tempe. Also, I am a firm believer that all of this (both triathlons and marathons) stuff is life changing. It changed everything for me, and I love reading people who feel the same way. Go on with your bad self!

Jane said...

YES! You should totally do it. There is plenty of time for it. Of course, I thought I was (and still am) crazy for doing an IM so soon. The half this fall should be a good gauge, then you will still have a year to prepare. Redman also does not have an absolute time cutoff. But I hear the IM company races and really something to experience. There are pros and cons to every race. Florida is a good one too (because bike and run is FLAT), but you have to swim in the ocean. I am lucky because I hear the Austria is actually an easier course. Louisville maybe? Yes, I will be your co-conspirator in this crazy adventure.

Andrea N said...

OMG!!! You HAVE lost your mind, but you know what?? You have already proven that you can do ANYTHING and I know you [b]WILL ROCK THE IRONMAN[/b]!!

So, my vote is for Tempe. If you're going to do it, do it "officially". Plus, calm water is better for you.

And yes, you know you are my hero. I mean seriously...it was YOU who inspired me to run!! So keep on with the inspiration girl!!

Calyx Meredith said...

Holy Shit!! That's AWESOME! I, of course, would put a lake swim in the CON category but to each his own dread, eh? I am bummed not to get to run "with" you in SF but what a good reason. (I felt sick to my stomach after your comment on my blog, wondering if you'd been hurt and couldn't run. SO MUCH BETTER to discover it's 'cause you're upping the ante!) Go RBR Go!! We will cheer you on every step of the way - no matter which race you choose. Oh man! IronRBR!!

Willie said...

Is that the REDMAN in Oklahoma?? Holy crap, what about the best PRO of all WILLIE LIVES THERE!!! I'm going to do the half but only the biking and running. You are crazy and my hero.

Tracy said...

Speaking of losing one's mind, I smiled all the way through reading the post but when I got to the tags "dumbass" and "ideas" I burst out laughing. You ARE crazy.

You're right. If not now, when. I've been the voice in my own head saying that a lot lately.
It's funny how something in us propels us to take on such challenges and then something else in us goes, "Holy Sh*t. WHAT am I getting myself IN to?"

I love the fact that not only are you doing this, but it gives you a serious goal to work towards that's more substantial than ("I plan to lose 5 lbs by the holidays" - not that there's anything wrong with that!)

You are awesome. Truly.

~ Tracy

PS: BTW, you're not just doing this for you. You're doing this for ALL women in your age group who have only dreamed of such a goal (no pressure or anything!) *ducking*

Calyx Meredith said...

Had to stop back by and say I'm really excited for you!! I know this is a crunch week - you said craziness until May 14th and then a break? I hope the energy of your brave declaration carries you through this week with flying colors, my friend!

Tater said...

U GEAUX GIRL!!! Tell you what ... let me know which one you are signing up for and I will too. I am signing up for the Half-IM in New Orleans April 2009. So sounds doable to do full length late that year. Keep me posted. You are the bomb!!!

ShirleyPerly said...

Wow, what incredible news!! I think with a coach and sufficient time to train, an iron distance tri is totally doable for you.

I've not done either of those races but if you're really stuck on getting the Ironman label, then do IMAZ. Redman is a full iron distance tri but for some people it's just not the same. Just depends on what it means to you.

Good luck in deciding. I'm so excited for you!