Lodge – Anything is possible | SkyHiNews.com

Lodge – Anything is possible

Kristen Lodge / Outdoor Adventures
Grand County, CO Colorado

I won the lottery.

Not the lottery where you get a pile of money; the one where a triathlete sits online trying to gain entry into the big race: Ironman Arizona. The athlete pays active.com $550; I am lucky – I get into Ironman Arizona Nov. 21, 2010. Entry for all Ironman races is the day after race day, for the following year. Most races typically sell out on the Internet in the first few hours; Ironman Arizona sold out in 25 minutes.

There are eight Ironman races in the United States including the world championship in Kona, Hawaii. Ironman is a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.2-mile run. I aspire to finish everyone – some day.

I finished my first Ironman this past June, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; it was one of the best days of my life. Crossing the finish line after 13 1/2 hours of swimming, biking, and running was amazing.

Ironman Arizona is my second Ironman race and I’m doing it again because I love what training and finishing Ironman did for my life this past year.

I met incredible people during my year training for Coeur d’Alene. I loved walking into the YMCA pool on cold, winter mornings, and knowing many of the people swimming laps, and talking about training with them. I looked forward to weekly long bike rides with bike partner, George; riding hundreds of hilly, windy miles. I waved to the snowplows as I ran up and down the hills by my house; then, in spring, running past the herd of mule deer.

Grand County is the best place to train for endurance sports with its constant wind, hilly terrain, extreme temperatures, great bike loops, and most of all, high-altitude training. All of these factor helped prepare me for race day.

I want to do Ironman again because finishing the race reinforced my belief that when a person trains and prepares mind and body, anything can be accomplished. I signed up for Ironman Arizona because I want another “best day of my life” day.

When I need to be inspired after a particularly tough training day or when feel deflated after a bad workout, I look to a community of triathletes who blog about their training. Jonathan Liljeblad wrote this blog post a year ago and it has stayed with me.

“Ironman is Not a Superhero: Ironman is anybody who’s ever dreamed of becoming more, who’s ever wanted to become better than what they are now, who’s ever desired to find out the kind of person they were meant to be.

“Ironman is anybody who’s then decided to act, and picked themselves up, and opened the door, and gone outside, and taken the first step of many steps … towards the number of 140.6 as marked in miles, on a journey that will ultimately last a lifetime. Ironman is anybody. Ironman is you.”

Don’t you feel like you could do anything after reading this? Read more posts about Ironman life at http://www.jonathaninthedistance.blogspot.com

Anything is Possible, the marketing people of Ironman say. I believe it. With a goal, a plan, and supportive people, anyone can do Ironman.

You sign up one year before the big day, and on race day you just do it. You do your nutrition. You swim and breathe for 2.4 miles. You spin for 112 miles, and finish by placing one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles. At the finish the crowd cheers, there is an announcement that you are Ironman, and if you’re lucky, you have someone waiting for you, and the celebration begins.

My parents were my support team at Coeur d’Alene. They flew to Idaho from New Hampshire to help me before and after race day. Knowing they were there during and after the race was instrumental for a great day. I hope they come to Arizona. I hear Tempe is beautiful in November.

I look forward to 140.6 miles for the challenge, for the fun; to believe that anything is possible.

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