Currently viewing the category: "Athlete Stories"

aaron at naperville marathon 2015by Aaron A.

When I signed up for my first marathon six years ago, I figured I would start with just doing one and see how it goes. After finishing that one I said I would run the marathon five times. The logic was simple. The 5th marathon would be when I turned 40 and what a better way to celebrate than with five marathons under your belt. (Well … that and beer. :-) )

Going into each marathon, Coach Joe always told me that there is just one goal. “To finish. Unless they are physically putting you into the ambulance you keep going.” To this day I tell myself that at the start of every race, no matter what the distance, but deep down I really wanted to run a sub 4 hour marathon. After the first three marathons of 4:30, 4:48 and 4:30 again, that 4 hour mark seemed impossible to get to and the wall keep hitting me at mile 20.

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maggie at naperville half 2015by Maggie W.

On Sunday, November 8, 2015 I became a half marathoner at the Naperville Half Marathon AND I became an official team member of Experience Triathlon (ET).

I was excited to run my first half marathon because it was a new and challenging goal for me. I had never considered myself a runner, and yet I decided to train hard for this new goal. As a result, I knew I was going to have a great race. Besides, I was guaranteed to set a PR!

However, what I did not know that was going to help inspire me through the race was seeing the ET Cheer Crew and Coach Joe on the course cheering their athletes on. Every time I saw them (three times total in 13.1 miles!), I thought to myself how they would soon be cheering me on – especially because my first meeting with Coach Joe was that same afternoon! It was so reassuring to see the ET Cheer Crew and know that they support their athletes above and beyond.

Unfortunately, my husband and I did not have anyone out on the course cheering us on that day – but we had each other, and I knew I had my future team cheering me on.

amanda at ironman wisconsinby Amanda M.

As I stood enraptured by the athletes crossing the finish line at the 2014 Ironman Wisconsin I knew that my journey to the 2015 Ironman Wisconsin had already begun. I did not know their names. I did not know their stories. But I knew everything I needed to just seeing the emotion as each athlete crossed the finish line. It was clear that I would do everything in my power to hear the words “You ARE an IRONMAN.”

Fast forward to the end of June. Training had been going exceptionally well and I was gearing up for Racine 70.3 in mid-July. Then, a curveball. Despite my coach’s warning, I stepped outside of my little Ironman bubble and played a game of pickup softball. I proceeded to break my foot (yes, we did win the game). I gave myself 24 hours to wallow and after that it was time to get back to work. I’ve always believed that you can find a positive in every situation and this was no exception. My body was able to recover from the 7+ months of training. I was more focused. I was more motivated. I was back on my bike and in the pool within 2 weeks of surgery. I was running 4 weeks after that. Training was back on track and I was more determined than ever to not only finish Madison, but to do well.

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susan TC 4by Susan G.

After having no desire to race during the 2015 triathlon season, I entered the lottery for the Twin City 10 Mile “Shortcut to the Capitol” on a whim. The lottery entry got me very excited and as luck would have it, I got in!   Finally, I was excited about a race and eager to begin training.

Of course, training took place during the hot months of July and August. I struggled through the heat and sometimes felt defeated and didn’t think I could make it through the 10 mile race. But I was determined and the lottery entry was proof that I was going to run this race.   I made it through some crazy training runs, including one where I ran out of water, another where I struggled through the hills of northern Wisconsin and several that had me avoiding skunks.

As the race got closer and closer, I began getting very emotional about the race. A postcard came in the mail and I began to tear up, my friend texted me that she would be at the race – I cried – and of course when I learned that this year would be the 30th anniversary of my dad running the marathon on the same course I cried like a little girl. I remembered watching him and thinking that what he was doing was so impossible. But I still wanted to try.

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drew ironmanby Drew R.

I’m a big fan of pizza. I don’t mean that I like to have the occasional slice of pizza with friends. Because that would mean I’d have to share my pizza. Nope, I like to fill my plate with pizza and stuff it into my face until I look like a six foot two inch deranged squirrel with mozzarella hanging out of my mouth and marinara sauce on my chin. It’s probably a character defect, but we’ll call it a quirk because that sounds nicer.

What does this have to do with Ironman? Well, training for an Ironman means that you can eat all the pizza you like!! OK, no it doesn’t actually mean that. Not when you’re married to the ET Team Dietitian, Laurie Schubert. But it does mean that you can have it slightly more often than usual since you’re burning a lot (A LOT) of calories with your training. And wow, there’s a lot of training to do if you want to do it right.

Fortunately for me, I had a couple of advantages on my side as I prepared for my first ever Ironman triathlon. For one, there was my lovely wife and biggest cheerleader, Laurie. She goes above and beyond to make sure I eat right on a daily basis, and that I am prepared for all of my long workouts and races. My other big advantage was being a part of the Experience Triathlon team and ET Personal Coaching services. Thanks to my relationship with ET, I have a highly experienced and capable coach laying out the workout plan that was going to take me – one time couch potato with a fear of deep water and no particular athletic ability – to a level of fitness I never believed possible. To complement that, I had a circle of friends with the experience to help me find success as well as the support and camaraderie to make some of those grueling long workouts much more enjoyable.

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Naperville based Experience Triathlon is a leader in the endurance services industry. Our tag line, “Where being a winner is as important as being the winner,” highlights our belief that training, racing and life are about the journey, not just the end results. We provide endurance coaching services, classes, clinics, clubs, camps, race events, nutrition coaching, massage therapy and performance testing to athletes in the Chicago area and around the world. MORE

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