Go Big or Go Home

Go Big or Go Home.  I love this phrase.  It’s been a mantra that I’ve used a lot in recent years:

Example A: First race I ever signed up for and ran – 2002 Philadelphia Marathon.  I didn’t see a need to run shorter distances – I wanted to run a marathon and believed I could with 3 months of training.  Longest run was 16 miles.  I finished in 3:54.

Example B: After falling during a trail race in 2009, my knee was acting up and decided to take a few weeks off from running. I signed up for my first bike “race” (more of a ride).  It was 70 miles (including the ride to/from the start/finish).  I trained for 3 weeks and finished smiling about 4 hours later (which included forced rest stops twice).

Probably not always the smartest decisions.  But I’m a big believer that you can do anything you want – as long as you want it badly enough to put in the proper time and training.  From when I was a little girl, whenever there was something I was unsure if I could do or accomplish, my mom always would ask me Why not you?  Meaning that if others could do it, then what was stopping me from doing it?  Was there a physical or mental limitation?   She said it to make me realize that nothing was stopping me from doing it – except myself.   She empowered me to believe in myself from a young age.  I could do what I wanted and succeed if I believed in myself.

So when I was asked recently if I wanted to represent a company I love and be sponsored to do a race I’ve wanted to do for SO long, how could I say no?!?

In just under 6 months, despite never doing a triathlon before, I will be competing in my first IRONMAN!!!!

It is already on my countdown app:

The back story: I’ve been signed up for several before (2010 Syracuse 70.3 Ironman and 2012 NYC Ironman) but pregnancy has prevented me from doing them both times.  I had already taken swim lessons and was swimming 3x/week in 2010 and was about a month into training this past January when  found out I was (unexpectantly) pregnant Scratching the triathlon itch was one of my Fitness Goals for 2013 – I had said in January that we couldn’t afford for me to do a full Ironman because of the costs associated with it…but I can now thanks to Got Chocolate Milk

So what does this mean for my upcoming races/training?  Nothing – at least initially.  I plan to still continue with my goals/plans for the next few races.  However, my training will change a bit – I will begin swim workouts next week (2x/week for a few weeks) and will start biking the week after (have to get mine tuned up).  Thankfully, I have Coach Troy’s spinerval DVDs to get me into cycling shape (if you haven’t tried these DVDs, you are seriously missing out!) until the weather warms up!  I will have a few 2/days for the next few months as I continue to focus on the NJ Marathon.   My plan is to transition my long runs to Friday mornings and begin brick workouts on Sundays (long bike followed by shorter run).  I’m also throwing around the idea of a half IM sometime in May to use as prep for fueling and pacing for the IM in July.

From everything I’ve read and heard, Lake Placid is considered one of the harder Ironman races because of the elevation changes in the bike and run:

But, it’s also considered one of the MOST spectator-friendly races which is great for my entire family (who I am already trying to coerce into coming with me)!!

I will keep you all updated on the news/training plan changes / sponsorship details as they become available!!

If you have any helpful tips or words of wisdom, please let me know!

Have you done an Ironman?  Do you have any interest in doing one one day?

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    59 thoughts on “Go Big or Go Home

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    2. Pingback: Two Weeks Off From Running + Scotland 10k this weekend

    3. Pingback: Race Calendar + Ironman Lake Placid Training

    4. Hey Michele! I had no idea you never did a triathlon! Ironman 70.3 Syracuse will be my first too. I wish i had your confidence! I am not afraid to try anything but i feel like this is the only time in my life i am scared of the chance (very real chance) of not finishing. When I started running last april, I was training for a tough mudder. then Stephanie convinced me i could do a half marathon. then while i was still training she was like do a full… NYC Would’ve been my first but I ended up doing harrisburg and then ING Miami 2 months later along with 2 more TM’s.. so anyway, I totally get what you mean about going big. after I finished Miami, i was just like ok now lets sign up for an ultra. Then i was like you know what, be an ironwoman….but I am second guessing myself. I even hired a swim coach bc my swimming is far from pretty and am looking into 2 smaller tri’s the 2 weekends before the IM. I have 2 months. wish me luck. but its nice to know that someone else has the same logic and that its ok to “bite off” what others can’t chew.. 😉 you’re so inspiring! I love reading your blog!
      congrats on all your success.. thank you for your service to our country… keep up the awesome work! Love it! hopefully i can see you at New jersey Marathon!!! xx

    5. Way to go! You will do great. I went from obese couch potato to sprint tri in 3 1/2 months last year, and my tri was literally the most fun I’ve ever had. I used to say I would never want to go ironman, but now it seems kind of fun. I feel like that is at least 2 years away though – I’m still obese but the weight is coming off and the training distances are going up.

    6. Congrats! This is so exciting! I can’t wait to follow your training on here. You’ve reminded me how important it is to put your dreams and goals out there to the universe and to not keep them hidden away to “happen some day” – sometimes they come together in ways we couldn’t have imagined or foreseen.

    7. Michele! This is amazing!! I’ve done a few sprint tri’s, but haven’t had the guts to tackle an Ironman. I wish you lived closer…we have some amazing places to ride up here in CT! I have been spending a lot of time on my bike trainer this winter and can’t recommend enough the spinervals DVD’s. They are great workouts!

    8. What an opportunity!! I am so excited for you! Lake Placid is beautiful, hopefully the scenery will distract you from those tough hills;) I’m looking forward to following your training.
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..This Little GuyMy Profile

    9. Very exciting!!!! I have (mostly) followed the same motto on just jumping into endurance.

      You will LOVE the Ironman experience. We have tons of 70.3 distance races in the area which are not Ironman named races, but which people like to do because of the lowered entry fees….but everyone I know who is an IM says you must do your first big race at an IM event because the experience is just so much better. Hello?! Volunteers who tear your wetsuit off and apply sunscreen. Amazing.
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    10. so awesome! congrats sooo what were the kona qualifying times for you Age Group last year (I know you know them)

    11. Damn!! Major kudos to you. This is AWESOME and can’t wait to read more about the training and eventually how the race goes. An IM is my long term goal. Once I’m out of the military and can live off my man’s earnings to devote the time to training :)

    12. Congratulations, Michelle! You will rock this! I’m excited to follow your training. Maybe I’ll get up the never to move beyond the sprint-tri….we’ll see :)

    13. how exciting!!!! i am so happy that they chose you! you will make them proud! excited to follow your journey and cheer you on from afar! :) you have worked so hard and totally deserve this!

    14. Congratulations! Biting down on Ironman is a huge step. And the training is not to be taken lightly. But when you turn iron it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, so I bet you will love it. Good call!
      Carolina John recently posted..A Roaring StartMy Profile

    15. Big news!!! I know a lot of people who have done/are doing Placid…train on hills!!! And open water swimming…once a week if you can! AN Ironman is on my life list, but I have to get over my open water panic attacks and my wetsuit swimming panic attacks…ha.
      Can’t wait to follow your training!!!!!!
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    16. CONGRATS! I am so happy for you and proud of you:) What an amazing thing to get sponsored. You deserve it and will rock this race! I can’t wait to follow you in your training:) I would eventually like to get a road bike (i have a hybrid now) and start biking more:)

    17. I got zilch for you that’s of any benefit, because I don’t like the idea of crashing from a bike (and I would), and not a fan of water (unless it involves a cabana and a drink with an umbrella nearby)

      Melissa @ Melissa Running It recently posted..Two Timing RunnerMy Profile

    18. Congratulations Michele! This definitely sounds right up your alley, you’ll do amazing. I’ve run the Lake Placid Half Marathon before (and am doing it again in June) – it’s tough terrain but absolutely gorgeous. You’ll love it!

    19. Lake Placid is perhaps my favorite small town in America.. I go often. The race should be a great time. Good for you for taking this leap! Love the confidence!
      eric recently posted..I run.My Profile

    20. hahaha I love that phrase! You continue to amaze the heck out of me!! I’m super excited to see your training and how you tackle this goal too :) I have been thinking about a triathalon, but I have never been on a tri-bike before and I swim for my life – not for fun. Big fear of open water 😉 Just another hurdle to jump over!
      beka @ Rebecca Roams recently posted..Weekly Workouts Roundup + Another injuryMy Profile

    21. This is great news but you do deserve it..BIG TIME! You are an awesome athlete and I am sure you are going to surprise yourself again and again! I love how you strive to do big things and come out on top! CONGRATULATIONS!

    22. Michele!!!!! I’m so ridiculously excited for you!! I know how much you’ve wanted to do a tri. If anyone can train and pull off a great race in 6 months, it is you. I’ve only done one tri – NYC way back in 2005. It was Olympic distance which I loved. The one piece of advice I have is to practice swimming in open water if you can, especially if that’s something newer to you. You know that I love swimming but I HATE open water swimming and literally have panic attacks. It’s crazy. And obviously Bricks too. I cannot wait to hear more!
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    23. You are such an inspiration! I am having my first baby in June and found your blog, as I am continuing to run during pregnancy. You have helped keep me motivated and I am excited to follow you on this new challenge!

    24. I am so excited you are doing Lake Placid. I would love to be virtual training partners if you are interested. There is an Ironman LP video on Youtube from last year. Check it out. And to answer your question, I am doing Boston but my training is more Lake Placid focused (4 rides and 3 swims a week) with long runs for Boston thrown in.
      Robin recently posted..Ironman Lake Placid–Six Months to Go!My Profile

    25. Wow! That is so exciting. Congrats! I’ve got no real words of wisdom for you besides just believe in yourself. I’m sure you already know that and know that you can do this!

      You will be an IRONMAN!

    26. I am so excited for you!!! I just know you will rock it.

      I thought about doing a half IM but not sure I can dedicate the time to train for it. Maybe next year, I can really put some serious thought in to it!
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    27. So excited for you! I did LP waaaay back in 1999 (first year of race) and absolutely loved it. Perfect location, perfect fans, perfect course. You’ll love every minute of it.

      Funny, too, b/c Coach Troy was my coach for this race and he was up there to watch me. Also, I am in the very first Spinvervals video (No Slackers Allowed). Get his DVD of the LP course and ride it!

      Awesome news!
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