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Get Your Motor Running... I have fought the 'battle of the bulge' for many, many years. When I first moved to Spokane, Washington, I had never run more than 3 miles in a day, nor ridden my bike for more than 10 miles in a day. When I started Massage School, one of the services that the students provided was free massage to the runners of Bloomsday and the athletes who competed in Spokane's Troika Triathlon.

I was inspired by the Triathletes, but given the limited distances, I didn't think I could ever do it. "A mile swim, I know I can do that." I had increased my distance to competition in a few 10-K runs. I had been riding longer distances, going up to 35 miles. 52 mile bike ride; maybe I can do that. But I could never run a half marathon. My massage instructor agreed, I could never to that. And, the gauntlet was thrown. Head Out on the Highway...

I began training secretly. The following August, I was unable to compete in the Troika because of life's little complications. But the next year, I finished my first 'tin man' Triathlon: 1 mile swim, 50 mile ride and 13.1 mile run. I had been running with two women who were training for the Portland marathon, and I was challenged to go along with them.

During my 'career' as an athlete, I finished Troika five times and finished 10 marathons. I peaked out in 1989, when I went up to Penticton, British Columbia, and successfully survived Ironman Canada: 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles bike ride and a full marathon, 26.2 miles.

I never claimed to be fast: I was always a 'same day' finisher, but I can say I'm one in a million, because I did the Ironman. Sadly, I lost my incentive and started to put on weight when I cut way back on my training.

But, for the last few years, and I've been working on coming back. I finished Spokane's Bloomsday run in in 2002 in one hour and 33 minutes (shaving 15 minutes off of my previous year's time) and again improved in 2003, finishing in one hour and 25 minutes. In the summer of 2002, I rode my bike almost 1,300 miles.

My natural element... In 2004, I had a minor set-back: I broke a toe! So, no running for a few weeks. And, road riding, with standing on the bike going up hills, is also out. Fortunately, I live a block north of Corbin Park, so I can ride my bike around a relatively flat track (make bike go fast for miles and miles). I was reminded to work on my cadence (not quite up to 90rpm yet!) which, even at a lower gear, brought immediate results in an increase in speed. So, even if I can't ride in the world, I'm getting some very good training rides in!

Also in 2004, I got to view the sport of Triathlon from the other side: I was a volunteer at the Couer d'Alene Ironman, working at the swim-to-bike transition and the bike-to-run transition. Man, those volunteers work hard! It was refreshing to see that most of the competitors are as polite to the volunteers as I always tried to be!

It's an amazing sport; they're a bunch of amazing athletes (with incredible equipment!). I'm hoping to be back among them soon!



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