My Road to Kona at age 66

I called my boss back in January and told him about my plans to retire at the end of the year.  I started working at JUGS Sports on a 2 week temporary job which turned into 34 years. He asked what I plan on doing with my time afterwards.  I told him that I will then have the time to do my training for the Ironman that was on my bucket list.

The following day he called me and said how impressed he was hearing of my lofty goal. He then went on to say that if I did qualify for Kona he would pay all of our expenses associated with the trip!  There’s my carrot.

I spent a lot of time researching the different qualifying races to see what would be my best fit.  I do not do well in the heat so that was a factor, the time of year was important so my husband could attend.  His busy season is in the spring.  I wanted somewhat of a challenge on the bike and a fairly easy run portion.  The swim wasn’t too much of a factor.  So, Louisville 2018 here I come.

The chances of qualifying are very slim but you never know who else will show up at any given year.  I followed along with my age group this year and there were 3 finishers out of 5.  Top time was 13:25 (no way can I best that), 15:34 (there’s a possibility) and 16:02.  I am thinking my only chance to qualify is to have it roll down to me.

Who knows what lies ahead in the next year.  I’m so excited to begin this journey.  My biggest challenge is to stay away from i-n-j-u-r-y.  I hate to almost say the word.  I have had my share of set backs.  But I plan on doing things right with this.  I searched out a coach, Gary Walleson, here in the Portland area.  I had heard that he works well with the older athlete.  We have met up a couple of times already and am excited for our  next get together this week to lay out my winter plans.

Gary has already helped in many ways.  Advising me to do a LOT of hiking and he means a lot.  He says it builds up the small muscles that are important for running.  It has already paid off.  I haven’t really been running a lot but doing a lot of walking hiking) and raced a 5K this past week and felt sooo good through the whole race and ended with a good time for me of 9:09 min miles.   He also sold me, at a really amazing price, a set of Zipp 303’s with a power tap hub.  I am soooo excited about having these on my bike!

I’ll update after we meet as to what my winter conditioning and workouts will look like.