When I first started blogging in 2006 and joined a network of running bloggers (Running Blog Family [RBF] in da house!)  I would find inspiration in their daily musings.  I guess because I started running in order to train for a marathon -  sort of the end all be all running races back then - I felt like an insider.  I got what they were saying even if they were faster or more advanced than I.  I was one of them. They were like me. We were runners... we got it.

*pops collar.  wipes dirt off of shoulder*

It was then that I discovered triathlon and stumbled upon a new group of bloggers.  They were a group of not only triathletes, but a mix of Ironman veterans and Ironmen in training.  I was enamored with their ability to not only run a marathon, but to have run a marathon after riding 112 miles (on a bike!  At one time!) after swimming 2.4 miles (in open water!) before that.  What?  I mean Who. Does. That.? 

Two people who I found very inspiring and entertaining in particular were Tracy (Iron Wil) and Sara (Trisaratops). 

I was always looking inwards from the outside, being so positive that I was never going to be one of them.  My feeling was more that I was not capable of being one of them,  not that I lacked the desire to be.  I didn't understand their bricks and their hours (and hours and hours) of bike riding or their swimming workouts but I really wanted to deep down, only I would never admit it out loud. 

 "Never in a million years!" I would shout.    "But secretly... in my dreams..." I would whisper.

While reading through the blogs of Wil and Sara daily, I saw such excitement and determination in their journey.  I was hooked even if I was never going to do an Ironman.  I wanted to feel something like that myself.  Never an Ironman of course *wink* but someday I wanted to be able to put myself out there both mentally and physically just to see what I was capable of; to see if I was capable of anything at all.  

"Never in a million years an Ironman!"  "But secretly... in my dreams...just maybe."


Back in 2006 when I first read about this amazing thing called Ironman Wisconsin, I could not imagine riding a bike more than 12 miles let alone 112.  Nor could I imagine riding a bike on any sort of hills.  All of the hills.  THOSE HILLS.   Seeing the emotions and being given insight into the mind of these aspiring ultra triathletes stuck with me all of these years.  My admiration for their journey was recently rekindled due to my own journey to Ironman (and now Ironman Wisconsin).

I have been re-reading the blog of Trisaratops because her enthusiasm and excitement was what spoke the clearest to me and my dreams, and I love seeing the path to 140.6 miles unfold again through her eyes. Unfortunately Wil's blog is now locked out to the public, but if I ever get the chance I want her to know that she as well had a part in the Ironman that I have become.


Here I stand on the cusp of another adventure, one that leads me back to the beginning.  Back to the exact race that had me screaming and whispering 7 years ago.   Never in a million years, I said.   Ironman freaking Wisconsin.  


Friday morning I leave for the hills of Madison to swim in Lake Monona, to ride those hills and to run the course as part of the WiBA - Wisconsin Brick Adventure - training weekend.    I get to see the transition area for the first time and overlook the lake and hilly terrain.  I get to feel the wind, the sun, the rain, the whatever that may come my way.   I get to see for myself, through my eyes, what is at the end of the next year.  And then I get to look forward to September when I return to cheer on my dear friend Vickie at her round 2 to tame the beast that is Madison, and to stand in line with 2000+ other people to put my money and my intentions where my heart is and sign my name on that dotted line,  to once again become an Ironman.  


While this is not my first Ironman, this is the race that started it all for me thanks to those two souls who bared it all and gave me the courage to dream a little louder. 


Until Next time...
Iron Seashell