31 days: 11 down, 1 to go

I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Only one month away! Raised so far: $9,032! Want to increase this total? Chip in a few bucks to one of our causes here!

11 down, 1 to go

11 months ago today I kicked off my one-year challenge to race in Ironman Lake Tahoe while raising $10,000 for some really great charities. From the perspective of 11 months in the rearview mirror, I am pleased. We’ve come a long, long way. Hundreds of miles have been logged on the roads and in the water. Many generous souls have donated to our cause (less than $1,000 to go!)

Of course, there have been bumps along the way. Marathon training was going great in late 2012… and then the injury bug hit – a rolled ankle on an unmarked curb, pulled calf muscles and a strange hamstring/knee tightness. Then LASIK surgery sidelined me for a couple of weeks over the holidays. Followed immediately by a few months of all-consuming work obligations. And let’s not forget the nasty virus that sidelined me in late April through early May.

Even with these obstacles and the poor/no training, I was still able to knock off a decent half-marathon (February – Pasadena Rock’N’Roll – 1:29:02), a painfully imploded but still respectable marathon (March – Napa Valley Marathon – 3:20:33), a surprisingly acceptable and difficult half-Ironman while fighting a nasty virus (May – Ironman 70.3 St George – 5:33:08), and an age group win in a local sprint triathlon (June – Redondo Beach Triathlon – 0:48:58). Plus a really great July event at the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage.

Training for these events wasn’t quite as robust as planned, but I can’t bemoan the results given the obstacles. Right now I feel fairly comfortable that training for the Ironman is about on pace. I can swim, bike, and run vast distances, many days each week. My running and cycling speeds are as fast as I’ve ever been. My swim speed isn’t quite where I’d like it (in fact, it’s taken a step back over the past month), but I’m working diligently now on fixing that.

There have even been bumps in the fundraising process. There were long periods between fundraising events where the donations slowed from a trickle… to nothing. Only for the deluge of an event (Ragnar, TFAC Wine Tasting Challenge, and other miscellaneous fundraising challenges) to get us back on track.

Looking back over the past 11 months, I can’t help but express pleasure and gratitude for these results. It’s taken a village to get this far.

Looking forward, though, I can’t help but panic. Only 1 month until the big race day!

Am I ready!? The bike and run are certainly fast right now… but am I strong enough to last 112 miles on the bike and then run 26.2 miles? Can I really swim 2.4 miles in the cold, open expanses of Lake Tahoe? Can I swim fast enough? How is the altitude going to impact me? Are we ever going to raise that last $1,000 for charity?

The only way to know for sure is to tackle each of the next 31 days with reckless abandon. A planned reckless abandon, where ambitious goals are set and accomplished every day. With the promise of a finisher’s medal hanging around my weary neck at the end of it all…

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