This week's spotlight is on Colleen of IRONDIVA (here). After you finish reading her interview, head on over to her blog and say hello!
Jodi: How long have you been running/swimming/biking?
Colleen: I played soccer through college so I’ve always been active, but I started running in 2003. I decided to train for a half marathon. Shortly before my race, I met my now-husband who was a runner and he convinced me to sign up for a marathon that fall. I ran for 2 years, occasionally biking, but started dabbling in tri’s in 2006. I was bored with the monotony of running alone and liked mixing it up.
Jodi: Why did you start running/swimming/biking?
Colleen: I started running to lose weight. I had been on weight watchers and needed something to help me earn more food points in the day! :) After running exclusively for a few years and battling a few injuries, I decided to take up biking. My inlaws are big bikers so they got me into it. My father-in-law is a 10 time Ironman and the thought of a tri intrigued me. I taught myself to swim and then just put it all together to keep things interesting.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Colleen: I’ve been running for 8 years, biking for 7 years and doing tri’s for 5.5 years.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Colleen: I love half marathons when it comes to running. I feel like I can push the pace a little and it’s still strategic in terms of pacing, but when I’m done, I can still function. In terms of triathlon, I’d have to say that my favorite distance is a half Ironman. It’s not a full out sprint, but your still racing hard for 5+ hours. The distances also seem just right… you never get bored.
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Colleen: Crossing the finish line of Ironman Florida 2008. My entire family was there (17 people) and I literally smiled for 13 hours and 22 minutes. My cousin ran a few miles at the end with me and left me with one mile to go. I literally cried the entire last mile as people said “you are going to be an Ironman today”. I felt like I was floating. It’s amazing how light you feel that last 100 yards of an Ironman and how you can’t hear anything!
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Colleen: Ironman Louisville 2010 – it was 97 degrees and they ran out of water from miles 60-100 of the bike. I ended up getting super dizzy and couldn’t get my world to stop spinning. After walking 9 miles in 3.5 hours, I pulled myself from the race, knowing I wouldn’t make the finish line. Since I pulled myself out of the race instead of medical pulling me, I live with a little bit of doubt each day that I should have tried to keep going.
Jodi: What is your proudest running/swimming/biking moment to date?
Colleen: I think it would be a toss up between finishing my first marathon hand-in-hand with my future husband which seemed like such a daunting task at the time and crossing the line at the Ironman which seemed daunting to all of my supporters.
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run/swim/ride?
Colleen: I actually have three things – one for each sport. Running, my SPI belt to carry my nutrition, mp3, keys, etc. Biking, my pink sunglasses or else my eyes will water like crazy. And swimming, my SWIMP3. I’ve even started using it in the open water swims that I do during training at the lake.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Colleen: Recently, it’s been oatmeal cream pies. Horrible, I know, but I have a hard time stomaching a lot of the gels and whatnot. I find that I like solid foods when I race and these seem to give me that calorie boost I need and are easy to digest. On shorter runs or rides, I stick with sports beans (watermelon and cherry are my favorite)
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Colleen: I’m always craving french fries. It must be something with the salt that I love.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Colleen: My husband. A year after we met, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, leaving him insulin dependent for the rest of his life. At the time, he was training for his 7th marathon and wanting to get into triathlons. While so many people told him that he couldn’t do endurance sports anymore because of his disease, he’s gone on to finish dozens of tris, a half a dozen marathons, four Ironman races, and be part of a world record Team Type 1 Race Across America team for two years. He’s never let someone tell him he can’t do something. And he’s my biggest cheerleader.
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Colleen: I can, therefore I will.
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run/swim/bike I feel ________.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Colleen: I’m looking forward to 2011 as a speed year. For the past 3 years I’ve been deep into Ironman training so I find that it’s a lot of long slow miles. This year, the longest race is a half Ironman so I’m hoping to just get faster. I have three time goals – a 1:45 half marathon, a sub 4 marathon, and a sub 5:40 half Ironman. Anything else will be icing on the cake!
And of course one of the best parts of Thumbs Up Thursday...the pictures!!
Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Colleen! Best of luck achieving your three time goals for 2011 and may you also get the icing on your cake!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Colleen YOU inspire ME!!