My IronMan journey by Melanie Mitchell

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I’ve been holding on to this sappy message for a couple of days now debating on whether I should sent it or not.  But then again why not.  I’m known to speak my mind (oh oh) and people don’t compliment each other often enough. This journey is far from being over and there’s still 7 weeks left before the big day but I need to thank you and let now how amazing I think you all are. So, here it is.

In March 2011, after spinning at Neworld for maybe a good 3 weeks, I made the decision to purchase a road bike and take up a new sport. Not knowing where this would take me, I gave it a shot…

I was surrounded by so many triathletes who seemed to have so much fun, that I made another decision.  Greg Pace became my coach, I joined TcOB and, the crazy part of my decision, signed up for an Ironman… Hmmmmmmm!!!!!   I had no clue what to expect.  Oh well, again, why not.  How hard can this be?  I was already an ok runner, loved to swim and had been on a bike before.   Well, let me tell you, my definition of “being on a bike” couldn’t have been more wrong.  My first day with my new bike, with shoes that clipped into pedals and padded shorts, I was ready to hit the road… and that I did… many times… Ouch!  It took a couple of falls for my brain to finally understand that I had to unclip when I stopped the bike (and I thought I was smart – not!!).  So, not only did I look like a total beginner/loser, I also wasn’t able to keep up to any of you.  You were all so fast.  I was ready to give up because I thought….. “I’m not good enough to be starting a sport like this…what was I thinking?  – I should just stick to running”.  But then again, there you all were, always giving me the courage and the confidence to continue and to never give up.

Many months have passed since I clipped my shoes in those pedals.  It’s been an “expensive” year filled with tears, good laughs, WTFs and very disgusting gels, but so worth it.  On July 22nd 2012, I will be with some of you and over 2500 other athletes competing in IRONMAN Lake Placid, NY. OMG

I’ve been training with some of you for just over a year and others for just a couple of weeks but to my amazing coach Greg and to ALLof you who have been like my personal coach, A VERY BIG THANK YOU… You’re all still faster than me but I wouldn’t have gotten this far without all of your support, your encouragement, your coaching, your tips, your techniques, your inspiration and stories of your races.  It is truly amazing to see the excitement and enthusiasm that everyone has for an event that someone else is about to do or has already completed.  And even though we do this sport as individuals, you always feel like part of the team when you train together in the pool, spin classes, core classes, and on the road out for a bike ride or run.

Other than loving the fact that I can eat what I want, I sometimes ask myself why I’ve taken on such a challenge… I don’t have an answer.  Everyone has their own personal reasons for taking on something as big as this.   I am sure one day I will find my true reason…  For the moment, all I know is that I saw the beauty of this sport through your eyes and smiles.

Hopefully you will all be waiting for me at the finish line with a big smile on your faces, a gallon of Caesar mix, a bottle of Grey Goose and a straw.  Damn it I’m so scared that I think I’ll need to down the bottle of Grey Goose before the race starts.

A new Tri Bike: $4,000.00 plus, plus, plus.

My entry fee for this race: $650.00

A place to stay: $750.00…

The support I’m receiving from all of you and the amazing friends I made along the way… PRICELESS!!

Thanks so much

Melanie (and hopefully in approximately 7 weeks… Ironman)