My Ironman Journey – 2019

It’s been a few years since I’ve been blogging regularly. I’m not saying I’m back, but I’ve been thinking about blogging again and I have something important on my mind, so I figured I’d put this down and see if it sticks.

There are a few important things to discuss, and I want to put the most important here at the top – this is the 5th anniversary of running in RunAPalooza in Asbury Park, and we are again raising money for Special Olympics. I’m hoping this will be my biggest fundraising year ever since I want to combine the run with my entire 2019 Ironman journey, which I will get to in a second. If you’d like to contribute to my 2019 efforts and support Special Olympics, please donate on our team personal page – I thank you in advance for your generosity!

So, now onto my 2019 Ironman journey. In late 2012, my daughter Naomi said she’d like to do a triathlon, and she’d like to do one with me. The only problem is that I didn’t know how to swim! I’ve documented this journey before, suffice it to say that I did learn (the first half of 2013), and we did our first Triathlon in July 2013. That was a Sprint, which is the shortest “official” triathlon, but still was a huge challenge that I was very psyched to complete.

Of course, both Naomi and I caught the triathlon bug and we’ve since done many more. I personally have done 2 Sprints, 5 Olympics and 2 Half-Ironman triathlons. This is in addition to the various other races – half marathons, 2.4 mile swims, my first full marathon in 2018, lots of biking events including my first ever 100 mile bike ride in 2017.

This year I have decided to try a full Ironman, which will complete the full cycle of triathlon events. A full Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and then a full marathon (26.2 miles). It is commonly known as “140.6” since that’s the number of miles you travel in the event. A Half-Ironman is known as a 70.3 since it’s exactly half the distance of a full Ironman.

Training for a Half or Full Ironman requires a lot of time and dedication. I have already spent countless hours riding, running and swimming, with many more to come. I do not like working out with music in my ears, so my workouts have become my Zen or thinking time, where I work through various challenges and/or questions that consume my thoughts. One of the recurring themes that I keep coming back to is how training for an Ironman is like (and unlike) running a Startup, which many of you know is another passion of mine.

So, if I get so inspired, I am going to try to blog this year about my thoughts about training and startups (and sales). I hope I can do this and I hope you find it interesting.

Let’s come back to RunAPalooza – this is an event I learned about from a new friend I made 5 years ago – Manolo Teijelo. Manolo is a fireplug, always on, and tons of energy! We have gone from a single team of 5 people to FOUR TEAMS this year! And we’ve been raising thousands of dollars for Special Olympics, which is an amazing charity that Andrea and I have been donating to for 25+ years. So, it’s nothing but goodness and I look forward to this event every year.

It also marks the beginning of my training events for the year as I get ready for Eagleman Maryland (a Half Ironman) in June 2019 and Ironman Maryland (a Full Ironman) in September 2019. Here’s a look at the official events I’ll be doing this year:

4/6/2019 – RunaPalooza (6 miles of a marathon)
4/14/2019 – Rutgers Half Marathon (13.2 miles, with Naomi)
5/25/2019 – Spring Lake 5 (5 mile run – with Andrea for the first time!)
5/26/2019 – Navesink or Swim (2.4 miles, with Naomi and our friend David)
6/9/2019 – Eagleman Half-Ironman (Maryland) – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run (with Naomi)
7/21/2019 – NJ Olympic Triathlon (1500 yard swim, 25 mile bike, 10K run) – with Naomi. And Andrea is doing the Sprint on Saturday!
9/28/2019 – Maryland Ironman (Maryland) – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

To make this all even more exciting, in August our family will be in Africa visiting Aliza, who is stationed there for the Peace Corps. So, I will try to train with the safari animals!

A very exciting year indeed, and I’m dedicating all of this years efforts to two sets of people who both mean a lot to me:

  • My Dad, who in 2018 had a terrible blood infection that nearly killed him, but he has since recovered and is working hard to stay healthy and strong. His ability to withstand pain and to work so hard to get better at his age is a tremendous inspiration. I’d like to think my work effort comes from him in no small degree
  • The absolutely amazing people who run and participate in the Special Olympics. When I am going through a challenging workout, I sometimes think of the athlete’s that participate in SO – they have so many more obstacles in front of them than I do, and yet they excel and put in all that work. It’s just awe-inspiring.

I ask you to do two things for me this year. First, please inspire and motivate me to write these blog posts and give me feedback so I can learn from you all. Second, please donate what you can to Special Olympics in support of my efforts at RunAPalooza in support of Manolo’s Maniacs (our team name) as well as my ongoing efforts all year in support of my first Ironman in September. I hope to see you all on the other side!!