This is happening.
In exactly six months I plan on crossing the starting line– and, dammit, the finish line too!– of IRONMAN WISCONSIN with a lot of other diabetic athletes.
This can be explained in multiple parts.
A few significant anniversaries
A while ago I was on a run and letting my mind wander. My diaversary is coming up……hey, next year it’ll be on a weekend…..maybe I should do a race or something…..or maybe I should GO BIG OR GO HOME?
Which began a longer mental conversation about doing some sort of physical challenge that related to diabetes, that honored diabetes in some way. Because as much as I keep it tucked away sometimes, it is a significant challenge in my athletic (and hell, everyday) life. And it’s good for my mental health to periodically take some time and acknowledge, “This stuff can really suck! Might as well show it up and kick its ass as much as I can.”
Then I got to thinking about how I would be coming up on 10 years of Being a Runner, which is to say, a whole decade of maintaining a fitness habit. And that corresponded with the thirteenth year of managing diabetes. And for the past several years, I had been trucking along, running 1-2 marathons per year, always at a fairly average (or slower than average) time, and not REALLY pushing my boundaries.
Maybe this is the perfect time to GO BIG OR GO HOME….
Enter Jeff Mather
As I was kicking around ideas, I was emailing with my buddy Jeff about various and sundry. Or were we blog commenting about various and sundry? In any case, his devilish temptation to join an Ironteam of diabetics with team Riding on Insulin came in many forms. (I just did a quick Gmail search, and lo and behold, we’ve been talking about Ironman since 2013. Go figure!) Anyways, he threw it out there on the blog, we talked about it via email, I’m sure we tweeted and facebooked (but not snapchatted) about it too….and the idea began to take shape. How cool to participate with a team of T1s and the people who love them! Plus, Riding on Insulin is a charity headed by Michelle Page Alswager, a woman whose activism and spirit I had admired from afar for many years.
I talked it out with my darling boyfriend, who agreed that he wouldn’t mind me being a slave to weekend bricks for months on end in preparation.
So that was it. I signed up for Ironman Wisconsin (WI, because it’s home base for ROI). Across the US and Canada we have a team of 70ish triathletes, about 40 of whom also have Type 1 diabetes. There is a mix of experienced Ironpeople and noobs like me. We have a FB group where people ask about CGMs in bento boxes and talk smack about Strava stats.
In the midst of this, we are all raising money to send kids to ROI camps. I’ll talk more about why I believe in Michelle and this group in another post. For now, if you’re interested in good karma, the link to donate is here.
Fear and excitement in 3…2….1….GO!