Hello, everyone! Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm not going to lie...I've tried started a blog two or three times before and I've given up after a few entries. This time will be different because I have a cause fueling the fire!
This first entry is to just familiarize you with this whole Team in Training concept. I first heard about this organization from one of my college roommates, Emily Ferner...well, now it's Emily Elmore!
Lauren Rinck. She started out with a Team in Training Triathlon a few years back and now she is a professional Triathlete! Way to go, Lauren!
Team in Training (TNT) exists to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma. It also looks to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. There are currently more than 747,000 Americans living with blood cancer and every ten minutes a life is claimed by it. Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death in children between the ages of 1-15. The good news is that the survival rate has risen from 4% in 1960 to 86% in the last decade. This is in part due to the money that The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has raised to aid researchers in their fight to find cures for this disease.
TNT is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's largest fund-raising program, bringing in nearly 98 million dollars this past year alone. Each participant in the program pledges to raise a certain amount of money during the 4-5 months they train for their event. I have set a personal goal to raise at least $5,000 for doing the Oklahoma City Redman Triathlon and 75% of every dollar spent at the Society goes to research, patient services and education. I am raising money in honor of a few family friends. As soon as I get a few pictures, I will post their stories in a future entry, so please stay tuned! In the meanwhile, here is my personal fundraising page. You can donate online through the website...so please pass it along! http://pages.teamintraining.org/ntxok/retriokc11/esuttonsjd
TNT offers nearly endurance events including marathons, cycling, and triathlons. I enjoy running but I wouldn't go as far to say that I LOVE it. So the idea of running 26.2 miles does not sound like a fun idea. A triathlon switches things up by doing an open water swim, cycle, and run. Other events offered fly participants to all different parts of the country. While I love traveling, I love the idea of doing the event right here in my new home, Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Redman features an Ironman and Half Ironman course. I am doing the half which is a 1.2 mile open water swim in Lake Hefner, a 56 mile cycle course, and a 13.1 (half marathon) run. The run alone seems ambitious considering the only I've ever done is a 10K (6.2 miles). Granted, it wasn't just ANY 10K. I ran with my friend, Leah Rubertino, in Johnson City, Tennessee about a year ago for a Saint Patrick's Day event. I thought I trained by the steep hills of Tennessee and the cold, rainy conditions kicked my butt! Hey, I got through it without stopping and that's all I hoped for!
Moving on to college, one summer I was a camp counselor at the YMCA's Camp Lakewood in Potosi, Missouri. My experience at Camp Lakewood could be a whole 'nother blog entry because I LOVED it! The point I want to make here is that I swam in the Lake nearly every day. By the end of the summer a few of the other camp counselors and I swam the long way across the lake - a little over a mile. For this reason, I know I'm capable of doing a 1.2 mile open water swim!
Cycling is a different story. Apparently my old school Target-priced Schwin will not cut it for this one! I've gone on bike rides from time to time and even rode on the Katy Trail in Missouri on my mountain bike. The most I think I've ever ridden is 8 miles. So I have NO idea how to get up to 56 miles especially since I don't even own a bike! Well, I changed that last part a week ago by dropping a whole ton of money on a road bike. I had NO idea how expensive bikes an get! I purchased my bike through one of Team in Training's supporters, Steve Schlegel. Last Thursday I spent almost 3 hours learning about the different types of bikes and equipment and getting a custom fitting session. What I learned is there are mountain, hybrid, road, and triathlon bikes. For my race the most appropriate choice would be a triathlon bike but they are HELLA expensive! I am talking about a starting price of $1,500. FOR REAL. There are bikes in the store that go for $14,000! Can you believe it?! I guess people drop thousands of dollars on fancy cars so it would make sense for people to do the same for bikes. Unfortunately, meteorology does not pay like an NBA allstar so I stuck with a mid-price range road bike.
Here it is! It is a Cannondale. People have asked me specific questions like what gauge? I don't know. I'm pretty clueless in this area. What I DO know is that I am happy with my bike. After buying the bike, I learned how to take the wheel on and off and load it into my car. I drove to Lake Hefner and I felt like I flew around the lake! These bikes DO go really fast.
Thanks for joining me on this journey and please spread the word and stay tuned!