On the Road to Ironman Florida

My name is Gini Fellows. In August of 2016, I will turn 70 years old, and I am doing Ironman Florida.  This will be my first, and last, full Ironman triathlon.   My goal is to finish within the 17 hours allowed for this distance.  I am going to blog my journey to Ironman Florida, which is being held November 5, 2016.

I spent years teaching swimming, and driving our son, Patrick, to swim practice and swim meets.  I was active, but never competed in any sport.  Prior to nine years ago I swam, had a bike, which gathered a lot of dust, and did not run.

I had knee surgery and was rehabbing my knee when Patrick, a triathlete who puts on races and trains athletes for endurance events, suggested I do a women-only super sprint triathlon, a series of triathlons, that he and a friend were starting.  I thought why not, as long as I didn’t have to run.

My swim was ok, I started too fast, my old comfort fat-tire bike took me the 12 miles, and I walked the run portion. I came in first in my age group and fat-tire division.

Within 6 months I bought two new bikes and began doing 5k races.  Apparently I was hooked.

For the next few years I did 2 or 3 sprint triathlons a year.  In 2013, I decided I wanted to try an Ironman 70.3, which is a half Ironman.  Pat said he would train me, so I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Augusta.  Even though I was a good swimmer, open water swimming unnerved me.  I completed the race despite my chain breaking during the race, and was 3rd in my age group.   I also qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, in 2014.  I did Ironman 70.3 Texas in Galveston in the spring of 2014, and came in first in my age group.

I am not that fast!  There just are not a lot of ladies who are competing.  That spring I did a couple more sprints, and headed for Mont Tremblant in the fall of 2014.  I finished the race, which is all that I cared about.

Last year I decided to do only sprint distance triathlons.  I really missed the races and started asking my coach if he thought I could do a full Ironman.  He said it will be hard but you can do it.  Last fall I volunteered at Ironman Florida and signed up.  I have been building a base and am starting to do more distance, and more difficult workouts.  I also have added weight workouts 2 to 3 times per week.

I look forward to blogging my journey to Ironman Florida.