Goal setting at 48

Update 1/25/2017: Please be patient with some of the rough spots in the writing. It was my first and I want to keep it the way it is to show my growth.

WARNING: This may be a lengthy introduction blog post, but please enjoy it and I look forward to more visits. Now to my story...

Goal setting for my 48th birthday actually began before that and continues afterwards.

What is my goal for my 48th year of  life on this fine planet we call Earth? As The Wife (Merrill) knows, I can't do things simply. My goal to be completed by my 49th birthday is to complete a Half IRONMAN. That is 1.2 miles of swimming. 52 miles of biking. And, 13.1 miles of running. More specifically, the IRONMAN Raleigh 70.3! (UPDATE: The race I am doing is in Augusta on Sept. 24, 2017) I won't even mention until the end what my goal for the 50th birthday.

That was all to whet your appetite! :)

Now, let us pick up the story. The Wife has been my lovely wife for three and a half wonderful years. She's my running partner or maybe it is the opposite way around. Eh, we run together. We have three daughters. The oldest (M1) and youngest (M2) live with their mom the majority of the time. Then there is the middle child (G), whom The Wife adopted from Guatemala when she was 13-months old. Remember, The Wife and I have been together since February 2012. Ok, now the family dynamics are clearish.
Me, M1 (background), M2 (foreground), G and The Wife (Merrill)
Running...that was nonexistent up until I was 46. There was the time when I was a kid and ran the Santa Anita Classic 5K in Arcadia, CA. Besides that NONEXISTENT! The car magnet 0.0 was destined for my car. 

Then, April 2014 happened. G was participating in a wonderful program called Girls On The Run. It is kind of Girl Power for running. They talk during sessions and then run to work up to a 5K. The day of the race came and The Wife and I were on the side watching all the girls run. She said, "I wish I could have run with G." The next day we were inside a store that neither one of us really knew existed, a local running store called Charlotte Running Company. We got shoes to run with.

There have been numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and one marathon. Then there are the odd distances; 8Ks, 4 milers, 15Ks and others I may not remember.

Pre-race ritual of taking a selfie
The marathon was something I got nudged into doing. Ok, my vanity took over and I decided to run one. Boy am I glad I did. The Wife kept talking about the idea of running a marathon. I would say, "Let's get a year of running under our belt before we consider it." Then she would mention it again. I kept coming up with excuses, which became weaker as time went along. Then we would say, what about Chicago or maybe something else. I would mention the Marine Corps Marathon. "No, I don't want to do that one. It's the Marines. They are tough and scary and..." Honey, it is in Washington, D.C and the lottery closes in a few days. The Washington, D.C, part I think sank the hook. We were now both on board. The lottery came and amazingly we both got in. Well, she actually got in twice, but that is another story. IT WAS THE TOUGHEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE, BUT I DON'T REGRET A SECOND OF THE HOURS I SPENT ROAMING THE STREETS OF OUR NATION'S CAPITOL!
Approaching the finish line of the
40th Marine Corps Marathon, Oct. 25, 2015
Hold on about the triathlons! That is coming up soon...real soon.

The marathon bug bit us. We wanted to do another. Traveling to one was not prudent budget wise. Let's keep it local we decided.  Three weeks after MCM, we ran the Thunder Road Half Marathon. Merrill kicked butt and set a Personal Record. I finished. We decided to stay really local and do the newly named, Charlotte Marathon, Nov. 12. There was a great deal and that got us to sign up. Then in our following fellow runners we got hooked into the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, NC. There will be participation in that on March 19, 2017.

Training commenced using a 24 week plan that incorporates cross training. That would include biking and swimming. There was one eensy-teensy problem with that. We didn't have bikes and no real access to a place to swim. Well, as only The Wife and I can do things, we went out and got bikes. She got a commuter type bike which she looks really cute riding. I got a mountain bike, because I wanted to go off road sometimes. Eventually we solved the swimming problem by joining the Mecklenburg Aquatic Center. A newly renovated state of the art training center.
The first ride on my new triathlon...I mean mountain bike.
(UPDATE: It has since been updated to a true road bike.)
This is where my goal-setting for 49 and 50 comes into play. We were running and biking and swimming. Huh, you know what incorporates all three of those? A TRIATHLON! A few years back, maybe 10-15 years, I kind of thought triathlons were cool, but nothing more than that because I was unathletic. Remember 0.0 magnet? The Wife ran a 5K that was part of a women's only triathlon. Then, we both volunteered at a full-scale Tri at a lake that included an open water swim (OWS). We got to see how the transition areas  work. I was hooked! Which one to do? Hmmmm... Ah, that's the one! Sunday, July 31 is the UNC Wellness Super Sprint in Chapel Hill. It includes a 250 yard pool swim, 9 mile bike ride and 3.1 mile run. The bike ride and run should be no problem. It is the swim that will be tricky. I haven't really swam in, oh I don't know 30 years. It will be ugly at the race, but I will get it done. There are some other Tris that I would like to do towards the fall, but I will really need to train for swimming and open water swimming.
Volunteering at Tri Latta
Now we come full circle. The Half IRONMAN and IRONMAN. Growing up I would watch the IRONMAN from Kona, HI with my Dad. Those guys, and they were primarily guys back then, were amazing! Who could ever do that? Then last year, The Wife and I spent an afternoon tracking Facebook friends through one. The thought was a little bit there of, that would be cool, but then again those are superhuman people. There would be the joke every once in a while that it would be cool to do. Well, enter the birthday time and the oncoming 50th birthday. A lot of people party for their 50th. Some do something extremely special. While others plan a trip. ME? I get the hairbrained idea to do a full IRONMAN. 140.6 miles of grueling work. Why you ask? I'll give the answer I gave G when she asked the question. Because it's there! First I need to do the Half IRONMAN by my 49th birthday. Thanks to some friends who just completed the IRONMAN Raleigh 70.3 I chose that my race. (UPDATE: I have chosen Augusta on Sept. 24, 2017)

So, there you have it. My 2-year goals. Please continue with me on that journey. I will blog milestones, ordinary training days, any important news and just plain 'ol day-to-day stuff.

If you could help, no amount is too small, please visit: Go Fund Me.