TrainingPeaks received this inspirational story last week, and we had to share it with our community. Heather is a TrainingPeaks athlete who lost 157 lbs. through triathlon, became an Ironman, and is now trying to get to Kona through Ironman's "Kona Inspired" contest. Read on or watch Heather's Kona Inspired video for her amazing story, and be sure to cast your vote for Heather before midnight on July 3!
Over the past few years I've completely transformed my life by losing over half my body weight, overcoming addiction and becoming an Ironman triathlete. A few years ago I weighed over 315 pounds, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and was a daily drinker. Today I've lost half my body weight, given up bad habits and am a 2x Ironman finisher.
It all started with a friendly bet with a co-worker to see who could lose 40 pounds faster. We signed up for a sprint triathlon to keep us on track and help motivate us to add exercise to our weight loss program. By the time that first sprint triathlon came around I had lost 80 pounds through diet and exercise. That first triathlon was life-altering for me. It gave me the belief that anything is possible and that if I kept doing what I was doing, I could continue to lose weight and get fit. I fell in love with triathlon and continued signing up for more and more races. After a few races my mindset shifted from wanting to "just finish" to setting goals for myself around finishing times. I knew I needed more support to achieve those goals, so I started working with trismarter.com under their Tri2Lose program, an innovative program that helps athletes to lose weight through triathlon. Tri2Lose pairs athletes with a coach and a nutritionist; in my case Coach Lee Gardner and nutritionist Bill Nadeau. Lee recommended that we use TrainingPeaks to make training more efficient and effective.
Using TrainingPeaks has allowed me to set PR after PR. I love being able to communicate with my coach as well as being able to track my progress in terms of power output and pace. It helps me understand where I should be focusing my training to get fitter and faster. As a single mom I don't have 30 hours a week to train, I need to be focused and get it all in at around 12 hours a week. TrainingPeaks has been a very effective tool for me for planning effective training with limited volume capacity. I finished my first Ironman in 15:07. A year later with a lot more focused training under my belt, I finished Ironman Canada in 13:05. A personal best by over 2 hours!
TrainingPeaks has also been instrumental in helping me keep an eye on my nutrition and making sure that I continue to move towards my peak racing weight. Today I'm 157 pounds lighter and have finished one 10k, two half marathons, four sprint triathlons, three Olympic distance triathlons, three half-Ironman triathlons and two full Ironmans (IM Louisville 2010 and IM Canada 2011).
My next dream is to race Kona. I’m currently vying to win a slot into the 2012 Ironman World Championships through the Kona Inspired program. The Ironman folks are giving away a handful of slots to inspirational athletes who best embody the mantra “Anything is Possible”. I’ve uploaded a short 90 second video that chronicles my huge life changes here.
After watching the video, if you’re feeling inspired please click “Vote for this” under the video to the left and share on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you are online. I really believe there are no quick fixes. It takes daily dedication and attention to nutrition and creating an active life. But if you do that, amazing change is possible! You can vote once a day through July 3rd.
Vote for Heather before July 3rd and help make her dreams come true!