About 8 weeks later I started my racing season; three races in 8 weeks. I completed one Sprint distance, one Olympic distance, and one 70.3 Half Ironman distance triathlon. All of my races went great.
The Olympic was largely uphill and was a very tough course, so even though I walked a large portion of the last leg I was still happy.
The 70.3 was extremely HOT. Temperatures on the run portion were in the upper 90’s, some people said their weather apps even said over 100 degrees at one point. The last leg of that race felt like a death march with over half the field walking. I left that race with a lot more than just a severe sunburn on my back.
When I toed the line, which is funny to say because this race was an in-water start, I weighed in at 233 pounds. When I first started to get myself back in control I was 307 pounds. In the days leading up to the race,I had taken a couple of pictures of me in my race kit to send to my coach. He told me I wasn’t the same person that took the first set of pictures.
Now Will is not one to give out praise lightly. If you work hard and show results he will say things like, “keep up the work,” or “you’re doing good.” But when he told me, “I’m proud of you,” that was authentication, from a third party that I trust, that I really was ready and had come a long way.
Coming in the last mile of Ironman Eagleman 70.3 I literally felt every emotion possible. I was elated that the race was over. Like I said, it was HOT. I felt sad that the race was over. I was depressed that I had ever let myself get to the state I was in before I started training. But mostly I was just proud of myself.
This was such a big personal accomplishment that was not just personal. There is no way I could have done the work to get to that finish line without my family. They are the ones that pushed me to finish what I started, which is appropriate, seeing as how they are the reason I started.
Seeing my wife and oldest daughter at the finish line, with me struggling to keep tears from rolling down my face, was better than any medal or award I could have possibly gotten that day.
Come back next Friday to read the next chapter of my story…
This post is part of a series of guest posts written by friend, Mike Franklin. Mike and I, and his wife Kelly, have known each other since college, when we marched together in the Spirit of Northwestern (SON) Marching Band at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Fork ’em Demons!
I admire Mike’s dedication to taking better care of his health, and I hope that his story inspires you. I hope you’ll come back to the blog to reach all five of Mike’s great guest posts; and to see his incredible before and after pictures.