Community Insider Spring 2018 - Page 16

awestruck. I work full time and am “an age grouper” as us non-professional athletes are called. I am part of a sport that is so rewarding, healthy and fun while raising money for charity. IRONMAN AND BEYOND Anyone can train for an Ironman – there are young, old, skinny and fat people doing triathlons. Desire, determination, hard work and training are what you need to get yourself to the start and finish line! WHO SAYS YOU CAN’T DO AN IRONMAN! By Elaine Gower I hope this motivates you to at least get out there and have a fun healthy lifestyle. I t all started in 1998 when I thought it would be a great idea to run a marathon before my 40 th birthday. So, off I went and joined Team in Training to train for the marathon while raising funds for my friend’s son who had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. He is now in remission and doing great. It was a tough year of training. I was working in Orange County and commuting from San Diego. But, I still managed it. I was ready to run. After a very long hot run, I finished in 5 hours and 40 minutes. As I approached the finish line at Broadway, I said to myself, “Never again. This is torture.” By the end of the day I regained my senses. Now, I was saying, “When’s the next one?” However, running was becoming monotonous. So, when Team in Training started its first Triathlon Team, I thought why not, “We can run, how hard can it be to swim and bike?” For myself, swimming and biking were completely new sports. Needless to say, another year of tough training followed. Our first race as a tri team was to be the Pacific Grove Triathlon; an Olympic distance race con sisting of a 1500-meter swim, 40k bike ride and a 10k run. As race day neared, I realized my swimming was not where it needed to be. With disappointment, I dropped down to the sprint distance, so I would have a shorter swim. 16 | SAN DIEGO COMMUNITY INSIDER SPRING 2018 Elaine Gower is the Godmother of Ironman, has been a member of CAI for over 24 years and has served on the CAI Board and on various committees. Elaine is an Educated Business Partner and is the Director of Business Development and Client Relations for The Naumann Law Firm, PC. She is also a USAT Level I Triathlon Coach and one of only 8 people in the world to hold a USAT Paratriathlon Coaching certificate. Happy Training! Regardless, I had completed my first Triathlon! I had one year to get ready for my first Ironman – how was I going to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles? I knew the ins and outs of triathlon, but Ironman is a whole new animal. The grueling training consisted of 3 swims per week, 4-6 hour bike rides, track practice and long runs. I learned to manage my time and get my workouts done everyday. Family support was also an immense help and motivator. I trained hard, and while training for Ironman I also participated in various sprint, Olympic and long course triathlons. In May of 2001, I completed my first Ironman in 15 hours and 15 minutes! It was the most exciting thing I had ever done! After that I became hooked on Ironman and even more addicted to triathlons. Since 2001, I have started 15 Ironman races. I have also competed in many half Ironman Olympic, sprint and long distance races. I have won a few medals for placing in my age group. My friends have declared me the “Godmother of Ironman.” I love the sport and everything about the people who surround me in the sport. My long-time goal to race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona came true last year. So that’s my story – now to you! When people find out about my triathlon career they are usually WWW.CAI-SD.ORG | 17