If you’re looking for someone who lays everything out on the line, regardless of what other people are going to think of her, then you need to immediately click over to One Twenty Five. Liz, the writer behind this weight-loss blog, shares her uncensored thoughts, which is exactly what we love about her. Now if we could just pack up and visit her in Melbourne, life would be pretty swell, don’t you think?
On my fit life list: Drum roll please…an Ironman. I know it sounds ridiculous to say as, um, I’ve never biked more than a 5K or swam more than one kilometer. But (and this is a big but), I once dreamed of doing a full marathon when I was over 200 pounds and the mere thought of a 5K made my heart skip a beat. And guess what? I ran that full marathon. So I know it’s possible to dream big and accomplish something once deemed impossible.
I’m happiest when I’m: doing CrossFit or running. Wait, what? Did you really believe me? Let’s clarify that: I’m happiest when I just finished a CrossFit session or a run. The moment I stop my watch after a run I didn’t want to do, or the moment I fall to the ground to get my breath back after a CrossFit WOD (workout of the day), is always my favorite. They’re my happy, self high-five moments. It’s always a battle to get out there, but always so worth it when I’m done.
Most embarrassing song I’ll admit I work out to is: Are you ready for this? I don’t actually listen to music when I run. Nope, I listen to super-duper-steamy-trashy romance novels. I found out when I get into peak training for a marathon, I can’t download music quick enough, so instead I listen to, “she felt his burning eyes…” They’re entertaining, cheap on iTunes and so silly that it’s easy to distract myself from the pain of a long run.
My “I Did It” moment: Since I decided not to be a couch potato and actually knock off some of my “bucket list” tasks, I have to admit I’ve managed to accomplish some pretty awesome things. Three full marathons, a month-long hike to Mt. Everest’s Base Camp, and a move to Melbourne, Australia, to name a few. But my favorite “I Did It moment” was, without a doubt, when I was running the last 50 meters of the Chicago Marathon. Going from obese to running a full marathon within a year is very emotional, and seeing that finish line was just incredibly overwhelming.
My motivation comes from: Knowing I am capable of more than I’ve done. Which yeah, I know sounds really corny, but I’ve decided I am no better or worse than anyone in this world, so why can’t I do all the awesome things out there? Exactly – I can.
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A few days after being a top finisher at the Ironman in Kona, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae sat down with us to talk strategy, relationships and the toughest competition on the course.
Congratulations on an awesome race this year! How does it feel to be among the top three fittest women in the world? [In my opinion! But that's the top three Ironman female finishers!]
Not quite as good as last year when I won. Haha! It feels great to be back up on the podium in the best triathlon race in the world (in my opinion).
It was a close race this year at Kona between you and first place finisher, Chrissie Wellington. You both clearly have a lot of respect for each other as from what I saw at the finish line. Besides the competition, why do you like racing with her?
I think it was a great women’s race this year. There were some women out there riding ridiculous times and I think Chrissie and I were just lucky they slowed down a little when it came to the run. I love going out there and racing the best women in the world and Chrissie certainly is the best right now. When you have women pushing the boundaries like Chrissie has done you open up a whole world of possibility. All of a sudden, what once seemed impossible is now what everyone is pushing to achieve. I don’t think we would be racing as fast as we are now if we all weren’t chasing this crazy Brit.
Do you have your eyes on the prize again for Kona 2012?
And I will absolutely be chasing the big prize again in Kona 2012.
How did you get involved with the sport of triathlon?
I was doing some strength and conditioning for the upcoming basketball season and ended up training with the local triathlon group. It didn’t take them long to convince me to give triathlon a go. I was pretty much hooked right from my first race, after being involved with team sports my whole life I just really loved the individual aspect of the sport.
Why are you excited about this sport?
As I said earlier, I love the individual aspect of this sport. If you want to improve then it’s up to you to do the work to make those improvements. You do need to have a good support crew, but at the end of the day it’s you that has to go out there and get the job done. I also love that it’s three sports in one, you can never really contain the sport—there is always something that you need to work on and I think that keeps you motivated and excited for the next challenge.
If you hadn’t gone pro, what reasons do you have for competing? More and more everyday women are getting involved with this sport, so why do you think that is? Read more
If you’ve ever done a triathlon, then you can appreciate something as powerful as an Ironman—the ultimate competition of some of the world’s fittest people. What I consider fit may be different than what others consider fit, but there’s no denying that this 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26. 2-mile run (yes, a marathon) is a beast of a competition and one of the most physically and mentally demanding challenges you will experience. Training for a race like this takes much experience, determination and commitment, not to mention willpower, to get through those many miles and long hours of constantly pushing yourself.
Having competed in a couple Olympic-distance triathlons (that’s a mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run), I can tell you that training is intense: Long hours spent before work, after work and on weekends getting in the practice in the pool, on your bike and on the road. Sometimes, doing all three in one day. But if you’ve ever done one of these competitions, or have thought about it, then you also know how seriously fun they can be. Combining three sports in one breaks up the monotony of a regular marathon or a long bike ride. Plus, if you’re semi-”Type A” or uber competitive like me, then you might enjoy the challenge, and accomplishment, of completing each leg of the race and checking it off your list as you rush to the next challenge—swim, bike, run. To be able to train for an Ironman takes an understanding of how this sport works, including learning the proper nutrition and how to stay fueled throughout the entire race.
When I got the most amazing opportunity to watch the World Championship in Kona, Hawaii on October 8th, I literally jumped for joy! Instantly upon arriving in Kona, I developed a much bigger appreciation for what these athletes accomplished just by being there.
Much to my surprise, it wasn’t just the elite athletes, who blew my away—it was the oldest competitor, an 81-year-old man from Oregon, and the 60-something-year-old breast cancer survivor, and Scott Rigsby, the man with two prosthetic legs who crossed that finish line before the 17-hour time limit that brought tears to my eyes. To be fit and healthy is something that anybody can practice and aim for, no matter the obstacles pitted against you—and these athletes are proof of that. Just like the three amazing people mentioned above, everybody racing has a story worth telling.
Affectionately known as “Sweaty Emily,” the blogger behind Sweat Once A Day knows how to dominate—whether it’s in races, food consumption or shower-avoidance is irrelevant. Emily most recently triumphed at Lake Placid, where she completed her first Ironman in under 14 hours despite facing multiple stomach-wrenching (literally) obstacles. Read on to find out how this athlete continues to cross items off her bucket list with a sweaty smile.
My “I Did It” moment: Crossing the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid. I signed up for the race more than a year beforehand, mere seconds after finishing my first half Ironman. For some insane reason, I thought trying to double the distance that had just kicked my butt was a great idea. I spent the next 12 months getting ready to conquer the toughest athletic feat I’d ever attempted by enduring the hardest, and most gratifying, training cycle of my life. On the actual race day, I was elated to finally be racing, but faced obstacle after obstacle on the course. I’ve never been more proud of myself than when I fist pumped my way across that finish line after 140.6 miles of racing. In the battle of Emily vs. Finish Line Tears, I stood no chance against a waterfall of happy crying as soon as I heard the announcer yell, “Emily Halnon, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”
On my fit life list: My next big goal is to run a sub 3:20 marathon. I have a hot date in Long Beach, California this October where I plan to make it happen. Long term, I’m on a mission to run a marathon in all 50 states and then start attacking the continents. And even longer term, I want to stay healthy enough so I’m still racing and loving it when I’m 93.
My biggest indulgence: My favorite foods to find at a finish line are chocolate donut holes and chocolate milk. And if you read my blog for more than a hot second, you’ll quickly discover my deep and meaningful love for cupcakes.
My fitness mantra: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift,” said by track legend, and my personal idol, Steve Prefontaine. I truly believe that anyone is capable of achieving any goal as long as they commit to working for it. Anytime someone tells me they can’t run a marathon or finish a triathlon, I tell them all the reasons they can. My secret to succeeding at my athletic goals and endeavors is to attack them with guts, heart and tenacity.
Do you have a favorite fit blogger you want us to highlight? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com.