It’s been a while since I last posted. Time flies by so quickly, and with the increase in training hours, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for everything. I finally mowed my lawn! Lol. But here is an update on things going on, how training is going, and other assorted tidbits.
First off, I’ve decided to use this race to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society by joining Team in Training. Usually, you pick an event and raise money to go to the event, along with the support and training that TNT gives. But as usual, I have to be a little different. I’ve already paid for my race, I have awesome coaching through E11even Athletics, and everything is set. But I can still help raise funds without a goal race. So in honor of my Mom, who died from Lymphoma, I am doing this and I could use some help. Please consider donating here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/ia/yourway18/TKneale#home
Mom went through chemo and radiation once, and said to me “never again”. She had diabetes, and the combination almost killed her. She made it a year and a half cancer free, before a PET scan showed that it was back and this time, in more than one lymph node. She opted for Hospice care, and as you know, they stop all meds except for pain. One day, we went to visit her and she said “What’s my last name? I know my first name is Betty, because everyone calls me that. But what is my last name?” When my wife asked her “what’s Dad’s last name?” Mom remember her maiden name. So Julie said “What’s Roy’s last name?” and she said “Kneale…oh! Write that down so I don’t forget.”
As we left, I broke down and cried. No one should ever have to go through that. It was a helpless, sad feeling, and by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do: smile and help a parent remember their name when all you want to do is cry and take their suffering away.
So please consider donating. Hopefully they can find a cure and no one else has to go through this. Thank you.
On to happier things. Training is going well. I have rode a couple century rides now, and have another one scheduled before we taper. The swims have been pretty good as well, and I feel more confident each time I get in the water. I have a 20 mile run on Saturday, and hopefully that will go great. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost here. Something that a few years ago I didn’t dare think about is about to become reality. I am about to embark on the “Toughest Day in Sport” . . . Ironman 140.6. Hard to think that a former 3+ pack a day smoker, one who smoked themselves into asthma, would be at this point, but one things for certain, I didn’t get here alone. Between my wife and her support, my wonderful coaches Jennifer and Jeff Keil, my friends in the Des Moines Triathlon Club like Connie and Eric McGarrah, Karen Chicken, Scott Newbury, and Shelley Goodell, to good friends like Jodie Dunker, Kara Palczewski, Kelly Hill and Chris Matthews, I am toeing the line with a lot of people in spirit. I just want to say thank you to all of you, and for those I’ve missed…know that your support is appreciated more than you know. If I cross that finish line and hear those words, I will have a lot more people to thank.
My coach said to me “the hay is in the barn”. I had to laugh at that because when I trained for my first marathon, Loren Storts was coaching us and he said the exact same thing. I have never forgotten it, and now that I’m coaching runners and triathletes, I’ve caught myself saying it too. But he’s right: we are about as ready as we can get. A few more hard workouts, a couple more challenges, and then it slows down to race day. One thing I didn’t expect to discover as the workouts got longer was it’s not completing the workout that’s hard, it’s starting it! The other day I had a 6 hour ride and a 30 minute run off the bike. I was prepped and ready to push off when I looked at my watch: Sunday morning – 9:30 am. That’s when the thought popped in my head “People are just waking up. They’ll have breakfast, and lunch, and will be thinking what to have for dinner when you get back…..and you will still have a run to do!” To me, that’s the hard part. Once I get going, I’m fine. But knowing that most of your day will be spent training is a challenge. But like all good challenges, the reward at the end is so, so sweet.
You have got this, my friend! So very proud of you and how consistent and strong your training has been. You will shine on YOUR day!
You are amazing, Travis! And I completely teared up reading the part about your mom. Losing our mothers is so hard. Big hugs to you! And you are going to do great at the Ironman. I can’t wait to follow along! Go get ’em, Travis!