Making the Grade – For All of Us

As Maridee climbs to reach a pinnacle of fitness – participating in the IRONMAN race in Whistler, BC, August 25, 2013 – we’re going look at the steps she takes to reach that summit. And in doing so, we may come away with some ideas and strategies to ascend to our own aspirations.

It’s easy to over-simplify things or to minimize how difficult tasks actually are. Then we can brush them off, put them on the back-burner or ignore them completely. But don’t fall into the trap. If we respect the difficulty of the challenge, we can take realistic action to reach our goal.

Incredibly, on race day Maridee will swim 4km, bike 180km and run 40km. But there’s a lot more to it. In the 6 months leading up to the event, MD will run over 500km, swim 100km and bike nearly 2,000km!

And those are just numbers on a page. Imagine running from Vancouver, BC to Portland, Oregon – that’s how far 500km is. Her cumulative bike training will be equivalent to riding from her home in Whistler, BC to Sacramento, California – and back! But it doesn’t end there. Here’s a look at the elevation (the hills) she has to bike:

Bike Profile


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Check out the hill near the end (mile 90). It may appear as little mound on a graph, but it means that Maridee will be going over 16km, rising nearly 1,500 feet straight up. (And that’s after swimming 4,000 meters and biking 145km).

And speaking of rising, here’s the grade she will run:

Run Profile


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What we see are just a series of red bumps in a box, but try to imagine what your body would feel like after swimming 4km, biking 180km and then starting up that hill at mile 10 (in the chart above). Maridee will be going 5 miles (8km) straight up hill. But she will still have 18km to go, with the last 6km all uphill.

But before she even stepped up to the starting line, in this grueling path to glory, she will have travelled thousands of kilometers with splashing arms, pounding feet and searing thighs; through wind, rain and burning heat on endless dusty roads…

If we allow all of those images to collide in our mind, Maridee ‘s journey will help us make that short walk to our next deadline so much easier. Thanks, MD!

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