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For some athletes, training and racing is about so much more than fitness and competition.  For some, the mental and emotional benefits (focused and less stressed), are great motivators for training and racing and those benefits carry over into all aspects of their lives! These #STRONG2014 athletes describe this well!

Dan

Complete my first 70.3 How my six weeks went.....well wow. I can say it has been hard to stay exactly on track. With kids, sick kids, work, and the broken foot flaring up there were always challenges and setbacks. That being said I did lose 8 pounds in those 6 weeks bringing the total lost since I was allowed to run again after the foot break to 14.5. I have been able to ramp up the pace on my runs and have now gotten my pace lower than it has ever been thanks to interval work on the dreaded treadmill. I have cycled more consistently than ever before and now feel very comfortable with that portion of the race. The best part of my training has been the days I get to run with my wife Kirstin or take the kids on a bike ride in the trailer. They are why I do the training and racing, to be a good example and make sure I am around for a long time. Exercise is my stress relief from my very often stressful job and I can tell when I haven't been able to have that time. Having the #STRONG2014 accountability helped during those days and nights when I didn't feel like doing anything. I would think...I can't tweet about sitting on the couch eating candy. Overall I am very happy with how my training has gone and I feel like I am preparing properly and adequately for my first 70.3 in Kansas. I can't wait until its here and I can put the demons in my head to rest that kept telling me after breaking my foot that I was never going to run again or compete.  

 Stefanie

Find my identity as an endurance athlete while balancing time for family (something that was lacking in 2013 the year of Ironman Florida). I will also get back down to pre baby weight, FINALLY! How did your #STRONG2014 go? It was a great 6 week start to getting focused on my goals and the year ahead. I am happy to say that FINALLY I feel back on track nutritionally and feeling like an athlete. This puts me closer to my goal of getting back down to pre-baby weight! Finding my identity as an endurance athlete (without having a long distance race goal) is still continuing to plague my motivation. If I could just get mother nature to grant me a bit of sunshine inducing happiness, I think I will finally set into a rhythm. :) It is taking a complete mindset change to be satisfied with "just" a 1 hour workout when my body is accustomed to Ironman Training. But I am starting to get the hang of it. Less workout means more time for family which was my final goal and I am glad to say it is working. I even decided to start taking Spanish classes (A long term goal of mine). #Strong2014 helped me to feel rejuvenated and refocused on what matters for me at this specific moment!  

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There may be a few triathletes out there who can manage to do the training they need without a plan or structure, we haven't met any of those! If you have a family and a job, adding training for a triathlon means a structured plan and patient family (and a plan B when life gets in the way)! These 2 dads did an amazing job with that during #STRONG2014 - with the support of their families!

Jake

Complete a sub 11:30 Ironman How did your #STRONG2014 go? In past 6 weeks I have logged 8.25 hours swimming, 21.5 hours biking on the trainer, 15 hours running on the treadmill, and 5 hours strength training in the gym.  I also attended 15 Squirt hockey games with my son and 12 hockey practices, 10 Learn to Skate sessions with my daughter and 6 ballet lessons, and attended 5 evening events for my job beyond my regular full-time work hours.  Not to mention I also have a 2 year old (beyond the 2 kids mentioned above). Thank goodness for a dedicated and capable coach to keep me paced and moving forward.  Most of all thank goodness for my wife who not only takes care of my 3 kids but encourages and supports me as I balance home, work, and training.  The past 6 weeks was nothing, the snow is melting in CT now, just wait to see what I do in the next 6!

Mark

Complete my second 70.3 and begin training for my first full Ironman event. Running at least 3 half marathons and one full. I want to break 6 hours on my 70.3, and go below 3:45 on my full marathon. I hope to bust my PR of 1:39 on one of those half marathons. How did your #STRONG2014 go? As sometimes does, life gets in the way of training, 4 children and other personal issues have had me juggle my schedules at times. I have however, had some successful training workouts! Ran a 5:26 mile, my fastest!  Biked my farthest 67.22 miles. Averaging over 25 mph on my long bike training sessions. I have a injury that I sustained at the end of last year on my hamstring which has begun to act up again. I have been very careful in not to overdo it and listen to my body (within reason) . Its tough when aerobically I feel amazing, however the limitations of my body prevent me from going to my fastest. I am keeping a very positive attitude towards it all, very happy with my training and hope to continue as my first races of 2014 begin in the next month. Share your support by commenting below!   

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