My name is Betsy Cobb and I live in Birmingham, AL. I’m a typical mid-twenties young professional who hasn’t learned to say “no”. I’m learning to balance two jobs, family, friendships, a boyfriend, and weddings, weddings, and more weddings. I really thought adding the challenge of a half ironman was a grand idea! If I had known the true challenge this brings…
I knew I wanted to accomplish a half ironman... at some point, but I didn’t think it would be this soon. A group of friends said they had signed up for a half ironman in May 2018! My friends were doing it, so of course I was doing it.. no question. The end of January rolls around; I’m swimming fine, kind of running – if you count signing up for a half marathon as ‘training’ –and have not even touched my bike. Reality hits - I can’t do this on my own. The top advice given to me from a patient in my chiropractic clinic was I better hire a coach! I had not even thought about it; I emailed Vulcan triathletes and ask if they have any coaches available. Craig Cecil, Master Coach with BEST and owner of Peak Performers, was the first to respond. Biggest blessing.
Week 2 – But more importantly only 14 weeks out from Gulf Coast 70.3
Well I hired and fired Craig all in a matter of 2 days. We met on a Monday over coffee. His story is incredible, we had many mutual friends, and were both Episcopalian. He and I both agreed I was crazy, but I was ALL IN! I did my taxes Monday night knowing my refund would help financially. HA! I owed - not just a small amount – no, no, but one I would have to budget to pay off. I couldn’t hire a coach. I was planning on going to the first Tuesday morning 5:30 am track workout, but I didn’t go as I felt terrible for bailing on Craig after talking through all the plans for the next few months. His response was a blessing. We talked though a plan, and I’ll never forget he specifically said don’t miss another Tuesday morning. 😉
First week with a training plan and I’d say it was quite the disaster. A week and a half out of the half marathon, and I ran a total of 3 miles, FOR THE WEEK … Hoping for a better week next week.
Week 3 – 13 weeks to GC 70.3.
I haven’t quite figured out how to balance both jobs with the new workout schedule. And yes, the Mercedes Half is this weekend. Next week is the busiest week of youth programming of this semester (Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper, Ash Wednesday, and oh, casually taking 30 kids to Disney World) on top of my 40-hour job... My boyfriend’s and my parents are meeting this weekend for the first time. My goal for the half was simply to finish, no goal time or pace – though I apparently had pretty high expectations—you know athletes can’t NOT have a goal!
Race day, we’re LATE! A good friend and my boyfriend all carpooled to the race together. My friend didn’t have her number yet and apparently you can’t pick it up the morning of race day. We are running around from booth to booth trying to figure out this dilemma and QUICK. We are now running to the starting line. Boom, we’re off!!
Mile 1 thoughts, ‘ok, my legs should warm up soon, surely’
Mile 3 ‘holy crap, why do I feel like I’m dragging bricks’ (and my friend breaks away from me at this point)
Mile 6 ‘heat stroke!’
Mile 7 ‘cold sweats’
Mile 8-13 ‘just finish the stupid thing’
Steve, my sweet boyfriend, waited to finish the last mile with me. My parents were concerned. My friend was concerned- oh, she dominated the race. Sheesh, I was so disappointed. All the thoughts were running through my head. I know I didn’t train that well for this half, but I still averaged a decent pace. I’ve never going to be ready for the half ironman I signed up for. My friend ran maybe 3 times before the race – for all you runners, you know that’s so annoying!! But you just have bad days sometimes, and this was a bad day.
Week 3 – 12 Weeks to GC70.3
I got one bike ride, one run, and one swim in this week. Honestly, I am so proud of myself. I recovered well from the half, no looking back and only looking forward! And Disney, here we come!!!!
Week 4 – 11 Weeks to GC70.3!
If you think I’m not craziness enough yet, you will now! I agreed to nanny for a family of 2 tween boys for TWO WEEKS! I repeat, two weeks. First, I said yes to this back in the fall before I had thoughts of a half ironman. Second, this is true birth control. For some sort of time management, I took off a week at church for the first week.
I did pretty well with training this week. I got a few short runs, a few swims, and an awesome swim lesson! I’ve been a swimmer my whole life. My parents made us do swim team during the summer until we were in 4th grade to ensure we would be strong swimmers. My brothers put up a fight, however, I loved it! I would recruit friends to join each summer and did this until I graduated high school. That is only to say, I thought I had very little to learn about the swim portion. Turns out I swim quite inefficiently. I would go into detail – but you should just hire a coach 😊
Week 5 – 10 weeks to GC70.3!*
Week two with the boys. I am drowning in both my jobs. I have two things that took up every ounce of extra time – an Ecuador mission team meeting and preparation for a youth retreat this weekend. Have I mentioned I’m taking 18 youth to a foreign country this summer? Well, yes, it’s true! And it has a never-ending to-do list: holding team meetings, collecting paperwork, passports, fundraising. The meeting went terribly—I was late (enough said), I couldn’t answer questions, I was pulled in every direction by parents, I looked very unprepared and ended the night in tears. The week of training is fairly easy to summarize. I didn’t to a darn thing…