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Training for the Ironman

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Derick Header at Ironman in BoulderI have been an avid runner most of my adult life. But after suffering a few ankle “issues,” I limited my running and started cycling as a means of cross training. I remember watching an Ironman on TV a decade ago and thinking “Wow! What an incredible experience.” While I considered myself a strong runner and cyclist at the time, I wasn’t even close to being a strong swimmer – a major problem in the Ironman world.

I continued with running and cycling, competing in several duathlons. During one of those duathlons, I watched my neighbor Stefanie Spielman complete the entire triathlon despite being in the middle of breast cancer treatment. Watching her compete inspired me to get over the “swim hurdle.” I started with short races and gradually built up to a full Ironman. I completed my first Ironman in Louisville in 2007 and my second in Lake Placid in 2009. This is the first year for an Ironman in Boulder, Colorado and since I love the mountains, I decided to give it a go!

An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike and then a full marathon run – 26.2 miles. I have been training for this one since February by alternating swims, bike rides and runs. It is a tough race and a long day but really is nothing compared to what some of my patients are going through. They are the ones that inspire me to continue. I’ll be thinking of them as I compete on August 3!

The doctors at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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