Friday, August 27, 2010

This Time, I'm Doing It with the TEAM by Pam Wiener

Pam Wiener after finishing the 2010 Ironman Lake Placid.
I never thought the words "I'm going to do an Ironman" would ever come out of my mouth. In fact, up until about six years ago I didn't even know what a triathlon consisted of. A friend of mine did the St Anthony's Olympic distance triathlon with Team In Training in April of 2004. She told me about this triathlon thing and I thought she was NUTS! She told me I should do one. Yeah right like I'm going to exercise for fun! The following year another friend did the NYC Triathlon also with TNT. This time I at least knew what a triathlon was. I donated, I asked about her training, I thought she was a whack job for doing this and I watched her race. It wasn't until I saw these amazing athletes, and by athletes I mean people like you and me, that I was truly hooked. There were physically challenged athletes, 80 year old athletes, athletes raising money for a cause, all who brought tears to my eyes. My first thought after the tears, "I'm doing one of these bad boys!" My second thought was, "Hell no, you're not! You're way too lazy!" A year later, I completed my first triathlon and raised over $5,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Four years and over $20,000 later, I'm now doing the Ironman 70.3 Augusta, my seventh event with TNT and soon the new Ironteam will make it eight.

In July, I completed my first Ironman in Lake Placid. It was such an incredible experience and I can't believe I actually did it. But there was something missing, I did it solo. No Team In Training, no fundraising, just me, myself and I. I really thought I was one and done when it came to an Ironman. However, when I heard TNT was doing an Ironteam, there was no way I wasn't doing it with the TEAM. I will be raising money and racing in honor of an amazing man, coach, husband, father & Leukemia survivor, Andrew Johnston. I am so excited for this upcoming year and I can’t wait to be a part of it!

Pam Wiener first joined TNT with the NYC Chapter in the summer of 2006. Two years later, she moved to Atlanta and rejoined TNT with the Georgia Chapter. She is currently training for her seventh event with the TEAM and has also joined the 2011 IronTeam Georgia. Pam maintains her own blog at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm on the IronTeam! by Katie Aguilar

Katie and her parents after the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon
This past Monday I called my parents all excited with terrific news….I had joined the TNT IronTeam to train and participate in Ironman Arizona in November, 2011. Not sure if that is the news most parents expect to hear from their daughter, but mine sounded like they were expecting it…and very supportive. They were not, however, as excited as me. I could hear it in their voices: they had a few questions like why?

The why for me is simple…because I know I am ready for the challenge. How do I know? Because my Team In Training family has been there to help me realize what I can do. I joined TEAM with no connection to blood cancers. Throughout training I realized I was amongst an amazing group of people. I was hooked, but hadn’t put everything together yet.

While training for my second marathon with TEAM I learned of a friend, Matt Uday, fighting testicular cancer. I followed his blog; captivated at his optimism, love for life, and firm belief he would beat cancer. As I trained, I thought these things …and I started connecting the dots between my life, Matt Uday, and the amazing people I consider my Team In Training family. I realized that when I train, I feel very much alive and that I am living the example set by the many survivors and fallen heroes.

As I connected the dots, my coaches quietly proved to me that I was capable of running faster, longer and achieving more than I thought possible. I started to believe that I could achieve goals I set for myself. I started to realize these goals add an extra zest and thrill for life. I may not reach all goals I set, but working for them is fantastic!

While training for Ironman 70.3 Augusta with TEAM (my first triathlon) I have been surrounded by many teammates and coaches who are like me…at least they look like me…a “normal” person. On my team there are a few that have done something I have not: Ironman. I started to realize that I too can do Ironman. I was amazed and surprised at this revelation…but it feels right. I am ready.

This is the year of Georgia Chapter’s inaugural IronTeam. I am ready for the challenge…and excited beyond belief. I get to be a part of IronTeam and train for an Ironman! I can think of no better way to train for Ironman then by helping give hope to those who have made my life richer, while training amongst those who have encouraged me to reach higher: my TNT family.

I know that my fabulous TNT coaches Mary and Mike will give me the tools and guidance so that I can succeed at Ironman. I know that my teammates and I will support each other and celebrate many personal and team victories along the way. I know that my teammates and I will continue to give hope to the heroes battling blood cancers. I know that this will be an experience of a life time…and I can’t wait.

Katie Aguilar first joined TNT in May of 2008 to train for the Chicago Marathon. After running three marathons with the TEAM, she is currently training for her first triathlon, the ESi Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Katie will begin training for the 2011 Ironman Arizona with TNT in January of 2011.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Era of the TNT Georgia IronTeam Begins

Picture yourself standing at the water's edge with 2,000 other neoprene clad competitors. The PA announcer is shouting out last minute instructions and words of encouragement. Media helicopters are flying over head. Some around you are still, calmly waiting, while others chatter anxiously. Meanwhile, you feel goose bumps from the excitement, but you know you are prepared for the task at hand. Suddenly the gun goes off and the time has come, you take a deep breath and charge ahead into the water knowing that you have a full day ahead of you. This is how it starts, but not how it begins...

It begins with Team In Training (TNT) and the new 
Team program. TNT alumni and participants who wish to train and prepare for a full Ironman-distance triathlon will now be able to do so with the TEAM! Our first event is the 2011 Ironman Arizona in Tempe, AZ. 

Our IronTeam program offers you the opportunity to take on the triple challenge to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run 26.2 miles, all while making a difference in the lives of people battling cancer.

The first ever TNT IronTeam Georgia information meeting was held on Sunday, August 15, 2010. Over fifty aspiring IronTeam triathletes attended to hear TNT IronTeam coaches Mary Doyle and Mike Gaw explain what they could expect in the next 15 months until the event. Check out the videos below.

Training starts in January 2011 and if you want to be a part of the team, you can contact the TNT office at (404) 720-7842. Or if you weren't at the August Interst Meeting, you can attend the next IronTeam Interest Meeting on Sunday, October 24th, 2010 at 2:00pm at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Georgia office. Go TEAM!