By the Numbers

Last week a “number of numbers” were at the focus of my mental state, all of which are exciting and good stuff, but all of which require more dedication and effort.

1,000,000: The size of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life – Texas Registry

Last week the Texas organ donor registry hit 1 million registrants.  While this is only 4% of the population of the state of Texas, it’s a huge jump from a few years ago where Texas had fewer than 100,000 registrants.  A lot of this is due to hard work by the Texas DMV and DOT, to make it simple for people to register to be an organ donor while obtaining or renewing a driver’s license.  To make this easier, the Texas State Legislature passed a bill making it easier for people to join the registry.  Last year I was lucky enough to get to testify in front of both the Texas State House and Senate subcommittees that oversee legislation like this, and could tell my story about how transformational an organ transplant can be.   I wish I could go back and say thanks, and tell them that I’m going to be racing in my first Ironman this Fall.   I was appointed to TOTED, the Texas Organ Tissue & Eye Donation Council, which advises the department of Health & Human Services on the organ registry and how to manage it and run it.  My part is small but I derive a great deal of satisfaction from knowing I’m trying to help.

If you’re not a registered organ donor in your state, check out and you can find the registry for your state.  Making your wishes known this way to your family puts you on the record and prevents them from having to make the decision, and it can save 8 lives and help hundreds of others.

25%: We hit 1/4th of our fundraising target for Transplants for Children

Last week the total raised in my Ironman campaign for Elida and Transplants for Children broke the $4,000 mark!  Thanks to everyone who has donated so far.   While most people who have donated know me personally, there have been several people who have just heard Elida’s story, and decided to donate.

I have a number of additional “marketing” activities kicking off in the next few weeks that should bring in even more funds for the campaign.  But even just the awareness for the cause, and the need for organ donors, is an outcome that makes me proud.

Even more exciting, in two weeks, Elida and her mom will be coming to Austin with some of the Transplants for Children team to watch me compete in the Austin triathlon on Labor Day.  I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more pressure to do well, and I have a ridiculous stretch goal that I am shooting for.  Regardless having Elida there will make it a very special event for me, and Jack & Adams has arranged a number of “V.I.P” treats for Elida and the TFC crew.  I really hope Elida has a blast.

3: Months left until Ironman Arizona

Gulp.  Given that the last month of training is largely “taper” (low intensity workouts), this really means I have two months of intense training before the race, so I need to build all the endurance and strength over the next eight weeks.  The race is much more real now, with every weekend’s training distances gradually approaching the real thing.   Bike rides on Saturdays are now between 75 and 100 miles.  The long Sunday run is now between 13 and 20 miles.  And I’ve been pushing myself harder in weekly workouts, and my body is feeling it.  Were it not for some ridiculously painful but therapeutic clinical massage, I don’t know if I’d be walking right now.  But amazingly each day I get up and run, bike, swim, do a core workout, or on a rare day like today, I recover.

I am afraid of this weekend’s workout.  A Saturday ride of 90 miles followed by a 1 hour run, which will take me between 6 and 7 hours.   It will be the longest continuous workout of my life.  And at the same time it will only be about half of the time I will spend competing in my first Ironman.  And then Sunday I am scheduled to get up and run 20 miles.  I’ve never run 20 miles before in my life, and to do it the day after a brutal “brick” (a run after a bike workout) is intimidating.

The numbers (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) are constantly in my head.  At mile 56 of every workout ride, I think “I will only be half way done with the bike”, and at mile 13 of every long run, I imagine what it will feel like when mile 13 has come after the swim and the bike.  I tell myself to trust the training.  I tell myself to remember how well my half-Iron went.  And then I tell myself how lucky I am to even have a chance to do this.

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