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VQ & You: Patricia Gill

I had been participating in triathlons (sprint and Olympic distances) for a number of years. This was quite some time ago when you could practically sign up the day before and the event did not cost you an arm and a leg! Then one of those “zero” birthdays was coming up and I looked at the craziness of doing the WI Ironman event! Madison, Wisconsin is my hometown.

My father is still in the house he built where my siblings and I grew up. Thus the logistics of participating in the Madison IM event were easy, eg: place to stay while there riding the course, close to Chicago, ability to get in the practices on the weekend, etc. Plus my birthday is September 9th and the WI Ironman event was the 11th! [It was very fun when, at the pasta dinner on Friday night, several people were asked to stand to acknowledge birthdays. I was one of them!] Yet I still wondered, could I do this crazy thing?!? Would my body cooperate? Could I “wrap my brain” around this endurance sport? Yes, yes and yes! My training was from a 13-hour, 13-week printout that a friend found for me on the Internet. I joined VQ for one of the Madison rides (see photo of Robbie and me–love that guy!!!).

The 2005 WI IM was an unusually hot and windy day. I had trained for the distance in each of the three parts of the event, so by event day I had a “can do” attitude. I enjoyed the day (as much as one does for that type of day!), talking to many volunteers and taking photos along the way! I really got my money’s worth—especially since it took me all day and evening…right up to the midnight deadline time. I jubilantly crossed the finish line! They closed the gate practically right behind me!!! Yet, I did it!!! I did it! What a feeling of joy and accomplishment!!! I did it!!! Now ten years later--with the next significant “zero” birthday approaching--I am beginning to think about this event again. Hmmm…same questions: Can I do this crazy thing again? Will my body cooperate? Can I wrap my brain around this goal again? Being more mature (i.e., older!) and perhaps a little bit wiser, I decided that my approach for workouts and practices would need to be different and better this time.

I signed up for VQ training in January and have been working out at the Chicago facility every week since then. I love the VQ Chicago coaches and personnel! (Dave! Mike! Tommy! Sydney! Ronny!) They are supportive, encouraging, kind and wonderful! There certainly are days of doubts; however, there are also good days with small and positive accomplishments--increase of my FTP, Racine 70.3, VQ rides on Sunday mornings and not getting dropped! Robbie is another one who is totally fabulous and supportive of my endeavor. There is probably no one with more energy! And such a wonderful, positive force! Woo-wee!!!

Of course, I have incorporated swimming and running (or, in my case, more walking!) into my days. I have a very good friend who is my support, guide and coach through this endeavor. (Thanks, Kate!) Thus, I am more methodical with my practices. At the time of this writing, WI IM is six weeks away! (Yikes!!!) Let’s see how this gal does this time!!! If you think about it on September 13th, send a little positive energy out there for me! And then I invite you all to the Celebration on the 19th! Woo-whoo!!!