Meet the Shan Clan!

Unless you're totally insane, you don't just wake up one day and decide that you can do an Ironman within a year.

You need some prior experience. A foundation.
The "Shan Clan" built my foundation.
In 2007, I was a little overweight. I was out of shape. I wasn't very happy with myself.
Shannan Lynch (pictured, left) turned all that around. Shannan runs the gym in my office building complex. But Shannan isn't just a manager. She's got degrees in virtually every relevant subject for fitness and nutrition. She's trained professional athletes and celebrities. And she's probably the fastest girl I've ever known, routinely earning podium finishes in any kind of running event she enters.
Over the course of nearly two years, Shannan whipped me into shape and changed my nutrition habits. She used a variety of equipment and training regimens to do so. Everything from traditional dumbells, barbells, balance boards and Bosu balls to resistance bands and step platforms. And no two workouts were exactly alike, so Shannan managed to keep me mentally engaged while my muscles were constantly worked in new ways during our twice-a-week sessions.
Thanks to Shannan, I went from barely being able to run a 5k to completing my first triathlon. I also dropped 20 pounds.
Then, in early 2009, Shannan changed responsibilities and became more of a full-time fitness center manager. My training didn't skip a beat though because of another Shan...Shannon Flanagan.
Shannon and I have a great time training together, and she's every bit of a badass as Shannan (I'd like to see them race in a 100-yard dash!). She's a heck of a spin class instructor too! Shannon puts me through my paces, doesn't let me whine (too much) and we're pretty much always laughing. Our weekly training sessions are among my personal highlights for the week. More important, my event results improved steadily throughout 2009, and Shannon was very in-tune with helping me modify the workouts to maximize performance during triathlon season.
The "Shan Clan" has put me in a position to go after the Ironman. I can't thank them enough.
Today was my off-day. It came at the right time. A hot bath, 10.5 hours sleep and a day of no physical activity later, I'm ready for action tomorrow.
Depending on the severity of the rain, it's either a morning bike ride and a swim to follow, or a swim and spin if it's stormy. Looking forward to both.
347 days and counting.