My friends, Diane McCary, 76 and her husband Pat, 78, used to live in Hawaii. Now they live in the Colorado mountains, but they’ve never forgotten the years they spent running, biking and swimming on the big island. They worked, too, she as a high school math teacher, he as a psychologist. Whenever they could, they indulged their athleticism, so much so that it became contagious. Their daughter Kristen and son Mike became triathletes as well.
In October 1998 the four of them did the Ironman together. They each swam 2.4 miles in the ocean, biked 100 miles, and followed up with a full marathon, 26.2 miles. It was a milestone in all of their lives.
In October, 2018 Diane and Pat will be back in Hawaii to watch this year’s Ironman. And while they are there, they will do their own version of the event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their milestone event. They’ve given themselves a week to do the above distances at their own pace. Because of jobs and family obligations, the kids won't be there in person to join their parents.
Here’s how the McCarys are preparing. They work out 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes every day, increasing their running, walking and swimming time as the time draws closer. Pat spends hours on the stationary bike. Diane rides weekly. In June they did a two-day mountain biking trip together. They also work out regularly in the pool.
Pat has had prostate surgery, a hip replacement and lives with bone-on-bone in his ankle. Diane says, “I function with a lot of worn out parts. We both make the best of what we have left. " She quoted her father-in-law who said, “I’d rather wear out than rust out.”
Stay tuned. I plan to report on their week in Hawaii in October.