Following with my Inspiration series, I think it will be nice to mention someone really special that help me to pursue the triathlete dream. Diana Bruno was my last year's marathon coach and help me to push beyond my limits, and ultimately helping me and the rest of the marathon team finishing their first 26.2 miles.
When we started training together, I noticed she had tattooed the Ironman logo in her right shoulder blade, and I asked her if she had done an Ironman. "Yes!" she replied and since then I nicknamed her "Irongirl". Luckily for me that she has been supporting me with tips about triathlon training and surely it had helped. She recently finished the 2010 Ironman Lake Placid and was nice enough to share some thoughts with me.

Congrats on finishing the 2010 Ironman Lake Placid Diana!!! How do you feel after finishing 140.6 miles? Did you have any particular goal at this race?

I felt a great sense of accomplishment and very tired! I had three goals for the race:

1)  To finish in the 13 hour range..check

2)  To finish in the daylight....check
3)  To finish in the top 10 of my age group. I was 7 after the swim, 10 after the bike, and dropped to 13 after the run - so pretty close!

Diana and her crew checking in at Ironman Lake Placid.
Everything has a beginning. Did you started running marathons first or doing triathlons? Which is your secret origin?
I always wanted to do triathlons simply for the cross training benefits. So I started with 5K. moved to sprint triathlons - my first one of which I dog paddled the swim, rode a hybrid bike, and ran the 5K very slowly.  After getting the feel of what a triathlon was, I knew I needed to get training. 
As I progressed with triathlon, sprints and olympics, I knew I had to get over my "fear" of the marathon.  So in 2007 I ran ING Miami (Jan), Cleveland Marathon (May), and topped off the year with the NY Marathon (Nov). Needless to say, I overcame my fear of distance running! The following year I completed my first Ironman.

Where you always an athlete or it started more as an adult thing?
I always enjoyed athletics but didn't have an opportunity growing up. I had four children so I really started running and triathlon after they grew up.

An Ironman race is sure a great accomplishment. What keeps you motivated?
It always helps if you have good friends to share the journey with you. I love the journey, the training, and breaking barriers, and the sense of accomplishment when a goal is met. I also like to think about ways of improving and being more efficient.

Ironman's swim exit.
How many months/weeks lasts an Ironman training? I bet you have a regular life, so how do you break down the hours of training and still have your regular life compromises?
I trained 6 months for this Ironman, which started at the end of marathon training. Two weeks time off in between training bouts.

Can you decribe a regular training day? How about a hard training day?
A regular day may consist of a morning run and an evening swim at the pool. Or maybe it would be a bike ride followed immediatly by a run. A hard day is the long Sunday bike ride - up to 6.5 hours followed by a transition run.  At the peak of training, I was hitting 20 hours per week.

At what time does an Iron athlete goes to sleep and wakes up?
One of the best lessons I have learned from Ironman is to really enjoy sleep. Sleep is the time when the body recovers from all of the training. I get as much as I can, maybe going to be around 9:30 - 10:00 and getting up for an early morning workout around 5am.

Diana and the crew (including me) at the end of the 2010 Miami Marathon.
How many Ironmans have you done? Did you did your Ironman tattoo after your first race?
I have done 2 IMs, and yes I got the tattoo after the first race. Since I ride a motorcycle, I have always been looking for the "right" tattoo, and one of the goals of completing my first IM was to get the tattoo.

So after Lake Placid, what's next?
I look forward to doing a flat land race!  Maybe Florida, Arizona or Cozumel.  Lake Placid was in the Adirondak mountains, so we had to do many weekend trips to Clermont (there are hills there) to have the bike training be more specific to the race. In my immediate future is the Marine Corp Marathon, Oct. 2010.

Do you have any advice for people trying to start doing triathlons or marathons?

1)  Don't by shy - just get out there and do it! You will meet fantastic, motivated, friendly, happy people out there. It has been a great social network for me.
2)  There are a lot of gadgets to spend your money on, but the best place to spend money is on solid coaching. There are 3 sports involved in triathlon, plus nutrition, and it is important to get the best input so you can be as efficient as possible.

Thank you for your time Diana!!! I hope to see you in the road soon!!!
I look forward to seeing you soon, and hearing of your big accomplishment with the 70.3!

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