Thursday, 23 January 2014 11:53
This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. That is what I am doing in 2014. I am going to be an Ironman.
As a member of the Children’s Tumor Foundation Endurance Team, I will be participating in Ironman Florida on Nov. 1, 2014. For the next 10 months, I will be on the journey to one of the greatest athletic accomplishments that one can achieve. Each month, I will be sharing with you how I am physically and mentally preparing for this effort. But first, how did this quest for fitness begin...
I loved food from the earliest memory, but unfortunately also enjoyed too much of it. The first leg of my weight loss journey started in the 10th grade when my mom took me to Weight Watchers for the first time. While I had some weight loss success during high school, the pounds came back when I went to college. When I got married in 1995, I was over 200 pounds and with my continued love for food and a husband who was a restaurant manager who cooked for a hobby, I continued to gain weight during our first eight years of marriage.
I also proclaimed myself the “drive-thru queen”. I did not cook, and although my husband Paul was in the food service industry, he became busy at the restaurant where he worked — so I just ate what I could easily pick up.
With weight loss always on my mind, I turned to frozen processed “diet” foods because they were also easy to grab and go. Of course this did not help, since these items are packed with sodium and artificial ingredients that do not assist with weight loss.
The pivotal moment for me finally happened in early 2010. My workplace started a “Biggest Loser” contest. I joined the gym and took spin classes, did aerobics, weight trained and watched what I ate. I won the contest for the NY division and came in second in the company.
Timing was on my side now — it was May 2011 when I decided I needed to do more. I went on my first run that May and it was a disaster. I could not even run one block. But I was determined and in four months later in September, I ran my first 10K (6.2 miles). I ran another one in November 2011 and did a 10 mile run in January 2012.
That was it — I was on my way. In March 2012 I completed my first half Marathon and then another in January 2013 in Disney World. In May 2013, I completed the Long Island Half Marathon and took 30 min off my time (since January)! My weight loss kicked in and the pounds started melting away.
In between the half marathons I tried a Sprint Triathlon in August 2012. I had actually been swimming most of my life, now I had running under my belt — so all I had to do is figure out the bike part.
Realizing I needed more structured training, I joined the Long Island Triathlon Team and found new inspiration and many resources from nutrition to workout partners. I also joined the LI Road Runners Club. Soon after I was asked to join the Long Island Road Runners Club Women’s Racing Team where I run designated road races and help score points for the team. I completed a total of six Triathlons in 2013 and with all this activity and newly learned eating habits I lost the additional pounds that lead me to reach my goal of losing over 100 pounds.
In September 2013 I completed my first half Ironman and I am now in training for my first full Ironman planned for November 2014 in Panama City, Florida.
It is thrilling to be considered an inspiration to others — and my advice is to never give up and take one step (swim or ride) at a time. As a full time working woman, a wife and mom — the trick is to not feel guilty for making time for myself to get healthy. Most important is that I know I am being a good role model for my nine year old son William. When I told William I was going to participate in an Ironman Triathlon, he said “My mom is Ironman!”
— Marlo Signoracci