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I Will Not Quit – Marty Hunter

Marty Hunter Ironman Arizona How It All Started Run Tri Bike Magazine
Marty Hunter
Year started: 2017
Next race: November 21, 2021 / Ironman Arizona / Tempe, Arizona

It was June 2016 when I saw two of my friends finish their journey at 70.3 Ironman Coeur d’Alene. It was there that I saw athletes of all sizes, shapes and ages finish and the fire was lit. Standing next to me at that moment was my husband and he knew, immediately, that I was going to go on my own journey to the finish line at the end of a red carpet at an Ironman. We both knew that finishing was the ultimate goal and that I will not quit.

In September of 206 I committed to racing Coeur d’Alene 70.3 From that day until the spring of 2017 I trained, on my own, for the Troika, an Olympic distance triathlon, held at Medial Lake, Washington. I was looking forward to taking my first step toward that coveted red carpet, but things didn’t go as I had planned or hoped. I never got to that finish line at the Troika Triathlon as I had DNF’d (did not finish) after being pulled from the swim. In that moment I fell, literally, into the arms of my soon to be coach, Robin DeRuwe. We decided to push the 70.3 CdA until 2018 and give myself time to train and have a few successful races under my belt. I also told myself that I will not quit despite any other setbacks or failures that come my way.

Nutrition Is An Achilles heel

Swim,Β bike and runΒ are not a problem but the 4th discipline of triathlon, nutrition, is my achilles heel. Despite receiving coaching and being informed of what I need to do, I almost always under and the over estimate my needs. I can’t put my finger on it but I’m not as dedicated to this aspect as I am to the training components of the sport.

I will say that I am also a person who compares. This gets me in trouble because I let fear take over and that stops me in my tracks. I know that fear is a liar. Is my tribe younger than me? Yes, and I know that as well. I also know that I need to hydrate and feed my body and yet I still struggle with these things. The mental battle of this sport is constant for me.

Overcome Fears and Comparisons

These fears and comparisons are why I stated, out loud, to the world and beyond that 70.3 at Coeur d’Alene was going to be the goal. There was not a chance that I would go after the 140.6 distance. Wasn’t going to happen, but then another thing happened. I met a teammate for dinner, which included wine, and that decision was reversed. Seems that Pinot Gris gave me some courage and allowed me to make a brilliant decision.

I chose to race at Ironman Cozumel but Coach DeRuw put her foot down and said β€˜absolutely not.’ Her insight into that race was stronger than that last glass of wine and we decided that racing at Ironman Arizona would be a better decision for me. That is How I Got Started down the path of racing the 140.6 distance at Ironman Arizona.

The next step was to volunteer. In June of 2017, I traveled to CdA to watch the 70.3 race unfold but to also gain invaluable experience. I had a blast and volunteering fanned the flame to be a finisher. At that moment, I knew I wasn’t ready to race but I could tell that the desire and motivation was bubbling inside of me and I could not wait to get started with my training.

I Will Not Quit

The start of training was going well. I was building fitness and confidence when I had a tumble on the treadmill. I was angry and disappointed in myself but I thought to myself that I will not quit. Not much later, I fell again. This time it was in December and I thought to myself that my race was in June so this wasn’t that big of a deal. That is not to say that I wasn’t terrified, because I was, but I had no quit in me.

It was February 2018 and while on vacation in Hawaii, I rented a bike because I was determined to have a successful training cycle and to finally see that finish line at the end of the red carpet. While there, I went swimming in a pool and also rode the rental bike. I would ride and run up and down the hills according to my training plan. When I got back from my trip the training continued and prior to racing the 70.3 at CdA I went back to Troika. I knew this is where my journey started and I wanted to turn that DNF into a medal. When I crossed the finish line my mental strength went up a few notches. I can do this.

Confidence Led To Success

In June 2018, I lined up and was ready to take on 70.3 CdA. Having the confidence from racing and finishing Troika, I was determined to make a good showing in Coeur d’Alene. Sure enough that showing resulted in me achieving an age group award and walking on air for a weeks afterward. That race rolled into the rest of 2018 and I had a successful racing year.

During 2019 and the start of 2020 I competed in a few events so that I could keep motivated and focus on the big goal of Ironman Arizona. As we all know, 2020 didn’t unfold as we had expected but I did commit to racing Ironman Arizona in 2021 (there may have been some wine involved!)

IMAZ Is Almost Here

Ironman Arizona is a few months away and the training is going well. Despite another fall in May of this year, I will not stay down. I’m going forward and I will not quit. I have a sinister mantra that fuels me. The mantra is: You’re in the terrible too’s: Too old, too fat, too slow. I think about that mantra and breathe, narrow my focus, get up and go because that finish line is waiting for me to cross it.

From a visit to a race to spectate, to volunteering at a race to now training for Ironman Arizona this journey has been amazing. I look forward to starting the race and while it makes me nervous, it also lets me know that I am alive. See you soon on the Red Carpet!!!

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