Playing in Idaho

Keeping workouts simple.

I’m actually not really all that in to working out and/or exercise.  Yes, I am a professional triathlete that does a lot of training; however, for me it is really about empowered play.  I play well and I play a lot.  This makes me happy and healthy.

This week I have discovered a wonderful new play session.  Somewhat out of necessity, I got creative.  I’m racing in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay (52 to 56 degrees) in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon this weekend.  In order to get ready for the severe brain freeze I wanted to get in some of Idaho’s cold water.  Usually, that means a mountain lake or heading up to Lucky Peak.  But I didn’t have time for that this week.  Voila Boise River swimming in May.

I’ve swam in and down the Boise River many times but usually not until late June early July.  Right now the water temperature is around 52 degrees…perfect for acclimating to Alcatraz.

The session:

  • Don wetsuit at home grab cap and goggles and throw on some shoes I don’t mind getting soaked. 
  • Ride my bike a little under 10 minutes over to Quinn’s Lake.
  • Jump in and swim in the mid to high 60 degree water temperature at Quinn’s and swim 5 minutes over to the shore right next to the Boise River.
  • Climb out of the water and walk the few feet over to the Boise River, (right above the standing 36th street wave) and swim upstream.  The first time I did this on Tuesday I had some pretty severe brain freeze and had trouble keeping my head in the water.  The second time on Thursday I still had pretty significant brain freeze but it was not as bad.  The third time today, (Friday) I still had some brain freeze but it was so much better and easy to deal with that it really wasn’t a problem.  Hopefully, on Sunday in the SF Bay, I’m not dealing with any Ice Cream headaches while working incredibly hard to stay with some of the best swimmers in triathlon. 
  • I swim about 10 minutes against the current and inch my way ever so slightly up stream.  Then, I turn around and swim back to the starting point in about 1 minute.
  • Then, I jump back in Quinn’s Lake and it feels like bath water.  It is a great way to quickly warm up again from chilling the body, saving myself some energy.
  • After a bit more swimming, I’ll hop back on the bike in my wetsuit and pedal home for a nice shower.
  • Simple and fun way to play outside.


RODS Racing; helping the world be a better place

Life is amazing and exciting and as I begin the adventure of racing this 2014 season I am delighted to be part of a movement that is making our world a better place.

Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome (RODS) is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable foundation with all tax deductible donations going towards uniting these special children with a family.

Racing to raise awareness for a more loving and accepting world is something I can get behind racing my heart out for.  Do you feel the love?  You should because it makes us strong.

When Brady Murray (founder of RODS) talks about the blessing of being fortunate enough to have or adopt a child with Down syndrome, this resonates with me.   It is a gift not a burden to have a special child in your life.  I have a younger brother with special needs and as much as you would think that the older brother would be the one doing the teaching, my younger brother has taught me much more about life than I have for him.  He has the biggest most pure heart.  He helps me tune into the finer qualities of life, the things that matter most; love and friendship.  He keeps me humble and patient, qualities I’ve had to work on.  He keeps me open and honest, qualities we can always improve on.

My little brother is awesome, he might not fit into the system as well as some of us, but that is the systems fault.  I am thrilled to be a part of RODs Racing to help bring out awareness.  Awareness that we can do better.  Awareness that we can make this a loving world for everyone in it.  Awareness that we can be the change we want to see in the world.

Training and racing for me is about empowered play.  Finding my best self while losing myself, focusing on form while being formless.  Becoming the action through non-action brings out the most powerful reaction.  Having a cause like RODS to race for will only embolden the play.  Play can’t be serious!?  But play can accomplish amazing things.

Here’s to bringing out more play to more people.

Get involved and/or donate here


JETE Bar helps Professional Triathlete be stronger, faster and healthier.

By Kevin Everett
Head Triathlon Coach for Treasure Valley YMCA’s
& Professional Triathlete

I have been eating JETE Bars since 2010 when my mom started experimenting with a healthy nutritionally rich snack.  At first I enjoyed them even though gluten seemed not to be an issue for me.  How could it be?  I was training and racing as a professional triathlete, I felt good most of the time if not just about all the time.  Yet my mom, who found out in 1979 that she was intolerant to gluten, kept suggesting that my subtle symptoms might be due to the same intolerance.  ‘No way’, I would think, feeling threatened about losing a source of tasty and easy to eat food.  Mostly from the fact that I couldn’t fathom giving up all things wheat; I obtained massive amounts of pleasure from these gluten foods.

With enough jabbing she convinced me to try a gluten free diet for an upcoming race.  Comforted by the fact that she would make sure I had plenty of JETE bars helped immensely curb the desire for yummie wheat products.  About a month before the 2012 Ironman Arizona race I cut out all things wheat.  The race was exceptional and I noticed improvements to my health.  Unfortunately, this meant facing the fact that gluten might be holding me back and I may have eaten my last doughnut.

That race helped to continue being gluten low, I would avoid gluten but I did not obsess about saying, “No thank you, I can’t eat that; I have a gluten allergy”.  I really wanted to avoid being that guy.

I have been gluten low since October 2012 and gluten free since August 2013 and it has been a long road of nutritional discovery to get here.

I have had two accidental doses of gluten since late summer, fries at a restaurant that were fried together with other batter that contained wheat and some salsa that was using gluten as a ‘filler’.  Both times a couple hours later my gut cramped up and it had me moaning in pain.  I have no problem being the guy that now says, “No thank you, I have a gluten allergy.”

With my tolerance down, ingesting gluten floors me.  It amazes me to think back over the last couple decades that my body dealt with the subtle and not so subtle ‘poisoning’ pretty well.

Improvements since being gluten free:

  • *At age 38 I had my best season ever including winning the LA Triathlon.
  • *Without a doubt my digestion is, let’s say, more solid all-around.
  • *My weight has come down (from mid-160’s to mid-150’s).
  • *A skin rash, on my lower left leg that baffled me and my dermatologist for over a decade, vanished.
  • *I had learned to deal with bloating not even noticing it as a symptom, in hindsight is sucks and I no longer need to deal with it.
  • *This ties in with my all-around more solid digestion; no more gas.
  • *I eat better due to the simple fact that I have to carefully choose less processed foods and seek out more whole foods.
  • *Every indication from my training and racing as a professional triathlete shows improvement across the board.  I am healthier and more fit at age 39 than I have ever been in my life.
  • *With the help of healthy choices like JETE Bar I no longer miss doughnuts…well sometimes my wife does have an awfully yummie looking croissant.

I have been using the JETE Bar for everything from snacks, to meal replacements, to dessert while eating them before, during and after training and racing.  The process of going gluten free would not have been as empowering or as enjoyable without them.

I am grateful to my mom for opening my eyes and for her support.  I would not have been able to start making the necessary changes without her help and guidance.  She really makes One Mother of a Bar!™


10 Offseason basic rules for triathletes

Be mindful without a trigeek focus.

#1 Always find your movement in the day (sitting for more than 6 hours can be worse for you than smoking)

#2 Have fun with your movement

#3 Focus on form

#4 Know what it means to focus on good form

#5 Work on your weakness

#6 Try new stuff (routes, exercises, equipment, nutrition).

#7 Find more time to spend with your family and friends

#8 Let your overall fitness slide a bit

#9 Let one or two sports slide a bit while keeping one sport near top from

#10 read #2 again…Have Fun!

Triathlon; A love story

Summer 2003 started with my first triathlon and ended with my first overall win at the Emmett Triathlon.  I did one triathlon and caught the bug, racing everything within driving distance of Boise that summer.  I was a 28 year kid searching for more meaning in life.  I found it in movement.  Finding myself that summer allowed something far more profound to happen.  True Love.  After all, we’re all just looking for love.

When I started I was an overweight, weekend warrior spending summers kayaking and playing water polo with winters chalk full of snowboarding and skiing.  Life was grand but too comfortable; missing the challenge that teaches you to be better.  I went from floating on the breeze of life to taking the bull by the horns and digging in.

My first triathlon in April that year I ended up 4th in the Y Spring Sprint.  I had a big lead after the swim but I’ll never forget when 50+ year old Gar Hackney road by after 10 miles like I was on a tricycle (and I had a brand new TT bike).  I was amazed at the youth and vigor a 50 year old could have.  It opened my eyes to breathing more.

I learned a lot from Gar that summer.  The two of us drove up to Coeur d’Alene, a 9 hour plus drive from Boise.  It was hot but we had the windows down the whole way.  I tried a couple times to implement the comfort of air conditioning but he wanted the 60mph warm summer breeze.  I picked his brain and he willingly shared his experience as a multiple World Champion.  As interested as I was in the details, it was the simple attitude and persona that rings true to me today.  He had a laid back, this is fun, take it with a grain of salt, yet I’m going to rip your heart out when the race starts kind of attitude.  He was going to show himself and anyone that was paying attention what was possible.  He enjoyed being outside, the people and the challenge, it was that simple.  Triathlon was an outlet for an existence that taught you to be humble, grateful and to be in constant search of your best self.

I did not finish the Olympic distance race because I tried something new on race day, after well over 100 races it is one of only 5 races, I have not finished.  Gar had already warned me about ‘nothing new on race day’.  I put some new inserts in my running shoes, thinking that wouldn’t matter, and had blisters in both of my arches that felt like I was running in a pool of blood.  I stopped at an aid station and asked a volunteer if I could borrow her socks.  I ran 300m and had to stop because it was way too late for socks.  It felt like if I kept going I would be running on stumps which would rule me out for the next Triathlon in Emmett.

My main training partner that summer was a two year old pup named Milo.  Back then there were fewer people and no leash laws in the Boise foothills and we roamed them with all the freedom of two boys at play.  He was more like a Black Panther with his athleticism and grace and it overflowed me with joy to feel his joy of running free.  He got me out the door on many occasions and taught me about the importance of the precious moments we had together.  He was ‘all in’ when we played.

I took my newfound wisdom and foundation for the sport of triathlon, thanks in large part to Milo and Gar’s counseling and applied my passion in a robust way.  Getting a large lead in the swim and holding on for dear life the rest of the way.

I’m grateful for winning the Emmett Triathlon but what I’m even more grateful for was winning the raffle after the race.  I won a super sweet full suspension mountain bike.  It was my lucky day.

Winning the mountain bike allowed me to enter the Big Blue Lake Tahoe Adventure race with my friend Hortense who had put together a team with her brother.  Our training consisted of climbing Mt Borah, riding single-track and camping in some great Idaho locations.  Milo took a quick liking to Hortense just like his dad and he was the best wingman a guy could ask for.  He knew exactly what to do and when to do it.

By the time we started the race in October, Hortense had damaged her elbow in a mtn bike crash; she still went on the trip but couldn’t race.  So we went from a coed team to an all male team and won that category, even though Hortense would have made us stronger.

We bonded in the training and on the trip; afterward Hortense and I were an official item. Milo played his role.  The rest of October and November were like a dream, I don’t know that my feet ever touched the ground.  On December 5th at a beach in Lincoln City, Oregon I proposed to Hortense.  True love took us by storm.

As Hortense and I approach our 9th anniversary on Sept 11th I reflect on the good fortunes that brought us together 10 years ago.  Thank goodness I discovered a passion that focused my life and made me a better man.  I found myself and my direction that summer, without this foundation I never would have wooed a beautiful French woman into an adventurous life with a good ole’ Idaho boy.

Gar and Milo are no longer ‘with us’ as they say, but their vibrant soul’s are alive within each person they touched while on their short journey here.  I feel them both alive and well; playing inside of us and reminding us to breath more.  With the power of hindsight, it’s clear to me that without the imprint of their soul at that time in my life…Hortense and I might not be.  A trajedy to be sure.  Funny how life has a way of working things out.  I am amazingly grateful for those experiences and the bond they helped create for Hortense and I.

Here’s to an adventurous life enriched with the sweet nectar of joy.

Love your HONEY

Growing the next generation of Triathletes with the Y’s Summer Triathlon Camps

Boise Youth Triathlon

Summer 2013 Dates:

June 24-28 Dt Y   July 8 -12 Dt Y July 22 -26 Dt Y   Aug 5-9 West Y   Aug 19-23 West Y

Click to Register Now Online

Mission: To promote a lifelong passion for activity while focusing on swimming, biking, and running. We look to enhance fitness skills with the larger goal of developing self-esteem, teamwork, goal setting, self-discipline and friendly competition. This Youth Program will be both an introduction to sport for beginners and a challenge for the serious competitor. Experienced coaching with a flair for kids will guide the program. The Youth Triathlon Program will strive to create a healthy and safe environment for kids to learn, laugh, and grow.

The YMCA is a non-profit organization.

*Financial assistance is available*


About the Camp
The Boise YMCA Youth Triathlon Camp is a non-profit group focused on healthy lifestyles for kids. The age range is 7 – 18 years old. This program will offer swim, bike, and run training with safety, sound mechanics and fun being a major theme. We welcome all abilities. There will be several informal and formal kids’ triathlons throughout the year to race in at the local, regional, and national level.


Camp Benefits
· Structured group workouts for all abilities
· Beginner/Intermediate & Advanced
Training groups
· Gaining lifelong skills for an active lifestyle and love for the outdoors
· Social aspects while playing fun games
· Professional Coaching
· Free T-shirt
· Kids Triathlon on last day

Monday-Friday 7:45am-11:30am (be in pool by 8:00am)
$99 for Facility Members and $145 Program-Members
Financial Assistance Available


Specifics for camp:
*Participants should be able to swim 1 lap on own in the pool
*Need suit and goggles
*Need any bike that meets safety standards
*Need a helmet that fits correctly
*Need shoes for running
*Need a water bottle
*Participants remember to bring your own snacks


Schedule for Camp:
1. 7:45am participants arrive and sign in
(lock up bikes and get ready for swim)
2. 8:00am-9:00pm: Pool
3. 9:00am-9:30am change and snack
4. 9:30am-10:30am: Bike
5. 10:30am-10:45am change and snack
6. 10:45am-11:30: Run
7. Pick up at 11:30am
 **Light day on Wednesday**


Thursday (Transition Clinic)
1. 7:45am participants arrive and sign in (lock up bikes and get ready for swim)
2. Transition Clinic: T1/T2 (practice over and over)
3. Race Day Preparation: course location, distances, age groups, start time, directions etc.
4. 11:15-11:30am: Camp Review
5. Pick up at 11:30am

Friday: Race Day
1. Participants arrive at 8:30am
2. Race starts at 9:00am
3. Following Race: Awards

Race Distances:
The swim will be in the West Y pool with all the lane lines removed.  One loop around that pool will be about 150 yards (we’ll put buoys in each of the corners).

Red Race Option: Swim (1 loop) 150 yards, Bike (2 loops) 2 miles, Run (1 loop) 0.5 mile.

White Race Option: Swim (2 loops) 300 yards, Bike (4 loops) 4 miles, Run (2 loops) 1 mile.

Blue Race Option: Swim (3 loops) 450 yards, Bike (6 loops) 6 miles, Run (3 loops) 1.5 mile.

 Click to Register Now Online

Essential Tools

One of the best purchases I ever made for endurance sports cost me about $25 in 2004.  I use it almost daily and it can be found in areas of high traffic at my house for the simple reason of reminding me to use it just a minute or two to reap the rewards.  I discovered this item at an expo during the Pacific Crest Weekend in Oregon while dealing with some debilitating IT Band issues.  I had tried everything, stretching, physical therapy, foam rollers, ice, massage but was still forced to stop running for many weeks with little progress.

Then, I met this nice guy at ‘The Stick’ expo.  10 minutes is all it took.  The next day I woke up without IT Band pain for the first time in a long time.

Utilizing The Stick countless times since has helped keep me running injury free for years now.  I use it before and after key sessions and it has replaced any static stretching that I used to do.  It’s one of the few (pack light) items that goes with me while on vacation (vacation usually means lots of fun training).

I love to keep things simple and using this tool is easy and powerful.  I’ll usually do one leg for 30 seconds to a minute then do the other leg.  Focusing on sensitive areas while trying to smooth the muscle out.  I’ll repeat each leg and already notice an improvement the second time around.

As an athlete and a coach I would say The Stick is as close to a mandatory item as are the shoes.  If you are going to be using your legs…treat them to daily massages with The Stick and your legs will keep treating you to the sport of your choice.

I suggest heading down to Bandana and picking one of these up or getting a gift that keeps on giving for that special someone.

Happy Training,


MY ROAD TO IRONMAN with Joe Reitan

When Joe Reitan first came into a swimfit practice at the Y on crutches, little did I know that we were about to embark on a memorable journey.  He gave me the low down on what happened and remember thinking, “wow, Joe is broken, but he’s lucky to be alive.”  Then, came the shocker, “I want you to coach me for Ironman Coeur d’Alene” Joe said.  I let that sink in for a second: the responsibility of taking a broken body and getting it fit for an Ironman in 6 months; daunting seemed to be the prevailing feeling. 

As a coach, our creed is to assist the athlete in becoming stronger and healthier.  It’s also about achieving the unattainable and the unknown.  Joe came to me with one fine challenge, one that I took very seriously.  There can be a fine balance with being fit and being under pressure to do too much with an Ironman looming.  With Joe, we did not want to blur the lines.  The cost of injury would mean a big blow to his goal and his psyche, and a good coach does not injury his athletes.

It was paramount that he understood the necessity for aerobic conditioning with a focus on form.  Couple that, with finding balance in every aspect of his life; sleep, nutrition, relationships, work, entertainment.  With Joe’s extreme circumstance we had little margin for error.  As you’ll read in his story, he could not run until 4 months prior to IM CDA.  We made swimming the backbone of his fitness and healing process and it paid off in a big way.  Joe’s comeback is stunning, not just for the short time it took to get in the best shape of his life, but also for the enriching life experience.  Don’t think you can compete in triathlons?  Think again, getting a support structure and smart training plan together and you too can achieve the unattainable and the unknown.

Thanks Joe, it is an honor to have been part of this journey.

My Road to Ironman

Joe Reitan

On June 11, 2011 I raced in my first ever Ironman 70.3 in Boise.  As I crossed the finish line, my boss and co-worker literally caught me and had to take me to the medic tent.  I was suffering from electrolyte imbalance. While spending that hour in medical I called my dad, told him I had finished and announced that I was going to do a full Ironman in 2012.


July 17, 2011 I signed up for the 2012 Ironman Coeur d’Alene.  I called my dad and said, “I want you to be there; you have a year to fit it into your schedule.”  I had had a great race at Burley Spudman in Burley, Idaho, on June 30th and was flying high going into August to finish off my race season.


On August 9, 2011 at 8:15 a.m., my life changed, as did my race season hopes and dreams.  I was commuting to work in the bicycle lane when a dry cleaning van turned left, hitting me broadside and sending me airborne into the windshield. I ended up on the ground, curled up in the fetal position, breathing heavily and trying to organize and analyze what had just happened.  As I was placed on a back board and put in a cervical collar I knew I could still move my feet and hands, reassuring me that I had not injured my spinal cord.  While riding in the ambulance, I wondered if I would ever be able to race again at a competitive level, knowing that I had a fractured left anterior pelvis, fractured left lower leg (fibula), crushed right wrist and hand, and an apparent ruptured right quadriceps.  I also knew my helmet was cracked and my bike destroyed.  This was all bad news.

It was a rough next few days as I tried to absorb what had taken place.  I was extremely depressed as I wanted to be swimming, biking and running, but instead I was getting in touch with race directors trying to figure out how to pull out of races for next year and request refunds.  One week later, on August 16th, I was in surgery to rebuild my right wrist with 14 pins/screws and a plate.  Then the rehab began.  I did hand therapy to regain strength and range of motion, and physical therapy to strengthen my legs.  It wasn’t until October that I was back on the bike, but that only lasted a month.

On November 1st, I underwent another surgery, this one to have my right medial quadriceps reattached to the patella.  I was ordered to do limited range of motion and no running or riding until January.  Though I could have resigned myself to the fact that my racing career might by over, I told myself I was going to bust my ass to recover to race Ironman Coeur d’Alene on June 24, 2012.


On November 28, 2011, I started my training with YMCA coach and Professional Triathlete Kevin Everett.  I told him I had a goal of completing IM CDA 2012, but then I told him my restrictions.  From the first time we talked, I knew he was worried I would overdue the training, and I knew I had to follow the doctor’s orders to prevent further injury.  Kevin started me on an upper body/core strengthening program along with a swimming workout that did not involve any legs (pull buoy all the time).  It wasn’t until mid-January that I was able to start biking, and February before I could even attempt to start running in the Alter G Treadmill at 50% weight bearing.  The running was really rough and I had constant pains.  I had extreme doubts that I would be able to run a full marathon in June after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike.


I had several serious discussions with Kevin as I progressed through the training.  He kept telling me that if I stuck to the program and didn’t push things too hard, I had a chance.  I decided to try the Boise Y Spring Sprint 2012.  My swim in the pool felt pretty good, and then the next day came the ultimate test: the bike followed by the run at race pace.  I came in 17th overall and 1st in the 18-29 age group.  I was back for short distance, but I was still worried about the full Ironman.


June 10th came around and I started my taper for IMCDA.  To this point I had only run 13 miles, the furthest I had ever run in my life.  Two weeks from now I was facing a full marathon as the third leg of the Ironman.  What was I thinking?  Then Kevin said, “You made it this far without injury, you will be fine for the race.”  We discussed my nutrition strategy and how I was going to reach my goal of finishing in 12-13 hours though I would love finishing under the 12 hour mark.   On the Monday night prior to the race, Kevin shook my hand and said, “Good luck, you can do it.”


On June 21st I packed the car and headed north.  Destination: Coeur D’Alene. It didn’t really hit me until I was in line to get the coveted blue Ironman participant wrist band.  I knew this was going to be a great weekend, felt somewhat confident about the swim, very good about the bike and knew my biggest challenge would be to make it through the run.  Saturday June 23rd was bike check-in and then it was time for final preparations for the morning.


It’s finally here.  Race day. June 24th.   It’s 3:30 a.m., the alarm goes off, and I start making breakfast.  I start wondering if I am consuming enough calories at breakfast in case I don’t eat anything else prior to the swim.   Then comes the prep work for transitions.  Do I have everything set up?  How am I going to run through the transitions? Fortunately, my talks with Kevin have prepared me well and I am surprisingly calm. The earlier group swims in the pond and numerous practice transitions made for a lower- stress race morning.  At 6:30 a.m., the transition closes and we start the walk down to the beach.  It is almost time for 2400 athletes to run into the water.  My main thought: “Protect your head in the swim.”


The cannon goes off and we all run in.  I decided to go off to the right in about the middle of the pack, with the objective to see the buoys on the left side when I breathed.  This was a great strategy!  My goal of protecting my head from getting kicked was reached.  I can’t say I didn’t get the crap beat out of me in the swim as people hit my legs and swam over me, but with all my swim training and Kevin’s coaching, I completed my first 1.2 mile loop in 32 minutes.  On the second lap, the waves started to pick up and the water became choppy.  I crossed the transition mat from the swim at 1:08:56.  I was thrilled with my swim time, so I decided to take the few extra seconds to use the wetsuit strippers.  I ran into the transition tent and had a great transition to the bike.  As I exited the tent I grabbed my bike, ran out, jumped on and I was off and feeling great! I was able to take in nutrition and drinks as I rode the course out of town and had to pee by mile ten, just as I had hoped.  Unfortunately I was unable to pee on the bike like I had planned, and had to stop to pee several times throughout the bike course.  The head wind out 95 didn’t help either.


At the end of the bike I had a great transition and started running to get my run bag.  With the quick transition I was headed out, still smiling after a 6:11:12 bike split. As I followed my watch at the mile markers, my first three miles were 8-8:30 minute miles, and I knew this was not going to last and needed to slow a little.  My first 6.6 miles were at a 9:49/mile pace, the next 6.8 miles were at 11:36/mile, and then I was hurting, mentally and physically. I spotted my dad and girlfriend and stopped to talk for a few seconds.  I was mentally revived, but now it was back uphill.  The walking/running began and the next 6.1 miles were at a pace of 14:56/mile.  Finally I had reached the final turn- around and realized I could be under 13 hours if I kept going.  My last 6.7 miles were my fastest per mile average at 11:06/mile.  I give lots of credit to all the crowds on the course, especially in the last two miles for encouraging me to keep pushing.  Once I hit mile 24 I knew the finish was in sight.  I picked up my pace and had a big shit-ass smile on my face.  Rocking out to music and singing along in the last few miles was so much fun.  I did exactly as Kevin told me, “Have fun and enjoy!”, I soaked in every moment of the last few miles.  Then came the final turn onto the packed Sherman Street.  Seven blocks down I could see the finish and hear the voice of Mike Riley announcing,  “….YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”  The sidewalks were wall to wall people, cowbells ringing and signs all around, and people holding out their hands for high fives the whole way down the road.  I continue running and taking it all in with a big smile.  Then I hear the words I have busted my butt to hear, “Joe Reitan…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.”  I crossed the finish line after a 5:09:22 marathon resulting in a 12:40:21 finish.  I was an IRONMAN after a very tragic accident 10.5 months ago.

I committed to the Ironman saying, “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE” and followed through with it Thanks a ton to my coach Kevin Everett.  With his help and my unbreakable dedication I was able to overcome a very damaging accident and achieve my goal of finishing an IRONMAN!!!

French Dinner’s prep to a run

Tweet at 8:22pm


achi11e5 Kevin Everett

Tasty French dinner, lamb, cake, champaign, wine. Little problem, I still have a run to do.



It’s my father in-law’s birthday and the family is celebrating like only the French now how, a ‘nothing special’ supremely satisfying dinner.  We toast some champagne for 66 years of life and eat some appetizers.  The main course is with lamb followed by a salad.  For dessert it is my wife’s famous chocolate cake.  Only taking one helping of my favorite food is unusual but I have hopes of still completing a run after dinner!

Time with my family is most precious.  There are few things on earth more satisfying than eating dinner with your family and seeing your busy 17 month old daughter laugh and play.  Time lingers, life is good.

My wife and daughter head to bed early and I’ve had about 20 minutes to let the dinner ‘settle’.  I don some running attire.

Stepping out of the front door the transformation is immediate.

It’s dark outside and my eyes adjust while my breathing picks up.  It is a calm night, the night after a full moon.  Beginning the run in the middle of the street is standard issue at this time of day.  The Nightrunner moves freely and takes liberties as the king of twilight. Taking tangents across streets, through manicured lawns, down alleys mostly in the direction of choice the whole city feels like a personal playground.

Making my way to the State Capitol Building’s grass lawn I meander over to the Occupy Boise scene and see a few people milling about near the common kitchen area.  I then head towards the heart of downtown and run south on 8th street.  Everyone here is out entertaining, eating, and drinking, I feel out of place and love it.  My entertainment for the evening is top shelf.

But I run to 8th street for more than the downtown scene.  8th street is the Ironman Boise 70.3 finish and I’ve been running the last half mile.  I project, reminisce, dream and fantasy about running the race that I’m training for right now.  Then, I mostly appreciate the random run down the center of 8th street on a Tuesday night in January.  It’s the process and the piece by piece challenge to reach a peak performance that is so rewarding.  True, the event itself is the test but it’s the lessons along the way that fill one’s heart with the richness to achieve something more.