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The Reporter: IronWOMAN

September 29, 2010

On Sunday, Sept. 12, the Ford Ironman race in Madison took place. Competitors at the Ironman begin their day with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Monona, followed by a 112-mile bike ride throughout Dane County and then ran a complete marathon (26.2 miles) in and around downtown Madison. What a feat to complete! To get a feel for what it’s like to prepare for such a rigorous race, I talked with 38-year-old Theresa Hagen–a working mother who finished this year’s Ironman–about her training schedule and her beauty tips for athletic women on the go. Read on to see how she became an IronWOMAN.

1. What is your history with Ironman races? Is this your first one? Yes, this is my first one. I had done two other half Ironman races so they peaked interest. I moved into a new city and met new friends and they all wanted to do an Ironman and it really came down to peer pressure. I just started running March of 2000 so I had never run more than five miles.

2. What was your training schedule like? I followed a plan that I got out of a book and you actually worked out twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. On the weekends it was longer training of a particular event, whether it be swimming, biking or running.

3. How did you find time to train in your busy schedule? I would get up really early. I would start running or do bike rides at 5 a.m. and would get home before anyone really knew I was gone. In the evenings I would have my bike on a trainer in the house or the pool would be open late, so my family really didn’t even know I was training. I work as a nurse midwife so I deliver babies and some of that requires 24 hours of being on call. You have to be pretty creative about your schedule.

4. Did you have a mantra you kept repeating to yourself through the race? I always told myself “You’re doing awesome.” You’re doing something not a lot of people are doing so I kept thinking that.

5. What was your most challenging part of the race? The hardest part is being alone during the race. With training you can

ride or run with people or listen to your iPod but when you’re on the actual race, you can’t have anything and [you’re] on your own.

6. What was your finishing time? 15:01. My goal was 16:59 since you get cut off at 17 hours, so I’m proud of my time!

7. What is your absolute beauty must-have? Mascara is the number one. I also use a lot of Neutrogena products such as the shimmers that can be used for eyes, lips and cheeks. This comes in handy after a lunch workout when you are rushed to get back to work. I also use a Neutrogena cleanser and acne control for my face. After pool workouts you can really smell like chlorine so I will use Bath and Body works Eucalyptus shampoo and conditioner for my hair and the body wash and lotion to take away the smell.

8. Do you have a particularly favorite fitness-wear brand that you love to work out in? Addidas and Nike are my  favorite brands. They seem to run true to size and tops are always appropriate lengths. You can also never go wrong with different hair accessories. I use a lot of hair ties and different headbands when in a hurry.

9. What is your advice to women who may not really want to participate in the Ironman, but want to get in shape and keep an exercise regime? You can start small and work your way up to whatever goal you may have and it takes creative time management. You have to make the time. If you exercise, you feel good about yourself and that makes you a better mother and wife.

Congratulations to Theresa and all the Ironman participants! What an accomplishment!

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