Hello! I'm Beto!
Hello! I'm Beto!
I was never the athletic type, and of course I never thought I would become one. After graduating high school, I moved from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Miami, and with 3 jobs to support myself, attended full-time college with the hopes that a degree would get me closer to a decent job.
In 2005 that dream came true, but on my way there, I totally failed to take care of myself. My dad would always say that I should be more active, because it would be good for me, but I would never listen. After a year I decided to pay to my cousin Rosanna a visit for the X-mas Holiday of 2005. When I got to NYC she remembered a normal looking guy, but to her surprise the normal guy she left in Miami had 50+ lbs over his regular weight. I had a destroyed self-esteem, plus dealing with depression makes everything harder.... so my cousin make me notice that I could be better, so I decided to do something about it when I came back to Miami. (I mean, she even sent me to cut my loong hair!!!). So the following year I did what most people do for a “New Year’s Resolution” and signed up at a gym.
January '06 and the New Year's resolution started. Since I desperately needed help, I decided to invest in a personal trainer in order to know what the hell do in the gym (I had no clue). The essential thing about losing weight was basically to do cardio, and have a healthy improved diet. He put me in the treadmill for 10 min before the weights session. I had never ever run before this, and it was the hardest thing I had ever done... but eventually I started to like it. After about month and a half, rather than taking the car to the gym, I started to run to the gym.
On March '06 I regained an ideal weight, plus a new hobby. For around 2 years I remained running on and off, and increasing millage too. My dad would be proud that I could go out for a casual run with him now. One day while eating at Panera, I saw a flyer about a local 5k race. While reading it I said to myself "Why not?, I mean... I can run, maybe is about time to go into a race". My first 5k was on March 1st, 2008. After the race I said..."what's next?". On Aug. 31st 2008 I did my first 10k which was actually in the first Nike+ Human Race.
After a 10k race the next level in distances was a half-marathon. 13.1 miles of pure torture. I decided to sign up for a training group and "try". I discovered a new whole world about running: the techniques, the gear, the shoes and a lot of people that like me were new at this. After 5 months of life changing training and in January 31st 2009 I did the 2009 ING Miami Half-Marathon. So the question came again... "what's next?"
After around 6 months completely off running and a lot of meditation, I decided to take on the big one... a full marathon. If 13.1 miles were torture, 26.2 miles were Hell on Earth. Some of my runners friends never stopped running as I did, so I had a lot of catch up to do. This time 6 months was the time required to prepare for the race and there were even more new stuff to learn in order to tackle this beast. Luckily for me I had a lot of support from my old mates and my new friends from my training group. Finally in January 10th 2010, I did the 2010 Walt Disney World Marathon and, as crazy as it sounds, 3 weeks later I did the 2010 Miami Marathon.
At that point, I needed a new challenge in my life. Inspired by my marathon coach Diana and after watching videos on Youtube of people with organ transplants, old age, and numerous health problems participating in a triathlon race in Hawaii that involved a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle, and a 26.2 run called Ironman, I said to myself “if they can do this, why can’t I?” What is stopping me of doing a race of 140.6 miles? I am blessed to have all my limbs, no major health problems, still be relatively young… I simply found no excuse. Although I was always bad at sports and a professional couch potato, there was no valid reason for me to say I can’t.
On May 12, 2010, I started this blog to tell my journey through triathlon training. I had a quite fun experience learning the in-and-outs the previous years when I started running to lose weight, all the way until training for a half and full marathons, that I thought it would be even more interesting to have a online journal about my triathlon adventure.
From there it started. I purchased a bike and learning how to clip on the bike came along with a lot of ground kissing, but never got discouraged, I kept on trying and trying! It is so hard to do not only one, but THREE sports! Last time I swam, was back in summer camp when I was 12... so I was not trying to drown and stay afloat. Finally on August 2010 I did my first triathlon, a sprint distance! Such an accomplishment! Keep them coming! In September, I did an Olympic distance triathlon!, so this is what the Olympians do, awesome!!! What else I can do?
How about running a half-marathon after swimming and biking? Bring it!!! My first major injury came along with it, but I finished my first half-iron distance in November. Not only that but I signed for a race that involved 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a FULL marathon at the end!!! What is this madness all about?
Able to move my knee again, I switch coaches and met coach Marcelo and his team. Never thought a team of unknown people will become real friends. Training for an Ironman meant booking up long training hours, which I had never experienced before. Dedication, compromise and sacrifice. After passing by injuries, therapies, blood, sweat, tears... in November 2011 I finally became what I thought it was impossible.... an Ironman.
I was done. I did the distance that inspire me to become a triathlete, but the race that inspired me to become a triathlete haunted my dreams. Destiny had another major twist for me. The dream race became a reality and I had the chance to race the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. But the road to Kona was not an easy one. Before starting my training for it I got injured really bad. I was unable to walk for 2 months, and I had to restart everything from scratch. With just 8 weeks before the race I was able to run again. The road to the Kona was a really hard one. On October 12, 2012 I was in the start line of Kona. No words can describe the emotion of finishing it.
From a 10 min sufferfest in the treadmill to an inhuman 17 hour challenge. To this day, I continue to challenge myself to the limits of my body, mind and trying to be better each and everyday. All of this while mixing real life, my passion for geeky stuff and this sport that has surely changed my life.