Troubleshooter Diane Wilson to compete in Raleigh's Half Ironman

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Friday, June 2, 2017
Diane Wilson preps for Half Iron Man
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Diane Wilson has been training to compete in a Half Iron Man in Raleigh

RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- You ask me, why a Half Ironman? My simple answer is - why not?

When I turned 40, I wanted to do something totally crazy and out of my comfort zone. Of course, a great vacation popped into my mind, but I really wanted to do something just for myself. In my 30s, I got married, had two beautiful girls, and worked hard to achieve a fulfilling career. However, what I realized is that in the last 10 years, I really didn't do anything just for ME. I put my family's needs first, my work needs first, but I never took the time to do something that would make ME happy.

I have not only taken the time to train but have learned two sports I knew nothing about - swimming and cycling. Sure, I knew how to swim, but I've never completed a lap in my life, let alone 1.2 miles in open water (the first leg of a Half Ironman).

Then, there's the cycling. Before starting this journey, I didn't even own a road bike, let alone think about doing 56 miles on it (the second leg of a Half Ironman).

The final leg is running a half marathon of 13.1 miles. I've been a jogger for years but never ventured past eight miles. This race would challenge me in a way never before imagined because I didn't even know how to do two out of the three events before committing to this journey.

How did I even get started, you ask? To be honest, I kept it simple. I have a non-stop 24/7 lifestyle just like everyone else. I'm a wife, a mom, and I work full-time, so there was no free time for training when you add in all of the kids' activities and everything else going on in life.

For this once in a lifetime dream, however, I made the time for ME.

I searched online for a simple Half Ironman training plan, and said, "Let's do this!" I've overcome many obstacles throughout this journey for the past several months, and I've learned I'm stronger not only physically, but emotionally and mentally more so than I ever thought possible.

Whatever it is in your life that you've had a burning passion to do, go for it! Whether big or small, set the bar high and do it. You would be amazed at what you can accomplish!

On Sunday, June 4 I'm participating in the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh along with nearly 2,000 other competitors from around the world.

My bib number is 434 if you want to track my journey. If all goes as planned, I should finish Sunday afternoon running down Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh and pass right by the ABC11 studios.