445 AMDS reservist competes in Ironman

  • Published
  • By Stacy Vaughn
  • 445th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Participating in the 2013 Louisville Ironman event with her two siblings August 25 left a memorable impression on Senior Master Sgt. Kelly Janus, 445th Aerospace Medicine Squadron superintendent of nursing services. The event came into fruition over a 20-year period of participating in various races and marathons.

"20 years ago, my two sisters, Tracy Burge and Kara Smith, said, 'Let's do a marathon together.' We did the Marine Corps Marathon then it just kept going from there. To date we've done many triathlons and marathons together," Janus said.

To stay close and continue their fitness, the siblings set their sights on an Ironman. It was decided that their goal would be to participate in the 2013 Ironman Louisville, held in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 25, 2013. The trio began training in January for the three various legs that make up the 140.6 mile race; a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride followed by a 26.2-mile run.

To prepare for the Ironman, Janus and her sisters followed a training schedule. They would practice two events a day; swim and bike or bike and run. Training took up four hours a day with one day off a week. They didn't train at the gym or lift weights but focused on swimming, biking and running.

"Swimming was our weakest event so we concentrated on that. We swam together in pools and we eventually started swimming in Cowan Lake (State Park, Clarksville), which was one mile across. So we would swim that about three times," Janus said.

For running and biking workouts, the three ran at Caesar Creek State Park, near Waynesville, Ohio, at the park's 13 mile loop. In July, the sisters biked across Iowa during the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, an annual seven-day bicycle ride across the state, covering 468 miles. The three have been participating in RAGBRAI over the last 20 years, often riding a triplet bicycle.

"RAGBRAI is a fun event for us. We actually biked across Iowa twice; biking east to west first. The event had us ride long distances and we were camping along the way; a great experience to prepare us mentally and physical for the bicycle portion of the Ironman," Janus said.

Janus said not only did they have to prepare physically for the Ironman but they had to think about the nutritional aspects that go into it as well.

"Nutrition is very important. We had to find out what would fuel our bodies best. We ate constantly on the bike portion of the race to prepare us calorically for the run. We needed to consume at least 250 calories an hour," Janus said.

Janus was proud that she finished the Ironman together with her sisters. She swam 24 miles in 1:30:00; biked 112 miles in 7:27:18; ran 26.2 miles in 6:02:16; and had a finish time of 15:32:45

"When you participate in an Ironman or any athletic event, you understand the thrill of being a part of a race. It's very exciting to be among thousands of participants with the passion and energy it takes to compete. It's also heartwarming to be surrounded by an overwhelming number of people who come to see the race. These volunteers and spectators offer us encouragement and support through claps and cheers. This is what keeps us going!"

Will there be another Ironman in the future for Janus and her sisters?

"After finishing the Ironman, I thought never again, but we can always improve our time, right?"