Join us as we follow Katelyn and Katelyn as they train for the 2019 Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon and the 2019 Little Debbie IRONMAN. Katelyn Newsome has never done a triathlon, let alone an IRONMAN and Katelyn Carlson has never participated in a marathon. Both ladies are stepping out of their comfort zones and embarking on a journey they've never experienced before. Read below to get to know them and follow along on their journey!

January 2019

It’s the end of January! Month 4 of training is behind us. When we signed off for December we were both dealing with some pretty annoying injuries so that’s where we will pick back up. Pestering injuries that you can’t find the solution to become persistent injuries that can really frustrate the heck out of a training plan.

I (KC) have spent many of January days on my mom’s therapy table doing ultrasound to reduce inflammation, used a lot of KT and McConell tape, and endured some pretty painful rolling sessions. My mom and I joke that she is getting to take out all of her pent up frustrations from the hell I put her through in my growing up years. Her elbows and therapy tools in my IT band would make a southern baptist woman curse with no shame. For my half IRONMAN journey I ended up on my massage therapist’s table to work my right adductors- I literally can’t begin to explain the kind of pain that he inflicted on me in those few sessions. BUT Shawn did what he does best and it worked. It is the only thing that got me back on my feet again and running without pain. So with that in the back of my mind, I am trying all within my power to stay off of his table for this race- although my odds are not looking good at this point.

I (KN) have been biking and swimming this month. I’m doing my best to rest my foot- even have passed up opportunities to play soccer, which if you know me at all, you know how big of a sacrifice that is. Biking alone has been difficult-- especially on the long rides. I get really bored after about 20 miles and the biggest obstacle has been to overcome the temptation to quit early although my body could handle longer rides.

The IRONMAN asks for so much. Commitments in the form of money, time, body, and some days even spirit. But the IRONMAN journey gives you so much in terms of he same things. You change in ways that feel like sacrifice but in time realize that you are growing in ways that you couldn’t otherwise. Growth does not happen without pain- and that is a hard but beautiful thing. We have also been blessed to see the correlation to our faith. As John 12:24 says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” Jesus is saying this in the context of predicting his own death. The implications of this verse on our journey as Christ followers are as they are in our journey to the IRONMAN. If we don’t die to our lifestyles that we maintained prior to signing up for this race, we would hardly be able to compete- if at all. The sacrifices are great, but not as great as crossing that finish line will be on September 29, and in the bigger picture- at the end of our lives.

- KC & KN