We Shall Have No IRONMAN Today

365 days until IM 2017.pngI’ve decided to postpone my IRONMAN until next year. Both of my coaches agree that it’s the best choice, and I’m certain it was the best decision for me.  It is a tough choice and, as you might imagine, a lot of thought went into this decision.

A part of it was definitely that there was no way that I was going to finish (I’m just not fast enough yet) and, as I mentioned, it’s been suggested to me that it’s a breach of etiquette to do a race you know you can’t finish, though plenty of people have also told me that they don’t believe in that so I certainly could have gone either way. It’s also a decision about money. Even though I’m trying to do everything on a budget this sport is not cheap. So instead of paying for Julianne and me to drive to Tempe, hotel, food, dogsitter etc, we were able to cancel our hotel reservation and I can dedicate all that money to training costs for next year’s IM.  I also don’t want to risk injury and/or have to deal with recovery time for a race that I can’t finish, and compromise my training for next year.

It’s disappointing to be sure, this was supposed to be the day I crossed the finish line and got the medal (and got to stop this training!) But this is my journey and I am embracing all of it – the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the extra year of workouts – and I have zero shame about postponing this event.

I couldn’t make it happen this year, so I’m giving it one more try – one more year of swimming, biking, and running ahead of me. Best of luck to everyone racing IMAZ today, and thanks to all the volunteers who make it happen! And huge, massive thanks to my coaches (failures on my part are mine and not theirs,) to my friends and family and all of the readers who have offered, and continue to offer, support and encouragement, it means the world to me!

As regular readers know, earlier this year I decided to take selfies of my workouts as a way to have a little keepsake from each one (or, at least the ones I didn’t forget to take a selfie of.) To celebrate all the work I did this year, I decided to put the pictures together for a little montage (because a montage makes everything better!) Here, in no particular order, are my 2016 workout selfies:


About danceswithfat

Hi, I’m Ragen Chastain. Speaker, Writer, Dancer, Choreographer, Marathoner, Soon to be IRONMAN, Activist, Fat Person.
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40 Responses to We Shall Have No IRONMAN Today

  1. Bethany says:

    You are a hero to me, Ragen. Congratulations on honoring your body, your budget, and your training.


  2. kellyldalton says:

    Wisest choice! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.


  3. Keep on trying – that’s what I am doing too. I have had two finish but didn’t count tries at Ironman. I was too slow for the cutoff both times. I get it. I hope you are doing IM AZ next year because so am I. It will be a pleasure to race with you.


  4. Amanda says:

    Good for you for making the best decision for you. Best of luck in your 2017 training!


  5. Denny says:

    I think I mentioned it last time I posted that I’ve been a serious triathlete for 10 years and martial artist for 30 and I never get credit for either because I’m A. Fat and B. Old. But guess what you don’t have to finish triathlons to be a triathlete and I don’t have to be in the MMA to prove I’m a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Screw this fat phobic society and everything they want to put us through to prove we are just as good as everything as everyone else. You’ll get this Ragen you are one of the biggest inspirations I’ve ever had!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. grrlpup says:

    Your clarity and persistence in pursuit of the goal is going to inspire me on my run today and throughout the next year. Thanks so much for blogging!


  7. Heidi says:

    Supporting you for all the crap you get for things like this–honoring your body is not allowed if you’re fat! *snark*

    I’d also like to point out that no one really knows if they can finish a race. That’s kinda what makes it all interesting. All the best to you!


  8. Alison R says:

    I wouldn’t say this is a failure at all, it’s just taking longer to reach success than you estimated it would. And triathlon was new to you when you set the goal, so you couldn’t really give a good estimate of how long it would take you to reach a big goal like the Iron Man. Is it selfish to be glad this blog will presumably continue? I’ll be cheering you on for the next year!


  9. lsstrout says:

    Argh, not the reply I meant! Here’s what I meant:

    Here’s to next year! *clinks glass*


  10. Sending you ALL THE LOVE and ALL THE HUGS!


  11. Denise says:

    Ragen, I only joined your IRON-WOMEN journey a short while ago, but it has been inspirational. I’m surrounded by fat-hating people who every day tell me that just because I’m 450lbs I’m somehow worth less, that I’m somehow incapable of doing the things that they can do. Well stuff them! You’re living, running, training proof that us “fatties” are just as capable as the next person. You may not have raced, but all that training proves what we can do

    AS I said last time, Thank-you for showing the world what us larger ladies can do


    • Hi Denise, I’m so sorry that you are surrounded by bigots who don’t know how to act. You deserve so much better. If there is ever anything that I can do to support you, please just let me know.


  12. Holly says:

    Looking forward to another year of following your training journey! Proud of you for making a tough decision!


  13. Faith says:

    Have been enjoying following the journey tremendously so I am (selfishly) kind of looking forward to another year of you sweating it out while I get to read about it… Also totally feel the regret of not being able to complete your challenge in the time you hoped it would take. Love following you either way and anyway so you just keep doing you, please, okay?


  14. GratefulGran says:

    I know this wasn’t an easy decision for you, but kudos for doing what you know is the best thing for your physical and financial health. I look forward to reading more about your training journey. The training IS the marathon, after all! 🙂


  15. Scarlet says:

    Whatever your goals are today, tomorrow, next year – you’ll crush it. Honouring what’s best for yourself is an achievement worth more than anything. Best of luck in everything you do!


  16. Someone once told me, “You win some, you lose some, and some just take longer than you think.” Best of luck in your continued training, and thank you so much for letting us share in your journey!


  17. Denny says:

    Well just great, I was asked to not participate in the triathlon club that I help found, a club for bigger, slower people mind you. Why? Because I’ve supported Ragen through this effort and tried to talk about what an inspiration she is. I had no idea true fat hate went this deep, from people who are fat! This isn’t a vile group of Trump supporters either, we are all ultra progressive people from Southern California but I guess fat acceptance just doesn’t fit with acceptance?


    • You can join my tri-team, Los Alamos Triatomics. Go on New Mexico Sports Online and pay dues but wait until January as the dues are yearly. We got slots for IMAZ and IM Florida this year for next year (the time limit is over for signing up for those). We are Non-Judgemental. Maybe one member might have voted for Trump – not that we ever talk politics. We are also a team on Strava. All abilities! Be on our team Denny.


      • Denny says:

        Thank you very much for the offer and maybe I’ll look into it after some time but I think for now I’m just done with this sport. This absolute hatred for Ragen and her accomplishments that I experienced on the group ride this morning was too much for me. Them asking me to either not talk about her or leave the group is the absolute final straw.


    • Hi Denny,

      I’m so sorry. It sucks that a group that was founded to be inclusive ended up being full of size bigots. I think it can help to remember that this kind of fat hate is just a few evil bigots who are leading a bunch of gullible bigots (those are probably the people in your group) So the evil bigots twist situations or just flat out lie about fat people. They prey on people who are coming from a place of bigotry (and so are more willing to believe the worst about someone from the group of people they hate) and are gullible enough to believe and spread the lies.

      So there are people who actually believe that I purposely cheated at a 5k when I clearly just made a mistake on the course – finishing 178th place out of around 190 people, and DQ’d myself and returned the medal (that the volunteer gave me without telling me that I was supposed to go past the finish line and loop back around!) when I found out.

      There were people who were insisting that they personally saw me be rescued from my Half IRONMAN in a boat, right up until I posted the pictures of me getting out of the water at the end of the swim course. And despite this clear evidence there are still people peddling this “Ragen had to be rescued” story.

      There are people who actually believe that I did all but the first mile of my marathon on a scooter despite the course not being scooter friendly (with hills that would have been impossible) and the number of (extremely heavy) spare batteries I would have had to acquire along the course, and the fact that the SAG wagon was with me the whole time and attested to my finish, and my receiving an official time.

      And those are just a few of the lies that get spread around. There are people who have made an actual past time of lying about me on websites and forums – some dedicated to fat hate in general and some dedicated to hating me specifically. Sadly there are some people who are foolish and gullible enough to believe them. I’m very sorry that so many of those people are involved in your group.

      I saw in your comment below that you are considering leaving the sport. Of course I support you in whatever you choose to do, but I would urge you not to quit over a few bigots. I’ve interacted with several different tri clubs and all of them have been incredibly supportive so I think that your group may well be an anomaly.

      Either way, all the best to you and thank you so much for all of your support.



  18. Angela says:

    Rock on, Ragen!! You are an inspiration and wherever this journey takes you, you’re already a winner for making the attempt and for getting so far! Sending all the good vibes your way!!


  19. Goshman says:

    Wow, I seriously admire your ability to undertake another year of this training. Rock on, and know that we’re here supporting you in whatever you do.

    (Also, I hope that if anyone was going to AZ to troll you, although I hope they weren’t, that they all wasted a lot of money and learned a lesson.)


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