Sunday, April 30, 2006

April's Totals

Well, the month of April is over. It was an amazing training month. My running is really getting stronger. I have backed off on the swimming a little bit since it is my strength (in order to allow for some additional time to run). It's been amazing to me how much I enjoy running. There are times when don't even feel my feet hitting the ground. Moments later I've run 5 miles and don't remember it. Granted, I'm still not as fast as I'd like to be. But that will come with time and practice. The fundraising letters go out tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what type of contributions I receive.

April Totals:
Swim: 24,223 yards
Bike: 471 miles
Run: 130.41 miles

Totals for 2006:
Swim: 87,323 yards
Bike: 1500 miles
Run: 389.56 miles

May and June will be heavy months. I can't wait.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fundraising Efforts Begin

I officially set up my fundraising website tonight. I spoke with a very helpful woman at The American Parkinsons Disease Association in Staten Island, NY. She seemed excited about my efforts. I have set a goal of $5000 in honor of my father. The fundraising letter I am sending to his family and friends is below:

April 16, 2006

Dear Friends and Family of Dick Hoopman,

As all of you are aware my father has struggled with Parkinson’s Disease since the age of 40. Over the past 22 years I have been witness to his courageous and fearless battle against the loss of mobility, personal independence, and speech capabilities. So many people would have “folded” if faced with only one these challenges, yet he has chosen to persevere and never give up hope for treatment improvements and a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. While I have found his incredible fighting spirit to be a guiding focus in my life I am certain that he, too, has touched all of you in some way. Rarely, in life, is a son given the opportunity to demonstrate the honor, respect, and sincere admiration he has for his father.

With that in mind, I have chosen to compete in the Ironman triathlon race to be held in Lake Placid, NY on July 23, 2006. I have competed in shorter races for the past two years and have now decided to undertake what is considered to be the ultimate challenge in the triathlon community. The race will consist of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run—all in succession and within a 17 hour time limit. I will be competing against 2,000 other athletes. The decision to enter into this race was made one year in advance and will require extensive training and preparation. During the 7 month training period I will swim 200,000 yards, bike 3,000 miles, and run 750 miles in order to arrive at the starting line ready for the hardest race of my life.

As my serious training regimen began on New Year’s Day 2006 I began to think about the “race” my father participates in on a daily basis. The simple acts of getting out of bed, dressing and eating breakfast are only the initial challenges he faces at the start of each day. The obstacles he encounters and overcomes with such drive and determination are too numerous to list here. I have decided that I would like the completion of my Ironman race to mean more to him than it does to me. While I cannot take him along with me on the course I can race in his honor and for a cause he supports so fully.

With the assistance of the Janus Charity Challenge I am helping to raise funds in support of The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA). The Janus Charity Challenge is a unique fundraising program that provides online tools, resources and assistance to Ironman athletes wishing to raise funds for the charity of their choice. To further inspire athletes, Janus makes additional contributions to the beneficiaries of the top fund raisers at each race. Since nothing I undertake this year seems to be small in nature I have set an ambitious goal of raising $5,000 in honor of my father.

The simplest way to contribute is through my website (secure) with a credit card. If you desire you can also send a check directly to me made out to The American Parkinson’s Disease Association. All monies collected will be directly submitted to the APDA in Dick’s honor. You can sponsor me by the mile (it’s a 140.6 mile race) or via a single sum amount. Any level of support will be greatly appreciated.
The bottom of this page provides instructions on the different methods of making a contribution. Any contribution you make will certainly serve to motivate me to reach the finish line and further inspire my father to continue upon his determined and dignified path. By the way, I would like your contributions to remain a secret until I can present him with a copy of this letter, any encouraging and inspiring words you may provide and a total of the funds raised.

I know that during my training and especially in the midst of the race itself I will be faced physical pain, unbelievable fatigue, and feelings of self-doubt. It will be during those difficult moments that I will draw upon the lessons and life teachings I have accumulated through the years observing my hero’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Thank you for helping me to honor My Ironman.


Todd C. Hoopman
4137 Brunswick Drive
Dallas, TX 75220

Phone: 214-366-1222
You can follow my progress in my Ironman Blog:

Two ways to contribute:

1. Online contributions via my secure website:
- Search for my name under the “Make a Donation” section

2. Offline contributions can be mailed to my home address.
- Please make checks out to The American Parkinson Disease Association

Sunday, April 23, 2006

My first duathlon

Today I raced in my first duathlon. It was a long course event and consisted of an 8K (4.9 mile) run followed by a 60K (38 mile) bike ride and then another 8K run. This race was the National Championchip race for long course duathlons so there were some very fast people racing. Needless to say, I didn't score near the top of my age group at this one!

Overall, I was quite happy with my race. My goal was to run a 7:30/mile for the first 8K and then an 8:30/mile for the second. A second goal was to not have to stop and walk at all on the second run. I achieved both goals. I could not have done that last year. All this training is really paying off. As a bonus, I had a really good bike ride. I ended up averaging 20.9 MPH for the 38 miles...I'll take it considering how bad the winds were (up to 25 mph and in our face).

The training will continue. This race was a great way to get my taste for competition. It's been 6.5 months since I last raced. I sure did miss that feeling. Can't wait for the next one.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Where Have I Been?

Well, it's been almost 2 months since my last posting. I don't have a good excuse but here's a summary of events to at least justify my delinquency (in my mind).

1. February Distance trained:
Swim 17500 yds
Bike 300 miles
Run 81 miles

2. March Distance trained:
Swim 27300 yds
Bike 432 miles
Run 101 miles

3. April Distance Trained: (as of today)
Swim 18208 yds
Bike 250 miles
Run 61 miles

My mileage is building upward. I expect to have 33000 yds swimming, 500 miles biking, and 115 miles running by the end of April. I'll have to see if I can reach that goal.

The training is going great. So far no real injuries. My left hamstring is a little sore but the knee and ankle are holding up fine. It's been amazing, my fitness level has dramatically increased. Last weekend I ran 14 miles on Sunday and wanted to go another 5-7 miles but had to stop in order to get to church on time. That's the furthest I've ever run. Today we rode a hard 52 miles (with hills and a 30 mph wind) and then ran 4 miles afterwards. Again, I felt great and had a good pace (for me). I think the months of training this past winter are paying off. I can remember some of those rides when it was 30 degrees and we were the only "fools" out riding. We rode in the dark, the wind, the rain. I can remember going out for my early morning runs on Sunday when it as 26 degrees and thinking "What are you doing?" Now I realize it was all worth it.

This past week has been a good training week but last week I was a little burned out. My training partner (Kyson) finished an amazing race at Ironman Arizona (11 hr 24 min - Top 15% overall) and it has rejuvinated me and my training.

I finally got my fundraising letter on behalf Parkinson's Disease finished. I will be signing up for the Janus Charity Challenge this week and then sending out my solicitation letters. It is my hope and goal to raise at least $5000 in honor of my father. Thanks for reading. Train hard.