Brain Surgery to Half IRONMAN
Jonathan Schwartz has been an RTA Triathlon Club member since December of 2016. He’s a family man, typical type A overachiever and a pleasure to have on the Team.
When Jonathan joined our Triathlon Club in 2016, he had never done a triathlon before, but obviously that was his goal for the 2017 season. Jonathan came from a running background, but was looking for a new challenge. He decided triathlon was going to be it… except things didn’t unfold the way he had envisioned.
BUMP IN THE ROAD
Despite his plans for 2017, he never had the opportunity to complete his first triathlon. There was a bump in the road. He would learn he would have to have brain surgery… for the second time.
It was at this point, Jonathan’s stubborn type A personality kicked in. If he was going to have to wait another year, he was going to make an even bigger splash into triathlon when he returned.
Not only was he going to have to make full physical and mental recovery following BRAIN SURGERY, but his new and elevated goal was to finish a Half IRONMAN in 2018. For those unfamiliar, a Half IRONMAN is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike finished with a 13.1 mile run. 70.3 miles in total.
Jonathan’s triathlon Journey (so far) – Q & A
Why and how did you get involved in triathlon?
I started running after undergoing brain surgery in 2012, after 13 half marathons I ran the NYC Marathon in 2016. I found myself with post race blues after the marathon. I was bored and my type A personality needed a new focus. When a running friend who did triathlons suggested it I thought, why not?
You recently completed your first 70.3, what was that like?
I did Maine 70.3 in August and it was hands down one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The whole Ironman branded experience was just incredible and having my coach run me in at the end, seeing my wife at the finish line and my son putting my medal around my neck was just beyond anything I could have imagined.
With the support, encouragement and knowledge of this team I successfully completed my first 3 races last year including Half Ironman Maine. – Jonathan
What was the best part of the race for Maine 70.3?
The whole experience of a Ironman branded event was memorable. I tried my best to focus on each moment as it came and enjoy and take it all in. Between seeing teammates on course, the energy of the spectators and I can’t say enough about the volunteers. This blew away my marathon experience and I ran NYC!
RTA has made my Triathlon journey a memorable one thus far. I look forward to many more incredible years racing alongside and supporting this crazy crew. – Jonathan
What was the worst/hardest part of the race and how did you overcome it?
I think the hardest part for me was the waiting on the beach. The swim is definitely my weakness, but having my wife and son waiting with me the entire time definitely helped to settle me.
What will you do differently next time (if anything)?
Being that this was my first 70.3 the goal was to hit the splits that my coach and I discussed and more importantly to enjoy my first one. Now that I have done it though I definitely want to really race the next one and see how much I can improve.
What was going through your head when you crossed the finished line?
I was thinking about how hard I had worked and what an incredible journey this had been only 13 months post brain surgery number 2. This is going to sound strange, but I also kept thinking about making sure I was smiling when I crossed the finish line. I knew there were photographers there and I wanted to make sure that I had a great picture to remember the day.
What’s next for you?
Next is a couple of shorter races as well as Connecticut 70.3 and TOUGHMAN Half, but the big goal is my first 140.6 in 2020
General advice you’d give to others starting out in triathlon or to anyone thinking about doing a 70.3?
What I would say to anyone starting out with goals of doing a 70.3 is to make sure first and foremost that your family is onboard, I can’t imagine doing this without their support. I would also say that an incredible Team of likeminded people is important because it definitely helps during those long training runs and rides to have teammates to push you and inspire you. Lastly, I would say that a coach is very important, someone who has the same mindset and beliefs as you, someone who sees the potential in you and will continue to push you to be better
Any other comments about the triathlon, Maine 70.3 or training in general?
Doing team races is a phenomenal experience, seeing your teammates on course and at the finish line definitely makes the experience better.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
This whole process became a family thing as well. Seeing the positive impact hat it has on my son is truly priceless. He has adopted the “Anything is possible” mindset and he is always striving to do his best whether in school or sports and hearing him tell me how proud he is of me is better than any medal I could ever receive
Leave a Reply.