Teri Wiley, left, and her aunt, Pam Scott, laugh as they pedal their road bikes on stationary trainers in Wiley's backyard in Chehalis on Wednesday, June 12. Wiley and Scott, who lives in Richand, Wash., participate in a number of triathlons, half-marathons, full marathons and do the annual Seattle to Portland bike race in July.
An exercise buddy can encourage you and keep you on track. Teri and Pam use the Runkeeper App (www.runkeeper.com) to track their progress and post their workouts so they can stay in touch. If you don’t know anyone to work out with, they said there are many online communities dedicated to fitness where people can network and encourage each other.
“You don’t need to physically be together,” Scott said.
With little or no exercise under your belt, getting out and running a 5K might be tricky. Start small, maybe a lap around the track, then build up to longer distances or times.
“My first bike ride was, like, 5 miles and I wasn’t sure I’d make it,” Wiley said. “I kept thinking ‘how do people do this? How am I ever going to do 200 miles?’”
Set a Goal
Okay, so maybe going from no exercise to a 204-mile bike ride in one year sounds extreme. But setting a goal is a good way to motivate yourself. Pick something you want to accomplish, set a deadline and lay out a plan to get there. Wiley said many of her goals include making faster times and better runs and she keeps herself motivated by signing up to participate in many events.
“There’s always something we have to look forward to, something to train for,” Wiley said.
YOU Can Do It
Never considered yourself an athletic person? It doesn’t matter. Wiley said she has seen people of all ages, body styles and abilities do everything from biking for 200 miles to running a marathon.
“We saw someone last year at STP on a unicycle and then I had a guy on a skateboard — I mean it a skateboard — pass me going across the finish line,” she said.
Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 9:50 am | Updated: 9:55 am, Thu Jul 11, 2013.
By Carrina Stanton / For The Chronicle | 0 comments
Four years ago, Teri Wiley was at a crossroads.
She was about to turn 43, the age at which her father had died.
She was out of shape, worried her life might end too soon and she knew she wanted to make a change but didn't know where to start.
But then something magical happened. Well, actually a couple thousand magical things.
Watching the Seattle to Portland bicycle riders go by her Cascade Avenue home, Wiley came up with a plan.
“I called my boss and I asked her 'will you do the STP with me next year?'” Wiley said, adding with a laugh. “She said 'are you drinking?' Honestly, no one thought I would actually do it.”
But she did. Wiley, 46, will ride in the STP for the fourth time this weekend. She said her goal is to ride it at least five times in a row. In four years she has quit smoking, gotten fit and become a competitor in many regional athletic competitions. An entire wall in her basement workout room is a testament to her accomplishments, which include dozens of 5K races, seven half marathons, two mini triathlons; and her first (and likely last) full marathon.
What a casual observer may not know from the wall full of bibs, medals and photos of a triumphant Wiley at the finish line is how she started out four years ago.
“I had never done an athletic event in my life,” Wiley said.
Wiley, who works at Corwin-Rey Insurance in Centralia, said she started her road to the STP very slowly. She began riding on bicycles borrowed from an aunt and uncle. She recalled her first few bike rides as being extremely difficult. But then she discovered what she calls “bike brain” which is simply a natural high she gets on long bike rides. Wiley said she now feels like she has become addicted to the feeling of being healthy.
“Sometimes I go across the finish line and it feels like being drunk,” she said.
But Wiley said she also had some help staying motivated. Her aunt Pam Scott, of Richland, became her training buddy at the beginning of her journey. The same year Wiley vowed to ride the STP, Scott, then 62, was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and ordered by her doctor to drastically change her diet, lose weight and exercise. Since then, Scott has lost 30 pounds and has biked in the STP with Wiley all four years. Scott said when she looks back at the last four years she can't help but be in awe of how far they have come. An added bonus, she noted, is that her doctor is very happy with her health.
“I wouldn't trade all the things we've been doing for anything,” Scott said. “We've become healthier people and you can't put a price on that.”
The memory of her father, Larry Holter, and his all-too-short life remains a strong motivator for Wiley as well. Wiley, who was 18 when her father died, carries a laminated photo of her father as a young man with her at all her events. She was holding the photo in her hand when she crossed the finish line of the STP for the first time and has trouble remembering that moment without tears. Her mother Linda Scott, of Arizona, said she is proud of her daughter and thinks Teri's father would be proud as well.
“She's definitely come into her own,” Linda Scott said.
Wiley's training schedule consists of rising at 4 a.m. at least four mornings during the week. On weekends, she puts in long bike rides and long runs. She said when she was training for the marathon, her Saturday run would be anything from 11-22 miles. And her devotion to leading a healthier lifestyle has had a sort of positive ripple effect through her entire family. Numerous family members have done the STP with her. Her daughter and aunt did her first half triathlon with her, making three generations of women from her family participating in the event. And she said many family members have chosen to get healthier and sign up for regional athletic events as a result. Dozens of family members were there to welcome them across the finish line their first year of the STP.
“The tears were flowing,” Wiley recalled.
“There's a lot of tears at the finish line of a lot of events,” Scott said.
The two women said they are especially thankful for Wiley's husband, Denny, and Scott’s husband, Paul, who most often participate as pit crew driving the gear, picking them up after workouts, changing tires, and most importantly watching their wives cross every finish line. At the April marathon they greeted their wives with custom-made earrings and necklaces with the number 26.2, the distance of a marathon in miles. Wiley said she is also thankful for her Dr. Teeth, her sponsor, whose logo adorns each and every one of her jerseys. And Wiley said she truly loves the support she gets from her entire family. Many family members will gather at Wiley's home on STP Saturday to welcome the riders to the halfway point. Denny always has chicken Fettuccine waiting for them and there are lots of hugs and words of encouragement that buoy her the next morning as she faces the second leg of her ride.
“The whole house gets just full of people, it's just awesome,” Wiley said.
In order to record her amazing journey, Wiley started a blog. She said she wanted to have a way to share her experience with her loved ones but also write a story that might reach others like her. She said she hopes she may inspire others to realize they can get healthier no matter the obstacles before them. Wiley recalled one of her first bike rides with her Uncle Paul, who has ridden the STP in one day twice (they both joke that he's crazy).
“I remember Paul saying 'I didn't know a bicycle could move that slow,'” Wiley recalled. “But I said 'hey, at least I'm out here doing this instead of in there on the couch.'”
“It's never, ever too late to start,” Scott added. “Anything you can do is better than being on the couch. Walking, skipping, jumping is better than sitting on the couch and you start small.”
Holy Crap... This article is bigger then I thought...