Anixter aims for Ironman

Granite Bay resident and mom trains for world-class triathlon
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Editor’s Note: Sports reporter Sara Seyydin caught up with Gina Anixter of Granite Bay, who is training for the Ford Ironman Triathlon in Tempe, Arizona on Nov. 20. The triathlon combines a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. The interview follows. What inspired you to take on Ironman? I’ve been training for triathlons for eight or nine years. I just started with the sprint triathlons. Over the years I have just increased the number of or length of them. I decided I would take on the challenge of Ironman, which is in November. It is a huge commitment and I am not really a long distance athlete, but over time have just decided to take on a bigger challenge. With the outcome of the last few half ironmans it inspired me to just try and go for it. I have a couple of friends that have completed Ironman I train with. It’s fun because we all have that long-term goal in mind. It was inspiring to see them come across the finish line. What is your training schedule like? There is about eight months worth of training. I’m training about 15 hours a week and I work full-time and I have two kids. I wake up around 4:30 every morning. I train most days twice a day. I swim, bike and run. I teach cycle for Johnson Ranch. I bike four days a week, and swim four days a week and run five days a week. Then there is the acupuncture I have to do. I was injured prior to starting. I have an injury to my hamstring. What I do now in training is I try to eat real food — fresh fruits and vegetables. I try to stay away from refined sugars and flour. Generally before a training I’m more of a fan of oatmeal. I use Hammer products. I generally eat balanced meals every three to four hours throughout the day. I’ll do four rides over a hundred miles, three 20 mile runs and about an hour and a half of swimming. That gets you the feeling of being on your feet that long. The big thing is planning ahead. Having a plan and executing the plan gives you a sense of accomplishment even if it’s not a race. I’m going to do a couple half Ironmans and an Olympic distance race. I have three or four races before Ironman. What are your goals for the race? I haven’t quite decided. I hope to go under 13 hours. What is the most challenging aspect for you? The time spent away from my family as my long rides and my runs get longer. Working full time and having two kids and a husband, it’s hard to juggle it all. That means more hours on my bike, also just to keep my body healthy. I’ll be 45, so with that comes the risk of being injured. For me because of my injury running is probably the most painful. My pace is a little bit off with my injury. That is probably what I kind of look forward to least. How do you get through walls or tough moments? I think I just go back to why I love to do it in the first place. I know how good it’s going to feel when I am finished. I also have a lot of great friends that I train with. We can use each other to sort of get motivated to finish a workout. I just actually got certified to become a coach, a triathlon coach. I motivate them as much as they motivate me. You have to be up for them too. For more information on Anixter’s triathlon coaching, e-mail Reach Sara Seyydin at