Tackling the triathlon

Two years ago, Cherie Jones was recovering from lung cancer surgery.

In less than two months from now, she’ll compete in her first triathlon, taking part in the Hy-Vee My Y Tri at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.

Sounds like a big leap?

“It’s amazing how much better I am,” said Jones, 60, a rural Marshalltown resident.

Jones is retired from the Iowa Veterans Home, and just months after her retirement she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was able to get through it with surgery and did not need follow-up treatment.

Her recovery took time, and it was given a boost when the 1970 Marshalltown High School graduate took part in the Y’s Livestrong program for cancer survivors.

“I’m such a supporter of it,” Jones said. “I just have a new outlook on life, and I feel good about myself.”

The triathlon, which includes seven minutes of swimming, 18 minutes on a stationary bike and 15 minutes running around the track, will be Feb. 23.

Sue Fehrmann, health and wellness coordinator at the Y, approached Jones with the idea of taking part in the triathlon.

“I just needed another challenge in my life,” Jones said.

Fehrmann said the progress Jones has made the past year has been an inspiration.

“I know she really enjoys coming down here and doing her thing,” Fehrmann said. “I think she’s come a long way. I think she’ll do great.”

Jones is busy training in hopes to improve her conditioning prior to the event. She does deep water aerobics, works out on the weight machines, pedals the stationary bike and does laps power walking.

“I haven’t got to the jogging speed yet, but I’m hopeful,” Jones said.

She also has a goal for her bike work, or to improve her feeling after her bike work in this case.

“I would like my legs to not feel like rubber when I get off the bike after 20 minutes,” she said.

She heads into the last five weeks of training with a little trepidation, but also has confidence in her abilities.

“I’m bound and determined I’m going to do this and I feel good,” Jones said.