Final training push for triathlon

With one week to go in her training for her first ever triathlon, Marshalltown’s Cherie Jones doesn’t plan any big changes to her workouts.

“I’m not going to change anything,” she said. “I feel wonderful.”

Jones, a lung cancer survivor, will compete in the Hy-Vee My Y Tri on Saturday at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA.

“I’m not nervous at all and hope my competitive spirit will kick in,” Jones said.

She has been frustrated of late as she hit a plateau on her swim, bike and run training.

“I’m not improving, but it’s easier,” she said. “I’m hoping I can improve in the next week.”

The event will have competitors swim for seven minutes, bike 18 minutes and run for 15 minutes. Leading up to the event, Jones is taking advice from her son, Tommy, who is a long distance runner, on her diet. She plans on making spaghetti Friday night as pasta is often a meal runners consume the night before a race.

The Times-Republican has followed Jones through her training over the past several weeks, and so has the Y staff.

“She’s been a tremendous inspiration to our staff,” said Bianca Greazel, development director at the YMCA-YWCA.

Jones continues to be inspired by friends who read about how her training is going.

“The biggest one people tell me is ‘I’m proud of you,'” she said. “The amount of support I’ve gotten from people who have read about it in the T-R has been mind boggling.”

The triathlon is becoming more real for her as the event approaches. She is already envisioning crossing the finish line and what that feeling will be like.

“I’ll be elated that I met a challenge and made my goal,” she said.

The deadline to sign up to compete in the triathlon is Wednesday. The T-R will be there Saturday at the triathlon to see how Jones did and get her reaction after the big day.