November Moxie Mogul:
Full-time breast cancer surgeon, mother of 3 children, and a 53-year-old Iron Man triathlon finisher
Moxie Cycling was first introduced to Diane when a mutual friend photographed Diane crossing the Iron Man finish line in her France Ave Moxie jersey and knew that we would be honored to hear she chose our jersey. We of course are honored and were excited to hear more of her story on the path to the 2012 Madison, WI Ironman in our Moxie Mogul interview:
Moxie Cycling – How did you first find yourself becoming involved in triathlons?
Diane Stoller I started running at 42 when my then 48-year-old husband had a heart attack. I thought to myself, we need to be healthier. I weighed 60 pounds more when I started with no weight loss goals, just sweat 4 hours a week and eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day. I let myself eat only ONE bad thing (a cookie, M&M’s, etc) per day. I began following what the cardiologists told my husband to do. Truth be told, he never did any of it but after 4 years I was down 50 pounds and running my first marathon.
Moxie Cycling – What other events led you to participate in Iron Man?
Diane Stoller I have run for many years, now a total of 17 marathons. Eventually I got a stress fracture in my foot and out of commission, I decided to learn to swim. And I mean really learn how to swim; I had never been taught. I wasn’t afraid of the water, I just couldn’t get from point A to point B. Three years later, I could call myself good swimmer.
That winter I was on the treadmill with a girlfriend and we decided to enter a triathlon. We were marathoners, so attempting a half iron distance became our starting point. Yikes! I didn’t even own a bike! The half iron was in July, so in May I bought a tri bike and went out everyday by myself for 2 or 3 hours till I thought I wasn’t going to crash when I got on my aero bars. When I did the half iron it wasn’t beautiful, but I finished. Which is fine because I’m really not concerned about being fast or beautiful. The next year I entered shorter appropriate distance triathlons and had a ball with it!
That year I started riding with a group of bikers who were all doing Ironman’s. I loved the long rides; I would just ride with a friend on all her training rides. You can guess where that led – I signed up to do an Ironman (2010) with my 3 girlfriends in Couer’d’Alene. I finished in 15 plus hours and I was happy.
Moxie Cycling – What is your favorite portion of the Ironman? And Least?
Diane Stoller I LOVE to bike. Running ends up being the most painful and swimming is my weakest segment. After the Couer’d’Alene Ironman, I was really ready for a better bike, so fate jumped in and my bike got stolen. I bought my beautiful TREK speed concept that I ride now. I love that bike! I really took off in my cycling. This bike makes me feel fast so I started going faster and faster. I love to ride!!
Moxie Cycling – How did you find yourself in a Moxie Cycling jersey for your most recent Iron Man?
Diane Stoller In 2012 I wanted to do another IM, and since none of my training pals were racing IM that year, I signed up for the Madison, Wisconsin race. I trained alone a lot, met new friends, and joined in on a lot of long group rides. I love to train; give me a program and I’m one of those “cross it off the list” people and I just felt so great training so hard. Two days before I left for the race I went to get some salt tabs and I saw the Moxie jersey at the store! Woo hoo! I decided to violate the cardinal rule of racing (DO NOT change anything on race day! No new clothes, no new nutrition, nothing new) and picked up the France Ave Moxie Cycling jersey. I LOVED the bright color and the visibility for my spectators who were trying to find me – it was perfect. I also loved the generous rear pockets – I needed to carry 2 PBJ sandwiches and trail mix. The cutout back was smart so I wouldn’t have a farmer tan after being out there for the whole day! Everyone commented on my shirt and when I rode into T2, one of the volunteers said or “You’re the one with the cool shirt I’ve been hearing about all day!”
Moxie Cycling – What was one of the most memorable moments of your Iron Man?
Diane Stoller One of my favorite parts of the whole race was Sauk Pass on my second time up that HUGE hill. There was a young man in track racing flats (and handsome as well) who was running people up that hill. He picked me and ran next to my bike coaching and encouraging me. I was so amazed that he could keep running next to me it motivated me to bike harder, and of course, everyone was cheering for both of us. I really didn’t notice I had just ridden up, for the second time, the hardest part of the bike. I loved almost every minute of that race. The fans were really great. There was a woman over by the stadium who had trained her dogs to bark when she said cheer for ____! (Our names were on our bib numbers). I ran past her 4 times and got such a boost since I usually run with my dog. I was just happy the whole day and it was so much more fun than my first IM. Because I knew I could and would finish, I just took it easy and enjoyed every second. I finished in 14 something, and hour better than last time. My friends all were there to watch and the Madison crowd, volunteers and community really is fabulous.
Moxie Cycling – As a female participant, did you find yourself overcoming hurdles you hadn’t forseen?
Diane Stoller I don’t think there is a male v. female thing with IM. We are all there together. Sometimes I’m a better biker than the guys and I know they hate getting chicked, but that is more within the cyclist crowd than the IM crowd. The triathlon crowd seems to not have this issue. We are all strong at different things and it is more about yourself than a race amongst each other.
Moxie Cycling – If you have advice for a cyclist who was interested in doing triathons, what would it be?
Diane Stoller RIDE RIDE RIDE! I went yesterday in the cold and wind and rode 4 hours alone, because I could! I felt tired and happy when I fell into bed. Endurance sports provide so much stress relief it really clears my head. And meeting all the great people involved is what I have gained most.
Moxie Cycling wants to thank Diane for taking the time to collaborate with us and hope to cheer her on in more events next season!
Team Moxie Cycling