How did you get started in Triathlon?
I had always had good health, but at age 59, I was out of shape and not living healthy. I did not want to go into my 60s that way and knew if I did not make a change I would not have good health. I started strength/endurance training with Crossfit/Kettlebells/Functional Fitness and it changed my life. Besides the initial goal of being fit and to have a healthy body fat percentage, a friend challenged me to run a half marathon. I had always wanted to be a runner but never felt good running. Through my strength/endurance training and learning how to run, I was able to run my first half marathon on my 60th birthday. My Crossfit coach also does sprint triathlons and recommended that I do the Tri for Kindness. One Tri and I was hooked!
Why do you Tri today?
First, I love to train. I love to train as much if not more than the actual event. I love to plan the training. I approach fitness as training, not working out. Whether it is Strength, Swim, Bike, Run, Mobility, Nutrition or the Mind, it is always training with a goal. I like to say that the magic happens in the process of training. And training for Tri’s is so multidimensional, which I think helps with overall health, not just focusing on one area of fitness. It’s Physical and Mental fitness.
What are some of your most memorable races?
They are all memorable for one reason or another. The ones that standout are my very first run was Run With The Roosters. I was only able to run the first 2 miles and walk/run the remaining 3 (learned about pacing). My first half marathon (ran the whole distance). Running the Bisbee 1000 and doing the IceMan Challenge the same day. My first Tri, Tri for Kindness with 5 minute transitions! And, a miserable A Mountain half marathon where I was not physically or mentally prepared and did not nutrition/hydrate properly.
What are some training tips you can give us?
Learn from every experience, what went right and what went wrong. Learning Opportunities! Ironically, I appreciate the experiences where things did not go well more because I have learned from them and made corrections so I can do better next time. Learn from other’s experience too. Tucson Tri Girls have a wealth of knowledge and they love to help and share. There might be days or times where you cannot train or nutrition as you would like. Don’t be discouraged, no one is perfect. Just get back on it.
What does it mean to be a TTG?
I am a planner and research everything! So when I decided to do the Tri for Kindness, I found out about Tucson Tri Girls. Wow, I had no idea what and how much I would learn. First, there are so many learning, coaching and training opportunities I would never have known about if not for TTG. It has opened up a whole world of the fitness community. A lot of training is solitary, but you are never truly alone. The support and camaraderie that you get from TTG peeps is amazing. It is a very special group of women and supporters and sponsors that you can rely on. The learning never stops, every meeting you learn something new. I am so lucky to be part of this group.
What are your goals for this year?
My Big Goal of 2015 is to finish Big Sur Marathon without injuries and within the 6 hour time cap. I tend to look for racing opportunities that have something special about the event, whether it is an extreme challenge and/or a beautiful location. A marathon was not on my radar, but a Master Ironman that I work out with told me he had always wanted to do Big Sur and that just clicked. Also, I know the area well and have a personal connection to that stretch of highway. Completing this on April 26th will be the 3 year anniversary of starting to change my life with the strength and endurance training.
As soon as the marathon is done, I am looking forward to getting back to Tri training. Having only done Sprint Tri’s I would like to do an Olympic distance this year since I enjoy endurance challenges. Part of this is to get more comfortable with cycling (my goat) and open water swim with a wetsuit. Also it would be fun to start to do some trail running.
Eventually, I would like to be able to do a Half Ironman.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have always had an interest in health/fitness and only focused on it the last 3 years. At this point in my life, I feel that just to be able to physically do these things and participate is a Gift. I had never considered myself athletic but now I have the confidence that I can do anything if I want it. I am slow at just about everything, but it doesn’t matter. No matter what our age or physical limitation, it is never too late to start and you can do anything you set your mind too. Eventually, I would love to work with Masters on helping them to improve functionality and give them the ability to enjoy an athletic life too.