For the past six months I have had the opportunity to switch places with the hundreds of women that have trained with Team Training New England over the past five years and now I REALLY get it! I have been lucky enough that my fitness level has enabled me to compete in both Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons without a tried and true training plan. My life as a mother of a three teenagers, a daughter of aging parents, my involvment in my family business as well as my coaching business didn’t leave me much time to train systematically.
When I completed my first triathlon in 2004, I was overjoyed. I felt that I finally found my calling as an athlete. As I thought about the challenge of a longer distance triathlon, I knew that I couldn’t rely on my current training regime to get me to the finish line. Like many of our athletes, I was experiencing first hand, the challenge and exhilaration of setting my sights on an event that I had previously thought of as unattainable. My challenge was a 70.3 (half iron distance).
I needed to find the time to follow a training plan. As Lynne would say, I needed to figure out how put myself on the top of my “to-do” list.
For the past five years, my training focus has been on our athletes – the women that we have had the privilege and honor to work with year after year – our “TRI-ladies”. When I decided to attempt a 70.3, having never run or biked more than 10 or 40 miles respectively, I knew I needed more support and structure than I could muster on my own.
Last winter I came across a book by Sage Rountree called The Athletes Guide to Yoga. I discovered that, in addition to being a gifted yoga teacher, she is a triathlete and a coach. I imagined that it would be personally and professionally enriching to train with her. An introductory e-mail quickly led to a two-day trip to Chapel Hill where we discussed training philosophies and options. The next thing I knew, I had registered for the Beach2Battleship race in Wilmington, North Carolina in November 2009. I had six months to prepare. The late season race allowed me to find the training time I needed with my coaching season over and my children back in school.
What I hadn’t imagined was that my experience over the last six months would draw me even closer to the women that I coach. I did miss training with a group of like-minded women but felt completely supported by Sage and my Team Training New England community — not to mention my family!
Other than that, all of the ingredients were there: (1) commit to an event that is outside of your comfort zone, (2) trust the training and (3) follow through to the best of your ability.
I am elated to report that once again the recipe worked! Not only did I love the process of training, which in and of itself was gratifying and transformative, but the event exceeded my expectations. I look forward to my next 70.3!