My triathlon journey started February 2011 with a goal of doing the Hy-Vee Triathlon in September. I needed a personal goal for myself to keep motivated to stay in shape and maintain good health. I figured what better way than to swim, bike and run. I had always been a runner, but the swimming and biking was going to be a new challenge for me.
My husband and I joined Lifetime in 2011 and I heard about Sandy being a triathlon coach. I immediately had to get in contact with her because I knew if I was going to do an Olympic Tri I was going to need some major help.
I started working with Sandy in February. Learning the basics of swimming was our first goal. I always knew how to swim, I just never had the right technique. It was a challenge because it's hard to get out of your old ways. I had to suck up my fast-paced ways and take it slow for a while.
Next came getting my bike ready for competition. Being 26 years old, I don’t have the funds for a good racing bike. It was very frustrating riding a bike that was heavy and not meant for the road. I guess in the long run it just made me stronger. I got clip-in shoes and pedals, and let me tell you what a change that was. I fell over a couple times at a stand still. How embarrassing was that?
Running has always been easy for me. Now, running after a 30 mile bike ride is a different story. My legs have never been in such shock. It took a lot of training and weight training to prepare my legs for that adventure. No matter how hard it was, I knew I had to keep training.
Race day finally came and I felt prepared. Sandy helped me mentally, emotionally and physically prepare myself for anything. I was still more nervous than I had ever been, that's for sure. Truthfully, it felt like state cross country in high school. Throughout the entire race I felt great. I was excited and loved the atmosphere. I did get frustrated at times because of all the people that were passing me on the bike, but I just kept thinking about how much fun I was having and how my goal was to finish.
As the finish line approached, I started to get tears in my eyes. I didn’t know if the tears were from excitement of accomplishing my goal or because of how much pain I was in. Looking back, I think it was a little of both. Seven months of training finally paid off. The triathlon was an experience I would love to try again. Thanks to Sandy I felt prepared and thanks to my hard work I accomplished my goal! Can't wait until next year!