Thursday, February 2, 2012

How I got into triathlons

When I read this article on this afternoon it got me thinking about how I started doing triathlons. And at first I couldn't come up with anything. Then I remembered - it was Lydia!! 

How I got into triathlons: In the fall of 2006 Lyd and I were doing a boot camp class at the Vanderbilt track when someone started talking about doing a sprint triathlon in the spring. So Lyd and I thought, 'if she can do it, we can do it'. But then we started thinking about the logistics, especially the fact that neither of us owned a bike or had money for a bike, and decided that it was a silly plan. So instead we trained for and completed the 2007 Country Music Half Marathon (the first for both of us).
Us after the race in 2007. 
I was immediately hooked on racing! It's not that I was fast or good at it, but it was so much fun! Every week we were running farther than I ever had before. And of course, my running buddy was the best!!! After that I did many more races: 
2008 ING 1/2 Marathon
2009 Country Music 1/2 Marathon 
2010 I Run for the Party 1/2 Marathon in Nashville
2010 Cedars Frostbite 1/2 Marathon
2010 Country Music Full Marathon
2010 St. Jude Full Marathon
2011 Nike Women's Full Marathon

Wait, this is supposed to be about how I got into triathlons!  According to my records (ie: my shirt drawer. I have so many race shirts!!!!) I did the Music City Triathlon (Olympic distance) in 2008. But I have no recollection at all why I decided to do it. Training for it wasn't much fun because when I got the bike I had no idea how to ride and the bike I got was pretty shitty. I also didn't have any training in swimming so I had to teach myself, and I'm not a very patient teacher! Then when race day came, the weather was so bad that they cancelled the swim portion and it became a duathlon. But it was still super windy, and in the first 0.5 mile of the bike portion, a girl crashed and required an ambulance (this happened in front of me so I got to see it all unfold). Then during the run it started raining and the wind picked up even more. It was terrible. But all-in-all, I was still proud of my accomplishment since I had never been a swimmer nor had I been on a bike before.

But it wasn't until Lydia got into it that I started to love it! In the fall of 2008 Lydia bought a bike and signed up with Team in Training (TNT) to do the Olympic distance tri - Memphis in May. TNT raises money for a cause that is near and dear to her heart and in her words: " the only chance I had of people donating money to me was if I set myself a massive challenge: hence triathlon!" So she did it!!!! I was tempted to do it with her, but didn't, because I didn't think I could raise the money. But after watching her and how much fun she had with it, I was convinced!! So I signed up for their next event, the 2009 Alabama Coastal Triathlon (Olympic distance). And I convinced Lyd do it with me :)
The team (minus Emily. She trained with us but competed in a different race)
Training buddies - before the race

The first and only time I placed. 2nd for beginners! 
The TNT experience was so much fun! Our coach was awesome and getting her swimming tips helped me so much!! I really started enjoying swimming! My bike still sucked and I dreaded all the biking we had to do. But it was 10-times better than before because I could bike next to Lydia and we could gab. And I had a great race day!! I swam and biked faster than I ever did during practice (my run was just ok), and ended up getting 2nd place for beginners! After the race we went to Brusters and I had an epic chocolate peanut butter sundae!!! Best reward ever!!!!

The next year Lyd, Dawn, and I registered for Fall Creek Falls Olympic distance triathlon, but unfortunately Lyd got the flu the week before and wasn't able to race. But she did accompany us and was a terrific photographer.
Me and Dawn getting ready to race!
Before I left Nashville I convinced Lyd to do a half ironman with me in Sonoma. So last summer she flew to the bay area and we did the 2011 Vineman 70.3. She did not enjoy it quite as much as I did and she swore she would never do it again. I, on the other hand, did not hesitate to sign up for 140.6!! (btw, I have a new bike now that I LOVE so I blame the old bike for my previous hatred of the sport) 
I'm not sure what I'll do after completing the ironman distance race. Maybe take a nap?

Do you race? Leave me a comment and tell me how you got into it!! 


  1. Aww so cute! Love the pics! And the fact that you can't remember why you did the race but you do remember your dessert after it =)

  2. This is a great blog post!!!! I didn't enjoy training for the 70.3 because my training buddy wasn't with me, that training buddy being you Michelle! All the training we did together was actually fun (other than swimming in Percy Priest Lake)!!!! I'm loving sharing your journey to 140.6 from my armchair. Lyd xxx

  3. Thanks guys! Chris - of course I remember that dessert!! Peanut butter cups crushed over melted peanut butter and hot fudge on ice cream. Best dessert ever.
    Lyd - I agree, training without you isn't much fun either. Thanks for reading and being a part of the training, even if you're not here in person sweating and cursing with me :)

  4. Love this post! Always fun to hear how other people got into triathlons. My first experience with a tri (in 2002) was a disaster, and I said I would never do it again. Fast forward to 2009 when I trained with an awesome team and I fell in love with the sport!