To all the Newbies…..

Just like many women in the MHWTC, I never thought I would be swimming, cycling, & running on a regular basis, let alone writing a blog about it.

It all started on New Year’s Eve, 2010.  The Mullica Hill Women’s Tri Club was going to be launched in March and Colleen suggested I join the club and consider doing a triathlon in August.  After thinking about it for a while, I said I would join and train for the SheRox Tri but didn’t think I was able to do all three events.  My girlfriend and I decided that we would do a relay.   I was going to run (haha I was NOT a runner) and my girlfriend was going to swim and bike.  The next week she was going to run and I was going to swim and bike.  This went back and forth for a while, all with lots of apprehension.  After the 1st kick off meeting, we changed our minds and decided to do all three events on our own.  I emailed Colleen telling her about the change and her response was, “I was waiting for this email to come.”  – She was confident from the very beginning that I could do the entire triathlon all on my own!

So I started training…. Early one Sunday morning I met two friends at the Future Fitness pool for our first practice swim.  We got into our lanes and started putting on our swim gear, talking, laughing and having fun! On go the caps, then I put on my “face mask” (you know the one that covers your nose i.e. SNORKEL MASK).  We were all laughing at my mask.  This is how new I was to swimming, I didn’t have a clue that I was supposed to have goggles!  Once the weather got warmer, I started the open water swims at Lakes Garrison and Wenonah.  I began to really enjoy them.  I would text my friends the afternoon of the Wenonah swims and would ask, “Who’s interested in swimming tonight”.    I was given the nickname “Swamp Queen”.

I liked the swims at Lake Garrison because most of the time, just as I was finishing the 10th lap swimming the side stroke, the sun began to set.  It was incredible!  After doing the swims for the month of July, I started getting more confident and actually thought, I can do this!  There were days that I couldn’t wait to get home from work to bike, run or swim. I was in a groove!

I participated in the 7am Saturday morning group bike rides.  I have to say, they were a little early but I always felt so good because by 9am I was done with a 15-20 mile ride and had the whole day ahead of me. As I continued going on the rides, I got a little faster and even started saying “on your left”.  For some reason, I would stay behind a person even if I was fast enough to pass them.

When I first started running, I was able to run longer if I listened to songs on my IPod rather than looking at my watch. It was more motivating for me.  At first, I would run for three songs then walk and increase the number of songs each week.  I kept it up, listening to the same 8 songs, yes only eight songs, over and over for 2-3 days a week.  Towards the middle of the summer, everything started connecting.  I started to see weight loss results. I was exercising, I was eating healthier foods and I was psyched! I lost 30 lbs. that summer and didn’t have to say I was still trying to lose my baby weight (considering, my baby was 22 years old at the time – LOL)

The beginning of August came and so did SheRox Triathlon. The night before the race, my husband said, “Now, have fun tomorrow”.  I just didn’t get that, how can I have fun?  I was soooo nervous.  I knew I was prepared though – the swim, like for most of us, was a challenge for me.  Maureen, saw how nervous I was, she took my hand, brought me to the edge of the river and showed me where I had to swim and how far.  As soon as I got into the river, I calmed down and did what I had been training for all summer. I still didn’t feel comfortable swimming freestyle the 1st year so I swam the sidestroke the entire time.  While swimming, I was looking at the mansions and scenery of Philadelphia.   I took my time, and before I knew it, I was doing the happy dance, out of the water and headed to the bike transition. During the bike ride, I noticed my son Ben on the sideline cheering me on.  I was thrilled to see him and had fun the rest of the race. Yes, I had a smile on my face and I was having fun!

This whole Tri club experience is one of the best things that ever happened to me.  It changed my life.  I eat healthier now, I have more confidence and I learned to push myself even if “I don’t want to.” (Still perfecting that one!)  I’ve made good friends and even added more songs to my IPod!

Good Luck Newbies!

 

I am new member to the MHWTC and I couldn’t be more excited.  This is my journey to becoming a triathlete.

August 2008 - After years of trying to get pregnant (including fertility treatments) our first child was born – our daughter, Fiona. I wasn’t in great shape before getting pregnant, and the treatments did a number on me emotionally. Exercise was the last thing on my mind. Even though I lost most of my baby weight pretty quickly, I settled back onto the couch, all comfy in my elastic waistband pants.

Summer 2009 - One year later, I looked at myself in the mirror and decided I wasn’t going to let myself be an overweight mom.  The issue was I didn’t consistently work out.  but I did have a life long goal.  My goal was to complete a sprint-triathlon.  I’m a natural swimmer, I can ride a bike without falling (most of the time) and I figured I could learn how to run. So, I did some research, formulated a 16 week training program, found a partner, joined the gym and hired a trainer. I was SERIOUS about exercise but I didn’t change my eating habits…at all!   I was still sneaking six candy bars a day. (I know, this seems shocking- it is even shocking to me).  I completed the first 12 weeks of the training program, and got in better cardiovascular shape. I was able to run for 1.5 miles without stopping and then found out I was pregnant (I had been told I couldn’t get pregnant naturally, so this was a HUGE shock!) I immediately quit exercising.

April 2010 - Our second child was born – a son, Callum and shortly after, I was determined to become a triathlete FOR REAL.  I rehired my trainer, found a new training partner, and set about doing it. I watched what I ate, and stuck to my plan. In twenty weeks I lost forty pounds. I went from a size 16 to a 10/12! I also got into the best cardiovascular shape of my life – I could run for over an hour. My longest training run was over six miles. SIX MILES!!! Amazing! My running pace was an 11 minute mile, which is simply ROCKET fast, for this former slug. My goal of completing a triathlon was slowly become a reality. One year later after I set my goal I completed my first sprint triathlon: The Dottie’s House End of Season Triathlon on October 10, 2010. YAY me!

October 2010 (post triathlon elation) The feeling of crossing the line is unbelievable, I  promptly signed up for another triathlon which was being held just six months later.  My goal was to lose another 20 pounds and return to my college size. (A solid size 10 — or maybe even dip into the single digits…. did I really just type that)?  But, guess what.. a few months later I got pregnant again. This time, however, I didn’t stop working out or training. I did drop out of the race, but only because I didn’t want to risk falling – I ran 3 miles, up to five times a week, until I was 26 weeks pregnant.

November 2011 - Our third child, another son, Beckett was born. (Our family is complete. Hurrah!)

December 2011 - At six weeks postpartum I was back out there hitting the pavement, slowly, but surely. I joined the Mullica Hill Women’s Triathlon Club.  I am mentally prepared!

March 2012 - I’ve registered for The Riverwinds Sprint Triathlon, and two others this summer. I am also going to get back down to my pre-baby goal weight (he’s 15 weeks old, and I have 35 pounds to go).  I want to say goodbye to my elastic waistband pants once and for all!

So there you have it. My triathlon history in a nutshell. I look forward to meeting you all and hearing your stories