I was a long time runner, but would tend to over train. I was always interested in multisport but made the argument that it was too expensive for me at the time. Then I broke my foot in May 2019. So, like many triathletes I started because of an injury.
I Listened This Time
My broken foot was honestly the best thing that ever happened to me! I honestly got an urge of determination to just keep moving, however I wanted to heal correctly. This was the first “injury” I had that I didn’t keep pushing against the doctor’s will. This time around, I actually listened to the doctor.
I was given permission to swim and bike as long as I was wearing clips (solid base of shoe kept foot stable.) I reached out to a coach to help me begin. The learning curve was steep and it was a battle; especially in the water!
With every other running related injury I had, I’d just keep pushing through. This time I was patient. Being patient led to success. As a Type-A person, I’m usually the opposite! I allowed myself to be a novice with cycling and swimming. When I needed help (bike repair, swimming stroke, etc) I’d ask.
As I mentioned, swimming was hard. I was anxious about that portion of the triathlon. Being slow and needing guidance, I was helped by my coach. I was given the workouts and the swim director of the pool helped me work on the stroke.
No Races Meant More Training
However, those few months of no running produced more gains than running alone. I used 2020 to build in all three sports since there were no races.
The great part of not racing is it allowed me to continue to get stronger in each sport. My pool wasn’t closed long (military base) and I was able to keep swimming. I learned how to use Zwift and got addicted to playing during the winter months. Each distance in the pool and on the bike was new, so that was great motivation. With running it was working to get back my strength and speed.
In 2021, I was able to pick up a few races. In my first race I had some great help from my coach to get me past any excuses. Additional help came from my appointed mentor from Fund Her Tri. She mentally walked me through each stage, gave me tips on how to keep going, and how to just enjoy the moment.
I did well and placed in my age group. My next race, I killed it and was 4th female overall!!! Currently we are living in Japan (military family) and races are just starting to pick up here. The August 20th race is a small military base sprint, but I’ve found a few other local Olympic tris on mainland Japan! I made a friend who is helping me navigate the registrations for a new country. More than that, she has encouraged me to keep pushing even though I’m in a new spot.
Helping To Grow The Sport
I’m excited to race with an entirely different group of people! It doesn’t matter that we speak different languages, but the love of the sport pulls us together.
I’m working here in Japan to grow the sport. I just got approval to begin an adult swim club and we have cycling and an established running group. Although there’s just a handful of us that do multi sport on the base, there’s so much interest! My goal here is to keep getting others involved and giving triathlon a go.
My experience with Fund Her Tri will help. For example, I heard about “Fund Her Tri” through a Facebook group and women just giving pointers on how to financially begin racing. From there I went to Instagram to find their page and it was open enrollment.
I applied and was selected! I was provided the financial backing to register for my first race. Fund Her Tri paid for the registration as well as providing me a mentor to give me any support that I might need. I want to pay it forward and provide an opportunity for others to enjoy the sport as much as I do.
I don’t know what my racing future looks like, but what I’ve learned in all of this is extreme patience. Being patient led to success at the start and I expect that to continue. I’ve also discovered that no matter my age (I’m now 41) I can keep learning new things and grow in the sport.