I didn’t grow up doing sports. It was the late 1980s and I was in my 30’s when I started running. My husband, who was in the Navy, had to meet strict physical fitness standards on a regular basis. He started running to help meet those standards and I decided to join in. I ran my first half marathon during that time. There was a marathon at the same time – half participants ran one loop, full ran two. I was the last finisher of the half and 5 people finished the full in front of me. Needless to say, I have never been fast. I once earned a trophy for being last in a 10K and I have been just in front of the police car at the tail end of a race more than once. But, I was the first female in a one mile race once. It was a stormy morning and only two other women showed up. I take what I can get.
After my husband retired from the Navy we ended up living in Silicon Valley at the height of the tech boom. We both worked so many hours that running took a back seat. It wasn’t until we moved back to the South Carolina lowcountry in 2005 that we both returned to running. By this time I was in my late 50s and was slower than before.
The allure of running at Walt Disney World® pulled me in to doing a number of races there – including challenges where one would run a 10K one day and then a half marathon the next.
I Discovered She Tris
I continued running races and then in 2018 I heard about SheTris. The distances seemed manageable – I knew I could run the 2 miles and heck, everyone can ride a bike, right? So the only thing in question was the swim. I grew up around water in Michigan and could swim enough to get to a raft tied up in a lake but certainly didn’t have good swim technique. That one semester of swimming I had in high school was spent just trying to keep my hair dry so I wouldn’t have to walk around with a wet head the rest of the day.
A friend did the race in 2018 and she strongly advised me to sign up for the Tri It For Life training program (TIFL). Boy, am I glad she did! The mentors of TIFL eased us all into a training routine that led to a successful finish at the SheTris race. I enjoyed the experience so much that I signed up for all the SheTris races and also became a mentor for TIFL.
Hobbies Beyond Triathlon
In addition to doing triathlon activities, I am a quilter. I can’t think of two interests that are more divergent. Quilting is such a sedentary activity so I am hoping that my running, biking, and swimming counteracts all those hours sitting at my sewing machine.
I turn 70 in January and look forward to competing in my new age group next year! I hope I have some others in the competition.