My first experience with triathlon came when I was a student teacher on the Navajo reservation in Aneth, Utah in 1995. One of my cooperating teachers found out I was a former collegiate swimmer and he had a high school student who was a good runner. The teacher said he would pay the registration fee and entered us into the Shiprock Triathlon. I was just happy to be on a team and to get to do something athletic. He put together a good team and we ended up with a beautiful woven Navajo rug. As I look back, I would love to win one of those for myself! It is 2022 and I started in 1995……patience has built memories for me.
A Few Years Later
In 2000, a former swimmer that I knew from Michigan, Sheila Taormina, competed in the first Olympic triathlon. I thought that was so cool that she was able to use her swimming skills to compete in triathlon. I had children of my own in 2001 and 2003 so by the time my kids were 6 they were swimming and I was ready for a challenge. They had a kids tri and I registered my children for the race. I also competed at the event. The swim was easy but people had some really cool looking bikes. I got passed on the bike and run.
A year later I tried another triathlon and somehow everyone knew I was a swimmer because I had on a swim suit and was not afraid to be in the front of the start. The swim was chaotic, I really love the pool and the black line and the lane markers. The mass swim starts are not for the weak. Making the transition from swimming to land is not my favorite and I feel like a drunken sailor. For all of the cycling and running in that event, I was passed by so many people and they exclaimed, “ Wow you are a great swimmer! “ I said “Thanks, wish I could keep up with you.” I did a few more tris but nothing too serious.
My First 70.3 Was Delayed
In June of 2014 I decided I would see if I could start training for a half ironman. I did my longest bike ride ever, a 50 mile bike ride on my own on the 4th of July and knew I could add a half marathon after that. However, in August, I was feeling off and I discovered that I was going to be a mom again! After giving birth to a healthy boy in March, I did a Major League Triathlon in 2016 and I was hooked on triathlon. I loved the variety of training in 3 different sports. As a life long swimmer, it is sometimes hard for me get to the pool to exercise. I love running and cycling is a sport I have never competed in, but have great memories of going for long bike rides with my dad.
I Did My First 70.3
In January of 2019 I decided I wanted to do a half Ironman. I chose 70.3 Steelhead Michigan because I am from Michigan and why not? My dad drove across the state of Michigan to see me finish. There is a long story to that, but the entire race I thought of my dad. The event from start to finish was an amazing experience! Once again I was speedy in the swim, finishing 2nd in my Age Group in that discipline. I did passed a lot on the bike, but not so much on the run.
Well, you know about 2020. It is now 2022 and I’m working on my cycling and making plans to a do a full Ironman. Looking back to where I started and where I am today brings a smile to my face. All these years later and I’m still looking to compete. A lesson to all beginners is to remember that patience will build memories.