By Angela Giddens
If she can do it, you can too.
These are the words I heard this past January while running a half marathon in Florida. I was wearing a half ironman race shirt and from behind me I heard a man say to the woman running with him. “Look honey, she ran a half ironman. If she can do it, you can too.”
At first I was insulted but as I thought more about it (after having picked up my pace, leaving them in my dust) he had a point. I didn’t grow up an athlete. I have no background in swimming, cycling or running. I took up the sport nine years ago after the birth of my daughter. I needed to find a way to relieve the stress of day to day life. I needed something for myself. Triathlon filled both of those needs and more.
The most common thing I hear when people my age hear that I do triathlons is that they don’t know how I have the time to train. They have no spare time. To this I simply reply, “I make the time.”
I wake up early and train before the rest of the family is awake. I train during my lunch breaks at work. I train after the kids go to bed. Some days this doesn’t work and life gets away from me and I don’t get my training in. I’ve come to realize that missing one or two workouts isn’t going to make or break any given race. I’ve learnt to modify my training to fit my life. Some days this means a 1 hour run gets done at lunch and is shortened to 50 minutes. Some days it means I go skiing or hiking with the family instead of doing my scheduled training. There are many ways to train and we all have to find what works for us and be prepared to alter the training schedule to fit our lives.
As we head into triathlon season I’m having to remind myself of these somewhat obvious things. Don’t obsess about those workouts that might not go as planned or happen at all but instead focus on getting the most out of each workout and above all remember the reason you started this great adventure!