How I got into triathlon…I blame credit my friend, Tess Gaeke. Tess and I have known each over for some 20+ years and through the years, we have done a pretty good in convincing each other to do this race or that race. Prior to our discovery of triathlon, we had done several long-distance bike rides, 5k’s, and half marathons together. However, I cannot say I really trained very well for these events, it was more of doing it for fun and just to finish. Thanks to my husband, Loren, who goes to the gym every single day, I have been consistent about going to the gym. Although I can’t say that I put much effort into working out back then.
In 2007, we happen to be biking around Lake Washington and stopped to watch a group of women at Genesee Park that were going doing a practice run through of a triathlon (later discovering that is called a “brick). There were women of all shapes, sizes, and ages that were training for the Danskin Tri. As we watched, we both came to the consensus “we so totally could do this”. Fast forward to 2008, Tess through one of her Starbucks friends secure an entry for both of us through some special program that Danskin had. We ventured down to REI in Seattle that spring to see a presentation by Mary Meyers about the Danskin race, Triathlons, and her training program. It was during that presentation, it dawned on us that swimming was involved in this event which neither of us had spent much of our adult life doing. We made the leap and signed up for a few of Mary’s pool workouts at the Mercer Island pool and an open water clinics figuring that would get us ready. Sorry, Patty and Kathy at the time we had no clue what RTB was all about at that time.
Aside from the few Mary Meyers swim workouts, Tess and I did one practice run through of a triathlon by biking, running, and then the swim a week prior to the big event. With that one practice, we were ready to go!! When the big day arrived, I remember standing there in the swim start looking out across the lake and seeing the buoys and thinking what did get myself into? The next thing I know, I was headed into the water and it was go time. All the swim workouts went out the door as I went with a combo dog paddle/water polo swim with occasional moments on my back. I was so totally exhausted by the time I got out of the lake, but I was stoked as I survived and now only had the bike and run left. I finished with a decent time, it was thrill just to pass people on the bike and run given that they had all pretty much passed me on the swim. I managed to finish with a decent time and I was hooked!! Despite sucking at the swim, it felt great to have accomplished such a feat!