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I started participating in triathlon events in 2015 for the Esprit de She in Tempe. Why? A friend told me “It will be fun, and I think you will like it”. Those always seem to be the famous last words. Having never been a strong swimmer and not ever taken formal swim lessons, the quarter mile swim for that first triathlon seemed daunting. However, with an overall time of 01:00:16, my friend was right, I liked it.

I did another race in 2016, but figured that would be my last since I was starting to prepare for the end of my graduate program. At the end of 2016 my graduate work was wrapping up and the dissertation writing stress was starting to freak me out. I needed to find something to keep my moving and to allow me to focus on something other than my dissertation. I don’t remember where, but I had gotten a TTG handout but hadn’t really considered joining. I stumbled upon that paper, looked up some information, and saw that the spring swim coaching would be starting in early 2017. That seemed like the best way to solve my problem. Early morning swimming and the location on campus was perfect. I joined TTG at the January 2017 meeting and started the swim coaching shortly after.

At this point I still didn’t think that I would be participating in any triathlons, but I was learning so much about swimming and I learned that I really enjoyed being in the water. I think it was around May, when swim coaching was ending, that I had started to think about participating in more races. I signed up for the October Oro Valley Sprint and the Patagonia Olympic Distance races. Then, everyone I knew started to sign up for 2018 races. Somehow in all of the talk, I was signed up for 1 sprint, 2 Olympics, and a Half. Yes, I was jumping full in and participating in one of those races I thought crazy people did. Guess that means I am crazy too.

My Half Ironman was July 28th in Santa Rosa, CA. Sadly the swim portion was scrubbed due to unfavorable conditions. The rest of the race was amazing, scenic and beautiful. An ideal venue for my first half ironman race. Before the race, I thought I would be done. I would be trained out. Two days after the race I was looking for where my next one would be. I guess you can say I am still hooked.

I have learned so much from everyone in TTG. Amy Orchard is a beast on the bike, Robin Kremer kills it in the swim, and Donna Pierson is an inspiration for the run! I am thankful to have TTG as my support group.

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