Why did you sign up to do an Olympic distance triathlon?
My sister and brother-in-law encouraged, hyped up, and supported the idea for me to do my first triathlon with them — a great accomplishment for a family to have together.
How did you feel once you crossed the finish line?
In pain, relieved, amazed, in shock that I made it.
What would you say was the hardest challenge in this race?
The first major challenge was going to the race myself. My sister and brother-in-law ended up going to Hawaii for a vacation instead of doing the Triathlon and I didn’t want the $100+ to go to waste.

Secondly, was simply not knowing how to swim. I had practiced in a 25 yard pool a couple weeks before but swimming was just not my thing and I didn’t want to spend the extra money and time to take lessons. I figured I could doggie paddle my way through. After all, it was only 1 mile anyways…

Third, was slipping on the wood bank right before I jumped in at the start of the race. I scraped my knee and was bleeding before the race even started.

Fourth, was having countless waves trample over me as I helplessly tried to doggie paddle the 1 mile swim, realizing I was literally at the brink of death (after I panicked when I realized there wasn’t the edge of the pool to hang on to after I got tired). At one point, I got so thrown off the course, a lifeguard tried to get me back on course. Nonetheless, I finished the 1 mile swim in about an hour!

Lastly, was getting off a 50 mile bike ride and cramping up even before I started the 6.2 mile run. I tried to jog slowly but by mile 2, I had to start walking. At mile 3, both my legs collapsed so I sat on the side watching everyone else pass me.

What was the most rewarding thing about completing this race?
I don’t know if the medal, shirt, or even the food afterwards was worth the pain. But I do think just being able to retell the story is invaluable. To think back upon how bad things got but how somehow determination pushed me through even if I was the last person to finish.

Was there any specific running gear or program that helped you train better?
Unfortunately, I wish I had trained better for an Olympic Triathlon. I would highly recommend training for any distance race.
If you have any words of encouragement for new runners, please share!
It takes a lot of discipline to get out and run. And I think a level of courage to be part of a race, especially if you know you may not do too well.

But if racing has taught me anything, it’d be that determination and your mind is often stronger than your body and what you think you’re physically capable of. At the latter parts of distance races, the mind is arguably more critical than how your stamina or your muscles are doing. And I think if you’re able to train your mind in that way, you’ll have a better chance of overcoming other hurdles or obstacles in life.