Triathletes Wear Lipstick Too

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When most of us are sound asleep at 6am on a Saturday morning, a growing number of your fellow San Antonio residents are well on their way to meet their training group in various locations around town. Whether they have chosen to run, walk or cycle, our city is signing up in record numbers to compete in the Rock and Roll Marathon and Half-Marathon in November. It’s training season!

If you happen to notice a large number of people wearing purple shirts then you have more than likely spotted a member of Team in Training.  TNT is one of the largest endurance sports training programs. They have trained over half a million people to compete in various events and raised over $1.2 billion to fund cancer research.

One of my friends and mother of twins, Heather Johnson, first introduced me to this training program while she was a member of the San Antonio Area Mother of Multiples. She was so passionate about the program that she convinced over 9 women in our SAAMOM group to train and finish their first full marathon in 2008. The next year 3 more mothers of twins and triplets crossed the finish line. A total of 12 women that were in the middle of raising their young multiple sets of children took the time out of their busy lives to train for a marathon and raise money for TNT. A large portion of the funds raised for the TNT organization are donated to further cancer research.  This non-profit supports the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

It was very inspiring for our SAMMOM group to watch these women achieve not only their fitness goals, but complete their first marathon. It in turn gave them a confidence in themselves that they never knew was missing. They also formed lifetime friendships with one another while participating in the 4-5 month training program. Most of these moms have continued to compete in half and full marathons and proudly train and wear their TNT training shirts.

In talking to one of these women, Michele Clements-Thompson at an SAAMOM meeting a few months ago, I found out that she was indeed still training with TNT but decided to raise the bar a little bit this year. She informed me that she was training for the Ironman Triathlon in November.

I couldn’t comprehend all the dedication and training it would take to finish a triathlon.  It requires you to complete 2.4 miles of swimming, 26.2 miles of running and 112 miles of cycling all in the time span of 17 hours.

As we were catching up with one another over dinner at our monthly SAAMOM meeting, I realized that I needed to share Michele’s story  as well as her entire triathlon team with our Livin’ Sassy readers.

We recently met at Hardberger Park the morning after they had just competed in a 100 mile cycle race. You would never know that these ladies drove in after midnight from their competition in Wichita Falls. After hearing about how each other did in their grueling race, they quickly spruced up their lipstick and posed for pictures. They might be right in the middle of 10 months of endurance training, but they made sure that their lipstick was just perfect. And so it should be!

I had asked them to take pictures in their favorite workout clothes. They were all in agreement that they loved  the attire at Lululemon. The material of their workout gear is so light and soft. It is important to be comfortable in what you are wearing while you are in the midst of a competition. If you are the least bit uncomfortable, it will effect your performance. Their items are a little pricey but they are worth the splurge. I think we can all be in agreement that if they are competing in a triathlon, they deserve the best gear!

Let me introduce you to Team in Training San Antonio’s IRONTEAM  Women for 2012:

 

Our first team member is Michele.

She is a psychologist, mother of 9 year old twins and a triathlete.

 

Is this your first triathlon? If not, how many have you completed? Other competitions? 
 I have completed several triathlons, including a half ironman in 2011. Ironman Arizona will be my first full Ironman-distance race. I have also completed 5 marathons, 6 half marathons, and a few cycling events.
Is there a special person you are honoring in your training?  
I train in honor or memory of a different person each season with TNT. This year, I trained in honor of my friend and colleague, Christy Bell, who is now in remission from Lymphoma. I always train in memory of my husband’s grandfather, Robert Myer, who passed away in 1994 from Leukemia.
What was your fitness level prior to joining TNT?
I would walk 3 or 4 times a week for about 30 minutes. I had done a couple of 5K and 10K walks.
Any advice to those that might be thinking about competing in a race? 
Don’t be afraid to set an ambitious goal! You might be suprised what you can accomplish with consistent training over time.
How has this experience so far changed your life? 
Since starting my first marathon season with TNT in 2008 (which I walked the entire 26.2 miles), my life has changed quite a lot! I now train very consistently, and love seeing improvements in my fitness as the weeks and months go by. I have strived to improve my nutrition so that my body has the healthy fuel it needs to do all I am asking it to do. I have met wonderful people who all have the same mission, and have a great circle of friends as a result. I feel good that I am setting an example of healthy living for my kids, and also showing them that it’s great to dream big and go for it! Plus my husband is an endurance athlete, and so it’s wonderful that we have this in common and we can support each other. We weren’t althetes when we met, but we sure are in the thick of it now!
Please add anything that you think might be of interest to our readers!  Our twins are 9 years old and very active. Both enjoy swimming and riding their bikes. They both completed a 5K run and a kid’s trialthon this summer. Our son is very skilled in Tae Kwon Do, and our daughter loves ballet, tap, & jazz.
Next we have Margie. 
She is a school psychologist and a triathlete.
Is this your first triathlon? If not, how many have you completed? Other competitions? 
 No. I’ve done a couple of triathlons and dozens of marathons and half marathons.
Is there a special person you are honoring in your training?
 My brother Robby, who passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1998 at the age of 38
What was your fitness level prior to joining TNT? 
 I lifted weights and ran 3 miles on the treadmill.
Any advice to those that might be thinking about competing in a race? 
 I was 37 when I first started running and ran my first marathon at the age of 38.  I’m currently 43 and training for my first Ironman.  If I can do it, anyone can do it!!  It’s never too late to set a goal and go for it.
How has this experience so far changed your life? 
 I have made numerous lifelong friends throughout this experience. Before Team in Training, I was athletic, but would never have called myself an athlete. Now I can proudly say I’m an athlete, and I’ve raised tens of thousands of dollars to help find a cure for blood cancers.
Please add anything that you think might be of interest to our readers!  
 In 2010, I ran 6 full marathons and 7 half marathons around the country to raise funds for Team in Training.  I maintained a full-time job and a part-time job while doing this.  Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.
Meet Anid.
She is a PPCD school teacher and a triathlete.

 

Is this your first triathlon? If not, how many have you completed? Other competitions?
  I started off with marathons prior to doing tri’s. I did 3 full marathons in 2009, Mayor’s Marathon in Alaska, Rock-n-Roll San Antonio, and NIKE womens marathon in San Francisco.  I completed four  olympic tri’s in 2010, CapTex, Avia, Nation’s and the South Maui Tri (my favorite of the four). During this time I also did some local bike rides like Tour de Gruene, Fiesta Wildflower, Real Ale bike ride, and the Inaugural Rock-N-Roll bike tour.
I then continued on to complete 3 half Ironman’s in 2011-2012 (1.2 mile swim/56 mile bike/13.1 mile run) the Lonestar Half Ironman (Galveston, Texas), Longhorn Half Ironman (Austin, Texas), and Vineman Half Ironman (Sonoma County, CA). This weekend I completed my first 100 mile bike ride/century ride in Witchita Falls, Texas. It was called Hotter’n Hell 100, very nice ride.
 In 2012, I have also completed a few runs, a 10 mile trail run, the Dallas Rock-n-roll half,  and the Las Vegas Rock-N-Roll half.Currently I am training for a Ironman Arizona in November of this year (2.4 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run).
Is there a special person you are honoring in your training? 
Not in particular, but  I have met several people through team in training that have become good friends and who have lost a child or loved one to some form of blood cancer. So, I would say that I train in honor of those friends and in memory of their lost loved ones. When I think I can’t go any further on a long training day, I think of them, and that helps me go on.
What was your fitness level prior to joining TNT?
  Prior to 2009, I had never done anything athletic in my life and was about 40 pounds heavier, yikes!
 Any advice to those that might be thinking about competing in a race?
 Where there is a will, there is a way! You have to start somewhere. I remember when I could barely swim across the pool, and when my first ride was only 8 miles! It takes a lot of dedication and commitment, but if I can do it anyone can. It does not matter how old or what size you are, all that matters is that you tri.
How has this experience so far changed your life?
I would say it has definitely changed my life for the better. I feel good about myself because people who I help through TNT are very appreciative of the money I have raised and the hours we put in towards getting the word out about blood cancer research. It also feels great to be doing something positve for myself both physically and emotionally. I treasure the good friends I have made, and the support I have received. I am very appreciative of the people a long the way who have helped me get to where I am today in terms of physical fitness, and have become a more confident person because of it. For all these reasons I have continued to come back to help TNT, to do what I can to help make it a better program that people want to be a part of.
And finally we have Coach Carrie. 
She is a first grade teacher and a triathlete.
As a coach, how many marathons and triathlons have you completed? Other competitions?
 I have done over 55 marathons/ultra-marathons including three 100 mile ultras, 4 half ironman 70.3,  and 2 full ironmans 140.6
Is there a special person you are honoring in your training? 
 My friend Linda is a leukemia survivor and a very close friend of mine.
What was your fitness level prior to joining TNT?
I joined TNT in 2006. I was doing races before TNT but loved the friendships that I made and enjoyed hanging out with friends who had similar
interests to mine. I also had the opportunity to travel to unique race locations such as Alaska, San Francisco, Nashville, Arizona and San Diego.
Any advice to those that might be thinking about competing in a race?
You will be surprised at what your body can achieve and you will be surprised over and over again! DREAM…..BELIEVE…..ACHIEVE!
How has this experience so far changed your life?
The best part about being a coach is race day. It is so fulfilling to watch my friends and teammates push their limits and cross the finish line a changed person.
So the next time you see someone out early on a Saturday morning in their workout clothes, be sure and encourage them to:
                                                                                                                                                                       BELIEVE 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                         DREAM
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                        ACHIEVE 
Go Team San Antonio!
For more information about the training programs of Team in Training visit TeamInTraining.  You can also find out more information about the Inaugural HERO-THON Half Marathon.
If you are interested in the workout attire worn by these athletes visit lululemon.
Stay Sassy Y’all.

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Comments

  1. Laura, Wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing these inspiring women with us. Cheers, Denise

  2. Pat Clements says:

    This level of commitment and dedication to training is more than inspiring. Phenomenal !!!
    Way to go gals !!! Proud Mother of Michele.

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