I came to the sport of triathlons in 2014 after watching several Naperville events while working traffic control.
I was so moved by the athletes (women specifically) who were my age and looked like me putting it all out there. I was moved (almost to tears but not quite because I am tough) by the support and encouragement that the athletes gave one another during the race. I thought to myself, “What if I could do that?” I figured I was an athlete in my younger days so I knew what it was like to work out hard. Fast forward 20 plus years and all the usual drama that has unfolded in my life has resulted in me not being so in shape.
In 2014 I signed up for three sprint triathlons with the goal of just crossing the finish line. I found a training program online, taught myself to swim or so I thought and pretty much muscled through the three sprints. I was content with that but as is normal with Type A personalities I wanted more.
In 2015 I did my first ET Indoor Triathlon and had the best cheer coach/wave leader ever. I then decided to go big or go home so I stepped it up and signed up for three sprints and the ET Lake Zurich Olympic. I trained and over trained like the crazy, mad woman I am. I was right on schedule when disaster struck by way of a swim kick board. Yes, you read correctly… Swim kickboard. I suffered a severe neck strain which put me out of all but one race. Who hurts their neck doing a kicking drill? This girl. I was defeated but as is normal with Type A personalities I said to myself, “Oh, hell no, I am not going down like this. I am coming back bigger and better next year.” I signed up for my first Masters Swim with ET and was introduced to my new BFF Coach Suzy. Coach Suzy taught me so many new words, my favorite of which is windmilling. Yep, I am a Windmiller! Coach Suzy then suggested I take a private swim lesson with her because she had “feedback” to give me. I took that private lesson and I learned even more fancy words and I actually saw myself swim from above because she took a video of me with her phone. I was horrified with what I saw but determined to work on the three things she told me to work on. Head down, kick like you are a torpedo in a tube and no windmilling (my favorite word).
I started training for my 2016 season, which was again the three sprints and the ET Lake Zurich Olympic. I began training like a crazy person and again disaster struck by way of knee injuries including IT band syndrome. Two cortisone shots and a couple glasses of wine later I had the great idea to sign up for a half Ironman in September. Who does that? Me. What I also did was fire my coach (myself) because clearly she did not know what she was doing. I decided at that moment that I have to do this right. I cannot keep doing what I have been doing and expect different results. Coach Suzy immediately came to mind because she pretty much had me figured out (or so she thinks).
February 2016, Coach Suzy and I began our deep, meaningful relationship. I am only two months into my training and so far it is all happiness and rainbows except for the recent minor aggravated knee injury but Coach Suzy is all over it, even going to meet my physical therapist to make sure the training plan is what I need, not what I want. I know that as with any real relationship there will be days when I want to break up with Coach Suzy or say bad words after her name when I look at my training for the day on Training Peaks but for now we are in the honeymoon stage. Or at least I am. I will let you know in a few more weeks or months when she starts putting the hammer down.
Elena (The Windmiller)