My Journey to 70.3 {Part 1}

Happy Work-It-Wednesday!  Ready to take your workout to the next level?  Everyone, give a warm welcome to our guest blogger and 805 resident, Jessica Rodriguez!  By day, she is a physical therapist and all-around wonderful person, but she recently added a new title to her long list of accolades: triathlete.  Check out her story, and follow along as she trains for a half-Ironman — and maybe, get involved yourself!

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If you told me at the beginning of this year, that I would be training for a half-Ironman distance triathlon in December, I’d think you were crazy. How did I get here? What would motivate me to get up before the sun and dedicate 6-10 hours a week to swimming, biking, and running? The answer is simple . . . I do it for me!

There is always an excuse to skip a work out. I’m just like everyone else: my life is busy. I juggle work, commuting, home renovations, two dogs (one is a puppy), and try to maintain some resemblance of a social life — there is never enough free time for fun or fitness. Thankfully this year, I found a way to incorporate both into my schedule: Transcend, a local women’s intermediate Triathlon training team.

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Before I joined Transcend, I had completed three sprints and an Olympic Triathlon, which occurred over the past few years. I had tons of fun training with my friend, but neither of us had much previous experience. We didn’t follow a plan — we just practiced each sport and got little tidbits of information along the way from other friends who had experience.

So, when my friend invited me to Transcend’s kick-off meeting in February, I went with her. I’m not going to lie, it was intimidating; I didn’t know what to expect. I thought Tri training groups were filled with women who train for a living and have 3% body-fat, but the Transcend members were real women! They were actually more like real-life superheroes; they had careers, kids, and balanced lives outside Tri training. It was a huge relief! Meeting all of them made me think maybe I could do this too.

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Transcend’s motto is, “Helping women to achieve their racing goals.” The group really is what you make it. Some members join for social training; others are training for Triathlons of all distances, from Sprints to full Ironman races.

Our group trains four mornings a week; we have a scheduled lap swim, a tempo run, a group bike ride, and a long run. We have swimming and running coaches, along with members who have years of experience who help guide us along the way. There are brick workouts, mock triathlons, ocean clinics, and flat tire repair classes sprinkled throughout the season to improve knowledge and skills. As an added bonus to all this training and instruction, I’ve developed some pretty awesome friendships and training buddies along the way.

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My first Olympic Tri of the season was the Breath of Life Triathlon in Ventura on June 28th. Despite a choppy swim and some leg cramping during the swim and run, I beat my personal record on the course by 12 minutes!

For me, it’s never been about beating the competition; it’s about doing my best while enjoying the journey to the finish line. During a race, I’m reminded that triathletes don’t have a gender, size, shape, or age. I’m not the best or the fastest one out there, but that doesn’t matter — all you really need is dedication and determination to make it to the finish line [and that, I do have!].

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I don’t know what my journey to 70.3 has in store. I do know that I have a long, hard 5 months of training ahead of me. I’m excited to continue training with my teammates this season. I hope I can inspire you to step outside your comfort zone, reach a goal, or maybe even join a training team. Ultimately, you don’t know what you are capable of, until you Tri. (Sorry, I had to at least once!)

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Transcend has empowered and supported women through triathlon training for 12 seasons. The group has women ages 23-63, of all abilities. We have at least 5 Ironman and over 20 half Ironman finishers. Goal race of the season is typically an Olympic distance Triathlon (.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run). Transcend currently has 65-70 active members. Check out their website for more information: http://www.transcendracing.com

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