Gabi and her husband are also training for Ironman Louisville, so it will be really exciting sharing this journey with her! We'll have to make sure we meet up before we jump into the Ohio River!
This week's topic is: Swim.
I've mentioned on the blog before that I am not new to swimming. I started swimming competitively when I was 8 years old. Was I good? Not really in the beginning. In fact, when my brother and I (along with a handful of other swimmers) made the switch from one swim team to another after their pool's roof collapsed and they started practicing at our YMCA, our first coach laughed and said that we would never become anything as swimmers.
Oh, look at me.
Luckily, I didn't listen.
I worked extremely hard to become a better swimmer. In fourth grade my mom told me that I could start going to morning swim practices if I wanted to, and I did. I remember the first time that I swam the 50 yard freestyle under 30 seconds, I was on top of the world. My coach even gave me a dollar, and signed it, I think I still have that somewhere.
In Florida at YMCA Nationals
I continued to get better and to swim more and more. Our swim team would take a yearly trip to Florida, and later the Virgin Islands, and in order to go you had to swim 8 practices a week. There were no exceptions. That meant I had to swim five nights a week, two morning weekday practices and a Saturday practice (or meet).
Leading a cheer
After the 100 backstroke at States
When I was in high school, I continued to swim for my YMCA team but I also swam on my high school swim team. As all the other sports I did started to fall by the wayside (cross country only one year, softball two years), swimming was always there. My proudest moment as a swimmer was when I became State Champion in the 100 backstroke my senior year of high school.
Before a relay in college
I continued to swim in college, that's how Mike and I met my second year, but I had lost some of my passion for the sport. I only swam on my college's swim team for two years and then I focused on my academics. Unfortunately, I still ate like I was a swimmer and gained some weight.
Mike and I tried to get back into shape by joining a local Masters swim team, and it was fun for awhile. Even though I love swimming, something was missing and we didn't continue swimming on the Masters swim team.
At a Masters swim meet in Middlebury, Vermont
Every once in awhile we would still swim laps at the pool, but again it wasn't the same.
Luckily, in April 2011 I convinced Mike to try Couch-to-5K and our lives changed forever. I got the idea in my head that I was going to do an Ironman and here we are three years later training for Ironman Louisville.
I am so thankful for my background as a swimmer, but swimming in a triathlon is completely different than swimming competitively on a swim team.
Which leads me to next week's topic: Open Water Swimming!