With the first race of the season under my belt and my sights set on the Door County Half in two weeks, it’s safe to say that this summer is flying by! Capitol View Triathlon was a beautiful course, but the weather just didn’t want to cooperate. Striking out into the water at Governor Nelson State Park, the sun was shining: right into our eyes. Sighting was near impossible and the waves began to pick up. I felt like I was eating water at every breath and sighting was near impossible. I rounded the first turn after cutting way off course and continued on the long stretch before the final turn. Sighting was still near impossible but I kept plugging away, one stroke at a time. As I was coming up out of the water, I heard a teammate calling out to me asking if I had heard that they had cut the bike and run short for the Olympic Distance course, and we had to now complete the Sprint Distance course. I couldn’t believe it, I hadn’t even glanced at the sprint course and had no idea what to expect. It definitely was a wrench thrown into my raceday plan, but I hopped on my bike amidst thunder rolling in the distance and crushed the hills. The run was entirely trails and prairie: 3.1 miles of fun! Running down the finishers chute to meet my teammates was amazing – and none too soon before the weather got worse!
It definitely wasn’t the race I had wanted – I was hoping for the full Olympic Distance to gauge how my half would go in July. It was difficult going into the next block of training not knowing if I was training correctly, but I learned quickly that training for triathlon is more than just getting out and doing your workouts: it’s about balance. Not just balancing the various disciplines throughout the week, but creating a work-life-training balance. For me it’s been a school-training-school-more school-life balance. Throughout the entire application process I was constantly told that PA school would be the toughest thing I will ever do in life. I figured that it would be right up there with triathlon training and that I could tackle it head on just like training, but boy was I wrong! While tri training pushes you physically and mentally to the limits, school does both but in a much different way. Long nights spent studying followed by early mornings in the pool and out on the trails was a difficult schedule to get used to. I constantly felt that I was behind in both areas and I began to get discouraged. It wasn’t until I stepped back and realized that I had to truly balance the two that I began to pick up momentum in both areas.
With my new mindset, I passed my first two big exams in school and started to dig deep on the long training rides. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere! This all reminds me a lot of learning to ride a bike. It’s all about learning balance – how to get the pedals moving and establish that center of gravity to keep moving forward. This is not to say that you won’t fall ever – I certainly have had my ups and downs in these short months of PA school and training this summer, but picking yourself back up from those falls, dusting yourself off and hopping right back on that bike is what makes you a stronger person. I’m by no means a master in either area right now, but I just keep pedaling!
Jennifer is a born and bred Badger, and growing up in Madison, WI she spent a majority of her childhood on a bike. She is currently training for a Half Ironman and will be beginning PA School in Chicago in May. When she isn’t swimming, biking, running or eating, she can be found with a cup of coffee and a good book or baking yummy treats. She is extremely excited to bring her training and health education to the Schwinn Ambassador program, and will be focusing on the health side of cycling. She has always loved the Schwinn lifestyle and mission of getting everyone on a bike, and is excited to use the Schwinn Ambassador platform to show how triathlon is so much more than just training.
Follow Jen on Instagram: @jen_beth
Check out the Schwinn Vantage F1