Luckily for me, my qualifying race is just a half Ironman, so 1.2mile swim, 56mile bike, 13.1mile run. And even better, I've already completed three half Ironmans (70.3's).
My first 70.3 ever was Buffalo Springs Lake in Lubbock, Texas in June of 2010. I missed qualifying for Kona by 9 seconds. Short version of the story: inexperience did me in.
Little longer version of the story: I came out of the water better than expected, caught a ton of girls on the bike, started the run with about 15 girls ahead of me, passed all within the first 11miles of the run...
...and then, with ONE MILE to go, I ran up to the ONLY girl standing between me and Kona, planning to make my move on her just as quickly as I had on the other girls. She notices my last name (I was wearing my Duathlon Worlds shorts, which say "Aubert" on the butt) and asks if I'm Ryan's girlfriend. When I respond yes, she SPEEDS OFF. I try to respond, but my legs didn't know how. (after the race, I talked with the girl and found out she's a phenomenal athlete, so not only did I then feel better about myself, but I also realized that she definitely deserved that spot at Kona!!).
I watched her take my Kona slot.
I told myself after that race that the next 70.3 I raced competitively WOULD qualify me for Kona.
Seriously thought this was the coolest thing ever.
And here we are.
Ryan and I started our swim training this week. YIKES.
The last time I swam was at the HyVee Triathlon on September 2nd. Yep, 4 whole months ago.
Let's just say that by the time I hit 1600m of my 2100 total meters last Tuesday, I was ready to be done.
And then I had to do a 2450m workout on Thursday. And then we met with our swim coach on Friday to swim some more (and get evaluated and such).
We went to the New Glarus Brewery on Saturday (yeah, I realize this has nothing to do with swimming, quite the opposite in fact). My shoulders were so sore that even lifting our beers caused me to feel the soreness.
Outside of the New Glarus Brewery.
After the Illinois vs Wisconsin game, we needed a beer... :(
So, moral of the story... I'm super out of shape when it comes to swimming and need to really stay focused and hit all of the swims I'm supposed to. In the summer, I'd swim whenever the kids' triathlon team did (2-4 times a week) for whatever I felt like, or whatever my friend/amazing triathlon coach Jen Harrison recommended. Having Ryan swimming as well will really help me in terms of staying motivated/committed.
Alright, so now that we got the "Jacqui really needs to swim a lot more to be able to compete in a 70.3" issue out of the way, let's move on to the most exciting part of this blog.
I have ANOTHER coach!
Cari is still going to write my run workouts as qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the marathon is really my MAIN goal. BUT, now I also have a coach to improve my swim and bike as well.
His name is Bill. His credentials include the following:
-was beat out by HUNDREDTHS of seconds to compete in the Olympics for swimming... by Michael Phelps
-won Rev3 Cedar Point in 2011 (that's an Ironman) for amateurs
-beat all but TWO pros out of the water at Ironman Wisconsin. Did I mention that pros get a TEN minute head start on amateurs?
So, he's pretty good. AND he understands my drive for the Trials and that this race is on my list and I want to qualify for Kona, but my BIG goal is the Trials.
What does this mean for my blog? Well, I still plan on doing a lot of running races, but this blog is going to start to be more about triathlon training as well. I think this is HUGE as cross training is SO important for runners. I'm learning a lot from Bill, Cari and Earl and by piecing it all together, I think we have a huge chance of qualifying me for Kona and the Trials.
Hopefully my experiences will be able to help my readers, running friends, and triathlon friends gain some knowledge as that is the main reason I write this blog. I absolutely love giving advice, and working with these three people (plus many more who will be mentioned in future blogs) has already made me 10 times more knowledgeable than I was in college.
Stay tuned as this triathlon adventure is just getting started... :)