This week’s Simply Healthy feature is Courtney!! You can follow her journey at The TriGirl Chronicles. I hope you enjoy Courtney’s story as much as I do 🙂
Tell us a little bit about you…
I’m a recently married runner turned triathlete. I have a Bachelors in health education, a Masters in health promotion, am a certified k-12 health education teacher, and a nationally Certified Health Education Specialist. I love all things related to health and fitness and am completely fascinated by the human body and all the incredible and awe inspiring things it is capable of. I truly believe anyone can accomplish anything they set out for with the right mind set and work ethic because we are all capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
What was your aha moment?
Growing up I was always pretty athletic. My parents had my brother and I in sports our whole lives. I started running track at age 12; joining my school districts modified team. I ran track through my junior year and qualified for states a number of times. In college I played Rugby for two years, and my senior year I ran on and off here and there. My now husband convinced me to register for a 5k that year. I assumed my many years as a successful runner and my here and there running would carry me through, but it did not. I walked a number of times, got frustrated, cried, and fussed during that race. It was a big eye opener to me that my previous years of track weren’t going to carry me my whole life. After that I took my first real job post college graduation. It involved a long commute and I ended up hating the job. It was a complete mental, emotional, and physical drain for me. Again, I stopped running. In the summer of 2011 I saw a number of people I had gone to high school and college with participated in the Iron Girl Syracuse Triathlon. I saw the pictures and posts about it on Facebook and thought “I can totally do that.” So on November 1st, 2011, I registered for the following year’s race. At this point I was at my heaviest weight ever and very unhappy. But I now something to focus on and train for, and on August 5th, 2012, I stood on the sand at Oneida Lake Park ready to run my first triathlon. Crossing that finish line was the most difficult yet emotionally transcending thing I had accomplished. It helped shape me into the healthy and active person I am today with my eyes set on running a full Ironman Triathlon in 2015.
Did you go all in or build over time?
It’s always been an on-again-off-again thing for me. I tend to jump into things in life feet first and I don’t always think things through. I signed up for that first triathlon not owning a bike and not having swam competitively since my single abysmal season on my school’s swim team in eighth grade. So I guess I really kind of go all out. I’m an all or nothing type of person.
Do you prefer exercising alone or in a group?
I’m definitely better solo. I know how to push myself and can easily train alone. However, my husband is a great running partner and I’m just starting to attend my local triathlon club workouts.
What’s your go-to form of exercise?
Running always has been my go to. It’s such a cathartic thing for me. However, I find a long, solo bike ride to be incredibly freeing. And as I work on my poor swimming skills I’m also learning the silence of the water can sooth the soul and make me feel completely rejuvenated.
What’s your favorite time to work out?
In the morning. I hate the getting up part, but I like that it doesn’t feel like it’s interfering with the rest of my day, or like I have to move something else or give up time elsewhere to do it later. Also, I find that starting my day off with a workout sets me up to make better choices the rest of the day.
Does music motivate you?
Sure! A great song can push me to run harder or faster or carry me longer. But I’m also starting to learn that going sans music allows me to focus more on myself and let my training help me become more connected to myself. It’s really empowering doing a workout without music and only focusing on yourself.
What’s your must-have song?
I love running to anything Pitbull releases because the beat his songs are usually at tend to be perfect for a hard or fast run. For cycling I like things with a softer, more rhythmic tempo to them, like Avicci’s Wake Me Up, or John Newann’s new song Love Me Again.
How many nights a week do you cook dinner?
Not many, actually. My husband and I work opposite schedules so we both fend for ourselves. He cooks his meals fresh everyday where as I am a big fan of food prepping and precooking so I only have to reheat. So once a week usually, but I cook everything for a whole week that one day.
Do you meal prep or make it as you go?
Prep, for sure. It’s such a time saver and it keeps me from not knowing what to have for meals and just grabbing something to go.
What’s your favorite recipe?
Right now I’m loving on turkey tacos with tons of onions and peppers mixed right into the meat. Just reheat some precooked mix, pile onto a big lettuce leaf, and top with avocado and it’s delicious. I also really love salmon and veggies.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment was definitely this past summer as a whole. I lost all the weight I gained while working my crappy job that I have since left, got married, ran my first half marathon, and ran two more sprint and one Olympic distance triathlon. I was fitter and happier than I had ever been this past summer and I can’t wait to have an even greater season this year.
What is your current goal?
My current goal is to make it out of my upcoming race season alive and with new PR’s for some of my repeat races. I’m running a 77.7 mile relay race in April, and very difficult and hilly 40 mile reverse triathlon in May, my first half Ironman in June, a handful of sprint and Olympic distance triathlons July through September. Then I’m rerunning the same half marathon in October. It’s going to be difficult but I know I can do it. Long term I plan to race Ironman Chattanooga, my first full iron distance triathlon, in September 2015.
Thank you Courtney for sharing your story! Please leave any questions for Courtney in the comments 🙂
Interested in sharing your Simply Healthy story? Email me at SimplyModernDance@gmail.com