Alexis, our sponsored female triathlete, shares her journey to an amazing second place at the Ironman Poconos 70.3.

This past weekend I competed in the Ironman Poconos 70.3 Triathlon.  I placed 2nd in my age group, qualified for the 2013 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas, and knocked 14 minutes off my time from my only prior half-iron distance race.  This race was the culmination of a year and a half of training, with a particularly focused regimen over the last 8 months as I have been coached by Todd at Breakaway Bikes, and massaged into fighting form by Natacha at Phila Massages. My journey to the Poconos began on January 2nd, 2011, when I jumped into the pool at the Christian Street YMCA and “swam” my first lap.  I thought I was a passable swimmer (though the last time I took a lesson I was seven years old), but I quickly realized just how far I had to go.  Fortunately, Tristan (then my fiancé – as of 9/15/2012 my husband!) swam at UConn and has been an alternately incredibly patient and incredibly demanding swim coach.  To aid the second piece of the triathlon trifecta, I bought my first road bike in March of 2011 (until then I had done all my “biking” on stationary bikes at the Y) and finally started getting out on the road.  The run I felt comfortable with as I ran cross country in high school and have kept up with it off and on ever since.

At my very first triathlon, the Black Bear Sprint distance (820 yd swim, 18 mile bike, 3.1 mile run) in June 2011, I panicked on the swim, averaged just 15 mph on the bike, passed a ton of people on the run (that’s my background and my strongest leg), and was completely hooked on triathlon.  I continued to write my own training schedules, gleaning what I could from on-line training plans, but when I decided that I ultimately wanted to train for longer distance races – half-iron and full-iron – I knew that I needed professional guidance. Once I engaged the services of Todd at Breakaway Bikes, my whole training routine was kicked into a new gear.  The success that has created has been intoxicating, and I’m incredibly excited to continue to build through this off-season and get even stronger next year.

I’ll put out some personal goals for the remainder of 2012 and all of 2013, and hopefully I’ll be able to update this blog with stories of success!

-          Break a 6 minute mile (something I haven’t done since high school, and then only did a couple times)

-          Break a 20 min 5k (again, something I have only done twice, both times in high school)

-          Qualify for the Boston Marathon which means breaking 3:35, as a bonus break 3:30

-          Break 5 hours for a half-iron distance race

-          Total icing on the cake: get a top 10 finish in my Age Group at the 70.3 World Championships next September 

None of this would be possible without all of the people that support me – my husband (and swim coach) Tristan, Natacha who works out my knots and never makes fun of my severe lack of flexibility, my awesome coach Todd and the incredibly talented mechanics at Breakaway Bikes, the ever-knowledgeable staff at Philadelphia Runner, and let’s not forget the friends and family that forgive my busy schedule and especially those special few that come cheer for the not-always-spectator-friendly sport that is triathlon.