What do you think of the when you hear the word triathlon? Do you think of an Ironman, the Olympics, or that it's only for super fit and elite athletes?
What about training? How can you find the time to train for three different events? Can a mother of young children do a triathlon?
My name is Maura, from Delaware, and a mother of three little boys all under the age of 5. For most of my life, I have valued eating healthy, staying active and fit. I have been a runner since I was about 14 years old, taught aerobics, completed two half-marathons, and even a marathon. Those races were nearly ten years ago. I have always been average weight, with some fluctuating up and down 5-10 pounds.
I have been happily married for seven years, and tried to maintain healthy habits. However, when I got pregnant with my first child I gained 50 pounds. I was a little over 200 pounds, the heaviest in my life!
I had probably lost about 35 of the 50 pounds when I found out I was pregnant again. I was at least a little bit more conscientious with my diet and exercised during the second pregnancy.
About seven months after our second son was born, I became extremely frustrated with being out-of-shape and overweight. I always wanted to be a healthy active mom and raise my children with a healthy lifestyle.
My husband and I both adapted healthier eating habits and joined the local YMCA. I started working out about 3-5 days a week doing a variety of exercising such as running, Pilates, the elliptical and stepper machines, weight training, and spinning classes.
Within 10 months I was about 134 pounds and wearing a size 4! I was in the best shape of my life. My endurance had improved significantly and my muscles were finally nice and tone. I realized during this time how beneficial core training and weight training can be to help get in even better shape, instead of just running alone. I felt great!
Then another pregnancy came along, and so did the weight gain and inactivity. I love my boys to pieces, but it sure takes a toll on the body, exercise plan, and diet.
Our third son was born in August of 2009 and in February; I was ready to get back into my healthy living groove.
I had a desire to accomplish a triathlon before having another child. Plus, I wanted to dust off my 6 year old, practically brand new, bike that was sitting in my garage.
I did most of my training at the YMCA because they offer free childcare, an indoor and outdoor pool, spin classes, and state-of-the art equipment.
I started looking online and found a sprint triathlon I wanted to attempt. It sounded perfect for me (1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run). My goals were to "not look like an idiot" and "to finish".
I got really creative with training and picked up my pace. Here I am, 31 years old, mom of three, and I can say I just completed my first triathlon! I loved every moment and felt it really wasn't that difficult to make it a reality.
Now, I am gearing up for another sprint triathlon and will continue to grow as a triathlete.