A little about me before I start: Life has been good to me. I am 26 and have my own business. I have a big, loving and supportive family. I have a best friend that has been the most amazing influence in my life, makes me feel the happiest, makes me want to do, see, be more, and I would love nothing more than spending each and every day enjoying life with.
I also have a name that is the same as a half of a famous pair of child-star twins, but those jokes haven't bothered me since pre-high school.
This Ashley Olsen loves hard work, but loves having fun! That is why triathlon is a natural fit for me. Triathlon actually started as a way to take my time and energy away from missing that best friend I mentioned, when he left last year for chiropractic school in Florida.
Another friend of mine that was racing and training for them told me to give it a try, that she thinks I'd like it.
I ran track and cross country in college, so I knew I could do the run. But bike and swim? Well, I got on a bike once a year - for a charity bike ride that my family created in memory of my cousin (check it out http://www.kellysride.com/) and I hadn't swam since I quit swim team at age 10 after two seasons of realizing that torturing myself every morning in cold water and then dragging my parents around south jersey for meets on their weekends was not worth watching me loose (probably, holding their breath the whole time, hoping I wasn't drowning, rather than swimming), I figured... ahhh, why not?
Like I said, I like hard work (esp physical) and I like challenges. I've matured since my swimming/drowning days and maybe I had now the brainpower to teach myself really how to swim with any degree of efficiency. And the bike -- well I had a bike (thanks to Kelly's ride). All I have to do is pedal... hard- right?
I could do it.
And I did. Last August 30th I completed my first triathlon. It wasn't any award winning performance - actually, I did take 3rd in my age group, but that certainly was not the goal then. I - honestly - just wanted to finish. But that finish got those competitive juices - the ones I hadn't felt since college meets - flowing again.
I was hooked. I managed to get in 2 more races last season. And gave competing (rather than completing) a shot. Each time the results got better - placing 3rd and 2nd (by less than 1 second, photo finish!) in my last two.
This year the results have been rewarding as well. And wow how perspectives change! After training in the off-season and then breaking my collar bone right before Easter, I was crushed - thinking that my season would be ... well, non-existent having to remain virtually sedentary for 4-6 weeks.
I was running in 3 (weeks). I healed amazingly well, and amazingly fast - doc said due to my fitness when the fracture happened, and I decided not to give up.
In addition to completing my first Olympic distance race (Chicago!), I have placed in all my races. Thus, I have done *relatively*well for myself up to this point - racing mostly local/regional sprints, but "relative" is the key word and ... I want more.
Moreover, I see the possibilities.
So I have decided to take the plunge. I got myself a coach! And subsequently got smacked in the face with a training regimen I would have never dreamed of!
BUT I LOVE IT! haha. Yep, that's me. Give me more, work me harder. I love everything about this sport, the training, the racing, but more importantly the people, the places and the camaraderie and enthusiasm that seem to be contagious.
So this blog is starting as my season is concluding.
I am racing my last race in Dallas at the US Open. I am very excited to make this my second Olympic distance race and my FIRST race in the elite division.
I am hoping to end this season on a high note! And goals are long term.
This blog will take me through my last race and right into my first year of *real* training with *real goals* Here's to my second week of *real* training! with no letting down.
Thanks for the day of recovery, coach, and tomorrow's gift ;) But can't wait to see how my body responds to some big efforts later on this week.
Keep ya posted - on all things "3" - the good, the bad, and the ugly ;)
(mostly, hopefully, the good)