From Ericka: While I’m gone, I have some great guests filling in! Please check out Emily of Whole Iron Woman  below and be sure to visit her blog!
First of all, a big thanks to Ericka for opening up her blog to me! Ericka and I met through mutual friends last summer, and we quickly realized we shared a passion for endurance sports (me – triathlon, Ericka – running) healthy living (with a side of cupcakes) and blogging about all of the above. I am a regular follower of The Sweet Life, so it’s an honor to be able to share my love of triathlon with her readers.
So, a little about me – I’m a thirty-something year-old Southerner transplanted to Washington, DC, from Nashville, TN.  I joined my first swim team at age six, started running over 11 years ago and bought my first tri bike in 2009.  Over the years, I’ve competed in numerous swim meets, run 10 half marathons and 1 marathon, been a Team in Training member three times and completed 13 triathlons – 7 sprints, 5 Olympics and 1 half-Ironman.  Despite the mileage I have under my belt, I have a love/hate relationship with my bike.  I’m hopeful we’ll eventually find some common ground. And I have my sights set on completing a full Ironman – all 140.6 miles – in 2013.

Supporting my team at Rumpus in Bumpass (2012)

1.       I love a challenge. Triathlon is all about challenging yourself and pushing your limitations whether it’s to go faster or longer or both. Every race is different, and they each have their own unique challenges whether it’s the weather or the course. I love staring those challenges directly in the face, and that feeling of accomplishment when I overcome them. I can’t explain it, but I when I finish a triathlon I am over the moon with excitement and ready to do another one. When I finished my marathon in 2010 I thought, “Thank God it’s over!” I’ve tried twice since then to do another 26.2, and mentally I can’t get through the training (see #1).

Nothing says “Ironman” like a trip to the medical tent (2011)


1.       It is addictive. Just like eating potato chips, you can’t do just one triathlon. The sport is highly addictive. I can’t seem to cram in enough races during the season to satisfy my triathlon appetite. (My bank account has other thoughts on this!) The feeling of being in the water, out on the bike and finishing a race with a run is like no other I’ve experienced. I find myself on such an endorphin high both during and after my races, and I can’t wait to toe the start line again.

At the swim start of Amica Ironman 70.3 (2011)

It’s all about the bragging rights. It’s true. The sacrifices, the training and even those fleeting moments of doubt during a race all contribute to the overall experience of the sport. And when you finish a race, you own that accomplish for life. No one can take it away from you. When other challenges in my life pop up, I always say to myself, “I finished a half-Ironman – I can get through anything.” 

Finishing my 1st half-Ironman (2011)
To read more about my triathlon musings, please check out my blog: Whole Iron Woman. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.
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