Q) How did you hear about TNM? How long have you been part of the TNM family?
A) This is my second year with the TNM team. I started taking swim lessons from Teresa Nelson to prepare for ChelanMan early last year and realized training for all three sports simultaneously was something I’d need help with and that’s when I started coaching with Bridget Jones.
Q) What got you interested in triathlons and swim races?
A) The challenge.
Q) What was the biggest challenge with getting started?
A) Swimming a quarter mile without drowning and/or tipping over a kayaker and also understanding the best training regimen to do all three sports at once in a race environment.
Q) Swimming was a challenge for you at the start and something you have worked super hard on, how did you go from someone who had trouble swimming laps in a pool, to someone who is now so passionate about the sport that you go out and swim year around in the open water?
A) Swimming is still a challenge for me but practice and learning proper technique has provided quick results. Going out to swim year around was due to training for the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. I joined Laura Lee on a January 1st swim and realized the open water wasn’t that bad with a wet suit and a lot less boring than pool laps. Add current, sub 50 degree water, threat of sharks and natural selection demands you improve or else.
Q) What has been the biggest challenge for staying motivated and to keep a positive outlook during challenging training days?
A) Injuries. But one of my favorite parts of triathlon is the extensive cross training. My swimming improved this year due to more water time which had a lot to do with a heel injury which kept me off the track.
Q) What would your ideal training day look like?
A) Hmmm…recovery meal and massage?! Thankfully my coach is a little more realistic in what I need to succeed. Besides that, long run on a hot day followed by a mile skin swim in the lake!
Q) What have you found to be the best benefits of having a coach?
A) My coach, Bridget Jones, does a fantastic job preparing me for my races. From pre-race nutrition and warm-ups, to swim and transition strategies. Always beneficial! And she always has much more confidence in me than I do myself. Thanks coach!
Q) What has been your favorite? Why?
A) Each race seems to have high and low points but my favorite time was during the Escape from Alcatraz run portion. During the out and back we were on a narrow trail with a few other runners and it was eerily quite. While cheering on a runner who was passing me I heard another voice coming towards us cheering on others around her. Only two people in this crowd having fun and cheering and both were TNM athletes! Way to go Sarah Stender!
Q) What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
A) Toeing the start line of my first sprint triathlon!
Q) What advice would you have for others considering the sport?
A) Just get out there and do it! I’ve always had this image of a triathlete as hard core, zero body fat, Olympic hopeful type of athlete which made me nervous about competing in the sport. Although we have many like that on our team, the majority are everyday athletes who are looking for health, fitness and fun.
Q) What are your future athletic goals for the short term and long term?
A) Swim the English Channel, climb Mt. Everest and one day join that elite group of athletes that have completed a full Ironman distance race!
Q) What is your favorite aspect of being part of the TNM family?
A) Having fun!!! And the opportunity to learn from all the extraordinary athletes on the team. Every team member I’ve spoken with has provided valuable insight on training, races, nutrition as well as answers to questions like, is it okay to wear compression socks to the opera?…What are Bingo arms?…Can I continue to wear my finisher medal for the whole week even after the race is over?…Do those aero helmets remind you of something else? And last but definitely not least, fantastic team deals! Thanks Mark!