Nine weeks down, five more to go for nearly 100 women training for the Iron Girl triathlon. They're part of Fleet Feet's "Begin to Tri" program that will prepare them for the race that includes a 600-meter swim, a 30 kilometer bike and a 5k run. Our very own Katie Gibas is one of those women competing. When we last left Katie and her fellow athletes, they were just starting their training. Now we'll take a look at their progression over the last two months.
It's all about giving it a Tri, and these 98 women have been doing just that for the last two months as they train for their first triathlon.
"Everybody is kind of in the same spot even though we have differing athletic abilities coming. A lot of the same things are new to each of us, and it's nice to see everybody's strengths develop and to encourage each other on the way," said Laura Currey, a Manlius Resident.
Even though there are days when training is excruciatingly tough, these women have come a long way since day one...both physically and mentally.
"Week one, I was a nervous wreck. I was afraid I didn't have the right equipment because I didn't at the time. I didn't know what I was doing, I was going to kill myself on the bike. I was afraid of falling. I was afraid of drowning in the pool. I was afraid of everything pretty much week 1. And now I just look forward to it all," said Sarah Bettinger, a Baldwinsville Resident.
Brendan Jackson, the Fleet Feet Triathlon Training Program Director added, "We have all different levels here, people who are fairly accomplished triathletes and people who are absolute beginners. But their comfort level, especially in the water, we've seen huge improvement and on the bike as well."
Besides the physical changes of training six days a week, through the "Fleet Feet Begin to Tri" program, these women motivated each other to be the best they can be.
"Just really enjoying being out and being a lot more active than before in other sports, not just walking and running, which I ran last summer, but biking and swimming," said Currey.
Beth Lancer, one of the Fleet Feet Tri Coaches added, "The most rewarding part of training is actually not the training itself. I've learned a lot about myself as a person and the friendships, relationships that I've made."
"There's still little things I want to polish out, but really, I'm dying to put everything together. We've learned the swim. We've learned the bike. We've learned the running, and now it's like, let's just put it together," said Bettinger.
And that's exactly what they'll do race day, which will serve as inspiration for others to Give it a Tri.
The race will be held August 7th in Brewerton.
If you're interested in following Katie along with several other women in their training, click on the sports tab and then give-it-a-tri.