Train-or-Tri Sponsored Triathlete
Betty Callen – Why I Tri
The lifestyle is what I love most about triathlons!
My first triathlon was in 1996, my senior year in high school. A swim team friend of mine said her parents do these triathlon things all the time and that it seemed like a fun thing to do. So, I found a race, borrowed a bike and did my first Sprint distance triathlon. I was hooked.
While attending the University of Washington from 1996 to 2002, I did as many tri-races I could afford and began my Sprint and Olympic distance racing. I had absolutely no ideas what I was doing, but found out quickly I loved to race, I loved the people, and I loved the triathlon culture. (I so love the smell of 4 AM!).
Triathlons had to be put on hold when I moved to California for Chiropractic College, where I did my BioPhysics and Scoliosis training. I still did my base training, and swam on the Manatee Masters Swim Team, biked anything scenic and fun (Napa Valley & 17-mile drive) and trail ran when I could… but no racing.
I relocated to Denver, Colorado in 2005. This is where my real tri-life began. I realized triathlons are not just about racing for me, but actually about living the triathlon lifestyle. I joined the Rocky Mountain Triathlon Club and began racing Sprints and Olympic distances again. Then decided to hire a coach to help me train for a Half Ironman distance. (P.S. I still had no real idea what I was getting in for but was loving every moment of it!) Being around so many driven, dedicated people is exhilarating!
My first half iron man experience was amazing. Following your coach’s plan is key to your success. My definition of success is to train hard, race easy, and recover fast! That way I could do it all over again in two weeks. However, not entirely successful after my first half iron man. I bonked during the run – and realized I had not made a nutrition or recovery lifestyle plan. It was a wakeup call. More lifestyle choices needed to be integrated into my triathlon training.
Long story short…Within the 10 years of racing in Colorado I have learned that you must balance your lifestyle to succeed. I started educating myself on racing-related nutrition, water and electrolyte intake, supplements, cleansing, detoxing, muscle flushing, ice baths, more structural integration implementing chiropractic care, bike fitting, and shoe fitting… At this point I can say, with confidence, I mostly know what I am doing. The great thing about triathlons is that each season come changes and choices. Implementing those changes and making those lifestyle choices not only make you a better racer, but contribute to an even better balance with your overall lifestyle and goals towards healthier living.
I returned to Washington State April of 2016 to beautiful Bellingham! In the past two years, I focused on endurance and my “A” races where Half Ironman distance. I am changing gears from endurance back to Sprint distance this year. 2017 will be an epic year of training and racing for me being in Bellingham. I love the triathlon lifestyle. It is truly who I am. I am a triathlete. I am a tri junkie! Every year I change a race focus and make a healthier lifestyle choice to improve my triathlon experience. I look forward to training, racing, living, and experiencing the triathlon lifestyle with all of you wonderful Bellingham triathletes.