Train-or-Tri Sponsored Triathlete
Marti Reimer – Why I Tri
Back in the day, I had numerous soccer/running ankle injuries. My ankle got so damaged that my doctor said the only thing I could do was swim. “Swim? For a workout,” I asked? I had never swam laps in my life and was depressed over the fact that I could not play soccer or run. I found myself at the university pool with some borrowed goggles and my beach bathing suit. The thought of putting on a swim cap horrified me. However, I eventually became comfortable enough to get a speedo (think female Speedo), cap and goggles. I swam my way through my injuries. This became a pattern over the years. Swimming was my rehab and nothing more. I eventually decided to do one triathlon a year just for a challenge. I mainly ran and threw in a little cycling and swimming.
Fast forward to September, 2000 when I had my first daughter, Annika. I desperately needed a goal of my own outside of raising Annika and working full-time at the university. I needed something to relieve some of the stress I was experiencing. I decided my goal would be to do another triathlon for Mother’s day. This gave me motivation to get out and train while working through those early months of raising a child. I loved every minute of it and enjoyed competing again. Soon after this race, I read an article in the Whidbey Island newspaper about a group of athletes who raced in an informal time trial every Tuesday. This was exciting… there were other athletes on the island! I connected with this group and attended almost every Tuesday. Many Tuesdays I would pull Annika behind me in a bike trailer. I think this helped build some toughness and humility as everyone easily passed me. The only requirement was they had to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” to Annika as they passed me. Most of them actually did.
I credit this group with giving me inspiration to train and race the right way. My racing became meaningful and thus my results followed. It is now 15 years later and I am still competing.
Why do I still compete in triathlons? In all honesty, if my body could take it, I would probably specialize in running as it is practical, easy, and my first love. However, triathlon is so much healthier for my body. The cross-training involved in triathlon helps me avoid overuse injuries. I also love the tri community, and have made great friends through triathlon over the years. I also need goals to keep my training meaningful. I live for brick workouts (bike-run) and crave the burning feeling after a good workout. The challenge of fitting in work, children and three sports is also part of the fun.
In terms of racing, I love the adrenaline and endorphins that are sure to follow a good effort. The “runner’s high” is amazing. During the race, I get such a delight in transitioning from one discipline to the next (mostly from the bike to the run). I also feel like it is important to provide a good example for my daughters as they see that one can continue to participate in sports much, much beyond college age.