Duathalon: I DID IT-YOU CAN DO IT!

Dear friends,

I must begin by thanking each of you who has reached out and told me that you are joining me on the  SOUND MIND-STRONG BODY voyage!  When I write about my experiences, and you sound off about them and yours, the stage is set for a successful journey for all of us feeling and looking HOT- CUTE- & SPICY. Mind you, these results are not instant, however it does mean that when you continually make effort via preparation, organization, tenacity and training- improvement and growth are inevitable.  This morning at 5am all of these components came into play for a rewarding duathalon experience, and herein lies the theme for this blog.

Signing up for athletic events was initially proposed to me by my borther-in-law Michael who is an orthopedic surgeon with tons of personal and practical experience in all the various races.  He challenged me to join him and his kids to a triathlon back in 2006.  Thank you Michael for introducing me to a way to stay honest, fit and motivated! My first sprint TRI was the big one in Chicago and I cried when I crossed the finish line because during the entire swim portion I thought I was going to drown, and by the time I got to the run, my legs went completely wobbly.  Since then I have gone on to do 7 Triathlons, but always with a weak swim, average bike and run.  Because I like to swim, but not with a bunch of animals trying to kick me to the wall, I switched to training for a half marathon in 2010 followed by a 10mile run the following year.  Then- I developed nasty Plantar Fasciitis ( nine months), and it was time to concentrate on cross training with emphasis on the bike for some relief.  HOOKED!  Love cycling, and my sensei- elite runner Lisa Menninger who first taught me how to incorporate tempo and interval training to running, suggested I try a Duathlon.  This suggestion sounded great because I could focus on the bike, eliminate the swim and keep the run at lower level.  Love it!  Now it was time to get training on a road bike, so I signed up for Compu Trainer classes (CT) at Endure It.  The coaches at Endure It are mostly Iron Man competitors with extensive experience and top place winners in this arena.  During my cycling classes, since August of 2013, they and the other athletes motivated me to stay mostly consistent in the training, and they educated me how to cycle efficiently.

Every time I would go to CT class I would get so fired up for my first Duathlon because everyone was working so hard and everyone was working towards much loftier goals than I was.  I thought it would all be a piece of cake.  BUT- life has a way of interrupting the program, and recently I got really, really busy.    You see, I had missed a bunch of run sessions and the last 3 weeks were sketchy with many missed workouts due to major life milestones happening.  Those weeks mentally rattled me and I started telling myself that I was not ready.  White noise, because all the previous months of training added up to me being ready.  And truly – I was as ready as I could be for this event.  Tell you more about that in a minute, but first…Last night.

Last night I was at a graduation party and I was trying to dodge everyone’s questions about my first Du- of course in my enthusiasm I had shared my goal with everyone, and now it was the evening before I was to do what I set out to do, but I wanted to give my self an out.  A wonderful thing happened though, every single person encouraged me to just do it!  Support from friends and family is very powerful and it got me to the race today.  Usually I am the one high fiving,  fist pumping and inspiring those in my life to GO FOR IT, and now here I was the recipient of the KEFI or positivity!!!  Thank you so much to Jimmy, Sophia, Patricia, Brian, Kathyrn, Vanessa, Katerina, Stacie, mom, Meagan, Micheal, Themio, Dave, Kiriako, Lizzie, Caroline and Emily for telling me I could not skip what I had trained for, for so long.  Can you believe it took an army of loved ones to get my mind right.  Sometimes-that is the case.

Ready- set- GO!  Time to put the self doubts to the side and prepare.   I went home at midnight, and the routine I did every time I would go to CT came into play.  My son pumped my tires and helped me load my bike, I grabbed my helmet, cycling shoes and shorts and threw them in my bag with a change of clothes for post race.  I poured my oatmeal  into the pan for morning, set out my nutrition for the ride and loaded my water bottles. Every prior conversation Sara had with the CT class about nutrition, training and preparation was now going to be realized in a formal setting, and it felt natural.

Today, more than ever, I realized it’s not game day that matters, it’s the training, and that applies to life as well.  Can’t have the results without the work, and the work is fulfilling in so many ways. During my Du training, I learned to stay focused, I tweaked my nutrition, I worked out 3-5 days a week- most weeks, I practiced my mental game, I soaked up the lessons of my fellow athletes, we encouraged each other on the bike, I was disciplined, I stay committed, I showed up when at times I really didn’t physically feel up to it, but always finished feeling up to it, and I learned that there are no shortcuts only the process.  Today- the process allowed me to  feel confident and accomplished.  I did it!  I participated in my first sprint duathalon, and I finished as strong as I could.  Actually I could have gone faster on the bike, but I kept slowing down to take pictures- I realize this is not a very competitive spirit, but remember, I have so much Kefi that I wanted to share my morning with everyone, and hopefully inspire at least one new person to join the SOUND MIND- STRONG BODY voyage.

You can do it.  Find an event to increase your mental and physical fitness.  It doesn’t have to be a long distance effort.  Start with a walk to fund raise for a cause like WALK FOR DIABETES, train for a 5k, grab your friends and do a relay, or if you are super athletic, go all out and begin your training for an Iron Man!  Start where you are, and move from there. Fitness is therapy and it promotes happiness via released endorphins.  For ideas visit..http://www.active.com/

Personally- my next goal is to continue cross training, and do another duathalon finishing 3rd place in my gender/age group from my current 10th place;  is it possible, only I can determine that.

Wish me well, I will always hope the best for you!

In the meantime, train hard, never- ever give up and  keep that energy flowing positively with lots of KEFI!


The roadrunner






Training, not game day, is the factor in how you will perform in

Kiki is a master interviewer with 25 years broadcasting on Kansas City and Chicago radio. She was a prevalent force at WMAQ & WBBM radio where she was the first female airborne news/traffic reporter in the "Windy City". Kiki’s voiceover work has garnered her Omni awards for Evian water and Coca-Cola commercials. These days Kiki enjoys energizing audiences on stage during motivational speaking engagements, and through writing. Her highly regarded “Kefi-That Life Force” column, was published previously in The Greek Star. She’s currently working on her first non-fiction book. [ View all posts ]