Every Friday we chat with one of our blog content network contributors to find out what most inspires them to be fit and find adventure every day.
This week we’re chatting with Kristina from Ditch the Tiara.
Kristina is a 63-time marathoner, a 7-time Ironman finisher and as she puts it, “just an ordinary girl trying to do extraordinary things.” Through her blog she hopes to redefine the word beautiful; one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, and with a few downward dogs along the way.
Read more to learn about her passion for competing in Ironman triathlons, her best advice for beginner triathletes and what she does to stay motivated when the going gets tough.
The Active Times: How did you first become involved in Ironman triathlon?
Kristina: I began running marathons in 1998 and then after following the last five stages of the Tour de France in 2005, I fell in love with cycling and started riding centuries. It wasn’t until 2007 that I grew bored of those two individual sports that I decided it was time that I learn how to swim and try my hand at triathlon. I started off with the 70.3 distance because of my love for endurance activities. It only took one triathlon to make me decide that I needed to go all out and take on the Ironman. The following year I completed my first of several 140.6 races. I am now quite happily addicted to the distance.
What are the wisest words you ever heard about Ironman triathlon?
When times are tough, whether in training or during the race and you start to question yourself and abilities, always remember why it is you started this sport in the first place and draw upon those thoughts to get you through that moment.
What is the greatest joy you get from Ironman triathlon?
Knowing that I have the strength, passion and dedication to achieve what so many think of as the impossible. During the race itself, I have visited the deepest, darkest places of my mind and I have come to realize that I have the ability to dig myself out and continue on, never letting self-doubt bring me down.
What advice would you give to someone trying Ironman triathlon for the first time?
Don’t let your fears of the swim start ever get in your way of tackling this distance. It’s the shortest part of your day, and although rough in physical contact, everyone is out working towards the same goal. To finish!
What is the one piece of kit or equipment you’d never be without?
My pink tri bike.
If money were no object, what piece of kit or equipment would you buy?
An AlterG treadmill.
Who do you think is the most inspirational figure in Ironman triathlon?
Dick and Rick Hoyt.
What is your favorite quote, and what do you so like about it?
“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is at the top of your bucket list when it comes to Ironman triathlon?
I want to race at the Superbowl of my sport, the Ironman World Championship in Kona.
What is your least favorite word, and why?
Impossible. I believe that if you want something bad enough, you’ll accomplish it (within your own physical abilities.)