I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Amy Richard through TNT’s IronTEAM program, where we trained for 2 consecutive years for Vineman Full and Ironman Canada. She’s a good friend of mine and she entered into Ironman’s Kona Inspired contest, where participants have an opportunity to tell the world how they live the Ironman mantra, “Anything is Possible,” for a chance to race the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. You can check her story by watching her video, plus I asked her a few more questions:
How did you get started with triathlons?
It was 3 years ago. I was unemployed at the time. I wanted to do a Team in Training event in memory of a dear friend who lost her battle to Leukemia when she and I were 15. Since I had time, I thought, why not do an Ironman? I joined the Greater LA Ironteam and fell in love with the team and triathlon instantly. I cannot imagine life without it now. It’s hard. I was a ballet dancer. But I love the challenge and doing it for a cause that I care deeply about.
Do you have a name for your bike? Is there a meaning behind it?
My bike’s name is Gandalf. I love lord of the rings. My bike is Grey like Gandalf and I like to think he helps me go “fast.”
Have you ever gone through a mental slump in training? If so, how did you overcome it?
Yes. This year has been quite difficult. I am thankful for friends and family who help me refocus when I lose sight of what really matters – the cause. I also think of my students and remember that I encourage them to never give up. If I tell them to do it then I must do it myself. There have been more runs this year that I’ve wanted to skip but I think of my kids and I lace up my shoes and it always feel amazing. I just think of those who cannot and that always helps me go on.
What’s your favorite thing to do in transition before a big race?
Talk to my friends, go for a short run, and a hug from coaches!
You’ve had more than a year of experience training for triathlons, especially for an Ironman. I also know you have busy lives outside of training. How do you balance all of that?
I am a teacher and so I am good at planning my day and scheduling. I always look at the training schedule ahead of time and plan my days. I am lucky to have a schedule that allows me to train as well as a supportive husband who lets me train on the weekends.
What advice would you give a newbie who is interested in starting to train for a triathlon for the first time?
Join a team! Team in Training is amazing. Seriously, if you have any inkling of wanting to do an Ironman, join an organization like TNT.
What is your ultimate favorite food (non race-related)?
That’s a tough one. Vegetables! Especially broccoli, brussel sprouts, and zucchini.