Jessica Shockley, senior non-profit leadership and psychology major, competed in her first triathlon, the St. Peters Rec-Plex triathlon, which took place Sept. 27. She took first place in her age division.
A typical triathlon race is divided into three sections: swimming, cycling and running. The Olympic distance triathlon features a 1.5 kilometer (0.93 mi) swim, 40 kilometers (25 mi) of cycling and ends with a 10 kilometer (6.1 mi) run. The Olympic triathlon is a cumulative total of 51.5 kilometers, or a little over 30 miles.
Shockley began training approximately two months before the race. Her training included practicing all three parts of the race and transitioning between them.
“I just kind of made it up as I was going and would just progressively do longer swims, bikes or runs depending on the day, until the last week where [I] cut back drastically to give my body a break before the race,” said Shockley.
Shockley described her experience during the race.
“[It was] just about a roller coaster of emotions, during the swim I was like ‘wow this is easy, I can do this.’ Then about a third of the way through the bike I was thinking, ‘wow this is hard why did I get myself into this?’ Then the turnaround came and I got my second wind and at the end of the bike ride was a giant hill where you could only take it one push of the pedal at a time and once I got to the top it was a moment of ‘wow that is a whole new pain, if I can do that I can finish strong,’” said Shockley.
Even though Shockley compared the race to a “roller coaster,” she is interested in trying another soon.
“Training for the triathlon got me to work out a lot more than when I was just [working out] to be in shape, and the fact that I finished the race when I was questioning if I would even be able to the week before, gave me quite a bit of confidence knowing my body can do that and that I really think I can do better,” said Shockley.
For those of you interested, the Kansas City Triathlon has been hosted yearly since 2009. The last race took place May 17, 2015. The date for 2016 has not yet been released.