Kona-qualified Ironman Christine Kachinsky tells us a little bit about how she got where she is now
Christine Kachinsky is going to Ironman Kona.
If you think that's not a big deal, let's consider first the distances. The Ironman--any Ironman--is a grueling competition involving 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of bicycling, and a full marathon. Yes, it's done in one day. Yes, it's done all over the world. But Kona is the world championship, the arguable culmination of years of work, dedication and training. Yes, you have to qualify. (Christine did it in a blistering 10 hours and 59 minutes at Ironman Wisconsin right about this time last year. As a comparison, here at BRD Sports, we have an athlete who took 15 hours and 44 minutes to do Ironman Switzerland.)
And Christine Kachinsky, a resident of New Jersey and a member of the Mapso Triathlon Club, is doing it after only a decade of competing in triathlon.
"I began training for my first triathlon in 2000," she says. "I could only swim one length of the pool." For those of you who are keeping track, that's only a fraction of the distance needed to compete in an Ironman triathlon.
So how did she get to the point she's at now?
Obviously, training. Every day Christine works out, but that's not just because she has to. Her husband is an avid triathlete; her son, Zach, 2.5 years old, competes in quarter-mile runs; and, even Archie, the family dog, used to do all the marathon training alongside Christine and her husband John as they trained.
Likewise, the Mapso Tri Club has proven a huge motivator. "The support they offer is critical. It is very motivating to know that I can send out an e-mail to see if anyone is interested in a 5:30 am bike or run and know that a handful of people will show up." she says.
Christine has an organized, refined training schedule, for sure, but the other part of her equation is nutrition. "We make all of our own meals," she said, noting that she keeps close track of her nutritional needs. Likewise, she follows a fairly strict regime outside of her workouts that involves foam rolling, stretching, and warming up. She also makes it a practice to vary her workouts so that she doesn't get bored.
But perhaps one of the most inspiring things about Christine is that she's gotten where she is today by building her workouts (she writes her own) around her existing life. When she was living in Chicago and just getting into triathlon as a result of a blown-out shoulder from volleyball, she'd ride her bike to the beach, do her swim workout, and then ride her bike to work, shower, and start the day. That must be a formula for success.
Christine draws inspiration from sources that aren't at all connected with racing. In fact, she's an avid reader, and says that two books in particular have helped her to become the athlete she is today. Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike" and Chris McCormack's "I'm Here to Win" are big influencers. (Okay, maybe there's a little bit of the racing mentality in those books.)
We're wishing Christine the best in her forthcoming race. Of course, she just wants to have a really great day. "I'm not sure what that means yet, but I want to enjoy the day."
We're with you, Christine. We hope you enjoy the day, too.