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New Beginnings with Adrienne

Adrienne LaGier is one of the “Lucky Seven” chosen to be a part of CNN Fit Nation Triathlon team heading to the Nautica Malibu tri in September. The Lucky Seven are led by their fearless leader, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Along with Atlanta area radio personality for Q100, Jeff Dauler (who refused to ride a bike with me… I have no idea why… come on, Jeff!), Adrienne, Jeff and five others are inching closer and closer to the classic distance event, coming up shortly on September 15-16th.

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As a high school English and journalism teacher and a mother of twins, Adrienne had no time to fitness over the past seven years.  [Boy, that sounds very familiar!]

I “sat down” with Adrienne to ask her 10 Questions about her journey so far. Enjoy!

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1)  What made you decide you were ready for a change?

I needed a new goal to tackle.  Since my wedding was coming up, I knew that tackling a triathlon would be the best gift I could give to our family.

2) Tell us a little bit about CNN Fit Nation and how it has changed you?

Led by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Fit Nation is a super supportive and motivating group that has put together an amazing program that has allowed “The Lucky Seven” to change their lives through.  Six months ago, I gave myself a pat on the back if I got on the treadmill a few times as week and walked. I thought that was working out. Now, I’m not happy unless I’ve trained for at least two hours during the day.

3) What is your favorite part of tri training?

Pilates. I know, I know… It should be swimming, biking, or running, but I absolutely love the way I feel after a Pilates class. My other favorite part has been training with my fiance, Chris.  We take Pilates and Body Pump classes together at the gym. We go on 80 minute bike rides early Sat morning.  We’ve created an amazing vegetable garden that has been fueling our summer workouts.  And he’ll be by my side in Malibu to complete his own first tri as well!

4) What has been the most difficult part to date?

Definitely biking. It’s the segment that I feel I have the best chance of getting injured on. After hearing about stories like Kirsten Walker’s crash in the Atlanta tri, you can’t help but be a little weary on the bike. Before every ride, I say a little prayer that goes something like, “Please let me not get killed on the bike today.” I haven’t fallen since before I left for training in Kona in May, but I’m still apprehensive on the bike.

5) What do you look most forward to in your future?

The true test of this challenge will be making [the habits continue]. So many around me are waiting to see if I can keep this lifestyle up — or will I result back to my old ways once it’s over. I look forward to continued improvement — getting in shape has improved our family life in so many ways, it’s bound only to get better. We plan on signing up for the Annapolis tri next spring and plan on meeting up with the CNN Fit Nation crew each year to participate as alumni.

6) As a beginner, what was the best piece of advice you received?

Swim Advice: Pretend you are on a paddle board to avoid crossing over over your arms. [SBM Note:Tee hee! This was my advice…. well, Coach Monster’s advice to me, which I passed along to Adrienne. Really, it’s all Coach Monster.]

Biking Advice: When coming to a stop, hug the bike with the knee opposite of your clipped out foot.  That way you are bound to fall toward your unclipped foot.  I unclip left, hug my bike with my right knee and brake to stop. This has saved me from tearing up my knees and hands in embarrassing dismounting falls.

Run Advice:  Never look down. Smile 🙂

7) And what is your best piece of advice to someone starting out?

However painful it is, take a picture of yourself starting out in a bathing suit.  I didn’t and wish I did. You won’t believe the strides you can make in just six months. Also, find other like minded people to work out/train with.  This process wouldn’t be half as much fun if Chris (my fiance) wasn’t doing it with me.

Photo Courtesy of Adrienne

8) How has the vegan lifestyle changed you?

I actually eat vegetables! Crazy to say, I didn’t much before. I did it to start as a one month trial before Kona, but I fell in love with the way I’ve felt since. I’ve found a new love for cooking and recipes — trying foods I never new existed. Tempeh, quinoa, chia seeds, kombucha, almond butter, sprouted breads — these are now staples. Giving up caffeine has also been great — I no longer have this emotional attachment to food.  Before I used to feel that I couldn’t wake up in the morning without my cup of tea with milk and sugar. Now, a huge glass of water will do.

9) What is some of the best tri gear you’ve acquired during this time?

I love my Garmin. [SBM Note:  We’ll convert you over to Bia when it hits the market! :)]  I seem to always misplace my heart rate monitor strap. I really need to get two [straps] so I can always find it. My Canonndale bike is a sweet ride.  And just this week, I fell in love with Barracuda googles. Sanjay used them in Kona, and I’ve been on the hunt for them ever since. Not sure how they’ll be in open water, but they are amazing in the pool.

10) What’s NEXT?!

That’s the big question! Just this week, I resigned from my six and a half year position in a direct sales company where I led a million dollar team in selling easy-to-make processed food. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore. If I wasn’t eating the food, how could I sell it to others?  I want to focus on being the best journalism and English teacher I can be while focusing on continued health improvement.

Chris and I fell in love with a Hawaiian word that Rich Roll mentions in his book Finding Ultra . The word is: Keauhou.  It means new beginnings. After the tri this September in Malibu, we are bound for keauhou.

****Love it, Adrienne. Triathlon is all about the Keauhou! You can follow Adrienne on Twitter @TriHardAdrienne, and check out her recent CNN blog here.

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