A competitive gymnast and diver into college, Andrea LeClair was ready to break into a new sport. After so many years spent training for events and working to attain optimum fitness levels, she couldn’t imagine not competing. A couple of years ago, she decided to give running a try. Suddenly, she found herself enamored with a sport she never thought would appeal to her. By the time she finished her first race, she was hooked. After competing in her first triathlon a few months ago, she set her sights on the REVOLUTION3 Triathlon.
There were a variety of motivations that prompted Andrea’s choice to register for Rev 3. In addition to being local, the race’s cause is near and dear to her heart, as she lost her grandfather to leukemia in 1994. She has already attained her fundraising goals for the race, an accomplishment that attests to her commitment to supporting causes that help find a cure for cancer.
We spent a few minutes talking with Andrea about her fitness goals, her motivations, and her expectations for the Rev 3 Triathlon. We’re proud to have athletes of her dedication and commitment on our roster!
Someone told me about the Revolution 3 Triathlon earlier this year. I’m from the area, so I thought it would be a good half to train for. When I was searching the website, I saw the link for the The V Foundation, and that sealed the deal!
Why did you choose the REV3 event over other charity events? What significance does it hold for you?
I’ve always wanted to do a race or event for charity. Last year I looked into doing a marathon with Team Leukemia, but an injury prevented me from competing. Over the summer I got into sprint triathlons and really enjoyed them. Although it’s a big jump, I set a goal of doing a half iron distance triathlon. Once I found out I could do the REV3 half for The V Foundation, I knew it would be a good match for me. My grandfather died of leukemia in 1994 and my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and I strongly support research for any type of cancer. Meeting my goal of completing the REV3 half while raising money for The V Foundation is a perfect combination. I’m delighted to help The V Foundation in its mission to save lives by finding a cure for cancer.
How do you plan to train for the event?
Since my last triathlon in September, I’ve stayed in shape and continued to swim, bike, and run. Currently I’m taking spinning classes, have a trainer for my bike, use my treadmill, and run outside when weather permits.
I’ve also spent some time researching triathlon training. When I decided to do the REV3 event, I found a couple of 16-18 week training schedules. In February, I’ll start a more intense training schedule. I have some friends who are also training for a half iron triathlon, and we’ll all support each other as the event date gets closer.
How did you manage to meet your fundraising goal in such a short amount of time?
Once I found out how to make my own fundraising page, I sent out an e-mail to friends and family. I have very supportive people in my life, and many were quick to donate very generous amounts. I was surprised and delighted to reach the goal so quickly! Hopefully I’ll be able to raise even more money in the coming months.
It’s very motivating to know that I have so many people supporting me and The V Foundation. They’re all rooting for the successful completion of the very challenging goal I’ve set, which pushes me to train harder.
How long have you been competing?
I was originally a competitive gymnast and diver. I stopped diving competitively in college and felt a strong need to train for a sport. I never liked running much, but about two and half years ago I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to try a half marathon. I read about running and started a training schedule. During the training, I fell in love with running. I felt great the day of the race, and once I crossed the finish line, I immediately set a goal of doing a full marathon and a triathlon. It took me two years to finally finish my first triathlon, but once I did, I realized the sport would be a lifelong passion for me. I get a lot of satisfaction out of setting a goal, working for it, and successfully completing it. Although I’m new to competing in triathlons, I think my competitive history will help me to succeed.
What is your favorite sport or physical activity?
Although my favorite sport is gymnastics, at this stage in my life, my preferred physical activity would be either swimming, biking, or running—which makes me a perfect candidate for a triathlon. I just began biking in May, but instantly enjoyed it. If I had to pick one thing to do at the end of a long day, running would probably be the most satisfying, but I truly enjoy all three sports.
Do you have any special dietary restrictions or eating plans to help keep you in shape?
Although I don’t have any specific restrictions, I’ve always preferred healthy eating. I don’t have much craving for high-fat, high-calorie foods, although I do indulge in chocolate once in awhile. I think as long as you stay physically active, it’s okay to treat yourself in moderation. All in all, I stick to the good foods, high in protein, healthy carbs, fruits, veggies, and lean meats.
What are your long-term fitness goals?
I would like to continue doing triathlons. They are new to me and I have a lot to learn to become a better, more efficient triathlete. I’m not sure if I’ll do more half distance events, but I’m excited to achieve this goal and work from there.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering entering a competitive event?
You can do anything you put your mind to, so go for it! I know this might sound like a cliché, but it’s so true. I hated running more than a mile at a time, but once I changed my mindset and set a goal, I found that I truly enjoyed it. You never know what you can accomplish unless you try. You only live once, so you might as well set some goals and test yourself. There is nothing more satisfying than doing something unique, uncommon, and new to you. My new quote these days is “Let’s Get This!” It’s motivating and pertains to a lot of things in life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of competing?
I’d say it’s knowing that all the hard work and training leads to a feeling of satisfaction about what I’ve done. I compete against myself, not others. I do things that challenge me, not necessarily what would be a challenge to others. Many accomplishments in life take time, including athletic events. There is nothing more rewarding for me than waking up each day, crossing off a completed workout on my schedule, participating in an event with ample preparation, and feeling great as I cross the finish line!
What is the most challenging aspect?
It’s sometimes tough to stay motivated during the months of preparation. Once the big day arrives, I get excited and I’m ready to go! There are day-to-day struggles of feeling tired, having other life responsibilities, and fighting the temptation to do something more “fun” or relaxing after a long, hard day. My friends would describe me as very disciplined and willing to make sacrifices to meet my life goals, so I’m confident that I’ll be successful even if there are some bumps along the way.