Marla Briley came to the ATC Tri team via the Women’s Cycling team. She did her first triathlon, CapTexTri, in 2004. She has done six Ironmans along with most, if not all, local Austin triathlons. She is also a dog extraordinaire and has a nonprofit (Central Texas Ruffugees) that transports dogs from Central Texas to Washington State. In her own words:
It always strikes me as funny when someone tells me “I’m their hero” or “I’m an inspiration” because I have finished six Ironman distance races. Training for a triathlon, especially an Ironman, requires you to be stingy with your time, focus mainly on yourself and your needs, and depends upon family and friends to adjust their schedules around your workouts if they want to spend any time with you.
I’ve been a triathlete since 2004. My first triathlon was Cap Tex. I remember it raining the day before and reading on the race website that we would be swimming at our own risk.
Since then I’ve raced just about every triathlon in and around the Austin area. I’ve volunteered at them all, as well, which I enjoy almost as much as racing. Make sure to thank your volunteers. They have made time in their day to help make your race experience that much better.
I’ve competed in six Ironman races – IMAZ (twice, once in the spring and once in the fall), IMCDA (RIP), IMLP, and Kona. The best advice I’ve ever been given regarding Ironman racing is “Smoke ’em if you got ’em”. Paul Huddle explained to me, during one of his IM camps, that you are going to go through a roller coaster of emotions during the entirety of an Ironman distance race. Especially on the run. So, when you feel good, get going, because it won’t be long before you feel like crap, again. I try to remember this when I’m racing and not feeling so hot. It’ll pass.
Of the three different disciplines the finish line is my favorite part of the race. Unfortunately to get there, I need to swim, bike and run. As much as I enjoy open water swimming, I won’t push myself if I’m not racing so being part of a master’s swim group is important for my swim fitness. For the bike, I only ride outside once a week. I’ve had a car-on-bike-violence incident. After that, and to ensure that the odds be ever in my favor, I figure the less I am outside on the bike then the less likely I am to be hit by a car. Thus, my Kickr has become my best friend and my favorite piece of training equipment. I have spent hours on my Kickr binge watching my TV shows. I’ve discovered The Green Arrow and The Flash, both of which are better in their early seasons. Jessica Jones and Dare Devil are awesome but The Iron Fist and Luke Cage are monotonous. I’ve solved crimes with Veronica Mars and discovered new worlds with The Vikings. I’ve learned to love the trainer during the week and then get out with friends, for longer rides, on the weekends. As for running, I’ve always loved running. I’m not very good at it but it is easy to do, anywhere. I spend most of my running hours with my friends and my dogs. I’ve almost always got a dog attached to me when running, which makes me easy to spot on the trail.
I am fortunate that I have the time, money, and support to spend my weeks swimming, biking, and running. Being a triathlete does not make me a hero or an inspiration. I am greedy with my time and not willing to change my training schedule unless it is a major event. I do think that being a triathlete has led me to meet some of my favorite people who are also stingy with their time but willing to share part of their day with me as long as we are swimming, biking or running.
- Favorite Race? Kona
Favorite Distance? 70.3
Preferred sport? Running to do but I love to watch Cycling
Favorite tri gear? My 2007 Cervelo P3. Best tri bike ever made.
Favorite way to recover after a hard workout? Depends on the workout but probably after a very long and hard bike workout, I like to share some fries with my boyfriend.