Britta joined the ATC Racing team via Marla, whom she met about six years ago through the Texas GSP Dog Rescue. She and her husband joined the foster program, adopted their first foster dog, and has since fostered many others. In her own words:
An interesting fact: I was born and raised in former East Germany. I was a tennis player since the age of 3, played competitively my entire childhood/youth, and came to the US on a collegiate tennis scholarship. I was fast on 60 m sprints but could not run a 5K to save my life! Bike riding was limited to riding my mountain bike to and from school and tennis practice. And swimming… well, I could keep myself above water!
A combination of burnout from tennis and a technology consulting job that required 100% of travel had me looking for something new with respect to sports. So, I stumbled across Austin’s great triathlon community. Triathlon has always been very intriguing and amazing to me… triathletes were super human! In 2007, I decided to “TRAIN” for a local sprint triathlon at Decker Lake. I managed to be able to run a 5K… I bought my first road-bike on eBay… and I took swimming lessons. After that first race, I was hooked.
In 2008, a car ran into me during a training ride resulting in various hardware being placed in my body. I think the accident only fueled the obsession to continue with triathlon and be better. There was a lot of rehab to just get back to walking and two follow on surgeries. It was a long road to recovery but I made a point of rolling into ATC in my wheelchair to pick up my new tri bike only three weeks after the accident. In 2009 I signed up with Kelly Williamson to learn more about triathlon and train smarter. Since then, sprints became Olympics… Olympics became half Ironmans… and then there was the full Ironman. I had a blast.
It is amazing to witness how the body responds to the stress of an endurance event. Finding the right combination of power and fuel is an art I have yet to figure out. Also fascinating are the emotions: the peaks and valleys the mind goes through during an event, the butterflies or even nausea before a race, and the excitement combined with the “what was I thinking signing up for this?” Or, the “I feel great… go go go” and in the next few minutes your body is shutting down. Kelly would always tell me, “listen to your body” and as I trained longer with her it was amazing how much I learned about my body. It is an amazing sport and it is an amazing community of people.
I have been racing ever since; spending my weekday early mornings in hotel gyms and focusing on my long workouts on the weekends when I was in Austin. My colleagues declared me crazy but soon became familiar and accepting of the routine.
The time commitment and discipline required has been completely thrown off since kids arrived. It sometimes feels like toddlers can be more physically and emotionally exhausting than an Ironman. It is equally emotional to have been able to get back to racing half Iron distances and having two little people yell, “go Mommy go”. I am fortunate to have an amazing husband and friend who allowed me to get back into training and racing after essentially being pregnant for two years.
What is my favorite race? That’s a tough question because there have been many fun races and experiences. The Escape from Alcatraz was a favorite and I am thrilled to go back again this year. Ironman 70.3 Switzerland was amazing because my parents, brother, and husband got to cheer me on…and the scenery is just incredible. I love the 70.3 distance but it has certainly been challenging to put in the hours between toddlers and work and oh the guilt when you leave them behind to go out for a run or hop on the trainer.
My favorite tri gear, my Cervelo P2C, is mostly hooked into my trainer. She only gets out for races since the kids have arrived. Timing rides with nap times and limiting the risk of potential bike accidents have made my garage the permanent setting for trainer rides coupled with lots and lots of Netflix.
My favorite recovery is really legs up and quiet, but who am I kidding?!
I am excited to be part of the ATC team and learn from the many experienced and amazing athletes here.