With Kona just around the corner, we're starting a series where we profile a few of the qualifiers. Today, we're chatting with Hawaii resident and multiple time Kona finisher Lectie Altman.
Coeur: Lectie, thank you so much for chatting with us today. You have a lot of fans on in the endurance sports community (including us!), but for those people who are just getting to meet you, can you share a bit about yourself and your athletic background?
Lectie: Thanks for having me! Well, I get to live and train in Hawaii, so that's pretty amazing. I'm lucky enough to have this opportunity and to call Hawaii home, so why not embrace the perfect year round weather by taking up endurance sports!
My athletic background in a nutshell...I grew up swimming competitively all through high school and college. After college, my swim coach was constantly hounding me to take up triathlon, but I wanted nothing to do with anything athletic after college. I took about a 3 year break, was super out of shape and grumpy so decided to start running, went from zero running (really, I'd never run more than 3 miles before 2010!) in my life to the Honolulu Marathon in 2010. Finally he wore me down, I bought a bike and I signed up for my first 70.3 in 2011, my first Ironman in 2012 and here I am now...hooked!
Coeur: So, what got you into triathlon and specifically what compelled you to get into Ironman distance racing?
Lectie: I needed a lifestyle change and living in Hawaii provided the perfect playground for endurance sports. I was lucky enough to fall into the BOCA Hawaii family (my bike shop and family here that focuses on all things SWIMBIKERUN) and have embraced the endurance lifestyle headon!
Coeur: Ok, speaking of Ironman racing, we have to say congratulations on qualifying for Ironman Hawaii again! How many times have you raced Kona and how did it feel to get one of those coveted slots this year?
Lectie: Thanks! When I went to Australia this year to race Ironman Port Mac, Hawaii was the goal (along with a trip to Australia, which I've wanted to do for the longest time, and what better way to do it....a racecation)! It was an amazing experience that I got to share with my most favorite people. Racing an Ironman, is a long day and you never know what will happen, I had a great day out there and punched my ticket back to the Big Island this October so I'm stoked. It will be my 4th time racing Ironman Hawaii and it's going to be the best one yet! I'm so pumped to be representing such a great brand with super supportive women from all over the world. It's a great feeling knowing that I GET to race, I'm excited and nervous (the good kind) and will be ready to go once the gun goes off! Leaving everything out there on the Queen K!
Coeur: You live in Hawaii on Oahu, which seems like paradise, but it must be interesting from a training perspective. Where do you do most of your training and what challenges do you face?
Lectie: one word TRAFFIC! It is paradise, but unfortunately I'm not in continuous vacation mode, like most people when they come here. I actually have to go to work everyday. I can't tell you the last time I've been to the beach to just relax! You should see my bike short tan lines...oh you will at the underpants run, and you might be blinded by the light, I digress!
It's tough here finding safe places to ride, Oahu is extremely populated and not super bike friendly,but we are getting there, I do most of my riding in groups with other people because that's how I feel the safest.
I will say, though we are spoiled with the year round ocean swimming opportunities. There's always a place to swim outside and watch the ocean underneath you! Sometimes it even gets chilly enough for a wetsuit!
Coeur: We can see how incredibly positive you are about life. Can you share a bit about your outlook on life and how you deal with challenges that inevitably come with long-course training and racing?
Lectie: My People! You know who you are. This goes without saying, but without a great, strong support team, I would not be who I am or where I am today, both in triathlon and life in general. I can't do this alone, so thank you to My People! Triathlon is a very selfish endeavor and it's important for me to make time for the people and things outside of triathlon that matter, we aren't doing this sport for $$, wealth or fame, we are doing it because we love it and when and if there comes a time when I can no longer do this, those people and those other things will still be there.
Long distance racing is hard and takes A LOOOOOOOOOOOT of time and energy. If you find yourself not enjoying going out there day-after-day to train, then stop, do something else! Life is way too short, find what you love and do that, everyday! Do what makes you happy. #findyourhappy
Coeur: We know that there's usually a big support team behind every great athlete. Can you tell us about your training partners and the people who support you?
Lectie: Thank goodness for training partners. First of all my parents for always believing in me no matter what and getting me started in swimming at 6mths old! Scott, my boyfriend is my biggest supporter out there, super sherpa, my best friend, makes sure I wake up in the morning, always give me the kick in the butt I need to get out there and make it count and will travel all over the world to explore new places and race right alongside me. Gary and Michelle who can always be counted on for a 100+ mile ride (Jeff!) a 20-mile run, or a relaxing dinner...having friends like that is priceless. And my Coeur Sports teammies and my BOCA Hawaii family, you guys are what makes training and racing so much fun day in and day out!
Coeur: On the Coeur team, we've got a few first time Ironman Hawaii participants. What advice would you give someone who is doing Kona for the first time?
Lectie: Embrace every second of the day. We GET to do this. Enjoy it and stay positive! Staying positive is the most important part. When in doubt a spam musubi will save your life (or any food/sugar for that matter)!
Coeur: Finally since we're on the topic of advice, what advice would you give to someone who has never done a triathlon but is considering signing up?
Lectie: Find a friend and make the commitment together. Accountability and someone to share the new experiences with are what will keep you going!
Coeur: Thank you for chatting with us. We're looking forward to cheering for you on the Big Island!
Lectie: Can't wait, just a few short weeks away! Thanks and see you soon! A hui hou!