Name: Jamie Celentano
Involved in: Swimming, biking, running (a.k.a. triathlons)
From couch to Ironwoman
When I was younger I was involved in a lot of sports: swimming, cross country and softball, specifically. My main passion was swimming and I swam competitively from third grade until my second year of college.
When I got to college, my passion for swimming dwindled and eventually I didn't want to swim anymore. My husband and I met on the swim team and once we both stopped swimming we gained weight quickly. You can't eat the same amount as when you were swimming and not expect to gain weight! We eventually both lost the weight, after some struggle, but we still weren't that active.
Right after we got married, I decided that I wanted to do the Couch-to-5K running program. Almost from day one we never looked back! We have competed in 20 races since then, including three half marathons, one duathlon and one sprint triathlon.
Our goal is to compete in an Ironman in 2014!
>>Check out Jamie's blog to follow her adventures: From Couch to Ironwoman
Staying motivated and challenged
GirlsGoneSporty (GGS): What is your motivation for staying active?
Jamie Celentano. (JC): I train with my husband, Mike, and he truly keeps me motivated! If I am having a bad day, he is always by my side continually pushing me to do my best. The same is true when I am having a great day! I'm not sure if I would be able to do this without him, honestly. I can't give up now since he is just as committed as I am -- we are in this 110 percent!
GGS: What sports and fitness accomplishments are you most proud of?
JC: If you had asked me this back in high school, I would have said becoming the 100 backstroke State Champion my senior year. That is still a proud accomplishment of mine, but I have proved that I am even stronger now.
Two moments stand out in my mind as being my proudest accomplishments, so far: 1) finishing my first half marathon, and 2) finishing my first sprint triathlon. Both of these races tested me mentally and physically, but I succeeded! It was a great feeling crossing the finish line in both races and finally becoming a half marathoner and triathlete, respectively.
GGS: How do you keep challenging yourself to improve?
JC: I love setting goals and achieving them! I am not the type of person that will set an easy goal that I know I can accomplish; I want to push myself to the limits. I am also extremely competitive, with myself more than anyone else, and this helps me to continually improve. If a race doesn't go the way that I planned, I immediately start to focus on how I can accomplish my goal the next time.
Luckily my husband and I are addicted to racing, so I have plenty of opportunities to achieve my goals. In the end, I just want to swim, bike and run faster and farther so there isn't any other option than for me to improve.
GGS: Are you currently training for a race or event? What's your workout schedule look like?
JC: We are currently training for the Wineglass Marathon in Bath/Corning, New York. It will be our first 26.2 and we can't wait! We are using Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Marathon Training plan, with some modifications. The plan consists of three midweek runs of varying distance and one long run on Sundays.
We are also planning on doing another sprint triathlon one month before our marathon so we have two days dedicated to cross-training. We'll have to add some extra swimming/biking workouts here and there to get ready for the triathlon.
Tools of the trade:
GGS: What’s your favorite healthy food or dish?
JC: Honestly, I don't do any of the cooking in our house but I did just make some no-bake energy balls. They are really good and I definitely will make them again! The ingredients are peanut butter, honey, vanilla, oats, flax seeds, chia seeds and mini chocolate chips.
>> Check out a similar recipe for Crazy Protein Nut Balls
GGS: What's on your workout playlist?
JC: Sorry I'm no help here, I workout without music! I do love music but I prefer to run without it for some reason. It is actually better that we don't listen to music because iPods (and any other devices with headphones) are banned in USAT sanctioned events.
During training runs, rides, swims and races I do sing songs in my head, though!
GGS: What’s in your gym bag?
JC: I am a Saucony girl all the way! I own three pairs of running shoes (short runs, long runs, trail) and all three are Saucony. I have the Kinvaras, Mirages and Peregrines. Other than that I am not really picky about my running gear, I have an assorted collection of clothes from Reebok, Nike, Oiselle, etc.
For triathlons I have an Epix tri top and tri shorts and my bike is a Mercier Elle. It isn't the best and we are hoping to upgrade to tri bikes in the near future! I also loved using my SPIbelt during our triathlon because I could attach my race bib to it for the run.
The only fuel I use during long runs and races is Clif Shot energy gel, mocha flavor. It is one of the only flavors that I have been able to get down consistently! We also love Nuun and have about five or six tubes of it in our house at all times.
Live the sporty life
GGS: What does the phrase “live the sporty life” mean to you?
JC: To me that phrase means getting out there every day doing what I love, swimming, biking and running. Specifically I have to live the sporty life with my husband or it all loses meaning; there isn't anything better than training with the one you love!
In general, that phrase should mean that you strive to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Whether it is running, swimming, biking, yoga, boxing, Crossfit or some other sport that I am not even aware of, all that matters is that you do it and that you love it. Everyone should live the sporty life!