Time sure does fly. It feels like I just rung in the New Year, and here we are at March already.
I have to say that the season is getting off to a great start for me. I recently joined the PacWest Elite triathlon team, a Bay-area based squad featuring some top amateur elite athletes from all age groups. I have been spending my Sunday mornings doing hard swim workouts with the team in Marin, followed by hard road riding along some of the most scenic roads in the area.
Now that I am on this team, I am shifting my focus to include many “shorter” local triathlons. (I consider a half ironman to be a short race!). My first race will be the Wildflower Half Ironman, coming up in the beginning of May. I am excited to be able to challenge myself this way, although it is a shock to my system to switch back to harder, more intense training sessions.
In addition to my work and triathlon, I’ve been trying to round out my lifestyle with some community work and expressive outlets. I started tutoring English to a Burmese refugee couple who arrived in California in May 08. I went into this with the idea that I would be the one giving to them, but I have to say that I have probably learned more from them than they have from me in the last couple months. It is an incredibly gratifying experience. These people are so warm and positive, despite the uncertainty and hardship they’ve endured in their lives.
I also began studying the cello in January, which has been very humbling, but also a lot of fun. I’m a bit of an Energizer Bunny, when it comes to work and training. It is easy for me to overdo these things, because it is my nature to focus intently on the places I choose to put my energy. As I’ve learned, recovery is the most important part of training. With a musical outlet, I can apply that same focus to something else and absorb some of my excess mental energy.
I don’t have photos of myself, as I tend to be the one on the other side of the camera lens, but here are some photos which show my current reality.
A manufacturing engineer by trade, turned triathlete and adventure race competitor, Iona Mackenzie has built a reputation as one of the toughest competitors on the circuit. She has been dubbed the “Queen of the Machine,” for her machine like ability to overcome physical pain during races.
“Our bodies are the vessels which house our souls, hearts and minds. They are here for us to live through, not just to hang clothes on. Play hard, work solid, eat well – and REST. For me, that’s the quickest recipe to happiness.”
- Iona MacKenzie