Training for Midwest Mayhem Triathlon (taken from

The training for my first triathlon has been exhausting. I know I can swim, bike and run, but doing them all on the same day, yeah, it’s going to be tough . But, I am confident that I will finish and hopefully under the two hour mark. The course will be at Lone Star Lake in Lawrence, Kansas and they aren’t kidding with the name “Midwest Mayhem” triathlon. The first time I went out to ride the bike course, I was overwhelmed with the hills. I have never really biked hard or tried to race. But, those hills, I kept looking forward and there would be one more. In my head I was thinking, dang, how many more can they put in, ha ha. I also never shifted gears to accommodate my biking, but I was learning that I would have to do that, especially trying to peddle my way up those steep inclines. Today I took my last ride on the full course and I felt great, well I was tired, but felt great because my biking has really improved.

The only part of the triathlon I am worried about is the swim. I have been doing laps at the local swimming pool. I can tell you all, I am no Michael Phelps and I feel like a fraud to those swimmers who glide so effortlessly in the pool. I struggle to get into a rhythm of breathing and my freestyle motion is like a dog paddling in the pool. But, I can say, since the first time I did start training, I have managed to make a little bit of improvement in my times for the 500 meters and 1000 meters. The swim portion of the triathlon will be 500 meters.


The last leg will be the 5k run. I am constantly doing a bike/run workout to get use to the transition. A couple of days ago, I went did an hour on the bike and then did the full 5k course. Again, there is a bunch of hills! Especially at the very beginning there is a very steep hill, you sneaky course designers! I bet they were laughing when they said, hey, lets have them run up this hill right after they get off the bike! Aside from that hill, we go through a rolling course until we hit a half way point on a levee and turn back around. The great thing about a majority of the course is covered by trees, except for the levee and considering how hot it has been these last few days that is going to be tough. I asked the weather gods to have mercy on us, but lately the temps have been over 100 lately, so I figured oh well, it will make it more interesting right?

The other cool thing that happened when I was running, I looked down and I saw a feather. I didn’t have a good look at it, so I just kept running until I hit the turnaround and came up on it again and it was an eagle feather! Call me crazy, or maybe it was the heat, but I saw it as a sign, sometimes we are meant to do things. Trying this event as I near my 21st birthday, haha, it makes me realize all the things I still can do in the future!

As I near this triathlon, I am getting excited and nervous. I have been pushing myself in the heat to get my training done and I am extremely proud of myself. I will give another update before the triathlon day is here, so stay tuned!

Source: (

Rhonda LeValdo is doing this Triathlon to raise funds for the Native American Journalists Assocation, if you would like to donate, you can donate directly to NAJA offices, Gaylord Hall, 395 W. Lindsey St, Norman, OK, 73019 or Rhonda LeValdo 1600 Haskell #177 Lawrence, KS 66044 Checks can be made to NAJA

Or donate via Paypal at:


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