Friday Feature – Lucie Villeneuve

Team Triumpher Lucie Villeneuve

2 years ago, I made it a life goal, to be more active and train more regularly and consistently. Joining a running club was a key factor for achieving that goal. 12 years later I’ve completed 15 marathons.

As I age my goals are to stay healthy, strong and injury-free, but also to continue to push the limits, keep learning, take some risks and try new things.

In 2017, seeing many of my running friends getting into triathlons, I decided that it was time to try.  I started very slow, first taking private swimming lessons with Coach Julia.  I remember my first lesson when I explained to her that I did not like to put my head in the water. She very calmly gave me some simple instructions that I followed and I swam across the pool by the end of the class. I then joined Team Triumph in 2018 for regular swimming and spinning class.

Hearing the stories of the members of how they started and what they had accomplished was very inspiring. I signed up for the Olympic triathlon in Tremblant in 2019, after completing only a Super Sprint event! What was I thinking?  I should have had a discussion with Coach Julia before.

With running, I set a goal, stick to the program and make it happen.  I learned it’s a bit more challenging with triathlon, as there was so much to learn, especially with my swimming.

 

So, although being consistent with my swim training in the pool, then in open water (yes in the cold pond in May) and completing 2 Sprint events in early summer, I arrived in Tremblant still challenged, and with little experience of open water. Water conditions the day of the race were challenging, but I completed the swim and was so proud of myself to have overcome my fear. Although I overcame that fear I did not make it out of the water in the time allotted resulting in a DNF.

 First DNF ever!!! It was hard to take, but I’ve learned a few lessons.

·       First, swimming will take a longer investment.
·       Second, stick to shorter distances.
·       Third, don’t sign up for an event just because your friends are signing up, choose the venue wisely especially regarding the swim!
After that event, I did the summer training program with Team Triumph and really enjoyed the time trials on the Parkway, riding in the hills in the Gatineau Park and swimming at Meech Lake and running in the Arboretum with Coach Maggie, Julia and Kevin.

I can say that for a triathlon, I prefer the training part more than the racing.

Although I did not complete my main event, training with Team Triumph I’ve learned how to swim, and how to ride on hills.  I discovered that I don’t only love to run and hike uphill I also love to ride uphill, and I’m no longer afraid to ride downhill.  If only I could swim uphill, maybe I would not be as challenged in that department.

After completing a year with Team Triumph, I can say that its members are so welcoming.  It does not matter your strength, your pace, your distance, or what your goals are.  I’m inspired by its people and their stories and learned so much from them in my first year.

I retired in 2016, after a 25-year career in healthcare. I am now working part-time still in the healthcare field which gives me the flexibility to work in my triathlon training.  For the past 3 summers, I’ve also enjoyed being a tourist guide on a bike with Escape Bicycle Tours showing our beautiful city to tourists from all over the world riding mainly on pathways. I have a beautiful daughter and a son twins and we will become grandparents in April.