Our Athlete of the Month Melanie Peddle! Mel is a strong swimmer and former National Champ in the 1500m in college track. She works hard to balance training among multiple sports in order to manage injury and keep things interesting. Every athlete has limiters and for Melanie, it‚Äôs the bike. While we‚Äôre working on improving that aspect of her racing, last season she decided to focus on her considerable swim/run strengths and she set aquathlon as her primary goal.
Her targeted racing plan paid off big time for her in 2012. She won her age group at one of the competitive Boulder Stroke & Stride races as a tune-up before heading to the national championship Islander Aquathlon in Mercer Island, WA in July. Melanie won there, becoming the age group national champion and earned herself a spot on Team USA at worlds in Auckland, NZ. At Worlds in October, she was the top American in her age group, finishing 17th.
Her targeted strategy for the season resulted in a number one ranking in her age group in the soon-to-be-released 2012 USA Triathlon final rankings in the aquathlon category.
Melanie balances training with running her own business as a massage therapist and is always looking for fun new opportunities to expand her horizons as an athlete and as a person. As her coach, I‚Äôm regularly working her training plan around exciting (and sometimes last-minute) travel opportunities as well as fun local experiences such as attending aerial circus school.
Congrats Melanie on being named D3 Athlete of the Month!
Can you tell us a little bit about your sports background? Which sports did you do as a kid and as you got older?
I started with swimming in high school and then track and cross country. I was pretty good at running, but didn‚Äôt really know it and just ran blindly. I ended up qualifying for state my first year running cross country even though I had severe mono.
What was your motivation to get started in triathlon?
My ankles aren‚Äôt good enough to solely run, so I switched to triathlon because there were three sports and I figured I would lessen the stress on my ankles.
When and where was your first race?
My first race was in Boulder in the summer of 2010. I qualified and competed at USA Triathlon AG Nationals in Tuscaloosa, AL that year.
What is your current job?
I am Massage Therapist, running my own practice out of Boulder, CO. I like to do treatment, sports and deep tissue massage. You can view my website here: www.goldstarmassagetherapy.com
Does your job affect training?
My job is a great complement to my training. I can arrange my schedule around my training schedule. In previous jobs the hours were long and there wasn‚Äôt a lot of flexibility for training.
Tell us about your family!
I have one older sister who lives in Dallas/ Fort Worth area My parents are retired and live in Arizona.
What award did you recently receive?
I was selected to the USA Triathlon Age Group World Team when I won my Age Group at Aquathlon Nationals!
Your title at AG Nationals was due to a lot of hard work after some serious setbacks. Care to tell us a bit about what you‚Äôve been thru?
As I mentioned before, I started triathlon in order to lessen the stress on my ankles, but I‚Äôm not sure that triathlon has really helped. My ankles are made of tissue paper, or so it seems. I have had two ankle ligamentous surgeries, and a bone in each of my feet is permanently broken. My most shameful ankle sprain occurred this summer in the smoothly carpeted hallway of my apartment. I was walking down the hallway, eating cereal, somehow sprained my ankle and spilt cheerios all over the wall and carpet. The lesson here, like I had been taught as a young one, is to sit down at the table and eat your cheerios.
Who is your coach at D3 and how has your coach helped you with your goals?
Dave‚Äôs a great guy and a great coach. He really understands my motivation, listens well and is super helpful. I would recommend him to others, but I don‚Äôt want to share.
Have you done any races that you‚Äôd traveled for?
Worlds Aquathlon 2012 ‚Äì New Zeland, Aquathlon Nationals 2012 ‚Äì OR, USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals 2010 ‚Äì AL.
Best Triathlon moment?
Winning my age group at nationals was cool. Knowing how hard I worked for that really made it all worthwhile.
What is your favorite race and why?
I like the Aquathlon because there is no biking ‚Äì ha ha. In Boulder we have a week night swim‚Äìrun series called Stroke and Stride. The swim-run races are super fun! There are lots of people out there but they are low key, and it is a fun way to spend a Thursday evening.
What are your long term goals in triathlon?
I haven‚Äôt given it much thought, but I‚Äôd like to be the overall National Aquathlon Champion!?
If you could spend a day training with anyone, who would it be?
Apollo Ohno, the Gold medal winning short course speed skater. I would like an intro to speed skating and he‚Äôd be the perfect one to help me!
What‚Äôs in your race future?
I will look to defend my AG Nationals title and most likely lots of Stroke-n-Stride races.
What‚Äôs your favorite workout?
Besides rest days?! I like long slow distance days ‚Äì (who doesn‚Äôt?!)
What your least favorite workout?:
Biking the hills around Boulder. I‚Äôm not sure you‚Äôve heard, but in Boulder you are always biking up hill!
Tell us something interesting about you:
I am wearing underwear on my head right now. While in japan. No pictures, sorry. It‚Äôs an ancient Japanese ritual before you eat sushi, you are supposed to wear underwear on your head and hold your breath for 1 minute.
Another interesting fact is that I am in a trapeze club!