This past weekend, our Founder and CEO, Latrina Walden, completed her first triathlon after nearly a 10-year hiatus from the sport. With her team standing beside her, Latrina completed the North Carolina 70.3 Half Ironman on October 23. We are all curious how this entrepreneur, mompreneur, and nurse practitioner expert is able to do it all, and in turn, sat down with Latrina herself for a candid interview on her experience.
How many races have you done before? Can you be specific on the names/years, please?
Multiple races. But due to mommy-brain, I cannot remember the dates or races. The one I absolutely do remember is Irongirl - it’s a sprint race that took place in Georgia. My very first race was a women’s spring triathlon in Acworth, Georgia. It’s been a solid 10-11 years since I’ve raced either a running race or triathlons - bless it!
Why did you originally start doing triathlons?
The answer is simple - I love swimming! A friend and her husband got me into biking and walking is easy (at the time I didn’t run). So boom - there it is. I also like to do hard things physically. I draw some serious mental strength from putting my body through the paces. If we train our minds and bodies to do what feels like the impossible, anything becomes possible.
Why did you choose to participate in the half Ironman in particular?
Honestly, the route is mostly flat and it seemed less intimidating for someone who is ready to try racing long distances again. It’s comforting to know it’s a greatly supported race, plus, it’s close to home and not in the middle of summer.
The last race you did was prior to kids, LWES, and other recent life changes. What sparked the inspiration to get back into it?
I’ve been saying for years that I miss racing of all sorts. But I’ve recently dropped all my weight and just feel really ALIVE. My body told me it was time to get back into it. And, we might as well debut with a long-distance race that I’ve always wanted to do. Plus, I have a little bit of time to complete the training, not much, but enough.
Why is it important to document this journey?
Because I feel like it’s my coming out party. Being healthy and active has always been so important to me. Being a face in the nurse practitioner community, what better way to demonstrate that by taking people on this journey with me. It’s hard, I’m tired, I fall asleep on my husband, and I’m still a mom/entrepreneur, etc. Inspiration comes when you see people you look up to juggling all aspects of a career, including the thing that drives their passion.
Who do you hope to encourage by crossing that finish line?
Anyone who wants to move their body in a different way, and anyone who is willing to take on the challenges and just jump with two feet in. It’s hard, but life is hard. It’s such a privilege to be able to move your body in this manner - we should be so grateful especially coming off of 2020.
Can you explain how this ties into test prep and LWES?
LWES is transitioning and is not just about test prep anymore. We are a whole entire nurse practitioner community. We talk about professional struggles, NP struggles, work/life balance, and just all the things in our careers. This is a part of that. How are we managing anxiety? How are we staying physically healthy? How are we modeling health to our patients? How are we dealing with stress? Life is busy, but teaching this community of caregivers to care for themselves in whatever that looks like is so integral.
What did you do to get ready? I.e. coaches, utilizing programs, dieting, and any lifestyle changes?
I hired a coach who creates my workout plan. I’ve been working with her for about 6 months now. Most of my food is delivered so I can be in peak shape, but I still love a good cake or donut. I start my day around 5:30 am and start working out around 5:45-6:15 am. For me, mornings are the best time to work out otherwise it becomes questionable. That’s about it. I was already up at this time and working out regularly so now I just do my specific workouts required.
How does this race align with who you are and what you represent?
I believe in doing hard things. I believe in challenging myself. I also believe in pushing myself to the limits just to see how far I can go. This is literally everything LWES stands for. I’m just someone who thought we could be so much better in our industry, so I took a tiny fun hobby and created an organization. What better way to demonstrate all these things besides swimming a mile, biking 56 miles, and then running 13.1 miles in one day before a time cut-off. Let’s go!
Well, you heard it here first! In the next blog, we’re going to take you on the journey with Latrina as she completed the half Ironman triathlon. How did she do? Did she cross the finish line? What was that like?! Make sure you’re subscribed to our weekly emails so that you catch all the latest updates. Before we head out, we wanted to thank our partnerships:
Honey Stinger- These yummy snacks were so handy to have stashed away before or after a workout. Use the code FUELFORYOU30 when you’re ready to order.
We hope this candid interview inspires you to start working towards your health and fitness goals, as well as a healthy lifestyle. As Latrina mentioned, JUST DO IT. Do the unexpected, be the impossible, and keep following your passions.