How one Area Manager traveled 140.6 miles to the finish line.
Houston Hobby Airport Area Manager Nicolle wears a lot of hats. She’s a mom of two toddlers, a wife, a former NCAA soccer athlete and a 10-year employee of Enterprise.
And just last month, Nicolle earned another title: She’s an Ironwoman.
The fitness fanatic swam 2.4 miles, cycled 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles in Louisville, Kentucky, to complete her first Ironman triathlon.
Registering for the race
So what made Nicolle sign up for a race-day bib? She simply wanted to prove to herself and others that if you want something bad enough you’ll do what it takes to make it happen.
That sparked the idea to run an Ironman.
“I love to be challenged mentally and athletically,” she says. “So for my birthday present, I asked my husband to handle whatever I needed him to handle at home for a few months so I could train.”
Training for the haul
Nicolle wasted no time preparing, hitting the pavement and the pool before her youngest even turned one. “I’ve always been a strong believer that if we put something off until we’re not as busy, we’ll always find a reason not to do it,” says Nicolle.
Beginning in January 2017, her training regimen entailed an hour in a spin class or swimming laps three mornings a week, and two evenings a week spent on a six- or eight-mile run. Weekends included 40- to 70-mile bike rides.
Giving her all
Come race day on Oct. 15, Nicolle was well-conditioned. But nothing prepared her for the unexpected cold front that moved through during the cycling portion.
“There were about 30 miles left of the bike ride when the weather turned cold with 30-mile-per-hour winds,” she says. “Other athletes saw road signs blown out of the ground because the wind was so strong. It was definitely the most difficult part of the triathlon, but not because I didn’t train enough. Rather, I had a hard time keeping my mind on the finish line.”
Once she got there, though, the excitement of her family made everything worthwhile.
“Seeing the joy and support of my son, daughter, husband, parents and aunt at the finish line was the absolute best,” recalls Nicolle.
Her work family shared in the pride, too. After the race, Nicolle’s phone was full of supportive text messages from teammates who followed her progress through the event’s virtual tracker.
Balancing work and family
If nothing else, Nicolle hopes her adventure helps set a healthy example of work-life balance for her colleagues.
“My work and home calendars mesh together, and while they don’t always balance out equally on a daily basis, they do even out,” she says. “I’m very open and honest with those in my work world and my family life, and believe that proactive communication is necessary to achieve accomplishments at work or at home.”
Running like a role model
So would Nicolle do it all over again?
“Absolutely. I’d love to continue showing my team that if you put your mind to something, you can achieve your goals. It was an amazing experience, and I love pushing my mind and body.”
There’s no rest for the weary, either. Nicolle is competing in an Olympic-size triathlon in December and has plans for another Ironman triathlon with her sister and mom in 2019.