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Talks with T: A Chat with Team SFQ'er & Masters Powerhouse Lynne Fiedler

Lynne Fiedler is a stellar teammate, a tough competitor, a popular bike-tour guide, and a role model to many; she is also FAST! I have had the incredible honor of riding hundreds of miles chasing Lynne up and down the Santa Monica mountains over the last four years, as well as tried to keep her blonde, curly locks not too far ahead of me while whipping around a track. I am grateful to have Lynne as a training partner, she has definitely helped make me a better triathlete, but even more so, I am grateful for our friendship. Lynne inspires me daily, and I believe learning more about her will inspire you, too. 

 

When were you first drawn to triathlon?

 

I was running a 10K in Venice called the Christmas Run as a fundraiser for my son’s lacrosse team with Greg Stannard and some other parents of the players. As we were running one of the moms suggested we try a triathlon and Greg and I jumped at the idea. We signed up for the Malibu Classic Tri and trained for it together…the rest is history! I still train and race with Greg and we both qualified for and raced Kona together in 2017.

 

Do you believe your childhood background as a competitive basketball player helped cultivate your drive as a triathlete in your adult years?

 

I played both varsity basketball and softball in my younger years, but my favorite sport was probably soccer. I really enjoyed playing team sports and whatever sport I played, I’ve always been super competitive. So, I think it was my competitive drive that was born in those years playing basketball, softball and soccer that really helped my drive to become a top triathlete.

 

Since you are an accomplished triathlete in every distance offered, and perennial podium finisher, what is your favorite triathlon distance to train for and race?

 

I really love both the 70.3 and Ironman distance to train for and race. Truly the best part of these races is all of the training I get to put in with my friends. Long group rides are my favorite because we spend so much time out in nature climbing hills and riding along the Southern California coast with such beautiful views. If I have to pick one, then I guess I’d go with Ironman.

What is one of your all-time favorite race memories?

 

There are so many! I’d have to say that qualifying for Kona for the first time at Ironman Florida in 2014 is a memory I truly cherish. I had missed getting a Kona slot by 1 position maybe 5-6 times so this was such a happy day for me. I also finished the race in 10:20 for my fastest ever Ironman at 51 years young! I was surrounded by my friend Terri Cisneros who raced along with her family, my fiancé Shimshon and my good friend Liz Kollar who worked the event for WTC. I remember every part of that race like it was yesterday.

 

As a leader in your local triathlon community, how does it feel to inspire both "newbie" and "veteran" triathletes to set and pursue their own goals despite their experience or age? In essence, are you aware that your passion for excellence is contagious?

 

I don’t look at myself as a leader in the local triathlon community, but maybe I should. I love taking a newbie under my wing and teaching them about this sport that I love so much. I also love to tell fellow athletes 50+ that they have so much more ahead of them. I am still getting PR’s at 58 which astounds me sometimes. I hope that my passion for excellence shows every time I race. I always give it my all because I’m always out there to get the win!

 

As a mother of two athletic sons, do you feel a shared connection with them because you have modeled the amount of hard work and tenacity it takes to be a high-level athlete?

 

Both of my sons, Jonathan and Zach are very athletic, but they don’t compete in events like I do. I do share a strong work ethic with them. We are all passionate, consistent and driven athletes. They’ve seen me compete in Kona and they realize now how much it takes to get to the big show. They want me to get faster, stronger, more flexible, etc., and are always suggesting ways I can improve my game. I love that about them!

 

Throughout this odd year of cancelled races, you have still accomplished many meaningful milestones For example, and not limited to: riding your longest bike ride ever, running your fastest mile, and traversing the legendary 68-mile Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. How did you manage to keep your mental and physical preparation consistently tuned to handle the toll each event took to train for, and then execute? Also, how did achieving those goals feel without a crowd cheering on the sidelines, or waiting with congratulations at the finish line?

 

In spite of having almost all of my races cancelled in 2020, this year has been an amazingly gratifying year for me. For my Biscay Coaching monthly challenges, I never thought I’d be able to do 250 push ups and 250 sit ups in a day but somehow, I did. Little things like that make me super happy because it’s not something that I excel at, (like running). I also ran my fastest mile on the track with my teammates there, so that was also so fun.

 

Next up was a challenge put on by the LA Tri Club. It consisted of 25 ride segments,  (mostly climbs) and 25 run segments. My goal was to be the fastest woman overall. I never use Strava, but soon I was obsessed with checking my place on the leaderboard and what everyone’s times were for all of these tough segments. I got to ride some hills and many trails that I have never been on..it was simply the best. Pushing myself to the max for all of these segments was extremely challenging, but so rewarding. I did most of the segments with my fellow SFQ friend, Jenn Aronson. We plotted each week where we’d go and had many early mornings with long miles to drive to the trailheads, or starts of the rides. I ended up in 2nd place overall, (by less than 9 minutes), beaten by a woman close to my son’s age, so I was quite proud of the final leaderboard. It took a lot of mental and physical toughness to get through the challenge but competition drives me to be tough.

As much as I love to race, I don’t need to have spectators or a finish line to get the most out of my body during a workout. I rode 132 miles raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation in October with Taryn. It was my longest ride ever, and it didn’t even feel all that hard. It was part of an Ironmanish Day of close to 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running with a group of phenomenal people.

 

The year is not over yet, but my biggest achievement of the year was running 68 miles of the Backbone trail with teammates Jess Zaiss, Patricia Lorenzi and another longtime tri friend, Amy Berkin Chavez. For more info. on that adventure see Jess’ story, because it is phenomenal! It was an epic day and I loved the entire experience. The training for this mentally and physically prepared me for the big day. I knew it would be hard, but I kept a positive and grateful attitude the entire day. I truly believe it was my mental toughness that got me through the 68 miles even more than my running.

 

Do you have any new goals planned for 2021 and beyond that you'd like to share? 

 

I am thinking about running a DIY stand alone marathon aiming to run my fastest time ever. Right now my PR is 3:28:23, but I know I can run faster. I’d love to create a local course and have some fast friends pace me for parts of it…SO much fun, right?? I also want to do the 4/4/48 running challenge of running 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours in January. I will most likely do that locally with some friends.

I am signed up for Oceanside 70.3, but doubtful that will take place. IF they start opening up Ironmans, I may jump into one late in the year. After racing Kona in 2017, I felt like I was finished with that race, but I have changed my mind. I would love to qualify again and have a stellar race there, (which hasn’t happened for me yet!)

As a life-long Los Angeles Dodger fan, how did it feel to watch them win the World Series this year? 

 

A M A Z I N G!!! I have been going to Dodger games since I was a child. I become a different person when watching a game..I scream, jump and get SO excited. This year we finally won after being in the Series 3 out of the last 4 years! My boys are also huge fans, as well as so many friends so watching the game, texting and calling everyone was just the BEST !!! I’ve had a personalized Dodger jersey with the number 20 since my 20thbirthday, so it was just so apropos that they won it in 2020!!

It will be fun to watch Lynne continue to raise the bar in 2021 for her DIY and "official" race goals, and I look forward to logging many more miles together so I can have a front row seat to the action





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