PTC Member Spotlights: Alyse Phillips

On the eve of Happy Valley 70.3 (2023), we wanted to spotlight a couple of our members competing in their very FIRST 70.3 distance triathlon race.

Back in December 2022, Philadelphia Triathlon Club hosted weekly Ask Me Anythings (AMA) for anyone curious about triathlons. Although Alyse had a long history in endurance sports via running and completing multiple marathons, triathlon was a whole different area. It has been amazing following along with Alyse's growth and development and she takes on triathlon head on with Happy Valley 70.3 being her first triathlon race!
1) Why did you pick Happy Valley as your first 70.3/first Triathlon?
IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 were two challenges on my bucket list that I thought we’d tackle later in life, but somehow, some what, some stroke of the universe’s brush are happening now. When they announced that the first IRONMAN 70.3 was being held in Happy Valley this year…it felt right. So we’re here. We’re doing the thing. 
Happy Valley  and Penn State gave me more than I ever could have imagined and helped mold me into the person I’ve become. I can’t think of a better place to start my journey in becoming an IRONMAN. 

2) Tell us about some things you learned preparing for your first triathlon with primarily a running background.
Haha! I laughed when I first read this question…mainly because I learned pretty early on in this triathlon training process that I’m a runner at heart. I LOVE running. It breathes life into my soul. Swimming and biking? Not so much. BUT I found enjoyment in the quiet, repetitive, rhythm of the pool at 5:15AM. Plus, the strength and fitness I picked up while biking translated quite well into the run. 
On the flip side, I found that the fitness I’ve built over the miles of running half marathons and marathons, made learning swimming and biking pretty easy! I have the fitness, it’s translating it to a new medium that’s the focus now! 
3) Describe a moment during training where you experienced a set back and how did you overcome it.
I knew life would be a bit crazy this year, but it became a lot crazier than expected the last couples months. All really beautiful things!!! Just all happening at once. Mentally, it took a serious toll on me. There were days and weeks when I made decisions to shorten or cut training sessions because of time, energy, and fatigue. If you don’t already know, mental health and physical health are very much related. I learned to do what I could, when I could, and be okay with that. Not ideal, for sure, but that’s life.
4) What has been your favorite triathlon-related purchase so far this year?

First: That Triathlon Life (TTL) water bottles and stickers!!! :) I’ve been following Paula, Eric, Nick, and Flynn for a bit of time now (YouTube, Podcast) and it was so fun to support TTL as a newbie triathlete! Their community, store, and stories are awesome - check them out! 
Second: My First Tri Suit / Kit!! People gave great recommendations for tri suits/websites, but to be honest, I didn’t love any of the colors. I got an email from the IRONMAN Store about a sale and saw the coolest looking kit. Soooooo I went with that! :) Yes, I was apprehensive about having IRONMAN across the front when I haven’t complete a full yet, but it reminds me each time I put it on that I’m working towards a dream, taking steps to achieve a goal: Becoming an IRONMAN. 

5) What are you looking forward to the most on race day?
Celebrating strength. Pushing myself, physically and mentally. Seeing my family at the finish line. And a cup of creamery ice cream afterwards! :) we love a sweet ending. 

Go Get Em Alyse!
Farther Together