“Everything is hard before it is easy.” —Goethe

A year ago, I shared with you my big health goal. For the last year, I’ve been working hard to improve my fitness.

When I say hard, I mean athletic things I’ve never done in my entire life.

From weighted HIIT classes to flipping tires, whipping battle ropes (never thought I’d say that, haha) to doing an unbelievable amount of squats, the time for my first relay triathlon came and went this past weekend.
The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Waco Suspension Bridge - Tri Waco

I may be smiling in the photo above and that’s because the day before the big race, I went to see where I would finish. What a beautiful site, right? Sidenote, that bridge was a longgg finish!

Well, what you don’t know is that within the last two months, I’ve endured some injuries. My injuries were to a point where I was hurting so bad that I couldn’t walk long distances without my feet whimpering.

I contemplated shortening my leg of the race.

But I didn’t say anything because that meant that I had to ask Rachel and Sarah to “downgrade” as well. And this also meant that we’d lose money. So, I just kept training through the pain. A few weeks ago, Rachel came to both Sarah and I to ask if we could shorten our race. She said she bit off more than she could chew and asked if we could consider it.

That’s when I put my pride aside, spoke up, and agreed that we needed to lower our bar. And so, we moved our race from Olympic distance to Sprint distance.

The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Tri Waco - Relay Triathlon

Some tough lessons I’ve learned?


While I experienced physical pain toward the end of the race, my mind helped push me through it all. All these years of reading books, learning from thought leaders, and letting myself be inspired and driven by others’ success has prepared me for the race. MINDSET is everything, y’all.


Although we didn’t hit our team goal, the important thing is that we finished. I’m a big believer that there’s always room for improvement. And if I’m being honest, this was my WORST performance. However, considering I raced with injuries AND in the Texas heat, I’m going to get over my frustrations and accept that I did pretty decent. You know what’s progress? Running in a relay triathlon instead of sitting at home. Just six years ago, I played tennis about once a week and that was it.


A few months ago, I learned I had been wearing the wrong size shoes! Turns out, one of the things that has been contributing to my feet being in pain is that I needed to go up one full size. ::smacks forehead:: Why? Because when you stand, your feet spread out depending on your weight. Also, when you’re running, add 100lbs (if I remember correctly) as that’s the “runner’s weight” you’d be carrying. Insane, right?! My advice if you’re a new runner? Just because the shoe fits, don’t think you know everything. Go and get measured for a proper size and fit at a running store and get advice wayyy ahead of time…before you even begin training.


Bless the police officer who was blaring “Eye of the Tiger” from his squad car. That’s all I’ll say about that, ha!


Big time. In the weeks leading up to the race, I increased my water intake. I also tried to sleep more, but that didn’t happen. However, during the race, when all these Olympian sprinters (age 40+) were running past me, I knew I had to improve everything when I got back home. For me, the only way to get better is to sleep more, drink more water, eat cleaner, release about 30lbs in weight, and go to the chiropractor.

The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Tri Waco - Relay Triathlon Team

I was so excited to compete against myself, compete with my best friends, and push my body to a new level. With injuries, and all!

Our first relay triathlon as a team is in the books and I’m proud of each of us.

The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Tri Waco - Relay Triathlon - Finisher's Medal

The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Tri Waco - Relay Triathlon - beginner runner

You may think I’m crazy or crazy motivated to be running and I must say, it’s a little from column A and a little from column B. Any way you look at it, I think I’ve found something I want to do to stay active and something I truly enjoy.

Now, do I love running? No. I’m not quite there yet. The day I love running is the day I’ll let you know, haha!

The Hardest Race Of My Life - She Sweats Diamonds - Tri Waco - Relay Triathlon - Runner

What I do know is that this is just the beginning of many races to come.

Before I end my post, I want to send a huge thank you to Krystal Schlegel for taking the time to help me by answering my questions. With as many followers as you have, I’m thankful you took the time to respond to my message! This newbie runner is SO grateful for your help, love!

Friends, if you’re a newbie runner, I’d follow Krystal as she runs marathons as I personally believe she gives sound advice!

If you’re a veteran runner, leave me your best tips below!


Huong By Huong
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