I know your dad competes in a lot of triathlons, but was this your first triathlon?
Yes this was my first one. I spent my childhood going to my Dad’s events and always thought I’d like to try one myself, so I finally bit the bullet!
What made you decide to do this particular event?
I loved the idea of the Nautica malibu triathlon because it raised money for a really important cause – the LA childrens hospital and pediatric cancer research. It made the training and effort totally worthwhile.
How long did you train for beforehand? Were you on a rigorous training schedule?
I started training properly around 3 months before the event. I had always been a swimmer and runner but never a cyclist, so that was the leg I focused on the most. It was tough to follow a specific schedule as my work dictated when I could and couldn’t train, but I somehow managed to fit it all in. I tried to swim and run once a week and cycle twice. I also cross trained when I could.
You are a very healthy eater anyway, but did you have to change your diet to prepare for the race while you were training?
I had to increase my carbohydrate intake to keep my energy levels up. I also tried to stick to healthy protein and vegetables as the base of every meal. I also drank coconut water frequently to rehydrate. I definitely indulged a little more than normal because I was burning plenty of calories. I can’t go a day without chocolate!
1:44:34, ok number 1, that’s AMAZING. And number 2, how did you keep yourself motivated during the race? That’s a long time to keep up your endurance and strength!! Did you have a particular mantra that pushed your forward?
It was probably one of the most painful things I’ve ever pushed myself through. I knew that my body was capable of finishing so it was all a mental game towards the end. It’s not in my nature to give up, especially when I was participating for such a great cause. On the final leg, the run, I kept repeating to myself ‘when you’re legs give out you run with your heart’. The great crowd and loud cheering helped too!
What did you do to celebrate afterwards?
My Dad flew out to support me, so he and I went and had a big breakfast together. It was really special to have him there. I then followed it up with a 3 hour nap!
You and your family are very philanthropic, I know your sister volunteers in Africa, and when you are in Atlanta filming Vampire Diaries you help out at a women’s shelter and look after the new born babies. Was this something that was instilled into you from a young age by your parents?
Absolutely. I was always taught about the importance of giving back and helping those less fortunate. I think it’s also incredibly rewarding. One of the greatest gifts in life is giving. Giving time and giving love. It helps me to stay grateful and happy.
What advice could you give us on participating in charity events like the Nautica Malibu Triathlon and volunteering? Any tips on how to get involved?
Just sign up! Once you have made a commitment it’s easy to stick to a training schedule. Especially with the knowledge that you are raising money for something so special. And volunteering is equally as helpful! There wouldn’t be a triathlon without those great people on the sidelines. It’s such a great experience and I would encourage everyone to have a go!