World champion Ironman triathlete Leanda Cave once told me that she and her fellow professionals were amazed at how age-groupers could juggle full-time careers and train for Ironman races. Carolyn Rohde is one such age-grouper who managed transitions between Ironman training and work.
Mark Davis: You have a pretty high-powered job, Manager of Investor Relations with Electronic Arts.
Carolyn Rohde: Yeah. I’m in charge of managing relationships with our shareholders and our quarterly earnings process. It’s a tough role and there’s a lot of travel associated with it. I love my job and I’m obsessed with my job. I just wanted to make sure that work always came first and that triathlon training wasn’t getting in the way of anything and that I was able to balance it all appropriately.
MD: How did you juggle it when you were on the road?
CR: YMCA pools are wonderful things. You can run anywhere so I always got my running in. Cycling was a little bit harder because not every gym has a spin bike. And then every hotel has a gym that you can do strength training and core, even some yoga moves. I had this attitude, I’m just going to do the best that I can under the circumstances. Usually I travel three or four days at a time which isn’t that much and it’s ok if I don’t do everything perfectly. Do what you can. If that means getting up and doing thirty minutes of core and stretching because that’s all you can fit in before your 7 am breakfast meeting, fine. What I learned about Ironman training is it’s all about being consistent. It’s about doing something every day. It’s amazing how those little somethings add up to remarkable progress and can get you to the finish line of an Ironman over nine months.
MD: I understand that your CEO, Andrew Wilson, also trains with Coach Franks. Did you guys ever talk about it?
CR: Yeah, Andrew was really supportive and he was so excited that I was going to Kona. I think Andrew aspires to go to Kona someday as well.
MD: So you felt that you had his and the company’s support.
CR: Oh absolutely. There are so many triathletes in the company, everybody was rooting for me. And my boss was unbelievably supportive. Every day he would ask me, so how did your training go today and what’s on the calendar for tomorrow. Not because he thought that it would affect my job but just because he was genuinely interested. I just really appreciated that because without his support it could have been really hard to pull this thing off. Everybody in this company that I interact with our CFO, the COO, Peter Moore, they’re like we’re going to track you, send us your details. They were asking me questions about the race; they were really engaged and excited for me. I felt like everybody had my back. It was really cool. I even wore my EA sports triathlon shorts during the whole event because they’ve been so supportive of me.
Next up: How Carolyn Rohde fueled her body to get to the finish line.