Multiview 4: Carola Chaurero

18 Mar

Carola is one of my teammates. She is impressive because she’s admitted that riding her bike in traffic makes her nervous but she does it anyway. You’ll read about her history in the water below–she started out last year with NO SWIMMING ability. But did she let that keep her from getting into triathlon? Nope. Last week, we went to Whole Foods together and the majority of what she purchased was for her dogs. She is a big time animal lover and an unapologetic poster of puppy pics on Facebook. She is also a huge Seinfeld fan and has a dark, sarcastic sense of humor. So we get along really well. Here’s Carola’s story:

Name: Carola Chaurero
Hometown: Maracaibo, Venezuela
Current Town: Miami, FL
Sport(s) of Choice: Endurance/Triathlons
Longest Distance Covered and on what (feet/bike/skis/snowshoes/etc…): 29.2 International Distance Triathlon
Occupation: New Business Director at Alma, a Hispanic Advertising Agency

How long have you been participating in your sport of choice and what got you into it in the first place?

I started training for triathlons just a year ago, when by pure peer pressure and a little bit of a teammate annoyance (she knows who she is), I was pushed into the sport. To begin with, I didn’t know how to swim. More so, I didn’t even like to get into the water, not even to cool off during a beach day. My idea of a beach day was just to lie on the sand and get a tan–did that rhyme?

But before getting into triathlon, I was running. That inspiration came from a friend from back home, who currently lives in North Carolina. He and his wife are avid marathoners. One day after seeing his FB status update indicating that there were x amount of days left for the Chicago Marathon registrations to open, I asked him if he thought I could run it, and of course he said “of course.” This was in 2010. I registered and trained with them virtually, until I hurt my knee and had to go through therapy. Bummed about not making it to Chicago, I signed up for the ING Half Marathon in Miami as a consolation. The day I registered I updated my FB status and a friend from high school, who also lives in Miami, told me she was doing it and that I should join her group. The friend: Karla Rooks. The group: Alien Endurance. This is how I became one of Coach Andy’s aliens.

Describe a typical training day.

Training days vary, but one thing is constant: waking up at 4:45 or 5am everyday, except Fridays. I wake up earlier because I have two dogs I must leave fed and walked. I follow the schedule as much as I can to get my workouts in. Mondays are recovery runs. Tuesdays & Thursdays we swim. Wednesdays we have a bike ride. Saturdays & Sundays we do bricks, which is either a combination of swimming and biking, or biking and running. Sometimes, swimming and running. To that, we need to add speed and agility class on Wednesday nights, bridge repeats (that’s going up and down the Rickenbacker bridge in Key Biscayne) on Thursday nights and strength training, which I suck at. It’s a tough schedule, and I confess I haven’t been able to do everything it says in one week.

What do you eat?

I’m not very good when it comes to eating. I’ve never been a big eater nor am I someone who salivates at the thought of food. As a little girl I ate because it was my pass to go out and play with my friends, just like brushing my long hair. I eat because I have to, and quite frankly sometimes I don’t do it very well. On top of that, I’m a vegetarian, so I’m limited with what I can eat on the go. I’m not big on cooking, but that said… I try to eat a lot of grains and greens. I have big smoothies to which I add protein powder and chia seeds. My breakfasts include a bagel with peanut butter, especially on training or race days, and a smoothie and coffee. Lunch can be a sandwich, pasta or grains I’ve prepared at home. Dinner is the most difficult one, because I get home tired and the only cooking/serving effort I can do to feed the dogs, because I am a responsible dog mom.

How do you balance work-life and training-life?

Well, work-life is the priority because it pays for the training-life. In general my two worlds get along very well. I don’t do a great amount of traveling, so I have the time to train. I think in that sense, I have it easy.

What are your goals? Either short or long-term? How are you preparing for upcoming races?

In terms of the sport, I would like to do a Half-Ironman this year. My goal is to do the one in Augusta, GA. Our coach says it’s one of the best ones to do. Additionally, there are races our coach wants us to do as a team: Trilogy #1; Escape to Miami & Miami Man, apart from the upcoming Nautica in April. Last year I completed 7 races. This year I won’t do as many, but will train harder, especially if I’m doing the Half-Ironman.

Can you recall a particularly challenging moment in training or racing? How did you deal with it?

See below.

Any interesting/funny/inspiring stories you want to share from training or racing?

I think my signature story is the one where I almost drowned in my first race. I still didn’t know what it was like to swim in open water, much less in a lake. I discovered that day the huge difference between salt water and sweet water swimming: the buoyancy. The water was cold and as soon as I put my head into the water my heart started racing and I couldn’t breath. It was terrifying. Yet, I threw myself into the water as soon as our wave was called. I swam a few laps and asked for the floating device. I rested a little bit, threw it back and continued swimming only to ask for it again. I made it to the shore 19 minutes later with the device. I was obviously the last one and, yes, disqualified, but I continued racing until the end. I was so happy to be out of the water, I jumped on my bike and continued like a champ. I made so many other mistakes, yet I finished with a huge smile on my face, and feeling like I had won first place overall! I feel very proud of that day. Very. And I now swim.

Talk to me about equipment/product. What do you wear? What do you ride? What gels do you like?

I can tell you that now it’s easier for me to go out shopping for tri apparel than for regular clothes. For swimming I like to wear men’s long lycra shorts. They are much more comfortable and I don’t have to worry about something sneaking out of my bathing suit.

For running I wear Newton shoes. Aliens are known for having a thing for Newtons.

In terms of apparel, the majority of my clothing is Zoot. I like the brand but also I have been lucky enough to find great deals at tri stores, so it’s a preference that is based both on performance and pocket.

I’ve traded my Nike dry-fit caps for Alien Endurance ones. I’m very proud of wearing my team’s name and colors as much as I can.

I ride a Cannondale road bike, which I bought brand new for $600 when I started last year. I really didn’t want to make a huge investment on a bike, as I didn’t know if this sport was for me. Now, I’m open to the possibility of a triathlon bike. Let’s see how things unfold so I can get one.

In terms of nutrition, I like the Gu gels, but I’m starting to try other ones Hammer, the ones with the “Bees” that are all natural. I used to fill my water bottles with Gatorade, but now I just throw in a tab of electrolytes. I will start testing with more natural things like coconut water (which I confess I hate) mixed with other organic concentrated juices. Let’s see how that goes.

A little piece of equipment I absolutely love is my Garmin Forerunner 310. I cannot live without it. At the beginning of my last bike ride I was having some problems with it. It wouldn’t turn on. I felt so lost. How would I measure the distance? Heart rate? Time? Cadence!!!???? I felt like I had lost my cell phone.

Any advice for the “noobs” out there?

Don’t be discouraged if you are not good at any of the three sports, or all three of them together. Training makes a difference. Work hard, stay focused and you will see the magic happening. If anyone ever says anything about you being slow or makes a light joke about you almost drowning, believe me, it can only make you better!!

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself or your sports life.

I think I’m living the best time of my life. I wish I would’ve started 10 or 15 years ago, but I am also a true believer that things happen at the right time, when they really need to happen. So now it’s my time and I’m enjoying it as much as I can. Mind you, there are days I just don’t want to train!


6 Responses to “Multiview 4: Carola Chaurero”

  1. Magui Quirino March 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Well I was not going to miss reading about Carola multiview entry. A few thoughts:
    1- I’m surprised Carola didn’t mention me
    2- I’m surprised Carola didn’t mention me
    3- I’m surprised Carola didn’t mention Bandido
    And last but not least….
    4- I’m surprised Carola didn’t mention me

    That’s all, Folks!

    Keep up the good work, Edith!

    PS: I want hear about Andy Clark’s multiview and Alessandra’s eventually too.


    • mymultipersonality March 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      Ale’s is coming tomorrow. Andy hasn’t sent his back to me yet. YOU need to do one as well. If you’re into it, I will send you the questions. But I know you’re on vacation.

    • iwanttobeatriathlete March 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Sorry, Mags… soooo many people to thank! LOL… To be honest, one of the things I like about the Tri environment is how triathletes help give their support and tips. It’s a great community of athletes helping others in good faith. Magui, you’ve been one of those, of course. You’ve pushed me with the swimming always giving me confidence even when I still sucked at it. 🙂 Love you, and I love Bandido even more! 😉

  2. Amir March 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Go Carola! And to the previous post, go boobies!

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