DC Triathlon Club

2019 Member Spotlight – Heather Prochnow

February, 2019

Heather Prochnow 

Quirky tid-bit no one knows?  I love true crime/murder.  I am obsessed with a number of podcasts and TV shows, but my favorite podcast is “My Favorite Murder” (check it out and become a fellow murderino!)

What do you think about when you’re swimming so many yards?
I do a lot of “swim math” – I look at the pace clock at every 25 and estimate pace per 50/100/200/500 and so on. I count strokes occasionally. I try to assess my form and concentrate on forming better habits (not breathing off the wall – a bad habit I formed after graduating from college and not swimming for years on end! also, hand placement in the water, high elbow pull, breathing every 3 strokes when I pull).
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
when i first started long distance triathlon training in 2014, I had just purchased my TT bike and decided to head out for my first 50 mile bike. It was to be my longest bike ride to date (that I can remember) and I was flying solo. My new TT bike did not have bottle cages yet, but I had a cool little pink backpack that I “filled” with 2 single serve packets of almond butter (for fuel, obviously – i had read almond butter was good for you but didn’t quite grasp the context or when/how to eat it) and a single 24 oz bottle of water. let me set the stage – It was >90 degrees outside. I lived in the country, so I had no plans (or ability) to stop at a gas station to “refuel”. to my knowledge, a 50 mile ride meant DO NOT STOP UNLESS YOU HAVE TO. i headed out, euphoric and excited about the estimated 2.5 to 3 hour adventure that lay before me. At mile 18, I stopped and consumed one packet of almond butter, which immediately turned my mouth into sandpaper. I forced it down, not understanding the thrill of almond butter as an athlete, and drank about 3/4 of my bottle. Around mile 30, I was getting pretty warm, so I pulled over a second time to finish my water bottle. And that was it. Two stops total for some water and sustenance. My downhill came around mile 40. With 10 miles to go, my pace slowed to <10 mph – but the effort I was exerting was a 9 to 10 on the RPE scale of 1-10. thankfully, Illinois is FLAT except for overpasses and at mile 48, i approached THE overpass for the second time on my out-and-back ride. I nearly fell over off my bike i was struggling so bad. i crawled back into town, left my bike in the grass outside the front door and literally crawled into the kitchen – more than 4 hours after initially leaving the house. i used the refrigerator door to lift myself up and poured myself three glasses – water, chocolate milk, and orange juice. i drank none of them as i passed out on the floor shortly after. not too much time later, i came to on the floor surrounded by my glasses of various liquids and crawled into the bathtub because it felt like my skin was on fire. i had severe heat rash (and potentially early signs of heatstroke) and with the help of a friend via text, googled at home remedies for treating my symptoms. somehow, i survived. in conclusion – heather messed up BAD. don’t be like heather.
Bonus: Laurel or Yanny? Is this like the blue/black versus gold/white dress? SMH.
Read more about Heather here: https://www.dctriclub.org/heather-prochnow/