Taking on a New Challenge

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

mikaela ziobro

Mikaela Ziobro MSEL ’15 has run road races before: The Beach to Beacon twice and the Race Runways Half-Marathon two times.

In July, Mikaela will run her first triathlon: Maine Cancer Foundation’s Tri for A Cure. The race consists of 1/3-mile swim, 15-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile run.

“This race will definitely be a challenge and really outside of my comfort zone,” she said.

But Mikaela loves to set new goals for herself so is excited to take this challenge on.

Mikaela began training in early January and she’s already lost 15 lbs.

“I’m doing the best I can to be prepared.  I have a swim coach that is helping me master my breathing and strokes. I’ll be able to do open water swims in June with other women in the Augusta area that are also doing the Tri. I’ve been riding a stationary bike 20-30 miles per week and running a couple of times a week…I just have to put it all together,” she said.

“I am the only person to blame or give credit to if this is a complete disaster or a great success.”

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When Mikaela is not training for a triathlon or spending time with friends and family, she works at Thomas College as the Senior Director of Graduate & Professional Students and Events & Conference Services. In May, she’ll celebrate 13 years at Thomas.

“I enjoy the people that I work with and the students that I’ve met. I appreciate the opportunities that Thomas has provided me personally and professionally over the years,” she said.

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Mikaela said she’s most worried about the swimming portion of the race. She says she’s not a strong swimmer and has a slight fear of open water.

“I know that I’ll prepare myself enough to ‘get through it,’ but I’m excited about the opportunity to maybe do better than that.  I know that I will experience a great deal of pride – and relief – when I achieve this goal,” she said.

In terms of health and wellness, Mikaela says “mental health is the engine that drives the ship.”

“I periodically let work and life struggles drag me into a rut that leads to poor eating habits, little or no exercise, and all stress management skills go out the window,” she said. “We all know what we ‘should’ be doing on a day to day basis to keep healthy and well, but doing it is often easier said than done.”

Mikaela’s advice for others trying to live a healthier life style is not to get discouraged.

“If you have a bad day (or a bad week), it’s not the end of the world.  Tomorrow is a new day.  Also, try making small sustainable changes that can become habits over time.  I’ve gained weight, lost weight, and gained twice as much weight back …fad or quick fix diets don’t work.  A healthy lifestyle is an endurance race, not a sprint!”

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If you’d like to support Mikaela on her journey, please consider a small donation that will go to the Maine Cancer Foundation.  Her fundraising page is https://mainecancer.donordrive.com/participant/19990

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