The Road To Nationals with Rebecca Peer

train like you mean it, you will undoubtedly see results

  • Hometown: 
    Chelsea, Québec, Canada
  • Sport / Competition:  Triathlon
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  • RM:  How many years have you been competing?
    I am in the middle of my second year competing as a triathlete... but if I'm being honest this is also the middle of my second year biking and running! I've been swimming competitively since I was about 9 years old and competed as an NCAA Division I swimmer in Undergraduate, so I like to think that experience will somehow lend itself to my biking and running. 
  • RM:  What have been some of the craziest things you have witnessed while training, competing or traveling?
    Living and training out of South Central/Downtown LA has certainly provided some interesting happenings during training and traveling to workouts. But, the craziest thing I ever saw was during the Nationals race last year in Clemson. After I flatted twice, I was stuck on the course (since we were on a highway that was only blocked on one side for bikers) waiting for a course vehicle to come pick me up. Because one lane of the highway was closed, there was a fair amount of traffic and the course vehicles were having trouble making their way out. I set up camp at one of the pullouts on the course where a few police men were standing watch. As we were chatting, we see some smoke start to rise from the lineup of cars on the highway. All of a sudden, a black car comes pelting down the shoulder of the highway with smoke streaming from the front hood. The driver side door opens and a man rolls out of the runaway car before it veers off the highway, through some bushes, and crashes into the sign for the funeral home across the street. Luckily, nobody was hurt and the police watched the whole thing from across the street! 
  • RM:  What fuels your competitiveness? What color do you feel the fastest in?
    I think that I am an extremely competitive person by nature! I grew up as the youngest of 4, and my 2 older brothers would turn EVERYTHING into a competition (and still do!). I've also been competing in sports since I was very young, so I think that gave me a good avenue to channel my competitive energy as a kid. Now that I have grown up (a little bit), I've realized that I am competitive because being competitive is fun! I thoroughly enjoy training with my teammates because we are always able to push each other to go faster and train harder and that is always a driving factor for competition. 

  • A wise team member of mine once said "look good, feel good, race good," in reference to our USC team uniforms. I think that reigns true for pretty much everyone (don't lie!). So I would have to say that I feel the fastest in my USC Trojan colors - Cardinal and Gold, and more specifically in our team uniforms, because they look great, the feel great, and they unify us as a team and as a triathlon family. 
  • RM:  How has your approach changed from the beginning of the season to the end to make you a better at each stage as you head to nationals?
    In my first season of triathlons, I would consistently approach the races as an event that started with my favorite thing and ended with my least favorite thing. Ask any of my teammates and they will tell you that I was famous for being one of the worst runners on the team when I joined (and also very likely to complain about running at every opportunity!). This season, I made a commitment to try and improve on my running (... maybe one day I will love to run?) and I think that has made a big change in how I approach a triathlon now. I think that I can see the race from a more holistic perspective now, as opposed to a segmented race, where I constantly dreaded the last leg. 
  • RM:  What is your goal as you head to nationals? First out of the water? Top 10? Best split?
    Funny you should mention goals for Nationals this year... Last year, at Collegiate Nationals, I began the race with an amazing swim, probably the best I've had all season, and I am telling you I was PRIMED for this race - so ready! Then I proceeded to get two flat tires on the bike course and never actually finished the race, haha! 

  • With that in mind, my main goal this year is to actually complete the course! On a more serious note, I would also love to better my times from WCTCC Regionals. I really took myself by surprise with that race a few weeks ago, so it would be great to repeat that again in Clemson. 
  • RM:  How are you feeling? Did you have any injuries you had to over come? Are you peaking at the right time?
    Injuries... every athlete's nightmare! I experienced my first triathlon-related injury at the beginning of the school year, a fractured foot. In retrospect, I guess I knew it was a little risky for me to sign up as the runner for a 70.3 relay with my teammates... but we were all swimmers, and someone had to do it! Besides, how bad could training for a half-marathon be anyway?! People do this for fun all the time... right?  I knew nothing about when you should get new shoes, how to train for a running race, etc. etc. Needless to say, I ended up with a fractured foot and a nice boot to keep me from doing much running at all for about 8 weeks. Once I was free from my plastic boot-prison, I started with 1 mile runs and built up from there. It took me about 6 weeks to get up to 4 miles, a milestone that allowed me to complete a weekly run route with my teammates to the Staples Center in Downtown LA, and I don't think I have ever been so happy to run 4 miles in my life.  Getting back up to speed since my injury has been 100% thanks to my teammates, whether that be training with me through my baby runs post-injury, making Canadian jokes about my boot (how a-boot that, eh?), or pushing me to gain some run endurance post-recovery. They are truly awesome people. 

  • RM:  What is your long view? Where do you see yourself in a few years? Still competing? Working professionals?
    I am currently working on my PhD in Environmental Engineering, which will take at least another 2-3 years to complete. For right now, that's about as far as my long-term plan goes, haha! I have enjoyed being a member of the triathlon team at USC and competing these past two years that I couldn't imagine the rest of my time as a PhD student here without it. Triathlon is addicting, didn't you know?!
  • RM:  When you think about Nationals... what gets you the most excited? The most anxious? Instills the most concern?
    I am the most excited to see all of my teammates on the course at Nationals (along with all of the other awesome competitors!). I think that the most fun races are ones where you get to see your teammates, or people you know, share some words of encouragement (or an unintelligible cry of encouragement if you are like me and lose your ability to speak while running), and drive each other to do better during the race. I am most anxious about competing in my very first draft legal race... yikes! And also about flat tires... 
  • RM:  What equipment changes have you made through the year and most importantly as you head to Nationals?
    This year I bought one of my teammate's old tri bikes - my beloved Baby Ace. She's fast, furious, and looks absolutely fabulous (with me on it, of course). Transitioning to riding a tri bike in triathlons this year has really knocked my bike splits down from last year, sometimes by many minutes. I think that making that equipment change this year will help me get a faster bike time this year at Nationals (fingers crossed for no flats, guys!).
  • RM:  Training secrets? Care to share? Favorite quote?
    I think the best part about training in an endurance sport like triathlon is that there really are no secrets. If you throw down at workouts and train like you mean it, you will undoubtedly see results. Something that I love about this sport is that you really get out what you put in - it takes hard work and time to become a great triathlete, and when someone achieves that status, it is genuinely impressive. The one piece of advice I think is really important for any new triathletes out there is to make sure you pay attention to your weaknesses and work hard to improve in those areas. (And always say yes to ice cream - it's good for your soul!)
  • RM:  What do you geek out on besides Triathlon?
    Oh boy. This article is really going to highlight my better side... I have to confess that I LOVE Harry Potter. It may be quite a serious obsession, I'm not sure because my eyes are blind to all criticism of the passion I have for the world of HP. I have loved these books ever since my siblings let me read them (after they had all finished, naturally). I have probably read each one upwards of 20 times, not to mention the audiobooks... you don't even want to know how many times I've listened to those (may or may not be on my "top 25 most played" playlist!).

  • Other than my very profound (and somewhat embarrassing) love for HP, I love to geek out about my PhD research. I study the US electricity grid, the interactions with the environment, and the influence on these relationships due to climate change. I am totally fascinated with this topic! I love to talk about it, research it, read about it, argue about it, watch documentaries about it - you name it! 
  • RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?
    I can't think of a dream race right now... but any race that involves beautiful scenery is always good, so that would be a place to start! Also, ice cream... ice cream at the finish!
  • Training Tracks: Favorite songs to train/race to?
    I love music! These songs are just a few that I like to listen to as pump-up songs, training jams, or race-day prep anthems... I could go on and on!

  • I Can't Stop - Flux Pavillion
    Headband (ft. 2 Chainz) - B.o.B
    'Till I Collapse (ft. Nate Dogg) - Eminem
    Alors on Danse - Stromae
    Gold Digger - Kanye West, Jamie Foxx
    Papaoutai - Stromae
    Lose Yourself - Eminem
    I Don't Wanna Care Right Now (ft. MDMA) - Lupe Fiasco
    Too Close - Alex Clare
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