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Ironman Triathlon: Commitment in the Office & Through Endurance Races

Many employees at Dollar General follow their passions and goals outside of work. While some of our employees might enjoy more relaxing hobbies like reading, going to the movies or learning a new language, Senior Employment Attorney Katherine Knight spends her time participating in endurance triathlons such as the Ironman.

The Ironman is a 140.6-mile endurance triathlon consisting of 2.4 miles of swimming, followed by 112 miles of cycling and ending with 26.2 miles of running a marathon. All of this must be accomplished within 17 hours. Katherine participated in her first Ironman this past September in Maryland, after months of training.

“Training was tougher than the race itself,” Katherine said. “By April, just about very single morning when I arrived at work, I’d already been up for hours and put in about 90 minutes of running, cycling or swimming. I also had a shorter workout most evenings, such as strength training or spin class.”

Even Katherine’s weekends were consumed with training. “On weekends, I would spend five to seven hours outdoor cycling one day and running two to three hours the other day,” Katherine said. “I also did two half Ironman races (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) in June and July to practice race and nutrition strategy.”

Katherine said she believes committing to that kind of time and effort benefits her as part of the legal team for Dollar General. “Pursuing your passions makes you happier and more energetic, as well as a more focused person and employee,” Katherine said. “In addition, as someone who works closely with the Benefits department and is focused on employment issues for DG, it’s important to me to live the message that physical fitness and wellness can be an important part of your life, no matter how busy you may be.”

While exercise and training are now a major part of Katherine’s life, she said she was not always fitness-focused. “Most people who know me currently are surprised to find out that I did not become any sort of ‘athlete’ until my thirties,” Katherine said. “In fact, I used to be overweight, and I hated exercising.”

Katherine gave some advice to those new to fitness or those apprehensive about signing up for a race. “If you’re completely new to exercise, try everything, and try it with a friend. Group fitness classes are a fantastic way to experiment,” Knight said. “Second, I don’t recommend starting with an Ironman! Set a goal that is realistic, but also somewhat of a dream that you will be proud to accomplish. For example, if you can walk for 30 minutes, you might sign up for a 5K in four months. If you can ride a spin bike by yourself for 15 minutes, make it a goal to be able to complete a 45 minute group spin class at your gym.”

Congratulations on accomplishing such an incredible goal, Katherine!

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