Fil Am Tri is honored to have Michelle Carrillo as part of the team. Michelle did not consider herself an athlete until about 2 years ago, as she was training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September 2010. Before that, she told herself she would never do a triathlon because of the swimming component. But she needed to find something to keep her mind off of her husband’s absence, as he was serving a year long assignment in Iraq. That time with him overseas was difficult for her and she found training got her mind off of reality.

Her journey to developing into an athlete began with running. She would do the local Mud Run and ran (mostly walked) the Marine Corps Marathon back in 2004. We all have to start somewhere and she took it even further after. Cycling joined the scene in 2005 when she and her husband signed up to do the MS bike ride (a remarkable 2 day, 100 miles event). Having not trained before this, Michelle said her body paid for it. She even built in “beer” breaks prior to the event. From this experience she chooses to now set herself up for structured training.

While training for her first triathlon (Malibu Sprint Triathlon – Sept 2010), Michelle heard about FAT from her cousin Rosalie. She found out Rosalie was training with the cycling group Adobo Velo. Michelle made it to an open water swim one day and the rest was history. She attends the group workouts as much as possible, and even though she considers her pace a bit behind the rest, she still has fun trying to stay up with the fast guys/gals.

Michelle makes the most of her limited time when not training by spending it with family and driving around her 3 kids to their different activities. Having to travel for work as well, free time is hard to come by so she always welcomes sneaking in a movie or 2 to get a chance to veg out.

Looking back at 2011, her favorite race was Vineman 70.3 in July.  It was her very first ½ distance Iron Man and she had a great experience for so many reasons.  She made it a family vacation, the location was nice, and having her cousin race with her was awesome.  She got to see her kids/husband wait for her at the finish and her sister surprised her there too, making it a truly emotional point for her.  Not to mention, there were a lot of other SO FATs (Southern Cali FAT) racing also.  Her goal in that race was just to finish under cut off and she made it happen. Way to go! She finished in 6:30 so it wasn’t fast but her goal was reached. She feels there really is something to be said about suffering with other triathletes.  It definitely builds a bond.

For 2012, Michelle has 4 races on the calendar – Surf City ½ Marathon, Desert Tri (Int’l Distance), Oceanside 70.3 and will end the year with Iron Man Arizona.  Her main goal is to finish the full Iron Man distance under cut off.  The other races are just for fun.  But if you ask her what her ultimate goal is for the future, it is to keep her life as balanced as possible between swim/bike/running, family and work. She finds signing up for all these events can be pretty selfish in terms of the time commitment involved, and so she encourages we all have the need to have the support of all family members involved since she doesn’t want her own to be resentful. Balance is a good way to go in this busy lifestyle.

Her favorite quotes to share are from the famous UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden.

--“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do”

--"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability."

--"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

Back to blog