Diana Triana of Austin, Texas has been on the Texas Beef Team for nine years, since the “early days” when the team was much less known and the small membership was stampeding to spread the message of beef as a part of a balanced and healthy diet for runners, triathletes and active families. Described as cheerful, passionate, energetic, outgoing, and infectiously fun to be around by teammates, it’s no doubt that Diana’s upbeat personality, along with countless volunteer hours and races completed in the Fueled by Beef red jersey, has helped to grow the team into the revered group it is today.
Diana originally hails from Columbia and works as judiciary interpreter, holding a Master Interpreter License from the State of Texas along with additional certification from the U.S. Department of Justice. Her significant other, James Collins, is also on the Beef Team and they enjoy training for and participating in 5ks and bicycle races with each other. Together, they have five children in total and Diana mentions, “I have managed to do a 5k race with each of them at least once.”
Diana started cycling in the mid-80s, after the birth of her daughter. “I wanted to get back in shape, so my older brother (who was and still is a great athlete) got me on a bike and signed me up for the MS150 in 1987. It was hard, I thought I was going to die!”
Despite (or in spite) of that first endurance event experience, Diana trained for and finished her first marathon in Madrid, Spain, a year later. Then, in 2009 began participating in triathlons in Austin. Over these decades, she has participated in more events than can be remembered, and says she runs not for the medals but to keep moving, stay healthy, and develop relationships in a like-minded community of active individuals. Today, she is also a certified swim coach and indoor cycling instructor, helping other people meet their fitness goals.
“Six years ago, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a rare genetic autoimmune disease. This progressive disease has taken a toll mostly on my back but I refuse to stop moving. I am treated for the disease and I try to stay as active as possible. I may not run as much anymore, or I may walk/run my races. These days, my personal challenge is not to break any PRs, rather to cross the finish line as many times as possible,” Diana explains.
I will, I can, I am! This is the inspirational mantra that Diana uses to stay focused and motivated and explains the quote “encompasses life itself.” “If you want to do something, you can do it, and be successful with the right mindset and focus,” she explains.
Last year was difficult for many, including Diana. Not having Beef Team and other in-person events made her realize how much she relied on that connection for motivation and accountability. She also sadly lost her father to COVID in August 2020 which added to the struggle. “It was a hard year over all, but it could have been a lot worse,” she explains in her unwavering glass-half-full way. Read on to learn more about this amazing lady!
Three Unusual Things: 1) I love to travel and I don’t mind eating exotic foods including bugs and weird delicacies; 2) I absolutely hate snakes. It’s more a phobia than anything else; and 3) I have sky dived in the Beef Team shirt.
Other Activities: I enjoy yoga, biking, swimming, long walks and hiking – my running mileage has really dropped these last years due to back problems caused by Ankylosing Spondylitis. I am also an active volunteer with United States Masters Swimming, Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and The Language Justice Alliance
Inspired By: I am surrounded by amazing athletes. Everyone is an inspiration to me. Although is it not my sport, my youngest 19-year-old son inspires me – he is a soccer player. I have never played soccer in my life, but his discipline and commitment are admirable. He has overcome challenges, injuries and hurdles but his perseverance has always prevailed because he has so much passion for the sport. He not only inspires me, but teaches me new lessons every day.
Training Group: My schedule is crazy, so it is hard to commit to a set training schedule. I swim with the Red Giants Masters, run alone, and cycle with friends.
Favorite Post-race Reward: A long aromatic shower is my reward. Or, maybe the beer tent post-race with Beef Team buddies and I don’t even drink beer!
Beef Team Memories: The silly performances at the Prime Cuts retreats are the best!
Beef Team Love: I love the camaraderie among the members. We may not know every name of every member, but if you are wearing a Beef Team shirt you belong and you are an instant friend.
Favorite Races: As for a sponsored race, Rookie Tri is probably my favorite because it’s usually the very first tri of the year for many of us and it is great to see so many Beef Team members racing or volunteering before, during, and after the race. For non-sponsored races, Salado Smokin’ Spokes is a favorite because it’s a challenging course and well supported race close to Austin that benefits the Salado Fire Department.
Favorite Beef Cuts: I like tenderloin and porterhouse steaks.
Favorite Recipe: I love carne mechada, a popular shredded-roast beef dish from my home country of Colombia
Pre-race Food: Oatmeal.
Favorite Gear: Brooks running shoes.
Running Music: A good friend runs listening to love songs in Spanish and I always made fun of him. But, I accidentally hit play to one of his playlists at the Austin Marathon about 4 years ago and I was pumped. So, Spanish love songs are my thing now.