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Attorney Natalie Mayo laces up for a run in Towson, part of her training for the Outer Banks Triathlon, which she and her sister will run next month. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Unbillable hours: A trial triathlon

Across the miles, sisters train to go the distance together in Outer Banks

A typical day for Natalie Mayo might begin at 5:30 a.m., but the Towson-based lawyer is not meeting clients or preparing for hearings at that hour. Before she sets foot in the office, Mayo often clocks in at the gym near her firm to run, bike or swim.

That’s because Mayo is training for the Olympic-distance Outer Banks Triathlon on Sept. 13, along with her sister, Felisha Lang, who lives in the beachfront North Carolina community.

Although Mayo and Lang live some 350 miles apart, the sisters are using the same 12-week Shape Magazine training program, and they keep in touch daily through texts and phone calls to make sure they’re staying on track.

“We both are competitive, but we really are in it together,” Mayo said. “We work together to make sure that both of us have a support system. We’re both there cheering each other on.”

Mayo and Lang hope to complete the race, which will consist of a 1,500-meter swim, a 24.5-mile bike ride and a 10-kilometer run, in three hours and 45 minutes. The training program they’re using varies by day, but it consists of anywhere from an hour to two hours of exercise per day with one “rest day” each week, Mayo said.

“If I have a hard day or a hard workout, I’ll text her about it,” Lang said. “It just helps to know there’s somebody who feels the same pain.”

Mayo, 28, is an associate at Smith, Gildea & Schmidt in Towson. Her practice focuses on complex civil litigation, including catastrophic injury cases, business dissolution and some personal injury, she said.

The nature of her job often makes it difficult to fit in the day’s training session, Mayo said.

Natalie Mayo and her sister, Felisha Lang, ran a half marathon together in May and decided to work toward the Olympic-sized version this fall in the Outer Banks. (Submitted photo)

Natalie Mayo and her sister, Felisha Lang, ran a half marathon together in May and decided to work toward the Olympic-sized version this fall in the Outer Banks. (Submitted photo)

“Litigation can sometimes be unpredictable, which is tough,” she said. “There have been days when I’ve got something on and I just can’t make it to the gym.”

Mayo joined a gym near her office to make it easier to schedule pre- and post-work training sessions.

“What I try to do is build it into my day,” she said. “This way, I really have no excuse but to go to the gym.”

Lang, 37, is studying for her master’s degree with a goal of becoming a guidance counselor.

Neither sister has ever done an Olympic-length triathlon, but Mayo recently completed a short “sprint” one, she said.

The sisters ran the Flying Pirate Half Marathon, also in the Outer Banks, in May, and decided to choose another event they could train and work toward together, she said.

“We really enjoyed it, and we were able to hold each other accountable,” she said. “We decided [the triathlon] would be something a little more challenging to mix it up.”

For Mayo, the highlight of the race will be the swimming segment, but she’s not looking forward to the biking quite as much. While training for a triathlon last year, she broke her arm biking just two weeks before the race.

After preparing separately for weeks, both sisters said they are looking forward to putting their training into action in September.

“It’s nice having a partner, even though she’s not physically here,” Lang said. “It’s good motivation.”