After running 6 marathons and 8 half marathons, I was looking for something to “jazz things up”. I was feeling a bit rutted into the same routine. One of my longtime friends was once an avid triathlete and she asked me to sign up for the 2012 Lake Stevens Half Ironman with her. And so I took a swimming lesson from another friend to learn how to do the freestyle stroke and I bought a road bike (road bike because I was sure this would be my one and only triathlon so why get a TT bike??) and signed up. Two (2) months into training my friend backed out and it was just me – training alone. I felt euphoric at the finish line and well, the rest as they say is history!
What has been one of your greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
First of all, I still giggle when I hear someone refer to me as an athlete. I don’t think of myself as an athlete. I digress… my biggest accomplishment? I finish Augusta 70.3 in 5 hours 35 minutes. That was HUGE for me, since my finish time for Lake Stevens 70.3 was 6:35 and for Boise 70.3 was 6:52! I shaved an hour off my best time and have never felt so amazing after a race!
What is the most challenging thing for you to do in triathlon?
Without question the swim. I just don’t enjoy it that much and I’m not very fast.
What was the scariest thing you have had to do? Are you glad you did it?
The scariest thing I’ve ever had to do related to a triathlon race was the swim in Boise. I totally panicked in the cold water and felt like I couldn’t breathe. I paused and then pushed through, but took on some water and ended up throwing up along the way. It was scary to feel that overwhelming irrational fear.
Super glad I did it. I almost quit, and if I had it would have been a very long car ride home.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
I have a very demanding job and I’m a mom, a wife, a grandma, a daughter, I love to quilt, read, bake … trying to balance all of the demands on my time and properly train without letting anyone down is hard. I sometimes (a lot of times) feel stretched pretty thin.
I manage it all with spreadsheets, to do lists, a loud alarm clock and an occasional melt down (my poor husband usually takes the brunt of it, but I believe Alissa has also had the pleasure). Oh and I’ve also learned to accept getting dressed out of a laundry basket and to sleep in an unmade bed.
I don’t know if it’s the best advice, but here’s some recent relevant advice…
Speaking of melt downs... The day before my Augusta 70.3 race I was having one of my many meltdowns. I was having mechanical issues related to bike assembly after flying and the expo mechanic was swamped and couldn’t get me in. I called Brad in a panic (7 am his time) asking him to step me through fixing my bike. After it was all said and done, Brad said, “remember to stay in the moment and enjoy the race.” It was great advice, because I’m always thinking about tomorrow or next year – and so often I forget to enjoy today, right now. I thought about that during the whole race and it made a big difference. I can remember more details from that race than any other I’ve done.
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am in life without every little decision I’ve made along the way. Therefore, regret is something I do not do. Learn yes, but regret no.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My family. Nothing is more rewarding than your kids telling you how proud they are of you and to hear them bragging to their friends about what their mom can do...