Monday, November 20, 2017

The One Who Made Me Want To Do It...

As I said in yesterday's blog post; I made this list. Yesterday I blogged about my favorite professional triathlete. Today's blog post gets more into the "who" that made me think about doing triathlon back what seems like ages ago. I have two triathlon idols. This first one is no one other than...
I bet you may have heard of her. She started out as a swimmer. After not qualifying in 1988 or 1992; she represented the United States at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta where she won a gold medal as part of the 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay. She then entered the sport of triathlon where she made the 2000 Olympic Team in Sydney Australia; in which triathlon made it's inaugural debut. She went on to get 6th place for the women. I remember how excited I was that one of my favorite swimmers represented in sport I knew nothing about. Sheila then went on to represent the United States again in 2004 in Athens Greece. She placed 23rd that day for the women. I was still super stoked for her.
So going back to why I put her down on my triathlon idol's list. Well she's the one; the one who got me thinking about doing triathlon one day. I said to myself; "If she can do it so can I". I was a sophomore in college at the University of North Texas in Denton Texas. I was swimming on a masters team at the time under a coach I really really did NOT like. When I was at the recreation center at school one day I saw a sign for the UNT Triathlon Club. I didn't tell anyone that I was going to attend the meeting to find out what it was all about. Not just did I join the UNT Triathlon Club in January 2004; but I completed my first sprint triathlon with my new triathlon friends in March 2004 at the Athens Texas Sprint Triathlon. I completed my first triathlon; placed third in my the 19 and under gals age group and was HOOKED on the sport and it was not just because I podiumed. To this day I THANK Sheila for being the reason I started this wonderful sport. My friends; that is why Sheila Taormina is one of my triathlon idols.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Why Is She My Favorite...

I decided to make a list some time ago of my favorite professional triathletes. When it came down to it; of all of them, I only have one. Can anyone guess who it is? I know such a hard question; LOL! The truth is my all time favorite professional triathlete out on the circuit right now is...
In all seriousness it's not just because she is my coach; but a little bit of has to do with that. Heather has been a professional triathlete for at least 10 years if not a few more. She hasn't always been the top professional on the circuit and at all the races. This past 2017 triathlon season was full of mostly top 10 performances when it came to professional women's field at her 70.3 distance races. So she wasn't at the top but she had several solid performances; at least in my point of view. But when it came down to it she was pleased and happy with how her races went. That's something I learned from her; to be happy and pleased with the outcome of my race. She has also made many comebacks this year. The first comeback I saw her make was coming off a DNF (Did Not Finish) at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga in May to then finishing Ironman 70.3 Eagelman in a respectable 4:44.28 which is really fabulous in my eyes. I was out at Eagleman that day volunteering and it was a HOT one, so I could never fathom racing in that kind of heat again. But the most amazing comeback I think she made was getting back to training and a bit of racing after being hit a by a tractor trailer over the summer. She was able to walk away from it with only some bruises and such and thankfully her bike was ok as well; but it must have been scary to have been out there on the roads alone and have that happen. I admire her for getting back on the bike. I dunno I just really look up to her in general. So thanks Heather. Thanks for teaching me to have good values as an athlete.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Swim

After a good and bad week of swims with L4 Swimming Masters; I had a GREAT swim today. My third swim of the week is always from my triathlon coach. I was concerned that today my body was still recovering and still be shot from Tuesdays L4 Swimming workout where I swam almost 1300 yards of butterfly at practice. Last night at masters I felt defeated only doing 2000 slow yards at a slower pace than normal. I was worried to day my mid distance swim from Heather would be the same.
The main set was very much like a going down the ladder in distance swim. I was not so pleased with the 400, 300, 200, and 100 moderate but I took it in. The paces per 100 meters were not that bad; but I felt I could have pushed harder than I did. The next part of the main set included a 300, 200, and 100 negative split (where you get faster throughout the distance given) and my splits were actually really amazingly fast. Pleased would be a good way to explain how I felt about that.
The second part of the main set then went to a 200 and 100 as fast as you can. I broke 3 minutes and 30 seconds for the 200 which is really good for meters. I was excited that I got my 100 time down to 1 minute and 43 seconds; which might be an all time best during a workout in the meters pool. Last came the DREADED 4 by 150s Pull only using a pull buoy between the legs; no paddles allowed. I was trying to go under 3 minutes for all four of them but I didn't quite hit those splits for two of the four. I'm ok with it; I really am. So all in all not a terrible mid distance swim workout on this Friday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Coachable

So ever since I hired Heather to be my triathlon coach back in October; I've been using the hashtag #coachable. Maybe I think to much about things but I really like being coached; especially by Heather. Getting up every morning; it's great to see workouts in TrainingPeaks that I must accomplish at some point. Especially right now; it keeps me accountable and keeps me from being lazy in the offseason. Though I decided to just go short next season with traithlon; I have some HUGE GOALS to get done. I'll share those goals after I talk about them with Heather; but I do have some in the making already. I like the variety in my so called Heather workouts I get for the week; which include Tuesday runs, Wednesday bikes, Friday swims, Saturday bikes, and Sunday bikes and runs. I have to say as much as I complain about the Friday swim workout sometimes; I do enjoy that one the most once I'm done. I also just like having Heather in my life to be brutally 100% honest. Even though I've only known her for a few months now; she's able to understand that sometimes I have tough days and my workouts may not get done all the way as planned. We've talked about this more than once but she's happy that I'm making it through on tough days. It's good to have her support; it's something I haven't always gotten when I've been coached. I'm committed to being coached by Heather through October of 2018 but something tells me this is just the start of an awesome journey (and a blooming friendship) with Heather.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Zoom 2.0

So the twinster and best friend have agreed that they don't like my new(ish) QRoo Kilo Zoom 2.0 because he isn't yellow like Zoom was and with that they won't have any chance of finding me at races BUT I am in LOVE. Zoom lasted for 10 traithlon seasons with ups and downs and all arounds; but sometimes you need to move on. This is a combined birthday and Hannukah gift from Dad (that i'm also helping pay for) for at least the next two years. Zoom 2.0... as your new owner I PROMISE to take the best care of you and ride you with oh so much happiness through good and bad times. So happy tomorrow is Wednesday and that we get to ride outside (even if its freezing). I can't promise I'll be FAST but at least we'll look good.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Weekly Rockstar

Which I need to remember. A good swimming friend of mine, Sarah, suggested I share my story with the Triumph Project (because she shared her story and was featured a few weeks before me). Jeff Fairbanks; uses the the Triumph Project to have triathletes share their stories to help inspire him and other triathletes. My story was featured last week as the Weekly Rockstar.
I was diagnosed with depression during my senior year of high school in 2002. I didn’t find the sport of triathlon until the start of 2004 when I was sophomore in college at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas due to the fact that I grew up as a competitive swimmer. Before triathlons came into my life I didn’t have a good medicine to rely on except the medicines I was taking that my psychiatrist prescribed. The medicines kept me stable but I didn’t have anything that made me happy and brought me joy. For the first several years as a triathlete, I didn’t realize what a big impact the sport had on me or on keeping my depression at a stable level. The summer of 2008 was very tough. I had several intentions of taking my life and one very bad attempt that could have accomplished what I was trying to do. I was in the Dallas, Texas area at the time but my family was in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC where I had grown up. After the suicidal intentions and that one attempt I had to pack my bags and all my stuff to move home to be closer to my family that fall. The day after I got back to Maryland I went to seek out a therapist (psychologist) to talk to on a daily basis. The first therapist I went to see started asking me about what brings me happiness in life. Right there and then I told her all about triathlons and my time in sport and the accomplishments I have so far achieved. She was the one that told me the sport of triathlon has definitely helped save and shape my life as well as becoming my best therapy and medicine. Through the years, I have gone through so much tough stuff- like losing my mom in an accidental fall to losing some part-time jobs to finding what I am meant to do in my life. The sport of triathlon has given me a reason to believe I have achieved something great and worthwhile. Even if it’s hard to get in the pool with my masters swim team, get on the bike to do a training ride, or even lace up the shoes for a long run- once I get started and get moving I feel so much better. I don’t know if it’s the endorphins or just the fact that I’m in the moment that helps me. I can truly say, I have achieved greatness in the sport. Over thirteen years I have completed dozens of Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, eight Half Irons, and three Full Iron distance triathlons. Also, I can’t forget to mention, NINETEEN marathon finishes since 2011! If that doesn’t say much, I don’t know what does. My therapist is sure correct; triathlon is the my BEST medicine and therapy for keeping my depression from spiraling down to rock bottom. It keeps me going and I am grateful and thankful for it.
When things get bad and life seems tough; I need to read this and remember this.

Friday, November 3, 2017

HERevolution Team 2018

Got an email the other day saying that I made the HERevolution Team for the 2018 Running and Triathlon season. I am very excited about this opportunity. I've seen the brand but have not worn it but I believe highly in what HERevoltion is all about (at least in my words). With the sport of triathlon and running evolving so much since I started back in 2004; its great to see so many brands that are catered just toward women. The colors and designs look fun and exciting. I can't say so much now bu I'm honored to be part of a team where us women support each others endeavors that makes all of us feel good. More to come as I find out more about this amazing team.