This post has been a long time coming, actually it feels like that's how most of my posts end up. But, alas, thanks to the Scicon case I have so much extra time after packing my bike for Cartagena 70.3 this weekend that I am finally sitting down to write.
I'm a triathlete again! I know how it sounds,
"Wait, so you were a runner, then triathlete, then cyclist, and now triathlete again?"
It sounds like I am indecisive (not completely untrue) and all over the place but I promise you, it was all a necessary part of my journey back to the world of swimming, biking, and running.
I was burnt out after running in college. I loved my team, the program, the coaches, but my personal struggle with trying to be the best dug me into a hole that it became difficult to climb out of. There were days I would eat no more than a few carrots, or nothing at all, and my mind felt like I was in a trance. My body just a vehicle to move around campus, my mind foggy, my eyes filled with stars. But, I was on the cross country team! I was running so well and it was clearly because I was not eating and running 95-100 miles per week (kidding). Oh, my training plan said that I was supposed to be at 98 miles this week and I was only at 97.45 after Sunday's long run, well of course I needed to run the extra .55 miles around the parking lot!
This worked for one season then the string of injuries began - stress fracture, near tears of both of my Achilles tendons. It was exhausing, one thing would heal and the next injury would come. To make a long story short, I felt that running wasn't for me anymore. So I decided to train for an Ironman (maybe I didn't realize at the time that this still included running). But who was I without running?
In 2012 I signed up for my first half ironman and the rest is history...until 2013 when I realized I still hated running. Instead I decided to ride my bike. All the time. As many miles as I could per day. Oh, you did 95 miles today? I did 106...for the past three days. This didn't make me a good cyclist but it gave me some sense of purpose each day.
In 2015 I raced in Italy on a professional cycling team. It was...interesting. I always tell people that while I don't regret it at all, I wouldn't do it again. In 2016 Jono Coulter and Lindsay Bayer took a chance on me to race on their new Hagens-Berman Supermint Pro Cycling Team. I will forever be greatful to both of them for that opportunity when at the time my future was so uncertain. The people and the team were a MASSIVE change from 2015 and continually exceeded my expectations (you mean we actually get to drink beer and eat ice cream after a race?!).
In the offseason I decided to dabble in triathlons. I started to "train" which mostly included running a little, swimming an hour three times a week, and sprinting through a long run on Sunday. It was refreshing and fun and I was SO happy again! So happy to feel the high of a great run, or the water rushing around me diving into the pool. I knew it was time to go back to triathlons. I always knew I would but I just wasn't sure when it would happen.
I sent a desparate email to Siri Lindley and essentially spewed my story while asking, begging really, for her to consider coaching me. Thankfully she agreed. The first week we started working together I eagerly checked my training schedule and quickly realized I had not really been training. Six weeks later (including two weeks of nothing due to illness) I raced Miami 70.3 and qualified for my elite license.
This brings us to December 1st, 2016. I have my elite license and passport in hand ready to head off to Cartagena, Colombia for my first professional triathlon race on Sunday. While I always tell people, "oh, I have no expectations for myself, I mean its my first pro race, I'm just going to go and enjoy the experience," that is totally false and I do have expectations for myself. Big expectations and big goals. I know these things take time and most of the time I am impatient. I have no expectations for myself but this weekend and every race I know that I will push my body to the limit, harder than ever before. Regardless of the outcome, this is what I love about triathlons. There is no other sport where I have ever felt I could push myself so hard, past any limits I had, a true test of the mind and body over 70.3 miles.
So with that, I'm back and all in!
Professional cyclist turned professional triathlete living in Boulder, CO.