Triathlete, Ironman competitor, marathoner, wife and mother of two
What is your sport and why do you love it?
Triathlon (swim, bike and run). I love it because you get to be challenged (and work on) multiple sports. There are always many different areas of improvement for each sport individually and how they combine together.
Tell me about your athletic history?
I've been involved in sports since I was a kid, starting with soccer and track and field. After tearing both my ACLs in high school, I learned much more about integrating strength training into my routine. In college I played ultimate frisbee but injured my shoulder. I never thought I could be involved in long distance running given my prior injuries, but after college I tried it and I never felt better or stronger. I have since fallen in love with triathlon and pushing myself in multiple sports. I have completed 18 half marathons and 4 marathons (including the Boston Marathon at 7 months postpartum). I've completed triathlons from sprint through Ironman distance. Today my main focus is half ironman (long course) distance triathlon.
List your top 5 athletic achievements so far in your life?
Qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Winning the Best in the West Olympic Triathlon, Sept 2019
Finishing my first Ironman, Ironman Canada, July 2017
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon (California International Marathon, 2014)
Competing at Nationals in Ultimate Frisbee, Delaware Sideshow Ultimate, 2006 & 2003
Who inspires or has inspired you?
I have been especially inspired by the women in professional triathlon racing who have children, and have not let that stop them from pursuing their dreams. I also have been inspired by the athletes I coach who help show me that we can find joy in the journey at any age or experience level. Finally, I am inspired by my husband who continues to push himself, even through the challenges of Type 1 Diabetes.
Why did you want to participate in this Female Athlete Project?
To help show that the female body is incredible, beautiful & strong. And that there is not an age limit on staying active and doing what you love.
Why do you think it is important to keep active as we age?
I think keeping active as we age helps us feel better for more of our lives. We can maintain health and independence, continue to explore and adventure.
What obstacles have you faced over the years trying to stay active in your sport/compete in your sport?
Prior to my involvement in triathlon, I was active in soccer and ultimate frisbee. During those sports I injured both of my knees and my right shoulder at various times, all of which required surgery. When I started running and triathlon, I thought this past history might hinder me and my training. However, I ultimately believe that staying active has helped me keep these prior injuries from causing further pain or other issues. I was also able to stay active through two pregnancies, which I believe helped my healing process. Having a background in multiple sports allowed me to stay active even as pregnancies progressed.
What would you tell the younger version of yourself?
Keep showing up and do the work. Be brave and aim for those big goals. Life is always full of ups and downs, but you are stronger than you know. You are worth the hard work and the adventure. Never underestimate the power of your mind and belief in yourself. KEEP HAVING FUN!!
What keeps you going?
I love the challenge, continuously learning and growing, and being able to overcome setbacks. I’d like to be an example to my kids that growth comes from working hard, and that they should never give up on their goals even when they feel big or scary.
Advice to other women about staying active as we age?
Start wherever you are. It doesn’t have to feel perfect. Moving our bodies some is almost always better than doing nothing. Find something you love to do -- there are SO many ways to stay active and move.
Best memories in your sport?
The feeling of nailing a hard training session. The feeling of accomplishing a big goal, or totally outperforming what I thought I could accomplish. Two of those moments for me were: 1) Finishing the California International Marathon with a PR of over 40 minutes and a Boston Qualifying time. 2) Finishing Ironman Arizona 70.3 with a 13 min PR, finishing 2nd in my age group, 7th women overall, and qualifying for the 70.3 World Championships.
Another great memory was finishing my first Ironman after many months of hard work and navigating for the first time the balance of training, work and family. It felt like something I never dreamed I’d be able to do, I actually accomplished. The cherry on top was getting to put a medal around my husband’s neck when he finished.
What do you hope you never forget as you grow older?
The beautiful places I have had the chance to explore while training and racing, and the friendships I have made through sport. That every day doing something I love is a gift.
Anything else you want to say about this project?
This is a wonderful project and I’m thankful I was able to be a part of it!