I thought this quote was a fitting subject for my first blog. My triathlon journey has been full of bumps in the road along the way, so this quote resonates well for me. After playing team sports growing up, Field Hockey, Basketball, and Lacrosse in HS and then Division I Lacrosse at Penn State, I began running after college as a way to stay in shape and keep my competitive spirit alive. In 2004 I did my first olympic triathlon, I bought a bike 2 weeks before the race, swam for the first time since high school and finished 6th. I was hooked. I spent the next couple years competing in sprint and olympic races on a very recreational basis. I didn't train too seriously, often just running, no swim or bike training, but still was finishing top in my Age Group. In 2006 I joined a triathlon team, Terrier Tri and I competed in my first 70.3 (IM Florida 70.3) where I qualified for the Inaugural Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater. In August 2007, I was hit by a car while training for the 70.3 World Championships in November. I had 200 stitches in my arm, hand and face. I was out of work and living with my parents for 6 weeks as I was unable to use my left arm or right hand. I also suffered stress fractures in my femur as a result of the impact and spent the majority of 2008 unable to race. Late 2008, when I was finally healthy, I signed up for my first Ironman in 2009, the inaugural Ironman Cozumel. I decided it was time to stop putting my dreams on hold and to focus on racing again. In 2009, training and racing were finally getting back on track, I won the Long Island Half Marathon, was the overall female winner at the Mighty Montauk Triathlon, finished 2nd in my AG and 3rd Female Amateur at Ironman Cozumel (10:25) and I qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, a dream come true.
I had some good early season races in 2010, setting PR's in many of the 70.3 races, then in August during my Kona build, I had another bike crash and suffered a distal clavicle fracture and torn coracoid ligaments which required surgery 10 weeks out from Kona. I was devastated as I was given little hope from several surgeons that I would be able to compete in Kona. But I was determined. I spent the next 8 weeks in a sling, trying to remain as active as I could (a lot of walking and elliptical). The sling came off 2 weeks before race day. I arrived in Kona unsure whether or not I would race, after not having swam, biked or run for 8 weeks. But I decided to give it a go and make the most of the experience. I ended up having an unbelievable day given the lack of training and finished in 10:47:07 with a 3:22 marathon time.
I began 2011 with a PR at the Carlsbad Marathon in January, I finished in 2:59 and 5th female overall. Throughout last season I had a few decent races and a few subpar race performances. I showed up to Oceanside 70.3 in April with very little training. Shortly after the race I suffered a foot injury and was unable to run again until the end of May. I was signed up for Florida 70.3 but could only do the swim/bike. Going into the race I had planned to drop out of the race in T2. Little did I know it was going to be one of the hardest things I ever had to do, the run is my favorite part! I walked out of T2 in tears. I struggled with training last summer and let's just say I spent more time in my beach chair then I did on my bike. I seemed to have lost a little of the fire in my belly and just couldn't get in any solid blocks of training. I was in a rut! I did end up having a decent race at RI 70.3 in July and finished 2nd in my AG and qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. My training leading up to Vegas was suboptimal and I had little confidence going into the race. Since I was not well trained for this race, my only goal was to have the fastest run time in my AG, and I accomplished this goal with a 1:29 on a tough course and on a very hot day! After Vegas, I decided to turn my season around and hire a new coach, signed up for Ironman Cozumel, got my focus back, really enjoyed the Ironman training and most importantly was excited to race again!!
IMCOZ was another amazing day and I finished in 9:57, first female amateur and qualified for Kona. I am excited for 2012 and my 2nd chance at Kona. I hope that I can continue to remain healthy and train consistently thoughout the season! I kicked off the 2012 season with a Win and a PR at the Carlsbad Marathon in 2:53. I have alot of races coming up and I'll do my best to keep this blog up to date so you can follow along this journey with me :)