Tell us about yourself. I am 36 years old, a wife to a great guy and mom of two amazing kids who are 9 and 11. Originally from Long Island, I came to Oswego for college where I met Kevin (my husband). We moved to Boston for a short time and when it was time to raise a family we moved back to Central New York. I teach water fitness part time at the North Area Family YMCA and occasionally yoga there as well. I also teach yoga at Tai Kai BJJ and Mixed Martial Arts in Liverpool, and a few other places locally.
Who is your hero? Honestly this is not something I have put much thought into. There are many people I look up to in many ways because they invoke in me a feeling of inspiration and WOW. When I see someone doing something they never thought they could do, that they did what they set their mind to do–that is to me what makes a hero.
What is your athletic background? Ha! Athletic background! Me! NOT! I was one of the least athletic people ever growing up. I have been trying to remember my best mile running time in high school, and I honestly believe it was over 19 minutes. I can almost guarantee that I didn’t run the entire thing; I walked most of it. I was a theater/music girl in school.
What are your triathlon strengths and weaknesses? I feel my strongest event in triathlon is the swim. While I may not be the fastest swimmer, I am confident in the water and I just keep pulling. Now if I could only swim straighter. As for weakness, the run. I hated running! Never, never, never thought I would do a triathlon because of that. But once I began running with a good friend (Maria Bradshaw, you know it’s you), I realized that it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought. Though it is something I still mentally struggle with (as my coach and husband will attest to when it comes to certain run workouts, I get the look or get lectured for whining….which I really try not to do…but…).
What was your first triathlon and what do you remember most? My first triathlon was a Y not Tri put on by the North Area Family YMCA over at the Cato Recreation Center in the summer of 2010. I had run my first 5K a few months before and had a friend who was participating in sprints and I thought, well if she could do it and I can swim and she has a difficult time in the water, then I can at least try this triathlon thing. It was a 400-yard pool swim and a nine-mile hilly ride and 1.5-mile track run. There are two things I remember most about this event–having the other participants and coaches and family members cheering everyone on! After I had finished and was talking with my family and friends I saw the last few people out there and the gal who got me into triathlon and running has gotten it into my head we are much like the Marines, NEVER leave anyone out there alone. So, with Maria in my head, I went out there and ran along the wonderful woman I now know to be Mary Moore to keep her moving forward to finish her first triathlon too!
What is your favorite race and why? Hands down my favorite race is mini-Musselman. I have participated in the sprint since 2011 and the past two years have volunteered in the water during the half ironman distance the following day. It is well organized. The support from the local community and the racers is outstanding and the Finger Lakes area is just so beautiful. This was my first sprint race and so it holds a special place in my heart because I felt so supported and welcomed by all the athletes in my age group and the volunteers and just everyone I encountered there. This is my go-to race every year. One day I will do the Double Mussel.
What was your worst race and why? Worst race would probably have to be Cayuga Lake Olympic Tri last year (2013). Not for the race itself, because it is a beautiful course and very well run, but for bad fueling and mechanical errors. There is a good size climb right out of T-1 so you don’t really have any momentum to get up the hill with much speed. Not to mention that I had not really been training on hills and wasn’t very proficient in where my gears should be. I dropped my chain about five miles into the 25-mile ride. It wasn’t just dropped, but I jammed it in the crank. So I was off my bike, “attempting” to get it out with a stick, when the neutral support truck came up and got me set. They even held my saddle and gave me a push back onto the course. After grumbling through and trying to get a decent ride in, I had a great T2 and pushed too hard on the first loop of the run. As I came back in toward transition my husband was there cheering me on and just as I hear him my quads start to cramp! The kind of cramp that you can barely walk let alone run. Regained some composure, but was not happy with how I felt the rest of the race. So my takeaway from that race was to train some more hills, gain confidence climbing and better pacing on longer runs. And how to fuel properly!
What races are on your race calendar for 2014? Syracuse Half Marathon (pictured at left), Green Lakes Tri, Syracuse 70.3 (my first 70.3), Mini Musselman, Cayuga Lake Olympic, Corporate Triathlon, Dave Parcells Madison Triathlon (Conn., an ocean water sprint triathlon), Wineglass Marathon (my first 26.2).
What are this year’s goals? Finish strong at Syracuse 70.3 was goal No. 1. (This was achieved and exceeded!) Have no issues at Cayuga Lake. (This too was accomplished! Huge PR even if I subtract my estimated time off the bike from the previous year). Finish my first full marathon (currently questioning my sanity with this training).
In five years you hope to … Just be happy and healthy. Not setting too many long-term goals right now. Just trying to be the best me I can be.
Something most people don’t know about you. I was a zookeeper. I worked at Franklin Park Zoo in Boston for a few years before moving back to Central New York.
What triathlon has taught you. To endure. Physical pain, mental struggles, they will always be there. It is how you face and push through them that make the outcome better or worse. Keeping positive through that struggle to endure and strive and survive. My motto this year has been Suffer, Sweat, Smile, Succeed! In life and in triathlon.