2016: The Year of Kona

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I’ve been meaning to write a recap of 2015 and put a list of goals for 2016 together and hey now, it’s nearly halfway through January. So here goes nothin’:

While last year led me across the world and gave me experiences that I will never forget, it was all somewhat bittersweet. I didn’t get to accomplish everything I wanted because of that one time I crashed my bike during a race, lacerated my liver and then kept pushing myself. It took 5 months for me to heal. I am finally feeling back to my normal self. It has been weird being able to work out without pain and being able to push myself in work outs again. It’s finally starting to feel like I am getting back in shape. However, there is still lots of ground to make up.

This year, I am hungry. Hungry for the chance to compete at the level I am capable of being at, which I didn’t get to fully realize last year. It was a tiny glimpse at Ironman New Orleans. But in my second race of the season, that door was slammed shut, leaving me reeling.

So this year, my heart is dead set on making it to Kona. Whatever that takes. I have put together some pretty lofty goals with my coach, Craig Paiement. However, the scary part is that they are all very real and possible. I heard once that “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough.” This is true.

So some of my goals for 2016 are:

  1. Win my age group at Ironman Texas and qualify for Kona
  2. Defend my title and win Ironman New Orleans 70.3
  3. Finish in the Top 25 at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships
  4. Go to Kona and enjoy the experience

So there you have it in black and white. No making excuses or being scared because my dreams are out there for the world to see. And you can help me accomplish this with another year of your unwavering support.

Another big leap I am taking this year is beginning to coach athletes on my own. I already have 2 very brave clients who have put their faith in me to help accomplish their goals. Now I will open that up to the public. If you would like to take a chance on me, I am opening up 5 coaching opportunities for athletes. Whether that is swimming, triathlon or getting in shape. My coach Craig has taken me on as an Associate with EXO1 Coaching, and I could not be more thrilled to work with another mentor. Please check out our website here and let me know if you are willing to take a leap of faith with me and your lofty goals. I think we can accomplish some incredible things if you are willing to take a gamble and trust the process.

 

Thanks and keep on dreaming for 2016!!!

 

 

 

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The Road to Ironman thus Far

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It has been what seems like a very long time since I began my Ironman journey back in 2012, when I clicked a button and $700 later, was signed up for the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe in 2013 with a group of friends from Team in Training. I didn’t really know what I was signing up for or what to expect. How many hours, sacrifices, and heartbreak it would take to get me to that start line. All I knew is that I wanted to finish. But then, I came across the finish line in 4th place and missed a Kona slot by 8 minutes. Fate is fickle that way.

I changed gears and upped the ante and set my sights on Ironman New Zealand in 2014. Training through the winter and then traveling to the other side of the world in the end of their summer made for a very interesting journey. I shaved an hour and a half off my previous time, was the first amateur female out of the water, and went a best time of 3:47 in the marathon. However, this was only enough to get me 9th place in my age group. Back to the drawing board.

Decided to hedge my bets, and put my sights back on Ironman Lake Tahoe. Homefield advantage, lots of family and friend support, and a course I knew like the back of my hand. But fate had other things in mind. A fire blazed across the mountains and smoke threatened the athletes on the morning of the race. Merely 3 minutes before the start of the race, everyone’s days and Ironman journeys were ripped apart as the race was cancelled.

Time for Plan B. This meant Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2015. A new coach, a new state, a new job, a new journey across the country. Things in the season started off better than ever, with an age group win at Ironman New Orleans 70.3, but things changed quickly. At Challenge Knoxville in May of 2015, I took a spill on the course and lacerated my liver. Little did I know that this would set me back for the rest of the season, causing me to cancel my date with Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Fate wanted to challenge me.

Fast forward to the Ironman World Championships in Kona 2015. I woke up that morning with my heart racing in my chest and this uncanny feeling inside me that 2016 was going to be my year. I would be in Kona in Kailua Bay next year. My mom called me that Saturday and told me she had a dream the night before that we were in Kona and that I was racing. Goosebumps raised on my skin. I wondered if fate would let me get my chance with Madame Pele.

So now: Plan C. Ironman Texas. Flat, fast and sometimes unbearably hot. Less than 6 months away. I will do everything in my control to make this the race that I have been waiting for all this time. I somehow know that I was not ready before now to be where I am. Things have all lined up now, and this is my year. To tackle fate, and take control of my destiny.

Ironman New Orleans 70.3 Race Recap

Well, it actually happened. I set out this year to qualify for the World Championships, and I can now say that one of my goals has been met. Ironman 70.3 World Championships and Austria, here I come. Perhaps one of … Continue reading

2015: The Year of World Championships

Hello Friends and Family-

I hope this New Year’s Eve finds you well and happy, setting new goals for the year 2015 and enabling yourself to follow through with them.

This year, for me, saw some of the highest highs and the very lowest low. From west coast to east coast, from legal assistant to swim coach, from life to death, and more. From this year, more than any other, I have learned to appreciate life. Things don’t happen the way we plan, but you just have to roll with it and see what happens. Ultimately, life leads you to where you are meant to be if you let it.

For 2015, I have some personal resolutions to better myself.
1. Going for another round of sober January.
2. Eat primarily vegetarian throughout the week.
3. Put myself out there and make more friends in Indiana.
4. Qualify in at least one World Championship event whether it be Olympic, Half Ironman or Full Ironman (or dare I say all of them).

Whatever next year brings, I want to do whatever it takes to fulfill my capability in triathlon. I think this is definitely in the realm of possibilities if I really dedicate myself to making this dream of mine come true.

To everyone out there, I wish you only the best in the New Year. Smile and be content that you can go out there every day and do at least one thing you love. If you don’t have something to get you excited to wake up every day, then make changes to make this happen. I promise, it will change your life. Even better, make that one thing you love into a career if at all possible.

2014 thanks for the life changes but I’m ready to make things happen in 2015. Cheers!

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This Year, I am Thankful to be Cancer Free

Most of you don’t know, but after a routine check up with the doctor after moving to Indiana, I had some abnormal test results come back. A call from my doctor gave me the worst news of my life: I may have cancer. I haven’t said anything to this point, because it is something I am still processing. It was something that I could not wrap my head around. It just didn’t seem real. I didn’t want to say anything to the general public until I knew it was something or if it turned out to not be anything at all.

They referred me to a specialist for the area of cancer and I waited the 2 very longest weeks of my life for a biopsy. I did research and hoped for the best. Then, I sat alone on the table, tears rolling down my face as they took the samples for testing. It would be another few days before I got the results. The specialist told me that is was definitely pre-cancerous cells and could be the early stages of cancer. They gave me a pamphlet and I left as fast as I could. The pamphlet gave me probably the worst news that I could imagine, I may never be able to have kids. I have never cried so hard in my life.

I was thousands of miles away from my family and my friends. I just had my boyfriend Matt telling me that it was going to be ok. It was my triathlon coach, a two time survivor of cancer, who gave me the most comforting words of everyone, “I’m sorry you have to go through this.” I went home to be with my family as I waited for the news, to see if my life would be changed forever. And that call finally came, the results were negative for cancer…for now. I still had pre-cancerous cells that could still turn into cancer, but for now, it was not. I have to go back for a check up in the next few months, to make sure that nothing has turned for the worse. It’s the weirdest thing knowing there is something so lethal inside me, potentially laying in wait to strike when I could least expect it.

So I have chosen to live life even more. There’s no time to waste. The thing I have noticed the most, is that I just smile at random strangers more often and strike up more conversations. We never know what another person is going through from the outside. But a simple smile just can lighten up the face of someone you don’t know, and that is a great gift to be able to give at no cost.

Thanks for the positive words of everyone, I will continue to keep living life as it was meant to be lived, with as much adventure and fun as possible. Love and health to you all.

The C Word

Cancer.

Something you think about from time to time, feel sympathy for, not understand, something that happens to other people and their loved ones but not something that could ever really happen to you. Wrong.

A couple weeks ago, I went into the doctor’s office for a normal check up, no big deal. Then I had some test results come back as abnormal. The doctor calls me up and says “It could be cancer.” I’m 26. I am extremely active, healthy, have never had any major medical issues, this couldn’t be happening to me.

They referred me to a specialist. My appointment was this morning. Uncomfortable, terrifying, horrifying that this was actually, really happening.

The initial prognosis is pre-cancerous cells. They took biopsies and sent them off to the lab. Hopefully they will be back by friday. If it is something, it is in the very early stages. But even if it’s not cancer now, it can potentially turn into it later. Or it could all clear up on its own and go away.

I’ve never understood what it was like to have something uncontrollable in your life until now. It’s not something I can see or feel yet, but it’s still there. Never really guessed this would happen to me or I guess so early in my life. But I guess cancer doesn’t really take that into account.

I don’t understand why this happening. There is still so much more in my life that I have left to do. I’m not done living yet, whatever the results may be. I’ve never been one to ask for people to send positive thoughts my way, but if you could, please do. I know I have my family, friends and Team in Training community behind me in this.