About Me

No one would have ever thought I would be a triathlete.  I wasn't exactly the ideal athlete when I was little.  My parents signed me up for swimming lessons and after repeating several of the same classes over and over, I finally could freestyle swim just well enough to get across the 20 yard (maybe?) spot that I needed to swim across in order to be allowed in the deep end.  Swimming and I weren't quite fit for each other.  Other sports were not so great either.  I did well in softball for a while, but only because my strike zone was so small that I got to walk to first most of the time.  

Running was not my favorite either--when my mom suggested I join the cross country team in high school, I told her, "why would anyone just want to run for a long time for a sport?!  that sounds awful!"  Where I really thrived though was gymnastics.  I grew up spending 20 hours a week in the gym and eventually competed for Western Michigan University on a scholarship.  I eventually picked an Exercise Science major because I loved doing strength and conditioning.  I even married a member of the men's gymnastics team from my club team. (aww, cute!!)

WMU Gymnastics 2006
Brian, my husband competing
for Temple University 2006
When I graduated from college, and my gymnastics season ended, I moved to Washington, DC and became a personal trainer.  Always looking for something competitive, I ran my first half marathon in 2007.  Yes, somewhere along the way I started to LOVE running!  I was really content with my half marathon distance until my best friend from the gym where I worked, Ben, pushed me to do a marathon with him.  I was actually pretty good!  My first marathon time was 3:20. 

My first race!! Shamrock Half Marathon
March 18, 2007 1:39
Ben and me at the Disney Marathon
January 9, 2009
From then on, Ben and I did several races.  He somehow convinced me that I could do a half ironman... even though I sucked at swimming.  Ben and I did our first half ironman in September 2009 just a month before I married my longtime boyfriend (I mean really long, we'd been together since senior year of high school!), Brian.  Up until the half ironman, Brian had been a spectator at all my races, but after that, he decided to become part of the action.  Ben, Brian, and I continued to train and race--sometimes together and sometimes separate.  
Me and my biggest fan!  Augusta Inaugural Half Ironman
September 27, 1984  5:41:49

Last year, Ben decided to train for an Ironman.  He didn't drive so he asked me to drive him up to Lake Placid and cheer him along.  On man, it was all over for me then.  This race looked brutal, but I finally felt ready to take on the beast.  Watching Ben cross the finish line at the end sealed the deal.  I was signing up ASAP.  Ben loved the finish of the race so much he was ready to do another one too!  As soon as Ironman Louisville 2012 opened up, Ben, Brian (did I mention that he hadn't done a tri before?), and I signed up.  Isn't it funny how a little girl who could barely swim and hated to run turned into a triathlete?!

Moments after the finish line!  This is Ben finishing the Lake Placid Ironman
on July 23rd, 2011 15:00(ish?!)

In October 2012, Ben was tragically killed when a branch fell on his head while he was walking to the bus stop.  My race buddy was gone.  Brian and I now had a new reason to train--to honor the man that should be training right there next to us.  While it was tough losing such a close friend, I feel a little better knowing that maybe on race day he'll be cheering me on from above.

I started this blog as a way to remember my training.  I don't claim to be the best writer, but hopefully you find this blog to be interesting, informative, and sometimes funny :)  Happy reading--I'm going to go on a bike ride now.