You have a swimming and water polo background, correct? What intrigued you to try triathlon, and why does the sport seem to be a good fit for you?
Yes, I started swimming club at age 8 and competed in swimming through college for Macalester in St. Paul. At Macalester they also had a varsity water polo team, so I picked that up and played there for four years. For cross training in the summers I didn’t want to swim, so I started running. My sister started doing triathlons a while back but she hadn’t competed in a while. People kept telling me I should try one but I didn’t have a bike. Finally last July I bought a bike to commute to work, and a few days later signed up for my first triathlon. I was still running and swimming, plus now I was biking, so I had no excuses not to try a triathlon. Once I finished my first I was registering for my next a day later.
Is swimming your favorite of the three legs?
Swimming is the definitely the easiest part of triathlon for me, but it’s definitely still hard. Usually by the second half of the swim I’m thinking I’m ready to be on the bike, so I think the bike portion may be my favorite, at least lately.
What do you like the most about competing? What drives you during training and out on the course?
I think the competition piece is what really drives my training. I know if I give my best each training session it will pay off come race time. I love racing because it is when you get to see that hard work in action, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I finish. And I can’t lie — I’m a competitive person at heart and I just like to race.
What’s the best triathlon tip or trick that you’ve learned?
Be prepared for anything. The weather is never as predicted — it can be cold, hot, wet, etc. I always over pack. I put my transition necessities in my transition bag but usually have extra everything in the car. I keep a list of all these items to also simplify packing for each race, otherwise I’d definitely forget something!
Take us through your race. You were really quick out of the water, then what happened?
T1 was long and I was feeling a bit tired trying to sprint to my bike, but I was looking forward to the ride. The wind seemed to be blowing north so the first stretch of the ride going south was one of the slowest with a bit of side wind blowing me around going east and west. The north stretches were awesome, close to 32 miles per hour with the wind at my back, so I tried to take advantage of that as much as possible. I came in right around my hard bike goal time. T2 was nice and quick, and setting off on the run I knew it was mostly going to be about surviving and maintaining a moderate pace as it felt like it was approaching 90 and it was slightly difficult to breathe. The run course has about four decent hills each lap to make for an extra challenge. The run is always the toughest for me mentally. I counted my steps for about the last mile to distract myself and help me get to the finishing chute. It felt great to be done.
Where will we see you race next?
I think I’m going to sign up for the Square Lake Triathlon short course, but I’m also racing Life Time Leadman 125 in Bend, OR on September 21.