My Season of 2012
My 2012 race season has officially come to a close. Looking back over the season, I feel the focused training began in December in St. Louis, but the really difficult training began back in January in Clermont, Florida. The winter/springtime training is one of the toughest times of the year physically; when you are pushing your body in training to get the most out of your body later on in race season. The hardest part of the season mentally is just before those key races.
This season was my eighth year competing as a professional triathlete and I feel it was my best season to date. Looking back on this year, I can’t forget where it all started; back in 2004 racing an ITU race in Tempe, Arizona as my first Pro race. My first triathlon however, was back in 2003 in St. Louis, Missouri.
Remembering that first race back in 2004, it’s wondrous how much I have learned not only about the profession of the sport of triathlon, but also about myself. Every year I have continued to learn more and more about how to become a better athlete and strive to be a better person. I suppose that is what experience is all about; becoming more wise and building upon the foundation of knowledge acquired in youth.
Back in 2004, I had the fundamentals that drive someone to keep after their goals and dreams. I raced with passion, heart and determination. I loved the raw emotion of racing and getting the best out of myself. Today I embody all those characteristics, but I have grown in many aspects. One of my biggest growths is taking personal responsibility for getting the best out of me and listening to that inner voice. That inner voice is key for an athlete to be able to back off when the body really needs time to heal or know when it’s okay to keep pushing through and trying to find that perfect balance. The more the years go by, the more you realize how little you do know, but moving forward I am striving to continue to learn and improve.
That first Pro race back in 2004, it was my first open water swim, first time getting on my bike with my cycling shoes already on my bike (it took my several minutes to get going out of T1!) and my first draft-legal triathlon. That first race was tough, as any triathlon should be, but it was the starting point for me. I would not have imagined back then everything I would have accomplished since that first race; including all the highs and lows that are part of sport and all the life lessons learned on and off the race course.
Looking back over my 2012 season, I had many highs with one notable “low”. Looking back, I don’t really see my “low” (missing the Olympic Trials with my 8th place finish in the WCS San Diego) as a failure. Although I fell short of my goal in missing the Olympic Team, that race was the hardest I pushed myself all season. Knowing how hard I pushed both mentally and physically in that race, in the preparation leading up to the race and in the race itself, I can’t consider it a failure or a “low”. I simply did not accomplish the number one specific goal, but that does not mean other goals were not accomplished. Of all my races this season, I am the most proud of my performance in that race. I left nothing out on the race and attacked that race 100%. Yes, I may have made a couple of tactical errors, but so many aspects of that race were positive. I did not start on the line in London, but I had the opportunity to race at home on US soil in the non draft format. My strength is in the non draft racing and I was able to have one of my most successful seasons ever, with eight wins. A triathlon race is never easy, it’s not supposed to be, but expecting the most out of myself race after race is one of the toughest parts. I fully appreciate each and every one of my wins this season.
Each time I get to that start line, it’s not the single efforts of myself. I have a whole community of people who I rely on to help me get to the start line and compete. Just like in any profession, the more you embrace other’s knowledge and help and the more help you give back to help others; the more you will be successful and grow.
To try and be brief is tough, but I want to recognize those who have helped me this season and who I hope to be able to give back to as well.
Triathlon is such a mobile sport, I don’t feel that I have one home! I always feel I have that hometown support in Colorado Springs and Clermont Florida as well as in Missouri and Minnesota. I can’t quite list everyone who contributes to my 2012 season, so those of you not listed know that you are appreciated.
Gear For MultiSport: Grogan’s always there for me when I need anything Tri related
Suzanne Gross: MAT specialist who puts athletes 1st in getting us ready for races
West Orange Massage: Keeping my body and mind running smoothly thanks to Matt Howe and Emily Tornatore
Chiropractor: Alex Keith: Thanks for the dedication to wellness helping always
OTC: 50 meter indoor training pool, food services, training rooms and sports medicine (Flower, Dustin, Amber, Dr. Moreau and Sheri).
Brad Carlson: MAT specialist with a one of a kind passion to help others
Kim Kirkland: massage and therapy session wrapped into one
Jacob Smith: always there to help in the lab
Bob Holtby: helped me get to the start line healthy the past two years and open my eyes wider
Mike Doane: swim coach at the OTC, but he’s been there with me since the beginning
Andy Schmtiz: always there to help no matter what
LIfetime Fitness West County: Thanks for always providing top notch gyms and 25 meter indoor pool 24/7
Fleet Feet Run Club: Giving my Dad and brother that starting point for them to become healthy and fall in love with an active lifestyle
ShowMeCables: Helping me get my start back in 2003 and still having my back today
My loving, supportive family! Mom and Dad for giving me the opportunities back when I was five to start swim team and still supporting me at 31.
LIfetime Fitness Clubs: Proving places to train when I am visiting over the holidays when it’s usually zero degrees.
Family and friends: Thank you for supporting Nate and I on our journey. We look forward to the future memories at Lake Elysian and winter holidays.
A special thanks to Joe Santos from Davis Wheelworks who is always there to help with any bike related need and helping me achieve my goals.
I also want to thank my agent Amy Stanton and Stanton Company for all their support and hard work this season and season’s past.
I especially want to thank my supportive sponsors, who I am proud to represent on and off the race course.
Fuji, Toyota, TYR, Rudy Project, PowerBar, Zipp, ISM Adamo, Oval Concepts, Speedfill, Sampson, Quarq, Training Peaks, Computrainer, DISC, NormaTec MVP, USAT
Last but not least, my coach/bike mechanic/”bag carrier….as he calls himself”/the usual cook in the household/training partner/spider killer….all wrapped into one…my loving husband; Nate.
Thank you all for helping make 2012 a success. I look forward to the future everyone…one day at a time!