Monday, November 18, 2013

Who I am and Why I Do This

It seems that a part of being a teammate involves introducing/re-introducing myself:  who I am, what I do, why I do it.  I am more proud of My Boys and my athletes than myself, and I don't post a lot of "what I do" all the time.  It's more likely you'll hear about my family and coached athletes than about me.

I began my running "career" at age 35 (in 2002) when training with a long-time friend of mine, who pleaded with me to be her running partner in order to keep her motivated and focused on her goal.  Shortly after our first half marathon, she stopped running for a time while I continued running half marathons - frequently with my mother.  She eventually, a few years later and nearly 100 pounds lighter, came back to running.  She went into it gung ho for her first marathon while I remained a "halfer" and took on Team In Training as a Team Mate and later as a Mentor and then Team Leader.  Along the way I "picked up" people who ran with me, or I ran with them depending on your point of view, who were looking only for a consistent pace and a positive mindset during the runs.  I became what I call a Companion Runner.  I didn't run a single race for myself or for an intentional PR until I decided to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  And, even then I had a difficult time swallowing that I was allowed to run for me and for a selfish goal.  Beginning in September of 2009, I set out with really only one goal in mind:  Qualify for Boston, and PR in every distance I could before Boston 2011.  Which I managed to do without injury or set back.

I am married to a police lieutenant who has been by my side and supported me "no matter what" for going on 23 years.  An accomplished athlete himself, he also has "sipped the kool-aid" and is dabbling in Triathlon.  On his 50th birthday this fall he completed his first Olympic distance and has fallen even further into the sport than I thought possible.

I am the mother of this year's Youngest Competitor at Ironman World Championship.  My 18 year-old son qualified for Kona at only his second 70.3 and had the rare privilege of standing on the podium with both Craig Alexander and Pete Jacobs in Hawaii this past June.  His Kona experience what not what he had trained for, hoped for, or imagined.  But, he DID race, and he DID cross the finish line.  And, by his own admission, did NOT go to the med tent as did do many others that day.  He and two teammates from Revolutions:  Triathlon Coaching (Shannon Coates - Team Timex, and Kate Harrison) were blessed to race and have their coach, Chuck Kemeny - IMWC Finisher, 2009 , present with them the entire journey.

56:12 swim time - top 100 overall
In the hot corner -
no passing zone leaving T1

Yep, that's the finish chute.
He did it!

My 12 year-old son just stepped up his game from year-round swimming, middle school cross country, and kids' tris to "game on" adult sprint distances.  Already placing in the 19 and Under age group(s) he is ready to follow in his big brother's foot steps and see where the multi-sport world will lead him.  I can only imagine where we will be with him in just a few years.  He cold be even faster than his brother.

If it's not fun he won't do it,
and you can't make him.
Speeding toward the finish line and
a 3rd place 19&U award.


Now, 11 years later, I am an a multi-time finisher in Boston; I am an "ironman" having just completed my first 140.6 at Beach2Battleship on my 46th birthday in Wilmington, North Carolina; I am a running and triathlon coach working with some of the best coaches and athletes in my area (Revolutions:  Triathlon Coaching);  I am qualified by more than 12 minutes for the 2014 Boston Marathon; and I will again take on the Beach2Battleship course in October.  This year I will be training with a dear friend who has been in chemo and radiation for the better part of 18 months and wants nothing more than just to simply cross the finish line of a 140.6.  I can't deny her the feeling of wanting to accomplish that.  As her training partner and secondary coach, I'll be right there with her every step of the way.

I am not the "uber" competitive athlete my son is.  But, I have a heart for all things endurance sport related.  I hope to bring to Big Sexy Racing my passion for helping the person next to me do their best and achieve Big Sexy goals.  I find that once again, I am in the position I am most comfortable with:  The companion runner (swimmer, cyclist, training partner); the eternal "Pollyanna Coach."

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Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation

Mac's "SwimSTRONG" Foundation
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