I raced mainly Olympic and Sprint distances for 3 years, qualifying to be a member of TEAM USA 4 times and participating in 2 World Championships in Lausanne Switzerland and Montreal in 1999. In 2000, I turned my sights to longer distance racing, qualifying for Kona by winning my age group at the 2000 IM Florida with a 10:09:15 finish, good enough for 9th overall including the pro women. I went on to compete in 4 more IM's, all of which I was in the top 5 in my age group, with my best being a 2002 Age Group and overall Masters win at the World Championships in Hawaii with a time of 10:35:08.
In 2004, I decided to take a break from serious triathlon training and focused more on coaching. I also became involved in a forming a local triathlon club and was teaching PE and Health Classes on FAU campus. I had a strong desire to do more mountain biking. My dream had been to do the AA Hawaiian double; to compete in the IM World Championships in Kona and than a week later go to Maui and do the XTERRA World Championships. I had qualified to do it in 2001, but was not sure because I had never done IM Hawaii before and Joe Bonness told me it was super HARD. Since I had just begun mountain biking I decided to wait until my skills were better. I joined the Ford Team and focused on improving my mountain bike skills.
In 2005, my coaching really took off and I opted to pursue it full time. I started coached training groups (open water swims, running drills and speed sessions with instruction, brick and transition workouts along with various clinics related to bike skills, transitions, open water swimming, etc.). I also continued to do more mountain bike racing. Over the next several years, I coached a full load of athletes, managed to run several groups throughout the year and as well as a the tri club.
In 2006, I accompanied one of my athletes to IM FL and was inspired by her determination and finish. The next day I signed up to do the race in 2007. I trained as best I could while trying to juggle working a ton of hours and having time for my family. I was lucky enough to earn a spot that year to Kona for 2008 so decided to also try to qualify for XTERRA Worlds. In 2008 I accomplished my goal of finishing the American Airlines Double, but was exhausted for both races from trying to juggle too much work, with family and the training and a tri club.
In 2009 and 2010, I hosted groups and worked on trying to learn the latest technology about our sport. I was able to attend the Elite Mentorship Program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in July 2009. The second half of 2010 I felt like I really needed a break from the groups and coaching so much. My daughter was growing up way too fast and spending quality time with her became much more important. I also wanted to focus more attention on my personal athletes. A group of us took a trip to California to participate in Vineman 70.3 together. We shared a house and had some family come out to also watch. It was an amazing adventure. I also had the opportunity to attend both the USA Triathlon Symposium in February and the USA Cycling Summit in October in Colorado Springs. It was during all these conferences that I realized the future of triathlon and main focus was really on developing a pathway for our sport to produce athletes that will do well at the ITU and Olympic level. The way to do that was through the youth.
In 2011, I was contacted by a local parent to coach his daughter in the sport. He also planted the idea of starting up a TEAM in the area. So I immediatley registered for a YOUTH and JUNIOR Certification Course in May in order to learn as much as possible and coaching youth in our sport. I had taught methods classes at FAU for Physical Education to Elementary teachers so knew quite a bit about what was age appropriate/developmentally appropriate, but the course also went over specifics for triathlon. At the same time my daughter decided to go away for her Junior Year of High School to Norway. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her before she left in August. Once she was gone, I took the certifcation test and dove into starting setting up a youth program for 2012. I had a great year coaching Katie and a few others with their triathlon skills. Katie improved her skills so much, it was so much fun to watch her. She qualified for Ironkid Nationals at the Disney Ironkids and improved as the year went on in the races she participated in, including her running races.
We are all very excited to get this team rocking! I am really looking forward to working with kids and teenagers again after being a teacher for so many years at Henderson on FAU campus. Plus the parents I have met and worked with so far are awesome! It is going to be a FUN YEAR!