2011 was a busy year. I was finishing up my Master’s degree in Education, adopted 2 greyhounds from a shelter in Auburn and decided to start a women’s endurance magazine, Freeplay. This sudden onset of extreme busy-ness came at a great time because I knew I was ready for a break from triathlon. It was a decision I was going back and forth on for some time. I knew I needed a break but I just couldn’t pull the trigger until that one day in Austin! Sean and I still joke about that day in Austin. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not all smiles while racing but that day I was. I went to the race with high hopes. I plowed through the bike on a very windy day with decent split(although I didn’t know this until after the race) and started to the run which was 3-4 loops. As soon as I started running I wanted to stop. I just wasn’t in to it. I told myself whenever I saw Sean on the course I could stop. When I spotted him in the crowd coming through loop 1 I was waving and smiling like I hadn’t seen him in years. I dove under the course tape and asked if we could go get a soda. That was the official start of my break and it felt so good!
Over the next few years I continued training and racing in running events. I met lots of new girlfriends and training partners during this time that I would have otherwise never met! I feel thankful and lucky for this and I still look forward to meeting them every week(or just about) for training runs, girl talk, etc.
During this triathlon break I remained connected to the sport through Freeplay magazine. At first I would stand and watch the races and think how glad I was not to be out there. I began to think I would never go back. There would be times I would pick a race to train for but the desire would quickly fade. Then one day in late summer of 2014 I woke up and set the goal to compete in Challenge Rancho Cordova. It was shaping up to be a great race with lots of pros coming to town and a big field. With 8-9 weeks out I dusted off my bike, jumped back in the pool and starting training. In my typical fashion I went from zero to hero in a matter of days! It felt like I was cramming for finals.
I am happy to report that I not only made it to the start line of Challenge Rancho Cordova but that I didn’t dive under the tape and quit on lap 1 of run! With a solid swim, strong bike and a less-than-stellar run I managed to put together a 5:01 for 4th in my age-group and 8th amateur overall. And even more impressive is I walked away injury free and wanting more. 3 weeks later I competed in Lifetime Fitness Oceanside. Slower than hoped (perhaps I was a bit tired and worn down from my “cram-session”) I got it done, earned an age-group title, and officially started my off-season and 2015 planning.