Thanks! Qualifying for Kona was never on my mind. I decided to do an Ironman to enhance my coaching career so I could coach Ironman athletes and then I obnoxiously begged and pleaded my two best triathlon girlfriends to register so we could all do our first one together. I got hit by a cyclist at a half Ironman in Iowa three weeks before the race and was really banged up so I felt lucky to even be at the start line and never dreamed I would be in contention for a Kona slot.
You were able to do a lot of your training last year with those two girlfriends, Heidi Keller Miler and Ann Snuggerud. All three of you had terrific Ironman debuts as Heidi finished in 11:03 and Ann in 11:12. Are you going to be able to convince them to train with you this summer as you prepare for Kona?
Ann loves long runs and swimming so I can always count on her. Heidi gets very busy coaching swimming in the summer but can regularly swim very early in the morning with me. Very early means before 5am but she is worth the wake up call. Last summer Heidi even agreed to do a 29 x 200 birthday swim with me on my 29th birthday which actually meant 29 x 225 for her since she is so much faster than me in the water. That is a true friend! I was crushed that both of them just missed a Kona slot, it won’t be the same without them in Hawaii. Luckily I am weird and I thoroughly enjoy a 5 hour bike ride or a 3 hour run all alone just as much as I enjoy training partners.
|Team Chaska; Ann Snuggerud, Heidi Keller-Miler and Suzie Fox (left to right)|
After collegiate fast pitch softball ended I still had a burning desire to compete and push my body mentally and physically. In 2008, I started running and instantly loved it. My sister and I signed up for a half marathon the week before the race, without training. It was very stupid and I was very sore, but hooked. Biking followed and was the easiest for me to pick up, which led to duathlons that fall. Swimming came last and I started doing triathlons in the summer of 2009. The swimming motion still feels very awkward after throwing a softball overhand for so many years. I could throw both right and left handed so my arms still want to throw a ball on the swim recovery from muscle memory. But I loved triathlon so I much I wanted to make a career out of it. I am addicted to the intense physical challenge of triathlon and the people I have met through the sport are fabulous.
What is your fondest memory from tris?
|Proof that Suzie couldn't stop smiling during Ironman Wisconsin.|
If you could swim, bike or run with any Minnesotan, past or present, who would it be?
Can I count Kara Goucher and Scott Jurek as Minnesotans? Scott’s book Eat and Run makes me proud to be an endurance athlete eating the way I do. I would love to pick his brain during a run about eating and running. Kara Goucher has it all in my eyes, she is a mom while living her athletic dreams. I want to be a mom someday while still working and seeing how far triathlon will take me. I would love to ask her questions over a run about her running career, running during and after pregnancy and much more. I think she is a great role model for women.
Finally, what do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started doing triathlons?
Swimming is actually fun! I think an open water swim keeps some people away from trying the sport. It almost kept me from attempting triathlon but it can really grow on you if you work hard, stick with it, and find a group to push you or a coach to give you a variety of structured and helpful swim workouts. Don’t give up, just keep swimming! You will get better! As Heidi reminds me all the time, Rome wasn’t built in a day, just keep swimming!