I started out years ago as a participant with Team in Training, then became a mentor for several years. Currently I coach the Team Fight triathlon gang, teaching them how to bike and swim. And recently I’ve come to Crohn’s and Colitis as your run coach. I’ve done countless century rides, mud runs and Tough Mudders, ½ marathons, full marathons, and too many triathlons (from sprint to Ironman) to count. My credentials include being a CrossFit, CrossFit Endurance, and USA Triathlon certified coach as well as NASM certified personal trainer.
But my real passion lays helping people ‘do the impossible’ and cross that race finish line (sometimes with tears streaming down their face!).
This will be my 10th TC event- either as a participant, mentor or coach. In addition to coaching the last 2 seasons, I was the coach for the Mid-Atlantic Region’s TC Bike Team in 2012. My background isn't that of a stellar athlete when I was young- in fact I did not become what you would call an athlete until I was 44. I decided to complete my first triathlon before my 45th birthday (goal accomplished!) and have stuck with the whole “work-out thing” since. I have now completed (4) tris, (2) 10 miles races, (8) 1/2 marathons, (2) Ragnar Relays, (2) 1/2 century bike events, (3) other bike events and numerous 5K's. The point of that last sentence is for you all to embrace the idea that you do not have to be young and fast to set goals and obtain them!! You just need to do “the homework” and give it your all.
On a more personal note, I am a Remicade patient for my Crohn’s Disease. Like anyone else in this situation, I have good days and bad days. But I will tell you that without exercise I would be lost. It helps me feel so much better mentally and I believe, physically, as well. TC has been a major part of my life since August 2010. I absolutely love the support and dedication of my TC family!
If you're planning on running or walking a summer half-marathon, the time to start training is NOW! The most important thing you'll need to get started is a good pair of training shoes, and the most important feature of a running or walking shoe is how it fits YOUR foot. Don't worry what the Olympic Champion wears, and don't think about what color the shoe is; the only things that matter are how the shoes fit on your feet and how they fit your personal biomechanics. (Of course if the shoes fit your personal biomechanical needs AND come in Team Challenge orange and blue, well that wouldn't be a bad thing!)
Happy feet = happy training!
Q: I’m not currently running or walking more than a mile or two at a time a few days per week. How will I be able to finish a half-marathon?
A: Your coach will design a program for you based on your current level of fitness, whatever it may be. You’ll gradually build your mileage over the course of the coming months until you can walk or run (or with a combination of walking and running) a ten-mile workout. From there, well over 99% of our participants complete their half-marathons.
Q: What kind of shoes do I need?
A: Everyone has different feet and biomechanics. The staff at your local running/walking specialty store will be able to fit you for these needs, as well as your mileage level, and the surfaces on which you train. To find a local specialty store, head to www.runnersworld.com/store-finder
Q: What’s a “GU”?!
A: “Gu” and other sports gels (PowerGels, Cliff Shots, Hammer Gels, etc.) are concentrated forms of carbohydrate about the consistency of honey. They are an alternative to sports drinks and are designed to provide athletes with energy for endurance activities. Each gel contains about 100- 110 of concentrated carbohydrate. Many half-marathons will provide gels in the later stages (around mile 10) to give runners and walkers an energy boost for the last few miles. Although they are generally pretty easy on the stomach, especially when taken with water, it’s always a good idea to try gels several times in training first before using them on race day.
Q: I had to miss three days of training. How do I make up the lost days?
A: You don’t! If you’ve missed anything less than a full week of training, just jump right back into the schedule. If you missed more than a week, talk to your coach about modifying your schedule to get you back on track.
Q: My fingers swell during my training walks. What’s going on?
A: Your heart beats harder and faster when you train, so blood is sent more forcefully to the extremities. Muscle action helps to return blood back to the heart, but many walkers don’t pump their arms very much when they walk (they should!), so blood pools in the fingers. Swollen fingers are more common with changes in temperature, during pregnancy, and when electrolytes are out of whack. Clenching and unclenching your hands, or shaking them over your head will help to pump the blood out of your swollen fingers.