Athlete of the Month
The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.
You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought. When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.
Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.
April 2003 Athlete of the Month
Team Sheeper has chosen Ann Heike as its April 2003 Athlete of the Month. Ann has shown impeccable workout attendance lately, and has shown great improvement in both her bike and her run. In April, she weathered the storm on the Big Sur ride, raced at Ralph's California Half Ironman, and also participated in the team's annual Duathlon. In addition to all this, Ann shows great commitment to Team Sheeper through her duties as a Team Ambassador. She is one of those teammates that befriends the new people, and 'shows them the ropes'. Coach Tim Sheeper describes Ann as consistent, powerful and focused. Her famous question to him is always 'is it bad to train as much as I train?'.
Ann is currently taking a career hiatus from product management in the medical devices industry. She began her career at a Toronto medical devices company. This later brought her to Philadelphia, and then finally to the Bay Area, where she has settled into the great outdoor lifestyle. She is currently seeking a new opportunity, hopefully in the medical device or biotechnology field that will keep her in the Bay Area. She has enjoyed developing and marketing products which provide surgeons with improved surgical treatment options for their patients, and would like to continue in this area as a career.
When asked about her hobbies, Ann answers that triathlon has become her main hobby, of course. She also enjoys downhill skiing, mountain bike riding, scuba diving and traveling abroad. She adds that if sleeping and eating count as hobbies, she would like those on the list as well, especially since she now has started her 2003 Ironman training.
Ann developed her interest in triathlon when she was living in Philadelphia in the summer of 1999. She was training for her first marathon, and her training partner had done a couple of triathlons. She convinced Ann to join her for a sprint distance triathlon in Brigantine, NJ. Ann reports the following about her first triathlon:
I had yet to learn about sighting, so I zigzagged through the water and finished the 0.25 mile swim in about 14 minutes. I hopped on a hybrid bike that I had borrowed from a friend and struggled through the 11 mile ride, getting passed by almost everyone except for people on mountain bikes. Finally I reached the 4 mile run, and after getting over the jello-like feeling in my legs, I finished my first triathlon race..
Ann relocated to the Bay Area in 2000, and at that time she wanted to do more swimming and biking, with the intention of trying another sprint or Olympic-distance triathlon. She started swimming on her own at Burgess Pool to build up her endurance in the water. In the fall of 2000, after a friend suggested trying a masters swim team, she went to some evening Menlo Masters workouts. She noticed the spin workouts on the pool deck and Rick informed her about the triathlon team. She decided that this would be a great way for her to learn how to train for a triathlon and to meet new training partners, so she joined the team in February 2001, just in time for the Wildflower Training Camp.
Ann has always been fairly active, but was never focused on one sport until recently. She spent her winters skiing and skating and her summers were spent playing at the pool. She swam in high school and worked as a lifeguard/swimming instructor during university. She also took aerobics classes to keep in shape. When she joined a running club in Philadelphia in the fall of 1998, she could only run 3 miles. A year later, she ran the Chicago marathon and has been inspired by goal-oriented training ever since. As far as triathlons go, Ann enjoys the variety of the sports. Having three sports to focus on keeps her from getting bored. After a couple of years of just running, she finds it refreshing to be able to swim or bike on days when she needs a break from running
When asked about her favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moments, Ann reports the following:
I enjoy the creativity that Tim puts into workouts like Bay to Breakers and the Train Run, since we never quite know what to expect which keeps it interesting.
Here are a few of the many memorable moments with the team:
2001 Wildflower Training Camp - This was a weekend filled with many camp highs and camp lows. We started with a swim in a very chilly Lake San Antonio. (It was February and Tim later informed us that the water temperature was in the low 50's.) After the swim, I almost blacked out a few times while trying to take my wetsuit off. I might have been suffering from mild hypothermia (a camp low). For many of us, the long course bike/run was our longest bike ride and our muddiest run ever (we had to stop several times to scrape 3 inches of mud off the bottom of our shoes), so we had a great feeling of accomplishment when we finished it (a camp high). After four days of training, we all left with plenty of confidence to get through Wildflower and memories that will stay with us for many years.
Long Ridge Run - This was as close to being on a reality show as I hope to ever be. After being lost for over an hour, I started to ration my water and Clif shots and wondered how long it would be before someone would send out a search party. I fortunately found my way back to the trail. Even though it took me almost 5 hours to finish the 25k loop, I was very happy to be out of the woods before dark.
Ride to Big Sur - After riding for 10 hours in the pouring rain with strong headwinds and crosswinds, our group finally rode into Monterey. It was too dark to continue on to Big Sur, but nobody complained about having to cut the ride short. It was a challenging experience and one I would like to try it again sometime, hopefully in better weather.
Davis Double - Just in case we hadn't pushed our limits enough on the Ride to Big Sur, a group of us drove up to Davis for our longest ride ever. I was inspired when we reached the halfway point since we had already gone 100 miles, but then I realized that we still had 100 more miles to go! The last 60 miles were downhill or flat, so it was an ideal route for our first double century. As we were driving home, it was interesting to note that Davis is about 100 miles away and it took us about 2 hours to get home by car. I guess next time we could just ride there and back instead of driving!
Ann says that the team is a great group of people that provides her with the motivation, encouragement, camaraderie and support to train, push her limits and reach for new goals. Look for Ann this year at Pacific Crest, Folsom International, Ironman Canada, and the New York City Marathon. Team Sheeper wishes Ann the best of luck with her races in the coming year!