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.
Fleet Feet Menlo Park is proud to sponsor this month's athlete who embodies the spirit of Team Sheeper. We believe running can change everything, that an active lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle, and that we all have an athlete hidden within.
April 2012 Athlete of the Month
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An artist. I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and with distinct four seasons, it was beautiful so it seemed a logical place to paint. I also wanted to teach, which I had the opportunity to do at my karate school when I was in high school.
Do you have a spouse or children or pets to tell us about?
Yes. He's on the team. He's my husband & best friend--especially when he pulled over to help me with my flat at Wildflower this year.
What other hobbies do you have?
I love to write and I keep a personal blog. I also enjoy downtime with my friends and family. I am lucky enough to travel, so that is another hobby I am exploring- more specifically “active travel”. This year I took a 3 1/2 week trip to New Zealand and it was amazing. I am truly impressed by the Kiwis -- they are very fit! I am trying to branch out and try new hobbies, but painting with numbers is just a little too boring for me..
How did you become involved with Team Sheeper?
Last April I decided I'd like a new goal - so I made it a triathlon. I always loved running and my husband bought me a hybrid bike around that time, so it was quickly was becoming a passion. I signed up for a sprint distance in September and thought it would be a good idea to learn how to swim. I took a 30 minute lesson in Palo Alto and on the advice from old boss, took up the masters swimming at Burgess Pool.
After my sprint, I toyed with the idea of doing a longer distance and knew I needed the help of a team to get me there. I have the discipline and work ethic, but lack the knowledge and skill that I knew a team could provide. I had heard about the team from a summer swim team picnic and decided I could give it a shot. I had a quick meeting with Mike Osmond and the rest is history. I remember the first Tuesday run. I hadn't run more than 50 minutes in over 3 years…so I was breathless at the end, but it also felt great to finish. The night was beautiful and as we stretched out under the stars, I felt I could do it.
What is your athletic background?
I took martial arts from the seventh grade through my senior of high school. I earned my second degree black belt right before I headed off to college. My coolest moment at my test was breaking bricks on fire - with my heel.
I ran a little during college but truly fell in love with it when I moved to San Francisco. I lived in an apartment a few blocks from Marina Boulevard. Three mornings a week I would get up early before work and run out to the bridge and back. I caught the sunrise most mornings - unbelievably beautiful.
I bought my first road bike last October and have loved riding it – I’ve actually been through two frames already. Advice: Do not put the bikes on the roof. One day you will forget they are on there as you drive into the garage.
I've also dabbled in rock climbing, yoga, sailing, lots of hiking and outdoor bootcamp training.
What motivates/inspires you?
Three things motivate and inspire me: my health, the people that do athletics and the people who can't do athletics.
When I was growing up my dad (and still is) one of my biggest motivators. He works with his hands everyday as a carpenter/contractor and he gets himself to the gym four evenings a week. He also bikes on the weekends and competes in motocross when he can. He was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in late 2010 and had to have many radiation treatments. When I visited him last November, I had just joined the team and was seeing some impressive athletic performances already. When I went home he wasn't in the best shape, but he knew I put a huge goal on my radar - my first 70.3 and he came out biking with me. With snow on the ground, it was a windy 42 degrees, but we took a refreshing ride through the nearby hills. How he actually did it, in his condition, still amazes me.
As I visited him in the hospital I saw all the people that could not leave their rooms - for whatever health-related reason - and it made me feel blessed that I can do what I can do and I have strong physical abilities. I thought to myself - I have two working arms and legs-there is no reason I can't do this.
The happy ending is that my dad was cleared and declared "cancer free" a few days before his birthday in late November.
Lastly, my mom inspires me with her dedication to her yoga practice, walks and is always telling me about a new Bob Harper or Jillian work out. She made it to Level II abs!
What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?
I am competing in Vineman 70.3 and the North Face Endurance Challenge 50k in December. I signed up for North Face around the same time I was running a lot in January and did the Ultimate Run with the team. What was I thinking??! Just kidding-it'll be great. I love trail runs.
I may also sign up for See Jane Tri - as I need to beat my 10:57 400 yard swim.
Tell us about your best & worst race.
Since I haven't done many triathlons, my best race would have to be a 23:58 5k I did last year. I took almost 2 years off from running before this - for various reasons - and prior to that I was a 10-minute miler at best. When I started running last January, I started winning my age group and it felt awesome.
As for my worst race, I am lucky that I haven't had a really bad one. I raced Wildflower last weekend and decided not to run because I've been having shin issues. One of the coaches recommended making it a "C" race. Even though she explained, I quickly googled this concept and thought it over… I didn't know this existed. I agonized over the decision to run for the week before and by Saturday, it still wasn't feeling too great, so I decided to practice my open water swimming and sighting and try to nail the bike. Well, about five minutes in…I got a flat. I was flying down the hill feeling great, and was quickly sidelined. I never changed one on a race course. I tried not to panic but I reached in my tool bag and I bought a tire that was too big. Seriously!? Luckily, my husband was racing by me-within a minute-and came over to help. He had a spare tube that fit my bike. I got back on my bike and after the turnaround point I was going up a fairly steep hill and my chain fell off. So yes, this was a "C" race..but I did learn a lot. Including checking the size of the tire you are racing with and keeping a solid tool kit.
How many hours a week do you train?
About 10-12. I have a few higher and lower weeks, but this is pretty spot-on. I am still figuring out what works for me. This recovery concept is hard-as it is for most triathletes who want to train a lot. However, I am finding self-discipline is just as important as hard work.
What is your favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moment?
The Thursday strength workouts are my favorite. There is just something so tough about doing a lot of push-ups, burpees and tossing a weighted ball on a rope. It's a great stress reliever and I am proud of the arm strength I have built-it makes it easier to hoist myself out of the pool. Plus, Tim makes the course so different every time you get something new and interesting.
What is your favorite race?
I think it's yet to come. I had a blast at Wildflower - the energy of the crowd was amazing. Also, the free massage and coconut waters were also great. I drank about eight cartons of them in a few days. Even though the vendor looked suspicious, they were happy to hand them out!