Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Athletic Year in Review

Alright so I am not one to spend much time looking back and looking at what they did in the year as I spend so much time focusing my energy on what goals I want to accomplish....and what I am going to do to accomplish them.

However, 2015 was a stellar year that I have no idea how I could top in 2016!!  I wrote this down for myself, to remember what I accomplished...I am sometimes still shocked at how this idea I had one day of signing up for a local 10k has turned into this....

Before the year started, I found out I was privileged enough to make Team Wattie Ink.  I have really enjoyed racing on the team and the sponsors are so great to the team.  It is truly an honor.  And I am so excited to be on the team again for 2016. Thank you Wattie Ink, BlueSeventy, Speedfil, Herbalife 24, Rudy Project and the old and new sponsors for their support.

So the year started off with doing the USA Fit Marathon (2 months after a disastrous Ironman Cozumel).  I took a slight break from swimming and biking to get ramp up my run volume as fast and safe as I could.  I had the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. The morning showed up, I started out a little ahead of pace (never a good idea) and about 5 miles in, a spectator said " You are the first women!"  Woah! Not used to that! So I made sure to keep it that way and ended up the overall winner and got my BQ time and PR'd in the process. Awesome!  And tied my super fast husband, Ryan Smith, for the most money won at a running race. :P (Seriously though, my husband is WAY faster than me and wins a LOT more than me.)

And then it was back to focusing on triathlons.  I attended the Wattie Ink camp in Clermont, Florida and we raced the Great Floridian Olympic Triathlon on the second to last day of camp and I surprised myself with a first place age group.  Not bad considering my old wetsuit would not zip! Soon after, this was replaced with the awesome BlueSeventy Helix which I love, love, LOVE!

Next, a friend loaned me a male sleeveless wetsuit lol for the Kemah Olympic (thanks Amanda) and I had a decent race there and ended up second in my age group.  I did this race to qualify and race Escape from Alcatraz in June.  They give a guaranteed registration slot to the first place age group winner.  Lucky for me, the girl who beat me was already registered this year and passed the spot down to me (thanks Becky!).

Next up was Ironman Texas.  It just wasn't my day considering I just wasn't feeling it.  Had come down with a cold the week before and just felt dead all week.  And of course the cold came back with a vengeance the day before the race.  Have you ever tried to swim when your nose is all congested and while needed to cough over and over again?!? Not fun!  But, I set a new Ironman PR regardless.

3 quick weeks later was Escape from Alcatraz.  I went into this race fully knowing I would be hurting and then wanted to take in the sights and race it easy.  Not the easiest race by far, but definitely one of the most memorable!  The swim was, so far, my second favorite swim ever (IM Cozumel will always be my favorite swim) and the bike was crazy fun.  I finished, and not as bad placement wise as I would've thought.

The week after that, I joined my JSC/SBS friends and competed in the Sylvan Beach Sprint Triathlon team challenge.  We ended up getting second and I somehow pulled off first in my age group.

I was planning on visiting my family for the family reunion at the end of July and saw that there was an Olympic triathlon in the town about an hour away.  Of course I signed up because I have always thought it would be awesome to do a triathlon in Michigan!!  Ryan, husband, signed up for the 5k they had with the race.  I ended up having a great day on the rolling bike and run course and won first overall. Ryan definitely won the 5k. And my parents got to watch me for the first time compete since I did track in high school. :)

Next up was Towne Lake Olympic Triathlon and I raced in the elite wave and got 6th.  Even though I didn't win any hardware, I walked away from that race feeling like a winner because I set a new PR of 2:20:05!! Woohoo!

Then was my second A race for the year - USAT Long Course National Championships, AKA Redman Triathlon in Oklahoma City, OK.  I had a great day there and just felt great the whole race, even though there were rollers, it was humid and like 80 or so degrees.  I set a new half ironman distance PR and won my age group and was age group national champion!!! And get to race for team USA at the Long Course World Championships at the end of September 2016!!

And then, I always wanted to Tri Andy's Tri and raced that in the middle of October and had a good race with first in my age group.

The only other race I did this year was the Turkey Trot 5K in my hometown. I was winning the entire race until in the last 400 or so meters, a girl outkicked me for the win. But I tied my 5K PR of 2 years ago which was definitely a surprise on very little speed work training.

AND I got accepted into the USAT coaching clinic which was in November in Salt Lake City.  It has been a dream of mine since starting to participate in these sports to share my passion for triathlon and running with other athletes and finally now, after passing with 100%, I can say I am a USAT level 1 certified coach.  If you are looking to improve at triathlon or do your first triathlon, you will soon be able to find me as a coach at TriDot!!  The new, totally revamped, cutting-edge website and system is set to go live very soon!  If you want a plan backed by math and science that takes the guesswork out of training while maximizing your training time, you should check them out! 

So to recap my year, I won two races for the first time in my life (never won a race before 2015), I set a PR at the marathon, Olympic triathlon, half ironman triathlon, and ironman triathlon and qualified for team USA and am now a certified triathlon coach.  Top that, 2016!!