a highlight from 2013

[think kit. day twenty-seven.]

INDIANAPOLIS — I started competing in triathlon in 2009, completing two sprint tris that summer in the Pacific Northwest. By the end of summer 2013, I finished my 8th tri and 3rd Olympic-distance race, and even though I didn’t do very well, I had never felt so motivated. I wanted to race again the next day in the sprint, despite my exhaustion and poor times. (I even lost my timing chip during swim-to-bike transition, so my splits aren’t certain.)

I’ve been hammering away at training since the fall, knowing I have to shave at least 10 minutes off my 10K time to be competitive this season. Of course, I’m in a new age group this year (25 to 29), which is much deeper and more talented than the 20-to-24 age group I’ve been in since I started racing. Qualifying for Olympic-distance Age Group Nationals is going to be really difficult, but I’m hoping to make the cut, and I’ve already registered for the sprint race with my sister.

Erin started racing in 2012, and I wish we lived near each other so we could train together. We both thrive on competition, and it’s fun to help each other, push each other and share tips. We trade training stories from afar and team up for workouts when we’re together, but the best part is sharing races and cheering each other on, which we did for the first time in Naperville, Ill., early in the summer and again during USAT Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee.

I was in awe of the athleticism on display that weekend. Men and women three times my age kicked my ass, and I loved it. As much as I wanted to be better in the moment, I saw my potential in their performances. I rode the inspiring momentum from that weekend through the fall, through now, and I’m itching for my first races of the season. Spring couldn’t come soon enough.

[Think Kit Dec. 27 prompt: What place (event, celebration, etc.) stood out for you this year? Where was it? Who was there? What did it look like? How did it inspire you?]

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