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Meet the Athlete

Meet the Athlete: Kathy

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Kathy Broder could be enjoying her retired years with extra hours of sleep and leisure travel. However, in her 70th year of youth, she would rather be waking up at 5 a.m. to walk onto a cold pool deck and plunge into a pool with her teammates. She prefers to travel with her bike and piles of triathlon gear to compete in triathlons for hours on end. I find Kathy’s daily decision to endure discomfort inspiring, and wanted to find out more about her “why”. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in, Kathy!

Current place of residence: Camarillo, CA
Hometown/place of birth: Los Angeles
Day job: Retired
Dream job: College career counselor
Favorite sports or hobbies (besides triathlon): running, grandma-ing

If you had to remove one leg of the triathlon and swap in a new sport, what would you subtract, and what would you add, and why? My swimming is very sad, so I would dump swim and put in jump roping.
Dream race: Perfect weather, down current swim, hilly bike, downhill run in the shade
Current triathlon/race goal: to survive IM AZ
Why do you want to accomplish this? Not sure…because I spent the money and because I allowed my teammates to badger me into doing a full. (Not really, I just got weak and signed up.)

When/how/why did you start triathlon? In 2008 I was camping in Carpinteria the weekend of the tri. I had never seen one before, and I was hooked. I started the following year…then I signed up for swim lessons.
Favorite accomplishment in sport: Surviving 70.3 Worlds in Chattanooga this year. (Note: Kathy finished 5th at Age Group Worlds!)

Still smiling, and on her way to finishing 5th in the world!

Favorite non-sport accomplishment: Raising 5 fabulous kids.
Hardest race and/or workout you’ve ever completed: St. George 70.3 a few years back. I was so cold that I couldn’t think how to stop racing. It never occurred to me to stop and ask an official…I just kept going through the freezing wind and rain.
Most memorable training race moment: Memorable would have to be getting a flat at 5 miles before the end of the bike at Coeur d’Alene this year.

Best athletic encouragement you’ve ever been given: Just enjoy yourself…I forget that one a lot!
Words of wisdom to someone considering training for their first triathlon: Take it slow and grow into the sport. Buy your equipment after you figure out what you really need.
Something you’ve learned about yourself through triathlon: I’m pretty tough, but I really don’t like to hurt and I don’t push myself into that zone.
What motivates you to keep training and competing? I love the sports and the camaraderie. I look forward to training.
What motivates you when it gets tough during a race? I think of all the money I spent to hurt so bad.
Who inspires you and why? My teammates and all the other racers in the events. It’s amazing what we all do!

Race mantra: For the run, when it gets tough, I count one “e” and a two “e”…up to twenty, then I walk one “e” and a two “e” up to five. (This must be a piano player thing)
Pre-race ritual or superstition: I stress out on the minutia of it all…believe it or not, that’s what calms me down.
Pre-race pump up jams: “White coral bells upon a slender stalk…”

What is the first thing and last thing you do each day? Drink coffee; drink wine
Favorite type of running shoes: Asics
Dream training camp location: Coeur d’Alene
Training “secrets”: I always have a variety of food available
Racing pet peeve: People who arrive late and expect me to move over…not gonna do it.

What does “Fuel” mean to you? Nutrition that varies with length of race
Any favorite recipes to share? I swore off cooking when my last kid left the nest.
What does being “Fit” mean to you? Being in excellent shape

Pick one:
Long swim, long ride or long run? long run
Open water or pool? pool
Trail or track? track
Snot rocket, sleeve, or tissue? sleeve
Solo or group training? either
Chocolate or cheese? both
Watch on your left wrist or right? left
Morning or evening workout? either
Hat or visor? hat
Swim cap or no cap? swim cap
Cheerios or Wheaties? Cheerios
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? coffee

Any other fun facts about you? Don’t get me started on my newest grandson…he calls me blam-ma (I think.) Cutest kid ever!

On her way to an age group WIN at Santa Cruz 70.3

Meet the Athlete: Greg

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Remember when Rebecca graced your screen on the blog back in February? Well, today you get to read about her soon-to-be husband, Greg! Greg is a talented athlete and recent nursing school graduate who landed a job right out of school. Impressed yet? Read on…

Current place of residence: Ventura, CA
Hometown/place of birth: Oxnard, CA
Day job: Nurse
Dream job: Le Mans Prototype driver
Favorite sports or hobbies (besides triathlon): Outrigger paddling, surfing, and cooking.
Best triathlon race leg (swim, bike, run, T1, T2, beer garden): From best to worst… Swim, Bike, beer garden, T1, T2, then the run.
Dream race: Kona 70.3 or Molokai to Maui outrigger race.

Current triathlon goal: To survive and hopefully enjoy my first 70.3 in Tempe, Arizona later this year.
Why do you want to accomplish this? To challenge myself in a way that I never have.

When/how/why did you start triathlon/endurance sports? I’ve never been much of a runner. I’ve always preferred water sports over anything on land but when I moved to Riverside for college I tried to make the best of it. I met my now-fiancee Rebecca and followed her on the bike while she trained for multiple marathons and in doing so I grew to at least tolerate running. In 2014 one of my friends couldn’t attend her half marathon so she offered to transfer her entry to me. After barely finishing that race with 3 days notice, I signed up for my first triathlon in Ventura and got 2nd place! I was surprised to find that I loved the challenge of triathlon and stuck with it.
Favorite accomplishment in sport: Finishing my first Olympic distance triathlon in Malibu


Hardest race and/or workout you’ve ever completed: Paddling from Catalina to Newport Beach.
Most memorable training moment: Feeling like flying while in aero on a training ride along the Santa Ana River trail.

If you had to remove one leg of the triathlon and swap in a new sport, what would you subtract, and what would you add, and why? Probably outrigger paddling in place of running. Except the order would be swim, paddle, bike because I’ve always wanted to finish on the bike.

Best athletic encouragement you’ve ever been given? “I didn’t wake up this early for 2nd place” – My dad
Words of wisdom to someone considering training for their first triathlon: Don’t take it too seriously your first time out. I did, and contemplated selling my wetsuit and bike, until I realized I had gotten 2nd place in my first one.
Something you’ve learned about yourself through triathlon: I was raised with outrigger paddling, which is a very team-oriented sport, so through triathlon I’ve learned that I can rely on myself.
Who inspires you and why? Sebastian Kienle and Jan Frodeno because they’re absolute beasts on the bike and I hope to come close someday.

Race mantra: “I didn’t come this far to only come this far”
Pre-race ritual: Pretend like the race doesn’t bother me… then panic the morning of.
Pre-race pump up jams: I typically don’t listen to anything before a race, not even my gut telling me to go home.

What is the first thing and last thing you do each day? First: breakfast; Last: shower
Favorite type of running shoes:  I don’t think I’ve had anything other than Nike
Dream training camp location: Hawaii
Training tips: Bring extra tubes, because they may explode on you.
Racing pet peeve: Either punching/grabbing at the swim start or cutting me off on the bike.

What motivates you to keep training and competing? Getting fitter and faster. Plus the race atmosphere is really enjoyable.
What motivates you when it’s tough to start/complete a workout/race? Remembering that not everyone gets to do this.

What does “Fuel” mean to you? It’s what allows me to move forward. It powers my body, so I try to put in the best quality ‘Fuel’ that I can, with a couple of cheat days here and there.
Any favorite recipes to share? One of my favorite dips: Goat cheese, pesto, sundried tomato, and pecans. Goes great with pita bread.
What does being “Fit” mean to you? Not feeling winded after climbing three flights of stairs

Pick one:
Long swim, long ride or long run? Long ride
Open water or pool? Open water
Trail or track? Trail
Snot rocket, sleeve, or tissue? Depends on where. If on the bike, snot rocket. Just make sure no one is around you! That’s also one of my pet peeves…
Solo or group training? Everything is better in a group. I’m less likely to turn early.
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Watch on your left wrist or right? Left
Morning or evening workout? Morning
Hat or visor? Hat
Swim cap or no cap? None
Cheerios or Wheaties? Wheaties
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Tea
Crocs or Birkenstocks? Bare feet

Meet the Athlete: Emma

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About 3 years ago, I was introduced to Emma Huebner through her mother and sister. Little did I know that we would become such close friends and training partners. I enjoyed reviewing her interview responses (below), as there are always little tidbits that don’t come out in everyday conversation–even with the close friends that you seem to talk about everything with–like the little thoughts that go through our heads when things get tough, or the pet peeves we have on the race course. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you this go-getter medical student-athlete-writer; yet another local “super woman”.

Current place of residence: Splitting time between Ventura, CA (home) and Omaha, NE (school)
Hometown/place of birth: I was born in Boulder, CO, but my family moved to Ventura when I was a baby.
Day job/occupation: Second year medical student at UNMC College of Medicine
Dream job: ER doc volunteering at Everest Base Camp Medical Clinic
Favorite sports or hobbies: Running, skiing, surfing, hiking, writing

Best event: Marathon
Favorite type of running shoes: Brooks Pure Cadence
Dream training camp location: Tahoe
Dream race: Any race with awesome views and some dirt

When/how/why did you start endurance sports? After being sidelined for multiple seasons of track and cross country due to stress fractures, I decided to try a different distance. Longer and slower turned out to be a much better fit for me.
Favorite accomplishment in sport: Beating my dad’s old “record” time running up Mount Sanitas in Boulder, CO [disclaimer: neither of us hold any actual records] Most memorable race moment: Finishing my first marathon and seeing my parents and sister waiting with open arms at the end. It takes a lot of love to hug someone who is that sweaty.
Hardest workout you’ve ever completed: A trail run I did in Aspen, CO last month. I inflicted the pain entirely on myself. The views were worth it though.

Current goals: Finish medical school in one piece and run some more marathons
Why do you want to accomplish these goals? As much as the nerd in me loves school, running is a much needed stress outlet. It is easier to squeeze miles into my daily schedule when I have a training goal, so my plan for next year is to sign up for a few races. Hopefully those goals will make my daily jaunts more motivating, especially during the cold winter months. As far as finishing medical school – I have wanted to be a doctor since age five, so it has been a long-time dream of mine, and I am finally making it happen! It isn’t easy, but blood and guts are fun. Patients are pretty fun too; it is humbling to learn how much each patient I encounter – whether they are 5 or 95 – can teach me about life in general. People are so smart.

Emma (far right) at the 2017 Clif Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, on her way to a 3:18 Marathon PR

Best athletic encouragement you’ve ever been given: 90% of your performance is psychological.
Words of wisdom to someone considering training for their first marathon: Long runs are the most important element of training for a marathon. No matter how “fit” you are, you have to train your body to withstand running for hours on end. Don’t run your long runs too fast! Save the speed for shorter runs and for race day itself.
Something you’ve learned about yourself through endurance sport: I can always go a little bit farther than I think I can.
Who inspires you and why? My friend Brittany. She is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She gives her all in racing, in training, and in day-to-day life with her friends and loved ones. She’s definitely a keeper.

Pre-race ritual or superstition: I haven’t nailed down the perfect routine yet. What I learned from my last race: don’t eat pesto the night before.
Pre-race pump up jams: I usually don’t like listening to music right before I race – I have enough adrenaline going as it is. I do remember Uptown Funk playing at the start of the San Francisco marathon last year though, and that was pretty fun.
Post-race treat: ICE CREAM

What is the first thing and last thing you do each day? First: drink a glass of water, then a cup of coffee. Last: get through a few pages of whatever book I am reading. Currently it is Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

Training/racing “secrets”/tips: Don’t rely on your watch too much. I try to do the majority of my runs watch-less. It is so much more enjoyable, and I find that it is easier to go the pace my body wants me to go that day.
Racing pet peeve: “Keep it up” is one of the worst things you can yell at a runner while they are racing. What, does it look like I’m just about to fall over and give up? I must say, though, I do appreciate the sentiment.
What motivates you to keep training and competing? That feeling when you are in peak shape and it feels like you are floating instead of running.
What motivates you when it’s tough to start/complete a workout/race? Usually I remind myself that no matter how painful it is, it is better than studying histology.
What does “Fuel” mean to you? Delicious food that powers my muscles to perform the way that I want them to. As a poor medical student, fuel also takes the form of any and all free food. I love free food.
Any favorite recipes to share? I just posted my favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe on my blog – <https://emmahuebner.wixsite.com/emmaretigan/single-post/2017/06/20/Storied-Lives>
What does being “Fit” mean to you? Venturing outside and getting your blood pumping at least once a day, whether it is for 20 minutes or 2 hours.

Pick one:
Long swim or long run? Long run
Open water or pool? If the water is at least above 65°, open water. If not, pool. I am a wimp.
Trail or track? Trail
Snot rocket, sleeve, or tissue? Rocket
Solo or group training? Small group
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Watch on your left wrist or right? Left
Morning or evening workout? Morning
Hat or visor? Hat
Swim cap or no cap? Cap
Cheerios or Wheaties? Cheerios
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Coffee
Crocs or Birkenstocks? Birks for days

Any other fun facts about you? I have broken a total of 10 bones (not including toes). Klutz much?

Meet the Athlete: Lori

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When I think of friend and fellow athlete Lori Sharp, I picture one of my favorite childhood princesses, Ariel (The Little Mermaid). Both have beautiful red hair, a knack for singing, and can move through the water with grace and pure joy. I also envision an authentically happy and confident woman who is always ready to embrace a challenge. Lori is a powerful influence in our local endurance athlete community. She spreads positivity and encouragement during training sessions, in her work environments, and even in the midst of grueling competition. This interview offers a small glimpse of her athletic background and motivation. You can find out more about Lori’s latest adventures here.

Current town of residence: Oxnard CA

Hometown/place of birth: Richmond Virginia
Day job: I’m a sales associate at Mile 26 and REI, and I also teach backpacking/hiking/outdoor fitness classes at REI.
Dream job: Getting paid to travel
Favorite sports or hobbies: Running, Biking, and Olympic Weightlifting. I also enjoy traveling and backpacking

How did you become an endurance athlete?
Ironically, when Josh (husband) and I lived in Hawaii we just happened to be in Kona the day of the Ironman World Champs. We were on Ali’i drive getting shaved Ice and stumbled upon the bike/run transition. We were just in shock . What is going on?! These people are doing what?! It was awesome. I think I sat there for an hour not realizing what we were actually watching. Silly right?

Little by little we’ve transitioned to from strict runners to triathletes. My first sprint triathlon was at an all women’s event while we were living in North Carolina. The swim was in a pool and afterwards I hopped on my huge mountain bike . When we moved to Oxnard from Los Angeles a friend gave us the name of a local triathlete, Adam. Josh teamed up with him pretty quickly. He introduced us to local duathlons, a track group, and swim class. Being around all these amazing athletes helps me enjoy the sport so much.

Favorite endurance athletic accomplishment: Augusta Ironman 70.3 . Having just moved from Hawaii, we were flying solo at our first 70.3 in Augusta,GA. We had no family with us and knew NO ONE at the event. I even second-guessed myself being there. I’m a runner, not a triathlete! Josh and I had a running group and small triathlon group we trained with in Hawaii but did most of our training with each other. When his wave was about to start lining up I had a small panic attack. He gave me my pre-race kiss and he was gone; I was ALONE, and I would be for the next 6+ hours. I finished well before all the time cutoffs and had a real fun time!  I had completed the longest and biggest race of my life (at that time) by my own strength. I was hooked and knew I wanted to keep doing triathlons.

Hardest endurance event you’ve ever completed: I think the Crossfit Open 17.1 workout this year was one of the hardest. It was a 20-minute long workout combining dumbbell snatches and burpees. You had a 35 lb dumbbell that you snatched over your head a certain amount of times, and then  you had to jump on and over a 20 inch box in between doing burpees. The dumbells started with a set of 10, then 20, 30, 40, ending with 50. In between each set you had to do 15 burpees. I had a minute and fifteen seconds before time was up with 15 box over burpees left. I was exhausted but I wanted that time. So I sprinted through the box jumps and burpees and I finished with 1 second left. I was hurting and almost blacked out but I ended up being the #1 female in my gym for that workout–couldn’t have been happier.

Most memorable endurance training and/or race moment: Even though it just happened, I don’t think I’ll ever forget this weekend (Mountains to Beach Marathon, 5/29/17). I’ve never felt as good as I did during miles 15-18. I was just waiting for my race to go south, the slow down, the race leg cramps–and it never did. I mean, I hit the “omg I just want to walk” moment around mile 22, but I knew what I had on the line. You won’t have to run another marathon until Boston if you just make it through these next 4 miles, I told myself. That was enough motivation for me. I flew down Sanjon Rd looking at my watch and almost crying. If just kept my pace I was going to finish more than 5 minutes under my qualifying time. Before the race I was just hoping to get a qualifying time. Instead, I did better than I thought possible.

Current competition goals: Qualifying for the 2018 Boston Marathon and finishing my first full Ironman.

Why do you want to accomplish these goals? The Ironman is another “unicorn” for me–a mythical race that seems just outside my reach or comprehension. As I keep catching my unicorns, I can’t help but relish in the fact that I can ACTUALLY BE an athlete. I still have a hard time seeing myself as one. Having the resume of Boston Marathon and an Ironman will help solidify that. Plus, I love racing, I’m sure you didn’t know that. 😉

Competition mantra: Courage to Start, Strength to Endure, Resolve to Finish

Pre-race ritual or superstition: I like to paint my nails the color of the race. It’s just something girly and fun I enjoy.

Training tips: If you’re attempting a new race distance or event, make it a fun one or do it with friends.

Training/racing pet peeve: Racers who only care about themselves. They move your stuff, cut you off, take 2 and 3 cups of water in a row at an aid station, etc.

Post-race treats: Pizza, chocolate frosted cake/cupcakes, and doughnuts.

Ideal training “camp” location: ANYWHERE warm. I do better in heat than in cold.

“Pump up” jam of choice: I start every race with the song “Geronimo“. It’s a fun song and it’s one of those iconic things you say when you jump into water. Like “here I go!”. I think of that as I run past the beginning of every race start line.

What motivates you to keep training and competing? Being born with multiple birth defects, the ambition set for me was just to be healthy, not “anything you want”. So, I held myself back thinking “I’m too small, too weak, too fragile, too slow”. I have problems with my own abilities. That’s why I keep racing. I want to prove to others and mostly myself that I’m a strong athlete. Every time I cross that finish line or get through a rough workout, I feel like a champion. Also, everyone I train with. I have some amazing athlete friends and I love hearing about their achievements and motivational stories.

What motivates you to keep going when it gets tough? Music is a big passion of mine. When I get frustrated I start singing either out loud or in my head (especially during triathlons when I don’t have music).

Something you’ve learned about yourself through endurance athletics: Regardless of my past, current condition, and perceived mindset, I can make myself into the best version of me if I just try.

Best athletic encouragement you’ve ever been given: Pain is only temporary, while the feeling of an achievement lasts a lifetime.

Athlete hero (and why): Chrissie Wellington. She set the stage for women in the triathlon world while being extremely humble and down to earth . I love that, like me, she’s a clumsy, self-proclaimed Muppet. *Insert image of Kermit the frog flailing his arms every where while running*

Words of wisdom to aspiring endurance athletes:

Some days will be easy, some days will be hard, and some day you’ll just want to quit. Just remember, you are creating the best version of yourself. Celebrate the good days and be gentle to yourself on the bad. Creation takes passion, patience, and perseverance.

What does “Fuel” mean to you? Whole, non-processed, colorful, and healthy food.

What does being “Fit” mean to you? Being able to achieve your athletic goals in a healthy manner.

Pick one:
Swim, bike, or run? Run
Open water or pool? Hawaiian ocean bays; in California? POOL
Trail or track? Trail
Solo or group training? Group
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Watch on your left wrist or right? Left
Morning or evening workout? Morning
Hat, visor or headband? Visor
Swim cap or no cap? Swim cap; my hair gets tangled in my mouth without one
Cheerios or Wheaties? Honey Nut Cheerios
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Coffee
Crocs or Birkenstocks? OOFOS 😉

If you could swap out one triathlon discipline (swim/bike/run) for another (anything!), what would you swap out and what would you add in its place, and why? Umm…how about Horse Ride/Run/Horse Ride.. that would be amazing!

Any other fun facts about you: It wasn’t until 2011 that I started running, or participated in any regular athletic activity. It’s been a long, hard road but I’m finally learning to love it. Everyone I workout with is amazing and a great inspiration.

Thanks, Lori!