Triathlon has been a large portion of my life for the last 11 years. I basically ate, breathed, and slept it nearly non-stop. My journey to triathlon started from an eating disorder that, through a long recovery process, got me super interested in the fitness and the human body. Makes sense why I gravitated towards triathlon and going to college to get my Bachelors in Nursing. I worked hard to make it to this point of triathlon – racing professionally. However, I’ve decided to shut it down completely and move on to something else. Bike racing. Why? Here’s a short list:
1. Frustrated with where the sport is going – If you are reading this, then I probably don’t need to explain to you what has happened to the professional race scene around the Globe, but most notably in the USA and Canada. Ironman basically thinks professionals don’t matter due to age group participation being just as good at the non-pro races. The pro fields are much deeper (which doesn’t bother me). What does bother me is how far away these races are and the potential to win money at them. It doesn’t take much for 4 or 8.5 hour race to derail. Even if an athlete ends up in the money, they can’t cover their traveling costs most of the time unless they are in the top 5 at the bigger races and top 3 at some of the smaller races. Even placing 3rd at some races won’t cover the traveling expenses, especially if the race is out of the country.
2. Distance to races – Prior to Ironman cutting pro races and Challenge/Rev3 doing the same, I had several within 3-4 hours to choose from. Now I have zero. The time spent traveling to the races could be better spent with friends and family.
3. Not excited about racing triathlon – usually after taking a couple weeks off, the thought of toeing a start line on a beach or wading in the water for the cannon to sound gets me excited. This year was different. I could force myself into a low level of excitement for a day or two max. But once I started thinking about it more and talking with some friends about it, the decision to hang up triathlon was clear.
Even though the decision was clear, it wasn’t easy. I began to think about what others would think of me. Would they think I am a quitter? That was the biggest fear. I guess in a negative sense I am. However, I like to think that I am a beginner. Not like a rookie, but as in starting a new adventure. The last thing I want to do is go through the motions of training while dreaming of something else.
I want to be a great cyclists. If there is one thing I learned and would change about how I approached triathlon for the first 5 or 6 years it would be the fact that I didn’t hire a coach sooner. I’m not making the mistake again. I’ve been talking a few coaches I believe can help me reach my goal of racing bikes professionally one day. That day may be a couple years away, but I’m not afraid of hard work. My parents taught me how to work hard for my goals, whether they were academic, career oriented, or just personal goals. I have a lot to learn and a lot of training to do to get my FTP higher, my weight lower (which should naturally happen from not swimming anymore), and my 30 second to 5 minute power numbers much better. I have to learn the tactics of bike racing so I can race smart.
I’ve also challenged myself to something I don’t think a lot of cyclist do – Omniums. Omniums are three bike races (criterum, road, and time trial) all in the same weekend. I want to focus on endurance road while doing TT and Omniums. I’ll race a criterium, but it will be a lower priority. 3 different ways to ride a bike, 3 separate challenges. I guess triathlon will always effect how I approach things.
I also feel that I should say that I am sad to leave Maverick Multisport. They have treated me better than I deserve and I wish everyone on the team success as they continue in their triathlon endeavors. I couldn’t have done it without Chris (manager of the team) getting great sponsors and being a encourager.