She's one of the most enthusiastic athletes you'll ever meet and we absolutely love her blog and her story. Today we're chatting with Kristin who is a Coeur Athlete, a Kona Qualifier and the person behind the Sweat Courage Blog.
Coeur: First, congratulations on punching your ticket to Ironman Hawaii! You qualified at IMMT. When did you know you were going to Kona and how did it feel?
Kristin: Thank you so much! I am still on cloud nine from the podium that day at IMMT. After all, it was just 3 weeks ago:) So, I knew I was going to Kona when I was on the second loop of the run. At the half marathon point, my family told me that I was in third place (they had been tracking me online thanks to my brother who was tracking on his home computer). I knew I was in third and the second place girl had literally just gone past me. She was doing 7:50's and I was doing 8:30's. They also told me that the first place girl in my AG had slowed down to 11:00 min miles and I knew I had a chance of catching her and at least getting into second. I battled it out back and forth with this one girl for the entire 2nd loop. We ended up both passing the first place girl and at that point, I knew I was in contention, figuring there were at least two slots. There were several miles when I was even in 1st position for my AG! But at the end, I couldn't hold on and the first place girl zipped ahead of me. I knew no other girls were around me and during the last mile or two I knew I was in second and holding it (I may or may not have gone out a little too fast on the run;) ). When I approached the finisher's chute I KNEW there was a VERY GOOD chance I was going to Kona!! But officially, I found out at around 7:00 PM that evening when we got the slot allocations per AG!
Coeur: You come from a running background. How did you get into triathlon?
Kristin: Yes, you're right! Running is definitely my strongest and favorite sport. I had always been a runner, never a cyclist or a swimmer. When I was in college, one of my field hockey teammates encouraged me to try swimming laps with her. I was scared to death and remember it being SO hard. But i stuck with it, going to the pool a few days a week and loved seeing the progress in my swim endurance. After college, I continued to swim and take spin classes at the gym. I also joined a masters swim team, another thing that was intimidating at first , but to this day is one of the best decisions ever. It wasn't until 2010 that I made the jump and bought a road bike. I never thought I would be one of those "people" riding a bike on the road, and it seemed scary and dangerous to me. The same year I bought my road bike, I signed up for my very first triathlon a Sprint Tri in my hometown of Sudbury, MA. From that moment, I was absolutely hooked! I signed up for 4 more sprint races that season. The rest is history. Oh and I did my first half ironman on my road bike:)
Kristin Running Boston
Coeur: Speaking of running, we cheered for you as you raced the Boston Marathon, which is such a marquee event. Now you’re doing Kona which is also very iconic. Is there anything else on your endurance sports bucket list?
Kristin: Thanks for the cheers during Boston this year! It was an awesome day! Now with Kona on the radar, it's hard to imagine anything better... and Boston is my favorite road race, since it's close to home. If I had to be honest, on my endurance sports bucket list is.. a trail marathon in the western part of the US like Oregon or Washington. Trail racing in general I feel like I would really enjoy and have always wanted to do. If I were to ever get into mountain biking, I would consider an Xterra Triathlon. I also intend to get back to Kona :) this won't be the last time.
Coeur: Of course Kona is the big show in long course triathlon and everyone who is anyone seems to be on the Big Island. We've heard that some athletes like to experience as much of the race as they can and spend a lot of time on Alii and at the expo. Others make a point of staying away from the action so that they don't get distracted. Do you think you’ll fall into one camp or another?
Kristin: I think this Kona being my FIRST Kona, I'll want a little bit of both. I'll definitely want to check out the expo and I'm sure I'll spend way more $ than necessary on Kona swag.. but I also know how going to the expo and all of the events can be exhausting. I have learned from experience that all of the walking around at the expos and the excitement pre race can suck the energy right out of you. However, I definitely plan to soak it ALL in when I get there!! I do also plan to have some quiet time at our house we are renting. Also, I'm really looking forward to meeting Coeur ladies and social media friends in real life..
Coeur: Quite a few of us will be out cheering on the course in Kona, so we have to ask. Do you ever hear what people yell to you on the bike and the run or are you concentrating so much on your body that you don't notice? Also, if you do notice, what is the best thing for someone to say to you during the race?
Kristin: It totally depends on the race. For example at Mont-Tremblant this year, I was all business. I heard people cheering for me, but I didn't really engage with the crowds. I zoned in on the prize, which was punching my ticket to kona. I think the weather also plays a role, because if it's a very hot day (like all of my 2015 races have been) you really need to pay close attention to your body and your fueling, which means I might pay less attention to people cheering for me. BUT this being Kona and the big dance, I plan to pay attention to all of the sights and sounds around me. I just love getting cheered for! The best things for someone to say to me is "looking fast" "look at that form" "great pace" "you got this"
Coeur: We think that the finish on Alii drive is one of the most magical places in all of sport. What do you think you'll be feeling when you make the turn on to Alii?
Kristin: Similar to the feeling of crossing the finish line of Mont-Tremblant, the feeling of being so ALIVE comes to mind. Crossing an Ironman finish line is something that is really difficult to put into words. I most likely will just feel very PROUD of myself and what I have accomplished in such a short period of time. Oh and I'm sure I will be thinking "I HAVE to get back here and cross this finish line again."
Coeur: Well, thank you so much for chatting with us! We’ll see you soon in Kona!
Kristin: Thank you so much!! I am thrilled to meet you in KONA and I'm so proud to represent Team Coeur.