Returning to my roots

Picture this: eight-year-old KJ, hanging on the pool deck at the end of a lane, staring up at my swim coach and trying desperately to figure out how to do the drill she was explaining.

I adored my swim coaches growing up. I just wanted to be like them. They knew so much, cared so much, and were just the coolest. Our head coach instituted a “Junior Coach” program, which meant that when swimmers turned 13, we were able to prepare, interview, and learn to be a coach – obviously I jumped at that opportunity after dreaming of joining summer after summer.

After coaching swimming every summer for nine years, I entered the “real world” and gone was that creative outlet. When I found triathlon, I jumped at the opportunity to coach swimming with the Oakland Triathlon Club, but then the “real world” caught up with me again and I had to stop due to conflicting schedules.

Two and a half years ago, I almost lost my involvement in endurance sport due to “real world” commitments – I learned that lesson quickly, and jumped back in. While you can’t truly “coach” yourself, you sure can train yourself. And in the process, make a whole bunch of mistakes and find a whole bunch of good strategy.

In 2019, I decided I would pursue the USA Triathlon Level 1 Coaching Certification – and then in 2020, the world decided to flip upside down. Despite that, USAT offered virtual training, and I was able to push up my session by almost a month and a half. And as of this week, I’m considered officially ‘certified’ by USAT as a Level 1 triathlon coach!

Far beyond the paperwork, I find coaching to be the most rewarding and exciting way to work with people. At the end of the day, we’re all still the same kids wanting to learn and grow and develop, and I’d love to be a part of your endurance sport team. You can always reach me at swimcyclesprint@gmail.com or via Instagram @swimcyclesprint.

Let’s go.

I’ve said it before and I meant it – I’m still racing.

But this time I’m not ‘still’ – I’m moving. And training. And ready to be back to racing.

Life is as busy as ever. Work is crazy and the commute is longer. But we don’t improve without rising to meet challenges. So here I am, putting it out there: I’m ready to race.

2018 brought highs and lows for me in triathlon. I missed key sessions, I failed to prioritize and manage my time, and I let myself fall backwards many steps. I also captured a 3rd OA at one of my favorite races, got to experience the resurgence of Wildflower, and watched several of my friends and teammates achieve major goals.

The break was exactly what I needed. It provided perspective of what not doing triathlon and training means. I learned a ton from Mitchell and Raeleigh with ETPA, and while I know I’m no expert and certainly have nowhere near the experience as them, I’m taking those lessons and applying them to run my own training. I guess we’ll all see how it goes!

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Thanksgiving Day Post; or, Yes This is a Day Overdue

Whoops. Yell at me, I meant to share this yesterday.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It revolves around food and togetherness. People wake up early to do an activity before gorging themselves (Turkey Trots, hikes, and so on), and then spend time together cooking and eating – I guess some people watch football – in the name of being thankful.

Past Fenton's (too cold for ice cream), through Piedmont and Grand Lake, and a loop around Lake Merritt.
Past Fenton’s (too cold for ice cream), through Piedmont and Grand Lake, and a loop around Lake Merritt.

My Thanksgiving was great – let me rub in the drama-less day a little more. My day started off with a fantastic run. I aimed for a solid 10k, so I calculated a route on Strava which I ultimately expanded to a nice even 7 miler.

I felt awesome the whole run, didn’t experience any awful GI/flu-like symptoms afterwards, and headed over to my mom’s house for the big day!

It was also an absolutely GORGEOUS day. Oakland / Lake Merritt
It was also an absolutely GORGEOUS day. Oakland / Lake Merritt

I’m so grateful to have a loving family, strong supports and loving friends, and my health and the health of those close to me. I’m grateful to have found an excellent team to learn from and train with in Oakland Triathlon Club. I’ve experienced the illness of a loved one, and we fought through that; I’ve experienced my own injuries, and come back from those. While I don’t doubt our resilience, I’m grateful that we don’t have these obstacles to fight right now.

In addition – a few weeks ago I pulled a feral kitten in to my house from the cold California winter (really, it was actually a super cold snap). She’s been through quite a bit – half a dozen vet visits and a two night stay in the emergency vet. But she’s a strong itty bitty kitty, and has recovered very well! She spent yesterday sleeping, eating, or pouncing (also see: typical kitten behavior).

Look at this little bug.
Look at this little bug. Shaved leg is left over from her hospital trip and multiple transfusions.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!!

Ugh. Where have you been?!

Where have I been?

I’ve been busy. Is that a lame answer? Yep. Really sorry, though. I promise I’ll be better about keeping current and relevant.

What am I doing?

I am currently feeling guilty that I’ve been so quiet. I’ve been working, training, working some more, eating, sleeping… Lots of all of those things.

Have I been racing?

Yep! Just raced the fantastic Morro Bay Sprint Triathlon this past weekend. It was seriously be gorgeous. I had never been to Morro Bay or San Luis Obispo before AND I got some bestie time 🙂 no complaints. Write up to follow shortly!

This upcoming weekend, I’ll be competing at a college alumni swim meet. By “compete” I of course mean “do two laps as fast as I can without getting totally killed by college kids.”

Thanks for being there and I promise I’ll be here.

Hella Oakland.
Hella Oakland.

Let’s talk let-down.

It’s the week before race day.
As you fall asleep each night, you’re thinking about your race. Your swim. Your sprint to transition. Your bike, your T2, and your run. Your finish.
You wake up on race day, ready to go.
And then its over.

Now what?

Continue reading “Let’s talk let-down.”