Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's day

This post is dedicated to my mom. I really don't think I would be where I am in racing right now if it wasn't for my mom, and since it is mother's day, I thought I would share some stories about how much my mom has supported my racing adventures. It started off freshman year of college. I decided I wanted to run a marathon. I found the closest and cheapest one that I could. It was called the Race of Champions Marathon in Holyoke, MA. My mom drove up from CT to pick me up from college in New Hampshire, and we drove to Holyoke together. She was there cheering for me at all the aid stations and volunteered to help hand out water and gels to runners while she waited for me to come through. She was at the finish line to give me a big hug and say congratulations and share in my enthusiasm and post-race stories.

A few years later, I decided to try a half Ironman in the Poconos. Again, it was my mom I called after I paid the registration fee to see if she wanted to go with me. "Of course," she said. "I would love to." She went with me to race registration and was there to try to comfort me when we found out the swim was cancelled due to flooding of the river and the half ironman turned into a half duathlon. She was there to help me across the finish line and take my picture when I finished 2nd in my age group. During the pre-race dinner, we sat with some seasoned triathletes who were talking about their Ironman experiences. My mom thought they were crazy for trying that distance. I couldn't wait to sign up.

Poconos 70.3 (minus the swim)

The next year, we were off to St. George, Utah together. That was back when St. George was still a full Ironman distance tri. We met at the airport in New York and flew out together, just me and her. She was there to drive around the bike course with me before the race so I could see just how hilly it was going to be, she was up before dawn so that she could see me off at the race start, she mapped out a route around the course so that she could cheer for me at multiple sites, and she was there at the finish line to hear them announce my name as an Ironman finisher.

The start of the St. George Ironman

Exploring The Narrows at Zion National Park during our trip to Utah
Hiking at Bryce Canyon

There were lots of other races my mom came to. Countless soccer practices and tournaments in high school, crew races in college, other marathons, triathlons, and cyclocross races. She is still the first person I call after a big race to give her the results. My mom doesn't always understand why I like endurance racing or the sometimes obsessive training that goes along with it, but she has never stopped believing in me or cheering for me.

My mom in the yellow raincoat (and dad) braving the Connecticut blizzard to cheer me on during cyclocross nationals this past January 

After the racing at cx nats

My mom is the one who gave me my sense of adventure, who taught me a love for the outdoors, and who taught me not to be afraid to try new things. Without that spirit that she instilled in me, I probably would have never started mountain biking in the first place. She also taught me that if you are going to do a job, you should put in 100% and do the job right. That is still something I try to live by everyday.

Winter skiing with mom in VT
Summer hiking with mom in NH

This coming weekend are races in Pisgah. Jeff is away in Baltimore that weekend and isn't racing. Guess who is coming with me instead? Thanks mom. You are best. And happy happy mother's day!

My mom trying mountain biking last summer! Never afraid to try something new

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