modeling photo
age 14

dance performance at Willamette University
May 2002
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The Things We Deserve

Winter for me means a lot of training, but there isn’t much to talk about in the way of races. However, an incident in December got me thinking about how people treat each other, and some of the common attitudes within the triathlon community, but also in society in general. Admittedly, I can’t keep pace with Twitter, so this commentary would have been a lot more relevant three months ago, but sometimes it seems like the immediate and impulsive nature of social media doesn’t really allow for deeper introspection. I hesitated for a long time before posting this because the story was no longer current, but as time went by, the themes stayed with me. I became more aware of my own tendency towards quick judgment, and I observed all around me the persistent habit of categorizing strangers as The Deserving or The Undeserving, usually based on completely arbitrary distinctions or inaccurate perceptions.

Here is what went down in December:

Danielle Dingman, a talented young athlete who is relatively new to triathlon, qualified for her pro license last season. Faced with typical financial barriers as an unsponsored rookie, she opted to launch a GoFundMe page where friends, family and perhaps even anonymous donors could help her pursue her dream of a career in triathlon racing.

Apparently, this rubbed some people the wrong way.

Posted by Kimberly 03/06/2018

When Life Gives You Lemons... IM 70.3 Santa Cruz and IM 70.3 Boulder (sort of)

My DNF at Boulder Peak was followed by... Another DNF at IRONMAN Boulder 70.3 a month later. This time it was premeditated, a hard decision to come to terms with, but ultimately my choice came down to either Did Not Finish or Did Not Start. By the end of July it was clear that I was battling a hamstring issue, among other things. I had my first rendezvous with Dry Needling treatment, which feels like a pokey spike climbing into the achiest part of your muscle and burrowing around like a gopher making a little nest deep inside your leg. It's delightful.

I asked myself the obvious question: Was my last minute decision to add an extra twenty one miles to my Ironman "training day" the reason for this late season injury? If so, I accept responsibility for the choice that did exactly what I feared it might (by denying me my next two races).

However, there is also the possibility that the Ironman was not the determining factor in whether I stumbled upon injury this year, and when I look at it that way, I am infinitely more grateful that I seized the opportunity when I did. It is still a shining, thrilling milestone in my race career, and one that even with the benefit of hindsight, I would again sacrifice the rest of the season for.

But it's hard to pinpoint the cause of vague overuse irritations. I felt fine (relatively speaking) during and after the Ironman. I recovered in the following weeks as well as one could hope. But three weeks later I apparently pushed myself over the edge running a 5k. Was it really just the 5k? I ran a 5k two weeks before the Ironman with no ill after-effects. (To be fair, I did run the second one faster, with every intention of running absolutely as hard as I could.) But my personal experiments as well as observations of other people's ill-advised endurance over-reaches have given me familiarity with the pattern of delayed onset consequences. So the 5k could have just topped off the trouble that was already brewing.

Posted by Kimberly 09/23/2017

The DNF Strikes Back

Last month I was supposed to drop out of the Ironman. But I thumbed my nose at the plan to DNF and then guess what happened at my next race?

The DNF gods went ahead and took the sacrifice I owed them.

July 9th was the Boulder Peak Olympic, a race with a long history of big time pro champions, and famous for its brutal climb up Olde Stage Road.

And I didn't finish it.

While perhaps an unremarkable turn of events in the world of competitive racing, this was unique for me, in that it was my first time.

I've completed more than 80 triathlons. If you add to that total all the 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, marathons, trail races, bike races, aquathons, etc - I've cruised through that glorious finish arch (or over that chalk line on the pavement) well over 200 times.

If you add to that total all the times I've climbed up on the starting blocks at a swim meet and reliably completed the 50, 100, 200, 1500 yard race… OK maybe swim meets don't really count, because who DNFs a race that's only a minute long? (I mean, besides Mateo, the hero of the Ygnacio Valley High School swim team, who, on the historic day the phrase "WTF?!" was invented, swam 75 yards of a 100 yard race, and just got out at the other end of the pool. Something I've never seen happen before or since).

My point is, for over two decades, I've had a 100% success rate when it comes to finishing races. I'm obsessed with the irresistible pull of the finish line, perhaps to a fault.

Posted by Kimberly 07/11/2017