(Thanks for the pic @triathletemag :)
Liz grew up a competitive swimmer holding distance freestyle collegiate records > > > post- college she moved to Hawai'i & then New Zealand where it became clear her stoke was far more suited to open water than the pool. What her stroke lacked in the calm waters of the pool, were an asset in the choppy less reliable open bodies of water often placing her first female out of the water. After coaching age group, high school and collegiate swimming for 20+ years, she switched her focus exclusively to triathletes in 2009 > understanding
triathlon swim fitness and technique is not the same the same as 'swimmers' (even distance freestylers). Triathlon requires specific swim skills and fitness > it is not Red Cross or USA swimming!
Early in her triathlon career, Liz gave being a pro athlete a shot > ignorance is bliss (until it's not) > under the 'guidance' of an unknowing coach, she proceeded train to TBA (total body annihilation...meh). As fun as this sounds (ha), it was no rainbows & cupcakes. Big sliver lining > the invaluable lessons that come from hard falls and long ass climbs back out to find racing success (with the help of her new amazing coach :). These are lessons no book will teach & no facebook will post > they come from doing and they are, by far, the most valuable in understanding the hows & whys of performance training and racing. These lessons are at the cornerstone of Liz's coaching philosophy and why our athletes stick around, stay injury free, and continue to improve year to year.
Over the last decade, we've helped hundreds of athletes improve in triathlon and single sport races > we qualify for world championships, run ultras, swim open water 10Ks, run back to back marathons, ride Triple By Pass, take on Ultraman (IM x 2), conquer open water (even the ocean!), crush FTPs, learn to love running, & tackle the so important and underestimated mental side training. These aren't zero to hero stories > we're about long term smart training. We'd love to have you join us - contact us here : )
Liz mentored under Brett Sutton's Trisutto performance coaching development program to become a certified Trisutto Coach and works full time as a triathlon coach in Kansas City and surrounding areas. She is also a sports massage therapist (info here).
And now for something completely different! Having been dialed into IM training since 2009, I'm putting less focus on tri's this year > 1st goal: touch my toes by EOY. Currently I'm about mid-thigh but with each hot yoga class, I approach my knee caps so I'm staying hopeful (at least we know it can't get worse). #2 Unbound - 50 mile gravel ride (June - I survived!), #3 Pikes Peak Ascent in September - (13.1 miles up Pikes Peak in Colorado....altitude and trial running crush me, so I expect a proper smack down :). My knee is still numb from the last time I bit it trail running in CO. Last but not least a RUN VACATION IN MOROCCO!!! eik! So lucky & grateful.
Unrelated - but totally awesome - my run partner from college won the Marathlon De Sables in 2013 > it's a 150 mile stage race across Morocco > she writes about it here : ). (To be clear - the run adventure I'll be having in Morocco is 100% for fun and absolutely *nothing* like what Meagan did. eik!).
Argo 13.1 Winter Version, Triple ByPass in CO > oops, we finally got nabbed by the COVID and couldn't go :/
Kona....it happened this year! This was the year they raced women on Thursday and Men on Saturday in order to handle the COVID back log....this was the first year they separated men and women on 2 different days - and the only year they did this in Kona (starting in 2023, they still hosted men and women on different days - but only one day takes place in Kona > the 2nd day rotates internationally). It was also Mike Riley's last World Champs > Casey and I both qualified for Kona at Tulsa in 2021....it was pretty amazing we both got to race at Mike Riley's last Championship event. It felt like the closing of an era in many ways :). It was a hell of an experience - race blog here.
This year the Reds, in a dream come true, finally put together a relay for the Maui Channel Swim > BEST! EVER! > we swam between Lanai and Maui!
Ironman Tulsa > 1st overall female out of the water (8 / 26 pro women), AG 3rd and a Kona slot ;-) So fun! ....most exciting tho is that my hubs also go a Kona Slot - he's missed KQing by **literally** seconds over and over and over > I am over the moon for him (and pretty cool we both did it on the same day ;). He works his tail off and I'm so darn proud of him for staying the course - he was a basketball player through college and making the move to endurance sports has required endless patience and determination. Knowing how hard he works - that he would *NEVER* dope nor draft on the bike course - he just puts in the honest hard work every single day - it's been hard to watch him come so close to KQ so many times - but it made the reward even sweeter : ).
The Godfather...a Kansas City Legend :)
Also took a little trip to Costa Rica to learn to surf this year....I am
100% a DISASTER - literally never got off the starter board - but it
was freaking amazing and I loved every second.
2020 was suppose to be Tulsa Ironman.....but like we all did w/ COVID, I had to improvise! Third year in a row I'd registered for IM and had massive unforeseen life circumstances reroute those plans. yikes - but onward we go! Instead, I did my first 50K (nabbed first female & 7th OA ;) and spent 3 days riding the Katy Trail...which proved to be an adventure ....eiiikkkk...
2019 - REDMAN 70.3 REDEMPTION!
After an epic botch in 2018, I was thankful for redemption this year by properly coming in 3rd Overall Female :)
It was a seriously tough day - we stood in the rain waiting on race delays >the swim was ultimately cancelled and the wind + rain on the bike were outrageous. Athletes and spectators were awesome and rose to the occasion to make it one hell of a fun day! HUGE kudos to Redman for managing a tricky race day like pros.
*Early in 2019 my sister was diagnosed with stage 3 Cancer > she's doing brilliant and we have so many things to be thankful for - needless to say, I pulled out of racing the full IM distance this year :)
2018 - Redman Triathlon - The Epic Botch!
For the love. I accidentally cut 1/4 of a mile off the run course...numnut. I turned myself in, of course...this day hurt like a mother > and I was second overall but I had to DQ myself. Boo! (KNOW THE COURSE!) It was actually quite a fitting end to the week as my dear husband was also suppose to race but "whiskey throttled" a motorcycle into a wall (he's fine > go ahead, laugh) at the beginning of the week so tho we both registered, we had a DNS + DQ. yikes!
Santa Rosa 70.3
AG 4th even tho they canceled the swim (my strength). A tough but fun day! I'm not usually a confrontational person but there were 2 women drafting like I'd never seen > BUH-BYE. ... it's crazy how hard it is to stay in your HR zone when you're screaming bloody murder about the inequities of cheating! Broke up that sugar train shiznit in a hot minute!
Change of plans re: Boulder Full this year (2018). In March 2018 my mom passed away - I aimed to press on with the training for Boulder Ironman but in the end, it was too much. I decided to regroup and focus on the 70.3 at Santa Rosa. Lots going on w/ this race so was super happy to squeak out a 4th place (even tho they cancelled the swim!)
I've learned from hard lessons in the past the difference between persevering and destroying one's self -so here's to IM in 2019 instead! yikes!
Shawnee Mission Park Tri Sprint, KS 2018 - overall female winner :) yea! ouch.
Stroke & Stride (Boulder, CO) - 3rd overall female and 8th overall athlete. Not a huge race but the competition in Boulder is legit so I was happy :) This buggar hurt more than any race I've ever done for real. Sprinting is so awful anyway - doing it w/o O2 is death! BLEH!
Started coaching Mentorship with Brett Sutton & shoulder surgery. Trying to practice what I preach on actually doing my PT! #pt #everyday. Racing will have to wait until next year....but I can't complain b/c this did give me the chance to shadow Coach Sutton in Mallorca, Spain and then Cyprus. : )
2016....IM Texas & IM Louisville
Texas done! whew, one adventure after the next :) More about it here
IM Lousiville was a great day for me - one of those days we all hope for but are really pretty rare. I dropped over an hour off my time coming in at 10:34 and placing 4th in my AG and 14th overall female. Made all the hard work worth it!
2015 - 70.3 Lifetime PR! & Bike Tour of Cuba
Muncie 70.3 ....wow! was this fun - set a PR at 4:53! #excited There is a decade of hard lessons that went into this time > I nearly destroyed myself as an athlete and the climb back out was long but it taught me more than anything I've ever read.
Jackson County Olypmic - 1st Overall
Little Apple Sprint - 1st Overall
Redman - 4:59 - this was a tough race for me, but I learned some good tidbits and was very thankful to squeak in under 5 hours : )
I'm excited for this year...got a phenomenal coach who has helped me tremendously. Get a coach who knows what they are doing and DO WHAT THEY SAY.
My sister and I also did a bike tour of Cuba.....so far my favorite travel destination > love the tropics & as a Poly Sci major obsessed w/ all things Mafia, few places are more fitting :)
The Reds put on The Aloha Quintathalon and Triathlon this year....it was amazing and fun but being a race director and a coach was too much > so it was a one and done event. ;)
....a year to remind myself why Ironman is preferable to sprints :) OUCH!
Trolly Run 4 mile run - 27.19, 4th / 524 Age Group
Four on the 4th, 4 mile run - 3rd Overall, 28.18
SM Park - cancelled :( Mother nature was out in force this year!
Matt Mason - cancelled :(
Kansas City Half Marathon....whew! Working on getting a base for racing next year. Should (and did) prove to be rather painful : ) woot!!
Does Tap Dance class count? SO FUN! #dowhatyourbadat
2013 - Power meters & the Middle East
so...I took a rest and got a dog! : ) #necessary However...I also started experimenting with power on the bike. wow! also #necessary
confession....I decided it would be just fine to run the Kansas City Marathon with a friend....untrained. What?! She needed a buddy! #noredleftbehind. And, yes, it was painful, unwise, and unadvisable. Loved every second of it! ha! (don't try this at home #injury).
Also got to spend some time traveling with a friend in the Middle East > Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. I'm incredibly appreciative she & her family were willing to show & teach me so much about the history, politics and culture of the area.
Ironman Lousiville - 11:46
KS 70.3 - 5:05, 70.3 World Champ Qualifier...didn't take the slot but it was fun to get : )
Ironman Louisville - 11:51
Did lots of small races this year just to torture myself into being sprinter! :) #workonyourweakness
2009 - oops...I was traveling....learned to appreciate safety standards in our swimming pools (think Malaysia...electrical wires coming out from would be light sockets in the pool (yes, under water. eik!). Also came to appreciate completed sidewalks...enjoyed some harrowing potholes with false covers in Thailand. oh my...I love the gouge that remains in my shin :-). Regardless, running is an awesome way to see a city!
2006 - 2008
I had the pleasure of living in New Zealand these few amazing years...they have all kinds of fun race series. Waiheke Wharf to Wharf 25K (hello hills), Stroke and Stride (a run/swim race series - pure joy for those of us who LOVE swimming & running :-), Auckland Harbour Swim, Auckland Swim Series, Adventure racing, Rotorua Marathon, Taupo Great Lake Relay (think 10 of your best friends running around a clear fresh water lake in New Zealand....yes, it was freaking awesome!!)
2005 - 2007
mm....well one learns a lot when they move around...and I learned I did not necessarily love New Mexico...however, I had some great adventures there....
I think the biggest highlight was winning overall amateur at the Milkman Triathlon and qualifying to be the female rep for New Mexico at The Best of the US Tri in New Hampshire. By no means was I close to the best athletes racing at The Best of the US, but I'll take it. It was just pretty darn cool to get to race with them :-) eik!
My first triathlons in KC. Yikes was I scared! But as with most things, I jumped in feet first like a screaming madperson and had an awesome time : ) I was hooked!
Shawnee Mission Park Tri, Sprint - 58 minutes, 1st AG, 2nd Overall
MM Half Ironman, Kansas City, 5:12, 1st AG, 3rd Overall
2000 - 2003
mm...after living in Wisconsin, I decided clearly it was time to move some place warm and awesome. And what's more warm and awesome that Hawai'i?! I loved it then and I still love it more than anyplace I've ever been (don't tell, but someday I'm moving back :-)
I moved to Hawai'i to do AmeriCorps (like a domestic Peace Corps) - but I discovered a whole world of fun amazing humans doing all kinds of crazy sh*t > I found my people!
Talk about a racing mecha - holy smokes. Ran my first marathon here - Honolulu Marathon ; ) woot! Main highlights were the Maui Channel Swim - yes, please, may I swim between Lanai and Maui!! Second was the Ohau Perimeter Run - just like it sounds, you run on a relay around the island. Best race ever. And, I don't like to brag but our team did win best relay name *and* best relay baton.....Sharks with freaking Lazers on their Freaking Heads.
Waikiki Roughwater Swim, North Shore Swim Series, Honolulu Marathon (my first....ouch), Great Aloha Run, Mid-Pacific 30K....
Got some great experience coaching in Hawai'i - swimming & tri clinics.
College Years... I swam 4 years and ran track 1 year (why not?). It was surely no fancy fast school but indeed was just right for me. I loved it. And that one year of track was my first indicator that I am not, in fact, a sprinter (no doubt why, in swimming, my event was the mile :). Death by sprinting has continued to haunt me into my triathlon years....so hard.
Best part of this was becoming the assistant coach for my college swim team after graduating and working with their distance athletes and developing their dry land strength program. A sign of things to come! : )
The younger years :)
Growing up, I certainly did not excel at sports - I hid during gym when we had to the requisite jumping over poles day (high jump? As per the Basket Ball experience at the Sprint Center my vertical is still 3 inches - there's no high jumping to be had) and I got demoted off more than a few roundball teams buy coaches who undervalued dandelion jewelry and cartwheels during big games. Even when I found swimming, I wasn't particularly good - I spent most of my days flip-turning through missed intervals which, if I took a guess, is where my Ironman training (unknowingly) started....nothing like hustling through decades of missed intervals to turn you into a distance swimmer! : )
Rooington - Hall Monitor