Mix1 Athlete of the Month-May 2012
For May, our MIX1 Athlete of the Month is Kathleen Steffe! Kathleen swam, biked and ran herself to 2nd place in the 50-54 AG at Ironman St George earlier this month. You are probably thinking to yourself, “Well, she’s 50, she’s been doing this a while and has tons of experience, of course she was 2nd”. The truth is this is Kathleen’s first Ironman and she is one those people that if you give her a plan she’ll execute it down to the last calorie and heartbeat. People don’t come easier to coach than Kathleen. That’s not to say she didn’t run and bike in the cold, windy and snowy winter of CO, because she did, but she had a roadmap and she followed it all the way to 2nd place. Enjoy our interview with Kathleen Steffe, our MIX1 Athlete of the Month for May 2012!
Can you tell us a little bit about your sports background? Which sports did you do as a kid and as you got older?
I was on the swim team from the age of 5 through college at UC Berkeley. My mom said I was born with big shoulders so I guess I was meant to be a swimmer. After college I was dry and chlorine free for the next 20+ yrs and did some mtn biking. I lived at the base of Mt. Diablo in No. Calif and my husband, who was/is an avid rider, and I used to ride there all of the time.
What was your motivation to get started in triathlon?
A gal that worked for me was doing triathlons- I had never heard of them and thought what a great way to get in shape, use my swimming background but not be a true swimmer again- been there done that. I was 40 and she was 25. We made a little wager on who would beat each other. I think I won by 2 seconds!
When and where was your first race?
My first race was the Colorado State Games at the Air Force Academy in 2004 (?). It was a sprint race. I thought it was the hardest but most satisfying thing I had ever done. Like many folks, there were a dozen things that I realized I would do differently to improve in my next race.
What services have you used at D3 to help you with reaching your goals?
I have had one-on-one coaching from Mike for 2 years. I have used the online winter power bike maintenance program and the online Boulder Tri Series program. And most recently used the D3 Quarterly Customized Plan for my first Full Ironman.
Have you done any races that you’d traveled for?
I went to Kansas for the USAT short course nationals in 2006, the Soma 1/2 in AZ (2008) and to St. George, UT for my first Ironman this year.
Best triathlon moment?
At the Lake to Lake Triathlon doing my first Olympic distance. It finally clicked for me on how to find my breathing rhythm while running. Running was always a challenge for me. I would always feel like hyper ventilating and then have to walk to catch my breath.
What is your favorite race and why?
I like the Boulder Peak. Climbing up Old Stage Rd is challenging and the ride down is awesome! They have a great Pro turn out with good viewing for the spectators. It’s well run and I like the Olympic distance.
What are your long term goals in triathlon?
Not quite sure yet. I’m just thinking of a long rest right now -. I know I don’t want to do another Ironman but, would like to capitalize on all my fitness from that event and do one or two 1/2′s this year. And, I would like to try an Xterra event.
If you could spend one day training with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to spend a day with Missy Franklin- the 16 yr old swimmer from Colorado who is expected to make a few Olympic cuts! I love her energy, passion and beautiful grace in and out of the water!
What’s in your race future?
I turn 50 this year so I may want to hop back in the pool and swim at a masters National or World championship meet to see what I can do since I’ll be at the top of my age group. I got the Ironman off the bucket list and may have to find a few more adventures to celebrate. And, I have always had a dream of biking with my husband in the Loire Valley in France and staying at the chateaus along the way. Not necessarily racing but just enjoying the ride. And, if not, then perhaps one of the multi day rides in the Rockies like the Triple Bypass.
What’s your favorite workout?
This year, I really began to enjoy my long runs and really liked the workout where I did: warm-up then 2×25′ at zone2, 2×12′ at zone3 and 1×5′ at zone4 (all with 5′ RI). 2hrs passed really quickly and it was a great way to test my progress each week without running too hard for too long.
What your least favorite workout?
I really hate doing the bike power testing. They hurt and I just find it really hard to get motivated for them. I don’t care for the swim test either and haven’t done one in years.
Tell us something interesting about you!
I worked in the wireless industry for 20 yrs, beginning in the 80′s when cell phones were either ‘backpack phones’ or ‘brief case phones’ and sold for $3000-$5000. Customers would call us while driving home ( so they could look cool- they were still rare at the time) and literally say it was the best thing since sliced bread. It was a fun job participating and watching the evolution of the cell phone- the visionaries in the industry knew back then what it would become. I was also the ‘voice’ of our company- you know, when you hear ” the cellular number you are trying to reach is currently unavailable, please try your call again later”? And all of the other recordings on the network and when you called the customer service voice response system. That’s my little claim to fame!