Theresa grew up in Baltimore, Maryland where, in high school, she competed on the swim team as, primarily, an endurance swimmer (500 Freestyle), but she also enjoyed the technical aspects of the sport as she competed in the 100 Individual Medley and looked forward to racing the 4×100 Freestyle where she enjoyed nailing the “timing of the takeoff”. In addition to swimming, as Maryland is “big horse country”, she also took riding lessons and competed in equestrian events. On some week nights, she garnered fitness by doing swim/horseback ride bricks as riding nicely complimented swimming as it challenges one to “maintain form and posture which greatly strengthens one’s thighs and hamstrings”. After high school, at Washington University in St Louis, she exchanged her long riding boots for sneakers and took up running. She shared that “next to the university there were some really nice areas to run through that had amazing houses to look at. It became a very relaxing way to take a break from school as I ran through the local neighborhoods.” During this time, she participated in a handful of 5Ks and 10Ks, but when she went to graduate school at Tufts, in Massachusetts, she dialed up her running and joined the university’s Boston Marathon charity team. “I found the endurance training for marathon was both fun and therapeutic”, however, the volume led her to develop a stress fracture and she was introduced to the bike as she went to spin classes to not lose fitness during this time.
Despite the stress fracture setback, she became obsessed with marathons and, from graduate school on, ran 19 marathons to date with her latest performance being the Boston Marathon in the fall of 2021. Of note, along her journey, her fastest marathon was a 3:09:58 in the Chicago Marathon in 2015. Always appreciate the effort that goes into sliding under a target time and can only imagine Theresa staring at her watch as she pushed herself beyond what she thought she was able to as she ran along the final 2/10s of a mile to limbo under 3:10! ?
With her swimming and running background, triathlon became the next adventure, and, in May of 2018, she bought a road bike and, a month later, raced the Sleepy Hollow Sprint Tri. She knew nothing about triathlon, but, unlike many newbies, with her swim background felt very comfortable in the water, however, given her lack of open water swimming did bash into a few buoys along the way. Once out of the water, as she was rushing to take her wetsuit off, she accidentally sent her velcro’d timing chip to fly off in the process. After retrieving it and putting it back on she jumped on her road bike and found the lack of familiarity with bike racing being “very scary”. She was very tentative and biked very slowly, however, her relatively slow bike put her pretty far back in the race and once she got on the run, there was plenty of people to pass and the adrenaline rush made her want to go back for more which she did a month later at the New York City Olympic Tri and then that fall, at the West Point Sprint Tri, she got on the podium with a 3rd place finish in her age group!
Later that year she packed up and moved to Denver as she was charmed by the “distinctive neighborhood set-up and the feel of the city”. Once she arrived, she quickly got connected with Rocky Mountain Tri Club and experienced the welcoming spirit at the track and swim workouts. In the Spring though she started to join the weekend rides. As she was new to riding, she, admittedly, was very nervous and a little intimidated, but over time became more comfortable with her ability and slowly her capability improved. She also has been appreciative of the sponsors as she frequents Runner’s Roost for all her running gear, trained at Swim Labs, will be buying a ROKA Wetsuit, leveraged Zealios for their “awesome sunscreen”, and, to put her body back together and recover has tapped into Highland Sport and Spine and uses Bluerub.
In 2019, she had her eyes focused on completing her first half iron distance and signed up for Boulder IronMan 70.3. She looked forward to racing long course but getting her head around the length of time she would be racing as well as the nutrition strategy seemed to be a bit daunting. Adding to her apprehension, she had a setback at the Colorado Sunrise Olympic Triathlon in late June, as she had a bit of a panic attack during the swim caused by either having difficulty with the altitude or being knocked in the head at the start. In the end she made it through that race and successfully completed her first 70.3 at Boulder.
In 2021, she stepped up her game and bought a TT bike as she planned to take on Boulder 70.3 again. However, on a training ride in late July, as she was practicing going in and out of aero, she accidentally lost balance and crashed cutting her hand up pretty badly. A couple weeks prior to Boulder 70.3 she was planning to race an Olympic triathlon as a tune-up race, but due to her hand injury, bagged the swim and raced the duathlon where she outright won the Female division which helped her build back her confidence. At Boulder 70.3, she got out of the water 4th in her AG and, despite colliding with a dog on the bike course finished with her best ever bike split on route to a good run and a solid day.
In 2022, she is “focused on getting faster” and intends to race more shorter distance triathlons and running races to build more confidence in taking on the longer distances. She shared that she “Loves the active lifestyle associated with training for triathlon. My body feels better as I have to balance the three sports and I enjoy the discipline required to train for endurance racing.” Additionally, she shared that it has helped her professionally as well as she’s had to rethink her schedule to find time for the longer, and sometimes double, workouts required. Plus, biking has continued to push her out of her comfort zone as it has really challenged her to become more proficient at it. Her final thoughts were that the allure of triathlon resided with managing her mindset when racing for even on a tough day she relishes in the battle to find ways to push through and enjoys hearing all the stories of the mental endurance she’s heard from the RMTC members which have been such a welcoming community.