Athlete of the Month
The Team Sheeper Athlete of the Month award is handed out to a member of the team on a monthly basis, 7 or 8 times a year. The AOM is someone who made a notable contribution to the team or did something remarkable. Selection is made by nomination and voting by the membership.
You can nominate anyone and the nomination period is usually during the first week or two of the month. Look for notification that nominations are being sought. When nomination close, the voting starts and once all the votes are tallied, the new AOM is crowned.
Besides bragging rights for a month, our AOM gets some goodies from our gracious sponsors, such as free shoes from TRH, a massage from SMI, gift certificates from GoRide.
October 2005 Athlete of the Month
Congratulations go to Kelly Couch, Athlete of the Month for October. Kelly receives a pair of Specialized triathlon shoes from GoRide Bicycles. This is what Tim had to say about Kelly...
Kelly came to the team this year and surprised everybody including herself. She not only surprised but impressed those who train with and around her with her talent and her deeply ingrained solid work ethic. She doesn't miss or let down.
Kelly, who is only in her second year of triathlons, has all the tools to become the top female competitor in our region. With some more time and experience we will see her on the national stage.
Congratulations on a wonderful season."
The following are Kelly's responses to our questionnaire.
Are you currently employed and/or describe your employment/career?
I teach high school history at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley. We ride past it all the time on team rides - right off Portola Road
I developed a passion for history when I was in college and immediately went into teaching. A few years ago I decided to go back to school to earn a masters degree in history and thought about continuing on to get a PhD but realized that I really missed being in the classroom teaching high school. I enjoy the learning process and want to inspire others to find the same satisfaction in learning history as I did.
Do you have a significant other and/or family to tell us about?
Yes - John, my husband, has been my greatest supporter and fan. He is at every race, at every turn, cheering my on. He acts as my chauffeur to races, cheering section, and support system. He is so patient with my training schedule and as a result has become much more helpful in the kitchen since I am no longer there to prepare dinners :). In addition to being there at every race, he helps me keep perspective and balance in my life.
What other hobbies do you have?
Between teaching and training my schedule has been pretty packed, but I really enjoy reading good novels, spending time with my family in Colorado, traveling, and preparing (and eating) good food.
How did you become involved with Team Sheeper?
My husband started doing research of Bay area triathlon teams last winter when I decided I wanted to become more serious about training. He found Team Sheeper and I showed up to a few track workouts. I was quiet and shy, but really enjoyed the workouts and other members. When we moved to San Mateo from San Francisco last April it became much easier to attend regular workouts.
What is your athletic background?
I was a swimmer growing up, participating in summer league and then swimming on the high school team. I didn't have the focus to swim 4 hours a day year round like many of my friends growing up. I enjoyed other sports and activities too much. I have always enjoyed running and decided to go out for the track and cross country teams in college. After college, I continued to race with a competitive running team in Boston and ran several road races, including two marathons.
What is it you like most about triathlons?
To be honest, the thing I probably like the most is the endorphins. My family always jokes that when I am being moody, I just need to run and I come back feeling 100% better. I love being outdoors, sweating, working hard, and focusing so intently on a single goal or objective. I love the challenge of triathlons. There is always a skill to be learned, a goal to reach, and a discipline to improve. I also love being around people who share the same passion (or need!) for exercise and competition. When I was in high school, I was reading an article in Runner's World that summed up why I love to run (now swim/bike/run) so much. I have kept the article tucked away and read it every now and then to remember why I spend so many hours on the road. The sentence that resonated with me was: "In that hour devoid of distraction, when the world is on hold, I can focus on the troubles and joys of becoming myself and arrive at a sort of peace." I guess this is why I love triathlon. Training and racing helps me understand myself better. I can think without all the distractions of life.
What races are you planning for the remainder of this year, or the future, that you are gearing up for?
My season is definitely over for now. I am looking forward to some relaxing workouts and spending more time with my family. However, I am already thinking about next year :). I would like to do a couple half ironmans next season and one day down the road I would love to do an ironman.
What are your Triathlon, or personal goals or aspirations?
My #1 goal is to enjoy triathlon as long as possible. I want it to remain fun and be a part of my life for a really long time. Of course, I want to race well and hope I can continue to improve, but most of all I hope triathlon continues to bring me as much joy as it has in the last year.
What is your favorite Team Sheeper workout or memorable moment?
I think I am a glutton for punishment. One of my favorite Team Sheeper workouts was also one of the hardest workouts I had done. I had been out of town visiting my family and feeling very anxious because I didn't have my bike with me and Nationals was only a few weeks away. I came home on a Friday night and on Saturday met the team for a workout. I remember feeling so good to be back on my bike, riding through the hills of Portola Valley and Woodside. We rode up Old La Honda for time. I was trying my hardest to keep up with Mike Robles and Lennard. We then headed back down to Stanford and ran 5 X 1-mile repeats. Once again, I was trying my hardest to keep up with a group that was running with Tim just ahead. After that we ran over to bleachers for ten minutes of climbing. I was utterly exhausted, but it was one of the most satisfying and rewarding workouts. I loved every minute of it and felt ready for Nationals (that didn't even happen). Another Team Sheeper highlight was the Trans-Tahoe swim. I enjoyed the company, the beautiful scenery, and swimming in the crystal clear waters of Lake Tahoe.
Is there anything else we should know about you?
I think that about sums it up...