Why are we profiling Dr. Christy Keeler this month? Because of her infectious smile, her contagious positive attitude, her sense of humor, her big heart, and… she’s full of surprises! (You didn’t know she is a Ph.D., did you?) And regarding the ‘sense of humor and big heart’ comment, when asked if she has any odd nicknames, she responded “Organ Donor.”
“Yeah, My mom received a lung transplant. Make sure you keep my heart beating long enough for medical personnel to harvest my organs before I die.” “But be sure to stop my Garmin before you put me in the ambulance. I don’t want to cheat on my mileage.” Big heart and a sense of humor!
Christy discovered triathlon when running kept getting her injured. (Sound familiar?) She figured that swimming and cycling would provide the cross-training that would help her recover, and in the process discovered that she was a better swimmer and cyclist than runner, and also realized that “Hey, I’m training for triathlons!
Christy did her first triathlon, the IronGirl Sprint, in 56 degree water without a wetsuit, establishing her “tough as nails” credentials. But even after that chilly start to her career, she was hooked. She then did an Olympic distance, then a half, then a full. She missed the bike cutoff in her first Ironman race by seven minutes, which she raced even though it was only six months after surgery for a broken leg! But she immediately registered for another Ironman and finished that one, the first of eight full Ironman distance races.
Christy prefers full distance races because “I’m far too slow to complete in shorter races and too cheap to pay for lots of shorter races.” Her favorites are the HITS long course races, as they are smaller and more intimate, but does like the spectacle of the Ironman branded races because “There’s nothing like running through that finishing chute!” and she would like to go to Kona one day as a legacy athlete.
Regarding training and racing tips, Christy says, “Have fun. When racing, don’t worry about your pace, except to ensure you make the cut-off times. You don’t have to go fast if you don’t care about winning. Instead, smile, thank the volunteers, encourage your competitors, and thank and give high-fives to spectators.
Christy’s goals in multisport are to keep healthy and have fun. She points out that “to complete the 140.6 distance, you just have to average 13.5 mph on the bike and 15-minute miles on the run to make the cut-offs, and that’s doable.”
A great perspective and a great attitude from one of our great Tri Club members!