Jan. 14, 2016

How did you get into racing endurance events?

I started running as a way to alleviate the stress of opening a hotel in downtown Chicago. Running soon changed from being my stress release to the place where I could think, plan, problem solve, etc... and before I knew it I was running 10+ miles at a time so I decided I'd try a half-marathon. I was hooked.

One day some people I knew from the gym suggested that I sign up for a triathlon with them. I said "Sure, why not. What is that?". Without knowing what I was getting myself into I registered for The Spirit of Racine half ironman. I finished it and did two more the next month. Later that summer I went out to cheer on my buddies as they raced IM Wisconsin and I just knew that was something that I had to do too.

If applicable, what is your favorite discipline? Why?

The run, always the run.  Running just brings me joy.

Do you have a favorite local race?

How far away can a race be and still be considered 'local'?   
In NC Lake Logan is I guess my favorite.

What would you consider your career highlight?

That's a tough one as I think that every race is such an accomplishment.  Between IM Louisville and IM Lake Tahoe it’s pretty much a toss up.  But, I guess that if I have to pick one then IM Louisville would have to be it.  I had broken my hand and bruised a bone in my leg in a fall and lost pretty much the whole summer of training.  Four weeks before the race I got the pins out of my hand and was also given the green light to do some light jogging, get back into the water and actually take my bike out on the road.  Eager to start swimming again I over did it and suffered a tear in my right shoulder.    Unable to talk me out of doing the race my doc gave me a steroid pack.  He let me know that it was going to hurt (He actually used some more colorful language than that if memory serves...) but this would get me through the day.   

At the time I was working with some middle school and high school athletes for summer conditioning and had been drilling into their heads the mantra "Never Give Up".   
To me I had to do this race, I knew that they were all be watching me to see if I would give up or not.  It was a painful to be sure and a struggle from the start but I finished.   

Above and beyond the finish though, and where I see the success of that day, is that I was able to live out an example for the kids I was training and show them that just because something isn't going to look like what you had planned it to you just Never Give Up.

What would you consider your biggest challenge?

Juggling kids, training and a husband who travels most of the time.

What is the biggest race day mistake you've made?

Actually taking someone's advice to totally change my race day nutrition the morning of the race!  Disaster!!!

What is one training tool you couldn't live without?

Do I have to pick just one?   
My Garmin
My Coach
My playlist
I can't choose just one!

Do you have a strict nutrition/recovery regimen?

Probably not?  From a nutrition standpoint I guess believe that if it comes naturally from the earth, whether it's plant or animal, then we were intended to have it.  If it comes out of a crinkley package in your pantry it's probably best to stay away from it.   Having said that I have a really hard time saying no to Teddy Grahams!
From a recovery standpoint I think that sleep can't be beat.

If you have any advice for folks who have yet to begin their endurance racing journey, what would it be?

Don't limit yourself to what you think you can't do.  You will be absolutely amazed at what you can train your body to do and by what you can accomplish if you put your heart and intention into it.

Tomato, Mozzarella Salad with Israeli Cous Cous and Cannellini Beans

0:30 Time · 15 Ingredients · 1 Steps

Another great grain based summer salad!

Greek Quinoa Salad

0:30 Time · 19 Ingredients · 1 Steps

Great summer salad featuring quinoia, fresh veggies and a great tangy dressing.


Apr 6th

Team Event (April) - HIT Cycling & Bradshaw's Social House

6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Team ride at HIT Cycling and social at Bradshaw's

Karen Wood

limitless: (adj) without end, limit, or boundary.

Tri Suit

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EPT Racing's official tri suit

Short Sleeve Tri Suit

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EPT Racing Team's official racing tri suit

Cycling Shorts

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EPT Racing's Official Race Shorts

EPT Racing Team Short Sleeved Tri Suit - CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION


Limited edition design for Karen Wood, Jen Keith and Carol Ann Hood

OwnWay Apparel

Official triathlon apparel sponsor for EPT Racing

HIT Cycling

Official cycle studio sponsor for EPT Racing. Visit our new site at hitcycling.com

Charlotte Running Co.

Official running store sponsor for EPT Racing