DIRT Mom Kimberly Pagan – As a DIRT, I’m also MIRT, SMIRT and ‘Pagan Lady. I have completed seven half-Ironmans, two full-distance Ironmans, countless sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, and I’ve qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon (2016)….
First off: tell me about yourself. Tell me your whole story of how you found zwift, how long have you been riding, something unique, biggest accomplishments, goals, etc
I’m a multi-faceted lady. As a DIRT, I’m also MIRT, SMIRT and ‘Pagan Lady. I’m a mother, a single mother (divorced), so it finds me indoors on the trainer a bit but really I was no stranger to the trainer – I just rode it and stared at my Garmin willing it to show me the wattage targets I had to hit. Now I can thank my good friend and esteemed coach, Luis deFreitas for introducing me to DIRT shortly after I started on Zwift last fall.
As for the ‘Pagan’ bit—yup—that is truly my last name. While I’m not really religious, I believe in kindness, treating others as you want to be treated and well—honestly the most important thing to me—like everyone else here—is my kids.
I’ve been riding since I was four—and the best memory I have of my dad is of the day we went to the park and as usual, he ran behind me, holding onto my bike seat as I pedaled with faith in jerry-rigged training wheels (unbeknownst to me—no longer touching the ground at all) and I heard him yell ‘You’re doing it!’ and his voice sailed off in the distance as I took off alone.
Since then, I’ve been on and off the bike for years and now on it with more love and joy than ever before (and it preserves my sanity—quite honestly). My Bridgestone MB-5 took me to and from my dorm in college to crew practice for three years and then in NYC to work just a few times—before I retired it (she lives at the beach now).
Fast forward over two decades, one marriage and two kids later, and I decided I’d finally tackle triathlon, having seen the Ironman Championships broadcast during countless winter years. I always maarveled at how a body could swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then complete a full 26.2 mile marathon. A few months after having my second son, I went to the LBS, purchased a sale Trek 2.1 (stock with a triple crankset) and started on my way. I completed my first Sprint tri when my youngest son was eight-months old, and my older was not even three.
Since then, I’ve completed seven half-Ironmans, two full-distance Ironmans, and countess sprint and Olympic distance triathlons. I’ve also qualified for and ran the Boston Marathon (2016) and to say that I was blown away that I was 10thin my age group at IMMD in 2016 would still be an understatement—especially as I did the training and raced at the beginning of what was a very difficult divorce process.
It’s not really that I’m a strong athlete, I just channel my stubbornness for good in athletic endeavors and exercised induced endorphins are my addiction of choice. I identify ‘cyclist’ and keep striving to get stronger. I live in an area that is pretty hilly, and that’s challenged me vertically and mentally for not beating up on myself when I’m heading uphill.
I’ve done road races before and last year started crit and TT racing. I’ve only done a handful but done very well with the TT’s and the crits—I’ve had one win and one DNF of my four. Crit racing isn’t just fitness and power—it’s a lot of strategy that is learned over time. I’ve not had the time yet—but hoping I’ll get more in. Right now, the single mom, working full time thing makes it pretty challenging so in my ‘free’ time I often just like to get on my bike and enjoy the ride.
What do you do for work and how has zwift helped family and work balance?
Work finds me with a large, research company—so I’m really good with numbers. I always like to challenge the ‘what do you do for work’ question and say ‘I’ll tell you what I do that I enjoy,’ because work just pays the bills for me. Aside from my kids and my bikes, I enjoy art, writing, and am hoping to get back to painting one of these days. I am a pretty solid baker too. There’s just something about kneading dough and rolling out cookies that’s therapeutic for me.
What does DIRT mean to you. What appeals to you most about DIRT/zwift? What advice would you give to others out there just learning about Zwift?
For me, DIRT is a super awesome, supportive group of people who have a love of cycling and try to balance it with the time challenges of being a parent. Honestly, we are all trying to ‘get it all done,’ and get it done well knowing that the most important little people in the world are watching it all—our kids. So, to fire up Zwift and know when you see someone with ‘DIRT’ on their name is always a boost to push on the pedals and get that time we all need to recharge and ride-on in life.