Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good bye 2008!

2008 is coming to an end. I always look forward to a new year, new goals, and a good start to a New Year and this year is no exception. I am ready to put 2008 to bed and bring on 2009. Its been a stressful end to the year, but I have been trying to take a look back to the good things that happened in 2008. Here are some of my favorite memories from 2008, before I slam the door on it.

In March I turned 40, and this is good because at 40, I am in better shape than I was at 30 and I feel smarter, wiser, and more of a balanced person than at 20 or 30. My 40th birthday week was during our Tuscon training camp and celebrated climbing Mt Lemmon on my bike and eating Mexican food at night with my very cool friends, all my favorite things. What a great way to celebrate.

In April Adam and I went to Vegas just the 2 of us. We took our bikes and trained some. Alot of the riding was on the Silverman course (hard and hilly my favorite), and out at Red Rock canyon. But we also just hung out, and went to see "O" Cirque de Soleil. It was so fun because it was a just us trip, no computers and limited cell phone use vacation, very cool.

Then the triathlon season started. Summer is always a blur because of so much racing and training. I did not have a great season this year, but I gained some perspective on triathlon and training and after roughly 16 years of racing all the distances and all over the world, I realize that simplier is better right for me right now and that is what works. I found that I truly love racing shorter and faster distances, and love doing crazy hard workouts and being done and then being able to take care of my kids,and iron-husband; without being a walking zombie or iron sloth. I finished the season racing in Oregon at Nationals. I raced injured, but still had a great time because I loved the race and I got to see my family. It was fun to see Jack play with his cousins, and just to be out in Oregon made the trip worth it.

Jack started kindegarten this year. This is a big stepping stone and allows me a little more freedom. It has been fun to see how much he is learning (he can tie his own shoes now too!) I am so happy he loves school (for now) and is doing well.

In October I was able to go with Adam to Kona to watch Ironman. A trip to Hawaii is always a bonus! We hung out with some really cool friends. I drank great coffee, played on the beach, took some scenic runs, and paddled a sea kayak right next to a group of dolphins which was so amazing.

This year I gained some really cool clients that are super fun to work with and make my coaching job easy, plus have kept some of the greatest clients and athletes ever, year after year. With this crazy economy, I am thankful I have my job and profession as a physical therapist, and am still coaching great athletes. Times are tough for a lot of people, so I feel very lucky.

I am ready for 2009! We are spending New Years weekend in Galena with the MSM kids tri team. Adam will be coaching the team in what they are calling "Camp Siberia" Not sure what it involves, but I will be doing some of it. The weekend will finish with us taking our kids skiing/ snowboarding for the first time! I can't wait.

Happy New Year to Everyone! Best wishes for a successful and healthy 2009!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mini van Mom

Yes its true. I am now the driver of a mini van. I fought it for years, I refused, and in fact for years before having kids would poke fun at the "mini van mom". No cool points if you drive a mini van. But about a month ago I surrendered. The lease on our sporty Pathfinder came up and it was time to make the switch. With kids a dog and 2 triathletes in the house having 2 cars really wasn't an option. We need something with room and function for all that goes with kids dogs and triathletes. I swear with age comes practicality. I wanted something with better gas mileage, room for all the stuff and no huge car payments, yet I didn't want to drive a gigantic tank like a Tahoe or Suburban. So I said ok to the idea of a mini van knowing I would be the one driving it.

On the first trip with all 4 of us in it the kids are going crazy because they think its the coolest car ever, and Adam and I are looking at each other shaking our heads because we can't believe we are now cruising around in a Nissan Quest. The first few trips around town I sort of drove with my head ducked down in case I saw someone I knew, or pulled a baseball cap on tight with sunglasses. I felt like if I were seen by someone I knew they might put their hand over their mouth and point at me laughing!

But after a few trips in the white moon mobile (this thing has a front windshield like the front of the space shuttle), I realized driving it isn't so bad. When going over a rough bump, it is nice and smooth, and my coffee doesn't go bouncing and spilling all out of my cup everywhere. It is a nice smooth ride, not like off road mountain climbing around town. The kids can get in and out of their seats and buckle their seat belts easier than in the big SUV, and this alone is a huge plus when you're hands are full, and you're in a hurry. The kids' seats in our van has the captain chairs....great for two siblings sitting next to each other as there is more space between them!

Of course the benefits of a mini van for a triathlete are numerous. Number one. The bike. There is so much room in the back you can roll that thing right in. In fact my bike is small enough, you don't even have to take the front wheel off. Plenty of room for both bikes, plus a few people to road trip to races. Plus.....you don't have to lift the bike 12 feet off the ground just to get it in. There is plenty of room for gear bags, swim bags, shoes etc. I could even stretch out before a race, take a nap if needed.

So it might not be the coolest or sportiest, it is very functional. That seems to be the theme of my life right now finding ease and functionality to everything. I did manage to find one of my SURF DIVA stickers from my surfing lessons to stick on the back window to added some coolness to it :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Shining Star...

My Grandma, my cousin Grant and I not wanting my picture taken

2 days after Thanksgiving my 92 year old Grandma passed away. It was a stressful couple weeks saying goodbye to her, but have tried to do what she would want and that is to be happy and spread the Christmas cheer, and look for the good in what may seem bad. And with some other stressful and absurd stuff going on, I’m trying to find the bright shiny side in everything.

At her memorial we heard some great stories about her and what an amazing lady she was and all the lives she touched. She was truly a shining star. She was a teacher for 35 years at the same school district, and one of many cool things she did was to start an after school sports program for girls back in the days when girls weren’t allowed to play sports! Could you imagine, no sports for girls? Way to go Grandma ! Girls can rock in sports and she knew it way back then!

So our tree is up, the stockings are hung. I have baked cookies, and played Christmas music and the kids have more Christmas presents than they need. The lights are hung and Christmas is all around. I have to admit I don’t feel the Christmas spirit 100% this year but am giving it my best effort. In fact this year a trip to Mexico sounds more appealing, but growing up I had a million great memories of Christmas and want my kids to have the same memories so…I’m coming around.

So, I know there is a lot of Euncie Bivins Rife in me. Those are the parts that gave me the determination and motivation to get through PT school, train for triathlons and Ironmans and World Championships, and to always look for the shining star when it seems dark and dreary.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving morning we headed to do the annual Naperville Turkey Trot. For some reason I LOVE doing this silly 5k. I always have fun doing it and look forward to it no matter what kind of run shape I am in. It has gotten so big and is pretty crowded, but I love going and seeing old friends and doing a nice run on Thanksgiving morning makes you feel a little better about all the indulging at the dinner table later in the day.

I have done this race in 45 deg and shorts, and 0 degrees bundled up. This year the weather was decent. A little cold but no wind (miracle), and thankfully didn't feel the need to wait around in the gym that was so packed. My running has been coming back to me, little by little. I haven't been running gigantic workouts but but pretty steady. I have really been enjoying the fall with some good runs and not tons of hours of training. I felt great, stronger, not speedy and nice to see a chunk of time come off.

Thanks to the Clay family for sharing Jessica. Jessica Clay is a MSM kids team member who is recovering from an injury and couldn't run. She watched Jack for me so I could run. They were great cheerleaders!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pain Free

In my job as a physical therapist, I spend my day helping others become "pain free". My job is to get them funtioning again after surgery, trauma, or overused due to repetitive strain. The focus often drifts towards the amount of pain they are having, at rest, during normal day to day activities or...during their sport or fitness routine. I am always amazed how people can become frustrated and discouraged that they can have pain and swelling for more than a few days after any of the above. Do they realize that surgery involves cutting tissue? not to mention they use drills, and all kinds of hardware in the operating room. and a trauma has caused damaged body parts. I have learned over the years to avoid asking things like" how is the pain today?" or do you hurt? Pain is subjective. Every one's interpretation and perception of tolerable pain is different. I see it everyday. This perception of pain for some can hinder and hold them back, slow down their progress if they have a low tolerance to pain. For others, with a high tolerance, they progress well, but their are times that high pain tolerance can get in the way. These are the ones who do too much too soon and cause more swelling and irritation which in the end, can hold them back. Having a high pain tolerance is not always a good thing because it can often enable someone to push themselves over the edge.

As athletes we deal with some level of pain during training or racing. Lets face it, some workouts hurt. (Sickly, they are the ones I usually like the most) The training enables to train the body to be more efficient at working at those levels that hurt. I tell my athletes when trying to run a 5k, it should hurt. It hurts if you are running 5 min pace, or 8 min pace, it is relative to where body is with dealing with lactate. Athletes are also goal minded and driven. If an injury starts creeping up, it is easy to brush off in order to keep the training going. I can't stop, I have to get this run in, my race is only 4 weeks away. We get good at dealing with pain. The result of too much of this mindset can without doubt lead to an overuse injury. And wow....those last 4 weeks heading into the race, you know have some nice forced rest.

However, the workouts we do, does cause muscles soreness, and strain to tissues. It is part of adapting to the training. If every time a workout was skipped because of something was sore, then that would lead to a lot of inconsistent workouts and little gain int fitness. It is a fine line to know when to keep going or when to rest. It takes a little common sense and not always a Masters in Physical Therapy to figure it out. If it hurts during the workout and the pain is getting more intense causing limping or altered gait, its probably a good idea to stop. If it hurts just walking around the house putting laundry away, feeding the dog, sitting in the chair.....its probably time to think about backing off. If it doesn't hurt working out and is a little sore when you're done but goes away the next day, you are probably ok. If it hurts for a few weeks and you keep training, and it starts to hurt more and you keep training, its probably a time to stop. You need help! :)

It is easy for me to give this advice to athletes and clients, and I myself have remained pretty much injury free during 18 yrs of racing....until this summer when I was a dummy and lost all common sense. I am happy to say though that for the first time since Aug 2 (Steelhead), I am pretty much pain free from my bout with being a stubborn athlete. I had ignored all the signs going into Steelhead and wound up in a twisted mess that has taken until the past week or so to unwind. The toys above are part of our living room furniture, and I finally feel like I am not walking with 1 high heel on.

So be smart this off season. Get yourself strong. Listen to your coach and do the core strength. Get flexible. (I have been spending a few evenings a week with Rodney Yee, yoga master since the yoga classes seem to only be offered when I am working) and then keep up with it. Most of all use common sense and listen to your body.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bring It!

Yes, its time.

Time to bring it.

Time to step up to the plate and show them what you've got. Time to strut your stuff and show them your big sassy self. Its time to bring out the smoking guns and get all fired up so that steam is coming out of your ears and eyeballs. You'll need it. No more fluff, or pussy footing, no more cruising through when its easy.

Put on the big girl pants, saddle up sister because this is when it counts. If you can do this you can do anything.

No, I'm not talking about an upcoming "A" race (no siree not even close).

I'm not referring to the next big workout on the schedule, or politics, or the Bears game Sunday, or a job interview. No, I'm not referring to the upcoming holiday season, although all of the above may apply.

I'm referring to Chicagoland triathlon training from Nov. to May. Its time. Its here. We were privileged to have a few extra weeks of 70 deg. days. They were spectacular. But, it is so easy to go out and train in those perfect days. The true training comes when you have to dig deep. Dig deep to put on all the layers. It takes time to get all that on to go out to run or bike; it needs factored into the workout! You have to dig deep to head out in the dark, and climb on the trainer once again. Yes, training this time of year makes you tough. Its here, so go find your game face and bring it!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Back

This is the weekend when the clocks go back an hour, and its good because we get that extra hour of sleep. But with young kids and a dog in the house, they are still up at the regular time and that extra hour will most likely get put towards folding and putting away laundry. Next year I should plan ahead and book that extra hour getting a massage or some type of spa service. Or, if I were smart I'd use that extra hour to start Christmas shopping, but I always start that in Dec. and do just fine. I won't even go into the discussion of what else comes with the fall back of the clock. Which is the more positive way to say it more darkness, or less daylight. Enough said..

We had Halloween to the max at our house. Hours of trick or treating including the dog with a costume. Jack actually bonked by the end and was found lying in the grass at the neighbors house. The kids were amazing. They actually ran, rather sprinted at their LT from house to house! Eventually, their buckets became so heavy, that they were dragging them. Now we have way too much candy in the house. It will never get eaten by the time all the Christmas candy comes out. I'll end up having to take some into to work to get rid of it.

Recently I have started getting back into training some. After 6 solid weeks off, and doing next to nothing except for maybe a few "jogs"...I returned to working out with a schedule and a purpose. It was a good mental break, physical one too which I really needed. During that down time I actually got motivated, and figured out a few things that I want to accomplish next summer and how to balance it with being mom, physical therapist, coach and iron wife. I feel good about it and I even have a new coach. He is Craig McKenzie PRO triathlete from AUS. I am looking forward to new workouts and some new types of training the way the Aussie's do. I think change is good. Its good to mix it up try new things and keeps things interesting. My schedule has mostly been run focused with a few swims and bikes. Thanks to Keith and the MSM kids team I went from 0 -- to 4000 in 1 swim practice and walked like a gorilla for a day, and thanks to the warm weather haven't had to be on the trainer, something I am trying to avoid until the absolute end. I am all about 60 degree days in November!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun and Fired Up!

This was a busy, but fun weekend and at the end of it I am tired, a little sore, but fired up!

Friday Pro triathlete Simon Thompson (AUS) came to Chicago to give some talks Fri night and Saturday. Adam met Simon this summer while training with the big boys in Boulder. He is a super fast triathlete and got 10th at the Athens Olympics.....despite 2, yes 2 bike crashes in that race. So that boy can run. I think he won the 70.3 Singapore race and will be racing in Clearwater. Get to the point......he is getting into public/motivational speaking and came to talk at Dick Pond's and to the MSM kids tri team year end banquet.

So, Saturday was our annual MSM club Ride n Tie race...complete with Halloween costumes. Way too much fun, and always a good workout. There is nothing better than seeing a bunch of crazy dressed adults running through the woods jumping off the bike throwing it down and taking off running! This is basically a workout you do with a partner where you alternate biking and running for 10 miles. It is not as easy as it sounds and I was the token one to be Simon's partner. Me,...the one coming off injury and have been doing next to nothing for 5 weeks. However, I love doing this, mud puddles and all, and didn't want to disappoint the pro....so I gave it a good effort, did what I could, and Simon and I were this year's champs!!!

Simon's talk to the kids team was very cool. He talked about his experiences (ups and downs) that got him to the Olympics. What he went through, sacrafices he made, to chase his dream. Since I have had my fair share of down moments with racing recently it was cool to hear some of what he had to say about how they can be beneficial in terms of learning, motivating etc. I know this, and as a coach know this, but it was a good reminder that even the super elite....have struggles and bad spells too. He had a video clip that highlighted some of the trials races he did and showed him crossing the line when he made the team. It was the coolest thing to see complete thrill with accomplishing such a big goal and I have to say as an athlete it totally fired me up. So even though I don't have huge triathlon plans next season, whatever I do decide to do I have a new motivation to do the best I can at whatever it is I decide on. In the meantime I am having fun slowly getting back into training.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Motivation

When it comes down to it.....what is your motivation to train/ and race? I've been thinking about that a lot lately. This time of year in the triathlon world is always a time to re-assess, set new goals; and as we start to enter the days of darkness and freezing cold there must be something that motivates you to get off the couch bundle up and get out the door to train. This time of year does require special motivation when most of the world starts the steady stream of holiday fun beginning with Halloween all the way until New Years. Several of my athletes lose motivation just by not having a schedule......which is fine and I force that on them this time of year. I look at my 5 yr old. He needs no motivation to play any sport, go to his gym class or sports class....it is just purely fun for him. Is it always pure fun to get up early, train in the cold? Be honest. Not always, so there is some motivation that gets us to do these things that the"normal" people would never do.

Motivation can be from all kinds of sources. Is it a quote? a song on your I-pod? chocolate cake? Here are just a few more:

Reward: Simply put, Pavlov's dog. Motivated by food, treats or some type of junk food as a reward for the training. I've heard lots of friends talk about getting new swim suits to help get their butt in the pool (I have been guilty of this for years. I've admitted to have a thing with swim suits and its good I don't live near Keifer Swim store anymore)

Pure Competition: Motivated purely by the desire to beat so and so. Or for others purely by the desire to....just WIN.

Fear: motivated simply out of fear. Fear of getting fat, fear of getting old, fear of being a no one with out triathlon

Signing up for a race: sometimes I have found people are motivated simply by signing up for a race. Usually this is an Ironman. Knowing you have an Ironman on your schedule may tend to motivate you.

The Goal: motivated simply by having a goal and doing everything you can to try to achieve that goal whether it is getting faster, losing weight, or finishing a race.

To Prove something: motivated to prove to someone you can do it when they don't think you can

The picture above is of me in Queenstown NZ at 2003 Worlds. It was probably my best race ever. I finished 11th in my age group and was the first American in my age group and even won Inside Triathlon All-American for my age group that year. I did this 6 months after having Jack. So, in early June 2003 I had enormous motivation because in 6 months I was heading to the World Championships. So I set out running chubby and with big bouncy boobs that jiggled and a jiggly tummy, can we say ick (sorry to the guys). I think motivation here fell into several of the categories above! I think for me I am typically motivated by the goals I set and to just get faster. I really enjoy the process of setting a goal and then doing all the things necessary to achieve that goal. There are traces of some of the other types of motivations here and there depending on the race time of year etc, like I do like to sign up for 1/2 marathons in the winter to keep the winter training a little more motivating. Racing in a cool place will motivate me, but food and fear won't really do the trick.

Leave a comment on what motivates you. It would be fun to see what motivates others, even if its as simple as your favorite killer workout song. You can be anonymous if you're too shy to re-veal yourself!!!

Stay motivated!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality Check

We are back home now after safe and uncomplicated travel. We stepped of the plane Tues morning at 5 a.m. and it was cool and the leaves had changed dramatically in just 1 week. As I stepped off the plane, and left the island life behind, it was like being in a fog or coming out of a dream right back into reality. Traffic, lots of people always busy and in a hurry, laundry, work, schedule etc. You know, normal life that the island escape let me escape and forget for awhile.

Reality is: the stack of mail you pick up at the post office that was held for you and seeing it is either bills or wasted paper for the recycling

Reality is: having to find fleece to wear instead of tanks, shorts and flip flops

Reality is: a stack of dictation and paperwork at the clinic waiting for you

Reality is: forgetting your 5 year olds homework at home

Reality is: hearing people say they have already started Christmas shopping

Reality is: feeling stiff and achy even when you've been barely training

Reality is: realizing you have no goals or races really planned for 2009

Typically this time of year, I have all 2009 goals and races set and thought out. It is strange not having that and feels a bit unusual. I do admit to feeling a little lost and definitely felt a little incomplete on the island of tri-gods during super week without any kind of big goal for 2009. I am sticking to my vacation from competitive triathlon for awhile or at least having triathlon as my main focus. But I realize I am someone who needs and likes having a goal. Just getting into and through PT school was a huge goal for a lot of years. My new goal and focus will be simpler and likely involve mostly just running races. That being said, I am signed up for Triple T ( a 3 day team triathlon race) however, that is just a crazy event completely out of the norm so falls into my category of being ok. I feel myself every now and then falling back into the "I need to do this race, I need to get back to the pool etc" But keep reminding myself that some different type of goals and races are good. Good for motivation, good for change, and good for keeping things simple and balanced. Kona is full of middle aged moms with multiple kids who do Ironman after Ironman and Kona after Kona, year after year and I honestly don't know how they do it. More power to them, but I realized this year that a change is needed and am looking forward to a new kind of reality.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Race Day Photos

Swim Start

Iron Wives

Kuakini Hwy

Adam and Craig McKenzie


Race Day

Cheering for an Ironman is like a race in itself, but you feel pretty pathetic whining about tired feet, being thirsty, or too hot; those thoughts you really keep to yourself considering what your Iroman athletes are going through.

My day started early. I road my nifty green nitro bike down to the swim start. Of course it was pitch black along Alii Dr. so navigating around cars and athletes made it interesting. After wishing Adam well, we found a spot on the sea wall to watch the swim. The waves were crashing around us and so we got pretty wet while waiting for the start.

Once the swimmers were on their way, we made our way to the top of Palani to see them start out on the bike. This is good sized hill, and early in the race everyone was looking good. We screamed and yelled hoping they'd hear us because after heading out of town its a long ride out through the lava without much to look at or see for the next 4-5 hrs.

It was going to be a long, hot day, so we found a nice spot to hang out, have some coffee. We parked it at an outside cafe facing the ocean, and once again saw the dolphins playing, jumping and swimming. We've seen them every day!!! I think they like showing off. Being hot and a little nervous for the athletes made it hard to want to eat, but this was our time to re-fuel, because then the real cheering would begin. We decided to watch the runners start out on Kuakini Hwy. This is an out and back section somewhere near mile 1 and 9, I think. At this spot, there was no shade, and the asphalt was heating up. It was very hot here but we got to see everyone heading out, and then coming back by before making it out onto the Queen K Hwy. Good thing I haven't lost all my fitness, because after seeing Adam go by, I decided to beat Adam to the top of Palani, to cheer him up the hill. So I sprinted that Green Nitro mtn bike that doesn't shift, without being clipped in to the top. I made it there in time, but was out of breath, so I don't know if the cheering did much good. I did beat some buy on a road bike to the top though!!! I was able to ride a long the Queen K for much of the rest of the run, riding ahead and cheering for all those I knew. It got tough for them but everyone did great. Adam finished strong after not feeling well for a section. I was so relieved to see him cross the finish line. It gets so ugly out there as the day wears on, and when you see how much time and effort goes into preparing for a race like this you just want things to go well.

My race wasn't done though. My jog then to be the number one Iron wife was to get food, retrieve bike and gear bags, and order McDonalds!!!

Congratulations to everyone who raced. It was a fun day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lets Race Already!

Meal of a Champ

Meeting of the Minds

The bikes and bags are checked the bottles are filled, the training is done, the numbers are on. We have waited around, rested and its finally time to race!

We cooked dinner in last night to avoid the chaos and mayhem in town. My guess is everyone on the island would want pasta for a pre-race dinner so I decided to cook a meal for champions. Keith Dickson and his friend Mark Ward came over to offer their 2 cents on a race plan. We've talked about wind and heat every day. My guess is it will be hot and windy, so just go race and stop thinking!

I will be out trying to cover as much of the course as possible to cheer them on.
Adam is number 1474, Rodney is #623, and Craig is #67. Check them out on Ironmanlive.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

Almost Ready

Bike consult with Anthony

He's in

The suit fits

Here are some sure signs the race is close now!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Darn good coffee

Green geckos


Dinner party

Sunset in Kona

Here are some pictures from Wednesday. Our days start early, no one seems to be able to sleep past 4 a.m and everyone is falling asleep at 8:30 or 9. While the racers were out training and registering, we headed to the beach to swim/ and body surf. The water is perfect and I had a blast catching waves and swimming around. I swam with a sea turtle for awhile. The beach was packed at noon on a Wednesday with kids and locals? which made me wonder if they go to school here in Hawaii.

Today was much hotter. I took a run/jog from our condo to Keahou bay. There were some amazing views from up and down the hills. A little different than running around cornfields at home. But wow....it was HOT. I wanted to jump off the cliff into the water and then run back. I was thinking to myself, I am glad I am not doing this race and I like the heat.

I walked around the expo some and through the Ironman village. I vowed not to buy anything with "Ironman" logo on it. And they seem to find more and more things to brand the name on. Granola? really? flip flops?

We had dinner today with Joe Dirk Friel, Craig and his family and Rodney and Diana. There was an incredible sunset during dinner and this picture doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kona Fun!

A view from the condo/
We had a great time yesterday, I was a bit jet lagged by the afternoon, and can't seem to sleep past 3:30 in the morning but we are adjusting to island time! The good news is that it wont be a problem to wake up race morning.

Yesterday we headed to the pier, the racers were swimming, but Diana and I decided to go sea kayaking! And we had the best sup rise ever out in the ocean. We came upon a pod (i think that's what it is) of dolphins. There were at least 20, maybe more just showing off. Some were dolphin diving with their babies, and some were jumping high into the air and spinning vertically. I am so mad i didn't have my camera out in the boat with us, but it was the most amazing thing!! They just swam around us , and we were so close to them!! At first seeing a dark fin stick out of the water, i'll admit I was a little nervous!!!

I purchased the Wal mart special..."Nitro" green machine bike! Apparently in Hawaii if you have a bike with wheels larger than 18 inches you have to have a license, so I am legal now to ride a bike in Hawaii with a 15 $ purchase for a license!!! This will help get me to the beach, coffee shops, and of course out onto the Queen K on Saturday to cheer everyone on!

We ate breakfast at the famous Lava Java....many pro's in site. I am not star struck by the pro's anymore. Yes, there was a day, but they are athletes just like us, but faster! Adam has been coaching Craig McKenzie, a pro from Australia. I think he was 2nd at IM Louisville last year, and maybe WEstern Aus. IM this year.? He is here to race and is a really nice guy with a sweet wife and 4 month old baby boy! We are hoping he has a good on Saturday!

The looks on their faces are getting a little more serious, a little quieter at times. But so far everyone is in good spirits, healthy, and bikes working nicely! I'm off to go for a run.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Aloha from Kona

After a long day of travel, we arrived in Kona Mon. 7pm (12pm Chicago time). The flights were smooth and no issues traveling. Thanks to Adam's Aussie client Simon L. we were upgraded to first class, Chicago to San Fran, and San Fran to Kona. Can we say wow for leg room! I could actually completely stretch out.

Once we landed in Kona and stepped off the plane, I immediately felt the heat and humidity. Our friends and condo mates, Rodney and Diana A. picked us up and we headed back to our awesome condo. It is a bit down the road from all the triathlon chaos which is just fine, and in return we have a beautiful very new condo complete with pool, Internet access. Rodney and Di are such a cool couple and have joined us on our Tuscon camps. We have 2 racers in the house, I have already been doing leg rub downs but no one seems too nervous yet. My prediction is that will change as each day goes by.

I haven't adjusted to the time. I woke up at 2 a.m and again at 4 a.m.finally staying awake. On agenda for me today, a run in the sun, Kona coffee, finding the farmers market, buy a cheap beater bike at Wal-mart to cruise around on, and whatever else comes my way. I am on island time now!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Eunice B. Rife

My Grandma had a massive stroke on Sunday. She is a Grandma like no other. She will be 92 on Oct 8th, and has lived independently, still driving, still running the driving mower, hanging her clothes out on the line to dry,carrying wood in to the wood stove, you get the idea. She really has been in excellent health for her entire life.

She has a long road of rehab ahead of her but, she is still sharp as a tack and determined to take on this "challenge" as she calls it. Now I see where I get some of my stubbornness, and will to keep training and racing all these years. She was a PE and health teacher and always active. And, she took a huge nasty fall, during the stroke, and landed on the side of her head. The bruise covered her entire face and both eyes. However she didn't break a bone and that to me has to do with her health and bones can stay strong with weight bearing exercise. In fact, I don't' think she has ever had a broken bone. She still road a bike to the garden in her 80s.

This weekend I'll be packing up for Kona. We leave Monday. Adam did find some surfing lessons for me .......yahoo! and I'm going to buy a beater bike at Walmart to cruise around on. Its still cheaper than paying the airfare to get my bike over there. I'll donate to someone or leave it at our condo when we're done. I haven't trained nearly at all. I had intentions to run some, but I have been so busy and crazy with a trip to ohio and back that I decided to rest some more. I'll do a good amount of running on the island!

In the meantime GOOD LUCK to Carmen and John doing St. George Marathon Saturday, To Andy W on his second weekend of the fall fling/ bike racing, and of course to Adam, the IRONMAN racing in Kona next weekend all have worked so hard all year for these races.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Off Season


I am officially slamming the door on the 2008 season. Done with it. I want to rid of it and flush it away and move on. So, I posted a few favorite pics from Nationals to finish it off. I had a great spot in transition, last rack and near end of rack at the bike out. I guess since the 40 yr olds went nearly last they gave us a good spot! The course in Oregon is beautiful and the run pic shows an uphill section and how green the trees are. Then there is the pic of my "manager" helping me back to the car! :)

Its been 1 week since the race and I am in full off season/ vacation mode. There was no working out unless you count:

* 1 walk around a forest preserve with Lucy, our golden
* 1 teaching of core strength class to MSM kids team (even then I only demonstrated) * 1 run, very easy...no it was more of a jog, again with Lucy, my current training partner. The IRONMAN met up with us, but he is so fit and focused right now he was gone in a flash.

Its been nice to relax, but wow. It is amazing how much more time there is to do things when you're not training umpteen hours a day. I actually sat still and read a book, something rare unless I'm on confined to an airplane. I also drug out all the Halloween stuff, and then still had time...to say ok..now what? When you're used to cramming it all in and going at mock speed to fit it all in it always feels like there should be more. I had to remind myself its ok to chill. This will get old though, and I'm searching out things to keep me busy, and not turn into a frumpy fatty. I'm not a golfer, not enough patience. I have thrown golf clubs before in frustration. That is not relaxing! I used to want to rock climb......even went to the rock climbing (what do you say, gym? club? studio?, indoor rock?) in Naperville to try it out a few years ago. Somewhere there is a picture of me upside down hanging from a rock. However, I need convenience, ...there really aren't too many rocks to climb without driving 2 hrs north to Wisconsin. Surfing. Yes. I have taken lessons and loved it. But again, unless its really windy on Lake Michigan with some big chop, its not going to happen. So I'm still searching.

For now though I will be starting my Kona prep this week. I'm probably the only athlete starting their Kona prep just a few short days before leaving for the big Island. My prep involves, getting everything squared away at home to pack up and leave for a week. Child, dog, laundry bills all caught up. 1 birthday party to plan for Kaitlin's 6th. I need to make sure I have enough bikini's to pack, flip flops, sunscreen, cute shorts and t-shirts, comfy shoes for cheering race day,and beach towel. Check in to surfing lessons, or at least boogie board, and camera battery charged, decide on taking bike or not. Not to train....no I am on vacation!, but to tool around esp. out on the run course race day. Its a lot of work, good thing I am well rested!

Monday, September 22, 2008


My trip to Nationals was worth every minute. Any time I can travel back to Oregon I am like a kid in a toy store. While my results weren't what I was after at the race, the experience and trip made up for some of that disappointment.

I don't like writing detailed race reports, and I don't think most people care about what I eat for break feast race morning, how many gels or water I had, how I slept etc. But, here are some of the highlights, and (lowlights) of the race and weekend. The temps were cool, normally not my favorite conditions I think only 55 deg?, but I didn't even care because Hagg Lake is such a beautiful place to race, I love the course and was excited to be racing there. My swim and bike were good, and based on last years results for my age group worthy of close to top 10. The swim start was a 1 hand touch on the pontoon with everyone lined up side by side. This is how they do a lot of World events. It made for a nice clean, and fast start. The water was perfect and it was a pretty decent swim for me. The bike is a hilly 2 loop course and really fun. I was frozen/numb for the first 15 min of the bike and I and kept saying just ride harder to warm up. After a few climbs I was fine and had a strong ride. Coming off the bike, I felt tight and had those numb toes, but once I tried to hammer the first big downhill I realized how tight my hip/hamstring that I've been battling were. I think the cooler temps caused it to tighten. I simply did not have what I needed on the run, and won't go into much more than that. You can't show up to Nationals not 100% and expect to do well. In an attempt to seek the positive, I was reminded that 5-6 weeks ago I was walking with a limp and ice strapped to my butt 3 x a day, not even running, and I should be glad that I made it to the starting line. (the true competitor inside though says...yea whatever, it wasn't good enough and leaves some dissatisfaction)

Some other FUN parts of the trip:
1. Seeing my Dad and Jack at the finish line, they don't care where you finish and always make you think you're a superstar!

2. Seeing a deer run right out in front of my when I was descending going over 30 mph! Yikes, but very cool

3. Having Jack ask if he could walk my bike for me after the race back to the shuttle

4. My dad making me homemade waffles the morning after the race like he did when I was in high school

After the age group race the elites had their Nationals so part of the course was shut down for them. There was quite a haul from transition back to parking....so there were shuttles. Bikes were not allowed on the buses....they were using separate vans to move bikes. I was freezing and didn't feel like waiting so I road my bike back to the car...it was probably 8 miles reverse direction around the lake, up and down the hills again. While riding back I had some time to think about some things. I thought of my friend Jen H. who, the week of the race was in a pretty serious car accident. Thankfully she was ok, but she couldn't come race because of this and it was one of those reminders that it is easy to cruise along each day taking a lot of things for granted and when something huge like this happens it wakes you up. So as I rode slowly along back to the car with tears in my eyes for pouting over how my season has ended up, I thought I was being a little pathetic and needed to shake it off. I had words from my Dad and Cheryl Hart in my head reminding me of what things are most important, and making me think of all the success I have had in triathlon over the years.

On this ride I also decided I am going to take a "vacation" from triathlon for awhile. I have raced and trained non-stop every year minus the months of pregnancy (even then I swam, waddled, elipticaled did what I could) for 18 years. I did my first tri when I was still in college. Then each year after got more and more hooked, kept getting better and faster and this is how you get hooked. Obviously I love the sport, love being competitive, and love the lifestyle. But, it is time for a vacation from it. Both physically, ( I have never had an injury that has affected my season), and mentally I think new goals and changes can be good. Plus it is getting really tough to fit in training the way you need to, to be competitive. The mom guilt gets in the way, and I'm just not the type to ride my trainer at soccer practice. I won't be sitting on the couch scrap booking though. Once the body rests and heals I'll be looking for some run races and setting some new types of goals.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Big Lady Shoes

I had to bring out the Big Lady shoes and strap them on today...several times.

There were neighborhood issues spinning out of the 10 inches of rain in 1 day we received here in Bumbleburn over the weekend. We did not get water in our basement thankfully but, the retention ponds were backed up apparently 6 ft. higher than normal and causing havoc with some of the sump pumps in our neighborhood. We have nosey neighbors with too much time on their hands that worked themselves into a tizzy. (The things people obsess about when they have too much free time, really it amazes me.)I came home and wasn't even out of my car when the guy with a beer in his hand who never is nice or says hi, demands to come check our basement because with the water backing up he doesn't belive me when I said our basement is fine. Mind you not...they had rang (wrung?) my doorbell this morning saying the same thing! I am not a confrontational person, but I put on my big sassy shoes and said.."No you may not come take a look and I'm letting the professionals handle the situation." Meanwhile my groceries (yes,...more!) were spilling out of the back of our SUV because I hadn't even had a chance to get in the door before they came intruding over!!!

All this...while trying on my day off to be super organized and get things ready for my big trip to Portland for Nationals. It never fails....weird and strange things like this happen when trying to get ready to leave for a trip and husband is traveling for work.

My bike of course wasn't shifting right...after I had spent the better part of a day taking it to be tuned up last week. I have no spare time to make another trip to get it worked on, so I fiddle with the barrel myself like I've been shown and yes... it is shifting like a dream now! And, the bike is packed and ready to go tonight. Yep, I can take apart my bike, pack it and put it back together. I get pretty greasy and messy, but it takes me 30 min or less now, where in the early days I needed help from Rich Ducar of the Bike Shop, or it took an hour or more!!!

So, in 2 days I leave for Nationals in Portland. I'll really need the Big Bad A$% Lady shoes this weekend. I packed them too. Age group Nationals is always very competitive, and it happens to be on a really tough, but super fun course. I am from Oregon, love it and am excited to race there. Its been a long haul getting here, with injury and a different kind of season but I am ready and looking to end the season at such a cool place and event.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BeWare, Read lightly

Its early morning and I am highly caffinated. So, beware. I left for early morning masters and it was dark and very brisk; I had a great swim thanks to Carla's good workout and my lane mates pushing me, but once done I was headed for caffeine. I have some bike hill repeats to do and thankfully the sun is out but we'll be wearing layers for sure. I tend to put away a little more caffeine than usual when its cold out so.....read cautiously as I am not sure what may wind up spilling out of my mouth (fingers) this morning. My normal ability to keep my opinions to myself might be lost!

I think Ironman fever has hit the entire tri-city area and all of Chicagoland. It is everywhere. I turn on my computer and there are 57 messages a day from the club about who is in, who signed up for 09; I show up to swim and there is more talk of who is in, who signed up for Ironmoo. It was a 2 day process for some of determining how to sign up and get in because the race fills so fast. Madison, Louisville? Early a.m. road trips were planned to be in line first, some volunteered to get early registration, some were talking community fund..a whopping 1300$ just to get in.......its Ironman mania! At one point in my life I was there, and did 1 Ironman a year for 3 years in a row, chasing that perfect Ironman. Then you actually had time to think through what you were signing up for. I believe I signed up for Ironman FL once in Jan.! Then I did 3/4 of an IM in Madison the year it was 107 degrees and ended up in the gutter with my insides coming out. I admit I was even caught up in some of this mania last year as I signed up for Lake Placid sending poor Papa Joel Zucco to stand in line for me! It was suggested that since I am older, longer races would be my thing as the high end speed starts to go! Ha! That maybe so, I bought into it, but the parts that were forgotten were the 6 hr bike rides, the 7 hr bricks, mostly solo becuase of my crazy schedule: the fact that hard intervals, hard track workouts, triple bricks ...the fun stuff really isn't included in Ironman training. Just go ride in zone 2 for 6 hrs, run 2 hr s and......have fun! Turn into a slug, then go to work and be professional the next day without falling asleep!

Ironmania is in full swing at home. There are times when I"m talking to the Hot, IRON MAN at home when he'll say "so here's my plan>..." and I'll think he means about dinner, or what to do tomorrow, but instead he starts giving me his run pacing plan. When in full Iron mode it is always on your mind, and, it needs to be, because it is huge. Not to mention when you spend 6 hrs with yourself you might think about the race a little. And, if you've done an Ironman before... you know you can do better if you just tweak this or that, or just eat this or that. That is what sucked me into do 3 in a row , then a 4th A.J. (after Jack)

All kidding aside. Yes, I am exaggerating (some). Mostly poking fun at myself for starting out to do an IM this year than completely switching gears. Who decides not to do an Ironman 4 weeks before, unless injured? Ironman North America made $$ off my mom guilt and me deciding to follow what I like doing most. I have said before my Ironman Florida training was the most fun training and racing I have ever had. And, I love coaching my athletes to finish their first or improve on past Ironman performances. Crossing the finish line at an Ironman is a huge accomplishment and by far some of the most memorable triathlon experiences there is.

Monday, September 1, 2008

1/2 Madness Weekend!

The starting line/ look for the Madness
Mark Dzubian, course marshall on his spiffy Vino scooter
Race Director, Danny
Pre-race, Carla was in charge of volunteers (yes that is a beer in her hand early morning, Megan was the lead runner escort on her bike

Multisportmadness put on the Batavia 1/2 Madness 1/2 marathon yesterday. I know many club members and friends worked very hard all year organizing this; congrats to them for putting on such a well run 1st time event. Trainingbible was a sponsor and the finish line had a big mat to cross and banners with Trainingbible on it. Very cool. I think there were about 900 runners who showed up to run. I had several athletes, many friends, 1 husband running, and I was a volunteer along with many other club members. A big heck ya, out to Andy Wellman who PR'd in the midst of his huge bike training to get ready for Fall Fling.

I have never volunteered at a race before. I have thanked many myself along the way at a zillion races I've done, and it was probably about time to volunteer myself. My job yesterday was chip removal. On a hot day, it was interesting. Mark Livesay, timing specialist of Ultramax events offered us surgical gloves to use. I raised my eyebrow, really? But once the finishers starting coming across, I quickly saw why. ( I guess crossing the line myself, I never noticed they wore gloves) Wow. Some people can really sweat. I had other people's sweat drip all over me. I felt like I needed a shower when I was done, but still had to run and ride myself. Even so, it was great to see so many racers out there giving it their all and having fun. From what I hear the course was really nice, with great aid stops.

Now this is true Madness..... keeping food in my house during Adam's Ironman training. He is in big time Hawaii training, and is always hungry, or always tired, or always hungry and tired! I can't keep food in the house. Help! I try to buy healthy food of course, and its gone fast because you can't buy bulk or it goes bad. I buy the junk food...gone even faster and expensive. I've gone domestic, even and made homemade cookies or brownies. He came home bonkish today after a big ride, the cupboards were bare once again. Nothing to fuel the bonk. So today I went back to the store, once again. 3rd time this week I think. I really dislike grocery shopping. I would rather scrub toilets, clean up dog poop from the backyard than go grocery shopping. But I have become very familiar with Jewel and Fresh Market lately and I love keeping my Ironman fed and happy :) But, have you noticed how many times you handle the food in just one trip the the grocery store. It seems so inefficient. You pick it off the shelf, then put it in the cart. From the cart it goes on the belt to check out, then bagged and into the cart. Then from the cart to the car and if your lucky they put more than 1 thing in the silly sack.( those sacks drive me crazy, yes I am a little bit "green". I think I buy too many things to use the cloth sacks. Once home you get to take it from the car to the counter, and then again, from the counter to the cupboards.

My friend from work uses Peapod. Now this is a great idea! I love it. She informs me they bring the food right to your counter for you! They give you the prices, deals and specials and the cost is apparently quite similar to going to the store. My friend however, lives in civilization. I live in Bumbleburn, land of corn. Peapod hasn't made it this far west yet. I am patiently waiting their arrival!!!!! I don't know if they'll make it out here by the end of Ironman training. In the meantime I'll look for ways to be a more efficient grocery shopper and haul my loads of "jewel sacks" back with me to try to re-cycle them. They have started spewing out of the drawer I store them in making it hard to shut!

I am open to any tips on more efficient grocery shopping or saving of jewel sacks!!!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Just good stuff!

Just a random sample of all the good stuff that's been going on!

**First, a very big congratulations to my athletes who raced at Chicago this weekend! John C. broke 2:45, Kristi R. and Joe B. also both PR'd ! Great work and what a beautiful day to race, I wish I had been racing. Great job to all who have been working hard all year!

**Jack started kindegarten and is loving it. It is a fun next step but wow has time flown by. It seems like not long ago I was pushing the baby jogger, and now he can cruise fast on his bike and participate in the Multisportmadness kids team practice every now and then! What a change! sniff sniff!

**Training is going great for me. I have been getting some great workouts in in the pool, (thanks to dragging my butt to masters), biking hard, and definitely, finally, on the run. I have been so diligent about doing my core/ strength/ stability and stretching. I have to say it hasn't only helped my leg, but I feel stronger and more balanced swimming, even on the bike (not sitting off to the side), and can keep good posture running. It is amazing practicing what you preach every day! I will be ready for Nationals Sept 20. This is a tough hilly course, but I love it and can't wait to race it again.

**When my clients at work/ get better! This week discharged a guy who had been with me for months. The reward of my job is seeing someone walk out of the clinic normally, when they started leg in brace, on crutches and in extreme pain. Its a good feeling knowing you helped them get their day to day life back.

The moon and stars must be aligned just right because all is good. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yesterday my training venue was Johnson's Mound Forest preserve for some hill repeats. This is home of one of the largest hills in the area right here in Elburn. A whopping 750 ft elevation! Yea whatever, it is still a hill. It is the best sled hill in the winter and lots good hill repeat workouts of all sorts and types over the past few years. Luckily my recovering hip is happier doing hard efforts on hills vs. flats where you stride out more. The workouts are always tough there but I love running there where there are no cars, and very few people. Its sort of like being in the mountains? (not quite but I pretend) Driving up there I actually saw some red and yellow leaves on a few of the trees. Can that be so? Already? I love this time of year late summer and early fall; but already?

Here are some sure signs summer is coming to an end:

1. Being stopped by school buses on the way to work

2. Having to turn the lights on earlier in the evening

3. Chicago Accenture Triathlon is this weekend. Back in my early days of triathlon that used to always be my last race and I would actually take significant down time afterwards.

4. Halloween stuff and scarecrows in the stores. Now I love fall and its probably when I get into the "home stuff" the most but........really already. For sure one of our neighbors will have the scarecrows and hay bales on the porch Sept. 1

5. A bit more stiff and achy in the mornings getting out of bed... a sure sign of late triathlon season!

6. The corn fields are very tall and smellier.

7. The butterflies are out and yes....and I've started seeing the caterpillars and grasshoppers out crossing the roads when i'm out riding

8. Clients are thinking about next year's races and goals (thats a good thing :)

9. Jack starts kindergarten on Monday.

10. The closets and cupboards have gotten completely out of control. They need my desperate attention once tri season ends

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Survival Mode

I am in survival mode this week. Adam is gone to Boulder to train with the big boys, so I am flying solo, working 30 hrs still trying to train, and rehab a sore hip and trying train like an Olympian :).( I can try anyway, its hard not to be inspired by all the great displays of athletism on right now)

I've been in survival mode in races; that point where you are just hanging on. Survival can be you are hammering with all you've and hanging on to all you've got to keep your pace, hold off that competitior until the finish, or sometimes it means, hanging by a thread just to finish (Blackwater this year, ick). You are done physically and mentally but there is still a ways to go until the finish line. I have experienced both so far this week. Its mid week and feels like it should be Fri.

So I am just hanging on to get it all done. This is that point where laundry piles up, dishes pile up (yuck). Getting up early trying to get workouts done before work and Jack wakes up (although its been tough because I have been staying up too glued to Olympics), resorting to the trainer when its gorgeaous out, squeezing in runs on lunch hour, putting stim on the hip during any free time at work. I think all Moms become masters at multi-tasking. Especially ones who are triathletes. Sometimes I don't know which is harder, the actual workout, or figuring out how I will get the workouts done. It would be too easy to say, I am too busy I can't do this today, no I have been getting it done. Its times like this I chose quality over quantity any day ! I want to be ready for Nationals so not doing workouts isn't an option, and not doing rehab, isn't an option. Some days just doing the workouts are the easy part when you're in survival mode.

In true multi- tasking fashion Becky our massage therapist makes house calls, and is coming over tonight, and I won't even have to miss any of the Olympics. :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

**Amazing Olympics**

I love the Olympics. I love seeing athletes compete at their best and hearing the stories about their training, and competition, defying odds and overcoming obstacles and find myself watching sports I normally wouldn't care much about, but the theme is just the same. These athletes have given all they've got to make it to the olympics no matter what the sport. I admit I am a sucker for those inspirational stories.

Of course I love watching the swimmers, runners and triathlon.

Dara Torres is truly inspiring. Being 40 myself and still competing (I am not going down easy!!)I think she is amazing. Last night I saw an interview with her and they were showing some of her training..holy core stability workouts, OMG. Needless to say, I found myself getting out my physio ball and started doing some more crunches and planks. And, I will be glued to track and field when it comes on. I love watching the runners and at all distances but especially the mile, 5000 and 10,000. I look forward to watching Shalane Flannagan and Kara Goucher run. I was in awe watching them run at the trials in Eugene OR. They run blazing fast and make it look effortless.

But yesterday I did watch women's volleyball, and some beach volleyball. Growing up, I was the team sport chick. I played volleyball, basketball and track through high school and then played college volleyball all before learning how to swim bike and run. In college we played sand ball in pre-season to get in shape for the indoor court. Some of the sorest legs I have ever had were from pre-season sand ball. Lunges and jumping in the sand for a couple hours is brutal. There was a day I had a very high jump reach. Being only 5'6" my volleyball days didn't last long after college. I think the US women's team has a girl who is 6'7"!! Team sports are great and it was fun having team mates to push each other and work together with towards a goal. What I didn't like about team sports was that if someone was having an off day, or didn't care as much as you, or have the same work ethic as you....the whole team could suffer. What I love about triathlon and what has kept me in the sport since about 1990 is that (oh my is that right?) is that your success or failures are a result of you alone. A great season, or race is due to the work you've done yourself, and you can always come back for more.

Happy Training!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moving on>>

I have been so busy since coming home from Michigan, plus our crazy late summer storm killed our internet for a day that I am way past giving an update.

I was unable to finish the race because of what I thought was a pulled hamstring, but as I've been doing therapy it is from a pinched nerve in my hip/back.

Race morning at Steelhead was beautiful but we quickly noticed that it was windy and cooler (nice cool like normal perfect temps). But the water was wicked, very choppy, but whatever I was ready to swim. My swimming has not been where it usually is this year, for the simple fact I do not swim enough, or with masters enough. ( I miss Waves!) but even so, I did not want them to cancel the swim. No swim would totally change the dynamics of the race.

As it turned out no swim and a 2 mile first run. I think it should have been more like 4 miles to spread the field out more, but I am sure they just wanted to get everyone out on their bikes. The first 2 miles consisted of running through a wooded park up a big hill and back down, then past the 2000 people waiting for their turn to run and as we rounded a turn we hit sand and ran through a sand dune before entering transition. I ran hard and strong and Adam said I was only 30 sec back from the lead girls. The bike seemed tough, it was windy and the roads were crappy, but I was riding strong, catching girls and no one from our age group catching me. Until about 10 -15 miles to go, when my hamstring started protesting being in aero positon. The rest of the story is not worth sharing. Mentally I have moved on from this, and am focusing on getting this better. (maybe this is forced motivation to get my butt to the pool more since I can't run as much right now)

Luckily I work in a PT clinic and have been doing therapy every day and thanks to Dave my boss he has mobilized my hip and SI joint into place taking the pressure off the nerve. It was like a vice grip let go on my leg. So thankfully it is getting better because I am still planning on racing at Nationals Sept 20. Thanks also to Carmen for making her special homeopathic massage oil for me !!!

Once cool thing though, check out this link from Ironman.com They decided to show the 40 yr old women starting the race!!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Southern Michigan Road Trip

The Be An 11! Quote of the Day 07.01.2008

Catch the Fever Be An 11! BELIEVER!

Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.
Brian Tracy

I thought this was an appropriate quote as I load up to roll on out to Southern
Michigan for the Steelhead 70.3. I laughed because it is a furnace out there. It is going to be smokin hot, but I've been through all kinds of weather this year racing, so I'm ready for anything mother nature sends our way!

Do something to bring you closer to your goals today!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Whats in Your purse?

I am not much of a purse person. I don't really like purses. I like backpacks and some bags, but do end up carrying a purse, because somehow I manage to have a lot of STUFF. This one is cute and kind of surfer girlish. But on the inside, beware. Through the course of a crazy summer of triathlon and work (our busiest season), things get out of control. I won't mention what my closets, garage, drawers and cupboards are like. I have learned to let it go (its hard!!!!) and know it will all be waiting for me when the season ends when I can re-organize. But my purse, yikes. It also has accumulated a lot of strange things with all the coming and going. I noticed it was getting kind of heavy, so I dug in deep to see what was in there!

Here are just some of what has ended up in my bag this summer.

1. Part of a rear bottle cage that needed to go back to The Bike shop to get fixed or replaced. It broke off Adam's bike.

2. A wireless bike computer.

3. 2 of few of those small rubber bouncy balls that come out of the gum ball machines. (taken away from kids bouncing them at the table while eating pizza)

4. A Kane county cougars baseball schedule, (always trying to find a home game to take the kids to when we are actually home)

5. Numerous receipts...shoved in the purse while trying to get out of the store quickly.

6. Several packages of GU. You never know when you might bonk! Ha! just kidding, but they are there. In my attempt to be "green" I opted for no bag when I purchased them when I had run out of my box.

7. A bottle of Aleve.

8. Of course the usual, receipts, lip gloss, pens, change and wallet and cell phone.

And what is with these receipts? You practically get a tree's worth of paper with one purchase. And when you eat out, you get like 3 separate receipts. I don't like throwing them out, thinking someone will steal my identity, so they accumulate.

How do guys manage with just a wallet?
Or am I just better prepared for anything?
And how about cars? What if I said whats in your car?
I won't even go there.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wet and Wild

That pretty much sums up this past weekend for me, it really was crazy and left me tired, but it was fun.

Friday afternoon, I finally got on the road to Bloomington for the Evergreen Tri. This is an Olympic distance race in the middle of cornfields. However, I was surprised at what a cool lake there is out in the middle of nowhere. It is in a , nice state park. I took a little warm up swim the water was warm! They had mentioned likely no wetsuits, the water was 80 deg......well as I was packing I thought I need to bring it anyway, just in case. I always do, always have. However...1/2 way to Blooming ton I remembered that I had forgotten it. (bad mistake) Always bring it no matter what!!!! You never know! Because, Saturday morning we woke up to pouring rain, which must have cooled the water .5 deg. enough make it wetsuit legal. Thankfully the water was still very warm and yuck I would have suffocated in it had it been on, but it is definitely a disadvantage when much of the field is wearing one. I just said to myself just forget about it and go race.

The rain continued through the entire race, pouring at times. It think that the rain must have had cement in it because I felt like I was going nowhere, especially the first 1/2 of the bike, and the run. I didn't feel bad, but I didn't like I could go fast the way I wanted and needed to.It took 1/2 the bike to feel like I was going at a 40k effort. I was cautious in the turns because of wet roads, but tried not to slow down too much while keeping the wheels on the road. There are a lot of out and backs on both the bike and run in this race which is good especially when you're trying to catch up. On the run I was making up some ground on a few of the girls,and passed 2 in the last 1/2 mile but the 2 others I was gaining on I couldn't get. Had I had my wetsuit I might have been more in striking distance to catch a few more. I finished 6th in the elite division, but really should have been like 3rd or 4th on a good day. I packed up all my wet soggy stuff, headed home dried out everything, re-packed, gathered up forgotten belongings for Racine, and headed north.

Danny D. was allowing like 20 of us to stay in his lakehouse which is basically across the street from the transition area at the RAcine 1/2, and hosting a pasta party for Multisportmadness. Racine has always been a big race for our club. This was very fun! Thanks DANNY! I was doing the relay the next day, and felt like I should be nervous like I was doing the race, because everyone else was. I had to put a number on my bike, rack it the night before etc. But hey I was just doing the bike portion! Thank goodness because I was sore from sitting in the car for 4 hrs. I did go soak my sore legs in Lake Michigan. wow. The water was like 56 deg. I could hardly stand it, but it did help as I felt pretty good Sun. morning.

We woke up to a ton of fog and we couldn't see the buoy's. They delayed the start like an hour. The relay is the last wave so I had a lot of waiting around, but by the time I was handed the chip and on my way...the sun came out and it was really perfect. Now, racing from the back of 2000 people is quite an experience. My goal was to ride hard, which became challenging with so many people on the road. Lots of people are clueless about riding on the left. Don't hang out there. At one point I even yelled at someone, "are you going to pass or draft? out of my way" It did improve further up the road. I have to say I felt way better on Sun racing the bike than Sat. Hmm. Was it, the Lake Michigan soak?, Danny's pasta?, the fact that I had done a strong effort the day before?, sleeping in a house with 20 other people?. Not sure, but my bike split for 56 miles was 2:32. I hobbled out a few easy run miles off the bike....blisters, then cheered on all the racers. Even though Debbie and I had raced Sat., I still think Carla had the toughest part swimming in the foggy cold water, and our "Dream Team" as Debbie named us broke 5 hrs.

It was an great weekend of fun and racing, but I did realize some things in it all. I race as a true product of how I have trained. I was never great at crossing over and racing the varying distances and do well in the same season. But at 40, I am thinking that is even more true. A lot of my training has been targeted at Steelhead 1/2 IM. And that is basically how I raced Evergreen. I didn't have the speed and snap needed for an Olympic.( I thinking this needs to change after Steelhead, better talk to the coach!) This weekend was also Lake Placid, and I had no sad feelings or regret about not being there.

Congrats to all who raced! Madness did great in Racine way to go Joe, Kristi, Wellman and all. Also congrats to Jeff the cardiologist who did his first Ironman in 14:00 flat in the rain.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Date Night

I requested a date night with my husband. !! I am easy to please, just a dinner out. One where I don't have to show up with my hair wet, in a pony tail and goggle marks on my face, one where there isn't mac n cheese, and stories can be told with interruptions of "mom or daddy", and where the credit card doesn't have to be handed to the waiter before we ever see the bill because we are in a hurry. I even blew dry my hair and wore a sun dress! What a concept!

This is such a busy time of year for us. We are both coaching a lot of really great athletes and put a lot of work into helping them, Adam is coaching a lot of practices with the Multisportmadness kids team, and Cosport seems to have exploded. Did everyone decide to get hurt or have surgery this summer? My schedule has been packed at work. This on top of taking care of the kids and house, oh yea and TRAIN! There is one in the house doing Kona, and one aiming high at Steelhead and Nationals. Needless to say there is a lot of coming and going and this weekend is no exception. It will be a wild weekend of racing and coaching and supporting sooo.....I needed my date night to feel sort of like a normal adult and to hang with my hubby before the wild weekend.

There is so much good racing going on I have athletes doing their first IM in Lake Placid, ohhh so nervous but so exciting to cross that line the first time! several athletes doing Racine, and 1 doing Evergreen. I myself am doing Evergreen and am excited to see where some solid weeks of training has left me with my new focus. So, Fri after helping with a client with a bike fit at the Bike Shop, I will head down to Bloomington to race in the hot windy cornfields. I have not done this race but here good things about it and am VERY excited to race after doing some good hard weeks of training. Then after the race I will bolt home, re-pack and head up to Racine. Racine has become like a Multisportmadness-fest! I think Danny is letting like 20 people shack up at his lake house. To top it off I'll be doing a relay! Yea, the 3 40 yr olds are doing a relay (not sure of our team name ha! but/ Carla swimming, I'll be biking and Debbie running. I hesitated at first, a relay? come on Linds., but this will make a nice hard 56 mile TT workout the day after racing and good prep for Steelhead. Plus, it will be fun to see everyone racing!!!!

So hooray for date night and acting like a normal adult for 1 evening.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Recover Gear

When I was at the Blackwater expo, I came across this cool new product. Being a physical therapist, of course I was intrigued by this Recover Gear, and immediately bought 2 for our household. With this system the ice packs are slid into a really tight compression sleeve. (Different sizes and pieces for various body parts are available) So, you can get the ice and compression, and still be mobile! The compression sleeves are really tight and snug. It was so hot at Blackwater this year we all joked that we should race with these on to stay cool! Steve Pettit is the owner and designed this and was such a nice guy. He is a triathlete himself and came up with this idea and started this company. Check out the website recovergear.com You don't have to be "injured" to use this. I suspect I am not the only one who gets sore after a tough workout or 2. Icing down a sore quad or calf only helps you recover more quickly. !!

We are coming into the home stretch for a lot of big races for athletes. Next weekend is Racine, Lake Placid and Evergreen. I have a lot of athletes getting ready to race. I have been hearing whispers here and there of sore knees, sore Achilles, sore legs etc. I know it is really difficult to walk over to the freezer, get out an ice pack and put it on whatever is aching. I am sure that is much tougher than heading out to ride for 4 -5 hours or running 10 miles at whatever pace. The thought of icing or stretching is completely overwhelming. We are about 1/2 way through the season and the training does start to accumulate. Miles and miles on the road can tighten that lateral quad and IT band to the point it can become almost glued to your femur, or turn calves into softballs.

Go get a massage. That is a rough one too. How awful to have to go get a massage to loosen up all the tightness and restrictions that have built up. Gee a massage, or an overuse injury. Becky Sanford is a great massage therapist and gives Multisportmadness members a discount.

Don't train through pain. Yes there is some pain you have to train through to push the limits and get fast. But the pain that causes you to limp, or perform the basics like ...walking or standing up or even breath. Or, pain that sticks with you day after day and appears in workouts each day probably shouldn't be ignored. Ice, stretch, or go see someone because most likely it won't magically disappear. Continually pushing it just to get the workout done isn't going to help in the long run if you wind up sidelined with an injury.

If I sound a bit harsh it is only because it is quite simple. If you have the capacity to get in the hours of training at all the prescribed wattages and HR zones, then you have the ability to take care of your body afterwards. Be nice to it so you can keep on going.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lake Stevens 70.3

I am so proud of Adam. He was racing Lake Stevens 70.3 today. He is out in my old
stomping ground. My parents lived very near there while I was going to college in Oregon, so I would truck it home to the Seattle burbs on breaks. It is hilly beautiful and scenic. He said the course was amazing!! and won his age group and was 3rd OA age grouper. He has worked so hard and stuck with it and is now rocking it this year like we knew he could!!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th and a win!

After a week of Tri-Disney where workouts were on the sparse side, I am in a big training week with lots of quality workouts. Just how I like it. It included a Freedom 4th, 10k run race today.

Early in the week my awesome husband (and coach, decided to motorpace me on the bike. He was excited to ride the scooter and make me suffer a little. This was our first go at this and it consisted of me on by bike at threshold for 90 min., just hanging on behind the scooter after doing some hill repeats. It took few tries to get the pace right and getting dropped (a scooter can accelerate a lot faster than a bike!)Adam had fun accelerating and watching my eyes bulge and tongue hang to try and hang on. Then off the bike to a fast tempo run. I have to say this was tougher than I expected. You end up pushing a bigger gear at a higher cadence because you are going fast which quickly cooks your legs. Now I keep getting asked when I am going to get my motorcycle license. Can you see me now? at the DMV with the Harley chicks trying to drive this thing around the cones!!!

Thurs I did group ride again and managed to avoid a crash right in front of me. A few guys were really trying to go off the front and 1 caught an edge and went down..thankfully he was ok and jumped back on and kept riding. It was a tougher ride because of some wind, but I made the whole ride and finished up with an easy transition run. There is an argument in our house that wind on the group ride should make it easier for the back of the field, because it slows down the fastest. My argument is no, if you get caught outside the draft in the wind..it is way harder to bridge or stay on, and same goes if you take some pulls. Plus smaller people get blown around more in the wind. If I knew how to do the "poll" thing on here I would take a poll on this one.

So today was the 10k. I haven't run an open 10k .......in a very long time. I wasn't sure how I would feel after some tough workouts, but I am a pure triathlete and we run on tired legs, right? It was a really nicely organized race and a perfect morning. The course was, very hilly with lots of rollers and big climb at mile 4. It also had tons of turns which let me practice running tangents, something I am not the best at. I ran hard, ignored the burning legs and finished with a 43:30, and 1st female which scored me a little $$$. Sometimes these local run races have great prizes !!!! Overall a good effort and it feels good to be getting some spark going in the legs again.

I've been glued to the Olympic Trials, swimming. Very all American! and how about Dara Torres making the Olympic team at 40!

Happy 4th of July

Saturday, June 28, 2008

How's your fun?

About a year ago I think my son Jack asked me that once when coming back from a bike ride or run or something, and it was such a funny saying that has stuck with us. Well as a matter of fact, my fun has been wonderful. In fact I think I have broken the fun barrier as my dad used to say to us as kids.

AFter deciding to not do Lake Placid, I have felt huge relief and last week and have had a whole bunch of fun. I was on the track, sluggish but it felt good do be pushing the pace. I also did the Thurs night group ride. My goal was to stay with the group the whole way, but wasn't sure what would happen you never know what they'll do and I had no idea what kind fast surge efforts I would have. They were now means riding hard that night, but I stayed on the whole way and didn't just sit in the back but tried to stay up in the front and even took some pulls.......this was fun and I have missed doing this. On a whim, I decided to sign up for Bigfoot Triathlon in Lake Geneva. I had a brick workout scheduled that day so opted to do the Olympic Distance tri instead. I knew I'd be putting myself out there a bit entering a short fast race being Ironman trained, but I had heard this was a fun race and thought it would a great way to shake out the Ironman cobwebs. It was a really neat race. I had a horrible swim, felt like I was going no where and seemed to find some awful current and chop in the lake that no one else had, but I made I finally made it out then started sooo hard on the bike trying to make up time. I faded in the middle, obviously starting too fast. My brain said.....go HARD go, but it didn't last. The run was VERY fun. Not a fast run course, mostly all on grassy trails and some hills. I was having so much fun running on such a different type course. I wasn't fast but felt strong and it was a good effort and making my 180 degree turn in the season.

We booked it home to finish packing and catch a flight to Disneyworld. Talk about fun, oh my. Disney is a World Championship event for kids. It is much like a big triathlon in many ways. The kids had been training for it for months doing chores to earn quarters (ha ha) for Disney and finally it was race week.

In the mornings, we would fuel up, pack up our gear, which included park passes, $$ of course, camera, hats, water, and sun tan lotion and embark the shuttle to the main event. Once leaving the bus we were faced with long lines to enter the park kind of like those long lines for bodymarking or picking up your timing chip...so anxious to get in to the transition area and get rolling, but the lines...slowing us down. Once inside, wow. The kids were soon sizing up their competition. They were checking out the princess costumes, pirate swords, toys and such that all the other kids had, kind of like checking out the cool bikes, race outfits and helmets secretly thinking "I have to have that". The stores are like race expos....all kinds of cool things that are hard to resist right in front of you For me, at expos...my downfall and weakness are swimsuits. I have to just stay away. Here, the kids could hardly resist Cinderella crowns, pirate hats and hooks. Getting to the ride, venue, or show is the event itself. Negotiating the other park goers, as quickly as possible to try to get the most in, get that fast pass and see has much as possible is race. Other park goers should have gotten blocking penalties for slowing us down and not letting us pass and get to where we wanted to be. The designated "stroller" sections are like the Chicago Triathlon transition area with rows and rows of strollers parked, some with treasures, bags and belongings even in place. Is there an underlining courtesy like in a transition area...."don't touch my stuff"! There were even a few moments of bonking, where we needed to get Popsicles, lemonade or water in as quickly as possible so we could keep going. The finish line, for me, was seeing the kids faces when they saw Mickey and Minnie, or the other characters. And, just seeing them have fun and go crazy. The electric light parade was fun and worth staying to the end.

Now I even sense a little post Disney World depression setting in the household. Like post Ironman depression, what now? I think I even heard coming from the couch this morning "what do you think we'll do today?" We'll recover and start training for the next big event!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Change of Plans

All I have been thinking about is wanting to do other races, other types of workouts. I would think about my race at IM LP and I would feel dread. This is not the right mindset to have going into an Ironman. NOOO way, it would make for a very long painful day if your heart is not into it. I have done 3 IM and quite well at one. I know what its like and how the day goes. I feel complete with my Ironman racing. I haven't liked the feeling of wishing I were doing other races this summer. I have had these thoughts for awhile, but kept blocking them because I signed up for this race, so you HAVE to do it. But after lots of though and talking with Adam and my Dad and really realizing you have to do what is in your heart and what you have fun doing I have decided not to do my IM. I know its the right decision and it hasn't crossed my mind once since Sunday when I made this decision. In fact, I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders. (Big decisions like this get easier with maturity!!)

You are forced to sign up for these races so far ahead of time, that almost 1 year ago is when I signed up to do this race. At the time...I thought it would be fun a change, something different. It has been a while since I did an IM. Then you're bound to that race for a year and a lot can happen. It lures you into thinking you can't change your mind. We signed up for Blackwater....before the end of the race season last year, then came along about 5 other 70.3 races, I might have wanted to go to Boise....I know that area well and know where the run and swim were...it would have been a really cool race. I am sidetracking now on another topic, how fast these races/ fill etc, registration procedures etc.

I'm not saying doing an IM is bad. I did 3 in a row! I was pretty motivated the first time around to finish and still say finishing my first IM is one of the most memorable triathlon experiences I have. But my heart is in to racing more and racing fast. I like those types of workouts, that is what I have fun doing. I have done this sport for too long, hmm, lets say 18 (yikes!!!) to get caught up in to feeling like I have to do something that my heart isn't in to.

So right away on Tuesday I had a track workout. Wow, I was having a great time even though my legs were sure what the heck was going on. My times were off a bit but, and I felt like I had cob webs in my legs, because right now they are trained to clip a long at IM pace, but I didn't care. The speed will start to come back and I have to say I have a big aerobic base now! I plan to race a lot the rest of the season, with Steelhead and Nationals as 2 big ones, then lots of others locally to help get the speed back and ......have fun.

Do your workouts, push yourself to where you haven't gone before, challenge yourself to do what you haven't in your training and racing, take it serious, but remember to have fun!