Friday, March 27, 2009

** Spring Cleaning!*

Its that time of year for sure.

Its nearly April and all the signs of spring are popping out like Jose the landscaper knocking on the door and asked in broken English if we'd like service again this year, (I nearly choked on the thought of this household not having lawn service. Frightening.

Adam packing up to leave for his first race of the 2009 season. He'll be gone a week and doing 2 races.

There are very faint hints of green here and there with actual living plants poking through the ground (they actually lived after that winter?), the spring wind and extreme temperature changes

and yes the flu! The flu went through 3 members of our family and I am humbly saying I came down with it as well. I think its because I was bragging and going on about how Mom's can't get sick. Ha.... 1/2 way through a meeting the other day I lost my lunch literally and did so for the next 24 hrs. The rest of the details aren't fun, but once back int 1 piece, I went on a crazy cleaning and scrubbing binge to rid this place of the germs that having been hanging out and invading our space. Now, I am not one of those germophobics who have to wash their hands after touching anyone or anything in public. But, if there has been illness, and germs present, or....there ever becomes evidence of mice in the house I will be launched into a crazy cleaning spree.

While scrubbing, polishing, bleaching and washing linens, I got to thinking about spring cleaning the mind as the start of the tri season is really right around the corner. Maybe it was the chemicals from all the cleaning products that got my mind spinning about spring cleaning the mind and attitude for the new race season. Many thoughts came to mind for myself as an athlete, and as a coach....for my athletes.

Take a look at what worked last year and what didn't. If you're finding yourself in some old patterns and the same result keeping happening....make a change. If you continually bonk in longer workouts, take a look at what you're eating during the longer sessions....and make a change. Communicate what works and doesn't with your coach, if you don't have a coach, talk to one about making some changes instead of falling into the same routine that may not be helping your reach your potential. If you keep getting hurt in the same places, get help instead of living with it. You get the idea....make a noticeable change instead of continuing along the same path.

Dust out all the pre-conceived notions and negative thoughts bouncing around. Start this season with a shiny clean mind and image of yourself achieving the goals you've set. Believe you can accomplish the goals you have set.

Take chances and risks. If your coach puts up a workout that looks a little scary, take the risk. The more times you take the risk, the easier it will be to deal with those "scary" things. The thought of a 5k for some may be scary, or doing that bike test scary mostly because of fear of not having good results, however this info can only help the coach write better workouts and help you with the physical and mental componets necessary to make yourself go hard and deal with the uncomfortableness that comes with taking it to the next level. And, how can you ever see the success and improvements your making if the workouts aren't or test sets aren't complete. I used to get nerves bigger than a race when I would see group ride on my schedule. But I have done it now for several years. I still get a little nervous especially if its a Tuesday, but I have gotten better at dealing with taking that risk.

Don't be so serious, and have some fun. Don't be afraid to try a new approach or way of doing something. ( this is a big one for me this year) I have been having fun so far doing more group workouts, and working with a personal trainer on strength/ power and focusing on just the local races which are fun. This is a different approach, and it seems strange not having some huge gigantic Ironman, Worlds etc goal out there, and sometimes is hard to get used to, but I am having fun and getting fit with some of the different things I am doing.

Now I have a clean house, a clean tummy, and a clean brain ! Happy Spring

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Playing catch up

I stepped off the plane at Ohare at the end of my Tuscon Training trip and found myself immediately back into suburban mom hyper drive complete with a strong dose of reality. Thankfully the weather was welcoming, but the transition from full time triathlete (sprinkled with a little coaching) for a few days back to real life was sharp and quick.

The Tuscon Camp was a success I found myself doing more this year as an athlete than in years past which was a nice change. It felt to be coached some instead of doing the coaching. The group was strong, and hard working, and quite serious. I think I started the camp with some decent fitness, maybe not as strong as last year, but last year I was heading into early 1/2 IMs. However I think this year I did more hard workouts total than in years past. Highlights of the camp included:

1. riding outside daily through the desert to include Gates pass twice and Mt. Lemmon; thanks to Carla for good indoor sessions this winter I felt strong!
2. a coached track workout yes, on the track with a fast group after 3 days of riding and climbing. OUCH, get those legs moving. I have to say it was a shock to the system especially trying to keep up with a fast group in major build mode for some upcoming races that are getting very near.
3. Mexican dinner with the MSM club. My social friends! I can be as serious as the best of them, but couldn't pass up some fun. I heard all kinds of great stories and I was laughing the entire night hearing everyone's recap about how the camp and training was going
4. Swimming outside with the sun setting over the mountains; I could get used to that.

The days were filled with waking up training, eating, training and eating again. Then sleep; get up and repeat. It was fun and a great way to kick it into shape, but quite a contrast to how it really goes for me. Back home this week I had waiting for me stacks of bills, some unfinished schedules, work Monday morning, a sick kid with the flu which started Thurs at 2:30 a.m, some sore muscles, empty cupboards and boatloads of laundry, Thursday night coaching, and my constant feeling of squeezing in workouts. My parents are here visiting which is a huge help. Mom, Dad, want to move closer? I think I now have my head above water again, and this afternoon actually had a chance to sit in the sun while the kids played at the park and catch my breath.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I love Lemmon

Part of the group getting ready to start up!

Megan staying warm at the top

Thanks to awesome sag support/ Jim Vance

Glad to be done!

Some pics from a fun day, climbing up to 8000+ ft. (Brrr it was cold at the top!)It was lots of big climbing and everyone did great. There are some really amazing views on the way, but I didn't stop to take any pics along the way. It was much colder at the top than I remember from last year, but nice and warm back at the bottom. We finished the day with a yummy Mexican feast. I will sleep good tonight.

Friday, March 13, 2009


I left Chicago on Wed morning during a 25 deg free fall of temperatures from 60 to like 20 amist 40 mph winds. I was a bit worried my flight might be delayed due to high winds and I just couldn't wait to get to the desert! No delays, and a breezing through the airport (I guess due to poor economy the airport seemed deserted at 9:00 am on Wed) I was on my way to the land of sun, and some great training. I stepped off the plane, got the rental car and waited an hour or so for super biker Rob Kelly to catch a ride to the house. (BTW, I have seen Rob do single leg drills on rollers !) Of course I waited out in the parking lot in the warm sun with a huge smile on my face. We were able to hurry back in time to fit in an easy ride to work out the kinks and make sure the bikes are working, while Adam and the rest of the housemates were finishing up some type of major Workout day.

Yesterday we woke up, and met the rest of the campers. We started with a great swim session thanks to Jim Vance. We practiced some fun in water starts in a pack, turns and he tweaked my swim stroke a little.....! yea it feels faster :) AFter lunch, we jumped on our bikes and did a nice ride around Gates Pass. I actually was warm, esp. going up the steep climb (this year I remembered to make sure I was not in the big chain ring. 2 yrs ago I was so focused on climbing I thought I had shifted out to the small, but hadn;t and climbed it in the big chain. There are some really great athletes here. Very talented and fun. Yesterday finished with a shopping spree at Trisports, and a talk with Joe Friel. I after yesterday I have the whitest hiding where I having been training all winter.

Up today.....MT LEMMON!!!! roughly a 27 mile climb up. I love it. We plan to stagger start and "race" to the top!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Birthday present!

My early birthday present was a 60 deg day on last Friday (a day that I do not work at the clinic, and quite frankly the best gift of all. I decided to do my weekend long ride on Friday vs. Sat so I could ride outside and what a present it was! The workout was supposed to be a hilly ride. HaHa ha my coach lives in AUS and I don't know if he realizes how flat it is where I live and train. However, the wind is forever present this time of year so switching some gears around and taking a zig zag route turned a 3 hr ride through the cornfields of Illinois into a "hilly ride" of course finishing at Campton and Town hall hills close to home at the end of the ride topped it off. It was great to be outdoors and trying to remember how to hold a bike upright vs. on the trainer. 3 hrs went by like nothing!

I turned 41 on Sunday. Very un-eventful as we have been gearing up for the Tuscon Camp. I leave Wed and am excited to meet some new trainingbible athletes and endure a camp with a highly accomplished group. There are more pro level athletes at this year's camp than in years past so I might be getting my butt woooooped a little but it will be good for me :) I am looking forward to riding my BMC road bike that has been waiting for me in Papa Joel Zucco's garage, Gates Pass, Mt. Lemmon, the 3 mile uphill climb to end......everything a Joel's house, sun, the outdoor awesome lap pool with an amazing view, not having to dress in multiple layers to workout, sun, Mexican food, and sun!

Jack is in swimming lessons and loves it. I wish I looked like him every time I went for a swim workout. I do love swimming masters and with the MSM kids team (OUCH!)......but getting a swim workout done by myself anymore.....that's my limiter. I admit. I hate, swimming by myself anymore. There was a day I could push myself in the water alone. Maybe I did it too many times. AND, I pretty much workout solo biking and running and can push myself HARD to the point of near puke.....swimming is another story. Everyone has their weakness, this is mine. Maybe I'll remember this picture of Jack the next time I need to go get a swim in by myself!

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