Monday, December 27, 2010

Welcome 2011....

....I am ready for you.

Good bye 2010, I've had enough of you. Thanks for some fun times in Tuscon and Oregon, and seeing my 7 year old lose his top 2 teeth, play soccer and wrestle.

Thanks for an amazing cyclcross season and seeing my athletes qualify for Boston, Clearwater and World events.

But I've had enough of you 2010, I'm bored with you now and am ready for your friend 2011.

2011 can give me new challenges, new goals, a new coach, a new start to a New Year and a new season. Some new races, and new places.

2010 is pretty much history, in the books. All those workouts, races and performances (good and bad) are just that... history now. 2011 gives you the chance to start with a clean slate, lay the foundation down right for great performances all year long.

TBC even has new logo and for me a stylin' new blog look.

Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oregon Run

I started my Christmas celebrating early by making a run home to Oregon. My dad turned 65 and I was in the mood for some TLC, and early holiday fun at home in the suburbs of Portland and foothills of Mt. Hood.

We crammed all the typical holiday traditions in a short 5 day visit just to get this season started off right. I'll skip the details of all the tree trimming, cookie baking, shopping (Oregon has no sales tax.....also will soon be the first state to ban plastic grocery sacks!! ) and gift exchanges. But 1 event that topped the list on this trip was a ride on the Polar Express. If you doubt there is a Santa or stopped believing then you should make a trek to Hood River Oregon and board the Polar Express that takes you to the North Pole. Along the way you get all the goodies just like the movie, Hot Chocolate, cookies, music...the hobo, and of course....Santa who will give you a bell and tell you to "believe". How can you not believe after that ! The highlight for me was the bathroom break on the drive there at Multnomah Falls.

how is this for a pit stop!

Traveling home to Oregon always gives me a great chance to get in some scenic and HILLY running. A very welcome change of pace this time of year and much different than the treadmill or the frozen subdivision loops. With no bike, and not easy access to a pool I ran every day. Nothing crazy or long or fast, no special workouts just ran in the hills. I ran on a trail along the Clackamas River, I ran a hard hilly loop curved up hills and down into valleys with grade's steep enough that I could reach out and almost touch the road. I had runs where I turned the corner and had views of Mt. Hood in the distance. Every run I could smell Christmas trees, and wasn't layered in all weather gear. And.... I only got sprinkled on for part of 1 run. During my running I thought a lot about 2010, the good and the bad and changes for 2011. As an athlete with a new year, new season on the horizon it is hard not to get excited for new goals, new challenges and new perspectives. For some reason at 42 I still feel the need to set goals and challenge myself. It may not always be in the sport of triathlon, but have always tried to have something out there.

As a coach this time of year gets busy setting up the yearly plan for athletes. Encouraging them to pick out races, or camps and convincing them to set high goals (and to be specific). Dream big. Why not. There is nothing to lose. In the last few days of 2010, give yourself a holiday treat and go for a run, leave the Ipod at home and indulge yourself on dreaming big and ......

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frozen Evidence.....

Many of my triathlon friends have been asking...did you really ride your bike outside last weekend to race? Well.... I did and here is the proof! I'm have like 3 base layers of various forms and fabric, tights and leg warmers and a race kit, plus socks (2 pair), super thick gloves and headband for my ears. The only thing cold were my feet and face. Such an extreme contrast to racing in say....Memphis this year!

The real question though, is that if I could do this then technically I should be able to keep riding going 25 deg or warmer! Ha, that is a challenge to myself! We'll see. I don't like the trainer except for short hard intervals, I don't like the treadmill, except maybe...some hard intervals, but I also don't like extreme cold. That makes training this time of year for me a challenge. I realized that I am doing a half IM in roughly 4 months. Luckily my new awesome coach has me pretty motivated so I better suck it up buttercup, layer up, and get out there as much as I can.

Today I tried Bikram Hot Yoga. It is 90 min of manipulating yourself into unnatural poses in a room that is heated (not sure ..but it felt like 90 deg!) I have made my way to my fair share of yoga classes especially in the fall and winter. I do really like it, but I've never done it HOT. It was very intense and challenging. Maybe if I lure myself to Hot Yoga after riding or running out in the cold, I'll be more likely to get out there. It is also quite evident that I have spent way too many hours biking and running and I do not move the same way the yogi's do into these positions and could really benefit from sweating and stretching it out regularly.

Monday, December 6, 2010

5th OA in Chicago Cross Cup!!!!!!

The final race of the CCC took place in the city on Sunday Dec. 5. It was 25 deg. and snow covered.....I am not a lover of bitter cold, but was so excited to race I didn't think twice about bundling up and racing.Maybe I should have been dressed like this guy:

I had so many layers on I look at least 10 lbs. heavier in the pictures and it took 24 hours for my feet to fully defrost, but I loved it. I even stayed after to cheer on friends. I need to figure out the cold though, because Nationals Cross Nationals are in Madison next January.....brrrr!

It was an awesome day and all the really fast girls were out to race. I had a good start but had issues with snow and ice freezing to my cleats and I raced for pretty much 45 min unclipped. I didn't have any issues with gravity though and kept the wheels on the ground, which is huge improvement for me under these slippery conditions. It was more of a technical race (not my favorite) vs. one to really go hard all out for 45 min and race but that is part of cyclocross. I finished 8th on the day, but that kept me 5th OA in the series which I am thrilled with. I had to claw my way up through the rankings after 1 mechanical and 1missed race which = 2 races without points, but I was aiming for top 5 once I upgraded to cat 3. My 5th in the women's 1,2,3...which was 2nd (by only 1 point) in the women's 3.

I have to say I loved racing with the top girls. In the races I had good starts and rode with them for a lap, or ...part of a lap in some cases I was pushing myself so hard. I think it only made me a better rider and pushed me to get good starts and just ride frickin hard, almost like when riding Colonial on Tues nights. With more girls upgrading to 3 next year, I still hope we race as the women 1,2 ,3's because racing the best only makes you better.

Thanks CCC for putting on such an awesome series, and thanks to Rob Kelley my cyclocross coach, Bicycle Heaven, and all my cyclocross friends who were so supportive all season long.

Up next....a trip home to Oregon (can't wait)the holidays, then bring on 2011!