Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Top 5s

The end of the year always brings out classic lists, best ofs, most memorable, year in reviews.Its fun to look back at all the pieces (good and bad) that make up 1 great year. After all some of the tough experiences help you learn and move on and become even better. If you have been tuning into the TBC podcasts, you’ve heard some great top 5 lists. I was in tears laughing at my computer one day while working and listening to Scotts’ top 5 where NOT to eat the night before a race. 2011 has been good to me and I thought I’d share some of my own TOP 5 memorable moments...

TOP 5: listed from 5th to 1st

Kick A$% Training Moments to Write Home About;

5. Nailing goal mile splits on the track faster than I had seen in years
4. PR in a long hilly training run in the 100 deg heat 6 days after doing KS 70.3.
3. Biking to the top of Mt. Lemmon with friends on a birthday training weekend

2. Performing 28 full body pull ups at the personal trainer without help
1. climbing and conquering 6 Gap in GA, and being 2nd to the top of Hogspen in my group

TOP 5 stellar blow ups

5. most swim workouts
4. totally missing those same goal mile times on the Tucson track when trying to squeeze the workout in straight from the airport

3. running the day after any cyclocross race in the season; it’s like I’ve never run in my life
2. cramping in my calves so bad causing me to walk like a stork in the last 50 yd of Racine 70.3 and getting passed by 2 girls coming into the chute

1. my epic ride with Adam and the K –Swiss team on my rented bike on the Vegas course; I rode all out and hung with them for about 30 miles then blew so bad, I wobbled my way through the desert back to the hotel; classic in front of top level pros ! 

Top 5 Mom Moments:

5. Mom duty on Muncie 70.3 weekend; taking kids to the IN Dunes for the first time on the way to watch Adam race Muncie

4. Mother’s day celebration at Jack’s school; treated like royalty by 8 yr olds

3. watching Jack at his first swim meet, and loving it

2. cheering for the kids at their first triathlon

1. standing on the 50 yard line at Homecoming Celebration for Kaneland youth football

Top 5 Racing Moments

5. feeling stronger as the race went on at the Elgin fox trot 10 miler, and racing a girl up the hill at mile 8 and dropping her

4. Indian Lakes Cyclocross races; I finally had cx legs again

3. running into the French Quarter at NOLA 70.3 with a run split I hadn’t had in a ½ IM in years
2. Passing 4 in my AG on the tough run course at Vegas 70.3 world champs in Sept

1. Being in the starting chute and racing with elite/pro women at CCCNY race. To even be qualified to be there was pretty amazing; unfortunately I raced horribly in the extreme mud and this experience could also fall under stellar blow ups as well

Top 5 Zucco Moments

5. Hosting a Venezualeaun and Austrailan as house mates for a good chunk of the summer

4. combining a race weekends with a trip to Great America

3. shopping for groceries in bike kits to fit it all in

2. getting all dirty and muddy mtn. biking with AZ through the desert, then dressing up pretty for a night out in Vegas

1. There were too many great moments of 2011 to nominate any as number one

Have a great 2012!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tis the Season!


Winter has been slow to arrive here in Chicagoland, but ready or not the holidays are here. We finally had our first real snow and I raced my bike in it. And, I finally finished the Christmas shopping. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas fly by with decorating, shopping, party hopping, along with trying to hold onto some fitness while it keeps getting darker and colder. Add to it that my work gets very busy at the end of the year. People come out of the wood works with their pain and injuries at the end of the year filling up the schedules and keeping me running all day.

So tis the season for bundling up, Christmas trees, lights, good food, giving gifts, celebrating, cold weather


MULTI-TASKING....say what you want about a mini van, but can you do this?

Caffien-ating in the afternoon, to stay awake and warm!

RENEWING...everything/ I have been dishing out serious $$ to USA cycling for new multiple new licenses, and USAT for renewing coaching certifications

CHILLAXING by the Christmas tree


Happy Holidays! Enjoy all the season has to offer :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chicago Cross Cup, Wrap Up

Face the Pain!



Huge thanks to Ali Engin for taking amazing so many amazing pictures! Check out more at they make muddy painful CX look artful!

Cyclocross season started 6 days after I did the Vegas 70.3 World Champs and has been a whirlwind of racing finishing with the CCC finale at Montrose Harbor this past weekend. I am super happy with finishing 5th OA in the series after a sluggy, slow start racing early with TT legs, a flat and 2 missed races due to island travel. It took some hard work on the bike, in the rain, dark to convert myself back into a cyclocross racer, but each week I felt stronger and eventually started having some decent results and began to crawl my way into the top 10. With more girls in the women’s 1,2,3 field the competition strong and I learned more each week about racing in cyclocross. Being low on points I raced every week to scrounge up as many as I could as my goal became to finish as high in the top 10 as I could.

Montrose is typically freezing and snow covered for the last race which always throws a big twist to the race. This year I was sweating as I was warming up and it was nearly 50 deg. I haven’t worn my super cool BH thermal suit yet and its Dec! Wind and sand was the factor, with some mud from a full day of rain the day before. The wind blew sand all over and the course had way to many sandy sections for my liking. As the horn sounded I took off as hard as I could and and had a great start (that was 2 in a row!). My legs were there and I was happy with how I rode the sand for the first 2 laps. Sand is typically my weakest part of cross racing but I managed to stay on the bike except for the deep section I had planned to run through. At the start of the 3rd lap a guy wiped out in the sand in front of me, causing me to take a bad line and I went down and dropped my chain. I fumbled with it with frozen hand and gloves that kept snagging …This let more than a couple girls get by me…but once rolling I caught a few back. The sand and mud made it a slow course which was frustrating as I felt strong and wanted to go harder, but my favorite section was coming out of the muddy trees and attacking up the hill into the wind. I ended up 8th, but with enough points for 5th OA in the women’s 1, 2 3 field. So thanks to all my coaches who put up with me, and to all the women in the 123’s for so much great racing all season. I have to thank Adam too for putting up with me racing every weekend. I missed his awesome IM FL race where he was leading ALL the age groupers for most of the day, because I stayed home to race Woodstock. He'll just have to do it again at the next time so I can see!

Some most memorable moments of this CCC season are:

1. how bad race 1 (Jackson Park) felt 6 days post Vegas; come on its only 45 min!
2. racing in a vampire costume at Campton Cross
3. racing in extreme mud at Carpentersville, and having to stop to rinse off the bike (I need a pit bike, but our garage couldn't handle it)
4. finally getting good starts coming close to a hole shot at Teds’ Double track
5. keeping the wheels down (mostly) and riding the sand at Montrose

Even though the CCC is over, there are still some huge races including the CCNY event at Indian Lakes. This is a UCI race, with very big competition on New Years weekend. Its so special that I need a special license LOL, and will be toeing the line against some of the big girls. I have 0 UCI points so will probably start almost last in line, but I am looking forward to getting some experience at this kind of race. Nationals will be my last CX of the year and will also be hugely competitive and racing in Madison in January will be adventuresome.