Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ring in the New...Hello 2013!

Good bye 2012, you were good to me with a new job, great trips to St Croix, Vegas, Tuscon, Kona, Cozumel, some great race results, and many new friends and teammates. I really have no complaints with you other than the nasty hip injury that kept me on the sidelines more than I like. I’m going to make sure 2013 doesn’t do that to me, because I like to race. But I’m done with you 2012, its time to break up. No hard feelings though, I am just ready for a new start. I am hooking up with 2013 now.

2013 can give me what you can’t. I get bored often and like to change it up so I’m ready to start over with some new goals and adventurers.

welccome 2013!

With 2013 I have:

* a new race schedule , new races I’ve never done, some new goals and a new age group to go with that ( not saying which one because I don’t feel that old)

*More new friends and teammates as I get to race for WattieInk for a second year, and with that comes great sponsors like Kswiss, Blue seventy, Power Bar, Fuelbelt,  Kask,  ISM, plus a fancy new race kit:

*New challenges like balancing training with working more hours.  I’ve had to become a regular at working out at the crack of early to fit it all in. Once you get used to it, it’s not that bad but there are times I walk around like the zombies in walking dead, which Adam and I have gotten hooked on.
So professional...

*More fun travel with new adventures in familiar spots like Tuscon, Vegas, Georgia hopefully Kona again (no pressure…A. Z.!), and new places still to be determined

*Some very exciting and fun new clients I am coaching; can’t wait to see what 2013 brings them

*Because I get bored, I always like to give my blog a wardrobe change at the start of a new year, still working on  udating this one

With the end of 2012, I have been working a lot. I didn’t take any days off and have been doing the holidays while working a ton. I can’t say that is the most enjoyable way to experience Christmas but I have still managed to have a lot of fun. I have been training, mostly running a lot. We discovered some new trails not too far from our house (crazy we’ve lived in our house almost 8 years and never new these trails were there) and running with some new scenery makes the cold a little more fun. Now its time to gut the house of all the sugar, garbage food, and Christmas decorations and welcome in 2013.

snowy trail runs!
fun Nike's tying me over until more KSwiss arrives!

Happy New year to all my amazing family, friends and teammates!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


2012 is coming to an end, but new thing are already starting for 2013! I am super excited to have been selected to be on the Wattie Ink Elite team again for next year, and have already been signing up and planning which races to rock the W. I’ll be kicking off the season with a ½ marathon in Georgia in March, and then doing New Orleans 70.3 in April!

But to finish out 2012 we spent the weekend in the city which turned out to be a little like doing an Ironman. It’s been awhile, but I’ve done 4 Ironman. I’ve spectated many Ironman events and have coached athletes to cross their first Ironman finish or qualify for Kona, so I am quite familiar with the qualities that go into finishing an ironman. Some of these include but are not limited to are: patience, determination, proper nutrition plan, and focus all of which were required as we set out to experience all that downtown Chicago has to offer at Christmastime.

When starting an Ironman event you need a large amount of patience and that was no different as we set out Saturday morning trying to coordinate getting 12 people together into the city at the same time and meeting point. 1 car ride, 1 train ride, and 1 cab ride we finally made it to our hotel just in time for lunch and to re fuel for the rest of the day. Any Ironman knows having a nutrition plan can make or break your race again that was no exception for us this weekend. We transitioned from lunch into window spectating at Macy’s and viewing the amazing tree in the Walnut room. From there we made our way to the Kriskringle market. Of course by this time of day on a decently warm Saturday afternoon 2 weeks before Christmas it was packed. I felt like I was in a mass start of an Ironman waddling our way through a mob. I noticed it became congested near the food booths, kind of like an aid station becomes clogged up with people. Also rounding the outer corners of the market, also became congested like rounding the buoy’s at the swim turns. Of course by this time we needed to hit the aid station as well and had to sample soft pretzels, and chocolate covered marshmallows.

they actually got close enough to see at this window

We completed that event and moved on to Millennium Park to attempt ice skating, but of course another pit stop was required/ refueling was required at the fancy cupcake shop in order to continue. Pushing yourself too far or overextending yourself in an Ironman will lead to disaster and possibly the end of your race. It requires focus to stay on target on make right choices throughout the day. This was the case with ice skating. The line was horrifically long, and waiting that long for our turn on the ice might have put us over the edge and ended our night early, so we checked out the Bean, which at night with the Christmas nights looked amazing.

The next transition included dinner back at the hotel while re-evaluating the race strategy for the rest of the evening to ensure everyone made it through the event having a good time. We decided to dig deep, and go for it heading up to Lincoln Park to see the zoo lights, and it was well worth the extra effort.The cab line was long, and Adam doesn't like waiting in line so we found ourselves heading to the zoo in this which of course was the kid's favorite part of the day.

nothing like going to the zoo in style!

 The zoo lights was my  favorite part and worth the extra push to the end. The final limo ride back to the hotel was the final push and required some zoo popcorn, but we made it collapsing into bed back at the hotel. We completed our event with success. No could we. Every event change we were eating, no melt downs...we stayed focused and were determined and stuck to the plan, yet adapted when we needed to.  So far I haven't seen any post event depression as Christmas celebrating is continuing. Luckily my training is picking up again because I felt like this cow which hangs from the ceiling in Ed Debevik's, which was our aid station on Sunday following shopping on Michigan Ave.

Good Luck to any of you who have a Christmas, Ironman like event coming up!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bienvenidas Mexico!

I have been to New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, and all around the US, but never to Mexico. So a late fall trip to Mexico to spectate and support another Ironman, didn’t seem like such a bad idea. Call it intuition, but I before even leaving the country I wasn’t having good feelings about the the trip at all for quite a number of reasons….. but how could I complain…it’s a trip to Mexico in November! So I focusing on the sun, beaches, Mexican food and 3 days post race with a husband finally not training for the next thing which would be waiting for me.

Thanksgiving day we flew to Cancun and took a choppy ferry ride over to Cozumel and while it was essentially a 3.5 hr flight….it felt as long as flying to Kona by the time we got to the resort and sat down to eat real food. There were a number of challenging portions to our trip, including sickness and race dynamics to name a few..... I’ll just share the fun positives of spending a week in Mexico! and leave the negatives back in the jungles of Isa de Cozumel.

I got to swim in warm Caribbean water, then chill beachside!
Beautiful Sunsets

Warm sunny tropical runs; I got in a number of good run miles on the island and it feels good to see those run times coming down again!!! I have signed up for 1 race so for and that is Georgia 1/2 marathon March 17. I am so excited to race again, I have spent the last part of this season cheering everyone else on, I'm looking forward to making it to the start line again!

Catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while… was so fun to catch up with our friend Cesar Valera from Venezuala, who was a home stay with us last summer; plus he helped us out in the stores and restaraunts  with the locals

Killer margaritas while spectating with girlfriends made the 6 mile walk to the finish way more tolerable… yes we had  a bit of a spectator epic fail, or bad race organization but fter sitting 30 min in a taxi going nowhere because of traffic back up we opted to walk the 6 miles to the finish. It was  our mission  to make it to the run course by the time Adam started the run! We made it with about 20 minutes to spare!

best seat in the house

My fav for the trip though was...
Hanging out on a remote beach the day after the race with friends; we were serenaded by the mariachi guy, ordered the freshest guacamole, salsa and chips along with cerveza and margaritas pretty much made the trip!

beach side entertainment

best way to recover, beachtime

I got sick the night before leaving to come home and felt like the walking dead for the next 2 days at work, walking around in a stupor with no voice and trying to catch up and get in the Christmas groove all at the same time

me Thursday at work

 I rallied in to time to put a stamp on the 2012 race season at the Multisportmadness Year end party with an 80s theme!  Fun night with friends, great 80 s costumes and dancing! We celebrated like we train and race! My legs were sore the next day from dancing!

Sue's Flashdance pose

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 ways to Rock the W in 2012

Being a part of the 2012 WattieInk Elite team added a lot of spice to my race season this year. It all started wtih my phone exploding when the team was announced. I instantly had 50 new friends and teammates. I’ve been in the sport a long time achieved many goals and more!…., so being part of a nationwide team with a little extra flare was a new and fun addition to what I already love to do. I did my best to Rock the W in as many ways as I could throughout the year by racing, supporting, chillaxing at the beach/pool, suffering in the hurt box, coaching/ or rehabbing injured athletes.

So now that 2012 is coming to an end, I have to give a huge thanks to all my teammates who were so supportive and encouraging throughout the season. What a fun group, and I was fortunate to meet quite a few on the team, but even those who I didn’t get a chance to meet were so supportive and encouraging. Also a huge thanks to all the sponsors of the team, KSwiss, Blue Seventy, Fuel Belt, Muscle Milk, Challenge Tires and more! And of coure, Betty and her designs that made the kits stand out and rock! All the gear and goods were amazing.

So the 2012 team is in the books, but I still plan to rock the W on the beaches at IM Cozumel cheering on 1 fast husband and many friends, as well as racing in a few 5ks now that I am injury free again.

Until then here is a look back at how I rocked the W in 2012

1. A trip to St. Croix and finished 6th in AG in a monsoon;  and got to meet Wattie Teammate JJ Brandstetter

2. Leon’s Worlds Fastest Triathlon: raced with the young children in the elite wave and met none other than Karin Langer, we rocked Leon’s!

3. Cruised down to Kansas 70.3, qualified for Vegas getting 2nd in my AG on a very hot windy day! And got to meet Aaron Dewald and Desiree Dutt, and my KSWIS KRUZ helped me run myself into 2nd place.

4. Training camp with friends in the Desert to prepare for Vegas; everyone was afraid of the heat, I loved it and thought it was perfect for training

5. chillaxing at the lake

6. Ali Engin,  photo shoot,

7. cheering on my athletes and fast husband

8. Ice bath for injured hip

9. Training for Worlds

10. Vegas World Champs where I got to meet tons of Watties including the Boise Bitches!, my race bad due to injury, but and made it on the LavaMag Vegas highlight video

11. Kona Underpants run, what better way to rock

12. Cyclocross rock

Cheers to a fun 2012 !

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall Back……..

I would so give up that extra hour of sleep, for more daylight, but its inevitable…..early sunsets, and dark skies at 4 pm are upon us. At work we were discussing the dread of going to and coming from work in the dark, and were coming up with ways to fight the lack of energy that comes with that.
One girl has a “happy lamp”, one of those UV lights, might be something to consider since weekend trips away are expensive and fake tanning would leave you looking like an old leather basketball, or maybe like these pumpkins all shriveled after too much Halloween.

I was able to spend that extra hour today running….for a whole 60 minutes. I haven’t felt like I was truly back…running until I could do this. That does sound a bit warped. What has happened to perspective that anything short of an hour run is truly running.


This type of thinking might fall under the category of the post I was writing called “perfection”.. which I deleted but will share the definition:

Perfection: freedom from flaw or defect, an exemplification of supreme excellence.

I’ve had to take a step back this fall to catch my breath. In search of perfection in too many things has left me just……tired and less than perfect. I blame it mostly on a new job…which I do love and don’t get me wrong feel very happy with, but learning new computer programs and going in everyday to be a cheerleader to help people get better  (and be good at it) plus still trying to be the best athlete, mom and wife has been enough for me to raise the white flag and take a look around and re prioritze.  Some days I early on I came home feeling like I had done a 6 hr hour workout vs. a 9 hr work day. Adaptation will start to take effect, and in the mean time I have enjoyed going to pub crawls, girls nights in the neighborhood, and  re grouping, and re focusing  about goals for next year. Right now I am happy to be just training for a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kona......Take 6

2012 was my 6th time in a row going to Kona to cheer, spectate and support AZ and numerous other TBC athletes or friends at the IM World Championships. Every year has been different yet very much the same. Each year there is a different group of friends, TBC athletes that are either racing and or specating, we have stayed close to the start and far away, we have swum at the pier every day, or we have avoided it entirely. Some years I have trained a lot, some years I have done nothing but sit on the beach and avoided the whole Ironman scene.
This year was no exception.
From my view as a non racing athlete/wife/coach/spectator….it was the same as the past 5 years, but different.


Thanks to our awesome friends Mark and Sue D. we stayed in an incredible house on the other side of the start. We were close, yet “away” from the scene which trust me after 6 years and a few days starts to get old. I didn’t even make it to Lava Java this year, but still found great coffee (lots!) but didn’t have to wait in line for 30 min. This year I had more of my fun WattieInk friends to meet and even ran in the underpants run for the first time which had me laughing the whole time. Thanks to WattieInk and KSWISS for my race gear for the UPR! While it wasn't a PR, it was a lot of fun!
I met these 2 Watties for the first time in their undies!
 I didn’t make it SUP this year :(. But I did attend more VIP parties and happy hours. I also got to be a part of a fun project with Skinfit the day after the race (more on this later), and chilled doing nothing with friends at the Sheraton on Sunday.

Never fails there are always  athletes panic training, stressing and wearing compression, athletes getting super nervous snappy and intense, athletes looking extremely fit and ready to race,  AND....amazing sunsets that got me out of my chair more than once to take pictures,

sunset pre race

sunset post race

beautiful flowers that smell really good unlike the corn being chopped down back in the Midwest..

I attended the very fun TGNIR party as I have for the past 3 -4 years, ...but with different friends this year.

my TGNIR dates: Danny Tina and Mustafa

But.....what never changes is the intensity and emotion at the start of this race. It is like no other. As that person who is an athlete not racing/ wife/coach and spectator you have your own set of intense emotions. As an athlete you know what they are in for, some pain some highs and lows, heat wind and serious competition. As a coach you love seeing your athlete toe the line in one piece healthy and ready to race, making it Kona is a goal many never achieve. You know what it takes to get there and not everyone is willing to do what it takes. Huge congrats to my athlete Cori who finished her first Kona and did all her training while going to massage therapy school and working full time!
a start like no other

But as I wife, of someone who puts everything into preparing for this race, I can get nervous too, and after  5 years of watching this race,  it never changes.  All year you are there to see the days of low motivation (yes it happens once in a while) that turn out with incredible performances, or the days of being revved up to kill it, but come home to a pile of shred on the floor (only once in a while) and all the days good, bad in between that add up to race day. So when its finally time to sit on the pier in the dark, with the sun coming up, helicopters flying, Mike Reilly getting everyone into the water , Hawaiian drums beating and the cannon finally goes off you can’t help but feel butterflies in your stomach and a frog in your throat because you just want it all to come together race day.

I have a strong feeling we will see Kona again a 7th time.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Its been awhile.....

Since posting>>>

There hasn’t been anything too inspirational to blog about, but not because there isn’t much going on. Since my last post, I started my new job at Dreyer/Advocate Outpatient, competed in 3 CX races/( 2 in one weekend at one of the biggest events for the year). Not too much to say about these other than they are a blast, I have bruises, and I’ve just been working at getting it back. I’ve also hosted a 10 year old birthday party for Kaitlin and help get one super fit Ironman out the door and on his way to Kona.
USGP Madison

Since running>>>

I have not run since the pathetic attempt the week of and during Vegas, or to include basically the 6 weeks before that minus a couple painful efforts to try to make it happen. Its CX season so I should just focus on that, but we always want what we can’t have and I just want to lace up my shoes and head out the door for a run. Only a few more days to go. If I’m going to get out of run shape, I am really going for it. I haven’t ever not run for this long since I was pregnant with Jack, but its close. Only a few more days to go. In the mean time I've enjoying riding trails and dirt

Since>>> I’ve worked full time

Yes it’s true. For the years basically since having Jack its been a gradual increase back from a lame 15 hrs/ week when he was 2 …up to now… a full 40 again. New exciting jobs with big potential will lure you into it. With it came hiring a nanny to help. She is awesome, and folds our clothes very perfectly and even organizes the Clif Bar cupboard.

Since>>> It’s been this cold

The past few days I’ve had to turn on the heat, break out the Skinfit Parka, layer up for a trail ride, drink hot beverages in the afternoon and bury myself under covers to get warm.

thrilled to be riding in 28 degrees

all the layers, and I was still cold

Since>>> I’ve swam in the off season

When you can’t run, are working a lot, and your kids are swimming for Bullets swim team 2 miles from where you now work, jumping for some laps in is a lot easier than normal and to top it off the VAC (Vaughn Athletic Center) has an awesome pool. Maybe I will start to like swimming again. .. It’s been awhile since that’s happened too.

Since>>> going to Kona

It’s been a full year again since I’ve landed on the island in October amongst the land of the obsessed and super fit. I never think of myself as falling into this category which is exactly why I have no desire to do this race, but in a few days I will be in paradise for the 6th time in a row ( I think) to cheer and support and spectate. I have this part down and get better at it every year. I have gotten good at finding fun when the rest are serious and focused. Usually there are others along not racing who want to SUP, body surf, soak up the sun and attend TGNIR party! If I ever did want to do this race, I would be in trouble. I don’t think I could deviate what has become a typical routine for me in Kona.


Friday, September 21, 2012

56TT to 45AO

And so begins my journey from ½ IM triathlete that can TT 56 miles, to CX racer who needs to go to redline and beyond for 45 min all out (AO!) It’s a little like Extreme Makeover, bike racer edition. These couldn’t be more opposite, but I love the challenge of going from one extreme to the other. It hurts a lot at first,  gets a little ugly, and my legs have no idea whats going on,  but its all part of the fun. I would get bored if I just did the same thing all the time. There will be bruises, blood, and most definitely dirt and mud.

from Matt Green
to this....phtoto Ali Engin
For the past few years I have made finishing as high as possible in the Chicago Cross Cup. I think I have landed 5th OA in the W cat 123’s for the past 2 years. This year though, I am up for a different challenge, my goal is to get a higher start position than 67th (last year!) at nationals and race a few more UCI races to get experience racing at that level. Why not, I paid the $$ for the license. To do this I will miss some CCC races and will miss a few more CCC than usual due to a yearly trip to Kona, and a few other trips this fall. The CCC is pretty competitive these days and missing about 4-5 races doesn’t leave you the chance to score lots of points or finish very high.

The first few races will be tough and what I remember from last year is the feeling of almost dying and possibly not being able to finish the first lap, and then by the 3 rd or 4th lap I was ready to race! As the TT legs start to turn into CX legs its all starts to come together (hopefully). My hip tendonitis seems to be happier on the cross bike as it is finally starting feel better. I still haven't tried running, but am not talking about that right now.  Another difference in cx is getting the legs used to spinning more at a higher cadence. I tend to TT with a lower cadence than maybe ideal, but it works for me. In CX there are tons fast accelerations, tight turns, off camber hills, dirt, mud, sometimes snow and ice, barriers. All of which make it completely different than triathlon and completely fun.

And so why not jump right in! Go big or go home as they say, and this is definitely it. With a handful of rides on my cross bike, some of which were recovery rides right after Vegas 70.3, this weekend will head to Madison for a big girl race and kick off my season at USGP, Sun Prairie.

So here is a fist pump for extreme makeover, bike racer edition

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


You have to put the cards down and fold and let go and it’s never and an easy thing when you want something pretty bad. Your vision of what is real can become cloudy and distorted. Focus and tunnel vision are good qualities for accomplishing high goals but can make it difficult to see what is really going on sometimes.

I have been battling hip bursitis/tendonitis since mid July. I never gave up in believing that it wouldn’t improve enough to run in Vegas. Initially I was running through pain probably making it worse (that tunnel vision). But finally had to admit I was injured, and rest it. It came to the point I was even willing to race not in good run shape. A total of maybe 20 miles of running over the span of 6 weeks will leave you just a little on the low end of run fitness for a tough run like Vegas, but I was so motivated to still race. I rested it, did therapy and even got cortisone shot all with hopes of it coming around race day. I only cried twice, (I think), not because I am that tough, but because I truly thought it would be ok
2 days before the race I tried a 20 min run to just loosen up and see how it would be and it was awful. I could not run with a normal stride/ or limp no matter how much I tried loosening it up. I came darn close to just not racing but Adam, Scott, and my good friend Joe did a great job of putting my head on straight and reminding me all the things I know and tell other people but are hard to accept when it comes to you, that one race does not make an athlete. They reminded me that at 44 y/o and 20 yrs of racing all over the world in NZ, SUI, Canada all over the US in all kinds of races, I have accomplished all I have ever wanted in the sport, this was just one race. The past 2 years have been icing on the cake really, with being able to still race at a high level.

So I finally just gave into it …..And decided to just go do what I could. I paid the big bucks to be there, flew my bike out, so why sit around and pout, go out and have fun, so I toed the line with the rest of the W40-44.

bike check in with A's client Reegan, 105 deg!

Ready to Rock!

3:30 a.m wake up call, requires Rebel Coffee!

Race morning I met fellow Wattie’s Libby and Denise (very cool girls!) and several other friends and before I knew it I was swimming through Lake Las Vegas, making my way through T1 and on the bike for a ride through the desert. This is an amazing bike course. I love it but seemed hotter than last year. I felt good on the bike and rode hard for the most part but at times I must admit I held back thinking maybe not fully hammering wouldn’t tighten up the hip too much and I could run. I walked through T2 and took my time to head out. I walked the first little bit, and then ran with a limp. Lots of Watties on the course cheering right away were so supportive. But it was sore and simply was not going to limp through 13 miles. I saw people with ¾ of their body covered in kinesio tape running with horrific gait and I don’t want to be that person. I stopped cheered on Adam and Joe for their last laps and was ok with it. There will be more races and goals. Another shot at Vegas in a new AG next year might be fun.

So now I will get my cross bike out/ switch gears gears into CX season, keep fixing my hip, get ready to cheer on Adam in Kona and life goes on!