Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Battles

I have been having a lot of mental battles with myself lately and a few times there has been an all out war go on in my head. The battles aren't too often negative (although I was pouting on my run today because of the icy wind cutting my face) or due to lack of motivation, but rather pressure to make the right choice to get the most benefit out of whatever it is I am trying to do. Don't you hate making a choice, then regret it later? I don't have tons of extra time, so I want to get it right, and I want to get the most out of the choice I've made.

This time of year in the midwest creates many opportunities for battle. My motivation is up there. Its January, and races have been scheduled and paid for. I want to see how fast I can go in 2012! But when you wake up to hear the howling wind, snow flying and a high of 25 making it feel much colder, the battle starts. Not whether I will do the workout or skip it. But..... is it better to spend 20 min bundling up to run through the cold wind and snow feeling like the Michelin Man, or get the quality work in on the dreadmill. I don't like the TM unless its for a speed session, but do end up on it more than I like due to convenience or cold.

Today I started my run on the TM, but got so bored, I ended up layering up and doing the rest outside in the cold. Yesterday I rode outside in 14 degree wind chill on my cross bike in the snow, because being cold sounded more fun than riding the trainer. Jumping into a cold pool when you've already been frozen twice that day is a battle I face every time I'm on the pool deck. I've been better at talking myself into this one. Sometimes neither choice seems fun but getting it done is what counts and not doing it is worse. I want to be ready for the races and not be 3 steps behind when race season gets near.

Dad and I cheering for Adam in Kona

I had a big battle in my head regarding my trip to our TBC Death Valley Camp. This will be an awesome event with miles of great outdoor riding and lots of fun friends and training partners, but I have decided to take the time to make a quick trip home to Oregon to see my Dad who is having some medical testing done and I really feel I need to see for myself what is going on. Tough decision, but absolutely the right one and... going home to Oregon is never something I dread doing! The easy decision that put up no fight is that I will still take my bike to snag some outdoor Oregon bike miles in the foothills of Mt. Hood

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Its been almost 2 weeks since CX Nationals and I have been in the process of transforming myself back into an athlete than can move steadily forward for about 5 hrs or less. I’ve been a patient girl with some pathetic and some promising workouts at the pool and running, all with the hopes of turning myself from this:

Into this:
VEGAS 70.3 finish line!

I spent most of the fall on my cross bike, outside. I did very few trainer rides, very little running (maybe 1-2 x a week totaling less than 8 miles a week) and no swimming until Nov at which point I really only swam 1 x a week. This was all in an attempt to be the best I could at CX nationals. I rode my bike 4-5 x a week, many times very hard with explosive intervals. Now I am getting ready swim, TT 56 miles, then run 13. It is a work in progress and it takes patience. With experience comes some wisdom (maybe) and some guts (maybe). To mostly stop running and swimming and focus on something else takes a some faith. Faith that is will be there again. I've been through having a baby and racing at the World Championships 6 months later. That is enough to teach you that it will come back. Part of the fun is the work it takes to make the change. To just swim bike and run the same rate all year long would put me to sleep. Last year this worked. Lets hope it does again this year because this:

looming in the horizon and has been enough to get my tail moving

I have some awesome new friends supporting me along the way with my Wattie Inc. Elite team. It’s a crazy fun group and must admit its been challenging keeping up with everyone. I have already experienced incredible support,and encouragement along with a little fun and hazing on the side. Plus I get to use some really sweet stuff to help me go fast.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CXNATZ and Rockin the W in 2012

Huge shout to Ali Engin/

Racing a bike outside in January in Madison is a frightening thought but rolling up to the starting grid of Cyclocross Nationals on Sunday with the best CX bike racers around had me shaking in my muddy shoes. I haven’t been that nervous for a race since maybe my first Ironman which was like a million years ago. It was only a 40 min bike race which to my triathlon friends might seem like nothing. But on this day, it would be like seating yourself at the back of the pack of a swim start at US PRO nationals triathlon and having your result count against 1st place. My start positon in the elite race was like 73rd out of 82 . I needed a telescope lens to see the top women on the front row. There was so much energy at the start it was a complete rush and so amazing. The support guys for the other girls at the back were awesome at calming us down and just saying go for it and try to beat your starting position. Most of us had 0 UCI points which puts you at the back of the bus, but I was so pumped to just be on the starting line and had worked so hard all season just to get there. I have never started a bike race of that size and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but just as I imagined, it was a lot like a mass swim start in triathlon

After a lot of warm up, rubbing embro into my legs, peeling of layers, stops to the porta potty for nervous peeing, and scraping mud off the bike, the whistle finally blew and the start was so fast for a long stretch on pavement at an all out sprint. Yes, I bumped elbows more than one time and once we hit the grass and mud it was chaos. Girls were going down, sliding into the stakes holding up the course tape, or crashing into each other. I managed to slide through without going down which meant I met my goal for the day! (shh, I did wipe out in the warm up and got to start the race with mud on me) The mud was thicker than my Thurs race and super rutty making the ride rough and crazy. At times it felt like you were riding through cement. I felt amazing on the big hills and the stair run up (my favorite parts of that course). I rode as hard as I could,while trying to keep the wheels on the ground (an interesting combination in mud) but the officials started pulling us off the back. I would have loved another lap and I did beat my call up number.

Thank you! Eric Goodwin

Cyclocross for me started 2 years ago as a fun way to stay in shape in the off season, however, I have grown to love it as much as triathlon. I’m sure my tri friends think I’m crazy riding my bike out in the cold and mud, and I’m sure my CX friends think I crazy to swim and run, and not race bikes much in through summer except for some 56 mile TT's. But trying to be the best I can at both is what makes it fun for me, and I really can’t remember the last time I was truly burnt out. Now I am starting my conversion back to triathlete and there will be some ugly swims and runs for awhile. My coach Scott Iott has been through this with me once before and always has some good tricks up his sleeve to turn me back into a triathlete.

To top off my whirlwhind weekend of racing with trips back and forth to Madison, Friday I found out I was selected to be on the WattieInc Elite team for 2012. My phone started chirping at me like crazy when I was trying to hammer out some work. When I applied for this I was looking for some fun new ways to spice up the 2012 race season and have to confess wanting a sweet race kit was part of the motivation and was actually quite shocked when I found out I had been selected.

So, in addition to being a TBC coach/athlete, I am super excited to be a part of this edgy new team. There are some amazing sponsors providing support Thank you to them for the opportunity to rock!, check them out here :