Sunday, December 29, 2013

Shiny New 2014

I've been hibernating. I got so cold and frozen at the end of cyclocross season I buried myself in a hole and tried to defrost.

Racing bikes in snow...
......and 10 degrees

But 2014 is here, and its time for new start, a fresh makeover for 2014 with new goals and roads to ride and paths to run. Usually by now I have a race schedule set, goals for the season and have signed up for several big races. Right now I am flying by the seat of my pants,  still don't have a race schedule, and am not sure of what events, distance race etc I want to focus on. I'm tossing a few ideas around that include  a few triathlons, maybe an xterra, some bike racing, of course cyclocross,  but lots of running,  maybe even an open marathon such as maybe PORTLAND MARATHON ...something I've never done. Change of focus is good, mixing it up is good,  otherwise I think its easy to become stagnant.  

A new and exciting change for 2014 is being part of team Betty. I am more than thankful and thrilled to "be a Betty in 2014". What an amazing opportunity to race and train along so many fabulous women from across the world, not to mention wear super hot training and racing gear. So this year I have the privilege of pushing myself to new limits, sweating, getting dirty while looking good along the way (or at least really trying) Santa delivered a big box full of Betty gear.

 What huge motivation to get moving again.

I also updated the look of my blog, to make it shiny and new with a little bit of Betty style.  Im a physical therapist, not a web designer so it still needs some perfecting, so stay tuned for some updates and BETTY discounts in the New Year! 

 Until then, cheers to a shiny new 2014!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Loving Cyclocross,Choices, and....Keeping It Simple

The trails have been awesome

I love cyclocross, its no secret. I have been having so much painful fun with this year's CX season! Last year fizzled out with my hip injury leaving my without much CX since 2011.   I am remembering how much I love the complete switch and 180 from triathlon to cyclocross. It can't be more different in so many ways.  I love and … need that. In 70.3 and Ironman races spectators cheer you on, encourage you, "you look awesome you can do it, you are an Ironman!"  In cross, they heckle you! Its dirty, its crazy, its balls out hard and then everyone has a good time.  I love it also because its simple. I don't even have a computer on my CX bike right now.  There is no need for a pre race plan, or nutrition plan. I don't eat gels, sometimes a swig of gatorade when its warm, but more often hot chocolate, or some regular Coke before the race. After a triathlon season of driving to work feeling like I was having  panic attacks on how to fit in training around a full time job and life, or nearly falling asleep from getting up at 4:20, the short and sweetness of CX has been awesome.
Yes, I rode through mud in a TUTU at Halloween Cross

With my new team PSIMET (which includes some fast women racers and a heater in a tent!)  along with a a now VERY competitive women's CAT 123 field  in Chicago Cup,  the CX fire is burning strong!   I had some bad early races with crashes coming off of triathlon, and missed a race to enjoy the beauty of Ironman World Championships and Hawaii. This year if you if you fail even just a little, you lose. Lose points and its harder to catch up. Is it because I'm forty-$# now, or because the field is so deep that crawling to the top of the Chicago Cross Cup Overall standings has gotten tougher.  I have been top 5 of women's CAT 1,2 3 field in the CCC twice.  Right now I"m hovering around 15 th.  If you want to place high in the CCC you have to win, do well in every race, not crash out in starts of early races, and not miss races to go to Kona.  
 PSIMET Women at Sunrise Park
Thank-you to Mathew Cane, who been out there snagging some great pics of the women's 123 races! I think he is getting hooked on covering cyclocross races!

I love our own local CCC. It helped me fall in love with CX and get better. Fierce local races every weekend for the past 3-4 years. I have always hated to miss a race. But this year I've ready to move on a little and try some bigger races again.  Along with trying to keep it simple and wanting to do all the CCC races to place as high as I can made this decision tough,  but I've  decided to put on my big girl bibs again, skip the double cross CCC Indian Lakes races for JINGLE CROSS. So I'll kiss all my work at crawling my up in the CCC goodbye. I'm heading to Iowa to see the Grinch, experience Mt. Krumpit, and race with some fasties.

Triathlon is on a big back burner for me right now. But it is never completely gone. There is a triathlon ghost living in our house.  So I have been biking a lot, running some and swimming is a far distant memory. To get up at 4:20 to swim, I have to have at least a race in mind to train for and right now I don't  I have no clue what I want to do next year. Something adventuresome will come to me, but for now I'm loving CX and will be playing in dirt, mud and probably snow soon until early January finishing the season at Nationals in Boulder.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


sunset on the Pacific/ i love 

I'll be leaving again soon for a trip across the Pacific to Kona, for the 7th time. (pretty sure its , but kind of lost count). I could co-author a second book called; "Survival guide to being #1 Fan in Kona during the Ironman World Championships" Every year there has been a different experience with different athletes and /or friends racing, or coming to also spectate. I particularly love my role of  being DONE with triathlon,  gels,  anything aero, and well into the start of cyclocross season. I've been there at least 7 x, maybe more and never raced. There was a time prior to Jack, I wanted to do it...he is 10 now.  As far as training goes, that week I manage to fit in some decent runs, find my goggles for the first time in weeks ( i saw my swim bag yesterday, it looked lonely) , stand up paddle, and maybe bike 1 x on the Queen K race day sprinting between mile markers cheering or AZ.  

Every year:

-I like to SUP and chase the dolphins on the board

-I swim in the waves and see the Honu

-run on Alii drive

-enjoy fabulous coffee every day, then dream about it the rest of the year

- cook the pre race dinner, tuck AZ into bed, go to TGNIR (thank God I'm not racing)  with whoever will go with me

I tend to look at my phone a lot

-Adam says sleep in, don't come to the swim and just watch the start of the bike, but the start of the race and the swim and race is one of the most exciting parts of the day

-my phone blows apart and nearly dies, this year I have a plan

-I get more nervous than my own races

This year:

-I'll be the one on the beach with cuts scrapes and bruises from 2 hard fought CX races. I have to stop getting taken down early in the race and then chasing down as many as I can. Although it has been good for motivation and putting out a massive effort to catch as many as possible only to finish mid pack which I don't like.  I am embarrassed to say how sore I am right now sitting here from a 45 min race yesterday.

-I'd like to have one of these drinks while waiting for the bikers to come in

-I get to cheer on my athlete Sara Arnold, she is a mom of 4 and and amazes me every day how hard she worked to get here!
Sara and I at the Hualalai one year. Who knew what was brewing!

-I have 2 Zuccos to cheer for; Pappa Joel is racing as a Legend!

With the end of the triathlon season and start of the CX season are some exciting changes for me. For cyclocross 2013/14, I am excited to be racing with PSIMET. I have always admired the support they give to women's cycling and am excited to be part of such a strong local women's CX team! 

 More on 2014 triathlon to come, but a fun sneak peak involves skulls and butterflies and some very HOT racing, training, and active gear and a whole bunch of very cool athletes. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

VEGAS ....without triathlon

I recently traveled back to Vegas on a Friday night after work just for the weekend. I just barely missed all the big happenings in Vegas that week such as:

1. Interbike: huge

2. SSTriGP: HUGE AMAZING congrats to Ben Kanute who finished 3rd ! I remember teaching him functional strength as a junior!

3. CrossVegas!: a chance to race CX at night in Vegas!...YES Please!  I REALLLy wanted to do that but couldn't pull it off

While everyone else was packing up and heading out of Sin City I was just arriving late Friday night. The purpose of my trip, none really other than some RnR, hanging with AZ, and going to the Motley Crue concert Sat. night. I spent much of the time doing what most people do there,  and I usually don't do while in Vegas. 

Friday I worked at the Fox Valley Marathon Expo at the Dreyer/Advocate booth. Where I work now  is a big sponsor of this marathon and the Chicago Marathon. I rushed to the airport still dressed like a runner and boarded the plane Friday  A flight to Vegas on Friday night is entertaining. I overhead guys talking about cheating on their girlfriends, people who had just lost their jobs, and there is always a token bachelor party on board.

AZ had to get up very early Sat morning to go ride bikes for a really long time. I slept in. Never do that. Then I went to the health club/fitness center at the hotel. Don't do that either.  I don't even have a gym membership anymore other than a masters swim pass and right now that is expired!  I did a little tempo run on the treadmill and lifted weights, something else I haven't had much time to do.  I watched college football in the room while working on the computer finishing schedules for my athletes, then headed to the pool. I sat still in the sun for about 20 minutes before they were telling everyone to leave due to high winds. It was pretty windy up there and things were blowing around. They closed the pool and made everyone go to the other main pool on a lower level. #Vegasproblems. To get there meant walking through the casino and getting through security line that was worse than the airport. They ID'd me (thank you!), searched my bag, threw out my cough drops and aleve, and finally I could get into the pool. 

This was like a night club for 20 somethings, but poolside. The music and DJ was loud, people were drinking heavily and it was noon. I sat behind my big sunglasses tried not to look out of place and soaked up a few rays.

I went shopping and got some really sassy high shoes bad for toes and walking but super cute.   

We ate an awesome dinner then went to the Hard Rock for this:   
hard rock!

 the show was loud, with crazy people including us. I mostly liked dancing in my new shoes.

Sunday we drove out to Henderson and ran the 70.3 course. AZ still had kind of a big race and I got to experience it all over again.
was this there race day? didn't see it

 I hadn't run long since race day but my goal was to just enjoy and get some miles going again.  My calves were sore from dancing in those shoes, but it was a good run. I want to run a 1/2 marathon this fall along with CX racing.  And yes, we did end up eating at Whole Foods on the way to catching a flight back home. Probably not too many people that were at the concert spent Sunday morning like we did. A transition back to my real life. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vegas 70.3 World Championships> Highlights and Lowlights

5 days post race, the soreness is mostly gone, but the fatigue and tan lines are still there and the brain is stuck on what now?, why?, what if, and whew! (It almost sounds like my documentation at work: 

5th day post op, swelling is down but the incisions and scars are still healing, and toughen up …….just kidding on the last part)

I'll be honest I am not completely thrilled with the outcome of this race, but have come to accept it.  I have a lot of mixed feelings about it (both good and bad) that have been hard to describe to... the people I work with, family, my coach, and friends.  For my fellow employees they think 28th in the world is amazing and want to have their picture taken with me (LOL, its true! love them), for my close friends or even myself I know I am a better athlete than the results show. Just 2 years ago I was 12th, in a younger AG and on a much hotter day. WTF. But this is a different year with much different circumstances. My training going into the race had been going well and I was excited and motivated to race, but deep down I know this course. I've done it 3 x, and trained there multiple times. I know what it takes and I know what I had been able to fit in amongst a bunch of craziness and it just wasn't enough to get me where I wanted to be.   So many people close to me say just have fun, enjoy not having pressure to perform. But part of the fun,  for me,  is performing to the best you can…to your full potential. Its a frustrating feeling to not be able to do what you are capable of. But, is 28th in the world as good as it gets for me,  now,  with working full time, developing programs,  shuttling kids, coaching athletes, and being a good wife to an amazingly fast husband who knows how to take his racing training and business to new levels. I don't think so, and isn't doing your best part of what makes you get out the door to train? fit the training in around life? Its part of what still gets me to sign up for races, have a coach, and get up early, skip hair appointments (its obvious!) to train instead. 

I just don't do detailed race reports, but like to give highlights and lowlights on my race day.  But first,  I have to say it was so fun to have so many Wattie Elite team members out on the course racing and supporting. They were simply awesome and made a little suffering at the that much better !!!  Being part of such a supportive team throughout the past 2 years has been such a fun experience. Even though most the pictures that have shown up show pain, grit, a muddy face… I was smiling out and high 5ing my teammates out there! 

I also have to give an enormously huge THANKS to the Elite team sponsors who surprised us with an AMAZING super pro package of World Champ surprises!   A new WATTIE INK World champ race kits and a super sweet tank, new KSWISS shoes, BlueSeventy Goggles, sweet towels from Speedfil and ISM, Fuelbelt bottles and race belts, Spidertek tape and my last POWERBAR shipment came the day before I packed to leave. Seriously how awesome is this! They totally went all out for us and it was like Christmas morning! :)  
I love new kits for race day!
pre ride with a lot of fast Treks!

Race Day Recap:

We walked out of the hotel and felt rain! Say what? I hadn't packed any rain gear and could only think about the stuff getting wet and that T1 being a mudslide!  Guess CX was starting early.  It kept raining even after it was suppose to stop. Nothing new hear. Can't tell you how many rides I did this summer in the rain.  

Swim: Best part of the swim was my BlueSeventy swim skin to help me slide through the muddy sludge that was Lake Las Vegas. It seemed worse than the past 2 years, maybe it was the rain stirring up who knows what from the bottom. I had a good start, swam a straight line and passed a number of girls in the back half of the swim. The frustrating part is a slower time than last year, despite working harder on my swim, 4:20 am. wake up calls to go swim with fast people. I was shocked, it was still raining when I exited the water and was running through T1. 

Bike: My new bike was a dream! I can't thank Trek,  Nes/Studio DNA enough for dialing it in to perfection. It fit perfectly. I was so sad it was going to get dirty though! The rain continued the entire bike! I chose not to wear sunglasses, which is good because I got pelted by packs of men coming from behind. I rode strong the bike was perfect, it was just missing some bigger riding miles in the legs by the person pushing the pedals.
Thank you Kevin Koresky for this pic!

Run: The rain stopped, and the sun came out which I loved. My team was out all over the course in the race and on the sidelines cheering. I am one of the few who actually like this run course. When you are on,  you can run strong uphill then hammer the downhills. This worked for about 1 1/2 laps for me. I had trouble with cramping in my feet and calves which I had to walk out some, well more often than I would have liked. I'm guessing I didn't get in enough salt/ hydration because it wasn't as hot, or more likely just not strong enough this year. 

Finish: 28th in the World.  I'll take it with a smile.
big bling

Many athletes just dream to be at a World Championship event, and I have been in at least 5 that i can remember and feel lucky to have fit enough training to be there again this year. 2 days after coming home I picked Jack up at football practice to find out that he had won that weeks game ball;  of course I was mom of the year for missing that game, but the coach said he won it because he executed 90% of his snaps and even though their team lost he never gave up and kept playing hard. Maybe he's learning something!

And thats a wrap on the 2013 tri season! Except for 1 trip to Kona for an underpants run and to cheer for so many friends and my athletes racing this year.  But as 1 season ends another begins! My CX bike has already seen the dirt a few times :)
good bye Vegas World Champs

Sunday, September 1, 2013

LONG Overdue>>Vegas Prep

My lack of posting updates to my blog means one thing, I'm in survival mode. The final push to Vegas, plus back to school and 10U football,  amongst Hawaii build up for fast husbands and me working full time has put me in full spin cycle.  After Sept 8, put me out to pasture, with an adult beverage, sun,  lawn chair and bikini.  Since Mid July, I have been focusing all my workouts and training for  Vegas.  After last year's saga, my main focus for this year was to be ready to race in Vegas. Qualify early, then set the rest of the season up to do well there this year.  For many of the above reasons in the first sentence, I am not sure how much longer I can keep this  crazy routine going.  So I skipped some races, flopped out of others to have a solid block of training to be as ready as I can Sept 8.  Tough choices, but when you've raced around the world, in so many different events you can do that.  I'll admit I have had some mental and physical ups and downs along the way to a point to accept where I am and I am doing the best I can fitting everything in. 

Ingredients of my Vegas Prep:

Racine 70.3:  stepped in a pothole and jammed my SI joint that  already wasn't very happy to begin with  thanks to an incident running fast on trails in May.  Thankfully Dr. Turner at Turner Pain and Wellness helped put me back together, pointed out my weaknesses (gasp, yes they are there).  

USAT Nationals: Milwaukee  Originally had planned to do the best I could here on "Vegas" training knowing very well I would not have Olympic distance speed. Nationals is always competitive, and you better show up with all you've got, or it will be handed to you on a silver platter.  And yep, I was served  a plateful.   The combination of Vegas training plus a pothole incident left me with no speed. I  came very close to not to racing,  but in the effort of it being close to home, more fun than a regular training day, Watties on loose, it was hard to pass up. Plus it was an excuse to get out of work early to make a Friday afternoon bike check in.

Mad to the Bone 1/2 Marathon: This local 1/2 marathon is put on by our triathlon club, my  coach, Scott and close friend Danny.  I raced on very tired legs following a great training block ( finally, ) Going into the race I had done some big workouts and Saturday did one of my favorite killer versions of a triple brick. I nailed it. The race the next day would half to be with whatever was left. I typically don't like to train through races or toe the line not ready to race, but knew this would be more fun and tougher course than the same long run route I usually do.  This race has some solid hills in the back half…( um Vegas like 0 flat sections), so doing it on tired legs I though was ….strategic.  I felt good for about 1/2 the race, stopped to tie my shoe and visit a porta potty along the way and finished with an average effort. 

Dreyer/Advocate: This is my daily routine, I am here on my feet 40 hrs a week treating injured, and building a fee for service training program to evaluate and train athletes coming back from injury. I spend more time here than with my family I think. 1 year later, I think I am still adjusting to working full time again.

10U football: my dad coached high school football for 35 years. My 3 brothers played and now Jack is playing on 10U team. While it buys me some time because practices are about 2 hours now, with it comes more commitments.  And, yes I get fired up to see 10 year olds get excited about a sport, being part of a team and committing to the effort.

These fashion boots are the bomb! and come in handy after lots of hard training. There is one issue  for me though, you actually have to sit down with your feet up to get the benefits. So therefore I don't use them nearly as much as I should.  I managed to sit in them once in the past 4 weeks.

Oh yea then there is this: a new Trek Speed Concept has moved in.  A complete in total surprise, I had no idea it was coming, especially for Vegas! (I love surprises!)   I feel lucky and totally spoiled my some really great people.  It fits like a glove, is light and fast! He is my new boyfriend names SPEED.

1 Week from today I'll be racing in Vegas at the World Championships! Good Luck to all my friends and teammates racing there and IM Wisconsin!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Bike Favorites!

I love to ride my bike.  Most of the time my biking is the strength that can save me from a sad sad swim in triathlon, and in the fall when I am very bored with triathlon  I LOVE to get dirty and race cyclocross.

Here is my long over due post on bike favorites. Favorite bikes, bike workouts,  places to train and race on the bike. I'm not big on knowledge of gears, bike components,  but I will share what I love and works for me.

Favorite Bike:

TT bike: that would be Scotty P. The Scott Plasma Premium. This is my second Scott plasma. It is smooth fast and of course looks great. I loved it so much the first time I went back for more! He has given me numerous fastest AG bike splits over the past 2-3 years which have helped me get to podium finishes.
PLASMA helps me go fast

Cyclocross Bike: my Cannondale Super X!  super light to fly over the barriers , extremely cool looking (of course) and fast enough to help me survive in  a few UCI races with the pros.

Place to Ride (non-local)= countless, but Tuscon Gates Pass and MT Lemmon rate at the top; Clackamas  Highway from my parents house in Oregon, and 6 Gap Ride in North Georgia are my favorite epic rides. Notice the theme with these rides, that would be hills, mountains and tough terrain.

Place to ride (local):  Campton Hill repeats just 5 miles from our house.  My favorite killer local workout is one from a previous coach Simon Thompson, Thomo. The workout is:
 ride easy to the hills;
Then do 2 x Campton in Hard gear low cadence, 2 x Town Hall all out....recover on the down hills and repeat entire sequence 3 x. OUCH

Triathlon Race, Bike course: There have been many favorite courses over the years. I loved the ITU Worlds multi-loop hilly course in Switzerland, except I got a flat. Recently my favorites are St. Croix, because I loved attacking the Beast and climbing all the hills after that no one talks about. Vegas World Championship course is also a favorite because of hills heat and heavy competition.
The start of the BEAST

Cyclocross Race Venue: Madison Nationals 2011 hilly, some mud and suprisingly warm for January, and locally Campton Cross, tough home course with the addition of Halloween costumes

CX Nationals 2011, race was surreal

Nutrition on the bike: power gel, green apple, and powerbar lemon chews. Not only are  the packages are the easiest to open while still hammering down the road; they taste great and go down easy and keep me rolling along

Bike Experts: The Bike Shop, Glen Ellyn. The carry the best stuff, (Scott bikes !), and  Rich and Drew have helped keep my bikes working to perfection over years.

Recently I had the chance to be re-fit on by bike by Nes with StudioDNA. I hadn't had a complete bike fit for a few years and the new position is awesome. I truly believe part of my hip injury last year was my bad position on aero.   Having your fit dialed in can not only keep you from getting injured, but can keep all your parts comfortable and give you more watts and power
Nes, working it

Happy Riding!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

short summer update

Lots of summer has happened since Ragnar. 

I have been working on my post about bike favorites but have gotten busy,....riding my bike.

Scotty P and I have been spending some great time together including a big training weekend in Wisconsin on the Madison course and Horribly Hundreds course the next day.

Scotty P and friends resting

I 've seen a lot of this lately, 

and am thankful for this.

smooth ride

Truly I am just happy to be training hard right now. It was this point in the season last year things got ugly, and then went from ugly to worse with a very screwed up hip.  Ending my triathlon and CX season.   I took things pretty easy for a good chunk of time following NOLA leading to some gross efforts in races and key workouts, but Vegas is the goal and making it there healthy fit and ready to race this time. 

And thanks to fellow Wattie teammate Aaron D. who made these banners for the team.  I get bored easily so this is a fun change to the blog.

Remember to stretch and keep your butt strong, so you can race and train hard.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I'm pushing pause on my posts about favorites for swim bike and run, so I can write about my Ragnar experience.

At a Memorial Day BBQ, I was talked into doing Ragnar by my friend Melissa. She had lost a member of their 12 person team and needed a replacement. Ragnar is a 12 person relay running 195 miles from Madison to Chicago.

I had margarita or something that night and wasn't sure what I was getting into, but it sounded fun. I have forever wanted to do Hood to Coast relay as it starts just a few miles up the road from my parents house in Oregon. Not sure Madison to Chicago would provide quite the same experience, but I was on board for some good training and new adventure.  My training has been in a little slump for a few weeks and sometimes doing something really different can shake it up.
Team: "yea right!"
my home for 2 days

We started in Madison Friday around 12:30 pm. A few of the people on the team are from my subdivision. My neighborhood has many fast fit triathletes runners and bike racers! Its a little mini Boulder in the far western suburbs!, but the other new friends on the team were a blast, hilarious, and had me laughing right away, so I knew it would be a fun weekend. The atmosphere was so different from a huge competitive 70.3 race which was such a nice change of pace from tri-geekdom.  In fact the competition might have been for  cutest team shirt, or decorative van, which we of course didn't win.

My 3 segments were not long, so Scott and I came up with a strategy, which was run the first leg hard. 2nd easier, 3rd fast again depending on how I felt. The first run was about 4:00 in the afternoon Friday. It was on open roads through Wisconsin. It was hot (maybe 75 LOL!), no shade and hilly country roads. It was supposed to be 6 miles but ended up 7. I felt great despite sitting in a van for several hours, but was more concerned about going off course. I passed 2 people right away and then found my self solo out on long open country roads, just hoping I was still on course.  I kept looking back to make sure those I passed were still there.  I was running hard and trying to push the uphills, got to mile 6 thinking I was done and saw the 1 mile to go sign!

My second run a 4 mile stretch along a wooded parkway at about 3:00 in the morning! It was chilly and very dark. I had tried to sleep a little before but it didn't go so well. I was cold standing and waiting my turn and threw on an extra long sleeve top at the end and stood with a blanket around me waiting with my teammate Ryan who ran after me while everyone else slept.  I don't run fast in the dark, I feel like I tip toe because I can't see where I'm going. My legs were stiff but after the first mile it felt better, ran with my eyes open wide as I could to see and not miss a turn.  I just ran and didn't care about pace and tried not to get lost. After our night shift was done we drove through the dark to Racine where we had a few hours to rest while van 2 ran their sections.  I finally slept about an hour and a half curled up in a ball on the van seat. I was so tired, that even though short, I was out cold.  I woke up to this beautiful sunrise, and realized we were basically at the start of  Racine 70.3.

  We still had a little time before our first runner had to go and everyone was in search of coffee. We drove the streets of downtown coffee. Serious? Not even gas station coffee was available! What place survives like this?  I always stay at Danny Delgado's lake house for the half ironman, so I've never had to go on a coffee hunt in Racine.
Van 2 found coffee while we were running

My last run was 5.5 miles on a gravel path/trail. It was straight and unscenic. This is the run I was supposed to go hard again. I was mostly excited to get it done and head to the beach to celebrate. I took the first mile to warm up and then tried to run fast 1 mile, 1 mile easier/ 1mile hard etc for the rest. I did get  15 "kills" though, because most people were dying at this point and were really slow. Kills are how many people you pass.

ryan's sand-angel 
After our last runner finished, we celebrated in the van! then headed into the city to wait for van 2 to finish. We ate pizza at Lou Malnadi's unshowered, sweaty and  partly still in running clothes, then headed to the beach to wait for Melissa who was running the last leg. It was a big party at the finish on the beach at Montrose.
cheers to fun

At the end of the trip I had run 17 miles in about 15 hours. Not completely epic and certainly isn't what they do during an ultra, but it was solid running with enough quality miles to trash my legs.  I was tired for a few days, and when I tried to run Tuesday, there wasn't much there. I felt like the hunchback turtle I saw crossing the road in the middle of somewhere Wisconsin.

Monday, May 27, 2013



I decided to dedicate my next few blog posts to some of my favs for each discipline: swim bike and run including my favorite workouts,  stretch/and or exercise tip,  gear, training venue or whatever to make it more fun, faster or better in some way.   I am certainly not an expert by any means at any of the 3 or…. all 3 put together. But I have raced for (hmmm ++ years!) and I manage to fit it in training around a whole gob of life, work professionally to treat the injured in our sport,  and I'm married to someone who is always up with the latest and greatest and …sometimes I listen!

So we start with the swim. My weakest of the 3. Do I have anything favorite about the swim? Not much other than a cute suit addiction, or maybe the cool down. 

Lately I do 90% of my swims at 5:00 a.m. at  Delnor,  our local health club.  The water quality is bad, and I smell like Delnor the rest of the day,  but they have good locker rooms, and  M-F Kelly Perry is always there with a great swim set. This has been good enough to pull me out of my swim rut, just a smidge. The outdoor pools are opening soon which means outdoor swimming and maybe an extra hour of sleep!
post swim sunrise!


Training suit: Betty Designs of course. Absolutely a must because crawling out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to go swim needs a little extra motivation. Not only are they super cute, but they actually do last much longer than most. (or maybe that is because I don't swim enough) I do have several suits and switch them up for variety, type of workout etc. Plus rotating suits makes them last longer!
newest Betty!

Wetsuit/speedsuit:   I of course prefer wetsuit swims, and thankfully I have BlueSeventy helping me make the swim portion go smoother. If its too warm the Blue Seventy PZ3XT is the way to go. I wore this in Vegas 70.3 World Champs last year and it fit like a glove and helped me glide through that water murky warm water, and surely saved me seconds with the lack of swimming  I did going into such a big race. But the new Helix recently arrived and not only does it look fast is! I took it for its first swim today (mostly to make sure it fit!) and also to get the feel for it before my next race. It was amazing! I was gliding through the water and felt almost as fast as the fasties I was trying to keep up with! PLEASE be a wetsuit swim at Leon's so I can wear my HELIX!

HELIX rocks

Workout: (is there such thing as a fav swim workout?) I like swim workouts that keep me moving; keep me focused, and make me work, otherwise I will think of million others things to do like get out of the water and go have coffee. I can keep my focus on the bike and run no matter what the workout, but swimming solo, bad news for me.  My favorite main set for a swim looks a little like this:  (400 pull, 2 x 200  build by 50,  4 x 100 t pace) x 2 ( each 400 having an increased effort), maybe even some IM in there the 2nd time through.  Yes I can swim the other strokes (sort of), and mixing it up keeps it interesting and increases swim strength.

Place to Swim: 
Local: Otters Cove St Charles outdoor pool. Lap lanes always open,water slides if kids are in tow and its outside. Yesterday was opening day, but they were closed because it is still winter here.
Cool places: Univ of Arizona outdoor pools!
Open water: not a huge fan, but Kona Pier would have to do

Swim venue for a race: Hayes Lake,  Queenstown NZ Worlds, dock start where everyone had 1 hand on the dock ITU style,  in a beautiful lake with turquoise water and amazing  mountains all around with a long killer steep uphill run to transition to tire out the non-runners.

Swim Stretch: Posterior shoulder stretch; all those hours hanging out in aero bars tighten the posterior shoulder, which can eventually lead to shoulder pain and impingement while swimming. 
How: put elbows, forearms and hands together just above shoulder height on a wall; then squat down a little until you feel a stretch in your lats or back of shoulder. NO cheating by letting your elbows come apart! This is great to help increase shoulder mobility help reach and pull.

Best swim performance:  I guess for me it would be  AG Worlds in SUI. Swim was in Lake Geneva, the real one, not the Wisconsin one. I came out of the water with the main pack (not the lead pack with those first few uber swimmers). Back then to get ready for this race I swam twice a day some, and put in some weeks of a whole lot of yards, it gained me a whopping 40 sec. I don't have that kind of time now for an entire :40 sec so, I like 70.3s better these days.

And when the swim is done, its time to bike!