Pedal Power Snowshoe Race – 10Kish

I had THE STRANGEST race today. This was the first race that I have done that is run by Pedal Power. I’ve heard that these races are sort-of the ones the “locals” attend and that they are more challenging than the Beaver Creek Races. I have been preparing for this race all week, knowing it was going to be a challenge and just trying to get in the right space about it.

I picked up Steve at 5:45am as he agreed to ride up with me (bold man with my driving). We had an uneventful drive up and things pre-race went very well. We again had a nice long warm up and I felt warm on the line, even though it was 4 degrees out!

The start was through knee deep powder and the 75 or so people in the race were all off at once. It was a strange start b/c people are trying to get out fast and position themselves but you can’t do much of anything in knee deep powder. So right off the bat everyone was trying to get in a single file line to step in someone else’s tracks. I got pushed to the back and it happened so quickly. My first thought was “stay calm…there’s time”. Ha…little did I know.

We immediately went straight up the side of this mountain of single track super deep powder, thigh deep in places. We were still all jumbled and so again I was stuck behind tons of walking people.

This pretty much felt like the theme of the race for the first three miles. I would find a way to pass someone, then I would catch up to the next person, and wait to find an opportunity to pass….many times walking in spots where I could have been running. Finally, at around 3 miles I was clean and clear of people and started to really cruise. I felt I was in perfect position and with half the race over and my heart rate VERY under control, I was ready to reel in some of those people (ladies) that got away from me…AND I had 3 miles to do it. Purrrfect.

I’m groovin…I’m groovin…and then we are headed toward the finish. I look at my gps…it says 4.5 miles. I look around for another place to go…none in sight. I head into the finish. Very anticlimactic and just a few people standing around including Anita and Keri (insert “fast” and “faster”) I ask Anita if the course seemed really short and she agrees. Then we find out that apparently we missed an arrow that sent us back uphill on another loop. The arrow was way to our left at a point when we were veering right and it was slightly uphill. Tons of people missed it and suddenly the race was a total sham.

What a downer…and was I disqualified? Who knows. I never really got in a grove and just when I started cranking…the race was over. I didn’t even feel like I had raced, which was funny b/c two weeks ago I was TOTALLY spent after the 10K at Beaver Creek! This time I was fine…it was like training. The course was so technical that it was hard to get your heart rate up without falling down or hitting a tree. Strange!

When the award ceremony came around I saw the event coordinator talking to the first place lady and the second place lady. Apparently Anita was second, but like me she didn’t do the loop either. They gave the first place to Kari…she’s so speedy! Second they gave to Anita. I was just sitting there praying that they didn’t call my name. But they did. For third place.

So I walk up…a bit shameful and say WITHIN EARSHOT OF THE ENTIRE AUDIENCE that I missed the last loop. The event coordinator, says “that’s okay your still third”. I took the ceramic plate, but I was embarrassed about it. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t really third. Steve was quick to put it in perspective “A day will come when you won’t get a medal that you deserve and it will be okay”. So true.

So tonight, I feel like I didn’t race, but I’ve got a new plate, and I feel like someone out there felt crummy about it. So I’m sending gooood vibes to that person and hoping it helps a little bit….whoever she may be!

On the up side Steve and I had a fun time traveling up to the race together, although both of us missed the other Practical Coaching team members a lot. It felt a bit lonely. Troy and Annie stayed home and boy was I missing them today. I feel so lucky that Troy is so supportive. He really is a rock star when it comes to being a husband and a dad.

And the Winner is?

Balcony A! Which pretty much all of you guessed. Could it be because the other two photos were slightly fuzzy? Or were you stirred to vote because of the wonderful message of PEACE? Or, even more likely, was it that you have all been to my house and so you knew which balcony was mine?

Either way, you were right, and management agreed with you. Balcony B was second place, and C was 3rd…man can I pick them!

Troy and I are $300 richer and I promise it will go to a good cause.

Peace Out!

2 Year Olds Can Ski

These pics are from our Christmas Eve skiing expedition to Keystone. Todd (crazy Google man from California, AKA Uncle Pid, AKA Troys brother) took these awesome shots of Annie skiing.

She went on the magic carpet twice, this time she stood on the carpet herself rather than asking for dad to hold her.

She also went up the lift twice, once with Troy and I, and anther time with just Troy. I thought I would be scared for her to be on the lift, but she did just great and didn’t squirm at all!

After 4 runs she was pooped and took a big long nap in the lodge in her snowsuit.

We just heard good news as well from the ticket agent at Keystone. I told her that although Annie gets a free lift pass, we always have to wait in the lift pass line to get it, even though Troy and I both have season passes. She said that in that case we can stop by the lift pass office and get Annie a free season pass for this year. That way we don’t have to wait any more. We will definitely be doing that next time we get up to the slopes!

How cute will it be to show her the first season pass she had at age 2!

Who Should Win the Balcony Decorating Contest?

Balcony A – with the stockings and Peace written on the ceiling?

Balcony B – with the wild flashing lights and moving deer?

Balcony C – with the candy canes and the little angles?
Tonight is the judging of the apartment complex’s annual Balcony Decorating Contest. I took some shots this evening of what I think are the top three contenders. Our house is in there, do you know which one it is?

Here is a hint, our decorating budget was $12. We utilized good will.

The grand prize is $300 off your rent, second place is $100 off, and third place is $50 off.

So, give it an gander, which one do you think should win. I’ll post the results tomorrow when they let us know!

Beaver Creek Snowshoe Race #ONE

Sunday was the first Beaver Creek Snowshoe race, and my first 10K on snowshoes. We attended a awesome wedding on Saturday afternoon and then decided to head up to Breckenridge to stay with the McDowells at their family condo. A short stop off in Golden to drop Arwen with Laura and Wess (many thanks for bailing us out last minute) and we were on the road. Annie handled the day of driving like a champ, and for once we were PUKE free!

The next morning, we packed up the crew and headed to Beaver Creek. We parked at the free lot and it seemed like everyone getting on the bus had snowshoes. At registration, I had this feeling that I wasn’t the only one really looking forward to this race. All the top ladies were there. I saw them, I recognized them, and even had a little warm up with Anita Ortiz (last years 10K winner in 3 of the 4 races).

Another longer warm up with Steve and Anthony pursued and I was feeling very warm and excited to see what this 10K on snowshoes thing is all about. Steve asked if I was going to do the “Dash for Cash” and I said no, but then at the last minute I decided to participate. The dash for cash is a 150 yard sprint and the winner gets $100. Usually half of the participants fall down, or trip, and make a laughing stock of themselves. That was my reasoning to not participate, I didn’t need some huge public adrenaline rush before the race. Well, I got on the line and when they said go I ran as hard as I could, and did a nice lean at the finish, and had no clue what the result was. Another lady was doing a little victory dance, but when they announced that the girl in the green vest won…THAT WAS ME! Woo Hoo. $100 – man, who can’t use that?

After that, I lined up one person off the starting line and soon enough the race was on. I went out hard but steady b/c I knew that there was some single track powder between 0.75-1.0 mile. I was in good position when we got to the powder and didn’t have to fight any slow people. At one mile the 10Kers headed up and the 5Kers got to go down and homewards. After a little more up, we then had a long slightly downhill section which the map showed as flat, so I mentally noted that a long uphill-ish slog would happen on the return. I tried as hard as I could to keep Karen (Atlas Team member, Pro Triathlete) in my sights and was successful in that. Then we started another large climb that just never ended. Around mile 4 I remember thinking “I am so tired of looking at where my feet need to land”. I got mentally tired of being on my game. At the first downhill I lost sight of Karen, but just continued to push as hard as I knew how. The uphill-ish section really wasn’t that bad and was a nice relief to the painfully steep downhill we had been running.

The race ended with two large hills that I knew were coming from last year. Ryan Sutter (he married Trista “The Bachelorette) passed me on the first hill and he was running really strong. At this point it was about survival and getting it done. I was so happy to be done! This was one of the physically hardest races I have run. One hour 15 minutes of hight heart rate, and grueling hills.

I’m happy to be $100 richer for the effort.
There was some misunderstanding and my results were not posted at the race, but they figured it out and posted my finish with the online results. I seem to be having “result” issues recently!

Overall 10K woman: 8th
Time: 1:15: 32
Click here for Results
Click here for the Press Release

Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5K – unplanned race

The annual holiday party for my track club was this weekend and the plans were to run the 2007 Jingle Bell Run and then head out to lunch for a little party afterwards. I wanted to do the race, but seeing that I am a self proclaimed racing junkie, I needed to check with THE MAN. Usually we do our long rides on Sunday mornings, but a few of my teammates were planning on riding their bikes to the race and then competing. I asked for permission to race and got shot down big time. It wasn’t that I got totally shot down, I just told him I wanted to do what was best for my training and he said “Ride your bike”. So I asked if I could ride down to the race site then run. The answer…”no”.


Well apparently the cosmos had a grander plan because we woke up Sunday morning to 4 inches of snow in downtown Denver. I immediately called THE MAN. “Can I race now”?

“Yes, you can race, but I want you to run 6 miles before you get on the starting line”


Several minutes later the phone rings…it’s THE MAN… “Take that back, throw in your snowshoes, lets do 6 miles on our snowshoes and then race, meet me there at 9”.

Sweeeeet, even better….

So that’s what we did. We met early, did a nice (actually AWESOME) hour long run around Wash park on our snowshoes and then came back, changed clothes and got ready to race. It was nice to get some one-on-one time with my coach to talk about where I was at and what I need to work on. In case it doesn’t show…I am really happy with Practical Coaching and the coaching that Steve is providing to me.

I have never been so warmed up before a race before. It usually takes me until about mile one to really feel in my grove for a 5K. I decided to wear my YakTrax. It was pretty slick out there, definitely the perfect day for some traction!

So here is the odd thing. In now 30 some odd races in the last year-ish, this was the first time that I wasn’t nervous. Zip-Zero-Zilcho on the nervous front. Just chill.

And with a countdown from Ms Colorado (tiara and all), we were off. By the first turn the race was pretty sorted out and I could tell I was the lead girl. Whoah! Strange feeling. I knew there was obviously a lot of racing to do, but I felt this confidence that in retrospect I think was just a super warm body and a complete lack of nerves. The race went VERY VERY consistently. About two hundred yards from the finish I took a quick glance behind me and I saw another lady close behind. Boy did that light the fire under my shoes to push it in. Everything came together, and when I came through the finish line, it was a winning effort. First woman!

Steve was there, he had raced to 4th place in the men. We grabbed a cool down, hit up the awards ceremony where there was a little “misunderstanding” concerning my win that we had to sort out, and then it was off to lunch with the track club.

Matt put together an AWESOME lunch for us at Handlebar, with lots of schwag!

The details:
Time: 21:34 on a snowy snowy day
Colorado Runner — Click here for the article on the race (pics too)
Click here for RESULTS

New Addition to the Household

Ooooh-eee. Look at the new little addition to the house! We made an impulse buy last night! It’s a Cycle Ops Fluid 2 Trainer.

Usually when I have a bike ride on my schedule during the middle of the week I have to take Annabelle. There isn’t enough sunlight to ride in the morning before Troy heads to work, and there isn’t enough in the evening either. So I have to ride during the day with Annabelle. Sometimes this happens, sometimes not…yesterday…not-so-much. Annie has her own agenda nowadays so there are days that we don’t make it out of the house.

So yesterday…it got dark and I still hadn’t completed my scheduled ride. What to do…what to do…time to impulse buy a trainer.

After consulting Steve I decided this is the trainer I wanted. It wasn’t on sale at performance, but it was at REI. I also had a 15% coupon that I had been waiting to use, so we were able to get a good deal on it.

We came home and Troy set it up. I rode for an hour and then Troy had to ride for an hour. I have a feeling that the neighbors in the apartment below might start to hate us! Actually it’s really quiet and I’m not sure if they can hear anything.

So yeah, we are all giddy and excited about being able to ride indoors now. And we must be total triathlon geeks because we stayed up way too late riding our bikes!

Woot Woot!

BEYOND Clothing and Sonja

I have some great news!

I have been selected for Beyond Clothing’s 2008 Technical and Tactical Clothing Sponsorship Campaign .

I feel honored that Beyond Clothing has decided to support me this year as I race in the snow and mud. I have so many adventures on tap for this coming year, and knowing that I get to stomp around the country wearing some of the best technical clothing on the market makes me absolutely giddy!

I just put in my first order for several technical pieces of clothing and you would be amazed at how many questions they ask you. Every piece of clothing that Beyond makes is totally custom! So I had to put in all my measurements, and they ask you wild questions like “How far down your zipper do you want the bottom of your jacket to go”. Crazy…in a totally awesome way.

We are planning on ordering Troy a jacket soooooon. Being 6 foot 4 inches tall makes it tough to find anything that fits. While I was ordering my clothes…Troy was drooling!

The first three pieces that I ordered are:

Cold Fusion X Jacket
Steel Action Shirt
Cold Play Shock Pant

I ordered the Cold Fusion X Jacket in Lilac, and I can’t wait to see it.

A big Thanks to Dan and everyone at Beyond for thinking I’m cool…I think you guys are way cool too!

Thanksgiving in Pueblo

We had such a wonderful time spending this holiday with Ron and Michelle in Pueblo. Sam an Annie just tickled us pink as they played so well together. When they get together they become the two most polite two year olds you have ever met.

On Wednesday, we got a late start out of town. It was nice to sleep in though. I had a timed mile in the pool to measure progress so we hit the Greenwood Athletic Club on the way out of town to get that in. My time was 31:15, which is about 2 minutes faster than my last timed mile. So, slowly, and surely, I am getting better little bits at a time.

The drive to Pueblo was quick, we stopped on the way at the YMCA in Colorado Springs to sign up Michelle and I for the Turkey Trot the next day. We had a mellow evening and were able to visit and catch up with each other.

Thursday Michelle and I got up early, left the kiddos with their daddies, and drove up to the springs for the race. It was a BIG race! The course was great, lots of hills through a residential neighborhood and many twists and turns. I took it out strong but felt a bit cold and sluggish the first mile. I came through mile one as 10th overall woman in about 6:35. Then we hit the hills. The second mile my arms felt very sore and tired from the swim the day before. I ran the hills steady, but nothing super impressive. I missed the mile 2 marker. Somewhere around mile 2-2.5 I reeled in and passed one lady, and beat it home to the finish in case she decided to try to pass me back. About one minute after I finished I saw Troy and Annie! They had tried to surprise us by bringing the kids to the race, but got there ONE minute too late! I guess I was just a little to quick for them that day!

I got 9th overall woman (664 total women in the race), and 3rd in my age group. My time was 21:22, which felt great given the cold temperature and stiffness. There were some awesome fast ladies there and it was great to get to run with them!

Back home we went, and in went the turkey. We had a few mishaps there, but all in all Thanksgiving Dinner went beautifully. The hit of the evening was the Cornbread & Sausage Stuffing from Eating Well. It was to die for! I do think a big part of it was that I made it with the cornbread from Trader Joes, it was so tasty!

Friday was a mellow day, we woke up to a totally WHITE post-Thanksgiving Day. It was snowing in Pueblo. I hit the local YMCA for an early morning swim and afterwards Michelle and I did a little Christmas shopping at KOHLs. We headed home after that, renewed, refreshed and happy to have spent the day of Thanks with our closest friends.