Upity Upity Up


The last couple days of training have been awesome. The weather has been perfect here in Denver, warm, but not hot. The last two days of training have made me feel like a bad a$$ girl. I love training hard and we’ve put in a few days of hard work. Steve is so cautious with my training, I really appreciate his judgement in that regard. He doesn’t pound me every day, and I have found that the gradual schedule he has me on is really conditioning me to absorb what he throws at me.

Yesterday was a jaunt up Highgrade and then City View with a tempo hard honest effort up Highgrade. I was begging for mercy, but Steve had his iPod in so he couldn’t hear me beg. I was left with no other choice but to stick to his wheel like glue. Can we say above LT on the bike? I thought I was going to actually fall off my bike when we got to the top. I have never really understood when people said they went so hard on the bike they wanted to puke, but now I am starting to understand just what that entails. The sad thing is, I loved it. I wanted more (okay only after I recovered at the top did I want more).

Today was equally as Epic. Steve and I ran the 4 miles over to Chattfield SP from his house, met Andrea, John and Jewles and did hill repeats. We ran up the grassy side of the dam. Dam! It was a Dam good time! We did two repeats up the Dam, then we got scared b/c we though a guy in a truck was coming to kick us off. So we did a repeat up the road which isn’t as steep, but is a more prolonged effort. Then we realized the guy in the truck didn’t give a rat’s tail that crazy people were running up the Dam, so we did three more repeats up. Then Steve and I ran back to his house. It was somewhere around a 12-13 mile day, so I was pretty pooped when I got home. But again, pooped in a “happy” “i love this stuff” kind of way.

I think I have taken this year in a much different direction than most starting triathletes. I think a lot of people get some early success and just push hard hard hard the next couple years to see how good they can get. Steve and I have taken the approach that learning the sport, learning technique, and being “raised” is a more appropriate direction. What comes will come from sound knowledge and sound technique. I am proud that I have stayed patient and I can tell that things will pay off when I have earned it.

Boy do I love training though. Training with friends is absolutely the best thing out there. You just can’t beat it!

Cap Tex Finish Line Video Footage

Okay, Tyler wins the finish line footage award for our group.

Here is the link to Tyler

Here is the link to my finish line video.

If it doesn’t work the first time you just have to hit back and try it again. Sorry!

Capital of Texas Triathlon

If I had to sum up this weekend in one word it would be FUN. When I got home my cheeks hurt from laughing, and smiling, we just had a lot of fun! I arrived in Austin on Friday. I was seated next to Steve and Andrea on the plane, totally by luck! Downtown Austin is 7 miles from the airport. I learned that there is no need to rent a car. Just catch a shuttle to downtown next time. I literally put 14 miles on the rental car in 4 days. Tyler, John, Beth and I were sharing a room at the Embassy Suites, and Tyler had already checked in for me. Once I rolled into town we threw my bike together in like 15 minutes, and headed off with Steve and Andrea for some grub. Hot, whoa, so hot. And humid, very very humid. I was really shocked, and really sweaty immediately. We walked down to Chuys, a sweet local spot that Lance Armstrong loves. Good New Mexican food. I had a margarita, we were all feeling festive! After grubbin’ we headed to bed and got a few hours sleep before Beth and John arrived at 1am. Okay, honestly, I didn’t even hear them come it, but Tyler said he got up and they partied for an hour before heading to bed. Man, I sleep through all the good stuff!


Saturday was all about reconnaissance. Tyler and I had mapped the bike and run courses, and we set of as a team to ride the course and get familiar. BUT…first we hit up the Austin Farmers Market (I am like a farmers market junkie, and love visiting markets in other cities). The ride recon went well, we were all VERY familiar with the course. After recon it was time to pick up our packets and drop our bikes into transition. It was wild. They didn’t give you an individual spot in transition, it was a free for all by age group. So it behooved you to get there early to get the best spot. BUT, packet pickup opened at 1 and there were droves of people with the same idea. When the doors opened it was a mad rush. Very poorly planned but I am happy to say that the Practical Coaching folks made out quite well. Almost all of us were out of there within 5 minutes and got the primo end spot on the racks. It was funny that the 8 of us were probably in the first 20 people to rack a bike. Sharp elbows!


That evening we headed as a big group out to Casa De Luz. This place was awesome. Totally vegan, totally in season, totally Macrobiotic, totally yummy. We were there for hours, just chatting, and enjoying the company. If I lived in Austin, I would eat there weekly.

Sunday morning was game day. Our hotel was a 1 block walk to transition, so it was great to sleep in and wake up and walk over. Ahhhh. The 4 of us walked over to transition and then went our own ways. I had transition set up in like two pico seconds and was ready to get out of there. I headed to the portapotie several times, walked around, slept on a bench for a little while, and then things got going. Waves started going off and before I knew it my wet suit was on and I was waiting in line to jump off the pier into the water.

It was a deep water start and I lined up close to the front, on the right. I should have gone on the left. When the gun went of I got pretty beat up. I was getting passed and then immediately getting stuck behind people. I was trying to work my way around them, and then getting hit, kicked, and thrashed. I just had a difficult time getting clear of people. The way out was down river, so you had a little push, which you didn’t feel. The way back was up river and you felt that one big time. I was finally able to relax at the turn around and start pushing hard. I swam the last half as hard as I knew how. Rounding the last corner you then had to swim cross current. For some reason this wasn’t a problem for me. Volunteers pulled me out of the water and I was off and running.


Long run up to transition. No big issues here except the weight of the bikes on my rack had pushed the rack into the grass so deep that the 6 inches clearance my bike had was now a negative 3 inches. I had to finagle my bike around to release it from the grip of the rack. Helmet on, and off. It was a long long run out of transition and I stepped on lots of nasty gravel type rocks.

I absolutely loved this bike course. It was a four loop course and it was through downtown Austin. You did this big loop around the capital building (taller than the Capital Building in Washington…everything is bigger in Texas). The loop around the Capital entailed two climbs and 6 high speed turns. It was like a bike course! I pushed as hard as I could through the entire four laps. I passed tons of people, I couldn’t really keep track of who was in my age group. One girl in my age group passed me back and I just said “no way”. I put it down and never looked back. Never saw her again. I ran into (not literally) most of my teamates at one point, especially the ladies who started in waves near me. It was great to have friends on the course. Beth kept me accountable. I passed her and a little while later she passed me back. I stepped on it harder, knowing Beth was giving me a kick in the butt. The turns were the best part of this entire race. I’m so glad I learned through Steve how to take 90 degree turns without breaking, I gained lots of time on people because I knew how to turn.

I forgot to take my helmet off. Doh. Wasted 10 seconds correcting that error.

Ouch. Boy is it hot. The run was a two loop course and each loop seemed a little bit long. Immediately a lady in my age group FLEW by me, I mean FLEW. She was running so strong, I couldn’t even go with her. Just flying. On the first little out and back section I saw two ladies (three if you include the one that just FLEW by) that looked like they were in my age group. I tried to pick it up but I was hot. There was Beth again, yelling at me to go get them. So I picked it up. I worked really hard that first loop to pick off the lady I saw ahead of me. When I got close to her she gave me a little battle and I prevailed. But I thought to myself that it would have been a good opportunity to practice some of my strategy. Usually the people I pass never go with me, but she did, and I should have used that fact as a chance to battle with her and wear her out. I started running for the next girl and taking all the water I could along the way to dump down my uniform. They had ice water on the course and it was great to dump that all over myself. The second loop I really tried to pick it up to pass the lady that was ahead of me that I was sighting on. I slowly reeled her in and found out that she wasn’t in my age group. Doh. About half way into the second loop I heard the people cheering saying “Go ladies” and I wondered who was behind me. It was the first lady I had passed. She was sticking to me. I realized that I need to go hard and drop her immediately or she was going to give me a run at the finish. I put in a nice mile long surge and she disappeared for good. I rolled into the finish running strong, and having fun.

Ah, it was over. That evening I hung out with Steve and Andrea after I found them while I was taking an evening stroll. We had pizza, chatted it up, and explored South Congress Ave. Awesome spot if you are in Austin, not to be missed! We had cupcakes too, they were yummy.

Monday morning we all headed out for a run together and this was definitely the highlight of the entire trip. We started out running, but we ended up swimming, diving, running, turtle hunting, swimming, jumping, being silly, joking, running, being crazy, etc for about 3 hours. We had swimming contests, we learned how to do back flips. We ran all over the place, and just had a blast together. This was the water we swam in, ick, what were we thinking?:

We came back wet and really stinky, but super happy. After that was lunch, a little more exploring South Congress, and then off to the airport. Such a blast of a time.


Results – Highlights:
John, Tyler, and Andrea all qualified for Nationals! I am so proud of them for putting up stellar performances and getting into “The Big Race”

Anthony raced to 2nd in his age group in the extremely talented mens 30-35 age group. Total Rock Star.

Steve is racing like we like him to and won his age group. We are such proud students and we all hope we can grow up to be just like Steve!

Beth is so back. She had an awesome race, and I can see that she will be right back on track by Nationals.

Julie, Barry, and Priscilla all had great performances, very clearly showing off the hard work they have done in the off season.

Results- Me:
15th woman overall
5th in F25-29
Swim: 30:09
T1: 2:23
Bike: 1:07:15 (22.1mph)
T2: 2:00
Run: 47:31 (7:39 pace)

Colfax Relay Photo Dump

Here are a ton of photos that Beth took from the Colfax Relay that we did. First off is two team pictures. I’m sad that my friend Gaye isn’t in any of the photos, she appeared later. :(
Here is Michelle and I having a post race rehash. I think we look like sisters sometimes.
Here is Andrea, Noel, Beth, me, Laura, and Kayla just before I headed out to do the last leg.
Here is Laura, Kayla, and Beth after they finished their legs.
Here is Laura and Kayla enjoying some post run java.
Here are two shots of Chelsea and I rockin’ out after the race while we cheered for others to finish.
Here is Michelle, me, Beth, Chelsea, Jenna, and Kayla enjoying the post race atmosphere.

Here is my favorite shot. Michelle and Ann on top, Beth and I on bottom. The guys were loving it when we took this one.

CapTex mini Recap!

Whew! What a race. We are having a blast here in Austin, and boy is the racing great here. The one bummer is the heat and humidity. I feel like an old lady saying that, but it’s true. I didn’t bring enough clothes, because every trip outside ruins yet another set of clothes (sweat).

No race report just yet, but I’ll give you the highlights.

Swim: the river was sweet. But I got severely thrashed in this swim. I just got beat up. I was scared that I wouldn’t swim faster than the current on the way back and would end up in the Gulf of Mexico, but I was able to keep up and make it to transition in about 30 minutes.

T1: boom boom boom quick, efficient. Lots of running with the bike before we were allowed to mount.

Bike: The frickin BOMB. Loved it. It was a 4 loop course with tons of turns so I got to practice all of those turning skills that Steve taught me. I pushed hard the entire time and was able to post 22+ mph. 1:07 something.

T2: pretty good. forgot to take my helmet off and had to run 10 steps back to put it back.

Run: Ouchy. The heat gets me. I took the first loop pretty mello and then cranked it down on the second loop. I was throwing water down my sports bra at every aid station. Hot hot hot. I gave it all I had on the run but I still was left with something to be desired. I wished I had been able to go harder. It happens. I was somewhere in the 47 min range, which is a bit on the slower side for me. Heat…I gotta get over that.

Overall, I was either 6th or 5th in my age group. Right now it says 6th but there was a girl ahead who I think only did 3 bike loops. So 5th possibly. Who knows, not too important.

We are having fun here, and the fun will just continue! More highlights when I get home!

A River in Texas

So the screen on my cell phone went KAPUT yesterday. Which, of course makes it really hard to call anybody b/c I can’t scan down the list of contacts. Fun times. I also can’t store my numbers to my sim card last minute to update it before changing phones. Hummm…so if you don’t hear from me in awhile, call me. I’m not ignoring you, I just lost your phone number. It was a ripe time for it to go dead, what with me leaving for Austin for the Capital of Texas triathlon tomorrow.

MOM CAME THROUGH! My mom works at Palm, and she asked around, and her friend Sue had a spare Palm Treo 680, new in the box, in a flashy RED color! Mom paid a bundle to overnight it to me and it arrived at about 11:30am today! Then my awesome techie friend Jordan helped me for like two hours and now my new Treo syncs with my Mac computer. They share my address book, and my calendar! Since I don’t want to spend the money I’m not going to set it up to share email, that’s just a bit too much for me. It’s little disasters like this that remind me how much of a support system I have. I have tons of people that love me and don’t think twice to jump up and help me.


So, I mentioned that I leave tomorrow for Austin. I am so super duper excited to go race. I have been to Austin once many years ago for work and I had a lot of fun so I’m excited to go back! We are staying close to downtown and close to the race site. I’ve heard this is a pretty top notch race! It’s a 4 loop bike course and a 2 loop run course, so lots of repetition, but also maybe lots of cheering?? The swim is in the river that runs through Austin…yes, you heard me right…a river. How cool is that? First the ocean in FL, and now a river in TX. Sounds like the title to a good book.

So yes, ladies and gents, my head is in the right place going into this race. I am calm, I am happy. I’m not stressed, I’m chill. Just ready to go do my THANG, to swim, bike, and run the fizzle out of my sha-nizzle. Word.

Mental Monday on Wednesday (17): Got Travel?


As this season is ramping up I was thinking about just how much travel I am doing this year. Other than the Florida trip I just got back from, all of it is without my family, and with various teammates. It reminded me that most of this season I won’t have my number one supporter with me, and I am going to have to take care of myself…physically, financially, and emotionally.

Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

Watching some of my fellow triathletes travel without family and with other friends I realized that the needs and wants of your travel companions can make a major difference in your trip. Even though we all share the common goal of performing to the best of our abilities, we each prepare to do that in different ways. With nerves running around rampant, I think it’s important for triathletes to do some mental work before a travel trip. Sitting down and thinking through who you are traveling with can help you make the most of your experience.

I tend to be the mother bear. I tend to jump in where I am not always welcome and attempt to plan everyones actions. When I travel I really like to “do-it-up”, as in “see it all”, “do it all”, “experience it all”. I have to watch overdoing things when I travel because I can end up tiring myself out. With most triathlons you arrive several days ahead and there are necessary things to get done: unpack your bike, pick up your packet, swim, ride and run portions of the race course, check in your bike the night before, all on top of finding 3 meals a day in a foreign city. There are many action items, and not always as much free time as I like to think there is. In your spare time you should really be doing things that are relaxing and contributing to a positive race experience.

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
– G. K. Chesterton

Think about who you are traveling with. Do you foresee any issues? How can you maintain your own autonomy if need be? Have you rented your own car, or do you know the numbers for a few cab companies? Sometimes just having the option of heading back to the hotel can turn a grouchy mood into some relaxing time. Preparation is what it’s all about. Having a list of a few local restaurants with the addresses and phone numbers can help in a pinch. While taking airplane trips be prepared with not just your iPod and a book, but also with an empty water bottle and healthy snacks. I like to take a bag of baby carrots with some dressing. It beats a 2 oz bag of chips on the plane, or buying overpriced junk in the airport.

When in doubt, relax, go with the flow, prepare for the foreseeable, and shrug at the rest. Often what doesn’t go right is what makes your trip fun. Be mellow, and assertive, and you can’t go wrong.

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
– Martin Buber

Homework: If you have a travel tri coming up, sit down and do some brain work on it. How can you be prepared to make your trip a success? Can you come up with some phrases to use when you need to get out of an engagement. Set some boundaries for yourself, and be prepared to stick to them.

Amish Chain Letter Bread

Last weekend I totally got hit with a dose of Amish Friendship Bread Chain Letter madness! Have you heard of this before? I hadn’t. My mother in law’s good friend Francis gifted me with a loaf of decadent and very tasty Amish Cinnamon Bread along with a bag of gooey fermenting liquid and directions. First off the bread was sheer madness, totally awesome yummy goodness. It was like really good coffee cake, moist, tasty. Troy inhaled half a loaf in in about 45 minutes.

So the gooey bag is essentially a yeast starter. Each of the first five days you mush the bag. Then on the fifth day (today for me) you add one cup of flour, sugar, and milk. Then you mush for 4 more days. On the 10th day you add more flour, milk and sugar and put four cups of starter into four separate bags (so one cup per bag). With the rest of the starter you make the bread. It makes two loaves of bread so you can eat one and pass one along. The COOLEST part is that you now have 4 bags of starter. So keep one for yourself and pass along the other three to friends. Hence CHAIN LETTER. Except…it’s just bread starter, and nobody dies or has bad luck if you don’t use it.

Although Francis grew up in Amish country I don’t think that Amish Friendship Bread is actually Amish (especially after reading up on Wikipedia about it). It calls for a package of instant Vanilla Pudding, and well, I don’t think the Amish folks are into Jello-O brand products. They are a sort-of “do-it-yourself” kind of people! I found a website that has lots of variations on the recipe, and different ways to use the starter for things like brownies and muffins. Yum!

So, I’m thinking Laura and Hillary? Are you ladies game? Anyone else game? I can overnight it in the mail to you. I’m thinking that we need to come up with some super low calorie, whole grain variations! Something along the lines of Hillary’s Cinnamon Swirl bread, using what I am now calling “Friendship Starter”.

St. Anthony’s Triathlon Photos

Here are a few shots from the Practical Coaching website.

Here is most of us lined up before we headed out for race reconnaissance the day before (I’m the one in the Core Concepts maroon top, not the one in the Playboy bunny shirt).

Here is me kicking it into the finish.

Here is some of us after the race, “some” of us are being especially silly.

Here is me on the podium.

Here is all of us after the race at our post race Thai food celebration.