30 Miles of Yee-Haw

A couple weeks ago I Andrea introduced me to Susan at the gravel pond. She was looking for another runner to run on her Wild West 24 Hour Ultra Relay Team. I got so excited but before I could tell her yes Steve snagged the spot. I gave him all sorts of heck for it, including calling him a “stinker” several times. I was forced to sit on the sidelines while he trained a little harder running the last several weeks.

Well, yesterday I got the call. Apparently another runner has become unavailable and a spot is open. After a phone call to secure a sitter for Annie on Friday, I called back and said “Sure, sign me up”. As I started getting my things together last night I was 2 parts giddy to 1 part crazy. This is an ultra team so unlike the relay I did last year where we each ran three times, this is double that…I run 6 times in the race. My legs range from 3.8 miles to 8.5 miles, and also range in difficulty from Easy to Very Hard. I have a total of about 30 miles of running. That’s more than I run in a week. We start in Fort Collins and run our little legs all the way to Steamboat Springs, via the back-roads and a short stint into Wyoming. Fun times!

Last year when I did the Colorado Relay I had an absolute blast, but I bonked hard after the race. So this time I am going to try to have a total blast again, but without the bonk. I didn’t eat enough last year, so this year I am planning my meals more specifically and have purchased some things that I know I will want to eat.

Another obsticle…running outfits. If you train with me you know that I pretty much have like three different training outfits, your probably sick of them by now too. Well, I needed 6 sets of running clothes and I could only conjur up about 4 1/2. So I treated myself to a trip to Runners Roost today to pick up two new pairs of shorts and a new sports bra. Yippy-Ky-Yea. Check them out:

New Asics shorts in navy blue, very sort and comfy

New Pearl Izumi shorts in a bold blue…and me having way too much fun with the built in camera on the mac.

I’m excited also to take along my Core Concepts hoodie, and Carve Full Zip Jacket to wear in the van between runs and maybe on a midnight…or 3am…or 5am run through the middle of NOWHERE Colorado. This should be super cool, I love meeting new people, especially active ones, and it’s also exciting to know that I get to hang with the best women’s triathlete the US has ever had, bronze medal…wozer, can you even imagine making the podium at the Olympics?

So, when you are popping your popcorn Friday night, settling down to a nice flick on the big screen, send a few good thoughts my direction as I run down some lonely dirt road in the middle of Wyoming or Colorado, with trees, bugs, and the moon to keep me company (no iPods allowed).

My PIC is a Blogger


My Partner in Crime (PIC) Michelle has now entered blog land. Michelle is a totally awesome mom of two beautiful girls who somehow manages to balance a tremendous career, and a phenominal triathlon hobby, all while being a great mommy and wife. She truely does this all with grace, class, and a spunky attitude. She is totally my peeps, and I just love her to death (Can you tell?). We kinda look alike, except she has 6-pack abs. She’s my twinkie!

Michelle has absolutely knocked it out of the park this year. She is a total bad a$$ swimmer, always has been, and continues to beat Steve out of the water every single race.

Her bike has progressed farther that I even think she realizes. She’s dedicated, and she gets in the work. I rode with her last week and as several of us rode in a paceline I was begging her (in my mind) to not pull through as hard as she was. She was pulling as hard as the boys and looked calm and cool doing so. She is super strong and I can’t wait to see her bike times diminish like her run times.

Speaking of her run. This lady ran a 54:32 10K off the bike at age group nationals last year. She walked twice due to a leg cramp. This winter she put in the miles. She ran up mount Evans and is planning a run up Pikes peak this coming month. She has hit the track workouts hard and several weeks ago at Loveland Lake to Lake she ran a 47:53 10K off the bike. Last night at track I ran the last 300 of her last 1000 with her and could not believe how hard she is throwing it down on the track. I jumped into her last interval at the 300 to go spot and she was running 6:50 mile pace. She started to lay it down with me and ran the last part of her LAST interval at 6:15 pace. She LAYED it down.

The best thing about having great friends in the triathlon community is that when they excel or jump a new hurdle you feel that success with them. I am so tremendously proud of Michelle and can’t wait to experience future successes with her. Check out my PIC’s blog, and leave her some comment love.

Check Out Her Blog Here

Chilin’ at TJ’s in Portland

Michelle and I getting our swagger on. Attitude.

400’s all out

Yesterdays track workout was the bomb. It was short, it was fast, and whenever I am stewing mentally processing a race I tend to train like a champ. The workout was 4×400, 2×200, 4×400. Quite a bit shorter than the usual track work that we do. The first interval I came in at 85 seconds and I thought “Humm, maybe I should try to hang onto the big boys today”. You know, the boys that I usually finish half a track behind and then spend the recovery lap trying to catch back up to them, only to be dumped again on the next interval. Yea, those boys. So I stepped it up. 81 for the next, then an 80. Humm, still feeling spunky, so I dropped to a 79 for the last one in the first set. I ran the 200’s in 38, and 38, and tried to set myself up for the last four 400’s. I wanted to run hard, to run the stuffing out of myself.

I just went for it. At the point where the boys were gapping me in the first set, I tried to hold on just a little longer. They usually ended up gapping me on the last 100, but I held on as long as I could. The last set I came in at 79, 77, 77, 79. I wish I could have held that 77 on the last one, but I was thrilled with the set.

So, usually on a workout like this I would have shot for 82-85, hoping to finish off in the low 80’s. I think I am standing in my own way sometimes. I am allowing myself to become the person at the track that people want to catch. I need to make it tougher on them. It was also an eye opening day for me. When I spend Tuesday preparing to have a good workout (nutrition and sleep) and arrive at track ready to lay it down without expectations, I surprise myself. Yesterday was a large leap in the right direction.

2008 Boulder Peak Triathlon

I wanted to write up my race report while things were still fresh in my mind. What a day. I was lucky enough to stay up in Boulder last night with my Partner In Crime, Michelle. I love rooming and traveling with her, she’s my peeps! We had a great evening going out to eat with teammates and friends and then settled into a mellow evening, got our stuff together for the next day and hit the hay. 4:20am wake up and I was really ready to go. We were at transition well before 5 and were two of the first 100 to rack our bikes. Primo Spots.

I had like 2.5 hours until my wave went off, so I disappeared to be mellow. Then I saw some PC people warming up and jumped in with them. It was nice to have some company and good to catch up with folks that I haven’t talked to in awhile. We did a long long long warmup, probably a bit over 3 miles. I felt really good and I was excited to see what would unfold for the day. After a long wait in line for the potty I was able to find Troy and Annie who drove down that morning. They were doing quite well, although Troy had missed me. We had to catch up a little. I slipped into my friend Liz’s wetsuit and got into the water to warm up my arms and shake off a little bit of my nerves. I sold my wetsuit to a good friend (it was too big) but I haven’t bought a new one b/c I wanted to try a sleeveless. I LOVE the sleeveless. Something about having the arm movement really helps me out. Liz is prego, so she didn’t mind that I have been hogging her suit for like a month now. I have become really attached to it, it’s going to be hard to give it back.

I was in the last wave to go off. The race was also running late, so my wave ended up going at about 7:50. It was already like 96 degrees out when we started. Ouch. I was quite concerned about my elbow and racing. I knew I could swim the distance on it, but I was afraid of getting into a scuffle with another swimmer and hurting myself. I started WAY WAY right, like so right that I was outside of the start arch. They counted us down and I just got out steady and calmly. Lots of sighting into the sun, but I remained on course. I stayed right, watching the field of competitors when I breathed on my left side, keeping equal distance. I felt good. Every time the elbow gave me a zinger I would really focus on taking big scoops of water and getting my catch in the right place. Then I would get lazy and along would come another shot of pain…it was like shock therapy. Swim bad = zing, swim good = no zing. Around the buoys I went, keeping even tempo, minding my stroke. I exited the water ready to be done swimming, but in good shape. I looked down and saw a 27 number on my watch, but by the time I hit the timing mat it turned to 28, I still felt quite good about it. I always wonder just how far I am back in the age group coming off the swim, this time I went and counted all the ladies with faster times. 40 of them. I was out of the water 41st. Wow! That’s a lot of passing to get up to the front. No wonder why I am always feeling like I run out of real estate.

Transition was quick, although they added another bike rack to the “desirable” end of my row AFTER I had racked my bike. So my primo “first come, first rack” spot was now cramped and distorted. Such is life. Onto the bike and I was feeling good. I just passed, passed, passed ladies. I did get passed by one lady early on, but I let her go, thinking that she was a little overzealous and that I would get her on the back end. Never saw her again. Other than that I felt really strong throughout, strong on Old Stage, strong on the descent, and great on the rollers. I felt like I blew by every single person I passed.

Back to transition and whoosh, I was off. It felt fast, and I was happy to be running. I really tried to run hard…I really did. But it was tough, temps were in the 100’s and I was slow to get going. I would have phases where I would go really hard, then ones where I would loose my momentum and slow down. I looked forward to every aid station and took several cups of water and ice at each one. I tried to wave at teammates and did a pretty lousy job at it. Some times getting out some sort of jumble of noise. I hit the turn around, saw a few ladies in my age group ahead of me and worked on pulling them in, I was able to get every one within sight. I really gave it my all on the run, and even though I knew I wasn’t running my fastest, I knew that I was doing the best I could.

The Practical Coaching crew was cheering up a storm at the finish and I was so utterly happy to be done.

So, a few honesty remarks now. Beware. You are forewarned. When I finished I was ecstatic. I felt like I had a great race and that I had redeemed myself from last year. I had watched my watch the entire way and had hit the lap button several times at transitions and mile markers on the bike. From about the mid section of the race I was feeling pretty good about what my watch was telling me. When I hit the turn around on the run my watch said if I ran a 22 minute last 1/2 of the run I could break 2:30. I ran my heart out for that number and when I crossed the line and stopped my watch it said 2:30.52. I was still ecstatic. Thinking that I had taken about 10 minutes off my last years time. I was high! The next several hours I was my normal, jovial, “just had a great race”, Sonja. When the results came out my time was 2:36.14. The tears just started rolling and I just walked off, I quickly grabbed my stuff and just wanted out of there. I was upset. I was throwing a tantrum. I must have messed up my watch when I was hitting the laps and stuff and somehow stopped it for 6 minutes or so. I felt really defeated and seeing my splits was sad to see the same bike time from last year. I live on my bike now-a-days and to see what felt like no progress was a super duper ego blow. If you have raced with me before and have had a bad race you know I am the first person to tell you not to play the numbers game, that the numbers don’t “define” you. I couldn’t believe I was flipping out and it was amazing how hard it was to follow the advise that I give tons of YOU ALL when you have less than desirable results. I felt ashamed on several different levels. Ashamed of my performance, or lack thereof, ashamed of my attitude, ashamed that I was crying, just ashamed.

I didn’t want to talk to Steve about it, but he found me, and I got a talking to. He gave me a few little challenges, and although I am still processing my pissy attitude, I am coming around to learning some lessons from this experience. My PIC Michelle was right there for me, even though it meant that me dogging and complaining about my bike time was also complaining about hers being that we rode the same time. Again…in retrospect, quite ashamed of myself. I love you Michelle.

So, I wanted to be honest about my hissy fit today. This racing stuff isn’t all flowers and berries. Endurance athletes are hard on themselves, including me. Finding a way to get back to the warm fuzzy feelings I had about my race before seeing the results will be tough, but it’s something I’m going to strive to do. As always, any advise or similar experiences would help me a ton. Feel free to comment, or email me personally.

BTW: The watch I wore at the race has now been deemed bad luck on my wrist. If you would like a new watch (it’s only been worn once) then email me or hit “Contact Me” on the top of my site. It looks like this but it’s blue.

Results are here:
Swim: 28:05 (41st in F25-29)
T1: 1:04 (Fastest in F25-29)
Bike: 1:19:34 (19.6mph 7th fastest in F25-29)
T2: 0:45 (4th fastest in F25-29)
Run: 46:47 (7:33pace 7th fastest in F25-29)

Age-Group: F25-29: 6th (out of 101)
Overall Women: 50th (out of 527)

Midterm Exam

So it’s come down to it. Confidence, Strength, Mental Training. It’s about having a stellar performance, in the worst conditions, against the most formidable competition. Tomorrow is the test run. Nationals in the final exam, but Boulder Peak is the Midterm. You can expect to multiply your age group placing by 4 to get your nationals age group placing. You can do the math. It’s time to start haulin’ tail, regardless of heat, elbows, or hills.

This course will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. In the end everyone gets through it for the most part. This course can break you, but it’s important to not overthink it. I was re-reading my last years post on this race and I remember not wanting to ever do it again. The only two courses I am repeating this year are Boulder Peak and Nationals. What does that say? It’s worth doing again I suppose. I have some demons to get through, but I’m ready as ever (or at least I am telling myself that). Obviously I have more experience this year, and the newness of everything has worn off. I know myself as an athlete a bit more, and I can start stepping out farther on that limb…testing my capabilities. In the end, I know it will be a fun day, and that’s really what it’s all about. Having fun, enjoying the sun with friends. Practically everyone I know is racing this weekend, so it should be a total blast!

Good luck to those racing Colorado’s most well known triathlon this weekend, the infamous Boulder Peak.

HeHeHe Check this out:

Some Cheer

My friend Amy brought by some Minestrone Soup and yummy bread for lunch. Totally cheered me up!
Then my mom sent this YouTube video. Oh my gosh, I have watched it like 5 times. So funny! Thanks Friends!


Man have I had a rough week. The elbow is healing slowly and is still really tender. All attempts at swimming have been futile, needless to say I’m a little concerned. Then at the end of last week I came down with a UTI that wouldn’t go away despite all the homeopathic remedies that were suggested. After getting fed up with peeing blood I dragged myself into urgent care late this evening to get set up with antibiotics. Woke up this morning with swollen tonsils, luckily they tested at urgent care and it’s not strep. So, since it’s not strep, I’m pretending it’s not happening. That leaves the elbow, and letting the antibiotics kick in.

I have a recommendation on someone to go see about the elbow. He actually looked at it briefly at the gravel pond Saturday and said it looks a lot like “tennis elbow”. T-riffic (with a capital T).

So last week I asked you all to send healing thoughts. Well, I need you to think a little harder, I’m in dire need now.

It’s the middle of the season, one of my biggest races is in 6 days and I’m a mess. It’s disheartening, at best.

Troy is SICK AS A DOG as well. It’s like a flu thing, sore throat, body aches, etc. I finally went and got him some Theraflu and I opted for the PM variety to knock him out for awhile so he can rest.

Many thanks to my mom who was so sweet to have dinner delivered at our house this evening. She sure knows how to cheer a girl up. Thanks mom!

Annie is fine, happy as a jay bird, peeing and pooing on the potty like a rock star, so that’s been a relief!

I’m holding together, but it’s dicy. I want to take care of Troy like a good wife, but I hurt too. I’m frustrated, I’m mad, and I’m ready for whoever is kicking me while I’m down to lay the (insert favorite cuss word) off.

Not Bad for Scrounging

So I’ve been having a bit of fun with our food budget lately. I’ve started a quest to eat super healthy, but to also keep our food budget as low as possible. Yesterday was payday, but I didn’t get to the bank to refresh our food money envelope and I also didn’t get to the store so come mid morning I was scrounging for something to put together for lunch. I am super impressed with myself. Check it out.


So I pulled out a recipe for “The Easiest 100% Whole Wheat Bread Ever” from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book and got that going early this afternoon. This recipe is like a quick bread, so you mix up the dough and throw it in the baking pan, let it rise and pop it in the oven.

Humm, now for the meal. Well, I checked out the pantry and noticed I had a can of garbanzo beans and a can of black beans. I also had a can of some crushed tomatoes. I looked in the fridge and pulled out some random stuff. So I got ready and just went with it.

Scrounging soup: I Sautéed a diced onion and some garlic. When it was nice and sauteed, I added some wine and let it sizzle and cook down (we keep a box of cooking wine in the fridge, I bought it a year ago and it just sits there). I added some oregano and sage that I picked last week at Delaney Farm (our CSA). More sizzle. Then I threw in the two cans of beans plus a half can of kidney beans I had in the fridge. In goes the tomatoes and a box of chicken broth. I tasted it and it was boring so I added several spoonfuls of crushed sun dried tomatoes (packed in oil kind, sits in fridge), and salt and pepper. Yummier. Still lacking. Oooh, I found a bag of spinach that I got from the CSA last week and hadn’t used, in that went, along with some handfuls of frozen corn from the freezer. Ummm, just right.

In the end I couldn’t believe what I came up with at the end of the pay period. Troy walked in the door and the house smelled like fresh baked bread. There was a sizable pot of soup ready for a post work snack, with some nice whole grain bread.

Crafty Scrounging!

Core Concepts Shirts


I just checked out the 2008 Men’s line of Core Concepts Clothing. I am totally in love with the mens shirts (especially the design above). The designs crack me up. Do you have a cyclist /climber/skier dude in your family? I have a few! Don’t worry ladies, women’s T’s are on their way! The Continental Divide Short looks bomber as well, I think I’m going to look into a pair of these for Troy being that I am super satisfied with the clothing that I am product testing for Core Concepts.

Speaking of testing, I have been wearing my Cadence Hoodie nonstop when the temperature gets below 70 degrees. I am lovin’ it. I have probably washed it 50 times and it hasn’t degraded one bit. It seems to have gotten softer with time as well. I have hiked with it and cycled with it extensivly and I’m diggin’ it!

A Little Talk

To a few close friends who need a little advise mid season about expectations.


Your always going to feel under-prepared going into a race. Pre-race confidence comes from within not from training. Confidence is a tricky one. We as athletes tend to think that our training defines us. It doesn’t. Our head defines us. For those of you who have missed key workouts recently, don’t sweat it. The money is in the bank. Take this opportunity to throw caution to the wind.

Read Bree Wee’s entry this week.

Lost workouts are not worth the effort it takes to worry about them. Don’t worry about them, they are gone. Focus on the training that has been done, and smile.

Goals for your race don’t have to be as specific as you think. What about the goal of going out and giving it all you have to give that day. Remember when we get to the starting line without any mental hic-ups we can race in a way that will indicate where we truly are physically. Just get there ready to have a good day and don’t over think where you are at. Give yourself the chance to surprise yourself.

Every single person I know that is training right now has put in the work to have a stellar performance. Every single one. I don’t personally know a single athlete that is slacking on the physical front this season. I do know a few however that need to sharpen up their heads. Do your body a favor and work on a clean and clear head.

I have now officially given you permission to let go of any apprehensions, and to seize the opportunity to race with a clear head, and to become accepting of your current fitness.

Good Luck!