Spells Trouble.

What are three very green, very matching, very smiley triathletes?


Today was train like a PRO day, which I am renaming “Get dropped by a PRO day”.

Carole was on her brand spanking new Kestrel and well, we were lured into thinking we could keep up with her last week. We now can not keep up. Carole is wicked crazy fast on that new Kestrel and it has PIC and I two man teaming it, taking 2 minute pulls just to stay in the same ZIP CODE.

We are really lucky that we live in such a gorgeous area. Between sucking wind, and trying to keep my lungs inside my body, I could look around and smile at the views.

The wind was MAD today. At points it was angry headwind, and at points it was angry crosswind. I failed to recognize when it was lovely tailwind, but I’m sure it was somewhere in there. Because of the wind, we plugged into our ipods and got it done today. It’s not always pretty (okay, in Colorado, it is actually ALWAYS pretty) but we persevered.

I loved riding through the new grasses in the plains. Our trakkers kits are totally grass colored and we fit right in with spring.

Carole put the hurt on us today, but always with a smile and a “What can I do for ‘ya hun”? I’m really loving her attitude. We can all learn something from that. But let me tell you, it is totally a case of Mama Bear with her two tagalong Baby Bears. Kinda like this. Despite the wind, and maybe because of it, another good day signed, sealed and delivered.

Next time, Carole wants to go to the pool, oh dear, does she know what’s she’s in for?

I think Carole is praying to the triathlon gods in this picture that we will find some stamina to stick on her wheel better. We need new Kestrels!

Highlands Ranch Tri Series Winners

A big Thank You to everyone that entered the Highlands Ranch Tri Series contest. So many of you are excited about racing, and just getting into the sport. Awesome Awesome Awesome.

A big congratulations to:

– Becky and Amy who will be racing hard in the Tune Up Tri

– Amita and Brandon who will be throwing down in the Tri N July

– Gaye and Isela who will rock the house in the Splash Mash Dash.

I sent emails to all of you that you won, so if you did not get it, please contact me by leaving a comment here or by clicking “contact me” at the top of my blog.

A huge thanks to www.RunColo.com for providing the entries!

Pro for a day…the Boulder Way!

PIC Fordy Ford and I headed to Boulder today for our mid week long training day. We were pretty amped up because we were going to go riding with PRO triathlete and Team Trakkers Mama Bear Carole Sharpless. This is Carole’s comeback year after a really really bad bike crash 3 years ago. I would like to put it out there that I am on TEAM SHARPIE. She is one strong woman and I feel blessed that she is willing to share with me her experience and mentorship. I’ve never met anyone like her, I love her almost in a vienna/jake sort of way!

Here is Carole and PIC Fordy Ford getting ready to ride. Nice socks PIC!

I tell ya, it’s nice training with folks who are all sponsored by the same great companies. We can share goodies and everyones stomaches stay happy. Of course, Carole is on the Elite Trakkers team, so we use all of her nutrition. Moooch!!

We suited up in tons of layers. I totally overdressed today, but, it’s act like a pro day, so I didn’t want any rookie mistakes. We took a picture before heading out.

Carole dragged us all over the place. We tried to take pulls when we could, didn’t want to be wheel hogs. And surprisingly we all worked flawlessly together. The pace was kept controlled, but firm, no lollygagging, but no bonking or blowing up. Goldylocks would say….Just right!

PIC and Sharpie chatting it up.

We rode for hours, filling the lulls with lots of singing. Oh, how I do love to sing while I train, and sing we did. Sadly, the songs OFTEN turned to those about cheeseburgers. Yes, we (Carole) spent miles planning our celebratory meal.

After some climbing up to Jamestown we were ready for a descent and a ride back to Boulder.

We had a little run of sorts off the bike and it was straight up bike short, sports bra, knee high socks kinda action. The people on the bike path were giving me all sorts of looks as I huffed and puffed past them. But the best part of the day was my post workout reward (How do I love thee?).

We need to find Carole a MAN!

Done with a run and it was time for showers, some core and conditioning work and then grub grub grub. Okay, and maybe ONE fun drink. Salt replenishment, and Team Trakkers required cocktail.

This was a good one, and so very needed today. This day built a little confidence and I look forward to more and more time with my bike. PIC and I had so much fun with Carole and we know it’s a relationship that will continue to grow. To end my train like a pro day I got home to a huge box from Trakkers. You will see plenty of it’s contents in the future, cause I’ll be living in it.

Team Trakkers Age Group Throw Down

Seeing that the Team Trakkers Elite Crew have thrown it down with Team K-Swiss/Trek, us age groupers have been thinking about a challenge for the Knoxville Olympic Race.

So here we go!

Ladies and Gentleman, start your Engines!

This is the Official, you heard it here first, THROW DOWN.

HEY Terrier Tri Club, woof woof.

HEY Dynamo Multisport, you think you’re all that?

Here is the official challenge.

Team Trakkers, Terrier Tri Team, Dynamo Multisport.

Bring your top 3 dudes, and your top 3 chicas to the Rev3 Olympic distance race in Knoxville TN.

We’ll add up the times at the end of the race…

Team with the lowest combined time wins and takes home:

**** $500 gift certificate to Saucony ****

Split it amongst your team however you wish, although I’m pretty sure you won’t need to think about that.

Bring it!

Win Entry into the Highlands Ranch Triathlon Series

The Highlands Ranch Triathlon Series is a local race series here in the Denver area that has picked up some steam in recent years. All the swims are in local Highlands Ranch pools. The bike rides and runs can have a bit of challenge since HR is generally a hilly area. They are great triathlons for those looking for a “first tri” or might want a nice supported training race. They are very well orchestrated events.

I happen to have two entries to each of the three events for my most recent giveaway! Race entires! Whooo Wahhhh! These events came to me via RunColo and I am so excited to be able to give them away here. So, cruise the details and then read below how you can enter to win them.

Highlands Ranch Tune Up Triathlon: June 5th 2010. This sprint distance tri is a great first timers tri. The swim is in a pool and the bike is two loops so your family can cheer up a storm.

Highlands Ranch Tri N July: July 17, 2010. This tri has a pool swim and is a little longer than a sprint distance (14 mile bike, 4 mile run).

Highlands Ranch Splash Mash Dash: August 21st, 2010. This race has both sprint and olympic distances and the swim is a unique two pool swim where you swim in one pool, then you run up two flights of stairs and into pool #2.

As I said I have two entries to each event. One of those entries will go to someone who has raced less than 3 tris in their life (and I would love for it to be a beginner). The second is up for grabs, no restrictions what so ever. So, to get in the lottery you need to leave a comment here stating either

– For the <3 tri people How many tri’s have you done, which race entry are you wanting (you can choose all of them), and why do you want to get into triathlons.

– For those with >3 tris I want to know which tri’s you are interested in (you can choose all of them) and I want a compelling reason why you want the entry.

– Additionally, leaving a comment is required for entry, but if you would like an additional entry, tweet this blog post, including @gosonja. And if you would like one more entry, link this post into your own personal blog.

You have three days! On Friday morning I will pull names out of a hat, and notify the winners. If you have been thinking about entering a tri this year, now it’s the time to take the plunge!

Wednesday is Pro day in the Wieck House

Before I even get started into this post, I have to share with you the epic smack down that the Team Trakkers Elites are throwing down. They have challenged Team Kswiss/Trek to a showdown at Knoxville. Winner takes home $5,000. You have to listen to this smack talk from Lovato and Cunningham. Wowah!

Okay, with that start, let’s get this rolling.

Last year when it got close to Ironman time, my good friend Debbie helped me out in a HUGE way. Debbie is the mommy to Annies best friend Kat. These two get along like sisters and are so cute together. Last year Debbie (or Troy on occasion) watched Annie every Wednesday for the last couple months before IMC so that I could ride/run all day. Most of these were spent riding an 85-100 mile out and back section of road out east and then running 45 min to 18 miles off the bike. They were long days and what helped me through them was knowing that Annie was in amazing hands, playing up a storm.

This year Debbie has stepped in again, but it’s more complicated because she is actually picking up Annie from school and then delivering her back at our house at 5pm. This will allow me an entire day of training and access to our car. Today Troy actually stepped in, which was awesome, but it will be Debbie going forward. Thank you Debbie, I love you!

So, I’m now calling Wednesdays “Train like a pro day”. I get to wake up and start my day on the right foot with a good family breakfast, then it’s off to my “pretend” job. Today was the trial run…to work out the kinks. Troy was on Annie detail, so I got her off to school at 9am, then dropped the car back at the house, grabbed my huge bag stuffed with all sorts of training gear, and headed out the door on foot.

Since Troy would need the car to pick up Annie from school I was going the public transportation route. I walked the one mile to the light rail station and procured myself a round trip ticket. I headed over to the University of Denver and got busy with a weights workout. I love that gym because it’s full of college kids and they are always pretty cool. After weights I downed a Justins Almond Butter and honey sammy like it was no tomorrow.

Next workout! I changed into my swimsuit and met up with PIC Fordy Ford and EVAN on the pool deck! Evan is coached by CV too and we were so stoked to meet him and work out with him. So, we got knee deep into a tough swim workout. I loved having Evan in the lane with me, it was nice to have someone to chase after, and quite the chase he provided.

After the swim I bid farewell to PIC as she was off to run and I was off to a secret Chuckie workout. I would tell you about it, but, well, I can’t. So I’ll just say that it was brutal, but super good too.

Whew! Back to the locker room for a shower and to pack up. It was beautiful and sunny out as I walked back to the light rail station, eating a second Justins Almond Butter sandwich. On the walk back home from the station I was noticing something that was going to be an issue. The wind!

I walked in the door and Pook (Annie’s nickname is Pookette, or Pook) and Troy were having a blast. Troy was getting in some work and Annie was playing up a storm. Everyone had survived, Troy did a great job (I don’t know why I worry).

But, I wasn’t done! It’s ride time and that wind had me nervous. But the pros don’t get nervous about the wind, they just get it done. So into bike clothes and off I went for a 90 minute spin. There came a point in the ride pretty early on (10 min) where I had to decide whether I wanted to head into the wind, or just ride around where I would be in and out of the wind the whole time. I decided…”face your opponents head on” and I went straight into that angry weather.

It was so bad it was almost funny. But really, I think I prefer a headwind to a stiff cross wind or unpredictable swirling stuff. This was supposed to be an easy spin but there was just no way. I tried, but fighting that wind it was impossible to spin like I was out for a Sunday stroll. I was debating when to turn around. I knew I would be flying home and I didn’t want to spin around the neighborhood to make up time at the end so I decided on 11 miles. It took 57 minutes to get there, but 11 it was.

When I turned it was HILARIOUS! I was spinning alright. I was in the biggest gear my bike owns, I was going uphill, I was spinning, and I was going 27mph. It was almost a little scary to feel like you are being pushed home by a freight train. I definitely prefer the challenge of a head wind to the push of a strong tailwind. I made it home in 32 minutes, despite hitting almost every stoplight. Crazy!

Check out these details, they are super funny.

Lap 1: 57:01, 11.14 miles, average MPH: 11.7, average HR: 161
Lap 2: 32:12, 11.14 miles, average MPH: 20.6, average HR: 128

All of that and one very large helping of Polenta with peppers, tomatoes, pepitas, green onions, cumin, avo, cilantro, and a little cheddar and my first day working as a pretend pro is in the books. Ha! Too bad I’m just pretending. Tomorrow I go back to my real job, that I love, being head mommy to Pookette. Nevertheless I am looking forward to my wednesdays for the next few months where I don’t have to balance a million things during the day and I can put my nose down and train hard.

Thanks again to Troy, to Debbie and to my munchkin.

Colorado Short Course State Swim Meet

** Yes, my hair is growing out, yes I don’t really know what to do with it, yes I am taking any and all suggestions.

Two years ago I watched PIC swim her fanny off in the Colorado state swim meet. It both intrigued and scared the crap out of me.

Over the last 6 months I have been working really really hard on my swim. It started with a frustration over the fact that I swam 30 minutes at Worlds in Gold Coast. I licked my wounds for a little while and then decided to go for it, swim a lot, swim hard, seek first to understand, put in lots of hard work.

It worked. Well, I should say, it’s working. I don’t plan on letting up any time soon. When we were running the Moab 100 Anthony said something to me that made a lot of sense. I can’t get his words quite exactly, but essentially he said that we are athletes, and swimming is about efficiency and technique. With the right knowledge and dedication we should be good swimmers, because we are fit athletes. It rang a bell with me.

So, the state meet!!

The warm up went great. Michelle and I swam it together (it’s always easier together) and we were both feeling ready to go. She was in heat #4 and I was going to count for her. This created a little anxiety on my part, I didn’t want to mess up. But really, how hard can counting be? I have a degree in Math. I’m sure that’s just what my dad had in mind for me when he was paying my way through college “Well, she’ll be a really good lap counter”.

Watching PIC swim was well, amazing, inspiring, jaw dropping. By the end I was shaking the lap counter and screaming at her to GO GO GO. She rocks and your going to have to wait for her blog to find out how it went for her.

I was in heat #6 so I hit the practice pool again to warm up a second time after her heat. Before I knew it I was standing there waiting to get on the blocks. Suddenly a peaceful calm came over me. I knew without a doubt that I was going to jump in and that my goggles were going to stay on. I knew it, I was totally sure of it.

We get up there, I’m a little wobbly. I find my gravity and they do the set thingee. I put my head down, take a breath, I hear the go sound and I jump. I tuck my head, look for the top of my swimsuit and in I go.

I open my eyes and my goggles are on, and there isn’t a single drop of water in them. BOOOO YAAAAA!!! It’s so on.

It’s game time.

Time to rock and roll.

Ok, wait, calm down Sonja. Let’s not get overly excited. Three laps have gone by and I’m still jazzing about my goggles being on. I’ve got to settle in.

And so I did. I settled.

I was swimming next to this guy wearing a yellow and black polka dot speedo. He was just enough ahead of me that I scooted over to the side of the lane to catch any draft I could. Every time I flipped I got an eye full of what I came to call the “polka dot panty package”. Wowah. Another lap, there it is again.

I have got to get ahead of this guy. I was lucky in that he started to fall off pace and I got past him. The next lap I flipped and noticed that I was neck and neck with the lady two laps over. Like every single flip turn we were flipping at the same exact time. And it stayed that way for lap after lap after lap.

I knew Michelle who was counting laps for me was going to want me to get going. She’s wasn’t going to be happy if this girl got me at the end. I had to make a move and I was running out of time. I started pulling harder. That really hurt.

I asked myself…”What hurts”. I went through my body assessment. Dude, Sonja, your fine. Swim harder. And I did, and I pulled away. Then it was 6 laps to go. Hang on Sonja, hang on. Then 5 laps, 4 laps, 3, 2, last lap, all out. I saw the double yellow on the lap chart. PIC is shaking them like crazy. ALL OUT. To the wall.

And even being done hurt so bad. Everything was on fire, my head hurt, my body hurt. my pinkies hurt. I look up at the wall and next to my name it says 24:09. Big smile, and by the time I drag myself out of the pool PIC is there with a big hug. We both had great days in the pool.

In triathlon training and racing you don’t always get a race that reflects the hard work you have put into your training. Sometimes you train really hard and your races don’t quite reflect it. Today was not one of those days. I don’t need a lot of reinforcement to stay motivated. I love what I do, and I love doing it. But on those days that you go out and race and it feels like the result is a little reward for the hard work, well, those days are special. You have to remember those ones and let them drive you forward.

I can’t wait to get back in the pool. I can’t wait for the work that is to come. I can’t believe that in September I swam 30 minutes and I just swam 24. If you are reading this and you are frustrated with your swim, feel free to email me. I can’t tell you what you need to change but I can give you some motivation to seek answers.

Many thanks to PIC, Troy and Annie for being there for me today. It’s always a blessing to have the three of you around.

Just keep swimming!

The Most Evil Workout EVER!

I take back everything nice I ever said about Chuckie. He is DEMENTED! He comes from crazy land!

So, I like to run. You all know this. But, I don’t run because I want to burn calories, or stay fit, or because I have this compulsive need to. I just really like it. Some people like online poker? Some like knitting, I like to run.

I’ve always liked it…I ran a 10K when I was in Junior High. My friends used to ride their bikes with me in junior high while I would run around our neighborhood. Yea, I was that kid. I feel free when I run and independent. I can relax and let my mind wander. But I’m not compulsive. I can take time off and I understand the need to rest the body after, say, a 100 mile race.

So I haven’t run since Moab. Strict Chuckie orders, and I’m cool with it. I’ve been swimming and I get to ride my bike too, so it’s actually been good and hasn’t really bothered me much. Again, I want to set the stage here that I am not one of those “must run everyday” kind of people. It’s been 11 days now I think? “Thanks Tom, for letting me use yourEllipticals while you were away.”

So today is the first run back. I look on my schedule and it says I am allowed to jog ONE minute, then WALK one minute, then jog, then walk…etc etc for up to 1 hour. No problem. I strap on the HR monitor, the Garmin, my shoes and out the door I go. First off the schedule says to do this on the treadmill. NO WAY HOMEBOY. It’s delightful outside and I’m not missing this because it will probably snow tomorrow (it snowed yesterday). So I opt for outside.

I start walking…fine…then I run. Oh my. The glorious feeling of running, the instant comfort and ease. The shoulders drop, my feet pitter patter along. 60 seconds pass.

Crap, seriously. Walk walk walk. This stinks. 57, 58, 59 60

Run, ahh. This rocks. I’m so back, look at the birds, wow the sky is blue, 59, 60.

Crap, seriously. Walk. Ok, this is so not cool. Soooo, very not cool.

And thus I went, for one whole hour. The sun would shine, I would smile, life was great. And then I would see 59 on the watch and back to walking. Plod Plod Plod, Wahhhhh. What did I do to deserve this kind of sick torture?

It was like pulling back a rubber band and then instead of letting it go, just slowly unstretching it.

Have you ever seen the look that your kid gives you when they are at the pool and they are running to do something or other and you yell “WALK”. Yea, that look…well, that was how I felt every time I watched the clock flip over to a walking minute.

Total aggravation. One I even stomped my foot on the ground. Seriously. LET ME RUN.

And things weren’t bad for those 11 days I wasn’t allowed to run. But to let me out of the gate and allow me to run but then force me to walk. It was sheer torture and the hardest workout I have experienced under Chuckie thus far. I wanted to defy his instructions so badly. I was giving him the stinkeye, and he’s not even residing in this state right now. I briefly contemplated becoming one of these.

Okay, so maybe I was a little harsh in my opening statement. I don’t take back ALL the nice things I said about Chuckie, but I did learn today that it’s a good thing I have a coach that I trust and that I am confident he knows his stuff. Because if it was ANYONE else, I would have ran the entire hour.

Chuckie, seriously, you’re going to have to limit those kinds of workouts, or I swear I will end up in the nut house.

Goggles Update

10X off the blocks this AM at the end of Masters Practice.

30% = goggles came off
40% = goggles stayed on but filled with water
30% = goggles stayed on and didn’t get water in them

100% = annoyed coach Paul on deck

Some say annoyingly stubborn…I say persistent, diligent and relentless!

The final 3 dives were fantabulous and came after a tiny tiny tip from one of my lane mates to look at the chest of my swimsuit before I hit the water. It made all the difference.

There is such a thing as over thinking this. I think I’ve hit that, and come out the other side. Still taking bets…2 more days until I JUMP!

Petzl MYO RXP Headlamp

Hi Friends! I promised you a review of the headlamp that I used for the Moab 100 and here it is. I know a few of you have been looking into a headlamp for night running. If you have any questions feel free to contact me personally or post a question in the comments.

If your going to run all night, your going to need some serious light. While I have a few super lightweight headlamps for camping I was worried that none of them would provide enough light to run and see the obstacles that are in the way in the trail.

I wrote to Petzl and asked if they would like for me to review one of their headlamps during my race. They were super kind to send along a Petzl MYO RXP Headlamp which is built for night running, mountaineering or any other sport where size, performance, and burn time are important.

The first thing I noticed when I took the Petzl MYO RXP out of the packagiang was that it is shockingly lightweight. The battery pack for the Petzl MYO RXP is worn on the back of your head and with past headlamps I’ve worn, this has made for a heavy head. After a few hours, any sort of head squeezing will create a headache. I was really surprised when I put the MYO RXP on my head. I could barely feel it. During the Moab 100, 8 hours with this puppy on and no headache, still couldn’t feel it!

Running into the aid station for the Moab 100

Okay, so lightweight doesn’t matter much if you can’t really see the ground. It’s gotta be a heavy hitter when it comes to lighting the trail. I checked out the directions and you can program three light settings into it, based off of 10 light options. I thought that was a nice feature. But, for me, I knew I was going to put it on full blast and was willing to replace batteries as much as I needed.

Full Blast! 140 lumens! Wowzer. The one mistake I made was that I didn’t arm my pacers with the same headlamp. This puppy produced some serious light and my pacers headlamps couldn’t even hold a candle or a flare to this bad boy. Next time, everybody gets a Petzl MYO RXP! Running along during the Maob 100, the MYO RXP lit the the trail very well and when I ran behind my pacers it created such a shadow that it made it tough for them to see where they were going. The light beam could also be put in straight and narrow mode (like you are looking for a geocashe in the middle of the night), or in wide beam mode (that’s where I kept it) with the flip of a cute little plastic piece on the front of the headlamp. It was easy to flip and you could do that while running if needed.

Sitting down after the Moab 100, didn’t take off my headlamp, because I forgot that it was on.

I changed batteries (uses alkaline or lithium, and you can get a rechargeable compatible one as well) half way through the night, and I only changed them once (I used alkaline). On the brightest setting I was expecting to go through a set every lap but the lamp hung strong. It also gradually got dimmer and i only changed the batteries when I was ready for a freshening up. The light didn’t go dark on me or anything (and there is a little light on it that indicated battery status that warns when the batteries are 70% and 90% discharged).

Although I handed the headlamp to my crew to change the batteries I didn’t feel the need to educate them in how to do it. Many other headlamps require cuss words and a degree in rocket science to get them open. I think Annie (4 years old) would have no problem changing the batteries in the MYO RXP. It has a malleable plastic cover over the battery area. It’s very easy to slip off and change out the batteries. A major plus for me.

All in all, the Petzl MYO RXP gets a two thumbs up from me. It did it’s job and served me very well. Next time I have night time pacers I will make sure they are wearing one as well. This headlamp completely eliminated the need for a hand flashlight, I just wish it would come with a feature that would have made me lift my feet up a little more over the obstacles that I could clearly see. Ha!