Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Maybe Moab?

So I just scored the sweetest of invites to mountain bike Moab the beginning of November. Not only is the company sure to be some of the best around, but the riding possibilities and memories are sure to be epic. This strikes me as a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I cannot believe it was offered to me! I'm giddy like a twitterpated school girl for goodness sakes!

I can't overlook, amidst all the excitement, the little bit of sheer terror this trip evokes. Let me just throw out the fact that I haven't mountain biked in something like 6yrs.... That Moab is like real mountain biking. There are big ass hills and such, not to mention I'm sure some pretty gnarly singletrack. This gal, who is more than a wee bit accident prone, cannot, I REPEAT CANNOT, afford to get hurt this year.

I suppose I can do little more than embrace my life motto and go big or go home! I mean, hello, I have like a month to learn how to mountain bike, right?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin 2008

So long time in the works were my thoughts on Ironman WI 08. It was another one of those moving and amazing weekends that in fact led to my lapse of common sense and registering for IM WI 09.

This year it was all Ironman all the time leading up to the big day.

The day my compadres from Inside Out Sports rolled into town, Wednesday I believe, I went down to say hi, bring some Wisconsin hospitality (cheese curds and beer from the Great Dane of course) and hang out. It was great to see everyone as I hadn't seen them since the Rhode Island 70.3. Oh, and I dropped of my custom single speed frame, the pinglespeed if you will, so that the top notch staff could install the headset and bb for me. From there I headed down to my captain's meeting to find out the last minute updates for this years Race. More beer and food was had at the Great Dane while I chatted with all of the rockin' volunteers people from NA Sports.

Thursday I braved the rain, wind and all around icky weather to work the CycleOps PowerTap tent at the event. The weather was pretty nasty, but the company was good as I got to hang out with Edde from Inside Out Sports and Tim and Jacques from Cervelo. It was crazy to see the athletes venture out in the yuck to pick up their packets and see the vendors. I sure wouldn't be out in that grossness before a big race. Thursday night was capped off with a volunteer meeting to get my lifeguards ready for the big day. Friday was more of the same but with better weather.

Saturday the excitement was definitely mounting. Bright and early I was off to another volunteer meeting, followed by tracking down wetsuits and stopping by the expo. And I got to pick up the pinglspeed from Lawrence. It was looking pretty sweet! (Thanks dude!!) From there it was home to collect my thoughts and gear for the big day on Sunday.

4am...alarm clock goes off and I'm up. I headed down to the swim start to make sure that we were ready for the ~2200 athletes. Volunteers in place, I headed down to the swim finish line to watch the start and prepared to pull the swimmers from the water. That's right, this year I got my dream job and got to help the athletes out of the water as the finished the swim. The swim start was overwhelming and amazing as always. I'd be lying if I said it I wasn't just a little choked up. Its just such an overwhelming to watch the day start of so many dreams come true. This is what these athletes have worked so hard for so long.

The swim came and went and my official responsibilities were done for the day. I defintely went home for a nap before heading back down to the Terrace to watch more of the race. In all of my years watching and volunteering at Ironman Wisconsin, I have yet to actually make it out onto the run course, and this year was no different.

I had a pretty good idea of when the first Pro's would be finishing and we were sure to back down there to watch that. It was really exciting to watch the oh so attractive Chris McDonald take first for the men.

8hrs 43mins 29secs


The first female to roll in was Hillary Biscay. This was her first Ironman win, not to mention the fact that both she and Chris had just done Ironman Kentucky the week before. Wild!

9hrs 47mins 25secs

These people are amazing. I guess its all in a days work for them...

After watching Chris and Hillary become Ironman Wisconsin Champions we headed down to State St to grab some dinner and watch the runners from there. Its amazing to see athletes from all walks of life, all shapes, sizes and ages come out and work towards the same goal. And the fans! These family members and friends have been there every step of the way. While it all culminates in one day, there is so much more to the story, and these people have been through it all.

As the 17hr time limit closed in on the race we found our way back to the finish line area, and eventually into the VIP area with the Inside Out Sports kids. And wouldn't you know, there were the same athletes that just schooled IM WI kicking back enjoy the food and festivities like they had just gone for a leisurely stroll by the lake. (I'll have to track down my pictures from that night and properly pay tribute to the cool cats from Inside Out.....)

So these are two of the brave and patient people who are near and dear to my heart and who tolerate my obsession with Ironman. (Leave it alone, its my thing.) Just as they were some of my fearless volunteers and spent hours watching the race with me that day, I know they (along with many others) will be with me on my journey to Ironman 09!

Lots of hugs and kisses go out to Bryn and Ryan!!

Reality Check

In the midst of a long hum-drum sort of week at work, no motivation to do anything, I decided it was time to stop making excuses and feeling sorry for myself and just plain start to make it happen.

I received an email from a my coach the other day, which has helped me start to crawl out of slump. He wrote that...

"For now, I would say just maintain some fitness and take advantage of hopefully some more decent weather to be outside. There is no magic formula and one year out you should just be focusing on basic fitness, flexibility and FUN to help prepare you for the real training later this year."

I sort of chewed on it for a while to digest and tried to put things in perspective. But he's right. The fact is that I have a long year ahead of me. One that frightens me and makes me question my sanity. One that excites me. One that I'm proud to say I've undertaken. There are many long months to come, so now is the time to get back to the basics.

Why am I doing this?

I love the sport and the challenge.
I'm chasing down a life long dream.
To be surrounded by all the beautiful tri bodies.
For a little bit healthier lifestyle.
To prove to others I can
To prove to myself that I can.

I am stronger than I though I was.

There's my short list. But these thoughts, among others, have become somewhat of a mantra. When I hit the wall on any given work out, I bring it back to the mental game. I'm trying to remember to train my body AND my mind. I've working on re-reading (for about the 10th time) The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training. I'm rallying the troops and refocusing. I can do this. I will do this.

So I put on my running shoes last night and I ran. I gave myself attainable goals and no excuses not to make them. And when I stopped making excuses, accepted the fact it wasn't going to be easy, and just went for it, I did it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back in the swing of things....sort of

So it's officially 4 weeks to the day that I crashed and burned at Pigman (also known as the "bear attack") and I still hurt.

The limp is gone, the bruises faded, but I'm still not feeling 100%. There's a strange lump of scar tissue on my hip and my ribs still twinge with every impact, but I consider that just a little extra character.

But what's worse than the nagging pain is the fact that I'm not training at the level I had been. My run is slower. I've yet to get over the mental hurdle and back on the bike for any serious miles. I want to run like I was running a month ago. I want to get on the bike and ride and log the serious miles.

I'll keep pushing, and I'll get there. But right now the biggest battle I'm facing is purely mental.

Monday, September 8, 2008



Saturday, September 6, 2008


Let me tell you about an amazing friend and coworker of mine, Bryn.

The madness all started earlier this summer. Spending oddles of time with me, and having met a pretty cool tri-atha-boyfriend Noah, she decided to take on a triathlon herself.

Now Bryn is a rockin' paddler, and can hold her own in just about any water sport. One might say she's part fish. Did I mention she's pretty fierce kickball player too? Yeah, well she is.

On a bike though, thats a different story. And while she's the first to take her over energized rottweiller Roxy on an epic walk, she's tell you in a heartbeat how mush she detests running. She's naturally a pretty fit lil' hottie, but this triathlon thing was going to be whole new undertaking.

For Christmas last year her mom hooked her up (with the help of another one of our coworkers) with a pretty sweet little road bike. So she has the gear. She even has the clipless pedals and sort of knows how to use them (despite a few times tipping over, but really who hasn't done that). But unfortunately for the bike it wasn't getting quite as much love and attention as a bike of its stature should.

That was all about to change.

We picked a race and I helped her devise a training plan. The Lake Geneva Super Sprint was the goal, and when we we got serious about training she had about a month and half to get ready for it. The distances at hand were a .2 mile swim/17 mile bike/1 mile run, all quite attainable but needless to say Bryn was nervous.

I would like to go on the record to say that from the start I stood by not only would she finish, but that she would do it in under 2hrs.

Fast forward to race weekend.

Unfortunately due to other obligations I wasn't going to be able to be there on race day. What kind of friend and coach was I? I talk her into this adventure, help her train, and then bail on her? What a lame-o, I know. But I knew that she was going to be in very good hands with Noah (assuming that the car was gassed up and the speed limit was obeyed). Bryn and I both knew she had done her homework and was ready, but she was nervous. It certainly didn't help anything that I had crashed like none other just a few weeks prior at Pigman and she had to be there to pick up the carnage. Trying to build her confidence I even made a little bet with her. I bet her one whole US dollar that not only would she finish but it would be in less than 2 hours. She took that bet, and off she nervously went. At this point all I could do was continue to send her all my happy speedy thoughts. Now all I could do was sit and wait like an expectant parent...

And then I got the call.

That chick rocked it! Not only did she finish....not only did she sneak in under 2 hrs...girl kick that triathlon's butt! 1hr 35mins 44sec.

Way to go Bryn!!!

Out of the run and headed to the bike. Look at that smile! I think its safe to say we have a new triathlete in the family!

For a girl who hates to run look at her go. Girl's got some wheels on her!

I am so proud to have been a part of Bryn's journey. She is capable of accomplishing anything she sets her mind to. And I hope she even had a little fun along the way. XOXO!!