Wednesday, July 24, 2013

just around the Bend....

Yeah... probably a more appropriate title for this blog than "Bend over"...

I've made my way to Bend, Oregon and quickly fallen in lust with this happy little town in the high desert. People here spend their time floating down the river, hiking the never-ending trails, lounging in really good coffee shops on nearly every corner, riding up and over mountains, swimming in the Cascade lakes.....yeah, I smell what you're cookin', Bend. I'm a little bit into this place. 

I've also renewed some faith and confidence that my fitness may also be just around the Bend. Actually, I think it's been there, just hiding beneath some health issues that seem to be getting better by the day and I'm feeling 100% ready to crack back into training. So, add that to the list of things that are putting a smile on my face these days... 

I mean, how could you wipe it off here? 
Flying in to Oregon


a gift... the Tree of Life necklace says "chop wood, carry water" a daily reminder of the job I'm here to do. Put in the work! 

cruising around town

Taking the Slice through the Cascade mountains

Watching my friend Jess in the Cascade Cycling Classic
Lots of fun coming up here... In addition to some training, I'm taking the Cannondale Women's 29er on an Xterra adventure and heading to some open water swim races in a new Zoot wetsuit... See you around the next Bend.... Until then, I'll be here...
.....chopping wood

Friday, July 19, 2013

Next stop: Oregon

I believe my ears-of-corn-consumed to workout-hours-logged ratio this week was easily 2:1 . No "training" was conducted but I did explore some easy trails on two wheels with dad and swim (float?) down the shoreline of Lake Michigan for a whopping 30 minutes.

I feel refreshed, relaxed, and ready for the next adventure.....

I just hopped on the air-o-plane and will (hopefully) end up in Bend, OR by late this afternoon for a month of training in a new (to me) place. I've had a bit too much going on in SoCal so I'm really looking forward to narrowing my focus..

And with that, the flight crew is evil-eyeing me to power this down (don't they know I am blogging?!?!) so ill catch you on the west coast

Adios Michigan...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Step away from the shovel!

I started this blog before I'd ever done a triathlon, when I just bought my first bicycle. I've always loved detailing my personal experiences with the good times, and also the bad. As I've grown up in this sport over the past few years, I now sometimes have a little voice in the back of my head that says, "you're a professional now... make sure to think about how something you write may look to your sponsors who want to see you on top of the podium...don't show too much weakness to the competition...blah blah blah.." But the fact is, I believe that some of the reason I have sponsors is because I'm not all about sugar coating the reality or spurting out the same, "Oh yay! Progress! Things are headed in the right direction! " I think my supporters appreciate that I can relate to someone just starting in the sport as much as I can relate to an elite athlete. I want my blog to be a true look at how I'm trying to go from good to great, and it's not always just a linear curve. I truly believe my sponsors and supporters like and even value that it's not always sunshine and roses, but it's  trial and error, triumphs and failures, and at the end of the day, it's gritty hard work and learning from your mistakes and moving on.
So, that's my long winded way of saying....I'm keeping it real. Without further ado- the last few weeks:

I may have hopped dove back into training a bit too quickly post Ironman Cairns. With my "schools out for summer" attitude, I sometimes put the cart before the horse and just go, go, go, thinking I'm making up for lost time. And historically, I've actually done really well with my big summer blocks (Ironman Wisconsin & Timberman 70.3 last year came at the end of my summer smash sessions). 

So, after school let one week post IM Cairns, I dug into a few big training weeks, with San Diego International Triathlon wedged in the middle. San Diego Int'l went pretty well and I walked home with a nice paycheck, 2nd in the pro field, and overall a quite positive day.
Happy Gilmore check! 
Rachel, Susanne, Me- top 3 at SDIT
Then I kept going and going and going.

Until this weekend at Muncie 70.3, when apparently my legs were not interested in going any more! All I can say is that I was very flat. (So was the course- which makes for some fast times if you are racing well) So, the day went significant sub average for me with a 10th place pro finish on that day. I had chats with two girls I respect post-race- April Gellatly and Kate Bevilaqua...both girls have been through the ebb and flow of triathlon racing and both gave me some words that encouraged me to not give up. The highs are high and the lows can be quite low. I guess if it was all glorious world travel and an influx of paychecks more people would do it ;).
Me & Miss Kate Bevilaqua who raced for a stunning 2nd place
Dad loves me even when I'm 10th....Thanks for all the support, Dad.
So, this week I am taking a true break, pressing the pause button, and enjoying some family time on the shores of Lake Michigan. I'm quite certain that once I rest and allow my body to absorb the last month of training, I will come back stronger. I just wasn't in a spot ready to race fresh last weekend. So for now, PAUSE. Which means I'm not going to toe the line at Racine 70.3 this weekend as planned. Sometimes you just need to look at the bigger picture, and I realize that if I raced again now, I'd just be repeating my mistakes. As someone (wiser than me) once said, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
my sister's elves built my bike for me!

fire pit at our Lake Michigan house

South Haven, MI

Recovery ride. South Haven, MI

This week, my shovel is nowhere in sight. But, I'm armed with a good book, sunscreen, several bikinis, and a heart that believes that...

Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters who keep me going through the ups and the downs...Looking forward to making my way back UP.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dialing it in: Ironman nutrition & gear

So I wrote this post the day before Ironman Cairns, hoping to post it that day, but then got a little sidetracked with some last minute scavenging for race thingies....Go figure, since this post is all about all the little things you need for that little race called Ironman.
Rainbow over T1 the day before the race

For those of you who've done an Ironman distance event, you know that half the battle is just making it to the start line a) healthy and b) with all the food and knick-knacks and equipment and other randomness that you need to swim-bike-run for anywhere from 8 to 17 hours....

This is a little post on all the stuff I'm using used for Ironman Cairns...You feel a bit like a hunter-gatherer in the days leading up making sure you have all the odds and ends you could possibly need to race with and to fuel yourself all day long.....

Things I'll use the whole day:
Custom Zoot race kit
Garmin 910XT

Bonk Breaker to munch on (PB Chocolate chip flavor)
Bottle of Gu Brew w/  MRM Hydration factor to sip on
Ipod shuffle for a couple pre-race pump it up faves during my warm up job
Warm up clothes (Zoot windbreaker and compression tights and Zoot Tempo running shoes)

Pre-race & some swim stuff...
Zoot Prophet wetsuit
Aquasphere small Kayenne goggles
Swim cap

Cannondale's womens custom Hi-Mod Slice with:
hot rig

Oakley women's white Radarlock sunglasses
Giro Selector Aero Helmet & Giro women's tri shoes
2 waterbottles with Gu Brew (200 calories)
8 Gu gels (peanut butter, Jet Blackberry, & Tangerine) (800calories)
2 Bonk Breakers (cut up in baggies) (500 calories)
2 packets Gu Chomps (Watermelon & Peach Tea) (360 calories)
salt tabs, motivators ;), maybe a Snickers bar.
some bike stuff
 Zoot Ultra Tempo 5.0s (my forever love shoe- cush & fast in one) 
Betty Designs wristband to wipe the sweat
Custom Zoot Sports Visor
Oakley Women's yellow Radars (to bring out the yellow flecks in my shoes ;)
5 Gu gels, 2 packets Gu Chomps (and then I'll drink coke on course)
Nytro race number belt
Run gear starring the The trusty Zoot Tempo 5.0s

MRM Reload mixed with water
....and then probably a Mojto and some Salt 'N Vinegar potato chips ;)   
[Edit: ended up with a beer and cheeseburger instead]

So clearly, lots of gear and "stuff" for just one day. Goes without saying that I couldn't do it without all the amazing sponsors and supporters who supply me with all of the best stuff to make it happen. I hope to do you all proud tomorrow! [Edit: I ended up 5th place at Ironman Cairns and ran my best race on that day. My race report is here]