Fresh Start in 2009!

Posted on Jan 29, 2009 in Ramblings, Training Updates

It’s hard to believe that we’re already a month into 2009. My new years resolution, to publish more frequent blogs, was broken swiftly and soundly in the first few weeks of this month. However, I am going to be optimistic and aim to improve from this sad start to the year. Nowhere to go but up. For my first post, I’d like to draw inspiration from new beginnings. The first and most notable new beginning is of course our new president, Barack Obama. For the first time in my own memory, it seemed that the whole country came to a stand still to watch the Inaugaration last Tuesday, and it was inspiring. My favorite parts of President Obama’s speech were when he addressed the duties we all have: “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.” as well as when he spoke of the hope and bravery of General Washington and his men facing the British. In another notable quip, President Obama told those in the Beltway area to toughen up; he was referring to their relative lack of skill in coping with cold weather . I hope that I can toughen up this year and also take the initiative to find a task and purpose greater than myself. Another more personal new beginning is my change of training program. For the past few years, I have had the great opportunity to train with and follow Siri Lindley and her team of athletes around the world to training camps. While this was an amazing experience, it was time for more stability and a change. In the vein of nothing ventured nothing gained, it was time to try some new things. Last fall, I started working with Neal Henderson at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. It has turned out to be a great partnership, and I am enjoying the journey and excited to be learning new things. Most importantly, I am eager to see the results from all our hard work in my races this year. As an extension of the last new beginning, this year for the first time since 2006 I am spending the entire winter based in Boulder. Thus far, we have been lucky with the weather, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that our good fortune continues. Other new things this year are my new sponsors which I hope to have finalized soon. And my new training partner who is top secret and definitely going to take me to the next level this...

Read More »

Blasted Wind!!!

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 in Rants, Training Updates

Sometimes I really really hate the wind…especially when I am on my bike and not feeling great. Today was one of those days in Boulder, the wind was blowing at 30mph and gusting up to 40mph. There is something so futile and frustrating about riding into a wind and especially getting upset with the wind (wind rage as I call it). The first hour and a half of the ride, I really was angry at life at the wind at everything. But once I got into the efforts in my ride, I forgot about the wind and focused on going hard. It is amazing how once you stop obsessing about something you can’t control like the wind; it seems to suddenly be a non-issue. I am sure there will be wind rage in the future but maybe next time it won’t take me a whole 90 minutes to get over my blow-hard anger and just focus on the...

Read More »

Change In Plans

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 in Training Updates

I was planning to end the season with another three-peat: racing the world cup in Mexico followed by the Bermuda triathlon, and finishing with the 70.3 world championships in Clearwater. But around the time I got back from Dallas, I started to feel a bit off. At first, I thought it was just all the travel and racing. But last week, I went downhill fast and headed to the doctor for the strep test and to see if I had a sinus infection. After starting antibiotics, I turned around pretty quickly and felt okay by the middle of this week. However, after a tough decision, I decided to cancel my plans to go to Mexico on Thursday. It was a hard choice, but I just felt that racing when I wasn’t 100% didn’t make sense. I also didn’t want to jeopardize my last two races by racing when I was still sick. In addition, I realized that a big reason for going to the world cup was not to miss out on one of the few easy points world cups (there are only 21 girls on the start list and top 20 get points). After thinking about this rational, it seemed silly as the only finish that would really help me would be a podium finish, and I know that I am just not at that level yet. So I am home recovering and will ready to roll for the next two weekends. I am excited to finish the season with a bang or a very loud belly...

Read More »

Me, Myself, and Coach Amos

Posted on Sep 15, 2008 in Training Updates

It has been lonely in Colorado this week. No training mates, no head coach, no assistant coach, and no Jeff as he flew home for a long weekend with his family…so it was just me and my volunteer assistant coach Amos. Looking at my schedule, Thursday to Sunday were jam-packed with some workouts that weren’t going to be fun. Luckily, I had Amos to motivate me each day. Friday was going to be a tough day; the weather was bad: cold and rainy, and the schedule called for a track workout and hard swim in the outdoor pool. So Amos gave me long look in the morning and said he would disrupt his busy day to accompany me on my workouts to make sure I gave it 100%. At the track, Amos watched from the dry warmth of the car and kept me on task for the entire session. Later at the pool, Amos came on the deck and bravely fought off his drowsiness to keep me motivated. It was a good day, and I have to thank coach Amos for all his inspiration and for working hard to stay awake on the job. There may be coaching regime changes in the future as Amos is now eyeing the absentee assistant coach’s job. He is thinking of all the treats he can buy with the extra...

Read More »

Triple the Fun in July

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 in Race Reports, Training Updates

July was a big month of racing for me….I started off with my first 70.3 race in Lake Stevens over the 4th of July weekend then headed to Minneapolis for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon on my birthday, the 12th, and finished off the series with the New York City Triathlon the next weekend. Doing three races in a row is physically challenging, but I think the hardest part is getting mentally keyed up to race three weekends in a row. I find that the first and second races are much easier than the third unless something happens to botch one of the first two. The series started with a bang when I won my first 70.3 race. I led from the start of the swim through the bike and run, finishing with a five minute lead over the 2nd place athlete. It was tough in a different way than my usual olympic distance races; the bike and swim were a bit lonely at times. I am so used to racing world cups where you are surrounded by other athletes for most of the swim and bike. In addition, the bike was a challenge because I wasn’t quite sure how to pace myself and didn’t want to destroy myself for the run. The run went well except for some cuts on my feet that really started hurting the last 8 miles. Jeff told me not to run in my trainers without socks, but I didn’t listen. As I ran those last 8 miles, I couldn’t help but smile thinking that he was so right…running in trainers without socks is not a good idea at all. I am glad that I decided to do the Lake Steven half; Jeff and I had a great weekend and were able to catch up with our friends Dan and Kim living in the Seattle area. Dan did the race too; both he and Jeff did a great job and it was fun to see them finish. The next race in the series was the Lifetime race; it was my first trip to this race and I was very excited especially since the race fell on my birthday. I was a bit trashed from the 70.3 and only had 6 days to recover. By Friday before the race, my body seemed to be doing better, but the cuts on my feet were still hurting badly. To run with them, I had to do apply layers of Vaseline and bag them up all week long…but this wasn’t an option for the race. I decided to tape over the cuts and hope for the best. On Saturday morning, I felt good and started off with a good swim exiting the water with the leaders minus Sara McLarty who was somewhere ahead of everyone. On the bike, I managed to stay with the group and had a great...

Read More »

New Favorite Things

Posted on Jul 2, 2008 in Ramblings, Training Updates

I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few of my new favorite things. I couldn’t make it through the day without these items; well, I guess I could probably make it through the day but it would definitely be less enjoyable. Podcasts! I was first introduced to the magic of the podcast by my homestay in LA. Jay told me about these crazy Kiwi triathletes with some show and that they were talking about doing this things called epic camp, which involved a crazy amount of ironman training over a week. I listened to Jay and then started downloading the podcast, Ironmantalk. It was very interesting and I had almost 100 episodes to listen to since I missed their first two years of shows. Here are a few of my other favorites: This American Life (an NPR podcast that is excellent – there are a a variety of great NPR podcasts but this one is my favorite), The Final Sprint (running podcast with all sorts of interesting interviews), The Competitors (interviews with a wide variety of athletes), TrainingBible Coaching Podcast (interesting training tips for endurance athletes). I definitely recommend these podcasts, but there are so many great ones out there I am sure that you can find some favorites that fit your interests. Probars! I have tried a wide variety of nutrition bars from powerbars back in the early days when they were only in chocolate and came covered in that strange white powder to all the newfangled uber-protein bars. I tried probars about a year ago when Jeff was using them for his Ironman since they are calorie dense without being hard to digest. I liked them but wasn’t in love until last month when I tried some of the new sweet & savory flavors. The new flavors are amazing; I have tried the Cherry Pretzel, Maple Pecan, Kettle Corn, and Cocoa Pistachio….all great. Jeff is partial to the more understated flavors (aka he’s not as adventurous as me); his favorites are Whole Berry Blast, Nutty Banana Boom, Apple Cinnamon Crunch, and Original Blend. My other favorite thing during workouts now is the Cliff Shot Bloks or the Powerbar version; both are easy to digest and are definitely on the menu for my 70.3 debut. (I think the bento box will be stuffed with the bloks and probars…we’ll see what is appetizing when I am out there.) InSport! I love their running apparel. I have a several pairs of shorts, shirts, sport bras, a jacket, and running tights. The shorts and tops have become my lucky hard running workout outfits. I know it sounds strange but for those hard workouts it definitely helps to at least start them feeling comfortable and looking good. Then, when things start to go down the tubes and you’re falling off the back of the treadmill or collapsing onto the infield...

Read More »