Monday, December 28, 2009

...about Germany, Christmas, strange flight and the USA...

Two weeks go by so fast. I can't believe Christmas is now already over and I ma back in the US. Germany was very exciting, I got to see my family again!!! And the family grew. Here is the youngest in the family- Philipp:
He is such a cute little guy. The top is the nice Philipp, the lower one is the Come and play with me Philipp :-)
Crazy, I am now an Aunt and my mom and dad are now also grandparents. And my brother is a dad? Mhhh. Little Philipp is really fun!!!
I am excited to see if he can already crawl the next time I see him!!!
We got a nice layer of snow, we were excited to have a white Christmas, but then mother nature changed her mind and gave us rain on top of snow. So we had a rainy Christmas, but it didn't stop us from going for walks and doing what we wanted to do!!! Christmas was great. On the 25th, my brother, his wife and Philipp came and we had a big as$ turkey...and it barely fit into the European oven:
By the way: in Germany we celebrate Christmas on the 24th in the evening because that is when the Angel brought Jesus into the world, right? Why do Amricans have a Santa Claus? Did he visit Jesus the next day? I am trying to figure out what Santa Claus's role is:-) He comes in Germany on the 6th of December...The only theory I have is that it takes a while to travel to the US, so he didn't get there until the 25th...mhhh?
The 26th of December came way too fast and there I was standing in line to fly to the US. Unfortunately someone tried to blow up an airplane going to the US the day before, so the security lines where HUGE. We got "hand-searched". The security people also questioned me about the "powder" I had in my bike box-which turned out to be Croation seasoning that I brought for my neighbor :-)
I was nice enought to switch my seat with this guy, even though I didn't even say a word :-) Mhhh, you are welcome...even though...I think I got switched...whatever, seat is seat. The flight attendant was so happy that I switched, she handed me 4 bottles of wine :-) Hahaha. I thought: great, this is going to be a great flight to the US.
Then the guy and the lady got in a fight and he almost got arrested. They were calling each other names and he grabed her by the arm...action on that airplane...
Then, going through Security again in London I am being told, that I have to give up my backpack, because of the detroit incident we were only allowed on bag on the plane. Good bye wine.
Then this:

My flight is the Phoenix one. This picture was taken at 17:00 so guess what: the Miami flight for example had a 3.5 hr delay. They did extensive searches with sniffing dogs and having everyone being "hand-searched"again. Plus you had to dump out all your stuff and they searched for weapons and powder, even in books and under my watch!!! :-)
Then the newest rule: One hour before landing in a US city, noone is allowed to leave the seat to go anywhere, not even the bathroom. No blankets over your legs, no books, no music, nothing allowed on the floor, no pillows...Mhhh. I was wondering what people do who have to go...and then this man gets up. And the flight attendant warns better sit back down. He goes: but I have to poooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
Mhhh, nice rule until someone HAS to go. After one minute of back and forth talking they escorted him to the bathroom... CRAZY!!!
But we landed safely in Phoenix, and I got picked up by JR. The man was on TV the next day!!!
So much for now:-) More later...

Monday, December 14, 2009

The stationary swimmer

I prepared for my trip to Germany this time and bought a stationary swimmer. It is basically a stretch rope that gets connected to my feet and then you can swim in the deep water, in the kids pool, in a lake,...wherever you want but you never need more then about 5 ft in length of water. Cause you don't move. It is like an endless pool just cheaper :-)

I have to say. Best money I have ever spent!!! Today the pool was crowded so I went in the kiddie pool, got hit by a ball just once. It was great. I swam and swam and swam. On monday I swam also, but I swam 2k in the lane and then I used the stationary swimmer. While I was in the lane I was taking a breath to the left and realized there was a guy swimming next to me with a NEON YELLOW THONG...grossssssssssssssssssssss...I have clear goggles so I got the FULL view of butt and thong. Did I mention it was neon yellow? Like a highlighter!!!

Only in Europe...

Back to today:

What else did I do today?

I woke up at 3 am and was UP. No more sleep for me. Then later at 8:30 am my mom and I went shopping until around 6 pm :-) FUN. I love shopping with my mom!!!
We got lots of Christmas shopping done. And lots of people watching-hihihi.

Now it is time for be and I hope that today I will sleep a little bit longer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I made it. After a 9 hr flight from Phoenix to London, a 5 hr layover in London and a 2 hr flight from London to Stuttgart- I MADE IT!!!

I actually managed to sleep for 4 hrs without waking up on the long flight. And that haappened even though I was in the middle-squeezed in between two guys. They were funny. This one guy was flying for the first time and he was going to India. He chacked out everything-his neighbors light...his headset...his pillow...his blanket...he actually waited to start his dinner until we started ours :-) What a funny guy. The other guy was also flying to India.
If you fly to Europe and land in London you get super funny people on the airplane. Every culture you can think of on one plane!!! FUNNY!!!

My family picked me up from the airport and now we are all very happy!!! We tried out my brothers new car in the rain-then snow.

I love Christmas time!!!

Now I am off for a run in the snow (not like Flagstaff snow :-).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The puppy grows way too fast!!!

WHy do they grow so fast? Jack was about 10 lbs when we got him, he is now 20 lbs :-)
He just started loosing some teeth, he has lost 4 so far, but the new ones are already showing again. Here is a picture of him. I wish he could say the letter S :-)

He played all day yesterday with a big white German Shepard and another big dog. They got along so great, it was awesome. Jack learned from them. And then they all took a nap and Shea and Jack cuddled like mom and son. (Or is ack in love?)
Today he was tired. We got our puppy-walking-mileage up to 3 miles in the morning and 2 at night on some days, most days just 3. Today we made it about 1.5 and he slept the entire time at home. He is pooped. This pillow used to be ours but obviousely it is his now :-)

Here he is doing his favorite thing ever: Traffic control. He looks at cars and people and makes this tiny bark everytime a car drives by. It is the cutest thing ever!!! I think JR might have to build him a little platform next to the window.

I hope that he still knows me when I get back from Germany. And I hope he is still little.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grand Canyon Trip

Happy Thanksgiving.
We had a 4 day trip into the Grand Canyon planned. My friends Pam and Shannon invited us over to their house before the trip to have a "small" thanksgiving dinner and a packing-the-backpack session. The "small" dinner turned out to be: an entire turkey, roasted corn, cheesy potatoes, home made asparagus and spinach soup and the most delicious salad ever-spinach salad with roasted squash and goat cheese. Yummie.

Well I guess we didn't have to worry about starting the hike on an empty stomach :-) We pulled out all of our gear. JR and I realized how little we own for hiking. Here is what we have: one sleeping bag, boots, 2 army backpacks (which are actually really great for hiking), plastic forks-which were after the first dinner Tridents, and after the second dinner Bi-forks :-)...that is pretty much it. Thanks to Walmart which is even open on Thanksgiving (hihihi), we got us some cups as well :-)
Pam and Shannon provided us with everything else, which was such a big help. Also Pam was the one who made the idea of hiking in there real, she got the permit and everything. Thank you guys so much for taking us with!!!

While we were at their house Jack got to learn how the big boys rule, he decided to do the same and ended up getting treats. Here is circus director Pam and her wild animals:

Next morning. All packed up. I thought about just sitting in Pam's backpack :-)

Here we are at the Grand Canyon. Excited to start our 4 day trip down into this huge canyon. With the temperature changing from freezin to hot in no time I was happy to have my armwarmers. No stopping for me, I can take those warmers off while walking :-) And I can even leave my backpack on!!! We all looked happy - off we go to our first destination: Hermit Creek.

Not sure how, but JR managed to get ahead off us and even have time to climb up boulders and take off his boots before we got there...

Hello there cathedral stairs...Best invention ever: ARMY PANTS. You can slide down steep and rocky stairs without destroying them and your butt.

And we made it. It was nice to get out of the boots and taking the backpack off after about 6 hrs of hiking mostly downhill. We refueled with some FLUID, put up the tents and "made" some water. It was great to learn how to pump and filter water out of the smallest creek.

I was prepared to live off rice and beans for a while down there, but here is what we had instead:

...and broccoli and mashed potatoes. Mhhh!!! Next morning: we were happy people, just a little sore :-)
And off we go. Next stop: Granite Rapids. All the way down to the Colorado River.

Just down the hill and we are there. The views in the Canyopn are just amazing.

And we are there. After searching the entire beach for the best camp spot, we realized that we were the only people!!! THE ONLY PEOPLE!!! No rafting boats, no other hikers. Just us, the water, the rocks and some beavers that decided to come out at night and nibble on the bushes.

Oh, and one little mouse that decided to jump into Pam and Shannon's tent at night and scare the sh&^ out of Shannon as he realized that whatever is touching him is NOT his wife :-)

Instead of Steaks we had Burritos. Chicken Parmesan. We enjoyed them. We knew that we were out of fancy food now and that we had to live off dehydrated things for the next two days. It was well worth it packing steaks and burritos in a 30-40 lbs backpack and hiking into the grand canyon with it...right Shannon, Pam and JR :-)

Could there be a more beautiful campsite then this one? Let me tell you, sand makes a nice mattress.

The next morning was a little rainy at the bottom, but looking up to the rim, we realized that this rain is way better then the snow that the rim got.

We hiked up the creek to the monument campground where we stayed the last night. What a great place with lots of little caves, perfect for waiting for the rain to go away and playing cards.

This is the riverbed we hiked...

Next mroning: early start. We got up with the sunrise and started moving. Good bye colorado river, hello civilization.

View from the top of the cathedral steps.

Only 3 more hours!!! Yeah!!!

Lunch break on top of this crazy plateau.

Yummi, Knaeckebrot with honey!!!

One last set of steps (it only went like this for about 1 mile :-)

And we made it!!! Yippie. It felt great to finally take the backpack off, knowing that we don't have to put it on anymore.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recovery Sock

In 2010 I will be biking, running, recovering and travelling in great socks from The Recovery Sock -

The Recovery Socks come in great colors (bright green and pink, but also blue, black and skin color). Also you can get the matching arm warmers!!!

For running I will be using the Vitalsox, which feel so great-they are a great tightness, the seam is invisible = no blisters for me; and are a perfect cushion between my skin and the shoe!!!

For Traveling I will be wearing their Travelsox, so that I am ready to go no matter where my destination is.

So go ahead and check it out:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

El Tour de Tucson 2009

What a fun event. Well, I didn't stay for the event itself, but I was there for the expo, which is FUN!!! 3 days of representing and meeting tons of people. It was a fun time. I met so many new people through my friend Rachel who is a Tucson native. I have to say...Tucson might be the best place to train (at leats in the winter...not sure about the summer, where the temps get over 100...). There are so many fit people in Tucson, great trails to run on, and a pool on almost every corner!!!

We decided to drive back to Flagstaff on Friday night, which brought us to our homes at 2 am...sleepy.

But that was the only way we could make it to the weekly group ride on Saturday morning and just like always it was worth it.

My plans for the next month are made:
Hike the grand canyon for 4 days, get a lot of swimming in before leaving for Germany for 2 weeks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lazer Helmets

I am very excited to be representing LAZER Helmets in 2010. Check out their homepage for the good looking and safe helmets!!!

The helmet's shape is very aero and looks great. On top of that they come in really cool colors.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks to my sponsors for a great 2009 season!!!

The 2009 season was great and thanks to my sponsors I was able to race a lot and enjoy my first season as a professional. I learned a lot, had a ton of fun, no matter if it was in my first ITU experience, 70.3 races or the local Arizona races.
Hopefully next year will be just as much fun, with a lot of big races and a lot of fast times and of course a LOT of great results.

Thanks again!!! It would not be possible to spend the majority of my day training and recovering and to travel to races all over the US without my sponsors.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Busy busy busy

First of all:
This is Jack. Our new puppy. He is a springer spaniel and the best puppy in the worl :-) We have had him for about a week now and he is potty trained, can do 3 tricks, walks on the leash and doesn't chew on things other then his toys!!! And he is only nine weeks old!!!
He might be the smartest puppy in the world ;-)
We originally wanted to name him Steve-Steve is our friend who introduced us to springers!!! But Jack just did not loock like a Steve.

On the training front:
I have been so busy with working and then felt like I was getting sick the beginning of last week. So I cancelled the Longhorn 70.3 and the SOMA Halfironman as well.
This week I am working every day, probably including Saturday, so I am not sure if I will start at the AMICA Championships in Phoenix on Sunday, even though I would love to.
But what I can tell you is that I am already really excited about the 2010 season. It will includes lots of great racing and training. More info coming in the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fall is just great!!!

Mhhh, the smell of leaves when you are in the forest-GREAT. Even though in Flagstaff we have mostly Pine trees, there are some Aspens and those are changing and letting go of their leaves right now. It is beautiful. I have to take picture of Snowbowl and post them later.

Right now is the time of the year where I wish I would have a MTB, so I could ride in the forest :-) But that would add another bike to our "bike store/house". Maybe in 2010.

This week has been very exhausting with training and working a lot. I now know why it is either or. Either work full time and don't train full time or work part time (like me starting next week) and train full time!!!

But I love work. Again I learned so much and it was so interesting!!!

I have 2 more weeks until the Longhorn 70.3. Like I said, I was really exhausted by the time Friday rolled around, my feet were hurting and I wasn't so sure anymore if I should go to Austin. BUT then I:
1. watched Kona
2. got all fired up
3. had a great TT long ride/workout
4. had an awesome long and fast run

Now I feel confident again, and I am ready to book my ticket. I am super excited about going to Austin.

2 more races and the season is over. That is crazy, this season went by sooo fast!!! But I have to admit: I am already hungry for the 2010 season :-)

Not sure when exactly my season will start, but here in AZ you can end your season with a Triathlon in December and start back up with the PF Chang's Halfmarathon in January!!!

Off to take a nap, so that I can go out later today and enjoy the sunset on top of Snowbowl.

Friday, October 9, 2009

USA Cycling certified coach

I am now a USA Cycling Certified Coach!!! Whohooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Payson Halfmarathon

I started training at the Flagstaff Medical Center as a PT Tech last week. It was a full time work week, with a full time training week. I did all my training early in the morning and after work at night. Since the sun is starting to go down earlier, I had to jump on the bike right after work, instead of relaxing for a second. It was a stressfull week, but I loved every second of it. Work is really great and training is so much fun. But I have to admit, by the time Friday rolled around I was almost ready to back out of running a halfmarathon :-) But the training plans said: HALFMARATHON RACE. No backing out now. It really helps that I have my friend Pam, who is ALWAYS up for crazy things like getting up at 4:30 to run a half or getting up at 5am to do a long ride :-)

So at 4:30 am the alarm went off and I thought I would be tired, but going to bed at 9 pm and 4 shots of espresso really helped :-)

I picked up Pam and off we went to Payson, AZ. Pam had asked me about the course when we first came up with the idea of running it and I said: There are like 2 little hills, it is not that bad.

OOOPS. The race went up and down with the lowest elevation of 4000 ft and the highest being 5150 ft.

The first seven miles were all uphill with about.75 of a mile at 12 percent (we didn't think it was thaaaaaaaaat steep, but a guy who has ran it before told us). After that it is super steep downhills and some uphills again. We actually decided after the race that the downhills are harder and slower to run then the uphills. You had to focus on every step to prevent knee injuries (it sure would have been nice to ride down those hills on a bike :-)

I ended up winning the women's division by 4 minutes and getting 4th overall men and women. The great thing was that the number one man was actually in sight until mile 10!!! That was a great fealing. The winning men's time was only 3 minutes faster then my time. Whohooooo.

It was definitely the toughest halfmarathon I have ever done, but it is great practice for the rest of the season and I am glad that we did it.

Here is Pam finishing up her Half:

Me at awards:
Today feels like a real fall day: it is cold, rainy, leaves are falling. I love it. And the best part: It is a recovery day with just and easy swim :-) Yippie.

JR and I are going to get a Pumpkin for our door today!!! Exciting!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Nathan's Triathlon

...after returning from the Splash and Dash on Thursday night, I ended up driving back down to Phoenix on Friday afternoon for the Nathan's Triathlon :-)

The race was in Tempe/Phoenix, and the predicted temperature was 107!!! degrees.
I spend Saturday getting my bike checked out by the TRIBE Crew, and they did a great job - the shifters worked great.

I heard that about 4 professional females will race in the event, but when I went into transition on Saturday evening to put my bike on the rack, I was THE ONLY ONE on the rack. Confusion confusion confusion.

After a little "research" I found out that Katie Ellis (a local pro) is also competing in the race.

My friends Pam and Shannon and I had a hotel room about 2 blocks away from the start: PERFECT!!! No searching for parking!!!

We got up and got going.

My race started at 6:46 am and the mixed elite wave was fast!!! We swam right into the sun, I just followed feet, because I wasn't able to see any bouyes.

I raced without a watch, so I had no clue if I was fast or slow (as it turned out all the times were slow, because the course was about 400 m longer). I jumped on the bike and started passing a lot of the Sprint Distance Triathletes. I have to say it was a little chaotic out there with that many people (1600 is the cut off). Many people also didn't know that you shoudl stay on the right unless you pass athletes. Mhhh...
I thought my time was pretty slow, because the effort-level didn't feel too high, but I ended up having the fastest female bikesplit by 2 min. (13th fastes in the guys race).
I passed Katie Ellies with about 5 km to go and was hoping to keep it like that until the finish.

The run felt great!!! The first lap was just awesome and I felt really fast. But this is Phoenix and it is hot, so going into lap two I got a little thirsty. I kept dumping water on myself, and tried to drink as much as I could, but ou know how much you actually get into your mouth :-)

I finished in 1st place overall females, including pros and amateurs, and 8th or 9th in the guys (pro and amateurs). Too bad the race announcer didn't see me cross the line about a minute ahead of Katie. So he announced her as the winner, but it ended up being right on the results.

RED ROCK RACING did a great job putting on the race and taking care of our equipment, us and all the spectators.
I can only highly recommend the events they are putting on.

After the race we drove back to Flagstaff immediately, I kept falling asleep the entire time. Early wakeup calls do that.

I am planning on racing in a Halfmarathon next weekend. It will be great training for the upcoming Longhorn 70.3.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Splash and Dash

Pam and I made our way down to Phoenix (again) to get some good training in by competing in the Splash and Dash. It consits of a 1000 m swim and a 3km run. Phoenix was, as always, HOT, but it is getting cooler everyday and in the evening at 6:30 pm, when the race started, it was actually really nice. The water was warm though (84 degrees), and most people swam without a wetsuit. We started 2 min behind the guys, but after about 400 m we had caught up to some of them. The next 600 m were like a washing machine, with people all over, going left right, doing breast and backstroke :-) Luckily I got a good line and a good stroke going and I was out of the water first. The run was a 3k out and back and I finished it in 10 min, which makes me think it might have been a little short. But then again, with all the modern technology they should beable to measure the course down to the centimeter :-)

After the race it was back up the hill to Flagstaff, just so we can drive back down today for the next race.

It was a lot of fun, and great practice for this weekends Nathan's Triathlon. I am really excited to race as the course is completely flat swim (hahaha), bike, as well as run. Time to test out the speed. I hope the temperature will stay under 100 degrees.

JR will be competing in the Pines to the Mines, 80 mile, MTB race sponsored by PAY and TAKE. I bet it will be a lot of fun. Hopefully next year all the events will be on different weekends and then I can race a MTB race as well.

Off to do some packing for the weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some great training days...

Friday night JR and I drove to Phoenix for a Saturday morning swim race in Saguaro Lake. I haven't been in my wetsuit OR in a Lake/Open water for some time now...mhhh...actually I can't remember the last time :-) Well it was time!!!

Squeezing into the wetsuit when the outside temperature is 100 degrees is a great warm up.

Then it was off into the lake which felt really nice. The gun went off for the 2 k wetsuit swim and I decided to go the shortest distance instead of following this guy who went a little off course. Turns out that I should have drafted off him. I was all alone and it would have been great draft training. Oh well. I enjoyed every second of the swim. I finished second (behind the guy) overall and first in the women's division!!! Whohoo, I won my first swim race!!!

The race organizers (DCB ADVENTURES) did a great job putting on the event. WHat a great way to get a good effort in!!! Thanks a lot again for the great venue and the support. I can't wait to race the next one!!!

My friends Pam and Shannon had a blast too. With the boats making HUGE waves, it was great practice of sighting and breathing when you go up and down :-)

Here they are after the swim:

It was nice to have JR at the race helping us get ready for the swim and being there after the race. THANKS JR!!!

Good bye Saguaro Lake!!!

Yesterday I enjoyed a long ride on my Parkpre TT bike, all by myself, only listening to music, which by the way is a very interesting combination if you put it on "shuffle all songs".

This morning I ran with JR. It was my long run. I was a little scared to run with him. HE IS FAST!!! But I didn't show weakness and ended up having a great run.

Now I am off to the pool. For a LONG workout.
I am already looking forward to the appointment I have with my pillow at around 9:30 pm :-)