Thursday, June 25, 2009

Don't throw the fish at the camel :-)

My friend Pam and I ride and run together every once in a while. I don't drink a lot of water during my workouts and sometimes it happens that I run 10 to 12 miles without any water. Or I ride for 3 hours and only one bottle is empty. So she looked at me the other day and went: I think you must be partially camel!!! :-)

Then last week, after Boise, we decided to go swim in Lake Mary again. We swim, it was a nice day and just for once I was not super freaked out about fish. So I swim, look forward and see: A FISH!!! He was dead, but I swam around Pam, hiding behind her and yelled: FISH!!! AHHHH!!! She is a fish biologist, so she grabbed it to check out if it is freshly dead or if some disease killed it. I was in shock :-) How funny...about a fish :-) She wanted to show me that the fish was cute and held it in my direction. For some freak out reason all I could say was: Don't throw it at me!!!

We laughed about this for some time after the swim: why would she throw it at me? What the heck was I thinking? And I decided: I HAVE to get rid of this fish fear :-) Yeah, right!!!

I was planning on racing the Tour de Nez Stage Race in Reno the week after Boise, but I had an appointment to get fingerprinted on Wednesday and the race started on Thursday. No way I could drive the 13 hr drive and do good. And the fingerprinting took until the afternoon. I am glad that is over with now. There were no cellphones allowed in the building, JR dropped me off and was already I had to hide my cellphone downtown Phoenix, in a really bad area, behind a garbage can :-) I am glad it was still there when I got back.

After I was done I called JR to pick me up and waited on a curb. This car pulled up and a girl in a short dress, showing a lot of skin and a guy with gold around his neck, asked me if I needed a ride!?!?!?!? WTF??? NO!!! I don't need a ride!!! Especially not from, what I am 100 percent sure, was a pimp and a hooker :-) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I have been taking some time off of running since Boise because my foot has been bothering me. Grrr...injuries...but it is OK. That is part of being an athlete. I will focus on swimming (yippie!!! trying to swim about 7 times a week) and do a lot of long rides. It has only been a week, but I miss running!!!

It is just so easy, you just grab your running shoes and need to pump up tires, check stuff out, go at least an hour or it doesn't make sense to go out :-) Or drive or bike to the pool, jump in the cold water, take a shower. Running is just easy!!! I like it!!!

So hopefully only about one more week and I am back to doing all 3. Until then I will play camel and play with the fishies.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Boise 70.3

My first top 10 finish at a 70.3 in the Pro field. I am really happy with the result as it was only my 2nd 70.3 as a Pro and my 3rd ever. I wish the race would have ended at mile 10 of the run...there I was still in 6th place. But here is the full story:

I left on Thursday to fly to Boise. The day started great as the woman at the Flagstaff airport only charged me 15 Dollars for my bike box!!! I got to meet my homestay in Boise after getting picked up from the airport. What a nice family!!! They spoiled me the entire weekend. Quick bike and run and the day was over. On Friday I got picked up by my homestay's friends who also had an athlete-Mario from Argentinia who turned out to be my travel buddy for the weekend. We got our package, went to the pre race meeting. 17 women were on the start list, including Samantha McGlone, Linsey Corbin, Magali Tisseyre,...lots of famous triathletes. Mario and I got invited for lunch and then went swimming. In the evening we had a pasta dinner, where I got to meet a girl from Australia, who was racing with me on Saturday. Since there was no start list we did not know who else would come, we just knew the "famous" athletes from having seen their pictures in magazines :-) I have to admit: I like it way better if I know who I am competing with!!!

Saturday morning, race morning. I got up at around 8 am-NICE!!! With a 2 pm start you are way more relaxed because the changes that you sleep through your alarm are very low. The tough thing is nutrition...mhhh...I went for a 10 min jog and did some strides, then had breakfast. On our way to T2, downtown Boise I had some plain pasta at around 11 am. When we got to Lucky Peak Reservoir the weather was still nice but more windy than the days before.
Into the wetsuit and off we go.

The swim:
I had been working on my swim a lot lately, it will still take maybe 1 year to get where I want to be, but I definately saw and felt improvement. There were 2 girls who actually caught up to the guys who started 2 min ahead of us. I stayed with a group, tried to draft as much as I could and it felt good. I excited the water in just under 30 min, and then ran the looooong transition up a hill and to my bike. The lead swimmers were at around 27 min, so the course might have been a little long. Comparing the lead swimmers time to my time showed me that my swim is improving.

In T1 we had to put our wetsuit in a bag- try to do that FAST during a race where you are shaky and nervous:-) But it all worked out.

The bike:
Once I was on the bike I looked back at the lake which now had white caps!!! The wind had picked up and a few seconds later: RAIN!!! And it did not stop to rain ALL DAY!!! The bike was windy, rainy, wet and some times it felt like hail. But: it was fun from the beginning to the end. The course was hilly and tough once we had to turn into the wind. But everyone has the same conditions and we were all suffering. I biked a 2:27, which was great. I had change my handlebars about 2 weeks before the race which was great on the bike but turned out to be not so great on the run...

T2 was right downtown and despite the sh&%?y weather, the Boise crowd was out there cheering. I felt like I was racing in the Tour de France!!! My host family was also all over the place, going from one spot to the next to do the most cheering possible.

The run:
FELT GREAT- just under 41 minutes for the first 6.2 miles!!! But then at mile 10 my lower back and my glutes cramped up like crazy. I was in 6th place up to mile 10!!! The last 3 miles were soooo painful, not with my breathing, just my right glute. My explanation for this is the switching out of the handlebars. I think it just changed my position slightly, which might have taken more out of my glutes. Well, and then with the cold weather my back and glutes just cramped up. I got passed by 2 athletes and was not even able to respond, because I had trouble lifting my right leg every stride...
I finished in 8th place with a time of 4:38, and I am very satisfied with the result. A race can always go better:-) So I just see all the improvements I have made over the last few months, and all the positives I experienced in the race.

Before awards I checked on the Clearwater spots. 1, 2 and 3 already had one. 5 and 6 didn't want one. Brooke, who was 4th wanted hers. So there was one more. I got all excited because my chances of getting one were 50/50!!! I found the 7th girl and asked her if she would take it. She said NO. I was so excited. Oh my gosh, I will get a Pro Clearwater spot. She said that she didn't wanna do it because of all the drafting in the race. I was thinking about that too and also that swimming is my weakness, but I still wanna do the World Championships.

So I went to the car and got my credit card. The roll down is at awards, which by the way were so cool. Top 8 get to go on stage and get a trophy!!! My first 70.3 trophy, plus a paycheck!!! And I got to stand up there with all the stars!!!
Then the roll, no, no, yes(one was gone), no, no, ....then they asked number 7...AND SHE SAID YES!!! There goes the ticket. I was a little sad just because I had already played with the thought of saying yes :-(

Sunday morning I had to get up at 5:30 to get to the airport. Here goes the bike box again, but to my big surprise: US airways didn't charge anyone for the bike box at the airport!!! ) DOLLARS!!! Sweet. I was back in Flag by 10 am :-)

It was a great trip and a great experience. I hope that the 2010 Boise 70.3 will have nice weather as they had bad luck for 2 years in a row.

I recovered on Sunday and was back in the pool on Monday. Today is a run and a small bike ride.

My next stop will be the Boulder Peak Triathlon in June!!!

Thanks to my host family for taking me in!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

1st Place at Tribal Triathlon

What a GREAT race. Off course it is always fun when you do good :-) This was my 3rd year in a row competing in the event and the 3rd time winning. But the most important part is that my time improved every year. This year I finished in 1:12 hrs. Last year in 1:18 hrs. Also important is: hahaha...beating the most men possible :-) In 2009 I finished 10th overall, this year I finished 4th overall men and women!!!

Here are some pics from last week:

My new AVIA bolt shoes are GREAT!!! Supersoft and a great fit. Post workout in the shoes I enjoyed my recovery drink and a nice stretch on the porch.

Our swim in Lake Mary. The picture doesn't show how big the waves really were ;-)

Checking my fast ride before the race in transition. The course is so hilly that I had a hard time deciding if I should take my Parkpre Mr. Cherry (aka the Roadbike) or the TT bike.

Lake Pleasant the morning of the race. Less waves then in a pool!!! We were really lucky as the temperature stayed low (for Phoenix) and there was overcast most of the day.

The start of the race. The water was a nice 74 degrees andd really clear (unlike Lake Mary). I surprised myself with my swim with the 2nd fastest time (men and women). The time included the swim and the transition which might have put me in that spot because I had a quick transition. My wetsuit came off surprisingly fast. From last year my swim + transition I improved by about 4 min!!! Yippie!!! Hopefully all the hard work is paying off now:-)
The bike was pretty uneventful. Up and down and up and down for 23 km. Not an easy course but so much fun. T2 is at the beginning of a trailhead, which means you hand the volunteers your bike and they bring it back ina truck to where you started. The run is a challenging 5k. You really just have to "turn your brain off". No thinking about all the loose gravel and the rocks and the cactus which is right next to you. The course is 1 km of downhill where you can just fly (after the switch off of the brain:-). Then 1km steep uphill. Then it winds back to the start of the race. The last 1 km is on pavement and also a downhill which feels really nice. But overall the 5 km feel like 2 km, because you are not thinking about the distance, you are so busy looking at where your foot goes that you forget that you are running :-)

Here is Pam before her 2000 m open water swim. We decided that next year we would do the Triathlon and then the 2 or 4 km OW swim afterwards.

Here is Kevin from Tribe multisport handing me my award!!! Thank you so much for the great organization and all the Prizes for awards and the raffle (even though I never have the winning numbers for the raffle :-(
After the race Pam and I went on another 35 km bikeride and the I tooke her on the trail to run the race course with me again :-) Fun day!!! When we were done we were a little dehydrated and hot so we decided to jump into Lake Pleasant again!!!
She drove back to Flag, I got picked up by JR for a trip to Globe. We spent the night camping downtown Globe and JR raced the 89 mile long State Championship Roadrace on Sunday morning.

JR and 2 other guys climbing the final climb, which seemed like 100 miles of climbing...see the Lake in the back of the picture...that is where the started the climb!!!
After driving back to Flag we were tired from the lack of sleep and all the sun. But after a good 10 hour sleep, we are ready for another day of training!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tribal Triathlon

The Tribal Triathlon is my last preparation race for the Boise 70.3. It is a really cool Sprint Triathlon (with a long swim...just for me:-). This is the 3rd year in a row where I am competing in the race and it is always so much fun to go back to Lake Pleasant!!!

The swim is 1000 m, the bike is a hilly 23 km and the run is a challenging 5 k on a beautiful trail.
They also have a 2000 m and a 4000 m open swim which is great for practicing OW swimming. The race organicers (dcbadventures) are really nice and this year they provided me with an entry!!! THANKS A LOT DCB ADVENTURES!!!

My friends Pam, Katie, Gabriella, Rachel and I tried out Lake Mary for the first time this season...the water was so nice, kind of choppy as we have 35 mph wind gusts. The temperature was chilly but I prefer colder water over warmer water any time. The OW season has officially started in Flagstaff:-)

Pam and I will drive to Phoenix in a few hours and get ready for the race tomorrow. She is entered in the 2000 m OW swim as a prep for Kansas 70.3. The Phoenix weather forecast predicts a cooler day on Saturday - with ONLY 94 degrees :-) Hooray to that!!!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Those Australians seem to know what they are talking about:-)

Flagstaff always has some kind of National Team in town. This time: Australian swim team. They are super nice and probably the funniest team I have seen (and we have had a lot of them in Flagstaff: Germany, Denmark, Brasil, Japan-actually funny as well-Great Britain,...)
On Friday there was NO coach at Masters, so we made up our own workout. The Australian Coach was nice enough to help us with our stroke, and guess what. What he told us helped me take 10 SECONDS of my 100 meter repeat time!!! CRAZY!!! He is good:-) I guess that is why he is the National Coach :-)

I am so super excited about that fact - but very sore now from all the practicing...Just got out of the pool but I will be back in in less then 24 hours.
Here are some pics from my trip to Austin. By the way: to all those people who told me Texas is a "lazy" state. AUSTIN IS PROBABLY THE MOST ACTIVE TOWN I HAVE SEEN IN THE US!!!
The podium with Katie, Hayley and Jenna - Hayley is a 15:53 mile swimmer!!! And Katie is a world champion in Mountain running!!!

The Capitol Building. We rode 5 laps up to the Capitol and back, it was beautiful.

Mellow Johnny's. Lance Armstrongs bike store. It was closed so we only saw things through the window. I didn't see any Parkpre bikes so I was not interested:-)

A really cool place: some springs where you can swim about 180 meters each way!!! And here comes the best part, it is free from 6-9 am for swimming!!! Great practice for triathletes, try it out when you are in Austin!!!