Monday, July 27, 2009

Phoenix is not so bad after all...

if you get to stay in an airconditioned house all day :-)

Last week, I spend 2 days in Phoenix. HOT!!! As a nice wife, I came to Phoenix with JR, because he had some work to do. We left Flagstaff early in the morning and it got up to 100 degrees in no time. There was no time to drop me off first, because Phoenix is huge, and it would have taken 1 hr to drive me where we stayed from where we were at the moment. So I was in and around the car for about 5 hrs - in around 100 degrees!!!
After JR brought me to the place we were staying at we found out that the AC was broken and only worked went down 1 degree per hour...and the next morning it went up 1 degree per hour again...

WOW-HOT!!! I was grumpy.

All I could think off was: I am never coming to Phoenix again unless it is for racing.

1 week later:
I am back :-) JR had to do some more work and I decided to come with him again. This time, we left at night, so I would be at the house when JR goes to work. I have enjoyed every second of it and spend all morning at the OUTDOOR 50 m pool...some aquajogging, then swimming. Back to the apartment, lunch, nap. Now back to the pool. IT IS GREAT!!! The water feels so good when it is 107 degrees outside.

So maybe Phoenix isn't that bad after all. You just have to make it work. Feels kind of like a beach vacation now, with the beach and the water being the pool and the deck.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fast Times in the Pines and Capitol Reef Stage Race

I did it. I entered my first ever swim meet. EVER!!! And I was so nervous, but it turned out to be so much fun. The swim meet started at 11 am and ended at 1 pm. All the events were back to back. I registered for the 400m, 100m, 200m and the 800m. The 400m started out great and after 200m my goggles were filled with water, so I stopped to empty them :-) Ooops. My arms were so tired that I didn't even know if I could swim any other events-swimming is painful!!! I cooled down for a few laps, but it was also the warm up for the 100m. The 100m were great. Off the blocks and just go go go. It was a blast. The 200m were fun, but not as much as the 100m. Then I found out I was also registered for the 50m - no idea who registered me. But I was happy. Yippie. The sprinting events were the most fun. Off the blocks and GO. Here I am swimming the 50m. Please note: I AM MAKING WAVES!!!

The 800 m were fun as well. It is probably like track: I like the 800 and the 3000, but not the 1500. In swimming I like everything under the 400, NOT the 400 and I like everything over 400 :-)
Here I am going off the blocks, which was so fun (A little scary at first to jump into 4 ft shallow water- we had to prove that we are able of doing that to an official before the race!!!).

After the meet I went to the lake to swim 1500m. Swim day was so much fun. I got a little sore the next day but not too bad. But it made my entire body super tired!!! All I wanted to do (and maybe did :-) was sleep.

On a gardening note:
I discovered some ripe tomatoes in my garden last week. As you can see in the picture, they are huge.

On Thursday JR and I packed the car and drove 8 hrs to a place called Torrey, Utah for the Capitol Reef Stage Race. On the way there we went from the forest of Flagstaff into the painted desert, over the Navajo Reservation to Lake Powell. Quick stop there, but the 110 degrees made us want to keep on going.

Then we keept driving through the farmlands of Utah-so pretty, everyone seems to have a ranch or a farm with horses. BUT...everything closes at 8pm (restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores). When we got to Torrey we built our tent and slept until the next day at 6:30 am. Sleep at night 1: not too good.
The next morning was an 8 mile TT. I found out that we were only 3 Pro/1/2/3 girls, so the race got combined with Masters and Cat4 women, which made the field into a 20-30 person group. I won the TT with 2nd 15 sec behind me.
The circuit race started at 4 in the afternoon which made it a really hot race. Luckily our race was shortened to 17!!! miles. It was very hilly and really beatiful. # of us broke away on the first hill and we managed to stay away. Frustrating was that the girl who was in 2nd didn't want to work. I started the sprint with 500 m to go-that was a hard effort. Note for next day: wait until 200 m to go. I got another 5 sec. on 2nd place. Here is a pic from the start of the Circuit race:

Trying to find a place to eat in Loa and Torrey was a challenge. Those towns consist of ... Farms and that is it :-) Actually there were 3 places in Torrey, so we did find something to eat (our choices were Burgers or Pizza). Sleep at night 2 in a tent: better.
The next morning was a RR. 52 miles. I was hoping it would be a fast and challenging race with lots of breakaways. Mhhh...second place girl didn't even try to get rid of me. Instead I ended up attacking many times, but noone wanted to come with me and so I ended up dropping back into the group because the last 20 miles were into a headwind and I didn't want to be stuck out there by myself.
We waited until the last 1 km to battle out the win. I ended up winning the 3rd stage too. Yeah!!! 3 Stages, 3 Wins = GC win!!!
After the race JR and I went to get a "small PB" cup at the local Coffee shop...SMALL (this is my thumb, not my pinky :-)

Yummie!!! On our way back we stopped at Bryce National Park. Beautiful!!! Here are some pics:

The pointy ones are called Hooloo, which comes from the word Voodoo and means nonsense...mhhhh that makes absolutely no sense to me why a rock formation is called "nonsense". Oh well. It was pretty!!!

We drove all the way to Kanab, which is at the border to AZ. We had a delicious dinner and then decided to keep driving to Jacob Lake, a Campground by the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Sleep at night 3 in a tent: GREAT. We were too exhausted from traveling and racing to have a bad night sleep.
The rim is higher in elevation on that side and has barely any tourists visiting!!! It was great!!! Great place to start a hike into the Grand Canyon since the trails don't seem as steep as on the south side.

After the Grand Canyon visit, JR and I spend a few hours at the beach :-) The Colorado River Beach. Outside temperature was 110 degrees. Water temperature was FREEZING. But I just had to go in and swim and play in the river.

It was a super fun trip. I am excited to go on another adventure soon!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Sponsor on board - Tribe Multisport

The newest member of the Axmann-support crew 2009 is

Tribe is not only the best store to go to when you need swimming, biking or running equipment, but also if you are in need of race food, if you have questions about nutrition, bike position, wetsuit fitting, or anything that is related to the 3 sports. THEY HAVE EVERYTHING!!!

If you are a Tribe customer you will for sure look good, BUT here comes the best part. They also help you get in shape, stay in shape or even help you get faster by offering 3 group rides a week, multiple spinning sessions, running sessions and also stretching sessions. So if you are ever in Phoenix and you are not sure where to run and ride, just call up TRIBE, ask them when and where the group ride/run is and jump into the group.

I personally think that everything I wrote so far that Tribe offers is a lot already, BUT THERE IS MORE!!!

There are also men's and women's TRIBE cycling teams - highly competitive. There is, for example the women's CAT 1-2 team, which I have raced against before. They make sure the pace is always high, no matter if it is in a Roadrace or a Criterium.
Also, TRIBE sponsors, puts on and helps out in A LOT of events in Phoenix. At the Tribal Triathlon and Open Water swim, for example, Tribe gives out not only pay checks to the top 3 winners, but also gives out cruiser bikes, wheel sets, gift certificates, shoes, wetsuits,... just everything in a huge raffle. And this is only one of the events :-)

I am very proud to be representing a store that helps the sport of Triathlon grow!!! So to all my friends competing at IMAZ this fall who are from out of town: Tribe is the place to go to get whatever you need to be race ready!!!
A big THANKS to Tribe for helping me become the best athlete I can possibly be!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


That is all I have to say.

No, off course there is more. I love this sport, or actually all 3.

Today was a morning swim and a bike. I am getting better at doing the back to back swims (evening and morning), which hopefully means that I am imroving. I think my swimming econonomy is slowly getting better and I can do more kilometers faster, without more pain.
I actually managed to take a 2 hr nap before 11 AM today :-) Then I went out for a bike ride, refreshed and refueled. Biking has been great too. I have taken Mr. Cherry out a lot lately.

I really love him :-)
Flagstaff and AZ have been really good to us lately. The Monsoon season normally starts the beginning of July, which means that you can not go outside without getting wet after 12. Today I went out for the ride at cloud in sight (I know that this is actually bad because of the water shortage...but...nice for athletes...selfish).

I am planning on doing some cycling races, in Utah and Colorado. They are great practice for triathlon and make you so much stronger.

Tomorrow is another morning swim and then an open water swim, and after that an evening aqua jogging session - yes, I will be in the water for about 4 hrs tomorrow...poor skin...

On Sunday it might happen: I might enter my first swim meet!!! Starting off the blocks, sprinting,...all inclusive. I am excited, even though I will get my butt kicked. This will only make me want IT more.

I looked in the garden this morning, watching my plants and here is what I found: my eggplant is blooming. I had no clue they have such pretty flowers!!! Can't wait to get fruit on there :-)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

First pike contact

I picked up running again this week which feels great!!! I have also had one of my biggest bike weeks ever and was hoping to have one of my biggest swimming weeks ever. Unfortunately I forgot about the 4th of July (Happy Birthday USA). The pool was closed for 3 days.

Thanks to my friend Pam, I ended up doing 2 open water swims in Lake Mary :-) She really helps me to get more compfortable to swim in open water in a non-race environment (in races I can turn off my fear :-). Friday I made first contact with a PIKE!!!

Like this one:

Or this one:

OK OK OK...mine might have been a baby...maybe 15 lbs...but still a PIKE!!! A fishermen close to shore caught one and was swearing...I asked Pam if we could swim there to look at the fish while he/she was still in the fishermen's hands. She is brave and led the way. When we got to the boat the fish looked way bigger...the fishermen was swearing because the Pike bit him in the finger and he was bleeding...that was pretty much it for me. I asked the men:" Mister, could you hold on to the fish until we are back on shore and then let him go? PLEASE?" I was sooo scared...pike licked blood...might want more... He...let...the...pike...GO!!! And I was still there!!! I think I swam my fastest 100m ever, without my goggles on and screaming!!! What an A$$!!! He just let it go even though this was supposed to make me feel safe...thanks a lot for that Mister-by-the-way-I-saw-your-butt-your-pants-were-so-low!!!

Oh well. The pike disappeared.

Saturday was the group ride. It was fast and small. I made it up our local KOM in 5th in the mens :-) I liked that. Quick transition run and done.

Saturday evening I was invited for dinner: grilled shrimp, perfectly made with some homemade sauces, rice and veggies. And a movie. Grant Tourino!!! Great movie!!! Thank you so much Shannon and Pam. I slept at their house -JR is in Boston :-(

Today was a 6 am rise and shine day. I got on my bike and met my open water swim teacher at 8 am. Lake Mary had NO a mirror:

We swam across for the first time, back at an angle. Then another bike ride. Then a run. And then another bike ride. I made it home after 1 pm and wasn't even that pooped :-)

I spend the afternoon cleaning out our garage, so that JR can walk in there again when he is working on bikes. I will pick him up tomorrow again which is great. Being alone is no fun. I get really homesick :-(

Oh, here is a picture of our baby birds who grew so quickly. This was taken right before they dove off into the world:

We watched them go from naked to grown ups :-) They already started building a new nest. I had no idea that they keep breeding all summer. I thought they would only do that in the spring...mhhh...oh, I learned today that a dragonfly only lives 24 HOURS (when they are in the stage where they fly). INCREDIBLE!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Swim, swim and swim

My foot has been bothering me since Boise :-( BUT: I can finally focus on getting faster in the water. Currently I am swimming every day. Monday evening, Tuesday morning, Wednesday evening, Thursday morning, Friday evening and Saturday morning are the tough ones...back to back within 24 hrs. But I already feel a lot stronger in the water. Yippie!!!

Also I have been riding my bike a lot. Monsoon season is starting so I have to go out in the morning and then I can spent the afternoon watching movies and napping-MY FAVOURITE!!!

The Boulder Peak Triathlon is still a questionmark, but I probably won't go. I love to race, but I don't like to race when I can't give 100 %, and with taking some time off of running I believe the smarter thing to do is to stay at home.

Startin to plan the rest of the season this week and also planning the 2010 season. So far I am planning on competing in more ITU races (Pan American Cup races), and pick 2 or 3 70.3 races to compete in. My goal is to increase my speed over the shorter distance, because from my experience as a runner for many years I know that you always end up doing longer stuff when you get older. Therefore getting fast comes first :-)

Bed time. The alarm will go off for morning swim practice sooner then I would like. Hahaha - I love sleeping :-)