Monday, December 20, 2010

And the cross season came to an end...

I love the cross season. AZ Cross did a great job putting on fast and challenging courses (even without mud!!!).
Last weekend were the State Championships. We had 2 AZ guests from New England (and our 3-4 usual women :-). Off course they thought it was way to hot to do cyclocross. There was a tiny but of mud on the course (it didn't even splash) and I thought it was funny to warn them..."there is a little bit of mud over there..." They just looked at me and one of them said: "Where?" She had just raced Cross Nationals in Oregon and I guess the course was just covered in mud...
The race was super fun (as always). I had to promise JR that before the 2011 cross season will start I will have functional brakes (who needs brakes...I have 4 on my bike, but only one works, there was another one that worked but the piece holding the break together fell out during the last race :-) OOOps...AND I will get brake pads too...(his usual before the 2010 races was: There are no pads left...I have never seen brakes that worn out...he is funny)
Oh well, the season is over-til next year cross bike.
Time to bake some cookies!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

70's and sunny in December...

The Phoenix live is not so bad afterall :-) I rode my bike in shorts today and the forecast for tomorrow is sunny and 70's...IN DECEMBER.

I have ridden my bike more this week then I have ever done...mhhh...yes, I think that is a true statement...OK, maybe except for one or two other weeks...or a training camp week...

However I have never done two hard days in a row-before this week :-) THAT IS A TRUE STATEMENT

After 2 years of self coaching I finally have a coach!!! I am so excited not having to try to create a plan for myself anymore...even though I have a degree in Exercise Science, I believe it is nearly impossible to coach day? Who needs a rest day? 4 races in 4 weeks? Sure!!!

So...I got to meet Nick. Nick is a great coach - nice (and mean when it comes to specific workouts), focused and observant. I always had a coach as a runner. First in my club in Germany, then in college. I trust my coach and do not question what he has me do-because I know that he has a reason for every day's workouts!!! Having a coach allows me to focus on doing the work I need to do.

Nick had athletes competing at IM AZ and he was out there supporting them all day (and my rockstar friend/teammate/first-time-IM-finisher-and-kick-ass-athlete Teri who competed in IM AZ said: he was everywhere...with good advice).

His bussiness is called Durapulse ( and is at the same location as TRIBE Multisports - which means: as an endurance fan like me, you can spend ALL DAY there!!! Super multisports store + training + science + spinning + core +... and fun people.

What you can find at Tribe/Durapulse is one of only 7 USAT certified performance centers in the Nation (if you want to read more about it go to: ).

I am super excited to be training under Nick's guidance and racing with Tribe Multisports in 2011.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon

Thanksgiving in the Grand Canyon is a tradition for us (since meeting Pam and Shannon :-)...this year we decided to pack our bags for a 5 day/4 night trip. JR and I got most of our equipment only a week before the we got to do a few pratice hikes in the Phoenix Mountains and that was it...we filled our packs with books and went out the person even asked us if we are camping out there :-)

Then Wednesday arrived and we went up to the Grand Canyon...and SNOW!!! We turned into phoenicians now, so 10 degree nights didn't sound too good...brrrrrrrr...down we went.

We had a great crew with us. Pam and Shannon off course, Susie and Brian, Shaula and Tom. All really great people!!!

Water refill...JR and I decided to say no to this one as it was close to an old mine, where we saw a: "Do not enter, Radiation warning"-sign...but maybe we would have stayed warmer drinking that water :-) Here is the rest of the crew filtering water:

We dropped in elevation and the snow disappeared. The views in the canyon are beautiful!!!

First night: Hance creek. We cooked our dinner, built the tent and went to bed at 7:30 pm :-)

The mornings were always the craziest. We were still cold from the night, hands frozen trying to take the tent down, making coffee, and packing our gear...

Along the Tonto Trail we went. The views were again amazing...and they gave me goosebumps...some of the drop offs are sooooooo steep!!!

We spent the second night at the Cottonwood Creek...again: beautiful!!! The best part is that we barely saw any people. It was Thursday, which also ment it was Thanksgiving. We had a great Thanksgiving dinner with Smoked Trout (Brian caught it a few days before in the Colorado River- and yes, he is allowed to do that:-) , Mashed potatoes, Gravy, Stuffing, Red Cabbage and Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Bars :-) Yummm..hiking in style!!!

The next day the hike felt a lot easier as we had eaten many pounds of food the night before...oh did I mention we had a few Nalgene's full of wine?
Look at the drop off right next to the trail...see the little people walking? Yah, that is where we walked. It wouldn't be bad if they would have built the trail even (hello? what were those guys in the late 1800's thinking?) The trail is slanted, with a nice angle towards the drop twisting ankles here...

Only 5 more miles to go...

Grapevine Creek, we are trying to stay warm with hot beverages: tea, coco, bailey's, jameson's, name it, we had it!!!

Our morning view into the Nalgene bottles...NICE...we dropped some water on the ground and a second later it was frozen...that might give you an idea what the temps were like....

Last day: sore sore sore...Massages very much needed!!! Not sure what was in pain the most: lower legs, quads, back? Mhhh...

Sunday morning: the storm is rolling in. Noone slept as the wind was CRAZY!!! We had to put our rain cover on twice even though it was hammered into the ground!!! It was great...I love storms!!! And snow :-) Bring it on...

The hike out. 3 miles to go...we better put these on:

Yeah, somewhere back there is the Colorado River:-)

Pam on the final stretch:

The hike was great and I am so thankful that we get to do these adventures!!! The Grand Canyon is a beautiful place.
I am so excited for Thanksgiving 2011 and new adventures!!!
My camera doesn't do the views justice-it is truely an amazing place...check out Brian's pics at . He is a great photographer!!! His pics show how it really is!!!
Did I ever mention the cave of doom...I mean dome? If you like caves, there is a huge cave system 3 miles off the is super scary and I was out of there within the minute...Thanks to having watched "The hills have eyes" and "The descent" can follow this string in the dark for around an hour and it leads you from "room" to "room" and eventually you come out ona cliff ...that is what we heard...not sure if I will ever be up for that...

Friday, November 12, 2010


Skinstrong is keeping my skin strong in 2011!!!

I am really excited to work with the nice people from SKINSTRONG next year. Their product is not only great but also affordable!!!

Go to and check out their products. They are in the process of developing many more great things and I am looking forward to using them. The SKINSTRONG SLIK is my absolute favorite: after many years as a runner (collegiately and as a triathlete) you would think that my feet are used to running and I wouldn't get any blisters or sores anymore...yeah...right...I guess I have very sensitive feet, but I have sprayed the Slik on the heel of my foot and have not gotten a blister. Even better, it can be used on ANY body part. I have used it in open water swims under my race suit and my wetsuit on the really tight spots and it has work there better then anything else...the spray is easy to apply, you don't need a lot-unlike other products.

Another great product is the SLATHER - I am looking forward to all those riding miles in the winter in AZ :-) The SLATHER is a great tool for cyclists as well!!!

And at 9.99 $ the product is very affordable, which is what athletes, especially triathletes need (with the entry fees for races increasing and increasing, and products getting more expensive).

If you want to try it out you can go to the homepage and shop right there!!! Add to your shopping cart and it will be on its way.

Also, the product was developed by athletes for athletes. They have been competing in IM events, cycling, running, ... they know where we hurt. And on top of that they are super nice people, always happy and very supportive to athletes like me.

Thanks SKINSTRONG for letting me be part of the journey!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winter is coming...Phoenix is cooling down to a low of 58 during the night now :-) (which is pretty much the nightly SUMMER average in Flagstaff) This morning the pool was steaming during morning practice, and I have to admit, it was chilly whenever my arm was out of the water...brrr...I am excited to see how training at 5:30 am in an outdoor pool feels like in December/January...

JR and I spent last weekend in Flagstaff for Cyclocross race number 1 and 2. I had two fun races with 2 W, but JR had 2 races with a lot of bad luck. In the first race he got rear ended and lost his chain completely...then it just kept jumping and skipping...same the next day, so he had to pull out and we discovered that his chane was actually broken.

I am still working on getting my foot healed up (sleeping with "the sock").I am back to building mileage in running, but have to take all the precautions...taping...PT...icing...stretching...exercises...the good thing is that the "limited running" gives me time to improve my swimming!!!

Jack had one of his friends over the other week and they had a ton of fun digging holes and playing.

This little guy was hiding in the I had to eliminate him :-) Hope it was the first and the last dinosaur-looking animal I will see in my yard.

Friday night the Endurance Rehab team went Go Kart racing. Here is a shot of the men's podium...noooo, there was no fighting or bumping involved...not during the race and not after...

I am very excited to start planning the 2011 season. It looks like I will kick it off with the National Wintertriathlon Championships in January. Also I am hoping to get to race in the Super Sprint Triathlon Grand Prix which involves all out racing for short distances!!! Sounds GREAT!!! They just had the kick off race last weekend in Oceanside and I think it is genius to bring a race format like that on the race circuit. I am really looking forward to all 5 of the races next year!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No more resting

My puppy is turning into a water dog!!! Finally.

Springer Spanies are not only supposed to be water dogs but also bird hunting dogs. For the first year of Jack's life: water...not interested...birds...not interested...oh and bringing things back:really not interested!!!
But since we moved to Phoenix he has been loving the water!!! I swam at Bartlett Lake the other day and JR was standing on shore with Jack. I was about 200m from shore and all of the sudden Jack decides he wasnts to come see me :-) Good boy!!!
Also he loves ot go in the pool all of the sudden!!!
We are still waiting on the bird interest!!!
On the dangerous animals in the desert side:

I saw my first scorpion...CREEPY...he was in our yard hiding under flour pots...a few screams later he was gone and I am hoping not to see any more!!!

On the training side:
Things are great!!! I am getting my mileage up on the bike(thanks to all the great group ride you can do in Phoenix), in the pool and RUNNING!!!

Last week I went to the weekly rides from GAINEY VILLAGE, with the Tuesday ride being 2 hrs and the Thursday ride being 2.5 hrs...then on Saturday I rode the BOS ride, which was just over 3 hours with lots of power (60 guys and me:-)...but it was not enough for the week. On Sunday JR and I drove to South Mountain and did the South Mountain ride, which includes about 45 min of warm up, 1 hr of all out sprinting (and I couldn't resist to attack), then a 7 mile climb up SOuth Mountain and another 45 min back to the on Monday my legs were a little tired.

I also did my first Temporun yesterday and it felt great!!!

The rest season in Phoenix is up and the built phase has begun. The season here in the valley starts in December with some Halfmarathons and continues to build from there with running and cycling!!!

And not to forget:
The AZ CYCLOCROSS races start NEXT WEEK!!! With a 2 day event in Flagstaff!!! WHohoooooooooooo!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally...Fall has arrived

It has happened...temps are down. Life is back to normal (almost...the alarm still goes off at 5 am).

Saturday and Sunday where the last hot days with temperatures of 106 - which made the Tour de Scottsdale a little harder then usual. I decided last minute to race the Crit on Saturday. I was sick for a week, but I could not pass on this-a crit in my town? I AM IN. Well, two laps into the race I realized it might not have been the smartest idea:-) I took one hard pull to help out my teammate and I was in no man's land...Megan was in front, the rest almost one lap behind me, so I just stayed where I was. I felt more sick on Saturday night again, so no racing for me on Sunday. Instead I was in the feed zone supporting everyone :-)

Eric (JR's teammate) flatted with about 10 miles to go. Since it was a charity race (haha) there was no wheel support...JR gave Eric his front wheel and off he went to win the race!!!

Made me wonder if that would ever happen on a female team :-)

Today (Thursday), I finally felt better and was able to go out to the Thursday group ride. It was fun!!! And a beautiful 65 degrees!!! Aftrewards I was off to get scraped at Endurance Rehab-it is amazing what they have done for me, they have been scraping me for about 6 weeks now!!!

I might even attempt to race at the Prospector Triathlon this weekend!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have you ever noticed... the cycling world...
  • That guys on a group ride do pretty much ANYTHING to not get outsprinted or dropped by a female? It is pretty funny actually.

  • When there is a car coming from the front guys always yell "car up" in a military tone...more like a "carrupp" where as women always sing "cahr uhup"...I wonder why...

  • That riding with a "triathlete group" is equally as good as riding with a "cyclist group"? The cyclist group allows you to go FAST the entire ride and learn new ways of attacking, but it is more of a constant all-out-or-get-dropped ride...the tri group is good because the groups slow down a lot after an attack/all out effort. It is more like intervals...stop and go and stop and go...there is also more slamming on the breaks going on which teaches you to react quickly which is really important at all times on the bike...

...just some observations...

Last weekend were the state TT championships. I got my bike out, ready to race. Not sure what to expect after some time without intervals/hard efforts on the bike or on the legs...but this is all part of becoming a better athlete:

And I am off...20 k out 20 k back. There was barely any wind, the pavement was ok, perfect for racing...

Unfortunately my strength only took me 20 k and then I settled into this pace where my HR was low, but my legs couldn't push any harder...still it was a great day for practicing (even though my time was not what I had hoped for)!!! My adductors were sore like crazy and it was a good feeling.

Next weekend I am competing in an open water swim on Saturday and a climbing TT on Sunday (11 miles of climbing). Practice practice practice. Racing always helps me get in great shape!!!

After we came back from the group ride our puppy was sooooo happy to see us:

Even though we were only gone for 2 hrs :-)

AZ is finally cooling off-just in time for me to start running again!!! Perfect. I am excited to be able to train through the "winter". And I am excited to harvest some Grapefruit, Oranges and Tangerines out of the yeard soon!!! Yummmmmmm...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cross Vegas...MAYBE?!

After taking all this time off of running I sat down and looked at what is coming up in the fall...I would have loved to compete at the USA Elite Nationals, but with 5 weeks off of running and the race coming up on September 25th, there is no way that competing would be smart.

Being smart about injuries is really important. Instead of cranking up the pace, I will ease into it and hope that I can race in October, November and then take a smaller break and maybe try some January/February 70.3 races :-) (The beauty of living in Phoenix...)

I love cyclocross. Not sure if I mentioned that before :-) I got introduced to it in 2007...I went and watched a race and without ever trying it I bought a bike. What a great sport. It is like an all out 800 meter run (which is what I ran in college) combined with hurdle jumping (I am the 2005 National Champion in the Steeplechase in NAIA) combined with a ton of fun (which is what I like )...The only difference is that the bloody taste and the muscle fatigue last for about 40-50 min instead of only 800 meters :-)

In 08 I raced in Europe at 2 races, but the course was so muddy that, with one bike, there was no way of competing well. So I just had fun. (The pro's have 2-3 bikes which they rotate every lap, so they don't get mud stuck everywhere).

In 09 my bike was in Germany and I was in the US :-(

In 2010-I am back on my cross machine :-) I am trying to race cross vegas this year (September 22nd!!!). I hope I can pull it off with the help of USA Cycling (need a special license for Cross Vegas). Cross fingers :-)

JR and I tried out the nearby City Park which is perfect for cross practice:
Sand with barrier
Water (sometimes)
Short steep hills
Benches (to jump over)
Lots of trees

Then in October I am hoping to be back in Tri racing (Dallas, Miami?, Amica) full power.
And, not to forget, the local AZCROSS races :-)

Time to get crossing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I am back on a Roadbike!!! Yeah!!!

I have not ridden a roadbike since my crash back in February!!! Then last week Tribe provided me with a new one:-) And it is amazing to be back on it. THANKS TRIBE!!!

I had a chance to push the peddals really hard today at the 2* a week Gainey ride around Paradise Valley. It was fun to shift WHILE standing up on the climbs. What a different feeling. It is hard to go uphill in a group on the TT bike (attacking doesn't work that well if your shifters are out there in the front:-)

Also I got to try out my legs on a straight part to see how much they have in them-not 100 % but it is a beginning :-)

Now I am back at building distance and then I am ready to race Roadraces again!!! Just in time for the Fall-Phoenix season to start!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Picture time- before leaving for Germany I got "scraped" for the first time...Let me tell you, getting scraped is really fun. I cannot describe the pain ..but if it helps me get back to training and racing: sign me up!!! This is what the leg looks immediately after the time I was in Germany for the wedding it was dark black and blue :-)

Day 2 in Germany: THE WEDDING!!! Here is the beautiful bride Anke and Jens working on chopping up a tree in front of the church.

And they did it!!! Good work Mr. and Mrs Axmann!!!

After the church they hopped into their wedding-transportation: A VW bus with a sunroof. SWEET!!! We drove straight through the city and honked like crazy!!! Whohoooo-just married!!!

The location for the reception was perfect. Nicely decorated, great food and tons of cool peeps.

Lil'man can now already crawl!!! Next time I see him he will be able to walk!!!

Since I only stayed for one week, time just flew by. Back in Phoenix JR and I escaped the heat and went up to Flag. It was raining as the Monsoon season has started and Pam and I decided that it is time to get muddy on the cross bikes!!! And yes, we had to walk with our bikes over the shoulders for up to 1 mile inbetween :-) It was so muddy that cars and 4 wheelers turned around...but not

And every once in a while we ended up in this:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I think it is time for a blog post!!!

After taking over a month off from updating...lots of things happened in the last is the quick version (pics will follow off course :-)

- moved to Phoenix in May, put an offer on a house

-June, July nothing special, temperatures went up, we were still waiting to hear back from the house

-Plantar Fascia starts to hurt and gets ignored (off course I don't want to take time off)

-Plantar Fascia hurts really bad...I guess I am taking time off

-time to start treatment at Endurance Rehab (scraping :-)

-trip to Germany for my brother's wedding, which was beautiful!!!

-JR closes on the house while I am in Germany-yeah, we are homeowners!!!

- coming back to the US just in time to help pack and move

-floating the Salt River-really fun thing to do while in Phoenix!!!

-catch a cold from the Salt River :-( Out for 3 days...

-2 more weeks of now running, then I am hopefully "healed"

That is about all that happened in the last month. I have a ton of pics to download and post!!!
It is super frustrating not to be able to run...hopefully soon. I am trying to stay optimistic!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July weekend

I love the 4th of July...mostly because everyone has a day off and we get to do fun stuff :-) Like going on a river/hike/camping trip with the puppies.

On the way to our destination we were packed into a truck...puppies very excited. I am glad they decided to stay on Pam's side!!!

Once we got to the trailhead we hiked downhill for about one mile:

And then the trail turns into...a river. I am so thankful that Pam let me wear som water-hiking boots. They were great!!!

The water was super clear and freezing cold but at the same time very refreshing when hiking in 90 degree weather.

Yeah, we made it. Out of the water after about 1 mile and onto...another water trail. This are of AZ is just beautiful. It feels like you are in the middle of nowhere (the bearpoop everywhere was a little scary...) but are only 2 hrs away from Flagstaff.

Once we made it to our campside we went exploring without backpacks. We found...more bear poop. And two bear homes aka nests. SCARY.
Dinner usually when JR, Shannon, Pam and I hike...just like in a top restaurant: Orzo with Shrim, grilled Bellpepper, Asparagus and goat cheese.

We spend the next morning exploring and playing in the water before we had to head back the trail, back into civilization. Jack was a swim-wimp before this trip, but for some reason he turned into a water dog now...Come on...throw that stick one more time!!!

The puppies were very sleepy after their adventure... (before/after pics :-)

I have to admit. I was a little pooped too :-) It was so much fun hiking out there.
We are now back to our normal life in Phoenix. Temps are still rising, which makes it really hard for me to train. I even struggel in the mornings. I guess I am just not a warm weather person...or maybe I will get used to it. The weather has also left me sleepy at any time of the day. Let's hope summer goes by fast (never thought I would say that)...and hopefully I will get some good training adn racing in in the second half of the season!!!