Friday, July 22, 2011

The calm before the storm...

The rest of July and the entire month of August will require NO travelling for me (except for the occasional trip up to Flagstaff)...but travelling is ON for the month of September...

I earned enough points on the 5150 series to end up 7th overall in the ranking, which means I have secured my spot for the HyVee Triathlon in Des Moins, Iowa. The race has the biggest prize purse in triathlon. 30 women will be at the start line and many of them are world class ITU racers...and that is where I am going the beginning of September... then I will spend a few days at home, switch out my TT bike to my Roadbike and make my way over to Italy for a week of training before heading over to Gijon Spain to represent the USA at the Duathlon World Championships...and then I will make my way back to Phoenix...

Booking all those tickets, making sure they don't overlap, making sure my bike will make it every where I go will be entertaining and might be more challenging then the race itself :-)

Happy training and travelling!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A weekend in Flagstaff

Ahhhhhh, Flagstaff, our old home. Even though it is only a 2 hr drive to Flagstaff, JR and I have not had the time to make it up there this summer. AZ is pretty amazing. In Phoenix you can train all year round, it just gets very hot in the summer (40 days of over 100 degrees now?)...but if you want to escape the heat, Flagstaff is right around the corner.

Last weekend, JR and I and part of Iron Gear Sports and Team Durapulse drove to Flagstaff to compete at the Mountainman Sprint Triathlon. Off course JR and I cut it a little close and we were one of the last ones in transition. Fortunately I got a super spot...thanks to two very friendly triathletes who made more then enough room for me.

Steve, the man in charge of Iron Gear Sports getting ready to go fast on his P4:

JR got a not-so-great spot in transition. But it turns out that this spot doesn't slow him down.

Lazer Helmet fits, ready to go.

I had my personal Sherpa for the day. My friend Pam, who did not race (she competed in a 200 mile ride the weekend before). She was SO helpful. She even zipped my wetsuit for me WHILE I was running to the swim start (no way, not because I cut it close...just because I like to run in my wetsuit...). Also it was super great to see Coach Nick and the Durapulse crew come up to Flagstaff just to cheer on their athletes. Now that is what I call a TEAM. It definitely motivated me to go faster!!! Thanks for cheering!!!

The swim was very nice. Calm water, 71 degree temperature. I am still trying to get super fast in the water. The only way to get faster is to go out FAST and try to hold on :-) I ended up 3rd out of the water with a, for me, very satisfying time.

I raced hard on the bike, unfortunately I was stopped once by one of the volunteers. She thought I was doing the super sprint (which started ahead of us) and she tried to convince me to turn around at their turn around...after a complete stop and some explaining I kept going. The run was a nice out and back. Racing at 7000 feet makes for some really short breaths :-)

Here is JR's race prep and race. JR does this new method of training. It is called the super taper. You pretty much taper for ... lets say 6 months...and then you go out and race :-) JR has been very busy with work, so his workout time is limited. He went to the pool maybe 3 times before the race... he runs with me, but hasn't done any speed training. Yet he goes out and comes out of the water in 7th place, bikes his way into 1st/2nd (they were in T2 together)...then on the run he realizes he never picked up his timing chip and just jogs his way into 2nd place overall. Oh did I mention he hasnt' been in a wetsuit since June 2010?

I am so excited to see JR race IM AZ this fall!!! What a great athlete!!!

This was race 13 of the season for me. NowI have 1.5 months to become a fish in the water and 2 months before I have to run like I am being chased by a cheetah :-)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Heat escape

4th of July comes around and it is...

120 degrees :-) Time to leave the city and escape to higher elevations. JR, his family (who were visiting from Minnesota) decided to explore the Camp Verde area. We went to a place called Pin Bull Ranch. Only an hour away from Phoenix it is the perfect destination for a day trip. But we went there to stay overnight. We put up the tent, played a little in the water and learned some new card games.

Jr's sister and one of the daughters went to catch a lizzard while we played cards...and they really caught one. No way. I have no idea how they got one of those speedy animals...the lizzard found a new home in a cup for a few minutes before they released him again:

...something was wrong...that lizzard looks funny...ooops, he dropped his tail!!! No worries, JR found it!!!

Pam and Shannon joined us for our adventure. The next morning JR, Pam and I went for a run and explored some trails. The trails here are beautiful. We are definitely coming back for some more!!! We had to cross the river probably 6 times during our run, but I didn't mind. The cold water feels so good!!!

Pam surprised us with Pancakes after the run!!! That is my kind of camping:-)

Jack loved the adventure as well. Until his paws hurt from the hot sand and he decided he didn't want to walk anymore...soooo spoiled:-)

We went back to Phoenix for a few days before we left for Colorado. I was ranked 4th in the 5150 standings and Boulder was the last race for the series automatic qualification. Top 20 get to go. So I was pretty sure I would not drop down 16 places. BUT...since Boulder is within driving distance (hahaha 14 hrs), I decided it would be a good chance to get away from the heat, take my husband with, take my puppy with and explore all the beautiful places this part of the US has to offer.

Are we there yet? 14 hrs feels really long!!! We got to Boulder and attended the Pro meeting. The field was stacked!!! Then we were off for a small shake out run to hopefully shake out the 14 hrs on our butts :-)

Race morning... The race started at 8:45, perfect time. No need to get up at 4 am. I slept like a rock. How come long hours of driving make you more tired?

Setting up transitiona nd checking out the area:

It was nice going into the race with no pressure. I had my points and I was doing this race just "for a good workout". I just love racing...this was race #14 for the season. At the start, chatting with Julia Grant, who I also raced with in Germany. It is funny to see people in one part of the world and then you meet again only a few weeks later on a different continent.

I held on to the front pack until 750 meters and then I was on my own...:-( someday I will be up there!!! The bike ride was beautiful with a steep climb. I love climbing. Unfortunately there was a really long and not so steep downhill as well. I have a pretty small chainring and ran out of gears immediately. Mhhh...I tried to be aero like the flying Scottsman, but 10 miles of no peddaling is no bueno...

The run was great. 1 mile out, 1 mile back, times 3. Great way to see if you are moving up or not.

I finished in 8th, which was OK, but not satisfying :-)
We took off to get back to Phoenix on Monday morning. It pretty much started raining when we started driving :-( Oh well, at least we were in a car. We drove through Leadville, Gunnison to Durango where we spent the night. It rained so much that there were mudslides on some of the roads we drove on. Colorado is such a pretty state!!!

Ouray, Colorado. Start of the Imogene run. I have to do it someday!!!

And I have to ride up this road on my Roadbike!!!

Jack didn't care too much about the beautiful scenery. He prefered sleeping :-) It was good to get back home after being on the road for 5 days. Driving is nice, but flying to races is a lot easier on your body.

This weekend we are off to our old home Flagstaff to race the Mountain Man Sprint Triathlon...and then...I guess the next stop is Des Moins for the Hy Vee Triathlon and then Duathlon World Championships in Spain :-)