Saturday, December 29, 2012

Family fun

The toughest part about being away from Germany is not to see my family that much :-( My family is super close, we hold together like glue.

One of my brothers has two little ones: one three year old and one 8 months old. Both are sooooo cute. Unfortunately I only get to see them once or twice a year... just like the rest of my family :-(
So whenever we do get together we totally enjoy things. Today we toured my old track-club grounds in Renningen, my first ever track club, where I learned to race the 800 m and where I learned that I am...yeah...well...not that great in throwing events (javelin, discus and shot put)... After joining the club I stuck with being a middle distance runner.

Here are my family and I walking along the track/sports complex in Renningen:

 again: great running trails
 There might be a future pole vaulter in my family!!!
 Saying hello to some statues. They looked lonely.

Then we went home and cheered on the German SKI JUMPING team!!! Ski jumping is really really famous over here. And guess what: we also cheered for the one and only AMERICAN in the field... Lets just say that he didn't win, but at least there is a USA member in the competition :-)

 Not sure why Ski Jumping hasn't taken off in the US yet. IT IS SO INTERESTING!!!

 We definitely enjoyed it.
 The little one preferred practicing his crawling skills. For 8months of age he is a very speedy little man.

Lucky for me my brother and his family are coming over to Phoenix to visit me in a few months and I can't wait to show them and the kids Arizona, with Cactus, Citrus trees and maybe some Scorpions and Rattle Snakes (preferably behind glass :-)

Since my trip ends pretty soon I had to stock up on some things I can't get in the US...Ritter Sport Chocolate is already in my suitcase, Haribo was bought today and Ouzo also found its way onto my bag.

It is amazing to compare ingredients of GERMAN MADE Haribo to Not-sure-where-made Haribo that you can get in the US. First of all they have much more variety in German bought Haribo, like GINGER-LEMON, but the ingredients also differ. Same with the Chocolate. So I always have to stock up on JR and my favorites :-) And if you can, have someone bring you a sample from Europe so that you can taste the difference for yourself.

On the running front: 1.5 hr run through the forest, lots of mud, lots of sun, perfect temperature and tons of perfect trails. One week until the next XTerra trail run - but that will be in Phoenix :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Germany for Christmas

It shouldn't be a surprise to people who know me: I am in love with the running terrain in Germany. 

Miles and miles of running trails in the forest, you don't have to be scared of any animals eating you (well, unless there is an extremely hungry deer somewhere...), the ground is soft and it smells like leaves, you can go on a different route EVERY TIME you run. It is beautiful, refreshing and motivating.

The weather is unusually warm. I was hoping for snow...but having fall like weather is much better for running.

The great thing about Germany is also that EVERYONE is so active here. Not everyone is necessarily a runner or cyclist or triathlete, but people just enjoy to be outside. Everyone walks EVERYWHERE!!!

Unfortunately time goes by wayyyyy too fast and this 10 day trip will be over in no time. Lucky for JR he gets to spend 8 weeks over here pretty soon for work...but with his luck the snow will come as soon as he steps on German soil :-) And JR really really loves snow ;-)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

IMAZ and Thanksgiving

IMAZ was crazy. Spectating is a tough job :-) I spectated with my peeps Elliot, Mindy and Kris. They came prepared. Japanese warrior headbands, Cookie monster on a stick, cameras ready, vocal cords ready.

Elliot was, off course, cheering for Linsey. And his favorite triathlete WON the race. Elliot got to hand off her cowboy hat for the final hundred meters. I am pretty sure that was one of the happiest moments in his life:-)

Here are some pics from the day:

 Mindy and Elliot fighting over the cookie monster. Kris and I stayed out of it.

Elliot cheering on Linsey on lap 1!!!

Elliot trying out his inner Yogi.
Note the drawing on the sidewalk :-)

Mindy, Kris and Elliot went all out on artwork up curry hill.

The crew!!!

Elliot posing half naked while Linsey goes on the last lap!!!


Well, after the spectathlon we all slept for 20 hrs. We were pooped. But it was a ton of fun. Luckily the work week only had three days and then I was off to North Dakota. It was a beautiful 15 degrees during the day, perfect for running!!! 

JR and I did A LOT in the 3 days we were up there, but unfortunately JR (who had been sick for 2 weeks) got me sick too, so 30 min runs was all I could do :-(

We went back to where we were married: THE BUNKER.

 Great memories of Pam speaking German at my wedding, my family almost not making it over to the US from Germany because of the vulcano that decided to erupt, lots of Ouzo at the wedding :-) Ahhh, that was a great weekend.

Cold cold cold.


JR and I built our first snow man of the season. He was tiny, but we got it done. Skittles as eyes, twig as a nose and a aluminum foil hat. Perfect.

When we got back to Phoenix, we noticed that someone important just landed. Two miniature United States airplanes. We never found out who it was but it was pretty cool to see those airplanes.

Well, with the setback in training from being sick I am not sure what to do for racing. I was out for almost 4 days, had to skip my long run and now have to decide if I want to run a half marathon or 5 k this weekend :-( I am leaning towards a 5 k on Saturday and another one on Sunday. School is done in 3 weeks and then I can finally return to normal training :-)

Until then I will try to keep squeezing in 3 mile runs here and there.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ironman Arizona Part 2

Day 3 at the Expo:

today was CARAZYYYY. Last minute shopping for everyone. Best of today was:

Oh I forgot my gels - well, that can happen
Oh I forgot my SLIK - well, that can happen as well
Oh I forgot my bento box - well, that one is a question mark
Oh I forgot my shoes - well, you will most likely get blisters with brand new shoes
Oh I forgot my race outfit - well, that one was my favorite out of the day...where did you think you were going? That is like forgetting your passport when you fly to a foreign country :-)

Good for them, pretty much EVERYTHING can be purchased at the IM village. Everything from socks to bikes. Today was my favorite day at the Expo, it feels good to help people calm down and make them understand that no matter what happens, they will be fine!!! 

I got to meet up with some great friends who I don't get to see a lot. Here is Mirjam Weerd, a very very speedy European...who already went 9:02 this year!!! She looks ready to rock this event tomorrow. Unfortunately I only get to see her once a year :-( 

 And here is another super speedy lady. I met Amber at the Zoot training camp and it felt like we were twins separated at birth. We can giggle ALL DAY LONG. I cannot wait to cheer her on tomorrow!!! Amber is an amazing athlete!!!

And then we have Elliot. Elliot is not racing, but he gets the BEST DRESSED award. He will be out there all day tomorrow cheering. We found the perfect cycling jersey for him and after Linsey Corbin signed his headband I am not sure if he will ever take it off again :-)

That pretty much sums up what is going on at the Expo of an IM event if you stick around all day. It is a lot of fun!!! One more day to go, and tomorrow it is all business and no party. Tomorrow is RACE DAY (or SPECTATHLON DAY for Elliot and me)!!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ironman Arizona Part 1

The spectator view:

I have to admit it. I like working at Expos. I have been at Tour de Tucson a few times, Rock'n'Roll AZ a few times and now I can add Ironman to my list. It is so much fun to hear about people's journey's to get to this race. 

Today I got to meet:
-firefighters from Phoenix, I told them they better be ready since they can train on the course
-people who claimed 63 degree water temperature was FREEZING
-people who said 63 degree water temperature is perfect
-people who are doing their FIRST IM
-a dude who races for boobs :-)
-small people and really really tall people
-or this person on the picture: he is doing IMAZ as a tune up for a DOUBLE IRONMAN

...but his ultimate goal is to do 10 IM distances in 10 days!!! I told him he needs a lot of Skinstrong for the 10 IM races :-)
The best part: he is racing for a charity!!! What an inspiring person.

Well, you get the point. IM draws in people from ALL KINDS of backgrounds and parts of the US.

Ironman time is crazy. People at the Ironman tent are purchasing all kinds of Ironman things to remember their journey to Arizona. The line is usually so long that I get to meet about 15 people/hr, because they have to wait and I keep them entertained :-)

I am also lucky enough to have VIP passes for Sunday. Hopefully JR will be over his sickness by then and we can go watch and cheer all day!!!

I am so excited to watch everyone race, the race is stacked with horsepower. It will be a fast race with perfect weather. The course is fast as well as it has non of this: COBBLESTONE :-)
Fast and flat, no wind and highs in the 70's. That just screams course record. And I will be there to watch it live :-) Now if that doesn't get you going for the 2013 season!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Well, it is the week of IM Arizona, which means craziness in Tempe Town Lake. Just in the years that I have been in the valley, this event has developed into one of the biggest, most competitive IM races.

Off course I am a spectathlete (IM distance is realllllllly looooooong), but if you are going to the Expo Thursday, Friday or Saturday, come by the IM tent!!! I will be representing SKINSTRONG at the EXPO and I can tell you what you can use SKINSTRONG products for and where you can spray, slather or dust them on. I have caught myself using their products on Heart rate straps, shoes, my feet, neck, even my dress shoes, pretty much anywhere....and then there is the sunscreen/sun soothing line, which is a must when in the sun...

Well, if you want any more info, you can got to and/or see me at the Expo and ask me anything you want!!!

Too many wetsuits

JR and I have accumulated too many wetsuits...and we need to if you know anyone who needs a wetsuit to just starting out in the sport or if you know anyone who wants a cheap competition suit, please guide them towards me :-)

Here is what I have:

ZOOT Wetzoot
size small, women's
50$ (original price 399$)

 Aquasphere Phantom
Size small men's - used in one race only
200$ (original price 699$)

 Sailfish G-Range
size small women's
This one is used by athletes in ITU as well as IM. SUper easy to put on and come off!!!
150$ (original price 699$)

Not pictured: Xterra Vengeance Wetsuit, 50 $ women's size small.

Please email me at Angela_Axmann at if you know anyone who might need one of these or if you need more info and/or pictures!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Prescott Fire Department 10 k

Like I mentioned in previous blog posts: The AZ fall running calendar is amazing. So many races to chose from. This weeks options were:

Melrose 5 k (2 min from my house)
Trail ChaCha 7 miler (pretty far from my house)
or the Prescott Fire Department 10 k (2 hrs away from my house)

My friends Mindy and Kris and I decided to go for Prescott. Nice fall weather might turn this Saturday into a great adventure. And it was:

Wake up was at 5 am and out the door at 5:30 for an 8 am start in Prescott. We got out of the car up in Prescott (5500 ft elevation) and it was COLD :-) Perfect. We totally looked forward to cold!!!

After registering we stood at the start line with maybe 30 other people. We expected an easier field since the race is only in it's third year and since there are so many options for the weekend but then we heard: One Olympic Trials Marathon Top 100 finisher female was in the race as well as a lady who had just one a big 13.1 race...Ooops, this will turn into a painful run. And it did. 

I went out with the first lady and we went UPHILL for about 2 miles. And I mean about 300 ft elevation gain in the first mile and 200 ft in the second including some single track. YIKES. Did I mention this was at 5500 feet?

My heart rate went up to 160 and pretty much stayed there the entire time with very shallow breathing. Should have brought those O2 masks that Mindy and Kris have from diving :-)

At mile 2 I speed up a little and got a gap. After steep downhills, more uphills and a final steep downhill (where my Garmin shoed me a 5 min/mile pace I got to the finish in in first place. Did I mention this might have been the hilliest race I have EVER done (except for the Xterra last weekend, that was about the same hilliness, just longer...and on trails) :-)

We had no idea before the race what we would get ourselves into but after mile 1 I decided to NOT look at my watch again, because this very hilly course would make for a slow time ( and it did!!!). So if your training plan calls for some hill repeats next year on this should sign up for the race!!!

I got the course record by almost 10 min (I believe) and I most likely got the toughest 10 k TT in my training that I could have asked for. We had a blast in Prescott and enjoyed a nice cool down running through the town.

Here we are with the Prescott Fire Department. Yep, that is me wearing the fire helmet in the first picture - possible switch in professions? I thought the hat was very comfortable.

Notice that I had number 112? Strangely that is the GERMAN Fire Department emergency number!!! Very weird that I, the only German in the race, get THAT number without was just the next number to give away :-)

 After the race we walked through the Prescott Town Square and had a lot of fun with local vendors. We shot some wood-marshmallow guns, saw some delicious apples and saw the craziest dog outfits in town.

I really enjoy running and I can't wait for my next race. Unfortunately I think it won't be until November 4th...until then: back to training and studying!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Rain is one of the best things that can happen in the desert. When it rains in Phoenix the desert comes alive...even if it is just a few raindrops. My front yard goes from this:

 to this...
 to this.
The same thing pretty much happens to my attitude. As soon as the temps drop and we have cooler air in the mornings I feel like I can run forever...only maybe another month or so of around 100 degrees during the day and then living in Phoenix will be fun again :-)

This morning's track workout was fantastic, thanks to sprinkles and cloud cover. It is amazing how much different interval times can be depending on an athletes attitude. This morning: Happy attitude, which meant FAST mile repeats. YAY.

2 days until Mindy, Kris and I will go to Prescott to race a 10 k. If I can repeat what I did today it will be a fast time, if not, I will just make sure to have a fun race and a great stay in Prescott :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Xterra AZ run series - Estrella Mnts

Since running is #1 priority right now by default (haha - thanks to school), I decided to sign up for the Xterra run series in AZ. 4 races, all 20 k long and on trails, nice people around and an entirely new adventure...

Pretty much what the race trail looked like :-) From Angi's point of view.

JR and I decided last week that one week before the race would probably be a good idea to start training on trails (aka. doing one run on trails). The running route turned out to be a little bit longer then expected and after 1:40 hrs we made it back to our house...slowly because my legs were in pain. There might have been some walking involved...

Trail running is an entirely different ball game. Athletes (me very much included) always think: I am in shape, I can run ANYWHERE. The truth its that that statement is a big fat lie. After our run I was sore for the point where touching my quads was even unpleasant...

On top of that: my understanding of trails are nice forest roads...not rocks and washes and I was in for a big treat including a mix of overall elevation gains of 1500 ft, sand, switchbacks and a lot of rocks. But I really wanted to do the race, try out trail running and I was just hoping not to come back with anything like this:

And I didn't!!! Not even a scratch!!!

The race was a blast. I wore my garmin just in case I would get lost and I had to map my way back out on the watch :-) I have to say the 12.6 miles were fantastic. Being uncomfortable with trail running makes the race very interesting, so I just tried to stay out of the fastie's ways, let them pass me and to have fun. 

The race had been fast in the past so I knew it was not going to be a walk in the park. 

The smart portion of my brain told me:

Don't go out too fast.

The competitive part of my brain told me:

Do whatever it takes to stick with the front girls.

I think I made both parts of my brain happy by racing a smart race but making sure I was in the mix. I usually seed myself in the 3rd or so row at a start like this where you go on single track immediately because I want to stay out of people's way. I think it is rude to faster runners to be trapped behind me - avoided by staying in the back: CHECK. Within the first mile I passed maybe 10 people, always keeping in mind that this is a long race and that I don't have a clue what I am doing. Turns out I was second after the start and I passed the leading girl, Kristi Johnson, within the first mile. All I had in my head was not to crash into a cactus or rocks and to have fun. 

Here is my favorite "come home with no scratches" equipment, great for all rookie trail runners like me:


Off course in purple for me :-)

Compression socks are not only for compression. Off course they are also for fashion (thanks to all the great colors) AND, who would have guessed: they make perfect shin guards!!! Thankfully they were not needed as shin guards THIS time :-) Also they help avoid get sand and dirt into your shoes, and therefore prevent hot spots!!!

12.6 miles can be long and I have to say that the many hills and the rocks kicked my butt. It is also a mental game as your brain goes from: AWESOME-attitude to $HIT-attitude within a few seconds. I tried to maintain the AWESOME attitude for most of the race :-)

After many miles of climbing followed by descending, followed by switchbacks, followed by a long sandy stretch, followed by another evil uphill the race was done. I ended up over 6 minutes ahead of second place, I learned a lot and I am super excited for the next race. Also I am sore in areas of my body that I don't even know could be activated during running :-)

Here is how I am going to prepare for race #2. I will learn and do the following:

- run downhill fast on technical trails
- do lots of high knee drills (because that pretty much sums up a trail run)
- learn how to take momentum with me 
- run lots of trails

I am so glad I tried trail racing. There are some real Mountain-goat-like-people out there and maybe someday I will be able to maneuver over the rocks like they do...maybe...Estrella was the most technical of the 4 races, so there are no excuses. Can't wait for January 6th!!!