Friday, January 27, 2012

What a start to 2012

PF Changs 13.1

Trying to decide which Halfmarathon to run in AZ can be tough. Not because of a lack of is more the opposite: there are SO MANY RACES!!! This state is great for running and cycling (I haven't explored the swimming side yet)...race race race :-)

We picked PF Changs because there were a lot of runners (around 20.000 in the half) and we had lots of friends running it. To me, I thought it would be entertaining to have music every mile :-)

The race was so much fun. I had no real plan, and after a long week of working I didn't know what to expect. Just running and having fun...and making it hurt. I went out with the pack, which ment way too fast. But I am a big believer in going with the feel and at the moment it felt right. The first mile was around 5:30...ooops. I tried to run with people, but for some reason we spread out really quick and I had absolutely noone to talk to for 13.1 miles!!! Unbelievable.
I have to admit that I struggled with not having anyone to talk to between miles 6-9. :-( We were so spread out that it was tough to catch instead I focused on the people on the side, the one's who cheered and I once again realized how incredible the Pheonix endurance sports community is. Cheers EVERYWHERE.
I finished the race in 1:21, which is a 3 min PR for me. To be honest this was only my 3rd 13.1 race in my life. My first one was the Berlin 13.1 (I went there to do the 5 k but it was sold out), then the Payson 13.1 (which takes you 6 miles up and then 6 miles doown...ouch) and now PF Changs.

I can only recommend this race. Great organization, great motivation on the course and tons of friendly people!!! And where else in the country can you run a 13.1 race in shorts?

And then the week after the race...

My legs felt surprisingly good after the race and I just continued with training. Tuesday morning: 1.5 hr bike ride. I went outside in shorts but it was cold so I went back to get knee and arm warmes. Good call!!!

I rode my bike to the first 4 way stop from my house, a full 10 seconds!!! Car coming from the right, I stop, they stop, they go, I go. As I enter the intersection I looked to the right and to my surprise the lady coming from the right...stepped on the gas pedal!!! WHA... WHA...WHAT? I remember looking into the windshield and she did look to the left, just too far to the left. She didn't see me at all. I tried to sprint out of her way, but we all know how good a triathlete's cycling sprint abilities are. I don't remember much except for landing on the ground. Witnesses said I did a full 360 in the air (one guy said it would have made a cool Youtube video). The ambulance, firetruck and the police were there within seconds. I got up and moved every bone...nothing broken...I think. Just skin. Luckily I put on those leg warmers. It all happened so fast. It was just crazy and scary.

I had sooooo much luck. The thought of looking at the car while it hit me still scares me. I got T-boned by an SUV. I didn't want to go to the hospital, instead I went to Endurance Rehab. They know me and my body and I knew they could help. And I was in good hands and they made me giggle.

I think the shock was the worst. 20 min after I got hit I remember the cop's voice going far away and then I was on the ground. The lady got cited.
Again, I am so thankful that I came out of this with minor injuries (scrapes, hurting ribcage for a while, some bruises). I was soooo lucky.

I went back on the bike the next day. Mountainbike since my Roadbike was cracked.
My long ride on the following Saturday was tough. My motivation was down the drain and I was scared of every car. I thought the only way to get rid of this fear is: off course...RACING!!!

Bike Haus Crit

I went to Firebird race track the following Sunday to race my bike. Criteriums are the best way to get rid of fear. It was a great workout. 2 girls got off the front and I chased for 25 min :-) Unfortunatelly I wasn't able to catch them and I finished 3rd in the Pro-1-2 field.

McDowell Circuit race

This weekend I did the McDowell circuit race. 40 min of racing. It was so much fun. We had some really good girls come out. My one person team, consisting stayed calm until we had 20 min to go. I attacked to try to get the field to break up but didn't get any help. As I sat up again I noticed that 4 girls went off (we did get a gap, but I didn't know). Grrr...I initiated it and now I wasn't in it. Oh well. I decided to bridge the gap by myself and after half a lap I was in the break. 5 girls. Every team represented. As we came closer to the finish I tried to get off on the right side. Alisha Welsh came with me on my left and she outsprinted me by a tire (so close). But hey, getting beaten by a professional cyclist is OK I think. I am only a Cat 2 afterall. And I have no idea how to sprint.

Xterra AZ Trail Run

7 k trail run. I guess I love racing. Today I went out to do a trail race. I thought it would fit perfect since I was supposed to do a long run with a 20 min up tempo. The trail was beautiful and I am glad I didn't know the course before. Because that trail was HILLY!!! 2 miles of uphill. AHHH. I started in the back not thinking...obviousely. Trails are narrow (as I know now), which means no room to move up unless you do some steeplechasing. I steeplechased my way into 3rd overall (men and women) before the hill and that is where I satyed. The race was great and I still had a 6:10 pace. So much fun.

Panama 70.3 - or not

Next week I was going to race the Panama 70.3. Flight booked, hotel booked, and then I got a letter from immigrations. No trip to Panama for me. Instead an interview with an immigration officer in Phoenix. Hopefully after this interview I will get my permanent green card, which will last much longer then the one I had. It is just a bummer that I only got a one week notice and that I have to cancel my trip to Panama. I will be there someday. Instead I will race the Valley of the Sun stage race. Road racing...ahhh...makes me nervous already :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012 Sponsors

First of all I have to say a HUGE thank you to my support team for 2011. Every single one has been a huge part of my season, whether it was during training, racing or in my "normal" time. I am looking forward to 2012 and am excited to work with the following companies again:

Nick has helped me get through my year injury free despite the long season, many races and all the travelling. Durapulse is a great company - my trainingplan allowed me to race a long season and have many PR's in 2011. Nick is great about adjusting my training quick, which is important when you realize for example that there is no open pool in Aviano, Italy (like when I was there). Durapulse also has a great team in Phoenix; my teammates always put a smile on my face and help me push myself during our "friendly" battles on the track.

My triathlon store in Phoenix. Iron Gear has not only supported me for 2011, but also the entire AZ Triathlon community by sponsoring many AZ Triathlon events. Also Iron Gear made it possible for me to race the relay event at the Duathlon World Championships (I had to change my ticket by 24 hrs to be able to do the relay and Iron Gear took care of the changing fee) - THANK YOU. I am very thankful for all their support and look forward to an even better 2012. Stop by their store in Mesa and check out all their equipment for swimming, biking and running.

Skinstrong is an incredible company. Not only do they help me transform any bike seat into what feels like a pillow (thanks to SLATHER), they also help me prevent blisters from my shoes and friction from my uniform or wetsuit (thanks to SLIK DUST and SLIK). The people behind Skinstrong are so friendly and helpful. Their products are affordable and are a great addition to any endurance atheletes equipment. Skinstrong is very important to me because with back to back racing I cannot afford having hot spots on my skin or blisters on my feet!!! Thanks for the support in 2011 and the future!!!

The Belgian Headcase that has keept my head safe and comfi for the last 2 years. The technology that Lazer uses allows the helmet to tighten evenly around my head. I had a lot of trouble finding a fitting helmet before I discovered Lazer. Their helmets are comfortable and most important they fit. My choices: Genesis and Tardiz!!! Looking forward to year 3 and more to come.

Endurance Rehab helps me recover faster and stay injury free. Their therapists KNOW athletes, not only because they have worked with many athletes from all sports, but also because they are athletes. I am looking forward to another year of their support, wether it is hands on or in the recovery boots. Check them out!!!

I am very excited to add on some new sponsors in 2011:

I am very honored to become part of the Tribe. In 2012 I will be part of the Zoot Ultra Team, consisting of a great group of companies (Garmin, GU, PR Bar, Zipp and, off course ZOOT). Zoot has me covered from Wetsuit to Recovery Products, from Shoes to Arm Warmers. I am really looking forward to working with them and being part of the Zoot Ultra Team.

I am really excited to be working with BH as my bike company. I will be riding the GC Aero TT bike and the RC1 as my Road Racing Machine. The company originated in Spain and the US headquarters are right here in Phoenix. The bikes are not only top quality but they also look fantastic!!!

Bike Haus will be my Road Team for the 2012 season. I am really excited to be the female Bike Haus representative on the AZ road circuit. And they carry BH bikes :-) Brilliant!!!

Trigger Point Therapy will also help me stay healthy in 2012. Their products are great quality and easy to take on any trip. The TP Massage Ball is perfect for airplane - foot massages or glute releases.

Thanks for your support!!!

Off course I also wouldn't be able to compete and train at this level without the support of my husband JR, my family in Germany and my friends (PAM, wanna go do a race in Texas?) :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 in review

2011 was not only a very eventful year, a very busy year, but also (to me) a successful year. Off course there are always things that could have gone better but I like to look at the entire picture.
I stayed injury free, I learned to sleep on command on airplanes and I am able to pack my bike box in 5 min (in a hotel lobby).


JR leaves for Germany (for work) while I stay in the US. 8 weeks without my hubby :-( Since I cannot sleep alone in a house I...well...just don't sleep at night. Instead I sleep during the day. The first 2 weeks turned me into a zombie but then I learned to live with it. Best part is that he is in the same city as my family and I am not :-(


Cycling season in AZ starts. After spending most of my time on the TT bike I entered the Avondale crit and broke off the front in the first corner and managed to lap the field by myself...LUCKY :-)

Ragnar Relay - I got to spend 30 hrs (or a total of 200 running miles) with 6 other people in one car. I had no idea who they were before the trip. The race was so much fun, we didn't sleep the enitre time, the van was most likely very stinky (Kelly and I did shower!!! Unlike the others :-) and we ran many many fast miles!!! And, the most important part: we are now friends and are looking forward to Ragnar 2012!!!


MIAMI here I come. My frist trip to Miami. I had a lovely homestay that showed my all of Miami. What a great city. I raced the 5150: after an OK swim (not last) I had a great ride and a great run (36:XX). 7th place in a very strong field. Great start to the season.

The weekend after I travel to the other coast: Superseal Triathlon. One of my MUST DO races. I went there to defend my title but also to go FASTER ;) Mission accomplished. I am now the proud owner of 3 Paddle Trophies with the Unit coins of the Navy Seals. I will be back and I really want a 4th paddle!!! 7 is the record ;-)


Marquee Triathlon...turned into a Duathlon. Oh well. Wave start with the boys in my age group. I managed to outrun them on the second run and finished 2 nd overall (one guy was 20 seconds in front in another wave). Probably the most nerve wrecking race, since I got chased by guys for 6 miles :-) Winning the female overall.

Phoenix Triathlon - cold water in Lake Pleasant. Great local race with a tough run. 1st place. Yippie.

USAT Duathlon National Championship - 1st place!!! The first 5 k was pretty uneventful, hilly, slow course. The bike went fantastic and I got into T2 in 1st place with a 2 min gap!!! It was super exciting to run through the finish and getting to hold up a banner!!! This race ment a lot to me: I got no sleep the night before the race thanks to a random midnight WADA Anti doping visit. I drove down to Tucson at 3 am, because I still had to register :-) Unfortunatelly I was not awarded the National Title because I was not released by Germany. I still got to stand on the podium as the winner of the rac and I got to represent the USA at Worlds in September. YEAH!!! Oh, and I am now released from Germany and only starting for the USA. If I decide to start at German CHampionships, I will be in the results as a foreign elite...that sounds strange ;)


Rio Salado Triathlon many events have I done now? 1st place!!! Whohoo!!!

Tempe International Triathlon - this time Sprint recover from the races :-) First place :-) It is always nice to have a travel time of 15 minutes to a race.

Memphis in May Triathlon - WOW, what a great race and what a great homestay. AND, what an eventful trip :-) Always something with me. I had the clever plan to do a 24 hr trip. Fly there, race, fly back. I never have the time to see a lot anyways, so I flew to Memphis the day before the race, arrived there just in time for the pro meeting, had a great dinner with my homestay and her friends. Damie (my homestay) was also racing so in the am we took off and went to the race. Her race was in this huge thunderstorm with lots of lightnig. She was so brave and finished very strong. By the time we raced the race was delayed for 2 hrs??? I think. It was still lightning and I almost peed my pants because the lightning was so close!!! The streets were flooded so I didn't see the dismount line (even though an official gave me the instructions to dismount before the curb, which I did) and I ended up getting a penalty :-( My first one EVER. The steet was flooded...the line was under water, invisible when you come charging at XX mph!!! Oh well. 8th place in a stacked field. I had a great race and flew back immediately after. Then I got to spend a night in the Chicago airport because of the same storm. Wonderful :-) Did you know that the Chicago airport closes from 12 until 5 am?


GERMANY - So exciting and a wonderful, uneventful trip. I raced 2 races with my family as my cheer-group. 5150 Germany and 5150 Austria. Both great races in great places. Germany went well and I ended up 5th, unfortunatelly I got sick right before Austria and had to race sick :-( 6th place in Austria - First time ever that I had to walk during the run because my head was hurting so bad. It was still fun. Great race and the location is absolutely fantastic!!!

For one week I led the 5150 World Ranking :-) YEAH!!! I have a print out as evidence. I am now qualified for Hy Vee, the 5150 Championship where the 30 best females in the world will battle each other for over 1.000.000 $ of price money.


I still wanted to race the Boulder 5150. ROADTRIP!!! A no pressure race (since I had already qualified). OK race (side ache on the run, probably from the shallow altitude breathing, oh well, that can happen to anyone). 8th place!!!

Mountainman Sprint Tri - 1st place. Local races are always fun.


The temps in Phoenix are getting rediculous and by now I am honestly sick of getting up at 5 am every day to get everything in before we hit 117 degrees.

JR goes to Italy for work and...what the heck...I am going for a week to escape the heat :-) It was supposed to be a swim/run training camp, unfortunatelly all the pools were closed in Italy due to a holiday and I wasn't allowed on the US base (because we didn't bring our marriage license :-(...German athlete starting for the USA in Italy unable to train due to not being allowed on US-Italian soil...makes sense, right? Oh well, I enjoyed being in Europe, ran 2 times a day, picked fresh fruit (figs, peaches, the trees after every run. PERFECT. The week went by way to fast and I was back in 117 degree Phoenix.

No racing!!!


Big month for racing:

Hy Vee and Worlds!!!

I was really excited but unfortunatelly my first full year living and training in Phoenix left me drained. My body was tired, we now had 50 + days of 110 plus degrees. So what to do...I decided to just enjoy the last 2 races and soak in all the excitement that comes with Championship races.
Positivity is key!!!

Hy Vee was a blast. We got spoiled. Our goodie bag was as big as my bikebox (kind of). We had our own little flag carrier that came with us to the start and the race was on. The flood gates were open and a lot (3050 cfs I heard) were pushing into our faces. Good for fish and fast swimmers, not so good for ... me. But, I made it here and all I had to do is enjoy. I had an amazing bike and a wonderful run soaking in the crowds and the great course. I finished 27th, NOT where I wanted to be. The swim just killed us "non-fish". But hey, I didn't sign up for an always-perfect triathlon!!!

Next up: Spain!!! Amazing Trip with a great friend. My family flew to Spain and we had an amazing time there. It was a ton of fun to represent the USA. AHHH!!! I ended up 16th on day one and our relay finished 8th on day 2 (where I had one of my fastest runs ever). It was a blast!!! I hope to be back in 2012!!!


No racing. I decided to take a good off season after racing much and for long. I am out cheering on people at Phoenix races, helping with clinics and just doing lots of stuff at home that I neglected during the season.


I did absolutely no racing but I started training again. Enjoying the nice temps in Phoenix.

Grand Canyon Hike for Thanksgiving - which was EPIC!!! Havasupai Falls to the Rapids at the Colorado. What a great trip. 5 days of sleeping bag, nature and drinking coffee out of a metal cup :-)

I also got to watch my first IM. IM AZ. Impressive to see all the people, all ages, all abilities, all smiles (almost). It got me thinking: when will be my first one?


Swim, Bike, Run - lots of it but no intensity. Enjoying the weather and looking forward to a visit from my family for Christmas!!!
We explore AZ and do a lot of sight seeing. Christmas was so much fun!!! Family here = Angi happy.

Maybe I should get back to racing:
New Years eve - 2 races? Why not?
Resolution 5 k in the am: A true cross country course (slow and hilly but awesome!!!). I finish 2nd overall behind JR, first female in a 18:30. Yeah. I haven't run this fast since college.
After a BIG New Years eve dinner of cheese, olives, bread and wine JR and I run the Midnight Madness Race. 3 miles in Phoenix. During the warm up we were wondering the following: why do 2 races in one day? And who had the clever idea to eat cheese and drink wine before a run?

I finish the 3 miles in 16:54, the fastest I have ever run a 3 miler. EVER!!! It felt great. That gave me a PR by a LOT. And I mean almost one full minute.

2011 is over and I am looking forward to 2012. I am so thankful and happy everything went the way it went and I can't wait to race my first race of 2012: PF Changs Halfmarathon followed by some 70.3, some 5150, some local running, cycling and triathlon events, Duathlons, trips to foreign countries and much more.