Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting chased... great in sports because it means you are in first place, but it is not good when you are in the forest...

Jack and I departed for a Flagstaff weekend today and as soon as we saw the Flagstaff sign we got off the interstate and onto the trails.


90 degrees, shade, the best trails, Jack was happy and I was happy. We ran for about 30 min and then decided it was play time for Mister puppy. Yes, he is a little spoiled. We walked another small loop...maybe 1 mile or so, sandwiched between a campground and the interstate and the horse track.

At one point I took out my camera to take a cool picture of 2 horses racing on the track and making a lot of dust. Then I turned around to tell Jack it is go time...when I saw... A HUGE A$$ COYOTE SHOWING HIS TEETH TO JACK. Jack was sniffing a flower so he didn't see him coming. He was about twice the size of Jack and he was about 10 cm away from taking a bite out of my Jack (that would be about a 1/2 subway sandwich away). I sprinted towards Jack yelling: NOOOOOOOO. jack laid down immediately thinking he did something wrong (good boy). The coyote then showed me its teeth... YIKES. I took a rock (as I learned from my friend Pam) and threw it and yelled and tried to make myself big. Then I took Jack (coyote still showing teeth) and we ran as fast as I could to the closest street (about a 4 min all out sprint!!!). The coyote came charging after us (he was like the honey badger). I yelled and ran and tried to protect Jack and we made it to the street in one piece.

This is what he looked like ( pics)
He was mean.

That coyote did not only want to take a bite out of Jack, he also wanted to have a bite of me!!! I noticed at one point that he only had three legs, which made it even crazier!!!

I am so glad that we made it out in one piece, that thing was HUNGRY. I am just glad he didn't come charging when we were on the other trail...that would have been a 15 min all out sprint to get back to people or a street...

Jack is so exhausted he is snoring on the bed, completely knocked out. Poor puppy. That was his second meeting with a coyote...hopefully he will be so pooped that he sleeps all day tomorrow while I rode my bike for 100 miles :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Angi learns about Baseball

Well, first I had to get my training done and for this weekend's fun it was Mount Lemmon in Tucson. In my 6 years (WHOA) in AZ I have never climbed Mount Lemmon, so I just had to do it. I went down to Tucson with Elliot and Kevin, and we met up with about 20 triathletes/cyclists. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I knew that it would turn into a race-like climb with so many competitive people. 

Elliot made a move 1 mile into the 27 mile climb. He dropped us all like a hot potato. I found another gear and caught up to him. Then we decided to put down the hammer. The climb and the heat was a tough  combination, but hey, no pain, no gain. We worked really well together, rotating and motivating each other. At mile 13 I said: "Oh man, we are not even half way done." And I think Elliot called me all kinds of names as a gesture of appreciation for me pointing that out :-) 

After a little bit over 2 hrs we made it to the intersection and we decided to climb to the Ski Valley parking lot. This time Elliot dropped me like a bad habit and I had nothing in the tank to try to get him :-( 

The climb is really fun and very scenic. It is nice to go from desert heat to 8500 ft and pine smell. This is a MUST!!!

The monsoon season here has started and unlike Phoenix, Tucson actually gets some rain. We haven't gotten a drop, but we got this: 

It was rolling in just as I wanted to go for a run. Since I don't want to breath in sand I went to the gym instead and enjoyed running in place.

Last night I got to try out a new sport: BASEBALL. I really like baseball, Elliot was nice enough to teach me the rules and the game.

 Coach Elliot.

I learned a lot:
Person with bat = batter (like cake batter)
Person on mountain thing = pitcher (like beer pitcher)
Glove thing = Mitten (I think)
Dusty area = infield
Don't swing at balls that you don't like.
High balls are not that great. 
Jack is a great ball boy for baseball. He loves the game.
Don't hit pitcher with ball.

I did it!!! The ball made it out of the infield. (So is that called it made it into the outfield then?)

 This is one very tired ball boy.

Baseball is fun. Now I just have to learn to call it Baseball and not Football. Ooooopsie.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer livin' in Phoenix

Here we are again. 100+ degrees. Every day. Today we are going to hit 112. And every year I have the same thoughts: WE NEED TO MOVE. This will be my third summer in Phoenix and I have to say that every year I turn more into an Arizonan.

2010 - I remember when it was 60 degrees at 6 am for my run and I thought it was HOT.
2011 - I can handle 80's for running now (at 6 am).
2012 - I can't believe I ran in 106 degrees. Yes it was warm, but it was doable... YIKES.

However, motivational struggle seems to appear EVERY summer in Phoenix. If you don't get your exercise in before 9 am, then you won't get it in anymore. It is just too hot. Knowing that this won't change until Sepember (if we are lucky) makes it twice as tough. Getting up early is productive but when your alarm goes off at 4:30 am on a Saturday and Sunday and every other day the week includes, it can get boring...:-(

What to do... here are tips and tricks that I thought are beneficial:

-got to bed early, so you can get up early :-)
-run from water fountain to water fountain and constantly soak your shirt with H2O
-drown your shirt in water before riding and running
-switch swims to PM, because it is much more manageable to swim in the heat then to run. This allows you to ride and run in the am
-get good movies for the trainer :-) Yes, we use the trainer in the summer
-SUNSCREEN, stock up on the big bottles, the sun here is intense
-enter local running races, it makes it much more pleasant to suffer with people vs. alone

I cannot wait to go to Flagstaff for a few races before leaving for Germany on July 17th. I am excited to pack my arm warmers and rain gear :-)

I am excited for the "rest" of the season (feels like my season has not even started yet). Once I get back from Germany I will be on a quest to earn as many points for Worlds 2013 as possible. Kind of crazy to think that start date to earn points for 2013 is in August of 2012 :-)

But first up: Bike racing in Flagstaff and Belgium 70.3 in 4 weeks!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The other side!!! (of Hawaii)

What to do on our last day in Hawaii...exploring the other side :-) Only a 30 min drive from us and you could see green grass, cows, a running creek, slight rain and rainforest like plants:

Kind of looks like hiking in the alps. We kept going to Hilo and discovered the wild side of Hawaii:

 Sea creatures!!!
 The roots of the plants were fascinating...never thought I would take pics of roots, but I had also never seen roots so big that you could build a house in them...

 Jurassic park plants!!! The leaves of most plants were bigger then me!!!

 This guy wasn't scared. 

 In Phoenix we can buy things like this at Home Depot. But they are made out of metal. Here it is a plant :-)

 That is me!!! Just kidding.

 A local told me that the air force flies along the coast whenever there is an earthquake or something going on with the I showed him this picture...I am pretty sure that this is an air force airplane :-)
 Macademia nuts!!! EVERYWHERE!!!

Yes, this is Lava. At first it looked like someone just turned on some lights.

We are now back in Phoenix and thanks to Tribike transport we didn't have to deal with packing our bikes so JR and I had some extra time snorkeling. Tribike transport really really helps not being stressed out!!!

Next up: some training in the heat, a trip to Rhode Island with my friend Amber for some racing and then I am off to Europe. Antwerp 70.3 for the first time. An all downtown 70.3 (then again, Belgium is kind of small, so pretty much the entire country is one town :-) I am really excited to escape the heat for a few weeks and to be able to train mid day instead of early in the morning. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Hawaii is AWESOME. This is my first trip to Hawaii and the farthest away from Germany I have ever been. I actually think during the race I swam so far out that I could see Japan. But I am not sure, it could have been Maui ;-)

The race was a great training day. Going into the race I was hoping for a good swim, a great bike and just to finish the run.  I took a solid three weeks off of running and then had about one week to prepare for this race...yeah, very smart I know, so the plan was to go hard during swim and bike.

My good friends, who know of my fear of fish, probably wonder if I actually went deeper then knee deep in the water...YES!!! I couldn't do it the first day here, so I just stood by the beach with my goggles on, looked at the water and 10 min later I decided: not today.   
The next dayI actually swam in the ocean and it was pretty. Every once in a while I had thoughts like: if I would be shark, I would hang out right here...or...cold pocket here, that is most likely where the sharks are...and I swam back to shore in record time.

Race morning was super windy and my fear-priorities changed. I love waves, so the swim was so much fun!!! I actually had feet to draft off, almost the entire time, just once the feet went out and I kept going straight so I caught up to some other feet.

The bike was crazy. The winds were blowing hard and now I know why in the pre race meeting they said: "Well, you professionals have probably been here for the past few weeks to get used to the wind..."...yeah, that would have been nice, but unfortunately not possible for this girl. So I spend 99% of the ride NOT in my aero bars, instead I got blown over the yellow line twice and was just hoping not to crash. I honestly have to say that I have never biked that slow in a race, but there was no way I could have gone faster without crashing. Maybe next year I can come out "a few weeks" early :-) HA

The run was fun. Up and down and up and down. I had coke at every aid stations since I only ate one gel on the bike and one going out of T2. I didn't know how far I could actually run so I just tried to enjoy. My time was at that point secondary as long as I could finish pain free AND be pain free after the race.               

I finished 9th and had happy feet!!! No socks used, no pain, no blisters.

The most amazing story to me was my husband JR. He has been working a lot and has trained the absolute minimum for this race. And I am talking: 5 swims since IMAZ, runs, but no workouts, rides twice a week. He is just a really busy guy and had no time to prepare for this. However, he ended up with this: 

Here is the funny part: He swims a 33 something, passes me on the bike (smiling) and he was riding with the first amateurs and some pro males. He didn't know. We didn't get calf marks, so he was not sure what age group people where in. He started the run and got passed about 200 m before the finish. Turns out the guy who passed him got a KONA slot!!! Unfortunately he was in JR's age group, so JR, finishing third did not get one :-( He was 16 seconds away from a KONA SLOT. Unbelievable. He did however take the Las Vegas Slot and told me he would train for it (I think he mentioned a swim twice a week!!!). Watching him kick ass was cool.
After the race the vacation began: 


Me and my new friend. 


 JR back at the harbor. Maybe I should sign him up for another IM :-)

 Our snorkeling/swimming beach. Yesterday I swam around the boat 3 times!!! I even made it out and back once going butterfly (with fins) :-) Yeah, that left me pooped.

 Climbing trees.
 This guy hangs out on our porch every day. 

 Hawaii is definitely a very beautiful place with so much to do. I wish we would have time to go to the other side and see all the green - ness and waterfalls. Or go to the other islands. One thing is for sure. As soon as I set foot on this island I was hungry for training and racing!!! This place has so much positive energy. 2 more days to explore!!!