A year is a long time to be working towards a goal - espcially when there’s so many individual milestones to be met along the way. In 2018, ...

Dec 20, 2009

Playing in the dirt

Finally, a nice weekend with no snow on the trails. Nick and I loaded up the bikes and headed north in the Road Turtle to meet Dave and Brent at the Mount Herman trail system in Monument. I had never ridden there, so was looking forward to some new trails. Brent lives pretty close, so he was able to show us some fun stuff to ride. It was actually pretty dry. There was some snow on the north facing slopes and some ice in the shady areas of the trails, but that was to be expected. There was a good mix of technical and non-technical riding, some good climbs and some fun decents. I was working to stay with the guys, espcially on some of the false flats. But the good news is my technical skills have improved as my power on the bike has improved. I was able to clean some pretty trick sections that I wouldn't have tried last year. I did take a nice spill on one of the ice patches near the end of the ride. I thought I had my skates - slid for a few feet on my hip. That will leave a mark.

After the ride, I went for an easy run on one of the flatter trails. Haven't been trail running since Ogden, and it showed. I was a little off kilter on the twisty sections. But it was a good run, and nice to get outside. Always a treat to be able to play in the dirt (and mud and snow and ice). We never know how long the weather will hold, so take advantage of the oppertunites to get outside.

Dec 19, 2009

CTS Night at the Races Finale

Friday was the last race in the Night at the Races series hosted by CTS. We finished out the event with a three race omminum - a team time trial, a criterum in the Garden of the Gods, and a short road race. Like last week, it was a full house on the computrainers and the energy in the room was palpable. The cowbells were out and so was the trash talking!

For the TTT, it was from row against back row, with the time taken on the last person to cross the line. My team got off to a strong start and quickly took over the lead. I would love to say that I did my share of the work but... I hid in the draft the whole time, letting the two boys set the tempo. That seemed like a great place to be - hanging on for dear life. Luckly, the team worked really well together and we were all able to cross the line together.

The next race was the criterum through the Garden of the Gods, by the Trading Post and Balanced Rock. My group had too do five laps - we all started whining when Brandon realized that the next group was doing four and the last group was only doing three! The CTS coaches were very sympathtic - their advice was to get riding and stay in the draft until the last hill! Without the help of the boys, I very quickly slipped into last place. I was able to fight up to second to last by the end of the course, but that was a challenge. And we still had one more race!

The final race was a short, flatter road race through Central Park. And we didn't even have to get off our bikes to get to NY! I managed to get a great start on the down hill, but my time in the lead did not last long. Once again, I was in second to last, fighting to get on the wheel of the next rider. Every slight incline, I would gain ground and pull away. Then we'd hit the downhills and he would take the lead. My one chance was the uphill finish. Phil and Paul would have had fun with the call for our sprint.

This was a lot of fun, the indoor races. I hope that CTS does another series. It was a great way to get some good training and break up the boredom of riding inside.

Dec 16, 2009

Clean Bikes!!

Finally, an nice warm day. I took advantage of the sunny weather and warm temperatures to get both my mountain bikes cleaned up. The last time I'd riden them was before the cold snap. We rode on a Sunday, I worked Monday, then the weather went negative. The Tomac was really muddy - I'd ridden that bike for the last long ride and it was warm enough to turn the lower trails really icky. But now they are clean - all the mud has been scrubbed away, everything lubed and running great. Ready for more mud - when the trails open up a little!

I have to admit - an indication of what matters to me. I pull into the CTS parking lot for my workout this morning. I have two bikes on the roofrack and pull a third out of the back of the car! Amost at that sterotypical joke about the bikes being worth more then car under them!

Dec 10, 2009

Road ID

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my new Road ID bracelet, from both co-works and friends. Questions like “What is that on your wrist?” To which I explain that it’s an ID that will allow for quick identification and motivation if something was to ever happen. “Do you wear that racing?” Actually, I do wear mine racing. I know that I’ve got body marking and bike or bib numbers on, but as my mother found out at the KA 70.3, that does not always translate in identification or notification of emergency contacts. Unfortunately, things happen, both in racing and training. The cell phone and drivers license that I carry in my jersey pockets will help first responders if they know to look for it. An easily noticeable bracelet is more efficient. And efficient care means better care.

I really think that anyone who is active should investigate Road ID – the ads might make light of the risk we face on the open road, but those risks are real. I’ve taken steps to make sure that everyone I care about has one. Nick has his dog tag with the mountain biker on the back and I’m giving one to my mother for her birthday. The holidays are coming up – a Road ID is a budget friendly gift that might just save a life. There’s a link at the bottom of my blog – click on that for more information on Road ID and the other safety products they sell.

Dec 9, 2009

Deep Freeze

You know it's cold when you're wearing a long sleeved jersey and knee warmers in the garage, while doing a hard workout. I was planning on going in to CTS on the 8th to do my workout, but the factility was closed due to weather. It was below zero, with windchills into the below teens. I had my heart rate data, so I just did the workout on the spin bike in the garage. And it was so cold, in the garage, that I was bundled up during my warmup and really didn't take too many layers off once the workout started. Not quite at the point where I could see my breath, but close.

Even without having the powere data, it was still a really good workout. I've always had problems spiking my effort level from threshold, then being able to return to threshold without taking time to recover. This workout really focused on that. I could tell that this is an area where I need some work. I would get to threshold, mantain, then increase the effort level. Returning to threshold was the hardest part. All I wanted to to was just completely back off and recover. But I have been in races and lost the wheels of the other girls because of that. They would make the effort to climb the hill, and I'd be right with them. At the top, I would slow down to recover, and the gap would form. So that's one major thing that Adam and I are working on this winter.

I have a feeling that all my workouts will be inside from now until April. There is that much snow and ice all over right now. I don't think that the trails will be clear until next year some time.

Dec 6, 2009

Incline Hike

This has been a really nasty winter so far and December is only a few days old! A cold front moved through last weekend and dropped temperatures into the single digits for a day or two. It warmed up a little on Saturday, so Nick and I took advantage of the 30 degree temps and headed out on the bikes. Now that we both have good, warm clothes, shoes and gloves, it’s easier to ride outside on those marginal days. There weren’t too many other people out riding or hiking on Saturday, so it was nice. I was dragging a little after the Computrainer races on Friday. Sunday, we woke up to single digits again and blowing snow. Nick was trying to get the gang together for a ride, but no one seemed to be biting. Grant was interested in a hike, but not riding. Can’t understand why. It was just a perfect day for a ride outside! I was supposed to do a running workout then a swim and was packing to head to 24 Hr Fitness. Then Nick suggested that we just do the incline and swim. That sounded a little more appealing the staring at the walls for hours, so off we went. We stopped to pick up Grant on the way. He tried (unsucessufully) to get Nick to hike in the Canyon instead of the Incline.

This was only my third time up the incline. Because of the temperature, I was carrying my own pack with lots of warm clothes for the hike down Barr Trail. I dressed for going up and loaded my pack down. Nick, Grant  and I hiked up at our own pace. I’m a little faster going up the hills because I’ve got the run training. It was so quiet up there, with the snow blanketing the trees and the clouds drifting over the sun. I made it up in a decent time, then headed down a little to meet Nick and Grant. Every time we’ve done the incline, we always see a few people hiking down. When I make my way down to meet Nick, it just amazes me. It might take longer hiking down Barr Trail, but it’s so much safer.

After reaching the top, we bundled up and started down Barr Trail. Grant was smart - he had a really warm pair of mountaineering pants, so he was comfortable the whole time. I had my second warmest gloves, warmest hat, a craft shirt, a wind blocking fleece, warm jersey, heavy coat and Gore jacket on, and I was still chilly. My nose was freezing by the time we reached the car. It took over an hour for my hands and nose to warm up and my toes were still cold when we got to 24 hr fitness. I don’t know how some of the athletes in the Iditarod or mountaineers handle the cold weather like they do. I am a warm blooded, liking the sun kinda person.

Dec 4, 2009

Night at the Races

Carmichael Training Systems is hosting an indoor, computrainer race series this winter. It's four races, with prizes each night, then overall awards at the end of the series. I missed the first night because of my APTA class, but the one tonight worked into the training schedule well. So when I got off work, I loaded up my bike and headed down to CTS.

I wasn't sure of what to expect. I've been using the computrainers for my workouts since October and I really love it. But for a race? I was in the A group, where I was sure to get a good, solid rump kicking. The races were two different Crit courses here in Colorado Springs. Someone had ridden them and loaded the GPS data into the computer. Since crits are ususally short, fast courses, they programed in a set number of laps and first rider to the end won. Both races were really hilly. I was not going to be using my aerobars much at all!

Everyone was talking smack during the warmup period, but once the races started, there was not much talking going on. I very quickly slipped into last postion. I'm blaming a poor start on that one. The system was set up to allow drafting, so if you were close enough you could feel the resistance let up just a little. I was able to move up into 5th place, but was nipped at the line. Not last, but second to last. The second race was the same - second to last, but working my tail off. I really felt like I was racing a short track in cross country. It was the same amount of effort and intensity, despite being inside.

I would recommend anyone interested checking out the CTS Night at the Races. It's Friday night at 6:00.

Dec 2, 2009

Winter Returns

After a long string of nice days, winter has blown in with a vengence. Yesterday was sunny, warm and I was outside without a coat. Today, 40 degrees colder and I haven't been outside at all. I spent my rest day doing chores and playing with the cats. I got both the bedroom and the office cleaned up, with plenty of help from DumDum. He loves getting into the cubbies and boxes. I also took advantage of the fridgid tempuratures to clean the oven. Thanksgiving made a bit of a mess in the oven and I couldn't bake anything without smoking out the house. So I disconected the smoke alarm and turned the vent on and now I have a clean oven.

I'm also working on fixing some of Nick booties. He's torn the elastic and the toes on most of his pairs of booties. The elastic is cheaper then buying a new pair and I have the time to experiment with the sewing technique. Some wives will hem pants or iron shirts. Me? I'm sewing black elastic to cycling booties!!

Stratton Trail Work

It's unfortunate when a few people decide without imput what is best for all user groups. Right now there is a small back hoe parked in Stratton Open Space and one of my favorite trails is now missing every rock. The city is supposibly improving the drainage around the trails. That's a great idea - there are a few trails with some signifigant ruts and damage. But the one that they are working on did not have any issues. It was one of the best in the park. And I don't know how removing rocks, smoothing and widening could possibly help with drainage issues. It's a shame that they have ruined this trail, I hope that they are not planning on "fixing" any others soon. I remember when I first start riding and making it up this trail, cleaning the rocks was a big deal. Now it's almost ADA compliant - we saw two women walking side by side up the hill! I know they mean well, but the rocks help prevent erosion, even if the trail is more "dangerous" with them. Now the new sidewalk will have a sketchy rut right down the middle after the first big rainstorm.

Dec 1, 2009

MSC Schedule released

The first part of next year's racing schedule has been released. MSC announced the dates of their races and it's going to be a fun, but long season. Nine different venues, including three new ones, with 17 total races between cross country, short track, hill climbs and time trials. That's a lot of racing!

Now I just need the Xterra Cup schedule. Once that is released, I will be able to plan my racing schedule for next year. I'm planning on doing at least five cup races, and then filling in with the MSC events. Nick also wants to do 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and 24 Hours in the Sage. I also have three more states and I'll have run a marathon in all 50 states, plus DC. I don't know if I'll get those done next year or not, but that's low on the list of priorities right now.

Nov 30, 2009

Masters Swimming

I've started swimming with the local masters group in the mornings. Just Mondays for now, but I'll start going more frequently next year - Fridays and Saturdays as well as the Mondays. It's not that I need to swim more, it's just that I need to swim faster. I've been doing well with my three times a week, by my self, on the fly workouts, but I have not been pushing myself to swim faster. It's aways just at my comfort zone. It's really hard to swim fast without someone on your toes. Since I have to get up early on Mondays to get to work, it's a perfect way to start. Only issue - Mondays are IM days. That means plenty of work on butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke. It's good in a way, because working all four strokes provide even muscle development and better power for open water swimming. I just need to be careful. I swam fly and IM in high school and my shoulders get a little cranky some times. It is nice - I haven't been mixing it up like that since high school and it's actually fun.

Nov 29, 2009

Triathlon inspirations

As I was working with a patient yesterday, I realized something. We triathletes use a lot of tools to make our lives easier that were origianlly designed for older adults. My patient was looking at my shoes and asked my what kind of weird laces I was using. I had a pair of shoes that still had the elasic laces I use for triathlons. My inital response was "well, it makes it so I can get my shoes on faster." Then I looked at her shoes - she had a pair of elastic laces that the OT had provided so that she could get her shoes on without help. That made me think of the compression stockings. I'll admit, I have a few pairs. I use them all the time while traveling, before and after races, and after hard workouts. I also use them while at work. Many of my patients also have compression stocking - not to reduce soreness and improve recovery, but to prevent swelling and blood clots. It's the same technology, just for a different function.

So where will we get our next inspiration from?

Nov 28, 2009

First Night Ride

Nick and I went for an night ride after I got off work yesterday. It went pretty good for being my first night ride all summer. I haven't had the need or desire to ride at night. I have plenty of lights and clothes, but just haven't felt like getting out after dark. I really need to practice more before 24 hours of Old Pueblo. That was the big thing that I noticed last year - my times slowed by about 15 minutes for the night laps, not because I was tired, but because I was taking it easy. Just not fluent riding at night and I didn't want to ride into a cactus! If I want to ride faster at night, I have to get out and ride - bottom line. I have to ride more after dark.

I have to say, I really like the little Amoeba lights. They are so much easier to operate then the Nite Riders we use on the bars. It's just an on/off - no fancy setting that get confusing after 14 hours. I also like the fact that the light and battery pack both fit on my helmet. There are no cords to worry about. If you race 24 hour mountain bike races or commute to work in the dark, check out out

Nov 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

A happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I think that we all have much to be thankful for, including the ability to head out for a nice mountain bike ride with friends. It was a great day - Tracy, Fred and Mike joined me and Nick for a low key ride through Stratton and down Columbine. After the ride, the gang came over and shared dinner with us.That's the true meaning of the holiday - a time to get together with friends and family and reflect. It's always fun when we have people over. I get to try some new recipies, make some different dishes. I had a great time cooking - although the cheesecake did not turn out as well as normal.

Also, thank you to Challenged Athletes and Operation Rebound. I've met some truely imspiring athletes through my participation as a fundraiser and am honored to be helping make a difference in their lives

Nov 24, 2009

Fashion Accessories

I finally got my sewing maching up and running again. I'm all finished with my schoolwork, just waiting on the grades, so I needed something else to do. So I dug out my fabric and started playing around. I have had this funky bike fabric for a number of years, but could not figure out what to do with it. Well, I have a new tote bag now, in fun bright colors that will never get lost in the car. It wasn't that hard to do - I just needed to figure out the best way to do the side seams and the handle. This was the first draft. I will make a few changes to the pattern in my head and try again. I have plenty more fabric and once I get the lining and style perfected, then watch out!!

I'm not sure that Nick is as impressed as I was. He just wanted to critique the bikes, make sure that everything was realistic. The road bikes were fine, complete with cables and everything. The mountain bikes on the other hand. He wasn't impressed with the design.

Welcome Crankskins.

After already suffering from some major scuffs and dings on the my Truvativ Noir cranks, I was happy to accept sponsorship from Crankskins. They make high quality protection for crankarms and chainstays. I also really like the ability to personalize your bike through the different patterns and colors. Haven't gotten mine yet, but will soon. Need to figure out what colors I want! Visit for more information.

Nov 20, 2009

We have heat!

Nick and I dropped the Road Turtle off at Dee's RV last weekend so they could look at the furnace. When we did our test run in Pueblo, we were lucky that there was an electric hook-up, other wise it would have been a cold time. The furnace was blowing out air, but it wasn't warm. So we had to use the little heater fan we got at Target to keep warm. We were hoping that it wasn't an issue with the furnace, because the darn thing is so old that we would not be able to get the needed part. A new furnace would have been a little more money then we wanted to spend right now. Luckly, the darn thing was just dirty. The mechanics at Dee's pulled the furnace out and cleaned it, twice. After the deep cleaning, the furnace started blowing out nice, warm air. So we will have heat down in Old Pueblo this year. That is going to be such a nice change from last year - a warm, dry place to sleep, change and hang out. It will make the race so much better.

Nov 19, 2009

Training Again!

Why does even one week of not doing anything make me go utterly crazy? I am not good at taking time off, espcially when the weather is nice out. I just want to get out and do something!

I promised that I would behave myself as I started getting back into training after Silverman and the whole pneumonia thing. Well, does running mile repeats with the girls count as taking it easy? I'm not sure about that, but it felt good to run hard. Hey, I didn't get to run the marathon, so... We ran a measured out and back mile on the Santa Fe trail. I ran faster then I meant to, but it felt really good. The last mile was a bit of a struggle and I did slow down by about 10 seconds from the first mile to that third mile. Not as consistant as I usually run. A little sore today, but worth it. It's always nice to get out and run with a group.

Even though it has been really nice and sunny, the trail was muddy. Left overs from Sunday's snowstorm. Of course, I wore a brand new shirt and now it's a little mud splattered. Oh well. I'm sure the mud will come out in the wash. If not, I got the shirt to run in and just made sure that it would be used for that!

Nov 18, 2009

Operation Rebound 2009 Final Update

I would like to thank everyone who has donated to Challenged Athletes Foundation already. While I did not have the race I was hoping for at Silverman, the Operation Rebound athletes were out in force and the teams all had outstanding days. This was the first year a Challenged Athlete attempted the Full Silverman and the first year a woman hand-cyclist completed the bike course of the Half Relay. It was an honor to see these outstanding athletes succeeding despite physical limitations. These achievements would not be possible without our support.
Please visit www.teamorsilverman 09.kintera. org and help support the efforts of Challenged Athletes and Operation Rebound

Silverman or Bust

Silverman or Bust is a group of individuals documenting their training for the 2010 Silverman Half. Many of them have volunteered at Silverman in the past years, but have not yet taken the plunge. For many of them it will be their first triathlon. What a race to make as the first triathlon! I will be helping them with the journey from triathlon newbie to Silverman Veteran through guest blogging on the site. I'll be giving training advice, equipment advice and general comments as they train for Silverman. I think it will be awesome to follow them through the year, then see how well they all do at Silverman. The website is so join us on this adventure!

Nov 17, 2009

Sponsorship Stuff

This is the hard part about being a professional triathlete. I have to pay for my sport somehow if I'm not working, so I need the sponsors. I also need to find a few strong sponsors that will help with travel and racing expenses, not just the product at a steep discount. Don't get me wrong, I love having the access that I have. But a closet full of coffee will keep me awake while driving to the race, not get me to the race. So I need to learn to sell myself. That's something I'm not very good at. I would prefer to let results, ect speak for me, but that hasn't worked really well this year. So now the hunt begins - not so much for the 2010 season, but for the years after that.

Getting going again

I'm finished with the antibiotics and feeling normal again. I'm not coughing like I was, and the breathing in much better. Time to start gradually getting back into training. I've been getting ansy this week without doing much of anything. I just need to be really carefull about ramping up. I don't want a repeat of what happened at Silverman, so I need to make sure that I'm really healthy before any higher intensity workouts.

Nov 16, 2009

Joe's Silverman Report

One of the other Pikes Peak Tri Club Members just posted an nice report on his Silverman Half. Joe raises money for Caine Companions for Independence with his racing and added Silverman to his already busy race schedule. Take a read and consider making a donation to CCI after reading his report. Thanks!

Nov 15, 2009


This was one of those days where you get in the car, start driving and go huh? It snowed last night, just a little - maybe an inch or two. But it was wet and rainy before the temperature dropped to snow levels. I would think that since it's a Sunday, the road crews would be able to get all the major streets plowed before the the church, ect traffic heads out. Well...

As I was driving to work at 8:15 - it did not look like they had been out plowing at all. A few major roads were okay, but the rest - I really could have gone ice skating on them. Just thick, chunky ice with a layer of slush underneath. And the major roads? Well, it looked like the plow drivers had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. Nevada was a mess - a long pile of snow ran right down the middle lane, ocassionaly wandering into the left lane. There was a Smart Car sized snowball in the middle of the road by the Myron Stratton Home. It would have been better if the plows had stayed home - just dropping de-icer does not help with clearing the roads. Plow on the pavement, not two inches above is the only way to get the snow off the road. Anything else and whats the point?

Anyway, this is Colorado. It will melt in two days and we'll forget how to drive on ice again.

Nov 14, 2009

Ironman Pro Membership

Good news and bad news. The good news is that I will truly and honestly be focused on the Xterra racing and my mountain biking (except for Silverman.) That in itself means my 2010 season will be better then this year. I won’t be pulled in different directions within triathlon. The bad news is that this is not by my choice entirely. I just can’t justify the new WTC Ironman Pro membership costs to race one or two 70.3s.

The new move for the WTC is starting an “Ironman Pro Membership.” Unless you get their membership, as a pro, you can’t race any of their events. No Ironman races and no Ironman 70.3 races. If you’re planning on racing at least five 70.3s or two Ironmans, then it’s a great idea. But if you’re like me and many other pros and were only planning one or two 70.3s, it’s just not an option. Why? The membership is $750 +’s fee. After paying that up front, the entry in to any WTC race is “Complementary” How can you have a comp entry if you’ve just paid $750 to join a club? But that’s just me whining. The point is, if you race 70.3s frequently, then it’s a financial bonus and will make it easier to race. But if not… I can’t afford to pay $375 for two or $750 for one 70.3 race. So I won’t be attending any WTC events next year, despite how interesting some of them sound.

It will be interesting to see the effects this pro membership will have on the WTC races. So far, the opinion seems split on it. People in my shoes hate the idea but others like it. The bigger issue that people are upset about are narrow time allowances for Kona slots (5% of the winners time) and for the prize money distribution (8% of the winners time). Not every pro makes money from sponsorships – hoping to pay travel expenses with prize money is reality for many new pros. And now we’re being told that if someone has a great race, our hard work might not get rewarded. That would be like telling a nurse that she won’t get paid for her 12 hours because she has fewer meds to pass then another nurse. I understand that the pro fields at some races were very weak – this is not the way to encourage new pros and development at the distances. At least that’s my opinion

Okay – rant over!

Nov 13, 2009

2011 ITU Long Course World Championships

A little late getting this posted, but a huge congratulations are in order for Frank and Meg from Lowery’s Multisport aka Silverman. I found out on Friday before this year’s race that Silverman had been chosen as the host race for the 2011 ITU Long Course World Championships. This a huge honor for an outstanding race. I’m thrilled for Frank and Meg and looking forward to the next two years of Silverman. I know that the Half Silverman will have more racers next year as people come to check out the course and that in 2011, the world’s best age group triathletes will converge in Henderson for the challenge of a lifetime.

Every year, the race has gotten better. I love going back now and catching up with everyone, from the race staff to the volunteers to the other races. The same faces at the registration tents, asking how last year went. I’ve seen the same crew at the mile 7 aid station on the run every year. The announcers know the entire history of the race and aren’t afraid to tease you about something. And Frank is out and about the entire weekend, making sure things run smoothly. It’s a little family that is always welcoming to new members. You won’t find a better value for your race money, even if personal worsts are almost guaranteed!!

Nov 12, 2009

EcoSports Bottles

I got my new bottles while I was out in Vegas, so this was the first chance I had to play with them. My first impression was how light they were. I think the 30 oz Eco bottle was lighter then some of the plastic bottles I've been using. The sport top is perfect for using in the car or while on the spin bike. I'm not going outside for a while, thanks to the pneumonia, but looking forward to trying the bottles when I do. I also got the Eco Jr and an Eco Steel bottle. The Eco Jr. is a good size for am orange juice or for using at the computer or at work. Don't need to worry about knocking it over, unlike the taller bottles. The Eco Steel is for my swim bag - I needed a new bottle after my last few plastic ones got deformed in the summer heat. I know the sturdy steel will last being in my car all day and the slate blue is a nice color.

Everyone is making metal waterbottles now. Why not try the only ones designed for the active lifestyle we all lead?

Nov 11, 2009

Check up results

Went to one of the urgent care clinics in town just to get checked out after Sunday's cough fest. I'm still not breathing right and still coughing a lot. Normally, I would just ignore those sort of things, but I don't want this to turn into a long time issue. Turns out I have a very mild case of pneumonia (would hate to see what the xray would have shown on Sunday) and acute bronchitis. SO two antibiotic shots later, and a dose of oral antibiotics, I should start getting better soon.

My wallet on the other hand... Will suffer from this episode, I'm sure.

Silverman Race Report

As I said before, Silverman did not go well for me this year. The weather was perfect for a race, sunny, clear and hardly any wind. I just had a bad day, physically. I started coughing up crap on the bike at mile 10 and never stopped. My swim was 55:31, thanks to the smooth water. T1 was in and out, efficiently in 2:05. I did have my fastest bike time on the course by over two minutes, riding 6:36:10. T2 was a little slow in 2:08. However, I had to walk the run. I could not run at all and took 5:50:38 to do the marathon. My final time was 13:26:30, which is my second slowest time for the course. But I finished. I also have some photo from the trip and venue

I had had a nagging cough since I was sick two weeks ago. I really didn't think much of it, but noticed that it was getting worse on Friday and Saturday before the race. Woke up race morning, bright and early. I made my oatmeal (three packets of the Quaker Healthy Harvest instant) and some how managed to finish it all. Made some coffee and dropped two MotorTabs in a bottle for waiting at the swim start. I already had everything packed, so it didn't take to much time to get over to the Sunset Station to pick up the race shuttle. Yes, I was a lazy bum and drove the half a mile from my hotel. I would be going far enough in the coming hours.

Once we got to Lake Mead, there wasn't much that I needed to do. I got my water bottles on my bike, filled my aero bottle and made sure that I had my tools and my spare tubes. Last thing I wanted to deal with was the chance of a flat. There were a lot of people I knew wandering around, which made the time pass quickly. Soon it was time to fight with the wetsuit and get ready to swim.

The swim at Silverman has been challenging the last few years. This year, the lake was smooth as glass. The water level was quite a bit lower then last year, leading to a very narrow starting channel. As such, the start was a little more physical then in previous years, but I found open water quickly. There was a cluster of racers in front and another group right around me. For once, I could actually see the bouys in the water! I settled into a comfortable rhythm, siting every five to ten strokes. The bouys were moving by quickly, which was nice to see. Frank (the race director) has different colored bouys at the turns, which makes things easy. No thinking required! I lost a few of the guys in my group - they were swimming off in some weird directions - and struck out on my own. As always, there was plenty of support staff in the water, from Kayaks to Stand up paddlers and ski jets and motor boats. Despite not really having any other athletes around me, I was never alone in the water.
Thanks to the perfect conditions, I got out of the water in record time. I was actually a little shocked to see the clock at the swim finish reading 55:31! There was no time to celebrate - I wanted to get on the bike as quickly as I could. Before the swim, I'd greased up with Beljum Budder to make the (wetsuit) stripping as easy as possible. I have to hand it to the fabuloaus (wetsuit) strippers at Silverman. Always make that part of the race a bit easier.

This is the hardest bike course I have done. It is harder then Kona, even on a windy day on the island. My fastest time leading up to this year was 6:38:54 - the first year, in perfect conditions. I was hoping to ride between 6:20 and 6:12 this year, and the conditions were again perfect. I got on the bike and started up the two mile long climb out of T1. At that point, I noticed a rookie mistake - my aero bottle was on backwards! I managed to fix it without having to stop, but that was an indication as to how the rest of the ride would go.
At mile ten, that cough I'd been dealing with came back with a vengeance. I started coughing about every five minutes, hard enough that other athletes were asking me if I was okay. I continued riding, maintaining a comfortable pace, but I was unable to push on any of the hills. If I started working too hard, I started coughing. And what I was coughing up was not pretty. Think chewed up saltines mixed with chewed up pretzels and you've got a great visual. There were a few times that I was wandering across the road because I was coughing so hard. Just lucky there was no traffic or USAT officials around at that time!
I hit the halfway in 3:12. Slower then what I was looking for, but reasonable given the first half has a lot more climbing then the middle 30 miles. I knew I had a good gap on the woman behind me, and decided to just ride tempo home so I would be able to run well. At least, that's what the plan was. I continued coughing, with the spells coming more frequently and starting to really affect my ability to ride. My back was also starting to cramp up from the coughing, so I couldn't hold aero on any of the climbs.
At the exit off the road onto the River Mountain Trail, the first Age Group woman caught me. She slowed for just a minute, asked if I was okay after hearing me coughing my way up the first of the three sisters, then took off. I tried not to let her ride away - I was still planning on having a good run at this race. Gradually, she disappeared from view, but I knew that it had taken her 96 miles to make up 10 minutes - I wouldn't loose that much time in 18 miles.
On the road leading up to T2, Frank pulled along side me, driving a little Gator ATV. He waved and shouted "What are you still doing on your bike? Shouldn't you be running already?" I just smiled and replied "how's your day going?" He shook his head and drove off.
When I got into T2, the volunteers said I was about three minutes behind the leader. Normally, that amount of time is easy for me to make up on the longer runs. This would not be a normal day.

When I left T2, I knew that things were not going well. I was really having problems breathing and was coughing like crazy. The color was also starting to trend more towards the pretzel side of the equation. It took me 8:05 to run the first mile and I felt like crap. I stopped and walked for a little, then started running again. That did not last long. At mile two, I realized that I would not be catching anyone today. In fact, if I wanted to finish the race and still be breathing normally, I would not be running either.
So off I went, for a nice long walk. I turned into a one-woman cheering section for everyone else on the course. There were still people finishing the half when I was on the run, and they looked like they needed all the encouragement they could get. I made sure that I thanked all of the volunteers and the race staff. Just because I was having a crappy day does not mean I get to take my frustration out on anyone else. So I made sure that I was polite and cheerful. It helped that it was a good day for a walk.
I did manage to run a few miles - just enough to keep my "run" time under six hours. I was amazed at the number of other athletes who congratulated me on staying in the race and finishing. I was told by several that most athletes in my position would have walked off the course instead of finishing. My response? I have too much respect for this course, this race and for Frank to even consider walking off the course when I know I can finish. I have to thank every athlete who told me I was inspiring - I was just so disappointed that on a day where I felt strong and the weather was perfect, I was not able to succeed on that course.

Silverman is a humbling race. Two of the five years have been perfect, the others less then desirable racing conditions. The course does not let you take short-cuts, either with training ro on race day. If one thing is off, then things will become more challenging. On the other hand, the race organization - Frank Lowery and his awesome team - make suffering through the bad days more then tolerable. I am proud that I was able to finish this year and am looking forward to next year.

Nov 10, 2009


Well, Silverman did not go as planned. Had a great swim, then things went downhill. Started coughing at mile ten, kept coughing every few minutes the rest of the ride. And I was coughing up oddly colored crap. Still had a decent bike split despite the coughing fits. But I could not run at all. My chest was starting to hurt and the coughing was getting painfull. So I walked the marathon. I'll get a full race report posted after I get home.

Nov 5, 2009

In Henderson, finally

Finally made it to Henderson, NV early this afternoon. I forgot how horrid the drive between the Junction of 15/70 and Las Vegas was. Just long, straight and hot. The sun was strong and bright the whole drive. We got off 15 at Overton, so we could drive the North Shore Drive part of the bike course. There's a little construction near the turn around - rebuilding some bridges and repaving. The road's a little messed up, but nothing like the second year of the race. It shouldn't be a huge issue at all.

We stopped to run a little on the bike course, in the "flattish" part of the course. I felt really good running and was able to settle into a comfortable pace on the hills. Hopefully, that's a good sign for Sunday. The only issue was the heat. Much hotter then what I'm used to. It is also the hottest that it's been since the first year. I am still refusing to look at the weather forecast. I don't want to know what will happen come Sunday.

Tommorow will be a busy day. Short, easy ride on the course, then volunteering all afternoon, then the dinner. I will need to make sure that I have plenty of water, MotorTabs and food for the day. This is where the Motortabs are awesome - staying hydrated is much easier with something that tastes as good as the Fruit Punch Motortabs.

Nov 4, 2009

Travel Day

On the road today to Nevada. We'll get about halfway to Henderson today, then finish the drive tommorow. Its been an uneventful trip so far, just the way I like it. Sitting in the car, listening to music and spacing out. I keep reviewing the run course in my head, the ups and downs and where I fell apart last year. I wish I knew the bike course as well as run course - that would give me more to ponder on the drive.

We finally got to ride in the Colo Natl Mont today. Timing was close - it was getting dusky when we finished riding. But Rim Rock Drive is pretty, espcially in evening light. We drove to the top and started at the visitors center. I had no desire to ride uphill or downhill for four miles before my race. Asking for trouble in my mind. What we did ride was perfect, hardly any traffic, gently rolling and views. It was also the perfect time to get out of the car.

Nov 3, 2009

Packing time!

It's time to get everything packed and organized for Silverman! I'm leaving tommorow in the morning for the drive to Vegas. It feels like there is so much more stuff that I need for an iron distance race compared to an Xterra, but when I got everything piled in the middle of the floor, there wasn't much more. Wetsuit, goggles, CAF kit, bike shoes (need to make sure I've got the road ones, not the MTB ones!), running shoes, sunglasses, hat, helmet, ext. There's more warm clothes in the pile, but given the history of Silverman... Having a vest or jacket and other stuff in my swim to bike bag could save the race. I'm also packing more food, but with the lenght of the race, that's a given.

I haven't checked the weather forecast yet. Almost scared to check - it seems that Silverman Sunday is always the black sheep in the week. I decided that I wouldn't worry about the weather, but just make sure I've got the clothes to ride in anything. The only thing that the weather will really affect is the finish time. If the weather's perfect, there might be some fast times. If it's like last year, with head wind both directions, hail, rain and thunder, then the name of the game will be survival.

But I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. The Silverman staff is just the best and the racers are a little family. I'm volunteering with the aide station set up on Friday again. This will be my third year with volunteering. Yeah, it's not the smartest thing to do before a big race, but I wouldn't give it up. There's something about volunteering that makes you appreciate the work that everyone does to make a race run smoothly.

I'll get travel and race updates posted regularly. Wish me luck!

Oct 29, 2009

New Sponsor!

I just joined with EcoSportsBottle as a new sponsor. With my focus on Xterra and EcoSportsBottle's commitment to healthy, environmentally friendly water bottles for training and racing, it seems the perfect fit.

EcoSportsBottle offers a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles for training, racing and daily use. There are no harmful chemicals such as BPA and no risk of leeching into fluids. The bottles wash clean and don't add unwanted flavors to water or other drinks. Make the switch to clean, green bottles - make the switch to EcoSportsBottle!

Perfect Day for a Rest Day

Finally! The training schedule and the weather cooperated. On a day where I'm supposed to rest and just work of school work, clean the house, play with the cat, the weather is such that I'm not even tempted to go outside. It's 22 degrees and I don't want to know what the wind chill is. The flag outside the window hasn't had a rest since I woke up this morning. So I will gladly behave myself and go back to work on my paper.

Oct 28, 2009

Snowy day

The promised storm seems to be moving in. It's only 23 degrees out, and the wind is blowing. So far, the snow is not sticking to the roads, but there's a good coating on the grass and the rooftops. It will get icy tonight, I'm sure. Hopefully, we won't get a heavy accumulation of snow. I'm not ready to move inside for all my workouts yet.

I'm very happy that I was able to do my workout at CTS today, instead of down in the garage. I got a good session in on the Computrainer, and really felt good riding. I was able to hit and hold the targeted watts and HR. Things are definitely coming along. I'm getting ansy for Silverman now - it's the last race of the year.

Now I'm home, sitting at my computer working on my last class project for my DPT. It's the perfect day to knock this darn paper out. I've got a cup of Christopher Bean's Pumpkin Spice coffee to keep me warm. I really like this flavor - it's mild, but the spice notes are right there. Give it a try if you like the Starbucks Pumpkin lattes.

Oct 27, 2009

Back to Work

I started my new job today - spent the day following the other PT around so I knew how things were done in the hospital. I almost felt like a new grad again! I think it will be a good change from what I was doing before - challenging my skills a little. The whole clinical team - nurses, respiratory and therapy seems to work really well together. Everyone was very helpful today.

The good thing about this is I'm still going to be working and maintaining my PT skills, but I'm per deim, so I'm not expected to work 40 hours. I'll be covering Mondays and other vacations. Enough hours that I can pay my bills, but not enough that I'm compromising my training. That's what I want right now. I also want the ability to return to PT full time if things don't work out with triathlons.

I haven't had to get up really early in 6 weeks. It was so pretty this morning, with the sunrise and the snow on the mountains. The clouds were tinged with gold and pink when I drove to the hospital and the mountains were glowing. With the wind on top of Pikes Peak, there seemed to be a halo of light bathing the mountains. Okay - I'm getting too poetic - time to go to bed

Oct 22, 2009

Watch out for the squirrels

So I'm heading out for my workout, cruising up Mesa Ave in the aerobars. All of a sudden, the bike jumps about four inches to the side and lurches. I'm on the hood, grabbing the brakes, going "what the...." Look around, and there's this very disoriented squirrel sitting in the middle of the road. Didn't seem to be hurt, because it dashed back into bushes pretty quickly. But man, to think that a "cute" little squirrel could nearly cause me to crash. I swear - it's a grudge match between the squirrels and moving vehicles - they know they can't tackle the cars, so they're going after the cyclists. Be on the look out for attack squirrels.

Oct 18, 2009

Beautiful October Mountain Bike Ride

Today more then made up for last weekend. It was already 60 degrees out at 8:30, and looked to be warming up fast. I rode with Tracy H, on Buckhorn and Captn Jacks. It was such fun - a perfect day for a ride, and just the two of us. The boys went off to do something longer and more insane - Jone's Downhill.

I rode up to Stratton with Nick, then the group rode to the Buckhorn turnoff together. There were eight of us total, and we must have looked like a band of mountain bike ruffians heading up Gold Camp road. There wasn't as much traffic on Gold Camp as I expected, but the main parking lot was packed!! There were cars down Cheyenne Canyon road, double parked in the dirt. I almost thought we were at the mall the day of some huge sale. What do we expect, with this being such a nice weekend?

The first part of Gold Camp was a little crowded, but once Tracy and I turned off onto Buckhorn, we had the trail to ourselves. We saw two hikers on the ride up. It was very loose and gravely today. I was happy Nick had put the monster tires on the Era. I needed all the traction I could get on that stuff. It was also a good reminder to work on the even power so I didn't spin out on the gravel. At the top of Buckhorn, we met two guys who were continuing up to ride down 666. Those were the only other mountain bikers we saw. Coming down Captn Jacks was tricky because of the loose conditions. Even more thankful for the beefcake tires. I was able to ride through the sand piles without skidding nearly as much. I still didn't manage to clean the uphill section. When we popped out into the parking lot, there was a herd of motorbikes getting ready to head up. Tracy and I timed it just right - Nick and his group met up with the moto guys on the trail.

Hopefully the weather will hold long enough for me to get a few more good sessions in on the Cervelo. Love the mountain biking, but I need some time in aero before Silverman

Oct 16, 2009

Joining with Carmichael Training Systems

After my sucessful, but lacklust season, I decided that I needed some help with training, planning workouts, ect. I felt like I was kind of floundering with trying to manage swimming, biking and running, and figuring out what I needed to do to improve in all three areas. After doing some research, I decided that the best fit was with CTS here in Colorado Springs. I know other athletes who have had huge successes working with CTS. I'm really looking forward to this partnership - I can now put my energy into training and recovering and let my coach build the training program. It's one more peice to the puzzle and one that will pay dividends later in my career.

Visit to see how the coaching staff at Carmichael Training Systems can help you reach your goals.

Oct 14, 2009

Breakfast for Lunch!!

There is something rebellious about eating traditional breakfast foods for lunch. I had French Toast with black berries, some coconut and maple syrup for lunch after my run. It was really good, too. One of those random thoughts that really no one cares about....

Road Turtle Test Run

Last weekend, Nick and I headed down to Lake Pueblo State Park for a test run of the camper. We had a big weekend of training planned, with riding and running every day. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with our plans! We got out of Colorado Springs just before the nasty sleet moved in and motored down to Pueblo at our stately 55mph. At least the semis weren't flying past! Everyone else was... But that's why it the Road Turtle!

After a quick grocery stop, we got the campground and hooked into the electricity. There was no live water, but with the weather like it was, we didn't want to take a chance with filling up the tanks and having things freeze. Besides, there will be no live water down in Old Pueblo's 24 Hour Town, either. We got things unpacked and fussed around for a while. The biggest issue was that Nick could not get the furnace to put out hot air. It was a good thing that we bought a little heater fan at Target. Other wise, that would have been one cold weekend. The little heater worked just enough to keep it nice in the camper. Everything else seemed to work, although there were some glitches with the lights going back onto battery power after we disconnected from the outside electricity. The little stove worked great - I was frying up potatoes like a pro and Nick cooked a decent steak for supper. It's so small that only one person can work in the kitchen at a time.

As for workouts, we bundled up and rode for 1.75 hours on Saturday on the trails and 2.5 hours on Sunday on the roads. Not what we'd planned, but sounds like more then most people in the Springs managed. And when I say bundled, we were bundled - Gore Jacket, Craft windblocker, heavy jersey, Gioradona jacked, Asso winter bibs, knee warmers, tights and bibs. And I was not over dressed! The weather cleared a little Monday, so we went for an easy run on the trails.

Overall, the Road Turtle worked well. It needs some love and attention to run smoothly. The biggest issue will be getting a new furnace or fixing the one we have. That's the most important thing to do before Old Pueblo.

Oct 9, 2009

New England photos

I've got the photos from the New Endland trip up. Don't worry, no pictures of my bloody socks or my heel. I prefer the fall foliage and course photos.

Oct 8, 2009

Peak Performance Maine Marathon

For the record, this is not the first time that I have run a Saturday-Sunday Marathon combo. It's just been a while since the last one, and I was training for faster marathons and running more mileage back then. But with the cost of travel, trying to complete the 50 states would be out of the question without pulling a few crazy stunts.

Blister fixes and crazy marathoners

I'm lucky that Bristol, NH has a Rite Aide. Otherwise, finding the things I needed to doctor my blister for the Maine Marathon would have been challenging. After the New Hampshire marathon, I cleaned my heel as best as I could, then covered it with a paper towel and duct tape. It was all that I had availible at the time! Once we got to Rite Aide, I spent nearly $30.00 on stuff. Neosporin, 2x2 gauze, large water proof bandaides, tegaderm, and finally athletic tape. I was set. With that I would be able to cover and protect my heel enough to get through the second marathon.

We got to the University of Southern Maine just in time to get our race numbers for the marathon. After that, the 50 States Club was having a reunion, so we decided to hang out with the group for while. It was fun. They had a speaker and a short skit, then handed out awards for the most recent finishers. There was one gentleman who had just finished his 8th trip around the states. That's over 400 marathons! I might be crazy, but I'm not that crazy. I also won a hat from the race - they were giving out prizes and one of the catagories was for the youngest first marathon. I had that hands down, thanks to doing the Equinox marathon when I was 14.

After the reunion, it was time to find some food, the hotel and the grocery store. There was still a little food left from the pasta dinner and the volunteers let us eat there. I think we were the last runners in the building! The hotel was easy to find, as was the grocery store. I did get a small bottle of wine - Maine wine. It was Blueberry Port from Blacksmith Winery. It was also really good. After a glass and soaking in the ice cold bath tub, it was time for bed.

Oct 5, 2009

New Hampshire Marathon

New Hampshire is done. This was a wet, cold day, but the course is still really pretty. We ran around Newfound Lake, just north of Bristol. Hilly, but very pretty. It was just to bad that we didn't get to see much besides clouds and rain. A cold front moved in last night and we woke up to a steady mist and heavy clouds. No spectacular views of Newfound Lake during this edition. Before the race started, I met up with a guy from Boston who had done a number of Ironmans. We ended up running the same pace, along with two other guys from Birmingham, AL. They were father and son, and were natives of the area. Between them telling stories about the lake and tri guy discribing all his races, we were a chatty crew until about mile 11. Then things started getting quiet. It's an interesting and predictible phenomenom. As soon as people start feeling the distance and see the distance still to go, the chatter stops. We were still running smoothly as a group through 13, just not talking as much.

Then it happened. Just before 14, all of a sudden it felt like some one had taken a knife and stabbed in the right heel. I couldn't take another step. Pulling up on the side of the road, I pulled my sock down to reveal a blister that was a big as a half dollar and raw and bleeded. Tried tightening my shoe so that it wouldn't rub. That didn't help, in fact it hurt even more. So I stopped again and completly undid the shoe. That helped enough that I could start running again. It was not comefortable, and I had to change my stride a little. But I was moving and starting to catch the guys who had passed me while I was fussing with my shoe. I was reminded of the blister with each step.

At mile 24 the skies opened and the downpour began. Now everything was soaked. The water stung my heel, but there was no escaping the puddles and rivers in the road. I was so happy to see the finish line. It meant I would be able to take my shoes off! Despite everything, I still managed at 3:09:53~. My sock was covered in blood and the shower hurt like hell, but I survived. A few of the guys I'd been running with were astounded that I had been able tofinish after they saw my heel.

Next up - Maine Marathon. I will need to figure out how to cover my heel so I can run. Website for the New Hampshire Marathon - check it out.

Oct 2, 2009

Fall Foliage in New England

In Concord, NH, getting ready to head up to Bristol for the New Hampshire Marathon. If the weather cooperates, it promises to be a really pretty race. The leaves are just starting to turn and the colors are awesome. We make a big deal of the aspens changing in Colorado, but it's nothing compared to out here. There's so much more then just the aspen gold, with oranges, reds and yellows all mixed in with the green. Haven't gotten any pictures yet, will try to get the camera out later.

On a different note, I tried somthing new on my last ride. I normally mix a MotorTab with a few just plain GUs. It's a good mix of electrolytes and calories and is easy on my stomach. There is also very little flavor - just the flavor of the MotorTab. This time, I uses the strawberry bannana GU with an orange MotorTab. It was really good - like a fruit smoothie. Definitly something to keep in mind for races and training in the future.

Sep 30, 2009

Travel trouble

Sitting on a plane at O'hare in Chicago, waiting for a "maintenance issue" to be resolved. Really have to wonder - aren't these things supposed to be serviced? The captain said it would take about five minutes to resolve - ten minutes ago. Next thing, we will have to get off this plane and wait for a new one. I really don't like flying anymore. Hopefully the Road Turtle will eliminate the need for some flights.

Windy day

Man, I feel like a whimp. It's a nice, sunny day out and I am hiding in the garage on the spin bike. Why? Well, I tried heading outside for my ride, but only lasted ten minutes. Gave up and retreated to the safety of the garage. The wind is just incredible today. I knew it was going to be bad when the flags were straight out, and that wasn't even a gust. I just didn't feel like working so hard figbting the wind today. That and being blown around into traffic sealed the deal. I'm not training for Kona. I would rather not get hit by a car because I "had" to ride outside. So here I am, heading nowhere fast. But there's no wind in the garage!

Sep 29, 2009

Xterra USA Race report

It was an early start to the day. Because of the timing with class, I had to get my race numbers and such in the morning before I could set up my transitions. Had no issues, but just needed to get up a little earlier. It was still dark at Pineview Reservoir when I got there. I unloaded my bike and headed over to the packet pick up. It was early enough that there was no line and the volunteers were more then helpful with getting everything for me. I got my number on my bike, decided to get body marked (the nice thing about being a pro - you're ageless!) and found a spot on the empty racks for the Tomac. Time to head up to T2. The Ogden course is a two transition affair, with a pretty decent drive between the swim and the SnowBasin lodge. The recommended set up was to drop the bike off first, drive to Snowbasin and T2, set up T2, then take the shuttle back down to T1. The only issue with this kind of set up is the chance of forgetting something. I didn't want to have to worry, so I took my time, focusing on each part of the race individually to ensure that everything was where I needed it.

Got back down to the Pineview with plenty of time. My bus got a little delayed by the runners in the half marathon - they were running on the bike course. But there was still no worries. Once at T1, I started getting all my bike gear set out - shoes, socks, helmet, sunglasses, camelbak, gloves. The amount of cameras around was just incredible. I couldn't even take my bike out for a little spin without the cameras following me around. I'm sure that none of the footage they shot of me will make into the final show (wasn't fast enough, I'm sure). At first, it was kinda cool, then time to ignore them. I just wanted to get ready for the race.

With the issues I've had with getting out of the wetsuit, I decided to go overboard on the Beljum Budder. That stuff works so well for helping get the wetsuit off - I have a tube in my transition bag now. After getting the wetsuit on, I looked around for a victim, er helper to zip it down (reverse zipper on the Helix). I feel sorry for the people who helped! It took a little to figure out the reverse zipper, and while they were fussing with it, the camera crews and photogs noticed the pink cap in my hand. Plenty of great shots of the volunteers tugging and yanking on my wetsuit.

There was no special treatment in the swim. Mass start, all pros and age groupers together. I lined up with most of the other pro women - easy to find in our pink caps. Kahuna Dave's tiny cannon sent us on our way, into the boxing match. I have not done a mass start swim since Kona and it was a shock. I was getting kicked and swum over and punched. I'm sure that I was doing my fair share of kicking and grabbing and swimming over other athletes. After the first turn, the water opened up a little and I was able to start picking up speed. I knew that Christine Jeffrey was way out in front - that woman is a fish! But there was only one other pink cap nearby. I was able to keep that pink cap within a few body lengths the whole swim. I felt good in the water this time. My strokes were smooth and I was breathing comfortably. There were a few times that the camera crews floated over to film us and there were scuba camera around the turning bouys - I know, I almost kicked one of them!!

Got out of the water right behind Melanie, and that was the last I saw of her. Her transitions are lightening fast. There were a few other women within a minute of me. No problems with the wetsuit - the Budder worked great. Out of T1 as fast as I could, and onto the bike.

I started the bike in fourth place. That wouldn't last as Sara and Lesile passed me on the road. I knew the train would be coming as soon as Shonny et all got on their bikes. On the double track climb, I felt great. The first year I rode this course, I was in my granny gear dying. Now I was in the middle ring, and pushing hard. Not hard enough, as Shonny and Carina passed me about a third of the way up and Jenny caught me two thirds up. I still felt good. It had taken more time for the great riders on the circuit to catch me.

We crossed the road and got onto the winding single track. It was a steady, deceptive climb through the trees and open meadows below the Snowbasin ski area. The trees were so colorful, but you had to concentrate on the trail. Renata caught me shortly after we started the single track. I was able to stay on her wheel for the short decent, then she pulled away. I was still in my middle ring, still pushing. The Tomac is a great bike for the climbs, stiff, responsive and light. I was able to clean things that I struggled with three years ago. I'm pretty happy about that. Danelle and Rebecca passed me just as the climb started up, with Emma right behind them. I rode Emma's wheel to the top, then passed her on the first long descent. It didn't last, and I couldn't stay with her.

We rode right past T2, with Kahuna Dave directing traffic. A right hand turn and all you see is the wall. The course follows an access road for the ski slope up, and it's a mean, steep, ugly up. That was the only time I had to use my granny gear, and I was completely pegged. This was just a brute. Once at the top, it was time for the decent. I had to play it safe, and took it easy. Not pre-riding the course definitely hurt coming down. I was still able to catch and pass a few of the age group men in front of me.

I'm still getting better technically on the bike. I didn't wipe out or unclip at all this time. The speed and strength will come over the next few years. Then hopefully, the train won't catch me as quickly!!

Finally a run that I can be happy with. I felt awesome coming off the bike (a sure sign that I did not ride hard enough). I fixed the issue from the first three cup races and was able to open it up on the run. This was a technical run, on rocky, twisty trails. I like the technical running because it requires strength and balance. The more technical the trail, the harder it is for the speed runners to get away. Right away, I started catching the age group men who'd passed me on the bike. There was plenty of climbing on the run, but I was prepared. I've been running the hills in CMSP and Stratton, focusing on the form needed to really attack the hills. Took a tumble on the run, twisted my ankle and scrapped up my shoulders. I caught a toe on a rock and went flying. Instead of trying to stop the fall, I decided to roll with it. Didn't lose too much time, but it was a bit of a surprise. I don't think any of the camera men caught it on tape, though.
I made up some time on Emma, but not enough. I finished in 12th place overall. I really can't complain - this was my first season and I still have a lot of learning to do.

After the race, I saw two athletes wearing the Operation Rebound kit. I went over and introduced myself, saying that they were an inspiration to all athletes and that I hoped my small efforts of raising money and racing in the OR kit could raise awareness. To my surprise, they both wanted a picture taken with me! That was a new experience.

Loved the race, loved the course. Ogden is beautiful this time of year, with the tree changing colors. It was a technical course, but fun riding and running. I'm looking forward to next year already.

Sep 26, 2009

Ogden Report

Quick report on Xterra USA in Ogden/Snow Basin. Mel McQuaid won in 2:48~ with Shonny right behind in 2:49~. I finished 12th, in 3:09:16. A little further back then I hoped - my goal was a top ten place. I had a great swim, 3rd or 4th out of the water, a decent bike for me - need to continue to work on that - and my best run of tbe season. Full report coming later.

Sep 25, 2009

Heading out to Ogden

As soon as my class (Health Care Promotion for my DPT) gets out, I'm hopping in the car and heading out to Utah for Xterra USA Championships. Not the best set up for a good race, sitting in the car for seven hours the day before the event, but that's what has to happen. The good news is that these last two days of class have been very interesting (and relevant to coaching, ect). It's not info that I would have wanted to skip just to get to the race a little earlier. The timing with packet pick-up will be the biggest issue. I have to get my bike and everything ready at race site, instead of being able to relax and take it easy race morning. The two transition set up (with a long distance between) will also make the morning a little more stressful.

I've been on the course three years ago and did okay. Fell of my bike a few times then, but I've gotten a lot better since then. I'm looking forward to riding the course again and seeing how I've improved in the last three years.

Good luck to everyone else in the Pikes Peak Triathlon Club who is racing this weekend.

Sep 24, 2009

FaceBook memories

Okay, I'll admit it. I do have a facebook account, but I rarely do anything with it. During breaks in my class today, I poked around a little on Facebook. It was interesting to see so many of my high school classmates and find out what they have been doing in the last 12 years. Judging from the pictures, some people haven't changed at all and some have gone a different direction then they planned.

Camper !?!

Nick and I are now the proud owners of a cute little Class C camper. It has an nice little bed over the cab, a shower and toilet, gas stove (and oven!), a small fridge and plenty of storage space. It's well taken care of and very clean on the inside (and outside). There's plenty of room for the bikes, inside the camper - we just need to get some fork mounts fixed up. There's also enough room that friends can share the space during 24 hour races. It's going to be perfect for the 24 hour races, the MSC and other mountain bike races, as well as closer triathlons.

The drawback? The camper is older then me (1974 - but very well taken care of) It's also more a tortoise then a hare - we'll get to the races, but its gonna take a little time. The cruising speed of the camper is about 55 miles an hour. A lot slower then my Subaru with the bikes on top (then I go 70ish), and a little slower then Nick's jeep loaded down (then we do about 65 and stay off the main roads). But we have a fridge, a warm place to sleep (out of the rain and snow) and the ability to cook and rinse off after a race. That's a good trade off for taking an extra day to travel.

We're going to call the camper "The Road Turtle" - I like that one. Time to get a large turtle sticker for the back bumper!

Sep 23, 2009

Fall Classic Cross Country

The Cross Country race on Sunday was almost 30 miles, promising to be a long day in the saddle. It had spent most of the night raining and thundering, and when we woke up, there was snow on the mountains. It was really pretty, but we would be riding just a few hundred feet below the snow. Mud seemed to be the word of the day as we rode through puddles on the way to the start. It would be a gorgeous day, despite the mud. Nick raced the Fall Classic last year and warned me that it wasn’t easy. There was a lot of climbing and it wasn’t easy climbing either.

The fields were larger then at the Circuit Race and the Hill Climb, but only racers who finished all three would be eligible for awards at the end of the day. Before each class started, the announcer went through the GC, with the leader’s time and the time back for the top three. I was over five minutes back on first in the age group, and only had two minutes to third. My plan was to take the start easy, then see how I felt on the first climb. Too bad no one else was reading from my personal race manual! The field started fast, very fast. Faster then I wanted to go that early in a race. I was second to last entering the single track and just rode tempo up the first hill. There was plenty of room to pass and I gradually worked my way through the field. At the top of the hill, I was comfortable in fifth.

That first descent was fun. It was the most fun I would have all day. The trail was smooth from the rain and the men’s cat 1 racing in front of us. The course was well marked, except for one corner. It was a sharp left, off a wide jeep road onto single track. There were eight arrows right at the corner, but none warning of the upcoming turn. Sarah made the corner without any issues, but the woman right behind her nearly blew through. She had to stop and turn around to get back on the trail. (Nick said that he’d blown the corner too, as had a lot of men in his class. They were not looking where they were going, but at the wheels in front of them.)

As promised, there was plenty of mud and puddles. I tried to avoid most of the puddles, but ended up riding through a few. While riding through one, I heard a loud clang – thump. Not sure what it was, but I still had air in both tires so I kept going. I was in third at that point, holding the wheel of second. If nothing was wrong, I wasn’t going to stop and lose time. Up Heinous Hill and I could see the blue and gold kit of the women in first. She wasn’t gaining any ground on the steeper sections, and there were plenty more hills to come. I was still riding pretty comfortably in third, looking to make a move after the top.

Then coming down the single track descent, I wiped out. There was nothing in the trail and it wasn’t even a technical descent. I just found myself colliding with the ground with my hip and elbow – hard. Picked my self up, got my bike out of the way so Sarah and the woman behind her could pass and checked out the bike. My handlebars were all twisted around and I thought that was the worst of it. Nick has always told me to make sure that you have brakes and shifting before you get back on, especially when the bars are twisted. That’s when I noticed that the rear wheel was no longer in the dropouts. Odd – but I didn’t want to waste time wondering about it. I got everything repositioned and hoped back on the bike.

Right away, I knew something wasn’t right. It wasn’t shifting smoothly and the rear brakes were rubbing something fierce. I couldn’t use the largest two cogs in the rear and the chain was jumping a little in the smallest two. I didn’t stop to look the derailleur, just decided not to use the messed up gears. Another bad choice.

Of course, I forgot about that on the next big hill and shifted into the largest cog. There was an awful racket and the chain jumped right off the cog into the spokes. I was no longer making forward progress. I couldn’t even get the chain un-wedged!! My race was over at that point, unless I planned on walking the rest of the way to the finish.

Then Sarka stopped. I told her that the chain was wedged and that she didn’t need to stop to help. But she climbed off her bike anyway and proceeded to help me. Another racer, Erik L from Colorado Springs, saw us working on the chain and also stopped to help. It took me and Sarka holding onto the wheel and Erik yanking on the chain to get it free. But we did. Without their help, I would not have finished the race.

After that, my spunk was gone. I just wanted to get to the finish line in one piece. I could tell that the rear brake was rubbing really badly, but the wheel was in place and I didn’t want to risk having it come loose again. The shifting was still all out of whack, but I was able to use most of the gears.

It took me until the last long climb to catch back up with Sarka. After all that work and her help, I didn’t have the desire to try to gain any time back. I was happy to just have made up the time I’d lost. We rode the last down hill together, through the “stream” crossing (it was more like a river) and down to the finish at the Ice Arena.

Despite the drama, the cross country was a beautiful, challenging course. There are so many fun trails in the Breck area that only the locals know about. (and they don’t always want to share.) I would love to spend more time up there, riding and exploring.

As for the MSC series, Feedback Sports had a really good season. Greg got second in the Men’s 40-49 Cat 1, Nick took third in the Men’s 30-39 Cat 1 and I was second in the Women’s 30-39 Cat 1. As a team, Feedback Sports took second behind Yeti-Comotion. It wasn’t as close as last year, but we were only riding with the minimum five at most races and only four riders at a few races.

Fall Classic Circuit and Hill Climb

The mountain bike season wrapped up on September 12-13 with the Fall Classic Stage Race, the last race in the MSC endurance series. The race consisted of a Circuit Race at the Breckenridge Nordic Center and Hill Climb Time Trial from Carter Park to the Sally Barber Mine on Saturday, then the Cross Country on Sunday. Nick and I rented a condo a little off the main drag, but close enough to all starts so that we didn’t need to use the car all weekend. It was also nice having the full kitchen and being able to cook in the evenings. Not having to go out for dinner saved us a lot of money – Breck is not a cheap town.

Nick and I were starting about two hours apart for the Circuit race. I was lucky and had a 10:00 start time. I say lucky because the clouds were hovering and a cold front was scheduled to move in that evening. The circuit race was five laps for each of us, with the laps taking about 12 minutes at my race pace. I started slower, with the plan to build each lap and gradually increase the pace. It was a fun course, with a few short power hills, a flying down hill overlooking the down town and then a nasty granny gear climb. I followed the plan well, with a comfortable first lap. Working my way through the field, I was in second in the Cat 1 field by the start of the fourth lap. Sarah from YetiBeti was right behind, but I was able to drop her on the down hill on the fifth lap. I probably used a little more then I wanted during the circuit race, but I felt good at the finish. Nick met me at the line with a kiss and a “good job,” then sent me back down to the condo. He would start his race at 12:00.

My hill climb would start at about 12:45. I had about an hour and thirty minutes to get back to the condo, get changed into dry clothes (it was not raining, but my kit was wet from sweat) and get something to eat. I bolted down Ski Hill road, happy that I had my gore jacket on. The wind was freezing! Once safely in the condo, I got changed and settled down to drink an ensure and eat some hot soup. I also wanted to take a short nap, but the weather prevented that. The rain that was forecasted was moving in, and it was heavy. I watched the rain pelting the streets, feeling sorry for Nick – his circuit race had just started. With the heavy rain and the prospect of a cold descent from the top of the Hill Climb, I made sure that I had some warm clothes with me and headed out into the storm.

Naturally, ten minutes before the women started the hill climb, the rain stopped and the sun came out. Everyone started stripping (legally – there was nothing but a few elbows and knees exposed). I opted to stick my gore jacket in my jersey pocket for the ride down.

We started the hill climb according to age classes within the Cat 1 women, with the younger women going first. I had placed second in the 30-39, so started 30 seconds behind the leader, with Sarka 30 seconds behind me. The hill climb began on the “Carter Park Switchbacks” an apt description for the trail that seemed to wind straight up the hill. After leaving the switchbacks, the trail continured climbing through rocky single track. Nick and I had ridden the course the night before at an easy pace, so I knew what to expect. I did not expect riding up hill on tired legs. Right away, I decided to just ride tempo up the hill and just try not to loose time to the other women. Technically, I wasn’t having any difficulty, I just didn’t have the power or spunk to fly up the hill. Sarka caught me just before the finish line, pulling back 30 seconds of the gap I had opened in the circuit race. Every one was jealous of my jacket on the ride down – I was happy I had it.

Sep 19, 2009

Time for a change

I will get a report on the Fall Classic Stage Race up soon. It's been a crazy week and a lot of things have happened. Everything happens for a reason - thats what everyone says. I found myself without a job the day we left for the Fall Classic. A "personality issue" and the NHA didn't want me to back. After over two years in that building, including working as program manger, that was it. I told a nurse that I could not help him and it became "I snapped and was rude, yelling at him." I know that's not what happened and so does everyone else who was in the gym.
The good news is now I have the time I've wanted to train. Nick and I spent many hours over the weekend talking about it. I think we are going to try this - me actually training full time. If I don't see a jump in results, then back to work.

Sep 14, 2009

Our version of NASCAR - Track Racing

(This was supposed to get posted on Thursday - got a little behind)

This was a fun way to spend the night. One of Nick's friends races the track on Thursday nights and we went down to watch the races. I forgot how fun watching track cycling was. The madison races are espcially interesting. It's how relays are done on the track. Both riders on the team are on the track at the same time, but only one is activly racing. To make an exchange, the rider not racing gets up some speed and drops down next the racing rider. The racing rider grabs his teammates hand and slings him forward. Teams that practice make the exchange look so easy. Other teams....

After the races, we all went to Blue Star and had a late supper. Nick got to try a few different beers, none of which I really liked. They did have an extensive wine list, but most of the bottles we couldn't afford. The food was also really good.

Sep 9, 2009

New bars for the Tomac

The Tomac is getting closer to finished. I ordered a different set of bars las week - the Ritchey WCS 10 degree sweep. That is what I have on the Era and I really like the angle. Last night, Nick put new grips on the Era and I got the shifters and brakes off the old bars. We had to take the old grips off the Era because they are clamp-on. I can adjust the grips on the new Tomac bars. Right now, those bars are much longer then I need, but I can still have the grips where I need them. After a ride tonight, Nick will trim the bars down. And hopefully I will have two dialed bikes for the Fall Classic stage race.

Sep 8, 2009

Sol Survivor Cross Country

Nick and I weren't planning on pre-riding at first, but decided to ride on Saturday after finding out that the course had changed from last year. It was a good move, since there were some very tricky sections (in my opinion) that I was happy to know about before hand. Overall, the course was fun, espcially the top of the long loop. Like most ski resort races, there was a lot of climbing, but not as much single track climbing as at Copper.

At the starting line, it was clear that we are getting to the end of a very long season. The orginial start times had each age class in the the Cat 1 women starting seperatly, but we all started together. Starting with a monster climb, I just settled into the granny gear and spun up the hill. Sara and Sarka from Yeti Beti and I entered the first section of single track together, chasing one rider. We climbed together until the road, then Sarka dropped off the pace. Sarah and I tried working together on the road sections to reel in the first placed women, but she was climbing just a little too fast. Sarah decided to back off when we reached the last single track climb at the top of the loop, but I kept chasing. It was more about making time before the sketchy downhill that I was planning on walking. This was not a descent that I was very comfortable about, at all. There was one section that was nearly 75 feet, steep, straight down with small stumps buried in ankle deep sand. Hit one stump wrong and it would be curtians on the race. One of the pro men actually caught me on his second lap while I was making my way through the sand. He got off and walked the last piece, so I didn't feel so bad. Sarka had a fabulous descent this race and caught me just after I remounted my bike. She rode the steep section both times - something very few racers managed.

We started the second lap together, but I wasn't willing to work together this time. At the top of the start hill, I grabbed the big ring and took off. The climb was shorter on the second lap - we were doing a smaller loop, but that took out the fun single track at the top. I needed to make the road sections count. The woman leading the Cat 1 race was in sight again on the first single track and I slowly started to make up ground. I hadn't pushed too hard on the first lap and was able to use my climbing to my advantage. Just before the start of the final descent, I managed to catch and pass the other woman. I didn't get much of a gap. I wasn't sure if it would be enough to hold onto the lead. I ran the steep downhill again, lifting my bike onto my shoulder this time. That helped a lot with speed and balance. I took the down hill really gingerly - just not feeling smooth on the bike. Held onto the lead until the last turn onto the road, and somehow managed to skid out and end up in the dirt. Right in front of the finish line and all the spectators - very elegant. I did finish second in the Cat 1 race, first in the age class. Sarka was close behind, having a very strong race this weekend.

Sol Survivor

This was a good weekend for Feedback Sports at the Sol Survivor.
In the cross country, Jason finished 10th in the pro men, Dunbar finished 7th and Nick 9th in Cat 1 30-39, Greg made the podium in 3rd Cat 1 40-49 and I finished first in Cat 1 women 30-39. There were several people covered in dirt after the race (no naming names...) In the short track, Jason finished 4th, Nick made his first podium in 2nd, Greg finished 3rd and I finished 2nd.

The weather cooperated this year and no thunder storms to be seen.I'll have a full report from the weekend written up later.

I'm slowly getting pictures up

Sep 3, 2009

Operation Rebound

I haven't talked about this in a while, but I want to bring up Operation Rebound. I'm still trying to raise money to support wounded and disabled service men and women. Operation Rebound helps veterans return to active, healthy lives through sports of all kinds. I raced in the Operation Rebound kit at 5430 Long Course and will also represent CAF at Xterra USA in Ogden, Ut. I want to thank everyone who has already donated to this worthwhile cause. A special thank you to Avondale Dental Laboratory in Hayden, Id for the generous support to this cause. Please consider making a donation to help provided needed support to wounded veterans - visit to make a donation. Thank you to everyone who has already supported me.

Sep 2, 2009

Copper Cup photos

I've gotten the photos from the short track uploaded. There's a few really nice ones of Jason, one of the Feedback pros racing in the short track

Aug 31, 2009

Copper Cup Weekend

This was a crazy, busy, fun weekend. Nick and I got to Copper late Friday night and drove around trying to find the check-in location for the condo. After getting the keys, we found the condo building, but the unit number wasn't on the map. Luckily, we bumped into the building manager and he was able to guide us in the right direction – a loft style condo over the two sections of parking garages! I think it was an add-on after the buildings were completed, just to get some additional space. But the unit was nice – nicer then our condo in Colorado Springs.

Saturday, I got up early and when for a moderate run on the Copper-Frisco bike path. It was really cool out, with the sun barely peaking over the Ten Mile range. There weren't too many people out on the path in the morning and I had a good run. I ran a few miles shorter then I wanted – but there was a lot going on. Nick wanted to pre-ride the cross country course and then chill out for a while before the short track.

I rode the Tomac for the pre ride and I really liked how the bike climbed. It handled really well on the down hills, but I still don't have the cockpit completely dialed. The course for Copper was two loops – one "pro" loop and one "long" loop. We pre-rode the pro loop because it had the harder descent. The climb was a good mix of road and single track and the single track was fun. It was a tough, long climb with only a few areas to recover. Nick and I rode up really easy, at conversation pace. We got stopped for a little to let the last race in the Super D go flying down. At the top of the Pro loop, we turned right around to start the plunge to Copper Village. I have to say, I did not like the first part of the descent. I just don't handle switchbacks that drop 10 feet straight down before turning 90 degrees well. I had to unclip on one and laid the bike down on another. But I survived. The rest of the descent was a blast. Fun, sweeping switchbacks in and out of the trees with long straights to get up some speed. It was on the downhill that I really noticed the cockpit issues on the Tomac. I was taking things a little gingerly on some of the switchbacks.

I did ride the Tomac for the short track as planned. This was my second short track race and I have a lot of learning to do regarding short track. Like at Angel Fire, I started too hard. It did not help that the Cat 1s raced with the Pro women – the pace was fast from the gun. I got a bad start, panicked a little and proceeded to try to win the race in the first two laps. Not a smart move. I have not yet developed the strength to maintain that kind of pace, even for 20 minutes. About halfway through, I was in third place of the Cat 1s and holding strong. First was a half lap up on me and I was not gaining any ground back. Then disaster. With two laps to go, at the top of the hill, I overshifted and dropped my chain. Trying to downshift and get the chain back on, I got it wrapped around my crank arm and couldn't pedal at all. I had to coast down the hill and then stopped to get my chain back on so I could finish. I was completely panicked and forgot everything Nick told me about getting the chain on fast. He was trying to talk me through it, but I was just freaked out. I have never had a mechanical in a mountain bike race before. Two women passed my while I was fussing with my chain. I had enough time to catch one, but not the other. My mistake – I jammed on the shifter and dropped the chain, then I panicked.

After that debacle, I was worried about the cross country. Nick told me not to stress and just ride my bike. I did ride the Era, like I had planned, and I did noticed the differences in the climbing right away. After watching the Cat 1 men 39 and younger have a mass pile up in the start, the women rolled out nice and slowly. There was plenty of road before the first single track. I climbed at my own pace, trying to just focus on my technical skills and riding my bike. At the top of the first loop, I was in second, but with the nasty switchbacks, I wasn't sure that I would hold on. I did not clean the steep switchbacks. I unclipped on one, blew the turn and had to correct on a second and just plain wiped out on a third. That was all the difference. On the start of the second lap, I was solidly in third, with only a slim chance of catching second. I hung on, yo-yoing through the climb. On the last section, the elastic broke and she was gone. I had fun on the last down hill, taking some chances and trying to push my limits around the sweeping switchbacks. The volunteers had lots of compliments on my pink and orange cycling cap from f3designs. Overall, the course was just a blast. It's been my favorite of all the MSC races. The climb was a brute, but mostly single track and the descent was challenging but fun. I'm really looking forward to this race next year.

Nick and I do have some pics – I'll get those up soon. I was trying to be creative and got a few nice shots of the pro racers in the Short Track.

Next week – Sol Survivor at Sol Vista. Cross Country on Sunday, Short Track on Monday.

Aug 28, 2009

Crazy days

I'm sitting outside a resturant in Dillon, waiting for Nick so we can eat and head up to Copper. I thought that he would beat me here, but I got out of class early. It's amazing what half an hour can mean for traffic. I was able to scoot across Denver from AMC to Golden and get my swim in there. I was planning on going to one of the 24 Hour fitnesses near campus and killing time with a long swim to let traffic die down. On top of me being early, Nick's meeting ran long. Had I known, I would have fussed in Golden and just waited for him there.
This is really a crazy few days. Yesterday and today, I was sitting in class, taking radiology. Saturday and Sunday, the Copper Cup MSC races. Monday and Tuesday, health care promotion classes. Then back to work for three days.
I have both the Era and the Tomac with me. I will race the Tomac in the short track tomorrow and the Era for the cross country. I don't want to ride the Tomac for the longer race because we don't quite have the fit dialed. The brake cables are still silly long and we are not going to cut those until I am sure about the bars. Nick says its messy and a pain to cut the hydralolic cables. I don't want to make him do it twice.

Aug 24, 2009

Technology is failing me!

I am having issues with the mobile blogger lately. My posts are not getting through to the website, even after many tries. I wish I knew what was going on - it's a little annoying.

Weekend overview

What a busy weekend. Fun, good training but really busy.

Saturday, the group organizing the Xterra trail marathon held a course preview. The race will be at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in the beginning of October. The course will be challenging, for sure. The marathon is a two loop race, with a half running at the same time. It starts out easy, on Sundance, then heads up. And continues up, all the way to the top of the Talon loops. The only issue that I see might be the out and back on Talon. After Talon, things start really getting fun, with Medicine Wheel and Cougar's Shadow added to the menu. The last half of the course will be the most challenging. Anyone who goes out too fast will really suffer. I ran a few more miles after to get my full long run in. But I had a good time and ran with some funny guys. Thats what you miss training alone - people acting silly and telling good stories.

On Sunday, I met up with Tracy for a long ride. I rode to her house and then we headed west and north. I think we rode up every hill on the west side of town. The Garden of the Gods was crazy with tourists looking at the rocks, but that was the only really bad spot. I see why people like riding on Sundays. There was so much less traffic then on Saturdays. I got five hours on the bike, then went home to watch track.

It was hot this weekend. Both Nick and I were flopped on the floor in the evenings, unmotivated to do anything. I think I used about five Motor Tabs from the time I got home to when we went to bed.