Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where I've been!


Mark Shenk referred me to this really awesome company looking for an accountant/financial analyst and it worked out perfectly! They are a consulting company for sport retail stores to help place and move their product more least I think :) I'm responsible for the numbers, payroll, taxes, etc - not the nitty gritty :) At any rate, it's been a whirlwind trying to get up to speed and figure everything out, so I've been working SEVERAL more hours on a daily basis then I have been all year. It's great!

The weather has been really crappy with lots of rain lately, but I think today is supposed to be the first day back in the 80s followed by a whole week of sunshine and warm weather. I feel about 80% now but still have that nasty cough going on. I sure hope that it goes away before Birmingham next week.

As for my Pistons and Red Wings...well, they either win together, or lose together...Monday was a good night, last night, not so much :( We'll just have to see what happens this weekend!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

1 for 2. Not Bad.

Because the Red Wings decided to whoop some Penguin ass last night, it makes up for the horrible display of basketball the Pistons decided to come up at home during the same time. I was lucky to be able to switch back to the hockey game each time I checked the basketball game because otherwise I would have just been super bummed! Anyway, it's exciting to see Detroit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and on their way to another series victory!

As for other things...I'm finally starting to get back to training...kinda. I've been told from those who had the same thing that I will be hacking and coughing for quite some time even after I start feeling better. Ugh. I even woke Pete up yesterday morning because his balcony is right outside our pool and I was coughing like a madman after a long set. He thought some old man was dying in the water so he came out to see what was going on and it was me having a coughing spasm! Funny in a not so funny way. However, I did get to venture back out on the trails with Brett for a little mountain biking. Although it was dog slow, it still felt great to get back out there.

After that, Tingle and I did a 'mini' clinic at the Timex truck in the parking lot of Boulder Running Company. We answered some questions and made some people feel pretty excited to race on Monday as well as get motivated to train for their first marathon :) I chilled out with Keith and Tristan most of the afternoon which was super fun. They both need to move their butts out here so we can ride and play all day...right boys?!?

Friday, May 23, 2008

OH that feels good...

...for the Pistons to beat the Celtics in Boston...DUUHHH!!!

Exciting game last night that ended much better than Tuesday evening. As they head back to Detroit, I'm guessing we'll see a few more 'Ws' and hopefully an Eastern conference champ! It's too bad they have the exact same schedule as the Wings/Penguins for the Stanley cup, but I guess that just means that those nights are completely reserved for couch time and flipping channels :)

Still sick and haven't done ANYTHING over the past week. It's kinda crazy. I don't think I've ever taken this much time completely off. However, regardless of how bad I want to get out and train, this horrible cough isn't going to allow me to do much of anything. It's really gross the shit I'm hacking up :( I'm on the mend though and finally getting progressively better!

As for the upcoming events this weekend, there should be some good times all around. The Timex crew arrived in Boulder yesterday with the big truck and will be doing lots of stuff for the Bolder Boulder 10k on Monday. Tingle and I will be helping out with whatever they need including clinics, set up, schmoozing, etc! Lots more to come and probably some good photos so check back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Xterra West Championships Race Report

May 18th, 2008
Temecula, CA
1st 20-24 AG

I'll just start with the fact that it was a very interesting day! I had been battling a head cold all week and woke up the morning of the race with everything having shifted downward into the lungs and chest...yuck! I made the decision to go and do the race, but not actually 'race'. I had spent a lot of time and money to get all the way there and it would have really put me down if I hadn't at least tried to finish. I knew it was going to be a rough day as the temperature forecast was in the high 90s with lots of sun and NO SHADE anywhere on the course. As I coughed the entire way to the race venue, I kept telling myself that the only thing I wanted to do was cross the finish line, and with a smile!

I set up transition, coughed some more, put on a gallon of sunscreen and tried to relax as much as possible. I really wasn't all that nervous, almost more anxious to get it over so I could get back to being healthy. As the gun went off for the swim, I found a comfortable pace that got me from shore, around the buoys and back to shore. There were definitely a few backstrokes here and there to help alleviate the coughing, but could have gone way worse.

The bike was quite comical and very irritating as I just wanted to go harder. I'm pretty sure I got out of my small ring on one or two descents during the entire ride and spun up every hill almost going backwards. I'm also pretty sure I got passed by about 100 people on the first lap of course, however, most people blew up pretty badly and I ended up passing them back during the second lap, even going at the snail's pace my butt was moving. I will contribute the finishing of the bike segment entirely on one piece of equipment I almost chose not to bring with me...MY CAMELBACK! Yes, I raced with it, will do it again for every race, and loved every second of it...even if I did look like a giant goober. For midgets like myself, mountain bikes only have room for one bottle cage and in my case, you can hardly even get the bottle in and out unless you're stopped forcing me to carry them in my jersey pockets or use an alternative. I chose to use the camelback for the race since I knew the only way I would survive was staying hydrated. Being able to take sips every couple minutes was absolutely key...even if I did have a bike split almost 20min slower than I should have :)

To the run...can we say hilly?!? There was without a doubt not one flat section on the entire course. It was either too steep going up to run, or too steep and technical going down to run. This is usually my favorite part of the race and the place where I make up the most time so I got really excited to start running people down. HOLD UP...with the 102 degree temps and the current condition of my lungs, that wasn't going to happen and I had to face the facts. So after running the first 10min straight up hill, I decided to notch it down and run/walk to keep from coughing up a storm. As I was stopped at an aid station, I overheard a girl saying how she just couldn't go any longer and was going to drop out. By this point, I had absolutely no voice left, but grabbed her arm and mumbled that WE were going to finish no matter what. With the raspy voice I could get out, I kept encouraging her that it didn't matter how fast or slow we went, we were just going to cross that finish line with giant smiles on our faces and it was going to be awesome. She was super excited and agreed to run/walk the rest of the way with me. We picked up a few others on the way who were definitely suffering and needed a little encouragement to get to the finish line as well. It felt amazing being out there for others instead of racing for myself. I've never experienced anything like that before and although deep down I wish I could have been out there kicking the crap out of the course and comparing myself to the highest competition, I wouldn't have changed this day for anything!

I got my slot to Maui (Xterra World Champs) after pulling off a surprising age group win and had the opportunity to meet and hang out with some very cool people whom I will be spending lots of time traveling and racing with over the next year! Temecula, watch out, because this girl will be back...and with lots of vengeance!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So I've been sick. Really sick...

Thursday was pretty much the start of the massive head and chest cold that decided to attack my immune system this spring. I tried as hard as possible to kill it by doing absolutely nothing all day, but woke up early Friday morning with nothing but snot propelling from my nostrils...yummy! I took the 4:30am bus to the airport where I flew to San Diego for the Xterra West Champs. Upon arriving and getting my rental car, I drove about 100mph to Temecula in order to meet up with the crew before they left to go pre-ride the course only to wait another 2hrs after I got there :) I love you guys.

So we get to the course where it's over 100 degrees and start riding. After about an hour of riding (or melting), the sidewall on my rear tire blows and I'm forced to walk back. Of course, I get lost and a wonderful couple ended up driving me back to the car where the boys had set out looking for me...too funny. Because I'm a moron and didn't bring an extra tire with me, I had to buy one at retail ($50) and pay someone to put it back on because I didn't want to have to purchase a whole bottle of Stans and deal with the aggravation of it all. BIG LESSON LEARNED!

Saturday morning we headed out to pre-run the course and catch a dip in the lake which felt amazing. We all spent the better part of the day running around in compression socks and taking ice baths.

Getting ready for the race was quite amusing as well. Will gave us a little preview of what he would be wearing for the race, Craig showed how he really felt about the new race number timing system and I was checking out how my camelback fit.

I'll post a race report later when I get a chance to catch up but I'll just give a quick recap. I woke up race morning and everything had moved to my chest which left me coughing like mad and feeling pretty crappy. I had made the executive decision to race, but not put forth any more effort than necessary. I just wanted to cross the finish line with a smile on my face! After 3.5hrs of 102* and no shade, I did just so. I had let hundreds of people pass me on the bike, walked with someone for a good 20min on the run and did not exert hardly any effort other than being really hot the whole time. Somehow, I miraculously finished first in my age group which was good for a slot to the World Champs in Maui in October. Although my time was over a half hour slower than it should have been, I'm very pleased that I was so disciplined about going easy and thrilled I didn't put myself in a bigger hole health-wise than I already was. Don't get me wrong, I'm still sick as hell and hacking up stuff left and right, but I'm on the mend and know it!

Alright, that is all I have time for now. Stay tuned for more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting ready...

The rest, recovery, ice cream eating and Red Wing watching was much needed on Monday as well as yesterday! I woke up feeling absolutely miserable with a really sore throat and super achy :(

Since it was pouring rain, it was another good opportunity to take it easy and let my body recover before the big race this weekend. Yep, it's that time again. Friday I fly out to San Diego and will race at the XTERRA West Championships in Temecula on Sunday morning! If I can get over this little bug that is trying to attack me, I should be rearing to go by then. I've been consuming more echinacea, vitamin C, tea with honey and Emergen-C packets than ever before with the intention on "kicking this stupid thing's ass", as Shep would say. I'm feeling a little better today, but still not 100% so I definitely need to be smart about not over doing it.

Luckily I've had some great games to watch recently. The Pistons gave the Magic one more chance to show them what they had but Detroit couldn't help but eliminate them and head to the Eastern Conference finals. The Wings will be playing Dallas this evening in hopes to go up 3-0 and pull off another series sweep! Gotta love Detroit sports...well most of them anyway. I'm still debating whether or not I'll ever root for the Lions :) Just kidding, I'm a Detroit sports fan through and through, even if that stupid football team can't win a game all season!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Fun, fun, and more fun!

This is how I spent the better part of the day on Saturday after a long swim with JZ in the morning...

However, we did manage to cut down the kickstand on my motorcycle and go over to Shep's good friend's place and get it welded back together. That was pretty cool to witness. Watching the boys play with high tech tools is absolutely hilarious :)

Because the weather sucked and I had no motivation to do anything on Saturday, I decided it would be a good idea to just pile it all on Sunday! I'm kind of regretting that today, but it was worth every second of it while I was out there. Did the long run in the early morning, then set off on a great group ride with a bunch of local Boulder mountain bikers for a good 5 hour mash-fest up and around every trail we could get our bikes to...this did include several thousand feet of climbing too!

Lookin' good on the trail...

Tony indulging in some apple pie at the general store at Gold Hill!

The evening ended with a killer massage and a great dinner with Tom and Shep at the Rio. I'm definitely tuckered out beyond belief so I'm thinking a little rest and recovery will be on tap for the rest of the day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New toys and wheel building 101

This is what arrived at my front door on Thursday evening :)

It's the first powertap created with a disc brake for mountain bikes...ohhhh, sooo exciting! Check it out here.

After running around all day trying to find a nice and light mountain rim that had enough spoke holes in it and the correct size spokes to build it, I was about to construct my very first wheel...with a little help of course! Because Bontrager (my wheel sponsor) doesn't make a rim with 32 holes, I bought a DT Swiss 4.2d with Revolution spokes. It's a pretty kick ass setup! I'm definitely going to give out props to all those who build wheels because it's not a fast or easy task getting that thing perfectly built and true.

Yeah, it took me a while and I looked very confused at times!

This is the final product!

The other task on hand involving wheels was to convert them to tubeless. Learning how all that jazz works was pretty interesting too. We ended up just using the standard Bontrager rim strips with Stan's sealant and voila! Well kind of...the rear wheel needed a few extra hands to be stretched over the rim and in the process, we busted a tire lever and Shep got sealant all over his pants which was pretty hilarious.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Smile lots...

...because life is great :)

Lots of fun things have been going on and will be coming up around here in the world of EK. The weather has been shifting, more people are coming from abroad to train/live here for the summer, the trails are clearing up to ride, race season is pretty much here, and well, shit, things are just good.

The photographer who shot us in the post below has been very intrigued with shooting more athletic minded photos and has asked us to help him out! I went down to his studio in Denver the other day to do some work with the TT bike and on Thursday, he came over to 'The Bike House', aka Shep's mancave, or garage if you will, and shot away. It was pretty cool and he got some super sweet shots. I'll post a link to the professional photos when I get them. For now, you can just get a feel of what was going on for the better part of the morning!

As for my Detroit sports teams, things couldn't be more exciting! The Pistons are leading 2-1 in their series and the Red Wings just dominated the first game against Dallas on Wednesday evening. They're going all the way this's not even arguable! Both teams play again tonight so stay tuned.

Training - I really try to stay away from the monotonous, swim/bike/run/I feel tired/I'm really slow/I love triathlon/I have a race in 5 weeks/okay you get the point blog posts, but things have been going well. I'm really listening to my body better and taking it easy when I should instead of digging myself into the ground like I normally do. As a matter of fact, I'm actually going to start eating a little better too! Check out the delicious dinner of spinach, peppers, salmon, couscous, mixed nuts and mango that was prepared last night...mmmm.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The finished product!

A few months back I did a photo shoot for a company's annual report and I finally got to see the actual hard copy the other day. They tell a story of their company through cycling and it's pretty cool if ya ask me. Click on the image above to view the PDF version of it. I'm the goober in the pink jersey...

Monday, May 05, 2008

To the trails we go...

Since John has been repeatedly telling me how he's going to kick my butt on a mountain bike, it was time to take him with us to the trails and show him what's up!

Not going to lie, I was pretty impressed with his strength to and ability to climb, but dude, you've gotta have some more balls on the downhill. I'll admit that even though I was going super easy uphill, you win. However, I dominated your slow ass on the descents and you know it :) And then there was Shep and Blake who just rocked both our worlds the entire ride! Damn you two are nuts!!!

We stopped at an overlook to show Jonnyo the pretty views of Boulder

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Weekend Happenings

After an entire day off of eating and sitting on the couch Friday, I was ready to get back on track Saturday. And I did just that. Killer swim in the morning, pleasant run after that and a super fun mountain bike ride with Shep in the afternoon up at Heil. I think I'm finally recovered from all the tumbles I've been taking recently and ready to really lay the smack down on the MTB :) I met up at the Lazy Dog later that night with Shep, Tingle, Denny, Jen Jen, Mark V and Jonnyo (who just drove here from Arizona to come train for a few months). We watched the Pistons win the first game of the second round against the Magic and chatted over a huge plate of nachos...mmmmm.

This morning brought sunny skies and beautiful weather and the long run was spectacular! After a little laundry and grocery shopping (FYI - $75 worth of groceries fit in my new motorcycle luggage which is freaking AWESOME), I went out for a nice road ride with the roomie. It was a little cloudy and breezy, but felt good to spin the legs out.

I am now on my way out the door to meet the clan downtown to celebrate Joanna's 38th birthday!!! WHOOOOAAAAA! Happy Birthday Chica!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Nanananahhh, nanananahhh, hey, hey, hey, GOOD BYE!!!

That is my poor attempt at writing song lyrics that aren't actually words, but sound pretty damn good my head right now!!! And yes, I am referring to the Avs and 76ers who are done and done! Detroit cleaned up last night with a clutch win by the Pistons to wrap up the first round and an absolute slaughter by the Wings to put the Avs out of their misery. I had to try really hard today to keep my big mouth shut around here after Colorado gave up 8 goals to get swept in the second round last night! Did they even want to win? Oh well, better for us!

Not only were sports on the agenda last night, but I ventured down to the Bike Station, a bike shop in Golden, to meet with my good friend Brett who is the local rep for Bell/Giro, Sharkies, Craft and Look. It was an all women's event with a great presentation by Trek, lots of good food and a raffle of random cycling product and apparel. I contributed a Timex women's specific Bodylink GPS watch and data recorder for the raffle which was won by a woman who will be doing a ride across America this summer! It couldn't have been more perfect. I was also able to give several other ladies information about the other health and fitness products Timex has to offer. Lots of fun :)
Today was another crap day with the weather and had several work issues to deal with so I just decided to take the day off training. I don't usually ever do this, but I'm starting to think that the more I rest, the better I feel when I am going hard. We'll see how that goes tomorrow!