Friday, November 28, 2008

The 2008 Turkey Day Vacation

What a trip! It's not over yet, but as I'm sitting here doing a little work and drinking my morning coffee, I figured this would be great opportunity to give a little update on what's been going on over the past week.

It almost started off in a very bad way as the entire lot to park my car to catch the bus was completely full. With minutes to spare, I took off to try and park at the next stop about 5 miles away which could have resulted in another large speeding ticket if I was caught. Luckily, that didn't happen and I was running down the steps to the stop as the bus arrived. There were 4 of us trying to get on the bus, but apparently the student at CU didn't have school this entire week so every single one of them was on that bus going to the airport too, leaving just 2 open seats at the 2nd stop of the bus route. After waking some kid up who was sprawled out over two seats, I was super stocked to grab one of the last seats and not have to stand the entire way. Goodness...what a debacle. Everything else was just fine and it was wonderful to see the family when I got in.
Tuesday and Wednesday were quite typical with some trips to the Lifetime Fitness gym with mom, a dentist appointment, dinner at Mr. B's with Ryan DeCook, a little Euchre (that's a card game for all you non-midwesterners) with the fam and LOTS of eating. Unlimited junk food is something I don't have at home so I take full advantage of that here...probably not the best of things, but oh is it good.

Turkey Day was fun but a bit crazy. We woke up super early to drive 2.5hrs down to Kalamazoo to see my mom's family and eat meal #1 and watch the football game. The food and company was absolutely amazing, however, I'm not quite sure what to say about the poor Lions. My friend Winston (who is from Tennessee) and I had a good smack talk session going before the game, but that ended less than 2 minutes into the game. The Lions lost 44-10 and are now officially 0-12 for the season. In some ways I feel really sorry for them, in other ways, I'm just embarrassed. At least we still have the Red Wings and Pistons to root for! We took some good family pics and then took off to drive back 2.5hrs to the other side of the family's Thanksgiving Day celebration. Again, more food, good laughs and fun pics. I came home feeling like absolute crap, like I always do after Thanksgiving as I've probably eaten more than 5x what I normally do. I'm almost thinking that the 10lbs I was joking about putting while I was home, might just actually happen!!! Oh, I love the holidays :)

Back to the gym this AM to meet up with Ryan for a swim, a little lift and a cycling class with mom. I still feel like I have a 20lb baby in my gut from all the food I've consumed over the last week, but hopefully this will get it moving...if ya know what I mean. Yes, I'm disgusting...

I'm super excited to see Katie Markey and her kids this afternoon as it's been FOREVER. She's only the coolest neighbor and the most supportive person in the world :) I love you Katie. Then I'm meeting up with an old friend, Rudy Ryback from Colorado who is in town visiting his grandparents. I haven't seen him since 2005 so it will be great to catch up. Then to the airport and back home I go!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Michigan I go!

Wow, I can't believe it's already been an entire year since I've gone back to Michigan to visit the family! I'm so fortunate that my parents travel around the country with me for various races so I get to see them more often, but it will definitely be nice to see my extended family and probably run into some old high school friends around town. I've heard the weather isn't so nice there and quite frankly, I'm not very stocked about leaving beautiful Boulder, but we've got lots of fun things planned over the the next few days and I'm looking forward to seeing my little bro who I haven't seen since Christmas last year :) To the mitten I go...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Invest your money people!!!

When the market is down and people are freaked out, it's the best time to get in the stock market :) Okay, I really don't much about it, but I took my chances and became a Vanguard Shareholder on Thursday after a great meeting with Mr. Bob Stone (one of my clients and long time great friend). It's a risk I was willing to take and I bet we still haven't hit rock bottom, but when it does go back up (like it always has), I'll be happy I did it. Until then, I've hidden all the passwords and won't look at it for another couple months, or years, if that's how long it's going to take for our economy to rebound!

Alright, enough financial babble...Happy Saturday :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The decision has been made...

There will be no eye enhancement surgery for this little girl tomorrow.

After much debate, I finally decided that I really enjoy the way I see one year after my lasik surgery and the thought of going through that entire process again is just nauseating. My left eye may not be perfect, but I see fantastic with both eyes combined and I wouldn't want them to over correct and end up having it even worse. Yes, I did pay $4500 to have perfect vision and only get to have the enhancement done for free within a year after the initial procedure, but I'm happy just the way things are now. Plus, if I had the surgery, I'd be popping pain killers and being miserable instead of enjoying this amazing weather we've been having :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Joe Horwat is my Hero!!!

Studies this, studies that...yea, yea, yea, I know I should have got my butt in the gym and started a strength training routine long ago, but now I have and cannot wait to see myself morph into a little ball of lean muscle! Haha.

On a more serious note, Joe is one of the best personal trainers here in Boulder and has been helping athletes all around town integrate strength conditioning into their training allowing them to see drastic improvements in their performances. We went through a great set the other day (which made me sore the entire next 5 days) but I'm now getting more used to it and really look forward to incorporating these exercises into my daily regime. Thanks again for all your help and support Joe, you're the best!

Click on the link above to check out Joe's website where you can learn more about what he does and contact him directly for more questions :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You Guys ROCK!!!

On behalf of the entire Timex Team, I want to thank Tristan, Doug, Keith and everyone at Timex Corporate and Team Sports for an amazing 2008 season. None of us would have been able to accomplish the things we did without all your hard work and support. We know that you have to deal with our insane amounts of emails, our silly bike specifications, the oddballs of the team (Bruce, Sharpie, Ross, Tingle, hmmm...everyone) and we truly do appreciate all of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You guys seriously are the BEST :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Warren Miller 2008

If you have the opportunity to check out this year's Warren Miller file 'Children of Winter' so. It's GREAT! I'm super motivated to finally get an Alpine Touring ski setup so I can begin the training for the Winter XTERRA World Champs in Snowbasin, Utah in March...OHHHH BABY...let the snow start to fall :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

70.3 World Championships Race Report

November 8th, 2008
Clearwater, Florida
4th Age Group

With absolutely no preparation for this race, the only thing I could do on race day was go into it with a positive attitude and do the best I could ...with a smile of course. I did just that and couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome.

The Swim - Sub 30min...whoooaaaaa! I have been swimming like a fish in the pool recently and just haven't been able to translate it to open water, but after Maui and this race, I'm pretty sure it's finally starting to click. I know I am capable of producing an even faster time (as I already have in the pool), but this is a great starting point.

The Bike - Considering this was the first time I had been on this thing since July, I really couldn't have any expectations. I tried to convince Timex to let me race the mountain bike with slicks, but that just wasn't going to cut it! The TT bike is a 100% different setup than my mountain bike and uses completely different muscles. It was quite awkward at first, but I finally started getting the hang of it about 10 miles in and feeling really fast and strong. Well that was until a pack of about 45 people came zipping by me going 30mph with about half my competition sitting in. Hmmmm...yeah, thought about jumping in, but honestly, that's not my style and I'd rather not play that game. After getting settled back into my position and watching the group in front disappear like I was standing still, another giant pack came buzzing by me almost running me off the road. Seriously, they came right through and split on my right and left then pretty much just cut me off when they got in front of me. Yes, another group of girls were nicely tucked in there too. I'm really not bitter, just annoyed...I promise. My bike split was a good 10-15min off all the girls who were in front of me, but I'm totally cool with that.

The Run - 13.1 miles off the bike? Are you serious? I can't even tell you the last time I ran 90min, much less off the bike! Anyway, I surprisingly felt amazing and was able to click off the miles effortlessly and almost felt like I was floating. At about mile 10 I was ready for it to be over as I was getting really hungry so I just went faster and actually negative split the last 5K and was able to easily sprint to the finish with the same smile that I started the race with :) I threw in the pic above because it shows my girl Jax killing it out there and the guy (in black) who I ran with the entire time.

The Finish - Again, smiles all around. I was so excited to be done with the race and start partying. This was finally the end of an amazing season of racing, learning and kicking butt and even though I didn't have the race I was capable of in Clearwater, I am learning that not every race can be that perfect race. I'm really glad I decided to stick it out and go out there, not only to see all of my amazing teammates, but to be there for JZ (the big sis I never had) to win the entire event!

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Quick Clearwater Recap

The Boulder ladies rocked the house this weekend. Joanna Zeiger is the new 70.3 World Champion, Brooke Davison won her age group and took 5th overall and I came in 4th in my age group.

Of the entire trip, I can honestly say that the 4.5hrs of racing was the worst part. Having no motivation to race hard, not being on my TT bike since July and just chillin' on the beaches of Maui for a week, doing a half ironman with a bunch of fit and fast people wasn't very enjoyable. I did manage to have a solid race despite not jumping in the giant draft packs which was very pleasing.

Hanging out with the team and partying like rockstars was definitely the highlight of the weekend and worth all the hassles and travels. From pre-race fun and bugging Doug at the truck to dancing til the wee hours of the morning at the Tiki bar then hitting up Ihop at 2am in the morning, we really couldn't have a more fun group of people on the Timex Team.

Thanks for such a great weekend everyone. Congrats to Bruce, Ian, Chris, Joe, Richie, Andrew, Cindy and Oakes for stellar performances!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

To Clearwater it is!!!!

After I finish packing, get a short run in and and take a quick shower, I'm going to pick Mark up (JZ's husband) and head to the bus stop to catch a ride to the airport. Yep, we're heading to the Half Ironman World Championships in Florida. Things have not been going very smoothly since I've been back from Hawaii and I'm not nearly as excited to race as I was before, but I bet the moment I get there the motivation will set in.

I haven't been on my time trial bike since the last road race I did in July and I honestly haven't run more than an hour off the bike since then either so the half marathon might just kill me...who knows though, could be super rested and fly like the wind...that's what I'm hoping for :) However, if that's not the case, I'm completely okay with it and ready to just enjoy the time down there with the Timex Crew and my old manager Benny whom I haven't seen since April. I probably won't have time to post anything while there, but you can check out the live race coverage on Saturday, November 8th if you click on the link below. It will start at 6:30am EST.

Monday, November 03, 2008

XTERRA World Championship Race Report

October 26, 2008
Maui, Hawaii
1st Age Group - World Champion
3rd Amateur

After an amazing dinner and ceremony for all the nations the night before, I woke up race morning feeling refreshed and ready to have a great day. I absolutely love the fact that our races don't start until 9am so I can sleep in a bit and have time to get in a good hearty breakfast. However, when I'm out there in the middle of the day roasting in the sun I do sometimes wish we would have started a bit earlier!!! Can't have it all though :) Anyway, it was an amazing morning...calm waters, not a cloud in the sky and smiling people EVERYWHERE! I set up transition, went for a little warm up, slathered on the sunscreen then headed down to the water. Everything was going beyond smoothly and I was sooo excited to race!

The Swim - Gotta love the mass beach starts with over 500 people! We all make it to the first buoy together which makes for one giant disaster. I was lucky to not have lost my googles, but I did have someone grab my leg and pull me completely under. Yes, I did inhale about a gallon of salt water which was quite unpleasant for the duration of the swim! I was pretty certain things would get less rough after the first two buoys, but everyone seemed to be sticking together. It was nice having a good draft, but man did I get beat up. Ended up having a very solid swim time which made all the blows to the head well worth it...I think!

The Bike - Pre riding the course is not allowed in this race so I honestly had no idea what to expect. I only went with what I heard from others - hard, hot, loose & rocky, technical, do not go off the trail or you WILL get a flat...hmmm...that's not very encouraging! With a set of burly bombproof tires and a good attidude, I set out with confidence. I immediately passed the 3 amateurs who were ahead of me and was riding very strong up the first climb. At about 30min I started getting really hot and felt like I was overheating or melting for that matter. I took it down a knotch, popped a gel and dumped the bottle of water I had over my head. About 15min later I felt amazing and continued to hammer the super steep climbs and descend like an idiot! At about 90min into the ride (3/4 of the way) my lower back started to seize and I lost all power in my legs. It was not only super painful but more frustrating than anything. I knew I was working my back really hard with all the steep climbs and technical descents, but this had never happened before and I didn't understand why now. I ended up getting off my bike to stretch it and relieve some of the tension. During that time, I was passed by 3 girls who were all in the 15-19 age group. WHAT?!?! Are you serious? I instantly got back on the bike and tried to catch them. I was working so hard and going nowhere...I then got passed by 2 other girls who I had gone by within the first 10min of the bike. UGH! Was I really going that slow and losing that much time? At that point, I mentally lost it. I semi gave up. Why? I'm not really sure. That's very uncharacteristic of me and if there is one thing I will take from this race, this was it.

The Run - After a smooth transition, I headed out on the run somewhat emotional. I was pretty sure there was no way I would be able to catch the girls who passed me as my back was already tightening up again. I put my head down and tried really hard to just run as fast as I could without being upset with my poor attitude on the bike. It was really hot on the run and I wasn't feeling great which wasn't easy but I did manage to pass a few girls back. Running on loose lava rock and through deep sand was a true test at the end of that race and I pulled it together to finish with a respectable run split.

The finish - Holy crap was I excited to be done with that race. People weren't kidding when they said that was the toughest course on the XTERRA circuit...and I now know why! Sure, I was totally bummed out that I didn't get the overall amateur title by 2min to a girl I beat by over 12min at Nationals, but hey, I won my age group and couldn't be more thrilled about that! I'm a perfectionist and my biggest are most athletes, but as disappointed as I's only going to fuel the fire to come back and kick the crap out of that course next year!

Thank you so much to everyone who supported me throughout this race and my debut into the XTERRA world. I could never have done it without you! I have found my passion in the sport and cannot wait to see where it takes me over the next years :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The end of Maui has come :(

...but it was one hell of a good trip!

After saying goodbye to CJ and Branden, Tom and I rode our bikes along some amazing coastal roads, played in the water, hung out with Blake and his family, and soaked up some good rays.

We couldn't have asked for a better and more perfect group to spend our time in Hawaii with so thanks to all you guys for such a great time. I can't wait to do it again!

However, I can wait for another overnight flight that ended in some serious jet lag! Congrats to everyone who raced in the XTERRA World Championships and look forward to seeing you out there again next year!