Saturday, May 30, 2009

XTERRA Southeast Cup Race Report

May 23, 2009
9th Pro Woman

Back in Bama Baby!!! I'm not sure I could have topped my day here from last year by taking the overall amateur title, but it felt good to be back on a familiar course and remembering all the good times from the previous year. After the extreme heat from 2008, we were so fortunate to have temps in the 70s with a touch of rain near the end :)

Swim - The pros were given a 30 second head start because we were not allowed to wear wetsuits and the age groupers were. I immediately got into the group with the lead women and felt very comfortable right away. About 400m in I took about 20 or so strokes without sighting because I felt like I was right in the draft but when I looked up, I had veered straight left. DANG! I tried as hard as I could to catch back up, but no luck. I swam the rest of the first and second laps solo. I came out 4th woman by less than a minute, but definitely worked harder than I should have and could have been right up there had I just looked time!

Bike - Oh the bike! I love the bike part of the race and I love this course. I know the terrain wasn't my forte with lots of tight turns, roots, and power bursting sections, but it's still fun. I was actually kicking butt for the first 12 minutes or so until my hips completely locked up, AGAIN. My saddle didn't slip so it wasn't because of that, but whatever it was, I lost all power and ended up spinining the entire rest of the course. Was it because my saddle was set too far back after the debacle last week? Is it because I don't do enough short and hard intervals? Is it the transition from swimming to biking? Neal and I are investigating the problem and will soon have it all figured out. So needless to say, I got my booty handed to me on the bike. However, I did ride 'Blood Rock' like a champ :)

Run - The course here is very interesting. The first 2 miles or so are the same as the bike course and super fun. Once you pop out of that section, you hit a fire road for 30 seconds then jump right back into the woods where you go straight up and straight down until the finish. I'm really not kidding when I say straight up and down either. I didn't have too much pain in the knee during the first section so I just cruised, however, once I hit the technical hills, there was a lot of power hiking and hesitation while trotting down. Steep terrain is not my knee's friend right now. Like last year, I totally used a few trees to pull myself up and not fall on my butt coming down. My time was still slower than the other girls and my run fitness is non-existent, but it's not far off.

THE RACE - I'm happy and pleased nothing disastrous went down. My transitions were way faster than last race and I feel like my knee is getting better every week. I still have lots of training to get in and lots more racing to do before I'll be in top form, but it's getting there and I'm excited to test it out at each of my upcoming races.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Back home for a week!

It has honestly been nonstop since I arrived in Boulder Sunday afternoon. Right off the bus, I delivered a my rent deposit for my new house which I will be moving into on Sunday, then headed right over to Allen's parent's place for his brothers' graduation party. We enjoyed some delicious food then hit a few golf balls into the open space and played volleyball for the majority of the evening.
Memorial Day was somewhat uneventful but got in a good spin on the bike, cranked out lots of work and had a fun BBQ with some friends at the Krughoff household while Allen worked on our super sweet garden. It rained on and off most of the day so altering between crocket and card drinking games was most of the entertainment. Oh, and I made cookies and homemade granola with my girl Jamie :)

Since I won't be around much of the summer, or at least for long periods of time, I froze my membership at the Flatirons Athletic Center and joined the Boulder Aquatic Masters program so I could do open water swims at the Reservoir and swim at Scott Carpenter (a 50m outdoor pool). My plan was to go swim at the Rez Tuesday morning but realized Will had my wetsuit in his car and he was driving back from Alabama. Wednesday, I went to swim at 7am at Scotty and the pool temperature was 66 degrees. Yes, Will still had my wetsuit but I jumped in and tried to stick it out anyway. After 1300m, I was told to get out as my face and lips were turning blue! It's okay though, because I got in a solid day of training after doing repeats up NCAR on the bike then heading over to short track and running off that...ouch.

With the intention of swimming at the Rez this morning, I woke up at 5am only to see a tornado of wind outside. As much as I love battling waves while swimming in open water, I think I'll pass and bring my wetsuit to Scotty :) I have another doctor's appointment for my knee today so hopefully everything goes smoothly and I haven't beat it up too badly over the past couple weeks! With the big move and a few road races this weekend, I'll be a busy girl, but stay tuned for some fun updates from the clinics in Portland next week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Wings go for the Cup 2 years in a row!!!

Hell YEAH!!!! The Wings finished the Blackhawks off in OT last night to advance to the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals :) The Penguins better watch out, because my boys are on fire right now!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A quick update from the South

After smooth travels from Michigan to Alabama on Wednesday afternoon, we started out the 2009 XTERRA Southeast Cup adventure out in style with a delicious steak dinner from our homestay - Jerry Ryan. He is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and hosts as many of us silly athletes as he can fit into his beautiful home.

'Ya just gotta watch out for the dawg cuz it'll bite y'all's feet right off'

The weather has been on and off as far as rain, but with the temps being in the 70s, we couldn't ask for anything better after last year's high 90s! I took a huge digger during the pre-ride in the section above, known as 'Blood Rock' and gave my left wrist a nice big bruise, but other than that my knee has been feeling exceptionally well. We had another big dinner Thursday night and a delicious pasta feed Friday before the race on Saturday.

Race day came super quickly and it was another fun day. As always, a full race report will be up soon, but after a good swim, a crap bike and a super solid run considering the situation, I am pleased. It's all going to come together one of these days and I cannot wait : ) We had some good results in the house - Branden 8th, Will 9th, Emma 5th, Danelle 7th, Erin 8th and Blake 1st in his age group!

I don't have any pics to back up our margarita pitcher drink fest afterwards, but you can only imagine if the pics from last year look like this!

Friday, May 22, 2009

XTERRA Midwest Cup Race Report

May 17th, 2009
9th Pro Woman

Where to start? It was the first race of the season, my first race as a professional and first time running over 30min in a very, very long time! Considering those factors, I went into the race with absolutely no expectations.

The swim - No only was it a brisk morning (32 degrees), the water temp was only 61 degrees...brrrrr! No worries, the faster you go, the faster you'll warm up, right?!? Haha, that was my plan of action. The start went well and I was able to settle into a decent pace after getting around the madness of the first 200 meters. I always forget how intense the beginning of the swim is, geez! I didn't have the best of swims (5th woman), but was pleased that I didn't go off course and beat Will Kelsay out of the water. He'll claim in was in front of my at one point, but it was only during the run section between loops :)

I told myself that this race was all about smiles so that's what I attempted to do :)

The Bike - T1 was absolutely hilarious as I had not done one transition practice nor taken my wetsuit off yet this year and it took me absolutely forever to get my crap together. This is where Will got his, he's fast getting out in and out of transition. At any rate, this was such a fun bike course and I was really excited to get out there. The first part of the bike was super fast in tight trees with absolutely no sunlight. It was still really chilly and my hands and feet immediately went numb. The 2 creek crossings per lap didn't help warm the feet up much either! I was really hoping to get a killer ride in and either walk or trot the run, but the harder I went on the bike, the more my hips kept cramping up and I couldn't apply any power whatsoever. After coming through the first lap slower than my practice lap the day prior and feeling way more exhausted, I was really frustrated. I figured it was because I was cold and my muscles weren't firing, but about 3 minutes into the second lap, my saddle completely slipped and the nose pointed straight up. It had obviously been slipping the whole time pushing me backwards which was why my hips kept tightening up. I spent the rest of the lap pushing it back down every time it would slip up...which was every couple minutes! As I mentioned earlier, this race was about smiles and I immediately let it go because it wasn't worth being upset.

At least I didn't hit the big mud pit on the left of this picture before a creek crossing, stuff my front tire and fly straight over my handle bars and submerge myself face first into the creek. Seth Wealing had a fall similar to the dude below but unfortunately it wasn't captured on camera!

The stories from the guys behind him are absolutely priceless though!
The Run - T2 was even more comical as my feet were beyond numb coming off the bike. I was lucky to have the bike to hold onto while running into transition, but once I racked my bike, I fell right over attempting to put on my shoes! I hobbled out on the course and miraculously ran/trotted the entire course. Quite slowly of course and definitely not pain free but I did it.

The finish - Yippee, I finally made it. Because I wasn't even certain I would finish, I was thrilled. Deep down, I felt a little bitter as I wished I was healthy, fit, fast and running without pain, but I know it will come soon enough and Worlds aren't until October. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day and it was so nice to have the support of my parents, little brother and grandparents! Thanks everyone :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Erin & Will's Adventures

So here it is! This is what you have all been waiting for, I know it! Will and I have been working hard to get this site up and running and promise to have regular updates to keep everyone on their toes! Please let us know if you have any suggestions about how to make it better or if you would like to see any additional footage, information, etc. Thanks for all the support :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fun with the family!

I don't come back to Michigan very often, but when I do, it's always nice to spend time with the family. My wonderful grandparents (above) were great hosts over the weekend and cooked some mmmm delicious food!

I went golfing for the first time in probably 4 years with my parents and little bro which was absolutely hilarious. I can't believe I was actually good at this sport back in the day!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yes, I am alive!

The last couple days have been incredibly busy but lots of fun. After a crazy travel day on Thursday, everyone finally made it to my grandparent's place in Battle Creek, MI for a delicious rib dinner. We pre-rode the XTERRA Midwest Cup bike course and did a quick swim Friday afternoon then had another giant feast at the grandparent's place. I'm pretty sure my grandpa grilled over 50 burgers that night...mmmm...soo good. After a rainy morning on Saturday, the weather finally broke and we headed back out to the race course for a little swim, bike and run race prep. The bike course was by far one of the most fun courses I have ever ridden with lots of turns, burms and creek crossings. Since I'm only in town twice a year (if my parents are lucky), my mom's side of the family took that opportunity to take loads of family pictures later that night. Whoooaaa.

Since I'm not 100% physically, or mentally for that matter, I didn't want this first race of the season to be a big deal so I've kept the possibilities a little on the quiet side. I wasn't even sure I would participate at the MI race as my knee has been giving me quite a bit of grief but I made the ultimate decision on Saturday afternoon. I'll post a full race report later, but all you really need to know is that I finished and I'm very happy about it. It definitely wasn't pretty, but I did it.

Not only was it absolutely amazing having Jamie Whitmore stay with us, she did a phenomenal job announcing and continues to be one of the biggest inspirations in my life.

My little bro Jerry and my cousin Warren also made it out at the wee hours and helped out tremendously with some stellar video you will be seeing shortly.

And as always, Will and I were there representing in style :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lara's Bridal Shower

Saturday afternoon was Lara Cooper's (soon to be Lara Edwards) bridal shower at the Dushanbe Tea House downtown Boulder. I have always heard of this elegant restaurant but never actually been inside and I was quite impressed! Click here to learn all the history behind it and what kind of cool things it has to offer :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Where have I been?

Not running pain free, that's for sure...

Things are not going as well as they were initially with the whole knee recovery and I'm starting to get really frustrated. I started with a few short runs last week that went great then after a 3omin run, my calf cramped up to the point of agonizing pain. Because of my blood clot history (yes, I had a clot in my right leg in 2005 that was a total fluke after an ankle break that has been haunting me since), the Dr. sent me directly to the ER Friday morning to have an ultrasound done to confirm I didn't have another clot - NEGATIVE. I have been giving the calf some serious massage and if it felt good when I woke up this morning, I was instructed to try another run. It felt good so I decided to test it out. The first 10min were great then I suddendly started getting the same shooting pains in the side of my knee that I had pre-surgery. I stopped for a bit to let it calm down then started up again. It wasn't but minutes later that I stopped, turned around, and walked home. I hate complaining and it's never fun to listen to negativity but this sucks and I'm so over it. Neal has been great in helping me deal with everything since the beginning but I'm starting to snap. I just want to freakin' run...ahhhh!

On a more positive note, I am riding well and made $40 at a bike race in Denver yesterday afternoon :) Whooohooo

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Where has Allen been?!?

RACING of course...

He was in Bisbee, AZ for the Vuelta de Bisbee April 24-26, then back up to New Mexico April 29-May 3 to rip Lance Armstrong's legs off for the Tour of the Gila! Hehe.

Because he did kick Lance's butt on the second stage, I did drive all the way down to Colorado Springs at 11pm on Sunday night to pick him up and drive ALL the way back into Boulder. Yes, I was absolutely WORTHLESS the next day and actually fell asleep at 7:30pm in my clothes and slept that way the whole next about that for being a nice girlfriend!?! Just kidding, he deserves it!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The 2009 XTERRA West Champs

Yesterday was the first regional race of the season. No, I wasn't there, but everyone else was and had a great start to the season. It was really sad being back at home while the crew was racing without me, but as I've mentioned before, I'm okay with it. I'm getting stronger and stronger on the bike each day and with time, the running will come too.

Check out the link below for the pro race report.