Monday, October 29, 2007

IronKids Triathlon comes to Austin

Sunday morning I ventured out to Circle C swimming pool/neighborhood here in Austin to watch the IronKids triathlon. How cool this was, kids ages 6-14 were out there participating in an organized triathlon, all of relatively short distances but definitely enough to show them what triathlon is about and allow them to be a part of an ever-growing sport. And what better way for kids to spend their Sunday morning than outside being active? I have a picture here of myslef and 9-year-old Colleen Pletcher, who is Tim Pletcher's oldest daughter (of Source Endurance). She was grinning ear-to-ear as she did her 100 yard swim, 3 mile bike and 600 meter run. She plugged along in her little pink Zoot 2-piece swim suit and her mountain bike, though I think she may be big enough for a kids road bike she made the turn for her last lap in the pool, she looked up at us and smiled! Was so cute. Great job to Colleen and all the other IronKids out there, including Nick Bannon's little 6-year old boy Joshua, I believe that was his name...just 6 years old out there doing it! Keep it up little ones...and keep having fun at it, that's the ultimate goal.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Sign of Fall

We have had our first REAL cool-down here in Austin, and it is October 22, and it is currently 55 and overcast. As I check Manitou Springs to see how it compares:

Monday: 44° F 27° F
Tuesday: 60° F 37° F

Wednesday: 61° F 41° F C
Thursday: 61° F 38° F
Friday: 60° F 33° F

Hmmm...maybe it isnt' so bad here in Austin. Granted, if I were in Manitou I'd be in heaven because in these temperatures, there is a good chance you can wake up to a dusting of snow and there is nothing like seeing the Incline all covered in snow. One of the most beautiful sights you can wake up to.

I have decided that being here in a warm climate is a very good thing as long as I am chasing this whole triathlon thing. If I were in Colorado right now, I would be struggling to do my long rides (especially on those 40-something degree Saturday mornings) and I know my motivation would be waning highly for this race on November 10th. I'd be itching to start skiing, and make good dinners accompanied by a good bottle o' vino rojo. I'd still be wanting to be active, but it would be trail running and yoga classes. So, seeing that here in Austin we are looking at a week of:

Monday 59° F 46° F
Tuesday 70° F 47° F
Wednesday 71° F 46° F
Thursday 73° F 50° F

Friday 78° F 56° F

...then I'll take my current situation and be very satisfied with it. I actually did an awesome long ride on Saturday of about 3 hrs 45 minutes, even felt like I was pushing the pace (and power numbers) at the end of it. This is a good sign! I am only about 2.5 weeks out from Clearwater (1/2 Ironman World Champs) at this point, so I am really trying to be disciplined on sticking to my workouts, sticking to my recovery (ie. wanting to ride today but keeping myself only at a swim workout and some core work) and staying healthy with a lot of rest. Bla Bla Bla, boring boring boring, eh? Not really, I still carve out the time for a good beer in the evenings, and a bit of socializing on the weekends, just try to be in bed before 11 or so and steer clear of that 'one extra drink'. Plenty of time for that after the long season comes to an end...and plenty of time to rest, recover and do all those fun thing I cannot do from March-November like Bikram Yoga classes, climbing and YES...skiing! We'll head to Santa Fe and Taos over New Years to test out old ski legs, and maybe even try a bit of cross-country skiing...yet something else I want to get into once I graduate from triathlon-ing and move back to the mountains.

That is about all here today, I am off after a few hours of sitting (computing) to do some core work. And then probably baking these amazing Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies that I made last week. Quite the Betty Crocker I am these days...

Hope ya'll are well and thanks for reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

US Open Triathlon...A Good Day :)

I just returned a few hours ago from Dallas, just 3 hours north of here, from having done the 'inaugural' US Open Triathlon. This was the culmination of the Lifetime Fitness Series, and the first triathlon US Open. I don't really know exactly what it being a US Open 'means', but to me it meant a lot of prize money and a very talented field to step up against. In my mind, I feel I came out successful...I finished 8th overall and won a pretty sweet chunk of cash as well. I was very relaxed going into this, I am not sure if that is just because I have realized that high relaxation/low nerves equates to successful races, or it is my 2nd to last race of the season and I am just feeling ready to be done. In either case, I feel I prepared well and had a very confident and appropriate 'state of mind' beforehand and I am happy that I performed well.

It is hard to explain. I should be totally psyched with this race, but I find myself, happy but not satisfied. I feel I am inching closer and closer to being right in the mix with these 'big dogs', basically these total badass professional women in the short course distance. So, I am glad that I had a great race however I know I belong in the top 5 of a race like this. I really do believe that I will be there, and I am okay with being me it is just a matter of, 'What piece of the puzzle is missing'?

Please check out my website, where I will post my full race report in the next couple of days along with some pictures. Mario Cantu was out there who I am sure shot some great pics, as well as my boyfriend Derick, who also was playing photographer. It was so great to have him with me! He often does not come to my races, and I really loved knowing he was out there cheering for me and encouraging me along the way...thanks so much to all the Lifetime Fitness race staff and of course, volunteers. And, a HUGE congratulations to both Greg Bennett and Sarah Haskins, the race winners, and Greg the SERIES winner. He took home a paycheck today that is mind-boggling in the world of triathlon, $420,000. And seeing as he said he's 'been at it for 20 years now', he has earned every cent.

Thanks for reading and please check out my website for a full race story!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wedding Weekend and Kittens

This weekend was Derick's twin sister, Kristin's wedding. It was beautiful. She got married in South Carolina, in 'the mountains', yes there ARE mtns in SC. She very much made it unique and her own, which I loved. They had bagpipes playing, that was the only 'music' was the bagpipes. How cool. The reception was at a nearby Vineyard, which was equally as pretty as their 'chapel' which overlooked the mountains. All in all, a fun weekend. I got in 2 runs when there and took 2 days OFF...OFF!?! For me that is a BIG rarity. But, I made due with what we had, the last thing I wanted to do was be trying to find a pool and be a big pain in the ass...better to just realize the rest may do me well and get in some good solid running, which I did.

This week I am back at it, just wrote up my training for the week which takes me into the US Open on Sunday, in Dallas. This is a biggie, but I am very excited for of yet, not nervous. There is a lot of money on the line, and I know I am in the shape to have a great race. I'll do just as I have been doing which is stay relaxed and then get out there and attack it start to finish. Also, SRM was great in sending me a new sensor for my bike since the old one was not reading...the guys at Jack and Adams got it all set up so now I can really key in my bike training this week, see where I am at and go into Sunday feeling strong and confident in my cycling...and the added kick of the new Orbea Ordu TT bike, I am set!

Other news...I included a few pictures of some of our kittens. The above gray one is Shackleton, because he is a little explorer. Even likes to climb up onto our grill. I said they were cute, I was right was I not? One of them likes to sleep in our recycling bin, this is Cash. Cash is named Cash because he is like the Man in Black, Johnny of course and is a bit of a loner. I really missed these little guys when we were gone, being that they are all essentially 'stray' cats I was afraid they'd leave us. Nope, still here, so I spoiled them with milk and tuna fish upon our return. Gotta keep 'em well fed. :)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Hard Training and Never Summer Ale

Nothing too exciting to report, today was a good Monday. I am trying to pack in some good, hard training before we leave for South Carolina on Thursday for Derick's (twin) sister Kristin's wedding on Saturday. I know that I will stress out if I can only run and I don't feel I have done enough swimming and cycling this week, so I will ease my worries by pounding myself early in the week: Mon = Hard Swim/Hard Bike, Tues = Track Run/Hard Bike, Wed = Hard Swim/Longer Easy Bike.

The wedding will be a fun time, I got a DRESS on Saturday for it...a very pretty and somewhat pricey dress at that. Today, I did a trainer ride this morning which was somewhat tough as I usually take Mondays easy, no 'legs', only a swim. I could definitely feel yesterday's long run. I then did a swim at Big Stacy pool, and I did 5,000 meters! I NEVER DO 5k. I have this 'thing' whereby I feel like at the 4,000 meter mark, I just 'should' get out. Enough. But today I was feeling pretty good and the time went by quickly. I am about to enjoy some salad and a BBQ chicken pizza. I could not live without pizza, it is a staple in this house. And of course, I am enjoying some New Belgium Beer...their seasonal, called 'Never Summer Ale.' (I apologize, but it is not on their website! Seems they skip from Summer's Skinny Dip to Winters 2 dare they)...It is THE BEST. I am such a fan of good beers, leading into the question I will leave you with (if there is anyone out there reading this...)

If you could only have one for the rest of your life, which would it be...Coffee or Beer?