Monday, December 17, 2007

Drunken Kitty.

Wow, is this blog-worthy or what? Last night we were sitting on the couch and as you can see, Shackleton likes to make himself nice and comfortable. He had laid out on Derick's legs as we were watching 'Superbad' (flipping HILARIOUS by the way), and after Derick finished his beer Shack just reached up and decided to take the last bit of it. Didn't take the poor little guy much before he passed right out. Hmmm....passed out on the couch after drinking, is he trying to be like we were on Friday night after the G&S Lounge visit with our friends?? Anyway, moving on...I had to send this to New Belgium Brewing in Ft. Collins, since his beer o' choice was a New Belgium 2 Below. Guess the little guy has good taste in his beers! But then again, in our house there are only good options as we are quite the 'beer snobs'...Enjoy the pics. And watch your pets and the holiday alcohol, this was just a few sips. Wonder what a whole beer could do to him, especially at 6+%?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God Grew Tired Of Us.

I just finished watching a movie called 'God Grew Tired Of Us.' If you have not seen it, it should be your next rental. Simply beyond words. It was about a man named John Dau, who was at age 14 a 'Lost Boy' of Sudan. Taken from his website (

National Geographic writes, “Dau is one of the thousands of African males in Southern Sudan attacked in the 1980s and ‘90s by the Arab Sudanese government in the north. For 16 years, Dau was either on the run—from the Arab militia and the Sudanese Army, from wild animals, from starvation and thirst—or living in refugee camps.”Even while he was still just a boy himself, John dedicated himself to saving others, becoming a caregiver to younger children, helping them dodge bullets, scavenge for food, and cross the crocodile-infested swamps. In 2001, he was among the lucky chosen to immigrate to the United States, a place he had never heard of until he learned to read at the age of 17. This gift of literacy allowed John to pursue an education, working toward completing a degree in public policy from Syracuse University.Since arriving in the US, John has dedicated himself, heart and soul, to giving back through humanitarian service. With the support of the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles, John built and opened the first health clinic in Duk County, Sudan in May 2007.
This really makes you stop and think about things...especially around the holidays, with the hurried life, the rushed feelings we all cannot get away from...have we gotten everyone gifts, are we going to make it to our destinations, will our planes be on time...seeing this movie makes us realize that our 'worries', so to speak, are really nothing of the sort. It is tough because it seems so much needs to be done in other parts of the world, and the amounts of money we can donate may not be much, but it can add up. It just made me re-think some of the 'remaining gifts' I have left, as you can donate to these organizations in others behalf. If nothing else, rent the movie and see it for yourself. It will really get you to thinking, about what is truely important in life. When we think that we have it tough or the day is not going our way, we have no idea...this is a good reminder to stop, be thankful and realize that we can help others even if in small ways. Please see this movie for yourself, and also check out these websites as well. (You can get a gift card as a gift here)
Each one of these is tied in with one of the men from the movie 'God Grew Tired of Us,' and is an extension of what they have done since having had the opportunity to come to America. Look them over yourself and pass on the word to others as well. 'Tis the season of giving. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Decker 20k: It Is As Hard As They Say.

So, I follow up a post titled 'Down Time' with well,...a race report. Guess I just cannot keep away from it. :) But this was a fun one; Well, that term is used loosely. 'Fun' as in I have been taking a few weeks not spending a lot of time training, so I could go into this one with little expectations. Did I go into it with little expectations? Of course not. Derick could tell I was all nervous this morning. I guess I could say this was the 'kick off' to start some structured training again.

It was the Decker 20k, which is put on by the Austin Runners Club here in Austin. The course is touted as being extremely challenging, which, well, it was. It was I believe east of Austin, about 20 minutes, and the entire thing was rolling from start to finish. My 'goal' today was CONTROL. I always seem to go out too hard in running races, and if I really want to complete a marathon, I have to learn to control the front end and save some energy for the middle 2/3 and the end of the race. I was very pleased with the 'control' today, granted my first mile was a 5:50 however I was trying to keep the top few women 'in sight'. And, the hills to come would surely slow that average pace so I had to roll with it when the course was 'giving it to us'.

I felt good and rather comfortable for about 4-5 miles. By the half-way point, I was in second place but I was definitely starting to feel the challenge of the terrain. I really tried to push up the hills and let myself 'roll' down them and on the flats. Just before the mile 8 marker, Derick rolled up to me and said, "Great job, Kel, she is right up there. Now's the time to stay on it, keep it strong and reel her in" (or something to that effect). I believe I mumbled back, 'dying'. Then I told myself not to think negativity. The miles continued until 10, when I saw the hill most talk about, which at that point in the race is a sizable hill. I turned to the last water station and just had about 2 miles to go. I tried to kick it up for a mile or so, then (how MEAN is this?) we had 2 more small hills before mile 12. Are you kidding me? I was able to grit my teeth and really dig deep, and by the time I came to mile 12, I was toast. But I tried so hard to hang on, as I seem to get caught @ the very end all too often. Luckily I was able to hold second place and finish in 1:20, a bit off what I had hoped but considering it was warm, muggy and a TOUGH course, I was pleased with it. Tired, but pleased.

I guess this is the start to my 2-month running block! This week I'll just focus on recovering, and of course going to see a great friend in Bend, Oregon next weekend (which I am sure will involve a lot of beer, and hopefully some running and cross country skiing, too). The rest of today will be spent doing as little as possible. :) I can say now, that I have run it, I have a lot of respect for the Decker 20k. Excellent job to Chris Kimbrough, the womens winner (who was chatting away the whole time, I heard!) and Bernard Manirakiza, who won the mens race, as well as fellow 3 Stories'ers Lance Parker (4th) and Derek Yorek (2nd). Way to go on a tough day, ya'll.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Down Time with Shackleton

Lately, I have been hanging out with my kitten a lot lately. That may sound pathetic, but I am ok with it. It has finally gotten colder here, actully upon our return from Indiana, we heard rumor it had snowed that morning. It was probably upper 30's on Saturday after Thanksgiving (in Austin!) and rainy. Gloomy, but lovely! Feels like winter. Almost. Derick and I had a WONDERFUL trip back to Indiana for Thanksgiving, we stayed at my parents place in the country the majority of the time. I pushed and pulled him to do the Tuxbro's race the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving morning. Tuxbro (Tuxedo Brothers, local race organization in Indy) puts on excellent events, the owner Don Carr just loves it and it shows. It was a 4.5 mile race in Broadripple, near Indianapolis. And even there it was cold and nasty, but perfect race weather....about 35 and misty. I had done a 26:05 last year for 2nd place, so this year I wanted to better it and well, of course, win too. :) We saw some chick with a Duke shirt on prior, so I knew she'd be fast. Skinny runner type. I need to learn to pace myself, so Derick said 'Go out with her.' I thought he meant 'go out w/ the lead woman and stay with her', so of course being all controlled, I went out in about a 5:25 mile. Idiot. But, I did 'feel controlled'. Duke was nowhere to be seen. Until the mile 2 mark, when she so swiftly cruised by me. That's ok, I have more left, too. hehe. I felt very strong until the mile 4 mark when some other little girl (looked about 15) ran past me. What the HELL? Who was she? Ah whatever, I finally saw the clock and I was approaching 25:30! Wa Hoo! I finished 3rd and about 30 seconds faster and on the same course! Good for a 5:41 average pace. I'll take it! Derick had a great run as well, 4th or 5th overall but he has been running so little compared to last year, he was happy with it. Best part was, my dad and Breana (my step-niece?) came out to watch! I think that this stuff is so good for Breana to see. Bad part was, they were watching the 2.9 mile option, they missed us. I came up yelling his name after we finished! Ah well, fun had by all.

Outside of that race, it was a lot of relaxing, fishing and eating. I actually caught 3 fish in Lake Barbara (my parents' pond) in 40-degree weather on Wednesday. We all went to a place called the Story Inn on Friday for breakfast, out in Story, Indiana. Check it out!! Such a cool place and supposedly haunted! It was about 45 degrees in there but I guess that added to the victorian, rustic feeling eh?

Anyhoo all else is good, I am thoroughly enjoying the 'break' from training, doing a lot of yoga, pilates, and easy running and such. Rode outside for 1.5 hours yesterday, very hilly Austin route and seriously almost got off and pushed the bike a few times. I am so glad I was alone so noone had to see my pathetic self struggling up these hills! It was pretty humorous, actually. I have tentatively decided to train for a marathon. We'll see if that happens, esp. when the training 'begins' next week. It'd be something new, and early enough in 2008 that I could still put in a big cycling block afterwards and have a decent tri season too.

That is about it here...I need some new pictures, dad, will you send me some from when I was home? :) Hope everyone is doing well and enoying this time of year. I love it, football games (well, some are coming to an end...), colder weather, shorter days, taco soup, thinking about Christmas gifts, and yoga. And enjoying some good winter beers, too. It's all the little things.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

El Season Finale

Well, the season has come and gone. I finished it up in Florida on Saturday, Nov 10th in the 70.3 World Champs...the season finale. It was a good race, I have written about in emails to people and also in my race story on my website so you can see all the details there. I was 16th overall, which I hate to say because I was SO confident I would be Top 10 and I was very focused on this goal. However things do not always go according to plan, this is life, and we deal with it. I gave it 110% so much that I struggled the last half of the run, like I have not struggled in a long time. Of course I am a bit disappointed, but to think of it like that only brings me 'down' reality, I have had a great season, I stayed healthy, I have enjoyed it all from start to finish and I have a lot to be very thankful for. Having my parents and sister Robin and 4-year old nephew William there was so great, I waved to them halfway through my run and then it all started going downhill. I so wish I could have had a great finish whereby I raised my arms up in victory (or at least a personal one!) but I think that they understood, I seemed to 'crack' at the end and finish in a lot of pain. But hey, that's racing...and I have not yet done that in a 1/2 Ironman so there is a first! Additionally I was able to get a best time, not by much but I'll take it, finishing in a 4:26. I have some GREAT pictures that I will get up here as soon as I can, such as William 'trying on' my racing aero helmet. We stayed until Monday morning to unwind, which was nice, it kind of made it really feel like the end of the season. Now I am all anxious to get started staying fit 'playing', that is doing whatever sounds enticing each day! I am sure it will be yoga, swimming and running...maybe some climbing and also I need to get my old mountain bike in working order, that'll be fun to do as well. And of course I'll enjoy some socializing and drinking yet as ya'll know, if you know me, I don't exclude these 'too' much even during the's a LONG season! I hope you are all well and looking forward to Thanksgiving.

And also....GO ILLINI!! I am a University of Illinoi alumni and while I am also an Ohio State fan, who would have ever imagined...E-V-E-R...that Illinois could pull off a victory over OSU? Unbelievable. See, miracles DO happen... :)

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?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Well I got a new sponsor, a sunglasses sponsor. Spyder Optics, they are mostly still in Asia but they are slowly making their way to the US market. You have probably heard of them, affiliated with snowboarding, skiing, BMX biking, triathlon-ing! I wore their glasses on Saturday in Oklahoma to race and they were awesome. I will put up some pics once I have them from my dad, I used the Lithium to race in (see pic on left)...nice and small frame, fancy lookin' red iridiscent lenses and a very comfortable nose-bridge so that they did not come close to fogging up. Definitely one of the most comfortable pair of sunglasses I have ever raced in! Another nice pair for wearing around, running, etc is the Magma. Looking forward to working with them and helping them become a big name in the triathlon world! Check them out.

Photo by Mario Cantu

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Redman Half-Ironman

I just returned yesterday from Oklahoma, where I raced the Redman 1/2 Ironman on Saturday. This was truely a 'low key' race, as I imagine there were maybe 500-600 participants total, the full Ironman and half Ironman included. It was very different than most of the races I have done this summer, but it was a very welcome change. I feel most in my element in small, local, laid-back races. I feel like all of the hype and intensity just makes me nervous, and I spend energy 'trying to' remain relaxed. Unfortunatley those are the races you 'have to' perform well at, but I loved every minute of this one. I have a full race report on my website, all in all it was an excellent day. I dropped my personal best 1/2 Ironman time down to a 4:27, which is very exciting to me as I now feel that a low-4:20 is possible. The good thing about this one is, it was not all the swim and the run...the bike was also a personal best split at a 2:30. I guess that I also won the overall race, men and women. The women started 15 minutes back, so I did not actually cross the finish line first but I believe I was the overall winner. Which is cool! I did not expect that. My Aunt Sandy, Uncle Del, cousin Megan and her husband Doug all think I am the best in the world...I said, "Just wait until the Dallas US Open in a few weeks. Check out the'll see, there are a ton of women much much better than I...!" But, you never know, right? I'll spend a few days recovering from this one, and then try to train hard for about a week as Derick and I will head to South Carolina on October 4th for his sisters wedding. Until then, I will most definitely enjoy the good feeling from this race! I am so happy that things finally seem to be 'coming together'. Take care and thanks for stopping by. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I was just reading over Lance's 'race report' on the 3 Stories blog. He raced a half-marathon about 6 weeks (?) out from his Olympic Trials marathon. While he was somewhat bummed about his result (albeit a tough course and I am guessing in the midst of a heavy training load), he found himself wondering the infamous question, 'Why do I do this'? I wrote a nice comment to him and then well, it disappeared. I found it interesting he was talking about this because this past weekend, on a long run I was doing, I began thinking the same thing.

I have often been asked, "Why do you do it?" Which is a completely understandable question...often days I do 2 workouts, often weekend days I am up by 8:00 or so to spend 3-4 hours riding or 1.5 hours running. Not that it 'really' seems all that amazing or impressive to me, it is just 'what I do'. But Sunday I was feeling particularly good and I got to thinking, the reason I do it is for that ever-so-rare moment that you cross the finish line, smiling, and raise up your arm, thinking, "Finally! I KNEW I had that in me!", usually followed by stopping, resting the hands on the knees, and then walking, with that elated and 'everything is good' feeling. Now this does not happen often. As a matter of fact, at least for me, this happens very rarely. Usually it is a 'solid effort on the day, decent race, not perfect and a lot to improve upon.'

But that is precisely what makes these moments so unique, so sought after. They shouldn't come easily. And I know I may not always say this, but, I don't WANT them to come easily. I'd rather work my tail off and see the results than just breeze through it, never appreciating any victory. And since these 'zone' days do not occur often, yes, we work hard to achieve them but in the process, all of the expriences, the day in/day out dedication, the ups and downs of what we go through, this is all what makes us who we are. It gives us character. So even though we never know the end outcome, while I hope it is that elated feeling that I work so hard for, well...even if it isn't I know that I put it all on the line, did so honestly and I am a better person for what I have endured. As cliche as it sounds, ultimately it really is all about the journey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back To School.

Well, not for me but for my nephew Jack. Jack,...I think Jack is about 3. Yes, that sounds good. (Sorry Cori, I love him and all but I cannot keep track). Jack had his first day of pre-school and here is a picture. I guess that he jumped out of bed with his PJ's and backpack on ready to go. And while all others were crying, he was already taking out his toys. Classic. Guess he's ready to flee the nest, eh? That is all for today. Just had to share this very cute picture.
Oh, it is raining in Austin. Which is fine with me. Granted I cannot ride outside, or I guess "I won't' when it is raining a lot, but this is a sign of fall coming which is very exciting! I am ready for 50-degree nights and football games. Well, I know I'll have one of those 2 things...this ain't Colorado, after all. I hear we have a cold front moving through and it will be in the 60's tonight. Well, I have to take what I can get.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Good Dinner, Some Solid Training & A Little Whine

This was a good weekend. Friday I decided that after 3 consecutive nights of Quesedillas, Pizza and Nachos for dinner (Tues-Wed-Thurs), we NEEDED real food. Nourishment, if you will. So Derick went to Whole Foods and got us some Ahi Tuna Steaks. He seared them and we had some asparagus, olive loaf bread and of course VINO to accompany. It was an excellent dinner, to say the least! I was already feeling healthier.

Then comes the good training. I got up on Saturday morning and decided to head out with a few 'roadies'. Dave Wenger, who works with Derick and is a total badass, was riding with a few other guys who were all racing a road race today. So, I knew the pace would be mellow for the 2 hours they were riding. And it is fun to ride with different groups, as I meet some new people and see different scenery. I wish I could remember the route, but I am terrible at know ing where I am until I have ridden a route at least 4 times. But I enjoyed having the company for about 2.5 hours, and then I fueled up on a black bean & potatoe taco (that Dave's girlfriend Emily had for everyone!) and charged on for another 1.5 hours solo. Completed my 4 hours! Check. The evening was great as we went to Opal Divines with our friend John, and enjoyed some burgers and beer (still healthy in my book!) and some live music. The night was completed by Derick saying he could do 20 pull-ups, and me making him prove it. Unfortunately, he only did 13. Fourtunately, we bet a 6-pack of 'winners choice' of beer and well, I am the winner. John matched him @ 13 as well, so there will be a re-match in the near future.

And a little whine...I decided to sleep in and make pancakes for breakfast. Thus, this meant that I had to do my 1.5 hour run at about 1:00, probably the hottest part of the day. HOLY say it was hot is an understatement. I ran with (behind?) Derick for 45 minutes 'out' whereby I turned back, and he kept going. I went out feeling somewhat good, and finished panting. And crawling to the door. Well that may be a bit dramatic, but it was h-o-t. Anyhew the weekend was nice, got in 2 very good long workouts and tonight we're off to have dinner at a friends house! Life is good. :)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Austin Triathlon: A Painful Win

Photo Courtesy of Mario Cantu
Well, The Austin Triathlon was this morning. I have a full 'report' on my website,, so check that out to hear all the gory details. Actually nothing gory about it but was a heck of a tough day! It started off awesome as Shawn Colvin sang the national anthem (only in Austin, right?) right there before the swim. The coolest part was she was just in her running clothes, totally low-key.

The swim was in Town Lake, A.K.A. Lady Bird Lake. It felt a bit on the long side, but hey we all swim the same distance so it was all good. I opted to go non-wetsuit since the water was 78 degrees and the air was muggy. I used my Zoot Speedzoot, not only does it make me fast but it looks cool too. I exited about 2nd overall which was cool. :) I heard someone yell out to Jason McMillan 'You got chicked!', which made me laugh (he dropped me quick on the bike). I felt strong, rode hard but got passed SWIFTLY by a woman who I had no idea who she was! I kept peddaling away (what else to do?) and came into T2 about 1.5 minutes down, so as I had my work cut out for me. I pushed the first of 2 laps as much as I could and I was slightly decreasing her lead, but it was not until about mile 4-5 that I actually passed her. She was a phenomenal cyclist. At that point, I felt good and a bit relieved but didn't count my chickens 'til they had hatched (doesn't the saying go something like that?)...I made the final turn, saw Derick cheering :) and then tried to drop whatever 'hammer' I had left. I pushed in to the finish hard, slapping peoples hands - which was so cool, the fans were a huge help today - and crossed first, happy and very tired too.

This was an extremely well organized event, and a ton of fun. Jack and Adams, ya'll deserve a pat on the back, a rest and a well-deserved beer or 3. Thanks so much for making the first Austin Triathlon a big success and a lot of fun! And great job to all the other Jack and Adams racers, as well the new town phenom Derek Yorek. This guy just moved to Austin, and he ran 30-min+ 10k. Once he learns to ride a bike and brings his swimming down, he'll be scary fast. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Yes! We have kittens! By far the most exciting news in the past week. This morning, Derick went to his car around the side of our house to get something out of his car. He called me outside, "Kelly! Come here, quick! Quiet..hurry!" I came outside and saw him crouched down by the cars, looking alongside the house. And there were 4 adorable little kittens playing! There were 2 gray ones and 2 black ones, all about the size that can fit in the palm of your hand, playing in the grass. We noticed a small hole in the cement foundation of the house, which I am guessing they sneak down under and there is probably a little Cat House down there.

So, I immediately attended to Mommy Tripod on our back porch and gave her a Sunday Brunch of tuna fish salad. I mean, she is nurturing these little guys so she needs good food. Derick was right, about a month ago, he said she 'looked pregnant'. She then disappeared for a few days, whereby I guess she went under our house and popped the little guys out.

Anyway, I am off to the store for the weekly groceries. You know, bananas, spinach, pizzas, cat food, milk, and tuna fish. I have to nourish the little ones! I think we'll take one in in the next few weeks. Anyone looking for a kitten, let us know! We have 3 spares.

Oh, in other news, ...tomorrow is the Austin Triathlon. And, Friday was the Fila Relays. This is an event whereby each person ran a leg of 2.5 miles around Zilker Park (where Austin City Limits takes place). I ran with Gate Davis, Derick and Paul Pugh. We got 2nd overall, with a girl on the team nonetheless! Was a fun night until the BLACK SKY rolled in and ended it abruptly. Unfortunately, all we got out of it was some rain, no big storm. Let's hope that the storms hold off for tomorrow mornings race. Although, if they did roll in, it would fit the pattern from this summer (with Cap Tex cancelled and Red River Triathlon turned Duathlon!). We shall see! Until then, enjoy your Labor Day weekend. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Chicago Triathlon

I am still in Chicago, at my friend Jen's house, waiting for my Airport Express so I figured it would be a good time to write up how the weekend was while it is all still fresh in my mind. I arrived in on Friday, plenty of time as I did not race until Sunday (yesterday). I came to my friend Jen's house and got to see her parents, which was great. I swam with she back at University of Illinois, and actually, we both were milers. And very close to similar times, as well! Friday I put the bike together, went down to the Expo to get my race 'bag' and that evening we enjoyed some excellent Italian food and quite enough wine as well. To put it bluntly, I woke up at 7:00 Saturday morning and had to pop a few Advil. Took me by surprise, we were just visiting and enjoying ourselves! Guesss it is good we did that Friday night instead of Saturday night.

Saturday Jen and I went out for a nice easy 30 minute jog down towards where I would be riding my bike on race morning to get to transition area. We then went to breakfast at Ann Sather, an amazing breakfast place here in Chicago with about 6-8 fellow U of I swimmers. It was so great, these girls I had not seen in 7 years! And the coolest thing is, many of them have recently gotten into triathlon too! After this I tried to come back to her place and just chill out as much as I could, as I had to head back downtown at 4:30 for the pre-race meeting. I don't understand why these are always so 'mandatory' when they usually take about 20 minutes and they do not 'take roll'. ANYWAY...I got to catch up with a few friends I had not seen in awhile so that was nice.

Friday night we decided to 'order in' which was a good call, just going out to eat gets old very quick. I did not race until 11:00 on Sunday, so I was not actually in a huge hurry to hit the hay early but I did get in bed around 9:00 and watched TV for a couple of hours. It was so nice to stay in a 'house' vs. a hotel for a change. Sunday AM was the usual, roll out of bed, eat some breakfast and some coffee and (well maybe not 'usual') wait around for a few hours. I left her apartment at about 9:00 and took the 30 minute bike ride/commute down to the transition area. It was actually a nice way to warmup.

Race started at 11:00 sharp! Well, a bit later because the mens field 'jumped the gun' and had to all be pulled back. It was quite funny, actually. I guess someone sounded a cowbell and BAM they were gone! Half of them, that is. So they swam a good 100, 200 yards until they were finally stopped! It was hilarious. Guess they were rearin' to go. We started about 3 minutes behind them, and this was one messy swim start. You go directly in one direction only to turn around and come back. Thing is, there is a rope to one side and the harbor wall to the other, and this is all a span of ...maybe, 20 yards I'd say. So there is this swarm of people all going the same direction, and no room to 'maneuver around' the pack! I hate fighting early in the swim and while I KNOW I can swim w/ these women, I get left behind easily. Gotta work on that.

I came out almost solo, a few behind me but a good 45 sec-1 min off the lead pack. Which kind of sucked but again, nothing to do but keep on pushing. Then I had the longest run to T1 I have ever had! I was getting tired. Probably 2 minutes at least. Grabbed the bike, on with the helmet and off on the bike. I was feeling pretty strong (the view was AWESOME!! Lake Michigan on one side and the city on the other, very cool!) I took in a gel almost immediately as I was getting hungry. I actually dropped a water bottle about 1/2 way through the bike which was not so good but again, what can you do? I got in 2 gels and I felt strong but I didn't feel 'great'. The bike course was deceivingly tough, as it was mostly flat with a few 'rollers' but you could really hammer the whole way. I am better at hammering hills, but this is my perpetual challenge, and I am working working working at it (bike strength).

I came off the bike knowing I had a lot of ground to make up. For the first time all year, my legs felt 'tired' off the bike. Not 'bad', just tired. I didn't shoot out of the cannon as I have felt I have done at other races. I tried to pick off whomever I saw ahead of me, and it helped that Jen and Noelle were SCREAMING at me every time they saw me. I came off in about 12th and finished in 10th, but the end was quite excting. I saw a girl ahead of me with about 1 mile to go. I thought, 'Oh, no...I am going to have to pick it up to get her and I am really tired...' So I kept plugging along, until with about 1/4 mile go Jen and Noelle started YELLING "10, 11 here Kelly, 10-11! C'mon get her you'll be in top 10!" They yelled and yelled and yelled until I gave them the 'CUT IT!' sign as I didn't want her to drop the bomb, too! I wanted to do a sneak attack. :) I decided I was sick as hell of getting shut out of money and I sprinted about the last 1/4 mile, which hurt like hell but I was so glad I put myself into a Top 10 finish. Among this field, that is an accomplishment.

So, the weekend was a good one. It is the VERY rare case you will finish completely satisfied and no complaints, but I guess that is why I keep doing it. I keep searching for that 'perfect race'. And every time I come out to mix it up, I gain experience and learn a lot as to what needs to be done to get to where I want to be. I was a bit upset to see the womens field was so solid, but I truely would rather go up against the absolute best than anything else. It only raises the bar that much more for me. Even though I see the splits and I know my cycling (still) has a ways to go, I just have a very firm and deep-seeded belief that it is going to come around.

Thanks to my friends in Chicago who all came out to watch or participate themselves! You all did amazingly well, and it is great to re-unite after so long. Thanks to Zoot (was cool to meet fellow teammate Steve Hackett, who had a great race with a solid top 10 finish as well), Jack and Adams back in Austin, 3 Stories Racing, Zipp, Orbea (for my soon to have new TT bike!), NutraFig Cheetah bars, View, Karen Smith and AJ at Advanced Rehab...I think I will be paying you all a well-needed visit this week as the season is starting to wear on my tired body. :) Thank you all for reading!!

p.s. If you have looked @ the results on the event website, just splits are quite incorrect. Unfortunately, I did not average 24.4 mph on the bike (one can wish) and go a 1:02, and fortunately, I did not run a 43 min 10k. If I had my choice, I would take the wrong bike time of 1:02 and add that to the right run time of 37 and change and make those my 'real' splits. But, I guess I cannot legally do that eh? So much for 'chip timing', note to self, it is not always accurate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Newest Member of the Yellow Tower House

This is our house in Austin. It is yellow and it has a tower. No, you cannot go up into the tower unfortunately and read a book or spy on neighbors. It is just a facade. The ceiling is all 'even', it is just a little ...nook.
Anyhoo, last fall upon moving to Austin we adopted a pet chicken. I thought it was a rooster, but I guess I don't know my birds very well. Ruby was a nice little addition, but little did we know it is quite common to have chickens around here. Thus, after a month or so of luring her to stay under our steps (see little brown steps to left), our landlady swiped her up to add her to her chicken coop down the street. What can I say, Austin has not gotten the motto "Keep Austin Weird" for nothing.
On to our newest pet, Tripod. Tripod is the cutest little kitten that started hanging around our back porch. Derick named her Tripod so lovingly as, well, she only has 3 feet. 3 FEET, not 3 LEGS. She has one back leg but you know how cats have their 'thigh' that is rounded, and the long foot attached? Well, Tripod is missing just the foot. So, she seemed to like to sit on our back porch and look up at us. She is a-dorable, and this coming from someone who is 100% dog-person. Well it didn't take long before I started feeding her (she does not like soymilk so luckily I had a can of tuna fish). She ate it and of course, she has come back for more. So now I get to wake up in the AM and first thing I can check for her. And when those big green eyes are staring at me longingly, I cannot even make the coffee before attending to her.
She now has her own cat water and food bowl, even personalized. "Tripod's Water" and "Tripod's Snacks". Sometimes I see an UGLY RACCOON out there in the evening trying to finish up her leftover dinner, and good lord those things are tough to scare yell, bang on the door, they just look at you. Eww they are gnarly looking creatures. So now I feed Tripod only enough for her to eat.
Speaking of which, I think it is time for her dinner. And time for my beer. Ah! There she is. If only she'd let us get close enough to pet her...all in due time, I guess.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Gooin' to the chapel, and I'm..."

No no no, I am not getting married. But this weekend was a wedding filled event. I went to Pensacola, FL for my good friend Laura Reid's wedding. It was a fun weekend, though I was ready to get back and into the swing o' things. I really 'girled' it up...we had pedicures and manicures on Thursday upon my arrival (which I have to say...I really like my nails, which usually I cannot stand to paint. My toes are ALWAYS painted but never my hands...feel like it suffocates them..?!) and Friday we went out on a mini-sail boat. It had a name, something like a Hobe? It was great! Very cool. Then it was the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, drinks of course, and Saturday was just filled from start to finish. We even went to an Aveda salon and got our hair done (as I was in the wedding). The wedding was at 5:00, went off without a hitch in one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen, I believe it is one of the oldest churches in the country? I will post a pic if I get one from someone...and the reception was just a fun time. I am not into going out to bars to dance, but I sure love to at weddings! This morning I returned at 6:30 AM, which meant my wake up call was 4:30. So...needless to say, I am pretty tired and managed to ride for 1.5 hours this afternoon but in the 99-degree Austin heat it was a struggle. But, a very fun weekend! A refreshing change of pace, for sure.

Also...I decided to 'go for it' and sign up for Chicago Triathlon! This was on my schedule, but I was feeling 'raced out' a bit. However, I have some great college friends who will be competing as well and I will stay with them. And I have been finding myself very excited to race this year, which is a change from past years. I have NEVER 'disliked' racing but usually I am happy saying "I'll skip it..." and just keeping my races limited. But you know, I do not wake up at the crack of dawn to train most days only to hit up a second workout mid-day for nothing! The races are the reward...even if they don't go as I want them to, I rarely walk away without learning something and/or just enjoying myself!

So this week will be a big bike week! I just re-wrote my schedule based on doing pretty little all weekend, and I am anxious to stick to it. The weather in Austin is at its hottest of the year, predicted to be upper 90's all week, which means I have to try my best to either ride in the later morning or do a 'key ride' on my trainer. It is a STRUGGLE to say the least in this heat. Well it is time for dinner and some relax-time now. I hope you all are well...and thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

One Generic Triathlon

Why was I dragging my feet on this one? Well, I was not 'dragging my feet' but I guess I was thinking about how much more enticing it would be to sleep in and eat pancakes on Sunday morning. NEVER! (well, yes, sometimes...) but this was one FUN RACE to wake up early for. Well we almost didn't make it as I forgot my helmet and about 15 min into our 40 minute drive we had to come back home, but it all turned out just fine. This was Jack and Adams 'Jack's Generic' Sprint triathlon. It was out at the Texas Ski Ranch about 40 minutes south of Austin, just a sprint (500 yd swim/15 mile bike/3 mile run). To me, this is hard. So short you have no time to 'get into a rhythm' but you have to GO. From the GUN. Which = Hurt. But the good side is, it is over with quickly. The pain is temporary.

The swim was warm and short. Just one little 'loop' of the Texas Ski Ranch lake. They do all of these cool skiing events there, like we saw people being pulled by some pulley's water skiing afterwards. Looked like FUN. Anyhoo...back to the race...came out just on the heels of Amy Marsh, a great local triathlete and swimmer. And cyclist, bad for me. :) She got on the bike and she was gone. Whoosh. But that was ok, I put my head down on my new Orbea Ora TT bike (I felt so fancy on it) and powered away to the best of my ability. I came off the bike feeling ok...tired and ready to dismount. Off on the run, a short 3 miles out and back. My legs were tired but they were still there, and MUCH to my surprise I clipped off a very solid run of about 17:36, woa...I think that was 5:52/mile pace? Honestly, I have no idea how b/c it felt TOUGH and not that fast. But, I'll take it!

It was an awesome event! I wish I had been able to partake in the previous Texas Tri Series races (Couples Tri for example) but the travels have not allowed to do it any case, the next local one will be The Austin Triathlon, September 3. But this one was just a very cool event. Tons going on afterwards, games, beer, food, and tons of friendly people. Jack and Adams team and many other local Austin-ites did great and it was a fun time. Thanks Jack and Adams 'crew', you all work your tails off and it came together nicely. And thanks to AJ Zelinski and ATX Rehab for being at the race and giving treatments, ya'll keep us healthy and it is so much appreciated. Thanks as well to Zoot for my awesome race gear, especially the new blue ride (Orbea)!

I feel lucky to be able to go out and have such an enjoyable Sunday morning...blessed that my body can do these amazing things, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the daily 'grind' of what we do we forget to stop and realize how appreciative we should be to use the gifts we are given. Also, to note, the
3 Stories Moon Pie track meet ('The only one on the planet. We hope.') Friday night was a huge success. It was a lot of fun to watch some very tough runners out there, enduring the hot Austin evening, running into the dark. Inspiring to watch! Thanks so much for reading.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

To Race, Or Not To Race?

...or just drink a beer instead of worrying about it?

I have enjoyed the week of getting back to my routine, which despite being quite busy this week, it is good. There are a lot of little 'opportunities' that have come up which are exciting. I can get stressed easily, yet I probably get bored even this is a good thing. I finally got on my new Orbea Ora TT bike! It feels awesome. Odd, definitely; That whole shifting thing is totally new to me. I even got my SRM on it this week, so I can start to see if I am a power machine on this bike. :) One could only hope...

I really jumped back into training, only one week off and I was rearing to go. Maybe a bit too much, as I have been pretty tired. Which is OK, but I think when you 'go' as much as I (and many of us) do, you really need to monitor those fatigue levels well. I decided to sign up for the Redman 1/2 Ironman which is September 22, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I have a lot of family there (aunt, uncle, cousin, etc) and my parents will come down as well, so to me it will be a great time to visit and get in a good training effort as well. It is a smaller, low-key race which is nice for a change. My debate is Chicago Triathlon, as I am in limbo. One minute I think I want to race it 100%, the next minute I feel like I have been going non-stop for a few months and maybe I need some more time at 'home base'. I'll need to decide soon, as it is on August 26th, just 4 weeks away. We shall the meantime, I will get ready for the 3 Stories Racing MOONPIE TRACK MEET tomorrow night (I'll help out, as I am running in the AM) and JACK'S GENERIC sprint triathlon on Sunday..."Where you're more than a number, you're a barcode." What an awesome slogan?!

That is it for me right now. Rather than mulling this over, I am going to enjoy my STONE IPA (Yes, Stone Brewing in San Diego, CA...I LOVE YOUR BEER, you can sponser me if you want...just product will do) and make an omlette for dinner. Happy Thursday. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Much Needed Chill Week

(Pictures: Top me swimming in 'Lake Barbara', @ my parents place ~ Bottom, a view of their lake in the fall)
Well, I got back from a few days in Indiana and it was NICE! I decided that after Racine, I needed a week off from training. Well, I tried my best...I did not 'train' per-say, but I did some nice easy things. My parents have a place about 1 hour south of Indianapolis, and it is BEAUTIFUL. Tucked back in the woods near Brown County, on a small lake. I took a walk with my mom one morning, I swam in their lake and I drank wine. :) It was nice to take some time to reflect on the weekends race and also, clear my mind of things. We can get so wrapped up in the daily grind, whether that is work, training, or even our personal life...there is nothing better than to sometimes slow down and well, literally do nothing. A few evenings, my mom and I went down to the dock around 5:00, swam for 20-30 minutes, then enjoyed some wine while we fished. Didn't catch much, as they just must not have been very hungry...but it was so beautiful, you would never realize that Indiana could be so gorgeous and peaceful.

I feel like I am ready for the second half 'push' of my season. It is so easy to be hard on ourselves. I mean, I went into Spirit of Racine truely wanting to and believing I could win it, or maybe finish top 3. Finishing 6th, I could be disappointed...but then, I put up a best time and I felt fantastic. I had my parents there supporting me, I had a few great friends there as well, and I am lucky enough to go out and do these amazing 'things'. In reality, I feel like the luckiest person in the world. And I can honestly say, I take absolutely nothing for granted. But being able to slow down this past week, step back and take some rest time, it allowed all of this to 'soak in' so to speak. One thing that I believe I struggle with is 'selling myself short'. In the midst of having a great race, or coming out ahead in the swim (where I am winning the race!) I start to think "OK, when will they start passing me..." This is something I am working on, not thinking this but rather thinking "Hold 'em off. And if/when they pass you, keep them in sight." I am trying to tell myself I belong to be up at the front, that this is where I am fully capable of being. I think that my ability to step away from the sport, the intensity and just appreciate being a part of it all allows me to keep things in perspective.

In any case...these are my thoughts for the day. :) May not be worth too much, but I think it is great to put the thoughts into words occassionally, even when they are just contemplative and rambling. Thanks for reading. And I hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing, wherever you are. Because, well, life is flippin' short.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Spirit of Racine 1/2 IM: A Personal Best!

I just returned from Racine, Wisconsin late last night, where I raced the Spirit of Racine Tri 1/2 Ironman Sunday morning. The trip was great! My parents and I drove in (as it was only about a 5 hour drive from their place, south of Indianapolis) on Friday, settled in and enjoyed a relaxing evening. Saturday I got in a nice 30-45 min easy ride, and we went to the pre-race meeting that evening. The greatest part about this race was that I had the chance to meet one of my athletes whom I have coached for 2 years, as well as 're-unite' with 2 friends from Illinois Swimming that I had not seen in over 5 years! So in addition to simply being excited to race on Sunday, I had some other things to look forward to as well.

The race was a nice early 7 am start, which outside of the 4:00 am wake up call, I love. We were off promptly at 7:03, 3 minutes behind the professional men, into the beautiful 64-degree waters of Lake Michigan. I felt strong on the swim, but I did not really swim with anyone so I don't think I pushed myself 'too' hard, but I found a nice rhythym and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wore my Zoot sleeveless suit, which was absolutely perfect for these conditions; in a full suit, I would have definitely gotten too toasty. I came out and started the long run on the sand to transition area, grabbed my fancy new aero helmet and was off on the bike. I found myself a bit hungry, and began taking my PowerGels (in my gel flask) early in; I even grabbed a Hammer Gel at an aid station in case I needed 'more'. I lead about the first 10 miles of the bike and then got caught by a few women, but tried to hold a strong pace. I didn't feel too fantastic on the bike today, not terrible but just not particularly 'strong'. I tried to push that out of my mind and just focus on keeping my power up.

Eventually, I saw the mile 50 mark (Yahoo! This is always a welcome sight) and started getting in all of my remaining gels, some more water and thinking about the run. I had a great dismount off my bike into transition and was off and running...I checked my Suunto watch, which said '10:13' so I could get an idea what kind of pace I was running. Although my legs felt HEAVY, they came around quickly and I was able to click off 6-min+ pace from the first mile. I felt strong! However, I was also pretty tired so I told myself 'control and dial in the pace'. Which I did, I knew that there were some very strong runners up ahead of me (Lisa Bentley, Heather Gollnick) and I knew the had a few minutes on me. A few people yelled out '2 minutes back! 1 minute back!' but at this point in the race, I knew I had to hold this pace for at least 6-10 miles before picking it up. I took in 3 gels the run, at miles 3, 7, and 10 and maintained a very strong pace...strong enough to pick up speed at mile 12 and push to the finish. I saw the clock ticking away at about 4:33 and change, meaning, wow! I was a 4:30!! My best time to date is a 4:37, which I did at Clearwater last fall and at Buffalo Springs in June, so this was a good 6 minutes faster! I also ran a 1:24, personal best run off the bike and 3rd overall fastest run. I saw my parents and smiled to them, and finished in 6th overall and took home a bit of cash...not at all the place I had hoped for, but on a day when I felt about 85% (not 'great') I would take this in a heartbeat.

It was an awesome weekend, the weather could not have been better (high was mid/upper 70's) and I had my parents and a few great friends there as well. Also, I have to say...AWESOME JOB to my friend Jen Peters, who finished her FIRST 1/2 IM in a phenomenal 5:02...all the while, smiling and cheering along the way! Nevermind the fact that she is a lawyer, as well...way to go stud! I highly recommend this race, great organization and a beautiful transition area, swim and run course., and a bike course on mostly country roads...I have to be satisfied with another successful weekend. Thanks so much to all my sponsors, Jack and Adams in Austin, Zoot Tri team, 3 Stories Racing, Suunto, Zipp, and Orbea. Couldn't do it without all of your support. It is easy to be a bit disappointed that I have not been placing quite as high as I would like to, however I have gone up against some very talented women and, I am dropping a good chunk of time on each race. So, the improvement is there! It is just nice and steady...which, I am ok with. :) I am moving in the right direction.
(Ah! I almost forgot, another BIG CONGRATS to fellow Zoot Tri team member Mike Caiazzo, who finished 3rd among the professional men...way to represent! And thanks for cheering out on the race course, Mike!)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Geneva, NY ITU Race

Well, this one will warrant a pretty hefty race report which I will publish later this week. All in all a fantastic weekend, as I had the nicest homestay and Geneva is simply a beautiful place! No big city here, a small little town tucked in upstate NY (or at least, I think it is considered 'upstate'?), green rolling hills, Seneca Lake (a 40-mile long river and at its deepest part, 400 meters deep) running through the town and dozens of wineries. What more do you need?

Getting there was seemless, as I arrived on time, got my rental car and was in Geneva by Thursday afternoon. The return was not so smooth, as I was overcharged for my bike at the airport ($150! BEWARE OF UNITED, all you triathletes, I am warning you now) and had to return my rental car with the gas tank 1/2 empty...this stuff ate at me the whole flight home, but upon reflection, the race was a very solid effort and considering that I really am not training myself to go 100% max effort for 2 hours straight, I did all I could in the end. I was 9th out of the swim, not very good but again I got a bit buried in the washing machine start and by the time I found clear water the front pack was far ahead; Solo-ed most of the bike, which I believe was the norm for the 25-person womens field as there were some good rollers and technical sections on this 8-loop course; and ran like hell. The run was great, second fastest run of the day and I probably passed 8-9 women on the run. In 6 miles, not too shabby! It was also 6-1 mile loops through a beautiful park, and at 5:00 in the evening, it had become overcast and we were running right along the water...very cool! I ran myself into 7th place and to put it mildly, was toast at the end.

I forgot how incredibly hard those races are. I don't like to go maximally hard, I don't have those fast-twitch fibers in me. So I fight really hard to find them. And that fighting hurts, really bad. :) But again, I enjoyed the challenge of it...but it confirms that I truely feel like I am in the right place right now, sticking to non-drafting and 1/2 Ironmans! So...check out the race report later this week, which will be on my website ( Thanks for reading~!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've Sold Out.

Yep, I finally did it. I bought an IPod. For all these years, I have thought how ridiculous they are, why are they necessary? We have CD's, we can play our music, even put it into our computer and chill out while working. But an IPod? So I can be connected to my music while running, cycling, reading, travelling, etc...? Not necessary. But I finally gave in, however I have to admit that my ...good gosh, at least 12-year old...Sony radio walkman has served me well! But I am afraid it will have to move over to my new toy. Well, it is actually not a real IPod but a Sansa. Whatever it is, it holds 2,000 songs and they are all to my liking. :)

Part of the reason I broke down is that I leave Thursday for Geneva, New York for a race on Saturday. This is an ITU race, draft-legal style format. I figured, what they hey, I have not raced these in about 2-3 years and I used to do only ITU racing. It will be a fun change for once, to actually get to draft on the bike. I have a homestay (whereby nice people open up their homes to allow me to stay! And helps immensely as it saves me 3 nights of a hotel!) and I am looking forward to a lot of Kelly-Time. The race is not until Saturday at 3:00 PM EST, so this gives me a plethora of time to chill out before-hand and get good and nervous! I found myself doing just that the past few days, but then I told myself that, well, this is not 'my thing' anymore...I am completely sold on the longer racing! I am so looking forward to racing in Racine, Wisconsin on July 22nd, this will just be a fun little 'tune-up'.

Now that my bike is packed (yes, a day early), I will continue to download music into my 'Sansa-Pod'. Gotta take care of all the important stuff, right?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Freedom 5k

Started the day bright and early (well, not too bright, gloomy and rainy) to do the Run Tex Freedom 5k this morning. My friend Emily came in last night from 2 days on the road and, well she wanted to do it! So I obliged. We took off from our house around 7:30, drove near the start and then jogged in. Picked up our chips, chatted to some friends and by 8:00 (8:15?) we were off. It is one heck of a lovely day here for July 4th, rain rain rain! It just won't stop. But that is ok, if there is anything I enjoy doing in the rain (besides swimming) it is running.

We took off and I felt good, strong the first mile. But I tried to keep it under control, as my approach was that this was just a really good Tempo workout. I came through mile 1 in 5:40 (someone was calling out the pace, I never start my watch) which was good but not terribly fast. Then I got passed by a girl, she just cruised by me! I didn't like that. But, I also knew that in a 5k I usually don't have 'another gear' so I just kept her right in front of me. We turned around and then came to mile 2 in what they said as 11:15, which! I dropped my pace to a 5:35 second mile. I then moved past the woman leading, which I was fortunately able to do with 'relative' ease, and finished with anything I had left. I came through in a 17:41, which I'll take! I think my best time is around 17:20-17:30 so that is no too far off, for a bit of a last minute race decision and running on somewhat tired legs. Emiliy and her brother Eddie finished right around 22 minutes, only 3 seconds apart! Eddie beat Emily, I don't know why she let him do that. :) In any case it was a fun start to the 4th! I'll hit up a hard-ish bike ride later and then we'll prep for our big bash, which we plan to grill out for. We'll see, hopefully mother nature gives us a small window this evening of good weather! Happy 4th to ya'll, from Austin. Yee-Haw. And thanks for reading!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hot Austin

I have heard how hot it gets here in Austin (this is my first summer here), and I now believe it. I ran yesterday (long by my standards, 1 hr 30 min) and it was H-O-T. Of course, I went at about 9:30 which was already too 'late' to beat the heat. I stopped at the awesome water stops supplied by Run Tex here in town (they supply 2 different water stops all the time, always fully stocked with ice cold water) and still I struggled to finish. I am glad I don't have a GPS because I don't think I would have wanted to know my pace! But I just tell myself, 'It makes you stronger'. Today is a 'down day', I did a 4000 swim this morning and a long, easy pull set. It is funny, I get so antsy on 'easy days'. I will use the evening to do some yoga, something which I love to do but rarely find the time for when training is heavy. I like to get in 1-2 good, solid 30 min- 1 hour sessions/week of a mix of yoga and pilates. Since I don't strength train, this works for me as excellent stretching and strengthening work, as well as getting the little kinks out from hard training. That is about all I got...I have a friend coming in town Tuesday for 4th of July so I am hammering out work now to prepare to chill out with her! And we may even 'jump into' the Firecracker 5k, which is at 8:00 AM July 4th. I figure, a good way to get my speed work in for the week!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Welcome to Kelly's Blog.

Well, I finally started me up a blog. Just keeping up with the Jones', you know. It is incredible how technology is constantly ramping up, I swear...I have yet to buy an IPOD. Are the outdated yet? Probably.

I wanted somewhere to put down some daily thoughts, just short updates unlike my small novels of race reports. And since this blog thing is free and quite simple, I figured it'd be the perfect segway into a little training 'journal'.

So I'll get going on it, and hope to be able to update this daily or at least a few times each week. I hope ya'll are well and if in Austin, staying out of this heat as much as possible. Today Derick and I took part in a 'long ride' together, which ended up being even longer than expected. He flatted about 1:30 into it, and then once we got it fixed, we were hesitant to keep heading out of town with only one spare tube. So, we headed back towards home to 're-load'. By then I began feeling pretty 'bonky', so well, I got whiney. He got irritated (understandably)...we found ourselves at home about 45 min later, at which point he decided 2:15 was long enough. :) I headed back out for about 1:20 to give myself a 3:30 ride time, which was plenty as I find I am still recovering a bit from Lubbock. Every Saturday I say I'll get up and ride at 7:30 or 8:00 am, to avoid the heat, why do I never do it? 10:00 rolls around and I am still at home. Next Saturday, I will. And hopefully the comfy bed and the fact that it is a Saturday will not lead me astray from my plans! Tonight we have a friend coming into town, so we'll take him to my favorite Tex Mex in Austin, Polvos and maybe have a thirst-quenching magarita or two. Tomorrow will be a long-ish run (1:20) and then only 2 weeks until Geneva ITU race in New York!