Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Many Thanks for 2010

It's that time of year when we step back, reflect on the past year and think of what's to come for next season. I have a lot to be very thankful for looking back over 2010, and while it has been many years of hard work in the making, there is no question that success' do not happen overnight nor do they often happen alone. It is only fair that while I have talked of how races played out and what has happened over the course of the season, I also take the time to recognize and appreciate all of those who have been right alongside of me through this journey.

Derick - My husband for believing in me and putting up with me for many years of hard work, little financial return, and what felt like at times more wheel-spinning than progress. Funny how perseverance and belief in a goal (but moreso believe in oneself) can reap rewards, as we have seen not only with my racing but with his business success' with Durata Training. I have to thank Derick for being an amazing partner and husband for the past 8 years. I could not have gotten to where I am today without him.

Family - I was lucky enough to get to have so much family support this year, with mother and father-in-law Donna and Fred being at Knoxville, to my mom being at Quassy, both of my parents at Steelhead for my first 70.3 "W", my Aunt Sandy, Uncle Del, and cousin Brian and his wife Leigh at Branson for my second 70.3 win, ending with my parents and Derick all in Hawaii. Despite having taken a 'unique path' (to say the least)though my life at age 33, my family has stood by me the entire way, with unwaivering support.

Zoot Sports - I have been with Zoot since 2007, and I love their products; from clothing to wetsuits to running shoes. They are a small but powerful company with an amazing staff who simply loves the sport and are dedicated to their athletes. Have I mentioned how much I love racing in these shoes, namely the Ultra TT and the Kapilani? They have powered me to many PR run splits this season!

Quintana Roo - This was my first season aboard with Quintana Roo, and the CD0.1 seemed to fit me like a glove. From flat races such as Lonestar to hilly and very tough courses like Rev 3 Quassy, I felt comfortable, powerful and always in control on this bike; even despite the crosswinds in Kona. I am excited for more years to come with this awesome company out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

PowerBar - I cannot stress this one enough, if you live in a hot climate, you should be using PowerGels for your training! They have 200 mg Sodium to most gels 50 mg. Not only are their products palatable and tasty, but they work miraculously well on my stomach and fueled me to a 9:39 first Ironman this year in CDA, and a 9:36 second ever Ironman in Hawaii. What do I use? Half IM: 7 gels on the bike, 4 on the run. Full Ironman: 15 gels on the bike, 2 bottles PowerBar Endruance, and 6-8 gels on the run. Works like a charm.

Katalyst Multisport - I came to Chris in late 2008 interested in working together, and while he was full and unable to bring me on, I persistently approached him again in 2009. He has been an instrumental part in helping me truly be able to make triathlon my 'career' this past year, and for this I am so grateful. So Chris, thank you for believing in me!

Xcis Software - This is a software company out of Houston, and they were nice enough to financially support me in both 2010 and already for 2011. Racing comes down to a lot of financial balancing, so any extra bit helps, and I am so appreciative to Arnie and the Xcis crew for their support.

Jack & Adams - If you live in Austin, and even if you don't, you probably know of Jack & Adams. And hopefully you are also lucky enough to know Jack, the owner, who is not only a sincere, honest, reputable business owner but he knows this sport inside and out and he simply loves triathlon. And it shows in all he does. It is in part due to Jack that I believed I was capable of racing and racing well in Hawaii; not sure if Jack knows that, but now he does. Endless thanks to James as well, who keeps my bike squeaky clean and in working order.

Hill Country Running - The ONLY place to get your shoes if you live in Austin, people! Jamie and Andrea have got the running store business dialed and they have everything you could possibly need, including a treadmill to do a quick gait analysis to ENSURE that you are in the correct shoe. And, they put on quite possibly the best race ever, the Donkey & Doggie Dash 5K. If you have not been in here, you are going the wrong shoe store!

Advanced Rehabilitation - Dr. Zelinski has built this business from the ground up and when it comes to active release technique for injury prevention and maintenance, he is your man. Plus he has a great crew in his office to take you through exercise and treatment. He has learned from the best and in a few years become the best.

Go with the Flo Acupuncuture - This is my good friend Karen Smith's business, and while I had never had acupuncture until 2009, I never knew how good it could be. The way I see it, Karen is a little blonde busy body runner who never stops moving; anything that can get her to stop for 2 hours to poke needles into someone (and moreso spend years learning how to do it) MUST BE WORTH IT. Fatigue, tweaks, aches or pains, headaches, recovery,...possibilities are endless.

3 Cosas Massage - Another local business started by good friend Cecilia Llanos Hernandez, who has been a triathlete herself but is now looking after her new little one as they recently started a family. That said, Cecilia is an excellent massage therapist who knows what I need without tearing my muscles to shreds; in short, this is not my 4th workout for the day! She has helped keep me healthy for the past 2 years and it is much appreciated.

Road ID - This is a new sponsor who came on board late in the season, thus I was well-equipped in Hawaii for any potential meltdown with my brand new Road ID. I spent far too many years training without one of these; I now have two and always have one on. I do 90% of my training solo, including 100 mile rides out to Johnson City and back. It's a pretty easy measure to take to ensure your safety when out training; simply put, these save lives. So stop thinking about it and drop the $30 to potentially save your own.

Friends - ALL OF YOU! From my closest Austin friends to those who are all over the country, to those of you who leave comments on my blogs, drop me good luck or congrats notes here and there, facebook messages; no single note ever goes unnoticed! It all means so much to me. Looking back at Steelhead, and the 'waiting at the finish' incident... something that I really did not think was much of a big deal, the reception that I got from my fellow competitors was overwhelming. I think that it showed that no matter our finish, no matter who wins, podiums and who struggles to finish on the given day, we are all in this together and the sport in its entirety is about much more than times and results.

Seeing that my 'thanks' blog got a bit long-winded, I will wrap this one up and let you take a breather. Next up, a quick season re-cap of 2010!

Thanks for reading,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ray LaMontangue "Old Before Your Time"

The following are the lyrics from Ray LaMontangue's "Old Before Your Time", off of his most recent album God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise. Derick and I have been into this album lately; it just never seems to get old, and gets better every time. Last night when I was making dinner, he said to me, "Listen to the words of this song..."
It is so easy to listen to music and just go with the rhythm, love the song but never really listen to it. Especially with singer-songwriters like him, it's great to try to hear the words to the songs. This album totally nails it in my opinion; if you are in the hunt for new music I highly recommend it! I italicized some of my favorite parts to this song...

When I was a younger man lookin' for my pot of gold
Everywhere I turned the doors were closin'
It took every ounce of faith I had to keep on keepin' on
And still I felt like I was only losin'

I refused then like I do now to let anybody tie me down
And I lost a few good friends along the way
I was raised up poor and I wanted more
And maybe I'm a little too proud
In lookin' back I see a kid who was just
Afraid, hungry and old before his time

Through the years I've known my share of broken hearted fools
And those who couldn't choose a path worth taking
There's nothin' in the world so sad as talking to a man
Who never knew his life was his for making

Ain't it about time you realize? It's not worth keepin' score
You win some, you lose some and you let it go
What's the use of stacking on every failure another stone
Till you find you've spent your whole damn life
Building walls, lonely and old before your time

It took so long to see
That truth was all around me

Now the wren has gone to roost and the sky is turnin' gold
And like the sky my soul is also turnin'
Turnin' from the past, at last and all I've left behind
Could it be that I am finally learnin'?

Learnin' I'm deserving of love and the peaceful heart
I won't tear myself apart no more for tryin'
I'm tired of lyin' to myself, tryin' to buy what can't be bought
It's not livin' that you're doin' if it feels like dying

Cryin, growin' old before your time
Cryin, growin' old before your time