Saturday, December 12, 2009


That was the time that I ran in the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Marathon last weekend, much to my surprise! My initial goal when I started training back in September was a 3:15, then as the weeks of training went along I began to think a 3:10 was possible...and then MAYBE a 3:05...but 3:02!!! I'm absolutely over the moon with that one! And I even managed to negative split it (1:31:50/1:30:48) on a course that was decidedly more difficult in the second half. It's so rewarding to have put in all the hard work and have it pay off, especially after losing a good chunk of the season to the collarbone injury. This was my second marathon but really the first one I've actually trained for, and the process has proven to be an extremely important learning experience for me. It will make a good stepping-stone for tackling the Iron distance next year---assuming I can keep my wheels rubber side down!

Now it's time for a little R&R...which in my book involves snowshoes and xc skis! Thank goodness the weather is cooperating and bringing us some snow just in time for the off-season!

And before I forget, here's a big THANK YOU to all my supporters out there...friends, family, clients, fellow athletes...who have believed in me and helped me along the way! Here's a shout-out to my 2009 sponsors: PowerBar for keeping me fueled and clothed; Glen Gerner and Wasatch Running Center for making my feet happy and helping me discover my inner runner; Trigger Point Therapy for helping me ward off avoidable injuries; Rudy Project for keeping my noggin and eyeballs safe; Maxxis for supplying top-notch tires; BlueSeventy for helping me swim like a fish; and to Brad at Pool 'n Patio for being my reliable swimming gear supplier. And a few special thanks go out to Barb for encouraging me to get back in the saddle, Sherman for being my faithful running partner, Aunt Candy (my #1 Philly Fan), Sean for making sure my easy runs were really easy, Demetrio for providing me with inspiration, to my hiking friends who were patient when I disappeared for a while, Alex and Zuzana for their friendship and wealth of knowledge, to Albert for putting up with me...and of course, to Mom and Dad, who haven't minded that I still behave like a kid, or at least they haven't shown it. :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I started off this year's Thanksgiving celebrations bright and early with the annual Cold Turkey Run in City Creek. The only thing "annual" about this event for me is that I usually help out with taking numbers at the finish line while Albert runs...this year we switched and I had the opportunity to run! It's a fun little 6K course with a steady climb from the Capitol building up into City Creek for maybe the first two miles, then a nice bombing downhill into Memory Grove for the rest of the course. I surprised myself with feeling equally strong on both the uphill and downhill----thanks to all those marathon miles---and finished second place overall for females. It was a good way to sneak in a little last minute "firing of the cylinders" before the marathon next weekend.

Later in the day we went to our friend Neal's house for a deep fried turkey dinner. We all like going to Neal's house because the company is good and he really knows how to make FANTASTIC meat dishes...and he brews his own beer! Neal is kind enough to invite all the "strays" who don't have family nearby over for the Thanksgiving feast. And this year dogs were allowed too, so Sherman got a kick out of hanging out with Jake, Hanza, and Layla. All in all it was a great day.

Now we're just over a week out from the Las Vegas Marathon...down to the nitty gritty task of tapering!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I just held a Stradivarius!

...and it was so LIGHT! The Talich Quartet from the Czech Republic came to Salt Lake to perform this evening, and (lucky me) I have connections from the gym who are board members of the SLC Chamber Music Society. They have asked Albert and me to help sell cds during intermissions this season, in return for tickets and a chance to meet the musicians. We had the honor of driving the cellist back to their hotel after the concert and picking his brain about music, art, and life in eastern Europe...and I got to hold a 1729 Stradivarius violin! I was instructed to hold it just so, with my fingers on one hand touching the chin rest and metal plate at the base of the instrument and my other hand carefully holding the neck so as not to touch the varnish. It was kind of like holding my friend Zuzana's baby for the first time when she was a week old---what the heck do I do with this thing, and what happens if I DROP it?! Pretty cool that such a small, delicate instrument could make such a full and mellow sound. What really struck me after the concert was that while onstage, the instruments seemed so large and the musicians relatively small, when in "real life" up close the instruments were smaller than expected and the musicians were much taller. Funny!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I decided a few weeks back that since I seem to be getting into pretty good race shape, it might be worth my while to sign up for the Amica Championship Triathlon. It was the grand finale in a new series of sprint triathlon races held throughout the year in various cities around the US. The Championship was located at Lake Pleasant, a stunning body of water out in the middle of the desert northwest of Phoenix. It was a small event but really well organized, and the prize purse attracted a solid field of professionals attempting to capitalize on their end-of-season fitness.

It's a bit funny doing a sprint triathlon, especially the week after doing a half-ironman, because I'm so used to an entirely different kind of pacing. Of course it's all relative, as a "sprint" triathlon is usually at least an hour of racing...Usain Bolt would probably NOT consider it a sprint...but for endurance athletes a race that is "just" an hour or so means a red-line effort. The course itself also made for a challenging day, with some tough steady climbing and headwinds on the bike, quad-killing hills on the run, and absolutely NO shade in sight.

I took care to get a good warm-up before the race because I knew it would be a hard effort right from the gun. The swim went by quickly and I got out of the water as the second woman, about 10 seconds back of Alicia Kaye (wife of '08 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker, who also raced). Immediately out of the water we had to negotiate a STEEP boat ramp, maybe 200 meters long, up to the transition area. If the heart rate wasn't up already, it sure was after that little sprint! The first transition went smoothly, a good improvement over the previous weekend. Once on the bike, we had to navigate a climb right away before hanging a left onto the main section of the course. It was a 5K out-and-back stretch that we had to do twice, with a general steady grind uphill on the way out and a gradual downhill on the way back. The downhill was not the sort of "friendly" grade where you can really get going and freewheel it: instead, it was the type of downhill where you had to work hard the whole way, and the headwind made it even more challenging. After that section we headed back towards the transition area, with one little detour on Cottonwood Road "just for fun" (as the race director put it). Then it was a bombing downhill back to the transition area, into the racing flats and off onto the run course. The run started the same way as the bike, up the big hill and out past the guard station. Instead of turning left onto the main road we kept going straight onto a dirt road that had a few good little poppers to run up and over. Once you navigated those hills, it was mostly downhill to the finish line the last half-mile or so. I feel like all my trail running really helped me with this course, as it was very much a "strength" course. I remained in second place the whole way, and was really pleased with my effort and to finish up the abbreviated triathlon season on the podium.

Now I'm focusing primarily on running for the next month as I log my final miles in preparation for the Las Vegas Marathon on December 6th. I'm going to continue swimming regularly as well, because it just feels GOOD! The South Davis Swim Meet is next weekend and I'll hop into a few events there...just for giggles. I'll have a few weeks off after the marathon before gearing up for next year...can't wait!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


That's the big lesson learned by this gourmet chef wannabe...salt brings out the fullest flavors and best results, whereas too much sugar is overwhelming and makes you feel sickly in the long run. Literally. I learned this lesson after a meltdown around mile 6 on the run course of the Longhorn 70.3 race last weekend. (70.3 is the number of miles in a half ironman, it just sounds catchier as the marketing experts have discovered.) Anyway, back to the race. I traveled to Austin, TX last weekend for the Longhorn race, an event I was really looking forward to for a number of reasons: 1) I had never OFFICIALLY been to Texas before, 2) I've been working on my run and was excited to test it out, and 3) who wouldn't be excited to race after being laid up most of the season with an injury?! Things went smoothly and I took care of the pre-race details; locating hotel, finding the race site, checking out the bike course, pro meeting, packet pick-up, etc. The weather the day before was a little nippy in the morning and I found myself wondering if toe- and arm-warmers were going to rule the day. Nope: race morning temperature was 66 degrees while we were still setting up the transitions in the dark! The race organizers did a FANTASTIC job with the event, right down to timing the start of the first wave for when dawn just began to break and the sky went black to gray. The swim start was a bit silly for the pros because it was a deep-water start at one buoy, and everyone kept creeping forward before the gun actually went off. Despite generally being a strong swimmer who can deal with a bit of physicality at the start, I'm still a bit protective of my collarbone, so I positioned myself a little off to the right side so as not to get my arm yanked off in the melee at the beginning. The crowd counted us down and off we went! I was able to initially grab the feet at the back of the first pack, but I lost them after the first turn buoy and ended up swimming essentially on my own. I felt good but it's always disappointing to lose a good set of feet, and mentally I was a bit down on myself for that. I reminded myself that in the half-iron distance the swim is the least significant of the three disciplines so losing a little time there was okay. As it turns out I was actually the third female out of the water, behind uber-swimmer and defending 70.3 World Champion Joanna Zeiger and this year's 4th-place finisher at the Hawaii Ironman, Tereza Macel. Not too bad! I think my snazzy BlueSeventy Helix wetsuit must have helped because honestly the swim has been the hardest thing to get back after the accident. In any case, off to the bike! My transition was a little slow because my feet got a little stuck in that snazzy wetsuit (cut the ankles higher!) and because in WTC rules you have to wear your race number on the bike and I started to put my helmet on my head with my race belt/number tucked inside of it...oops! You'd think I was a rookie or something! So that took a few extra seconds. Once on the bike the biggest thing was keeping my eyes on the road to navigate the numerous potholes and wheel-eating cracks in the road, while remembering to eat, drink and be merry. The course was a nice rolling tour of the Texas farmland, but by mile 40 I was ready to be off the bike and onto the run. My shoulders were tightening up from being in the aero position for so long, and I could tell I was favoring my left shoulder a bit and the right side was beginning to pay for it. I know that I hadn't quite put in the big bike miles for this race, but I split a decent time (2 hours 30 min) and came off the bike in 5th place. This race was logistically a bit tricky because it included two separate transition areas, but Utah actually has a lot of races like that so I was okay with it. T2 went smoothly, and the coolest thing was getting to start and end the run with a run through Luedecke Arena! The crowd was great, and kudos to race director Keith Jordan for coming up with that design. The run course itself was TOUGH. There wasn't really a flat section anywhere, just continuous up-down rollers. I was ready for that though, and really excited to run. However, I knew within the first mile that something wasn't right. I felt heavy and just couldn't quite get into that nice ticking rhythm that I've been working so hard on. Mentally it was definitely a gray patch...or rather, pitch black! I was having a real battle with myself to keep going, but then the first lap was over and the crowds were cheering and I just couldn't stop right there. So off I went on lap #2. I trudged along for a couple of miles, then came to an oasis of Greek gods and aid station! The volunteers were AWESOME. They pulled up a chair for me as I wobbled to the side of the course and plied me with coke, salt tablets, and pretzels. I felt a little dazed sitting there, watching the other runners of all shapes and sizes stream past in their bright spandex outfits. By this time the course was getting crowded with age-groupers and I saw some people who probably felt worse than I was getting hot out there! I thought about how quickly my fitness had come back after the injury, how lucky I was to be able to spend a Sunday morning celebrating life this way, and how shameful and disappointing it would be to tell all my friends and family who were rooting for me that I hadn't been able to hold it together and had simply given up. I'm not sure how long I sat there with these least five minutes, maybe ten. Somewhere in there I won the mental battle and talked myself into getting up and running at least the rest of that lap. My Greek god helped me to my feet (that camp chair was LOW!) and off I went to re-join the herd on the course. As I went along I started picking up steam and suddenly realized...I felt GOOD! REALLY good. The type of good I'd been training for. So I went for it, even though many places in the women's race had passed me by while I was sitting at the side of the road. By the time I finished the second lap I was cruising, and I glanced down at my watch out of curiosity to try to get a final lap-split. The third lap was by far my fastest; I was running the pace that I had trained for, which would have put me in the neighborhood of 1 hour 30 minutes had I been able to start out that way. As it was, I spent 1:47 out on the run course (boo!) but some of that was sitting, and I was able to pull myself out of that dark hole and finish strong (yay!). Although the run was disappointing, I'm overall very pleased with my effort and I learned a way more valuable lesson than I would have if I'd had one of those magical everything-goes-your-way races for my first big race back after the broken collarbone. Eat more salt! In my post-mortem, I realized that everything I ate on the bike was sweet; I was so focused on calories that somehow I failed to consider what TYPE of calories I was eating. I've never experimented with salt intake before, but will I now? As a rather infamous former vice-presidential candidate would say...YOU BETCHA!!! And boy, I can't wait for the next chance to apply my new-found knowledge!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Autumn Is Here!

I suppose for most triathletes the racing season is just winding down...or maybe the 2010 training is just beginning...but as for me, the 2009 season is just about kicking off! Next week I'm traveling to Austin, TX for the Longhorn 70.3 race. This will be my first real stay in the Lone Star State as all of my previous excursions to Texas have either been a mistake or just passing through the airports. I've put in some solid training since coming back from the collarbone surgery and I'm excited to see how it will come together. And I hear Austin is a funky place...should be a fun trip!

I'm also in the midst of higher running mileage in preparation for the Vegas Marathon in December. That should also be a fun trip! Like Texas, my previous stints in Nevada have just been drive-thrus on the way to California. We'll actually spend three whole days in Vegas and are even planning to go to a show! Don't know which one yet, but there are lots to choose from.

Speaking of marathons, last weekend we traveled to Illinois and Indiana for the Chicago Marathon and to visit my family. Albert and our friend Alex Tomas ran, as well as a couple of other guys from Utah. Alex was shooting for a 2:17 while Albert was aiming to crack was a pretty successful day with Alex going 2:18:58 (he skipped from the 2:30s to the 2:teens!) and Albert clocked a 2:29:55. The day was a little on the chilly side for marathoning but the sun was out and spirits were high. My mom, brother, and good friend Betsy came up for the race and we embraced the role of spectators, dashing from point to point along the course. It was really fun, like an urban cross-country course! It was a "planes, trains, and automobiles" type of trip with lots of little travel segments along the way. We really only spent one full day in Indiana which was too short, but it was nice to be with my family and hang out with my 3-year-old niece. As Albert said, "Oh, you talk now!" And talk she does!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bear Lake Brawl

I participated in the Bear Lake Brawl triathlon this past weekend, located (as the name suggests) at Bear Lake on the Utah/Idaho border. It is gorgeous up there! With the sun shining the water is a deep stunning blue, and the nice soft sand almost makes you think you might be at a real beach. We stayed at a really great campground (complete with a doggie agility course!) and partook of the famous raspberry shakes that the area is known for. It was a good weekend.

My purpose for doing the race was to test my fitness coming back from injury and to blow out the cobwebs in preparation for the Austin 70.3 event in October. I was especially looking forward to running as I've been working very hard on improving my form and I wanted to see how it would come together at the end of a race. It was solid across the board---good swim, good bike, and a run split that tells me I'm doing the right things to make it better. I felt great the whole time which was a nice surprise considering that I really don't have that much training under my belt yet. Very encouraging!

Unfortunately in the days after the race there was a bit of controversy surrounding my time, particularly the swim split. Apparently some other participants found my time to be unbelievably fast and questioned whether I had done both laps of the swim leg. Of course I did do both laps, and if anyone had bothered to do a little research they would have easily found plenty of evidence indicating that a 21 minute swim is perfectly reasonable for me, if not even a little slow. It's all been resolved now and I was officially named the winner, but it still stings a little to have been accused of cheating. I did the race to celebrate coming back from injury and to test my fitness, not to become embroiled in a petty controversy. I feel sorry for the people who let their day be soured by my performance, and I hope that everyone can look back and laugh about the whole situation down the road.

Now it's back to a big block of training to become even more "unbelievably fast" for the rest of the season!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's September Already?!

Wow, time has really flown the past couple of months! That's a good thing when you're recovering from an injury. I'm back to doing swim-bike-run again, and even swam my first strokes of 2-arm butterfly the other day! My collarbone is recovering nicely and I'm getting my strength back. I've had to change plans a bit Ironman this year, there's just not enough time to fit in the training. So I've readjusted my focus to training for a winter marathon instead. This will help build a good running base to jump-start my season next year. I've made some important changes in my approach to running and feel like I'm already reaping the fact, I ran a near-PR half marathon the other weekend AND negative split it in the process! I'm pretty sure that's a first for me.

Swimming and biking are coming along nicely too. My first triathlon back since the injury will actually be this weekend at the Bear Lake Brawl in Garden City, UT. It will be my first time racing this event which is always fun...not to mention that the location is simply gorgeous! We're planning to make a weekend of it by heading to the Uintas post-race for some quality camping.

We had a visitor last weekend when my sister swung by on her way to Indiana. She was just here for one day but we packed it full with outdoor activities---hiking, running, and open water swimming. She'll be back through in a couple of weeks for a little longer visit this time. We were hoping to put together a triathlon relay but the race we were eying sold out---bummer! But I'm sure we can come up with something else fun to do.

I've been running in the early mornings three days a week with some of Albert's friends at Liberty Park...we're calling ourselves the Morning Marauders and have expanded from 2 to 6 people! The guys are really fun and it ends up being a nice soft recovery run for me. I think I've talked one of them into doing a half marathon this winter!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Two Arms, To Arms!

I am so pleased to announce that I swam my first real two-armed strokes of freestyle and backstroke yesterday! My left side is still pretty stiff but I was able to get through (almost) the complete range of motion with minimal pain. Woohoo! And kicking with a board is getting much better...and I also did a bit of sculling and doggie paddle today with great success. Watch out world!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Joys of One Armed Swimming

I had a follow-up with the doctor this past week and am so pleased to announce that he gave the official O.K. to run and swim again! Until now I've been spending a lot of time on my "rides to nowhere" on the bike trainer, as well as using the elliptical trainer and doing some strength training. Thank goodness for the Tour de France! That and all the great coverage of the recent ITU races have really helped keep me going. (And of course, my buddy Alex Trebek---haven't forgotten him!) I have to admit I was a little naughty in the days leading up to the doctor's been so stinking hot lately that I just HAD to get in the pool. At first I told myself I would just walk a little and enjoy being surrounded by water. Walking quickly turned into kicking on my side, which then turned into one-armed swimming! When I saw the doctor he asked if I'd been behaving myself...when I said "mostly" he said he didn't believe me...I think he knows my type all too well! He only mildly scolded me though, and it was more or a reminder that it doesn't matter how fit you are, that bones take the same amount of time to heal whether you're an athlete or a couch potato. That and to remember to lather up on the sunscreen to help the scar heal nicely. He noted that my range of motion is really good (I think his words were "you're pretty loose for being a sling for the past 4 weeks"---ha!) and that I don't need any formal physical therapy. He left by saying that whatever I've been up to is fine (he said this a little too knowingly) and gave the go ahead to start running with the sling on, doing whatever I can in the pool, and beginning some specific range of motion exercises.

So...I'm really tuned into one armed swimming right now! (The masters swimmers get to enjoy my enthusiasm for one-armed drills as a result.) I discovered I can do all four strokes, and I was even able to sort of hold a kick board out in front of me yesterday. Running has also been added back into my repertoire. I ran a whopping four miles yesterday! And I can now rest comfortably on both the handlebars and aerobars on the bike, which makes my rides to nowhere much more enjoyable for my tailbone.

So there's the update. I spent the morning yesterday spectating at a local triathlon, cheering on a handful of friends and athletes who were racing. It was fun to be able to devote my entire attention to their races...but I must say I'm itching to get back in the thick of things myself!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Nice Article in the Elkhart Truth

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back In The Saddle (Again)

Things are humming along pretty well for having an injury. My surgeon did a FANTASTIC job of repairing the broken collarbone and it's feeling better everyday. He took the stitches out about a week and a half ago and gave me clearance to ride the trainer! So I've been doing a lot of "rides to nowhere" the backyard in the rain (thanks to Barb!), in the living room testing my trivia skills with Jeopardy (I'm seriously addicted), and in front of the computer watching live coverage of the ITU races in DC and Des Moines. That certainly keeps me motivated---WOW! Pretty awesome races, I felt like I was right there in the pack. I've also been doing some elliptical workouts and strength training...lots of lunges and one-armed band exercises! People look at me a little weird and tell me I'm going to be lopsided if I keep it up but I just can't stand sitting around being a sloth anymore. My energy is back and it feels great to move and sweat, so that's what I'm doing. I'll have another follow-up with the Doc in 1.5 weeks and at that point he'll tell me "what other kinds of misbehaving" I can do. (Those were his exact words.) Hopefully that "misbehaving" will include ditching the sling and getting back in the pool! Of course there will be some rehab exercises involved to regain my strength and range of motion, but I've been through that before and know what to expect.

Now it's time to go for a little bike ride with my buddy Alex Trebek!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rainy Saturday

A good thumping thunderstorm just rolled through...thunder, lightening, water rushing down the sidewalks, the works. We don't get too many of those in Salt Lake so I savor every single one.

Since the clavicle incident I've been catching up on sleep and movies. I've become addicted to Jeopardy! I was taking a snooze when the storm moved in, but the thunder stirred me up and I just couldn't resist getting up to look at it. I wonder how the weather is holding up in Boise? I was supposed to be racing there today but for obvious reasons had to withdraw. A handful of friends are out there on the course, I'm sending them speedy vibes.

I'm disappointed about not being able to race today because my fitness is very good and mentally I was all ready to go. The season was rolling along nicely; a win at the Danskin Tempe Triathlon, 4th place (behind some pretty stellar ladies!) at Memphis in May, and right on schedule with my training. But sometimes life throws you some curve balls and you have to figure out how to catch them and run. There will still be time for a season when this injury heals and I'm sure I'll learn something along the way. (Like being more cautious going over wet RR tracks.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Damn. Double Damn.

After starting the season off with a bang, I hit a little snag over the weekend in the form of a broken collarbone. The classic cyclist injury! Now I can say I'm a true cyclist...although come on, we all know I paid my dues to the goddess of cycling injuries last year.

Here's the story: Albert and I headed to Portland on Friday to visit family in Oregon and watch the Pre Classic Track Meet in Eugene. This is our third year in a row making this trek and it's become a really fun tradition. I had looked at my training plan beforehand and realized that I needed to bring a bike with me to squeeze in long ride Saturday morning. So. Up early on Saturday, out the door by 6:30 and rolling toward downtown Portland. Everything was going smoothly, I was feeling good and enjoying the sensation of a cool drizzle on my cheeks. At one point I even noticed a few stray cats hanging out along the bike path, and wondered if having a white cat cross your path was a sign of good luck. 1.5 hours in and it was time to turn around. I remember thinking that I could now add Portland to my list of cities where I've ridden my bike. Suddenly WHAM! I was on the ground. I didn't even have time to attempt a correction. I had hit some wet RR tracks at not quite the right angle and the wheels just flew out before I could think. I should know better, but I guess the saying is true: experience is the best teacher!

What did I do next? (After a couple of curse words that is.) I got up, noticed my left shoulder was not quite right but otherwise I seemed okay. Scrapes on the knee, hip and elbow but nothing serious. Just that darn shoulder that felt like it was in the wrong place. Then I inspected my bike. Twisted left brake hood and the chain was off. Putting the chain back on was tricky but I managed and got myself back on the bike. I thought I would test it out and see, if it wasn't so bad I would ride back to the house and do a more thorough investigation of the damage. So that's what I did. Looking back, I realize it was slightly crazy to ride close to 20 miles with a broken collarbone. But honestly, a normal hand/arm position on the bars was a little uncomfortable (especially going over bumps) but it didn't really hurt too much. Or maybe I was just in denial. In any case, I made it back to the house without any other mishaps. It was when I saw the big drop in my shoulder in the mirror and had severe difficulty getting my own shirt off that I knew I was in big trouble. A trip to the emergency room for x-rays confirmed it: I had broken my collarbone and would need to see an orthopedic surgeon as soon as I got back to Salt Lake. A few phone calls later I had an appointment all scheduled for first thing Tuesday morning...and somehow I rolled into surgery later that afternoon! Now I'm just hanging out at home recovering and catching up on blogs/e-mails...just me, my computer, and a nifty little metal plate screwed into my left clavicle.

You can bet I'll be uber-cautious around RR tracks from now on!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pics From Memphis

Just a few shots from Memphis last weekend. Race updates from Tempe and Memphis coming soon!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Triathlon Clinics

I've been a busy bee with various triathlon clinics this spring. The first one was through Utah Masters Swimming and the focus was Open Water Swimming Skills and Drills. The idea was to take triathletes through various pool exercises that you can practice to become a better open water swimmer. In Salt Lake there is a severe lack of convenient open water swimming venues so we must do what we can until the weather warms up. It was a great clinic with FANTASTIC coaching talent. The overall numbers were lower than I expected but it was fun and everyone learned a lot.
A big thanks goes out to our sponsors...PowerBar, Rudy Project, Trigger Point Therapy, Pool 'n' Patio, Wasatch Running Center, and Poco Loco for their support.

The second clinic was through the Desert Sharks Triathlon Club and I was a guest coach. Again, the focus was on swimming and open water techniques. I got to work with one of my favorite people, Brad Gale, who manages Pool 'n' Patio in Salt Lake (the BEST place to go for swimming and triathlon gear in Utah). We had a lot of fun taking the intermediate/advanced group through some swimming drills then analyzing videos of each swimmer's stroke.

The most recent clinic was this past weekend and was the second in the series supported by Utah Masters Swimming. It was divided into three parts: Nutrition, Transitions, and Mental Toughness. My friend and swimming buddy Barb Sherwood, R.D. presented information about nutrition as it relates to endurance athletes. Melinda Houston, a sports psychologist from the University of Utah did a segment on the importance of mental strength in sports. Then I got on my soapbox and taught the group about transitioning. We set up a mini course in the side parking lot with bike racks and all (courtesy of Wasatch Area Race Productions) and had them run through a 50 yard swim, 2 lap bike, and 1 lap run course with the focus on setting up a good transition and moving quickly from one discipline to the next. It was a booming success despite---despite a torrential downpour all day! Thanks to Barb, Melinda, Brad, Keena, Andrew, Rob, and Kevin for the help in making it a success. And a thanks goes out to our sponsors: PowerBar, Biker's Edge, Pool 'n' Patio, Wasatch Running Center, Trigger Point Therapy, and Poco Loco for their support.

I will try to scrounge up some good photos from these clinics and post them soon.

Now I can turn my attention from clinics!!! This weekend I'll be taking a little trip to AZ for the Tempe SheRox Triathlon on Saturday. It's part of the Danskin/SheRox all-womens race series and should be a great event. I've raced in the area before and since it's a sprint distance it should be a good chance to blow out the cobwebs. The following weekend I'll be heading to Tennessee for the Memphis in May Triathlon. This race is always a blast with its unique time trial start and great post-race BBQ. The triathlon crowd in Memphis is really enthusiastic and I'm looking forward to hanging out with the Terrapins again!

Salt Lake Marathon Weekend

This update has been a long time coming, but I swear the time has just been flying by! I can't believe it's already been over three weeks since the Salt Lake City Marathon. I have to give first kudos to Albert who cracked the 2:40 barrier for the first time and landed in 8th place with a 2:39:54. Excellent work! The next round of congrats go to my client Shay who knocked 10 minutes off her best time and made her Boston qualifier in the process. I was worried about her because I biked backwards over the course to find her and when I did I figured she was going to miss the time standard by about 10 minutes...BUT it turns out she was still on the Trax at the start of the race and didn't even cross the start line until 10 minutes after! Thank goodness for timing chips. My friend Alex Tomas certainly has some cheers coming his way since he won the half marathon in style with a 1:06 and change...smoking fast! And the England/Kimball clan gets a shout out for completing the half marathon under their goal time and beating Albert by a hair in the process. Very well done. My own race was decent, not a best time but in the ballpark and I ran a smart race. My personal victory is that my first mile was not my fastest mile (despite the downhill) while my final mile was one of the fastest splits. Woohoo! Maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this running gig.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bike Handling 101

Here's a great article written by Paul Huddle:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Solid Day

5:05am alarm
5:30-6:45 swim
7-8 coach
9-10 train a session
10:05-11:15 treadmill speedwork and strength training
11:15-noon eat, e-mail, and shower
noon-12:30 train a session
12:35-1:45 home to nap
2-3 train a session
3:15-4:45 hike with Sherman and Albert
5-7 hill repeats on bike trainer
7:30 dinner and wind down
9:45pm bed

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Time Warp

Okay, as my #1 Auntie Fan keeps pointing out, I have been a complete slacker with blogging! I swear I've been in a time warp for the past month. I think there was maybe one weekend since the last time I blogged that there wasn't some kind of event going on. Let's see...:

Feb. 21st: Utah Masters Open Water Swimming Clinic
Feb. 28th: Salt Lake Track Club Winter Series 15K
March 7th: Desert Sharks Tri Club Clinic and Utah Masters Board Meeting
March 14th: Nothing!!!
March 21st: Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon
March 28th: Utah Masters Swimming State Meet

The Open Water Swimming Clinic was a success and we got rave reviews from the participants, although honestly the turnout was a little lower than I'd hoped. It made for a great coach:athlete ratio, though, and with the quality of coaches that we had on board the athletes really got way more than their money's worth! The feedback was that it was a blast and everyone learned a lot. Thanks to PowerBar, Wasatch Running Center, Rudy Project, Trigger Point Therapy, Pool 'n' Patio, and Poco Loco for helping out!

Onto the 15K: it's really not worth mentioning from a race standpoint as it was more of a training run for me. However, it ended up being a slightly amusing run because on the way out I was more engrossed in watching two airplanes fly in a very strange pattern above the airport and the Salt Lake. I kept wondering what they were up to...the best I could come up with was that something was amiss at the airport and the planes were being put into holding patterns until whatever it was got cleared up. My friend Neal came up with the theory that they were "birding" planes looking to clear the flight path areas of unwanted birds. Whatever it was, it was enough to pique my interest and distract me from the business at hand.

Desert Sharks Tri Clinic: this was FUN! I think the best part for me was that someone else was in charge and I could really relax and get into my coaching groove. My good friend Brad Gale and I paired up to take the intermediate/advanced group through some open water skills and drills that you can do in the pool. It was set up so that each participant was filmed and we reconvened after the swimming portion to review the videos and offer stroke analysis. The group was very attentive and lots of people came up to me with questions afterwards. Then I had to dash off to the Board Meeting!

Canyonlands 1/2 Marathon: I did this race last year and was determined to be better prepared this time around for the very deceptive course. However, luck was against me as the week before the race I took a nasty spill on ice while hiking with some friends and really did a number on my tailbone. Walking and sitting were both extremely uncomfortable for about 5 days and I was only able to manage two 20-minute jogs with Sherman leading up to the race. I seriously considered doing the 5-mile run instead, and even that was in question for a few days. But my backside started feeling better and I decided to run the half as a training run and otherwise enjoy a weekend in Moab. The first 11 miles in the canyon were really enjoyable...then you go under a bridge and pop up on the highway to begin the 2 mile Death March to the finish line. I hate those last two miles! It's a real letdown after all those miles between stunning red cliff walls with the Colorado River gurgling along beside you to suddenly find yourself wedged on the shoulder of a highway with cars zooming past. Not to mention it is ever so slightly uphill to the finish. Argh! Next year I'll beat that race...

Swim Meet: I've been a lot more active in the swimming arena since taking over a couple more swim practices and becoming the Utah Masters Swimming Registrar. I figure I'd better practice what I preach and set a good example by swimming in meets. This meet was a lot of fun for many reasons. First, I was in charge of check-in and it was great to meet face to face the swimmers whose registrations I have been processing over the past several months. A bonus of being more involved is that I've gotten to know a lot more people which always makes things more fun. We didn't get things organized to have a Steiner relay, but I was asked to be part of a South Davis relay and we ended up winning it! Always fun. And I swam a well-paced 500 freestyle within .07 seconds of my predicted time, and gave our Open Water Swimming Rep a run for his money! It's been a long time since I've really raced in swimming and I'd forgotten how exhilarating it can be. Woohoo!

Aside from all these weekend events, I've been fitting in some good swim/bike/run time as well. And work keeps me busy...and pottery class was keeping me busy...but now that's over and things seem to be slowing down a bit and I can focus on really ramping up the volume and intensity a bit.

Next up: Salt Lake 1/2 Marathon on April 18th...then triathlon season starts in May!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back From The Dead

Long time no blog! Things have been a bit busy to say the least. I've gotten in some solid training in the past few of weeks...lots of solid INDOOR training I might add. My bike trainer and I have been very friendly, and my feelings towards the treadmill are actually softening a bit! I'm back to early morning swims with the "grumpy old men" group at Steiner---they are so much fun! Work has been really busy too which is not surprising for this time of year. We always get a large influx of "New Years Resolutes" in January, plus this year with Bally's closing we had a lot of people switch over to our gym. So my schedule has filled out nicely---with little effort on my part which is always nice!

Coaching is keeping me on my toes as well. I do Tues/Thurs am in addition to Wed pm workouts now. Add that to a Monday night pilates class and Tuesday night pottery...and you get a very busy me! This weekend is the first Triathlon Clinic hosted by Utah Masters Swimming. I'm not officially in charge, but since I have experience with putting on this sort of thing I've really been responsible for quite a bit. The focus this time around is open water swimming skills. We've got a GREAT group of volunteers involved and hopefully we'll get a good turnout...I'll post an update after the fact. If anyone reading this is interested, check out the flyer above.

I've also been busy on the weekends with some local "tune-up" events. Albert and I are signed up for the Salt Lake Track Club Winter Series and we did the 5K a few weeks ago (still both recovering from illness so we jogged through it together), but we flaked out on the 10K this past Saturday. We woke up to snow and wimped out, justifying it with the fact that we had a lot of other things we had to do that day and driving in the snow would take too long. Apparently we weren't the only ones who thought this! However, the next day I did get my act together and swim in the QUAC swim meet at the U of U pool...a 50 back, 100 IM and 50 fly. Ugh! Everything except the 50 fly was terrible. There just isn't time to get up to speed in those short events! But it was a fun event and good to get out and show support for the Quackers.

What is coming up next? More solid training, then a 15K next weekend followed by more training before the Moab 1/2 marathon towards the end of March. That should be a fun little trip...I may even bring the mountain bike along!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Love My Dog!

I'm sure that every dog owner is convinced that their dog is really something special...but how can you look at that picture and NOT admit that my doggie is just so handsome?! The bandana is a recent addition, we found it on the floor of Albert's car a few weeks ago...I think it was a remnant left behind from when his brother Val was visiting before Thanksgiving. I think Sherman really likes wearing it and getting it touch with the rogue side of his nature.

In other news, I missed a bunch of training last week after coming down sick with "post-marathon" illness. Albert started it then was kind enough to share. So we were both pretty much sloths for a few days...I didn't even bother to get out of my pjs all day Saturday! This week is much better and I'm hitting all my workouts. The focus has switched back to multi-sport after doing more running and strength training for the past few months.

Also, if there are any local (as in the state of Utah) triathletes out there reading this who are interested in becoming a better open water swimmer, please join us for the Utah Masters Open Water Swim Clinic on Saturday, Feb. 21st from 9-noon at the American Fork Recreation Center! Swing by for more info and a registration form.

This weekend is the beginning of the Salt Lake City Track Club Winter Running Series...the 5K, my favorite (NOT!!!). Albert and I are both scheduled to run but I think it'll be a real leg and lung burner for both of us considering how much gunk we're both still hacking up. Lovely! Albert designed the t-shirts so we are "honorary entries".

More soon!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Phoenix Half Marathon

Last weekend Albert and I flew to Phoenix for the PF Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon (he did the full, I did the half). It was a great time to leave Salt Lake because the first bad inversion of the winter had set in so we had a welcome escape from the nasty air for a couple of days. The Arizona sky seemed to blue and sunny in comparison---and it was WARM! The high was 77 degrees on race day, a little too warm in fact. Luckily neither Albert nor I were out there long enough to really get toasted in the (relative) heat. The run was a success for both of us: Albert PR'd with a 2:41:21 in the marathon, while I finished with a respectable 1:32:53. It was a solid training day, good enough for 50th overall female (out of 14,000 and some) and 8th in my age group. I took it out at sub-1:30 pace and held it for the first 10K (it just felt so good!) but then realized that holding that pace for another 7 miles was going to be a little more than I can handle at this point. I'm sure that if I had taken it out more conservatively I could have been closer to even splitting...but it's a good place to start with some valuable lessons learned.

Pictures to come if I can figure out how to upload them!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Escaping the Inversion

Albert and I are headed off the Phoenix tomorrow morning for the Rock 'n Roll Marathon (I'm only dong the half). It's a good weekend to go because the first real inversion of the winter has started settling over the valley the last couple of days and it's only supposed to get worse this weekend. Lucky timing! It's not very nice when you can see the air you're breathing. The winter inversions are really the only unpleasant part of living in Salt Lake---otherwise it's a pretty spectacular place to live.

Phoenix has just recently opened a light-rail system so we should be able to get around very easily this weekend. I'll have a full race report as well as a report on the light rail when I get back to Salt Lake!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snow Globe!

Today it looked like a snow globe outside the windows all day long! I don't think it let up at all until the evening. It made the pm commute a nightmare because all the roads turned to sheer ice (thank goodness I rely on my own two legs to get me to and from work!). We officially met the across-the-street neighbor today because he accidentally slid into Albert's car and put a big dent in the door. Not the best circumstances to meet someone, but he was a good sport and rang our doorbell to confess and give us his insurance info. I did my intervals inside today---not my favorite way to do speed work but it was effective and saved me from any mishaps on the ice.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sherman Meets His Nemesis

Today we took Sherman for a quick walk through Miller Park, a relatively secret little ravine where the Red Butte stream slices through one of the more upscale older neighborhoods in Salt Lake. We take him there sometimes when we're a little pressed for time because it's close and you get a lot of bang for your buck. This was the first time I've brought my camera along and I'm really glad I did because it was a gorgeous (albeit freezing!) day, and we also witnessed a priceless moment when Sherman met his nemesis in the form of a 3-pound toy of a dog in a little fur-lined pink sweater! Sherman: meet Daisy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009