Sunday, December 6, 2009

November Break...

The past month has been a whirlwind of visiting friends, family and taking time off triathlon! Now, I am in the process of getting back in shape, but I have realized that it seems to be so much more difficult to get back in shape when you are training at altitude!
I started my break in Panama City, Florida, where I watched some friends of mine compete in Ironman Florida. This was the first time I have ever witnessed an Ironman event, and I have to say that I am so impressed with all the grit and determination I witnessed from so many athletes out there on race day. A group of us were cheering right around mile 6, 9,19,22 (the run was a two-loop out and back). We even supplied chocolate to the athletes who wanted it----of course some could not even look at it, but others thought we were gods!!! I figured whatever could help athletes get through the marathon…Dr. Keith, Chance, Kathy, Kevin and all the others I met during the weekend—congrats! One of the most unique experiences was the swim start, with several thousand athletes starting at the same time! It looked as if thousands of dolphins were entering the water (everyone in their wetsuits). Watching was inspirational, but for me I am sticking to short course racing, which is my passion at the moment and maybe one day I will complete an Ironman.
After Florida, I headed to Missouri to visit my family and friends. I spent a couple weeks spending a lot of time with my nieces and going out on adventures to the zoo, magic house, city museum and many more family friendly attractions. We also attended our first Bat Mitzvah (my cousin’s) and played a little family tennis. I have to brag that I beat Nate 5 games to 1!! Nate met me in St. Louis, and brought back our new car….we traded in our truck for a suburban, so it will be much more functional down the road.
Our final stop was up in north country… Minnesota. We spent the Thanksgiving holiday up visiting my in-laws and the weather was not too frigid…yet (I am bracing for Christmas). No snow yet, which made my first few runs back outside enjoyable as I could stay away from the treadmill. We had a great time visiting, eating great food and remembering what we are thankful for---our health, family, friends, and each other! We are also thankful for the opportunity to use the Lifetime Fitness facilities while we are in Minnesota and St. Louis!
We have been back in Colorado for almost a week now and winter has attacked us!! I have been doing almost all my training indoors, but you never know in Colorado, next week it could be 60! This Sunday I am taking a day off training; relaxing, watching movies, catching up on updating my blog…..paying bills…hitting the grocery store…doing some “normal” activities. I have less than two weeks before I leave for Christmas in Minnesota and Missouri. Next week I will be speaking at Fort Carson High School with a swimming and diving team. I am also participating for the second year in a row, “Flight to the North Pole”, sponsored by United Airlines. Several other Olympians and I will meet underprivileged children who will get to have autographs, and take a flight to the “north pole” (another wing of the airport) and meet Santa. All of these children have never flown on an airplane before, so it is very exciting for them.
I am getting back into the training mode and fit for the 2010 season (one last down time for Christmas before “real” training starts in January!) Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Marin Triathlon

This past Sunday, I competed in my last official race of 2009 in San Rafael, CA (just outside of San Francisco). On Saturday, we spent the day at the race site cheering on the athletes in the kids triathlon and family relay. I had the opportunity to speak at the expo and sign autograph cards (provided by DISC). It was so cute to see kids as young as five swimming, biking and running....all with a smile on their face (even though it was cold and foggy).
Fortunately, for our race day on Sunday morning the fog was nowhere in sight and we had a gorgeous day for racing. The swim was cold, but calm and there were about ten pros that started together. I swam with Brian Lavelle and we were joking and laughing as we exited the water as I mentioned the him, "Thanks for the ride (meaning draft) as I managed to exit just a second before him!" The bike course was three loops and created quite a challenge riding with 500 other age groupers of all skill ability. I made sure to take it safe and enjoy the ride. The run was rolling and quite a challenging course. I was glad to cross the line first, but more importantly able to donate $5,000 to Jenny's Light ( TJ Tollakson won the men's competition and a women's relay with Becky Lavelle (swim) Kristen Armstrong (bike) and Gina Kehr (run) won overall and the relay title. Kristen was the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the time trial event. It was very cool to meet Kristin and to watch her ride...she is FAST!
While we were in CA, we stayed in Tiburon, which has an authentic, small town feel, although it is just across the bay from San Fransisco. We stayed at a nice hotel, with local shops, restaurants, and beautiful homes surrounding the breathtaking harbor. We at a local pub on Saturday night and got the feeling of Halloween, as all the waiters/waitresses were dressed up (the bar even had candy for us as we left!). I have to say that San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world~~ I recommend visiting if you have never been there!
Back at home I have spent the day on cleaning, laundry and organizing that has been neglected during my busy racing season. I am off again on Wednesday to Panama City Beach, FL to watch my friend, Kathy Hunken, race Ironman Florida. It will be fun for the role reversal and be able to take on the support/cheering role! Dr. Alex Keith and Kevin Grogan will also be racing, so I will have some other friends to support. I will be hanging out in Florida until Monday, Nov 9th and then off the St. Louis for a couple of weeks to spend time with the family!!
Should be plenty busy during my break from training.

Thursday, October 29, 2009 is cold outside today, even with wearing a Speedo Parka. One of those days you step outside and the wind blows your coat up, sending a cold chill through your body.
Well, I am headed to San Francisco tomorrow for the Marin Triathlon and it is supposed to be gorgeous there this weekend (weather and scenery). This is my last race for the 2009 season---hard to believe how fast the years begin to tick by.
As I look back upon 2009, I have to be thrilled with my season, but not quite satisfied. I began the season knowing something was not right with my leg, but not knowing WHAT was wrong. That can be the most frustrating time as an athlete when you are in the dark, searching for answers. Fortunately, my answers were solved with thanks to Dr. Bray and his medical team at DISC. This past week, DISC was officially announced as United States Olympic sponsor for all athletes, which is great for Olympic athletes to have the opportunity to work with the best doctors in the country.
Having surgery at the end of February, I did not really start training "hard" until April and was not even planning on racing until June. Fortunately, this were really looking up and I was ready to compete at the end of May. This worked out as a blessing, because I was able to get in all my race requirements (5 races) for the World Championship Series (WCS). I set two goals to focus on this year, win the Lifetime Fitness Series: Race to the Toyota Cup, and finish Top 5 in the WCS. I accomplished the win for the LTF series with my second place finish in the Toyota US Open in Dallas and just fell short of my goal of top 5, with a sixth place finish in the series standings. However, I did finish fourth at the World Championships, so I can't complain as it was just a matter of points between 4th, 5th, and 6th (virtually a three-way tie).
Next year will require again another extensive year of travel, with the first race of the WCS in Sydney, Australia on April 11th. Unfortunately, a race in North America or South America is not on the WCS schedule, which will mean a more intensive look at race planning and focusing on the best travel options, since I will be flying multiple times across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. I plan to be competing in the same two series again next year as well as some other races, like St. Anthony's Triathlon, Elite Nationals and possibly a 70.3 race.
I want to send out a special thanks to my sponsors this year who allow elite athletes to focus on training and racing full time and preform to our best, not only providing us with top of the line equipment, but financially supporting us as well.
My sponsors for 2009 year:
Blue: Provided me with a fast, light and aerodynamic TT bike: Triad SL. I have been with Blue since 2006 and they are a company I know I can trust.
Speedo: Sad to say that this is my last year with Speedo, as they were my first sponsor back in 2006 when I was just starting out. Speedo is exploring other avenues and leaving the triathlon community, but they have been a huge part of triathlon's success over the years. I have worn a Speedo race suit since the day I started and Speedo has been with me every step of the way. Great trainng suits, caps, goggles, Parka's (a life saver on a day like today!), and the Fastskin (my race suit) does fufill it's title.
BlueSeventy: I know I can trust BlueSeventy for cold water races as their wetsuits are comfortable and fast! I have also started wearing the PointZero which has proven to increase my speed in nonwetsuit swims. I have exited the water first in half of my LTF races, thanks to the help of BlueSeventy.
Zipp: Nobody develops better science and technology on race wheels than Zipp. I have a full ranges of wheel options to choose on race day based on the conditions and race course. Maybe a set of 404s for an ITU race, while for a flat and fast non-draft I will ride the 808 front, with a ZedTech Disc rear wheel. I can count to Zipp to keep me prepared on race day!
Toyota: Since becoming a member of the Toyota family, I have enjoyed every minute of the ride! Not only do I love my Toyota Camry Hybrid, but I love what Toyota represents for the community of triathlon, our cities, and ultimately our country. Toyota is part of an awesome race series (Minneapolis, NYC, Chicago, LA, Dallas) and every race sets up an expo, teaching athletes about their Engines of Change program, informing about their hybrids, and offering raffle prizes. The personal connection Toyota has with athletes, both pros and amateurs, ensures that they are a company that cares about fitness, fun and what is best for each individual. Go out and test drive a Hybrid today----take my word for it!
First Endurance: Bob Seebohar recommended me this company back in 2008, just prior to the Olympic Games. Since using their product, I have noticed tremendous benefits in my racing and training. This company really understands endurance sports and the fuel and energy we need to preform our best on race day. I use the Multi-V everyday to keep from getting sick and also to keep my iron stores up. I also use Optygen-HP regularly, and love the sports drink, EFS. The post workout drink, Ultragen, is phenomenal! Check out the products at
PowerBar: I have been with PowerBar for almost two years now! I love the many flavors of bars and gels that I use before and during races. I never have to worry about bonking with PowerBar!
Colorado Running Company: I have been working with Co Run Co for the past four years. This local store in Col. Springs has been very generous in providing me with shoes at no cost (training shoes and racing flats). John O'Neal has been a great help to me over the years, not only helping me decide which shoes are right for me, but keeping up with my racing over the years.
Show-Me Cables: The owner of this company, John Lynch, taught me to ride a bike back in 2003. This was the first year I started triathlons, and I spend many hours with him and his training group suffering out on the bike as he taught me not only how to ride, but cycling tactics as well. John was a big part in helping me get to the Training Center and becoming a professional triathlete. His company helped me financially with travel in the early years and helped me get to the level I am at today. Now when I go back to STL, the rides with the boys can still crush me, those guys are fit!
PowerCranks: I first rode PowerCranks before the Olympic Games and have integrated them into my training every since. This piece of equipment is surprisingly tough and can dramatically improve your cycling efficiency and power. Not only has my cycling improved, but hipflexer strength due to the powercranks have improved my running.
Sampson: I met Eric Sampson a couple of years ago out on a group ride---followed by an email and a visit up to his shop, I was on his pedals by the next race. His pedals are light and fast and I have put my cycling shoes on top of anything since!
Mission: For the past couple of years, I have been using a skin care product that is top of the line for athletes. What makes Mission so unique, is that athletes help develop this product, so you know it works! Sunscreen, anti-friction cream, lip balm, are just some of my favorites...and they are always developing more top of the line products. I don't worry about what to use for my skin now...
ISM Adamo: Back in early 2007, my husband saw a Adamo saddle in the USAT office and thought this would solve my saddle issues. I started riding it, and immediately the pain from my previous saddle was gone! Sure enough, my other teammates wanted to try the saddle and were thrilled! I get questions from athletes today with comfort issues and all have been solved from ISM. Time on the saddle is a must, now it is comfortable!
Rudy Project: I have been wearing Rudy's since the day I started triathlon. The quality and comfort is a must for racing and training....not to mention "fashion glasses" to wear when not on the saddle. Rudy's helmets are top of the line and are with me every step of the way, through crashes and wins, most importantly, I am protected.
USA Triathlon: I feel sometimes as athletes we can take our own federation for granted as a contributor for support. USA Triathlon has been one of my biggest sponsors since the day I became part of the Resident Team. All of the people who are part of USAT, work hard to provide the best for elites and armatures, whether it is to make sure the races are safe or help fund elites to get to World Championships. USAT is always thinking of ways to improve and help athletes achieve the best results possible.
Thank you to Amy Stanton, my manager, who works hard to keep everything in line and responsible for finding many of my present sponsors.

Finally, I have to thank my friends and family for all of their support as well. I would not be the athlete I am today without their help, especially my husband----who also is my coach and training partner.

Happy Halloween to all and be safe!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Change of Plans

Last weekend, my brother-in-law, Tommy, and his fiance, Sarah, got married on a beautiful fall day in Minnesota. Fortunately, the rain that had been sputtering off and on all week stopped on Saturday morning and the couple was able to share their vows in a magnificent outdoor ceremony. The fall colors were at it's peak and looked beautiful with the wedding party standing near the alter. Nate and I had a great time visiting with family and friends and as much as I love the bike trainer, we made the ultimate decision to forgo the Longhorn 70.3 the following weekend. Traveling to Texas the next weekend would make four weeks of travel in a row and frankly, we were ready for a travel break...especially since I am racing my final race of the 2009 next weekend in Marin County (just outside San Fran). That would have made it five weekends in a row, but I have to say it has been nice being home this weekend and not getting on an airplane.
We had the yo-yo'ing of temperatures this week and drastically different climates this weekend! Yesterday was a great training day, with temperatures up into the sixties, but today, I got to enjoy my run in the snow flurries! Yesterday, Nate and I participated in the Manitu Springs 5k...tough run! The first half of the run was mostly downhill and fast (yes, a 5:10 first mile), but the second half was uphill and into the wind....ouch! Not to mention, we are also racing at 6500ft above sea level. My goal was to be around 17:40, but once I saw the course I adjusted to just try to break 18:00...I ended up at a little short, but it was fun all and all. Nate entered the race to and beat me in our "competition" (he finished in 18:00). Although, I later beat him up a hill as we "raced" each other on our bikes up a sub 10 min climb.
This upcoming week is my official last week of "training" for the 2009 season. For the past week, I have kept training pretty relaxed and making up my own schedule. I am really looking forward to finishing the year with the Marin Triathlon. I hear the area is gorgeous and the triathlon is a "green" event. All the proceeds to the race are going to charity as well and the male and female race winner each get $5000 to donate to the charity of their choice. I am going to be speaking and signing autographs at the kids race the day before the event. More information can be found about the triathlon at:
Maybe the kids will be in their Halloween costumes!!
Have a thrilling upcoming Halloween---Sarah

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

US OPEN---Dallas, Texas

After the race in LA, I spend the six days in-between traveling, recovering and getting ready to race the Lifetime Fitness Toyota Cup Finale in Dallas on Oct. 11th. The plan going into these two weekends of racing was to prepare more for Dallas and train a bit harder for LA than usual so that I would have my legs ready to go for the Finale.
The race conditions were tough as temperatures were in the lower fifties, but what made it chilly was the light rain that fell most of the morning. The water however, was still warm since Texas is coming off their hot and humid summers. So, with the water temperature at 70, it was a non-wetsuit swim.
The swim start was a short run into the water (we started with the water at our ankles). I had a solid swim and exited the water in front with Sarah Groff right behind. We had about at 45-60 second lead over the rest of the competitors. The transitions were brutal this race, as my dexterity was not so great with the colder conditions. The parking lot we ran through to get our bikes was a chip seal surface that is NOT fun to run with bare feet. I was almost slowing to a jog as I was approaching my bike as I was worried I was cutting up my feet.
Once out on the bike, I focused on getting into a rhythm. After about five minutes into the bike, I remembered to pull my mouthgaurd off my bike and test it out while racing. The start of the course has some longer gradual climbs, with some steeper pitches. I was feeling pretty good on the bike, not killing it as I was expecting some of the other girls to come up on me and I would work on staying with them. Once we were about two-thirds of the way through the bike, Julie came by and I noticed this week it was much easier to stay with her in Dallas verses LA. I lost a bit of time to her mainly because I was trying to navigate through some rough roads and had to get out of aero position. Towards the end of the bike course, there are sections with lots of pot holes and with the puddles, it made the pot holes difficult to navigate. I was glad to escape through that section without any flats or crashes!
I exited T2 about 15 seconds behind Julie. The big problem in T 2 began when I tried to get my shoes on!! My feet and hands were cold and numb and I had a difficult time putting on my shoes and taking off my helmet. Unfortunately, I lost about 15 seconds in transition to Lisa and we ended up exiting the transition area almost at the same time. Once out on the run, I could not feel my feet for the first mile, but then I began to warm-up and have more feeling. I wanted to start out the run fast, as I noticed Lisa was right with me and I would have to break her before the end of the race if I wanted a chance at the win… We ran neck and neck the entire way, as I tried to surge a couple of times during the 10k. With about 800meters to go, Lisa put in a strong surge that I was not able to match. Lisa took the win for the second straight year, and I finished second, but have to be proud that the race was much closer this year. Last year she finished over a minute in front of me and this year it was 15 seconds. However, I did accomplish my goal of finishing 1st in the Series.
I had a great time in Dallas, as some friends and family came to support me. Lifetime Fitness had a great pre-race dinner and post-race party. They really went above and beyond to treat the athletes well at the event. We saw sun for the first time arriving back to the Springs yesterday----Dallas was cloudy and cool the entire weekend. Fall is here and winter is knocking on the door very early this year!!!
Hard to believe my 2009 season is almost over. I am racing my first 70.3 in Austin in less than two weeks! I am treating this race for “fun” with the main goal of qualifying for the 70.3 2010 World Championships in Florida. This race will mean a lot more focus on my nutrition, as it is over twice as long as an Olympic distance race. I am not specifically training for this race, as I centered my training focus on these last two Olympic races.
We are headed to Minnesota tomorrow for a family wedding! This will mean having to spend a little time on the bike trainer since I am racing the following weekend---but, really looking forward to spending time with family and celebrating!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Los Angeles Triathlon

This past Sunday, I competed in my second LA Tri. The first time I toed the beach for the LA Tri, it was my first non-drafting race and my first win of my professional career. Back then I was still riding my road bike, but my equipment, the course and the competition was completely different this time around! As excited as I was about my first win back in 2005, I can’t complain about second place for the 2009 race, as I feel this was the most competitive non-drafting race I have had the opportunity to compete in so far in my career (although I will get the opportunity again in five days in Dallas!!)
The race began at 7:20 AM (five minutes behind the professional men). We had a beach run into some incredible surf and chop. I don’t mind swimming in the waves and chop once I am past the break, with the exception of trying to find your way in the water (which is tough). The waves make it extremely difficult to find the buoys! Fortunately, the surf was not as rough as 20 minutes before the race during my warm-up. I did get lost a couple time and the lifeguards were trying to steer us in the right direction. I had a good swim and ended up exiting the water 15 seconds behind Haley Peirsol. I had an average transition, just feeling a little jostled from the waves and did not get on my bike as quickly as I would have liked to, so I will focus on both of my transitions for next weekend.
I started off the bike hard. I knew that STRONG women were behind me on the bike chasing and I had to put my head down and go. The bike course is challenging as it is mostly false flat uphill, so it is quite a grinder and requires massive power. About halfway through the bike section, Juile Dibbons biked by me and I focused on staying with her, then Daniella and Lisa. For the next five miles I focused on staying with the women and did not lose too much time to them. Heading into the last turnaround with about 5 miles to go, my legs hit a wall and I lost almost a minute to the women on the last section. I just focused on keeping my cadence up, as I was experiencing some muscular fatigue. I headed into transition just over a minute down.
Once out on the run, I felt good. After how my legs felt at the end of the bike, I did not know what to expect. After the first mile, I could see Julie and just kept a good tempo up and worked my way up to her. After half-way, I realized Daniella was about 15 seconds ahead and just gradually worked my way up to her. Lisa was having a great day and I knew that catching her was out of the question, but I was pleased to work my way up to second. I crossed the line not leaving everything out on the line, as the entire run I was thinking about Dallas the next weekend and wanted to leave something for Dallas!
Every athlete heads into the race with the goal of crossing first, which is my goal for next weekend. I know I have to race smart and just go out there and give it 100% for that day. Dallas has even more amazing athletes than Los Angeles, so I am welcoming the challenge and going to give it my best. I am currently leading the Race to the Toyota Cup Series and my goal heading into the final race is to finish up on top of the standings. This is my last major Olympic distance race of the year, so I would love to finish with something to smile about!
I leave for Dallas on Thursday afternoon...
Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Races Approaching and New Gear!

The past couple of weeks, I have gotten to spend quite some time in my time trail position on the bike, as all the remaining races on my schedule are non drafting races. This Sunday, I will be competing in the Los Angeles Triathlon, followed by the Toyota US Open the next Sunday in Dallas, Texas. Dallas is the final race in the Lifetime Fitness Series and has more weight in the series compared to the other four races. To be eligible for the series, you have to start four of the five races. I have competed in Minneapolis and Chicago (missing New York for a race in Hamburg, Germany) and will be eligible for the series as long as I start the final two races. My goal is to finish the season strong, and I have to say it is very nice heading into these races not traveling across the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean to get there, much like most of my races this year.

These last two races will have plenty of competition, as many fellow ITU competitors from Europe will be on the starting line. This race will be very different from an ITU race, as the bike will be solo---no packs, strategies, as the race is all on you.

I am very excited to have gotten some new gear the past week. I recently got to build up my new TT Triad SL bike (2010) from Blue, which is very similar to this year's model, but is about a pound lighter, which is never a bad thing and very aero! I rode the bike for the first time yesterday, and it feels awesome. Check out the ride at

While I was in Chicago, I got the opportunity for my mouth to be molded for a sport performance mouthpiece. I have never heard of such a simple piece of equipment that can enhance your training and racing, but I just got the mouthpiece in the mail last week and have been training with it during the bike and run. From what I have heard, everyone experiences different effects with the piece, but personally I have noticed feeling more relaxed while riding. Being not as tense, and more relaxed in any situation saves you energy and when you are training and racing this equals positive benefits. For more information about the mouthpiece, please visit the website: The piece is very comfortable in my mouth and I can easily drink while riding. The science behind the mouthpiece, "When athletes exert themselves, clenching the jaw is a natural reaction. Teeth-clenching, however, triggers the excess production and release of hormones, such as cortisol, that produce stress, fatigue and distraction, hindering an athlete’s performance. ArmourBite Technology in UA Performance Mouthwear prevents an athlete’s teeth from clenching, relieves pressure on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and prevents the excessive production of performance-sapping hormones."---who knew!

I am enjoying some of the last bits of warm weather here in fall is fairly short lived here and the weather can change at the drop of a hat. Last week for instance, I was running in tights, gloves, two layers, and hat (maybe 40...or more like 38 degrees) and by Saturday I was in a sports bra and shorts (80 degrees!). I have to say I much prefer the 80 degree training weather---

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gold Coast Australia

Gold Coast World Championship Series Finale:
On Sunday, September 13th, I competed in the world championships in Gold Coast, Australia. This was the final race of a five part race series, with the finale having a bit more weight (1/3 more points) in the overall standings. The race started later in the afternoon (2:45PM) and was perfect racing temperatures, with highs in the lower 70s. The wind did pick up quite a bit before our race start, which led to very choppy waters and turned into more of a strength bike/run (although the course was mostly flat).
The swim conditions suited my strengths, as it was cold and choppy. I started out the swim in second position at the first turn buoy (250meters) and followed the athlete in front of me. I remember thinking we made a very sharp turn and I remember NOT making this sharp of a turn in the warm-up swim. After about 50 meters or so, I realized that we were swimming far off course and I turned back left to head to the right direction. I finished the first lap in front, winning the swim prime. The second lap, I knew I had a gap from the field, but just focused on staying within my limits and not pushing too hard. I ran out of the water with a 15 second lead into T1.
Once I got on the bike I pushed it hard for the first 2k and then realized there was a pack of six behind me. I soft-pedaled until the group caught me and then we all worked very well together pace lining over the eight lap course. The course was very smooth and not too technical, so we had straight sections were could rotate through and work together. We ended up getting a 50 second lead on the chase pack and over a two minute lead over the third pack.
One of my goals this weekend was to get off the bike in great position. I attacked just heading into the turns before transition and ended up exiting third, just behind Lisa Norden and Emma Moffett. Things were going great, but as I racked my bike, my bike fell over and my shoe flew over to another athlete’s transition. I had to re-rack my bike (to be sure I would not get DQ’d) and lost a precious six seconds. Instead of running out of the transition with Lisa, I was behind and had to work my way up. I quickly worked my way to fourth and after 1500meters I was in third and held that position most of the run. I was feeling great most of the run and keeping close distance behind Emma and Lisa; however, on the third lap I felt my foot beginning to fatigue and I lost some time to the leaders. On the last lap, Helen Tucker was coming on very strong and surged past me with about 600meters to go. I was not able to respond to her surge as my muscles would not push my body any farther. My dreams and goals of a podium finish were shot and I crossed the line in fourth. Although I was very disappointed with my fourth, I have to focus on all the positives of the race.
Also, I thought that I would hold onto my fifth place in the series, since I finished in fourth. However, with Helen Jenkins finishing in third, I was bumped to sixth in the series. Danellia Ryf finished sixth in the race and fourth overall, Helen was third in the race and fifth overall and I finished forth in the race and was sixth overall. Although I finished sixth, it was almost a three way tie!
World Champs is always a great opportunity to meet younger up and coming athletes as well as Team USA age group team. There were so many athletes competing this weekend, it was great to see so many people racing. I am always amazed to watch the Para athletes out there swimming,biking and running. Triathlon is going to be a test event in 2012 for the Para-Olympics, so hopefully it will be on the schedule in 2016....
I have two major races left this season…LA Triathlon and the Dallas Triathlon. My goal is to finish the series up on top, but each race will be very challenging because many international athletes are going to be in attendance.
I am in the LAX United red carpet lounge right now with a long layover until I catch my flight back to Colorado Springs. I have to say I am ready to get home after a week on the road. Gold Coast was beautiful and we got to spend Monday at the beach, just relaxing! We found a restaurant, Clock Hotel, with great food for a cheap price. We ate dinner there four days in a row!!! Now time to recover from jet lag and looking forward to a shower when I get home. I did pay to upgrade on the way home too and very glad to travel in business class. It is so hard to travel international after you have traveled in the new business class seats. Each seat reclines into a bed and each seat has a large tv screen in front to watch any movies, tv, radio, games, etc. No more international trips for the year (thank goodness).

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chicago Tri

This past Sunday, I competed in the Chicago Triathlon located right in the heart of downtown. This was my first year racing in Chicago and I can’t be happier with my finish, as I met my race goal and finished on top of the podium. I was amazed with how many athletes were competing in the race (9300 athletes in total). I believe this makes the Chicago Triathlon one of the biggest triathlons in the world! I was great to see so many people out watching the race and so many athletes out competing.
The weather was perfect day for racing, with temperatures in the sixties. The pros did not start until 11:15 (men) and 11:18 (women). I am sure it was a bit on the cold side for the age groupers with the first wave starting at 6:00AM! We really lucked out with the weather, as August can still be hot and humid in Chicago. The wind on the other hand, made for tough conditions with a 20mph wind from the north. The swim was swum in the New York Yacht Club harbor of Lake Michigan and it was a straight out and back swim. The water was 65 degrees, so wetsuit legal, and was quite choppy with the wind. I lead out of the water, with Sarah Groff right behind me and headed to the run transition (almost a ½ mile run to my bike). I was debating weather or not to put shoes on, since most of the run was on pavement, but opted out of the shoes (I think this was a good call, although I my heels are a little sore at the moment). I started off the bike wanting to hit it hard for the first 10k and it was hard, as the first 10k was slightly uphill into the strong headwind. At the first turn, I could see Sarah Groff about 30 seconds back and I though I saw Julie Dibbons, but surprised I did not see her the rest of the ride. Unfortunately, it turns out Julie crashed right after I saw her and was not able to finish the bike portion, but fortunately, she is okay! I continued on the second half of the bike in the lead and managed to spin the legs at the end to prepare for the run.
The run was again a straight out and back with a tailwind for the first 3.5 miles and then a strong headwind for the last couple of miles. I felt pretty comfortable the first half and once I made the turn, my heart rate spiked with the run into the headwind. With one mile to go, I was beginning to feel confident with a win; however, did not want to led up as you never know what can happen at any moment. Once I crossed that finish line I was relieved to have accomplished my goal! It made the extra special to have family and friends to share it with as they made the short drive up from St. Louis. I could not thank all my sponsors enough for all the support they have given me thus far, especially Toyota and Blue who were both sponsors of the race as well.
My wishes go out to Julie Dibbons and Andy Potts (who also crashed in the race) to speedy recoveries and back to training for the remainder of their 2009 season. Congratulations to Matt Reed, who was the men’s winner in the race.
Part of my race schedule will include Chicago for 2010 for sure! I am looking forward to returning and trying to defend my title. Also, on October 2nd, Chicago is up for the 2016 Olympic bid----so I am keeping my fingers crossed as I think Chicago would be an incredible host city for the Olympic Games.
Next up for me is the World Championship Series Finale in Gold Coast Austraila. I have eight days in Colorado Springs to prepare for the race before I make the trip across the ocean.
Enjoy the end of summer and the upcoming holiday weekend!
Best Wishes

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Yokohama Race

I competed in my fourth World Championship Series race this past weekend in Yokohama, Japan. This was the final race in the series leading into the Grand Finale in Gold Coast Australia. My number one goal for the race was to finish the race with an overall ranking of 5th in the standings and I am very pleased to have accomplished that goal. I finished 9th overall, which was my lowest score of the four, but really fought the race through to the finish line and can’t beat myself up over the result.
The race took place right in downtown Yokohama (which is only an hour outside of Tokyo). We swam two laps in a calm harbor, 8 laps on a flat and technical course and ran the standard four laps. The race was all flat, but very tough due to the weather. I have never raced in such humid conditions. The air temperature was in the upper 80s, but since the humidity was close to 100%, the heat index was near 100 degrees. Training in Colorado with such low humidity, it is tough to switch to a drastically different environment. I feel as a triathlete you have to be ready for any weather condition and be ready to race with whatever is given to you on that day!
I started off on the swim feeling pretty good, I tried to make sure to start on the outside to avoid contact with the fractured ribs (although they are healing up now very well). I exited the swim in third position and got on the bike working hard from the start with a small group of four athletes. Despite our efforts, we were unable to hold off the chase pack and they managed to make up the 20 second advantage we had, at the start of the third lap. From this point on, I focused on staying hydrated as best I could (although I still ran out of fluids the last lap of the bike) and make sure to stay at the front in case any breaks occurred. I also knew a good T2 was critical. I ended up starting the run about 4 seconds off the leaders, which is not great, but not terrible. I caught the leaders within the first 200meters of the race.
The 10k run was the toughest 10k I have run so far this year. The humidity was so high, I felt like I was being suffocated by the air! I focused on staying with the leaders and just trying to keep contact with them. After the first lap, I was already hurting and knew it was going to be mentally and physically challenging. I was hoping my body would hold up through the end and not collapse in the heat. I was able to stick with the leaders until about 3k left to go in the run. Lisa Norden (the race winner), put in a surge and I was not able to hold onto the pace. Unfortunately, on the last lap I ended up losing almost a minute from the women I was running with and ended fading a bit on the last 1k and finished 9th. I was starting the feel my leg muscles beginning to chill and goose bumps all over my body, so I was just glad to get across the finish line. I gave it everything I had to stay with the leaders for as long as I could.
Heading into the finale, I am in 5th position overall. My goal all season has been a podium and I feel I have been knocking at the door. My goal is a podium finish and a 3rd or 4th place in the overall rankings. After a long travel back to the States, it will be a quick recovery and then I begin a hard training block before my next overseas travel. I have the Chicago Triathlon this next weekend and although I will be training through the race, I want to have a strong showing there and test out the TT fitness on the bike.
I was bummed to miss Nationals this year, but with all the races I am doing I felt I had to make the decision to focus on the WCS races. Congrats goes out to Jasmine Oenick and Matt Charbot on their wins yesterday. Also, Jarrod finished 6th in the men's race today in Japan, so congrats to another strong finish for him.
Best Wishes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rib 3 and Rib 9....

I had a great time in St. Louis last week, as I got to visit friends and family and enjoy a different training enviroment. Unfortunately, I was in a bit of pain from the crash and I figured after a few days, my ribs would begin to feel better. By Friday, my ribs were feeling worse after training, especially swimming, and I began to question if something more serious had happened in the crash.
I returned back to Colorado on Monday and went into Sports Med on Tuesday morning to have an evaluation completed. Not to my surprise, I have two fractured ribs (rib just below my chest and a rib just below my collar bone). I believe that when I went down in Hamburg, the handle bars jabbed me and this is what has lead to my fractures---or it could have been the pavement. The rib below my chest has not been bothering me too much, but the rib just below my colar bone has been a BEAR----especially swimming. I have been able to keep up with training running/cylcing, but swimming has had to take a back seat for the time being.
Right now is the middle of race season and all is going well, so I am just going to train through it...good news is that I won't cause any more injury by swimming/biking/running, but may just prolong the healing process.
I have just over two weeks until I race in Yokohoma, Japan, so my ribs should be feeling better by then, although it will take six weeks for the fractures to heal.
Good news is that my leg is feeling great, so I am fully confident that my surgery in Feb. was a success.
Overcoming and dealing with injuries is another part of the sport and at least have to look at the bright side and take a couple of broken ribs over a broken arm or leg!
Best Wishes

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hamburg WCS

Race Report---Hamburg ITU World Championship Series:

This past Saturday, July 25th, I competed in my third WCS Race in Hamburg, Germany. This was my third time racing in Hamburg, as I had previously raced in 2006 and 2007. The course has not changed over the years, but the weather has been different every time. This year, the weather was a challenging element, especially on the bike as much of the bike portion was in the rain. I finished in sixth place overall, and I have to say I was pleased with my finish considering a few obstacles I overcame during my race.

The race began later in the afternoon, very common in Europe, with a 3:30PM start time. When racing in Hamburg, there is always much excitement in the air, mainly due to the fact that almost ½ million people are watching the race. The run especially goes by fast, as people are along the entire course cheering on the athletes. The water temperature was 20.2, which would normally be a non-wetsuit swim, but since the air temperature was only in the 60s, the race officials decided to have a wetsuit swim. The swim is a two loop swim in the downtown river. I had a solid swim, exiting in the front of group. I was about 45 seconds behind teammate Haily Peirsol, who is only one of three women ever to break 16 minutes in the 1500 meter freestyle and this year has switched over to the triathlon.

I had a descent transition and started the ride feeling strong. I was looking down at my SRM and noticed that I was pushing well above my threshold (70 Watts above) and feeling great. My goal at the start of the bike is to really push the pace to try and separate the packs as much as possible out of the swim. Within the first ½ of the first lap, I had established a 30 meter gap on a pack of women. I was riding very aggressively and unfortunately, too aggressive for the conditions. Hamburg is very technical, but also has lots of paint on the crosswalks and paint with the combination of wet roads can lead to crashes!!!!! On the third turn of the race, I felt my wheel slide out and I was down before I knew it. I hoped right back up to my bike and then realized that my chain was off, so I then had get off and put my chain back on. At this point, many other riders were flying by and a race official was holding me against the gate so that I was not starting up in the middle of a pack and interfering with other athletes. Finally, I was able to get back on my bike and start chasing down the pack once the official felt it was safe for me to begin. I got on my bike and gritted my teeth and spent the next 2-3 laps working hard to catch back up. I found it is easier to push yourself trying to chase a pack rather than trying to stay away from a pack. It seems having a target ahead definitely helps to motivate you to drive forward. Once I caught up with the pack, I was able to relax and breathe a sigh of relief. When I first joined the group, I did not realize that there was a group of three off the front. With a couple laps to go, I tried to push the pace and close the gap, but it was a bit too late.

I did not have a great second transition, as I could not get into good position before getting off the bike; therefore, I exited off the bike in the back of the pack. Our group had a 90+ second deficit over Emma Moffet, Daniella Ryf, and Lisa Norden. I started off the run with legs a bit cold, but feeling good. I focused on moving up towards to front. After about 1500meters or so, I was able to get to the front of the pack. Halfway through, Lauren Groves of Canada began to push the pace and separate the big group. I was able to stick with her until about 1500meters left to go in the run. I ended up finishing 6th overall, with the third fastest run split of the day. I was happy with my run performance as my leg strength continues to improve. It is a bit frustrating to know that I was feeling so strong on the bike and if I had been a bit more careful on the bike and not crashed I feel I would have been in the break-away. But at the same time, I really went for it and gained valuable experience. I am also very proud to get back on my bike and catch back up to the pack after the crash and glad to not have lost focus mentally.

This was my third race of the year for the WCS races and I have two races remaining in the series, Yokohoma, Japan on August 22nd and the finale in Gold Coast Australia on September currently ranked sixth in the series and my goal is to end the year within the top 5 in the World Championship Rankings.

I had a great time in Hamburg taking in the beautiful buildings downtown, eating some German food (the pizza in Germany was awesome!) and also getting to meet up with some friends of mine I met on vacation eight years ago in Mexico! Tim and Simone were on their honeymoon in Playa del Carmen, Mexico back in the summer of 2001 and my Dad, sister and I were vacationing at the same time and have stayed in touch ever since. They have traveled up to Hamburg to watch me race every year and since we first met back in 2001, their family has grown. They now have two adorable girls (Lena, 5, and Sophia, 3).

Currently, I am on the plane headed back to the US. I upgraded to business class, which is a very nice treat!! I am taking a couple of days of light training to let my body recover from all the racing (this was my fourth race in six weeks---something I never could have dreamed of completing last year, but now my leg is feeling so much better post surgery). I am also excited to spend next week in St. Louis. I will be visiting family, attending my 10 year high school reunion as well as going to my niece’s baptism (I will be her godmother).

I will not be racing for another four weeks, so I am going to take advantage of some time to get in another quality training block before my next block of racing in Japan, Chicago and Australia.
Summer is flying by….already August. The kids/teachers will be back in school before you know it. Enjoy the remainder of summer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon and Jimi Flowers

Lifetime Fitness Triathlon Race Report
This past Saturday, I competed in my third LTF triathlon in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This race is always fun for me because I get to also spend time with family (as it is Nate’s hometown). My parents, brother and his girlfriend also came up from Missouri to watch too. The weather was perfect again this year, with temperatures in the sixties during race morning and just a slight breeze. The race began early, as the Pros were the first wave to begin the race. The women started 3 minutes behind the men at 7:03AM.
The swim was a beach start with a short run into the water. The swim was one loop with calm, lake water. The water temp. this year was a nice 74 degrees; usually it is closer to 80 degrees, so it is very nice starting off the race without getting your core body temperature up at all. I was in second position most of the swim, just behind Sarah Groff. I had a smooth and fast T1 and was the first to hop on my bike.
I had a goal heading into the race to really push the first 15k of the bike. When I got o n the bike, I was feeling good and had a great rhythm. I followed my goal plan and pushed the start and as I got into my ride eased back just a bit. I was expecting to see some other competitors come up on the bike (last year eight of us were riding “together”), but this year I was able to stay in front the entire ride. During the bike ride, you have to stay very mentally focused, but not just focused on pushing the pace, but paying attention to the road, looking out for turns, holes, people, etc. The course is pretty technical, with narrow roads, so you have to keep your head up. I was most pleased with my bike ride overall with the race.
I exited the bike about 20 seconds ahead of Julie Dibbons and about 30 seconds ahead of Becky Lavelle. Once I got onto the run course, I pushed the first mile and then settled in to pace. I was able to keep my lead and extend it to 1:23 once I crossed the finish line. It is a great feeling being able to break the tape and accomplish your goal. I was second last year, so it was nice to finish up on top this year.
This was the first race in the Race to the Toyota Cup Series, with the final race in Dallas, Texas in October. I will be racing in four out of the five races and will be eligible for the overall series standings.
By the end of the day on Saturday, we were tired…partly because of the 4:00AM wake up for the race! After the race, we got to spend some time with the family and some good friends from college, who happen to live right near the race course! After spending some time, Nate and I were off to a wedding…(my sister-in-law’s sister was getting married) and we got to spend some more quality time with family, eat some great food (and wedding cake). We returned back to my brother-in-law’s home and hit the sack. Before heading to bed, I heard some very tragic news, Jimi Flowers, Para-Olympic Swimming Coach, died on Friday from a climbing accident. Jimi was an outstanding coach and inspiration to all. He was always asking about my triathlon races on pool deck and keeping up with all the athletes. He would also write inspirational quotes up on the board at the start of workouts and I loved the extra pick-up it would give you for the moment. There is a trust fund set up for his young children. You can find the information for the fund at the link:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hy-Vee TV Coverage

Happy 4th of July~~enjoy a great fireworks show tonight, even if it's on TV! (Which we will be doing here in Colorado because the local fireworks were cancelled due to city budget cuts).
Also, wanted to pass on information that the Des Moines Hy-Vee Elite World Cup will be broadcasted on NBC tomorrow (July 5th) following the men's Wimbledon Finals (around 1:30PM).
Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weekend of Racing

Hy-Vee ITU Elite World Cup/Team World Championships Event
This past Saturday, I competed in my third race of the year and finished in 9th position. It was a very tough race, with the heat index near 100 degrees while we were racing. I also was a bit unlucky in that I caught a stomach bug on Thursday and was in bed all day on Friday, but fortunately, I felt much better on Saturday and was able to get to the start line.
Hy-Vee did an excellent job putting on another fantastic race. This year the race took place with T1 and T2 in the same location, which made it much easier for the spectators to watch. The swim was a two-loop 1500m swim in the Racoon River (much like a lake). Water temps were around 83 degrees, which made for a warm swim. I kept the swim as comfortable as possible and exited the water in fourth position. I was with the front pack, with the exception of Sara McLarty, who had a 45 second lead from the swim.
The bike course was mostly flat and very technical with lots of tight and narrow turns. I was in a front group of eight and everyone was working together well. The bike was very tough, as I was really feeling the heat. We joined with Sara McLarty half-way through the bike and managed to keep a 45 second lead from the chase pack heading into T2.
The run was also flat and technical. I started off feeling good for about the first 2k, but then I quickly faded and by the last couple of laps was just trying to get across the finish line. The Australians are continuing to dominate, as the Emma’s finished 1,2.
The racing excitement did not conclude with the race on Saturday, but also raced in the inaugural World Championship Team Event. I have never competed in anything like this before. The relay race was 4x(250m swim/8k bike, 1.8k run) with two men and two women from each country. A woman started off, tagged a male, a woman third, and finished with a male. This made for a very fast and exciting race and hopefully, will get to showcase in the 2012 Olympics in London. I think this will add so much to our sport and will be a hit with not only the athletes, but also the spectators.
Laura Bennett went first, followed by Jarrod Shoemaker. I went in third position and tried my best to catch up to the field. I ended up closing within 18 seconds of third and handed off the Matt Reed. Our team ended up in fourth position, although we wanted to podium, we had a lot of fun competing in the event. The Swiss team won the event, followed by Australia and Canada third.
Hy-Vee is always a special race for me because I feel it is almost a "hometown" race. I had family travel from Minnesota and Missouri to cheer me on and watch the races. I had a great time hanging out with them.
My busy racing season has just begun. I am back in Colorado for a quick training block and then head next week to Minneapolis, MN for the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon on July 11th.
Have a great Fourth of July!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Competitive Image

The pictures above are complements of Paul Phillips. Photographs of other athletes can be found at his site:
Thank you Paul!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. Race Report---June 21st, 2009: World Championship Series Race #3
This past Sunday, I competed in my second race of the season, which happened to also be my second WCS race. I finished in fourth position, just off the podium spot. The race was almost a duathlon, as race officials decided late afternoon on Saturday that the water quality in the Potomac River was clean enough to hold the event. I am very grateful of all the efforts of the race organizers and volunteers who helped to make this race happen and this race a success. It turned out to be a very nice day, as the temperatures were only in the upper 70s, as it could have been much warmer.
The race began with an unusual start, as the men went off first at 9:10AM and the women began at 11:45AM. The swim was a two-lap (750m. loop) with a pontoon dive start. I had a very good start, as I was first to hit the turn buoy, located 300meters from the start. I led the swim for the duration of the 1500 meters and was able to take home the swim prime. The swim was a little rough, with river currents and the windy day correlated to some chop on the water, but I do enjoy the rough and challenging swims as those types of swims are a strength for me.
Upon entering T1, I lost just a couple seconds as my helmet fell to the ground as I was trying to quickly grab it from my bike. The bike was mostly flat, with one hill (4% grade for 1k) and very technical course. Due to the wind, the bike was very tough. A group of about seven of us quickly made a move on the bike and worked very hard to stay away from the chase group behind us. We only had about 20-30 seconds on the chase group during the first four laps and half-way through the bike section of the course; we were reeled in despite our strong efforts. Towards the end of the bike with 1.5 laps to go, I was able to break away with a teammate of mine, Marybeth Ellis, and enter T2 with a 30 second lead!
It is a great feeling to start the run course with a lead and enter transition with just one other person instead of entering with 15 other people. I started the run with very heavy legs, as the bike was quite taxing. As I progressed over the run, I felt like I held my pace and was quickly caught by Australia’s Emma Moffat, halfway through the run, I was caught by Emma Snowsill and with about 3K to go; I was caught by Swiss, Danielle Riff. As each runner passed me by, I tried to stay with them and accelerate to their pace. I was not able to stick with Danielle’s surge with 2.5 K to go, but finished strong to keep my 4th position. So, far I have a 5th and a 4th, so I seem to be just missing that podium spot, but that is my goal for the next WCS race!
The men and the women performed well on Sunday as we each had four athletes in the top 14! Andy Potts was also fourth and the top US finisher on the men’s side. The race location was absolutely amazing in that we were riding and running down Pennsylvania Ave (directly in front on the Capitol building). After the race, a friend from college was able to give Nate and me a private tour of the White House West Wing. We got to see where our top government officials work daily, including the famous oval office (and I did see the swing set that was recently build just outside the oval office, so he could watch his daughter’s play). A new rule was just issued that no photographs were to be taken inside the west wing or the rose garden (to protect the girl’s privacy if they were to be outside playing). I thank Monte Hawkins for being so generous to spend Sunday evening with us and give us the opportunity of a lifetime! On a final note, we also got to bowl on Harry Truman’s personal bowling alley!
I have just five days until I compete in the Des Moines World Cup. So, it is all about recovery and getting ready for the race! I am headed to Minnesota to visit family and make the fairly short drive down to Iowa on Thursday.
Happy official start to summer!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Madrid WCS

This past Sunday, I competed in my first race in almost seven months. I really wanted to test out my fitness after a couple of months of tough training after my recovery from surgery. I knew that my swim/bike fitness was well on course, due to strong training workouts in those disciplines; however, I was not quite sure how my running fitness would fare in the race since I have just begun doing speed workout several weeks prior to the race.

A new addition for 2009 is team travel, which is nice because you don’t have to worry about finding your way around a new city and you will always be staying close by a teammate or coach. I have to confess though, I still managed to get lost biking to the race course (twice)! In addition, athletes are supported by a team bike mechanic, doctor, chiropractor, and massage therapist---so we are very well supported!!

Surprisingly, the race went better than I expected and I finished in 5th overall, but it was a very close race as it was only a few seconds behind first place. The race began with just under 50 women on the starting line and race conditions were very nice, maybe just a bit warm with temperatures in the lower 80s. The swim portion was in a lake with calm, 22 degree C water. I had a descent swim start and was in second position after the first buoy. I was feeling pretty good halfway through the swim and ended up leading most of the second lap. Annabelle Luxford and I ended up exiting the water side by side and I entered T1 in first position.
The bike course was 8 laps with a longer climb and downhill making up most of the lap. I knew that I wanted to try and get the front group small, so I worked the first climb hard and after the climb had a 20 second gap with Annabelle. Unfortunately, we were not strong enough to hold off the chase pack of around 13 or so athletes, but we were able to maintain over a minute lead on the following pack. The bike was not easy, but I was very aware of making sure I was staying hydrated as the sun was hot and the air was very dry.

My second transition was okay, I ended up running out mid-pack and about 7 seconds behind the leader. I started out the run with my legs feeling a bit heavy from the bike and worked my way up to third after the first lap (the run course was mostly flat with 4 mostly shaded loops). At the start of the second lap, I was able to run up to the two leaders and was feeling pretty comfortable. I was expecting my foot to fatigue just after the half-way mark (the foot drop I usually experience) and prepared for it mentally in case I was feeling the symptoms, but they never came! I have not felt this comfortable and fluid in a race in quite some time (since I had my ankle sprain). It is such a relief to know how successful the surgery was and know that my foot is functioning better. It is still not quite 100%, but I still have another six months for the nerve fibers to completely regenerate, so that is also great to know I have room for improvement. I tried a couple of surges in the third and fourth laps to try and keep the pace high, as I did not want the race to come down to a sprint finish because 1) sprinting is a weakness of mine 2) I have only completed a couple of speed workouts so far this season.
Overall I am very pleased with my first race back and eager to try and improve on my next race! My run was the biggest surprise of the day as I felt the best on the run portion and ran 45 seconds faster than my goal time. I have a long season ahead of me and will do my best to stay on top of my body and prevent any injuries with my leg as it is continuing to get stronger.
I am headed back to Colorado and will first recovery from the Europe trip and start another training block before my next race (WCS #3 in Washington D.C.) I am really looking forward to the race in Washington, as we will get to race in front of the US Capitol, White House and many other historic buildings. We also have the opportunity to meet the mayor of DC and help out a kids triathlon race.

The other Americans did very well, as Sarah Groff finished in 8th place and Mary Beth Ellis had a strong finish. Jarrod Shoemaker had another strong showing at his second WCS race and finished in 12th place.

The post race dinner was much better than normal---as the Spaniards treated us to a feast! We were all invited for a free meal inside an amusement park, although we were not able to go on any rides. The food served was plentiful….bread, chicken wings, salad, cheese, sangria, ribs (yes, ribs in Spain…I almost felt like I was home in the US) and a really great chocolate cake!! Of course it was an adventure trying to find the exit of the park…..we went out the way we came in and found we were locked out (we later realized we had to exit from a different area) but, we all just decided to climb over the gate and walk around for 30 minutes until we could find the metro to take us back to the hotel. Fortunately, I was with a big group, otherwise I would have been really lost!!
As I type this now, I am headed back on the plane to Dallas where I will go through customs and wait four hours until my flight back home to the Springs. I really hope there are not any delays because by the time I get home, I will have been up for about 24 hours…..and my body will be ready to sleep!!!!! Unfortunately, Nate will be out of town on a business trip and won’t be able to pick me up at the airport---I have not seen him in almost two weeks, so that was a disappointment to know that he would not be home.

Hard to believe it is already June and summer is here!! I think I can finally pack up all those winter clothes for awhile (Colorado gets some cold days in May).

Friday, May 22, 2009

First Race Approaching

After a couple months of getting back into some solid training, I am gearing up for my first race in almost seven months. I have been back to running now for seven weeks and began speed workouts a few weeks ago. The foot is feeling good and looking forward to testing it out in a race.
I am racing the Madrid World Championship Series #2 (the first series race was at the beginning of May in Korea). The race begins at 11:30AM on Sunday, May 31st (which would be 4:30AM start time in Colorado) and the men's race begins at 2:30PM. The race will be broad casted live at: and you can check out the website for race video and results. One of the hardest parts about this trip will be the travel to Europe and the time zone change (eight hours ahead). I will be departing on Wed. afternoon and arriving into Spain at 10:00AM on Thursday morning. I hope to get a few hours of sleep on the plane and then try and stay up the next day...

I raced here three years ago, and I remember the course quite well. The swim course is two laps in a lake (calm water) and the temperature will probably be non wetsuit, although the temp is usually right at the cut-off. The bike course is eight laps, with a long climb that starts out steep and then becomes very gradual, followed by a steep downhill that turns into a long false flat downhill into the transition zone. The run is fairly flat and fast.

The climate is pretty similar to Colorado with lower humidity and temps up into the mid 80s.
The most interesting part of Spain is the culture difference....everyone takes a nap from 1:00-4:00PM and nothing is open during those times. Everyone goes back to work from 4:00-7:00PM and you can't find a place to eat that is open before 8:00PM! I don't remember the sun setting till almost 10:30PM either!!! So, it makes for many night owls----as most people will stay out until 3:00AM (reason why a 2-3 hour siesta is needed). I just remember going to bed at 10PM and everyone in the hotel departing for a night out and waking up at 3:00AM upon their arrival!
Once race season begins for me, it will be a whirlwind of travel and racing! I am looking forward to the start of racing for 2009 and just going out there and competing at my best. Good luck to everyone upon the start of your racing season and if you have already begun, I hope it is off to a great start!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Niece--Anna Riley Lauck

On March 17th at 3:45PM, my fourth niece was born! Her original name was going to be Anna Marie, but since she was born on St. Patty's Day my sister wanted to give her an Irish name.
Mother and baby are doing great now, but my sister ended up having an emergency c-section because Anna flipped during labor (she was feet first instead of head first). My sister was not happy with the news, but she did not have too long to think about it because within five minutes she was wheeled into surgery. Anna was 6lbs. 12 oz and healthy!
After Megan's first child, she was up and running around the next day. The recovery process is much slower this time around, but she is feeling better every day. I arrived into St. Louis on the 18th, so I got to see Anna at just a day old. It was incredible to be holding a life that is six pounds! Megan was in the hospital for five days, so Sarah ended up staying with my parents and I during most of the week. It was great spending some quality time with her. She is very excited to be a big sister and loved to give the new baby hugs and kisses!
I returned back to Colorado on Monday and already missing the babies....Skype is a lifesaver at times. I am sure the next time I will see Anna she will have doubled in size!!

On a training note, I have been back to cycling and swimming for almost three weeks. I am feeling very good on the bike and swim and getting closer to race fitness every week. This week I was also cleared to begin running and I will gradually build up distance and time in the weeks to come.

Colorado was hit with a "blizzard" last Thursday and it basically shut the city down! Of course with the sun here in Colorado, the snow will be melted in no time, but I am anxious for spring to arrive and be able to ride outside a bit more. I have been riding on the trainer frequently!!!

Happy Spring! Enjoy training

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Excellent Resource

Check out a recently published book: Run Workouts: For Runners and Triathletes, by Bobby McGee and Marathon Plans by Mark Plaatjes. This book is ideal for athletes who wish to improve their fitness through smart training. The specific types of workouts included are track repeats, hill running, bricks, and fartlicks that will help you build strength, endurance and learn proper form.
Bobby McGee has worked with me since 2005 and helped me prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. Since I started working with Bobby, he has greatly improved my running technique by introducing me to a variety of drills. Not only has he helped me with the physical aspect of training, but he has also helped me with my mental approach to racing. Bobby teaches athletes and coaches mental techniques that can be used to prepare athletes to compete at their best. You can check out Bobby's website at

Monday, March 9, 2009


Although the past ten days I have not been able to swim, bike or run, I have been staying busy traveling to four different states and getting the opportunity to speak to many different groups of people.
On Feb. 28th, I spent the day at the YMCA Endurance Symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Doug Robinson put on a fantastic event and I got to meet triathletes from a wide range of levels. I had the opportunity of delivering the key note speech and answer any questions the guests had about triathlon. I got the opportunity to listen to presenters all afternoon speaking about topics ranging from nutrition, cycling power, to mental skills.
After my day was completed in Indy, I made to 4.5 hour drive to St. Louis and was able to make my grandfather's 80th birthday party on Sunday! On Tuesday I did a school presentation to K-4th grade at High Ridge Elementary and on Wednesday I delivered another key note speech at the NAIA Swimming National Championships. Craig Penrose invited me to speak last fall and I was more than honored to be part of the event. Craig Penrose was my swimming coach when I was on the Parkway Swim Club. He was one of my first coaches (from age 10-11). He is now head coach for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. Lindenwood was hosting the meet at the St. Peter's Rec Plex....I had many, many swim meets and workouts there growing up!
650 coaches and swimmers attended the dinner on Wed. night, so this was probably close to the biggest crowd I have spoken to at once! It brought back some swimming memories seeing all the collegiate swimmers tapered, shaved and ready to swim fast!
I spent the next few days in St. Louis getting to hang out with my family and attend another birthday party for my niece (she turns two on March 14th). We spend Thursday night at Chuck-E-Cheese!!! Now that definitely brought back some childhood memories...although much has changed from what I remembered. It was fun to see my niece explore all the games and I also enjoyed playing some ski ball with my brother...that game never goes out of style.
My sister chose to have Sarah's birthday early because she is 8.5 months pregnant and due on March 18th. She did not want to have the birthday party too close to the due date...besides Sarah is too young to know! We are all very anxious for the arrival of baby number two....they are expecting another baby girl.
The final portion of my week was flying out to Florida on Friday for the Disney Princess Half-Marathon event. I got the opportunity to speak at the expo and meet many participants. Lady Foot Locker was the key sponsor for this race, so I met many of the staff. I was also there representing Mission and excited to know that they are developing awesome new products....check them out at
Directly after the event at the expo, I had to head straight to the airport to catch a flight out to Tucson, Arizona for Tri-Fest. I was at Tri-Fest representing Speedo and spoke on Sunday from 10-11:30AM about open water swimming and my Olympic experience. Again, soon after speaking I had to head to the airport to catch a flight back home....finally! It is nice to be back home (I have only been here a couple of days the past month!!). It would have been nice to be able to spend a few more hours in Florida and Arizona, but I am glad I don't have to step on a plane for least not till 9 more days!
Today was the first day I was cleared for swimming and cycling. Swimming went pretty well...just the normal out of shape feeling. I have yet to get on my bike, but anxious to see how the knee area feels.
It is refreshing to know that spring is around the corner!! Enjoy the changing seasons...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Yesterday I had my update with Dr. Bray and he gave me the full report of what exactly happened during the surgery (including the size of the knife to cut the incision!). I have about a 3 inch incision on my left leg just below my knee on the left side.
He also gave me the full report of my recovery and when I can begin training again. I do have to keep in mind that everyone recovers at different rates, so I have to also listen to my body and be aware of how quickly I can push myself.
I have already noticed an improvement in my nerve function just one day post surgery! I have not been able to move my big toe up on my left foot for quite some time...and now I can do that!! This gives me confidence that my nerve is functioning now much closer to normal.
For the next two weeks, I will be focusing on keeping swelling down so I will try to limit walking, or anything with repetitive motion in my leg. Although I can walk, the Doctor encouraged me to use crutches in the airport---which should be an experience!! After two weeks I can begin swimming and cycling and after four weeks I can begin running. I really don't have too much swelling at all, although I have pretty much been elevating my leg and icing for the past two days. Today I am flying back to Colorado Springs and will only be back for one day and then I am off traveling for the next 10 days. I will be doing several speaking engagements and visiting family. This Saturday I have a talk in Indianapolis, Indiana at the YMCA Endurance Symposium. I will be speaking about my Olympic experience and getting the opportunity to meet many triathletes and answer any questions they may have about training, life as an elite, etc.
I am anxious to get home and check the mailbox which I am sure is overflowing. We left home on Feb. 11th a few days prior to my brother's wedding.
I will continue to keep up with posts on my recovery process.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


It has been a whirlwind these past couple of weeks, but really this journey began last December and has finally come to an end yesterday. Now, however, I am starting a new chapter for the season and beginning a recovery process into a better 2009 and beyond.
Last November when I began training again for the 2009 season, I felt quite a bit of frustration. Many of the symptoms I have been dealing with since an ankle injury at the Lisbon World Cup in May of 2007, had ceased to go away. All last year, I was dealing with a bit of pain, but I believed my ligaments in my ankle were loose from the fall and were getting better with time. I felt I needed to continue strengthening my ligaments. Although that thought mentally got me through the season last year, I was correct in that something was not quite right with my left leg, but the issue was not the ligaments in my ankle, but a peronial nerve impingement near my knee. What I mean by this is, just below my knee on the left side of my leg, my nerve was entrapped by some tissue (possibly scar tissue from my ankle injury). An MRI of my knee also showed a cist near the same area. While exercising, especially at a high intensity, the area swells and the nerve was getting cut off (much like a garden hose that gets pinched off). The symptoms I was feeling while racing and training while running were a result of my nerve not being able to fully send the correct message to my muscles; therefore, not being able to work correctly. I was not able to perform at 100% and I definitely want to be competing at 100% and training at 100%, so I went through several months of testing, patience and discovering what was really going on with my leg since this is not a normal injury.
Fortunately, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Dr. Roberty Bray, a neurological surgeon, who runs the D.I.S.C. facility in Marina Del Ray, CA. Feel free to check out the facility at: He was in Colorado a couple of weeks ago as a volunteer doctor at the training center. He invited me out to California to have all tests and procedures completed under the care of him and his team of doctors. His goal was to get the tests and procedures done as soon as possible so that I could get going with my season, but to also know 100% what exactly was going on with my leg. I had a nerve conduction test completed and found that post-exercise I have a 57% loss of nerve function with my peoronial nerve near my fibular head. This causes my foot to have weak dorsiflexion (ability to pull my foot up) so this causes problems with the push off on my run and bringing my foot forward (I have foot drop). I most likely damaged my nerve when I sprained my ankle and the scar tissue was trapping the nerve. It was felt the cist needed to be removed as well, which could have also contributed to the irritation on the nerve. On Monday, Feb. 23rd, I went under a minor surgical procedure (although I have never even had stitches before…so this was very new to me!!) to release the entrapped nerve (Dr. Bray performed) and remove the cist (Dr. Millstein). The surgery was completed in less than 90 min and I was able to stay awake….although I was “relaxed” with some help from some drugs. My leg was also numbed (and continued to stay numb for 24 hours) by a femoral nerve block (similar to an epidural, but in my leg). This feels very, very strange not being able to feel your leg!!!!
Today I am not in too much pain, but of course walking is a slow process at the moment. After a week off, I should be able to get back into the pool and after a couple weeks I can get back on my bike and three weeks I will be cleared to start running! Although this means I will miss the first part of my season, my goal is to be ready to race by June. I know I will take it day by day and will first focus on smart recovery.
I am so relieved to finally figure out what was hampering my leg…it has been almost two years and I am fortunate to have figured it out because once the nerve gets irritated, it only gets worse over time. I know that I could not have continued to race and train at this level because I could have potentially caused my leg permanent nerve damage.
I have an appointment with the Dr. Bray this afternoon and I will get my full report of recovery protocol.
I am looking forward to this next phase of my career and excited to begin moving forward.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Wind Tunnel Testing

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the A2 Wind Tunnel testing lab in Morriseville, North Carolina. The lab was a great opportunity to learn about aerodynamics and to find the best position for me on the bike, with the least amount of drag. Blue, my bike sponsor, is giving all athletes one free hour in the wind tunnel with the purchase of a Triad. Check out the awesome new ride at I rode the Triad in the Olympics last year and I am looking forward to racing the Triad in non-drafting races for the 2009 season. For information on the A2 wind tunnel visit There is also a very informative article about how the wind tunnel testing is conducted at:

At the lab, there are two tunnels, one smaller tunnel (where we tested our bikes) and one larger tunnel that is used exclusively for NASCAR. We got the opportunity to check out the other tunnel and see what goes on behind the scenes in aerodynamic testing for race cars. The tunnel is booked solid with different teams for the next two years (and the tunnel is open 24 hours/day). Busy business!

I am looking forward to my bike being shipped back to me so that I can go and check out my new set-up on the road. Especially since Colorado is experiencing spring in January. The past few days have been absolutely gorgeous...and temperatures are supposed to hang around in the 60s for most of the week. I think I am getting spoiled so far this winter....but taking advantage of some outdoor riding while I can.

My parents are also driving out to visit this week as well---so it will be a great week to do a bit of sightseeing. They are finishing out the trip was a couple days of skiing, but I am sure the mountains are still cold and have plenty of snow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Holiday Adventures of 2008-2009

I am now back in Colorado after three weeks of traveling to Minnesota and Missouri for the holidays and traveling to North Carolina last week for wind tunnel testing on the bike.
I had a great time spending time with family and friends and the holiday travel went pretty smooth...for the most part.
I did have one flight cancellation from Minnesota to Missouri on Christmas Eve. My original flight plan was on United (which unfortunately had a layover in Chicago....I thought this could be a mistake prior). I was scheduled to leave around 5:00AM for the airport, went to bed around 11:30pm, only to be awoke one hour later with my cell phone ringing. At first I just ignored the phone, but then realized that I was getting repeated calls with messages. Nate grabbed the phone and informed me it was a 1-800 number...I immediately sensed it was about my flight....and listened to the message to learn it was cancelled! So, we spent the next couple of hours trying to figure out what we were going to do....calling the airlines, rent a car (they were booked for a one-way). At 2:30AM, Nate came up with a bright idea of renting a U-Hall! So, at 9:00AM the next morning, we were headed to STL in a 14 ft. box truck....empty, unless you count two bags in the back!!
The trip went well, we made the trip in 9 hours and made the end of the Christmas party at my Aunt's home that evening. The only downside to the U-Hall was that we were getting 7.6MPG...but at least gas is cheap at the moment. This was a much better situation than spending Christmas in the airport. From now on, we are going to plan on driving around Christmas!! We also had a very easy drop-off site because my parents have a U-Hall service in conjunction with we only had to drive home!
Minnesota was beautiful with all the white snow, but it was soooo cold! I had to do all my training inside, but I got to train at Lifetime Fitness and the facilities are beautiful there. The pool is 25meters and separate from the leisure pool (where kids can play, and you don't have to worry about not getting in a swim because water aerobics is taking place). Also, you never have to worry about waiting for a treadmill because there are literally 500 cardio equipment machines. I was cold almost all the time, so I did really enjoy my hot showers there...and nightly hot cups of tea. One day it was -10 degrees...and it literally hurt to walk outside. I could feel my lungs and nostrils burning because the water molecules were actually freezing!! Despite the cold, I had a great time in MN!
Missouri seemed like a tropical climate compared to MN, but there were ups and downs in temps there as well. I did enjoy running outside on the trails in MO, but most of my rides were on the trainer...with a few rides outside when temps were in the 50s and near 60!
It is hard to believe that 2009 is does not seem that long ago when we
were celebrating the Y2k!! Time really does fly by and you have to enjoy life, appreciate what you have and live life to the fullest.
I am ready to embark on another year, get into quality training and push myself----not only for another year, but another quad.

All Matching!

All Matching!
Some of the new 2011 TYR cycling kits matched great with my Fuji and Zipp wheels!

Run Shots!

Run Shots!
New 2011 run gear. Poor TJ was quite sore after his 70.3 the weekend prior.

Downtown Sydney

Downtown Sydney
This is taken from the 20th floor of my hotel room. You can see just to the left where we swam in near the Opera House.

Check out the Scenery

Check out the Scenery
Out training in Idaho before heading to the airport! Beautiful lake in the background.

Ready For 2024!

Ready For 2024!
My niece has my suit and Speedo backpack...ready to train (but I think she mentioned she was going to Six Flags!)

Marin Triathlon

Marin Triathlon
Becky and I hanging out at the awards post race

Seoul WCS Finish Line

Seoul WCS Finish Line
I though I had finished the race, but I forgot to cross the timing matt completely until 10 sec later!!

Holding the Cup!

Holding the Cup!
Race to the Toyota Cup winners in Dallas, Texas. The cup was heavy...and brrr it was a cold weekend in Dallas!


Matt Reed was first for the men's race

Crossing the Tape

Crossing the Tape
Always a good feeling to break the tape!

On the Bike in Minnesota

On the Bike in Minnesota
Here I am on my Blue at the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon this past Saturday

LTF Swim Start

LTF Swim Start
Here we are right at the horn (I am in the Blue). Thank Paul Phillips for all the great pics more at:

Bike Shot

Bike Shot
Out on the bike course---quickly going through my bottles!!

Flying Dive

Flying Dive
Here I am headed back into the water after the first lap.

Crossing the Finish!

Crossing the Finish!
4th place


I am headed into the transition area--ready to run!

Washington DC WCS #3

Washington DC WCS #3
Here is a pic of my bike pack out on the course

Ready, Set....GO!

Ready, Set....GO!
My parents came to visit me in Colorado over Memorial Day weekend (Nate was out of town). They came along to a track workout and Sarah wanted to race me!!!

Cheyanne Mountain Zoo

Cheyanne Mountain Zoo
Feeding the giraffes---they have LONG tongues...

Enjoying a Popsicle!

Enjoying a Popsicle!
Maybe most is not getting in her mouth...but that's not always the point, right? Sarah and my parents are enjoying a lunch at the training center.

Run Workouts For Runners and Triathletes

Run Workouts For Runners and Triathletes
Here is a picture of Bobby McGee's new book.

Babies are Wiped Out

Babies are Wiped Out
Megan and I are holding the sleeping girls---

Sarah, Sarah and Anna

Sarah, Sarah and Anna
Sarah (2 yrs) is getting to know her new baby sister!

Sarah Sharing Her Tags!

Sarah Sharing Her Tags!
When Sarah goes to sleep she puts the tags from her blankets on her eyelashes (she always uses the yellow one). She also thinks everyone else wants the tag when they sleep too---including her newborn sister!

Mom, Baby and Sarah

Mom, Baby and Sarah
Megan and Anna are both doing well. This picutre was the day Megan and Anna got to come home from the hospital. Sarah giving Anna some snuggels!

Michael and Meghan's Wedding

Michael and Meghan's Wedding
Nate and I are getting ready to walk down the asile for my brother's wedding.

High Powered Fans

High Powered Fans
These fans are the horsepower of the tunnel...very powerful! They can simulate speeds of 80mph.

Holding the Flower Girl!

Holding the Flower Girl!
Feb. 14th wedding day....Nate and I are holding our niece, Sarah. She did a great job walking down the asile at 23 months!

Inside the Tunnel

Inside the Tunnel
On my Triad, in my new aero position!

Last Minute Travel

Last Minute Travel
Here we are with our U-Haul...we made it safe and sound!

Wren Hollow Elementary

Wren Hollow Elementary
A couple of weeks ago I went back to my Elementary school and spoke to the kids about Triathlon, goal setting and the Olympics! They gave a wonderful welcome with signs, posters, and cheers!

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning
My Mom, Sarah and I are playing with Sarah while she is enjoying her new toy. This elephant is very Dad sat on it and it held (he is 230lbs!!)

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Here is Jess snuggling with her babies (Gwen and Rowan). Gwen looks a lot like Jess and Rown look like his daddy, Lucas.


This view is off my parents deck (the last picture showed the many colors of fall...but winter can be beautiful too!)

Post Parade

Post Parade
Busch Stadium in the background....looks different without the crowds!

On the Run in Beijing

On the Run in Beijing
Racing in the Olympics---if you wonder what the black strap is in my suit, it is my timing chip. It was falling off of my ankle on the bike and I did not want it to get stuck in my chain ring, so I ripped it off and shoved it in my suit!

Another View of Winter

Another View of Winter
Same view as earlier blog post, but with snow!

Holiday Night Out to Dinner

Holiday Night Out to Dinner
Nate and I with Tommy, Sarah (brother-in-law and his finace) and a friend of Sarah's. Tommy and Sarah are getting married October 17th.

Wedding in Minnesota

Wedding in Minnesota
Nate, my cousin Matt Beasley, his wife Lindsay and I. The wedding was beautiful!

Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving Parade
Here I am ready to ride in the yellow Mazda (sponsor for the parade). It was great to see all the families and kids out to watch...

Fall Folliage

Fall Folliage
View off my parents deck

Fall Folliage

Fall Folliage
View from my parents deck

Lake Shot

Lake Shot
View of the pond on my parents property