Brrr....it 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 www.firstendurance.com
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!!!