Thursday, December 31, 2009


I was lucky enough to get some time off from work for another vacation! Kyle and I headed out to Arizona before Christmas. After a quick stop at my sisters for the guide book at 2 am we headed an hour further east to Queen Creek Canyon. Burr, it was quite cold setting up camp. So cold, we stayed in our 0 degree sleeping bags until 11am Wednesday.Of course, it can never be just a vacation, and with that comes mandatory Ironman training. So along came the bikes for a journey they won't forget. On tap: long ride - 60 miles, flat, maybe rolling hills. What we ended up with? The hilliest, slowest, almost most horrible 40 mile ride ever. It was actually comical at the end. You know those 10% grade next 2 mile signs with trucks on a triangle hill? I couldn't even count how many we saw. Average temp was 45. Guess who forget her vest? This girl. Guess who still doesn't have gloves? This girl. Seriously, you'd think I'd learn. But really, my thought is that the worst is over, and that now we are on the upswing, and it's going to get warmer. Right? Awesome. Had to cut the ride short, because we weren't going to make it back before dark. At the halfway point we stopped at Gordon's IGA for some hot chocolate, and I kid you not, a doughnut. Kyle is such a bad influence. But it was so yummy. So onward, and really upward. Stopped for a pee break and a random bush decorated for Christmas. We figured the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is to (sing loud for all to hear. Elf, anyone?) make it mobile! Made it back to the car and was really only held back by the sunlight, and the transition run I had to get in as well. So much for climbing. Ran back at the campsite. We gathered wood and made a fire. Oatmeal for dinner, as we both needed something to warm our insides before crawling into the tent for what was the coldest night. 24ish degrees. We woke up to frost everywhere!

Thursday I don't think it ever warmed up. The sun is so deceiving in the "mountains" of the Arizona desert. We went in search of a sunbaked climb, and ended up on a 4wd adventure with a 2wd xterra truck. It was a blast as we giggled our way over many rocks and bumps to the top of an amazing canyon. We actually got one climb in, and headed back to the car, for that same bumpy ride back to the highway. We spend Christmas Eve with Megan and her b/f Danny. They made some of the best ribs I've had. She clearly has a knack for cooking and got the best of the mom/dad genes in that area. Christmas morning came with many presents from our parents who spoil us. Tupperware, cool shoes, a down jacket. Santa et al were good to me this year. Grandma Viv and Grandpa LeRoy came down for Christmas dinner and it was nice to just relax. Although "just relax" came after an 8 mile run on Christmas, and a 30 mile bike the following day. On our way out, we stopped at Kyle's grandma's for some conversation and popcorn before heading back to San Diego.

It was a great Christmas, and rather sad again to not spend it with my entire immediate family. My parents and brother were and are truly missed. Thanks to them for making our day special with our satellite christmas. So a great vacation that led into another week of training, and another vacation over New Years that I'll write about soon! I'm also having a guest entry...get ready for some creepy pictures and an epic post!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holidays! sooner...or later (V2)

Everyone loves holidays. People join together to celebrate. The cliche saying, "Eat, drink and be merry" tends to describe the happenings. So here the are: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and (pre) Christmas. Yes, it's catchup time! I've been slacking, and holding back some great pictures at that. I present: "holidays oh nine" brought to you in photo form.

Halloween oh-niner
Went out on the town in Ocean Beach, staying close to home. Erin, Elaine, and Jess met me at my house and we all went to OB to get our dancing on! Met up with Grayson and his roommates, and Kyle was able to meet us out as well. As you can see...we had a blast.
The girls of the evening. Erin (b-baller), Jess (Slash), Elaine (One night stand), Me (sailor)
Grayson (Billy Mays-oxy clean man), me and ErinKyle was a dead climber. See, his rope is cut. Maybe he shouldn't have tried to use a beer bottle as a "big bro" (Actual name of a piece of protection used in climbing).Thanks for the ride!

A Minnesota Thanksgiving

It had been a while (Labor day '08) since I had actually made it to my home in Grand Rapids, MN. I was looking forward to this trip with much excitement. My entire family hadn't been together since May of '08, so this was going to be a special week. I arrived to MN on Tuesday and had a chance to get lunch with some old friends! Mike picked me up from the airport and we met Amanda, Kendra, Patrick, Annie and her bf Chris! It was nice to catch up with my old buddies! Headed up to g-rock for the 3 hour drive north with Sarah and Meg. This wasn't a total vacation; and I needed to get some training in! Made it to the Y and ran on the treadmill till close. Wednesday was a lazy day, but I managed to get a swim in. Thursday, all the guests arrived, and I had a dreaded 6 mile run to get in before "dinner." The Y was closed. So it was 18 degrees or bust. That was a pretty satisfying run, and I earned my t-day dinner! Friday was a lazy day, and I got to meet up with Shea and Newman for our infamous Sanuas! Favorite activity by far. Lease favorite, just kidding, was the family foto shoot. Lol! "Tilt your head, further, turn your face, further!" Basically spin your head and neck until you look the most deformed, then smile. Nah, it wasn't that bad, they turned out well, and we had a great time. Saturday was an early morning as I had to catch my flight in Minneapolis. Here are the pics!

The cousins! Not all of us, but it has been a while. Maggie, John, Me, Meg, Harper, Joe and Robbers. My adorable 18 month old cousin, Harper, playing with the Tupperware cabinet. Yes this is at my family's house. Isn't she just adorable?!Ugh, the dreaded 6 mile run in 18 degree weather. Survived. Barely. But it sure made for a delicious, and well earned Thanksgiving dinner! P.S. these are the last photo's of the old kitchen! My mom is in the process of replacing the countertops, tile flooring, and repainting! Overall the trip was restful, lazy, and entertainment enhanced...getting my fill on their new 47" flat screen ridiculousness.

Holiday Hottness
Triathletes need a break sometimes. Triathletes need to get out of spandex as well. Christmas is the perfect excuse. A group of us got together for a holiday hottness party. We met at Nikee and James' for a potluck and secret santa exchange. Great times, and great food. Dancing the night away downtown all dressed up was a very welcomed changed to our spandex wearing, early bed time, athletic lives. We sometimes need the chance to show off our bodies!

yummy food prepared by all. The hot ladies of the evening.And the fine gents.Kyle and I :) I think he's biting off my face. Erin and I getting the party started downtown.Keeping it going.Crazy. Best pic of the night.

Looking forward to the week ahead and the rest of the holiday festivities happening in Arizona. Kyle and I leave tonight and are heading to Queen Creek Canyon for a couple days of climbing (and yes training; the bike is coming along). Spending Christmas Eve/Day with sister Meg, her b/f Danny and the grandparents. Should be a good time. Meg's a great cook. Working on my birthday on Sunday, but really looking forward to skating at the Hotel Del in the evening. Yes, I love the holidays.

Merry Christmas everyone. Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Friday, December 18, 2009

cold...and most horrible

It's all relative.
Last Tuesday in MN they had a "blizzard". Really it was the first major snow. People forget how to drive in said snow, and therefore traffic is miserable. I moved away for a reason. Yet...

Last Monday in San Diego we had a major rain storm. It doesn't get cold enough to snow, but this wind/rain/storm causes San Diegan's to also forget how to drive. That and all the oil buildups that rarely get washed down (into the ocean) tend to add to the craziness. Thank goodness my commute isn't on major roads.

Anyway, winter is here. And there. And now that I live here, cold to me has changed. Say, a 40 degree shift in weakness. Training has been a little like this: most horrible... I track my training on Garmin Connect which allows me to write a little about each workout and name it, so I can look back and easily remember. Monday was "most horrible run ever" and Tuesday was "most horrible GWL." My coach noticed a theme.

Monday (Dec 7th) was supposed to be a long run. The day dragged on, and I kept putting it off. Finally I managed to step on the treadmill at the Y at 8:57pm. For a 7 mile run. I made it. Yuck, and it was one of those most horrible workouts. But it was done.

Tuesday was the GWL. It didn't get above 45. It was low 40s most of the ride and I had to get in 60 miles, which means turning right instead of left at Descanso. Hot chocolate saved my life. (My tongue was burned for 3 days). No knee warmers, no gloves...and I work at a bike shop. Oops. Another most horrible, done, and in the books.

Tuesday afternoon I took my car into the shop for some much needed maintenance. Which turned into a major expense. What a most horrible experience. Merry Christmas Jack. The experience wasn't all that bad, after all Robert's Auto in PB really takes care of us Tri Clubbers. Thank goodness. But alas, no one likes to spend money on their car, especially during Christmas.
My feet on a track for my first real track workout. Scary.

Really, could my week get any worse? No, things will change. So I had a solo track workout on Wednesday at Point Loma Nazarine Track. What a beautiful place, on a beautiful (crisp) morning. Finally, an upswing. But, not so fast.

Wednesday was a pretty horrible day at work, but worse, I got a disturbing call from my doctor. Thursday was a chilly ride, joining the Moment crew again...which I've missed lately. However, I was more prepared for the elements this time. I wish I would've known that was my last time to really "ride" for a while. I went to a specialist on Thursday and found out I needed surgery. Friday. Going under. anesthesia. I had some pre-cancerous cells that needed to be taken care of or they'd probably (80% chance) turn bad if I didn't. My body failed me. again. What a most horrible week.

Having a network of great family and friends to care for me really means the world. My mom was scared for me thousands of miles away, so I didn't have to be. My roommates were there to console me when Kyle was out to sea. Kyle was there to take me to surgery and pick me up. Erin was there to bring me soup, and the girls took me to get a pedicure on Saturday. My coach has been more encouraging than anyone could ask for. Things will get better. They always do.
Bethany, Me and Erin H with holiday toes!

So training has been put on hold. I'm supposed to be on limited activity for 6 weeks, but I'm able to get back at it soon. I road my bike for the first time yesterday, very slowly. I got in the water to teach a lesson this morning. I think I'll go for my first jog this weekend. I'm down, but I'm not out. I've been behind again with blogging. I still have to report about my Thanksgiving trip home (hopefully before Christmas), a wedding, and a very happy Holiday Christmas party. Here I am shaking the pasta salad I made.
A lot to catch up on...and another doctor's appointment today. Hopefully better, not most horrible, news.

Monday, November 23, 2009

jtree and me

Why do people complain that things get busy during the holidays? With more time off work, off season low volume training and things cooling off outside, what's making everyone so stressed?

Oh wait. I work in retail. This is my IN season. Weather means nothing in San Diego.

Last week was busy. I've been coaching a lot more lessons lately and finding time to fit them into this IN season training alongside work has been increasingly difficult. But I somehow got it done. Week two in the books. Monday was a horrible run on the treadmill after coaching a 6am lesson.

Tuesday was a killer GWL with noko, ian, and julie. Tried starting at 7am, but it was too cold. So off to Starbucks for a hot chocolate warmup, and we were off. Much nicer. Not sure what was with me, but at the top of Lyons Valley right before the store I threw up. No warning, no nothing. Just puke on my arm. It wasn't real puke, but mostly just the water I chugged with a HR of 195. Oops. No digesting anything when my HR gets up there. Somehow the rest of the ride ended up decent. I had fun drafting and playing my cards right going up stinker hill. We all took our turns battling some tough head winds on the flat section back to Starbucks. Right around a 2:30 loop, so it was quite fast. Finished the day with Christmas shopping and crafting. Ah yes, crafting. To most, it is unknown. To my college roommates, it's madness. My room threw up too.

Swam at the JCC Wednesday, Thursday was the Moment ride in the am and a dinner date followed by PJR season finale with Erin and Leslie. Boo to the mean girl winning. Wasn't too impressed with the season. But good news; the next season starts mid-January! No wasting time getting to it! Woohoo! Friday morning I snuck in a run starting from the Y going along the path by Sea World Drive. Hopped in the pool for 25x100 on 1:30 with the masters. I was swimming around 1:16s feeling good.

Friday evening Kyle and I headed to Joshua Tree. Luckily he let me sleep on the way there. Set up camp at the secret climbers free campground and crashed. Saturday morning we headed into the park, contemplated running, and started climbing. It's winter in the desert. The sun is up, no clouds in the sky...and it's freezing. :) Got on a couple of climbs and headed back to the car before the sun got too low, and went for a run. A slow run, but I got out there. As you can was cold. Headed back into town for a delicious dinner at Crossroads Cafe and made it back to camp for some cider and a fire.
Tying in.
Sunday we headed into the park and set off for our bike adventure. I had never been further east than Jumbo Rocks but I figured Jtree was all the same. Random blobs of rocks set in the high desert with a lot of Joshua Trees mixed in. Wrong. Heading east and south we actually got into some significant climbing...well it was descending first and turning around after we had been going down for way too long. Our final climb up ended being right around 40 min...and that wasn't even going all the way down. The views out there are amazing. It made the 3 hour ride go by pretty quick. After the ride we headed to the Thin Wall and got on some easy climbs, but really just enjoyed the day. Finished with a soup picnic. A very nice couple from Washington offered us some white wine and had us finish their bottle. Very random, but much appreciated.
Kyle leading; looking for some nuts! :)

I had a lot of time to relax and enjoy the weather, the scenery and the company that Jtree offered me this weekend. It makes me miss having them off every week, but I am then reminded that I am lucky to be where I am. In a job that I enjoy. Surrounded by friends. And hey, you can't go wrong with a mid-week GWL to always look forward to.

I am also reminded that today is my one day of work this week. I'm going HOME! :) Back to MN tomorrow until Saturday afternoon. I will be missing the GWL this week, but for a great reason. My entire family hasn't been together since my brother graduated high school a year and a half ago. My mom already has a family photo shoot scheduled for Friday. Hopefully we don't end up like this:

Monday, November 16, 2009

in the books

ITB...volume 1.
Coach Brian has me on run base and bike speed last week (and the same for the next 3). This phase of my Ironman training is based upon common themes. Don't get injured. Stretch. Foam roll. Yoga. Oh yeah, and swim, bike, run. Run being the most important.

Last week went something like this. 105 miles as a pre-Ironman kickoff on Sunday. Oops! (The picture is from my first century, with Jen) My "weeks" start with Mondays. Sunday I took the train to Orange Station in LA with my friends erin, erin, evan, banister and jake. Great times heading back to SD with some hard work laying it out there through San Clemente State Park and Camp Pendleton. Got back to the train station in Oceanside, and the boys had enough. Evan had to get some more miles in for Ironman Cozumel training. I volunteered to ride back to PB with him. Ah, we get to Solana Beach and I'm asking myself why...he's pushing me up Torrey Pines at mile 93. Took some Gu's, came back and managed to suck his wheel the rest of the way home. 105miles. 6 hours and 15 minutes of riding. A long ass day.

Monday was yoga for sure. Tuesday I ran through Balboa park, somehow ending up on the course for a high school cross country meet. The fans started cheering for Kyle and I, thinking we were the leaders, until we realized what was up, and got off the course. 20 seconds later the real leaders came blazing past. Oops! Wednesday was veteran's day, so my Navy friend Jake and I road up Rose Canyon to the 56 bike path, over the hill and through the woods back to the coast, up Torrey Pines again, and back to my house. 56 miles. Good times sporting the jersey. Got out in the cove as well for a very nice, clear, crisp, fun fish filled swim with Kyle. Thursday was a very fast run along the strand in Coronado. I had a lesson to get to, and I needed to get my 4 miles in. In hindsight, it was probably too fast. But I felt good and kept the HR under control. Friday was stretching day. Saturday was race day!

Woke up early and headed to Fiesta Island. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but Kyle and I got our transition area set up and headed for the water. I did a super quick spin on my bike to see if it was shifting properly, as well as a super quick jog to see if the legs were awake.
Playing with the Garmin Kyle, with his Sprintman tattoo from coach Brian. :)
Sunny morning, forgot the tinted goggles. Told Jake I was relying on his dark goggles to lead the way. Unfortunately he didn't swim so straight, and I actually found the buoy first. Turned around and headed back, and somehow kicked it in and beat him (by 2 seconds). First out. Sweet!
Kermit and War Machine in transition.
That ended 20 seconds into the bike. But it was fun while it lasted. The bike hurt. It felt windy (but wasn't), my seat felt low, my quads felt tired, my aerodrink was in backwards. I probably ran too hard on Thursday. Basically, I was just being a cranky little girl. Got into transition and for the first time in my life, I was excited to run. Had a decent run, and was happy with the result. Kyle finished shortly after...I'm going to have to start watching my back!

The week ended with Sunday. I SLEPT IN TILL 11 AM! Yeah, crazy. Not like I was sleeping that entire time. But it was soooo nice. Laying in my bed. Doing absolutely nothing. Woke up and made steel cut oats, which are delicious but take 30 min to make, so I never have time. Worked for 4 hours, and then made a yummy sausage alfredo pasta for din din.

So this week is more of the same. Today was a very early lesson at the Y followed by 4 horrible miles on the treadmill and a lot of stretching/foam rollering. Tomorrow is GWL with Noko and Ian, my favorite mid-week riders, and I have this weekend off!

Thursday, November 12, 2009 photos

Interbike 09 just happened to fall right after my one weekend off and during Kyle's return from his sail around. So, why not head to vegas for a fall climbing trip?! We left Friday night, found the campsite right away, set up and crashed. Saturday was an early morning to try and get as much climbing in before the heat set in. We did some sport climbing on the "Panty Wall" and in "Black Corridor". It was great to get back on the rock, and take the sharp end of the rope, man-up, and lead. Here is the weekend in pictures:Do we really have to carry all this stuff for sport climbing?!Panorama view from the Panty Wall.Being silly after a fun day in the Black Corridor.Waking up to 90 degree weather. Why not eat oatmeal and peaches for breakfast in your swim suit? What's on today's agenda? (looks like we got that "early" start we were looking for)Early start and a long hike led us here: Drinks at Bellagio's fountain view cafe. The Bellagio fountains are my absolute favorite. This is the view from their cafe at day...And we even went back at night. So beautiful with Paris in the background.The next day after more really hot climbing, we opted for the waters of Lake Mead. Made a stop at Walmart. Cooler, cider, Kettle chips and raspberries. Yum. Kyle had never had a raspberry. I was shocked. Lake Mead. Awesome way to cool off in the hot desert. And play in the water. Underwater fun.
Back to Red Rock Canyon for one last day on Johny Vegas. Kyle's rack. Or half of it.Leading up. Great climb and a great end to an awesome trip to Vegas.

We met up with the rest of the Moment Crew for Interbike. We stayed at the Tropicana: classy location. Busy, full days meeting with reps and going through possible lines to bring in for 2010. Saw a lot of new cool stuff, including the new breed of Kermit. The Guru Crono 2.0