Sunday, October 31, 2010

T Minus 21 Days 'Til Ironman Arizona - Race Advice Part 1

Great advice from coach Joe Friel all about The Day Before The Race.

This morning is the last time to work out before the race.  It's also a good time to check out the swim venue from the shore to see where the sun will be rising on race morning.  Keep today's workout short, and include some brief bouts of high intensity.  If possible, you could do a bike-run brick on the race course as a final workout.  Keep it short, with perhaps a 30-minute bike ride and a 15-minute run.  All you want to do is get warmed up, throw in a few accelerations to goal race pace or slightly faster, and then stop and stretch.  Following this workout, check the bolts on your bike for tightness.

Following a normal breakfast, check off the required pre-race activities at a comfortable pace.  Avoid rushing through the process.  Keep everything in perspective by minimizing the significance of the inevitable day-before-the-race hassles.  Attend the pre-race meeting if there is one.  Drive the bike course (or better yet, have someone drive you, so you can look around), paying attention to hill and the likely gearing needed, mile markers, pavement surface, turnaround points, corners, and wind and shade direction.  Back in the hotel room, fast the race numbers onto your belt and bike.  Lay out your race-day clothes and pack your race bag using the checklist.

Part Two coming soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Buy This Not That - Bike Racks

This is the Thule T2, it also comes with an attachment to add two more bikes
Listen to me, people.  Listen good.  Resist the urge to buy a cheap bike rack.

I've been there.  I've bought the cheapy.  Then I've loaded up my bike and traveled to races in neighboring states and had to white knuckle it the entire way there-- constantly checking my rear view mirror.  I've watched helplessly as my tires spin for hours and hours in the tailwind of my car.  And watched in utter dismay as the bikes clanked against each other, wearing the paint thin and leaving ugly little scars on my beautiful babies. Hit after hit after horrible hit.

It's just not worth it.

If I had my druthers I'd put my bike inside my car and travel with it as my most precious cargo.  But since that is usually not an option, I've found a GREAT solution.  I love my Thule T2 bike rack!!! It's like a little cradle for my Guru and Trek Funky Mama.  The bike(s) sits on the rack and nothing touches the frame.  The only securing contact points are at the wheels.  I've never felt so stress-free with my bikes on a trip.  Ever.

I know there are probably other great racks systems out there. But what I am saying is spring for the TRAY CARRIER type system.  Avoid any racks where you HANG your bike, allowing it to swing or move.  It's so much nicer when a bike sits on a stable surface.  Don't buy a rack that has you bungee cording everything in place.  You might get it tight and immovable.  You might not.  

And it's really great if you can get a rack that allows up to four bikes - so you can take a friend or two or three with you to your next event.

'Cause it's always better with a friend.

*my opinion, once again.  take it or leave it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Buy This Not That - Wetsuits

Dear Quintana Roo wetsuit,

Thank you for keeping me warm for 7 long years.  You were good to me.  You buoyed me up when I needed it most, in places like Oceanside, San Diego Harbor, the Snake River and the Gulf of Mexico.  I tried return the favor by allowing you to soak in the pool each and every time you did such hard work for me.

But alas, I have found a new .... replacement.  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you the greatest thing since sliced bread.  The new, the comfortable, the completely 5mm Yamamota rubber TYR Hurricane 5 Wetsuit! Aaaahhhh, screams, cheers, applause!
TYR's Hurricane 5
As Rachel Zoe would say (although never over a wetsuit) "I Die."

Here's the thing,  I've been asked year in and year out about wetsuits.  And without a substantial amount of cash, it's really hard to comment on which suit to buy.  I've had the sleeveless QR for years, then I swam in my husband's Xterra when I needed a full.  Then I bought the DeSoto two piece on Craig's List and really tried to work with that suit too.  I tried, I really did.

But, like all good things, they must come to an end.  Rips, holes, discomfort, chafing in the neck, immobility.  These are just a few reasons to dread the day that you have to put one of those things on.

But things are different with the TYR.  The Hurricane 5 felt like butter.  The arms are flexible and don't constrict movement.  The extra rubber in the thighs kept my legs upright and practically out of the water.  Best of all, it was so so comfortable and no chafing anywhere!  Ahhem, This is NOT the case with the Desoto. 

Thanks to a generous gift from family and a 40 percent off sale at my tri store, this baby is ALL MINE!  I would recommend this suit to anyone.  And I will ALWAYS recommend a full suit.  No more sleeveless for me now that I've found a suit that allows me to feel just as comfortable in sleeves as without.

My assessment:  BUY the Hurricane 5, NOT a sleeveless wetsuit.  You'll be happy all the live long day.  

**my opinions are mine and you can take them or leave em.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

There Are All Kinds of People Who Do Tris

The Cool:

Those who bow down to their bikes:

The Reluctant:

The Intimidators:

The Mamas:

The Gorillas:

Yes old, young, thin, large, elite and beginner assemble together to test their physical and mental abilities at this sport called triathlon. 

Beautiful Lake Powell, which borders Arizona and Utah, was the location of yesterday's oly and sprint race.  The tri was capped at 300 participants, basically ensuring the event stayed quaint and manageable.  

This is not the race to do if you're looking for some shiny new hardware or a pre-race expo.  The bare bones staff seemed to be rushing around explaining things like why race bibs and bike numbers didn't match.  The cheese-grater boat ramp to T1 looked like Mount Everest when you're trying to find your bearings after the two-loop swim.  And the rumble strips on Highway 89 left little room for passing on your left, especially when semis were behind you.  Oh, and t-shirts the color of sand:  not a fan.

But what Powell did provide was the opportunity for a road trip.  Unless you live in Page you got to claim this as a "destination race".  Road trips essentially allow you to pack heavy.  Bring the arm warmers, the rain jackets, the Bosch blender.  You CAN take it with you.   The scenery was gorgeous and the hours of chit chat in a car are always the best part of any trip. 

Though the forecast called for sunny skies and perfect temperatures, race day played out differently.  Foreboding skies turned into downpours.  The streets were slippery and the volunteers reluctantly handed out water and gels under umbrellas and rain ponchos.  It was not an ideal day.   However, crossing the finish line seems to make you forget about all the weather and horrendous boat ramps.  Suddenly you are happy and overcome with emotion.  It's a cool thing.  

A race I'll do again:  Eh,  I'm on the fence.  But another tri:  You had me at the finish line! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Here Ye, Here Ye!

Tempe Town Lake has begun to look once more like a lake.
The water is rising.  Ironman officials are smiling.  Everything is back on track, including this important ride if you're a cyclist and you live in the Valley of the Sun.

Sterling Baer, the leader of the fine pack of cyclists who call themselves The Red Mountain Brumbys, send this heartfelt letter to all the cyclists in our posse yesterday.  And I am reprinting it here for you.  Join in the movement if you can.

On the eve of the 4th Anniversary of the death of our very own Brumbys cycling friend Wes Carnes, I received the thank you note below from the only sibling of Jay Fretz who was killed on his bike in May. From Wes' death, hit from behind in the bike lane while riding home from our morning ride 4 years ago tomorrow, sparked the ember of activism. Fanned by the winds of yet other victims, the little fire grew into the "Ride of Honor". Two years hence, the fire raging with the cries of "Not One More", a Non-Profit was born.

A giant bonfire now awaits the call to "Link the Lake". The Brumbys are now a community/family of 665 cyclists. Many other Clubs and Teams have committed their support. I expect every Brumby to clear their calendars on Sat Dec 4th. Unless you are signed up to do the MTB "Dawn to Dust", I expect all who can possibly make the sacrifice to be there. It does not matter if you have not ridden in a long time, show up in your car to support it. Bring your children to the Tempe Beach Park with their bikes and join us as we express solidarity to "Link the Lake" together for new legislation, to support Jay, Angie and Anika Fretz as well as Wes Carnes and countless other fallen cyclists. 

"Sterling, I wanted to drop you a line to introduce myself. I'm Jay Fretz' Brother and also live here in the Valley with my family. Angie and my Mother have told me how generous you've been (Not One More) with your time and efforts with regards to getting the word out about Jay's tragedy, as well as organizing the "Link the Lake" ride coming up in December (4th). I feel slightly guilty for not contacting you sooner to at least thank you for reaching out to help our family but as you can imagine, the past five months have been an abrupt lesson in crisis management. I am personally beginning to get my legs under me again, and now trying to catch up on overdue tasks etc.

Regarding the December ride, are things progressing as planned? I believe the lake is being refilled now, so that hurdle should now be overcome. In short, aside from participating myself, how can I help you and the Foundation ensure the ride is a success?

A sincere thank you for the comfort you have provided my Family through your efforts over the past months. The selfless generosity demonstrated by yourself and so many others subsequent to Jay's death has helped restore my faith in human nature. Kevin Fretz" 

Confirm you'll be there now and invite others to join us.!/event.php?eid=143259235692156

Sterling Baer

Monday, October 18, 2010

Blast From The Past

Do you remember when Waterpik Shower heads came out?  It was 1974.  I was an impressionable young 8-year-old.  When my cousins in Southern California showed me their newest "massaging shower head," I was impressed.  It was so cool.

They blew me away again in the eighties when I was a teenager.  My aunt drove us through the Newport Beach McDonalds and ordered something called chicken McNuggets.  Mini pieces of deep fried chicken.  Ah-mazing.  Barbeque dipping sauce?  I was in heaven.

All the cool things came out of California... remember checkered Vans?  Even the freeways looked better and the air smelled fresher as we drove like hillbillies in our yellow Suburban from the heat of Arizona to the perfectly manicured neighborhoods of Irvine, California.

There's always been something special about this hidden *wink* gem of a place we call Cali.  The cars - a little sleeker.  The people - a little tanner.  The boys - a little more surfer cool.

Which brings me to my most recent trip to Newport Beach.  This time it wasn't the Waterpik or the McNuggets that caught my fancy.  It was the pristene roadside biking and walking trails surrounding places like Pelican Ridge, Bonita Canyon and Turtle Rock.

I found a some great cycling routes Here.

Newport Beach -- what a great place to train.  The homes are palatial.  The weather is perfection.  The bike lanes are, for the most part, wide and comfortable and safe.  These attributes are not lost on the city's residents.  There were bikers all over the place.  And next to them on the unpaved trails were hikers, runners and dog walkers.  And most of them are out in style.  Check out this local:
Head to toe in yellow!

I've been caught up in the fantasy called Southern California.  And I've picked out several beach houses that are just my style.  When I move in I will ride my bike up to the canyons everyday.  I'll come home and nap on my chaise that looks out toward the surf.  I'll take my cruiser over to the island for a Balboa Bar snack.  And sleep with my windows open breathing in the salty air every night.

Who's with me?

No Nonsense

Chris McCormack

Here's the winner of the Ironman World Championships 2010.  It's Chris McCormack, or Macca as he is affectionately referred to in the tri world.  Macca ran a 2:43:31 marathon on Asics Hyperspeed shoes.  His wasn't the fastest marathon of the day, Craig Alexander claimed that title with a 2:41:59 split.  But Macca was victorious in the ultimate battle this year, his second IM victory in history.  And he did it without compression socks or a heart rate monitor strap or any visible M-dot tattoo in sight. 

He looks pretty clean and No Nonsense.  I like that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Are You A Lazy Runner? Newton Says No

This just in from Newton founder Danny Abshire:

"Some runners — many whom have been running for years — will say, “I’m a natural heel striker,” or “I heel strike when I get lazy.” The truth is, it has nothing to do with being natural or lazy and has everything to do with the mind-body connection. Your body is compensating for the compromised starting position in shoes with a built-up heel, which is not sustainable for most people.

If you’re starting in a position in which you are balanced with gravity and your feet are flat on the ground (or in shoes with only a slight ramp angle – less than 3%), your body doesn’t have to compromise at all. With a slight forward lean from the center of your mass, you will start to fall forward. Lift your leg and place your foot level back under your body, and you’re running naturally.

Meanwhile your uncompromised mind-body connection will position your head, arms, torso and hips so you can move as efficiently as possible. It’s what our body knows from the time we’re born and it’s the most efficient form of running. And it’s what allows our muscles, heart and lungs to exert the least amount of effort while running at any given pace."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Are You A Leader Or A Follower?

Here is the bike breakdown at Kona.  Cervelo has claimed the top spot at the Ironman World Championships for the last six years.   They had 300 more bikes at the starting line than the second place runner up, Specialized.  Hmmm.  
Fabian Cancellaras' Team Bike - Wow!

Cervélo: 468
Specialized: 113
Trek: 108
Scott: 98
Felt: 96
Orbea: 82
Kuota: 77
Cannondale: 72
QR: 62
Argon: 58
Giant: 52
Look: 48
Kestrel: 46
Guru: 40
Ceepo: 28
Pinarello: 18
Isaac: 18
Stevens: 17
Ridley: 16
Litespeed: 14
Colnago: 11
Storck: 11
PlanetX: 11
Fuji: 10
Blue: 9
BMC: 9
Jamis: 7
Beyond Fabrications: 7
Cube: 7
Focus: 6
Parlee: 6
Willier: 6
Griffen: 5
Elite: 5
Canyon: 4
Aegis: 4
Seven: 4
Time: 3
Javlin: 3
Serotta: 3
Linskey: 3
De Rosa: 2
BH: 2
Principia: 2
Louis Garneau: 1
Valdora: 1
Teschner: 1
Lemond: 1
Wave: 1
Softride: 1
Cheetah: 1

On another note,  do yourself a favor and head on over to Jamba Juice for their totally delicious new steel cut oatmeal bowls.  I hope I can make a beeline over there for tomorrow's breakfast like I did today.  Yummy yum yum.  The Berries, cherries and pecan blend was beyond, AND only 340 calories. 


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You May Not BE A Pro, But You Can Dress Like One!

Presented by Zoot Sports, here's what adorned the feet, bods, and bottoms of the Kona 2010 contenders. 
Asics: 464
Newton: 204
Saucony: 198
K-Swiss: 167
Brooks: 162
Nike: 115
Mizuno: 99
Zoot: 84
Adidas: 77
New Balance: 56
Avia: 29
Scott: 14
Pearl Izumi: 10
Puma: 7
Other: 1
Compression Socks:
CEP: 115
SLS-3: 16
2XU: 17
Zoot: 15
Herzog: 8
Beaker Concept: 4
HCP: 2
Craft: 1
Compress Sport: 1
Saucony: 1
Other: 11
Compression Calf Sleeves
Compress Sport: 63
2XU: 58
CEP: 22
Booster: 15
Zoot: 10
Skins: 8
Zensah: 5
DeSoto: 4
SLS-3: 3
LG: 3
Herzog: 2
Zigfaris: 2
Orca: 1
Other: 9

Custom: 100
Skinfit: 34
2XU: 30
Zoot: 20
Orca: 16
LG: 11
Kawami: 8
Sailfish: 8
DeSoto: 7
Pearl Izumi: 5
Skins: 5
Sugoi: 4
Rocket Science: 4
Jaggad: 3
Craft: 3
TYR: 3
Blue Seventy: 3
Other: 18
Apparel Tops
Custom: 297
2XU: 125
Zoot: 98
Skinfit: 72
K-Swiss: 45
TYR: 37
Orca: 29
DeSoto: 27
Sugoi: 22
LG: 21
Skins: 17
Sailfish: 8
Oomph: 7
CEP: 5
Other: 132
Apparel Bottoms
Custom: 223
2XU: 130
Zoot: 102
Skinfit: 93
K-Swiss: 44
DeSoto: 42
Orca: 34
Sugoi: 27
TYR: 24
CEP: 19
Pearl Izumi: 18
LG: 16
Skins: 13
Jagged: 7
Other: 91

Friday, October 8, 2010


First of all, kudos to all bloggers with exceptional photography skills, especially when shooting small things like jewelry.  I am incompetent so I am begging your forgiveness at the photos I am about to display.

That being said, my friend Angela, maker of some of my most favorite jewelry, dropped this little goodie off for me last week:
That's Angela's charm there on the left:  Iron Girl.  It goes well with the rest of 'em, don't ya think?

Because I loved my charm so much, when my friend Leesa decided to run her first marathon last month, I went ahead and ordered her this:
Just delightful, isn't it?  Small enough to add on to a necklace with or without other charms.  The back looks like this:
Again, pardon the photo skills, but it says really tiny: ST. G. '10 (St. George 2010).   Yeah, I know, cute.  

Angela can put just about anything on these charms so I made a few more for a couple of other lucky friends.  Lucky, lucky friends.  

But, that's not all she can do.  I pulled some of these beauties right off Her blog, hope that is okay Angela.  Look at this:
and this:

Wow.  I am in love.  
Angela is a runner.  And so am I, which proves you can be an athlete and still put on some bling to meet the ladies for lunch.  Or the hubby for dinner. 

Angela's artistic jewelery is best worn with a simple t-shirt because these are statement pieces.

(And I'd suggest wearing them with nothing at all if you'd like your husband to add to your Angela Henrie collection.) 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guess What's Happening This Saturday?

Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Rare Occurrence In Mesa, Arizona

Today we got rained on.

The Brumby riders left from their usual 5 a.m. spot for the Las Sendes two loop course.  About 45 minutes into the ride, it started to pour.  And I mean, really dump.  The wind whipped us around like little paper kites on a string.  And the tire sprays left little Jackson Pollack-esque mud splatters on everyone's backs.

I tried to challenge my inner Tour de Francer -- a die hard cyclists who rides in rain or snow, over cobbles/pave.  But I was grumpy and slow and my socks were getting soaked.  So one lap into it, I turned for home, and my nice Restoration Hardware sheets.  Man, that was a smart move.

In other news, on this Fallish afternoon, I'm home working away on my computer.  And wanted to share with you this website:

Rocky Mountain Sports Calendar.   It lists a ton of Southwestern races for tris and marathons and halfs and open water swims.

And also wanted to remind you to buy these:  Fuel Belt Lace Locks  before your next tri.  As I was practicing transitions with a friend this week, I failed to tell her about the fantasticalness of these little gadgets, which allow you to tighten your shoelaces without tying them.

I hope this is officially the start of Fall.  We Arizonans deserve it.  And it will be nice to ride tomorrow on my nice, clean bike.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Run This Marathon If You Ever Get The Chance

There's nothing sweeter:  St. George Marathon finish line

A few of my favorite Facebook posts and Tweets from today's St. George Marathon:

Todd Peterson: the progression of my goals from the marathon this morning: 3:10; 3:15; 3:20; try to keep the pace under 8 min/mile; try not to walk; only walk through water stops; only walk up hill; qualify for Boston - only reached the last one: 3:28:54 (what a wuss I am)  seasoned marathoner and college friend.  And you are not a wuss, my friend.

Leesa Bollinger:  Has sore legs, an awesome sunglass tanline, a black toenail...... And a freaking medal!!! Can't wait to do it again! :)  6+ hour finisher and first time marathoner and my "niece".

jimduckett:  YAHOO!!! Bucket list item complete.  Run the St. George Marathon.  CHECK!

kylegoon:  Michael Carroll of St. George just ran  the marathon barefoot.  He says it's the best way for him to avoid injury.  Hang ten!

Then of course there was another FB "friend" of mine who actually updated Facebook of her progress about every three miles.  Are you kidding me?  (Too much information)
-- Gearing up to run another marathon favorite one!!! 
-- On my way!!! Woo hoo!!!! 
-- is at mile 8. 
-- is just starting mile 13... 
--  just started mile 16...letting the gravity ¡ Snow Canyon pull me... 
-- ¡ 18.... 
-- Just starting mile 21... 
-- : starting 22....  
-- : starting 22.... 
-- "Only" 1.5 miles to go!!!!
-- Done! 5:14 and change!!!!

Reports are in that this year was HOT HOT HOT!  Congratulations to all the finishers and to my good friends at Tri Mesa who ran your hearts out.  This was not a PR day, but many fabulous finishing times and it's always great to cross that finish line.

You made Ironmama proud!
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True