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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

November

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

November has been a fun and busy month.  Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to…

-I’m feeling good again and even getting back into a bit of a training routine after taking quite a bit of time off.

-Earlier in the month Brandon and I had the pleasure of speaking to the Texas A&M Triathlon Team about our glamorous lives as professional triathletes.  We had a great time answering questions, handing out some First Endurance goodies and telling the tri-team all about our traveling adventures the last 2 years.  We hope to go back in the near future to put on a swim clinic for the team.

-Also while at A&M we got the chance to catch up with John Cobb of Cobb Cycling.  John got me fitted on my new P3 and I even got the opportunity to go in the wind tunnel.  It was kind of spur of the moment as he was initially just going to check my fit but, he had some extra time and put me in the tunnel.  It was a cool experience and hope to check it out again this winter/spring.

-Saw a couple of movies with Johnny Depp…The Rum Diary which was more of an artsy film and The Tourist.

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-I went to my niece, Mackenzie’s, first grade class to have lunch with her class and be a guest reader.

-Had a wonderful dinner with friends Bernie and Judy in downtown Austin.  Bernie and Judy are on the board chair for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children , an organization that rescues children who are abandoned, abused, or neglected.  We hope to raise money and race for their charity organization for 2012 and beyond.

-Had a couple of follow up eye appointment and my eyes are doing great.  I can not be happier with my Lasik experience.

-Brandon and I volunteered to build bikes for Bikes for Kids , a local charity here in Austin, that purchases and assembles bikes for underprivileged children around the holiday season.  My job was to preassemble the breaks on the bikes so that Brandon could fine tune them.

-Celebrated my 34th birthday by taking my niece to see the Muppets.  We also had a 3 generation sleepover at GiGi’s house (me, my mother, and my niece).  I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired trying to keep up with a 6-year old and 71-year old!

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-Thanksgiving this year was the day after my birthday.  I headed up to my brothers house which is only about 20 minutes away to spend the day with the family…while Brandon was enjoying his time in Mexico!

I Can See

Monday, November 7th, 2011

It’s been just over a  week since my Lasik surgery and I can already see 20/15.  Unbelievable!

Just before the surgery, I had one last eye check with Dr. Dell to make sure everything was good to go.  I was then given 3 Valium and sat in a waiting room with a few others to let the Valium kick in and get me to relax.  Everyone was chatting because of the Valium (even me which is surprising), and one by one the doctor came in to grab the next person.  We would say goodbye, wish each other good luck, and then wait to see if we would hear any screams coming from the operating room.  No screams were heard and everyone that came out of surgery had a huge smile on their face.  Eventually it was my turn…

I’m not going to lie, I did not enjoy the procedure.   They place a thing on top of one of your eyes that creates a lot of suction and you’re told to look into the blinking red light. The red light becomes very blurry, then it comes back into focus, and then you repeat with your other eye. That’s it.  Yes, it was quick, easy and painless but being able to see what was going on and having my eye suctioned open was a bit scary.  Luckily they gave me a stuffed dog to hold onto for dear life.

The whole procedure takes about 5 minutes…amazing.  As soon as you sit up from the operating table you can see.  I almost cried because it was such an amazing feeling being able to finally see without glasses or contacts in 25 years!

Thank you Dr. Dell, Dr. Cunningham, and the rest of the amazing staff at Dell Laser Consultants for calming (most of) my fears during this whole process.  Your professionalism and knowledge is the reason you are top notch!

Enjoy some pictures that the Dr. Cunningham sent me.  I had no idea they were taking pictures during the surgery.

Hugging the stuffed dog for dear life

Blinded by the light

Eye suctioned for surgery...gross

My eye on the computer

My eye

Happy camper...and still holding the dog

Goodbye Glasses and Contacts

Monday, October 24th, 2011

In a few days I will be going under the knife…I mean laser. That’s right, I am finally going to get Lasik surgery on my eyes. I’ve been wanting to get this procedure done ever since I first heard about it years ago, but have been too chicken to go through with it. I figure since I’m taking some down time from training right now that it’s the perfect time to have the surgery done.

My friends and family who have had Lasik have been trying to talk me into getting this done for the longest time. But, I thought no way! The idea of having surgery on my eyes was too scary. After the hassle of contacts and glasses for the last 25 of 33 years, I finally worked up the courage to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dell at Dell Laser Consultants (DLC) to see if I was a good candidate for the Laser procedure. I chose Dell Laser as they are the best around and when it comes to having surgery on my eyes…I want the best Doctor out there. When they told me that no professional athlete should have to deal with contacts or glasses, I thought, they’re right.

The staff at DLC have been very professional and helpful answering all of my paranoia questions and yes… there have been many!

I’m really looking forward to being able to see the alarm clock in the morning! Check back in a week or so to see how I survived.

Taking Some Rest

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

This song pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling the last month!

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I’m finally off anti-biotics and am feeling better everyday. I’ve been wiped out more then expected so I’ve just been taking it one day at a time.

In the mean time here’s what I’ve been up to…

-Home improvement project: Backsplash behind the stove.

Before

After

-Baking: Almond butter cookies.

So the cookies were a bit dry and crumbly. I never said I was a good cook (quite bad to be honest) but I’m trying!

-Spending more time with these guys…my niece and nephew

The Hardest Part

Friday, September 30th, 2011

I write this as most pros are landing in Kona right now. I’m still in Austin, Texas sitting at my kitchen table. Why?

A good friend of mine and long time supporter e-mailed me that the hardest part about an Ironman is getting to the starting line healthy. I’ve always heard that and now I know that it is true.

The next hardest part is telling everyone that I will NOT be racing the Ironman World Championships. So this post is to rip the band-aid off so to speak.

Long story made short… I’ve had a bacterial infection probably for a few weeks now that may have started back right before I left Switzerland. No idea for sure. I’ve been wiped out since I got home, got blood tests done and just started a 2 week course of some pretty strong antibiotics yesterday.

I struggled through most of 2007 and all of 2008 with an injury. After my first win in 2009 IM MOO I was injured once again. Came to TeamTBB at the start of 2010 and have remained injury free and won 5 more Irondistance events. So… with my previous experiences, I know this is just a bump in the road and will come back stronger because of it.

Thank you to all of my sponsors and my 3 loyal blog readers for the support. It has been a tough decision after another good year but know it’s best. Just taking it one day at a time to get healthy again.

Best of luck to all the TeamTBB pros and age-groupers racing in Kona!

10 Things I’m Going To Miss About Swiss

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

My 90 days are coming to an end and I am headed back to the States this weekend.  I’m a bit sad as I really do love it here in Leysin, Switzerland.  And here’s why…

1.  My teammates-  Thank you to everyone for pushing me hard in the swim, bike and run everyday.  It’s been a great group this year and I’m already looking forward to the next camp whenever and wherever that will be!

2. The Boss and his van-   You just never know when and where the boss will show up in his van.  Whether he’s watching a workout, or driving 5 hours to watch you race…it’s always a surprise!  It’s nice to have someone watch you and critique the good, bad and ugly day in and day out.  And… I really want a van like this.

3. My daily walk to and from the pool- Everything is so convenient here that we can walk everywhere.  Walk to the pool, grocery store, etc…  Haven’t had to drive a car or sit in traffic for 3 months.

4. The spectacular views- Every morning when I get up and pull the shade open, I am always amazed at the beautiful mountain views.

5. Yeti Bar- Our cozy studio apartment above a restaurant/bar that I have lived in for 3 months.

6. Chocolate- So many kinds to choose from and I think I have tried them all!

7. The riding- Nice to just go out of our apartment and ride for miles without hitting any stop lights.  Can’t get enough of the climbing here and has no doubt made me stronger.

8. The weather- Especially the temperature as I’m not looking forward to going back to the Texas heat…

9.  The cows and their bells…just because.

10. How fresh and green everything is here- as our lawn at home resembles hay right now.

2 Races in 1 Week

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I raced 70.3 European Championships in Weisbaden, Germany almost two weeks ago now.  Unfortunately the race did not go well at all  and to be honest I don’t know why.  Training has been going really well and I’m fit so there is no reason I should not have had a good race there.  You can read Doc’s view here. So, that is a race that I would like to forget about and what better way to get over a disappointing race? Sign up for an Irondistance race the next weekend.  And that is exactly what I did.

I returned from Germany on Monday afternoon and by Tuesday I was signed up for the Challenge Irondistance race in Vichy, France.  Got a couple solid workouts in during the week and by Friday I was off to France with teammate Stephen Bayliss (Bella and Ironbaby Charlie).

The city of Vichy was a beautiful venue for this race.  The non-wetsuit swim was in a river and very well marked.  Had an o.k. swim where I was with the main group until about half way.  Was off the back and then got dropped the last half and finished the swim solo.  I was the first women out of the water but it was far from a great swim.

The bike was two loops with a few climbs and quite a bit of turns…luckily it wasn’t raining or too technical of a course!  The goal was to get a hard solid effort on the bike.  Had a few rough patches here and there during the ride but for the most part felt strong.  The ride went by quickly and  I was able to build a bit more of a lead heading into the run.

The 4 loop run was along the river and there were spectators everywhere.  The heat got the best of me after two loops of the run and I had flashbacks of Ironman China during that time.  I stopped at every aid station to get as much fluids in as I could and shuffled it in to the finish.

Although it was still far from a solid race, it was a move in the right direction after 70.3 European Champs!  I’m happy with the win but more pleased with how I bounced back from a disappointing race the weekend before.

This was my first Challenge race and it is definitely a memorable one.  I was  impressed with the race organization, volunteers, and how Challenge really cares about each and every athlete.  Hope to have the opportunity to do more of their races in the future.

Thank you to Brett for suggesting that I “get back on the horse” as soon as possible.  Special thank you to Gael and Felix for letting me register so late in the game.  You both truly know how to put on a great race.   Also, would like to thank my sponsors for their continued support not only through the good races but the bad races as well!

Congratulations to Stephen for his win!  It definitely made the car ride back to Leysin more enjoyable with two wins!

Time for a nice solid block of training to get ready for Kona and ITU Long Course World Championships.

Video Race Report, The Aftermath

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Here’s a ‘Hey Amy what are you doing?’ video for you.  No need for me to write about the trip there and back since the ‘boys’ already did a good job of that.

I did realize a few things during the race.  The main thing was that NOTHING about the way race day happened suited me.  I am admittedly bad at descending even when it is dry, so when you add the rain that happened on race day, I was even worse.  B says he lost 10-15 minutes by being overly cautious.  I probably lost 30-40 minutes and that is a conservative estimate.  And, then as we did a warm-up loop of the run the day before, I also realized that the 50% of the run that was on trails did not suit me either.  Add the rain and mud, and it got even worse!!  At least Brett said the same thing to me and B when I finished, and I think that Brett was ok that I didn’t say a single word to him for the rest of the trip…maybe week since I am pretty sure we talked yesterday!

Here is my 7 or so HOUR race summed up in 1.5 minutes.  And, I will apologize in advance for the fact that I do need a haircut, I have big bags under my eyes, and I look as tired as I felt and continue to feel!

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Next up is 70.3 European Championships in Wiesbaden, Germany.  That will be close to wrapping up my Swiss summer.

Masters New World Record

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

I thought this video was blog worthy.  These are 4 guys that we swim with on our masters team back home in Austin, Texas.  I have to say that our masters swim team is no joke.  The head coach is 2x Olympian, Whitney Hedgepeth, and the workouts are anything but easy.  In fact, sometimes Doc has me stay away from the masters program before races so that I can have a bit of a rest.    What’s impressive is that these guys swam this relay on their own in between prelims and finals of a kids swim meet.

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Congrats guys!

Now I just need to get my medley that fast so that I don’t get lapped!

Runner Up – IM Swiss

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Last weekend was my first ever European Ironman where I finished 2nd overall. I knew the eventual winner (Karen Thurig) would be tough to beat on her home soil but was ready for a great race. Although the win would have been nice, I was happy with my race and probably gained more positive experiences from this race than any Ironman that I have won or done in the last two years.

After my disastrous swim at Ironman Brazil earlier this year, I was determined and ready to have a good swim. Well, the good news is that I swam in a group and stayed with the pack for the whole swim. O.k. It wasn’t the fastest swim group where I probably should be, but it was a group and I was happy to stay with the pack throughout the 2 loop course. Usually I’m off swimming in my own little world (sometimes on course and sometimes off course) so this was definitely a bit of an improvement!

I fumbled a bit in T1 and lost some time from the group that I exited the swim with. They were OFF on their bikes and out of sight quickly! The first 30k of the bike is flat and quite fast. I couldn’t even see anyone in front of me or behind me. A couple times I even wondered if I was on course because I didn’t see anyone. After the first 30k I was glad to finally see some hills and even passed a couple of people that were out of T1 before me. I was cruising along and feeling great. Just before the halfway mark, the media motorcycle rode up to me and told me I had a 30 second lead on Thurig. What? Already? But I’m not even at halfway yet? I thought he had to be kidding! I knew she would be coming but was hoping to hold her off a bit longer than 90k. Well… the motorcyclist wasn’t kidding and soon enough Karin came by me. I ended up passing her back going up the famous heart break hill which is a narrow steep hill with crowds so loud it was deafening. Unfortunately Karin pulled away on the descent and flat section and wasn’t to be seen again. I ended up not losing too much time on the second loop and came off the bike about 3-4 minutes down.

Grabbed my Nathan fuel belt and headed out on the run. I usually carry 2 flasks with 400 calories( in each flask) of First Endurance. When I looked down at my belt there was only one flask! The other flask must have fallen out in somewhere in transition. I figured well…I’ll drink my first flask, then get rid of the belt so I’m a bit lighter:), and then just rely on coke and water for the remainder of the run. And…that’s what I did. The volunteers were also handing out Red Bull shots which sounded good. So… I grabbed a couple of those as well and drank one after ever loop (there were 4 loops on the run). I felt great on the run until about the last 5k where it became a bit of a struggle. I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and drinking coke at every aid station to get me to the finish line. It ended up being my fastest I have run in an Ironman…so far!

I really enjoyed the race course in Zurich and the descents on the bike weren’t too bad!!! The volunteers and crowds were amazing and made for a great experience.

Special thank you to Nicola and her parents for their hospitality race weekend. They took good care of me, chauffeured me around, and just helped make my weekend stress free.

Also, thank you to all my sponsors (TeamTBB, Avia, First Endurance, Cervelo, 2XU, Louis Garneau, John Cobb, Rudy Project Sunglasses, Nathan Sports) for your support as I wouldn’t be able to do what I love without your help.

Next up is the famous Alp D’heus triathlon which will definitely be an experience!