Monday, September 29, 2008

back from vegas

it was a long five days in vegas, away from my wonderful wife and two dogs.

i was in vegas for the annual bicycle trade show, Interbike, where manufacturers wheel out the latest and greatest products that will be coming to market during the upcoming year. these five days also represent a few other things; long days, long nights, little sleep, excellent dinners, smokey hotels, and my only chance to play the tables all year.

as luck (or stupidity) would have it, my cell phone ran out of batteries within the first hour after getting off the plane and i brought a wall charger that did not recognize my phone. that did not make Em very happy as communicado was on an all-time low during the week. luckily for her, i am not one to seek out sin, and only played a max of two hours at the craps table each night.

the show was great for our company, Retul 3D bike fitting, and we had a constant flow of traffic in and out of our booth all week. we also hosted the Schools of Bike Fit, which featured four of the most prominent fit experts in cycling, who spoke on pressing topics in the sub-economy of the bike fit world. we had a great turnout with 140 folks packing our tiny conference room to hear industry leaders like Dan "Slowman" Empfield speak.

now back in boulder, it is time to put in a few good weeks of training to get some fitness for November's IM AZ race. going to vegas always leaves me excited to get back into home and back into the daily routine of getting in consistent workouts again.

train well,

Monday, September 22, 2008


Lars left today for a week-long bike festival in Las Vegas called Interbike. I call it a bike festival but I guess the technical name is an industry trade show. It is going to be strange having Lars gone for a whole week- since starting his new job with Retul he hasn't had to travel as often so I have become accustomed to having him around. Because Lars is gone all week I moved all of the chick flicks to the top of our Netflix queue since he generally won't watch them with me.

The big deal is that now there are more females in the house than males. We bought our condo two years ago and since then I have always been the only woman living here. The only reprieve I have had is when we adopted Izzy, she balanced things out a little bit but we were still outnumbered. The only people we have had stay here have been guys. But, our friend Carole Sharpless has moved out to Boulder and is living at our place for a little while. So, since last week we females outnumber Thor and Lars 3-2 and now poor Thor is left here alone with all the girls! I think he can handle it, though.

On another note, we have booked tickets to our trip to Thailand in December! We will meet Lars' parents and my parents in Phuket, Thailand for a week.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Make it work

Yesterday was a mish-mash of various workouts including an early AM trail run with Thorskie - my ADD Chessy Bay Retriever, a 1.5 hour afternoon ride with big gear & slow cadence intervals topped off with a 1.5 hour water polo scrimmage. Last night, I managed to drag good friend Kevin Burnette down to Denver with me. He pulled out his connections and called up another former triathlete, Kiley, who had a 43-minute shorter commute than us

When I finally crawled into bed at 11:30 last night, I realized how much fun the day was. While I'm transitioning into my specific training for IM Arizona, I've managed to get creative with my workouts.

Now I'm looking into shaping my lead up plans for Arizona. Race day is November 23rd and I think it's important to have a shootout race a few weeks beforehand to make sure the tank is firing and the training is soaking in. Right now I'm looking at Austin 70.3, Soma Half, or American Zofingen as potential lead in races.

All for now,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

water polo

After 24 Hours of Triathlon and Ironman Canada, I opted to take a mental break and have been playing some water polo. As there is not a large following here in Colorado, i've managed to hook up with a few ex-high school and college water polo players in town and we meet up and work on shooting and passing. There is no deep water pool in town, so this past Monday David Walker and I drove down to Denver U to play with the masters team there.

What a workout as we spent the entire hour-and-a-half scrimmaging. This meant non-stop treading water and bursts of sprinting. It's a 40-minute drive away but we will play in a tournament in mid-October so I'd like to keep playing at least once/week until then.

I tried convincing Emily how tough it is to play and what great shape you have to be in, but she holds steadfast that water polo players are the ones who couldn't handle the intensity of swimming as kids and liked to party too much. We'll agree to disagree on this one!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ready, Aim, Fire

Yesterday was Leon's last day in Boulder as he had to cut his US season short to return to Melbourne, Australia due to a family emergency. So, we went all out and road five hours out past Carter Lake, up through Estes Park, and back down Hwy 36 back into Boulder. Our ride was an eventful one even though we tried leaving the house early enough -6:45AM- so we could have the roads to ourselves.

The fun started on the roads out by Carter Lake where we were riding single file when a suburban came up from behind, honked, and ran us into the ditch. Leon provided enough finger jesters for the both of us -- which was good because I was wearing Craft lobster finger gloves and could not relay an effective F-U. For being 8AM on a Saturday, the driver of this car must have serious self-esteem issues to bother two harmless cyclists. I hope karma is a bitch for you, whoever you are...

Next stop was Estes Park where I was looking forward to a hot vanilla latte. I had spent the previous two hours staring at Leon's wheel - I can provide you all the details; Continental Duraskin tire, Shimano wheel, etc, since I got to know that wheel intimately following it for so long. We severely underestimated the dedication of folks of Scottish heritage. When we rolled into Estes Park, which plays host to one of the largest Scottish festivals in the US. There were traffic jams everywhere and the main street in downtown was blocked to make way for thousands of marching kilt wearing, bagpipe blowing, parade marchers.

Since we couldn't get to Kind Coffee (my motivation to make it up the 20-miles of climbing) we resorted to our backup plan of the Phillips gas station. In honor of Craig "Mad Dog" McKenzie, I scarfed down two bags (2 for $1.00) of Blue Gummi Sharks. Once back on our bikes, we faced a four mile climb back out of Estes before the long 22-mile downhill into Lyons.

While we were passing by the Estes Lake, the kilted Scots moved onto their next game - Shooting live cannon balls at inflatable Lochness Monsters!! Talk about getting our heart rate and blood flowing again - we laughed about getting chased out of town by cannon ball fire!

An uneventful downhill got us into Lyons and back onto Hwy 36 for the 14 miles back into Boulder. While we were moving back at snails pace on one of the uphills (36 is a deceitful route to return to town after a long ride) we saw an amazing horned elk sprinting (in the form of bounding) from the opposite side of the highway. He leaped over one barbed wire fence, through the ditch, over the road - thankfully no cars or bikes got in his way, passed 10 meters in front of us, down through the ditch, over another fence, and sprinted 400 meters straight up into the foothills. What an amazing creature!

We said goodbye to Leon for the summer but look out for this guy to start rocking the Ironman circuit when he steps foot on the Western Australia course this December. But, he'll have to battle it out with our other Aussie housemate, Gavin Scott, who should be coming into good form about that time.

Win in Portland

Emily doesn't know the password to get onto our blog page yet, so I'll take the liberty of writing a quick post on her win at the City of Portland Triathlon last Sunday.

Em's sister, Kendra, lives in Seattle and signed up for Jeff Henderson's Portland Tri, so Em decided to head out west for the weekend. She had the fastest women's swim and bike and had to hold off a fast-charging Sunny Gilbert (formerly of Boulder, CO) with her fastest 10k ever - 38:19.

Jeff, a friend and former contributer to Inside Tri Mag when I worked there, also puts on the Musselman Triathlon in Westchester, New York and now the first triathlon in downtown Portland. Em's prize for winning the race was a frisbee with the catch phrase, "Yes, I swam in the Willamete" - referring to the dirty downtown river that had swimmers pass under two city bridges.

She will race next at the Longhorn 70.3 in Austin, TX on October 5th.

Monday, September 1, 2008

World Record!

I spent nearly 30 hours at the Cherry Creek State Park in Denver on Saturday and Sunday. 24 of those 30 hours were spent completing swim, bike or run legs for my team - Team Retul - at the 24 Hours of Triathlon.

This is still a unique racing model in the world of triathlon and race director, Ian Adamson was just the right guy to bring this racing concept to triathlon. My first observation driving into the transition area at 5am on Saturday was -- WOW -- this event has grown tremendously since 2006 when Em and I raced the first running of the event. That race had less than 50 racers and only a 24-hour division. Last year, the event numbers jumped up to nearly 200 racers and included a NBC filming crew that produced a 30-minute race broadcast as part of the Jeep World of Adventure show. This year, the event reached max capacity at over 250 racers and the parking lot was filled with trailers, RV's, tents, sponsor vendors, a small expo, and a huge rock concert-style stage from Suzuki - the presenting sponsor. The race was officially pimped out!

We had some last minute shuffling on our team, but in the end, it included Steven Waite - an Australian who was part of the winning 3-person team last year, myself - fresh off Ironman Canada last Sunday, and John Gaudette - our pure runner who we considered our wildcard. Even though we had never met one another before the race, we were each motivated to win and take home the $3,000 prize purse for the winning team.

The race started with a mass start swim and the first triathlon was required to be completed in swim, bike, run order. After that first triathlon was complete, each team employed their own strategy to complete the most swim, bike and run legs in the allotted 24 hour time limit. The distances were each 1/10 of Ironman distance (.24-mile swim, 11.2-mile bike, and 2.62-mile run) and the goal was to complete as many legs in each discipline while maintaining equal parts (see race site: for a further explanation).

As I was still in major cramp mode from Canada, my strategy was simple: avoid running for as long as possible. To make matters worse, Steven has been suffering from stress fractures in his legs and was unable to run. We would be relying solely on our young whippet, John Gaudette - a 22 year-old up and coming marathoner we had never met or heard of. I'll be brief and say that John did not disappoint, running a total of 23 of our 26 run legs for over 59-miles of running (I completed the remaining three runs for 7.8-miles of running)!!

Steven and I are both handy cyclists and completed 291-miles of cycling over our 26 legs and 6.50-miles of swimming over 27 legs (we had one extra swim).

It was satisfying to complete the 24-hours and capture the overall win for the 3-person relay team. There was a $3,000 prize purse to our team for winning - which we split evenly amongst the three of us. It was definately a motivator to keep pushing on during the night time hours (riding and running in the dark).

I felt we were under prepared with real food at our transition site, but luckily it didn't have too much of an effect. The race did have coolers of Gu2O and Larabars for snacked and hydrating but one of my saving graces that brought me out of some severe cramping was a bag of Boulder Salt & Vinegar potato chips that Steven gave me to eat. The salt was just was I needed to loosen up my muscles.

One of our best strategies was to implement the NormaTec - Puffy Pants - into our recovery phase between events. With only one athlete racing at any given time, we always had one of the other two team members hooked up and using the Puffy Pants to aid in recovery. This worked wonders as it pumped out the building lactic acid, freshened up the legs, and also served as a bit of a warm-up before heading back onto the course.

Official results are posted now on the 24 HOT site: .

Our team - Team Retul - completed 26 complete tris for a total of 365-miles. Being a savvy marketer, Ian has been applying to the Guiness Book of World Records (GBWR) to officially have our new world record for total triathlons completed in a 24-hour period, added into the 2008 addition. That would be so cool as my parents can attest the GBWR was always my favorite X-mas present as a kid growing up.

I would recommend this race to anyone who wants a challenge greater than an Ironman or wants to race in this unique team setting. It is so cool to have teammates that are depending on your effort. There is no bigger motivator!

Now it's time for a few weeks of rest! Yesterday morning I was so tired that I couldn't even shut my eyes. But, I did eat a huge breakfast at The Kitchen with Tim Carlson. I had Egg's Benedict, Toast, OJ, a Lamb Burger, and a huge side portion of fries. After a quick four hours of sleep that afternoon, I went with Gavin (who just flew back to Oz today), Leon, Crowie, Stephen Packett (which is how you pronounce "Hackett" according to Crowie's girl Lucy), Neri, Katie, Barney and Hadley. Good times, and more good eats. In honor of Gavin's last night in town, we made a few stops around town for a few brewskies and margaritas! A great way to celebrate a tough two weeks of racing.

Until next time,