Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A not so white Christmas

This year in Denver we have not had one snowstorm that has left us any snow for more than a few hours. Our mountains are getting dumped on and we are seeing records in some parts of the state but as far as Denver we are zip, zilch, nadda. I miss seeing the snow until I look at my training load. A few weeks ago we had a 4 hour run and the last two hours were in tee shirts and near 70 degree temps. I was actually able to get a good sunburn. This season the coats have been used just a little and the jackets have been used all the time. I wonder if this will be the case for the rest of winter or will we get some change soon. Either way it is historic and worth mentioning.
Our house has been full this year with the Christmas spirit. It started with Mom right after Thanksgiving and never let up. I believe this year more than ever that if Mom is excited and in the Christmas spirit it is impossible not to catch it. Just like a cold but in a good way!
This year has been different from the start. Jackson and myself started Snowboarding and Lexi decided that she could ski without the "weeski". I had a tough time keeping up with her and will post some video of the kids later. We have been skiing 5 times this year so far and we are really loving the kids being just a litter older. They can stay out longer, do more by themselves and the overall day seems to be more fun.
The Christmas week started with some skiing and and we were able to stay at Susan's condo overnight. Staying up in the mountains and not having to drive up and down to Aurora is the most enjoyable way to do skiing and loved it.

Family at Winterpark

Christmas eve dinner was spent at John and Jennifer's home and we had a great night.

John and Jennifer Christmas Eve 2010

The table was set with Christmas China and better than any restaurant I have ever been to. The conversation was light and tolerable and the kids had a blast. We had a Christmas program and even opened some gifts.

Christmas Eve dinner in style at the Waltons

Christmas eve program a Walton tradition

We ended the night by reading our own Christmas stories at home by the tree and fireplace. The kids went to bed just after hearing Santa do a "fly by" and for the 5Th year in a row was the fastest bedtime of the year.

The next morning I was blown away by the excitement I was able to see in my kids. Jackson was most excited to give Mom her present and was glowing after she opened it. Our family was able to enjoy the season of giving this year and not getting. This is a huge switch from years past and I wish it continues for years to come. It is hard to put into words what I felt this year seeing my son put so much thought into a give, pull out his own earned money and buy it. On Christmas morning seeing how eager he was to see Mom open the gift, he was so excited to give and the joy on his face seeing her open it. I was in tears most of the morning but I bet you all guessed that well before and it is kind of expected in my home. I love my family and was excited to just be involved this year. For me it is the best Christmas I have had in many years. I hope that my kids continue to grow into the people I see them able to become. They have so much potential and I try so hard to keep pointing them in that direction. I know that it is up to them to become who they want to be but wow do they have a lot of potential and I am excited to see them grow up.

I love you Anne,


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A weekend away and watching IMAZ

From the deck of our room at the Biltmore

"You should come and watch the race, it would totally be fun and cool." This is was stayed in my mind for the next 2 miles on a regular run with Sonja and Michelle in CC res. We had a good time talking and running slow and were about 30 days away from Ironman Arizona. We moved through several topics and as usual the run was over really fast and we all took off to finish the rest of the day.
I called Anne and asked if we could change our Arizona trip that was planned in February to November. She did not see a problem with it so I made all the arrangements and we were booked. We were going to give the kids to my brother Rob whom we kid exchange with and our dog to my other brother John who we dog exchange with.
The month rolled by fast and after a fast day we were headed to the airport. We did not end up flying together because we used miles and only had enough for 1 ticket with each of the airlines I fly. So I was on Frontier and Anne was on United. We stayed at the Arizona Biltmore for two nights and then moved down to the race site with the rest of the gang.
ARIZONA BILTMORE is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in. It is a hi stoical hotel dating back to the early 1930's. It had 8 pools, restaurants, shopping and 2 golf courses. The rooms were great and we just sunk into the bed after getting checked in after 1am. We slept in and started to count the things that we were not able to do at home. Sleep in is high on the list. Second was a calm and relaxed breakfast.

We took a long run along the canal and ended up running for 2.25 hours, which was the longest run Anne had done by over 45 minutes. We talked and ran and laughed and had fun looking at the Arizona desert and making plans for the rest of our lives. I love running with my best friend and wow will this stage of life be fun.
We went to fancy dinners, lunch at the pool, hiked up Camelback mountain and went dancing.

Anne and I on the top of Camelback Mountain AZ

Me overlooking where the IMAZ race is the following day

We slept in again for the second day and as we left we felt that we made the most out of our time at the Biltmore
The best part of the Biltmore was sitting at night by the fire pits relaxing to the sounds of a fountain nearby and looking at a full moon. This was a place to remember and I did it with my best friend!
Travel to triathlon races are always fun for me and it was interesting being a spectator and not a racer this time. This was also much longer of a race than I normally do and so the preparation time was a bit longer than normal. After getting plans made and a group dinner by the pool we said our good nights to Sonja and Michelle as they made final arrangements and headed to bed. Anne and I headed to the hottub and was joined by Michael.
The rock start support crew

Calm before the start

The first 30 seconds of the swim start, can you see Michelle in the front?

The Swim:
Finding a spot on the bridge was tougher than I thought. I am not use to being the spectator and was off my game. We ended up taking a spot on the far end of the bridge and was able to see everything really well. The amount of families that were present to watch loved ones at this race was huge. Of the 2700 racers just under 1100 were first timers. The gun went off and the mostly calm water turned white and you could only see limbs and caps for the next 2 minutes. The talk about the brutal swim start is more true 5 stories above than ever and I was amazed to see the crazy efforts that were going on. We did not have much time and so we headed back to transition to were we could watch them come out of T1. We stood and waited on the fence line close to where Michelle and Sonja racked there bikes and after about 20 minutes they laid down the mount line right in front of us. We watched the pro's come by and shortly after the age groupers were next.

We almost wanted to give her a push to start but in the end she did not need it as she smashed the all time record

Watching the pro's and then finally seeing Michelle out of the water was awesome. She was in the top 20 of all age group swimmers (out of 2700) and was looking really good. We yelled as loud as we possible could as she grabbed her bike and headed for the bike exit.

Michelle kept this smile all day long!!!

Sonja getting out of T1

We had enough time to get Michelle of and then came Sonja. She looked good and it was again awesome to see a her exit the water faster than expected. We cheered her on loudly, maybe a little too loudly but we wanted to make sure she remembered it until the next time we saw her.
The bike course was fun since it was 3 loops, we settled on the course about a mile out and so we would be able to see the riders 6 times on the bike.
The run course was the same where the racers did 3 loops and we the spectators sat where we could see them 6 times. We spent most of the day with Michael and Charlot. Once we settled on the bike course we found Chris, Troy and Anne with Helen. Eric was out on the course most of the day.

The finish was spectacular and I was inspired to see the racers as they came through the finish line. We were impressed with Sonja taking a 1 place AG finish and Michelle taking a 3rd place finish. They both took their Kona slots and will be racing on the big island next year.
The whole weekend was great and as I had a few days to reflect, I am even more impressed with the commitment it takes to make it to the start line let alone the finish. If you hear the words coming down the finish line "you are an Ironman" it is something pretty spectacular not only for the racer but the ones that supported you all the way.

Great job girls,

Love the weekend with you Anne,


This is a picture of Anne looking at a finisher run in. Or could it possible be a sign of another finisher in the future running down the shoot?????

Monday, October 4, 2010

USAT Age Group Nationals

For the last 3 years I have been able to participate in the USAT Age Group Nationals Championships in the Olympic distance. The last two years it has been down in Tuscaloosa Alabama. The race venue is on the campus of the University of Alabama Roll Tide who this year is ranked #1 in college football. The campus is rich with history and is quite a place to see.
I was able to travel with some of the best athlete in their respective age groups and each year I am proud to support them as they rise to the victor’s stage and place in the top 10 of the country. 1300 racers this year were fighting for the right to be crowned the best and have a chance to represent the USA in age group worlds which in 2011 will be held in China on the very course that the Olympics were raced on just a short while ago. In all I was able to toe the line with 13 of my training partners and I was even able to start right next to Anthony that placed in the top 20 of our 35-39 age group.
The days leading up to the race were good and I was feeling wonderful and ready to give it my all. I woke up wide eyed 10 minutes before the alarm was to go off and was able to just relax and get my game face on amongst the other 3 snoring friends in our hotel room. Racking the bike was done the night before and so setting up transition was simple and only took a few minutes. I was able to eat well and get warmed up. The national anthem was awesome and brought goose bumps and a few tears that to me signaled I was ready to give it my all on the course.
The swim was a deep water start with around 150 others and as the horn sounded I placed myself 3 layers back. I took the first of 3 turns easy and by the 2nd turn I ramping up my pace and really having fun. For me the swim is all about setting the day up right and not taking it too easy but not too hard as to take away from my effort on the bike or run. I was smooth in the water and felt good as I was passing those that pushed too hard early in the swim and slowed down. The river was warm enough that we were not able to use our wetsuits and I was keeping a great rhythm on the longest leg of the swim. As always it went fast and I was making my way to my first transition. I decided to wear my Garmin to help keep me smart on the bike and run for the best outcome possible and took the time to put it on. Other than that small addition I was in normal fast form and was out on the bike in 1:47.
The bike course had 2 loops that had some good ups and downs in it. At the bike mount I jumped on and started the timer on my Garmin and saw that I was at 189BPM (I like to race in the 170-185 range). With that I slowed way down and was able to get it back down and kept it for the first climb right at 180. The first decent I was feeling good and realized that my legs were going to help me today and were like game on. I kept my effort steady regardless how many totally killer racers passed and kept telling myself that it was my day and I was racing myself not anyone else. The next part of the day took me for a loop. I had grabbed some extra gels from friends that I had not used before but felt ok with gel. I took a small amount and realized that I was more like paste, very sticky paste and by the time it took to get a breath I was up chucking chunks, I leaned to the right and let it go. It took me by surprise to I kept peddling and riding up the slight incline I was on. Seconds after the first spew I the second was up and coming and then the third and forth. Seven times in all and by the end I had nothing left in my stomach and was feeling a bit wobbly. I slowed down on my bike and took a small swig of water and it stayed down. I worked hard to lean way to the left and was able to keep the left half of my clothes and bike clean while the right half had some battle scares. I did not know what to do and felt that the best way to avenge was to toss the gel that was still in my hand away and swear A LOT…. The small drink stayed down and I poured some over my clothes to wash me down a bit and then jumped back on the peddles and kept going. (After all is was Nationals) The first loop was kind of different and I settled back in and started to fight like I normally do a few minutes later. The second loop was all about getting my speed on and I felt really good with the increase in effort. I has battle stains on my clothes but I felt good and was going to make the best of the day. I pulled into T2 at 1:07.22 faster than last year.
I had a bag of ice ready at T2 and put all that I could in my hat and my back and in my hands to try to cool me down as the day was getting really, really hot. I had not retained much and so as I cleared out I was going to have a battle and wanted to do my best. I looked at my Garmin to see what the day was going to give me and I was shocked to I was running in the 180’s a really good start. I slowed down and allowed to check my breathing and pace. I took a swig at the first aid station and mile 1 was feeling good. Mile 2-3 had some good climbing and by the time I finished the second I was cooked and looked to see 194BPM. I wanted to finish the day as strong as I could and tried to fight knowing that I was overheating and had limited time. For the next 25 minutes I put my head down and did not stop running except to take on aid at the stations. I had to tell myself “keep running, don’t stop several hundred times and was fighting a battle that I would lose badly. The last ½ mile was the hardest as I looked again to see a 196 and felt it all over. I did not stop and as I crossed the line I was a peace with the results. I did the best that I could and had nothing left to give. I left it all (I really mean IT ALL) out on the course that day.
I was able to get my feet under me and get back to see some of the best finishing shoot battles I have seen. Beth was shoulder to shoulder in an all out sprint and gave more than she had to give to win and I was able to see that fight. I was able to see many with ages over 70 come running in with smiles for the day and all I could think about is what will I be doing in 45 years!
I love this sport and appreciate what it has done for my life. I am only able to give it a small part of my life but when I get it race that does not matter because it really is a joy. I look forward to next season and what it will bring. Nationals are up in Vermont where my wife spent her high school days. I hope to make it and have her come to the event with me. Until next year, train hard, love lots and smile for sure.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I just wanted to show (a picture says a thousand words) and at some point I will tell.

Just wanted to show and at some point I will tell.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eat Pray Xterra

As I am writing this race report I am looking back and seeing a huge void in my blogging life. I did not do it on purpose but it makes me feel bad that I have not captured what I would say has been one of the greatest summers. I am most excited about the future and what we are working towards and will work hard to capture the story and spend time sharing it. Every year Anne captures my Blog and puts it into print and I will admit looking back on my journal is a huge joy in my life. As it is said “ I will be back”.

On to Lory my FIRST Xterra triathlon

Way back in the early part of the year when a group of us started talking about Mt biking and trying an Xterra I did not realized how much joy I would get from the different style of biking. I have been working on my road biking skills for several years now and the first time I tried to go off road I was humbled quickly and realized I have entered a whole new environment of riding. This environment requires a different set of skills, effort and focus. Relaxing and getting into the best arrow position does not even exist on an Xterra course. The second you relax you will find yourself off your bike and off the trail. Focus, Plan and Execute are the reoccurring events on the bike to stay upright and it is game on.
Not only was it light when we pulled up to the race site but the vibe was much different than any other triathlon that I have attended. We were parking on a dirt road, athletes were cruising to transition in flip flops and no helmet and everyone was talking and chatty. For sure this was going to be a different style of race. Body marking was normal, transition was an open to place where you wanted and so Beth and I racked next to one another and an old friend Tim Stegner was on the opposite side. This was the first Xterra for us all.


The swim was down 4 red buoys and back and so when gun went off for my wave I took the left line and swam right into the sun. I had no contact until the 3rd buoy and it was just a bit of rubbing. My plan was to take the swim out fast and keep a hard effort the whole race. Around the 4th buoy and we were headed back on a short ½ mile swim. I was alone at this point which is normal. The really fast swimmers are gone up front and so I am in the middle of that group and the second big group that trails behind. I did not stand up until my hand hit the muddy bottom and I was just a few feet from the shoreline. The run up to T1 was only a few hundred feet but I was able to pull off my cap, goggles and top half of my wet suite. I was running up T1 and felt my HR in the high zone. Into transition I needed to take off the bottom of my wetsuit, put on socks, shoes, gloves, glasses and helmet before I was able to grab my bike. I usually am able to drop my suite and grab my helmet and take off but this was a whole different animal and so I decided to take my time, SIT DOWN and change to my riding attire. I had to laugh when I sat down cause this was not a typical action that I was use to.


We took a hard left out of Transition and were right onto single track going slightly up hill. I was able to catch and execute my first pass a short distance later. We popped out onto a road and had small downhill section that allowed for easy passing and a lot of that was going on. I had guys that were flying by me like I was standing still. I made the right turn and up we started to go. We hit single track again for a 2 mile climb that would take us up some pretty challenging terrain. I set a pace that worked for me and the whole time I was passing or getting passed. I was able to stay on my bike as others were stopping to climb up more technical efforts and I felt good about my pace. Having a racer behind me asking to pass and working a section of single track for two riders to be on was kind of fun. I was riding in weeds on the side of the mountain working switchbacks while another would take the other side and try to pass in as fast as they could effort. The second girl that wanted to pass hit a rock weird just as she finished passing me so I was able to go ahead of her again and giggle a bit. Unfortunately she repassed me a just a bit up the climb again and took off. I guess being about 105 pounds and fearless makes climbing a bit easier that my hot looking 184 lb frame. Or maybe it was the fact that she was on a killer bike and I was rocking the Mongoose! I am going to chalk it up to the bike difference and nothing else.
The top came pretty quick and now it was time to descend on very similar terrain. I was feeling good and ready to rock the downhill. Rather than yelling pass I chose to yell REPASS to all those that passed me on the climb and were taking the downhill slower than I wanted. I was able to repass about 7 racers and felt really good about it 7 times. We were flying down the mountain and I was seeing carnage all over the course with flats and broken bikes. I begged the Mongoose to hang in there and help me make it to the end of the bike. After we hit the flats we had several miles of rollers up and down. I was pushing a really good clip and felt good the rest of the bike.


Into T2 I was able to rack quickly, change shoes, grab my race belt and water bottle and take off. I was able to cut my T2 time in half from my T1 time, I guess not sitting down helps with the speed. Out of T2 we were directed to run the same single track all the way up the mountain that we just finished riding our bikes up. It was hot by this point and I had lost a huge amount of fluids on the bike and was only able to take 30oz of water while riding. On the slight uphill climb to where the real climb started I told myself I was going to set a pace that I was able to run the whole time and not walk one part of the run course. I grabbed 2 waters at the aid station that marked the start of the climb and off I went. I had a few runners pass again and they were able to do this much easier than on bikes. I kept my focus and effort consistent and just kept one foot in front of the other. I watch a runner ahead of me role his ankle and had to stop. That made me realizes that I really had to watch my footing. The Mile 1 marker came really fast for me and so I had one more to go to get to the top. I kept a good focus on foot placement and after one million switchbacks I was able to see the Mile 2 marker. I was thrilled that I did not stop and was still feeling good. The next .8 miles were around the rim and overlooking the entire Reservoir that we swam in. The view was great but short lived since the downhill was quickly approaching. I had saved enough energy to really push the downhill again and repassed several runners that passed me on the uphill. It was really fun and as such ended way to fast. I grabbed what I could at the bottom of the climb aid station and kept going. I was alone for the rest of the single track. When I popped out of the single track and headed for the final ¼ mile the spectators were cheering loud. I heard one yell to a guy that was trying to get past me to push it so I started a finishing kick that I did not think that I had. I was really moving the final turn to the finishers shoot and as I passed the finish line there was a huge slip-n-slide that I did a superman dive down to my back and slid all the way to the end where a pool of cold water was waiting. I struggled to get up and out of the water but was able to hold my place and not get passed.
I finished and felt great that I was able to execute so well on my first Xterra. I did not care about time or place and to this point still don’t. I had a great time and could not have given anymore anywhere on that course. I gave it my all and felt the joy of a great race. I watched as Beth, Jewles, Ryan and Melissa and Sandy finish. Keith broke his chain and finished early.
I loved the Lory Xterra and feel that I am made to race this style of racing. I love the low key vibe that Mt bikers seem to have and felt great at this race. I was proud of the group that I was with and look forward to Nationals a few short weeks away.

Love you Anne,