Favorite Wall in Austin for Blog 2

The Past is Still Recorded Online

This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


This past weekend a few of my cycling friends and I embarked on a bit of a suffer-fest.

Over the past month, I have began to organize weekly rides and send them out to a group of friends whom I know are interested in riding. I call these weekly email updates my RIDE RADAR. If you would like to get on my RIDE RADAR, please feel free to comment and let me know and I'll send you weekly rides.

This past Saturday, the RIDE RADAR was slated to do a 30 mile Andice Adventure with the Austin Cycling Association. Early morning winds and rain made us have to find a plan B on Saturday, though. And plan B we did!

Me and a bunch of chicks from the RIDE RADAR chose to attend the 4th Annual Pure Austin Fitness Expo. The event was free and lasted from roughly 9:30 am until a sometime in the afternoon. We were super bummed at first that we couldn't get our ride in, but once we arrived at Pure we quickly realized that a tough spin class could substitute for our ride and a slew of fun classes were to follow. We were immediately bombarded with *healthy* food of bagels and fruit upon entering the gym. We munched a bit and then decided to head to the first spin class of the day. As soon as we found ourselves under the wing of pro cyclist Jen McRae, (check her out ) all that sadness about riding in the rain and intense wind melted away. We had a B-L-A-S-T! Jen taught that we should always changing up your cycling routine inside and outside, going at different speeds constantly and giving varied efforts in order to get faster. She made us suffer, with no breaks in the 50-55 minute class. She put on a great workout, and on top of all that she gave out free gear! Jen Pool and I got full body skin suits that fit us perfectly and Tonya and Liz got biking/tri tops! We felt super cool.

From there, we went our separate ways to try hour long classes of hatha yoga, trigger point therapy, cycle stretching and a killer circuit/cardio workout. Somehow one of the trainers even roped me in to doing a fitness challenge. I was forced to do as many push ups as I could on an upside down bosu ball, then do as many pull ups as I could, and then max out on a stationary bike. My legs were a bit dead from Jen's class, but I tried my hardest! I didn't get a report of how I stacked up against the guys...maybe I will find out at some point.

In between workouts you could find us munching on sushi, hummus wraps and gatorade. An athlete's paradise. Food...and, er...great workouts. I ended up staying at the gym for a grand total of 6 hours. After all those classes, I looked outside at the crystal clear pool and I just couldn't walk away from it without taking a dip. So a swim workout was thrown in at the end of the day. The wind was a bit intense, but overall, the water was warm and clear and my arms felt strong.

After showering and cleaning up, we were ready for some serious chow. We made a bee-line for Luby's and completely enjoyed ourselves! It was a great Saturday.

Again, if you have interest in the RIDE RADAR, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email! Thanks for reading!

Current book I'm reading: The Artist's Way

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Neglect Yoga and the IT says HEEEY!!!

So the past couple of weeks my IT band at the hip has been saying "HEEEY" a little too often for my liking.

So much so that I skipped out on two Dripping Springs 30+ milers because I thought it was an injury from cycling with the new shoes/pedals. So much so that I couldn't do my long run last weekend. This is a serious problem if I want to get geared up for the triathlon season. The achy hips screamed after I ran or cycled, I didn't know which to blame. I thought it was running...then I thought it was cycling.

Turns out I was wrong. It was neither.

The IT was just tight because I was neglecting my yoga practice. I realized this upon looking back at my training logs and seeing that I was just running, biking and swimming and then doing nothing else. A few push ups, weights, drills but no yoga. I think my body relies on yoga to keep it loose after all the pounding from running. And now, even more so it relies on it from all the time on the bike.

At the VERY LEAST, I'm doing yoga three times a week. That's at the least. There will not be happy hours scheduled over yoga. Dates and social events can wait, my body NEEDS yoga. It needs the hips stretched out in order to be efficient in racing. My body doesn't like to run if I haven't been to yoga. My body doesn't like to cycle if I haven't been to yoga. My body will swim, but that's a given.

I have realized lately that my cycling and running performance hinge on my yoga practice. No more excuses, I need to GET ME TO YOGA!


Current book I'm reading: The Artist's Way

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Triathlete's Euphoria

Sunset Over Lady Bird Lake
Originally uploaded by RogueSun Media.

I met two people from the 10K group that I coach on Tuesday night, after a busy day at work. They were going to be out of town for our official meeting on Thursday, and so they asked me if I could meet up with them on Tuesday so they could get their miles in with my help. They are new runners and so they ask a lot of questions and listen to everything I say with open ears. It's fun and I really enjoy helping them. We did the 5 mile loop on Lady Bird Lake. The sun was setting on the water of the lake and the light had that unmistakable golden glow of late winter at sunset. As we puttered along, we came upon a blond streak in the night. It was Desiree Ficker, my idol. She was running with some tall guy around the lake in the opposite direction. I told the two newbie runners all about her and about how amazed, awed and humbled I am by her athletic ability. I bragged for her and told them she got second place at Kona in 2006. I'm still proud of her for that. Anyway, as we were running by her she made direct eye contact with me, and I think she recognized me. That made me feel really special. As we rounded the lake near Mopac we saw a few of my friends from the Nike training group, and that made me feel even more special and loved. We waved to each other briefly and then ran on. As we got to the opposite side of the lake we saw Desiree Ficker again, the sun was setting on the city behind her. It was a beautiful moment. Even more beautiful though were the hugs I got from my two newbie runner friends when we had finished. I love getting people into running and coaching is the best for that. I can experience their joy first hand and it is constantly inspiring to me.

After doing a bit of stretching post-run, it was time to head to spin class. I decided I wanted to do an upside down brick workout. I jogged over to my car and started driving over to my gym. Sweet indie music was blaring on my car radio as I basked in the winter humidity of Austin with my windows down. I got to my gym and ran in, still wearing my running shorts and singlet. I knew I only had 5 minutes until the class started. I had never done a spin class in my running shorts before, and actually it was less of an issue than I was expecting. The class was great and challenging with a few hills, lots of drills, and lots of energetic sprints. My legs felt great. I got off my spin class in a haze and floated over to do some yoga over in the stretching area of the gym.

It was late on a Tuesday night and there was hardly anyone around. As I went deep into some forward bends and hip openers to loosen my IT band, I began to feel the same euphoria that I feel after a race. Joy filled me, and I felt as I was walking on air as I left the gym that night. I got into my car and every song that was on the radio made me sing, laugh and smile. I haven't had that same after-workout walking on air feeling in a long time. The last time I remember it happening consistently was while training for the Austin Marathon in 2008. After every long weekend training run, I would leave my running group walking on air. The feeling really only happens when I'm by myself. It's neat. I wait for the time when I can have that walking on air feeling again. Maybe it's just my endorphins, maybe it's just my quads and hamstrings flaking out, but it is a great, floating on air euphoric feeling nonetheless.

I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.