Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A day in The life

Last week I was on a mission to enjoy every ounce of sunlight, and get out on my bike as much as possible.
On the day I was scheduled to leave, I got an email telling my my flight was canceled and I'd be rescheduled on a direct flight the following day. No problem...and off I went on my bike.
It was a bit easier to leave the beach oasis the following day. Temps dropped dramatically and serious rain was in the forecast. My winter wonderland was waiting. So too was Santa (do you see him in the castle?):
I've been quite the gym rat, and today returned to my old stomping ground to visit old friends in some of my favorite places.  Ann Arbor is without a doubt one of my favorite cities.  There are so many memories within the confines of that campus. My morning started with a solid treadmill session in the training room that once seemed like my "half home" back in my college days. This was my first re-introduction to some sort resemblance of "speed" in my running. It hurt...but I was surrounded by a few young track/CC studs for motivation.
My time there had me wishing I still had access to this kind of facility! Next up: the cold whirl pool I once hated, but now love to hate!
Then the healing touch from one of our kick ass athletic trainers. Sadly, our former team trainer was already off enjoying her holiday.
Why stop here, when one of my favorite pools was calling my name from below:  Off in the corner you can't miss the countdown to the next Olympic games in London (that's a LOT of minutes!).

No visit to Ann Arbor is complete without divulging in my favorite meal: Pizza Bob's Chipatti (if you've been reading my blog for a little while now you know this is a must on all my visits home). I enjoyed an awesome visit with Caroline, UofM's athletic department nutritionist and still my #1 source for credible nutrition info. (For instance today I learned that one of my favorite post race smoothie ingredients, Glutamine, is highly tested but is yet to show beneficial results)
These beauties were born while I was still a student athlete. Leah (far left) is now taking middle school finals. AHHHHHH!!!  Am I really getting that old =(
Finally, on the way out of town I took in the most beautiful sight in all of Ann Arbor, The BIG House.
I love everything Ann Arbor! Even the fire hydrants. Every ounce of that city hold a piece of history and a special sense of magic for those who are lucky enough to call themselves student athletes during their time on campus.
My legs are spasming while I sit here typing this. I think they're just trying to tell me how happy they are to be running again! Even so, maybe yoga should be on the list for tomorrow's gym rat session. 
4 Sleeps until Christmas! and it's looks like it is going to be quite the White Christmas indeed!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life After Ironman

So I've been a bit m.i.a! I swear I've started about 5 blog entries, but haven't finished any of them. I've been enjoying the off season, while attending to...life beyond ironman. There's been more sleeping in, more time with friends, and more time to send my mental energy to the various things that are partially (or fully) neglected during the tri-season. The little running I have done, has centered around enjoying my surroundings instead of caring about my pace. Sunset runs in the crisp "winter" air- breathtaking!
Every day is about doing what I want in that moment. Suddenly working out doesn't seem like training at all, and in turn I've enjoyed quite a mental break.

I finally caved and gave mountain biking a try. Uphill, fun. Downhill, not so muchhhhhhhhhh
My body is getting quite the break, while my mind is re-energized and hungry for what's to come next year!  I've done a lot of thinking after leaving the BI and am really excited for next year. Step one, improve my cycling. I have no doubt that the race portion of my racing has been well under par. I am capable of more, and can't wait to deliver on it next year. Thankfully, a few fast fella's have stepped in and are towing me around the county. Some days I've hung in there, others I've been left on the side of the road in tears. It's all part of my plan to keep having fun with the sport, while pushing my limits. In my search for MORE POWER I even found new mountains to climb.
I can't help but feel continually blessed to not only this home, but to love a sport that enables me to keep exploring it.
Tomorrow I'm off to Michigan to enjoy time with my family! I can't wait to see everyone there. I'll be trading in the sunset beach views for snow and (hopefully) a white Christmas.
Cheers to a healthy and very happy off season!