December 3, 2008

My Hair is ALL GONE!!!

Well, I took the plunge and chopped off all my hair! I know, crazy!!! Those of you that have know me my whole life, know that I have ALWAYS had long hair. As a kid I wanted to grow it all the way down to my feet...that never quite happened but it has stayed long all of these years. I decided to grow it out for Locks of Love in March and have been working hard ever since :) I went in to have them check to see if it was long enough last week, and they said yes, looks like you have 10inches. I made sure they knew it HAD to still go into a ponytail and they assured me it would. So they chopped it off! I must admit that I almost had a heart attack when the scissors made the first big snip and then again when I realized all of my hair was gone! What had I done??? I also found out that it doesn't quite go into a ponytail...only the top half fits and its so short! I am finally starting to get used to it and actually figured out one advantage to the short hair today when I went to swim: my swim cap ripped and I had to swim hair stayed out of my face for the most part and didn't weigh 10 tons, so it was all good. Alrighty, I'm outta here, have a great one!

November 24, 2008

Lucky Ducky Derby

When I was in Clearwater, Randy & I went to check out the Tampa Bay auto show to see all the new Suzuki's, we were looking forward to seeing their Kizashi Concept Car. When we were down there we stumbled across the Lucky Ducky Derby. The dumped 20,000 rubber ducks out of a cement truck and into the river. The ducks floated down and the first ones into the tunnel won. Check out the fun pictures...our family Lab Mr.Bailey would have loved this!!!

November 13, 2008


Thank you, Thank YOU, THANK YOU!!!

To everyone who has supported me and helped me along my journey so far. I have had an incredible year and it would NOT be possible without you! And I'm looking forward to an even more successful 2009!

My family: I am blessed with the two greatest parents, brothers and sisters in the world! You all have encouraged me and been there for all the ups and downs...and its always nice to know that wherever I am and whatever time it is, ya'll are watching and cheering me on!!!

Randy: You have been my rock. Yes, it has been a rocky race road ths year...but you have stood by my side and helped me through all the disappointments and you even got to see a glimmer of what I've still got left to give to the sport: you saw me run like a runner in Clearwater! Thanks so much for believing in me!

Friends: To everyone who has followed my races and been there to point out the positives and just how lucky I am!

Support Crew:
George: You are the wisdom behind all my training and racing! Thanks for molding me into the athlete that I am and for believing in me too. And for always reminding me that IT IS: all about the journey, so enjoy it!

Luke: My running has come so far! And I'm excited to run even faster!!! I am definately a stronger, faster, more confident runner thanks to you :)

Traci: My muscles love you! Thanks for taking care of all the soreness, tightness, and whatever funky thing I have going on from week to week.

-OU Medical Center: You made my olympic quest possible! I was proud to represent you over the past few years and especially at the Olympic Trials.

-Schlegel Bicycles: My new TT bike fit like a glove thanks to my awesome Retul bike fit! Thanks to Steve and all the guys at the shop, I've always got all the bike equipment I need.

-Powerbar: BE GREAT! Thanks for keeping me fueled during all my workouts and especially during the races. Thanks Nicole for the homestay for the Malibu race and the tour of the Powerbar offices!

-Hed: I loved riding my new wheels in Clearwater! The zoom zoom of the disc was a sound I've always wanted to hear coming from MY bike :) It is great to race with the confidence of having the best and fastest wheels available!

-Aquaman: My speedsuit and CellGold kept me coming out of the water in front!

-Smith: You all keep me looking cool in the latest and greatest sunglasses!

70.3 World Championships

My 2008 season is officially over! And it ended on a good note :) I just got back from Clearwater, FL where the 70.3 World Championships were held. The race went awesome and I was impressed with the race organization, volunteers, spectators, and all the other competitors! Thanks for making it a wonderful experience!!!

Since this was only my second 70.3 race...I went into the race with the mind-set that it was going to be a learning experience. I definately wanted to race hard and fast...and I also wanted to enjoy it. I ended up with a top 10 finish and almost broke 4:20 with a 4:20.28. And I am fired up and ready to be stronger and go faster next year!

I arrived on Wednesday evening...with no luggage AT ALL! Although I'd flown on a direct flight that was only about 2/3 full, nothing came, and I was the ONLY person on the flight to not get their luggage. Oh well, I guess in a way it was a blessing in disguise...without my running shoes, bike, or workout clothes I couldn't be tempted to do some workouts. For the past two weeks, the muscles back of my knee had been flared up and giving me some day I could barely even walk, but with rest, rehab and ART (THANKS TONY!!!) I knew I could toe the start line if I stayed smart in the few days before the race. So no biking or running for me...until the race!

The next few days were pretty low key and I started to get excited to race. I just knew this was going to be a fun one! On race morning I woke up and was ready to go. Pre-race prep went according to plan and the women hit the water at 6:47am. The swim was okay, I didn't feel like I had my full-on swim speed but that was okay. As we rounded the bouy to head back into shore, we turned into the glaring sun...I couldn't see anything!!! I somehow managed to make it back in and up to T1. The transitions were totally new to me with the bag system that they use for full-ironmans...but it all went smoothly and I was on my bike before I knew it. I felt strong on my bike and got into a good position ready to hammer for 56miles. I was a little worried about being too close and getting a drafting penalty...I need to be better about this because looking back on the race, I think this is where I made some mistakes. Oh well, you live and you learn, and I spent 90% of the bike on my own. Before I knew it, I was back in T2 and it was time to run. I came flying out of transition and at about 1/2 mile in a looked down at my watch and was ticking off 5:42 pace...I knew I wasn't going to be holding that for 13.1 miles so I backed off and settled into my own pace. Three girls (Nina Kraft, Erika Csomor, Catriona Morrison) passed me at about 1 mile, I was very tempted to try to stay with them and let them 'carry me'...but I also wanted to run smart and not die like my first 70.3. So I kept cruising along and felt better and better as I went. I saw Mirinda Carfrae (last years World Champ) on a little out and back section and started to push the pace a little more with hopes of holding her off. Towards the end of the 1st lap I passed the 10th place runner...who hoo! I was now in the top 10. I knew I still had another lap to go, but was feeling strong and knew if I dug deep I'd be able to pull out a top 10 finish and hopefully catch a few more ladies up ahead. I ended up staying in 10th and was happy to cross the finish line! Thanks to all my competitors who pushed me to my limits out there and a huge Congrats to winner Joanna! And Mary Beth, one of my ITU travel buddies, had a superb race coming in second, you go girl!!!

Now its time for a little R&R...and no structured workouts for a few weeks...and a trip to the hot springs is planned for this weekend :)

October 23, 2008

Kissing Camels

Last wednesday I rolled out of bed WAY earlier than usual...for those of you familiar with my schedule, I usually get up around 10am. But last week, I was on a mission to get some cool pictures at Garden of the Gods. Luckily, Randy had heard some photographers talking about when/where to get the best shots of the kissing camels and full moon. We weren't sure exactly what to expect, but I guess this only happens twice a year. We showed up a bit early, it was still DARK out! As we watched the moon set, photographers started to show up, sweet, we must be in the right spot. Then as the sun provided some became apparent as to why we were there. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, ENJOY :)

(click on the picture to enlarge)

October 22, 2008

The first snow of 2008!

OMG! It snowed last night and this morning...I can't believe it! I just about froze to death during my run last night. I was running at a track up on top of a hill, where there was absolutely no wind protection. Early in the afternoon, it was decently warm and sunny...but while I was a the track the winds were a changin'. There were storms rolling over the mountains and I saw some good lightening as the temps dropped and the winds got gusty. I was laughing at my lap splits, because depending on when the gusts would hit me...either in the face and I was running into a wall or in the back and I had to get my legs moving in order to not fall on my splits were up to 20sec different! A good workout to toughen me up! So then as I was driving home the rain started...then I look out the window, is that snow? NO! I refused to believe it, until it really started coming down and I looked out and all the cars were covered in white. Needless to say, today's bike was on the trainer, but I actually managed to run outside, brrrrr! Its supposed to clear up and be nice for the rest of the week and weekend, so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

October 8, 2008

Cripple Creek

This weekend Randy and I headed up to Cripple Creek to get some pictures of the changing leaves. I took over 200 pictures, just hoping to get a few that looked good. Most of them I took from the car while driving, because the few times we pulled over and go out, we almost froze to death! And you could just feel the change in the air that winter is on the way...

This one's my favorite!

After the drive we stopped in our favorite casino in Cripple Creek, the Double Eagle...and for some reason the slot machines were NOT loving either one of us! Maybe next time :)


Last night I got to experience the Jack Quinn's run for the first time. They actually had a field trip to Boulder Running Company for the Powerbar event I was part of, so not quite the real thing...but oh well, it was still fun and I got to meet a lot of the crew and runners. Jack Quinn's is a running club that runs every Tuesday in downtown Colorado Springs. Tons of people show up, like last week when they had 761 runners to set a new club record! After you have participated in 10 runs you become 'shirted' and earn a Jack Quinn's running shirt, pretty cool! And lucky me, I became an honorary member and got my shirt last night :)
The event was hosted by POWERBAR. Josh Cox, a pro marathoner, and myself were the Powerbar athletes. So we got to pass out GelBlasts before the run, then we ran with the group, then there was a Q&A session, followed by autographs and talking. I was amazed out how many people were out to run and it is exciting to see so many people involved in activities like this! Such a cool group!

October 3, 2008

FALL in Colorado

The weather has been absolutely amazing here the past week! Hopefully it will stay around until early November...knock on wood. I was able to swim outside earlier this week, which I just loved...not too much to complain about when you can swim outside in October in Colorado without freezing. And then yesterday I went up to Rampart Range to run and the changing of the trees was incredible. I have never seen such a thing, the colors were so bright and brilliant that I felt like I was driving through a Kodak picture book. Randy and I are planning on heading to the Cripple Creek area to get some good pictures this hopefully I'll be able to post them soon. Have a great weekend!

September 25, 2008

Drug Testing, Gotta Love IT!

My most favoritest person in the whole world woke me up bright and early yeasterday morning...I actually think it was still a bit dark outside...Chris with USADA. And since I have the shyest bladder in the entire world, I must say, I think I'm her favorite athlete too :) Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that we have random drug tests, but I would much rather them take all of my blood rather than having to pee in front of someone. I've actually been gradually getting better and had set PRs for each of my last 5-6 tests...that was until after the Boulder Peak Tri, where they were able to break down the entire transition area and clean up everything and I still hadn't produced my 85ml...not to mention I missed my flight home to Oklahoma. So with that step back, I thought I could get back on board, but no such luck. I spent about 3hr with Chris yesterday. I just look forward to the day I can post a USADA test time that is faster than my Olympic distance tri time, sub 2:00 would be awesome! And then maybe someday I can even think about being able to pee on demand :)

September 23, 2008

9 outta 10!

Wowsers! So I can't believe its been almost a month since I last posted, but I have a great excuse...I've been traveling like crazy! I was gone 9 out of the last 10 weekends, I think I lost my mind! I've got lots of stories to share and will try to get them posted soon, to name a few: the 24Hr race that we rocked! we set a co-ed team of 3 world record and raised almost $5,000 for Racers Against Childhood Cancer...thanks to all who donated; my recent trip and race to California, my carpet cleaning fiasco, and much much stay tuned and I'll do my best to keep this updated :)

August 25, 2008

Chicago: They don't call it the WINDY city for nothing!

Chicago was fantastic! My visit was so wonderful thanks to Gloria and David of Magellen Development. I had the opportunity to stay on the 37th floor of the Regatta http://http// with some fellow triathletes, Jimmy Archer and Kristen Peterson. The view was incredible: from my bedroom I could see the beautiful water and harbor full of boats and the Navy Pier along with the huge ferris wheel. I arrived Friday evening and was still feeling the fatigue in my legs from last week's 70.3, so I headed out to explore the neighborhood and get the circulation going again after my flight. I walked thru Millennium Park and that's when I discoverd the WIND!!! On Saturday I met up with Mary Beth and we rode on the bike path. There were gazillions of people out on the trail, runners, walkers, cyclist, skateboarders, rollerbladers, you name it, we saw it! I also got in a short run and went to swim at the Ohio St. beach. Then it was time for the race meeting, pre-race dinner, and getting stuff together.

Sunday was race day and the pros were able to sleep in since we didn't start until 11:00! At the race meeting the day before they told us the water temp was 76...but to bring our wetsuits just in case. I was like, just in case what? there is no way the temp will drop below I entered the transition area, Joanna told me it was a wetsuit swim. 'Ha Ha, your joking, right?' 'Nope, they said it 71 this morning' 'Yah right!' Well, we ended up wearing wetsuits and the water was HOT!!!! I came out with the lead pack and on the 600mtr run to transition my legs did not want to go. They were screaming pretty loud to just stop the torture! I pushed on through, hoping I would feel okay on the bike. No such luck! We faced a tough headwind on the 10K out (2x20K bike loop) where I tried to keep the girls in sight. At the 20K mark, I was right with Liz and then she got about 1/2 mile on me and I stayed there the rest of the bike. I'm not sure why, but at about 25K I started throwing up...not so much fun on the bike! Kinda gross really! But what can ya do? So I pushed the end of the bike and slipped on my running shoes ready to see what my running legs had to say. Surprisingly, they felt good the first 2miles. The spectators and volunteers were awesome, providing much needed encouragement and cold water. The last 4 miles were pretty much a death march as I just tried to keep it together. I finished in 9th, which was pretty respectable considering the field and my condition. So I was happy with it and I finished in the money, always a nice bonus! I talked with Andy Potts after the race and he asked if i felt as 'great' as he did out there. We decided we'd done the races in the wrong order, Olympic distance following a 70.3...not the smartest thing, but lesson learned! And in addition to my awesome homestay I was able to have fun and hang out with some good triathlon friend, yeah!

I actually flew back last night after the race. It was quite the rush, rush whirlwind getting packed up and to the airport. I decided to take the train to the airport (2 bucks vs 30+ for a taxi)...which meant carrying and manuvoring my bike up 4 flights of stairs and through several gates and actually onto the train. I had my bike wedged against a seat and was trying to launch my oversized backpack over the top of it just as the train started to pull away. It was the exact timing to throw me completely off balance as my bag went flying one way and me the other. I was laughing at myself...but those around me didn't seem to find my humor in it and I'm sure they were wondering what the heck I had in my huge box! Luckily, no damage was done and I made it back to COS in one piece!

August 19, 2008

My first 70.3

I just got back from my first 70.3 race! I decided to give the 70.3 distance a shot a few weeks ago and found the Timberman website...when I saw the pictures I just knew I had to go :) I haven't been that far NE, so it would be an exciting adventure. On Thursday night I packed up my new TT bike, my Cervelo P3C. I just got the bike about 3 weeks ago and was able to make a quick trip home to Oklahoma to have Steve at Schlegel Bicycles fit me. Thanks Steve!! I must admit I was a little hesitant to make such a change (all I've ever riden is a road bike) and the bike felt so different. Amazing the change I've seen in the last three weeks as I've come to love my bike and was excited to see what I could do on it in a race. So on Friday evening I arrived in Manchester and found out my bike decided to have separate travel was hanging out in Chicago! Since there wasn't too much I could do about it, I got my rental car and drove 1.5 hour north to check out the race-site. And then headed another 30min north to my hotel. After a long day of travel, I was glad to hop in bed and fall asleep while watching the Olympics. Saturday was pretty low key, basically just getting ready for the race: race meeting, building my bike (which arrived at 4:45 in the morning :) ), pre-race workouts, a pasta dinner, and watching more Olympics.

I woke up EARLY on Sunday feeling good and ready to race. I had a 20 min drive to the parking lot I'd found to park at and then a 4mile ride to the race site. I got into transition to set up and found out it was a wetsuit swim. Now how in the world does the water temp drop from 73 for three consecutive days before the race to 70-71 race morning??? But what can ya do, and anyways I've got my super speedy Aquaman Gold Cell! I finished setting up transition, did a run warm up, took in all the excitement and headed to the start. The start was so much more low key than ITU racing, it was great! Simon Lessing picked up an orange con to make an announcement to all the pros "No one is to pass me from now to the finish, understood? one touch me on the swim!" Andy Potts didn't follow his directions, but don't worry I did :) So I expected to have one of the faster women's swims and hoped to catch some of the guys feet...however there was a strong current and as the guys went wide in order to use the current later...I didn't' know this was going to happen, so I had some clear water to the first buoy. Rounding the first buoy I met up with Pip Taylor and we swam together the rest of the way. I had a good transition and started up the gradual grade out of transition feeling good. Since this was my first half I didn't know what to expect on the bike or exactly how hard to go. I just put my head down and went. It was definitely different riding in no-man's land for so much of the ride. Chrissie Wellington passed me about 40min into the ride and I did what I could to keep her in sight. Thank goodness there were still some of the guys behind me, so about every 30min someone else would pass me and give me another target. I cruised into transition with the 2nd fastest bike split and broke 2:30 on a tough course with over 4600 feet of climbing, so I was pleased. I've really been working on running fast off the bike, which paid off because I felt great! I was cruising along and passed the 5K mark in 19:30, my HR was below my target zone so I thought I was doing okay at that pace. I backed off a little bit and was still feeling strong through the end of the 1st lap. As I ran through transiton the crowd was awesome and I heard that I had a 4 min lead on the next two girls, sweet. My legs kept on moving and I was holding a solid pace through 9 miles, and then my legs decided they were done. Oh, I started hurtin! The run course was pretty tough too with little to none flat stretches and 3600 feet of I started up a hill my pace was 8:20, uh oh! Needless to say miles 9-11 were painful. But when I passed the 11 mile marker I knew I only had 2miles left, 14-15 min. I took it one minute at a time and as I neared the finish line I could see the clock at 4:29, I tried to push it to break 4:30 but crossed in 4:30.03. Not to bad for my first 70.3! I ended up 2nd to Chrissie and earned a spot to the 70.3 World Championships, yee haw! The post race festivites were amazing: great people, great food, and lots of fun. And a huge thank you to all the volunteers and to Keith Jordan, race director, for putting on such a fantastic event!

August 8, 2008

Racers Against Childhood Cancer

Dear family and friends,

Our 24 Hours of Triathlon Team, Team Powerbar/TriOkies, is taking on the 24 Hour challenge again this year! This event is held in Aurora, Colorado August 30th-31st, and is a contest of fight, will, and survival for 24 hrs. as each team tries to complete as many 1/10 Ironman distance loops as possible. A.24 mile swim, 11.2 mile bike, and a 2.6 mile run complete one loop. Last year we competed in this event and actually held the world record for about 2mins, before being passed with just 21 seconds to go: the clock said 23 hours, 59 minutes and 39 seconds. This was hard for us to deal with all year long. We are shooting for the world record again this year so watch out!!!!!!!!!

This year we are also raising money to Help Defeat Childhood Cancer as part of RACC: Racers Against Childhood Cancer. We wanted the opportunity to make this event something special for Kid's with Cancer. Our fight and will to survive for a 24 hr. Triathlon is nothing compared to the fight, will, and drive of these incredible kid's who have cancer. Childhood Cancer kills more children than all other diseases combined and one out of every 330 children will develop Cancer before they are 20 yrs. old.

Please help us is fighting this horrible disease while we compete on August 30th. Donating to the effort is easy and would be greatly appreciated. Not only is my Team competing on August 30th but we are also competing to be the # 1 fund raising team for the event. Our fundraising goal is $5000 or more!

Last year my team (myself, Randy Sadler, & Luke Hooper) covered 327.6 miles. This year we hope to break 350 miles!!!! To donate just visit my personal web site page by clicking here: donations are Tax Deductible. If you would like to donate based on goal mileage, use 350 X (your donation) ...... $0.01 per mile would equal $3.50 total donation. Any donation is great, you do not have to meet the status they have set, donations under $25.00 are perfectly fine!!! Any donation is appreciated, every $1 helps in the fight against cancer.

Please pass this on to others who might be intersted.

Thanks for your help and please cheer us on!!!
Train hard and fast!
Amanda and the Team :)

August 3, 2008

Copper Triangle

Yesterday, Randy and I rode the Copper Triangle bike ride. It was an 82 mile ride over 3 mountain passes...Fremont Pass (elevation 11,318’), Tennessee Pass (elevation 10,424’) and Vail Pass (elevation 10,666’). We climbed over 6,000 feet and had some fast fun descending too (my max speed was 47mph!) You could start the ride between 5:30am and the time we arrived, got registered, and got our bikes and equipment ready it was 7:45. As we rolled out it was still freezing! The sun hadn't peaked over the mountains yet and the temperature was in the low 40's...brrrr! Right out of the parking lot it was a 45 min climb, so by the time we reached to top we had warmed up considerably and I was able to really start enjoying the ride. The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful! They had aid stations set up about every 20miles and it was great to stop and get some yummy food rather than the normal stuff ya carry with you. We had fruit, oreos, trail mix, bagels, cookies, and pretzels.

After the race, we headed to Salida for the night. On sunday, I got up and ran along the river in Salida and it was pretty warm out (mid 90s) with the sun beating down. Towards the end of my run I could see the storm rolling over the mountain and the thunder in the distance. I jumped in the truck with Randy and we headed towards our next destination, Nathrop. On the 15 min drive the temp dropped 40 degrees!!!! Rain was pouring down and it was super windy, pure craziness! The storm passed pretty quickly so we were able to enjoy the Hot Springs at Mt. Princton. These hot springs are really cool because not only are there hot springs pools but there are warm spots in the creek. It took us awhile to find a perfect spot and right when we did another storm started rolling in. We were able to sit in our small hot springs while the freezing water roared by and the thunder rolled. We got to watch quite the lightening storm, which was amazing. What a perfect afternoon :) and weekend!

July 16, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

So I was getting ready to head out for my run yesterday, when Randy's mom called. She wanted to let me know about the breaking news: An African Lion was loose in Colorado Springs!!! I checked out the local news website, and sure enough, local authorities were on a lion hunt east of town. Reports indicated there was a single paw print and 2 residents of the area saw it chasing dogs. I decided to go ahead and run, since it was so far east of town and the lion would surely be caught before winding its way through traffic to the trail I was running on. But the imagination sure does its job in these situations...every rustle in the bush and i would get a pump of adrenaline and my 'fight or flight' system was ready! Luckily, no lions found me on my run...and no lions were found period. Oh well, added some excitement to the day.

I've been wanting to see a bear...not have to confront one face to face, but just see one :) There have been several athletes spotted them on training rides and runs and one of my friends even ran smack into one as he was descending Cheyenne Cannon! I guess with the hot dry conditions are causing the bears to move into populated areas in search of food. Hopefully, I don't turn out to be the delicious meal they are looking for! Well, I haven't had much luck in the bear spotting department...but a bear made the news today! One broke into a Circuit City about 5 miles from my apartment, craziness! I guess it had been camped out in a tree by Fazoli's and authorities shot water at it to scare it into a wooded area nearby. Well, the water go the bear moving...however, he wasn't quite ready to return to normal life and decided he needed a few cool electronic gadgets to take with him! Maybe now, when I spot my bear, he'll be jammin out to his ipod.