Monday, December 30, 2013

Mission Accomplished.

The month I just spent Australia is an experience I'll never forget. I'm so lucky to have had so many wonderful people  over there take such good care of me and I feel like I got to experience more in a month than many do in a year...

But, as always, there's no place like home. I must admit I was most excited to return to all the "little things" like:
- asking for ketchup at a restaurant and not getting a blank stare,
- driving my car & riding my bike on the right side of the road- not always praying for my life that i looked the wrong way or turned into the wrong lane
- going to Masters at the Encinitas YMCA
-the Whole Foods salad bar
-seeing my friends and having training buddies (though w/some we did a pretty bang-up job of keeping up via snapchat) while I was away.

And when this is home on the last week in December.....I really can't imagine anywhere else I'd rather be. Seriously, this kind of weather forecast should be a joke. Wait, is it?

The last few days in Australia were spent on Luke's sister's boyfriend's boat (you follow me?) and a perfect Christmas celebration with his family.
On Christmas morning I flew home, and thanks to the international date line, was treated to a second Christmas when I actually arrived in California. And by "treated", I mean walking around in a foggy jetlagged haze wandering from CVS to 7-11 trying to find something, anything!, to eat on Christmas (I found eggs)... and since Keith had left me some cupcakes, for Christmas #2 I ate eggs and cupcakes. winning!

I feel very lucky this year. I really struggled in closing out 2012 and though long and hard about how to make 2013 different.

My 2013 New Years resolutions were:
Find Peace.
Give Love.
Dream Big.

To everyone who helped me take 2013 from pulling up the bootstraps and trudging through to that "I can't imagine being happier" life.... Thank you.
Mission accomplished.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Endless Summer: Australia

you know you're in #straya when....
What's that quote about "You don't realize what you have 'til it's gone"? Well, that's how I've felt about my dear old friend "WiFi" the past few weeks. Since I've been in Australia, I've only been connected at hotels, cafe's and occasionally personal hotspots....So most of my internet time has been spent checking in with all of my athletes, writing training plans, and of course the occasional twitter or instagram update (and some snapchats keeping in touch with friends in Cali). In some ways, it's been nice to unplug (ok, not really, who am I kidding! I feel like a WiFi junkie).

But, I have had the amazing opportunity to see the Australian countryside in New South Wales and Queensland and everything in Bali from the beaches to the jungle. Soon after arriving in Noosa, Australia, Luke & I commandeered his parents Motor Home and hit the road.

We stopped in beautiful beach towns on the way down to Sydney, training along the way. Running and cycling somewhere new every day is pretty incredible and definitely never part training, one part sightseeeing- the best way to truly see a new place I think is on foot or two wheels.
It's also quite amazing that there is an accessible 50-meter pool in nearly every town round here in Australia. Towns with literally only a post office and a pub will inevitably have a 50-meter pool at the town rec center. So awesomely convenient.

two pools: 50 meter and an open water pool right next to it! 

On the way to Sydney, I also had the chance to meet up with my Australian athlete Kerensa and support her at Kingslcliff triathlon on the Gold Coast.

Kerensa & I pre Kingscliff tri pep talk 

Run to Byron Bay lighthouse....doesn't suck! 

Run from Bronte to Bondi in Sydney

Spin on the Cannondale Evo in Royal National Park, south of Sydney.

Black sand beachwalk in Bali

Once we hit Sydney, we stored away the van for a few days and made my first trip to Asia....A short flight later, we landed in Bali, Indonesia. We did it all in 4 days- markets, traditional Balinese ceremonies, beaches, monkey forests, and getting to know the locals....

our plunge pool in Ubud, Bali

View from our Bali villa

Monkey Forest! Ubud, Bali

Breakfast in Ubud, Bali

Ku De Ta, Bali

Back in Sydney, Luke had some visa things to attend to & we saw my cousin Abby who lives in Sydney now....
Luna Park, Sydney
Sydney Harbor Bridge & Opera House in the distance
 then we began the 1000k trip back up to Noosa! On the way home, we visited Luke's grandparents in Coffs Harbor, his best friend from childhood in Newcastle, and his sister Jackie in Brisbane.... We also made a stop for a little wine tour and of course some training along the way.

Hunter Valley wine region (Northwest of Sydney)....Shiraz!
Run in Cronulla on Ladybird road.
Yesterday, our tour de Motor Home concluded and we're back in Noosa until I fly home for Christmas. Hope everyone is enjoying this time of year as much as I am!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

catching up......

Since Kona it's been go, go, go, but not in the train, train, train sense of the word. Lately it's been a lot more of live, life, love, and I'm good with that. Taking a break before ramping up for some early 2014 races came at just the right time.... Since we last talked, I headed to Philadelphia for a few days to hang with my parents (it's getting cold over there!), then we went straight on to the bahamas for the UWC Bahamas Triathlon in Nassau.

The Bahamas tri was not just a morning of racing, but a complete week of fun and adventure. From spear fishing with Mark, to an impromptu swim race through some shark-y (but harmless) waters, to fabulous wine tasting parties, to sea planes to private islands, it was a truly unforgettable week. Thank you so much to the UWC Triathlon, Barbara Ann, Farnum, Mark Holowesko, and all those that made it so unique.
Pro Women: Alicia Kaye, Gwen Jorgensen, Lauren Brandon, Heather Wuertle, Sara McClarty, Jenna Parker, Moi
After the Bahamas, we headed back to San Diego and moved into a new house! Considering we didn't find out that the place was ours until we were in the bahamas, returning home included several days of packing up the old place, getting into the new, and buying all the things that make it feel like home. I may have logged zero training hours for four days straight, but I'm pretty sure the furniture-lifting and Bed-Bath & Beyond speedwalking sessions added up nicely.
lil yellow house

It felt like as soon as we settled in, it was time to head up to LA for the red carpet movie premiere of The Lone Survivor.
oh you fancy. 
This visit also included an impromptu swim race with the film's Executive Producer in the Beverly HIlls hotel pool. Don't ask......
very serious race. big trophies. 

A couple nights ago we had a couple of friends over for the first time (I made Mexican Taco Stew (easy to feed a group!). Just as we were enjoying a little wine and some experimental gluten free pumpkin white chocolate chip cookies & baked apples, the drug testers showed up. Buzzkill! It was pretty funny and made for a lot of good snapchats as our guests had never experienced the random drug testing calls.

Other than that, I'm loving my new "job". I've been busy coaching and supporting my athletes through the end of the season. Two of my hardest working ladies, both named Katie, just each PR'd by over 20 minutes at their respective races this weekend at Ironman Arizona and Philly Rock 'N Roll half marathon. (you can see Ironman Katie's race recap here) I'm getting pretty excited for 2014... I have several athletes that will be competing in their first half Ironman and/or Ironman, a few "pure runners" training for Boston and other spring marathons and some seasoned competitors. Entering December, it's fun to mix up the training, making sure everyone gets into the gym to build a solid foundation. A few eyes will pop when they see workouts on the rowing machine combined with gym days ("but wait, that's not triathlon! ") but it's all part of the fun & progress & an injury free 2014.

Here's to a happy & healthy holiday season. I'm off for a fall (rainy & chilly by SoCal standards) run in my new Zoot winter gear!

We're off to Australia for 5 weeks (hello summer!) and back to training tomorrow... I'm definitely planning more frequent updates on adventures, training, kangaroos and crocodiles, so get prepared...
Cheers! Beth

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kona 2013- Where to begin?

First, I must say that I'm glad I told you about the new boy because omitting the significance of Saturday for me (& Luke) would be nearly impossible. This, however, will be my last Luke-gushing post and I'll return to the regularly-scheduled struggling-pro slash "look at me I'm riding my bike in california" usual business around here.

Luke wasn't picked in anyone's top 10 here in Kona. Except mine. And his. And a couple of other friends & family who have seen his form take shape over the past few months. I knew he could be top 5 based on his already known swim/bike abilities combined with the run that nobody knew he could have. I've run with Luke nearly every day of the past 4 months of his prep. Whether side by side on the treadmill, stride for stride on the trails, or across the oval a couple hundred meters behind him. I don't know much, but I know the boy can run the pants off of me, and I'm not bad for a girl. I know that at the end of a 2.5 hr progression run, he'll battle to try to drop me (I try not to let him) and usually he succeeds. I know that often when we run together, he is just cruising, and I am fighting to hold on. Basically, I know just how run fit he is. I backed & believed in his run. But more importantly, HE backed & believed in his run. Now, on the day, he didn't spit out a 2:45 marathon or anything, but a 2:57 after the strongest swim/bike combo in the field is nothing to laugh at. Especially as he's never come close to breaking 3 hours in Kona.

October 12, 2013 was a pretty proud (and anxious/nail biting/exciting/excruciating) day for me. I watched Luke lead the Hawaii Ironman for many hours until mile 16 of the run. After mile 16, I watched him hold on, keep it together, and run strong to finish 2nd in a time of 8:15:19, less than 3 minutes behind winner Frederik Van Lierde. Post race, I saw a boy not only fulfilled with his accomplishment, but a new believer that he, in fact, could win this race one day soon. It's amazing what can happen when you believe in yourself.

Luke Cheer squad (hats say "Go Luke") Jaque, Kirsten, Me
Watching parts of the race on my computer when I couldn't be far out on bike course. Luke in the lead at mile 85.
Running down Ali'i drive- Photo credit: Aaron Brougher

Soaking it in....

at the awards banquet
riding off into the sunset....

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kona update

I've been hunkered down on the big island for two and a half weeks now and have witnessed the amazing transformation from sleepy town to full-on Iron village. The past few weeks, I logged some very solid training, taking advantage of the harsh conditions (wind & heat) for riding and running- I think it's making me tough! The only thing that's not harsh here is the swimming.... Swimming at the Kona pier is ridiculous- perfect temperature and plenty of #fishporn all around. Just like swimming in an aquarium. 
The morning scene at Dig Me Beach
From 6 to 9 am, the pier is a busy place on race week
After 2+ really hard weeks of training, I'm able to take this week a little easier and enjoy race week. I've been helping Luke get race ready and with his media/sponsor stuff.
Interviews for Luke... (btw- this is at Daylight Mind - the awesome new coffee joint) 
Photo shoots
I've also been spending some time visiting with my own sponsors and triathlon family from around the world. Last I checked out the expo and went to a fun dinner at the Bonk Breaker house.

Vintage trisuits at ZOOT expo booth to compliment

Throwback Zoot tri kits! love this!
visiting myself at the Cannondale booth...
With just 3 days until race day, it's almost go time and I'm so excited for this spectating adventure! What else would you like to see from the big island as the big race approaches?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


You may be wondering what the heck I'm doing in Kona, Hawaii for a month seeing as how I'm not racing the Ironman World Championships on October 12th....

Well, turns out I have not had a professional photographer following me on all my training sessions taking cool Instagram shots over the past few months...There is indeed a boy (shocker, I know ;)... And he happens to be racing the big race in Hawaii on October 12th and I am more than thrilled to be #1 support crew for him. (Well, I'll have to fight his Dad, mom, & sister for the #1 title, but I'm pretty scrappy, so put your $ on me please).

Luke's been top 10 in the professional field here before and after watching his preparation and seeing his current form, I'm pretty excited to see how the Ironman World Champs unfold this year. As he's been my #1 supporter over the past few months helping me turn around a bumpy season, I can't wait to be the one doing all the supporting. For someone that puts seemingly everything into his job as a triathlete, he somehow puts even more into making life happy and good, which amazes me daily.
Luke in Kona, 2012

As for me, I'm hunkering down getting back to full-on training after Ironman Wisconsin and loving the new scenery in Hawaii. The end of the year holds some fun racing- Miami 70.3 followed by an olympic distance race in the Bahamas, then finishing the year with another trip down under I believe... Yeah, so far so good on my "leave of absence" from work. I'm enjoying every minute, even sitting on the side of the Queek K in a torrential downpour with a flat tire. Because, hey, if that's my worst problem right now..... I'm doing alright.

As I wrote here on Jan 1st, 2013... Find Peace, Give Love, Dream Big. Thanks to L, giving love is pretty darn easy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday Funday

you know when you write a post and finish about 90%  then forget to actually make it to 100%? Well, here's an update from last week:

Post-Ironman week has been about recovery. Eating random things, lots of coffee dates with friends and my athletes, a little spin here & there, and shaking the soreness. I hate the word "indulging", but I guess I did my fair share of that this week to balance out all the good behavior the past few months.

Today was one of those days I remembered how much I love just doing what I do on a daily basis.
Let me back up a bit....I guess Sunday Funday started on Saturday night. Double date night with Kir & M....that ended up at VGs donuts. VGs is a staple in Cardiff, CA...and rumor has it if you slip the guy a $10 bill, he'll open the doors for you after 10pm
me and kir....caught in donut-eating act! 
 Sunday funday also included coffee with friends, a fun yoga class, a sunday spin and ended up at the beach...
bonfire w/the crew.... i started with a super healthy kale/pesto/chicken situation and ended with a fresh toasted S'more & some red wine.. balance is key, right?

That was it from the Sunday Funday post, but might as well throw in a little update since then....This past week, Ironman recovery continued and I stayed true to doing barely nothing.

This was easily accomplished however, as I accompanied the Bonk Breaker team out to Interbike (basically an enormous bike/triathlon/you name it tradeshow in Las Vegas.) Three days working 10 hour days at the show, three late nights on the Las Vegas scene and I was cooked! 

Me & Becky 

Nightime fun: Cross Vegas

I came back to San Diego LATE Friday night not-so-rested, but more than ready to get back into the swing of things and start my next big training block....

Well, and no place better to do it than.....
KONA! Sunday morning we hopped the plane to the big island and I'll be here for the next month. I know, #lifeistough . But, I do plan to make it tough and squeeze every ounce of hard work and dedication I can muster into my training....Because in my year "off" from my job, I plan to leave no stone (or big rock like Kona) unturned! 

Landing on the rock....the pic shows the road that climbs to Hawi- a special road for Ironpeople! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ironman Wisconsin 2013: the good & bad

Oh Madison, WI. the best "Irontown" in the U.S. for sure. If you are considering Ironman, in my opinion, Wisconsin is THE one to do. Forget the amazing course, it is the people there that make the race truly iconic...The volunteers and the spectators are simply UNREAL. Tour de France-style support along the bike course, screaming (often drunk?) fans all along the run- truly one-of-a-kind.

On to the race... No secrets here, after 2nd place last year, I was hoping to return to win, but knew I'd have to have a perfectly executed day for a chance....Here's the imperfect way it was actually executd, plenty of the good and the bad mixing together to come out in the wash in 4th place:

Swimming 2.4 miles in Lake Monona....
The bad: The swim was very very choppy this year, with the longest stretch (over a mile) headed directly into the waves/chop/current. I lost all the feet and swam the entire way alone. I exited the water in 1:09, 8 minutes slower than last year. 
The good: Even though I missed a group early on, I kept my head in the game and did my best impression of swimming straight and strong. Pretty certain it was a very poor impression of swimming straight, but lessons were learned and I'm not giving up! I also noticed a few pro bikes still on the rack, so I wasn't dead last out of the water. A couple of weeks ago, I easily swam 2.4 miles in one hour flat during training, so I know I can do it, I just need to readjust some things in my actual execution. I came out of the water in about 10th place. Told myself, "Never ever give up", and hopped on my Cannondale Slice

Riding 112 miles through the rolling Wisconsin countryside.....
The bad: Straight away on the bike I had the feeling of aliens growing in my stomach (something I haven't felt since my first Ironman in 2010) and I'm pretty sure it was from the Ensure I drank in T1. I threw up 6 or 7 times all over my poor bike and couldn't take in any food. I've trained with Ensure, but admittedly not at race intensity and I think the protein in it just did not go down well. The massive stomach ache was a bit scary and had me questioning how I'd finish 7 more hours like that, but I told myself it couldn't last that long. I just kept pedaling.
Swoopy. Photo: Ali Engin
Shake 'n Bake!

Climbing a hill. Photo: Ali Engin

The good: After 2.5 hours, the pain just disappeared and in a matter of minutes I was back to "normal". WOW. Normal felt great! I picked up my pace by about 10watts on the second loop and tried to get down as much food/calories as I could (my Bonk Breakers really settled my stomach and I followed those up with Gu Chomps and some Vanilla & Rocktane Gu gels). I finally felt great on my Slice (and loved my choice of Zipp 404/808 wheel combo for the "pitchy" & windy course) and knew I could salvage the race. 5 hours 38 minutes later I was off my bike.  I was still in about 9th place. Told myself, "Never ever give up." 

Running 26.2 miles through downtown Madison, Wisconsin....
The bad: I caught some glimpses of the competition, all strung out from 5 to nearly 30 minutes in front of me. I was pretty sure that a win was impossible on this day for me and that took a couple of minutes to digest.

Photo: Ali Engin
The good: My Dad, stepmom, sister, hometsay Joann, & friends (thank you Timo, Ann, & Jeff!)  were lined along the course giving me splits at every corner. They motivated me more than ever to salvage a rough day and show them I was tough and would give it every last drop to make the most of the what was left of the race. I began clicking off the miles in my Zoot Ultra Tempo 5.0s (LOVE that shoe!) and catching other women very slowly but surely. My legs felt pretty good and I was in control. It was hard, but manageable. Truth be told, a marathon is never easy, but I knew I had the fitness to execute a strong one. By mile 20 I had moved comfortably into 4th place. 3rd place was about 6 minutes up the road, but I was running almost a minute faster than her per mile at the time.....Told myself, "Never ever give up".... I ran my hardest to the finish, but was 45 seconds short of catching 3rd place. It wasn't my best day in triathlon, but it was a day I'm very proud of. I ran 3:05 for the fastest run split of the day and broke 10 hours in my 10th Ironman.
Never ever give up.

After the finish, I found my family and cheered in my Reve Endurance athlete, Katie Morse, who finished 6th in her age group on a tough day. So proud!
Coach & Katie

Thank you so much to all of my sponsors and supporters, without you, my dreams would be so very much further away.