After 18 years of living in Northeast Ohio, I left for the Valley of the Sun and never once missed the blistering cold or the white crap that that you snow bunnies so affectionately embrace. I followed up my time at ASU with 2 years living basically on the equator (and no, Ecuador is not spelled with a “q”– love that one). I looked at only 3 grad schools in Arizona, Georgia, and Texas (sorry, I mean Texasssss, right Lauren?). Notice a pattern here? So with the most recent mornings topping out at 17 degrees here in “HOTLANTA,” I am not a happy camper. And neither is my little 5lb nugget, Shaina. The most comical part of this whole “cold snap,” however, is the reaction of Georgians when told we may have a light dusting of snow. Schools close in anticipation of the impending blizzard and there is a mad rush to stock up on all the basic necessities when snowed in (water, canned goods, batteries). Granted, my blood is now thinner and I too whine at anything below 40 degrees, but I haven’t entirely forgotten my roots.
As triathletes, however, the show must go on. Delta may cancel their flights, but we don’t cancel our training. Our base training lays the foundation for the rest of our season, so the phrase “Suck it up, Buttercup” is heard quite often around here these days.
Those of you in far worse climates are getting plenty of quality time on your trainers over the next few months. (I’m even lucky to coach one particular Minnesotan. This special snow bunny revels in his winter wonderland, and provides me with daily weather updates just to keep me grateful.)
We are doing it up in style in Atlanta, with several options for indoor training every week if you don’t want to brave the elements. Last Sunday at The Grind, we had an incredible 31 people packed in wall-to-wall, grinding it out for two hours. We’re now adding a 2nd class, so you can come at 9am or 11:30am every Sunday. The calendar is on the Team Page if you’re ever in doubt (bottom right side).
Training is going really well and I’m really getting fired up for 2010. While we’re freezing our asses off, it’s fun to daydream about the exciting plans that lie ahead. I try to squeeze one (or 2) big international trips (disguised as races) into my life every year, and this year it will be Brazil. I cannot tell you how excited I am to go back. Last time I was there was in 2005 with my Boy BFF, Mikey G, when we lost our Ironman Virginity that fateful day in Florianopolis, Brazil. I’m focusing all on 70.3 distance this year, however. No chance of me ever heading back to the land of Ironman anytime soon. It’s hard enough to manage this distance while working full time, but no complaints because I wouldn’t have it any other way. Choosing Brazil 70.3 was a no brainer: South America is very special to me, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Brazil. So I’ve got about 9 months to brush up on my Portuguese. Watch out, Paulo and Rui. Acho que voces vai cansar de mi! (I am sure you’re going to get sick of me! — or something along those lines. My idea of Portuguese is basically speaking Spanish with a twist!)
I found these old pics from Ironman Brazil 2005. They crack me up!! How cool are my American flag running shorts? (Yes, I stopped in T2 for a costume change.) I had NO CLUE what I was doing, no coach, and no real plan. I guess ignorance was bliss, because I had a blast with it.
The year after Brazil, I met Matt and started a real training program. I look back (fear not, this ain’t no “year in review!”), and realize how incredibly lucky I am to be starting my fifth season with the same coach. Not many athletes can say that, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together . . . and damn lucky to have both an expert level triathlon and expert level cycling coach as the brains behind this operation. I have learned a tremendous amount from him, and plan to continue to suck the life out of the poor guy for as long as he’ll tolerate me.
Hope your season is getting off to a good start. If you’re in the ATL area and would like to join us at any of our indoor training sessions, we’d love to have you. And if you’re going to also race Brazil 70.3, gimme a shout!
While I haven’t necessarily been taking an off-season, my blog seems to have.
Life has been busy, but very good. Work is going really well, and I even get to travel to glamorous destinations like Dothan, Alabama and other small towns in South Georgia. I love what I do and find that the small town charm of the South makes up for the time behind the wheel.
Training-wise, I’m back in action after a short hiatus, and feeling great. I am no longer chlorine-free, as the dizziness from the crash is almost all gone– hallelujah. I love this time of year— putting in the base miles and planning the season. While it’s mild enough in Atlanta to train outdoors year-round (if bundled up), we do a lot of training together indoors at The Sport Factory. Matt recently moved the facility to a new location, and we we are awaiting the official confirmation/paperwork . . . but the USAT group that came for a site visit gave the nod that The Sport Factory will be one of only four USAT Performance Centers in the country. It’s pretty awesome to be a part such a great organization, and I am proud to represent this team.
I absolutely love when we’re jammin’ on the bikes several times a week during our stationary classes (THE GRIND!). The time goes by faster, the watts are higher, and the music is louder. I rarely ride with more than 1 or 2 other people on the roads, but love doing the group thing indoors.
In fact, we’re going to be hosting a special “Grinch Grind” on Christmas Eve (afternoon) for 2hrs. You’ll be home in time to leave the cookies out for Santa, so email me if you’re in the ATL area and interested in joining us. You don’t have to be a Sport Factory athlete or team member to join in the sweaty mess, so no excuses. We’d love to have you!