Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear Voice of Reason,

Why have you forsaken me?? When I was a Sophomore in high school you convinced me that it was a good idea to tape nudie magazine pics on the windows of my moms soccer van and drive through Mt Washington (which actually turned out to be the funniest day of my life). And now, you told it was a good idea to climb to 11,300ft. Here I am, moving slower than an 80 yr old man with arthritis and a bum hip, and I have to admit this was another crazy idea that turned out to be a day I'll never forget.

It goes a little something like this... I had to go on a work trip to Omaha this past February. What's there to do in Omaha in February?! So I got a bunch of books and read all week. One was called The Seven Summits, made me think, 'Hmm, that sounds like fun'. I personal train David who climbed Rainier 2x. I got back in town and said 'David, I want to climb.' He said 'Ok, let's do it.' He chose the climb, planned the trip, and this weekend it all went down.

Thursday morning myself, David, Michael, and Jacque flew to Portland. I have never been to the west coast... it's gorgeous! We drove from sea level to our lodge on the side of our mountain at 6000ft. The views were spectacular as we drove up and up through the clouds!!

Friday: Climb school!! We got to meet our bomb dot com guide Sheldon! She's a rockstar and totally made this trip the experience that it was. Sheldon is a freestyle competitive skier and is the only girl guide at Timberline. If I was a bettin' girl, I'd say Sheldon could out climb any of those dudes. Any who... we got outfitted with our packs, boots, ice axes, crampons, and harness and headed out to a gully at the base to learn how to use it all. I have to admit, this is when I realized I was in over my head. I was all over the place, stumbling over my feet. Not good when you have spiky things on your shoes! As much of a fool as I made out of myself, it wasn't anything I wasn't used to, I was even more pumped for our climb! Shortly after school let out, we had an early dinner and headed off to bed.

When we were hanging out in our room earlier in the day I found a walnut in my shoe. It didn't phase me. I always eat and sometimes it doesn't always make it in my mouth. When I went back to my room later, I found a cashew tucked nicely in between my pillows. Weird, not sure how I managed that one. I stepped out to call my folks, came back in and Jacque solved the puzzle.. we had a mouse!! Holy cow this mountain climber freaked out! We called for a new room and thank the lord they had one. Jacque trapped our trail mix bandit in the wall and it was flipping out trying to escape, which of course made me flip... it was a sight.

Phew, ok new room, 6pm, past bedtime. Few hours later... alarm goes off. WTF dude!! Why is it still light outside. Smart Monica set the alarm for midnight eastern time... back to bed. Three hours later, pitch black outside, real alarm goes off. It's midnight, time to rise and shine!!

12:30am Saturday - We're geared up and at climber check in. We have a private group: Me, Jacque, David, Michael and our 2 guides Sheldon and Cliff. We double checked our gear, peed one last time (have you ever tried to pop a squat with a damn harness on... about 20min later I pulled it off!).

1:00a - Snow cat arrived (a big bulldozer thingy that took us to 8500ft), we loaded up and headed up the mountain side. I started to get really hot and nervous. WTF was happening, you can't freak out before you start?!

1:30a - Off the snow cat, head lamps on, packs strapped, trekking poles in hand. Deep breath, and we're off!

After that, I couldn't check my watch. We went up and up. It got a bit steep so we breaked to put our crampons on. Up some more, whenever I thought it was really steep, it got steeper. We traversed, back and forth, up into the clouds. The sleet was sideways, the air was non existent. The altitude started to get to me. My head was pounding, I couldn't eat or drink enough, and the best part is when I asked what our altitude was it was always like 3ft higher than the last time I asked!! Holy hell this is hard!

4:30-ish - We hit Crater Rock where we were told to put on our puffies, steady ourselves, take a seat on our packs, and eat and drink up. The guides grabbed their shovels and axes and went off to test the snow. Our last 1000ft were super steep and required ropes, belays, and axes. So snow has to be stable to climb on it, so the guides did some tests first. They have a ranking system to see if the snow is stable, 0-30. 15 or lower, red flag, and snow would most likely fall away from under us. 16 or better, we're in the clear. The guides called us up for the verdict. Our snow received the whopping ranking of a 3. Not even debatable, they told us if we climbed, we'd avalanche.

So we all hoped in the snow hole, took some pics at our summit, and packed up to head back down. At this point we were sitting still for 30min and I was frozen!! Walking up no matter how hard the wind was blowing, I was hot! As soon as you stop working, the real temps set in. My hands of course went numb, so we jumped around and swung our arms, and headed back down.

5:00ish - we were flying downhill, plunge stepping past all kinds of groups on their slow ascent. We had to break the news to them, you aren't going to summit today. Most groups didn't care, they were there for the views, the experience.

At first, I was so disappointed we didn't make it up. But then the sun started to rise, and I can not even begin to describe the sights. I was on top of the world, literally! It was amazing!!

7:00a - off the mountain. we did it! It was so tough in ways I've never dealt with. But we all made it, and got to see the most beautiful sunrise of my life, it made everything worth it.

We cleaned up, had a giant breakfast, and headed to Portland for the day. We waited in a line that wrapped around the block for, what else, a doughnut! My was called the Memphis Mafia and it was bigger than my head. A chocolatey peanut buttery banana goey goodness.

Sunday - I woke up and couldn't move my legs. As the day went on, it got worse. I have never, ever, it my whole life, been this sore. My quads and calves only work about every 4th try.

All in all, amazing trip with amazing friends. The coolest experience ever! I've found a new hobby, and I'm already planning the next adventure. Stay tuned ;-)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Wild ride

Holy cow May was nuts! I spent the month at Derby, Rev 3 Knoxville, vacay to NYC, celebrated Sophie's 1st Birthday, and got back out on the IMKY course... and it's been an amazing whirlwind to say the least.

Derby was a wash out, it rained all day. But nothing could ruin the fun my big bro and his bachelor party buds had. They rented a tour bus and driver and made the cross counrty trek (from Texas) to celebrate KY style. They were hilarious, and my parents house still smells like the day after a drunken college party.

Rev 3 Knox was everything it was cracked up to be and soo much more. The course was tough as nails... but I didn't expect anything less from HG! What other race has tooooons of pre-race giveaways, transition areas with a pretty name plate, free post race boxed lunches, fabulous awards, handstand contests, and a finish line lai! Soo looking forward to Rev3 Cedar Point, then Rev3 Costa Rica in Feb!! Holla!

NYC was more of a whirlwind than a get away. I had never been so we took a long weekend and I believe we saw every square inch of the city. We stayed in a high rise apartment in Central Park and did 5th Ave, Times Square, Empire State, Ground Zero, Ellis, Statue of Liberty, Today Show concert (saw Sting front row!), Jimmy Fallon show (disappoinment, mostly pre-recorded), FAO, Wall Street, Grennich, SoHo, skinniest apartment in NYC (8ft wide, 3 stories tall!), Brooklyn Bridge, Rockafellar, Central Station, Central Park, street performers, street performers in shiny spandex kicking each others arse (it was commical), China Town, Little Italy, local dive bars, Long Island, Queens, and hundreds of other places! How did we get to it all in 4 days? Simple: coffee, pretzels, and of course pizza. I LOVED the City!

Summer is in full swing and so is the training! This weekend is a local Olympic. The local races are my fave because it's a tough training day with all your friends! Looking forward to the challenge!!

Next weekend is the climb up Mt Hood. I've gotten all my gear and have absolutely no clue how or when to use it. Thank goodness for climb school the day before! And get this, I just found out our start time: 12:30a. Seriously?! Do you really think it's a good idea to send a moron (that's me!) up the side of a mountain in the middle of the night??!! It's dark, cold... and have you ever seen me on minimal rest? It's a sight. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

That's it for now! Happy training!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is your team racing Rev 3 Knoxville??

Ha! Good luck!! Because my team will crush yours!! Team Trakkers is sending AG world champs, national champs, and record holders. Word or caution: you are going down!

:-) Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fast Forward

Soooo let's pretend the past month (or 2) of no-posts never happened. I could tell you all about how busy I've been and blah blah blah, but I'd be preaching to the choir I'm sure. So let's get caught up...

I went out to Colorado Springs to get my Level 2 Coaching Cert. It was SO much fun! I met great new friends, worked out at the OTC, met some of the residents, learned from the resident coaches, ran through the Garden of the Gods, then drove up to Denver to hang with my at-one-time equal athlete bud but she has since purchased a pair of laser rocket legs and has so shot past me. This chick is tough and WILL be in the trials! We spent our typical Mo-Bean night togheter over bison burgers (France's finest!), fried pickles, and super drippy onion rings. She gave me the best compliment ever... 'Mo, you've got a good shoulder on your heads'. Thank you Jill, that means so much to me ;-)

I've got a new coach! He was a presenter at our clinic and is a super bad arse Level 3 coach. He's worked with some stud athletes and I've already learned so much from him. Our goal: IMKY '11, it's on.

And the big news... I've got a sexy new ride!! Argon E-114, it...so...rocks!

Racing season has begun. The Rev 3 Oly in Knoxville is right around the corner and I am SO pumped to meet my Trakkers teammates. We're going to throw down some mad times. Is your team racing in Knox? Ha! Good luck!

Tomorrow is the Derby mini and Marathon. Forecast: rain with intermittent severe weather. Sounds like a party!

Train on.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bucket

So I've always been a bit skeptical of the bucket list, because really I think it's quite morbid. But over Christmas break my bro and cousin came with theirs. After chiming in enough times to be annoying I decided to heck with it, I'll make one too. Not really putting too much effort behind it I came up with more of a To Do list for the year. It's been edited for blogging purposes but here's the short version...

In 2010 I want to: learn Spanish, go on an exotic vacay, climb a mountain, play soccer again, do a 50 mile trail run.

The quarterly report: Spanish - not happening any time soon. If Colorado Springs is considered exotic then that's a score (even though it's not really what I had in mind). The other three - well on their way - successes

By the bruises on my legs you can tell I'm back in soccer. I suck soooo bad but it feels sooo good to run guys into walls! I missed this sport so badly and while it feels so good to be playing again... I'm really not exaggerating when I say I've lost any skill I once had!!

The 50 miler is on it's way. There are a few good ones coming up and I figure I just need to take the plunge and do one... right?

And for the most exciting news... On June 19th I'm climbing Mt. Hood!!! I've never done anything like this and I couldn't be more pumped!! I'm headed west with some friends and we'll have a private guided tour (which makes me think of plush cabins and hot chocolate!). But then I was told that you can't come off your rope to pee... I think I'm in for a rude awakening!! Day 1 is climb school so my dumbass doesn't threaten the lives of my rope team. Day 2 is Summit Day! Up, photo op, and back down in one long day. I don't think I could be more unprepared, clueless, or green. Here's to new challenges!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Let the Races Begin!

Today was the first race for our Beginner Tri Group that are gearing up for the Rev3 Oly in May. For most of our athletes, this was their very first race, and they killed it!! They rode outside for the first time this year, they clipped in, they flip turned, and they SMILED!! It was awesome!!

The racing season is right around the corner and it makes me so pumped just thinking about it!! People were out riding, running hard, maybe swimming but I wouldn't know because I haven't been to the pool it a few weeks (sound familiar).

As for me, I'm gearing up for triple crown, mini, Rev3 Oly, Kansas 70.3. That's gets me to June, we'll see how things go from there. But if I have any sort of expectations I better get my bum into some chlorine!!! Goal for the week: swim!

As for the lenten season, I have had no cereal to date... and I'm starting to get the shakes! Going gluten free has really helped me to keep everything under control. I would normally quit cereal but start scarfing down boxes of wheat thins or pretzels or whatever else I can get my hands on. Gluten free is tough, but I feel so much better on it! I eat lots of fruits, veggies, stir frys, yogurt, and lara bars. The forum on team.firstendurance.com has a ton of great suggestions as well. Time to shape up for the season.

Hope you're enjoying the heat wave, congrats to all tri finishers!!! Train on :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday!

So Fat Tuesday is most definitely one of the best days of the year. It's a day where you can throw it all out the window and say to hell with it! Give me calories, sugar, and whatever else I can stuff in my face, because beginning tomorrow and for forty days from then, it's strictly off limits.

How did I celebrate such a big day?? With 5 Guys of course! We bundled up Sophia and my brother, sis in law, and I hiked out to our brand new 5 Guys for the world's BEST burger. Honestly, I hate burgers, and I rarely eat red meat... but this was the bomb!! Best Fat Tuesday EVER!!

So what's in store for tomorrow? One of my biggest vices is cereal, I'm so totally addicted! Put a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in front of me and it'll be gone! So, I'm giving it up. 40 days and 40 nights cereal free, it'll definitely be a challenge!

I was looking into ways to take it another step further so I logged onto the Team First Endurance website for some suggestions. They have some really great nutrition programs that are backed by science and are pretty cutting edge. I decided to try their gluten free diet. Check it out at www.team.firstendurance.com under their programs tab. It's three days on, three days off, starting tomorrow. I've gone gluten free before IMKY '08 and not only raced my best, but felt my very best! I had more energy, clear skin, and no belly issues on my runs.

So tomorrow, It's on! Until then... Happy Fat Tuesday!