Friday, April 22, 2016

Stumbles and Starts

I blinked and suddenly the 2016 race season is well underway.  I had a lot of changes during the off season including a move (across town) and the start of a full time position as a music therapist in the behavioral health unit at a local hospital.  My hours at the hospital have me starting at noon which is pretty ideal for training. Not so ideal, the fact that I've made a valiant attempt at keeping my private practice in relative full swing while simultaneously trying to get that base season training in.  I was reminded, once again, of the importance of sleep as I rapidly began to break down both mentally and physically. 
 
2016 Already!!!

This all came to a head a few weeks ago in my season opener at 70.3 California.  After a full day of work and picking up my bike from Pro Cyclery, I headed to California on a Thursday night.  Despite my late arrival, my awesome homestay, Skip and Linda, were waiting for me with their two enormous and loveable dogs.  Friday went off without a hitch and I got to see my teammate Steve Mantell at our pre-race meeting.  Unfortunately, one night of sleep (and no real day of relaxation) was just not enough.  Saturday morning, I felt a bit of a time crunch but got to the start and through the swim without a hitch.  Coming onto the bike I felt strong and fast ... that is, until mile two when I felt the thud thud thud of a flat tire.  Fortunately, my bike sensei Eric had tubes with valve extenders pre-set and the bike support crew was not far away which helped me get back out on the road in much less time than it would've taken me on my own.  Unfortunately, my head didn't get back out there so quickly.  In addition to riding alone from behind, my heart rate data died on me (PSA, change your batteries and clean the rust from the sensor) and I found myself getting complacent.  More than that, I found myself getting tired to the point that my eyes were drooping mid-race.  Once I hit transition, I was ready to be off the bike.  One of my socks somehow disappeared from transition and after desperately searching for a bit too long, I gave up and took off sockless.  The blister that ensued was no joke, especially after it burst around mile 7-8.  And speaking of bursting, my stomach was, well, let's just say I decided that I was having a bad enough day that I didn't need to add insult to injury with some stinky shorts and ducked into a porta-potty for the first time in my tri career.  But hey, I didn't get last and I crossed the finish line upright which is always a bonus.  The spectators were fantastic and I was able to meet/catch up with some Vegas racers as well which was big fun. 
Don't lose your socks!

Reunited with Rammie/MP teammate Steve

Bike Out - and still smiling

This dog though ...

On my drive home that (because I had to be to work Sunday), I had some solid time to think while waiting in traffic for the plane crash on the highway (why yes, that did actually happen).  I started to ask myself, what would I say to my patients in this situation?  Are you happy?  Is it worth it?  Is this sustainable?  No, no, and no.  So what needs to change?  While I fleetingly had that thought of "maybe I'll just retire from racing," my heart hurt at the notion.  Am I in a position to quit my job?  Absolutely not.  As much as I love my "career" of racing, it doesn't exactly buy the groceries (I'm fairly certain I lost about ten dollars an hour training/racing in 2015).  The universe had been giving me hints for about a month, however, as I had some troubles with a few of my private clients; I made a decision to stop pushing to continue their services cut back to just one private session per week bringing my work week to 40-45 hours as opposed to 60-65.  The following week, I went out of my bubble for an evening to see The Killers (my favorite band) open the new T-Mobile Arena.  A night of fun and a slightly less manic schedule seems to have been exactly what I needed and I woke up the next morning with a brand new positive mindset and haven't cried from sheer exhaustion since.
 
 

So, this past weekend, I headed southeast for redemption at 70.3 New Orleans.  I once again was blessed with an awesome homestay which I shared with fellow athletes Jake Rhyner and Thomas Gerlach.  Not so blessed was the weather.  I was able to dodge raindrops for a quick spin on Friday but wasn't so lucky on Saturday; thankfully pro athletes were given a hookup at the gym so I was still able to get in some version of a spin, run, and swim. 
*gusting much higher* OUCH
 
And now, is where I begin to talk about a wind that will go down in infamy.  For the entirety of my stay, I don't think the wind dipped below 18 mph and was gusting over 30 at times - super fun when you're in aero position with some big old race wheels.  Usually, wind is my absolute nemesis, the one condition that I can't seem to get through mentally/physically.  For days, however, I repeated to myself that we were all racing on the same course in the same conditions so "get over it Hinz, you're fine."  Low and behold, it was fine.  The swim was brutal (though not as bad as Silverman) as buoys were blown across the harbor and we were slammed by waves.  I missed the lead pack but managed to come out of the water in 6th.  Hopping on my bike, it was so breezy, my still-wet spandex kit was flopping in the wind and signs were being blown across the road.  There was one pretty sketchy area where I was literally getting blown across the road (fortunately I was by myself and no one heard me screeching profanities) but the ride out was primarily about hunkering down and pushing pedals.  At the turnaround, the real fun began as that tailwind flew my stead and I home.  Out onto the run course, my legs loosened a little quicker than usual with the wind at my back.  The turnaround, however, was like hitting a brick wall and my splits increased by nearly a minute.  I relaxed and kept those short little legs of mine moving though, mentally screaming, "WHAT WIND?!"
 
I crossed the finish line in 7th place, a bit disappointing when the payout goes to 6th but a huge improvement over Cali and a true "start" to my season.  Then came what was probably the best part of my day; my homestay lived about 8 miles downwind from the race and just off the run course, I decided to ride back to the house along the course.  It was such a neat experience to cheer on the athletes still out there and to thank the volunteers (seriously, the true MVPs of the day for chasing down cups/debris and keeping us safe and speedy).  After packing up my girl and having a soak in Jacuzzi conveniently located in the backyard, I headed to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street to experience a piece of New Orleans with fellow athlete Erin Spitler.

BRING ON THE BEADS!!

 
Next up, Ironman 70.3 St. George ... but first, I sleep.

 
Thank you to MP Multisport for getting me through the ups and downs (In the words of Coach Mace, "mostly ups"), and to my phenomenal support team Pro Cyclery, Pro Motorsports of Fond du Lac, HIE Cycling, BlueSeventy, Hammer Nutrition, and Riplaces.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recap and Recovery


My what a season it has been!  It's hard to believe my 2015 season is already in the books; I've learned a ton about racing pro and specifically 70.3, made some mistakes, had some successes, made a lot of new friends, and (most importantly) had a blast!
 
My season closer at 70.3 Austin didn't go exactly as planned.  Nothing catastrophic happened but it was fairly mediocre.  The road conditions were terrifying, it was windy as heck, my glute still hurt, my travel was super messed up, and it was a bit chilly for my liking.  That said, none of these are valid excuses as everyone rides the same course on the same day, travel mishaps weren't catastrophic, and the glute was no worse than it's been since May; when it's all said and done, it just wasn't my day and there were some talented ladies out there who rose to the challenge better than I did. 
Swim Exit

Chilly Ride


Finishing the Season!
 
That said, I'm far from distraught over the day or the season.  Last year ended on a stretcher with doctors telling me I may never get my swim stroke back, forcing me to take 9 weeks off of running and 12 out of the water.  Somehow, I managed to balance and survive training/racing with running my own business and balancing not one but four jobs (five if you include this triathlon thing).  Of course, there were times of discouragement but I was able to persevere and jump back into racing.  In my first race, 70.3 Texas, I finished second to last but took lessons from my mistakes and eventually earned my first pro podiums.  There is still so much for me to learn but I'm confident that things are just starting and I will continue to learn and grow both mentally and physically as an athlete. 

There are so many people to thank for getting my through this season.  Of course, Coach Mace of MP Multisport has been in my corner from day one and I'd be a blubbering wreck without his guidance.  Las Vegas Masters made it worth getting out of bed at 4:30 to get wet.  My parents as well as my cousin Jacqueline and friend Megan dried my tears when it all felt like too much.  My homestays Dean, Stephen, the Gerdemanns, and Layne as well as my hosts Rebecca and Brianna let me race relaxed and rested.  The folks at Ironman Corporation and BBSC Triathlon put on some incredible events and took good care of their athletes.  Definitely a giant thank you to my sponsors Blueseventy for getting me in the best gear around, Hammer Nutrition for making fueling easy, Riplaces for being the greatest cheerleaders out there (and for the best laces ever), Pro Cyclery for their unparalleled service, support, and generosity, ProMotorsports of Fond du Lac for always being willing to help in any way I need, Las Vegas Multisport for the support and media, It's Your ChoiceTraining for getting me tested and supporting my endeavors, and Anthem Fitness for opening your hearts and doors to my cross training needs.  Above all, thank you to everyone who followed my races, offered encouragement, and cheered me on from both near and far! 
Bookended my season by running into my Homestay Dean from 70.3 Texas (who crashed on the bike and still rocked his race)
 
Thanks!!!

<3 MP Multisport

The last few weeks have been an excellent time to rest, reflect, and even have a moderate social life!  It's been great to knock a few things off of my ever-nagging to do list and sleep the recommended duration at night.  After a bit of a breather, I'm feeling (almost) ready to jump back into training and am pretty excited for base training season (my favorite time of the year); there are some big changes coming in my life that I hope will make next year even better but more on that later.  For now, it's time for coffee and wine!
 
Off to see a show with my friend Melissa
 
Actually Made it to Swim Team Happy Hour
 
Enjoying the View from an Afternoon Hike
 
Family Time in Colorado
(and I got to fly without packing a bike)
 
 


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Attitudes, Injuries, and the Superpowers of Jellyfish


First off, I apologize that it has been so long since I've posted an update; I know you've been waiting with bated breath.  After finishing four 70.3's in 6 weeks (with a 10th place finish at Ironman 70.3 Vineman in early July), I was ready for a little break!  I enjoyed a week of relaxation, including a weekend at the beach, before jumping back into training.  I also started a new position as a music therapist in the inpatient behavioral health unit at a local hospital (which terrified me when I started but I have fallen in love with the job).  While I had planned on racing again in August, this didn't work out so I jumped into a local event, the always awesome BBSC Las Vegas Tri. 
 
70.3 Miami

I DO, in fact, own things that aren't Spandex - relaxing with my cousin in San Diego during my mini break (though the watch tan doesn't lie)

Enjoying some cross training

Got to dance the night away at a dear friend's wedding in Wisconsin

Back in action at the Las Vegas Tri

 After a fabulous race at the LV Tri, I had pretty high hopes for my home court race - Ironman 70.3 Silverman.  I was all kinds of excited to be racing on the same weekend as last year's crash in Rancho Cordova; this was going to be my redemption!  Unfortunately, things didn't go exactly as planned.  The wind was brutal and I came out of my waviest swim yet all kinds of discombobulated.  Hopping onto my bike, I missed one of my shoes, causing a mini crash.  While I didn't hit the pavement, my bike kicked up and my cassette landed directly on my calf, injuring the muscle and giving me a nice gash.  I bled for 56 miles while simultaneously battling the 4k feet of elevation gain and 25+ mph winds, ouch!  Unfortunately, when I came off the bike, it was abundantly clear that I had injured more than the skin and a run was not going to happen and I ended up pulling out of the race.  I am now convinced that the first weekend of October is cursed and I really out to avoid racing on it!
Thanks to Joe (who stayed with me for the race) for being my doctor buddy and nursing my physical and emotional wounds after Silverman

What you don't see is how THICK the dried blood got.  Fun stuff.


After my "accident," my Grandma sent me a note which included the line, "Wow Bailey, that bike is telling you something ... I don't know what but I hope you're listening."  Now, on the surface this sounds like a "Don't race, you dumb kid" kind of comment; however, my grandmother is much more insightful than that and she truly meant "tell you something."  She was right.  I'm fairly convinced that Silverman (if not Silverman and Rancho Cordova) were self-fulfilled prophesies.  In both, I had a bad feeling leading up to the race.  I was feeling "over" racing, I felt fat and didn't appreciate my body's capabilities, and for some reason kept picturing myself getting hit by a car or otherwise crashing.  If I'm being honest with myself, I think I secretly wanted to have something catastrophic as an excuse.  Leading up to both races, I had a weird feeling of dread that I pushed aside instead of addressing it or turning it around. 

That said, both of my crashes provided a sudden and sincere reminder of how much I actually love racing and hate not being able to train/race.  Fortunately, this year's crash didn't end my season.  I was not able to run for 10 or 11 days but plopped on enormous waterproof bandages and continued to swim and water jog (and I could still ride).  I'm fortunate enough to have a trusted massage therapist as well; James may be the only reason I've been able to continue competing this season.  Going into Ironman 70.3 Miami, I was still fairly injured and feeling out of "run shape" but I was bound and determined to keep my head on straight and get the job done. 

In Miami, I got to stay with my dear friend and former CSU Triathlon teammate, Rebecca, yay!  Friday was filled with my trying to get in workouts between rain drops before eventually giving up and resorting to a local gym.  That night, Rebecca and I had dinner with the amazing owners of Riplaces (possibly my biggest cheerleaders as well).  Saturday, I managed to find a dry window and checked out training in the Florida humidity and to test out my new gear (new LG Helmet and Smith Optics sunglasses).  In the 10 minutes of shallow water swimming, I had two jellyfish encounters and another with some biting/stinging creature I never got a good look at; at this point I was just waiting for the Jaws theme song to start.  My fears were heightened a bit at our pro race meeting where we were informed there was a good chance the swim would be cancelled due to an inordinate amount of jellyfish.  Yikes!
I was a little nervous about the creatures beneath the surface ...


Race morning, we all waited for the call, finding out about 10 minutes before the start that the swim was, in fact, on.  I'm glad we were able to swim but boy were those creatures nasty!  Of the racers I spoke with, all were stung at least once or twice.  I, myself, got three stings including a big one on my left arm.  I managed to keep my head on my shoulders though and race on!  I'm mildly convinced that the sting caused an adrenaline rush which actually helped my race because I had huge swim/bike PRs!  We had a strong head wind coming back on the bike but, again, I kept my wits about me and powered through, visualizing The Little Engine that Could.  Coming into transition, I had to do a triple take looking at the racks and realizing I was in 5th place, holy smokes!  Heading out onto the run, I was over the moon!  Unfortunately, my injuries started to affect me around mile 5 as did electrolyte depletion (I had launched not one, not two, but three bottles on the bike meaning I only had 1/3 of my typical electrolytes).  I was passed by three stellar runners but managed to hang on for 8th place, a nice little payday, and a 5 minute PR.  After two years of dreaming it, I finally broke that elusive 4:30 barrier, woohoo!  I definitely want to thank Coach Mace at MP Multisport for everything he's done to get me to this point (and for not blocking my phone number as I lamented every injury and bad attitude over the past month).
Riding strong

My Jellyfish Smiley

I am convinced that the difference between Silverman and Miami was 99.9% attitude.  At Silverman, I had a negative outlook from the get go and was downright surly about the whole thing while in Miami, nothing could get me down.  Falling into a negative mindset or pattern is so easy; going forward, I believe I must constantly practice positivity until it becomes second nature.  After an awesome weekend, I'll be keeping that smile on my face for my last two weeks of training before wrapping up my season in Austin!
Ride Happy!


Thank you SO much for your support through the good days and bad MP Multisport, Pro Cyclery, Blueseventy, Hammer Nutrition, RiplacesHIE Cycling, Pro Motorsports of Fond du Lac, It's Your Choice Training, Las Vegas Multisport, and Anthem Fitness. 

 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Climbing Podiums!


On the afternoon of Sunday, June 28th CoachMace said to me, "Enjoy this afternoon, you're going to remember today forever."  I have a feeling he was right.  That morning, I swam, biked, and ran my way through a small but mighty field of women at Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake to a 5th place finish, earning my first WTC (ie Ironman Corp) podium slot.  I hadn't initially planned to attend this race but was finally convinced after hearing nothing but good things about the venue and race directors.  Those in the know turned out to be right, this was a fun weekend and an event not to be missed!

As I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling after the last few races and training camp, I didn't officially decide to attend IM 70.3 BSL until about a week out.  As a result, flying was pretty much out of the question so the weekend was bookended by a 13 hour drives through the desert (hooray for audio-books), what fun!  Upon arrival, I was thrilled to not only have an absolutely fantastic host family (thanks Pat and Wendy) but to share my homestay with friend and fellow athlete Joe Umpenhour.  Joe and I had a blast hanging out with our hosts, checking out the race course, getting hit on by age-groupers, and making multiple pilgrimages to Sprouts.  At the race expo, I was pleased to run into several friends including former CSU Tri teammate/officer Chris Leiferman. 
Surprise house-mate Joe!

Wondering which bike I should take, mine or my hosts?
 
With a 6:30 start time, race morning began even earlier than usual (which is always nice once the heat of the sun sets in).  After a speedy swim (new PR, yay), it was off on one of the toughest bike courses I have ridden.  Most of the roads were a bumpy chip seal as we encountered steep climbs, technical descents.  Fortunately, both the wind and temperatures were fairly mild.  Besides, a tough course beats being bored for 56 miles any day!  The challenge didn't stop as we trod the two loop run course: a particularly brutal hill in the middle seemed to slow just about everyone to a near walk.  While the first loop felt particularly rough, the energy of the other participants in conjunction with the realization that I was holding my fifth place slot powered me through the second loop to the finish where I crossed with what may have been the widest smile of the day. 
It wouldn't be race morning without a colorful lower half!

Speedy run out of the swim in my new Blueseventy Speed Suit!

Following the race, athletes were treated to what I'm pretty sure was the best post-race care I've ever received.  In addition to a delicious spread of fresh fruit, the TexasTech Physical Therapy and Nursing students were on deck (in mass) to assist with any need and to provide tired/dehydrated athletes with IV's of fluids.  I wish we got that treatment after every race, I've never felt better!  After making our way back to our home, Joe and I headed out on our bikes for a "cooldown" spin to Chipotle and Sprouts before cleaning up and heading to awards.  This was a fun event with fresh, catered food, a live band, and one of the most passionate/enthusiastic race directors in the business.  It was especially great to hang out with Jackie Hering (the day's overall winner and my bus buddy from IM 70.3 Raleigh) and to chat up the Timex Rep. 

Enjoying the podium with Haley and Jackie

Congrats on your 2nd place finish Chris!
Love my new Timex!!!

Since the race, it's been a bit of a whirlwind, arriving home late Monday only to head out again Thursday for my friend Teagan's wedding in Montana (where I probably adventured a bit too much but I'm pretty sure it was worth it).  Now, another short week before I venture to wine country for the last of my "Try not to die" race block (assuming I finish it'll be four Half Ironman's in 7 weeks, five in 11 weeks, and six total races in 12) at IM 70.3 Vineman.  Bring on the next 70.3 miles! 
Montana fun

Thank you so much to my generous sponsors and supporters for getting me to this milestone, I'm excited to see where we can go together!  MP Multisport, Blueseventy, Hammer Nutrition, Pro Cyclery, ProMotorsports, Riplaces, HIE Cycling, It's Your Choice Training, Las VegasMultisport, Duro Tire

Monday, June 22, 2015

High Altitude Adventures

I never turn down a good excuse to go to Colorado so I lived the dream for a bit racing, training, and visiting family!  Teammate and training partner, Max Jones, and I loaded the car for a road trip to the Rockies and it was anything but a smooth ride.  After being detoured through Aspen due to a rock slide, hail, and epic white-knuckle driving rain, we finally made it to NoCo about five hours after expected.  Thankfully, I was able to meet up with Patrick of PR Triworks to help me get the 15 pounds of water out of my frame/wheels before heading down to packet pickup.  Then, it was off to Parker to relax post-race with my brother's family. 
A little weather climbing past Aspen

Unexpected detour

Already winners

The post-race smile is deceiving

My cheering squad!
 
Race day was a bit of a mixed bag for me though I'd say it was an overall success.  Despite some nausea I was able to come out of the water in my Blueseventy Helix wetsuit with a PR before riding my pretty (and well cared for by Pro Cyclery) Miss Cleo and HIE Cycling wheels to another PR on the bike, woohoo!  Unfortunately, things fell apart a bit after that as nausea and that nagging glute issue getting the best of me.  Thankfully CoachMace was there at the start of lap two to talk me off a ledge and inspire me through the finish.  I'm glad to be making consistent progress in the first two legs though, just need to put it all together!

Following the race, I hung out in Recovery Pump boots, spent more time with family (my nephews are just the cutest), and enjoyed a rare relaxing day (including big fun at the Parker Days festival) before heading up to the mountains for camp.


Camp was a whirlwind of incredible awesomeness.  We saw new friends and old, spent quality time with coach, got nourished by the brilliant John Lawyer of Licksillet, took in some of the greatest views on the in the country, and trained our butts off!  Time flew by way too fast but I enjoyed it all.
Patrick and Max doing some bike maintenance

Individualized plates from John

And we feast!

View from the living room - not too shabby

Rainbow siting from our porch

View from right outside the pool

Sunset view from the back porch


Day 1
The traffic woes continued as we made our way to Granby but once there it was well worth the drive!  The views from our cabin were absolutely breathtaking (though that may be partially the elevation).  After an insightful FMS (functional movement systems) presentation from Max, we hit the trails to shake out our legs and find our lungs.  I was fairly certain that death was knocking on my doorstep as my heart rate surpassed 150 while shuffling through miles way below "normal" pace - this made me more than a little nervous about the training ahead.
All stocked up and ready to go!
 
FMS Training and talk from Max


Day 2
Tuesday began with a great pool swim led by Coach Tess.  Swimming at altitude is tough but sharing a lane with a few of my college chronies made it all worthwhile.  After breakfast, it was time for our first ride.  Unfortunately, some big black clouds filled the sky just as we were about to start.  Fortunately, however, coach just happens to be a former meteorologist and confidently held us back for all of ten minutes before we were in the clear.  Because it's me (and these things just seem to happen), I was amongst the group that got a little lost on our way to Winter Park, but technology is a key and we all found our way eventually!
Waiting out the weather
 
Right after being "found" - thanks Max!
 
JT looking so aero ...


In the afternoon, we were fortunate enough to have some metabolic efficiency knowledge dropped on us by the legendary Bob Seebohar of eNRG PERFORMANCE.  Feeling all inspired, we then hit the trails for another gorgeous run.  Of course, three workouts is never enough so Steve ran me through a tough core workout before dinner (which served to show where a few of my weaknesses remain). 
Thanks eNRG!!! 
 
Steve about to lead me through a workout while Paige and Mike stretch, JT and Hannah roll ... and coach watches from the comfort of his chair - hmmmmm

Day 3
A few of us greeted the day with a short pool swim before loading up the trailer for our day of training.  The group started off at Lake Granby and rode from there.  With our time limitations in mind, Coach Frost said something along the lines of, "Only the studs will make it to the peak," which basically meant "Bailey is about to get stubborn."  The ride was a gorgeous  rolling climb through green woods and meadows and the summit was reached (even though it meant only seven minutes of our allotted hour lunch break was left).  Next it was time to freeze our butts off in Lake Granby (a mountain lake in June isn't too toasty) with an open water swim and tactics lesson from Coach Tess before warming up again with a light run.  After this successful day of training, we relaxed by taking over the party room at a local restaurant (where I thoroughly grilled and annoyed the manager to determine the one item on the menu that would be edible). 
Ready to ride!
 
Thanks Frosty, Mike, and JT for getting me to the divide!

Made It! (continental divide in the background there)
 
Just in time for lunch
 
... and the ladies' lunch photo

Grateful for our Blueseventy suits!

 

And we feast

 

 

Friends new and old: Tess, Paige, and JT
 

 Day 4
Call me crazy but I wanted to enjoy every last second of my final day at camp so I dragged myself out of bed for one last solo trail run (of course, it was time to leave right around the time I started to get used to the elevation).  Then, it was off to Lake Granby to begin our biggest ride yet!  We rolled out from the lake in the opposite direction of the previous day and headed towards Rocky Mountain National Park.  30 miles later, we hit the summit at 12,213 feet after climbing switchbacks across the continental divide.  I think one of my favorite parts was the looks of surprise mixed with both awe and disgust that we received from trail-mix eating, selfie taking, couch potatoes parked at the scenic overlooks.  Speaking of scenery, however, the views were awe inspiring.  That ride was something I don't think I'll soon forget!  After a team photo at the visitor center, it was back down the mountain for a final swim in the lake.   
 
 
So worth it

Still a little snow on the roads

Mike was a great riding partner (and the sole reason I got ANY sleep Thursday night as he prevented my detour to the airport - thanks Mike!!!)

If only all the roads were like this

2 miles above sea level and still climbing!

Bikes need a break too

Whole team made it to the top!
#MPTrainingcamp2015

Love these super legit ladies!
Tess, Paige, Hannah, and Elise
 
And best of all, I saw a moose on my way down!
 

Unfortunately, I had to leave camp a day early and drive through Thursday night to get back for Friday morning clients.  Fortunately, I was armed with the adrenaline rush of camp coupled with audio books and some fantastic mariachi music on the mountain radio stations of Utah (and maybe a few too many cups of coffee). 

 THANK YOU so much to everyone involved in making this trip a success.  Thank you to Coach Mace for convincing me it would be worth my time, to Max for basically signing us up to go before actually receiving my consent, JT, Tess and Frosty (and of course Mace) for superior coaching, Patrick Ray (PR TriWorks) for the daily sag/bike support, John Lawyer (Lickskillet) for putting up with my dietary shenanigans, and to my TEAM (new friends and old) for being a constant inspiration.  I'm already counting the days until camp 2016!