Sonja's Outdoor World

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Recent Photos

I just love this photo of Annie:

Annie on the pot this morning, reading her glitter turtle book:

Sitting in the dog bowl, looking like Where's Waldo:

New and improved skinny son (people have been asking for pictures):

Monday, January 29, 2007

Coaching Update

I have contacted a few coaches and am meeting with one this week. She is local and I really like her philosophy, so we will see how we mesh.
Also, I signed up for a TrainingPeaks account ( and got to know the software pretty well. It is awesome. I was able to make the leap that I was missing in the Triathlete Training Bible because they do it for you in the software. I did the first two workouts today and they were great. They seemed appropriate for where I am at right now. I am still looking into coaching...but we'll see.

Race Registration

Well, I just signed up for my first riathlon. Kinda Scary...I'm commited. I have signed up for the Boulder Peaks triathlon. It's an Olympic Distance tri (1.5Kswim, 42Kbike, 10Krun), and it's a big, well known one. It's in late July so I have a long time to wait.
I also signed up for the Tubbs Romp To Stomp Out Breast Cancer Snowshoe Fun Run. Bring on the events!!

Posting on my New iMac

I am just posting to say how excited I am to be posting a blog entry on my new iMac! It arrived today, and we have just set it all up. I am such a novice, but love it allready!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Coaching Dilemma (LONG)

For about a month now I have been struggling with this coaching dilemma. So, as you know I have been racing a lot, and up to this point, I pretty much go out and exercise willy nilly. I try to be smart about it, but my method is pretty much like throwing mud at a wall and seeing what sticks. I try not to kill myself day after day, I try to always have fun, and I try to let my body recover when it's feeling hailed. This (along with the weight loss) has allowed me to get into really good shape. BUT, somehow, in my heart I know I can be way better. I am such a natural competitor, and I feel like I am mentally stronger than I have been in my whole life. I mean, life is going great. There are occasional speed bumps but my "roll with it" attitude has never been better. In races, my mind isn't getting to me for the first time ever, I am able to stay positive even when I'm hurting and people are passing me. I honestly think all the HypnoBirthing training has laid the foundation for this.

So, back to my dilemma...I think I need a coach. At the very least, I need a plan, something to stick to, to keep motivated towards, and also for safety. The mud throwing philosophy tends to get you injured in the long run. But I have a dilemma. So I talked to the triathlon coach at my gym, and for $75 a month he will design me a schedule (and nothing more), for $125 a month he will give me a schedule, 1 training session a month, and some personal contact, for $199 a month I get the schedule, 2 training sessions and unlimited contact. So, I started thinking about this and I thought WOWAH. Maybe I should pick up some books and read all there is out there, maybe I can do this schedule thing myself. So...I bought books. AND, I read the books. So there are two types of books. Ones that train you for one race (like the Triathloning for Ordinary Mortals, and the Triathlons for Women), and ones (I could only find ONE, and sort-of another) that help you put together a schedule for your whole season. I don't want to train for just one dinky race, I want to do tons. So I read from cover to cover, all 299 pages of Joe Friel's "The Triathlete's Training Bible". I was doing so good...he was guiding me through preparing an "Annual Training Schedule". All the way until page 100. Then he went psycho. I was following along perfectly, I had analyzed my goals, written objectives, determined annual training hours, broken those hours into weekly hours using periodization, determined my race schedule, determined my weight training schedule, determined my weak areas, and put together a one-line per week schedule. Then came time to break the one-line weekly overview into specific day by day workouts and he completely lost me. Mostly b/c he didn't tell us how to do it. The leap that he made was so huge, after trying to figure it out for two hours last night, I went to bed really bummed out.

So today I revisited...still lost. I don't know what to do. The leap he makes is so huge for me, that even if I ever do put something together, I'm not going to trust that I did it right. So I started looking online...I thought: maybe this "Joe Friel" dude would answer some of my questions...well, he's $1,500 per month to have him train I don't think he will be answering my lowly little email. I continued looking online, and there are several other options. Let me explain. There is this website called TrainingPeaks where you can buy predesigned schedules. So again (like the books), these are one-event things, or they are really impersonal (is that a word??). Then there is personal coaching. But it's pricey (like the greenwood village coach). The cheapest I can find is $150 per month (there are two different ladies here and here for this price and I REALLY like both of their websites...there are others but I was drawn toward the women), and that gives me a schedule and unlimited access to the coach (and some other bike fitting and nutritional support). There are also group programs like CWW or Team in Training. But I feel like these are also event, or 1-4 events oriented.

I am looking at 24 events on my calendar right now (these are from Feb 4 to Sept 17). Some of them are more important to me and a lot of them are just for fun, but I don't know where my passion lies right now. So what I really want to do this year is a "tour de athletica". I want to get in great shape and sample a bunch of events so that I know where the intersection of "Passion" and "Aptitude" lie for me. Is it adventure racing? Or XTERRA triathlons (offroad triathlons), or speed tri-s, or 1/2 marathons. Or is it just running? Or is my swim so bad that I should stick to duathlons? I want a sample. year I will focus on the sport that is appropriate. Also, this season, I can train with Annie in the bike Charriot, next summer things will be up for grabs a bit more. So I wanted to focus on Triathlons b/c I can train for that with my Annie-girl.

DILEMMA. Any suggestions? Help...feel free to comment!

New Car...and sickness

We bought a new car today! We found a 2005 Blue Subaru Outback Limited with 27,000 miles on it for a good price. We have been looking for several weeks with an auto broker that our credit union provides, but it wasn't really working. We wanted to trade in both of our trucks and move to one car, and the auto broker was saying that we would need to fork out an additional 2,500 b/c our trades weren't worth their loans. That was depressing. I found this car on and since it was at a Saturn dealership, I decided to go test drive it today. The guys there were great, they took both our trucks, covered our loans on them, and gave us a good deal on this Subaru. I absolutely love this car, it's completely loaded, every bell and whistle you can image, and it has the turbo drive, so it has quite the go-go-power! I had Annabelle with me at the dealer and everyone there was great. It really was a no-hassle sale, I told them what I needed to buy the car, and they got that for me right away. It was a really good buying experience!

On another note, Annabelle got a really nasty stomach flu yesterday. She threw up twice really badly...I didn't know someone so small could throw up so much. I felt helpless, it was really sad. She just wanted to be held in my arms for hours, and we had to take multiple baths to get the puke out of her hair. Poor thing. She woke up this morning completely better and back to her old self, but several hours later Troy was exhibiting symptoms. Sure enough Troy went through the whole sickness today, puke and everything. I felt so bad for him. He told me to go test drive the car, so I took Annie and did that. Eventually I had to call him to come out and sign the papers and bring our second truck for trade, so he had to drive out and help buy the car right in the middle of the worst of it. I felt like a REALLY bad wife! I took really good care of him when we got home and now it seems the worst is over, he's gone 4.5 hours without throwing up so I think we are in the clear. I just really hope that I don't get it tomorrow...that seems to be the trend!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


We are joining the world of Mac-a-holics. I now own 3 iPods (a 30 gig video iPod, a 1st generation iShuffle, and a 2nd generation iShuffle), and we just purchased a new 20 inch iMac. Out with the PC and in with the Mac. I can't wait to become friends with that cool Mac guy on the commercials, rather than associating myself with the dude with the comb-over. That's a great ad campaign, so blatant about the "cool" factor. The new iMac should arrive sometime next week and I am sooooooooooo excited! I've never even used an iMac...except at the store, so I have lots to learn. Mostly I am just REALLY excited that I can surf the web without getting spyware. I think my computer is riddled with bugs right now, and so it runs slow and boots up slow, and is generally a mess. I am looking forward to watching movies on it since it will officially be larger than our television...which is a 19 inch.

Deer Creek Canyon Park Snowshoe

Yesterday we had and awesome Colorado Mountain Mama snowshoe in Deer Creek Canyon Park. It's one of my favorite local places to go hiking, but this was the first time I snowshoed there. It was awesome, we did this great 3 mile loop. The views were perfect, it was a clear day, and there is a perfect snowshoe trail cut right now. I hope to get out there some more this week and weekend before the snow melts. I snapped a pic of Annie in the pack, in her new snowsuit right before the battery on my camera went dead.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Salomon Shoes

For those of you that were concerned (and I know you all were on pins and needles), I took my sad and broken Salomon shoes (see Sunday's racing post) to REI today and they provided me with a spankin' brand new pair! AND!!! They are RED!! I am very happy about fact, I am doing a little happy dance as I type! I love these shoes sooo much. I like to hike, run, race, snowshoe, bike (pre-clipless peddle era) and run errands in them. They are my go to shoe...and if Salomon would like to sponsor this stay at home mama, they wouldn't be sorry!

Annie's New Shoes

Since Annie is walking everywhere now it was time to get her some shoes that could stand up to the mud, muck, snow, puddles, sludge, and icky that's out there right now. We got her this awesome pair of purple suede Merrell's with velcro. She walks really well in them, they fit her feet great and she is very happy in them. Here are a few photos from today:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Frosty's Frozen 5 Mile Race

We woke up this morning to several new inches of snow on the ground. As we made our way to the race at Chattfield State Park it was clear that the plows had not made it down the freeway so it was slow going. Arriving at the race site it was snowing pretty heavily and the winds were blowing the snow around. The parking lot was slippery as it had several inches of snow on top of a sheet of ice. Luckily the race course was in much better conditions.
4 minutes before the race my shoelace on my Salomon shoes broke. I had to run back to the car, switch shoes, switch my YakTracks to my new shoes and I went. The course was rather hilly with several inches of snow covering it, but the YakTracks gave me great traction. They had lots of slow ups and slow downs. At the turn around I counted that I was in 3rd place (for the ladies). Mile 4 was an especially hard mile for me, slightly uphill. A lady passed me, and she was running really strong past me, so I let her go. I just tried to keep my pace and continue to go hard. I finished as the 4th lady, my time was 40:55.
I felt good about it. I stayed on about an 8:12 pace for the 5 miles. The last 5K I ran a pace of 7:58 so I felt this was pretty good given the conditions and the 2 extra miles over a 5K. The next race in the series is in a month and it's a 10 mile. That seems like a really long distance, so I am going to have to put in some longer runs to train for that one.
I got some major swag at this race. I won a $15 gift cert from a local running store for getting third place in my age category, and the guy representing Accelerade was there and he gave me a free tub of it (like a $20 value) and a t-shirt and a water bottle. Accelerade is a recovery drink that has a 4:1 carb to protein ratio...but that's a blog for another day.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Duathlon Race

I ran the second installment of the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon Today. The course was completely snow covered. Here is a description of the course that the race director posted Thursday evening:

Run-1: Approximately 1.5 miles in length. Starts on the road for approximately 0.5 miles. The road here is 100 percent snowpacked, and may be a little slippery in spots. The course then moves onto park trails which are a mix of packed snow trails, and a couple of short stretches where my footprints are the only ones. I will pack-out those stretches with snowshoes on race morning, but expect the final mile of the first run to be a fun challenge.

Oh, I said I would pack it down, but don't expect too much. It will still be very uneven. I had a blast out there today!!! Plan on a 1.5 mile time that is similar to what you would run for 2.5 miles.

Bike-1: Approximately 4 miles, of which 90+ percent is currently hard-packed snow. The final 0.5 miles into transition are a little rutted. It is supposed to be above freezing and sunny on Friday, so the snow pack may get a little slippery in spots. I would use a mountain bike if I were racing, but the decision is completely yours. I am definitely recommending that everyone stay off the aerobars!

Transition-2: The parking lot for this transition is partially plowed. I have asked to have the rest of it plowed for race day, but there may be up to 6 inches of soft powder in this transition.

Run-2: Approximately 2.5 miles in length. We have switched it from a loop to an out-and-back because it will be more runnable for everyone. From the look of things, this stretch has already been used by several hundred walkers and runners, so it is a wide, well-packed trail. I comfortably jogged it at about a 7:30 pace today.

Bike-2: Approximately 6 miles in length. Again, 90 percent snowpacked roadway.

Run-3: approximately 25-50 meters in length. Just rack your bike in the main transition and run to the finish. It will be snowpacked.

They started the race in a series of 8 heats, which took off 2 minutes apart. I was in the 6th heat, and heats were chosen randomly. In run 1 I was the first lady off the starting line and throughout the 1.5 miles was able to catch up to people in several of the heats ahead of me. The course was shin deep power that sent your feet every which way. I am used to this with the snowshoe racing, so I just cranked through it. I passed a lot of people walking and cussing. People seemed to hate it, and it was quite painful when your feet are going everywhere and you are fighting just to keep from falling down, but it's all about attitude, and mine was of pure fun and enjoyment.
Bike 1 was fun, I was wearing my Ipod, so I matched my cadence to my songs and cranked up the resistance...just like spin class.
Run 2 was wild, the first 1/4 mile was on an icy road, then it went to a snow packed trail, but the trail was only packed WELL about 1 foot across. On the way up one of the hills a guy running downhill assumed I would step off the 1 foot packed portion for him and he ran into me so hard it knocked me off the trail, and almost knocked me down. AND I had stepped half way off for him..just thought we should split the trail...seems obvious. I yelled a *very* nasty word that starts with F and ends with "er", and took it as an excuse to run harder. The run was out and back, so I started counting how many women were in front of me, there were 4. Not that it matters, because we started in heats, so it's all a little confusing. However, since I was in the 6th heat and no woman had passed me, I knew if I passed ladies, that they were from heats before me. At the turn around in the run I passed the 4th girl, but the other three seemed to be too far ahead.
Back to the bikes, I had a really quick transition, passed a few guys just by being quicker to put on my helmit, and was off. Once again, matching my cadence with the tempo of my ipod worked wonders. I was able to pass 4 guys on the ride back.
The last run is only 30 meters, so essentially you throw your bike on the transition rack and RUN...helmet and all! For the first time in all the races I have been running I won something. At this race the race director just hands random people prizes as they finish, and he handed me an awesome Orange GoLite shirt in Women's Large, it fits perrrfect. I was sooo stoked about this and did a little happy dance at the finish line. I felt GREAT during this race. I felt like my body and mind loved the adversity. I really think I race better when the conditions are crazy, I just find it fun. Last night I was really worried about riding my bike on the ice. I fell on my bike about a month ago on the ice, and so I felt a bit skittish. But this morning I woke up feeling that "If I fall, then I fall, no bigee". And, I didn't, in fact I felt really stable on the ice.
Results came out this evening and it turns out I was the second Woman overall! My time was 1:18.17. The first woman was 7 seconds ahead, the 3rd woman was 3 behind. If only we had all been in the same heat, then we would really know who's the bomb, but with this format, I'm sure that we all had to run our races pretty much in isolation. Too Bad. I was the 29th person overall in the race (out of 115). I once again held the title of fastest woman in the fat tire division. Allthough, allmost everyone chose to ride their mountain bikes today (your classification depends on what bike you will ride for all three races, so people in the open division can choose to ride a road bike or a mountain bike depending on the conditions, whereas I MUST ride my mountain bike for all three races...I did this b/c I don't own a road bike :)...YET!).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Races This Weekend

I have two races this weekend and the nerves are starting to build up a little bit. On Saturday I have the second installment of the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon. Last month was the first installment and I won the mountain bike division for the ladies (there was only 5 of us :)). I drove the bike course yesterday and it's 95% covered with snow and ice. I am praying that they make a last minute change to the course, but they haven't posted anything on the website. The race is a 1.5 mile run, followed by a 4 mile bike, then to a 2.5 mile run, and finishes with a 6 mile bike. Three transitions should be positively crazy!

On Sunday I am running the Frosty's Frozen 5 Mile. This is also the second installment of the "Winter Distance Series". I didn't run the first installment though. My friend Lindsay convinced me to run the last two. She signed up for the entire series. I'm excited about the 5 mile, it's a bit longer race than the 5K's (3.1 mile) that I'm used to. Lindsay did great on the last race, and we seem to run right about the same pace, so I'm excited to run with her.

So, wish me luck this weekend. It's supposed to snow the entire weekend, so my warm weather active gear is probably going to get some good use. I am really excited that both these races are in the Denver area. I'm not quite ready to jaunt back into the mountains after the car accident two weekends ago.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Brrrrr...Chilly Willy, and Weight Loss Numbers

It's been sooooo cold here! Under 10 degrees for the past 4 days. I'm ready for the temps to pick back up. I thought I was sick of the reoccurring snow, but I am more sick of the low temps b/c I don't feel comfortable taking Annabelle outside at all. On Thursday I had a Mountain Mama hike scheduled and it ended up being so cold that we took the kiddos into the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and held and impromptu playgroup. We had a lot of fun chatting it up in the warm Nature Center, while it looked nasty cold outside!
In other news, I had an appointment with Prudence the dietitian on Monday and I hit my goal weight! 142! The most amazing part is that on 10/2/06 I had 29.5% body fat, and now on 1/8/07 I have 22.4%! That's a loss of 7.1% body fat! In my case that is 16.3 pounds of fat! I also lost 4.9 pounds of lean muscle mass (the good stuff), but this tends to happen. Apparently we have muscle that supports our excess fat, so when we shed the fat, the lean muscle that supports it doesn't need to be there either. I went shopping for a new pair of jeans and was able to buy a size 8 at Old Navy. In October I was wearing size 14, so that feels really good. My original goal was 20% body fat and a weight between 140-144. So, now I will continue to work on decreasing my body fat % while trying to build more lean muscle mass. Sometimes you can do this and your weight will actually go up (but body fat down). I am 100% okay with that, so we aren't going to focus on weight, now just the fat %. To tell you the truth, I am feeling pretty hot to trot. I feel good, I fit into my clothing, and I am loving the new tone I have developed with all the exercise I am doing. I absolutely love going to my new gym (I don't think I shared that I joined the gym). I do a lot of spin classes which is really building my leg strength, my endurance, and my speed. I love the Palates Mat classes for my core strength, and they have treadmills that have little TVs in them with cable! We don't have cable, so this is a huge treat. I must admit though, my favorite is that I get to sit in the hot tub that is inside the women's locker room when my workout is over. The thing is like the size of my living room, and it's such a treat to relax and let the worries of the day pass over.
I have started putting together a list of all the races that I want to do this summer and it's getting a bit insane. There are so many possibilities, it's hard to choose. They all look so fun! Adventure Races, Triathlons, 1/2 marathons, I just know that all of this is possible for me now. I am lucky that Troy is so supportive and loves to come along to races and hang out with Pookette in his arms and cheer me on. Lucky, lucky me!
Ooh, as a last note, apparently channel 9 news showed the following photo of Annie and I on the news several weeks ago. Troy sent it in during the blizzard, and a good friend called several days ago to tell us that she saw us on the news. So here is our famous photo:

Monday, January 08, 2007

On the Pot

Annie is going poo on the pot really well lately. AND, she's quite happy about it. The side effect is that she likes to sit in round the dog's bowl.

Snowshoe Race and Crazy Day

We headed off to Beaver Creek yesterday for a snowshoe race, but ended up having an absolutely miserable day. We left the house at 7:15am. The race was at 11am at the Beaver Creek Ski Resort, and is part of the Beaver Creek Snowshoe Adventure Series. I signed up for the entire series, and this is the second of four races (In the first race my time was 44:42 and I was the 18th woman to finish the 5K). As we drove up there, the roads were a wreck. There was snow and ice on the roads, but the farther west we traveled the better it got. We were approaching Copper Ski Resort when our truck decided on it's own to drive off the road. It was a flat section of road, we had a car behind and a car in front of us, and I don't think either of them had to break...we just flew off the road. We crashed through the 5 feet of snow in the median, we bounced off the median railing and finally came to a stop at the bottom of the median ditch. We checked to make sure everyone (Annabelle) was okay. Troy and I were shaking a bit and Annie was totally fine, didn't even cry. She was acting like nothing happened. There was clearly no way we were going to get out of the 5 foot snow drifts by ourselves, we weren't sure if the car was even drivable after the collision with the railing. We glanced around and found a call box on the side of the frontage road so I put on a hat and some gloves and went to use it. At the call box the police transferred my call to AAA. They proceeded to put me on hold for 10 minutes, after which the call box discontinued the call. I never did get to speak with AAA. By then I was loosing feeling in my toes and fingers from the chilly wind and I headed back to the car. A passing snowplow called a tow-truck for us. The tow-truck driver winched us out of the ditch and towed us to the next exit. We got to ride inside our truck on top of the tow-truck...that was really cool! At the next exit he lowered the truck off and it turns out we just bent the bumper. Troy and him were able to bend the bumper back and get clearance with the tires so we were good to drive...yea!!!
Troy and I decided to continue onto the race. We arrived at the Beaver Creek resort at 10:50! I grabbed my stuff and ran to the starting line (with a quick bathroom break). And off went the race. The adrenaline helped me to run hard and fast. My recent training has been paying off b/c my body and muscles felt really strong and ready to put out a good effort. The course had lots of deep snow single-track, I love that stuff. The 5K course gained about 800 feet in elevation and there were a lot of racers. The race was awesome, the weather was great, a little chilly, but clear as a bell. When I came through the finish Troy was cheering with Annie, it felt great to see them there and I thought about how lucky we all were to be safe. Troy said it looked like I was the 11th woman, and the time on my watch was 37:25. We then went to the Beaver Creek Village for the provided post-race lunch, and then packed up and headed home. We left the parking lot at 2:15.
We then proceeded to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for a long time. At one point it took over an hour to go 3 miles. About 2.5 hours into our drive Annie started to fuss. The poor girl had been so patient today, but she was clearly mad at the situation. I couldn't seem to calm her down and then all of the sudden she threw up everywhere...all over the car and herself. She was choking b/c she was in her car seat which has a slight recline. I quickly pulled her out of the seat as Troy was frantically pulling the car over to the side of the road (we were only going like 10mph anyways). Needless to say everyone needed a change of clothes and there was lots of mopping up to do before we could continue driving home. After we got her clean clothes, a clean diaper, and a fresh bottle she fell asleep clutching her grinch stuffed animal tightly! We eventually made it home at 7pm. A drive that usually takes 2hrs 15 minutes had taken 4 hours and 45 minutes. Whew! Annie went straight to bed and Troy and I stayed up reading our books and reliving our crazy day!
The race in Beaver Creek next month should be a better situation. We are staying in a condo at Winter Park the Friday and Saturday before the Sunday race to have an early Valentines Day with our friends Chris and Taylor. Then the race will be Sunday and that evening we are tentatively staying at a friend of a friends' condo that my good friend Stephanie is arranging (can I say "friend" any more). So we won't have to drive in Sunday Ski Traffic barely AT ALL!!! Yea. I'm looking forward to the next race, hoping the course is good and I race well!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Christmas Pictures

We traveled down to Pueblo for Christmas this year. We have some great friends that just moved down there, and they have a little boy Sam. Annie and Sam get along really well. Here are a few shots that I just love:

Halloween (reallly late)

Annie was Yoda for Halloween. A picture is worth 1,000 words:

Weight Loss Again!

I'm back!!! Sort-of! I have been away for awhile. The holidays make it tough. We have been doing great, I'll try to post some catch up blogs with some Annabelle photos.
Weight loss is going really well, I am down to 143.5, so almost 20 pounds. The difference is huge!! It has all come off using GOFD&E (Good Old Fashion Diet and Exercise). I can really feel it. I joined the Greenwood Athletic Club in late December and that's been really fun. I am loving the spin classes, and the Pilates! Exercise is the key to my well being, nutrition is the key to the weight loss. My dietician Prudence has been monumental in teaching me all I need to know! AND, she keeps me honest!