Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Inside the Box






Whew! I guess it's been awhile since I updated this thing... so much has been going on I don't even know where to begin...

A few weeks ago I finished up my first semester volunteering with Boulder County Headstart. I'm so thankful for the group of kids I was given to work with and also the support of the Athletes for Hope and look forward to working with this organization more in the future. In addition, I had the opportunity to help out the running after school program at Columbine Elementary School. The overall purpose of the program was to get the kids outside exercising with a more specific goal of getting them ready so that they could complete the Bolder Boulder 10k which happens annually in Boulder on Memorial Day. I foresee some future Usain Bolts in this group... =)

In addition to racing after speedy kids, I've also been racing some myself. In my last post, I mentioned that I was racing in the Monterrey World Cup, a race that ended up being a disaster for me. The swim portion of this race took place in a narrow canal that was about 4 feet deep and not too wide...not the most ideal setting for a group of 70 people to swim through at once. Needless to say, I felt like I was in a boxing match trying to move into a good position most of the swim and came out of the water feeling pretty spent and just a couple of seconds off of the main pack. I time trialed a couple of laps but was never able to catch them and pretty much blew up the second half of the bike. I'd never competed in a race with a field that big so it was a definitely a good learning experience for me...I'll know what to expect in the future.

Last weekend I competed in another race, a continental cup that was held in Monroe, Washington, just outside of Seattle. Before I recap the race I have to comment that this was just about the most perfect race weather I'd ever seen in all my years of racing...high 60's and partially sunny...pretty much a triathlete's dream! Anyways, the elite women's race started right around noon with a just barely cold enough for wetsuits swim in Lake Tye. I came out of the first lap of the swim right in the middle of the pack and lost a couple of spots on the second lap but still came out in good position, only a couple of seconds off the main group. After a very bad taking off my wetsuit 1st transition, I headed out for the bike, just off the first group. I worked with an Australian girl who exited transition around the same time as me and we quickly worked to reel in a couple more girls to form a pack of 6. About 6 laps into the bike, I was moving up to take a pull when my bike started to fishtail and I almost smacked into some of my group (sorry girls!). I quickly realized I had a flat in my rear tire :( I wasn't sure exactly where the wheel stop was but knew it was probably somewhere near the beginning of the lap. So I rode the rest of the 5k lap on the flat very very slowly and approached the wheel station only to learn that unlike in World Cups, there are no neutral wheels in continental cups. At that point I thought I was done but luckily Chris Tremonte saved me and let me borrow his rear wheel so I could continue on...thanks Chris! I don't think I realized how much time I'd lost at that point so I continued on and time trialed the rest of the bike. When I got to the run, my legs felt pretty heavy and sore but I was able to work into a rhythm and get a good turnover going heading into the finish.

Looking back at my past two races, I thought "What good can I possibly take away from these races??" That's when it dawned on me that I'd had two races without getting any penalties for having my equipment outside of the box in transition. This is something I was penalized for many times at the end of last year/beginning of this year. So, that's where I'm at right now... down, but definitely not out... and still having a blast!

My next race is a continental cup in San Francisco, California, a race I've done twice before. But before that happens, I get to visit some of my favorite family members in the midwest and celebrate the 90th birthday of one of my biggest fans, my grandpa :)

Happy summer everyone! Chug that water and don't forget the sunscreen!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Monterrey World Cup

Hello readers! I am in Monterrey, Mexico getting ready to race my first World Cup of the year. My race goes off on 5/8 (Happy Mother's Day Mom!) at around 8:30am Central Time and you can get live splits at triathlon.org if you are bored on Sunday or want to keep tabs on me :) All for now...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Adventures of a Blonde in Chile Part 2: The Climb

For the second part of my Chilean adventure, I spent a week falling in love with the city of Valparaiso, the site of my second race. It only took me a day or so in the city to figure out something pretty awesome: as far as loving/enjoying their lives go, these people really get it. As I walked through the city each day, I loved to just stop and “people watch” for awhile. It wasn’t hard to spot a hello kiss on the cheek, a couple embracing, or a group of people laughing while eating their lunch at a local cafĂ©. The city had a certain energy about it which I feel rubbed off on me the longer I was in it. Once some of the locals realized that the girl with “pelo rubia”(blonde hair) could actually speak Spanish, I had some great conversations with a couple of people on how the simple things such as a great relationship with family, friends, and appreciation of nature were all you needed to really get the most out of life.

Another thing I noticed pretty quickly after arriving in Valparaiso was that the entire city was built on a hill, meaning that to get to anywhere you would have to climb up and down a couple hundred steps… a workout in itself (especially carrying a bike on your back)!!! A saying that I saw throughout city was “Como si la vida fuera a durar parasiempre,” which literally translates to “As if life would last forever.” However, this was anything but true for my time there. Although all I was doing was training (and working a little bit for my other job), it seemed like the days passed by very quickly (partially due to the time I had to take into account to climb up/down the stairs and the hills to get into the city to even begin my workouts). Before I knew it, the week was nearing an end meaning race morning was quickly approaching.

Race morning I woke up a little before my alarm and was amazed at how calm I felt. That never happens and I was honestly a little worried that there were no butterflies in my stomach. Because bagels don’t really exist in South America, I settled for a pre-race breakfast of a bread roll with honey, my usual banana, and some out-of-this-world hot chocolate that I made with the amazing Nestle chocolate powder that I bought on my first leg of the Chilean journey. After breakfast around 6am, my American teammate Lauren and I made our way down to the race site about 4k away from our apartment. As we biked into the race site, we were greeted by the familiar sound of American music, something that is common in most stores and restaurants in Chile although Spanish is the dominant language. After a nice long warmup (it was freezing!), I slipped into my Xterra wetsuit, excited to finally race in a wetsuit that fit me! The water was about 15 degrees celcius, so I had to make sure I gave myself enough time to warmup in it and try to keep up my circulation as best as possible.

The race started right on time and with the blast of a canon, I was off running from the beach into the Pacific Ocean. The first couple hundred meters were very congested but by the time I’d reached the first buoy, I was able to find some space and get into somewhat of a rhythm. I finished the first lap of the swim and as I ran around the buoy to begin the second lap I noticed that I was in about 5th or 6th place with a bit of a gap between myself and the front pack. After I dove back into the ocean to begin the second lap, I decided to put in a surge to try and catch the group. The waves were really whipping me around at this point and although I couldn’t see any feet in front of me, I hoped that I was gaining ground on the lead pack. There were a couple times where I sighted and the waves were so high that I couldn’t see the buoy so I continued swimming in a straight line. Then, once I saw a yellow buoy to the right of me, I figured I was too far left and swam to the right to correct my path. Just before I got to aforementioned buoy, I saw a kayak in front of me pointing to the left… turns out I had swam to the wrong buoy. Whoops! At this point I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, although in the moment I’m sure more of the latter occurred. So, I was forced to swim about 100 meters back to the other buoy to correct my course and not be disqualified before continuing on. Needless to say, I exited the water after my 1700 meter swim near last and was one of the last bikes left in transition.

On the first lap of the bike, I realized that I was about two and a half minutes down on the lead pack and tried to put in a surge to see if I could catch the pack that was forming a minute and a half up the road from me. After smashing the first couple of laps on the bike, I gained a little bit of ground but not enough to make huge dent into the gap. I soloed most of the bike and entered the transition for the run with two other girls.

As I headed out of transition, I immediately tried to start out with as fast a cadence as possible. I knew that most of the field was over 2 minutes up the road but like I said in my previous post, you never know who will have to serve penalties or who’s bonking up the road. Both the bike and run courses were fairly hilly, however, my legs were somehow still there and I was able to push the pace for most of the run and catch 6 girls along the way. After my huge mistake I ended up in 13th place, definitely frustrating but I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face as usual, just happy to be able to leave it all out there on the course and enjoy the day.

While I was a little sad to leave Chile and return home, I will forever treasure the memories that I have from this experience. From the waiters at the fancy restaurant who agreed to serve the triathletes that came in dressed in athletic clothes to the cute and fluffy stray dogs that adopted me for my daily runs along the coast, I will never forget you. So now, it’s back to Colorado and back to work. Let me leave you with this: “ It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb!” – Miley Cyrus

The Stairs




The day before my second race in Chile, I had the opportunity to take a walk further up Hector Calvo Joffre (the street I was living on for the week) and check out the house of Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and diplomat. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature and is considered by some to be the Hemingway of Chile. Being a Spanish minor in college, I studied Neruda’s works a great deal and was excited to learn more about his life and influences for his works. In college, I was programmed to churn out essays/poems/papers on a daily basis and since graduation, have rarely had a chance to write. However, something about the setting of Neruda's museum inspired me to write. So, I went to a nearby coffee shop and wrote this poem, my first in quite awhile… I’m no Shakespeare, but I hope you enjoy!

The Stairs by Amanda Hahn

Walking up the stairs of life,
Sometimes tension so thick you could cut through it with a knife.
The first few steps take gracefully,
Sit back, observe the world, just be.
Learning how to stand so tall,
You must keep your balance and fly, not fall.
Now you’re off and there’s no looking back,
No one behind you to pick up the slack.
Teachers will remind you to keep a steady pace,
Life’s a marathon after all, not a sprint race.
The time will arrive when you reach the middle of the stairs,
And what once didn’t matter now represents your deepest cares.
A family, a job, a college degree,
All will fall into place in time…you’ll see.
There may be obstacles when you reach this part of the stairs,
Some will support you, others give you glares.
Another step taken, another moment stolen from the day,
You’ve been on this staircase so long you’re beginning to say…
That this journey isn’t worth it and you’re ready to throw in the towel,
Yet you grit your teeth and smile even though you want to scowl.
Figures from your past walk faster up the way,
Reminding you of where you started and where you are today.
The steps grow steeper, your mind weaker as you near the top,
Your legs grow tired and you wonder if this grind will ever stop.
Life has thrown its curves at you,
And you threw something back…need a clue?
Your faith has pushed you to the end,
And along the way you’ve stored up advice to lend.
You’re knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door,
But don’t forget where you started – the floor.
As you approach your final stride,
These few rules you must abide…
Once you crest the last step, step aside,
And make sure to salute the staircase, the journey, the ride.

The end :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adventures of a Blonde in Chile Part 1

My journey to Chile began on March 17th and couldn’t have started out on a more sour note. When checking in for my flight at the Tallahassee airport with all my luggage from a month away from home in Colorado in tow, the Delta agent informed me that my bike box was oversize, overweight, and since I had my wheels as a 3rd bag that would bring my grand total to $550! “WHAT?!” I exclaimed. It would’ve almost been cheaper to buy my bike a seat next to me so then at least I could’ve make sure my baby stayed safe while we traveled. Anyways, I digress… on top of the bike fee, my flight out of the Tallahassee airport was delayed by almost 2 hours because of a mechanical problem, meaning that my flight would be arriving in Atlanta at the same exact time that I was supposed to be boarding my other flight to Santiago. Once my flight did arrive in Atlanta, you better believe I set the world record for fastest mile with carryon backpacks inside an airport and made it from one end of the Atlanta airport to the other just as my zone 4 was boarding. At this point, I was pretty much a nervous wreck. I was convinced that after I’d paid an arm and leg, there was no way my bags would make it on the flight but figured I’d reconnect with them somehow.

To my surprise, when I arrived in Chile, my bags were there, bike and all…I was shocked! After paying the $140 fee Americans are charged to get into the country and hiring a taxi to my hotel, I started to get settled in and explore my surroundings in Santiago. I was pretty tired, but forced myself to go for a quick jog to shake out the travel and wake up my body. I had to call it a night pretty early because I knew I’d have to wake up early the next morning. Where the athletes stayed was about an hour from the race site of Piedra Roja, a park used mostly for boating. Therefore, a charter bus met the athletes at 7am (read 8am on Hispanic time) to drive us out to the site the day before the race so that we could preview the course and get in our pre-race workouts. After returning to the hotel, the rest of the day was spent checking in and attending the pre-race briefing and pasta party. Pasta parties in Central and South America are always my favorite because there is always some kind of cheap entertainment and this pasta party was no different. The main event at this pasta party was the abs contest to see who had the best 6-pack abs, winner decided by the audience. I know you all will be disappointed to learn that I did not participate in this contest. Haha.

When I arrived back at the hotel, I was in for a surprise… the maid had bought myself and the other triathletes staying there a good luck king size chocolate bar, thoughtfully wrapped and tied in a bow. I was floored – never has a maid or anyone at a hotel I’ve stayed at for races actually cared about my race…so cool! This was just the beginning of the Chilean hospitality I would experience throughout the trip.

So, let’s sidetrack and talk about the actual reason I was down there – to race. Race morning the elite women were scheduled to go off at 9:45, meaning we’d need to catch an early bus again to make sure we were there in time to warmup for the start. However, the bus we were supposed to take never showed and almost an hour later, someone was able to convince the random bus parked outside the host hotel to take us down to the race site. Since there was no undercarriage space on this bus, we were forced to share a seat with our bikes (pretty hilarious in retrospect). When we arrived to the race site a little past 9, we were all in a panic, not knowing if we’d still be starting at our scheduled 9:45 or would be given any extra time to warmup. After we checked in and had pictures of our uniforms taken, we found out that the race would be pushed back til 10, giving us 20 or so minutes to put our equipment in transition and get down to the swim to warmup. Yikes! This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gave me little time to be nervous or over-think the race.

The race started right at 10am as the elite women dove off the pontoon and into the water for a 2 lap, barely non-wetsuit swim. The pace started out fast and furious with lots of clawing and elbowing going on. About 200 meters in, I’d had enough of getting clawed and moved a little to the left of the pack to get out of the madness and have some clear water to swim in. After moving past a couple of the girls, I settled back into the pack and hung on for dear life as we seemed to pick up the pace as the end of the first lap approached and we prepared to make the turn to head out for the second lap. We eventually settled into a manageable pace, and then for some reason slowed down a bunch the last 300 meters of the swim, allowing most of the women to link back onto the group. We came out of the water as basically one large group minus a few.

This meant that there’d be one large pack unless there was a breakaway. The first couple of laps I was wary that there might be a breakaway and kept on my guard, ready to jump and go with whomever just in case. However, by the middle of the race it became clear that nobody really wanted to do the work and that everyone was going to wait for the run to decide the race. This was by far the most leisurely bike leg I’ve ever had in a race and the only time I’ve ever been able to drink both of my full waterbottles and stretch out my calves and back while still spinning in the pack. It turns out I may have been a little bit too lazy.

As I hopped off the bike and headed out to the run, my legs felt cold as if I’d just hopped out of my bed and was starting my warmup run…not good! At this point, I was just hoping to build into the 10k run and have my legs wake up along the way. I neared the end of the first lap feeling better than when I’d started but was very upset to run past the whiteboard with the numbers of athletes who’d received penalties during the swim and bike portions of the race and see my number on there. I had no idea what I’d done but knew I had 3 more laps on the run to choose when I would stop in the penalty box and serve my penalty. I decided that since my legs were continuing to feel better as the run went on, I’d wait it out as long as I could. I was able to pass 5 more girls in the next couple of laps and finally served my time penalty at the end of the 3rd lap, taking a water and Gatorade with me so I could hydrate during my little break. After serving my penalty I sprinted off, trying to make up the time I had lost while standing in the penalty box. I was able to put a time dent into some of the runners ahead of me but my effort ended up not being enough to catch them. I ended the race in 8th place, just 7 seconds behind 7th.

Besides my costly penalty, I was very pleased with a top 10 finish for my first olympic distance race of the year. After the bus ride back to my hotel and some post-race sushi with friends, I packed up and headed to bed pretty early, eagerly anticipating the next leg of my Chilean journey: Valparaiso.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update!

Greetings from Chile where I've just arrived at my second racing destination of Valparaiso. Quick update - I was 8th in my first race (including a penalty booo). I will write a longer race report later but for now, click here to read an interview I did with Tri Chile concerning the two races in Chile. Adios amigos!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Clermont Draft Legal Challenge Race Report

Usually the airport is a mixed bag of emotions...there's the joyous reunions at baggage claim/passenger pickup and the frowns when news of flight delays/cancellations are relayed through the speakers. However, there are a couple gates in every airport terminal where you can count on seeing more smiles than frowns. I'm not sure whether it's Mickey Mouse, Shamu, or the warm (usually) weather that makes Orlando the happiest destination on earth, but there is definitely a special magic about it. This past weekend, I was among the smiling faces who hopped on the plane to Orlando as nearby Clermont served as the host for the USAT Sprint National Championships. Like last year, the Clermont sprint race served as my season opener.Although this was the exact same course as 2010, it was a completely different race in regards to the way each discipline panned out.

The Elite women had an 11:45am start and unlike last year, we were not dealing with freezing temperatures for both water and air. The water was just barely warm enough for a non-wetsuit swim which I was honestly thankful for because I haven't had a chance to practice in my new X-terra wetsuit yet... we will spend some quality time together in the near future I'm sure :)Anyways, once the gun went off for the start I ran for a good 200ish meters before the water was deep enough to swim in. Due to the shallow water, it was a short and sweet swim with probably only about 5 minutes of actual swimming. Coming out of the water, I was excited to glance over my shoulder and see that I was in the middle of a huge pack of girls and knew I needed to have a good run up to transition and transition to solidify my place in what I saw would be a fairly large bike pack. Only about half a minute separated my pack and a group of the 5 or so in the lead pack.

As I exited transition and hopped onto my bike, I red-lined it for about half a mile to make sure I was in the middle of the group before settling in to put my feet in my shoes and take in some fluids. This was by far the largest group I'd ever biked with and I had to be on guard at all times with people trying to get around from all sides of the lane and u-turns proved to be tricky as well. I had no trouble staying with the group and finished the bike portion of the race ready for what I knew would be an intense run with some amazing athletes in our pack.

I began the run just as I do for any race and tried to push the pace and give myself some room to breathe after weaving through much of the traffic coming out of transition. At the first turnaround after a little over half a mile, I realized that as much as I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to hold this pace throughout the entire 5k portion of the run and had to back off a little and try to relax. At this point I could still see my goal (top 10) within striking distance and tried to limit my losses as much as possible and think positive thoughts. By halfway through the 5k, I was in serious pain (the good kind) and knew I had to hang on for just about 9 more minutes. As the finish line approached, I was involved in a 3-way sprint for 16th place. For the final 20 meters or so, I just closed my eyes and went for it. I ended up tying the 2 other girls in total time, 58:03, but by chip time ended up losing the sprint.

I ended up finishing 18th overall, not exactly the result I was hoping for but not too bad for my first race of the season. After suffering through injury for most of last year, I am thankful that God has given me the focus and strength to recover and come back firing on all cylinders and look forward to what the future holds for me in this season and beyond.

On a side note, I am so incredibly proud of my Tri4Him teammate Natalie Kirchhoff! Natalie won the age group draft legal race a couple hours prior to mine and secured her pro card! So great to see her faith and focus pay off! I am excited that I'll be able to have a teammate out there racing with me in future ITU races...God is good :)

Now that my first race is in the books, I am busy preparing (training and logistics-wise) for my next couple of races which happen to both be in Chile (Santiago and Valparaiso). I'm currently training in Tallahassee with one of my former FSU teammates (Shannon Coates) for the week and will take off for South America next Thursday. It's exciting to be back in my old college town but now I just need to resist temptation...sweet tea is one of my weaknesses in life and I am surrounded by places that offer it :)

Wishing everyone all the best for Spring and don't forget to set your clocks forward tomorrow!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Showin' Some Love!

On a day when everyone is scrambling to buy chocolates and jumbo sized teddy bears to announce their feelings of affection towards loved ones, I thought I would take out the time to show some love for the people/organizations in my life and give you all a little life update.

As I begin to get revved up for the upcoming racing season, I am pleased to announce that I will continue my partnership with Sampson Sports through 2011. This is hands-down the smoothest ride I’ve ever experienced and with its seamless shifting and almost on-contact braking capabilities, I feel secure in the stop and go situations that define ITU racing. So, check them out here and look for me at the races zooming by on my pretty blue bike!

In addition, I am excited to announce that I will be a member of the Tri4Him Elite Team this year. Tri4Him is a community composed of athletes ranging from Elites to Age Groupers who may be competing in their very first triathlon this year. For more information on the Tri4Him community, click here. We are a group of athletes who strive to use our God-given talents to glorify Him on a daily basis and connect with others who believe in doing the same to grow both spiritually and physically. I’ve always loved the team component of different sports I’ve competed in growing up, and look forward to meeting the people in and around this wonderful community. Follow the Tri4Him Elite Team throughout the year as we “run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24

This year during Christmastime, my church challenged us to live a COAL (Christmas On Another Level) life. It’s easy to remember volunteerism and goodwill towards men when December rolls around, the Christmas music is playing, and we are out buying gifts for friends and family, but what about the other 11 months of the year when Christmas is the furthest thing from our brain?? So, the challenge? At least one day a month (if not more) we should try to remember the December 25th birthday boy (Jesus) and make a commitment to do something that helps something or someone out. Even if it’s just a smile to a stranger or opening a door for someone in a wheelchair, the littlest things can sometimes make a huge difference. There have been so many random occurrences in my life that have opened my eyes to how much God is truly looking out for me (especially as of late) and just as he takes care of us, I feel it is our job to take care of others and give back as much as we possibly can.

At the end of the year, I was fortunate enough to join in on a foundation called Athletes for Hope. Athletes for Hope is a foundation that strives to encourage, educate and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to the community and charitable causes. The great thing about Athletes for Hope is that it was founded by a group of admirable professional athletes including but not limited to: Andre Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Lance Armstrong, and my fellow FSU alum Warrick Dunn. By combining my passions for working with children, Spanish, and literacy, I look forward to working in the Boulder County school system this year as a volunteer teacher.

2011 will for sure be an exciting year for me and I can’t wait for all the amazing experiences/people it will bring into my life. Time is flying faster than Usain Bolt and before I know it I will be toeing the starting line at my first race of the season in Clermont, Florida on March 5. Guess it’s time to turn off the computer and go for a swim! XO!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Coming to a venue near you!

2011 Tentative Race Schedule

March 5 - Clermont, Florida Draft Legal Challenge
March 20 - Santiago, Chile Continental Cup
March 27 - Valparaiso, Chile Continental Cup
April 9 - Chiapas, Mexico Continental Cup
May 8 - Moneterrey, Mexico World Cup
May 22 - Miami, FL Continental Cup
June 25 - Seattle, WA Continental Cup
July 3 - Edmonton, Canada World Cup
July 9 - San Francisco, CA Continental Cup
August 14 - Tizzy, Hungary World Cup
August 20/21 - Kelowna, Canada Continental Cup or World Sprint Championships (Switzerland)
September 24 - Buffalo, NY Continental Cup (Elite Nationals)
October 8 - Myrtle Beach, SC Continental Cup

That's all for now, folks! See you at the races :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Tis the Season!

To rediscover reason – During this time of year, most people take some time out of their busy schedules to do a self-evaluation and make goals that they will try to keep…for at least a couple of weeks next year. Surprise, surprise, I am included in this “most people” category as well. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t have much thinking to do to come up with a resolution this year because I already went through the self-evaluation process when I was injured earlier this year. Why am I doing triathlon? Is this what I’ve been called to do? Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if I compete in a race? Do I still love it as much as I used to? Should I be living in Colorado? Should I be in grad school right now? And so on and so forth… Some answers came quicker than others but once I’d figured them all out I felt much stronger as a person. So, this year I encourage you to have the courage to look at your life and have faith that you are strong enough to make the changes necessary to be happy in whatever situation you happen to be in.

To find inspiration – With all of the problems in today’s society, it would be easy to have a cynical view of the world. But, for every story of pain and suffering, there is usually one of hope and joy to counterbalance it. Just think of the Chilean miners story or the outpouring of help to Haiti after the earthquake to name a few examples. The underlying message: no matter the circumstances, don’t give up. Don’t ever give up! As an athlete, I am continually looking for inspiration to pump me up for races or get me through a hard week of training.

Here are a couple things that have inspired me this year…

Every day when I go to the gym back home in Boulder I am amazed at the age range I see doing yoga, lifting weights, even in my swim classes. I hope to be in as good shape as these individuals 20, 30 and 40 years down the road!

A couple days ago I had the opportunity to visit my family in Illinois and spend some time with my grandparents in their retirement community. While there, I got the chance to meet two amazing ladies who also happen to be runners too! It was fun to chat with them about our common hobby and the role it has played in all of our lives. Even though they aren’t professional athletes, it’s great to see the shared joy that fitness brings to all of us. Best of luck to you Maxine and Mary Lou and be sure to keep me updated on your upcoming races!

Whatever your passion, I hope you will pursue it. Aspire to inspire before you expire!

All the best to my readers in the new year – hope 2011 is your best year yet! Race schedule and updates to come shortly…