Monday, August 31, 2009

IM Louisville!!

What a place and what a race!

We arrived at our home for the next few days ... the KOA !!! Our KOA is run by Ben and Thomas. They welcomed us with that southern charm. People from the south are awesome. The know how to look after you. They also have a very cool drawl when they speak. I think I may use it for a while.

We set up camp and then headed out over the next few days to do countless interviews and some course recognisance. First thing we noticed was how tough the bike course was. Holy smokes someone needs to re write the race guide. Try hills, hills and more hills. Rolling course my ass. At least they got the run description right ....flat. 

We got all the serious stuff like interviews out of the way and went to see the kids at the K-Swiss booth. Love those crazy peeps. They were busy selling a truck load of shoes but had a few minutes to have a quick reunion. 

Luke and I spent the day before the race setting out our stuff and relaxing. Late in the afternoon we dropped the bikes off and then headed back to camp to get a good nights sleep. 

Race morning came so quickly. We both threw down the standard breakfast before donning the Lycra and heading to the race start. There are a few unusual things about IML. The first is the river. MMMM not the cleanest water but at least it was 89 degrees. Warmer in than out. Also a sneaky late entry by my old Timex team mate Viktor Symetzev (Spelling). He had the pro men buzzing as he is a 6 time IM champ with a kick ass bike/run combo. Pre race it was all Luke, Max and Raynard as favourites. Luke and I knew Viktor was a massive danger though and it was going to be an interesting day. 

The gun went off and we got underway. I was in a great group early and held onto some fast feet. As we headed around the 5th buoy I was starting to feel the strain. I just was not fast enough to hold on and the girls got away a bit and I was out on my own. This was not too bad as at least I was not pulling the second pack as I find my self so often doing. At about the 3 km mark someone came up on my inside but I was tiring and strangely could not go with. I got out in 1.04 a little outside my 1 hour goal. Mental note to myself.... more pool sessions Memphis. 

Not wanting to stick on things I cant change I headed out of T1 with fire in my legs. On the bike I quickly got into it and felt great. All the hard work was paying off and I was riding really well. I passed one or 2 heading into the 30 mile point. I was told the one and only Fernanda Keller was just ahead. She is amazing. She was trying to get her slot to Kona for the 23 straight year in a row. She is a legend and can still mix it with the young girls. Even if she is in her 40's. I rode up to her and told her to snap out of it and get riding because she was not going to get a slot if she rode like she was. She fired up and smiled and said "you are right" She is one hell of a rider and we both got going. We managed to drop last years winner Mariska Kramer pretty quickly and passed a bunch of other girls too. All was going great and we were making good ground until 90 mile and at the bottom of the last climb I got a dam puncture. F*ck!!!!
The worst part was that there is meant to be a gap in the glue directly opposite the valve so that when deflated it pulls off but if the dickhead who glued it on (some random bike shop who did it for me before my last race) does not do that it is impossible to get off. After screaming expletives while on the side of the road for 5 mins my race was saved by some amazing man who stopped and interrupted his day to help me. It turns out this saint was non other that one of Hillary's athletes. God bless him. He is a doll and I can never thank him enough. I still owe him a beer :) 
5 more mins and I was back on the road. Tyre fixed and anger pushing the peddles. On the results it said my bike split was 5.35 with the flat but on the clock I rode 5.25 so I was very pleased. My bike legs had decided to show up. 

I got done with the last 22 miles and headed into T2 with a marathon to run. I was pumped up and ready to smash myself. Over the last few months I have worked hard on my run. Really hard. I have a bad habit of getting tired and running up and down on the spot. My stride shortens and basically it all goes to crap. My new and improved cadence and forward lean would be put to the real test now out on the hard road. It is on thing to do it up in Bend and another thing entirely to do it after the swim bike. 

The first 21 miles we terrific. The next 3 were bad. The last 2 were shocking. However in the past when I fall apart I go over 4 hours. Way over. Not this time. I was just 3 mins short of my personal best. 3.54. Progress is happening. I look back now and see that smashing the final 22 miles on the bike hurt me. I can't believe that I still managed 10.41 and did not loose my shit after the flat. I can get a little rattled with that stuff sometimes. Amateur stuff really. 

Anyways enough about me. How about my man Lukey!!! What an incredible race he was out of the water behind super swimmer John Flannagan. He took off after him on the bike, made the pass and spent the rest of the ride solo. He built a massive 7.5 min gap out of T2. As I entered the run course I saw him meters ahead making the turn for his second lap. He looked amazing and ran the race of his life. Viktor Symetzev had to pull out the run of the year to catch him. A 2.43. Viktor caught him at mile 23 and Luke refused to give it up. He picked up to Viktors pace and held onto him for the next 2 miles running side by side, stride for stride. With 1 mile to go the Ukrainian picked up the pace and broke my man :( In the end he took the race over Luke by 30 seconds.

Had Viktor not been a late entry the result would have been very different. However I think that by Viktor being there and pushing Luke so hard it took Luke to a new place. A place that he had not been to yet on the run. I am so frigging proud of him and suspect that in spite of the 2nd place I believe that he learnt more than he ever would have if he had won by 13 mins
Sometimes the loss in a tight battle makes you a bigger better athlete for the next race. 

Now it's time for a little r and r in Vegas. 

Stay tuned 

Memphis x 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More from Speedway ...

MMMM Pulled pork!!!
Earlier when we were making healthy options!
Doing the podcast at Zipp!!!

Speedway Indiana

Jimmy, Go Pro and Memphis!
The Brick Yard

Nice lycra kids !!!
"Go Pro" just a few days before our visit. 

Sweet lord, Baby Jesus..... maybe I am picking up some of the south! What a wicked awesome day we had today. We rolled into town an hour late due to the fact that we crossed a time line and no one in the car realised. We headed to Zipp World Headquarters. At Zipp we have the coolest sponsor ever. Greg "GO Pro" he is a sweet young thing ..... that's the south getting to me again.... who has just gotten his pro card. He is super awesome and showed us around the factory. Zipp makes the fasted wheels in the business and what an amazing place. They banned us from taking any cool pictures unfortunately. Top secret stuff you know. He showed us the whole process of carbon fiber wheel making and I was very impressed with the intricate hand made process. Who would have thought!!!!! Not me.  We sat down with some of the media guys and did a cool web live pod cast. I will add the link when we get it :) 

Anyways after the tour we strapped on the lycra and headed out to the local park ride.... Go Pro is not yet allowed out on the open roads after face planting it off his bike the other week and loosing some teeth. Ride done and a huge salad  to refuel we headed back out on the road for the final leg to Louisville KY. But not before stopping at the world famous Indianapolis "Brick Yard" Speedway. 

Some how on the way we got hungry again. We tried really hard to take the sandwich Subway option but as we pulled up to the exit there was trouble on the side of the road. A sign saying "Real Fresh BBQ" Heck no that was too good to pass up. Hell we were in the South and lord knows that you don't get better BBQ than in the south. Clearly not a healthy choice but hell I love BBQ.  Ribs and pulled Pork sandwich. Yum. 

Back in the car and over the state lines to Louisville we go!

Stay tuned 

Memphis x 

Kansas Pix

Some wildlife!

Boulder to Kansas!!!!

After driving through religious billboard country.... apparently "Jesus will save me" and "Jesus rescues and pornography distroys " mmmm, we got us to our next training stop Lawrence Kansas. The home of Basketball. This is a cool little town where Pip Taylor and hubby Justin lives. The a one of the few places in the States that embrace the 50mt pool.  We had a good chat and catch up before heading out to the pool. They took us unto town for a awesome sandwich to refuel and then we pulled on the K-Swiss trail shoes ready for a run. Justin road the MTB while guiding Luke and I through a river trail. We were back in some humidity which was a welcome change from the dry mountain air. It was a quick stop. But a fun one. Only one more pit stop before Louisville now. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sun Valley to Boulder CO

After escaping with our lives from the boys at Scott it was a quick trip across the car park to Chopper at Smith. We love Chopper. Basically he is a man/child. Man because he is married with 2 kids and holds down a job but child as the day we visited him he had just done nine holes of golf that involved large quantities of beer. My kind of fellow really. 

Chopper has taken care of Luke for 10 years at Smith. They make the worlds best and coolest glasses. We managed to rumble him for some racing brand spanking new ones and even left him with a massive order of casuals. Not sure if later in the day when the booze will wear off weather  he will put the Kibosh on it but hey you can't blame a girl for trying. 

We packed up and rolled out of there riding off into the sunset. Colorado bound. 
My coach and dear friend "Mina" lives in Boulder with her beautiful husband better known as "Coconut Bum". We stopped a few nights at Greg and Laura Bennett's house. Bless them they threw a BBQ that grew and grew till there house was filled to the rafters. Some hard sessions at altitude was in order. I loved it except the asthma went nuts. Never fear. Mathias claimed to see a bear while out riding with GB. Very exciting !!!!!!!

Sadly we said goodbye to all our great friend in Boulder and rushed out of town.... late again ha ha ha Jimmy tries to make me a schedule but I can never keep it with all the chatting needed. 
Never fear plans were made to meet up later in the year. 

Off on the road again

Stay tuned 
Memphis x 

Safe at the bottom!!!!!

With only minor cuts and bruises!

Sun Valley Fun and Games!

Walking back from my Hot Springs YAY!
"Nanna Baldo" actually going quite fast!
Fun Fun Fun!
"How far up are we going?" 

Bend to Sun Valley Pix

Somewhere just out side of Bend
A Pit Stop
Nearly at Sun Valley
No the Turtle did not break down... Amanda has the bladder of a small child!

On the road!

Wow this road trip is epic... it all started out in LA a few months ago but really got going last week in Bend OR. We headed out of bend on the Wednesday afternoon after picking up the last of the road trip supplies. Luke took the driving on as usual ( he dominates the drivers seat until he can't keep his eyes open) however I have been know to take a nap or two in the past so whatever. 

We crossed through Oregon pretty quickly stopping at Boise. I was hoping to catch dinner with Kate Bevilaquia (fellow west oz pro, she is a future IM super star) but the time line got a bit screwy and we were running late. The search for a Red Lobster ended in tears as we had to settle for Denny's. Red Lobster is a chain food restaurant that I love. Denny's is NOT. 

The next day bright and early we headed out in search of Sun Valley. Now for those of you who are not familiar with the USA Sun Valley is the first ever USA ski resort. Needless to say it has loads of old money mansions which sadly stay empty for the majority of the year. Clearly they could be loaned to triathletes and Mountain bikers who need a summer training centre but hey the rich like to have things available at all times :( 

Sun Valley is so cool in the summer. Scott USA ( our rad bike sponsor) lives there. Adrian and Scott Montgomery run the show. Scott was out of town but that didn't mean that Adrian rocked our world with a little Idaho lovin'. 

First up was a down hill mountain bike ride. MMMMMM it has been 13 years and a broken arm since I last rode a mountain bike. Holy Crap Batman. First of all I was not expecting to be taken all the way up the chair lift to 9000 ft only to be told that the "easy" trail down was sheer cliff face. 

Most of you that have seen my life's progression through the years know that in spite of the awesome athletic nature of this job I am in fact a complete "UN CO" (un coordinated person) and have no descending skills at all. This was going to be trouble. As it turns out "Old Nanna Baldo" was not as bad as first imagined. Apparently there has been quite the development in 13 years and these down hill Scott MTB machines are AWESOME. They kind of take all the tricky maneuvering out of it and instead you just trust the tyres and fly over the rocks and debris. No longer do you weave and wonder when you will fall flat on your face. After getting the hang of things I was having a blast. Further up ahead the boys were getting into all sorts of mischief. Luke actually came to grief early. Real early as in the carport before we left. He was trying to jump a concrete gutter. His mental ability WAY out weighed his physical ability. HA HA HA. 

Anyways back out in the wild.... Luke had come a second "gutza" falling and collecting some gravel rash. The gravel rash had no effect on his mood as he had a grin from ear to ear. I was of course thinking that Adrian had just broken "The money makers" but to his credit no serious damage. Once at the bottom of the mountain I could see why everyone goes all nuts over mountain biking. I am now addicted and have put claims on the bike we were sent just a few weeks ago. 

After such an exciting day we went to one of my favourite places...The HOT SPRINGS :) 
Adrian , Luke , Joe and myself went out for hard earned pizza at a little cool place in town. Drank some red and talked some shit. 

One might think that after the day before, with all the spills and bruises the boys might settle down a little but alas NO. The Pee Wee 50's came out and we all went dirt bike riding. Now this I can do... but on a regular sized dirt bike. I could not stop laughing as the boys took yet another tumble. Both of them looked like clowns on mini bikes. Luke limped out of there wondering if perhaps he took it just a touch too far. 

More on the Adventures of Jimmy and Memphis tomorrow ..... Pictures will be added in a jiffy:) 

Stay tuned 

Memphis x 

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Jimmy and Memphis Turtle!!!

Look at the sweet new stickers on the Turtle. She is ready to take us across the USA to Louisville KY.  It looks rad. 

We took her to Hula Man over the weekend and had to rush home late last night so as these sweet new stickers could be put on early this morning. Just hours earlier Jimmy won his 5th race for the year. 

Stay tuned 

Memphis x 

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

3 weeks till IML

Wow how time flys. It is only 3 weeks till Ironman Louisville. I have been loving life up here in Bend OR. Long runs are like no where else. The bike riding has been great. Bend is one of the few places in the USA that have a 50 mt pool that is not chopped in half. 

But all the training aside we are so lucky to have awesome people to hang with. Matt (lieto) and Lea returned from Lake Placid adventures a week or so ago. We have had a few cook outs and tonight is Pad Thai night. YUM 

When we first arrived in Bend we were double booked on accommodations and Matt and Lea bailed us out with the loan of there house. I am hoping that they will bring Clyde the bobcat to dinner tonight. If they do I will post pix. I like to encourage Lea to drink her weekly quota of wine when she comes over. Matt is not so easily led astray. We will see though.

I can't believe it is just one week till we pack up and head across the country to Ironman Louisville. Both Luke and I will be racing. Luke was not sure until now but he is training like a freak and is really looking forward to the challenge

Before then we have a sneaky race so I will post the weekends adventures soon. 

Stay tuned 

Memphis x 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

NYC ....and a huge surprise!

Wow what an amazing few days in NYC. I planned  a few days away for Luke as it was his birthday. We flew in early Tuesday morning donned some running gear and headed straight out to Central Park for a run. 
Now I have been to NYC before but the only time I saw early morning was when I stumbled out of a nightclub only to be blinded by the crack of dawn ( or the 2.5 liters of vodka Adrian and I had drank) I had never made it into the park... well not that I recall. It is amazing.

We had a beautiful run and worked up quite the appetite.  After checking into our room we showered and headed out for lunch. Sushi Samba was a sushi fusion place down in the Village. So good. We wandered around, window shopped and then parked ourselves at a little wine bar and people watched. 

I had booked dinner at Nobu so we headed home and put on our best party clothes. The birthday dinner was AMAZING!!! We were a bit sad that there was no cheese on the dessert menu so we went on a late night mission for a cheese plate. New York really is the city that never sleeps and serves cheese till dawn ha ha. 

Early the next morning we got up and missioned back to the park to work off all that food. After the training was out of the way we were starving. Can anyone else see the eating thread here? Off to one of my favourite places...Grand Central Station Oyster Bar. This place is a must for oyster lovers. 3 dozen oyster later and we went to Tiffany's to buy a necklace that I had been wanting for ages. 

Now this is when the story takes an unexpected twist. Luke suddenly was on a mission to take me to strawberry fields in Central Park. Now it was raining cats and dogs but I love the Beatles so I was totally in. We headed into the park and on the way I took my shoes off and started to splash around in puddles. As we headed to the destination in the rain I was having a blast singing "Strawberry Fields". As we got to Bow Bridge the sun came out and there was no one else in the park. Luke asked me to marry him and I couldn't believe it but had the good sense to say YES!!!! He put my beautiful ring on and the rest of the day was spent saying "Oh my god were getting married"  Very cool. Best day ever!

Clearly we were famished after all that excitement so we went for our engagement dinner at Fatty Crab. Now I am not sure if anyone else will agree but we thought that Fatty Crab was even better than Nobu. 

The mini break came to an end and we had to fly back to Bend. Of course not all went smooth and it took 17 hours to get back with all the delays. Rubbish!

Now we are back into super hard training and loving it. 

Will keep you posted on all the news 

Stay tuned
Memphis x