Friday, June 27, 2014

Bare Bones 2M OWS: race report

I'm not exactly sure that this even qualifies as a race, but I paid money and someone wrote on me with sharpie so here we go.

This open water swim was on the schedule for the group I'm coaching with in Boulder.  I had a long series of training days with lots of early wake-ups leading up to the weekend, so when I went to bed Saturday night, I told myself if I get up early enough to make it, I'll do it; if not, I'll go to masters instead.  And the sun popped up early and so did I, and I felt okay so I threw the freak in the car and headed over to the reservoir.
I got checked in pretty quickly and sat on the grass breaking not one or two but three sets of goggles, finally managing to arts-and-crafts together a single frankenstein version just in time to miss most of the warm-up.  At the reservoir, they open up a closed-in area for warm-ups and everyone swims in a tiny whirlpool circle, and it always makes me laugh to watch.  I was able to get in two quick laps (left arm always gets more warmed up than right in here) and that was pretty much that.

The half mile version of the race went off first, and then all the two mile people sloshed into the water.  I worked my way up to the front-ish few rows, blew some bubbles underwater, and looked around.  An athlete and friend of mine was standing right there next to me, and I jumped up and high-fived him once, and then again while we waited for the horn to go off.  It just set the tone of the whole day so nicely for me, laughing and splashing in the open water, in a split-second I felt the joy of the day come in and then the gun went off and we were going.
And holy shit did we go (I'm pretty sure one of those arms might be mine).

I thought back, while thrashing in the fray, to the first open water swim I ever did.  It was the swim relay leg of the Key West Triathlon several years back, and I was the only one without a wetsuit.  It was cold and murky and there were lots of weeds and I was terrified to put my face in the water, so I did backstroke for about 70% of the swim and gasping breaststroke for the rest.  The swim was a mile, and if I remember correctly it took me well over forty minutes, and it was awful and I never wanted to do it again.

I'm such a different athlete now, a different swimmer.  I love being in the water, more than just about anything on earth, it is where I find myself most truthfully, where I am safe and zen and at peace.  Open water, especially here in Boulder where I can see the mountains when I breathe, it's a special place.  I never believed anyone who told me that I'd get over my open water swim fears, but here I am, I'm over it, I'm far in the other direction, it makes me euphoric the same way it thrills me to descend down a mountain on two wheels at 50mph, eyes wide, mouth (obviously) open, this is what happiness is, to me, and it makes me want to say, whatever happiness is to you, go and find it, because if it's this good, it's worth it.
So off we went.  Boulder is, well, Boulder, and athletes here do not fuck around.  This was easily the most violent open water start I've ever swam through.  I got kicked in the gut, punched in the nose, the ears, the temples, rolled over, yanked under, it was so much worse than IMLP last summer which was the worst whaling of my life to that point.  I think it's likely in part because I was so close to the front, but I wanted at least a tiny chance at getting into that front pack so I fought hard for it, off the line.  And instead of being completely pissed off like I was at IMLP, it made me laugh, it fired me up, I wanted to be in there, swinging my own fists and kicking my own noses, I had an inkling that this is what it takes to race.  

I swam decently hard the first few hundred meters, trying to find feet to hang onto while everyone blew apart.  And for a little while, every time I breathed to my left, there was my swim start friend in his matching goggles, breathing towards me, and that made me smile (and swallow water).  Once he disappeared I spent the rest of the swim wondering if he was just chilling out in my draft.  We turned north for the short side and then had just rounded the buoy towards the west when I noticed that my gut was feeling heavy and rumbly.  Right before we started I dug a melted disgusting and probably very old LaraBar out of the bottom of my swim bag and scarfed it down, and that was not good when combined with all of the reservoir I surely sucked down in the initial thrash.  I swam hard a couple of strokes, turned my head to breathe and instead puked up a huge gush of water and slightly-used bites of bar (triathlon is so fucking classy, I don't know how I stand it).  I actually felt quite a bit better after that, and ended up finding a set of feet somewhere along the way while trying to clear my mouth out.  But either the feet were drunk or I was, because I spent the entire long stretch across the back getting dropped from the feet and looking up to see them way off to the left...and then finding the feet again, over-correcting, and there they were off to the right.  It's pretty likely that I have no ability to swim straight but I think this was about the worst job of drafting I've done in open water, ever.

When we came back around to start the second loop, I felt pretty good.  I didn't feel like I swam the first loop particularly fast but it felt solid, certainly better than the "singing Katy Perry songs in my head" effort I was putting out last month in Chattanooga.  I searched the shore for the poet as we went by but didn't see him, and when we hit the turn buoy to flip north again, I decided to dig down and see who I could catch.  The hard part about catching people in open water is that if you can catch them, you can probably swim faster than them.  So I would come up behind someone, hop on their feet to grab an easy breath, and then see if I could go around without sprinting like crazy.  As I came off the long back stretch for the second, I hopped on a pair of feet that belonged to a woman swimming without a wetsuit (beast), and I finally found my perfect match.

She stepped up the effort as we turned, and I went with her.  She was swimming just hard enough that I was able to swim hard myself without touching her feet every 4 seconds.  (It turned out later that this is someone who swims one lane up from me at masters on Sunday mornings so I was thrilled that I was even able to hang on).  I followed her straight in, stroke for stroke, and suddenly my fingers were scraping the bottom and it was time to get out.
I ended up 7th OA wetsuit'd woman and I think 11th or 12th including the heroes that swim without their neoprene safety blankets (so brave).  54 minutes for two miles that included a bit of a chill effort and some hard swimming, and the first thing I said when I got out of the water was, I wonder if I could get in and swim another loop?  
So, a pretty nice day in the water.  Certainly I didn't use up one of my precious few all-out race efforts that I think we only get a few of each year, but I did feel like I swam much better than I did last month, and there's a bit of satisfaction in that.  I also got to wear my favorite bikini (that has now drooped into a parachute) one more time before trashing it, I am totally in love with the freak and any day I get to rock I'm happy (me to anyone who will listen: Look!  It has abs drawn on it!), and then I had brunch with my new partner-in-crime, Jenni.  Excellent work for any Sunday, I'll say.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the dizzying, terrifying leap

It took me a while to work out what on earth the universe was trying to tell me when it flung me at the pavement last month.

Or rather, I figured out right away that the message was, slow the fuck down, but it took a bit longer to work out how to actually do that in my life.  Because suddenly realizing that I am spreading myself too thin doesn't remove any of the responsibilities that are holding me hostage to stress.  I still have a family, both including all the ones that sleep in my bed and the ones that are scattered throughout the world; I still have a job, one that I love but have thrown myself into around the clock; I am still training for my own season as an athlete, my next ironman, not to mention the one after that; I still have friends that I'd like to spend time with when none of us are sweating in spandex.  And the answer is not to quit training, or working, or having a family, or friends, or getting enough sleep, but something needed to give, to change.
So I spent some time thinking, in all the places where I do it best, which are out on the road getting dirty or in the water finding my zen.  And really, despite however much thinking I did (and talking things over with the poet until he puts a pillow over his head), it came down to a pretty simple decision about the business I have grown over the past couple of years.  Either I needed to find a way to make my commitment smaller, or I needed to find a way to expand.  Trying to make the decision as to which, that hurt my heart for a little while.  Because the family that exists now, I can't imagine being without them.  But how do I grow?
Hopefully it's obvious that I've figured it out or I wouldn't be scrapping together a blog post about it.  And it's fortunate that the answer was quite literally in my own backyard (of our rental home in Erie but that detail makes it a bit less fairytale).  That answer is to bring on another coach into the community I've created, team amazing day, and I am stoked to announce that as of July 1, that coach is Jenni Keil (she sent over an ass shot completely unprompted, this is my GIRL).
If you click through on some of the links in that paragraph, you can take a look at the simple but straight up awesome website that the poet has built over the last few weeks, and read more about Jenni and why I'm pumped to join forces with her particular brand of awesome.  In essence, she is a talented athlete and experienced coach, she believes strongly in the power of MAF, and the one blurry and dark photo that I was able to dig up of us from over a year ago is concrete evidence that she shares my intense love for lululemon hoodies.  
Thanks to Jenni, we will be opening up a limited number of spots for athletes starting in July.  For my current athletes, the only changes that they will see will be the result of me having another great brain to pick about how to continue making them stronger, healthier, fitter, and faster.  Although anytime I make change in my own life, it is my hope that the better version of myself I am continually chasing leads to being a better support system for my athletes, a better friend, wife, and puppy-mama as well.  This also means that I will hopefully have time to get around to some of the exciting items that have been lingering on my professional to-do list for months as I've simply been too busy to make space for anything extra in the day.    
Change is hard.  It's scary, I've been vacillating between excitement and fear for the past few weeks while figuring out if I wanted to do this, how I wanted to do it, and the biggest piece, who the heck could be the right person.  One of the many personality tics that comes along with being a type-A perfectionist is a tendency to want to micromanage, to work all the hours that exist in the day, to keep the world small in order to keep control high.  Heading this direction is going to be a challenge, a stretch, it is going to force me into uncomfortable growth and I know that won't be easy.  But my gut instinct tells me that this is the right step (which I'm sure Jenni is thrilled to read out here on the public internet that everyone can see) for me, for my life, my business, for where I am at and the journey that I myself am on as a coach.  Because when given the chance between keeping things comfortably the same or taking a crazy chance in a new direction, no matter how frightening it may be, I want to be the kind of person that chooses the dizzying, terrifying leap.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I can only try to dance better than myself

On the plane to Atlanta last month, I started reading Ariana Huffington's book, Thrive.

I'm not an avid HuffPost person, I knew very little about her and had the idea that it would be another snotty memoir on how easy it was to climb the ladder, and I was delighted to be wrong.  One of the first big sections of the book talks about meditation.  And I will freely admit, I don't have a meditation practice.  The poet does, he reminds me all the time that if you don't have time to meditate for twenty minutes a day, you should meditate for an hour.  I always reply, swimming and biking and running, that is how I meditate and I believe in that, most particularly when I'm in the water.  It is a place of zen for me, I can escape from the world, I can disappear in the water, I just bought a dorky Michael Phelps sweatshirt that says so but it's the truth.  
But in the book, she addresses exactly that, the people that say, X is my meditation and asks, can you create that state of mind at will without having to put on your running shoes? and that stumped me.  It gave me pause, because I don't know.  Can I train my mind to be still, fully present and connected with myself without climbing in the ridiculous swimsuit?  Can I really?  Reading onwards, she mentions very briefly in passing that a peer of hers meditates every night and does a "digital detox" every Sunday, and that's where I put the book down and started thinking about my own life.

I am lassoed to my digital devices, and I'm not going to flagellate myself for it, but I am.  I like to be connected with the world, with my friends, I like to be as responsive as possible with my athletes, I like to be learning, reading articles and books and blog posts and watching TED talks and doing all the things that the digital world has made available while my ass is deep in the couch cushions.  But at some point, somewhere, I crossed over into a place where it's not healthy.  When talking some of this through with the poet, he pointed out that the first thing I do in the morning is reach for my phone and start responding to emails, and the last thing I do before turning out the light is to hit the mail button one more time.  And in all the hours between those two things, I'm check check checking, every hour, every minute, trying to stay on top of the deluge, seeking and sharing information (and more importantly, selfies), I have tied myself down.  
So when I came home from Atlanta, I gave the digital detox a try.  It wasn't a complete success.  I picked a Tuesday because that seemed like a day where I could take a "weekend."  I gave myself thirty minutes of email in the morning and thirty minutes at night.  I decided that phone calls and texts were okay (the poet called this person to person contact) but otherwise, I was staying off the internet for the day.

My thirty minutes of morning email were successful, I found myself mentally sorting emails by importance instead of date and responding in kind.  I had a relaxed breakfast, I sat out on the porch with my puppies and let my mind wander.  I learned that I usually check my email in the garage before driving to the pool and then in the parking lot and locker room when I arrive.  I learned that when I finish my swim, I'm in the habit of reaching for my phone before I even shower, and then again before driving out of the parking lot.  When I came home from the grocery store, I sat down with a book made from actual pages and read without interruption for over an hour, and I learned that even when I'm reading, I still wanted to reach for the phone and hit the email button, or the Facebook button.  I cooked dinner and that's when I cracked, I opened my email just to see how many there were but I only read one and then put it back down.  When I went to bed that night, I slept more soundly than I had in weeks.  Some of my anxiety had sloughed off, I could focus more easily, I wasn't living in a fit of distraction at the mercy of the numbers in the tiny red circles.  It carried through the next few days, I was able to step away from the constant refresh, I felt a stronger sense of calm, and I can only hope that it made me a better friend, coach, athlete, wife, doggie mama, just from that tiny bit of detox.  And when I shared my experience over the next few days with a couple of friends, what I repeated over and over was, need to do this more often. 
Pretty quickly after that I had some athletes coming into town for training camp and I put together a big weekend for them.  I love when athletes come out to train, I love watching them work, watching them process, learning how they talk to themselves, how they manage themselves especially when they are tired or frustrated.  Being able to witness the process is so valuable to me because I learn so much from it, I am still learning, I hope to always be learning from the people that invite me along on their unique and bumpy ride.  It was a fantastic weekend of hard work, I was thrilled to have them all here, they all did a long and beautiful tour of Colorado on their bicycles, they all swam in the gorgeous pool that I'm lucky to call home, they ran the Bolder Boulder, they went up and down and up and down in the foothills, they worked their butts off and I know that they all were packed off back home tired but strong.
I noticed, however, that as the days passed, how much anxiety I was carrying, worrying, I'm a worrywart, is everyone happy, is everyone doing the right work, is everyone able to do their own work, does everyone have enough calories and hydration and know how to change a flat and will the person off the front be mad circling back and will the person off the back not talk nice to herself about where she is and will anyone get lost or die on a descent or flip into a ditch (spoiler) and I carried all of that around with me all weekend and into the next week.  I did a poor job of managing myself through those days, I can see that now, and right along with that, I got sucked back into the leash that runs between me and the digital world.  While I was running the 10K, I realized that it felt like the first 50 minutes I had been alone with my thoughts in days.  And when I added that stress onto my own training stress and my own life stress, well, no matter how much fun I was having with everyone and camp and training and girl talk and eating almond butter by the barrel, a crack was coming.  
Last Saturday Ashley and I were riding up 36, heading out for 100 miles, someone passed us out of the saddle at 800 watts and I moved to the right to let him go around.  And my mind was....drifting, I was in the middle of some heavy training days myself, I was tired (we're all tired!) and my focus wasn't there.  I wasn't fussing with water bottles or eating or putting things in my pocket, we had just crested a little rise so I wasn't even in aero, I was simply riding along and then I wasn't.  I'm not sure if my rear wheel slipped on a little bit of gravel or just wobbled, maybe there was a puff of wind, but I was too close to the lip of the road and my reflexes were slow and I knew that I was going down in the split-second before I did.  My rear wheel went over the lip of the road and dropped 8 inches into the gravel, my bike threw me to the ground at speed and then (telling this part of the story delights me to no end) Ashley rode straight over me on her own trajectory to the pavement.  (Me to her several minutes later: obviously we're going to take a selfie in the ditch.)  
I processed the crash the way you process it, first you want to climb on the bike and keep riding (I'm fine!) and then you notice that you are bleeding so you think about riding to the gas station to clean up and then you notice that you can't turn your head to the right and then you notice that your helmet has at least one gigantic crack in it and your ears are ringing and one of your eyes can't quite focus and you aren't going anywhere but home.  I called a good friend and she rescued us, we got cleaned up and I dropped my bike off at the mechanic and bought a new helmet and we drank root beers floats and ate cheeseburgers (fighting inflammation with inflammation obviously the best way to deal with these types of situations) and then I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, quietly, trying to figure out where to go next.  Because I do believe that when stuff like this happens it is the universe throwing bricks at you to get your attention because you ignored the soft subtle messages it tried first.  And the universe has killer aim; when it is trying to get your attention, the universe does not fucking miss.  

A good friend of mine shipped herself off to France earlier this spring simply in the name of adventure.  So many times since she's been gone, I've thought to myself, man I wish I could just pick up and go like that but then I start worrying about ironman training and work and abandoning my family at home to survive on microwaved chicken breasts and baby carrots and a plane ticket is so expensive and I would talk myself out of it, over and over.  But at the end of my life, I don't want to look back and say, wow, look how much I trained for ironman in 2014, I want to say, wow, look at how much fun I had.  And I think the wake up call delivered directly to me via a close encounter with the asphalt at high speed was a reminder to get back to chasing the fun, because over the past several weeks I've misplaced the chase.  Sunday morning I booked a ticket to Switzerland for the first week of July and I did not give even one tiny thought to how it might affect the big long race I have in August (other than to wonder if my coach might want to strangle me which thankfully she does not).  This is what my heart needs, and it needs it right now, and I know that I am lucky to have the kind of life where I can drop everything and go chase it down.  I train hard, I love training, I train all the time, but if I put off all the non-triathlon fun in my life until I finally crack the nut of ironman there is a good chance I will die a miserable saddle-sore'd bitch with a permanent Headsweats tan line.  So I will ride a mountain bike all over everywhere and hike and eat and read books and drink wine and probably fail miserably at dredging up all the French I learned from the age of eleven to seventeen which so far consists only of bonjour and wistiti!  And when I get back and my body gets used to the clocks here in Colorado again, I'll have pockets full of mojo and joy and ironman will come and go but my soul, it will be fat and heavy and full, a little sumo wrestler of a soul.  

I got back on the bike this morning.

It's not an act of courage or stupidity or fear, it's a nothing, I simply packed up and went for a ride.  I picked a time of day when I knew the roads would be quiet, I chose a route where I know there is not much traffic and for the most part, wide smooth shoulders.  I filled my bottles and pockets and did my best to calm the tiny trickle of anxiety that was tickling the back of my neck.  I'm not sure why it was there, I've certainly had plenty of bad bicycle wrecks in my life (Mom, just kidding), maybe it's because it was a true accident, maybe it was because I've never cracked a helmet or bashed my ribs or wrenched my spine quite like that before.  As I clipped in and rolled out, there was an extra sense of caution in every movement I made.  
But as the miles unrolled, I felt my mind growing still.  It hasn't been still these past few days, sitting on the couch resting while my brain picks up everything that fell off its shelves when I hit the ground and puts it all back in the right order (where does the frontal lobe go again?) is not how I meditate.  So maybe it's not a true meditation practice, maybe someday I will figure out how to force myself to sit in a candlelit room with my legs creased like a pretzel and gently escort my mind back to the present moment but that's not where I am today.  I'm acknowledging that I am a work in progress.  Right now, I need my body in motion for my mind to be still, I need the creak of my crank and the lap of the water to bring deeper awareness into my everyday life.  Wounds heal.  Bruises fade.  I'll dust myself off and try again, I will try to learn from my mistakes and then release them so I am not haunted.  Because when I think about the kind of life I want to have, it is better (as usual) to reach for words from someone else's mouth rather than try to arrange them on the page myself.  I do not try to dance better than anyone else.  I can only try to dance better than myself.  (Mikhail Baryshnikov)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bolder Boulder 10K: race report

There is only one possible way to begin a race report that includes a 10K PR and that is with the picture of the last time I PR'd my 10K back in 2010 (I did buy the photo but can't find it to scan in so here's the stolen version I posted on the blog).
I ran a 10K this past January.  It was a less than spectacular race, I spent the two days before it skiing in Vail and the last mile was straight up the side of a mountain, I finished somewhere around 57 minutes if I remember correctly.  There was a yeti, and there were race pictures of me looking like this:
Now, I don't think I have a distorted view of my body, so everybody hang onto their judgey britches, but for whatever reason, flipping through those race photos that day made me want to say, enough.  Enough is enough with being slightly unhappy about the way I look in spandex, not to mention the way I race, it's time for a change.  My knee hurt, quite a bit, in that race, it was a situation that I had being dealing with since the first weekend in August when I put my bike back together after IMLP.  The very next morning I swam masters, had my first appointment with the PT that ended up putting me back together, and started the pantry clean-out/husband take this to work with you and feed it to someone else that led to us making some big changes in nutrition this spring.  Because nothing changes unless you change, and I was ready, it was time for me to change.  

Going into this race, I had a bundle of athletes in town for training camp (more on that maybe next time) and we were all signed up for the 10K.  The last couple of races I've done - the 5K and the open water swim - haven't been great examples of the best mental effort I could put forth.  So what I wanted from this 10K was to stay focused and maybe to see if I could beat my January time (I just went and looked it up, 57:06).
Race morning logistics were surprisingly easy (the poet said dozens of times, the Army 10 miler should learn from these guys!).  I've almost entirely given up on worrying about how my legs feel during a warm-up, because most of the time they feel like complete crap and then I cross the starting line and they are there, and they did feel like complete crap Monday morning.  We warmed up, did a few strides, and then split up to head to our separate corrals.  Meaghan and I got in one last porta-potty line, I hopped up and down while I heard waves before mine leaving, and then decided to give up and run with a full bladder.  By the time I worked my way into the start line funnel, my corral was long gone, so I slid in with the D people and just like that, we were running.  
I hadn't given much thought to pace.  I knew my PR was somewhere around 8:30 pace and that sounded reasonable to me, I didn't consider until long after the race that I ran two half marathons at 8:30ish pace this spring and maybe I should have gone out a bit faster.  I have a hard time with short races, after so many years of endurance events, I'm still stuck in the the beginning should feel crazy easy so you have speed at the end mentality, and for a 10K that isn't the case.  All that aside, I went out at 8:30 pace, and it felt nice.  Chill, controlled, easy.

The first mile lapped just past my gym, beep, 8:30 on the dot.  I knew from everyone chatting about it all spring that the first four miles were "hilly" and the last two were "fast."  The race was busy but not crowded, I never had any trouble bopping through as we unrolled around Boulder.  Somewhere in mile two I saw Scott Jurek pass me, he was guiding someone, I heard him say, in about 100 yards we're going to turn right and I thought, huh, that's pretty cool.  Mile 2 went by, 8:26.
I get nervous about knowing when it's time to start digging down into pace, and that generally means I do it later than I should.  Again, all this endurance training, short races make my brain hurt.  I figured I would check in at the 5K split and then go from there.  Mile 3 had a little bit of up to it and I was annoyed when I lapped the watch and saw 8:27.  I went under the 5K sign just a few minutes later and glanced down to see 26:13, and thought, okay, let's do a little work now.
I ran up the little hill and turned right, passed the F4 tent and hoped for some high fives (fours?) but everyone was drinking coffee and looking the other way and I didn't yell anything soon enough and then I was gone.  There were a ton of people out on the course though, cheering, handing out jello shots, beers, hosing down slip n' slides, I always had something to look at and laugh about and people to see, I saw lots of people I know out there cheering for the race.  The guy that's always lifting at the same time as me, the skinny guy that I swim with on Sundays, more people I swim with on weekday mornings, maybe I just spend too much time at Rally but the course was covered with people I know.  I feel the same thing when I'm out riding and running, I almost never spend a long day on my bike without bumping into somebody I've met somewhere along the way over the past year and a half.  And when I started running the 10K I was thinking, I can't wait until I've lived here twenty years and know everyone in this community and as I ran through the streets I realized that is already starting to happen.  I'm finding my place, and it feels good, and it feels like home.
Mile 4 went by, 8:17, and I decided I wanted to get my last two miles in the 7s.  The 7s used to scare me quite a bit, that's 5K pace on a good day, but I've seen them here and there in various places all spring, and if I can run in the 7s at the end of a five-plus hour triathlon, I can probably dig out two at the end of a 10K.  The terrain helped.  Mile 5, 7:48; mile 6, 7:57 and dang if that last little hill up to the stadium isn't a bit nasty.  But how fun to pop out into the stadium and zip right into the finish.  Last little garmin crap was 1:41 for a 51:10, I flipped my watch over to total time once I got over the line and thought to myself, yup.  I'll take that.
I was able to get up and around into the stands quickly enough to see the poet finish, and then one of my athletes came through and then another and then Sonja found me and soon enough we were piled up in the stands watching runners come through in a flood and chattering about our days.  
And this is what I love, this is who I am.  I ran alone, I did some work, and then I spent the rest of the morning surrounded by my people, friends, athletes, other coaches, everyone thrilled with their day, excited to tell their story, to share whatever race they happen to run.  I don't care about a 10K PR, it plain old doesn't matter to me anymore.  It feels good to run, to run a little bit fast, to work and dig and not be afraid of it, but it feels even better to finish a race and be content.  No second thoughts, no regrets, no explaining to everyone what happened and why it meant I ran whatever time I ran, no cringing at race photos or official times, but to just be happy, proud, to hug my girls, high-five my awesome husband, go out for brunch and then wake up the next day and that's that.  Time to move forward.
With love to CoeurSports for the run tank, this was the first race I've had it for and it was perfect, not to mention awesome to be matched with my athletes so we could take tons of cute pictures just like this one AND I didn't have to expose my stomach to 40,000 people in Boulder.  Huge thanks, as always, for the support and love.