Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016….in the rear`view mirror

See Ya 2016. You were a good year,  for the most part.

I'm not complaining, but I'm ready for a new improved, shinier, more epic and badass year.    With you 2016,  I challenged myself to try new things, at the same time challenging myself to stop doing the usual and comfortable routine. With that came some new adventures, new fun, new friends, new memories and new goals. Sometimes letting go of the same old routine and dreams, stepping out of the norm leaves room even more.

My favorite accomplishments of 2016 that were new and epic:

Barry Roubaix: my first gravel road race. I jumped in clueless and unprepared but LOVED this and can't wait for more fun in the dirt. This may have been my favorite race of the entire year.
Pro Men stirring it up
Podium / Founders yum

Big 10k:   just a 10k but, definitely the best post race party!  Who can beat a post race party tailgate style! And my graduate school,  Northwestern Wildcats went on to win the Pinstripe bowl this year!
dance party

Jingle cross in Sept!  the most epic mud EVER. Crazy course crazy mud, and so fun! This was such a fun weekend with my PSIMET team, racing, getting muddy and watching the pros from all over the world tear up the super challenging Jingle Cross course. CX racers love mud, I have grown to like it more over the years, but this was crazy, so hard but fun!

Aceeptance  into my first Boston marathon. I spent so many years triathloning and racing and training to qualify for Worlds I never focused on this. But Im in and officially Boston training! Lots of run miles to go, hopefully some more out along this river. Thanks for Jen Harrison my coach keeping me running, and loving it.

Hincapie Gran Fondo: While not a race, this was a team event that left any other training/ event weekend in the dust. Team fun, community service, awesome riding on a hilly course, travel to somewhere I'd never been, and added bonus a photo pic with George Hincapie.
Gran FUN!
Betty Style!

My favorite mom moments of 2016
(i'll just leave it with  top 2)

Watching Jack get 3rd at conference and his team 1st in wrestling. He had an amazing season with 10 wins and 8 pins
3rd at conference

Getting him a guitar for Christmas and hearing him pick up and play songs I recognize while I'm cooking
free concert at home!
But 2016,  you threw some crazy curves at me I wasn't expecting. Thinking you're taking me down one path and before it Im on another.  Luckily I 've gotten good a rolling with changes of course.

Finding out my Dad has cancer put a big darkest spot on you 2016. Little do you know,  he is super strong and fighting it hard. He is the one who taught me how to pick myself up when knocked down and climb higher, fight back and believe. He has amazing Doctors, family and friends. and has made great progress in his fight and I was so lucky to get to spend a good part of the holidays home in Oregon. Being part of this process only reminds me to love hard, laugh hard, let go,  and live life.

No regrets, no looking back, but 2017 is here and I'm also excited for even more new fun, races and adventures.  I have lucky to be spent most of the holidays home in Oregon where I love the mountains green and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I was able to run, ski, hang out,  and and get ready for and amazing 2017. No specific New Years resolutions for me except to keep moving forward, upward and stronger as I have for the past 3 years. To keep challenging myself to new adventures, stress less, forget fear, and say no to negativity, conquer more, and become more badass version of 2016.

Look out 2017, BettySquad has these amazing sponsors to help up conquer, climb, sweat, get dirty, go fast,  glitter and #doepicshit

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Betty Invasion #GranfondoHincapie

One event I didn't want to miss this year was the Hincapie Gran Fondo. Its not a race, it's an event.  When you can head south in October, meet up with your badass teammates,  hang out, volunteer, ride together and climb, and climb some more and celebrate then end of an incredible season together it's a beyond epic weekend. 

Traveling to races and training camps are fun, yet focused, and out to accomplish a mission.  It might be to get in shape for season, race, qualify, set a PR, prove yourself, beat your friend or whatever the goal might be. It becomes somewhat self focused on the mission of the trip and needing to go to bed early, eat right, fit in work outs, make sure gear is functioning to perfection, bikes checked in, breakfast lunch and dinner at the correct hour all to achieve the goal. All that is fine for the time. But this trip allowed for some epic riding, while having so much fun in more ways than just racing and training. I signed up for this in May and confess many times through end of summer and early fall almost bailed due to logistics, travel, its CX season and missing races, wanting to save time off to go home to Oreogn and whatever else I could come up with. I am so so glad I didn't give it up because it was beyond worth it.   About 20 teammates from all over the world literally descended upon Greenville SC for the George Hincapie Gran Fondo.    It was so fun to meet so many of my teammates in person, ride, volunteer, hang out and celebrate! 

I arrived Thursday afternoon to the Swamp Rabbit Inn., a local bed and breakfast in town that is biker friendly and the most rad set up ever;  perfect for a group of  Bettys arriving from all over the world with bikes ready for some adventure.   The accommodations were so incredible, so comfortable, with everything available for a weekend of fun.    We had coffee in the morning in the kitchen,  wine and pizza post ride in the family room,  packed bikes on the deck,  shared race and life stories at the picnic table, then crashed at night in the most fluffy and comfy rooms equipped with everything needed for a perfect trip away. 

The  Invasion party Thursday night, started off the weekend the hosted by the Hincapie Ambassadors.Thank you to them for setting up a fun meet and greet to kick everything off with an amazing food trunk and Hincapie Fondo wine!   A perfect way to meet up with all teammates arriving to town from all over the country, and world actually.
BETTY INVASION stopped the party

Friday morning TeAMBETTY volunteered for several hours at meals on wheels of Greenville, a local charity supported by Hincapie.  We packed over 1300 hot meals for locals in need, and then delivered meals in person.  An amazing time bonding with teammates and giving back to the community. EVERBODYisaBETTY.   

Pre ride night in Downtown Greenville at Halls Chop house!

Saturday we all descended upon Hotel Domestique ready to ride.   I myself haven't been riding long, and haven't ridden more than about 40 miles since mid summer because I was running and  focusing on CX  but I was excited to check out this amazing ride, and climb and climb and climb some more. OMG I love those hills. And it was so worth missing a week of CX to ride in these hills and experience this.  Because its not really a race, there are rest stops, not aid stations. The first was like a block party! Loud band food, sunshine, in a fun little town in the hills. It was hard not to hang out all afternoon! After this the real climbing started and its been awhile since Ive done some true climbing but I LOOOOOVED it.  More please!  It was so gorgeous and hard not to want to stop and take a million pictures. 



Everyone finished and celebrated at the post race party.  The setting in hills was gorgeous with amazing views, food, and friends.   Until next year.  This is on my event calendar again for 2017. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Its in the air!!!

Its out there in the air floating around like Pokeman.  Its energy, excitement,  motivation, …change…..a new season. You can almost touch it!

Summer's ending….you can feel it even though its still hot humid and muggy, it's everywhere and it's not hiding> the end of summer.  I've been squeezing in shopping for school supplies, new school clothes and fitting in eye exams for 13 y/o who has entered world of wearing contacts.

 Football practices have started, along with hitting  workouts early before carpools …and I have to turn the lights on sooner in the evening. I've even seen the Halloween/ Spirit stores now have their signs up.   And ….cross is coming. Its been a fun summer of running with a few more races to go, but its in the air…..CX season!

Once football starts, and first day of school is just around the corner, my summer is basically done. I love summer,  and live to be outside and soaking up as much of the outdoors as I can, but there is something safe and exciting about a regular school schedule a new year and new season.   The highlight of my summer was my trip home to Oregon which is just about my favorite place ….EVAH!   This trip was extra amazing because my brothers were home with their kids. For part of the trip we had a great weekend visit near Bend celebrating my parents 50th anniversary. 50 years with same love through thick and thin is truly so cool.
Happy 50th

 My Dad is fighting stage 3B cancer. He is doing so incredible, fighting it and coming along just fine. My mom is there by his side driving him into Portland to all the appointments, and treatments making him eat, drink and telling him to stop rest.  While there I went to 1 chemo treatment and met his Dr. who was incredible. I was able to leave feeling much better about his fight and the whole treatment process.
Cancer Sucks

I ran a lot while home, actually the most I've ever run in a single stretch. 6 days in a row with so many amazing miles that added up to more than I've done in 1 week. True runners do this all the time, but I love to bike too, so don't normally run so many consecutive days. However, when in Oregon without my bikes …..it was perfect. I finished feeling strong motivated and ready for more, but also ready to have a date with my bike once I got back home.    My heart is truly in the mountains and outdoors, I LOVE it, and I soaked up as much of the outdoors as I could:   
seen on my run!

hanging by the river



making sure there are no snakes

Olympic Fever is also in the air! The spirit and energy of the Olympics is so contagious. Its hard not to get caught up and addicted to watching. I've gone to work a little tired with an Olympic hangover (just staying up too late/ getting up too early)  Seeing the hard work and dedication is just a little more than motivating!  While I am vey far from an Olympic athlete, Im still so motivated to get out and train hard, push myself and do best I am in whatever I may show up doing. These days running has been so fun and going well. Its been super muggy and hot that can leave you nearly throwing up at the end of a hard effort. Why not give it your all right? I just raced the BigTen10k in the city.

It was such a fun race with very fun post race celebration tailgate style. Who wouldn't want to dance with the mascots post race? 
Wobble with a WildCat, I'm a Northwestern Med School alum!
But the Buckeye was the best dancer!

I finished 2nd in my AG but not quite as fast as I had wanted either from slowing down too much running in the dark stuffiness of Lower Wacker, or just not enough speed, because I've been logging miles for an upcoming half marathon. Cross is coming though and I've been hitting the trails earlier than usual this season, experimenting on mtn bikes, crashing some and playing in the dirt.  


Speaking of Olympics, If you had to pick what event  you'd compete in what would it be?  The roads we take and bridges we cross make us who we are, all the good and bad turns are part of what we become.  I was a college volleyball player, turned triathlete for 20 + years who now loves to run and race CX.  Many miles of biking running (with some swimming ) over the years I still wouldn't pick to be an Olympic runner cyclist or triathlete.  I think my event of choice would be heptathlete, because they train to be the best in multiple events over several days.  Every day I go for gold in being the best  single mom, physical therapist, runner/ Cx racer, homeowner, daughter, sister, and friend. There are gold medal days, and often epic fails. Winning requires getting back up, wiping the dirt off and, lacing up your big girl shoes and trying again.

Friday, June 10, 2016


I've been part of some very fun projects lately that are essential components to great running and racing.   My friend and former fellow co-worker Kathy and I just finished a 3 week Running Essentials series. We taught new runners who are training for the Fox Valley Marathon/ 1/2 marathon some of the essentials for a great training program and race experience.   There are many elements to a great race,  and race season, but as physical therapists who like to analyze the body, and fix or prevent injury we focused on: 

Week 1 flexibility
Week 2 run specific strength
Week 3  efficient form. 

As their mileage increases through the summer preparing them for the race, they are now equipped with stretches, strength exercises and tips on proper run form to help them prepare for a successful race day. Good Luck girls! I'll see you out there!

Even when you do all the proper training, hard workouts,  stretching, strengthening and preparation for a big race sometimes things don't go as planned. Also part of a great race day performance is proper nutrition, rest and mental focus.   I recently raced at the Soilder Field 10 miler. I loved this race and was super stoked to race. I had some great training and physically was ready to race. But the day before the race, I found out my Dad has stage 3 squamous cell cancer. I hadn't slept well, or  ate well for several days waiting for the results, and certainly didn't have mental toughness needed to push the pace I wanted.  Its hard to run fast when your heart is heavy. I walked a bunch, cried a tiny bit , and my body still feels numb, but still finished with a smile and was thankful to still have the gift to run. 

For the past 3-4 years, I have had the privilege of working with an outstanding young athlete who has had great success in her running. I've gotten to play a small part in her development of running and watch her get stronger and faster over the course of her high school career.  She has all the essentials to being a great runner and has remained consistent with working on strength and form in her off seasons with our SEP program at my clinic. Recently she finished 4th at state in the 2 mile with a school record,  was invited to race at the Magnificant Miles track meet in Chicago where she ran her all time fastest mile at 4:51, and will be going on to run Cross Country at Syracuse University in the fall.  Mackenzie has worked on her flexibility, strength, form, she is coachable, dedicated , positive and its been fun to see her develop into a great runner. I wish her best of luck as she gets ready to head off to college.
good luck Mackenzie

Essential to any race is a great post race party. Last weekend my friends and teammates volunteered at the Girls On the Run 5k. This is such a great program getting young girls involved in running at their schools and finishes with a 5k race and celebration. Our job was to face paint their excited and smiling faces after they finished.
#bettysquad  #everybodyisabetty

Summer is really here, my favorite time of year. I maximize as much time as possible to be outside. Some of my new favorite summer essentials to make the most of this super fun time of year.

The new Momentum BettyDesigns+ Rudy Project shades! so fun in the sun!
Betty + Rudy

Hanging on the patio with friends in the evening solving the worlds problems

Beach adventures, a must!
photo credit: breedfreakphoto

Coola sun care!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lets Race!

I've raced for a lot of years, countless triathlons, big and small….long ones and short ones. Races with great results big and small….. world championship events …. local races and complete fails.  Plenty of experience to toe the line, and wait for the gun to go off and race. Plenty of experience to deal with the good and the bad before during and after a race.  I don't get too nervous anymore, not much phases me these days.   But I do still love and get excited to race, and see how fast I can go whether it's a small local race or a big giant marathon, or a crazy huge gravel road race, making it to another starting line is always a fun adventure. 

I've had some fun racing this spring. Jack is in 2 sports;  track and rugby.  
Jack has found out racing is fun/ 7th grade track
It keeps me racing through the day to fit it all in. My job at work fixing people is slammed. My schedule is packed every day. Sometimes it feels like a race to get out the door at the exact time so I can walk in exactly on time and starting treating patients and not fall behind.  Yes sometimes my heart rate is even elevated walking in.  It all doesn't leave tons of time to mega train, or prepare bikes  and gear etc  to perfection for race day , but I fit in what I can and am grateful to still be able to step up to the starting line and race. 

RACING TOP 10s: its simple….
1. don't t try anything new race day
2. prepare your gear
3. have a nutrition plan
4. follow a your race plan
5. don't start to fast 
6. do a proper warm up
7. do a proper cool down
8. go fast
9. have fun
10. celebrate your finish

I was pretty good at doing all 10 for many years when I was racing big.  It may have drained racing the finer parts of racing out of me as I am best at numbers 9-10 currently, even though I still try to go fast.  Im pretty sure after 20 + years of racing  lately I've neglected numbers 1-8 as I've stepped up to the starting line. 

April Racing, thank goodness for experience: 

At our local 5k  5 min from my house I warmed up, not enough and got wet in the rain and froze waiting for the start,  then didn't take off my layers and ran in too many clothes and felt horrible on a miserable day. When this happens best you can do is push and use it. Its still a strong effort and will still add to your overall fitness. It will still help you get faster.  This was a fun race because so many of my pound4pound  gym members were racing. 
Pound4Pound, love my local gym

The best part of my April racing was Barry-Roubaix. A gravel cycling road race. 80-90% gravel roads in Michigan with over 3000 others. 

I decided about 3 weeks out it would work into my schedule, and decided to give it a try.  I only did the 36 because Im chronically short on time and have't ridden much over 2 hours anyway.  But this was such dirty hard fun racing! The gravel was loose dry sandy slick gravel causing you to fish tail down hill and slide out climbing. There were a few crazy technical sections which were my favorite thanks to my love of Cyclocross. I failed on the road sections especially going downhill as my CX bike only has a 1x and I ran out of gears and had to coast as everyone hammered by. All I could do is fuel and recover. I didn't take or have the time to even study the course, um I didn't have any idea it was so hilly, or even get my bike set up right, but who cares it was the most fun I've had in forever racing. I was surprised to find myself up on the podium up against some fast cyclists.  And this post race celebration was top shelf. 
Fun post race party
The mens open.   such a cool shot that shows all the fun

celebrating another finish line

Finally the race I had actually on my Trainingpeaks schedule that Jenny had really been writing great workouts for me was the Naperville Womens Half Marathon.  A new event with a fabulous course. I had put in some great workouts, and was targeting this race. Signing up early months prior  to get a discount is great but then there is a rugby tournament that falls on the same Sunday. So I switch to plan B and still raced, but a 5k.. again, making it goal to just beat my time from 2 weeks prior.  There will be more half marathons this year. This was such a fun race finishing on the track at North Central College. I didn't feel speedy, but had so much fun pushing it and still getting to race. Then I  raced off to rugby and got to see Jack play and score against the current U14 stage champs.    

made it
Cheers to making it to the starting line and crossing another finish line!