4/14/07

NCAA Men's gymnastics Recap











I think it is very rude and selfish of the Men's Gymnastics team to put US (spectators) through so much stress and nervousness!!! Only kidding...this was an amazing championship to watch!




Thursday we watched the University of Michigan, in addition to several other schools, compete as teams to qualify for the team final meet on Friday evening. The top 3 teams from thursday's two sessions (afternoon and evening) qualify. 3 teams in the afternoon session qualify and 3 teams in the evening qualify. My brother did well on his two events, High Bar and Rings, but individual rankings weren't that important on Thursday because the stress was on the team (as a whole) to do well in order to qualify for Friday evening. Individual finals take place tonight (SAT) and the athletes participating in individuals was determined based on the top 10 athletes from Friday evening. Confused yet?




University of Michigan had a great meet on Thursday but unfortunantly, the chance to qualify for Friday evening was left to Andrew Elkind on Parallel Bars, as the last athlete of the meet to try to score a 9.0. Can you believe it...he had to get a certain score in order for Michigan to beat Ohio State. Could you imagine the silence in the building as Andrew was about to start his routine...and then the excitement as he finished? Check out the write-up for the event (better than my blog!) http://www.mgoblue.com/document_display.cfm?document_id=24432




Michigan barely squeezed in 3rd place with a team total score of 215.350 and beat Ohio state who had a score of 215.250!!!




Friday evening was very exciting as well because my brother was trying to qualify for individual finals. Unfortunantly, my brother's best event (on which he won Big Ten's) is High Bar and Michigan was up on High Bar as their first event. If you don't know anything about gymnastics, gymnastics judging is very subjective and scores tend to go up as the meet goes on. Therefore, with High Bar as Michigan's first event, my brother earned a 9.050. Athletes who had as much difficulty as my brother (which is very difficult) were earning 9.3 and up, and it took a 9.3 to make it back as top 10. When he got to Rings, which were 3 apparatus's later, all he needed to do to make it back was to stick his landing. My brother has a lot of difficulty in his rings routine so it all came down to the landing. I must admit, being his very last meet, he had a lot of emotions going through his body, but my brother is very well-composed and just enjoyed the moment and loved every minute of representing University of Michigan. He took a step :( No worries though. He still did great (of course in the eye's of his sister, I always think he does great!) and Michigan was still in the running to place in the top 4 for NCAA's and earn themselves a plaque. And once again, it all came down to Parallel Bars. Andrew was up as the last competitor. With a great routine to qualify him into individual finals, Michigan bumped Illionois out of the running and Michigan placed 4th. Although they were really happy with a podium finish, Michigan's team total was 218.400 and Standford squeezed in third place with 218.450! Bummer. Read more at http://www.mgoblue.com/document_display.cfm?document_id=24447




Tonight is the individual finals which Michigan will have four athletes competing. While I wish that I could watch my brother compete just one more time, I'm looking forward to sitting with Aaron as we watch the meet and checking out some of the gymnasts that my brother has been competiting with since he was 6 yrs old! With a retirement from Gymnastics on April 13th, 2007, my brother has dedicated the last 16 years to gymastics. As a 2003 NCAA All-American on Pommel Horse, a 2007 High Bar Big Ten Champion, a 4-year Academic All-American and much accomplishment in between, I know Aaron is leaving on a high note. As he moves forward in the business world working at PPG in Pitt, I know Aaron will always have a special place in his life for memories of his gymnastics career. Well done Aaron. Well Done!












4/13/07

Altitude Training...sort of!

We will call this week a running week. It is only Friday and I have put in 45 miles of running. After swim practice on Tuesday (4500 yards), my run workout was a 50 min. interval day on the trail (3 x 1 mile repeats at 10K HR pace). Wednesday’s workout was my normal 45 minute spin class that I teach, followed by 5 miles with 6 x 3 min at 5K HR pace. Other than my two interval workouts, Mon, Thurs and Fri have been easy long runs of around 10 miles. No pain in the foot, no sore muscles. However, my bike is being missed right now. Oh well, sometimes you gotta go with the conditions of Mother Nature. With rain on Mon and Tues and a trip to Pennsylvania on Wed, I had no time to get on the bike. No worries cause the past month or so I have put in major miles on my two bikes!
Traveled to Penn State on Wed for Aaron’s NCAA gymnastics meet. His LAST meet ever and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Wed was a crazy day of traveling, with a bumpy direct flight to Pittsburg, apartment looking for my brother, checking out PPG (glass company where he will be working full-time as a business man in June) and then a LONG drive to Penn State. Lots of rain and construction delays to go along with the 3 hour drive that we had. I gladly welcomed the Comfort Inn as my day started at 4:30 a.m. and I was nestled in bed at 11:30 p.m.
Unless I am pressed for time, I usually turn off my cell phone alarm (normally set for a daily wake-up call at 4:40 a.m.) and wait until I am ready to get up. Unfortunately, my body gets me up around 6:40-7 a.m. when I try to sleep-in. As I drank the hotel coffee (not even close to my Starbucks Tall Americano w/ sugar free hazelnut that I love!) I bundled up in gloves, long pants, a windbreaker and a long sleeve shirt, grabbed my Sony Radio (LOVE IT!) and my ear covering. Even though I was running in 37 degree temps, I had a great run and I love running in new places. Aside from country running, college towns are a must for doing long runs. So much to see and because of local shops and restaurants (I love new places to eat!) a 10 mile run goes by really fast. Oh-let me mention the “slight inclines” that use Floridians tend to use when describing hills. I was having lots of fun running up and down the real hills of Pennsylvania and I have a high average heart rate to show for it! This morning was the same mileage but I took my run on a bike path around a golf course (still had the hills of course) which took me around beautiful houses and lots of pretty scenery. To the people here, who don’t know how much I love triathlons and how hard I train, I must look crazy running at 7:30 in morning. Weather this morning was 34 degrees, snow flurries and 10-15 mph winds. Did I complain??? Nope! To me, distance running is like site-seeing. The only difference is that you breathe a little faster than normal, you don’t want to stop and you see a lot in a short amount of time.
Relaxing here in the hotel room before we head to pick up my brother for lunch. The recap from my brothers competition is coming soon.
Although mother nature is trying to mess with all the Type-A athletes out there, I want to wish good luck to all those participating in the following races this weekend:Jacksonville Classic Cycling RaceTri-America Clermont TriathlonEscape from Ft.Desoto Triathlon
Boston Marathon (Mon)Ironman Arizona
*If I forgot anyone....my apologies!

4/8/07

It all went by so fast....

What a BUSY last couple of days. Training is the same...lots of it. Oh, I'm having no pain when running either so that is a great thing. Cycled one of my biggest weeks at 276 miles and ran a pain free 30 miles as well. Swimming was great this week with around 5500 yrds. A bit on the low side for swimming, but I will need to add an extra day of swimming to add on more yards to my two swimming days a week. I know I need to continue with the bike work so really feel strong in Kona.
Friday was supposed to be an easy spin with my friend Christian, but instead it turned out to be a 3 hour ride in the wind averaging around 18-19 mph. So I had to draft on his wheel on the way back but it was still an enjoyable ride. Watched Pursuit of Happyness this weekend (for the second time) and recommed it to anyone who needs a lesson on working hard for something that they believe in...what a great movie!
Saturday was an easy morning for me. I work up at 630 for a planned run and thought to myself..am I really going to get anything out of going for an hour run on cold muscles and a tired body? I decided to take it easy and since I was planning on spending the day at the Webster Race I thought I could go for a run there if I really wanted to. Karel and I headed about an hour and a half to the brooksville area, in the middle on no where, for his Pro 1,2 race. Of course, after seeing the country roads and trails...my legs were begging for me to run. As I cheered for some of the gearlinkers as I ran on the dirty/gravel road course, I had a nice 6 mile run before the start of the pro race. Although saturday may have seemed like a long day, with Karel racing for 180 Kilometers (12 laps, around 112 miles!) I tested my skills for the feed zone and enjoyed my time at the cycling race. PLease don't ever hire me for the feed zone. I was 1 for 3 and I even missed a lap cause I was walking from the lovely port-o-potties and I saw him cycle on by before the feed zone....opps! Luckily, Karel had an AMAZING 5th place finish to celebrate and my poor water-bottle skills were overlooked. 5th place...out of WAY too many Pro 1,2 guys...Karel..keep up the great work, you will dominate at the Tour de Gila in a couple weeks!!!! A bunch of the gearlink guys and I are heading up to the Tour de Georgia in 2 weeks so I decided to test my climbing skills at the hills of San Antonio this morning. Karel and I got together our road bikes (as he was planning on doing an easy 50 mile ride) and we headed to the normal sun meeting point of San Antonio. This was my first time riding in the hills, so I knew it would be fun to do something new on my bike. First time for the road bike and we (me and Blue..who knows where Karel was! :), road 2 loops of the cycling race course in 2 1/2 hours and then I did my first long brick of the season with a 40 minute run. My legs couldn't feel fresher and I can't tell you how much I LOVE training in the country. Because I am a zoning out kind of girl, I love training (especially running) in rural areas. No cars, no rude people (well, there are always jerks out there) and lots of nature to look at. Breakfast was celebrated with my favorite post-training food (pancakes, eggs and coffee) and the rest of the day I have been without a nap by keeping busy with lost of computer stuff.
I'll be heading up to Penn State this week (on wed) for my brothers NCAA gymnastics meet to wrap up his entire college career for gymnastics at the University of Michigan...no pressure Aaron!
Congrats again to ALL the gearlink guys and good luck to all the triathletes either racing at Ft.Desoto or Clermont this weekend..oh, and the cyclists racing in Jacksonville. So much to cheer for!