Friday, December 30, 2011


So it was decided a couple of months ago that if I was given the opportunity to train in Australia, then I should take advantage of the opportunity and warm weather and go.

After talking with the parents about concerns and questions and getting a game plan for training and my racing schedule, it was time to fly. BUT first I had to get back to the west coast from my Mississippi Christmas trip.

So after (what seemed) a long day of travel, I was in an LAX hotel, riding the stationary bike in the hotel exercise room, getting ready for my big haul to Perth.

The plane took off from LA at 10:15pm and guess who had the lucky middle seat!!!! MEEEEEEE:) hahahah! Oh well, at least I’m going to be so covered on my mileage with United! I was lucky enough to have good seat mates, a Navy Seal to my left and a college student going to visit her boyfriend to my right. We had good conversation and Lindsey (seat mate right) had stayed in Sydney for a while prior to this visit and gave us some pointers. A couple of hours in, they fed us dinner - rubber beef or rubber chicken - chicken please! Choked that down w/ a Crown and Sprite and an Ambien and I was out for about 5hrs. When I woke up and moved around for another hour, they fed us a turkey sandwich. I think this is the point they shift from US time to Auzzy time, cause our last meal before landing was breakfast - apple pancakes or egg omelet.

Once we landed and everyone had their customs cards filled out, it was time for the lines, which I thought was pretty efficient, even though it took an hour to get from immigration, bags, customs, checking in, it wasn’t that bad! So once through and in the Qantas terminal, I got a little snack, did some shopping and laid down for a nap - one more plane ride.

This one was the was the hardest flight to deal with, my legs hurt so bad, so I was fidgeting so much! I felt sorry for the guy beside me cause I was constantly squirming:) hehehe....

And here I am! I was picked up from the airport at 4pm, got my bike put together, unloaded and settled by 8pm, had dinner and went to bed. Of course I made the mistakes of trying to get in on the driver’s side and was confused about all the driving on the opposite sides of the road but after this morning’s ride, I’m slowly getting used to it.

I’m acclimating to the time pretty well. I’ve walked to the store, enjoying the warm air and sunshine, bought the local newspaper and sorting out the difference in the coins versus ours. Their 10 cents look like our nickles and the coins are heavier. The paper money is softer but very similar to the US dollar. The following pictures are from my walk to the store. I will update in a couple of days!!! Happy New Years!

Local birds....

Today's market run....2 blocks from the house...
It's always interesting to see the differences in countries...
The road I walked..
More signage....
The view walking into the apartment complex...

Listening: interesting bird noises
Reading: maps of Perth for cycling
Watching: the road! Keep on the correct side;)
Eating: yummy oranges

Monday, December 19, 2011

Training in Tucson

I've been in Tucson for a while training and enjoying the 'warm' weather, hanging out with friends, filling time with reading, Modern Family marathons, eating good food and of course sleeping;)!!

My good friends, Dave and Alisha, have been so awesome for letting me stay with them and be their third wheel on outings. It's been nice to have a riding partner too, even though we may not have the exact training schedule, we can at least start together and then split off when time calls for it.

It's been interesting weather here, lots of rain on a couple of days but it makes for a beautiful back drop when the mountains are dusted with snow. Things are settling in for 2012 for all the teams and mornings usually bring a new e-mail for things to send back: sizes, favorite flavors of mix, filling out questionnaires. I'm looking forward to training camp, looking forward to meeting the gals and getting into race mode BUT first comes training and preparation. Now is the time to put in the LONG miles, getting the body used to efforts and waking up from winter mode and boy will that make you tired!! But it is such a gratifying feeling.

It's interesting how FB and Twitter has probably made coaches' lives a bit harder because you will see teams at training camp, you hear of women putting in extremely long miles and rides and then you see the questioning in other athletes' training. Am I doing enough? Am I riding long enough? Pushing hard enough? You can always do more...;)

I've started juicing fruits and veggies! I saw a documentary while riding the trainer one day: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I was sold. I started talking to my friend Ally Stacher, cause I know she has veggie juicing experience and she helped a ton - which one I needed, how to travel with it and some other handy tips - thank you Ally:)!! It is easy, tasty and good for you!! I'm trying to talk mom into trying it, so I'm taking my juicer home with me for Christmas to get her started. I have faith.....

I also found a recipe for ribs in a slow cooker! I know, quite the contrast from juicing but my roots are planted and BBQ is my all time favorite food, always will be and when I see a new recipe, I'm up for giving it a try and tasting the goodness! I've never had a slow cooker and once I used Alisha's I was sold that I need one and that everyone needs one! They are such a life saver for a cyclist. Just think, start something yummy in the morning, go for a long ride, come home, smell the goodness in the works, make lunch, shower, rest and BAM supper is ready! hahaha!!!! It's gotta be good if it's been cooking for 8hrs!!! So again, when I go home, I will be juicing fruits and veggies for mom and making ribs for dad! Can't wait....

So here are some pictures from my stay in Tucson, enjoy:

Tucson Botanical Gardens had a Christmas special one night and it was so much fun!! We saw Santa and wanted our picture taken. Who knew that when we sat on his lap he was a DIRTY SANTA!!!! He said we were on the 'naughty' list! YUCK!!! Don't ruin it old man!
Before one of our rides - Alisha and I.....she's tall? or am I short?
Smile for the camera!
I may have been killing time one day dyeing my hair.....maybe.....
The mountains right beside Tucson, so beautiful!
Stucco doesn't really work too well in some places but in the southwest, it is beautiful!!!
From my awesome friend Ally Stacher!!!!
Sunrise in Tucson...
Sunset in Tucson....

Watching: The Help(GREAT movie!!!)
Reading: Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz - very interesting....thanks Janel for the reference!
Listening: Awolnation - Sail (I'm not so sure about this video but the song is good)
Eating: FRUITS AND VEGGIES!!! (and ribs)
Feeling: excited about going home for Christmas.

Merry Christmas y'all!!