The Journey Begins….Again

January 30, 2009 on 11:15 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

The Ironman Journey is definitely an adventure. Some make it to the finish line the first time, others need to try more than once before they hear “You ARE an IRONMAN!”

My journey began sometime in 2003. I had been involved in sprint triathlons for several years and decided I needed a greater challenge. I decided to do a full Ironman by the time I turned 50. That gave me just under 7 years. Pretty reasonable, I thought, as my kids were getting older, and in time, it would be easier to put in the time training. In 2004, I completed my first half marathon in Phoenix, and my first marathon in Los Angeles. The California 70.3 was next on the list in 2006.

In August of 2007, I took the plunge and signed up for the April 2008 Ironman Arizona, just 1 week before it sold out. Alas, it was not meant to be. In February 2008, my husband required open-heart surgery to replace a bad valve. He pushed me out of his hospital room on more than one occasion to go run, swim or ride. A few days after his surgery we found out my father had an inoperable brain tumor. On April 8th, I pulled out of the race. I was in Texas and my father was dying. He passed away that evening, and earlier in the day we got word that my mother was critically ill in Montana. She passed away on the 13th, race day. I never doubted my decision to pull out. I felt incredibly blessed to have been able to be with both of my parents as the breathed their last breath. The period of loss was not yet over. In the next four weeks, we lost three more family members. Family, Friends and my Faith are what got me through.

Fast Forward….My journey began again when I signed up for the june 2009 Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Fall 2008 was slow going on the training front. For several months I could not get motivated to do much of anything. December was a good run month, and now I am ready to go! While talking to one of my sisters a few weeks ago, I realized that I have come almost full circle. I have hired a coach with some funds my father left me, and Coeur d’Alene is just a few hours from where my mother lived in Montana. So, although their passing was the reason I pulled out of the race in 2008, my parents will be a real part of my race in 2009. So bring on the cold water, the hills, and the “You Are an IRONMAN!”

New Items!!

January 30, 2009 on 6:42 pm | In Product Information | No Comments

So part of my job is to see what new products are out. Or maybe shed some light on a product that I really like. This week I want to go over a few products that has received recently–in no particular order.
1. Nathan 7.5k Elite Runners Pack – This pack actually sold out the first week we had it in the shop. It is essentially just a zippered pocket where you can keep your gels, keys, ID, hydration tablets and whatever you may need to bring with you on your run. The pocket actually expands to help keep things snug. If you are looking for a pack to just keep these types of things, look no more. I use Nathan hydration packs for my longer runs and I can tell you that they are very comfortable and you truly cannot feel them on. They are lightweight and breathable.

Nathans 7.5k

2. CarbBOOM Energy Chews are a great tasting fruit chews. I first tasted these fruit chews at Interbike and really thought they were on to something. These Energy chews come in a single serve pack with 6 pieces. Right now the only flavor you can get is Wildberry. If it one thing that Carb BOOM does well, it is their flavoring. This one is great!

CarbBoom Energy Chews

CarbBoom Energy Chews

3. Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 is the latest grouppo set to come out of Osaka, Japan. Shimano has always been known to be the leader in components and this latest set sets a new standard. The Crankset has been improved and the rings are made separately them epoxied together to obtain additional strength. This is one of the stiffest Cranksets I have seen. I do not have numbers to give but it certainly is something I would like to see. The STI Shifters have been completely redesigned. They have a shorter throw, by 20%, than the previous version. They are also 50 grams lighter. The derailleurs are great looking. The rear derailleur has carbon cage added to it. They also refined their shifting so it is much smoother and crisper than the previous versions. The front derailleur improves on shifting as well and now there is less chain rubbing. A notable update is the cassettes. Now you can have an 11-28 Dura-Ace Cassette. Shimano introduced three new cassettes for the year and this is one of them. Shimano also introduced a change in their Dura-Ace chain. There is a reusable quicklink that can be taken connected or disconnected without using tools. The brakes have also been redesigned. The brakes now offer more braking power, less drag and make it easier to adjust on the fly. On the bar end shifters, Shimano has done away with the friction shifting. This allows you to save 17 grams. Overall, this is one sexy looking grouppo! Not only does it look great but the performance is just awesome!

Shimano Dura Ace 7900

Shimano Dura Ace 7900

Camp Season.

January 29, 2009 on 11:49 pm | In Life at | No Comments

This week officially begins camp season at  Camp season you ask?  Yes, camp season.  Camp season is one of the best times of the year here at and I will tell you why:

  • It signifies that the triathlon season will be here before we know it (think Groundhog Day for triathlon, but the outcome is always in the athlete’s favor).
  • It allows the staff at to interact with athletes (a.k.a. customers) from all over the world.
  • It reminds us Tucsonans why we have it so good here.

Every year more and more triathlon and cycling camps are scheduled in Tucson, and for good reason.  Tucson is a mecca for winter and early spring endurance training.  Triathlete magazine wrote us up a while back (link), but the locals here have long enjoyed the desert Southwest more quietly on their own.  Back in the “old days” of triathlon, Jimmy Riccitello and crew made Tucson the place to be but over the years hype regarding Tucson has come and gone.  As a cycling town, Tucson has always been held in high regard but more recently in the triathlon community it has taken a backseat to some of the more trendy areas.  I can tell you that Tucson is back on the map and no longer flying under the radar.  Winter training here has turned into a who’s who of up and coming pros, established veterans and current and former world champions.  And the age-groupers here training outnumber the pros at least 30 to 1.  On top of all that, TRIFEST is bringing the entire industry together in one place at one time – all under the goal of promoting and unifying our sport in one season kick-off event.

This year we will have over 30 different camps visit our facilities and those are just the ones scheduled.  We always have unexpected guests that show up unannouced and simply put, we love it.  While having a van-full of customers in the shop is always great for business, our staff will never tire of hearing stories about a camper’s first trip up Mt. Lemmon or Gates Pass.  It is a great reminder for those of us who somtimes take our local training playground for granted.  We are spoiled, no doubt about it and many times we need others to provide prospective. 

The camps are just one of the many things that makes unique.  The Tucson area allows us to serve not just our local athletes, but athletes from around the globe.  We are very grateful to have this opportunity.  So in advance, thank you campers.  See you all soon enough – we are lookig forward to hosting you.  And the rest of you, time to make plans to visit next year.  We would love to share our world with you.  (I hear TRIFEST is a great time to come.)  Here’s a little taste of Tucson via a run at Catalina State Park:

OUCH Camp – featuring!

January 28, 2009 on 6:41 pm | In UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

Here are a few pictures from the OUCH Pro Cycling camp that made the national news:

Its always a good day when you are on the bike!

It's always a good day when you are on the bike!


OUCH riders having some fun in front of the truck

OUCH riders having some fun in front of the truck


Floyd Landis and the entire OUCH pro cycling team before the ride

Floyd Landis and the entire OUCH pro cycling team before the ride

Rollin’ with the boys from OUCH Pro Cycling Team

January 27, 2009 on 8:09 am | In UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments recently became an official sponsor of the Ouch Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis (formerly Team HealthNet).  So, you may be thinking to your self “why would a triathlon store sponsor a pro cycling team?”.  That answer is multi faceted, but let me explain a few of the big reasons below:

  • I thoroughly enjoy all three individual sports that encompass triathlon and cycling, in particular, is near and dear to me because it is something I can do with my entire family – I can always con my dad and brother out for a 2-3 hour ride, but I can tell you I could never con them out for a 2-3 hour run.
  • I know this is hard for some roaddies and trigeeks to understand, but when it comes to the bike, we are all using pretty much the same equipment.
  • There seems to be an underlying segregation between roadies and triathletes.  Look, if our country has finally matured enough to elect an African American into office then I think we should also be pretty close to the point of letting triathletes and roaddies mingle in the same store.
  • There are several incredible cyclists out there that used to be triathletes (Armstrong, Brad White – on Team Ouch, and many more); and there are several cyclists that have turned into great triathletes (Riccitello, Jalabert, etc.).
  • I support all of the guys on the team – they are all incredible riders that come to the table with a ton of talent.  It is an added bonus that Floyd Landis is on the team.  Say what you will about his incident at the Tour de France, but if you ask me he was railroaded.  I stand behind Floyd – enough said.

If you told me a few years ago that we would be sponsoring a pro cycling team with an Olympic medalist (Bobby Lea), multiple Canadian National champions (Andrew Pinfold and Cam Evans), a Junior Elite TT champion (Jon Chodroff), a multiple NRC champion (Rory Sutherland), Floyd Landis, and all of the other guys that completely lay the smack down (Tim Johnson, Roman Kilun, Pat McCarty, Karl Menzies, John Murphy and Brad White) – I would have told you that you where nuts.  It’s 2009 and here we are!

This past weekend I got to spend some time with the team.  Here’s a photo of the whole group! is the official store of Team Ouch is the official store of Team Ouch becomes the offical store of the Ouch Pro Cycling Team presented by Maxxis

January 27, 2009 on 7:31 am | In Announcements, UHC Pro Cycling Chronicles | No Comments

PRESS RELEASE: to be Official Store of OUCH Pro Cycling Team
Online store will sell official team merchandise and have in-store appearances and clinics by OUCH team riders. 

• Tucson, AZ January 7, 2009: is excited to partner with the OUCH Pro Cycling Team as an Official Sponsor. As such, will the official distributor of all team gear, which will be available for sale in late January. Tucson is world-renowned as a cycling destination and many of the OUCH team members call it home. OUCH Pro Cycling Team will be using Tucson as a staging ground for several races around the Southwest and, during those times, will have various team members in-store for clinics and appearances (schedules TBA). Team members will also be doing some guest blogs for’s blog ( President and CEO, Seton Claggett, says “It is very exciting for to be involved with such a successful professional cycling team. There is so much talent on the OUCH Pro Cycling Team and we are looking forward to a very successful season and long-term relationship with them. We are a very unique sponsor in that we are a retail store that has a presence all over the world, so we are really going to be able to connect the majority of the team sponsors with the endconsumer.” For more information go to

Tucson-based began in April of 2000 out of the owners’ home. Today occupies a 22,000 sq ft facility housing a state-of-the-art retail store, warehouse, and corporate headquarters. A leader in the triathlon retail world, also has deep roots in road cycling. Carrying an extensive line of road bikes and accessories and offering a full service Page 2 Partners with OUCH Pro Cycling Team For Immediate Release department, cyclists can find everything they need in the Tucson store or online at has a staff of expert bike fitters, highly trained mechanics and knowledgeable, friendly sales staff. Along with Park Tool Schools, in-store clinics, events and activities, also offers their Fly-n-Fit program for out-of-town customers to come to the store and receive the full benefit of’s expertise in the selection of their new bicycle. Central to their business is the importance of a sustainable future and the 40+ employees at have adopted this belief as their own and work hard to reduce the company’s footprint on the environment.

About OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis
OUCH Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis is a powerhouse of talent. Returning to competitive cycling after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery is rider Floyd Landis. Landis will be joined by Australian Rory Sutherland, who won his second consecutive NRC Individual Points Championship in 2008. John Murphy also returns following a breakthrough season that landed him in the top five of the NRC standings. Team captain and reigning cyclocross national champion Tim Johnson also returns to continue filling his leadership role on the road. They’re joined by Tasmanian strongman Karl Menzies, who will be looking to rebound from an injury-plagued 2008 with another strong year for the team. Super-domestique Roman Kilun rounds out the returning riders. The team welcomes five new riders besides Landis to its roster. They include Cameron Evans and Andrew Pinfold, both coming from the Canadian outfit Symmetrics. Bradley White comes to the team from Successful Living, while Bobby Lea joins from Toyota-United. Neo-pro Jonathan Chodroff, the current elite time trial national champion, rounds out the squad. Just added to the squad is strongman Patrick McCarty who brings a wealth of stage-racing experience to the team.

The Importance of Fit

January 23, 2009 on 8:41 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

I’ve been riding for about 8 years now and have been lucky enough to always be comfortable on the bikes I have owned and ridden.  I like to think that I have had an intuitive sense of where I needed to be positioned – only I know what feels right and I’d find the right position through trial and error.  I didn’t need someone to look at me and tell me where to be – I can take care of myself thank-you very much.  Well…. not exactly and I stand corrected. 

Last spring, I upgraded my road bike to the Scott Addict R4.  I’d been riding around on it for 4-5 months or so without any real issues.  We made a few modifications with the build, but for the most part everything was great.  Except the saddle.  After a while, I really started to not like that saddle.  I tried a few different saddles through our saddle demo program, but actually settled on a shop favorite (not currently in the program) – the Selle An-Atomica.  I’m a fairly handy chick so I swapped out the saddles, made some minor adjustments, did my trial and error thing and was set – or so I thought.  In the weeks that followed my saddle switch I started noticing I wasn’t looking forward to riding – it was hurting.  My back and shoulders were absolutely killing me.  Our massage therapist would seriously question what was wrong with me because the knots in my back were severe.  I attributed it to stress (no lack of that here!), being out of shape, carrying my backpack while commuting, etc.  Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore and I thought I’d either have to give up riding all together or maybe, just maybe that saddle switch had something to do with it.  At this point I was desperate and set an appointment with our bike fit expert, Mark, to help me out.  All I can say is wow.  It took us approximately 15 minutes to make a few minor adjustments and just like “that” – fixed.  Of course it took me a few rides without pain to be convinced we fixed the problem, but I have been pain free ever since.  All that pain, frustration and agony from a simple saddle change. 

My friends I tell you this:  having a properly fitting bike can make the difference from enjoying your rides or hating them and take you from pain to pleasure.  The key is getting over your ego and asking for help.  If you don’t have a certified bike fit expert in your town, I highly recommend taking a trip out to Tucson and visiting our team – I really think they might know magic.  Even better if you are looking to purchase a new bike, you can take advantage of our Fly-n-Fit program. 

Here are some shots from my bike fit!

Note: Mark does not always just stare at the ceiling 🙂  He’s maybe a little camera shy!

15 questions… with Bobby T

January 22, 2009 on 8:10 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Next up for 15 questions is Bobby T.  He was actually our 2007 Employee of the Year and also our curent H-O-R-S-E basketball champion.

  • Name:  Bobby T
  • Position at  Warehouse
  • Hire Date:  August 2006
  • State you have lived in for the longest amount of time:  Mississippi (11 years)
  • State you have lived in, but for the shortest amount of time:  Florida
  • Dream state to live in:  Washington
  • Favorite vacation you have been on:  Cruise to Mexico
  • Least favorite vacation you have been on:  They all have been fun
  • Dream vacation:  Australia
  • Favorite celebrity:  Will Smith
  • Least favorite celebrity:  Clay Aiken
  • Who you wish was a celebrity:  Bobby T
  • Favorite drink:  Pepsi
  • Biggest pet peeve:  People who don’t respect cyclists
  • Favorite smell:  A-1 Sauce
  • Favorite way to relax:  hanging out with my son and playing video games
  • Best concert you have attended:  Outkast
  • Favorite non-triathlon website:

And here is pic of Bobby T (on the very right) with some other riders sporting the red, white and blue on a group ride.

Guess Who is a Triathlete?

January 21, 2009 on 10:42 pm | In Random Musings | No Comments

Yesterday marked the inauguration of 44th President of the United States of America into service.  Within a matter of hours every leader, staff member and special aid that has comprised the executive branch of the White House over the past 8 years made way for a new crop of extremely accomplished men and women to take over…

and guess who is a triathlete?


Rahm Emmanuel.  That’s right – the highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President to the United States and senior aide to the President sometimes called: “The Second Most Powerful Man in Washington” swims, bikes and runs just like the rest of us.   

Emmanuel has an impressive background: He amassed a small fortune as an investment banker and earned his political stripes as the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and later as the Chairman of the Democratic Caucus, which made him the fourth highest ranking House Democrat.  Emmanuel most likely has more aids than he can count on one hand, a driver, a personal chef and several secret service agents at his disposal.   The man is rich, smart, tough (my personal favorite description of Emmanuel is that he uses obscenities like a comma during conversations with high ranking governmental figures) and a lot of people cater to him.  But, the one thing on one can do for Rahm Emmanuel is his work in the pool, on the bike or on the run. 

And that’s why Triathlon is the best sport I know:  It’s the Great Equalizer.  No one and nothing can do the work for you other than yourself.  As our off-season wraps up, perhaps it’s worth it to take sometime to think about your training philosophy:  What’s the most basic tenant in your training? Is it to get the most sophisticated workout plan or is it to give every workout all your effort?  Emmanuel’s privilege doesn’t entitle him to shave any more minutes off his race time than you or I, a quicker transition, or even less chafing.  He is the right hand man to the most powerful man in the world and he puts in the work just like every successful triathlete I know.

p.s. Emmanuel was spotted at a DC Triathlon Club swim practice.  Here’s the workout they were doing! Can you keep up?

Warm up:
100 free 100 pull 100 choice
2×150: 50 kick 50 drill 50 swim

 Work Out:
500: 200 swim 100 kick 200 pull
400: 200 swim 200 pull
300: 3×100
200: 50s IM order
100: 4×25 sprint

Cool Down: 100

Introducing De Soto and Louis Garneau Spring 2009 clothing

January 20, 2009 on 10:58 am | In Random Musings | No Comments

While it seems that we are still in the Christmas cookie haze and some of us may even still have our Christmas trees and lights up, it is that time of year again. You know, that time of year that the newest and innovative products start hitting us. We in turn get to highlight them on our site and offer them to all of our friends in the triathlon world! The newest offering we have for clothing is the De Soto Sports and Louis Garneau 2009 spring lines. Check them out on our site aand indulge in the newest items on the market today. Come on! It’s time to work off those cookies!!

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