My winter vacation has been thwarted with chilly temperatures which has left me longing for warmer climates. I've been having dreams about winter bike rides in the Arizona desert, and I have spent far too much time looking at vacation rentals in Palm Springs. Give me swimming pools, warm sun rays, and bikinis please! 

"I'm tough, I'm strong, I still wear eyeliner."

Lisa Leslie
 3 xWNBA MVP, 4 x Olympic gold medalist
Nothing but smiles from Natalie Coughlin after breaking a record that has eluded her for 12 years.

Natalie Coughlin was busy over the weekend kicking butt at the Mussi-Lombardi Femiano short course meet in Italty. The 32 year old Golden Bear set a new American record with a time of 58.55, in the 100 meter Individual Medley. This just so happens to be her favorite race. Coughlin set the previous American record in 2002, and this sizzling hot PR moved her up a spot to 6th in the world ranking. A big salute to you Ms. Coughlin! 

Discipline is choosing between what you want, and what you want most. 

The leaves have turned, champions have been crowned and my suitcase is spending more time stashed in the corner of my bedroom than in the underbelly of a 747. So long crummy hotel gym treadmills, hello trails! Fall is my favorite time to get a little mud on my running shoes, and I have been spending the majority of my free time exploring new trails in the enchanted redwood forest that is Nisene Marks. Of course this change in scenery has me itching for some new gear. Fingers crossed I get everything on my wish list!

Oh hello, wonder where I have been? Here are some snaps from my last 8 months on the road. 

Fat Tire Crit at the Whisky 50. Snow in April in Prescott, AZ. Central Park. Lincoln Center at night. Rocking the Sea Otter pump track on a kids bike. Austin, Texas. Savanna, Goergia, South Beach, Miami, Florida. Group ride in Monterey. Start line at Tour of California. Big Sur, California. Walter my horse buddy in Minnesota. Kurt and the neighborhood cat Simon. Frisco, Colorado for Women’s Ride Day. Chicago, Illinois. Lady Fate at Wilder State Park, Santa Cruz , California. Smoked clams with chorizo. Kappa Alpha Theta house at Syracuse University. Paying homage to the IronGods in Madison, Wisconsin.  Lutsen, Minnesota. A hard earned beer with Matt Lynch at the Lutsen 99er. Pond on a ride in Summit County, Colorado. Life on the road. Leadville Race Series founder Ken Kloeber. All smiles after the mountain bike ride of my life with Leadville Champions Dave Weins and Rebecca Rusch. Monterey for the Specialized 2015 product launch. Punch at Chambers Landing, Lake Tahoe, California. Esprit de She 10k in Chicago with my old water polo teammate Kat. Raced the New York City Triathlon on my 28th birthday. Brunch with two of oldest friends Kendra and Aly on my birthday in New York City. #LTMustacheMirror. We love Leadville. Leadville 100 finish line. Cedar plank salmon. US Pro Challenge. JensVoigts last race at US Pro Challenge. Sun Valley, Idaho. The best bike ride I’ve ever had at Rebecca’s Private Idaho. Hotel Del Coronado. Inspiration at the espnW Women + Sports conference. I took 2x Olympic gold medalist (basketball) Ruthie Bolton on a bike ride. My sister got hitched. My best friend visited from the Netherlands. 

It does not matter how many times she snags the crown. The win is
just as sweet as the first for 4x Ironman World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae.

They say ignorance is bliss. Kona rookie Jan Frodeno is elated with 3rd place. 

The hardest fought battles are rarely at the front of the race.
18th place finisher Jeremy Jurkiewicz grabs a hand from Marko Albert. 

The energy of the finish line gave Nils Frommhold one last kick. 

 Daniela Ryf showed her competitors that the fastest way to
 the finish line is to race with a full heart. 

There is no hiding your emotions from the camera at the finish line of an Ironman. You have just tried to control every thought and feeling for 140.6 miles, and now you can finally let go. It’s easy to see the joy, relief, disappointment and pride in the eyes of each competitor as they step through the finishing arch. Tears flow like Coca-Cola at the mile 20 aid station, and sweaty hugs are exchanged by perfect strangers. The love for life echoes off the barricades lining the finishing chute as each athlete is welcomed home. 

The finish line is what it is all about. 

Those 30 seconds of unadulterated glory before you collapse into a pile of cramping muscles and beg someone for a cheese burger. 

All images from Slowtwitch