Juli Fiocca


Developing Junior Cyclists (or having fun with friends on a bike)

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Photos from 787 Junior Junior Training — complete with a cameo from Chann McRae and Coach Jen teaching
Austin, known for its love of fitness and cyclists, commits again.

Welcome 787 Cycling:

Our goals are to serve our membership in a meaningful way, advance a healthy and responsible lifestyle that includes cycling, share our passion for cycling with each other and our community, embody a positive and desired image for those who support us, and to give back to the community in which we live.

The 787 Cycling Organization supports a group of junior riders — those riders 10-18 years old. A vast age difference within the group (particularly as a parent of an almost 11-year old, who, thankfully, didn’t have any of the teen-boys hit her radar).

So, we have split them into “juniors” and “junior juniors”.

Week 1, the juniors went out for 90 minutes on ‘real routes’; the junior juniors learned to ride side by side (in kind of a pace line).

Week 2, the juniors did their own thing while the junior juniors practiced their side by side riding as well as learned gearing/standing on hills.

Fun, friendship, and fitness isn’t all we are experiencing — the organization (including the kids) volunteered for Bikes for Kids, building the new bikes distributed as holiday gifts for kids in Austin who need a positive boost.


Non-Fat Compression Chicken in Minimalist Shoes

Posted in Fun, Training by

Trends, driven by marketing and data, but how much of each?

Spending a couple days at The Running Event (a conference and expo for running specialty stores), hosted in Austin, Texas, the trends of 2010-2011 announced themselves everywhere in everything. No suprise, the trends: compression and minimalist shoes.

Perhaps like trends toward chicken (v. ‘fattier’ cuts of meat) and non-fat items (just add sugar for taste) in the 1990s, the perspective gained provides insight on healthy choices for your body. But, heck, you’ve gotta use your own noggin (just because the doughnuts are ‘low-fat’ doesn’t mean eating the whole box is a good idea).

It’s enjoyable to represent Timex. The trendy presents itself in style and colors and technology, but the heart and soul of a Timex represents just that – sincere heart and soul.


Breaking My Own Rules

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No more volunteering, no more hobbies — has been scrapped.

Destination Imagination captured my daughter’s curiosity, so I volunteered to facilitate for a team of 5th graders.

Cool videos about DI.

Engineering friends celebrate — the team (named CHAWK = Cyrus, Harry, Autumn, Will, Katia), decided to select a technical challenge for their team challenge. Basically, they have to make equipment that will move objects from the bottom of a 6-foot tower to the top and move other objects from the top of the tower to the bottom (without AC power, no touching the tower/stuff, while fitting the equipment in a 20x20x20 box). They also have to ‘sell’ this as a solution to a real infrastructure problem or reality.

The biggest ‘rule’ is NO INTERFERENCE. The easy part is I can’t interfere, since I have no clue how to design and build equipment. In the gene-pool shakeup, I didn’t get any of the spacial relationships smarty-genes. The good news is that teaching effective teamwork with a group of 10-year olds provides a refreshing challenge, to facilitate figuring out what they need to know, and finding resources to teach them.

We’ve had some serious fun so far — we walk home from school every Friday and work on teamwork, skills, and our challenge. Our field trips include going to the Austin Children’s Museum, Home Depot, and the DI Super Saturday.


Promises, promises….

Posted in Fun, Racing by

I tossed my hat into the ring after some rehab/therapy on the bionic ankle for 18 months…. and raced IMCDA 2010 (yes, this was some time ago, but I have been somewhat in denial about some parts, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Prior to the race, I’d been listening to an eastern-spiritual-type person and his take on living with principles of Wisdom, Virtue, and Meditation. One learning — separating the three, where in meditation, thoughts come through and pass without judgement or action. Virtue (how one behaves in the world) has different ‘constraints’, but meditation requires acceptance, letting go, flowing. I don’t sit still well, so I used my new knowledge to help me release thoughts that I had during the race (and focus on others… maybe that’s not what he said, but I had to punt).

So, here are the thoughts that filtered through my mind:

“I’m just going to peek…” (loop 1 of the swim, I stole a glance at the Timex Race Trainer to see if the severe pummeling I took helped me or not.) “That’s just a number, early in the day, enjoying the experience.”
(Digression: Rachel swears by starting too close to the front… which I tried and almost drown for the first 800 meters, but I had a solid even swim split – 1 09, which make me think in my non-meditation: “oooh, good for Juls; near drowning a plus – I didn’t think about the cold.”)

“Woop woop, I’m pedaling smooth, with solid watts, gorgeous day, doing the passing.”

“You have a flat? really? me?…. well, thank goodness I decided to ride clinchers, since I can’t change a tubular in the next hour…. oh, but I only brought a tube that’s like, 80mm, and it doesn’t fit in a disc…. oh, it’s hard to get the wheel out of these horizontal dropouts… excuse me, does anyone have a spare tube?….
what a nice guy who will have good karma… Chrissie won the 09 IMWC with a flat… My hands are shaking so badly… breathe… a 15 minute stop will put me in at 5 30 instead of 5 15ish, I am doing this…”

“I’m right here, right now, riding my bike, which I love — and how cool of my college friend Remy to make me a sign.”

“Time to get off the bike and run. How many age-groupers are up on me? That thought is passing like a cloud, moving through the sky; control what I can.”

“I’ll feel better at the top of this hill.” “Oooh, I feel better.”

“I WILL feel better at the corner/aid station/post/etc” (repeat repeat repeat — meditation starting to crack.)

“Hmmm, Desiree is pale and couldn’t talk to me. Hope she sticks it. Janelle looks great. Oh, there’s Roger. Wow, Michael L felt good enough to almost have a conversation with me.” (attempt at distraction)

“I can run 10k more. I’ve run 10k like a million times. This freaking hurts. I feel like $%^. I feel better. I feel like %^&*. I’m letting go of the hurt.” (meditation cracking)

“I’m so not doing this until I can run a marathon under 4 hours. So there.” (meditation cracking)

So, after a 1 09 solid swim (yes, that’s good for me), a flat-inspired 5 30 bike (15 minute flat with a 5 15 goal, ok), and an erratic running experience….. dropping me from 2 to 12, no IM until I have confidence on the run.

As Mr. Schaning put it in his Kona video, “You can bike as hard as you want, if you can’t finish with a strong marathon, you’ve got nothin’.”

As my cd-therapist says — meditation is about letting thoughts that come into your head go without judgement or analysis. I’m working on it.


Comfort Zone

Posted in Fun, Racing by

True. My triathlon skills are sub-par at the moment. I expect this to change at some point. In the meantime, I’m getting out of my comfort zone.

- Criterium racing
Although I love racing bikes, I’ve been off that circuit lately. Even so, I rarely race a crit (those are the races that go around and around a short course for a predetermined time). Fear issues plague me in a crit. In the past, I’ve raced 5 crits – usually part of a stage race that I have to finish. The whole time I hear Jen McRae’s voice, “Get in there, Juli…. Get your wheel in there… You are wasting too much energy…” My heart rate maxes out from sheer anxiety. Criterium racing requires the absence of thought process, as that would take way too long. It’s all about reacting quickly to a situation.
So, I’ve been racing our local crit, The Driveway Series. Turns out, I’m getting a little more comfortable. We race with the cat 3-4 guys, so the field is a decent size.

Autumn also jumped in the last few weeks in the junior/women 3-4 race – she’s racing as a junior (10-18 years old). Since the women and junior fields are light, we have quite a collection of pint glasses (Really, for juniors and women? But may I regress and point out that our pint glasses, clif bars, and Climb On sunscreen rock as far as bike race prizes.)

- Rave
I set my alarm for 11pm while on vacation near LA to drive to a rave in a warehouse-looking place to see my brother’s band perform. Suffice it to say that I was the only one dressed in yoga pants, tank top, flip flops, and surfer hoodie… but my strength was a bonus as mash-pit-guys attempted to block my front-stage view. Point of reflection: I had many late-night-flashbacks that were enjoyable, and I made it back to our hotel room before Autumn and Michael left for the airport. Sorry, no photos.

- Running
I’ve never been a great runner, but I’ve never been so sluggish as I have been in my post-bionic–ankle state. Chann and I discussed training for the marathon, but I don’t need to run farther at the slug-pace. So, I am training for the mile. I intend to PR the mile at the end of the year. Let’s just say that Andrew could run my PR pace while pulling a wagon after 56 miles on a bike… and I’m okay with that.

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