This is what the Marin Tri 10k run looked like
Had a great well-earned recovery week. The extra hour of sleep in the morning helps! I started doing strength training with Gaby at Fitness SF which will get me through the winter. Time to focus on speedwork! I put a few things on my calendar but not going to plan it out too much and stay flexible. As time goes on I've learned to let my training evolve organically. Right now, my body wants to build itself up, not tear itself down. Earlier in the year I had thought I would be doing more ultra running but this is better for me. I will stick to my goal of getting faster and building lean muscles and getting injury proof rather than binge running. There will be a time and place for that later. The triathlon prep put me in a great place for what I am about to do.

The water temps in the bay are starting to drop under 60°F finally. Great therapy for sore muscles!


Marin Tri 2015 - Race Recap!

Marin County Tri - The Swim
Marin County Triathlon 2015

This race was great fun! I like immersing myself in this location every year: Camping it, swimming it, biking it and running it! It is nicely organized race with nice people for the non-profit Sustainable Sports Foundation and 100% of the net proceeds go toward charity. I finished in under 3 hours, improved my PR by 2 minutes, and in the top 20 females. It was a small field and even smaller for my age group. Don't you just love small local races? I did better on my transitions and a little better on the swim and run. The bike was about the same with two minutes slower than last year. Got 2nd AG! Overall felt strong throughout. The hardest part was the first bike climb out of the water with cold legs.

Time: 2:52:45
Swim: 28:17
T1: 3:01
Bike: 1:29:45
T2: 1:38
Run: 50:04

Setup: Rolled to the site fresh from bike camping at China Camp. It looked like it was going to rain but never did. I just set up my transition area with everything in plastic bags and got to know my neighbors, many first timers! Before the race I had a coffee with whey protein and coconut oil. I had carbs the day before, so it was all in the tank. Some friends from Water World Swim were there and was nice to see them. I ate a few spoons of coconut oil before getting in the water for instant heat. They had some hot water so I mixed hot water with cold water to make warm water and sipped that before getting in.

The Swim: The swim was warm, in the low 60s. Wore the sleeveless wetsuit. I had brought both the tinted goggles and untinted so I had options. It was overcast so went with untinted. The current was flooding so I got to the turnaround in 13 minutes. Kept a steady pace and was overtaken by the next wave on the way back.

T1: For my transition, I didn't overthink it. My mantra was "head to toe": Stripped head to toe, dried off head to toe, then put bike things on head to toe. I took the time to put on gloves and wool socks. It was chilly so wore the windbreaker.

The Bike: The first climb hurt, as all the blood was shunted out of the legs on the cool swim. Love this course! It's so scenic and fun with all the rolling hills. My other mantra was: "Stay in the moment". I thought about this the day before to relax and not stress. I tried not to coast and kept pushing uphill and cranking on the downhills. Had 3 scoops of UCAN chocolate with protein in a gel flask for my bike, and took huge sip at each of 3 loops. Polished off two bottles of water.

T2: Again, keep it simple. Head to toe everything off, then throw on a visor, glasses and shoes. I had a hand-carry bottle of water with a gel. I was really thirsty and didn't want to stop at aid stations. It had heated up by now and I was ready to throw the windbreaker away!

The Run: Warmup for the first mile to find my legs around 9:00/min pace and then locked on a comfortably hard pace which happened to be around 8:00/min per mile. Just focused on breathing, form and relaxed effort. Had the Gu Roctane Gel after the first loop, then kicked it to 6:00 min/mile pace on the last quarter mile into the finish.

I don't know what I would have done differently, as I felt I did my best that morning. If anything, I could always run a little faster! I looked at the clock and felt I did slightly better than last year, but not by much. This was fine as my main reason for doing this is to stay fit and healthy as I get older, so I had realistic expectations. It felt a little easier this year. I was able to stick with a healthy diet and workout routine for several months leading up to the race, which is why I do it. Didn't gain a lot of weight either, which is a first. The post race breakfast was delicious pancakes and frittatas! I ate, got dressed and as I was packing my bike heard my name being called. I wasn't expecting to get a placement! I ran over there and was almost late for my first triathlon podium pic! I picked up some prizes: a new thermal swim cap, lotion and gift certificates! Love this race and look forward to doing it again.


Countdown to Marin Tri - Just a week away!

November in San Francisco
Just a week a way from the Marin County Tri! I'm feeling ready! Here is what I did last week:


Solid HIIT and Plyo sessions, trail run and some good brick workouts. The HIIT sessions are almost an hour and include some short sprints. In the spin sessions, we often do tabatas. All workouts are 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs, maybe a little longer on the weekends. I got my bike back from bike shop at Mojo Bicycle Cafe and they did a great job tuning up my bike! It feels much safer and cleaner. The old shifters on the 6 year old Giant Avail 3 were problematic so they were upgraded. On Saturday rode the ESCAPE route after a 1 mile swim along the buoy line. I like the buoy line for training because passing the buoys is great motivation to keep a good pace going.

Did not go out for Halloween because on Sunday I got up early and helped with a fun swim event. Rested the rest of the day. This week is taper week, so no weight training. I will probably do a few more open water swims to get acclimated and practice tearing off my wetsuit. My weight maintenance went well. It fluctuates but is still under 130. Now I do carb days on the weekends, which means: eating normally and do not worry about it but try to eat more carbs and less fats. Monday through Friday is HFLC. This has helped me to stick with it, maintain weight and it is really easy. I tried "carb back loading" to test my upper carb limit but I noticed I was gaining weight with that and not muscle. Going back down to 50 grams of carbs per day from vegetables and little portions of fruit. 75g is the max. The timing is critical. I realized instead of wrapping foods in a low-carb tortilla that doesn't taste that great, the romaine lettuce actually tastes a lot better! Still eating meat for now after all the cancer scare reports. I consider myself in a low-risk category. I may eat less bacon and go back to high protein low-carb tofu because I am still a fan of organic non-gmo soy. Finding the right workout routine and nutritious diet and sticking with it all these months has helped me stay healthy and fit. Though I'm getting older, my metabolic age is in the 20s and I can get outside and do things I enjoy.

How Soy Can Kill You or Save Your Life


Countdown to Marin Tri - Winding down

Another good training week and some added recreation on the weekend walking around enjoying the city. Thursdays is probably the hardest cardio workout, with a challenging group fitness spin class and then progressive 10k run bricked after it. Other than that, just tried to do my best. My bike is at the shop for a full tune-up. I  hope to get it back soon.


It was nice to unwind a little this weekend and distract myself from the focus on training and diet and give myself a break. I went to Wharf Fest for lunch where they were having a chowder tasting of a dozen restaurants down at Fisherman's Wharf. This was a great opportunity to try all the chowders and vote for my favorite! Brick and Beam won the judges choice, and McCormick & Kuleto's won the people's choice. I agree those were good, but my favorite was Cioppino's and Blue Mermaid. I was craving sourdough for my carbs so went and grabbed a baguette to go with the chowder.

I enjoyed the SF Open Studios Art Exhibits and brought home a few affordable pieces. A seascape by Veerakeat and a print of my favorite swim spot by Lucia Gonnella. I love art and have to have it in my life in some shape or form to get my imagination and inspiration flowing. I don't know how artists survive nowadays with the lack of resources and space. It never seemed like a viable career option, and that worries me. If we don't do something the arts will disappear, then the city will be quite boring and soulless. We need more art to balance out all the tech, don't you think?

Favorite Swim Spot

Giclee print of painting by Lucia Gonnella


Countdown to Marin Tri - Staying on Track

Had a great week of training and even managed to donate red blood and platelets on Friday! Seeing some progress on the body comp! The combination of HFLC / Carb cycling diet and strength training is my ticket. This week I tried a little protein before the workout and banana protein shake after the workout with great results. Saved the carbiest foods for after workout and at night, no sugar, no refined grains, carbs are from veggies and little fruit portions. The night carbs is fuel for my next morning work-out, because I don't do carbs pre-workout, instead I do fats. The banana in the protein shake helps to get the good stuff into the muscles. At this point in training, I'm starting to add more small servings of fruit and squash for carbs to correspond with increased training volume and intensity.

The workouts:

HIIT / PLYO & RUNRUN 10kHIIT / PLYOSPIN / RUN BrickBlood DonationRestSWIM / Rest

The shake:
Hemp seeds blended with water = hemp milk
1 scoop Whey Factors
1/2 banana
1 cup of spinach

Pre-workout I add half a scoop of whey protein into my bonk-proof coffee. Just dissolve it in a little cold water first or it will clump.

The results:

Tanita BC-1000 Plus / Garmin Forerunner 310XT

I'm not sure how the blood donation affected the graph. I try to drink almost a gallon of water per day. The consumption of carbs significantly affects the graph, as well as long cardio sessions. I know partly what I'm seeing is glycogen and water weight getting pumped into my muscles. Tanita has some info on their website about this. Some people do not like looking at the scale every day, but it can be a powerful tool to see what is working and what is not. It helps if you weight yourself at the same time everyday. I weigh-in in the morning. I'm happy about how all this has helped me manage my weight for race day while still preserving strength and energy. I'll be racing a little leaner this year.

Happy Training!

My Metabolic Efficiency Journey