Showing posts from 2009

End of Year!

2009 Recap:

click on the photo for links to each event

Run: 934 Bike: 2,873 Swim: 67 miles
9 races plus 1 Alcatraz Crossing, volunteered at 2 events

2009 was the year of the TRI. I learned to swim and do my first Triathlon, Ultra and Alcatraz Crossing and started getting humble AG wins in running. The total mileage was upped, but split into multiple activities. I had improved speed and endurance in running and swimming.

I found it hard to find the time and energy to do long bike rides in tandem with swimming and marathon training, but now that my swim time is better and I feel more comfortable with it I hope to get back on the bike more. Instead of running high mileage, I learned to get efficient high-intensity running workouts in each week. I picked up a new off-season sport that I like: boogieboarding!

My goal is to do more pace workouts and update my cobwebs PRs list. Do another marathon, an oly tri, a century ride, a distance swim, and let the rest happen. I'll be entering a…

Coastal Trail

Jo Lynn and Boomer at the Cliff House

This weekend I had the opportunity to run with Jo Lynn and Boomer and show them the San Francisco section of the beautiful Coastal Trail. I ran to meet her and we ran from Golden Gate Bridge to the Cliff House and back. She took some amazing photos before it rained. Jo Lynn is a super friendly & supportive runner and a pleasure to run with. I totally lost track of the time and ended up with 15 miles on my Garmin. It is a treat to slow down and run, bike and swim for pure enjoyment. It's been a great holiday. I feel like I have new legs! Looking forward to the new year!

Having Fun

Irene and I Boogie Boarding at Kelly's Cove

After the ultra I took a week off to relax and visit family. I had the sniffles for several weeks, but I have a feeling that is because I wasn't taking my regular cold swims in the ocean. After this weekend of going back to the cold water - I AM CURED! Seriously! I'm doing easy workouts for the rest of the year, mostly swimming. I am trying to do my part to swim at least 3-5 miles per week for the USATNCC that our club is competing in. This is more than I usually swim during regular training season and am really enjoying it. My swim times have greatly improved since last summer. Joining a tri club and a swim club has helped challenge me to go the extra mile, I highly recommend it. It has been a great year and I didn't even "plan" it that way, it seemed to evolve organically. I am keeping that in mind as I am looking at next year. The recession has left me living check-to-check and I can't sign up for all the even…

Northface Endurance Challenge 50k

I will just have to say WOW! on this one. A very challenging 32 miles! This is the hardest run I've ever done. A week's worth of mileage in one day. It's unbelievable how much climbing there is on this one. I have full respect for ultra runners that did the 50 mile. Makes flat road marathons look like a piece of cake, really.

The views are amazing. I even saw a coyote up near Hawk Hill.

The whole race experience was great, awesome volunteers, lots of slow torturous uphill powerwalking climbs, painful descents, beautiful scenery, friendly runners. Whoever made the chocolate cupcakes and brownies are an angel. They had my drink of choice which is Nuun, and vegetarian options for the hot meal at the finish. I carried my camelbak and carb flask loaded with gu. At the aid stations partook in the pb and jelly sandwiches, baked potatoes with salt (mmm), chips and chocolate cupcakes. I weighed in when I got home and lost 5 lbs. water?

Almost 8 hours of running. I'm smiling, b…

Run Wild for a Child 5k

I love 5ks! They are over before you know it. Add costumes, music and a toy drive and you have a really great time called the Run Wild for a Child 5k! This is a good run for kids and teens, and there are runners of all ages, from 1 to 83! I dressed up in a Twister costume, and saw that another lady also had a Twister costume, so we teamed up and became the Twister Sisters! Having the costumes added a whole new social aspect to the race. I met a bunch of fun runners, and we all got medals just for running in a costume (actually won a gift certificate to Sports Basement also!) I also got 4th in my age group, added bonus since I did work hard and ran 100% plus my maximum heart rate. Thanks to all the awesome volunteers!

For toy donations in San Francisco call (415) 777-0440 SFFD Website

Diabetes cases to double and costs to triple by 2034
Health, Diet & Recovery
Having witnessed family members go through type 2 diabetes this is troubling news. Another reason to keep moving and eat veggie…

Distance Disparity

Here are three different distances for the same 47min 30 sec run on hills and stairs:

Garmin Forerunner 305: 3.33 mi
Nike + : 4.56 mi
Gmaps Pedometer: 3.6 mi

Which one is the accurate one? I think the disparity has a lot to do with hills and stairs because yesterday's run wasn't so hilly so it was only off for about 3/4 mi for a 6 mile run. Whatever. I'll run on effort, though I'm supposed to log my miles for the USAT Triathlon National Challenge Competition.

On another note, I raided the farmers market this week and came home with three pounds of persimmons for Thanksgiving yumminess. Hope you have a good one!

End of November already?

I can't believe the year is almost over! It has been tough at times, especially with the recession hitting everyone I know including myself, but in the parallel universe of run/bike/swim, it's been pretty darn awesome. It keeps me going and my spirits up. Not to mention yoga which is extremely grounding...and marathons of A Bit of Fry and Laurie which are freaking hilarious.

Saturday: Bike Expo! Watched friends racing in cyclocross and wondered if I can haul my bike up these steps.
Sunday: Swim & Run!
Countdown: less than 2 weeks away from ultra, next weekend fun 5k!

Why exercise makes you less anxious

Motivation for Hill Work

This is the next course profile for the ultra in 17 days and a little motivation for me to do hill running today. I'm going to try to maintain and extend the fitness level gained from the last marathon into the 50k before the final taper.

FYI There is a Presidio Coastal Trail Improvements Project underway. I missed the information meeting but you can send in your feedback. ***I love this trail!*** They are planning to remove the sand ladder and add improvements for pedestrian access to Baker Beach which include expanded car-parking facilities. I hope they aren't going to cut down too many trees for this and also that it doesn't create even more traffic on the road there. Many cyclists use the adjacent road. Also, with the upcoming work, access to parts of the trail might be temporarily closed. What will I do?

Recovery Week

It's been a good week. I survived without injuries! The calves were hella tight and sore by the achilles tendon, so I took it easy and mellow and slowly eased back into it with some power walking, then light flat jogging, then back on trails. Had some great swimming in the bay. At 56° F, the water doesn't seem as cold as I thought it would. I am going to try to keep swimming through the winter. I didn't think I would like swimming this much, I'm hooked! On Saturday went out with couple peeps from GGTC to join the Swim Art swim, and we jumped off the pier! Coach Leslie gave me some great stroke pointers and we did some technical drills. My friend Irene ended up doing her 2nd Alcatraz crossing that day! On Sunday went out with Water World Swim and had a great inside to outside cove swim. On both days there were strong currents, but it is calm in some areas and then little jet streams in others. It was good practice for me to swim into these and practice getting over the…

Stinson Beach Marathon

This was a challenging and BEAUTIFUL course. I still can't believe I did it! (Yes I can, because I'm totally sore today!) It was beautiful day to run and the weather was PERFECT! It had rained a couple days ago so their was some dampness and wet leaves on the trails. I'm glad I got some new trail shoes with extra grip. Wearing new shoes on a marathon is not recommended.

We started off in the sand of Stinson Beach after Dave delivered his pre-race meeting instructions and jokes (which is very entertaining btw). Then we headed straight up the Dipsea Trail and Steep Ravine for about 3-4 miles of steady climbing. It took me a while to warm up, and I was carrying a 7lb Camelbak full of water, so was a little out of breath. It was a relief to reach each downhill approach but then I remembered that downhill can be just as challenging and painful if not more than uphill. Some of the runners are very good at descending and were able to speed past.

Lot of lush switchbacks heading i…

Catch the Sunrise

Run/Bike/Swim/Yoga, etc. to catch the sunrise and post your pictures on fb, flickr or twitter! #catchthesunrise

Only a handful of sunrises left of 2009!

Bicycling Problem Solving One Intersection at a Time!

This is a problem area in Alameda that cyclist encounter on the new detour heading to Alameda from the Posey Tube. There is a construction site that is blocking our straight shot into Alameda on Webster St, so we get routed around into a dangerous roadway and into an intersection that has a lot of Marina Village traffic. On the top right there is a bike lane, and cyclist can connect to the bike lane on the left side of the map on the left green arrow. Problem is, there is a right turn lane here and cars are not letting bikes have right of way. I almost got hit here by a truck last week, and another cyclist WAS hit here this morning. Why not paint a big green stripe (or pink!) across the whole intersection to show what the cyclists' intentions are? Or put the mini bike sharrows on the far left turn? I have a feeling the cars just don't realize what the cyclists are trying to do here.

Right now it's safer to try to cross in "L" fashion like pedestrians.

Week 13 - Deep Taper

I wasn't expecting the first week of taper to be such a bummer, but it was. It's beyond my control: Hard to eat enough, eat right, sleep right, think straight, too much anxiety, PMS, emotional rollercoaster, dead tired, and the Bay Bridge has been down this week, adding extra time to my commute... What shook me out of my doldrums is I volunteered at the Marin County Tri today and that was a great cheerup. This one has a beautiful course and fun people in one of my favorite parks. Several people tri'd in their halloween costumes! The bike part has a lot of windy rolling curves, and it also became the run course this year. I got to ride it on my way to check-in after the road was closed off. I heard some of the trails inside the park were washed out because of the heavy rain. I had a great 2.5 hr bike ride back to SF - no big loss of fitness despite having not done these rides in a while (so nice to be on a bike!!!) Also, there is nothing like a good dinner out with bffhuzby…

Week 12 - Swim Alcatraz!

The 1.5ish mile swim from Alcatraz this Saturday was amazing, a culmination of a year of training and learning to swim. I didn't plan on doing it this year, I didn't think I was capable... but a fellow swimmer said let's do it and I said alright (gasp!). That's what happens when you start hanging out with swimmers! Alcatraz is standard fare for every triathlete out here, but for us first-timers it's something special!

After Coach Pedro gave us some last minute tips, we jumped off the boat. The sunrise as seen from floating in the bay is unbelievable. I learned alot about navigation. The current was a mellow ebb, but even with calm conditions things can get critical. The fog started rolling in soon after we jumped off the "Dauntless", which could have made sighting to shore really tricky. In just few minutes I couldn't even see Alcatraz. I think that's why I swam faster. Thankfully we had 3 pilots helping us across the 58 degree water, which seems c…

I'm just sayin...

I was just checking out Running Down's marathon elevation profiles and thought I'd do one for my last (Nike Women's) and next(Stinson Beach) marathon and um...

Week 11 - Back on Track at the last minute

Checking in with the training plan...

I love graphs! This data from Voomaxer occurs after the metric century training, and shows my tri sprint training and marathon training. As you can see, I do the bare minimum as far as mileage goes. I just barely crossed 40 miles running last week, highest in a while (ever?) I was starting to go down before getting into my peak phase (green line), which should be NOW so I had to put a stop to that and ran twice this weekend. I was always afraid of working out hard on Saturday because I wanted to have energy for my morning swim on Sunday, but it turned out alright this weekend, even though I did hills the day before the long run. It was slightly uncomfortable but manageable. I was going to concentrate on just running long on trails and terrain similar to my race, but am mixing in going long for time on easier terrain as well to practice keeping the heart rate up for 3+ hours. Here are some notes. I use this blog as a personal reference so feel fr…

Climate Change - Local Transit

Even though I bike to work, I spent several hours yesterday stuck in traffic on a bus yesterday because an accident on the Bay Bridge blocked off all but one then 2 lanes of the freeway. Thousands of people (not that many carpooling) were trickling at a snail's pace to reach their destination, idling their engines, sending smog into the air. There is no way for me to bike all the way to work because there is no bike lane on this bridge. I couldn't help but think that a wide bike and pedestrian lane would have provided access for emergency crews and tow trucks to deal more swiftly with such situations instead of blocking off most of the traffic lanes. The accident was caused because of truck speeding into the new "S" curve on the entrance to the bridge, everyone thought it would slow down traffic but instead it only causes accidents. A couple of signs and maybe some enforcement of speed limits would have helped. When traffic is shared with bicycles people pay more at…

Week 10 - Whatever!

Okay - sometimes life shows up and you gotta deal. Recession = less work = less pay = downsizing. I spent the week moving and organizing, so only did 2 runs this week. It is a little nerve-wrecking for me to stray from my training regime, but it turned out to be manageable. I can't even remember the first run - it was all a blur. I think I switched into dissociative mode then just turned into a packing robot. Feeling very grateful for a helpful huzby (that word has his seal of approval), friends(that I never see) and online support. What else, my mtn bike klunker is at the shop :-( good to know that my folding bike can do "some" hills. Today I ran 21 miles on mixed terrain which was a relief. I think I am going to alternate the few weeks left with 20 milers and whatever I can do on the very hilly trails. I'm just winging it.

I'm loving swimming at Aquatic Park. Pairing up with other swimmers is the ticket. The temperature is dropping though, and even a few degrees…

Week 9 - Running by feeling

bike 25.2 total miles (+btw 50mi)
swim 2.88 total miles
run 32.45 total miles (82% - 88% MHR)

This week I am getting used to running for time, intensity and feeling instead of mileage. It's interesting. According to a regular marathon (+tri) training plan I should be in the 40+ miles per week range by now but my upcoming events are on hilly trails. It's a little tricky to predict running times on those, but I can expect anywhere from 10 - 14mph pace.

I was checking out my LSD run in comparison to last week's and was able to go a little farther in less time, but that's also because the trail was a little less arduous! I'm doing the long run after swimming and biking also, so I am already a little 'warmed up'. I wanted to say tired, but once I get out to to Marin Headlands and see nature's bounty, I forget about that. The mind is a funny thing - at first, running up that long 1.5 mi climb up miwok trail seemed a chore, but after I did my loop (miwok, old sp…

Week 8 - Extra effort, extra output

This week I pushed the training a little more, and got a lot more in return. More fast interval work, more hills. I feel that the endurance I've gained from marathon training is crossing over into the swimming (and vice versa). I feel like my body is using oxygen and fuel more efficiently. Had a great time swimming at Angel Island in beautiful Ayala Cove with WWS. We had a wonderful picnic on the boat afterwards. It felt like a mini-vacation on the weekday! Swimming in the pool feels much easier since I have focused on getting a better pull. By trying some sprints I noticed that now I can go at more than 1 speed. I integrated the bike by using it to get to the swims and trails.

Here is a view from the cove at Angel Island:

swimming at Aquatic Park w/ WWS

The fog was thick everywhere else. Can you believe it? The hills on my upcoming marathon & ultra are a little intimidating, but I am adopting the motto of the North Face Endurance Challenge to "Run your self-doubt into the g…

Recovery Drinks

Today was supposed to be my rest day, but I feel like I can run another 19 miles today! It must be the recovery drink I had: Unsweetened soy milk with protein powder, cinnamon, chia and joint supplements. Wondering what other people drink for recovery after a hard workout.

Week 7 - The Halfway Point

Yes! Only 7 weeks left until the marathon and I am heading towards the peak. I have three 20 milers coming up then a taper. My plan says next week is it for hill repeats, but the course on Mt. Tam has some steady climbing for 4-5 miles at a time, so I will keep doing them until the taper. I did feel sore for several days after doing successive short hill repeats instead of one long hill up and down. I think there is a place for doing both, because a long climb totally redlines you. Today's long run turned out to be a mile longer than planned, but no prob. The only thing I need to do is bring an extra pair of dry socks because after 12 miles the feet need a little refreshing. It would be so nice to dunk them in the ocean halfway through. There were alot of surfers out at Ocean Beach today! I saw several boards fly through the air!

Some issues that are coming up are: sleeping (not getting enough) eating (my appetite has gone down) This is when I have to pay attention and force mysel…

Week 6 - Relaxed Effort

I'm almost halfway through my training program, and as things start to heat up, I need something to help keep me grounded and focused. The yoga is really helping with that. I found that doing some yoga sun salutations and breaths before my swim gets me in the frame of mind to focus on form. It also creates alot of internal heat that keeps me warm in the cold water. All the chaturanga dandasanas are giving me some arm strength, and the movement from that pose to the Upward Facing Dog is the one that develops the pull muscles, esp. if you don't rest on your legs and stay on your toes. I'm getting the hang of sweeping the water now and the feeling of propulsion with the arms. Whenever I get stressed or overwhelmed, I just come back to the breath and form.

...And today with WWS we swam outside the cove! OMG it was beautiful to see the Golden Gate Bridge from the ocean, and Coit Tower, and the sailboats in the bay, and Alcatraz, and all the swimmers coming back from their swim …

Week 5 - In the Zone

This was a good week - I'm feeling in the zone. Training plan is based on modified green team intermediate, with some days traded out for swim days, and doing 800 meter intervals for speed.

Running - trying to find efficient pain-less ways of getting up and down the hills. I found that running up on the ball of the feet helps alot. Good recovery, especially when I do an hour of yoga after the run. I use DVDs. I have done many hours of classes and various places around the city and use the DVDs because I can just press play. Steven on Tuesday and Nicki on Wednesday. Nicki Doane can show you some great Ashtanga done right. My arms were sore and my hamstrings got totally stretched! Also worked the external obliques like never before...must be those reverse triangle poses! Ice baths? Never do them.

Swimming - Spent a little extra time swimming (instead of biking this week) mostly working on my strokes. Dude, freestyle swimming has some highly technical moves it takes years to master it!…


A seemingly quiet composed runner heads down the street for an interval run in the park, but this is the chatter going on inside her head, inner coach in italics:

7:00pm - I'ts cold, I'm tired and really hungry, and it's about to get dark outside. I can just do my run in the morning and stay home and watch a DVD with my dog. But then you'll have wasted a whole day of not training and recovering for the next thing. just go, you'll feel different once you get warmed up. Eat Oxygen!
7:05 - Ouch, my legs feel stiff. There is something going on inside my ankle. Is this going to hurt the whole time? No, just stretch at the stoplight.
7:10 - Finally, warmed up. ok, this is alright. Let me just cruise like this for a bit. This run is going to help me run faster, right? cool. If I aim for 6:00 pace I'll end up with 6:30 pace. Sounds good to me.
7:20 - Crap, there is an event going on at the track, that is why I should have got up at 5am to do this! Ok, should I go home and…

Week 4 - Yes, continue

Great week. Legs feeling strong. Finally joined a triathlon club, Golden Gate Triathlon Club, which is highly motivating to get my butt out of bed early on the weekends and train with a group. They have a challenge for members to sign up for an ultra, The Northface Endurance Challenge, so of course I had to go for the 50k. Why not? By then I'll be in marathon mode. Went on a fun group ride with them yesterday.

Had a great swim today with Water World Swim. The water is warm right now and the currents were mellow. I had to really psych myself back into the water after last week's experience, and am glad to have done it. Each day is different and it is always changing. I just tell myself "what can I learn today?" This week I am working on my pull and making sure I get my arm extended down to my thigh. Been practicing the fist drills etc. in the pool. If I can just squeeze in another pool workout or 2 in the week that would be optimal.

I didn't think I could get up ea…

Week 3 - Crumbs

It's great feeling of sticking to the training plan. Having done a couple marathons doesn't make the training any easier for me, just more familiar. What's different this time round is that I'm keeping up with a little bit of cross training in case I want to do another tri. I would like to do more swimming but I need at least 7 hours of sleep and getting up at 5am would just send me over the edge. I don't know how the Iron People do it. The week was interspersed with 16 hours of short to medium trail and hill runs, yoga, a little bike ride and a couple swims, with a long run today which had quite a tough last 5 miles. Today was the hardest day and I am ready for bed early! I was so tired that when I got home I poured my water bottle out onto my houseplants forgetting there was NUUN in it. I hope they like it. Now I know what the rest days are for - RESTING!

Today's morning swim in aquatic park was quite a learning experience. The flood was strong, so we all deci…

Week 2 - In the Groove

Anything that was on my schedule today (Tour d'Organics ride, swimming, etc) is off. My poor pup is in epileptic mode and cannot be left alone. I didn't get enough sleep last night, but the week's training is in the bag. I'm up to 14 miles on the long run no pains whatsoever. I noticed that my swim pace is also getting better. Steven's power yoga is helping me be where I want to be. I got my new trainers this week (in BLACK), and my new sportband. Ready for a day with the dogs at the beach and week 3!

BTW what is up with the CLOWN COLORS trend on the runnning shoes these days? I mean, really. I don't have anything to wear that matches that!

Week 1 - Base Training

Week 1 went better than the week before, which was supposed to be week 1 of the marathon training but was reset due to unprepared ankle. I'm using a new ankle brace called YOGA. Did an hour of it after each short run this week and started feeling strong, flexible and stable. I will never run up on a trail again until I can do a Padangustasana toe stand.

Yesterday did a big bike ride with my husby and a friend. I probably would not have been motivated to go had it not been for them. The weather was great and turned out to be a good workout, probably more than I expected, thanks!

Today's swim was a toughie having not been in the ocean for 6 weeks and had very sore arms. The water looked nice and calm from shore but I had no idea what was going on underneath. I looked at the boats anchored in the cove to see which way they were pointing to give a hint of direction. Thanks to Coach Pedro for bringing his giant map and showing us what the conditions were beforehand. The flood at the…

Building Mileage

14 weeks until the marathon and the training plan is off to a slow start. I started out on hilly trails and it seems my left ankle didn't like that too much, so have to take a few days off of running until the tenderness subsides. My mind and muscles are ready, but the joints need a little extra time. Since my last event was a triathlon with a 5k, and took several weeks off, I haven't done a long run in ages, so have to start over again building mileage up. I've read several articles about taking time off and retraining, and they say it takes two days to retrain for every one day off. It's interesting what happens to your glycogen storage as well. When I went for short 3 miler this week, I felt a bonk after 15 minutes or so. I used to expect that after the first hour and have gels ready. 6 miles was my max this week before the pain, so I'm going to try to work from that on a flat course, and alternate with 3 milers, and not go beyond that next week.

The other weird…

Good Luck SF Marathon Runners!

Have a great run! Especially Green Girl, who is running for a good cause and didn't give up the race even though she became injured. That certainly takes extra effort and determination! I learned a bit of good advice from swimming coach Leslie about sleep - instead of trying to get enough sleep the night before your event, (which will be impossible because of nerves) get lots of rest 2 nights before. So, if you didn't sleep good last night, take a big fat nap today!

Thank you, bloggers!

I've been taking it easy for almost an entire month with only a few maintenance runs and easy rides since my triathlon. After the long flight back home, I'm sleep deprived, sunburnt, my knees feel like jello and I have cankles from sitting on planes for 13 hours. If you want to torture an active person, just make them sit in a small chair with no leg room all day. Doing a 4 hour marathon and a 2 hour triathlon is easier in comparison!

After catching up with my running blogs I'm eager to get back into training for the next marathon. Just wanted to say thank you to all the bloggers that inspire me to get out there!

Buon Giorno!

Running in Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy

It's scorching hot here! I feel like jumping in the fountain!

I walked many miles and saw lots of art. Half a dozen museums, and half a dozen churches including St. Peter's.

Here is an interesting relic from the Musei Capitolini: a milestone from 312 A.D.

Bon Jour!

I'm spending some of my vacation in Geneva Switzerland and enjoying the "real" summer weather, running, cycling and swimming. It is hot here, and swimming in the lake is the perfect way to spend the day, especially after a run. There are several rivers with shady trails to run on, including a nice one along L'Arve around the Bout-du-Monde stadium. Bikes are rentable in several locations, with a 20 franc deposit. The first four hours for free and after that 1 franc per hour. Tons of bike paths, routes around the lake through parks, and the old-town is a car-free zone! You can find routes at and events here.

Cool shaded trails along the river L'Arve

Swimming at Bains des Paquis. Swimming in a clear freshwater lake is FANTASTIC! You can see everything. The water was warm but on some days very chilly. I hopped in one day when it was 55° F (13° C) without a wetsuit! For cold swimming I highly recommend a swim cap, goggles (it's better to get your face …

Golden Gate Triathlon Sprint!

Pre-race breakfast: water, coffee and 2 granola bars
Fuel during race: 2 gus and 24oz Nuun water
Time: 1:55:17

Golden Gate Triathlon Sprint: Well, that was my first triathlon and it was fun! Hard work, but fun. I think I finished in around 2 hours. I was aiming for 1:45, and after the swim was estimating 2:15, but when I saw that I could probably get in under 2 I was hussling. The hardest part was swimming to the first buoy. It was difficult to see it in the glare of the morning sun. The water was comfortable but I thought I'd never get there! I was so glad I wasn't doing the Olympic. It took me a while to warm up and find a groove. The sprint men went first, then the women. We had ten minutes then the Olympic competitors started behind us. They had already caught up to me (and swam away) before I got to the turn. I used humor to get me to the next stop. The buoys were bright yellow triangles, which reminded me of Pikachu, so I kept thinking "I have to get Pikachu!" LOL…

Tapering and Future Goals

It's actually been a great week tapering, because I felt so "bone tired" that I'm ready for a rest phase. I've just been spending more time walking in the park with my dog and tending to my miniature garden. I did my triathlon race plan on paper, plus I broke down the course into sections and added a list of "targets" to hit during the race. Instead of just thinking of the finish line, I have several hurdles to go for during the race.

Planning future goals after the triathlon: I would really like to do a continuous 1 mile swim (almost there) and maybe an endurance swim after that. I still haven't done my century bike ride yet, that might happen later in the fall. I have a marathon in the schedule so will be doing more speedwork. It just keeps going and going.

Training plan for the fall marathon will be based on Hal's Intermediate II, with rest days switched to Tuesdays, track on Fridays, open water swims Sundays and Mondays with bricks and bike …

Happy Solstice!

Summer is here and events are in full swing. I'm a week away from the tri and just read this great article over on Joe's blog about having a race plan. I'm going to try that, but first I must take a nap 'cause I just burned 1,375 calories swimming, biking and running today! I see an easy bike ride and another ocean swim in my future, then resting before the race!

miles: .88 s / 7 r / 5.7 b

Triathlon Countdown - 10 days!

Getting organized for my race, and am making final decisions. I still need to get a few items. Since it is my first triathlon, I'm wondering if I need to bother with aerobars.

video: Comfort vs. Speed in Transitions

How about also, comfort vs. speed vs. green? I know that I will bring a fuel belt with a carb flask, because it saves way more time than opening gel packs and littering the beautiful Presidio with the wrappers. Plus the wind could easily take the wrappers and send them over the cliff into the beautiful ocean, no way!

Downhill Banana

Last night's swim with Swim-Art was awesome! A dozen of us beginners went out with Sarah and did fist drills, boat-hopping, and chasing. The bay is beautiful at sunset, with great conditions and sunlight glistening on the water. I met several women who are doing the Golden Gate Triathlon for the first time also. Psyched.

Whenever I get in the ocean now, I am aware that I am immersing myself into a different experience. I've been in about 10 times, and this weekend I swam 3 consecutive days in a row! I must say that helped my swimming alot. With a few adjustments to my stroke and belly-breathing, I am swimming stronger and not so exhausted. I try to bow my streamline a little to compensate for sinking legs and body position so that the legs are up near the surface of the water. I do this by pressing the chest down into the water. I think of myself as a banana swimming downhill, because when I'm on top of the water in the perfect position it is like cruising downhill.

I'm …

Escape from Alcatraz

Here are some photos of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, the last shot is a video of the transition from swim to bike. It was such a huge event! I just happened to be in front of winner Andy Potts bike when he showed up.

Afterwards had the best swim ever with Pedro's group and several ladies that swim at my pace. We decided where we were going to swim to and where to meet up. The "Jacuzzi" (on the corner behind the wall) is a nice spot, then from there is a nice long wall to swim along. I practiced the diaphragmatic breathing and it is helping me in all three sports! It was a good feeling to implant as my triathlon nears.

Cove Swim

It was a good day for swimming with Swim-Art today. The water was 58° and slightly ebbing. There were swimmers training for the Bridge-to-Bridge swim that were going to swim the perimeter of Aquatic Park cove 3 times. I decided to try just one loop. This time I didn't treat it like a cross-training swim, and actually rested up beforehand. It was hard to warm up, I brushed over some seaweed at first and the pier seemed to last forever. Pretty soon the group was gone and I was straggling along by myself. Psychologically, it was hard for me and I thought about going back, but then Henrique showed up on his surfboard and offered me a tow. We took a shortcut to the opening and I was so thankful for that! It encouraged me to keep going, and I swam a little further than I normally do. Barry was also there with the kayak nearby, so I felt better. Sometimes we just need a little encouragement.

All this reminds me of when I was training for a marathon and doing those 20 milers and going, WTF…

Different Strokes

This week I'm sneaking in some different strokes and drills I should have been doing weeks ago such as breaststroke and swimming with hands in a fist.

Tri Swim Coach Podcast #5- Tapering for a Triathlon

Swimming - Surviving the Mass Start


My training week is winding down and I am so done. I had to bail halfway through my group swim. I was more tired than I thought I was. The water was great though. I know what I need to work on, but right now, I need to CHILL!

I looked at my training log to see what's up, and last week I trained for almost 9 hours plus the 5 hours of sprinting around town on my bike. My running mileage was a lot higher, and I had a long 2 hour bike ride this weekend. No wonder. Swimming in the ocean takes a lot more effort, and I'm pushing it trying to get some quality workouts in all three in. This week I'm bringing the leg mileage down and working on swim drills, and endurance swim on Saturday.

Why Not Tri? >>
Painful Thoughts >>

AnchorMan Triathlon

Here's some photos of the AnchorMan Triathlon

AnchorMan Triathlon

It was very exciting to watch. I don't have the finish photos because I had to go to my swim meet with Pedro's group. I saw Coach Edna competing in the tri - that was awesome! Way to go! I was checking out the Transition area and noticed that the fast ones spend less than 15 seconds in there, max. They mount/dismount their bikes barefoot and deal with securing the shoe while rolling. They did need shoes after peeling out of the wetsuit for the run to the transition zone, because it was a gravel track. Someone handed them shoes as they got out of the water. I'll be back next weekend to get some Escape pics.

We had a great swim at Aquatic Park. It was sunny today, no numb feet. The current was swift so had to keep moving. Coach Pedro helped me out by saying "don't think about it too much" before crossing the flood. I stop and sight alot, which makes a slow swimmer slower because then I start dri…


A bike trip out to Marin Headlands for a trail run. The weather was gorgeous!

I really enjoyed the way up Wolf Ridge Trail, even though it is uphill (790 elev) it is absolutely beautiful. The Coastal Trail constantly amazing. When I reached the peak and saw the view I was bowled over.

An hour to get out there, an hour to run, an hour to get back.


Tonight I swam my half mile in 200 meters sets, with only 3 breaks. I'm slow, but I'm a happy little turtle! 6 months ago I was just learning how to swim. I love how all the trivialities and trifles of the day get washed away underwater. When I feel overwhelmed, I've learned to focus on little technical things that keep my mind from going into the negative zones, such as: counting, trying to keep one goggle underwater, relax the arms, pushing your buoy (chest) down into the water, rotate to the side, high elbows, reach for the wall, flutter kick from the hip, breathe out fully, etc. etc. etc! You see, there's no time to get caught up in stuff this way.

The X List

When presented with challenges, sometimes it helps to make a list. After reviewing the triathlon schedule and course for the Golden Gate Triathlon, I'm just making a little list of X factors that may present a challenge on race day. I will keep adding to it as needed (updates in italics a week from event)

1. Cold. We have to get there an hour before our wave start. For me that's 6am. Stay warm. Bring windbreaker.It's been warmer lately, may not be an issue.
2. Swim - I swim slow, so will have to find a nice spot in the back so I don't get mowed down by faster swimmers. Turnaround at 2nd yellow buoy. Sight also on Palace of Fine Arts
3. T1 - getting the wetsuit off in a timely fashion with cold hands and numb feet. Will probably still need the windbreaker on the bike with soaked tri-outfit underneath. No worries, weather has warmed up
transition areas. T1 and T2 are in the same place. Just make sure to have running shoes available after the swim for the run to transition…

Starfish Swim

Had a great group swim with Pedro's group today! It seemed like more people showed up. We swam to the middle of the inside wall on the perimeter of Aquatic Park and back. The tide was kind of ebbing, so you could see lots of colorful starfish clinging onto the wall. Coach Edna said that is a good sign that the bay is healthy and the water is clean. The faster swimmers had already swam out and around the wall and on their way back by the time we got there. They are so fast! It seemed warmer today and I stayed in for about an hour. The recovery seemed easier this time. Such a great feeling to get to shore. I can't wait to go back in tomorrow w/Leslie's group.

After a hot lunch and a catnap, I biked the Lincoln loops again (GG Tri course). It took me about 20 minutes to do one loop at a moderate pace. I totally don't see myself racing my bike. Ha. I hope I can ride in a pack without crashing. I suppose if I'm able to ride in critical mass, then it shouldn't be so …

Budget cuts all around

The California budget cuts are pretty serious, affecting everyone including those who need help the most.

Parks and trails that people seek peaceful recreation and refuge in these dire times could also close:
25 Bay Area Parks may close from budget crisis.

UPDATE: Save Our State Parks - "A State Park Access Pass would institute a $15 surcharge on vehicle license fees of non-commercial vehicles in order to provide Californians with free day-use access to state parks and generate much-needed revenues for the system."

Sporting event organizers, plan your fund-raising accordingly!

Roz Savage takes off on solo journey across the Pacific in a carbon-fiber rowboat >>

Fugeddabout it

This fog just makes me want to stay home under the quilt! I forced myself to go to the pool anyway. Just showing up is half the battle, right? It was so crowded, that I almost gave up again, but instead waited and had a sauna. After all the surrendering and letting go of the "blah not into it" feeling, when I finally got a lane, I had the BEST swim ever. Go figure. Was it the sauna? I didn't get out of breath and felt like I could keep swimming and swimming and swimming... I was able to swim strong and work on my triceps extensions on the pull. I'm baffled, but smiling. Now I can go and hide under the quilt.

Bike/Run Monday

Since it was windy today, avoided the chilly water and instead went over the GGTri course in the Presidio. After doing the loop twice, a nice long 5 minute transition and a 3 mile run through the park. It's a little weird running after cycling. It takes a minute to shift gears. It's also tough to run in the park when you're hungry and all you can smell is BBQ. I love the smell of caramelized bbq sauce. Here is a quick recipe for high-protein post workout nachos:

1 cup quinoa
1 can beans (your choice)
1 tub of pico de gallo
extra cilantro and peppers to taste
cheese optional
mix well and serve with chips!

Reading: Hulaman's Tri Tips

Sunday Swim at Aquatic Park

I am getting acclimated to open water swimming in the cold bay water so today I went out for a group swim with Water World Swim group. They have weekly training sessions with Coach Pedro Ordenes for all levels. In the beginner's group we learned how to swim at an angle against the tide and then rode the tide on the way back. It was really fun after the warmup part. The water was about 55°F and there were many swimmers training out there. I practiced sighting and trying to relax into the coldness. My fingers started to get tingly and numb after 20 minutes. Probably time to get out of the water. I might have been able to stay in longer if I had not been hanging out for almost an hour in the cold wind beforehand. The great thing about swimming with a group and a group leader is (a) motivation to get there and do it (b)you go further than you probably would have if you went alone (c) you have the safe feeling that you are going with experienced people that have knowledge of the water …


Boring training notes: tonight I thought it was high time I get some serious brick workouts in, seeing as how the triathlon is in 5 weeks! I'm going to try to do swim/bike and bike/run workouts for a bit. I'm up to 150 meters swimming freestyle without stopping. I am slow and steady, conserving my energy for the long haul. If I stick to my training schedule I should be at least at 300 meters by the time the tri rolls around. I used to think the freestyle swim was about pedaling my arms as fast as I can like on a bike, but it actually gets most propulsion from the hip. Tonight I was working on driving the spear into the water with my hip, it's like a little hip twist elongation thing. Next I need to work on "grabbing the water" after spearing. There are many little parts that need to come together for a stroke.

Then I hopped on the bike (after changing into some dry clothes of course) and did a 9 mile speed ladder interval. I love those. It's 4x400, 2x800, 1x16…