5 more days until Cinderella!

This weekend's bike ride was an "easy" 35 miler. I could do the Paradise Loop every weekend! Sunshine, Fresh air, wildflowers, a slightly warm breeze...I'm leaving out the part about the Sunday drivers almost running over us twice but once you get off the busy roads it is smooth sailing. There is a gnarly part of Paradise Loop also where you have to cross the freeway overpass to get to the next bike lane, but if you are with another cyclists or two it doesn't seem as daunting. You can alter your mileage by taking the 15, the 10 or 5 and also there are ferry-hopping options.

My running has slowed down a bit. I got up to 6 400m speed intervals though which I will resume after the century ride. I'm going to keep it easy this week. The ankles were feeling tender after cycling 65miles on the stationery bike at the gym on that rainy day. I think I am going to invest in a trainer, because then I can use my own bike which is better fitted to me.


Cruising on top of the water

Tonight I had an amazing breakthrough while swimming! I am on lesson 2 of the Easy Freestyle Swimming DVD by Terry Laughlin and have already learned some things to improve my efficency. I had a goofy grin on my face for hours after the first couple of laps. I haven't tried hang gliding, but this is the closest thing to flying that I have experienced, almost beats flying down a hill on a bike or floating on a tailwind running. Thanks to Kevin and Terry I'm not worried now about the triathlon swim.

As far as the rest of the training goes, all I can say is - It's amazing what an extra rest day can do!


Spin Spin Spin

I'm legging up for my metric century ride and this weekend was supposed to be the peak. I had 65 miles planned, but I had stayed up late the night before baking bread and making cheese and got a late start. The weather looked dubious so I did it all on the stationary bike*. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I'm sure many cyclists do this without batting at eyelash. This was just as well because I managed to get some reading done on this great 700 page book I'm reading called Around Africa on my Bicycle. At the moment, the author Riaan is kayaking solo around Madagascar! Ok.

The stationary bikes at the gym overlook the pool, so I observed the swimmers, noting their form and counting their strokes per length. I was relieved to see that I am not the only one who takes 27 SPL to get from one end to the other, in fact it is very common. There was one lady though who did it with a fast turnover and looked like she could win the triathlon. She did 50m in 45 seconds. Olympic record is half that. There was another fast guy who had 19 SPL and hardly kicked at all but he was tall like Michael Phelps. My favorite was the couple who shared a lane together and did 19 SPL slowly and gracefully in unison.

*Wished I had remembered to wear the padded shorts now. ;-(


Totally Immersed

I had to report on the swim session I had tonight since I've been reading the Total Immersion book. I left the fins at home and managed to do 24 x 50m. After a couple of warmup laps with sidekick drills, I did the freestyle with a lot more buoyancy and not so tired and dizzy at the end of it all. Amazing! I just tried to see how slow I could go and how much quality I could squeeze out of it. A couple months ago I used to sink alot, wear nose clips, choke on water, loudly gasp for air, panic and want to cry "mommy!" Now I'm learning to feel the water and where the drag spots are and streamlining them out using sensory skills. It's like playing the piano. If I get the strokes just right, then the rhythm, then I can speed it up a little. There is going to be a Total Immersion freestyle workshop in April but I need to save some $ for my trip later this year.

my current: 50s in 1:30 27 SPL
my humble goal: To do 4 - 6 sets of 200s with 20 SPL or less!


Finding the hole in the water

Today I started reading about Terry Laughlin's Total Immersion swimming techniques. The book goes into great detail on stroke mechanics, but not just what the stroke should look like, how it should feel. I already felt the difference tonight. Instead of rushing through my workout I am slowing down, methodically thinking things through, focusing and visualizing, entering a heightened state of awareness, trying to find the sweet spot. Alot of the time when I run I kind of zone out, but I can't do that with swimming, yet. These tools I'm learning here in the water could help me in many other areas of training, and who know what else!

Ok, now a little foodie post: I'm a big kefir fan and drink it every day. This weekend I made some homemade probiotic feta cheese.

Here is another recipe for homemade all-natural energy gel from Organic Athlete.

Rainy Day Speed Intervals

It rained this weekend so the group ride in the hills was canceled. I had spent all day before prepping and cleaning my bike and eating lots of carbs. Well, we must be flexible and roll with it. So plan B was a structured workout indoors; Speed intervals on the bike at the gym. It goes like this: 1/4 mile (1 lap) x 4, 1/2 mile x 2, 1 mile x 1, 1/2 mile x 2, 1/4 mile x 1. I let my interval or recovery periods be 1 or 2 laps. With a warmup and cool down it is about 12 miles. The fastest I can go is 20 - 23 mph on resistance 11. In racing terms, 20mph is considered slow. Good way to tire your legs out!


Friday Night Track Run

Kezar Stadium
I'm up to 5 400m intervals with 1:55 split times! My weekend long runs have been replaced by long bike rides as I prepare for the century distance. Now I know why cyclists are so skinny! These 4-5 hour rides burn a day's worth of calories in the fatburning zone! The skinny jeans that I got last fall already feel loose in the caboose, and I had to get a new swimsuit a size down!

If you want a registration for Cinderella ride, some registrations are available from the pedlpushers group.


Sunday Streets

Wanted to pass on this info about San Francisco Sunday Streets, where several areas in the city become car-free for recreational activities such as cycling, yoga, dancing, running, hula-hooping, skating and what have you. I did it last year, biked, volunteered and ran a 10k on it!

April 26: Waterfront Route running along the Embarcadero—from AT&T Park to Aquatic Park.
May 10: Waterfront Route in the Southeast Sector, highlighting the San Francisco Bay Trail, which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in May. From AT&T Park to the Bayview Opera House, and India Basin.
June 7 and July 19: Mission Route, TBA engaging new neighborhoods in the Sunday Streets movement.
August 9 and September 6: Great Highway Route. Connecting Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway and Ocean Beach.


Flip Turns

I got tired of stopping every 25m in my swim training so I'm learning the flip turns. It is a bit stressful at first but I'm getting the hang of it. Look how beautiful this flip turn is:

Then of course, there's this guy!


San Geronimo

San Geronimo

This weekend went out for a ride to San Geronimo with The Cycling Moustache, which added 10 miles to last week's ride and another hill. Sir Francis Drake Blvd. is a bit trafficky, but the view is beautiful alongside Roy's Redwoods Preserve. The moustache didn't realize we'd be biking that long, and, is a bit peeved. Metric century distance is right around the corner!


Training Assessment

What does my training look like right now?

Swim 1-2x a wk (not enough since this is my weakest link) 1/2 - 1 hr

Run - Speed Intervals 1x/wk 1/2 - 1 hr
Tempo (Hill emphasis) or Recovery Run 1/2 - 1 hr
Long Run 2 hrs

Bike - Bike to work sprints (50 miles wk) total = 5 hrs
Long ride 3-5 hrs

Strength - 1/wk or every other week 1/2 hr

1 or 2 Rest Days

Brick workouts during the weekday by default since I use my bike for transportation.
12 - 16 hrs/wk total, doesn't include all the recovery time.

Ok, now I see where I need to improve. I'm reading Triathlon Revolution by Terri Schneider. It's a wealth of information! I just realized that after swimming for half an hour I feel a little dizzy, and in the triathlon I will be hopping on my bike after that and go running. Huh!


'Tis the Season

Spring is almost here and everybody is training like mad! All the triathletes and masters swimmers have appeared. Last week I didn't swim because the pool was too crowded. Last night I stalked the lane for half an hour! You gotta do what you gotta do. My goal is to try swimming at the crack of dawn and up the swim workouts to 1200 meters. I may join a training team...



This weekend cycled out to Marin and made it as far as Fairfax. We are inching closer to the metric century. No pratfalls this time!
SF to Fairfax

Next day went running up Twin Peaks and Mt. Davidson from Hayes Hill in the rain. I'll be the first to admit it - it's nuts! But so much fun (in retrospect)!
Twin Peaks / Mt. Sutro Mt. Davidson TwinPeaks & Mt. Davidson
I ran through the playground around the carousel and tried to catch up with the horses, but they were too fast. Then I surfed home.
Playground Wave

May in Pictures

May is a long haul with all the events: Bike to Work Day , the BoMF Gala , the Alcatraz Classic, the art auction I was in for HH , and fina...