Showing posts from 2010

End of Year Recap

KP Half Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, Grizzly Peak Century, Bay to Breakers 12k, WWS Alcatraz Crossing #3, PCTR Mt. Diablo Trail Run 25k, Golden Gate Triathlon Oly, San Francisco Triathlon Oly, San Francisco Marathon*, Run Wild for a Child 10k*, WWS Run A Mile and Swim, SERC Run Jump Swim, Supermarket Street Sweep

Volunteered at several events (PCTR Headlands 50, Sunday Streets)


Distance / Miles:
Run: 1003
Bike: 1102
Swim: 76
Bike to Work: 2000

It's been a bittersweet year, reaching milestones but at the same time deeply suffering losses. This is life, and I'm glad I get to experience it. Love is healing and Endurance is my therapy.

It is interesting to go back and read what my fitness goals were last year and see how it turned out. So for next year, finish a good 70.3 for my dad with life in balance is enough. The plan: Get the swim done no wetsuit in 1 hr (no wetsuit =improved T1 transition time), keep up the intensity for on the bike for 3.5 hrs, and still get my half m…

1000 miles

Today I logged my 1,000 mile of running for the year. I had wanted to do that last year and it didn't happen, so glad I could make it happen this year. It's nice to be outside running, especially on the Coastal Trail when the weather is nice. I had great company today: JoLynn & Boomer!

Boomer ran up the stairs without slowing down! This is how I aspire to be!

Happy New Year!

Week 7

This picture pretty much says it all.

Holiday Renewal

I love aromatherapy and am celebrate the holidays with some ORGANIC herbal spa treatment! There is nothing like coming back from a hard run, long bike ride or cold swim and jump into the bath. I made them as gifts this year and wanted to share the recipes. Enjoy!

Coconut Gardenia Body Butter - Coconut oil, Olive, Jojoba, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Grapefruit, Cinnamon & Gardenia. Gently melt 1 cup coconut oil. Add 1/3 cup olive oil combined with jojoba oil (the base). Add a few drops of the other oils to your liking (10 drops of each and 20 drops of your dominant fragrance). As it cools will become solidified. Pour it into easy to access container.

DIY Sports Balm - using the base above plus essential oils combo of ginger, cypress, cinnamon, & eucalyptus, peppermint, wintergreen, menthol, and/or camphor. If you don't like that mediciney smell leave out the menthol and camphor*.

*Just as some herbs can interfere with medications you are taking, some essential oils may interfere …


I made this great horchata from rice, quinoa and almonds and it so good I must share! By adding nutmeg, makes a healthy makeover of egg-nog.

1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup quinoa
1 stick cinnamon
8 cups of boiled water
1/2 cup sugar or sweetener ( I use organic evaporated cane juice)
vanilla extract & nutmeg

Grind the first 4 ingredients together in a coffee grinder or food processor until fine. There is no need to blanch the almonds because it's all going to get strained. Put into a large pot.

Add 8 cups of the boiled water and and let sit overnight or while you are at work all day.

Then blend for 3-5 minutes in the blender. It may not fit into the blender all at once you will need to do 2 batches.

Pour the horchata through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the pulp. Save the pulp for other recipes or to add to cereal, etc.

Add sweetener of your choice, dash of vanilla extract and nutmeg(optional)

Will make about a liter of delicious protein rich horchata! Great …

Week 5

Rain. My long run is not happening. I'm not going to worry about it because I felt really in the zone this week. Been doing lot of bike and some swimming. I've never trained with this kind of intensity on the bike before. There will be time. I really love the KRANKcycle workout. I think it has potential not just for strength training but helping me with fluid steady pace swim strokes.

The year is almost over. The great thing about being active is not having to make the "get fit" resolution for the new year. Been there done that! Hope everyone is having a great holiday and live life to the fullest!

Getting Something off my Chest

Remember breast cancer awareness month? Well,since I turned 40 I went in for a mammogram, and they found some benign activity and wanted me to come back for more xrays. Turns out I have a cluster of "microcalcifications" or whatevers in a certain spot. The thing is it is right where my heavy messenger bag crosses my chest, so I'm thinking it's just some chronic pressure on my booby. I switched over to backpack and will go back in 5 months for a diagnostic. Thanks for letting me share and get that off my chest ;-).

My essaic tea recipe, just in case: Red Clover, Chapparal (occasionally), Alfalfa, Oatstraw, Dandelion Root, Licorice, Butchers Broom and Burdock. Hibiscus, Ginger and Anise make it taste better.

Take kelp or miso soup twice weekly and especially around x-ray time to counter the radiation.

UPDATE June 2011: Everything turned out fine!

Week 4

This was a scaled back week. I found out my aunt passed away on Friday and wasn't feeling up to long bike or long run. RIP auntie A...

It triggered my anxiety and mourning and I had trouble eating and sleeping, so I coped by going into holiday elf mode, making gifts for my peeps. I swam in the bay which always makes things better.

Supermarket Street Sweep

This weekend's big event was the Supermarket Street Sweep to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. Cyclists rode all over the city to buy food and haul it back to the food bank within an alloted time. There were prizes for speed and weight of cargo. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad it didn't rain that much! I posted more details onto the photos and daily mile recap.

Week 3 is going good. I feel pretty tired right about now! It's raining pretty hard so put off the run. The swim in the cold water was just what I needed.

I started doing the speedwork this week and so backed off on the strength training a little. The one thing that always gets me about triathlon training is how to do a long bike ride and a long run in one weekend. I always have trouble doing both. I guess the secret is to go to bed at 6pm or something.

Tour de Cure

Run Wild for A Child

First race without coffee: Run Wild for A Child 10k 48:48 PR & 5th place AG!

I love this race because: Toy donations, costumes, the course, relaxed attitude of runners. Even though there are some really fast people out there, everyone is out to have a good time. The only thing I was put off by is that alot of runners wear ipods while running so communication gets compromised sometime. The band and the costume contest at the end are fun to hang out for. I was dancing to stay warm. I had a chuckle at my photo in the race brochure of me dancing in the Twister costume last year. I'm going to send that to my mom! Run Wild = Good times, and great family memories for the families that run it together!

daily mile

Week 2 training is going well. The strength training and spinning have helped me in many ways. Also drinking a lot of yerba mate, green tea, fresh juices and herbal teas. My dog gets herbal nutrition also. I will share some recipes later. I'm thankful for what I have toda…

Week 1

Off to a good start: 7.25 hours of training this week, not including the 5 hours of bike commuting and 30 min. strength training. I got up at 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning to make it happen. Swimming, biking and running, with some time for family and creative stuff. The spinning class was challenging but endorphin inducing. The bay swim was cold but fun. I'm thankful that I'm able to do this today and dedicate my training to my dad.

I was really moved by this video that Elizabeth posted on her blog. She is running 50 marathons in 50 states for her father. Though our fathers are not here they are with us every step of the way.

When my father died of heart attack related to his T2 diabetes, he was reluctantly having to take a long list of medications. He carried it with him in his wallet with him just to remember everything. I can tell this made him miserable. There were medicine bottles and syringes all over his room, in his bag, and in the fridge. It's not a disease anyone sh…

Here We Go

The training plan is sketched out for Oceanside. 5 months from now we'll see if it's a good one. Instead of doing the marathon training for the run, will do half-marathon training and save energy for the bike. Using a Trifuel plan and FIRST for running, and adding spinning and open water swims. Psyched!

I am experimenting with no coffee for a change and instead switch to yerba mate and green tea for the maximum antioxidants in my morning cup.

Follow me on dailymile

Diabetes awareness tip: Type 2 Diabetes is preventable

Getting Ready

Getting ready for Ironman California, Oceanside 70.3. I dedicate my training to my father, Juan aka "Tony", who passed away 2 months ago from a heart attack related to type 2 diabetes. I have never done a half-iron triathlon distance before, but I know with the motivation of doing this for a cause will help me reach the goal and deal with the loss. Whenever I exercise, I feel better, and I don't want to lose the habit by falling into a slump. Setting an ambitious goal will help me stay focused.

My dad was there to teach me how to ride a bike, and always made sure that I had one to ride. I will ride 56 miles on April 2nd after swimming 1.2 miles, then run a half marathon to the finish.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month


I'm taking a break from training until mid-November when I will start my 20 week half-iron training program. Until then, I'm taking it easy. Just doing maintenance workouts with more weight training, short runs, and weekly bay swims. Maybe a monthly fun bike ride in addition to the bike commute. In my free time, will focus on doing art (art therapy). I don't know what the heck I'm doing which is great. I used to like to paint and draw, but then became disenchanted and took a long break from it. I'm a different person now, and so is my artistic vision. Marathons and triathlons have changed me. My father's death has changed me. It's like heading into new, unexplored territory.

September Sadness

No workouts logged.

After hearing of my father's death last month I was shattered. I felt like I was crushed by a stampede of elephants. What is strange is when he had his fatal heart attack, I was running and my chest felt tight, which it never does. After that I was in shock, couldn't eat or sleep and had no motivation to do anything, but I had to rise to the occasion and take care of whatever needed to be done.

I finally feel as if I am *beginning* to accept he's gone but a part of me doesn't want to. A part of me is angry that a heart attack brought on by type 2 diabetes & high blood pressure took him away early and that I won't get to see him again. We had made plans to go on a trip together. I will use the anger to stay active and vigilant. Then again, we can only do so much to stay healthy. I'm just glad I had presence of body and mind to be helpful to my family in some way.

My dad is larger than life now, he is everywhere. I can hear his voice inside m…

Running in silence

Aug 23 - 29
S:1.5 B:42 R:46

I lost my father today, and found out while I was out here on the Coastal Trail. This is a good place to cry, watching the waves crashing against the cliff and the sun set. Love you, dad.

Taking a break. Enjoy the rest of the summer with the ones you love!

Sunday Streets

Aug 16-22
S: B: 60 R:44.35

Had fun volunteering at Sunday Streets this weekend! The weather was perfect! Saw a lot of cool bikes and met a lot of friendly people, and added a few extra bike miles. We all got cool shirts and a delicious free lunch provided by Chairman Bao food truck.

I love this event by Livable City because I get to enjoy places I normally would not get to run or bike (Great Highway) and there is music, food, and good vibes. Runners, for this route, one lap from Stanyan to Sloat is 11.5 miles, but if you take the windmill route, it is 12.7, so if you did two laps it would be almost a marathon! Skateboarders, there is a sweet downhill from Traverse all the way down to the end of the park. I was cruising down on my bike and didn't have to pedal, which explains why it's tricky running back up this.

The other fun event this week was Sunset Run, which is a 5 mile social fun run for charity organized by Fleet Feet Sports. I managed to do all 3 this summer, so I know…

50 mile week

Aug 9 - 15
S:2.06 B:55 R:50

Running: I managed to pull off going from 3 days of running per week to 5 days per week and increase the mileage to 50 miles, which was hard for me to do and has taken me several years to get to this point. I'm so excited but I must go to sleep now because I'm doing it again next week! This is a short blog post because I'm kind of speechless. That was a test for me to see if I can up it to the next level of training, and it is a relief to see that it it doable. Running longer runs in consecutive days really helped, and my long run today was strong at the end. I could have run more!

Raise the Roof

Aug 2 - 8
S:2.9 B:58 R:43
Watch the run mileage goin' up, but not so fast lol. I think I am going to hang at 50 miles per week for a minute when I get there. Did some speed, tempo, and back to swimming in the bay. The bike is all about commuting. Thursday night I got caught in a washing machine, scariest time I've had out there ever. Thankfully Aaron was around to bail me out. Whew! Had a fun brick this weekend, the water was calm :-) Swim a mile along Chrissy field and run back, then bike out the Presidio. Sweet!

Warming Hut to St. Francis Yacht Club Swim with Water World Swim

Sunday- Long run down the Coastal Trail, my fave.

Touch Alcatraz 'n Go

July 26-Aug 1
S:0-: B:44 R:31

Rested a few days after the marathon then back to running. That's about it!

I took a few pics and video from the boat of the Touch Alcatraz 'n Go, a round-trip Alcatraz swim starting and ending from the shore at Aquatic Park. It would be great to do this one day. 1 - 2 hrs of open water swimming.

Touch Alcatraz 'n Go

Exploring new carbs such as teff and pearl barley, alternating days with the oats and quinoa to get some nutritional variety in there. The teff porridge is delish!

Powerhouse Grains

Recipe: Farro Risotto w/Asparagus

San Francisco Marathon

July 19-25
S: 0 B:44 R:36.2

2 years ago: 4:44:17
This year: 4:20:23

I'm still not fast at these things but - I've moved up a wave!

The San Francisco Marathon

WARNING: technical running info ahead
The mild SF temps and fog made it perfect weather for running. This is a great event. There is quite a bit of music, camaraderie and cheering on this one. Thanks to all the volunteers! Doing all the pace workouts, strides and hill training this year really paid off for me. After a couple of years of just training for distance and heart rate, I decided it was time to pick up the pace. I used a 'less is more' approach with the F.I.R.S.T. training plan and used the McMillan Running Calculator to find my target paces for the three key workouts. Don't input a current marathon time, put in the next reasonable target time you want to run or 1 or 2 minutes more than your best 5k time. It is challenging, and after using it for 2 training cycles I am almost to my ideal marathon pace. Thi…

Countdown to the SF Marathon

Jul 12-18
S:1 B:44 R:14.5

I'm winding things down here, taxi-ing down the runway and get lined up for takeoff at the SF Marathon! WAVE 6! This was my first marathon and next Sunday will be the second time I run it after doing Nike Womens, Stinson Beach, Northface Endurance Challenge 50k and Big Sur. I think I'm a little bit better runner now! At least I can walk normally and not collapse afterward.

There is an amusing article in WSJ titled San Francisco: The Race Even Marathoners Fear. Ha! If you run trails and some of the hillier marathons in the Bay Area it makes SF Marathon seem easy.

I had an amazing breakthrough on my swimming stroke after a minor adjustment made after studying my guide at Swim Smooth Swim Types. I haven't even delved into the whole remedy yet, either, just one minor drag adjustment that made all the difference! Here is a good OWS video that Coach Leslie put together about swimming in choppy water.

On Saturday I volunteered all day at Headlands 50 and m…

San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island

Jul 5 - 11
S: 1.4 B: 46.5 R: 34.7

San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island
Olympic 3:19:28

If you ever want to hit the reset button and instantly forget about whatever was stressing you out for the past month, do a Triathlon. For me it's the cure for the Summertime Blues. Throw all your gear into a bag & do all the sports you like to do back-to-back in one morning as fast as you can. Start with a splash & end with a dash! Some notes and things I learned from my tri-neighbors:

If you're in the last swim wave, good time to spectate and enjoyed the expo, check out your neighbors cool bike, do a little warm-up run or stretch if you need to.
There are no waves at Clipper Cove, it's like swimming in a pool. You won't need a bucket of water for your feet because the water is almost 60 degrees and no sand coming out of the water directly onto carpeted exit to a concrete transition area
If you hang your wetsuit up on the rack or on your bike if there is room instead of thro…

Sunset Run

Last night was a great Sunset Run, a "fun"raising event hosted by Fleet Feet Sports 100% for charity. The beneficiary this time round was Students Run Oakland. They have a great video that makes me want to run a marathon every time I see it.

If you've never done a Sunset Run before I highly recommend it. They have a DJ, raffle, and yummy bagels, and one of my favorite routes along the Bay to Hopper's Hands.

Summertime Blues

Jun 28-Jul 4
S:.2 B: 50 R:15

The week started off with 8 miles of intervals, did another trail run, a swim at Aquatic Park and half an Alcatraz swim. Just finished a the last 20 miler before the San Francisco Marathon today, which I didn't do yesterday but instead fell into a lethargy. I have been running without music so that I can listen to my pace and surroundings and also it helps with mental training. It also helps for long swims when there is nothing in the ears except for mack's earplugs. Meditation time.

In other news, two deaths in my extended family, and hurricane Alex caused massive floods in Monterrey, Mexico where my relatives live that left at least 6 people dead and destroyed parts of the city. And now they found tar patties on the Texas gulf coast from the oil spillage (Texas beaches always had tar patties, but I guess these have the BP logo branded on them). And guess what, they are disposing of the oil there too. We are on day 77 and no end in sight. Run out th…

Golden Gate Triathlon

Jun 21-27
S:.1.4 B: 58.85 R:9

Tri posted: .9 / 20.93 / 6.2
Tri Actual: .9 /20.25/ 5 plus 1 mile run to transition = 6

Thanks Chuck at Rogue Multi-Sport

This is going to be a long blog post so I can share all the fun details!

For my first Olympic Tri I wanted to do a local event, something I can bike to and found the Golden Gate Triathlon. According to the results, there were 219 participants (sprint and oly) and one relay team, so it is not that crowded. They had great volunteer support and I personally thanked people on my last laps.

It was a beautiful day for a triathlon! We had these amazing half-foggy conditions on one side and beautiful hot and sunny on the other. I biked to the starting line and took the scenic route. The coastal views and Golden Gate Bridge disappeared into the fog, but eastward was misty and allowed some sun to show through for a not so cold swim.

It's good to get to the transition area early to get a good spot on the rack, get organized, and meet yo…


Jun 14-20
S:2.9 B: 68 R:4

The triathlon is next Sunday, and am getting mentally prepared. At this point I find myself remembering things, such as last year when I thought the Olympic was a long distance, and getting down one buoy line without stopping was an effort. It's easy to get caught up in the game of "if only I can go a little bit faster" and forget the strides we've made. Now friends from my swim group are already convincing me to sign up for a half-iron with them.

I was so tired and ready to just rest and get rejuvenated. Had a perfectly relaxing weekend with lots of family time. Had a good fast interval run on Wednesday, but my legs felt "fried" and tight. Just need to rest and stretch. Plan on doing a few more short & sweet workouts before the event. I am appreciating the swim/bike/running thing as a lifestyle choice and not so much as a competitive sport. I don't know if people understand what a necessity it is for some of us to exercise, …

Training Check-In

Jun 7-13
S:2 B:67.9 R:17


Swimming with Water World Swim
Swimming into the currents, working on spearing the water and tapering the kick. Swimming into the current helps refine the stroke as you find a more efficient means of moving through the water and decreasing drag. I noticed in the pool workouts that even though my sprint time is not faster than 6 months ago, I am able to hold that fast pace for much longer without stopping.


View from Immigrant Point Overlook in the Presidio toward Point Bonita Lighthouse.
Hill sprints on the Golden Gate Tri course, downhill control.


The Nasturtiums are in bloom on the trails and in the park! Beautiful.
Recovering from Mt. Diablo! Keeping the heart rate at a reasonable rate.

Happy Training!

Diablo Trail Run 25k

May 31 - Jun 6
S: 1.7 B: 44 R: 30.5

Hill training anyone?

Oh the challenge of running Mount Diablo! I had set my sights on it last year after running up Mt. Tamalpais and there it was. Another hill to climb. I had heard about it from other running blogs and PCTR runners (Rick and Jo Lynn). Be careful what you wish for.

The course starts down in Mitchell Canyon and then goes up some really narrow steep singletrack trails (Back Creek) that snakes it's way up to Deer Flat Road. I kept watching the trail snake around the ridge and then once you get around the ridge, it switches back to another ridge, and another, it just keeps going up higher and higher. Then when you finally get to Juniper campground, there is a nice breeze and another hour of climbing to the summit. There were some loose rocks up here and I stacked real good twice. All along the way there are amazing views to take your mind off the pain. I would say that for me, on the way up only 10 - 15% of this was runnable, especial…

Canine Seizure Week

May 24-30
S:2 B:63.8 R:21

This week was canine seizure week. My poor little pup has epilepsy, and when it shows up it stays for almost a whole week of daily seizures, getting up in the middle of the night to take him for post-ictal walks, doing laundry and cleaning the apartment. Thankfully he is calm again, for a while anyway. He used to be my running partner and pacer when I started running regularly. He is 8 years old now with arthritis and has slowed down quite a bit. I love him to pieces, hate seeing my bff get old.

Managed to get some training in, and studying for my amateur ham radio license. We had some great weather this weekend for running and biking, and challenging swims in the currents this week with the full moon. On Saturday morning Irene and I tried body surfing at Kellys Cove. The waves were so messy we left the boards on the beach. I learned that if you jump ahead of the whitewater rushing in and glide on your side with one arm you can catch a long ride with your head s…

Alcatraz #3

May 17-23
S:5.42 B: 55.85 R: 31.75

Another good week of training, the graph lines are going up! I did the most swimming ever with a 3 coves swim on Wednesday eve. I also did my third Alcatraz crossing with Water World Swim!

This was a very manageable swim, I made the 2000m swim to the shore of Aquatic Park in about 40 minutes. I love the camaraderie of our swimmers. We had some young first-timers and a swimmer who had done 66 crossings. Ann had brought some delicious cookies that she made and everyone was swapping stories of epic swims and training sessions. The South End Rowing club swimmers were also out there. We listened to music on the boat on the way to the island. There is nothing like hearing "I left my heart in San Francisco" out on the bay as you are looking at the skyline from Alcatraz getting ready to swim back. We had great support from our pilots. I can feel pretty insecure out there so having a kayaker nearby makes the swim safe. What always gets me is jumpin…

99th Annual Bay to Breakers

May 10 - 16
S: 2.8 B: 50 R:23

I know it's been a good week when my graph lines go up and the legs are tired.

Running the Bay to Breakers turned a Sunday long run into a fun run, San Francisco style!

Met up with GGTC, lost them, then ran into Jay again (waving) and we crossed the finish line. This is his 27th B2B and he is going to swim from the Bay to the Breakers this summer!

One thing I noticed about the race this year is it seemed like a lot more children and families in the race, perhaps because of Run for Something Better. I lost count of all the strollers. This is one of those events that seems like a gateway into running for the non-runner. I like to leave before the hardcore revelry and the neighbors patience wears thin.

Chill Out Week

May 3 -9
S:1384 meter B: 50mi R:0
This weekend, instead of running a marathon or cycling a century I did my version of nada. Rested all week. It took a couple days to recover from the ride because my ankle was so sore again. By isolating the activities, now I suspect that cycling was the issue and not running. I adjusted the cleat on my Shimano SPDs. Tried some cold water swimming without a wetsuit, did a ham radio class, worked on my garden, got some things for my triathlon, brainstormed on bp gulf oil spill solutions, QT time in the parks with my homeslice and pup. Good times. Now to make the graph lines go up again.

Happy Bike Month!

Bike to Work Day May 13th

Grizzly Peak Century

April 26 - May 2
S: .25 B:127.45 R:3

Grizzly Peak Century - Almost 10 hours of rolling scenic hills, 8,000 - 10,000 feet of climbing! The ride had awesome support with great volunteers and rest stops in all the right places. The course is well marked with yellow arrows that say "GPC". I didn't have to look at my cue sheet very much. The arrows are still there if you'd like to give it a shot, but take lots of water. Orinda BART is just 6 miles from the start. Check the site for course maps.

I had volunteered at GPC a couple times, and that was fun - so it was definitely fun and challenging to finally ride the course. This week was a recovery week from the marathon leading up to getting enough energy and strength in my legs to do the ride. I did almost 90 miles then had to bail because my legs were just dead. But I had a great ride! That was the longest I have ever cycled, and I didn't really train properly for this event. I only bike to work and a few short rides a …