12/31/10

End of Year Recap

2010 Races & Events

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)

*PR

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 marathon time under 2 hours at the end.

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!

12/24/10

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 with homeopathic remedies so you have to research them.


Lemongrass Conditioning Hair Spritzer
- Nettle, Chamomile, Aloe Vera, Sweet Almond oil, Jojoba, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lavender & Lemongrass. Make a pot of nettle and chamomile tea. Add the same quantity of aloe vera gel to the mix to double it. Add a TBSP sweet almond oil and jojoba or less, depending on how moisturizing you want it. Soy lecithin can also be added in the blender to thicken and add protein (Make sure it is organic non-GMO soy). Then add a few drops of the essential oils (10 drops of each and 20 drops of your dominant fragrance). This can be used as a leave-in moisturizing treatment or frizz control. I also use it for my dog's hot spots - it works GREAT!

Sparkling Bath Hearts - Made with epsom salts, essential oils of lavender or eucalyptus & natural food coloring. I added a little water to the mix and pressed into molds, then let it dry and set.

Coffee Sugar Scrub
- This is great after a hot bath to soothe dry skin and also wakes up the face: one cup freshly used coffee grinds, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 T jojoba oil, and a few drops of your favorite essence. My skin never felt so soft until I tried this. Olive oil and lavender also work well with this.

I use Eucalyptus alot this time of year and in training. It really wakes you up and clears the airways. Put a few drops on your wristband for running with congestion. Take a few sniffs every now and then as a pick me up to get you through the last couple of miles. It really works!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!



Homemade Aloe Vera Lotion


25 Essential Oils

12/22/10

Horchata-Nog


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 for after running! Enjoy!

Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Almond Nutrition Data

Quinoa Nutrition Data

Almond pulp recipe: Raw Cinnamon Rolls

12/19/10

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!

12/14/10

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

IMG_3117
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.

12/5/10

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.

Supermarket Street Sweep

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.
Swimming in December
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

11/28/10

Run Wild for A Child

Run Wild for A Child 2010

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 today, with the realization that it doesn't last forever.

It's all in your hands

LongestWalk Northern and Southern Route: This is a 5,000+ mile Walk Across America to bring awareness of the devastating effects of diabetes and how it can be reversed by changing our entire diet and lifestyle! This disease is at epidemic levels across America, and throughout Indian Country.

11/21/10

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 should get knowing what we know about how to prevent it. It's the lifestyle changes that seem so hard at first, exercise and dietary changes, that can make a big difference between life and death. What if we make these changes before we need to? I am going to miss my dad this Thanksgiving.

I'm so thankful for my family and friends. Enjoy the holiday and extra time off for eating well...and then...running!

I like what is says in the second link article, that eating for diabetes is actually just eating healthy and everyone else should be taking note of what's on the diabetic plate.

11/14/10

Here We Go

Training Plan

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

11/1/10

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

10/3/10

Seasons

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.

9/26/10

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 my head. He was a great musician and I have recordings of his music that I can listen to and cherish. He will continue to inspire and teach me as time goes on.

8/29/10

Running in silence

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

Ocean
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!

8/23/10

Sunday Streets

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

Sunday Streets

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.
Sunday Streets

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 it's been a good summer for running. I met a few cool peeps here & I look forward to next year.

It's been a great week. Though I was 6 miles short of 50 miles running this week, I had a great 17 miler on Saturday. Did plenty of walking at the dog park with my bflf (best four legged friend). I was so exhausted yesterday couldn't keep my eyes open.

Happy running, biking and swimming, and whatever else you do!
surfs up

8/15/10

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!

8/8/10

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
WWS Warming Hut to St. Francis Yacht Club

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

8/1/10

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



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

7/26/10

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
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. This is also the first time I was able to use a pace band successfully. I was originally going for a 4:30 finish, but I brought the 4:20 pace band as plan B. Turns out the 9:30 pace was so comfortable for me that I just stuck with it and was a few minutes ahead of schedule all the way up to mile 20 or so. Instead of doing the speed intervals on a flat track, practiced them in Golden Gate Park to practice pushing over inclines and get an idea and muscle imprint of hill pacing. Fast turnover and low center of gravity running on the downhills saved my knees. By mile 23 I was clinging to 9:30 for dear life, but it worked.

I ran into Ron (Punk Rock Runner) a few miles from the finish, hanging tough. He had just completed an Ironman a month ago, so to run a race that even marathoners fear after that is nothing short of amazing. At the finish line, I met a masters runner who just qualified for Boston with a PR from his younger days. There are hundreds of inspirational stories like this from runners, each one a hero in their own right and to their families and friends.

SF Marathon 2010
Finish Line Video Bib #60792

I would definitely do this again. What's next? My legs feel like they want to run more now, so we're going to up the mileage ;-)

Marathon Training Programs for your Garmin

7/19/10

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.


Headlands 50


On Saturday I volunteered all day at Headlands 50 and met alot of runners. I learned about Ultra runners: How they train, what mileage they do, how they eat, what they wear, what events they do, what kind of hydration packs they use, what they bring in their drop-bag, etc. It is a challenging course, even for the marathoners. I was glad to be able to help them get their water, electrolytes and food. We went through probably 80 gallons of water at least and 3 loaves of bread, 2-3 jars peanut butter and jelly. Salt caplets was #1 request. I was really moved by the support many of the runners had from their families and friends, waiting out there in the cold fog for 6 to 12 hours. Not too many people would do this. But then again, not too many people will run 50 - 100 miles! I highly recommend volunteering on an ultra before you think about doing one. It is serious business. I'm still on the fence about it. My hubby is NOT into the idea. It is an issue of contention. I can totally understand where he is coming from. I might have to transform him into a runner, then he'll understand ;-)!

7/11/10

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 throwing it in a plastic bag, it will have a chance to dry and be way lighter in your bag on the way home.

  • The bike laps were flat with some good turns and little hill, can get windy with gusts over 20mph. I didn't have aerobars so I spent alot of time riding down in the drops. I noticed no one is wearing bike gloves.

  • If you laminate your helmet number with scotch tape, it won't stick all over your bike helmet when you try to peel it off.

  • I noticed I wasted alot time by applying sunscreen before my run in the transition area when I could have applied it on the go seeing as how it was the roll-on speed-stick type.

  • The 108 Treasure Island bus drops you off right at the gate and has a rack for two bikes.

  • Volunteers rock, and kudos for the people that pulled all the swimmers out of the water at the swim exit!




San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island


With a variety of events and competitors of all ages amateur to elite and physically challenged, including a Biggest Losers category, the message here is that anyone can do a triathlon or run a race if you put your mind and training into it. The Olympic distance can go on for 3-4 hours depending on your fitness, and is much like getting through a marathon. Now to work on taking 25 minutes off my time!





As I'm getting halfway through the year without really taking a break in training (at least 9 events so far this year) slumps happen. For inspiration during slump times, I really enjoy reading the blogs. Thomas posted and entry about Inspiration that had me thinking about the little things that can get you through it, and for me it is definitely humor, especially in the form of signs or slogans on t-shirts. I like the "Chuck Norris never did an Ironman" sign that Punk Rock Runner saw on his first IM, he has a very entertaining blog btw. These signs had me laughing, these are funny, and and I love these.

my new hoodie!


5 ways to save time in your transitions

7/9/10

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.

7/5/10

Summertime Blues

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

4th of July Swim

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 the sadness. :-(

6/28/10

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

Time: 3:16:32
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.

Golden Gate Triathlon

Golden Gate Triathlon

Golden Gate Triathlon
It's good to get to the transition area early to get a good spot on the rack, get organized, and meet your tri neighbors. There are no pics of me because I looked awful ;-)

SWIM: The sprint women went first then 5 minutes later the men's wave. In retrospect it makes sense for the women to go first so they get a head start and clear the course before the olympics. But today, the current was still ebbing pretty hard when they went out there and got swept away from the first buoy pretty badly. We all stood on the beach and watched in horror as they swam in place very far off course. When the men's sprint wave came, they took the hint and ran on the beach for several yards to compensate their entry point. It was HILARIOUS!

After this, the swim director decided they should change the course for the Olympic waves since we would've be out there all day swimming against the current. Actually I was kind of disappointed they did this because swimming with Pedro we trained in currents and I was all ready to navigate my way through the ordeal. Though people complained about the short run getting out of the water and running on the beach to the next entry point for the next lap this also makes sense because then you don't have to swim against the current. So forget what it says on the event site about swimming at Chrissy Field is close to shore and not affected by currents, because it is and I have seen people's dogs get swept out to the Golden Gate Bridge here when they swam out too far. :-) I loved the swim though and wanted to do the whole day swimming. Going with the current improved my time! My motivation words for the swim are "smooth and steady". Remember not to run too hard on cold leg muscles or get injured, take it easy.

The Olympic swim was great, the water felt warm and not too many people swimming over everyone except near the buoys and up front. I saw George in his orange kayak, a pilot on our Water World Swims out there and said hi. Before I knew it it was time to get out of the water.

T1: A little dizzy coming out of the swim. I peeled off the wetsuit and grabbed my shoes out of my bag and put the wetsuit inside and gave it back to the volunteers (to be picked up after the event). I brought some socks and didn't worry about sand getting in them, it didn't matter too much later. Had a drink of H2O at the aid station and then ran about a mile back to transition. By then I was really out of it and glad I didn't have to think too much to get my stuff for my bike leg.

Bike:
The course was shortened and another lap added. Fine by me! Not many flat spots on this course just so you know. It's either up or down. :-)
Golden Gate Triathlon - Bike elevation
On the bike I had a big bike bottle of Nuun water and a carb flask of 3 GUs. I took a swig every lap. I also brought Clif Shot Bloks but didn't need them. I also had a bottle of water in my transition area that I took big gulps from. I picked a flat quiet spot on the course to fuel up as I rode slowly. Motto here: "stay out of the fast lane", "controlled descents" & "keep spinning!" By the time I was on my last couple of laps the fast aero*zipp*cervelo riders were done so I could take the whole road ;-)

Run: It was hot by this time and no, the course was not closed for us. We ran around all the strollers and tourists taking photos on the bridge! This is the one thing I hate about running on the Golden Gate Bridge and usually avoid running on it for this very reason. Oh well. Originally we were going to run on the west side, but that is the bike side, so they changed it to the east side. My left hamstring starting getting kind of tight on the bike, so I was going to run easy at first to get the feeling in my legs. My goal here was to keep a moderate pace with sprints where possible then kick it into high gear the last quarter of a mile. My Garmin said I clocked around 10mph here! The bridge is not flat either, it has 2 mini-rollers. No motivating words here, just curse words ;-)

There was not that much food at the end, but I'm not the type to complain. I tried not to let all the little annoyances bother me and take energy away from my race, just be flexible and go with the adventure.


Overall I had a great time and felt strong at the finish. The minimal training I've been doing based on a marathon training plan with cross-training put me in a good place to make this distance really manageable. I've been training around 10 hours per week plus commuting by bike to work adds another hour each day. I rested well the week before but actually had lost all motivation to do the event by the time it came around, which has never happened to me before. It might be due to all the stresses of the week. My dog was having seizures again in the middle of the night and went to the vet twice.

I thought about what I'm doing here and I realized there is no going back! Once you get started in this life, there is no going back. After all the time, $ and sweat invested to get to a certain goal, a distance, a speed, the heat is on to maintain what you've worked so hard for and go farther. The other thing I realized is why bother signing up for expensive tri races if I am still slow and broke as hell? I'd rather train up and get faster before I even think about doing any longer distances and suffer twice as long, right? But I still want to run an ultra, maybe in the fall.

My bike training was lacking and could use improvement, but to tell you the truth I am not into bike racing. Last weekend, my friend crashed their bike and broke their hip on the Terrible Two. No biking or much less walking for them this summer. Sucks. I bet he will be back on his bike as soon as he is ready. I would too.

My next big event is the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island, and I've signed up to volunteer for Headlands 50 and Sunday Streets. It's turning out to be a great summer in this little microcosm of runrenerun's fitness world. The rest of the world is a different story. Can someone please make the oil stop gushing in the gulf already!

6/20/10

Taper

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, but I really can't forgo it or I get ill. So I make it a priority. It's like taking medicine. Today I'm glad that I can swim in the ocean for half an hour without stopping and being able to live in a place with access to beautiful natural surroundings and trees. Good for the mind, body and spirit.

Sunday Swim

Noting the swimming conditions last Thursday, a strong ebb, with the winds picking up in the opposite direction over the water creates wind waves and chop especially farther out. The west winds tend to pick up in the evenings. Mornings are calmer. Feeling little "cold fingers" of water in different parts of the Aquatic Park, as if someone emptied their cooler. Though the water was ebbing, the wind blowing across the surface can make it seem like it's going the opposite direction when observing from the shore. On Sunday morning, hardly any wind and pleasant conditions.


There are NO limits on race day - only possibilities!

6/14/10

Training Check-In

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

Swimming

Sunday Swim
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.


Cycling


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


Running

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!

6/6/10

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.

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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, especially in the heat almost 90°! We'll just call it Extreme Hiking! Coming back down the summit trail was a little scary steep in some areas, so not so fast. After several hours of walking was able to finally get a nice downhill run from Juniper to Mitchell Canyon to finish in 4:23 (2:45 to summit {fast people are done by now}, 1:38 back down). This was my first PCTR event and I totally enjoyed it. Thanks to all the friendly runners and volunteers who made it a really great experience! This is a great social run if you are not racing it because of all the hiking - gives you plenty of time to chat with friends. Popping Endurolytes and strategically placed moleskins in advance of the run made it all good.

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I am smiling here but am so sore and sunburnt right now.

This turned out to be a camping trip as well as a run and have to say that is the way to go. I had a great time! I think my dog appreciated the healing calm of being out in nature. The Juniper Camp has an amazing view:

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and amenities such as showers, fire pits, sinks, water fountains. You may want to bring your own compressed fire wood since they didn't sell it at the ranger station. I ran 5.5mi down to the starting line early in the morning and saw dozens of little brush rabbits. Afterward I had a nice little nature hike back up to camp and took lots of photos. As I walked back up enjoying the flowers, I watched in awe the 50k-ers coming down from the second loop. It took me 2.5 hours to hike from Mitchell Canyon to Juniper. It was nice to rest under a shady tree listening to the wind rustling through the grass and fall asleep on the mountain afterward.


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To get to the camping spots by vehicle or to cycle to the summit on a road bike, use the North Gate or South Gate Entrance. Bring a camera and lots of water & electrolytes! It is possible to BART and mtn. bike here (about 11 miles from Walnut Creek Bart to Mitchell Canyon) but you will want to give yourself plenty of time to climb up a couple thousand feet to where the camp is!

5/30/10

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 sticking out of the water - it is a blast! (Kids do not try this) The swimmers doing Monday's Bay 2 Breakers swim were there checking out the landing area. Good luck to them!

It was great cycling on Saturday afternoon, hardly any traffic on Lincoln. But on Sunday I don't know what happened but it looked like everyone wanted to jump in their car at the same time and go over Golden Gate Bridge!

Summer is here! Get ready for DIABLO!

I just love this picture of the 'playground', with the kayaks ready to go:
Sunday Swim

5/23/10

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 jumping off the boat into the middle of the potato patch. It's a little bit too much adrenaline for me. Also I'm using a sleeveless wetsuit nowadays so it took me a minute to get warmed up. There is no rhyme or reason to the water out there, and we had the wake of a passing cruise liner to deal with and a yacht race coming up. I just felt like I was just getting tossed around and not going anywhere. Next time I will try to peek back at Alcatraz and see it get smaller. Thankfully, the wind was calm in the morning. The SF Ports site is a great place to get info. I'm a slow swimmer (40min/mile), and the ebb was picking up, so I was worried about not making it to the opening. Steve the pilot reassured me and said not to worry about it that I could get repositioned if necessary. In my mind, I said "Oh hell no, I'm not going to let myself get repositioned" and just kept bee-lining it toward the Jeremiah O'Brien. Then the white ferry came in to view I could feel the current. Then I swam hard into the direction of the masts of the Balclutha and made it into the opening like a little pinball.

Running: I have to do at least one of these every year, it's a great run!

Sunset Run
At Sunset Run with @hellasound on Twitpic


Here is what is coming up. Hills!

Diablo Trail Run 25k


I'm looking back on all the stuff I've done this year and it isn't even summer yet!

5/16/10

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!
Bay to Breakers 2010
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.

5/10/10

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.

Bike Planet

Happy Bike Month!


Bike to Work Day May 13th

5/3/10

Grizzly Peak Century

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

Grizzly Peak Century
Grizzly Peak Century
Grizzly Peak Century
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 month. It is doable if you have a little endurance and a lot of desire to tackle hill after hill.

My Garmin info >>

March in Pictures

Rainbows in the rain ShapingSF History Tour Bike commuting Signs of spring in the Presidio Time to swim and SUP! ...