Rest & Reflect

It was nice to take a week off from training, but managed to fill it up with working on other fun projects. Yesterday was one year after my dad died, so I'm reflecting alot. Training for the last three triathlons really helped me to get through the year and keep me focused on positive things. I really need that kind of routine. I didn't look at daily mile or training blogs that much and have some catching up to do. Going to ease into another training plan this week for Stinson Beach Marathon. Have a big weekend on the Bay planned with WWS. Feeling blessed.


San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
They said "It Can Be Done" and yes it was!

S: 53:25 B:1:41:45 R:1:07:49
T1: 13:53 T2: 3:09 Sand Ladder: 3:22

This was a really fun event, a San Francisco classic! It is a challenging course and can take a long time to prepare for the hills and open water, but well worth it. The experience will make you stronger!

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
The 1.2 mile swim was great! The water was "warm", not that choppy, perfectly slack. It seemed a bit long, and at times I didn't feel like I was going anywhere. On Gary Emich's GPS it recorded the distance at 1.75 miles, hmmm. I think I would have liked a little more ebb. Aimed straight for the Palace of Fine Arts dome. Lots of kayak support. Tips: for the swim transition bag don't forget the body glide! I brought my electrolyte drink with me. Hydrate well day before race and right before. Breakfast was 2 granola bars and Yerba Mate Green Tea.

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
This is a fun course because of the hills and scenery. It was foggy but didn't feel slick on the roads. In fact, A fog on race day is a bonus temperature-wise. Also wasn't that windy. I think I'm most improved on the bike. Was able to climb strong and embrace the downhills. Climbing back up Seal Rock Drive is pretty steep but short. Food: Accelerade in the tank and 2 Powerbars. I discovered a way to prepare my powerbars for the ride ready to eat so they don't stick together: Cut Powerbars into bite-sized pieces and dust them with cocoa powder. Throw into ziploc in your bento bag.

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
The run is mostly on trails and I felt fast on the flats. Running through the sand at Baker Beach was tough, as well as going back up the sand ladder. Pain is temporary. If I had known I was going to go over 4 hrs by a second I would have started sprinting to the finish sooner and not made a pit stop. The finish line was beautiful and lined with colorful flags. Food: Powerbar energy gels. I brought my own water, it's my safety blanket.

San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
Overall the event was fun, all the hard work and training paid off. Got top ten in my little Age Division. Tri-Cal always has great volunteer support. I was also surprised at how much schwag I got: 2 bags, a bike bag, a race belt, bracelet and another swim cap for my collection! The post race food area had tables so you can socialize and have fun talking to other triathletes about the race. Easy access to computers to look up the results. Would love do this again!

ps. I had a great laugh to go back and read through the blog on all the alcatrazes I've done since the first one in 2009.


Week 7 - This is it!

S:3 B:84 R:10

One week left until the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz! The full moon has been messing with my sleep, but I feel ready for this. Thanks to my friends that trained with me, bloggers and dailymilers, and family for your support! Coach Jake who did the course with me several times, also the coaches at Club One, Fernando and Nick for some challenging workouts. Very special thanks to my favorite coach Pedro and my Water World Swim peeps who I swam with every week! Thanks to work for my flexible schedule. You all rock! Next week will be race report.


Week 6

S:3.22 B:66.5 R:25

Looks like last month was the highest mileage month so far this year! Just wait until marathon training comes around. This was another good week, not only did I get my workouts in, but also helped out with the Water World Swim Alcatraz Touch and Go, which was fun! It's been amazing to watch people grow into open water swimmers at Water World Swim. Several months of steady, consistent training in the water can get you there!

I keep a spreadsheet of my training cycles and noticed something interesting. Both 8 week training cycles have a peak mileage at week 3, and then drop, then another climb at week 6. The mileage is a little higher, but the pattern is the same. What's not pictured is the peak intensity (more later on that). With more intensity, the tradeoff is often miles. With higher intensity workouts, hill training and a few long efforts what I noticed is that my speed and endurance is getting better. Hills that used to be walls are now manageable inclines. By the end of the week, I feel challenged by getting those long efforts in, and noticed they have become shorter now, but noticing this pattern gives me something to look at. Here is something else to look at:

The sun's rays slicing through the fog


Week 5 - Nature Break

S:1.39 B:59 R:16

This was a great week, spent the weekend camping at Salt Point Sate Park. There are miles of trails here and nearby roads great for cycling! This place has a little bit of everything: rocky shores, prairies, foresty trails, and a lot of fog! Very peaceful.

Salt Point

Bike: Salt Point - Fort Ross Loop
I was really excited about doing the ride up to Seaview and to Fort Ross. I wanted to do a larger loop to Cazaderos and Jenner and back up Meyers Grade, but I took a wrong turn and am glad I did because it would have taken much longer than I had expected because of the hills. Even hiking and running took twice as long as expected. I will save that one for next time. The trails in Salt Point State Park are great for mountain biking. I did not have the right tires on my road bike so had to hike up the steep sections. Another fun ride would be from Seaview coming down through the park to Highway 1! The roads up on the ridge are nice and rolling and really fun coming down the 18% grades back to the scenic highway route. This was one of the best rides ever. The running was fun along Salt Point Trail. There are some nice singletrack trails close to the cliffs and lots of places to hike on the rocks and watch seals.

Exploring Gerstle Cove
Salt Point - Gerstle Cove
This was quite an experience, just to immerse myself and take a dip in the ocean. This is not a place for getting some mileage in, but just to stay in the cove and check out the marine life. It was hard to get out across the rocks, you kind of have to flop over it like a seal. If the tide was a little higher it would have been easier. Also, great place to get over your fear of seaweed. Lots of it. There were also a lot of jellyfish. I kept bumping into them. The water was warm.
Salt Point - Gerstle Cove
The beaches along the Sonoma Coast are pretty dangerous because of the rip currents and rocks with only a few places that are okay for swimming. The ranger recommended Bodega Dunes but dogs are not allowed there. There were lots of surfers at Miwok Beach.

It was foggy and damp in July so be prepared. Because of budget cuts, many of the bathroom facilities and surf shower was closed, so, I enjoyed taking a shower outdoors under a canopy of trees!

Only a few more weeks left until the Tri-California San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz!

April Recap

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