2013 Recap

Distance / Miles:
Run: 772
Swim: 58
Bike: 3107

Total: 3937

Races and Events:

    Helped with Water World Swim events, SFBC Bike to Work Day, and Light Up the Night. This was kind of a recovery year, after completing the 10th marathon in 2012, so doing a half marathon every month worked out great. Also, I made the slow and cautious transition to minimal shoes and am now transitioning to barefoot shoes. This is because the last marathon I did was hard and I tore my quadricep. After changing shoes my legs feel better. Also, I have to credit all those weeks of strength training with P90X and TRX. Doing the tri helped me get more miles swimming and cycling. 

    Athletic Goals for 2014:

    • Break 20 minutes for the 5k
    • Volunteer with a few events at run club and cycling club 
    • Minimal Marathon (wearing barefoot shoes for 26.2)
    • Swim 100 miles

    This year, I wanted to make sure to use my juicer once a week also, so I kept a juice photo log. I hope to continue it and explore new recipes!

    This summer on a hiking spree with Mike, I visited a lot of places I haven't been in a while, such as Muir Woods, Mount Diablo, Angel Island and some new places such as Mori Point and Sibley Volcanic Reserve. I'm glad we did that. Also, he did his longest bike ride ever on Paradise Loop!

    2013 is the year that my BFF passed on. It's so hard to let go. I will always remember all the great times we had in the park, on the trails, at the beach... Getting a dog will get you outside for sure!


    Thirteenth 13.1 for 2013!

    Today I completed my last long run of the year and Thirteenth 13.1 for 2013! It was a fun challenge set up on dailymile by Yolanda, and I'm glad I completed my goal. I did it on my fave route, the Coastal Bliss Loop. I'm going to see if I can enter it into Tracy's Fat Ass Remote and call it done. The route goes through the Presidio to Fort Winfield Scott, Battery Boutelle on down the Coastal Trail to Baker Beach (where I saw fishermen catching big crab!), up to Land's End down to Sutro Baths, Cliff House to Java Beach Cafe and back through Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle. Unfortunately the main entrance to Land's End was closed, so I went down to the other one past Legion of Honor. It was a challenge to finish the last three miles, as I didn't fuel properly before or bring enough with me, but it was a great way to finish off the year! Afterward I tried the SFH Recovery drink, it tasted pretty good. So far I've run 772 in 2013, this being my highest mileage week at 37 miles. I probably have a few more miles left in me. We shall see!



    Run Love Gut Check 10k

    Fun group run put on by Fleet Feet Sports to raise funds for the Ethembeni school in South Africa. The gut check run is basically a bunch of hills! We did Fillmore, Alta Plaza, Vallejo stairs & Lombard. Glad I put in weekly hill runs on Divisadero this year! Sorry the pics are all out of order:

    Afterward, they gave us mugs and served ice cream, coffee and hot chocolate and had a raffle. I tried the SOS also. They also had these new massage rollers called Addaday that worked really well.


    Brave the Bay for Make-A-Wish Foundation

    Photo by Lisa Amorao

    On December 7th, our swim group Water World Swim took part in the Brave the Bay Santa Plunge at Aquatic Park for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Together our team raised over $600 and had a great time!

    The water was around 51°F, ambient temps in the mid 40s, with windchill in the 30s! A couple of our swimmers were trying the cold bay temps with no wetsuit for the very first time! The SFFD put on a beautiful water display, which engulfed us in a double rainbow as we swam. It certainly made my wish come true!

    After the plunge, some members of our team went on to win a round in the Cable Car Pull in the Community Challenge. Looking forward to doing this again next year!

    Brave the Bay
    Link to slideshow of my pics

    photos by Lisa Amorao

    MakeaWish from Lisa Amorao on Vimeo.


    Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

    Turkey TrotThis year, I had the opportunity to run the Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot with my sisters (Ok, I signed them up and they agreed!) I'm sure they hated me at 5am on Thanksgiving morning, but we had a blast! There were so many great costumes! One family dressed up like Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. It took me a long time to figure out the mashed potatoes costume, which is odd because that is my favorite dish at Thanksgiving. Lots of dogs! Granted, we mostly walked, I think we burned more calories just trying to stay warm. I was a little bummed because the 5k didn't get the organic bananas that the 8 milers seemed to be getting, but we planned ahead and brought our own post-race treats. Just a light snack before the feast. Instead of green bean casserole, I made some kale and low-glycemic gluten-free desserts so my sister could partake. I'm thankful I was able to do this with my family!


    Sunday Swim

    Sunday Swim - photo by Coach Pedro
    I just realized I've been a swimming in the bay for 4 1/2 years!


    Tiburon by the Bay Half Marathon

    Untitled I had a great time this weekend at the Inaugural Tiburon by the Bay Half Marathon! I was looking for races to add to my Thirteen 13.1s in 2013 Challenge on DM and saw a Groupon for this so had to try it. I took the special early morning ferry service they offered which made it very convenient and a chance to socialize with other runners before the race. Also, had to pick up my packet on race day because my registration was a bit snafu'd because of some glitch with the Groupon registration. I'm really glad I went to the expo to find this out so it could be fixed by race morning. The course is very scenic and the weather was really nice. It was chilly but once the sun came up and started running it heated up pretty quickly. There are some good hills around Strawberry which make it nice and challenging. I really felt it on the last couple of miles. I was a little worried at first because my run mileage lately has been at it's lowest due to the triathlon training, but it turned out fine because I finished in 2 hrs as I had hoped. Not a PR but best out of all the 13.1s I've done this year. I have built up a good aerobic base now and am ready to start 5k training. Not the usual 5k training, but the speedy 5k training for next February's KP 5k!

    For a first race, I think they did a great job. The only thing I would improve on is:
    • Make sure the Groupon registrations are set up before expo day (What does "boutique style" mean?)
    • Widen the course, because you can't expect everyone to fit in the bike lane
    • A little more food at the end (some non-green bananas) or at least some coupons for local restaurants. There are some really great restaurants here for brunch.

    The year is almost done, keep on running!


    Marin County Triathlon

    Untitled Results:
    Total: 3:06:39
    1.5 k Swim: 33:04
    T1: 4:34
    22 mi Bike: 1:31:29 (14.40mph pace)
    T2: 2:13
    10k Run: 55:19 (8:55 per mile pace)

    Marin County Triathlon was a really fun and scenic race in San Rafael by San Pablo Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed the location by camping the weekend at China Camp nearby. This time of year the weather is sunny and warm during the day, and a bit chilly at night. It is blissfully quiet out on the trails and at night you might hear coyotes howling. The morning chill makes it hard to get motivated for an early swim, but I figured the bike ride on the way there would warm me up. The camp is only about 4 miles from the start line, so at 6:30 am I biked to the race in about 15 minutes and set up my area. It was really dark so I highly recommend a strong bike light. The dawn temp was about 47°F so I wished I had brought some full-fingered warm bike gloves. After body marking, I spent as long as I could wearing warm clothes. I did a short run to practice the run out and that helped alot. The sound of the bagpipes meant GO TIME.

    The Swim
    My swim wave was small, so the group start was tolerable. I decided to wear the short sleeve wetsuit, because it's more comfortable than the long sleeve one. While waiting for my wave to start I mingled with my fellow swimmers and ran into another Water World Swimmer. The glassy water felt great and we had a carpet under our feet to avoid the rocks. We did one long scenic out and back loop along the shoreline in a mild current that I hardly noticed. The swim went by surprisingly quickly. In T1 I chugged some coconut water, as I had forgot to bring my portable flask. It would be cool if Zico had sport top lids.

    The Bike
    I took a moment to put on a skeleton bike jersey in the spirit of Halloween, and some socks to help my feet get warm. As we ran out of transition, we had an awesome Mariachi Band to get things rolling. The bike course was a really fun ride of rolling hills with manageable turns. The turnaround is at the campsite, and each way took me about 15 minutes. The sun came up above the fog and warmed things up. Here is where I ate about 10 dates to fuel up. I stopped briefly to give a fellow rider with flat an extra inner tube. I felt pretty strong on the second loop, and by the third loop pushing the pace was glad to be done.

    The Run
    The drummers rallied us on the run out. Again, pretty freaking scenic views along the waterfront! After a climb out of the transition area, the legs were feeling rubbery in the beginning and feet were still a little numb from being cold. After a mile or two warmup I found my pace and just tried to keep on with it. The headwinds started picking up on the second loop, with a nice tailwind on the home stretch. I didn't use my Garmin on this run so I don't know how it fluctuated, but I felt like I had a strong finish. I might have overdid it on the final sprint, but the soreness feels like it will go away with rest. What I would have done differently is wear the long tri shorts, not the short ones. I don't know how people run in hot pants without chafing to death.

    The Finish Line
    Great volunteers on the course! I felt fully supported and cheered for. A warning to volunteers: I was a volunteer on this race several years ago and it looked like so much fun I signed up! After the race, We had pasta, yogurt, drinks and fruit. We got a nice reusable water bottle that had been pre-filled for post race hydration. Very thoughtful and useful.  The Sustainable Sports Foundation put on a great eco-friendly event. And it's so close to home. I always feel so fit after training and doing a triathlon. I signed up again for next year!


    Swimming in the Bay

    We've been having some great swims in the bay with Water World Swim! Swimmers of all levels and with different training goals, and recreational swimmers also. We usually swim at Aquatic Park, but sometimes we go to Crissy Field.



    Coghlan Beach to Crissy Field - photo by Lisa Amorao

    Coghlan Beach - photo by Coach Pedro


    Pumpkin Banana Bread

    This is so good, I had to share:

    pumpkin banana bread

    Dry ingredients:
    4 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 T pumpkin pie spice

    Wet ingredients:
    2 cups pumpkin puree (fresh organic sugar pie pumpkin - I used the pulp from making pumpkin juice)
    2 ripe bananas, pureed
    1/2 c coconut oil, melted
    1/4 - 1/2 c honey or molasses
    1 cup pitted dates, processed
    1/2 - 1 cup apple cider or fruit juice

    1 cup raisins
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup chopped walnuts or hempseeds

    Mix wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix all ingredients together. Batter should be thick. Spoon into loaf pans and bake at 375 for 30 - 45 minutes (or until a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean).


    Tri Training Update

    Training for Marin tri is going well. I have added group spinning (Fitness SF class) to the program for spin/run brick workouts, Time Crunched Triathlete swim workouts in the pool, and some open water swims at Aquatic Park. I have been running to Warming Hut for 9 weeks in a row, and I have another fun series coming up.

    Weekly Warming Hut 10k Run 

    Sunday Swim at Aquatic Park Slideshow:


    DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon

    dse lake merced half marathon
    Nice and foggy for the DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon this weekend! I got there early and had time to enjoy the location and quiet revery of the lake. I was admiring the swale and things they did to the parking lot to protect the lake from urban runoff. Also, I didn't know that the ocean used to feed into the lake, and that the coastline used to extend beyond the Farallon Islands. Fascinating! Anyway, there was another 4.5 mile race that did 1 loop around the lake. We did 3 loops, with the last one cutting through the drawbridge. (Garmin data)

    They had well-stocked aid stations where I grabbed some pretzel sticks, but mostly I just stuck with my stash of dates, banana chips and figs. I saw Rachel on the second loop and she took this pic:
    dse lake merced half marathon
    I didn't feel like racing the whole thing so decided to just rev it up at the end for a progressive 5k, finishing in 2:09! Half Marathon #11 for Thirteen 13.1s in 2013 Challenge! I'm training for a tri so yesterday swam a mile open water and biked 25 miles. Today was bike-run-bike, as I biked to and from the race then walked it off at Sunday Streets. Overall it was a great weekend of training! 
    DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon


    Alcatraz to Angel Island Swim

    Angel Island View

    Distance: 1.5 mi 45 min

    This was a beautiful and unique swim with my swim group Water World Swim. Warm water around 64°F, flood tide, and lots of fog. It was so foggy we could hardly see the island! We used the pilot boats to navigate. I lost my camera in the bay but took lots of photos from the last swim here.

    We jumped off the boat about a half mile NW of Alcatraz, which shortened the course. Though the water was warm, it took me about 10 minutes to relax and find my pace. There were some swells and visibility was challenging. I just followed the kayak and pilot boat directing us to the middle of Angel Island and kept swimming.  At times it felt like I was going backwards and losing momentum, but that was just a little wave pulling me into it's roll, then it would rise and push me to where I was and then a bit farther. When we got closer to the Island we aimed right for the beach by the Nike Missile site. I remembered the windmill from last time indicating where the edge of the beach was. The current felt a bit stronger there so I had to aim left a bit to get in position. The waves literally pushed us onto the beach. It was like bodysurfing! Rode the surf right in to the beach and did a high five with another swimmer, her first time swimming outside of Aquatic Park.

    Next month is going to be great for bay swimming!

    Sunday Swim - photo by Coach Pedro


    Getting Ready for Triathlon Training

    In 8 weeks I'm doing the Marin County Triathlon olympic distance, and am using the Time-Crunched Triathlete program again. It's pretty easy to follow and high intensity. I will integrate it with some running and TRX on alternate days, along with bike commuting and group swims, with 1 rest day. We'll just see how that goes! This week I did my CTS Field Tests to get my training intensities. It looks like this:

    The field tests actually make for great high-intensity workouts!  I noticed that my 400m swim time improved by 15 seconds from 2 years ago when I first did this. I have to admit that I haven't really worked on speedwork in the pool much. I spend more time at Aquatic Park doing easy open water swims. I look forward to seeing how much my time improves after doing this program. Another thing I'm looking forward to is some nice bike rides!

    Other things I have done to prepare: eat clean, 8 weeks of TRX, a half marathon every month base training, and acquire my training supplements Spirulina, Udo's oil, Whey Factors and Nutiva Hempshake. This year I have really worked hard on my diet and keeping the sugar and refined carbs in check, and because of this am finally seeing results.

    Check out my new socks:

    What events are you training for this Fall?


    New Half Marathon in Tiburon

    The Town of Tiburon will be launching it's own Half Marathon November 3, 2013! Tiburon by the Bay Half Marathon and 5k. Use the code RENE1 by August 30th for a 25% discount on registration. There will be a special ferry service for runners to and from the event (not included). Check out their Facebook page for updates.
    Benefits ALS TDI, Team LOLA, and Belvedere-Tiburon Recreation. You can also do your own fundraising through Charity of Choice.


    Mileage Stats

    I know it's kind of late, but here is a check-in with the quarterly mileage...

    Swim: 14 mi
    Bike: 678 mi
    Run:170 mi

    Which brings the first half of the year totals up to:
    Swim: 28 mi
    Bike: 1,515 mi
    Run: 350 mi

    I didn't set any mileage goals this year, so it will be interesting to see how it pans out. This year's focus is on balance, and more strength training. I've been doing TRX at home, it has really helped. I love running in the Presidio, Crissy Field, along the Coastal Trail and Golden Gate Park.


    Thirteen 13.1s in 2013

    Golden Gate Trail Run

    Complete Thirteen 13.1s in 2013 Challenge!
    1. 2/4 KP SF Half Marathon
    2. 2/17 Zombie Runner SF Half Marathon
    3. 3/25 Oakland Half Marathon
    4. 4/7 Golden Gate Headlands Half-Marathon  
    5. 5/6 Divas Half Marathon
    6. 6/18 SF Marathon, First Half  
    7. 7/14 Golden Gate Trail Run Half-Marathon
    8. 7/26 Dexter's Run 13.1*
    9. 8/2 Presidio 13.1*
    10. 8/9 Pacheco 13.1*
    11. 9/8 DSE Lake Merced Half Marathon
    12.  11/3 Tiburon by the Bay Half Marathon
    13.  12/28 Coastal Bliss Loop*
    Thanks to Yolanda R. on Daily Mile for setting this up. I really needed this. I wanted to try to NOT do a marathon this year to let my legs recover and get ready for next year. This kept me going! After my dog died, I had to run one every week. Checking in with my goals and see if I'm on track. It's funny how they evolve and change.

    *not a race


    Real Food & Heart Healthy Diet

    Real Food
    Since heart disease is so prevalent, I decided to eat a heart-healthy diet. When I am going through hard times I try to pay even more attention to my health and fitness as a way to deal with grief and loss. I admit am OBSESSED with healthy eating, but it wasn't until I dropped the sugar and paid attention to the glycemic index that I also noticed the added benefit of weight loss. It took about 6 weeks for my body to start responding to this diet. Also, contrary to popular dietary advice of eating low-fat, I have a lot of fat in my diet, 25% - 30% from nuts, whole non-homogenized milk (grass fed) and whole eggs, fish, lean protein, coconut oil and beans. Some days it is up to 40%! I'm not on any trendy diet, just whole, natural, unprocessed organic foods with lots of fruit and vegetables and some whole grains. To keep it simple, I use Checkoff Diet Tracker to make sure I'm eating enough. I roughly follow the portion recommendations from Choose My Plate, between 1,800 and 2,400 calories. Once you memorize the portion sizes, it's easy. Just avoid anything with added sugar in it. After 7 weeks, now I have added 1 Tablespoon of raw honey and a teaspoon of bee pollen, and supplement with fish oil and spirulina. I did a nutritional profile of some of the days and because it is focused on whole nutritious food I'm getting everything I need. The only thing I might want to add is a little more vitamin D, which you can get from shiitake mushrooms, which are also good for your immune system.

    Real FoodA typical day of eating might be:
    • Hemp protein shake with frozen banana, whole milk (Strauss Family Creamery), Nutiva hemp protein 
    • Half an apple with peanut butter and/or oatcake
    • Spinach salad with 1/2 c barley and 1/2 c chickpeas, ACV and olive oil dressing
    • 1/2 cup whole yogurt and 1/2 cup fresh fruit or berries, 1 tsp raw honey, 1 tsp bee pollen (I make my own yogurt)
    • Handful of almonds, and/or some dates, grapes
    • 3 oz protein cooked in coconut oil, 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup of whole grains such as brown rice 
    • Dessert: Fresh, frozen or dried fruit, or homemade unsweetened chocolate treats or coconut manna
    Preworkout: Piece of grapefruit or coconut water with chia seeds,
    During long run: A few dates, walnuts
    Post-workout: Bananas, apples, oranges, oatcakes, trail mix or hearty breakfast

    Giving up refined sugar has been a major breakthrough for me and I'm starting to see results in my running. I feel like I have plenty of energy and no sugar crashes from loading up on excessive carbs and sugars. Less cravings and hunger pangs. I run about 10 - 30 miles per week, strength train, swim, and bike to work. I had my cholesterol checked and was so glad to have good results:

    Carrots, celery, parsley, ginger & lemon

    Total Cholesterol mg/dL
    HDL (High density lipoprotein) mg/dL
    LDL (Low density lipoprotein) mg/dL
    Triglycerides mg/dL

    Your Total Cholesterol of 150 is DESIRABLE 
    Real Food
    Your LDL of 79 is OPTIMAL 
    Your HDL of 57 is NORMAL 
    Your Triglyceride level of 70 is NORMAL


    Your Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.63 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL 
    Your HDL/LDL ratio is: 0.722 - (preferably over 0.3, ideally over 0.4) IDEAL  
    Your triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.228 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL


    R.I.P. Dexter

    Finisher's Medal
    Found as a puppy at Ocean Beach Spring 2002 - Died peacefully in his favorite resting spot July 18th, 2013 Dexter's Run 13.1: in honor of my four-legged best friend forever... Half-marathon #8 for the Thirteen 13.1s in 2013 Challenge and #13 total

    April Recap

    Spring is here! Proceed with caution!  I managed to ramp up my activities, adding in more bike rides and swims, and taking the time to d...