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

June in Pictures

June is all about: The Escape, Back on My Feet Runs, Trail runs, bike rides, the beach, Water World Swim and SUP, the wind and fog! I star...