Showing posts from 2014

2014 Recap

Distance / Miles:
Run: 800 Swim: 100 (2014 goal accomplished!) Bike: 773 + Bike Commute: 2600 = 3,380 Total: 4,280 (a few more miles than last year!) Races and Events:
DSE Fort Mason 5k (3rd place female)SFR Point Reyes Lighthouse 200k  (first time completing a brevet within cutoff time!) KP Half Marathon - 5k (3rd place Masters AG award (gun time), first place AG (chip time)SFR Two Rock - Valley Ford 200kOakland Running Festival 5k (1st place AG)DSE Walt Stack 10k8th Alcatraz SwimSee Jane Run 13.1SF Marathon (First minimal marathon, 2014 goal accomplished!)Santa Cruz Roughwater SwimSFR Lucas Valley PopulaireMarin County Triathlon (Olympic PR)Brave the Bay
Running: My year is pretty much planned around running, biking and swimming. It's what I enjoy doing - that's when I feel really alive! It's also a social outlet with all the different training groups out there. I love being outside. Though I didn't hit any PRs (except nailing the 10k run after the tri) I placed pretty…

Last Minute Gift Ideas for the Whole Foodie!

When I'm not running biking or swimming, I like to spend several hours a day in my kitchen preparing healthy meals and fun new recipes. Here are my simple recommendations for foodie gifts that complement a whole foods lifestyle.

Juicer - Juicing is an easy way to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet.You can save the pulp for the next item...

Phat Beets Pickler - For fermenting and pickling naturally. Preserves food you may not have time to eat right away and adds healthy bacteria to your diet. What I love about this item is that it fits on a Mason Jar, so once you're done with a batch you can just put a lid on it and goes right into the fridge. For larger batches, try a fermenting crock.

Dehydrator - Make healthy snacks and preserve foodsfor camping and emergencies. My favorite is dried plantains. They make a yummy pre-workout snack.

Mandoline Slicer - Great sidekick for the pickler and dehydrator!

Crockpot - Very affordable and convenient!

Happy Cooking!

Mushroom Season

In October I attended a Mushroom Cultivation workshop with Mushroom Maestros via the Biofuel Oasis Urban Farming events. A month later I was eating delicious homegrown oyster mushrooms! I try to eat them almost every day, shiitake in particular. They are very nutritious, help support the immune system, and are a great addition to my seasonal farm box diet. Lately I have been trying the Reishi and Cordyceps powders with herbal tea as a natural athletic supplement.

Last weekend we went to the annual MSSF Fungus Fair and got to see all kinds of mushrooms, kits and cooking demos. Now I feel like broadening my mushroom palette!

More pics >>

Brave the Bay

Last weekend, I did Santa's Triathlon at Brave the Bay...

This is a fun event at Aquatic Park to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The triathlon is a 5k fun run/walk to Marina Green and back, a plunge in the Bay, and a team cable car pulling contest. They had music, lots of food, a raffle, and a costume contest. It was organized by Bob Guinan, our administrator at Water World Swim as an SFPD Challenge. He is a retired officer and we are very appreciative of the support our first responders give us on our local races and events. The teams consisted of different police stations, firefighters, local athletic clubs and companies.

After the run, I pulled together a small team from our swim group and we took the plunge and then tried to make the cable car move. Pulling a cable car is harder than it looks. It took some muscle to get it to move at first, but then once you get it rolling it's easier to pull. We managed to get it down the street in 37 seconds! We also raised …

Fermented Salsa Verde

I've been taking some time off from intense training and enjoying easy workouts, quality time, relaxation and cooking! After taking the Fermentation Workshop at the Hoes Down Harvest Festival in October, I was excited to try fermenting the abundance of gypsy peppers from my Farm Fresh to You farm box. We learned to do the natural pickling method without vinegar using salt brine. I used a 5% salt to vegetable ratio (weighed in grams) which is double for other vegetables since they are a bit sweeter and ferment faster. A good ratio of salt for kraut is 2.5%. They came out pretty tasty! It makes a great condiment. After that, I decided to experiment with fermented salsa.

I brined a bunch of gypsy peppers and a separate bunch of spicy jalapenos, no spices added. Usually when making a salsa verde, you would use tomatillos. The gypsy peppers served as a nice base. After a month, the jalapenos lost their kick and became pleasantly mild. I drained them, saving 1 cup of brine for the blend…

Tri-Training Wrap Up

I'm glad to be done and satisfied with how the tri-training went. The only thing that's really sore are the calves. I was finally able to roll them out last night without crying too much. Here are the totals:

WEEK78 (race week)Running 13.7511.81Fitness 0:22:000Spinning 0:02:000Cycling2080.8Swimming 1.682.05Workouts98Distance35.4394.66Calories31394411Duration7:42:007:35:00
Bike commute miles not included

No strength training or high-intensity the week of the race! I didn't experience the burnout that usually happens when doing a longer 12 week training plan with 3 week build then easy week. I was drinking a lot of quinoa fruit and kale smoothies for breakfast! I put in almost 64 hours of training, not including the month of pre-hab strength training. For the strength training, I did TRX Force for several weeks. These are longer more frequent sessions to produce progressive muscle gains. I did work on all three disciplines throughout the year for other events before this. This …

Marin County Triathlon

This Year's Results:
Total: 2:54:38
1.5 k Swim: 29:43
T1: 5:12
22 mi Bike: 1:27:00 (15.10 mph pace)
T2: 2:21
10k Run: 50:22 (8:07 per mile pace)

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

I did the Marin County Triathlon for the second year in a row and improved my time by 12 minutes, a PR! This put me 4th in my age group, and somewhere in the middle for females overall. We had a very small age group for some reason. The winners finished in close to 2 hours! I spent a bit more time in transition this year but I made up for it with better pacing. I felt like I had a lot more endurance to finish strong. This year I also did some fundraising for the Sustainable Sports Foundation and that was a bonus. I realized I have a great support network and it's good to give back to the local community. We raised money for their swim scholarship program. What a great life skill to share l…

Bike Camping at China Camp

This was my first solo bike camping trip to China Camp. I like to camp here on triathlon weekend and really enjoy this location. It's a beautiful area with lots of trails and vistas, only a few hours ride from SF. I packed one pannier with triathlon gear and the other one with camping gear and clothes. I left around noon and got there at 3pm. By 4pm my camp was all set up and I could enjoy a little nature walk before the sunset.

I had to make sure to hydrate and eat well for the race so I had a foot-long bagette sandwich from Mollie Stone's market on my short nature hike. When I returned to camp I had a nice hot tea and got some reading in before a nap. It's so quiet and peaceful and I was alone with my thoughts. There is no cel-phone reception, and absolutely no distractions. This puts me in a good frame of mind to focus and rest before the race. They also have coin-operated showers here, which is nice after a long ride.

I woke up around 9:30pm and realized I should proba…

Tri Training Update

Second training block complete for the Marin Tri! I am at 76% of my goal for fundraising for the Sustainable Sports Foundation swim program thanks to my generous donors!

I increased my total distance quite a bit on this build, with a few more cycling and swimming miles. I do a 21 day cycle of two weeks of building with a few high-intensity sessions, then the 3rd week is the easy recovery week, but I tacked on a long bike ride at the end, even after donating plasma a few days before. This is in addition to 50 miles a week bike commute which I don't count.

WEEK456TOTALRunning 12.412.25.329.9Fitness*1:40:000:30:001:30:003:40:00Spinning 2:00:002:00:000:35:004:35:00Cycling
42.469.5111.9Swimming 0.672.272.175.11Workouts810826Distance13.0756.8776.97146.91Calories14744119454510138

SFR Lucas Valley Populaire

 SFR Lucas Valley Populaire
Near the top of the climb on Lucas Valley Road

I had never done this route before and I was really looking forward to it. The weather turned out perfect and it was definitely one of the best rides ever! I haven't done a long ride since Two Rock-Valley Ford so I'm glad I did a 40 mile ride the weekend before. It was fun to see Mike complete his first metric century distance. After riding by it, now I want to check out the Big Rock Ridge Trail.

This was my favorite section through China Camp:
This is also on the Marin County Tri bike course, which I'm doing in a couple weeks! Lots of fun and scenic rollers. Not a lot of traffic here. We saw some deer foraging by the roadside.

I had never done Lucas Valley Road before. It was very pleasant riding through the shade. It just takes a little nerve to ride on the narrow shoulder with traffic buzzing by you. There are a lot of pullouts though. There was an instance where a car was going around us and sp…

Tri Training Update

I'm 3 weeks into tri training (7 if you count the strength month). I've been doing training blocks of 2 weeks high-intensity, with the third week scaled back. Here are my totals:

WEEK                 1              2               3             TOTAL
Running        14.3        14.35       5.25        33.9
Fitness*        2:30:00    3:30:00   1:00:00   7:00:00
Spinning       2:00:00    2:00:00   2:20:00   6:20:00
Swimming    0.75         1.74         0.75        3.24
Workouts      11            12            6             29
Distance       15.05       16.09       6             37.14
Calories        3436        3415       1515        8366
Duration       8:30:00    9:17:00   4:59:00   22:46:00

*TRX and Kayaking 

This on top of my 50 miles a week of bike commuting. I was disappointed the pool pump at my gym went out and I didn't get my pool workouts in last couple of weeks. Bad timing! I have my bike at the shop getting tuned up and my tri suit is in the bag. I just ne…

Tri-Training Mode

After a month of doing the TRX Force Strength Training Program, It's time to start my 8 weeks of structured tri-training for Marin Tri! I am over the cookie-cutter training programs so what I do is take a little bit of everything I think I need and combine it into a custom program in my own spreadsheet, which looks like this:

These weekday sessions are 1 - 1 1/2 hrs then the weekend has an open water swim, bike and run also, little bit longer, and some RESTING. I dropped back down to 2 strength sessions and I am integrating Sara McLarty's triathlon swim workouts and Hal Higdon's 10k training into my custom program. Combining the running with strength training is a challenge, but I found that doing a short run before is easier. Running off the bike is even more of a challenge but something I have to prepare for. I got the New Balance Fresh Foam to add variety to my run:

For cycling strength I'm adding some spinni…

Half Moon Bay Bike Glamping

Took advantage of the Labor Day Weekend to go on another bike camping adventure. This time we headed south to Half Moon Bay. There is a nice hike and bike camp there on the beach for $7 per person per night with hot showers for 50 cents. The campsite has several picnic tables and one fire pit, which makes for a nice evening campfire social. The campground was riddled with gopher holes but they kept to themselves. It's just a few steps away from Francis Beach, where you can rest and regroup. Not recommended to swim here, but there is a lifeguard tower farther south.

Getting there: We pretty much took Hwy 1 and followed the Google Map bike route, but with some modifications. Rode over a huge nail after Mori Point and had to stop and do some repairs. There are some annoying areas where there is fast moving traffic and a narrow shoulder. The answer to this is to leave early! My favorite part was the new Devil's Slide dedicated pedestrian and bike path with awesome views of the Pac…

Swim a Mile, Run a Mile

Last weekend we had a fun new Water World Swim event called Swim a Mile, Run a Mile Duathlon at Crissy Field. It is a great intro to multisport events and can even be done as a relay. A portion of the proceeds went to Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. We hope to have another one soon. I was in charge of the bags and food, so I borrowed a big bike trailer from SFBC (Members have access to the fleet of bike trailers) to help with moving things around. The event takes place right near the bike path so I was able to shuttle the transition items to the spot in a few minutes by bike and get my workout in, too!

More photos!
Our participants did really well. We have a strong bunch of young New Waves (front row) that have accomplished great things this year. Mitali is a multiple Alcatraz swimmer and has also done the Golden Gate Bridge, Anaya is youngest girl in the world to swim Alcatraz and Angel has done several Alcatraz swims and the Bridge to Bridge swim. She recently won her age group at S…

Bicycle Tour the Steeps of SF

I'm glad this appeared in my Google alerts, as it can be difficult to scan all the events pages to see what rides are happening. SFBC member-volunteer Sindy Cho put together a fun Steeps of SF Ride! Mike and I were looking for something fun and social, and this fit the bill.

I had done one of these a long time ago on different hills and on my mountain bike. My mountain bike was stolen, so I thought my road bike might work. I soon realized that my road bike was not well-suited to super steep hill climbing because of the inability to do sharp turns on the switchbacks. There is not much space between the wheel and pedal. I borrowed another rider bike for some of the climbs and found it to be perfect. Louis had a Trek that had the perfect geometry:

The route took us to the City College area. I kind of tagged along for the ride and did what I could and got some footage. We made a nice pit stop at the Alemany Farmers' Market for fresh organic fruit snacks

In the video you will see m…

Santa Cruz Rough Water

After the marathon, I spent a whole week of recovery not running but swimming at Aquatic Park to get ready for the Santa Cruz Rough Water 1 mile swim. The water has been unusually warm this Summer, around 63°F at the Aquatic Park buoy flag and reported high of 67° F in Monterey Bay. No wetsuit needed. There I met up with our swim group, Water World Swim. Four of our youth swimmers won awards, and our coaches had really fast times. I was not in the best swim shape and I'm pretty sure I came in last, but it was a lot of fun and I did better than I was expecting! Finished in 34 minutes at endurance pace (I was expecting 45 minutes). Santa Cruz Boardwalk is a fun destination. The sun came out in the afternoon and we enjoyed a warm beach for a change, eating pizza and bowling.

We have been having alot of fun events at Water World Swim. The Alcatraz Touch 'n' Go, Around the Rock, and this weekend is the Bridge to Bridge Swim. Coming up is Swim a Mile /Run a Mile, another Island …

SF Marathon 2014

Marathon #11: SF Marathon!
Finish Time: 4:20

I knew it was going to be hard to PR on this, but I really wanted to do the distance on this beautiful course. I decided to let go of worrying about pace and just run. I looked at it like running a half marathon and then a training run. I did the half in 2:03 then kept slowing down. After we left Golden Gate Park, we left the fog behind and said hello to the hot sun. This really affected my running as I am heat sensitive and could start to feel my blood pressure and heart rate going up, a little tightness in the chest, dizziness and sluggish breathing. This alarmed me so I slowed down. What helped me was the 2 packets of S.O.S I brought. I started alternating it in my water bottle at halfway point and near the end. I also had some homemade gel and clif shots. I upgraded my hydration kit to a Salomon Sensibelt, which is very comfortable and big enough to fit my phone. Also got a gel flask with velcro so the flask doesn't pop out …

Marathon Training

The last long run before the marathon is in the bag. Though I've done several of these, each time is different. My last marathon was really hard, even though the one before that was really great. so I didn't follow a past plan that seemed to work before. Instead, I did my own training plan based on how I feel right now and what happened last time. Last time I felt over trained, had been doing 2 marathons a year, got really overconfident and tore my quad. This year, I had a really low mileage base, with weekly high intensity speedwork sessions and short distance races scheduled throughout the year. Gradually, I extended the distance of those races. I changed my footwear to minimal. I did weekly tempo sessions on the course with some hill training. I slowed down the intensity a bit and instead of doing several cycles of building up mileage for the marathon, I just did 3 weeks of building after the half-marathon, going up to 22.5. I don't really subscribe to the notion that y…

At the Halfway Point

The year is running by so fast! Update on how I'm doing with my humble mileage goals:

Yearly Goal: 
Run: 1,000 mi
Bike: 4,000 mi
Swim: 100 mi

As of June 30th:
Run: 447
Bike: 1,300 commute + 435 recreation + 167 extra miles in May for bike month push = 1,902
Swim: 52 (My USMS flog says 48.74)

Looks like I'm on track. June was a big mileage month all around, and I think July is going to be through the roof! In the midst of marathon training, will update on that later.

See Jane Run 13.1

This weekend I ran the See Jane Run 13.1 as part of my buildup for the SF Marathon. I've been trying to extend my pace runs and this gave me the perfect motivation to pick up the pace. No PR, but I was not pushing it that hard this time. My goal was comfortably hard, with emphasis on the comfortable. The course is fast and flat, though there is the possibility of heat and wind. The course was scenic, with lots of views of the bay. Start at Washington Park and finish at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda.
I rode my bike to Transbay Terminal and caught the 6am AC Transit "O" bus to get there. Got off on Webster and biked to the end of the street and made a left to Washington Park. There is bike parking by the athletic field. They had a fun 80's theme pre-race warmup and DJ. The race took off in waves with pacers, which makes a lot of sense for traffic and safety. I wonder why more races don't do this. I seeded myself in the second wave, estimating my time to …

Going Minimal: New Balance Minimus Review

Here is a quick review of the New Balance minimal running shoes I have tried so far.

Trail 10v2 

439 miles - This is a good intro shoe if you're new to running without alot of cushion. I did a bunch of  short 1 mile runs in these to transition from regular trainers. I really like this shoe and it works as an everyday walking shoe also. They are sturdy and still holding up after 400 miles, I think I might be able to squeeze a few more miles out of it before the heel and toe wear completely off. They offer good traction on trails and wet sidewalk. I would definitely buy these again.


258 miles
This is the lightest shoe I have ever tried, and definitely need a transition period for these. It feels like  you are just wearing socks! I did the same long transition of running a bunch of 1 milers in these to get used to them until I was doing all my runs in them. I like what these shoes did for my balance and lower leg conditioning. My feet feel stronger. Also, it is so nic…