2/23/14

SFR Two Rock - Valley Ford 200k

This was a great ride organized by the SF Randonneurs that takes you up to Sonoma County through rolling pastures and along Tomales Bay. I was waiting to see if the weather was going to be nice to sign up, and it turned out to be an awesome day for riding! 162 cyclists on this one (159 finished). I felt alot stronger on this ride.



The temps ranged from high 40s to high 60s, so for clothing layers I had an under-armor t-shirt, jersey, arm warmers, bike shorts with leg warmers and hi-vis windbreaker. The morning is cool so I didn't start peeling layers off until Fairfax. I like to stop at Coffee Roastery there and get water and use their facilities. I didn't bring any honey stingers this time and instead just had a shot of honey in an espresso americano. Ready for miles of fresh air and countryside!



On the way to Petaluma, I stopped to help someone fix their flat. It was a pretty gnarly puncture, I wish I had taken a picture of it. It looked like a giant staple went through her tire, and we patched the tire up too. There seemed to be a lot of roadkill out there, rabbit and skunks and identifiable creatures. At one point I rolled over a spinal cord of something and gladly didn't puncture my tire.

I rode in the back and played tag with the tandems, but did run into lots of riders at the stops. Since I'm slow I usually don't expect to see anyone else. I tried not to spend too much time at the pit stops, just get water and go, and eat on the bike. This time I had brought some oatcakes, black bean and avocado burritos and roasted potatoes that I had made. At the control points I purchased water and wrote the time of arrival on the receipts as proof. Many of the timestamps on the receipts were off.

There was a nice headwind as we were coming from Petaluma into Valley Ford, so I tried to stay down in the drops. I didn't really get bored on the ride because the rolling terrain keeps you changing your position and workout.  Getting off the bike every 2 hrs also helps. The downhills were fun, I was clocking up to 30mph! I tried to hang out in harder gears this time and remember to keep doing little stretches and change it up. I felt like I had energy but once I got back to Fairfax, I was ready to take it easy for the rest of the ride. I noticed that once I hit 100 miles, I start feeling done. The time on the road seemed to pass pretty quickly, and it was very enjoyable. It's like dreamtime, with beautiful scenery scrolling past. It was so nice! I'm looking forward to more rides in the Spring. It would be fun to do a casual ride here and do a Cheese Tour.

125.7 miles
12 1/2 hours
SF to Petaluma = approx 4 hrs (to Fairfax 2 hrs)
Petaluma to Valley Ford = approx 2 hrs
Valley Ford to Point Reyes = approx 2 1/2 hrs
Point Reyes to Fairfax = approx 2 hrs
Fairfax to SF = approx 2 hrs

Food: 3 oatcakes, 2 baby burritos, 1 cup roasted potatoes (with salt), 1 cup of dates and trail mix, 9 bottles of water (including 2 caffe latte perpetuems, 1 heed, 1 bottle emergen-c)

Post ride soreness in the knees, arms, hands, and a bit of dehydration. The next day I tried to swim in the bay, but wasn't up for any cardio or strength workout. Had a hard time catching my breath. The cool water felt really great!
Did some biking around town doing errands.




2/3/14

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K

As you know, California is in a drought. It's been a warm, dry winter and we've been experiencing countless sunny days and spring-like weather. However, on race day, it decided to downpour! I'm glad for the rain, but being out in it is a different story. Nonetheless, I decided not to let it dampen my running spirit. I had been 5k training for the past 12 weeks with this race in mind and determined not to go into fun run pace. At least make it a speedwork training run.

I rode my bike to the race as I normally commute by bike everywhere without even thinking twice about it. This year, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition provided a bike valet service near the finish line so I wanted to take advantage of that. I rode down to 47th and Fulton and racked my bike with the nice volunteers. I had my rain jacket and some dry layers saved inside my handlebar bag, so didn't have to worry about bag-check. I was able to jog 2 1/2 miles to the starting line with time to spare and my pre-race warm up was done. Looking at the start line though, I got a bit worried about my PR. No waves and everyone starts at the same time. I tried to move up front but was pretty crowded. I decided to just do my best for all the good causes the race supports. I had already signed up for the Oakland Running Festival 5k as a backup.

The first mile was really slow as I tried to push my way past the crowd and get up front without getting struck in the face by someone's elbow. It was a bit easier as the 5k route diverted and we were siphoned off. I tried to find my 5k pace and stick with it, running by feeling and without gadgets. I never once looked at my watch to see the time. I didn't see any halfway marks, maybe it was that aid station I just passed. I kept passing as I could and the crowd kept thinning out more and more to the point where I felt like I had lots of breathing room. Tried to stay focused and not zone out. Took advantage of downhills and never slow down. Before I knew it I could see the finish and kept pushing till the end. Gladly, the "wall" I usually experience in the last 200 meters didn't block me. I wonder if it is a mental block.

Anyway, I could see the clock, and didn't look like a PR time for me as predicted, but, ended up being 3rd place Masters AG award (gun time), first place AG (chip time) and in the top ten females. The winning girl, Emma, wasn't older than 12! Very impressive! I picked up my T-shirt and goody bags and jogged to the finish for the long cold ride home into a headwind. Hands and feet were numb and took a long time to defrost, but got it done. Getting ready for the next one. Thanks to all the volunteers who stood out in the cold rain for 3+ hours!

KP Half Marathon
Results: 23:50 (the chip times changed to 25:24, to match the gun time)
Last PR: 21:09 DSE St. Patrick's Day 5k 2012

Wet and wild!


April Recap

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