15 things about me

Happy Holidays, blog world. I hope your celebration with family and/or friends was great. If you don't celebrate any of the holidays we're having now, I hope you enjoyed the time off.

In keeping with a Facebook note theme, I thought I'd share 15 things about me, the athlete edition. But before we get to that, here's a week in review:

Tuesday, ran 2 miles instead of 4. Packed up and left to drive to Stockton around 10 am. Got to Stockton about 4:30 and went straight to work making tamales.

Wednesday, went for a walk with my mom, then did some last minute shopping/errands with Mom. Celebrated Christmas eve with my side of the fam.

Thursday, waited until a break in the rain (about 9:30, 10am) and ran 4 miles. Took off to the MIL's to "open" presents in WOW, then left to celebrate Christmas IRL (in real life) with Jeremy's mom's fam.

Friday, walked with my mom. Went over to celebrate Christmas with Jeremy's dad's family. We played Wii. I was great at the ski jump on Wii Fit. I lost at Wii Boxing, but did manage to strain my right bicep.

Saturday, ran 4 miles in 34 degree weather. I never once wished I wore short sleeves. Celebrated our anniversary (6 years) and went to Myra's NorCal baby shower. We then drove home to Southern Cali.
Sunday, rested. I pretty much did nothing but watch tv. (We invited a friend over to watch the first season of Pushing Daisies).

On to my list:

1. It takes me ~2 miles/20 minutes to get into a groove while running.

2. I can go 2, maybe 2.5 days without running/cycling/generating endorphins. Any more than that and the bitch is back.

3. I'm on a quest to find tart (read not sugary sweet) fluid replacement drinks. When I'm working hard and I take a sip of something sweet, it makes me want to puke. So far I've tried (and like) GU2O, Vitalite,

4. I use Kool 'n Fit for every run and ride, when I remember. It really helps my IT band loosen up.

5. I run with my cellphone and inhaler. I never forget my cellphone, but I routinely forget my inhaler.

6. Chocolate milk is my recovery drink of choice.

7. I want to race a 1/2 Ironman, marathon and Ironman, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will have to wait until I have kids. (My marathon can be the run leg of my Ironman, but I'd rather it be the Nike Women's marathon. I'm not picky.

8. Cross training (cycling and, I guess, swimming) has made me a faster runner.

9. The hardest part of running with out my iPod is the negative self talk. For some reason, when left to my own devices I start breaking myself down. A 10-11:30 minute mile may not be fast to some people, but it's my pace and I'm going to own it until I pass it.

10. Triathlons have made me want a new car. I want a wagon so I don't have to take my front wheel off anymore.

11. I don't care what I look like when I'm running. Me in compression shorts, a tight tank and my utility belt (aka my fuel belt) is quite a sight to see, but it's me running.

12. I do care about what I look like cycling. I love buying new cycling jerseys. I'm hoping a love a riding comes with it.

13. I'm addicted to my Garmin. I've been able to be a "Zen runner" (running without a watch, garmin or iPod) a few times. Those times have usually been when I'm running less than 3 miles.

14. My nose always runs on the bike. I have tissues in my bento box because of this.

15. I love running. I know it's a love/hate thing, but most of the time I love it. I love it for giving me goals to work towards, so I don't get bored. I love it for making me get into the gym (which I need to get back to) so I can work on getting myself in shape to support running. I love that I get to buy new shoes every 4 or so months, because who doesn't like buying new shoes!


This Week...

Not a very snappy title, but descriptive.

I took Monday and Tuesday off. Monday is my scheduled DOR, read scheduled get carp done day. Tuesday I walked into the gym to get ready for the spin class and my nose started running. It had been running on and off since Sunday. I walked right back out. I wasn't going to blow my nose all through spin class.

Wednesday I loaded up on allergy meds and went to another spin class. No nose problems, yay! Thursday was 6 miles around the neighborhood. I got to see snow on the mountains (see below) near my house. Also, I saw Santa. Didn't take a picture of (or with) him. All this meant was I had an audience for both my laps. Great.

Friday was another spin class. I didn't work very hard in this class, because I knew I had an 8 miler on tap for Saturday, but I was still disappointed with the calorie burn. Barely over 400. Also she started late but ended on time due to a class that was scheduled after us. I remember this happening before.

Saturday was the crown jewel. 8 miles outside. My plan was to park at a fairly empty business parking lot and run to the lake, around the lake twice, then back to the car. I chickened out. It had one of those "unauthorized cars will be towed at owner's expense" sign. I found a neighborhood closer to the lake and parked there.

I ran to the lake and instead of running around the lake, I decided to keep going straight, thinking it wouldn't be as hilly. I was wrong. It was hilly, but I couldn't have planned a better run. The first four miles were pretty and easy, with some downward slopes. After the lake I started to see a pattern. Down ~1/2 mile flat or a bit uphill 1/2 mile, downhill 1/2 mile and then I chose my path to be flat or a bit uphill for the last 1/2 mile.

This set me up for a great back 4. Half mile recovery, half mile uphill, half mile recovery, half mile uphill, half mile recovery, quarter mile uphill, cool down to the car. Yay!

I think I'm going to do this route again. After I put my "oh shit what did I set myself up for" thoughts behind me, it worked out well and I beat my pace time.

Tomorrow is a ride out to Camp Pendleton. 2 hours, maybe 20+ miles. Wish me luck!


Make Room for Santa 10K Race Report

It's cold here. And yes, I count anything under 55 degrees as cold. Who am I kidding, anything under 60 degrees is cold with anything 65 and under being nippy. On to the wonderful race.

I woke up at 5am, I needed to get to the venue by 6am to pick up my packet. I should have picked it up on Saturday, but we played Rock Band with friends instead. I am still happy with that decision. Jumped into my clothes, layers of course, but I was running in my new Skirt Sport tank and pants. I know you might think I'm crazy for running in a sleeveless shirt when it's 52 degrees outside, but I knew I'd get hot and the temperature would rise as the race went on, so I braved bare shoulders.

The race only started about 5 minutes late. We were off! The first few miles were gradually uphill. I didn't really realize it, although I wanted to stop running a few times during the first 2.5 miles, I didn't. Well I did. I stopped to stretch out my right IT band.

Around mile 1 I shot a Gu. Yes I know this is only a 6 mile race, but I had 8 on my schedule and I was just going to add those on to my race, so eat it. Around mile 2.5-3 I started to get into a groove. In fact, that exact thought popped into my head. "Hey, Yas, you're starting to get into a groove. Maybe you are really a middle distance/endurance athlete." I almost stopped dead in my tracks at that. But I kept going as I was trying to make out the graphic on the back of someone's shirt. (it was the Orange County Crime Lab running team. They had a chalk outline of a guy breaking the "Police Line Do Not Cross" tape. Hilarious).

I don't know what made the back half of the 10K go so well. I did get into a groove and was able to ignore my IT band, ankle, and all other signs of exertion. I'm not sure if this was me being in great mental and physical condition or the course that gradually sloped downward from mile 3 to the finish or just the caffiene from the GU starting to kick in. At mile 3 or 4 or maybe 3.43 I shot my second Gu (remember people I'm running 8 miles).

It was still nippy, but I wasn't feeling any of it. In fact, I was thinking maybe I should have worn shorts or a skirt, but I wasn't uncomfortable. I was very happy with my apparel choice. The Skirtsports cleavage alley pocket was awesome. No fumbling in my nutrition (read glorified fanny) pack.

I did end up having a kick to sprint down the chute, but I kept it in check, I still had 2 more miles left! I stopped my watch, tore off the bottom of my number, grabbed a water bottle, and headed back down the outside of the chute and back on the trail. The 2 miles (or 1.8 really, who wants to be an overachiever?) were me back tracking a mile up the race course and turning around. They were my slowest, as they were more a cool down than an extension of the race.

I had a great time at this race. A real sense of accomplishment and finding myself as a runner. I came to terms with the fact that I might run a marathon one day, I might do a 1/2 and full Ironman one day. But being a middle distancer isn't anything to sniff at. In fact my runner's world issue tells me it's okay!

Also, check out my kick ass 10K time: 66:31. It's an ave pace of ~10:44/mile. I was hoping to run this race at an 11:00 pace. Most of the fast miles came on the last 3-4 miles, given that the course sloped downward, it was made for negative splits.

I'm pretty sure I'll make room for Santa every year.


Intervals and the Dread

I know I'm lucky to live where I live and be a runner. I realize that in some places in the country, not to mention the world, there is snow and rain, even hail. People have to wear all the nifty running apparel that I want to buy, until I realize after running in it for 20 minutes in 45-50 degree weather I will be A) hot and B) the temperature will be closer to 65 without the added layers.

I try not to complain too much about my lack of running outside, but it really does irk me. I like it tons better than the dreadmill. Today I blame my lack of communing with the outdoors on having to take the cat to the vet, but really, who am I kidding. I wouldn't be able to get in 7 miles before it got dark when I was starting at 4 pm anyway. I'm still blaming it on the cat. She just looks shifty.

I thought about putting it off until tomorrow, but tomorrow night is Jeremy's Holiday Party which is very fun and starts at 6pm. Once again there is no way I'd get in 7 miles if I started at 4 and had to be all prettied up and at the party by 6, well 6:30, when do I get to a company function on time?

Plan B was made. (Please don't comment on the lack of Plan A. Plan A is always run outside, preferably before it gets dark or as it's getting light.) Plan B was to do my speed intervals on the treadmill, at the gym, after a light dinner. I left my house at 7:15 to get started.

First of all, I don't like running this late. I'll be up until midnight and I need to get into work early tomorrow. Boo early. Yay Peet's, which is the only thing that will help me through those first few hours.

Secondly, I really dislike the temperature at gyms. Do they have to make it that hot? I realize if I'm coming in off the street I don't want it to be freezing inside, but really, it gets oppressively hot a few minutes into my run, no wonder I sweat so much.

Thirdly, at this time of night there aren't too many people to watch. It's basically us hardcore peeps that need to get a workout in before we hit the sack. There aren't any gym bunnies, walking around the weight machines trying to get hit on. There aren't too many guys lifting way to much and having you wonder if they're going to throw out their back on this set or the next one. It's pretty much you, your iPod, and a tv that you hope is close captioned so it will keep you busy, but is usually on something that you don't want to watch. Fun times.

Anyway, I ran my mile warm up, started my first of 3-1600 meter intervals at 9:35 (ha! I didn't quite keep that pace) with a 800 rest interval in between. This one went well, I had to lie to myself each lap, pretending I would stop each 400 meters, but I completed it. I jogged at a 12 min/mile pace for the 800, I started my second interval, but here's where it was too hard, mentally I'm sure, I ended up throttling down to a 9:50 pace to finish the last half of the mile and I walked the recovery. The last one I all but gave up on. I ran at the 9:50 pace for 1/2 a mile, walked for 1/4 of a mile then ran the last interval 1/2 mile and started in on my cool down.

The moral of the story is such, find a lit track to run on, but if that's not an option, the treadmill isn't so bad.



I could tell you about my 1.5 mile dreadmill run, or the spin class that continues to kick my ass. (I'm pretty sure the tension knob is broken on my bike. On all the bikes I chose for spin. They should really fix that.)

Instead I want to give you a movie review. It's short and sweet.

, see it.

No, it's not a video posted on You-Tube that my witnesses posted of me falling twice on my run in Long Beach, although that probably would make you laugh. It's a tongue in cheek movie about the direction our country, and world, could be going. Including lawyers named Frito and a language that has taken the best of hilly billy, valley girl, and street for communication. It may be a bunch of stupid humor, but it does have a moral, so just wait for it...

Click here for IMDB's info on it. Or just click here because I know you all just want to know what happens. You can always add it to your Netflix account, or just buy it on Amazon for 10 bucks. It's awesome.


Watch Where You Run

So I know I've been AWOL, but that's what holidays do to you. You have to find the time to make your house pretty, or at least clean, help make Thanksgiving dinner, buy Christmas presents, train for a 1/2 marathon, ride 24 miles, blog...

Yup, it was at the end of my list. But on to the post.

I had 6 on my schedule for Thursday. I also had a kick-off ladies night at a bike store in Long Beach to attend. (Fellow diva Dina is always making the trek to the OC, we decided to follow her up there.) My only requirements were directions on where to run to make my 6 miles and if I could take a quick shower at her house.

The 6 miles was reached by running from her house to a Marriott (I didn't realize I had to use the bathroom until I saw the Marriott) back to the main street and to Long Beach City college. Then I came back and ran around her neighborhood a bit.

One thing I forgot about Long Beach, from the time I lived there, was the uneven pavement. So I fell, twice, and I'm pretty sure I had an audience across the street both times. The first time I fell on grass, the second on cement. I ripped a small hole in my new Nike capris that I was wearing for the first time. I now have a huge raspberry on my left knee. A week before Jeremy's Christmas party, for which I have a pretty black dress that ends just above the knee.

I've decided to own the road rash, after all, I'm an athlete, right? These things happen, right?

It ended up being worth it. Although I didn't win the raffle for the bike, I won a pair of Shimano shoes and pedals that I need to pick up. I'm excited about that.

Yesterday I had 7 miles on tap. I had gotten home from a girls night in late and didn't wake up, read get my arse out of bed, until 8am. 8 AM!!!! This is unheard of for me. Usually I have a dog or cat who wakes me up by 7:30 like clockwork. I didn't get my run in.

I went to visit my friend who I hadn't seen since she had her baby. I got home and vegged. About 6 I lamented about how I missed my run and then devised a plan to run the 2 miles to the gym, run 3 miles on a treadmill, then run the 2 miles home. Up hill. Will I ever learn?

All things considered, the run went well. The grade going up the hill at the end was deceiving while I was running down. I know it feels steeper when I drive it, not sure why I was able to convince myself it wouldn't be so bad running up. All in all, it got done and I felt better for it.

Today we rode 2 hours on the mountains to sea trail. Started in Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills and rode to Anaheim, a bit past the Honda Center and Angel's stadium. It was a joy ride, I don't think we went over 13 mph. I may have wanted to go faster, but I was enjoying my time talking with Laura and it was the first time I'd been on my bike since the Subaru Triathlon in October. I really need more saddle time, a possibly a new bike.

My frame is a 51 cm, the people at the bike shop think I need a 49 at the very least, probably closer to a 47. Luckily my mom has a spare 47 cm Cannondale that I get to try out at Christmas time. Maybe I'll trade her if it's a better fit!


Abort Mission!

Thanksgiving Day '08 started out well enough. I had checked Accuweather the night before. It was supposed to stop raining at 6 am and everything would be fine. I checked it again in the morning and it still looked clear.

We left at 6, 30 minutes later than I wanted to, but with my mom driving and all... Took forever to get off the freeway. Parking was like Carlsbad all over again. We ended off parking on some Lantern street about 1.5 mile from the Start line. I was signed up for the 10K and my MIL and Mom were going to walk the 5K. It was sprinkling. We made it to the registration table to pick up our stuff.

It was a mad house. I'm guessing the rain and the piss poor directions that led to the traffic jam off the freeway, also led to the delay in the race start. Although I picked up my number in time to run, I begged off. It was flashbacks of Surf City 5K all over again. I was never going to get that wet again, if I could help it!

It turned out to be the right decision. It started to pour! We sought refuge in the Kool 'n Fit tent, where I got a great deal on 2 bottles of Kool n' Fit (the best conditioning spray evah!) We waited here for about 15 minutes before the rain broke enough for us to run to the Sushi restaurant that had opened it's doors. They didn't serve food, but were making pitchers of bloody marys. They didn't expect us to buy anything, which was great.

Finally we made it back to the van and went home. At least we walked our 5K!


I Quit...

No, I don't quit running. I quit compression shorts with no grippy things at the leg openings.

I don't know how this slipped past me. Maybe it's because I've pretty much been wearing my tri shorts for all my training runs. Maybe my shorts are too small (or too big) but the past few runs chub rub has returned with a vengeance. I did forget my body glide once. That cut my 6 miles to 4 real fast. My 7 miler on Sunday saw me slather the lube on like no tomorrow. The run wasn't uncomfortable, but I do now have chub rash. It's really not pretty.

So I'm looking for pants and tights (read anything capri length as it ends up wearing like full length pants on me). I'm probably going to get some longer, almost knee length shorts. I'm open to suggestions. I might have to ditch the skirts/skorts completely. Especially the Nike ones. They like short shorts...


4th Photo Tag

I took Viv's challenge over there on the I'm Not Fit to Run. The rules?

1. Pick the 4th photo folder on your computer
2. Pick the 4th picture in that file
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 more people.

Yasmin getting ready to toss her bouquet.

Yes this is me. At ~195lbs. Getting married. I get to stare at these pictures (read that body) every time I want to remember that day. Let's just say that day doesn't get remembered too much. At least not pictorially.

It really is amazing, the progress I've made. I know I don't give myself enough credit, especially this past few months where I've gained a few of these pounds back. Even when I know some of the pounds are muscles and a well needed gain. All I know is there is no way I'll be 195 again. Unless you strap 45lbs on my back and weigh me. Hopefully, it'll be more like strapping 65 pounds on my body. I'll get there some day.

Now for the tagging. I'm not sure who reads and doesn't post, but here's who I tag. Kelly Donut, both Jens (Dent and Polk) and AKA Alice. I'd love to see what/who stars in your pictures.


Bad Air or Cake?

So I think I need to add Carrot Cake to the list of foods I can't eat before a run. Or maybe it's the air quality. Apparently this was a moderate air quality day. This means "Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion." Hmm... does this mean an overweight asthmatic should refrain from running 5 miles? Surely not! Those warnings never are talking to me!

In my defense, I didn't check the air quality before I went running after work. I ran on the San Diego Creek Trail. It was overcast and the air didn't smell or feel thick. (Trust me, you can feel the air when it gets thick, at least I can. Maybe
it's the asthma. It's my spidee sense).

Views from the trail: It's Irvine!

I didn't really come close to my plan. It was 1 mile warm up (check), 3 miles at 10:26 (ppffttt), and 1 mile cool down (check). However I did get the miles in and t hat brings me closer to my 13.1, right? Also, I may add a flat 1/2 marathon 2 weeks before my target race. Right during peak week. I think I can do it. Also, I'm crazy.



So I'm not running the trail with Devil's Crotch tomorrow. In fact, I'm probably not running outside at all tomorrow. With all the fires, and if you didn't know Southern California was on fire, well it is, I'm thinking my lungs will be happier with me if I bang out the 6 miles on the dread instead of outside.

I did take a pretty insane spin class. This guy gets in 100 push-ups between the bike activity and sprinkles in some crunches for added flavor. He did give us a "lecture" that I thought was aimed directly at me. He told us the way to get up the hills faster was in our cardio sprint (kick he calls them) intervals. I know I wasn't sprinting all out. I realize that I don't really have a bike "kick" like I have a run "kick", that sprint at the end of a race, you know. I also wanted to yell at him "my thighs have not recovered from the body pump class on Wednesday." but I didn't. Aside from embarrassing myself and the friend I went to spin class with, it sounds very whiny and very much like an excuse. I mean, it was 3 days ago and it's my fault that my legs are so out of shape and sore.

I didn't HAVE to do all the squats and lunges. I didn't need to use the weights while I did the squats. I over estimated my ability level. That's the second time in 2 weeks. Maybe I need to dial it back...



I may need to do some rescheduling. Apparently I can not do a track work out the day after I take a body pump class. I'm hoping I can do an easy recovery run after a body pump class. I made it through 1 mile at 12:00 pace, 1/2 mile at 10:10, then started trading a 12-11:00 pace and walking every 1/4 mile or so.

Really my legs were that shot. I'm taking tomorrow off. I may lift some weights or do some ab work, but no lower body work, unless it's cycling. Maybe I'm just not going to do any weight bearing lower body work. I need to work out these legs so they don't freeze up.

On a slightly less related note, I may have found the cause of my toe numbing whilst running. Last weekend I was talking to Kell, one of my WeWa friends who'd come down from NorCal for a nice visit with some other WeWa'ers. I got to talking about my numbing toes with her, she's an Ironmate, the spouse/signification other of an Ironman. She starts asking about my shoes. How old are they? Did you have this problem in your previous pairs? etc.

The second question got me thinking. I didn't have this problem while training for my 1/2 running in the New Balance 1223s. I didn't have this problem, that I can remember, while training in my Saucony Hurricanes. She mentions that her husband tried out the new version of a shoe that he loved and it was horrible. The upgrade didn't work for his foot, even though it says it's designed to help you like the obsoleted version, just better.

So for the past couple of workouts, I've switched back to my (mostly) dead Hurricanes. Now I've only run about 5 miles in the Hurricanes (the run today and Body Pump), but I could still feel my toes at the end. I know I ran/walked but I'm wondering if my problem is the shoes!

I bet you smart people out there were yelling at me to check out my shoes, but man, they were supposed to be interchangeable with the old shoe. My "perfect" shoe. I never thought my NB would betray me.

I'm doing a trail run on Sunday, 5-6 miles (I need 6, but this is a hilly 5. In fact I've changed my mind from the post on Monday when I was doing the OC tri's run course. Now we're going back to Devil's Crotch.) I'll report back on my Hurricanes-numb toes issue. I know you're all on the edge of your seats.


Squat It Out

If I hear those words again, I'll scream. It seems that the "resting" position in Body Pump is the squat.

My thighs are jello, my calves are fine though. There were a few times during the class I thought my legs were going to give out on me. I need to be better at switching to a lower weight when we do triceps. They're going to be yelling at me tomorrow. I think it's just what I need to get back into strength and cross training. Especially since my co-worker wants my review and thinks she'll go with me Mondays and Wednesdays.

I hope my legs hold up for my track/treadmill workout tomorrow!


6 down...more training to go

Got my 6 miles in today. Ran around Lake Mission Viejo. It's about 3.1 miles all the way around so it was twice around for me. Also it's hilly. Why do I like to torture myself with hills?

According to my training schedule from Runners World Smart Coach, I was to run 6 miles at a 12:06 pace. Although I flirted with the 12:00 pace, I could never quite get myself there without walking. I'm not sure what to do about that. I was more in an 11:35 groove for the whole 6 miles. I'm thinking I might need to adjust my 5K pace that was the basis for the whole Smart Coach program. I'll have to check that out later.

It took bit longer for me to really settle in this run. Somewhere around mile 3 I knew I could finish it, although I promised myself my next long run would be more flat.

Ha! I got home to a message from my friend Jillian asking if I wanted to run the Orange County International run course. Yes the OMGWTFBBQ 6.2 miles. Of course I said yes, how's your weekend look!

Really, I did. I know, crazy, but maybe it'll make me a better runner, right?


Hangin' Out

I had planned to do my 6 mile run on Saturday morning, before I met up with some of my friends who were in from out of town. I, however, prepared poorly. I wasn't hydrating well on Friday, then Friday night I had some chips and bean dip, beer battered onion rings, fried zucchini and some butternut squash pasta with cranberries and walnuts in a butter sauce. Chased that down with a beer and some water. Didn't get to bed until 11:30ish.

Sometime around 4am I woke up with really bad stomach pain. I should have remembered this pain. This happened to me before, the last time I ate lots of fried food. So I bailed on my run Saturday morning and thought I'd get to it Sunday morning.

Saturday the girls and I headed to the Aquarium of the Pacific, which was great AND has otters, then we ate at Bubba Gump shrimp, which had wonderful food, walked around the Long Beach Pier and headed back to hang out in Dana Point until 11:30 pm.

People, I don't stay out that late. I didn't turn into a pumpkin, though. I made it all the way home before I fell asleep.

Sunday was the day everyone had to get to the airport. I thought I'd be able to run in the afternoon, but the weekend caught up to me. My hour nap at 2:30 turned into an almost 2 hour nap and I didn't wake up until 4:15. By the time I'd get myself ready it would be 4:30. The sun starts setting here at about 4:55 and it's completely dark by 5:30.

So, the masochistic I am, I'm waking up a 4am tomorrow to run my 6 miles in the morning. Then running my easy 2 miles on Tuesday so I can get back into my training program. I'll figure out how to fit in Spin and Body Pump classes sometime...


Back on the Wagon

Apparently I over estimated my running base. Running 3 miles at a 10:26 pace, great. Running 1.75 miles down hill and 1.25 miles uphill at a 10:26 pace, not so great. As in it didn't happen. I did, however, keep a pace that was just under 11 min/mile, so I'll chalk that up as a win.

1/2 marathon training started this week. Before you ask, yes, I just came back from New Zealand. No I didn't run while I was there. Yes I realize I should have taken a week or so to ease back into running before I embarked on this training program. No, I won't reconsider changing my goal race from the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon.

I think I'll change my plan so my "easy" or slow long runs will take me on the hilly paths. I really want to finish this race strong and under 2:30.

In other news, I got attacked by Christmas. Now I realize the economy is such that retailers will want to start Christmas Sales next week. I know that there isn't very many good Thanksgiving songs but to put out Christmas decorations, no matter how small, before Thanksgiving is over? Isn't that some sort of faux pas? I know you all want objective evidence, you won't take me at my word that this happened, but it did. I even went back and took a picture of it with my phone to show you guys.
Yes it's blurry, I'm still getting used to the iPhone as a camera, but you get the idea. I also have not really started shopping for Christmas yet. Call me a procrastinator....



I'm trying to stay up until 10pm to get my clock back to PST.

Queenstown was awesome, although I now know I don't like ATVing. I like watching other people on ATVs, or be a passenger, but I don't like to drive one myself. Auckland was okay. LAX customs is not my favorite place to be for 30 minutes while they processes people. I am happy to be home with the animals. Happy to soon be sleeping in my own bed.


Where in the World is Yas???

Yup, kids, if you've been paying any sort of attention to me or this blog, you know I'm in New Zealand. Here's a quick run down of what we've been up to.

Day 1: Auckland - Kinda crappy day because of the jet lag. Walked around our hotel. It's a clean big city, but still a big city. We'll be back here for a day and a half before we hop our flight back to the US.

Day 2: Driving to Waitomo Caves. Kinda freaky driving on the left side of the road. Luckily Jeremy drove us most of today. Our jetlag was completely gone. Went to the Bed and Breakfast (Waitomo Caves Lodge - awesome) checked in and met Janet, Colin and their dog Gypsy. Went for a short bush walk.

Day 3: The Black Abyss Caving Tour. This is what we came to Waitomo Caves for. I didn't completely read the description of the journey. It did mention a "challenging" course and "climbing waterfalls". They were short water falls, but my indoor rock climbing did come in handy. (pictures to come)

Day 4: Traveling to Queenstown - This morning at the Waitomo B&B we ran into people who just came up from Queenstown. In talking with them we decided to stay another day in Queenstown, because there is so much for us see and do. I know I'm selling Auckland short, but we're looking for more hiking and outdoorsy stuff. Maybe we should have stayed outside of Auckland for that, but such is life. Checked into this B&B 5 Star Lane. It's awesome as well! Go Yas for picking great places to stay.

Tomorrow is Jet boating with a helicopter ride to some white water rafting. Maybe I'll squeeze in some time to post.


Game Day: Subaru Sprint Triathlon

I now have a new most fun race ever. Or at least a most fun race as a solo event ever. The Subaru Sprint Triathlon. All women, competitors and completers alike.

This race starts like all the rest, with me getting to transition early in the morning. We got there a bit before 5 and were the 3rd or 4th group in line at transition. Who was first? Jillian and Liz. They even worked some magic on the race director/officials. See, at the course talk the day before, the race director told us they pushed transition open back to 5:30am, but the website said 5am. She asked if they'd open it at 5am because that's what it said on the website, making no mention of the fact that we heard them say 5:30 am. They let us in about 5 after 5. Score!

I set up and got an end cap, the one closest to swim in, bike out and run out. Jillian got the one behind me. Set up and waited. Ate my uncrustable (peanut butter and honey on wheat bread) and waited some more. There were bathroom trips and pictures and me eating my gel.

This was my second in water start. My first truly in water start. See, we were pretty much in the water at Danskin, but we were standing in it, not treading water waiting for the horn.

The horn went off, we went vertical and I started bobbing and weaving through everyone trying to keep up. At one point the first yellow hat (the wave after mine) passed me. I could have sworn it was a fellow diva, and speedy swimmer, Rani, but I found out later it was not. My goal was a 20 min swim, came in bit faster. I hugged the buoys as tight as I could and sprinted in to the ramp for the finish.

Slow. My wetsuit didn't want to come off, I stopped to put on my flip flops, when I should have just run without them. Lessons learned.

Here's where I deviated from my game plan. I left my Garmin at home and was trying to go on perceived effort. I didn't succeed in pushing myself as hard as I wanted to until Kara passed me.

See, at one point near the end of the first loop of Fiesta Island I had the thought that I might not be pushing myself as hard as I could be, but as long as Kara from Ladera doesn't pass me, I'm okay. Not a minute later (seriously it was 30-60 seconds after I had this thought) that I heard my fellow diva shouting encouragement. I didn't exactly return the comments in kind, but I know Kara knows I love her, and she'll leave anything I said on the course.

After that I pushed, trying to keep Kara in sight, passing everyone I could safely pass. Next thing I know, I'm off the Island and heading back into transition.

Wobbly and here's where I think I messed up my run. See I'd drank my 190 calories of Cytomax on the bike, here I shot a Mocha Clif Shot (mostly for the caffeine) and set out on the run. I wanted to down the gel before the first aid station so I could wash it down with water. I think I took in too many calories in a short amount of time.

First of all, I couldn't feel the last 3 toes on my right foot. I'm really going to look into getting new shoes. The numb toes act is getting old. Second, I developed a bad stitch in my side, see above hypothesis in T2 commentary. This all lead me to walking more than I wanted to on the run, but guess what, I still finished it in under 32 minutes. Which means if I'd had run the whole thing I'd have posted my fasted 5K to date. Not my fastest run time in a triathlon, my fastest 5K to date ever.

I loved this course, fast, pretty flat, all about you and your body.

I'm so happy that I shared it with the divas who started out with me in the Spring, as well as new and seasoned divas alike. I'm sad that it's over, but I'm already plotting out my running race season and trying to see how I can fit in more half marathons.

My name is Yasmin and I am a Triathlete.


Yas Got Her Groove Back

Yes, I know you all didn't know it was lost, but it was. For the past 2 weeks, well let's be honest, probably the last 6 weeks, I really had no desire to train.


I was going through the motions, working the plan, but it was easy to put off a training session for any reason. ANY. I mean grocery shopping and laundry, even cleaning the house jumped in front of my desire to train.

I didn't necessarily think I'd lost my groove. I just thought I was tired, over scheduled, etc. But that never stopped me before.

Somewhere on the streets of Irvine, whilst taking my morning break/walk (I have to get out of the office/cube sometime), I found it.

In the middle of the afore mentioned walk, I wanted to break out into a run. It was a desire so powerful I actual jogged a few yards. In my work clothes. Jeans, even and no one was chasing me. I wanted to run for the first time in at least 2 weeks, maybe even 6.

Luckily no one from work saw me do this, I'd never live it down.

I'm off to Subaru's all women triathlon in Mission Bay, San Diego, soon. For all of you doing Nike (+)'s Women's Marathon and 1/2, Good Luck!!!! And steal me a little sumfin' from Tiffany's if you can.



Yes peeps, I went from recovery week to taper week. It's awesome! Well, it will be, once I get started on Taper Week training.

See this week I ran all of 3 miles and participated in another mockathlon (mock triathlon for those of you new to my blog). That's it. Well, there was some walking and attendance at Blizzcon where I saw this girl:And before you start talking about losers and dorks, et all, I just want you to know some of these people are uber talented in the costuming arena and I believe Hollywood and Broadway really need to pick a few of these up. The chick above, I think her name was Amanda, created a mechanical turtle that she rode on the stage. It was huge and the legs moved and everything! And look, her shoulders light up! She won the costume contest hands down.

I go to Blizzcon for the games (I got to play Diablo III and can not wait for it to come out) and to watch the people who have the balls to go up on stage and parade their costumes and dance like the characters in WOW. The winner of the dance contest must have been a belly dancer or a raver. She did the undead female trance dance like a pro.

Back to recovery week, I also walked the dogs a few days and went to the outlets in Carlsbad. It was a really hard week.

Next weekend is Subaru, then New Zealand. Yes, you all will be tortured with sheep pics, if I ever see any sheep.



I like it. I'm getting caught up in Facebook and Word Challenge. I'm cleaning my house and walking my dogs.

I'll do some training tomorrow.


Game Day: Bonelli Olympic Distance

This race starts before the race. Yes, I know we all say that. It's in the preparation, blah, blah, blah. But that's not what I mean.

See this race started, in my head, on Wednesday at about 6:30pm. This is when Martha tells me that people got lost on the run at Bonelli. Just what I need to hear. I'm all over the nutrition. I've got my bike in order and have good shoes. I'm bringing my wetsuit regardless. But getting lost? I don't want to get lost!

Fast forward to Saturday. I got in a slow speed accident backing out of a parking space. No damage to the car, but I could already feel my back tightening up. Then, if that hit wasn't enough, one of our accordion doors that enclose our washer and dryer decides that it no longer wants to stand up. Instead it wants to be laying down, on me. So I take a blow to the right side of my head (no damage) while trying to catch the door after it fell on me. Nice.

I can't sleep, and get up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. I've packed the night before so I'm off. At 4:30 am to get to the gate that opens at 5:30 am.

I sit at this gate until 5:25 when I realize no one is around me. (yes always the Diva, I'm earlier than the park opens). I drive around to the gate closest to the event. Yay! There are people here, but we're still not moving. About 5:45 I get out of my car and walk half way to the parking attendant booth, nobody home. I guess the park employees didn't get the memo about the park opening at 5:30 instead of at sunrise. Finally, about 6am we get in.

I unload my gear and head to where I think registration is, but find transition instead. I set up on an end cap 3 racks back from bike in/out (score!) and head out to find registration. I get all my stuff and then I wait.

Swim (48:32)
We're supposed to start at 8:00 am, with my wave being at 8:10, but this doesn't happen. We probably start closer to 8:10.

I meet a few women in my wave. With no other person there I know, I need to make a friend, if only to zip up my wetsuit. We line up with our Yellow Cap wave and we're off.

A mile is a long way. I've swam the distance before, multiple times. But usually in some sort of lap form so I know how much more I have to go. The first buoy looked like it would take forever to get to, but I did it, and noticed there were 2, no 3 opportunities for me to chick some of the male swimmers. One was even a red hat, meaning in the first wave! This gave me something more to focus on.

I did end up passing all 3 of them, and swimming through LOTS of lake weed. So much that I couldn't put my face in the water because it was touching ALL of me. Gross. I'm pretty sure I had a mild panic attack here, thinking that some how, the lake weed was going to drag me under. So I swam a bit straight away from it, not necessarily towards the buoy.

Then I saw it, swim out. I threw myself into a sprint. I really wanted to finish the swim in 45 minutes, ended up out of the water and to the transition mat in 48. Good enough.

T1 (3:34)
Slow, 3 minutes! But I caught my breath, shoved down a gel and water, got on my bike gear and left.

Bike (1:55:37)
I don't want to talk about this one. The first loop I was getting my legs, the second was the best, even though my shot bloks jumped out of my bento box, the third, well, it was the third. By this time most of the Cops had left their posts. I had to stop for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a light because of this. Yes I know I could have ran it, risked my life (not really as time would tell) and a ticket, but I heard Linda's voice in the back of my head, "Safety first, Yasmin!" so I stopped. I also lost my momentum. I finished the bike thinking, maybe I can just skip the run, but no I trained for this, so what if it's not necessarily going as planned and you'll miss your aggressive goal (Finish in 3:45). Go for your original goal (4 at the most).

T2 (2:49)
There was no one left. Now I realize, the bulk of the people there were probably doing the sprint distance, but I've never seen transition so deserted when I got off the bike as I did here. Oh well, off with the bike stuff on with the run stuff (including my nutrition belt) and go. No wait, get the race belt, now go.

Run (1:10:22)
Started off a bit too fast. Aimed for a 10:30 -11 min/mile pace. Should have started at the 11-11:30. The run started on a paved trail, ran through dirt, a parking lot and finished with a sprint (or as much as I had left to give) through grass.

I start running and there isn't a soul around me on the trail. I wonder if I'm the last person on the course. I run through the first 3 miles or so and I see her. Ripe for the picking. I set off, not really deviating from my pace, and I pass her. Now I know I'm not alone and have another goal, not to let her pass me.

I run through a part of the trail that makes me wonder if Aragog (the giant spider in the Harry Potter Books) is going to come steal me for his children to eat. Or maybe I'm running on the bank of the river in Deliverance. But I get through this without seeing a spider or hearing banjos and continue on.

I see her next, in turquoise and black. She's my new target, I start closing in, and realize, wait, she=he. I didn't think any guys were left out here. I'm going to chick another guy and he'll stay chicked. (see, I chicked plenty of guys, maybe 5, on the bike, but I'm pretty sure most of them were on their 2nd or 3rd loop at the time). I run to the turn around and as I'm on my way back I realized some of the guys I chicked on the swim also stayed chicked. AWESOME.

So now I'm enjoying the run more than I thought I would whilst on the bike. I see the last aid station and it's abandoned. But they left the water! So I grab a cup and continue. It's all about continuing and not posting a DNF. Then I see him. The final guy/person I'll pass (I know this in retrospect). It takes the better part of a quarter mile, but I do it. Now I'm in the home stretch. People are telling me the finish line is right around the corner.

Then I saw it. In all it's inflated glory. Now you have to realize I'd pretty much convinced myself that it would be starting to droop, all deflated. The timing mats being the only thing left. Maybe one or 2 people with the timing company. But it was there, with mats and even some people left to watch!

I started my sprint as soon as I got on the grass. I was pretty sure, if my watch was any indication, that I'd missed my 4 hour goal already. Also, I didn't know what kind of gopher holes might be in the grass, so my sprint was slower than normal. The fact that I could even muster up anything was a surprise to myself.

"Here she comes, number 217. She's finishing strong. Yasmin Wood!" I love the announcer at this point. Then I adore him because he says, "here are some true athletes, people. These guys have been out here the longest and they're still strong!" I could have kissed him. Right at that time I was happy, but berating myself for not pushing more on the bike or the run or, heck, the swim, to get me to one of my goal times.

My overall time was 4:00:56. So I missed it by 56 seconds. That's in the margin of error, right?

Now I can say, I'm an Olympian. Watch out Phelps.


Protein, Protein, Protein

Apparently I'm not eating enough. I talked about my elevated liver enzymes. Signs are now pointing towards my muscles breaking down and not being able to repair themselves.


So now I'm aiming to cram 100 grams of protein down my throat. It's harder than I thought.

First off, I feel full almost all the time. How are you supposed to get more protein in your stomach when it never tells you you're hungry?

Secondly, there is only so much meat I can eat. (have you finished giggling yet?) I'm working on getting down one and a half protein shakes. I'm also eating more nuts (stop with the giggling already) and a bit more dairy. Any other suggestions?


Game Day: See Jane Tri

I would do this race over in a second. In fact, Viv, you should plan on doing this next year. AKA Alice, we'll sign you up for the relay. Weezee, if you even read my blog, your butt will be there next year as well.

Mom and Me as Super Jane!

This was the most fun I've ever had at a race. EVER. Yes, it probably was because I had a break between the swim and the run while I watched my mom speed off for the bike. Yes, it probably was because I was able to talk to Kelly for 30 minutes and cheer on Weezee when she ran into T1 (not that she saw me, but I did it). Yes, it probably was because Danskin was my first triathlon and I was more anxious and focused on finishing and transitions than just sitting back to enjoy the race. Those things probably factored into it, but it was a wonderful event.

We show up at 6am, it's still dark outside. We made sure we were early because we needed to pick up our race packet. Pick it up, use the restrooms (actual restrooms that flushed and had stalls and everything) and headed to the transition area. This is where we ran into our first team problem. No lights.

The registration area was in the parking lot and there were parking lot lights. The transition area was on a patch of grass with no lights. Then we ran into problem two, racking by numbers, or so I thought. All the racks had numbers on them. I'm running around from rack to rack, trying to find our number, the racks weren't sequential. That's when someone told me they weren't racking by numbers, just rack where ever, then numbers were just a space guideline.

This solved problem 2 and some of problem 1, as my Uber Super Person mom found a rack close to the bike out, bike in and run out! After this, Weezee called. It's her first triathlon, she did get an end cap, what to do now. I run over to her rack and help her set up. Now we wait.

Weezee and her transition area (an end cap!)

We wander around, picking up our goodie bags, shirts, free GU2O (which I tried and like, tangy, not sweet), free GU, free Smart Water and, of course, shopped. Now we wait some more.

About 7 minutes before my wave is supposed to start I decide I need to go to the bathroom, the lines are huge, my wave starts in 5 minutes, I decide to pee in the lake.

I go over to where I thought the swim start was, nope, swim out, walk to the other side of the beach, now it's time to line up and hear what they have to say. Mom takes some pictures of me in my swim gear, we listen to announcements, get in the water and start.

Ready for the swim!
Awesome. I got in a groove pretty fast. With the exception of some chick in a hot pink cap (we provided our own swim caps) who didn't swim straight or didn't spot or both, running into me and getting stuck between 2 breaststrokers, it was uneventful. In fact, I think it was my fastest 400 yard swim and 30-50 yard run I've ever done.

Ran to our rack, ripped off the timing chip and attached it to my mom's leg, and she was off. Saw Kelly.

This was all my mom. Here is when I jogged to the bathroom (forgot to pee whilst swimming) and talked to Kelly. We also cheered for Weezee as she ran into transition. I attached my number and put my shoes on. Searched for my visor, which I thought I had laid out earlier, but in reality I left it in the car. I ate some shot bloks.

My mom, on the other hand, was doing all the hard work. Including riding 5 miles on a flat tire. She decided to ride on it instead of change it because it was only 5 miles and she thought it would be faster to ride on it than to change it. She was right. She still biked 11 miles in a bit over 38 minutes. This is why my mom is a Rockstar. An Uber Super Person, if you will. She didn't give up or feel sorry for herself. She did hope that she didn't ruin her rim. She did finish in a respectable time.

Kelly spotted my mom coming into transition and I ran to the end of the rack. I ripped the transponder off her leg and put it on mine. I was off.

I was having a not good lung day, despite my inhaler in the morning and my allergy pill. I was better than Pac Coast, I bet because I remembered to take my medicine. I passed the first water station, didn't even see it really. Hit up the second. Here's what I enjoyed the most about the run, every few yards there were signs with inspirational quotes. Eleanor Roosevelt, Vince Lombardi, Henry Ford, it was awesome. I will tell you I walked up a couple of the hills and a few other times to catch my breath and use my rescue inhaler. But anytime I was just ready to walk, I thought, you didn't even do the bike AND I'd see one of those signs. They were great.

And the women on the course. Way to go! I hear you coming, hurry! You're doing great! Way to pick it up (this was after one of my walking and inhaler using breaks). I couldn't believe these people. I was so up lifting.

And then I saw it, the path to the finish. All the cheering, I had to sprint, even though I didn't really think I had anything left. I kept telling my legs that they could do it, it was only my mind that stood in my way (thanks Coach Lombardi).

We finished in a very respectable time, 9th in the relay field.

Kel and Me

The best thing about the race, the event. We were all Janes, people were cheering for the Janes. Made it really easy to give us racers directions, Hey Janes, this way.

The worst thing, my mom's flat. It wasn't even that bad, because she really did enjoy the event, but I knew she was a bit frustrated.

It was the first race I've been to that they didn't care who got food from the food tent. There was plenty to go around. It was just a great event, up there with the Iron Girl races I've done.

I did learn a few things.
1) I can swim a race without my wetsuit and be fine.

2) The swim is really a warm up for the bike, which is really a warm up for the run, at least in my sprints. My legs felt slow and stiff with that standing around break.

3) I loved sharing this with my mom. Even more than the Iron Girl Mother-Daughter Teams we did. We were a team that depended on each other, came through for each other and made each other proud.Mom and Me
I think that's why it was the best race ever.


Not So Peak Week

So I'm repeating peak week again. I'm pretty sure I told you all that. It's not like I actually completed all of Peak Week last week, so it's really not a repeat. It's more like Peak Fortnight, really.

The only problem is, I'm not really peaking. There are some medical issues, such as me trying to give too much blood then want to train that same day and some phantom elevated liver enzymes. Well, the elevated part is real, it's the why that's phantom. Also, there was a birthday to celebrate and participation in a tri relay. So between my social obligations and my health obligations, I've kinda put training on the back burner. Not really the back burner, as I'm thinking about how to schedule it almost everyday, but maybe the left burner. It's the second one fill when I'm cooking.

I've completed every training session that we had scheduled, just over 14 days instead of 7. I figure it should still count. I figure when they keep taking your blood, for donations and tests, then you're allowed some slack in your schedule. Some WiiFit and Yoga days.

I'll have a race report for the See Jane Tri relay tomorrow. I'll leave you with this thought, my mom is hardcore. I love her and respect her, but after what she showed me this weekend, she's been elevated to Uber Super Person status.


Nutritionist Visit

I went for my first visit with a nutritionist today. I've been stalled or even gained the last few weeks of training. It's frustrating. However, my pants fit the same as they did before I decided to go all hardcore with this Olympic Tri and such.

However, it's really disconcerting when you're burning 600-1200 calories a work out and losing nothing.

What I learned today:
Go back to WeWa's Core philosophy. Not necessarily sticking to Core foods, but to the idea of not getting to hungry or not getting too full. Yes I know this seems elementary, Watson, but sometimes we forget...

Stop counting calories, but track what I eat and when I eat it.

Eat a bigger afternoon snack when I'm training.

Always have a quality carbohydrate with my protein. Even with that one scoop of protein shake I have in the morning.

I probably am about 27-28% body fat.

The "healthy weight range" is for normal, everyday people. Not for people training for 1/2 marathons or Olympic Distance triathlons. The 130s, although overweight for a normal person of my height, could very well be very close to my ideal weight. Yay me.

That's pretty much all I have today. I did go for a swim and the water at my neighborhood pool sucks. I'll have to call them tomorrow and complain, the water was that icky.

Up for tomorrow? Let's see Yas get up at 3:50 am to run 4 miles or swim for an hour. Peak week, coupled with a busy week = suck or hard core planning. Once again, Yay me....


The Week In Review

I know I've been absent this week. You frantically click on my blog and there is nothing new. I'm sorry about that. It's been a blah sort of week. It was, and still is for me, peak week for Olympic Tri training. It went kinda bad for me, so it's great that I get to repeat it! (if you can't hear the sarcasm as you read this, you obviously don't know me very well)

I did most of my Peak Week workout, save the biking. Monday was an hour long swim in which I completed 16-18 laps at Lake Mission Viejo. I think it was closer to 16. The lifeguards told me the distance was 88 yards per lap. This bummed me out. It meant that I didn't swim a mile in an hour. How is this possible? It isn't. On Saturday I walked the distance with my Garmin, twice. It was 377 feet. That's ~125 yards peeps. This made me feel better about completing the swim in a good for me time.

Wednesday was a run. I'm still suffering from my ill advised run with no shoes. It was supposed to be a 4 mile run with strides every 1/2 mile. I made it about 3 when I could no longer fool myself. I was not running, I was limping very fast. My left ankle, which was my good ankle, is no longer good. I have an appt with my chiropractor later this week. I'm hoping I'll get all fixed up.

Thursday I tried to give blood and failed. I still scored the Double Tree Hotel Chocolate Chip Cookies, though. The technician putting in the needle ended up hitting the artery wrong and I was bleeding slow, too slow. This was because I was already forming a bruise. They got about 1/4-1/2 the amount needed. I also found out that they can only poke you once. No switching arms for them. I still need to wait the 56 days to give blood again, though. I decided to ask my nurse friends about doing my 1.5 hour hill repeats followed by a 30 minute that was on my schedule that night. I didn't just get a no, I got a hell no and if I see you out there I will grab you by the ear and take you home no. So one missed bike ride. That's ok, I have Santiago scheduled for Saturday, I'll just run after that.

Friday was a swim, but Jeremy was home when I got home. No swim for me when I can hang out with my husband I barely get to see.

Saturday my alarm went off and my body said no. I got up started to get ready, then decided not to question my body. I had gone against it before, and ended up not running for a month and a half.

Sunday was a mile swim (done in under 45 minutes) then a run following the OC International run course. My left ankle was screaming at me for the first mile or so, then it relaxed and felt better. Then my right knee/leg started to hurt. I knew then I was doing my fast limp again. I finished most of the course, crossing the street near the finish, instead of running the last mile. It's crazy, you'll see the finish line 3 times before you cross it at this particular triathlon, once on the bike and twice on the run. It finishes at the finish line for the 1984 Olympic Cycling race.

I'm so going to do this race next year.

Thanks for reading my boring week in review. I'll have something wittier to say tomorrow.


New Hair, New Shoes, Triathlons Not Raced and Dealing with Asthma

My hair is pretty. I was one to tell people I'd never dye my hair when it turned gray. Well, it's been turning gray for about 10 years now and I haven't dyed it until today. What changed my mind? Well, highlights look better when the remaining hair is darker than the highlights. Who'd of thunk it? On to shoes.

I'm not sure that I've been blogging about my anticipation of the New Balance 1224s coming out this month. They're the update to the 1223s, which I loved, but alas, they died and my running store didn't have them in my size. I came home with Saucony's instead. Now I really do enjoy running in the Saucony's, but I wanted to give the 1224s a try.

Pretty, huh? They're nice and cushy, but that could be noticing that because my Saucony's are close to dead. So far I like them, but I've only run about 9 miles. They're not even dirty yet.

So the signs for the Orange County International Triathlon have been going up for the past 2 weeks. Now I knew about this triathlon when I signed up for the See Jane Tri Relay with Star (swim) and my mom (bike) on September 27th. I mean, who signs up for their first triathlon (super sprint) in June and just 3 months later is training for an Olympic. Well, there are a few of us crazies.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to go up north and run this race with my mom and Star, who will be there in spirit as her boss canceled her vacation. I'll swim and run my heart out and cheer my mom on the bike. However, on October 5th, when I'm waking up at 3 am to drive my butt to San Dimas and race my first Olympic, I'll be thinking about how I could have woken up at 4:00 am and ridden down to the lake. No worries about parking, Jeremy could have walked down a few blocks to cheer me on the bike and run. I wouldn't have to wake him up early to come with me. Well, there's always next year!

Bonus Topic! Coping with Exercise and Allergy Induced Asthma during a race.

So we all know, or those of you who read my race report know, I had my worst run, maybe race, ever at Pac Coast. I talked to my doctor about it and he thinks I was pushing my exercise induced asthma threshold (yea me!, really yea me!) but the allergy induced part was pushing me over the edge. I gave my coach this peace of info and here is the tip I got.


And now you're saying "Oh so, all I have to do is stop and it'll go away? I should have thought of that, dumb ass." Yes, dumb ass. Let me try and explain it.

So you start at intensity A "walking the dogs", work to B "pushing myself through the race" and all of a sudden, or maybe not all of a sudden, you end up at intensity C which is the "Oh shit bears, I can't breath, I can't get a quality breath, my inhaler is now useless."

If you're like me you try and push through. You think maybe if I can just get it over with, things will be okay. This doesn't work. Then you think, maybe if I dial it back a little, everything will come together. Um, that doesn't work either. Apparently what really needs to happen is those little tubes in your lungs that are now inflamed, need a bit of time to calm down.

So when you get to the "oh shit bears", you have to dial it all the way back to the "walking the dogs". If you try to muscle through with the "pushing myself through the race", you'll never be able to catch your breath and move through it. You'll end up slowing down, missing your projected goal. Hopefully you won't post a DNF.

If you have asthma and this happens to you, try out my coach's advice and report back. I'd love to hear the testimonials.


Communing with my Inner Kenyan

AKA being stupid.

I know you haven't heard from me in a while. Maybe you thought the Super Collider was able to create a Yasmin-sized black hole at my exact location early Wednesday morning then figured out how to close it back up and launched a huge yet very covert, cover up about creating a black hole.

This is not what happened.

Life happened. Booking hotels and airfare for our vacation in October happened. September 11th remembrance, also know as "where the hell is my brother" remembrance day, the longest day of my life to date. Running 6 miles to work out why I'm rapidly disliking my job happened. Swimming and getting kicked out by rude aquacizers happened. Then riding 30 miles and locking my shoes in the car of a woman who rides faster than I do happened. More about this last one.

Sunday I decided to commune with my inner Kenyan by running without shoes. This isn't what I planned to do, but it's how things worked out.

Sunday morning I woke up and my body didn't want to ride. It didn't want to get out of bed, really, but I made it. Got dressed, ate breakfast, fed the dogs, got my gear together and set off to meet the rest of the Olympic Divas for our Santiago Canyon ride and 30 mile run. What a brick.

My body continued to not want to do anything, although I did average about 1.5 mph FASTER than the last time I rode Santiago Canyon? WTF? I think it was because I had Linda riding behind me (a triathlete I look up to, just ask how many Ironmans she's done, it's more than 1 or 2, that much I know.) She tried to make me feel better, as she hasn't ridden in a while, but I'm pretty sure I was holding her back. She was the sweep and I was the last rider this time.

Even with my kick ass pace, I didn't get back to the car before supah fast Jillian had already taken off for her run. She couldn't find my bag in her car to take out my shoes. When I got there, I didn't know how long she'd been gone, so after waiting a few (5-10) minutes, I decided to take off, in my socks.

Yes, I'm smart. Yes, I know I have ankle problems. I also knew I didn't want to drag on this training session any longer than it had to go. Remember, at this time, I didn't know that I was faster on the bike than before, I just knew my body didn't want to do anything anymore.

I actually was able to run for the first mile. I ran walked the next .6 miles, and walked the rest back. Even I know when to stop and let my inner Kenyan go.

Tonight I did my 1 hour swim. Usually I can mentally muscle through these with little effort, little mental effort that is. No thinking this is boring, just focusing on my stroke and siting. This time was different, but I made it. I found out that my anaerobic heart rate is probably around 125 for the swim. I'm aerobic and comfortable about 115-119. These were the things that kept me moving forward and letting me throw in the towel about 45 minutes into the swim. That and knowing that Martha would somehow find out that I hadn't completed my swim.

Coming tomorrow? Me getting beautified at the salon and coming back to blog about my new running shoes and lamenting the fact that the one triathlon (olympic) that I can ride my bike to, it's that close to my house, I'll be out of town doing another triathlon (sprint). Stay tuned.


Double Shot and Super Colliders

I had a doctors appointment this morning at 8:50 am. (Well, really it was yesterday, they told me the wrong day. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) This meant I could go to a 5:45 am spin class this morning. This afternoon I had a 45 minute or 1 mile swim, which ever was longer. I did both.
Spin classes will kick my ass harder in 60 minutes than Santiago Canyon will. Well, if I actually work the hard in the class it'll kick my ass.

The swim was a lake swim, no wetsuit. I seem to feel more comfortable with no wetsuit. Yes it's harder, I'm less buoyant without the wetsuit or the salt, but I think I feel less confined. Maybe I need a better wetsuit, but that will have to wait.
I may have cheated a bit on the 1 mile. They shortened the swim area by a buoy, so I'm not sure of the exact length. I felt strong the whole way. My form wavered at the end, so I know I need to work on my endurance. Either way, I figure 45 minutes is good for someone who's first swim in 2 weeks was 1/2 a mile at a triathlon.

Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

On to Super Colliders. In case you've been living under a rock, avoiding television, or just don't really care (how many of us do) then you'll know that tomorrow is the day. The day they flip the switch and turn on the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC). They've run little ones in the past, but this one is the real deal. It runs under France and Switzerland, mostly France, though. It's supposed to show us if there really is a Higgs boson/God Particle.

For science geeks like me, it's impressive and interesting. Either we'll see proof of a particle that has been theorized but never seen, we'll see nothing, or a black hole might be created and destroy the world. Here's a something of a School House Rock video about the Super Collider. It's more funny for them making it than anything else. Wired has a blog post about why tomorrow will come. And here's a site that you can check to see if the LHC has destroyed the earth. I know you'll figure out why it's funny sometime.

I hope to hear from you all tomorrow.


Game Day - Pacific Coast Triathlon

Woke up at 4am, had an "oh shit" moment as I'm supposed to be at Jillian's in 30 minutes and it takes about 30 minutes to get to her house. I jumped in my clothes, fed the dogs, filled up my water bottles, then my ice chest, grabbed everything from in the house and rushed outside. Loaded my gear and my bike and sped out of my driveway.

I ended up only being 10 minutes late, although I left about 17 minutes late. It helped that it was 4 in the morning. No one is on the road at 4 on a Sunday morning except us crazy people.

Loaded the bike on Jillian's bike rack, threw my gear in the back of her car, grabbed some hot water for my tea and we were off with her boyfriend. We got to the lot a bit after 5, unloaded and went to transition.

Everything was pretty uneventful until about 7:05 when a chick came over and started pushing our bikes around. Um, there were already 5 bikes on our rack. I went up and down the long rack and found a space for her, but she wasn't having any of it. You see, we got there early to get an end cap. As close to bike out as we could be in our wave. I think she wanted that. She also showed up 10 minutes before transition closed. In a preview of what's to come, when I came back from the bike I had to shove (and I didn't do it nicely) her bike over as it was diagonal across 3 transition set ups. Why do people do this? On to the race report.

I haven't been in the water for 2 weeks. I had prepared myself for my swim time to be my swim time. Whatever it was, it was. I'd finish and walk up the hill, get on the bike and my race would start there. I did notice that I had no shoulder pain, for the first time in 2 weeks. It was still a bit of a downer to realize I was the last out of my swim wave. At least I didn't see anyone behind me, although there were still bikes on the rack now that I think of it. However, those could have been people who were out and back already...

We had to run up this horrid hill to transition, I walked. Unlike Solana, no one was yelling at me to run. I think my swim, including that walk up the hill, was under 30 minutes. I need to work on putting my face in salt water and the run into the water. I didn't feel like I could catch my breath the whole time.

Okay. I realized I put my right sock on inside out, but didn't care. I might try Viv's no socks next time.

My plan was to burn my legs on the bike and see what I had left for the run. It's my B race, as I'm shooting for the Olympic as my A for this part of the season. I averaged about a 14 min/mile, which was close to my 15 min/mile goal (there were hills people, HILLS) I was a bit disappointed about this bike just because I had done the 2 loops last Sunday and it didn't seem that hard. However, I hadn't swam a 1/2 mile and ran up a crappy hill last Sunday.

The only thing that killed me about this leg were the people passing on the tight turn arounds and that people from subsequent waves passed me en masse. Included the kid's tri. Nothing like an 8 year old zooming past you.

My co-worker, who's wife is joining the Divas for our fall season, yelled at me as I was rolling to the dismount line. That was a nice boost, but I still didn't really catch my breath on the bike.

This one was horrid. As mentioned before the chick took up so much room with her bike I had to shove it over to put my bike on the rack, got my shoes, almost forgot my race number, grabbed my inhaler and I was off.

Ran/walked through the first mile and the whole course. I had opened my Clif shot to consume on the bike, but ate the Clif Bloks instead, so it was still open. I downed it, even though I knew it was too early. This may have been part of my problem. The other part, still couldn't catch my breath. It physically hurt me to take a deep breath.

Saw Martha, not sure what she was yelling at me, run my race? Not sure, but I started jogging here. Stopped to walk and see if I could catch my breath. Was egged on by a 69ish year old to run, there's no walking on this course. You'd be proud, I didn't flip him off, I just took some puffs off my inhaler and started to jog.

Saw Jillian coming it, I'm so proud of her. We're both having us being too competitive issues, only she seems to be progressing faster than me. Although she's always been faster than me.

Was passed by Stacey and some other Divas in the wave behind me on the run. It's okay, I know what I need to work on, someday I'll finish before people in the waves behind me do.

To tell you the truth, this was the worst run I'd ever done. Not just the worst race, but the worst run. I was so disappointed with myself and my body for not being able even jog the whole 2.8 miles, well, 2.5 miles as there was a ramp I was going to walk up regardless of how I felt.

After I rounded the corner and got my lei from one of Martha's girls I sprinted to the finish line. Apparently I can sprint without having to take any deep breaths. Maybe I need to push past the pain more, I'll talk to Martha about that later. I did have to yell at people who were crossing right in front of me. I mean really people, look around. I know I'm not super fast but you saw me sprinting towards the chute. Did you really need me to yell, "I'm coming!!!!" to get your asses moving? It was Pendleton's bike in all over again.

In the end Lisa passed me at the finish line. I mean right at the finish line and I wasn't even in her age group.

I did like the course, it was challenging and that makes it fun. If I'm able to, I'll definitely do this one next year.


Chocolate Milk

I've used chocolate milk as my recovery drink for the past 7 training sessions and I've come up with a few tips. Well, really just 3.

1. Your chocolate milk should be cold.
2. You should be cooled down before you consume the chocolate milk.
3. Your stomach should be settled before you drink any milk.

I bought my chocolate milk in individual 8 oz servings. They weren't stored in the refrigerator section. I was wary at first, but since it was there with the soy milk and all other non-dairy dairy replacement drinks, I bought it.

I used the milk that same day, not thinking to refrigerate it first. It still was yummy, if not a bit odd, to be drinking warm chocolate milk after a workout.
The second time I made the mistake of forcing the milk down while I was still trying to cool down. It made me gag. I don't blame this on the milk, as anything other than water after a hard workout would make me gag, too. Probably because my stomach isn't quite settled as well as my body is a bit overheated. Maybe tips 2 and 3 are the same thing.
Enough about milk. I'm sitting here at my computer, going through my tri packing list in my head, trying to figure out if I've forgotten anything. I hope not. It's a bit late now as I'm getting ready to go to bed, looking forward to waking up at 3:30 am to meet up with Jillian at 4:30 am.

Why do I do this again?



I'm not swimming, you all know that. Sunday will be my first swim in 2 weeks and I'm hoping my right shoulder will cooperate. Yesterday night was swimming at Corona del Mar with an optional long run afterwards. I went to do the run and decided to add another mile onto the 7 mile run, because why not? I'm not swimming and I wanted to see if I'd lost my 1/2 marathon base.

I believe I have. Maybe I haven't. I did complete the whole 8 miles, with a bit of a detour as I missed the turn off for a ramp down to the beach and had to take these rickety looking (but probably stable but made to look rickety for ambiance at the crystal cove cottages) stairs, which I used as an excuse to walk and eat a clif shot, and a short run on the beach.

Really what I did was the run course for Sunday's tri backwards and starting from about 2.5 miles away. I consumed, because "ate" doesn't accurately describe the action, 2 clif shots on my 90 minute run. I needed another one, I think.

I'm excited to train for another 1/2 marathon. I like the distance. It's comfy.


Labor Day Weekend

I've been busy. Reading, training, shopping, watching college football, going to a wedding, walking the dogs, lounging around, playing on facebook. It's been a good weekend. Now comes the unfun stuff. Cleaning the kitchen and grocery shopping.

Here are some training notes. Rode the Pacific Coast bike course and ran the run course. I did the whole bike course (2 loops) and ran the run course twice. I'm training for an Olympic Distance you know. And 2 is better than 1 anytime, right? Well, maybe not ANY time...

I still haven't swam. Some mornings I wake up and my shoulder feels better, only to hurt later in the day. I'm still doing Pac Coast. I paid for it and it's still a week away.

Sunday morning I left my house about 6:30 am and rode Santiago Canyon. I feel better about it every time I do it. It took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes to ride 30 miles, although the last 2 were a cool down around my flat neighborhood. I'm getting stronger on the bike and now I'm working on enjoying my time on it. As anyone will tell you, the bike is the longest leg of a triathlon. Well distance-wise anyway. Time-wise depends on your skill at swimming and running, I guess.

I'm off to read a bit more and watch some more football before I decide the weekend is finally over and I head on down to the grocery store. Fun times


Tendonitis and Chocolate Milk

So my shoulder pain came back. I'm not sure I mentioned it before, but 6-8 weeks ago I had a pain in my right shoulder. My chiropractor/physical therapist told me stretch and work on my traps. I did and the pain went away. I stopped working on my traps and now it's back.

I went to a MD on Tuesday. He diagnosed the tendonitis and told me to do yoga. When I told him I was a runner/triathlete he told me to keep doing yoga. Interesting prescription.

What this means is no swimming until either A) my shoulder stops hurting or B) 9/7 the date of the Pacific Coast Triathlon. I paid my money and I'm racing it, even if I'm slow.

Wednesday was a breakthrough cycling workout for me. We did hill repeats on El Toro Trail. Two Sundays ago I got up the hill in record speed for me. This was after a 25ish mile ride on Santiago Canyon. I chalked it up to weirdness.

Wednesday my warm up lap was about 10:30, WTF? The next one was about 9:35 thanks to Martha chasing a fellow diva up the hill. I didn't want them to pass me, so I got the benefit of Martha's yelling, too. Passes 3 and 4 hovered around 10:09-1o:20! The last one was cut short due to darkness and me needing to ride my butt back home before it got pitch black.

I'm very impressed with my badassness. The Triathlon Goddess heard my rant about my swim and chose to show me my improvement on the bike. Well, really I was able to track my progress via my training log and my garmin. I love it when I can see progress.

Due to a few fellow bloggers asking about nutrition, I've decided to take one for the team. I will be using chocolate milk as my recovery drink of choice for the next month. I'll report back on my findings. I usually use Luna's recovery drink and have tried Hammer's Recoverite, which worked for me.

I just need to remember the chocolate milk is for recovery, not dessert. Tonight I drank 1 8 oz container for recovery and another one for dessert. At this rate, I'll have to buy a chocolate cow to make this affordable.


Schedule Change

It's times like these when I realize I'm not a "true" athlete. I don't tend to push past the pain. I don't tend to talk myself out of a DOR or try and convince myself to go to that 5:30 am spin class or just to the frakking gym in the morning. I'm putting together a plan to get over these things (Step 1: stop complaining. Step 2: toss any excuses. Step 3: get of your ass and train.)

One thing I haven't been able to force myself through is heat. My plan today was to ride Santiago Canyon at 4pm. I checked Accuweather.com before I left work. It was 86 degrees with a Real Feel of 96. Um, no thanks.

I went for a 45 minute skills and drills pool swimming instead. I figure, at least I did something, right? I was focusing on my gliding. I knew (it was empirically proven by me to myself) that a faster arm turn over doesn't equal faster speed, so I focused on slowing down my stroke, reaching as far as I can and flicking my wrist at the end of the stroke.

I think I made progress on a mind-body connection. I "know" how the whole stroke feels. It's a base to build my future swimming successes.


A Bit Premature

The Triathlon and Running Goddesses have a way of bringing you back to reality.

No you are not the stud of the endurance sports world that you thought you were. You're just an under prepared, overweight, short poser. (Okay, I don't really believe any of that, but I'm trying to drum up sympathy here)

I went for the 6.2 ish (really more like 8ish miles with the warm up) run lead by the OC Tri Club. The route was Mission Viejo International's run course. I am soo glad I'm not doing that race.

It goes from easyish (Lake Mission Viejo swim), to challenging (Santiago Canyon ride), to OMGWTFBBQ run. There is one street that I pretty much walked up because running up it was probably slower. Also the path takes you across all kinds of terrain. Yes I mean it. There is pavement, cement, bark, grass, hay type stuff and dirt. Not that any of this is bad, but it adds a certain element that I would be happy to avoid.

Somewhere between these terrain transitions I must have jammed my ankle, which ended up aggravating my IT band. (this is my chiropractor's theory anyway)

As I said before, the Triathlon and Running Goddesses have a way of telling us mortals to back off. So I'm taking my poll down and will be choosing the Bum plan.

So I'm not the stud of the endurance sports world, I'm okay with that. I know if I just listen to my body, I'll live to run another race.

Thanks Goddesses.



I am asking blogland for opinions, but we'll get to that later.

Friday was a 4 mile run. Although I was hoping to keep a 10:30 pace, I was mandated, by the all knowing training plan, to keep in the 70% HR zone. My pace ended up around an 11 pace.

Today I got up around 6:15 am (45 minutes later than planned), fed myself, the dogs, loaded the car and headed out to Bonelli Park in San Dimas to ride the bike course, well a 3rd of the bike course as it's a 3 loop course).

At 8am-ish I'm parked with bike assembled and ready to roll. I pulled up the course map on my iPhone, stashed the phone in my Bento Box and started riding. The loop is only 8 miles, hence the 3 loops to make the 24 mile bike route.

I'm not sure what I'd have done without my iPhone, except print out the course map and refer to it at every intersection instead, to keep me on course. The ride was a bit challenging, but it was no Santiago Canyon. There is a pretty steep hill that could cause problems. Not getting-off-my-bike-to-walk-it, problems but I could burn out my legs if I try to sprint up it.

My biggest problem with the course was the road itself. It wasn't well paved. I got a lot more, um, action you could call it, in the saddle today than I do on Santiago or anywhere else. It's very bumpy, but I now I know I can do this Olympic course.

Now here's where you all come in. I've become a race whore. I want to do as many races as possible. Below are 2 possible race schedules, I'd like you all to vote for on of them. Yes, I know it might look crazy, but these are my possible plans for the next couple months.

Plan A(ggresive):
9/7 - Pacific Coast Sprint Tri
9/13 - Malibu Olympic Tri (I don't think there will be any celebs at the Oly, other than the elites)
9/27 - See Jane Tri (relay run leg)
10/5 - Playa del Rey (USC vs UCLA) Sprint Tri (Fight On!)
10/19 - Subaru Sprint Tri

Plan B(um):
9/7 - Pacific Coast Sprint Tri
9/27 - See Jane Tri - relay run leg
10/5 - Bonelli Olympic Tri
10/19 - Subaru Sprint Tri