Hills, Hills, Hills

Okay, I thought I trained on hills with my little hill repeats. I.Was.Wrong.

Apparently anywhere you go in my area, you're riding hills. You either ride up them in the beginning of the ride, or at the end of the ride, or all through the ride. We pretty much rode the hills all through the ride.

I've been a bike hoor all this week. What was that? Did I hear cycling? Are you going on a ride? Sign me up! I'm pretty confident that my swimming is coming along, it's the bike I want to focus on next.

It was my first Rock 'n Road Cyclery's Diva rides. It's not a group like the TriDivas or a Cycling club. Just a group of women who like to ride and it's organized by one of the local cycling shops. They plan rides the last Saturday of the Month.

It was a hard ride, and I didn't walk up one hill!!! One of the ladies always stayed back with us newbies. There were just 2 of us doing the noob first loop. It was fun, all right turns, except the left to get on the first street and the left into the parking lot.

I was thoroughly beat at the end and my Garmin was dead before I started the ride, so I have no record of what I did. I'm going to have to do that loop again.

On to something else I've been thinking about. I went to the Post Office on Friday. I always get a weird feeling when I'm leaving the post office, or a similar shipping place. I always leave with an empty feeling. I think it's because it's one of the few places where you pay but get nothing to take with you.

I realize I'm paying for a service, but even when I get my dogs groomed, I get my dogs back when I pay. It leaves me with an empty feeling, like I've forgotten my bag at the register. But it's probably just me.


See Yas Fall

Today I used my cycling shoes and clipless pedals for the first time, ever.
I did not practice in a doorway in my house. I did not practice on grass. I just went all out, balls to the wall, and road on a paved path.
I ate it almost immediately. This was too be expected. I actually clipped in and when I went to put my butt on the seat, I got caught on my chamois (the padding in the cycling shorts) and went down. Let me tell ya, I was glad I had my helmet securely fastened on my head.
So I thought I'd gotten it out of the way. No more falling for me. The ride was hilly, and not just rolling hills, some STEEP hills. I made it through most of them, but walked up a total of 3. You really need to choose a gear BEFORE you get to the hill. Next time I do this ride, I'll be in my lowest (easiest, which ever one that is) gear for most, if not all of the hills. Maybe the whole ride.
Now here's where being stubborn can hurt you, when you decide after walking halfway up a hill, you'll try to clip in. Bad idea. After I fell for the second time (to my left, like the first) I had the bright idea to try to clip in with my dominate (right) foot. I promptly fell over to the right. Now I have matching scuffs on my ratcheting strap (the top strap).
Lesson here kids? Keep pedaling up the hill or walk your ass all the way up it. Don't change your mind midstream, unless it's from pedaling to walking. Hopefully you won't hurt yourself, although now I have scraped up elbows, the left one is so bad it hasn't scabbed over yet. I'll be so cool at work tomorrow (actually I'm going to wear long sleeves so I won't have to answer any questions).
I don't know that it made me faster, as I wasn't concentrating on pulling up the pedal as well as pushing it down. Also, the hills made it a bit hard to concentrate just on pedaling.
Next time maybe I'll try a spin class...


I was fubed*

My plan to swim 1000 yards after work today was derailed by summer.

Summer means swimsuits and pool time for the kiddies. Lots of pool time for lots of kiddies. My neighbors are usually very good at making sure there is a lane for someone to swim laps, but there were just too many people for me to ask them to clear a lane. I couldn't stop the kids from having their fun. It's been so hot lately they deserve it as much as I do. I'm going to try again tomorrow, if I don't go cycling instead. Decisions, Decisions.

*fubed is a shortened version of fubar. Not sure how it came to be fubed. Maybe it's the verb tense.


When the spirit (and cardiopulmonary system) is willing...

but the body is not able.

That was the theme of my 10K this morning. I walked the better part of the last 2 miles. I ran/walked the whole race. My knee was giving me trouble and it was hot...enough excuses. It wasn't my best race ever. I think I'll be taking a solid week, maybe two, off running and focus on swimming and biking. At least this time I have something else to focus all my energy.

What I really need to do is get back to strength training at the gym. Strength the muscles around my knee and tighten up my core.

Race Report: It was hot, there were a few (maybe 3ish) hills. We ran a bit on the horse race track, which seemed cool before we started but wasn't really. It was hard and uneven. Not hard like pavement, but like packed dirt and was tiring to run through. It's amazing to see almost 3000 women out there, at least before the 5K turn around. I believe I finished in 88 minutes and some change, but the official results for my mother and I weren't up yet. Not sure why as the other results were posted.

This may replace my worst running/race experience, but I'm not sure. To be hot, sweaty with a knee ache that makes you walk 2 miles or to run a 5K in the freezing rain? It's a toss up. I was happy that I did it. A couple other Divas were there. I saw them a few times during the race and the thought of them and my mom kept me from throwing a tantrum on the course.
The breakfast cafe was great. Hot food is always good (bean burritos for us who decided to forgo the meat today). They did give us these neat little time tags instead of chips, but I can't seem to get it scanned to show you all. We get to keep them. I think I'm going to turn mine into a bookmark.



I took an easy week. Real easy. I did about a 4 mile walk on Monday, about 500 yard swim in the lake on Wednesday and a 3 mile run yesterday. I'm so ready for the 10K on Sunday...

No, really, I'll go pick up my packet tomorrow, but we'll see about running the whole way. I'm signing up for another tri in July and I'm thinking of signing up for a 4th of July 5k or 10K.

This leads me to my main topic of discussion, addictions. One day a very long time ago, I was in a meeting and my leader was talking about food addiction. Food addiction is one of the hardest, probably the hardest, addiction to break. You HAVE to eat. You can go the rest of your life avoiding alcohol, drugs or gambling, but not without food. So you replace your addiction to food with one to shopping! (insert laugh track here)

Well, I did replace my addiction to food, for the most part, with another addiction: races. I didn't realize it until early this week when I decided to sign up for the Solana Triathlon and the July 4th race (most likely), and I've signed up for some Trail runs (okay not technically races, but still).

I like training. I love the feeling of finishing a race, of knowing my body can feel, then ignore, discomfort. That I can do things I never though possible. At 195, or even 180, I never would have ran. At 160 I never would have thought about a triathlon, hell at 140 I never thought about it. I'm no longer one of those people who say, "I'd like to run a 5K. I'd love to do 1 triathlon. I wonder what running 13.1 miles feels like?"

I know now. I wonder what an Olympic Distance tri feels like or 26.2 miles. Not so sure about the latter, but I know I'll do the former. Hey, maybe I'll join a crazy friend of mine on the journey to be a 1/2, then full, Ironman (you know who you are). Or maybe I'll just experience the joy of 13.1 miles on a flat course.

There could be worse things. I could be an exercise bulimic. I can tell you I am NOT that. I do what I need to do so I can get faster or race longer and consume the occasional piece of chocolate cake or beer. I will not spend hours upon hours in the gym just 'cause.

I have better things to do with my time, like play Rock Band. On that note, I'm gonna go rock out!



My race morning began with a phone call from a fellow TriDiva. We had decided to leave our hotel room doors at 3:45 am (yes am) and meet in the lobby. I told them I'd give them a call at 4am if they weren't down there by then. I'm glad I made that comment. The phone rang at 4am, Dina asking me why I wasn't down there. Apparently I had set my cell phone alarm for 3:30 pm, nice.

Luckily I had mixed all my liquid nutrition, filled my transition bag and laid out my clothes in the order I had to put them on (a throw back to my childhood when we were getting ready to go skiing, thanks Mom). I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth for all of 10 seconds, put my contacts in, got dressed, got my gear and headed to the ice machine. I filled one bottle full of ice and went to try and catch an elevator.

Why, you ask, *expiring* at the thought of waking up at 3:30 am, were we getting up this early to get the the transition area which wasn't supposed to open until 5 am? Because Coach Martha said to be there at 4:30 so we can get the end caps and not miss the race. We were going to leave the hotel room at 4am, but the night before we were having trouble getting elevators and I couldn't imagine the chaos that was going to unfold race day morning. I got an elevator without any trouble and met Dina and Stacey in the lobby. We set off for the Timon Parking Lot.

When we got to the parking lot/transition area they were already letting people in. Surprise, sup rise, the women setting up their stuff were fellow Divas. The transition racks were assigned by number, but you could put your bike at any point on the rack. Mine was at the end, not near the transition area aisle.

I finished setting up my transition area and waited. Went the the bathroom and waited. Finally I put on my wetsuit at 5:15ish and we wandered over to take our TriDiva team picture. After the picture people in the earlier waves went "Backstage" and Jillian and I went back to the transition area to get our swim caps and goggles and drop off our flip flops. It was all paved, so we decided to chance running barefoot.

About 6:10 (the first wave was supposed to start at 6 but was a few minutes late) we decided there was only so much arranging and rearranging we could do, so we set off "Backstage" to huddle with the masses.

The swim start was in a chute. It was very narrow all the way around. When I saw all those people in such a small space, I almost lost it. I am very peoplephobic. Small spaces I'm good in, places filled shoulder to shoulder with people? Not so much.

I started swimming as soon as I could and did my version of a swimming sprint, confident that it would thin out soon. It never really did. I actually hit someone in the face. I was swimming straight and she was a bit diagonal. I felt really bad, but there wasn't anything I could do.

The swim was done. I do remember sighting on the ferris wheel and the big orange and then just looking for the bridge we entered under. I wanted to scream, and probably did, when I realized there was another turn, but that's just what took us back to the chute. I ran up the shoot, unzipped my wetsuit and ran. I really didn't think I would run all the way back to the transition rack, but I did.

4 minutes at the rack to get ready for the bike, then I unracked and ran out. I mounted well past the mount line, so I could be out of the way. I need to work on the bike. I think I averaged a 10 minute mile, going faster on the second part of the loop, where it was all flat. The bike was the most dangerous leg that I saw. The fire engine/paramedics were called for someone I saw whose leg did not look like it was in a natural position.

When I came around to enter the dismount area there was a man yelling at us to slow down and the dismount area was right ahead. Well, I think he scared a lady and made her hit the curb. She fell and almost took another racer out with her. That racer stopped to help her up.

Transition 2 was much faster as I already had my running shoes on. Sometime during the bike I remembered to put my inhaler and a gel with caffiene in my back pocket (score!), so I just had to take my helmet off, put my race number on, switch my Garmin to running and run out the run out.

I was a bit wobbly, but I was huffing. I caught up with a fellow TriDiva and started walking with her, she got a cramp in her calf and was going to walk the rest of the way. I left her and caught up with a sick TriDiva. She'd been sick for a while but decided race anyway. After that I started running in earnest.

Somewhere after mile 1 but before mile 2 my knee started talking to me, but not enough for me to stop running. I saw Martha, and should have realized the finish was just around the corner, but I didn't. As I rounded the corner I saw my mom and her camera, and you all know I can't pass up a camera. Then I saw the timing mats. I started sprinting. I should have started earlier, but such is life.

When I saw Mom, Dad, Jeremy and Melissa (my cousin) afterward, my dad said I didn't look tired enough. Jeremy seconded that remark. I definately wasn't as sore as after my 1/2 marathon. In fact, I felt like I could do it all over again. The tired didn't hit until after we checked out of the hotel about 9am. The soreness didn't kick in until we were already home about 10am.
In case you haven't figured it out yet, 934 was my race number. I may actually frame it. Well, maybe not, but it will make it into it's own mini scrapbook and I'll display it with pride next to the scrapbook I made of the Iron Girl 5K in Solano Beach, my other very first race.

I am a Triathlete!!!!

I am a triathlete. It was a super sprint, .35 mile swim, 10 mile bike, ~2.5 mile run. I finished in 1:21:59 (just under 1:22). I'm thinking an actual sprint distance I should be able to do in about 1:45. I probably could have run faster. I had enough left to sprint the last .1 or so. I didn't realize that the finish line was so close, then again, I didn't need to cheese it up for my mom at the end, or walk a bit in the beginning of the run. Oh well.

In short, the swim was my OMG-I-may-die-out-here moment, it was so crowded, but I kept going forward, whether in freestyle or side stroke. The bike I need to work on. I may need to quit my gym and find one with a spin class. I could have pushed the run harder, but I think walking in the beginning is necessary for me. I also wouldn't have been able to talk to my fellow TriDivas.

Now I'm just happy to be home and to have completed the triathlon. Jeremy thinks it's a better spectator sport than running. Apparently he kept coming to see me at the transition area, but got there in time to see me running away both times.

One thing I did notice was the difference between a 4th place finish and my 90th place finish was less than 20 minutes (in my age group anyway).

I'll have pictures and a full fledged race report a bit later. My mom and Melissa took some really great pictures. The venue allowed pictures of the swim, which can be hard in most open water swims. There weren't very many people wearing wetsuits (the water was pretty warm (80 degrees) so they could spot me in my wave.

Off to get ready to take my Dad out to dinner. Have a great one!


Preparing for Danskin

Today was it. I did my last workout before Danskin. An easy (ppfftt, a Yasmin easy) brick. It really wasn't that bad. I wasn't going race pace on either the stationary bike (I wasn't going to do hill repeats during taper weeks) or the treadmill. I was reading a book on the stationary bike for goodness sake.

I also got my pedicure. Maybe that will distract some of the women during the swim and they'll slow down. See aren't they pretty?

Back to books. I've been on a weird romance novel kick lately. Why? Maybe it's the stress of the race, or work, or a side effect of eating too much junk food. Who knows. But I may have found my new fave bodice ripper author. If you like romantic comedies and want to try your hand at reading, check out Cathie Linz. I just finished reading Big Girls Don't Cry and it was a hoot. I finished between lunch time and now. Almost as entertaining as the Hollows books by Kim Harrison. A bit different genre's but I loved them both.

Also on my bookshelf, Killing Pablo (soon to be a major motion picture, but I read it years ago, yes peeps I am a trendsetter oh and Christian Bale is in it. I love me some Bale), the whole Harry Potter Series and random thriller/mysteries. My taste in reading materials is as eclectic as my taste in music. You'll find big band jazz to go with the afore mentioned punk music.

With that keen insight into your fab Yas, I'll be off.


Tagged... And Size 4!!

So I was tagged by 2 peeps, but I'm gonna kill 2 birds with 1 stone and answer them both here. Al, Kelly I hope you aren't offended. I still haven't done another tag that hit me sometime last year.

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

I did not run in 1998. Well, I did, but it was around the band or track at SC. I didn't want to do it, but I was forced to in a effort to build the endurance needed to complete an entire pre-game, half-time and post game show. Really I believed it was torture at the time. A way to legally hazy the freshmen.

2. What is your best/worst running experience?

Best: Finishing my first 1/2 marathon. It was at the finish line when it finally sunk in that I could, in fact, run 13 miles. Even if I wasn't prepared for hills.

Worst: Surf City 5K where it poured the whole entire time. I was happy when it was all over.

3. Why do you run?

That's pretty much the subject of my first post. I first started running to launch myself off a weight loss plateau. Now I do it because I love it. It's my time. It's not only a way to keep fit, but a way to keep sane. I can really tell when I haven't been running. So can my husband, co-workers and pretty much anyone I come into contact with on a regular basis. Well, my husband knows it's from a lack of running. Everyone else probably thinks I'm crazy, or PMSing.

4. What is the best or worst piece of running advice that you've been given about running?

Best Piece of Advice: it's a tie between getting fitted for running shoes, use bodyglide, and run hills if your race has hills

Worst Piece of Advice: Stop running. It's the worst exercise you can ever do for your body. (this was never given to me by a runner, just by non-runners)

5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

I love punk music. If you saw me in my work clothes, you'd probably never believe it. I'm pretty sure the kids in Hot Topic think I'm lost when I'm in there. Also, I'd take beer over wine or liquor anytime. Finally, I'd love to be organized but it never quite happens. I really try though.

I'm tagging Viv, Amber, sKelly, Carly and Elysia. Mostly because I'm nosy and want to see what makes everyone tick.

Also, I went to Old Navy today and tried on the Sweetheart jeans in a size 4 short and they fit. Yes you can tell me it's vanity sizing at it's best, as I don't fit in Old Navy size 4 shorts, but shutty. I'm taking the size 4 and running.


Bad Fuel and Mock Tri Duex

First the mock tri. It wasn't quite the same as the first one. We did 400 yards in the pool, in our wetsuits, then we were 30 minutes on the bike and 20 minutes running. I did ~40 minutes on the bike, as I was taking a break from running until Sunday (well, really Monday as I didn't run yesterday).

All in all it was fun but not quite as authentic as the last one. Coach Martha did do a great job on showing us how to set up a transition area and gave us some good tips about the race, getting there early (as in before the transition area opens) so you can get an end cap on the transition rack. To put your helmet on your shoes as you'll never forget your shoes, so if the helmet is on top of it, you'll put it on your head and avoid costly penalties.

On to Bad Fuel. I've added potato chips to the list of food that I should avoid before I train. Potato chips join foods like most anything with processed sugar, processed salty snacks, and diet or regular soda. Really anything processed.

I should know better. I mean, I've trained for various 5Ks. I trained and run a 1/2 marathon. I know that the quality of my workout depends on the fuel I put in as well as technique and persistence.

I'm not saying that I'm not going to have anything on this list during "the season", but I'm definitely not going to have whole 5 oz bag of potato chips just an hour before my run.



is what I've been doing. Apparently I took the no running take a DOR to heart. I feel better. I can't say that I'm feeling more prepared, though.

Tomorrow it mock tri number 2, but I'm thinking I'm just doing the swim (pool swim this time) and bike. I was thinking about skipping this one, sleep in on a Saturday, but I was so slow in the swim to bike transition I wanted to do it again.

That's it peeps. That's all I got.

Except for one thing, I'm watching Battlestar Galatica and I'm supah excited that things are happening. Yes, I'm a scifi geek. If you all want to leave my blog and never come back, I'll understand.


On the DL

It's 9 days after my 1/2 and I can't really run more than a mile without having to walk after. Of course it's my right knee. I know this pain. If I could have rested* from training until the Friday after the 1/2, I'd probably be okay. (*yeah, I'd probably have done some easy bike training and swimming, but still it's a rest, right?)

Tonight I got the official word to stop running for the rest of the week. This will work for the tri, but now I'm worried about the 10K. What's the worst that can happen? I'll walk some of it. It's not like that hasn't happened before.

It was a standard Wednesday workout. Swim in the lake, run around it. But this time we were supposed to go 6 laps at race pace ++. It was alright. I need to figure out when my wetsuit feels right. I think I pulled it up to much this time. You already heard about the running.

I did get yanks. I got them after the mock tri, when I realized how slow I am at transition. Anything to make me faster. I do have to play with them a bit more as they weren't as tight as I'd have liked on my run today.

In other news, I got to see Star again. She brought her spawn (2 wonderful childrens) down to visit Southern Cali. Christy (also from WW) and I had dinner with everyone on Tuesday. Christy gets to see Star everyday, as Star is staying with Christy.

Tomorrow is a bike workout. Was scheduled to be a brick, so I'll just go a bit longer than the 15 miles.