Solo Santiago

Today I had 103 minutes of riding solo. I decided to try my mom's Cannondale. She sent it down a few weeks ago and I haven't had the balls to try it out yet.

I was supposed to ride with Laura, Rosemarie and Yen, but one by one they RSVP'd with regrets. I figured with volunteering at Oceanside 70.3 and the Vegas trip coming up this weekend,I needed to take a chance and do as much of a 2 hour ride as I could. It ended up being just under an hour and 45 minutes.

I don't know if it was the bike or me, but the ride felt much easier today. The ~23 miles flew by. None of the "trouble" spots of my rides past appeared. I didn't even feel tired!

I am going to have to get this bike fit for me before I decide to switch from my Trek and use the Cannondale. All I did was lower the bike seat for this ride, but I think the handle bars need to be raised and I'll have to change out the saddle and pedals for it to be comfortable. For a 25 mile ride, it'll be worth it.



Saturday's 8 mile run + Sunday's 24 mile bike ride + Tonight's 1800 yard= one exhausted chick.

That chick is me. AND I've signed up to ride part of Santiago Canyon tomorrow. Seriously? What's wrong with me? I'm not mentally exhausted, which makes me very happy. When mental exhaustion sets in, it's all downhill and very hard to recover. That's what leads to slugging it out with BOD and fighting for every second of the 4 hours and 56 seconds.

There are many things I was happy about this week, training wise.

Swam 1500 in 40 minutes.
Swam 500 in 12 minutes 25 seconds.
Ran the trail around my development, including hills, twice.
Found people who ride about the same speed as I do. I now have riding partners.

One thing I regret about this weekend?
Not being prepared to the heat for my 10 (cut to 8) mile run. No Nuun, no Margarita with Salt shot bloks. No extra salt. Didn't bring enough water, although I could have stopped to refill. Also, eating Mexican food 1.5 hours before a run. That wasn't a good idea AT.ALL.


When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

Let's see. We're going to stick to athletic firsts. You don't need to know the first time I got drunk or any other first really...

7/28/2007 - first 5K - Iron Girl Solana Beach 5K
5/26/08 - first 1/2 marathon - Laguna Hills Memorial 1/2
6/18/08 - first (super) sprint tri - Danskin Sprint Triathlon
10/5/08 - first Olympic tri - Bonelli Olympic Distance
3/26/09 - first time I ran the whole path around my housing development, including the hills.

Yes, I'm uber excited. It's not a race. It's not 20 miles. It's not even the first time I completed Santiago Canyon, but it is something I never thought I'd do. And I ran it. Twice.

I was supposed to do a track work out today, after I got my haircut. However the dead garmin disease infiltrated my watch and my brain as I forgot to bring the charger to work. Further more, I've been struck with don't pack a back up watch virus, so I had nothing to make the track workout worthwhile. I decided to run the trail around my development and use the hills as my challenge fastest mile work. I figured I'd run them as hard and as long as I could, and take a walk break.

I didn't even realize I was almost done with the first hill path segment until I saw the ramp going back up to street level. I then had a goal. I'd try and run the whole thing, once. I could walk a little on my second lap. I didn't walk. Although I did get to the end of the trail and turn around, so I wouldn't be running the hills, for a second time, at the very end of my run.

This made the little over 3 mile run enjoyable. I'd rather be out there for 5, but over training leads to non-racing, so I pull back. I'm going to run these hills into the ground!



Today was going to be a spin class followed by an easy 15 minute run. It turned into a 15 minute ride, waiting at Lake Mission Viejo trying to figure out what to do about a lake list when the lady who's supposed to do it for you goes home early, then getting lost in Rancho Santa Margarita looking for a way to cross the street when you're too chicken to just turn left with the cars.

Because of all the waiting and getting lost, my 1 hour ride turned into about 75 minutes, which left me no time to run before figuring out what was for dinner and running to the store to get some sort of vegetable to go with said dinner.

There is no rest for those in training...


Beating Erin

Erin used to train with us, then she moved back to Colorado. She's in my age group and she's fast. I won't be able to beat her. But I use her as motivation.

Today we were supposed to ride Santiago. I was kinda looking forward to it, until the weather called for rain and wind. It was cold! So we had a spin class, courtesy of Martha instead. As stated before, her classes kick my ass. She was asking us what mantra kept us going in the middle of the race, with the course stretching in front of us and no one to see if we gave up. (This was while we were hovering over our seats, climbing a hill)

"I want to win!" No. I probably won't podium until I'm in my 70s and have outlasted the competition.

"I want to finish!" No. Regardless of what I think in the middle of Santiago or a race, I will always finish.

"I want to beat Erin!" Yes, yes, yes! That's something I can get behind. A tangible, if unreachable, goal.

Realistically the pohrase that repeats in my head in the middle of the bike, or Santiago Canyon, is by My Chemical Romance. "Have you heard the news that you're dead!" I wonder if my legs are trying to tell me something.

I did finish all my training this week. I actually woke up, and got out of bed, at 4:30 on Friday morning and did a 1 hour (*cough* 50 min *cough*) swim. I was slower to 1500 than I was last week, but I also forgot to eat breakfast, so I'm blaming that.

Thursday, after much ado, I found Tesoro High School. The track there is beautiful and they didn't kick me out when the Girl's Lacrosse game started. Cons, it's only open when the high school is using it. I started to have fat girl high school flashbacks, but I got over myself. Why fret over things that I can't change?

Saturday was my not great 7 miles. I wasn't feeling like running when I got up. I "packed" for 10, but wanted to call it quits after an hour. It was misting, I was cold, blah, blah, blah. Either way I'd have to run back up hill to get home, so stopping at 5 wouldn't get me anything. What was I going to do? Call my husband to pick me up? Embarassing! So I finished strong. When I hit 5 miles my high kicked in and I almost pushed it to 8, in my head. Once I got to 7, my legs said stop.

Also, I got in! I will be at the Nike Women's 1/2 this year. Woot!


Why Timing Matters

Yesterday was a spin class with the tri group. This always kicks my ass because Martha can tell when I'm not giving it my all AND I want to keep up with these chicks more than anyone in any other spin class.

I know I've kind of mentioned stuff about eating and timings before but here's where the rubber meets the road. One of the big rules is over an hour before your workout, eat a balanced meal with carbs and protein, under an hour eat carbs only. I should have listened.

I was on the border. At about 5:15 I walked into Bristol Farms and ordered a Buffalo Chicken Panini (blue cheese was too strong and there was no Buffalo) and some fruit salad. I didn't get to eat said Panini or fruit salad until 5:30 or later.

Got to the gym and got ready for class. We were meeting at 6:30 and didn't get into the room and get started until closer to 7, but it was close enough. Within the first 15 minutes I felt like I was going to puke and it didn't go away until I was at home, in the shower, after 9pm.

Moral of the story? Pay attention to timing and what you eat. I will never have blue cheese, or another strong cheese, before a strenuous high HR workout. I'll stick to milder cheeses, or nix dairy all together and go for meat or bean based protein, if there is time. If not, I'll just shoot a gel and eat after.



I know I haven't been here lately. I figured I'd take some time off and focus on me.

Well, really I've taken time off to read smut and brain candy instead of write in my training log. Everyone has vices...

This week and a half has gone tons better since I decided to embrace my training and get what I get. It's not like I don't fight for improvement, I just don't dwell on not doing as well as I've hoped or thought I would.

It's kinda the whole "I get what I get and I don't get upset" rule. I do my best, I get the time I get and I move on. I work the plan, I give what I have and I accept that there are times when I'm running into gale force winds and I won't have a PR breaking 1/2 marathon, especially when I only had 10 miles on tap that day.

I've run 10 miles (ran the OC tri run course from my house, can you say hills), I've swam 1500 yards, I've biked ~20 miles, I'm happy with what I can do.

I promise I'll be more regular after this.


Easy Peter's Canyon Run

Happy Day Light Savings Time!

That's pretty much the only good thing I can say about this training. I've decided to make this post short and then put it behind me. Monday starts a new week and I'll change my mindset.

I did discover one thing about myself. I can run 10 miles on Saturday, then ride 20+ miles on Sunday, but I can't really ride a hilly 25+ miles on Saturday then run a not really flat or hilly 6 mile run on Sunday.

I was a bit on the cold side, for southern California and my legs felt pretty heavy. The run was difficult and there was more than the prescribed 1 min recovery walking for every 1 mile run and 30 second sprint.

I'm going to be working on intervals/speed work. I want to be fast. Really I do.


Santiago Canyon

If I told you the last time I rode any significant miles was in December and that was 20 miles at Pendleton, meaning relatively flat, and that I have been attending a spin class once a week for about 2 months, so I thought I could ride 25+ very hilly miles. What would you say?

Probably, Yas, what are you smoking? Why don't you go do some nice hill repeats?

But I wouldn't listen. I'd go out and do it anyway.

I was a bit rusty. It took me longer to get to dump hill than I remember. I need to lap myself at landmarks, like Mojeska and Silverado and dump hill, just to track my time.

I did stop twice, but I only needed to stop once. The second time was to open a pack of shot bloks. I should have opened it when I stopped to rest.

All in all, it was a good day for a ride. I was the last one in, but that's nothing new.


What's Wrong with Me

I went in search of a track. I may have found one at Santiago Canyon College, but I didn't really want to spend time investigating and lose valuable daylight. See, I had tried to find a high school I could run at, but, apparently, to be legal in SVUSD you have to turn in a facilities request and wait for them to approve it. Then you get a pass or a badge or something. Basically they want to make sure you have insurance and that you won't sue them if you get hurt or something happens to you on their track. I told her I'd sneak in carrying my insurance card and a note to that effect. She told me that she would do the same thing, sans insurance card and note, but that she never said that. I'll have to investigate going rogue to get into a high school track.

On to the run I did do. It sucked. I've run around the lake countless times. I ran 9 miles last Saturday and there were hills on that run. I'm not sure why I struggled to get this 3.2 behind me.

Full disclosure, I haven't been taking my daily steroid inhaler or my allergy pills and the weather has been a bit polar, rainy and cold to sunny and hot overnight. That's when the molds tend to come out, and the one thing I'm most allergic to is molds.

So I'm back to taking my pills and puffs of inhaler every morning. I hope it helps. I have a 1/2 marathon in April!



Every Tuesday I go to a spin class at the LA Fitness near my work. I love the time, I love the teacher because she loves hills. She loves hills, she love intervals on hills, she would probably marry hills if California was a polygamist state where you could make a commitment to an inanimate object. I also love the fact that she starts on time. It's pretty much the only spin class I've been to at LA Fitness that starts on time. I usually go to another gym, so maybe it's just them.

The past 3 weeks I've only gotten 45 minutes in the class because of the sports nutrition class that I was attending.

A couple of things I need to figure out.
1) In a seated climb I can be at x resistance and it kicks my butt, then we stand up (which I never do on the bike) and I need to bump up the resistance, some times by 1/2-3/4 of a knob turn because I'm bouncing all over the place. How do I get myself stronger whilst sitting? Should I just sit through the whole climb and try to build muscles that way?

2) How to adjust my bike. I have the seat and handle bar heights figured out, for the most part, but it's the seat position that kills me. However, my hips didn't hurt after this class like they did after the bike on Sunday. I'm thinking that hip pain may have been residual pain from my Saturday run.

3) Get over myself. I really wish I knew how to get over the mental blocks I get on the bike. I can do it on the run by simply ignoring myself. It's not so simple, but I've figured out how to do it. Also, I can stop and walk fairly easily if I have to start yelling at myself in my head.

I did have one victory yesterday. We did a cadence hill, where you keep the same cadence/rhythm and increase the tension/make the pedaling harder. I was able to do it, pretty much the whole time. I've never been able to do that before. I usually give in to the pain and the voice in my head that says it's too hard.

I guess there is hope for me yet.


Back Bay and Hill Repeats

Wow is all I have to say. Wow.

Sunday was a Back Bay trail warm up with hill repeats up San Joaquin street. I was scared shitless when I passed by it the first time. I thought the hill went up forever!

After my first trip up the hill, well, my second as I crapped out on my first, I found out it wasn't long, just steep. I traveled up that hill 3.5 more times, yes I did mentally crap out on another trip up the hill. My thighs were burning. I couldn't get out of my seat after the first complete trip up. Each time my heart rate topped out at 180-183. I don't remember ever getting that high on the bike, although I'll have to check my Garmin software to verify.

After that was my favorite part, breakfast! Some fellow athletes and I met at an omelet house in Costa Mesa. mmm... eggs and avocado.