Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What I Did and Learned in 2013

2013 was an exciting year for me.  I completed four triathlons - more than I had originally thought I would do.  I did not, however, complete a metric century bike ride.  I discovered that at that point in time, I did not want to spend every Saturday morning on my bike for hours on end in the cold.  And that's OK.  Live and learn!

What else happened in 2013?

I started a love affair with swimming - even in open water.

I biked more miles than I have since I was a kid.

I ran...

and I walked, sometimes with friends.

Sometimes my friends and I got dirty.

But more often, we kept it clean and celebrated our accomplishments.

I vacationed.

And I golfed.

And even though I spent the latter part of the year battling an injury, I'm still finishing out my year feeling like this!

Wishing you all a safe, happy, and healthy 2014!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Randomness

  • I've been going to ART consistently for the past six weeks and while there has been improvement - I am running again! - I feel like I've hit a plateau in my healing.
  • When I started back with running, I started the C25K program again.  For some reason, this time around it's feeling easier than in the past.  Seems like all of that swimming is paying off in better lung capacity.
  • For some people, fall is marathon/half marathon season.  For me, apparently it's golf season.  I've played almost weekly for the past two months.
Perfect golf conditions this weekend.
  • I think I've decided on which races I want to do in 2014.  Let's just hope my aging body cooperates.
  • These middle of the week holidays are making it hard for me to keep track of what day it is.
  • In addition to a lot of golf, I also feel like I've been to a lot of hockey games in the past two months.  'Tis the season!
  • I'm really looking forward to watching the winter Olympics.  I love the winter games!
  • I've been enjoying spending time walking and hiking with friends since I'm not currently training for anything in particular.  Five miles yesterday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Plans and Goals. Goals and Plans.

It's already past the halfway point in December and I can't believe that I haven't come up with a plan for next year.  Last year I was so excited to get started in triathlon, I was planning my races and reading everything I could get my hands on regarding the sport.

Now that I've met my goal of becoming a triathlete (did I really do 4 tri's this year?), I'm having trouble deciding what races to do next year.  Do I do the same events and try to beat my time?  Do I try different events to get a feel for different conditions/venues? Do I go up in distance and shoot for an Olympic distance triathlon?  And what about a half marathon?

Some triathlons I'm considering - I will most likely choose 2-3:

Silicon Valley Super Sprint (April) - really short course; a good "warm up" tri to kick off the season

Moraga Triathlon (April) - I really like the pool swim and I'd be much better prepared for those bike hills

Mermaid Alameda (June) - another repeat of last year with a goal to SMASH my swim time

California Sprint Triathlon (June) - same location as the Tri for Fun and See Jane Run from 2013

Oakland Triathlon (August) - an inaugural event so this would be interesting

See Jane Run Triathlon (September) - revenge on that bike course and the flat tire!

Some half marathons I'm considering - I will only do 1 of these:

Mermaid Series East Bay (May) - close to home and not too hot yet

See Jane Run (June) - I'm familiar with the location

OktoberRun Redwood City (October) - Can't get any closer to home than this one!

San Jose Rock & Roll (October) - I've always wanted to do this one

Morgan Hill Half Marathon (October) - I've done this one so I know what to expect.

The thing that is making this all the more complicated is that I have a free race entry to a See Jane Run event for 2014 - so I can either do the half in June or the tri in October.  I only wish the dates of the events were swapped, as I'd rather do a June tri and an October half marathon!

But there is one event that I haven't even mentioned that I do have my eye on for next year.  I am going to do the Catfish Open Water Swim in June.  There is a choice of 500 yard, 1.2 mile, or 2.4 mile swims, and I'm planning to do the 1.2 mile swim.  And since I'm putting this out there, I'm really going to have to keep my word to myself and get to Masters swim next month!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reasons and Excuses

I haven't blogged in a few weeks because I feel like I haven't had anything to write about.

I still haven't given masters swimming a try.  I was going to do it last Monday, I swear.  I packed my gym bag and headed to the gym with every intention of diving in (so to speak).  What I didn't realize was that my little town was holding their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Monday evening, and I had to drive right past it in order to get to the gym.  So instead of getting there with plenty of time to change and speak with the coach before the 6:00 start time, I pulled into the parking lot at 6:05.  I wasn't going to be late for my first session - good first impressions, and all that - so I just swam on my own that night.

My plan is to start out by going on Mondays & Wednesdays, with an occasional weekend session thrown in when my schedule permits (read, when I don't feel the need to sleep in or play golf).  Mondays & Wednesdays are the workouts that focus on freestyle, so I'd like to get into a routine and get used to the length of the workouts before adding in the pressure of breaststroke and backstroke.

So after the bah humbug of the Christmas tree lighting interfered with my Monday plans, you're probably wondering why I didn't just go last Wednesday.  I'll tell you why.  38 degrees, that's why!  In case you've been living under a rock or haven't left your house in over a week, just about the entire country has been hit with extremely cold weather, including my little section of California where we tend to have the best weather all year round.  When I get up in the morning, it's been in the high 20s or low 30s.  And when I get off of work, it's been in the 40s.  These temperatures don't scream "Let's go swimming!" to me, so I haven't been in the pool since last Monday.  And it's not going to happen this week unless temperatures suddenly climb about 20 degrees by Wednesday.

Now I could start next week and go Monday & Wednesday.  But the following week I have a hockey game on Monday & Christmas is on Wednesday.  The following week has New Years Day on Wednesday.  So that would mean I could only go three times in the course of three weeks.

I know it sounds like excuses, and there is probably some truth to that.  But if I'm going to do this, I really want to be able to get into a routine and be consistent with going - at least for the first month or so.  So, I'm putting it out there.  I absolutely WILL go to the 6:00 pm masters swim practice on Monday, January 6.  You read it here first!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So now what?

It's the end of November - the "off-season" - and I don't have a single race scheduled for the rest of this year or next year.  This is the time of year when I should be plotting out what races I want to do next season.  But with my on-going hip issues, it's hard to plan anything.

However I recently started receiving ART (Active Release Technique) treatments on my hip, and I've actually started running again this past week.  At my treatment yesterday, my provider told me that the area that needed treatment used to be THIS size but now it's only THIS size.  So she is seeing improvement and I'm feeling it, too. 

I started the Couch to 5k (C25K) running plan last weekend for the umpteenth time in my short running career.  But since I haven't been able to run at all since late August, I figured it was best to start slow.  

And I'm going to start swimming with the Masters group at my gym once I get past the work and Thanksgiving busyness of the next week and a half.

So, things are starting to fall into place.  I have hope that I'm going to be able to run again - at least enough to get me through a couple of sprint triathlons next summer.  And if my hip continues to improve at a steady pace, I've got my eye on a 5k in January.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mermaid 5K - A Different Kind of PR

This past Sunday I did the Mermaid 5k in San Francisco.  I've done this event so many times - including the 10k one year - that I've lost count.  I usually have a number of friends at this race who I otherwise don't get to see very often, and this year was no different.  But for some reason this year we forgot to take a picture before the race.  Doh!

How's this for a course view?
I still haven't been able to run due to my hip, so I was really happy my friend Myla was there.  She has a new baby at home so she has not been running either, so it was nice to have a walking buddy.  It was a beautiful morning, though a little chilly at the start.  We lined up way in the back and just considered it a beautiful Sunday morning walk.  We even stopped to take pictures since we weren't in any big hurry.

Myla and me - all smiles! 
Alcatraz in the distance.
It was really nice to have someone to walk and talk with the entire time, especially since we don't see each other very often.  The miles flew by.  We finished in 57:10 which was a new PR for me for the slowest 5k ever.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I've been taking a Swimming for Fitness class at my gym for the past couple of months.

"This class is intended to prepare you for Masters or general lap swimming. This class will focus on building your endurance through freestyle training. We will also practice the fundamentals of the other strokes- backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly."

And while I didn't learn butterfly (thankfully!), I now have a half decent backstroke and something that resembles a breaststroke.  The thing is, I went into this class with the intention of moving from this into Masters.  And, well, tomorrow is the last class.

So that means next week I should sign up for the Masters program.  Only now I'm shitting bricks about actually doing it.  I had hoped that there would be others in my class and we could move on together so I wouldn't be the only "new kid."  But only one other guy signed up for the current class and his attendance was sporadic.

My instructor has been telling me for weeks that I'm ready to start Masters, but when I asked him if I'm going to die when I start his response was, "Absolutely."  The workouts are longer than I'm used to and I am still so slow.  So this is exactly what I need, but I'm still afraid to give it a shot.

This is what I imagine I look like swimming.

This is what I want to look like swimming.

The other fear I need to face is running.  I have not run since August due to my hip injury.  I finally got a fluoroscopic cortisone injection in my hip joint over two weeks ago and it has knocked out about 90% of my pain.  I keep telling myself that I've been too busy to run due to swimming, spinning, golf, and Sharks games, and for the most part it's true.  But I could easily swap out a spin class for a run, especially since I'm not training for anything right now.  My doctor told me that I could resume my normal activities a week after the shot.  In fact, he encouraged it so we could see if it worked. But I'm just so happy to be virtually pain free, and I'm afraid that if I try running again I'm going to be disappointed if the pain comes back.

This is making planning for next year incredible difficult.  I have dreams of a half marathon and maybe moving up to an Olympic distance triathlon, but I feel like I can't make any plans until I know if I'm going to be able to run.

I think I need a swift kick in the ass to get out of my own head and just do it - both the Masters program and the running.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Run or Dye

These color runs have been popping up all over, so it was only a matter of time before I did one.  These are events where you run or walk a 5k and have color thrown at and on you.  My friend got together a team and her son named us Team Zombie Chicken.  My talented friend Chris even made matching shirts for us.

Team Zombie Chicken - the "before" picture.

We even had original chicken names - I'm "Fancy Fryer."

And the "after."

The "after" selfie.
It was a fun Saturday morning with beautiful weather and a great group of people.  And hapilly, the dye was not nearly as hard to get off as it looks!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My First Triathlon Season Is In the Books

So what have I been doing with all of my free time?  Obviously, not blogging!

I sometimes can't believe I did four triathlons this season.  Each race had it's own challenges.
  • For Moraga, it was the unexpectedly hilly bike course.
  • At the Mermaid Tri, the swim was so difficult for me.
  • At the Tri for Fun, the run just seemed brutally hot and endless.
  • And of course at See Jane Run, there was the flat tire that killed my time.
But with each of these challenges comes important lessons.  So below I'll share with you what I learned from my first triathlon season...the good, the bad, and everything in between.

  • Preview the course if you can.  I should have driven over to Moraga to check out the bike course so I could have better prepared for the hills.  On the other hand, in this case ignorance was bliss!  If I had known how hilly it was I may have been scared off.
  • Celebrate the small victories.  This time last year I was excited to be able to swim 75 yards without stopping.  A few weeks ago I swam 600 yards without stopping.  But I was equally as excited when it was only 75 yards because that was a huge accomplishment for me.
  • Transition times matter.  I was looking at the results from the See Jane Run Tri, and the top 2 finishers were neck and neck in most of the sports, but the winner had better transitions times and that turned out to be the margin of victory.
  • Practice changing your bike tires!  I can't emphasize this enough.  I plan to spend these winter months getting much more familiar with my bike and how to maintain it.
  • Carry what you need to change your flat.  In retelling my story of the flat tire, a couple of other athletes mentioned that they didn't even carry a spare tube on the bike for that race.  See Jane Run is a very beginner friendly event, but there was no SAG vehicle so you could wind up stuck out there.
  • Triathletes are the most friendly, encouraging and supportive group I've ever met.  During my last two tris, I was actually giving out information/advice to newbies even though I still felt like a newbie myself.  And I've been given a wealth of information from other triathletes as well.
  • I am much more fearless - or maybe it's just stubborn - than I ever imagined.  
Remember this swim?  I'll never forget it!
  • But the biggest lesson I've learned during my first triathlon season is to be grateful and to enjoy it.  I really struggled towards the end of the season because of my hip, but there are people who are much worse off than me...people who would give anything just to be able to do any one of these three sports.  Which is why I've really enjoyed every swim and spin class that I've done in the past few weeks.

I feel like I had a pretty successful rookie triathlon season.  And I can't wait to see what 2014 has in store for me!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

See Jane Run Triathlon Event Report

I'm calling this an event report instead of a race report since there was nothing race-like about it for me.  Going into it I'd been battling a hip injury for a month and a cold the week of the race.  My goal was to finish and to just enjoy my last triathlon of my first tri season.  Little did I know how hard that would be.

I arrived dark and early at 6:00 am right when transition opened and met my race buddy, Meredith.  We had done this event last year so we racked our bikes in the same spot - right near the 'bike in/out'.  Since it was still so dark there wasn't much more we could do until the sun came up but sit in the car and wait.  Once the sun came up and we headed back down to finish getting ready, we realized that they had changed transition from last year.  We were now as far away from the 'swim in' and 'bike out' as we could possibly be.  However, since we were still close to 'bike in' and 'run out' we decided to stay where we were.  So we finished setting up, got body marked, took a picture, and headed down to the lake to warm up and wait.

The required pre-race photo and the only photo I took all day.
It was finally time for my wave to line up.  Having done a race at this same location in August, I had a better strategy for this time.  I decided to line up on the right hand side but not as far back as last time.  The horn went off and we were swimming...and I was in the thick of it.  But I was calm and confident, if still slow!  I just kept going at my pace and wound up with a PR on the swim.  A big victory for me!

I had to run a ways in T1 to get to my bike, but felt like my transition was quick and efficient for a change.

The bike starts up a hill to get out of the park, then levels out for most of the rest of the ride.  The course was shortened to eight miles due to road construction so I knew I could push a little since it wasn't far.  I had started my Garmin to track the miles when I started riding, and about 3.5 miles into the ride my bike started to feel funny.  Oh, no!  Please don't let this be a flat!  I hopped off, checked the back tire and it was fine.  So I figured it was just the road, hopped back on and kept going.  But I could tell something was wrong.  I stopped again and realized that I did have a flat, but it was the front tire.  OK...no big deal.  I know how to change it.  I've got everything I need.  And here is when things went wrong...

I spent about 10 minutes trying to get my tire off the rim.  It was not coming off.  Plenty of other racers rode past and asked if I was OK.  I told them I had a flat but had everything I needed, but I was getting increasingly frustrated.  Finally a guy who was out for his Saturday ride stopped to see if I was OK.  I told him my problem so he got off his bike to help.  He then spent the next twenty or so minutes trying to get the tire off the rim.  He said he'd never seen anything like this in his life - and repeatedly told me I need to get new tires ASAP or I'm going to wind up stranded somewhere!  It took the two of us to finally dislodge the stubborn tire from it's rim, we got it changed, and then it took another 10 or so minutes to get the tire back on the rim.  I was so grateful to this random man who stopped to help me - I told him he was my knight in shining spandex!  I was finally able to get going again - after about 40 minutes - and I think I held my breath the remainder of the ride hoping that my tire would hold.  And while riding back, I was thinking how I couldn't wait to see how long this little 8 mile bike ride actually took me when I looked down and realized that I no longer had my timing chip.

When I got back to T2, I noticed that most of the bikes were gone - as in, most people had finished the race and left.  I was incredibly disheartened by the bike and honestly considered not going out for the run.  I figured what difference does it make since I lost my chip and won't know my time anyway. But I actually had managed to catch a few of the duathletes who started in the last wave and saw them heading out on the run.  So I figured I'd go for it, but my heart wasn't in it at all.  I managed to catch up to a woman named Joanna who was walk/running at the same pace as me, so I fell in with her and we started to talk.  Joanna was my second savior that day.  If not for her, my run would have been absolutely miserable, but having her to talk and joke with made it much more fun.

We crossed the finish line together, only to be told that they had run out of finisher's medals but they would send them to us in the mail.  Of course, they would know who hadn't received them based on our finishing times.  But since I didn't have my timing chip, how would I get a medal?  Luckily I was able to locate a volunteer who took my name and address down and said they'd still mail one to me.  And then I was able to locate my chip, stuck to the velcro of my wetsuit back in transition.

So with that, my first triathlon season is in the books.  It seems I enjoyed different aspects and faced different challenges in each event.  But I can't say I'm not a little disappointed in the way this one turned out.  I guess that just means I need to start thinking about what I want to do next year to make up for it. :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Taper Week...or Is This Race Doomed?

Only four days until race day, and as you know I've been dealing with an unhappy hip for a few weeks.  I've only run once since the end of August, and it was really just some 30 second intervals of running surrounded by more walking.  I finally feel like I might be able to run some of the course, and today I woke up with a head cold.

I tried to tell myself it's just allergies, but with two of my six coworkers sick last week I can't deny what it really is.  So instead of taper week, I'm turning it into "lay of the couch after work" week.  And I've stocked up on the necessary supplies.

Jamba Juice Orange C-Booster and Zicam - breakfast of champions!

Friday, September 20, 2013

And the Beat Goes On

Or the training goes on.  Or maybe it's both since I tend to listen to music while I train.  Anyway, we're down to less than two weeks until my last triathlon of my first triathlon season...and my excitement has returned!

I celebrated my birthday this week, and my husband took so much time to pick out the perfect gift for me.  He bought me a pair of triathlon bike shoes.  They are so light and comfortable, and they even match my bike.  Unfortunately he didn't understand the difference in cleat compatibility, so they are going to have to go back.  But I was really touched by how much time he put into searching for the perfect gift.  I think he's more upset than I am that I can't use these shoes.

Physical therapy is going well.  I've been incredibly diligent with my stretching exercises and really feel like it's making a difference.  I still haven't run in almost a month, but I think it might be time to test things out.

So...tomorrow I'm going to do a little bike/run (or walk) brick.  I'm thinking to heading for the gym for spin class and following it up with some time on the track.  My gym is on a college campus and I finally took the time to find the track last week.

Newly redone track!
I couldn't get over the view - if I had known I would have been doing track workouts on a regular basis.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Training Through an Injury

With only a few more weeks until the See Jane Run triathlon, I've landed on the injured list. The hip condition that I've been living with for over four years has sent me back to physical therapy.

So while I'm still able to swim and bike with minimal issues, running is currently out of the question. I'm trying to be a good patient...in fact, I haven't even tried to run in over three weeks and I've been diligent in doing my PT exercises. But it's still a little tough to accept that the race I've been looking forward to all year isn't going to go as I hoped or planned.

I'm trying not to let it affect my training. Like I mentioned, I can still swim and bike. I even went on a hilly three mile hike last weekend since I can't run. But I'd be lying if I said my motivation hasn't been lacking.

I swam today.  On the weekends they switch one of the pools to long course.  It was a beautiful day and I had a lane to myself.  Tomorrow I'll either ride my bike after work or I'll head to spin class.  I'm going to just keep going through the motions and hope that the excitement comes back.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Raffle Winner

In my very low tech manner, the winner for the free entry into the See Jane Run Triathlon was chosen today.  I wrote the names on equal sized squares of paper and put them into a hat.  My husband was the official chooser of the name.

And the winner is...Stephanie!  Congratulations!  I'll be contacting you with details on how to claim your registration.

And if you didn't win but still want to tri, use the code TRIDU13 for $10 off your registration fee.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

See Jane Run Race Entry Raffle

I was never a swimmer as a kid.  In fact, I don't think I knew anyone who was.  I guess that's just not something the city kids in Philadelphia did when I was growing up.  Oh sure, we'd go to the pool at the public rec center, "The Rec", and splash around on hot days.  My family even belonged to a swim club when I was growing up.  But my skills were limited to if you pushed me into the pool I won't drown, but don't ask me to swim a lap of any recognized stroke.

Mermaid Lake Swim Club
When I injured my hip in 2008 I decided to join the local YMCA so I could swim instead of running.  Let's just say that that was a very humbling experience.  I don't know why I thought I could just buy a swimsuit, get in the pool, and start swimming laps even though I'd never done it in my entire life.  I think I spent more time doing water jogging than swimming.  And once I recovered from my injury and was able to get back to more land based activities, swimming fell by the wayside.

Over the past few years I've done a number of duathlons to change things up from strictly running and to get some cross training.  I always enjoyed the multisport experience, so I decided maybe it was time to literally take the plunge and really learn how to swim.

I started with some group swim lessons.  While they may have helped with the technique, I still didn't feel like I "got it" when the session ended.  I kept going to the pool and trying to apply what I had learned, but I still could not swim one length of the pool.  So for my birthday last September, I told my husband that I wanted private swim lessons and he bought me a set of five half hour sessions.

It took a lot of work and some persistence on my part, but all of a sudden one night while I was swimming something just clicked.  I felt like I "got it", and now  I regularly swim over 1000 yards every time I go to the pool.  I am amazed and proud all at the same time.

I have really fallen in love with swimming, and I've since completed three triathlons and am doing my fourth in a few weeks.  And here is your chance to win a free entry to that triathlon to do it along with me.

I am giving a way one free entry to the See Jane Run Triathlon on October 5 in Pleasanton.  All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog post telling me that you want to Tri...or that you want to Du.  That's right!  Even if you can't swim, you can still participate in the Duathlon - Run/Bike/Run.  And if you share this post on Twitter and leave another comment telling me you did so, I'll give you a second chance to win.  It's that simple.

It's a great event and a great atmosphere.  Why not join me?  What have you got to lose?  The winner will be chosen next Sunday, September 8 so please enter by September 7.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tri for Fun Race Report

The name doesn't lie - it was fun!  I signed up for this event purely as practice.  Since this race is at the same location as the See Jane Run Triathlon in October, I thought this would be a good opportunity to test out my skills on the course.

There was no advance packet pick up, so I got there at 5:30 just as check-in was opening.

It was early but at least the lake looked calm.
I checked in, went back to the car to grab my gear, and got a great spot in transition - first row near the bike in and out.  When I checked in I found out I was in the last wave - women 40 and over and kids 16 and under.  My initial thought was, "Great.  Now I get to be smoked by children on the swim!"  But I quickly pushed that thought out of my head.  I spent the entire previous day telling myself that I was finally going to have a good swim.  Negative thoughts, be gone!

The lake in the sunlight.  Still calm - both me and the lake!

With plenty of time before the pre-race briefing on the beach, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I could get in the lake and warm up for the swim.  I wasn't able to do this at either of my previous triathlons, and I wish I could have.  The water was so warm, I could have done without a wetsuit.  But I wasn't giving up the extra buoyancy!

It was finally time for my wave to head out.  It was a beach start, so I lined up in the back and towards the outside right since we'd be swimming out and turning left.  They gave us the go and we all moved forward.  It took a while for everyone to start swimming because it wasn't deep enough.  Once I did start swimming, my arms were going through the underwater plants with each stroke.  Luckily I was warned about this ahead of time so it didn't bother me at all.  In fact, nothing bothered me!  I swam, I sighted, I got kicked, I went a little off course but noticed before I got too far, I was going stroke for stroke with another swimmer for a while until she went off course and bumped me, I even passed a few other swimmers.  And it was amazing!  For the first time, I was totally comfortable in the open water.  After the final turn towards shore, I could see all of the cool stuff on the bottom of the lake and I didn't want the swim to end.  I'm not saying I was fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it was comfortable and fun and a real boost to my confidence.

On to the bike, straight uphill out of the gate.  Luckily I was prepared and had my bike in the right gear.  Since I'd done the See Jane Run Duathlon here last year, I was familiar with the bike course.  It's mostly flat with only the hill out of transition and one other uphill.  I remembered to eat and drink on the ride so I wouldn't bonk on the run.  I was really pushing it on the bike and passed quite a few people.  And before I knew it I was back at transition.

Change the shoes, swap out bike helmet for visor and GO!  Only my legs and my heart rate were saying NO!  It took a few minutes for my heart rate to settle to a pace where I actually could run, so it was a few minutes of walking at the start.  Once I got to the top of the first hill, I started in with my run/walk intervals.  The course was mostly on a dirt trail with lots of ups and downs.  So I walked the ups, ran the downs, and tried to run most of the flats.  The course was a crazy figure eight pattern and by the second mile I really just wanted it to be over.  I finally got to the point where we were off the trail and I was so happy to be running on asphalt again.  Strange, I know!  A short sprint to the finish line, and my third triathlon was over.

This was an un-timed event, but there was a clock at the finish.  Our wave was told that if we wanted to know our time to subtract 15 minutes from the clock time.  So I came in at approximately 1:50:xx - about six minutes faster than my time at the Mermaid Tri.

I went into this telling myself that it was practice and it was all for fun, but of course my competitive side was happy that I beat the time of my last tri.  I also learned a few things that will help with the remainder of my training for my race in October.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


This past Sunday I signed up for a triathlon that is happening this Saturday.  That's right - I signed up with only a week until race day.

It's a Tri for Fun so it's not even timed - unless you want to pay an extra fee for a timing chip.  It's at the site of the See Jane Run Triathlon that I'm doing in October.  I thought it would be a great no-pressure way to get a little more familiar with the course and to get in another open water swim.  My plan has been to treat it like a training session and not a race.

But I just got an e-mail from the event company.  And now I've got huge butterflies!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I had nine days off from work, and it was absolute heaven!  I had so much fun and relaxation, only pictures can accurately describe it.

I played in a golf tournament with friends and we all wore farm animal shirts.

Rooster, pig, goat, cow.

I went to the mountains. 

Approaching Lake Tahoe - one of my favorite places!

I spent a lot of time in this yard.

A hot tub and a hammock - what more could one ask for?

I played some more golf with this guy - 36 holes in one day!

Look at those mountains in the background.

I met the local golf dog.

Ruff life.

When we got back from the mountains, we decided to head to the beach.

I rode that roller coaster twice!
Now vacation is over and it's back to my regular routine.  But it's OK.  Life is good!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My New Pool Toy

I've been on the fence about this for a while, but a few weeks ago I finally decided to pull the trigger and buy myself a new toy for the pool.  I purchased a Finis SwiMP3.  It's a device for listening to music underwater - basically a fancy iPod for swimming.

My new toy!
What it looks like out of the box.

I find it really helps me tune out the distractions of the crowded pool deck and kids swim lessons when I swim after work.  And if I swim in the morning, the music gives me the extra little push to keep going - especially if one of my favorite songs comes on.  Let me tell you, lap swimming will never be the same again!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I played in a golf tournament with my friend on Thursday & Friday last week.  She is a member of a country club and they have an annual ladies member/guest tournament.  This is the third year she has invited me to play on her team as her guest, and we had a great time.

They really spoil us rotten at this tournament.  Hot breakfast and lunch each day.  Snacks in your cart.  People driving around handing out mimosas or wine, smoothies, goodie bags with cookies baked fresh at the club that very morning.

We received a gift each day at lunch.  The first day it was a Geneva watch.  The second day it was a golf jacket.

And although we weren't the actual winners, we did turn in the 2nd best net score in our flight so we each received a platter as our trophy.

My first ever golf award.
We were also able to wager on the teams and I decided to put $20 on our team to win or place.  If I'm not willing to bet on my own team, who else would?  Turns out I doubled my money with my little wager.  We had a really great time and I'm so glad I was able to play in this event.

And speaking of golf tournaments, I'm playing in another one this Saturday.  It's sponsored by a local bar, and my girlfriends and I have been playing in it for years.  We never have a chance to win because they don't have a category for women's teams - just the overall low score, which always turns out to be a group of big hitting men.  My husband's team actually won a few years ago.

Since we know there is no chance of us winning, we just go out and try to have as much fun as legally possible.  That usually involves matching outfits.  This year we're going with a farm animal theme.

I get to be the rooster.
I'm looking forward to another day on the course with my friends.  A bad day of golf is still a day of golf!

Monday, July 22, 2013

And Training Is Under Way

I'm already into the second week of training for the See Jane Run triathlon and I'm feeling good.  With the help of some creative scheduling, I've managed to hit all of my swim/bike/run workouts, plus I've added in some strength training for good measure.

My motto for the training for this race is "Progress, not perfection."  In the past, I've been known to focus so much on hitting the exact time/mileage that it would stress me out.  By the time I got to the actual event, things weren't even fun anymore.  I have promised myself that I will not let that happen this time around.

Luckily it's early enough in my training that none of my workouts are even an hour long yet.  Because of this, I'm able to squeeze in a short run before heading out to play golf on the weekend.  Or I can move things around and get my longer weekend bike or run done on a weekday even with work, and do the shorter one on the weekend.  This week I'm doing short double workouts on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday because I'm playing in a golf tournament on Thursday & Friday.

Balance!  It's the thing that I think I was usually missing in the past.  I'm really enjoying triathlon and all of the training that goes into it, but I'm not going to sacrifice a round of golf or a dinner out with friends because I'm worried about how it will affect my training.

And speaking of golf, I had a fantastic time playing golf with seven of my friends on Saturday.  Girls golf outings are the best.  We joked and laughed and had such a great time.  There were so many deer on this course, I could not believe it.

A few youngsters in the fairway.
Who is that under the tree?
A closer look...just a baby resting in the shade.
We had the perfect weather for golf and it was good for my spirit to hang out with friends and do something active.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random Ramblings

I haven't been good with blogging this summer, but that doesn't mean I haven't had anything going on.

  • Dan & I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary on July 4th by riding our bikes to the local parade.  I've lived in this area for over 20 years and have never gone to the parade.  
I realized when I got home that every picture I took has this pink umbrella in it.

  • The following day we continued the celebration by playing golf at one of our favorite courses located right on the ocean.
How can you beat this view?

  • Training for the See Jane Run triathlon has started and I have managed to get in three workouts before work this week.  This is a record for me!  I usually have good intentions but wind up hitting the snooze and working out after work instead.
  • I'm playing in two golf tournaments in the next three weeks - one at a very nice place, and the other at a not-so-nice course.  But it's golf with girlfriends, and the company is way more important than the course.
  • I've got a vacation coming up - heading to one of my favorite places for some major relaxation.
And that's all I've got for now...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crossfit and Tri Training

I came across an Amazon Local offer yesterday that I just could not refuse -  six Crossfit Fundamentals classes for $39.  For anyone unfamiliar with Crossfit, the best way I can describe it is a combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio conditioning.  From what I've seen, it looks pretty intense - so intense that you have to take the Fundamentals classes before they will even let you participate in the regular workouts.

I've always wanted to try it, so when this deal showed up in my mailbox I couldn't pass it up.  When signing up, they offered session dates and you could choose when you wanted to attend.  I knew that if I put it off, there would always be something else going on that would seem more important than cashing in my coupon so I went ahead and booked my sessions starting on August 12.

Since my training plan for the See Jane Run Triathlon in October starts tomorrow (already?), I'm going to tie my Crossfit sessions into my training.  Whenever I am training for an endurance event - whether a half marathon, a duathlon, or a tri - my strength training always seems to go out the window.  I really don't want that to happen for this event.  I know I'll have a much better race if I'm stronger, and my wonky hip will be happier if I'm stronger.

In the weeks since the Mermaid Tri, I've gotten back to formal strength training sessions on a more regular basis.  So now I've just got to continue with it throughout the tri training.  And I think these Crossfit sessions just might be the added motivation I need.  I don't want to show up and be the girl who couldn't do any of the exercises, so I'm going to work on getting stronger so I can get stronger.  Nothing like the fear of public humiliation as a motivator!