Monday, March 31, 2008

Hoofin' and hills

Tina and I ran the Mermaid 10k on Sunday. It's an all women's run and this was our second year running it, although last year we did the 5k after running a trail run on Saturday.

This year we had a longer drive to get to the run, since they moved it from Fremont to Mountain View. I think the Shoreline park allowed them to have more participants, and it showed. We arrived *plenty* early and sat in the comfort of the car until it was time to hit the porta-potties and then the start line. Right before we were ready to jump out, T turned the ignition on to check the outside temp, and was rewarded with nothing but 'click', 'click'. Hm, the battery had died and we didn't even have any lights on! Ah well, no time to worry about that now, we have a run to finish. :-)

The start was really crowded and it was tough to get my rhythm going. Eventually it thinned out a little, but it was still quite crowded. I was pushing the run a bit, trying to stay around a 9:15 pace. I managed to negotiate the dirt/paved trail and finally made it to the finish line in 57:04. T came in shortly after that with a tweaked knee and wheezing from all the stupid dust. We went to get her an ice pack, which turned out not icy at all, and then headed to check out the booths. There weren't too many vendors and the food line was *HUGE* so we headed to the organizers to see about borrowing some jumper cables. We were directed to some cables and even found a really nice European gentleman to hook 'em up and jump the battery. Schweet.

We decided to squeeze our Cindy taper ride in right after the 10k and (biiiiig mistake) T delegated route planning to me. Yeah, I have a *little* problem with paying attention to elevation. We ended up doing a much hillier route than either of us cared to, especially after a 10k. But we did it. In another week we'll be done with Cindy and prepping for the Uvas Tri. Well, not that we haven't been tri prepping all along....we just won't have to do such looooong rides. Oh, and we'll *get* to add in some bricks. Joy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I've got a problem with food. Lately I seem to be hungry all the time. I can eat breakfast or lunch and be hungry an hour later. I feel like I'm eating plenty of good food. Trying to get my whole grains, protein, veggies and fruits in. My weight isn't changing. Well, no more than the usual ups and downs, so I'm obviously replacing all the calories I'm burning. But my stomach is rumbling more than usual. Not sure what's going on.

Exercise thus far:

Monday: Weights and then....NOTHING. Nice.

Tuesday: Swim 1500 yds in about 40 min in the morning; spin on the trainer 45 min at night, including some one-legged spinning. Uh, yeah, don't ask. :-)

Wednesday: Weights followed by a 5k on the treadmill. That's all I could pump out today. We did quite a few jumps, squats, lunges, etc so my legs were a wee-bit tired.

Coming up this weekend: The Mermaid 10k
Coming up next weekend: The Cindy 65 mile ride (note to self: bring the sunscreen along!)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Lost in Livermore

Tina and I met up with the Velo Girls again today for the 'final' big Cindy training ride. We were scheduled for 53 miles which would include part of the Cindy course only in reverse.

We arrived to sunny skies and rapidly warming air. We slathered our faces and legs with sunscreen and soon took off rolling. The only bump in the first half of the ride was missing the entrance to the Iron Horse trail and tacking on about a mile detour. Not bad.

We were pretty much broken into the 'fast' group and the 'not so fast' group, with T and I bringing up the tail of the fast group. With about 20 miles to go, T dropped her chain and while we stopped to fix it the rest of the group was off like rockets. Luckily we had the route sheet, so we could find our way back. Up hills, down hills, all was well until we got back to the Livermore area and the sheet instructed us to take a "L" on Stanley. Uh, yeah, you *can't* take a left on Stanley. What the sheet failed to mention was that you first have to go R and make a bit of a loop and *then* go left. I think I was carb depleted because I had the stupid idea to try an alternate way around. Yeah, that led to about an extra 7 miles and terminated in some dead end roads. Sorry T! :-( We eventually figured out where we were *supposed* to have turned and back tracked and finally made it to the end. One of the ride leaders came over and after I told her about our trials and tribulations, she commented "Well, at least you had each other. Glad you made it back." Uhh, okaaay.

I kinda thought that the point of riding with a group was so that there would be folks around who knew where they were going and would stick with those of us who don't. So far we've been out with the Velo Girls twice and both times we've gotten lost and been left for dead. Okay, maybe not left for dead, but certainly left. Not so nice.

All in all were out in the sun on the bike for about 5 hours and instead of covering 53 miles we covered 63. I guess we're 'ready' for the Cindy after all. My tush sure was glad to climb down off that bike tho. Oh, and you may have noticed that I said we put sunscreen on our legs and faces. Yeah, we were wearing jackets so we forgot our arms, even after T said "we should put some on our arms", but the jacket sleeves came off fairly early in the day. So, now T and I are sporting some crispy arms. Some painfully crispy arms. :-(

I got home and was reminded that I was supposed to run with Jeff for his Pig training run. He was supposed to do 4 miles and so I changed clothes and we headed out. It was pretty warm, too warm for Bam in fact. She kept falling behind and was panting like a dog. At just under 3.5 miles I threw in the towel and walked the rest of the way with her while Jeff finished up running. He walked back to meet us and we proceeded to shower up and pig out. Gotta replace those calories, ya know. :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Random musings

Workout summary since I last blogged:

Tuesday: I was a slacker and just did my swim. Total 1200-1300 yards. I tend to lose count and end up repeating drills because I can't remember where I'm at. I need to get one of those little hand clicker counter thingies.

Wednesday: Weights followed immediately by 5 miles on the treadmill at an average 8:56 pace. Not recommended. :-)

Thursday: 20 minutes on the trainer, 40 minutes running, another 20 minutes on the trainer. I was supposed to get all my biking in before Jeff got home and we went for 'his' run, but I didn't quite make it. I don't recommend this sequence either. :-)

TV Show Anticipation: The final season (4) of Battlestar Galactica starts on April 4th. Yes! I know, I know, I'm exposing myself as a sci fi geek, but what I can I say? Guilty. Amazingly there's a 'recap' of a season 4 episode on the web site. Hmm, wonder if that's a mistake or a teaser to suck people in? I hope they wrap up all the loose ends satisfactorily. :-) Also, when are the shows coming back with new episodes?!? Do Meredith and McDreamy (Grey's Anatomy) end up together or what?!?

Sporting Equipment upgrades: I ordered some triathlon shoes from Bicycle Garage. I took them home with my new pedals and cleats, hoping to have them installed on Ruby tomorrow. Um, yeah, I've decided I need a smaller shoe size. I called my 'dealer', Fred, to tell him. I'm sure he hates hearing from me. I'm such a biking newbie that I always have tons of questions and have a hard time making up my mind about anything. Yeah, he's going to start screening my calls. I'm sure of it.

New Favorite Song to Finish Up A Run To: This Ain't a Scene by Fallout Boy

Weekend plans: Long run of 8 miles, long bike of 55-ish miles, lots of eating. On separate days, if you please, except for the eating which seems pretty much continuous these days. My legs aren't going to be happy with me come Sunday afternoon. Sigh, so what's new? No other big plans..I think that's probably enough to wipe me out. Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Picture perfect

My aunt made us a beautiful stained glass window (Thanks Aunt Pat!). It arrived in perfect condition yesterday and I can't wait to get it up in the window where the sun (if we could have some today, please) can shine through it.

Here's a piece of it:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sum it up

Just wanted to give a run down of recent activities for all my fans out there (hahahahaha):


....let's see, oh yeah...Saturday was a 50 mile, ok, ok, 49 mile ride. T and I 'borrowed' another route sheet from the Fremont Freewheelers bicycle club and did a bunch of riding around Livermore for a total of 49 miles and 1700 feet of elevation gain. Notable parts of the ride:

T's flat tire 10 minutes into the ride, where we learned that some bike tires only go on the rim one way and where two cyclists that passed us (in separate incidences) asked if we were okay. I guess we looked as inept as we were feeling. :-)

The hill where the route sheet warned us to "gear down". I dutifully down shifted and pedaled right up the hill. That was it?!? Uh, no. As we turned a corner the reason for gearing down was soon in full view. I pedaled and down shifted and pedaled some more. Soon I was in my lowest gear and having to stand up to pedal and keep moving. I barely made it to the top and stopped to catch my breath. That's when I looked down and saw that I hadn't geared down at all. I was still on my big ring. Doh! No wonder I almost died on that hill.

At mile 39 we were instructed to take a coffee break at Noah's Bagels. So of course we did. We split a bagel, had coffee (T) and hot chocolate (me), and pedaled the remaining 10 miles of our route.

All in all, we covered 49 miles. Our longest ride yet. :-) One more long ride (55 miles) until the main event on April 5. Yippee!


Sunday was the Dublin Shamrock 5k. We like this run because pups are allowed. :-) The whole family participated, Jeff, Bam and me. Matt, Tina and Teva ran too. It was Jeff's first event 'running' and Bam and I stuck with him the whole way. Well, until the last 100 yards or so where he took off and left us. Bam was tuckered out and wouldn't be dragged along to keep up. 3.1 miles in just under 31 minutes. Not too bad for his first 'real' run. :-)


Weights and then after work running. We hit Coyote Hills and it was SUPER windy. The Garmin kept saying we were running around 10:30 miles but it felt like 9:30s! That was some serious wind factor. We managed to pound out 5.5 miles before darkness and Bam's exhaustion 'forced' us to quit for the night. Darn, so sad. :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pre-Easter Peep Show

WARNING.... Adult content! ;-)

Ah, gotta love those little marshmallows. :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wow, quite the reward

I squeezed in my 7 miler today at 'lunch', although it was stretching my lunch hour just a bit. I covered 7 miles in about 1:06, 9:33 average pace says Garmin.

And when I downloaded to Nike+, I was rewarded with this.....

Nike Reward
Is that special or what? I bet I have another 50-75 miles in runs that I wasn't able to log due to technical difficulties. I do enjoy the kudos from Lance and Paula tho. :-)

Just beat

I'm just exhausted. Some how, some way, I need to build in some down time to my training schedule. Trying to fit in long runs, long rides, swimming and weight training is leaving me drained. I think things will be 'better' after the Cinderella ride is over (April 5). Until then, somethings going to have to give.

So far this week I've covered:
Mon: weights in the morning, 3.25 mile hill run at Garin
Tue: swim 1200 yds in the morning, bike on the trainer for 8 miles (about 35 min)
Wed: weights in the morning, bike on the trainer for 8 more miles

Today I was supposed to get up and swim, but I just couldn't make myself do it. The dark morning and sprinkle of rain didn't help matters much. Also, I'm supposed to do a 7 mile run today at some point. That's my long run for the week. It would normally be a weekend thing, but since we're supposed to do a long ride (50-ish miles) and we have a Shamrock 5k on Sunday, I just don't think I can also fit in a 7 miler over the weekend. So it's either today or tomorrow. I brought my stuff so I *could* run at lunch. I'll have to see if I can get myself motivated for that one. My body seems to be in full rebellion at this point. Maybe once the drugs kick in for my various aches and pains I'll be able to regain command.

Side note: Last weekend Jeff and I volunteered at the Art Inspires Hope event that benefits Camp Okizu. We volunteered last year and decided to pitch in again this year. The camp is for kids with cancer and their families. It's a place the kids can feel normal around a bunch of other kids who are facing similar problems. It was a good night spent for a good cause. This year we got to interact with the hoity toity rich folks more as we were guarding the fancy jewelry that was being auctioned off. It was fun talking to them and unbelieveable just how *much* money some of these folks obviously had. Starting bid $2000, no problem..let's bid on several things. I was wondering if the sluggish economy (*cough*...recession...*cough*) would hinder the amount of money they were able to raise this year, but I received word that they raised around $450,000 for the camp from the auctions and donations. That's an increase of more than $150,0000 over what they were able to raise last year. An incredible night for the camp.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

When is a hill not a hill?

Evidently when you're a cyclist.

T and I met up with the Velo Girls for a Cinderella training ride. They were meeting down in South San Jose for once, instead of up north, so we drove the 40-45 minutes down there to meet them. The route covered part of the Uvas Tri route (in reverse), part of the San Jose Tri route and a whole bunch more. We were given two choices when we showed up. We could do the full 45 mile route or take a shorter 30-35 mile route with one of the ride leaders who wasn't up to the 45 miler. Of course we opted for the longer route.

First thing we noticed was how easy going and nice the riders were. They were also *way* more organized than the Luna Chix group. And although we didn't get any free Luna stuff, we did get a free Velo Girls water bottle! Woo Hoo! ("Another water bottle!?!", says Jeff :-)

We rolled out around 9:00 I'd guess, I wasn't really checking the time. Of course I forgot to hit the start on my Garmin right away. Sheesh, me and my tech issues. Not too long into the ride we hit the hill we had been warned about. It was fairly long and fairly awful, but we managed. The rest of the ride was supposed to be flat, or so we were told.

As a 'runner' (and I use the term loosely), a hill means something different than it seems to mean to all these cyclist groups. Because although there weren't any hills as bad as that first one, there were still what I call hills! At the top of the last of the hills I waited for Tina while the rest of the group we were riding with enjoyed their reward and took off down the hill. T and I soon followed, but couldn't see them anywhere on the route. We backtracked and tried to decipher the route sheets cryptic comments about a 'side loop', but still couldn't find them. So we skipped the side loop (and were we sad about missing that incline? no, I don't think so) and hooked back up to the trail that was listed on the route sheet. Still no sign of the other groups. We made our way *all* the way back to the car and still didn't see anyone. It was really weird. But just after we arrived, the faster group came rolling up. Evidently they took the side loop and that's where we passed them.

Again, my legs were wiped, but it was better than last week's ride. I didn't have to collapse to the ground when we got back to the car. And my butt must be toughening up a bit. Oh, don't get me wrong, I still wanted *OFF* that saddle at the end.

Eventually the ride leader showed up and T and I were lamenting that we'd never make it 65 miles when we felt like this after 45. Her advice? "You might want to slow down *just* a little." Obviously she doesn't know who she's talking to. :-)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Not crazy about amphibians tho

Bam and decapitated Frog

Thursday, March 06, 2008

She does like her animals

Bam and Squirrel

Bam and Piggy

Bam and Bunny

No spin for you!

I dragged my butt out of bed at 4:45 this morning, planning on hitting the 5:30 spin class. I arrived at the gym about 5:20 only to learn that it was already full. Argh! I quickly squashed any blooming thoughts of going back home to sleep for an extra hour and made myself climb on the treadmill instead. Dang it, I knew I should have brought my running shoes instead of my gym shoes. Well, at least my gym shoes are running shoes, just not *my* running shoe. My gym shoes are Nikes, which I haven't had great luck running in.

I put in a steady hour on the treadmill, 1% incline, just over 6.5 miles. I did a few ab exercises while I cooled down from the run and then called it a day.

I think that's my last attempt at making it to spin. I refuse to get up any earlier than I already do. I'll just have to make my own spin class on my trainer at home. I'm glad to have put in a fair distance run tho, so the day wasn't a total waste. :-)

On a side note, I'm stressing over trying to fit in swimming, biking and running for my combo of events coming up in the next couple of months. I seem to go back and forth between feeling like it will be ok and totally stressing. I just look at the training schedule and freak out. Okay, okay, deep, calming breaths. Ooooooommmmm.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


This morning I ran with Jeff for his 4 miles, then took off for a couple miles of my own. Total run time 1 hr and just over 6 miles. I downloaded my info to Nike+ and it says I've logged 100 runs, for a total of 487 miles. I wonder how much more that would be if I didn't keep having tech issues with the Nike+.

On another Nike subject, the Nike Women's Marathon has gone to a lottery system this year. The lottery is open from March 4th-March 18th. Then they'll pick names and notify folks on April 1st. Kinda like an April Fool's day present, eh? The thing that kinda sucks is that if you've run all 4 years, you are guaranteed entry and get a special registration link. Doh! I missed it by one year. The only one I haven't run, so far, is the first one. Ah well, lottery here I come.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cinderella training continues

Two of the groups that have training rides for Cinderella were riding today in the North, too far away for us to want to drive up there. One group was doing a 50 mile route, the other a 40 mile route. We opted for a 40 mile route as well, and pilfered a route sheet off the web for the Calaveras Loop. It was supposed to start at the shop where I got my bike, but I had T come over and we started from my place.

We were pedaling along by about 8:15 this morning. The first part of the ride was through Niles Canyon, which altho pretty, is a little scary. There isn't much of a bike lane in some spots, it's only a 2 lane road, and the cars tend to cruise along pretty quickly. A few times a big pickup went by and I felt like it was too close for comfort. Soon enough we were on our way out toward the Calaveras reservoir and 'the climb.' Yep, the route sheet actually warned us that the Geary Road landmark would be the start of 'the climb.' Three miles later we made it to the "False Summit." No really, I'm not making this up. It says that on the paper! It also said that almost 7 miles later we would hit "The Wall." That sounded ominous to us, so we took advantage of the false summit to take a little rest break. A few other riders pulled up as well and we quizzed them about The Wall. "Oh, that's the downhill.", one guy says, "You'll hit a few more rollers, but not too bad." Oh, well, we can certainly handle going down something called The Wall. At least we won't have to CLIMB the wall. Yeah, well, that guy lied. Not about the downhill, but about there being a 'few' gentle rollers. Or maybe I'm just such a wuss rider that the rollers seem worse to me. I dunno.

Anyway, the downhill was awesome, we topped out at over 30 mph. So that was fun, but quick. And we still had to make it all the way home after having ridden all those 'rollers.' I was already exhausted. Little did I know that we still had some hills to get over before we could get back to my house. Ugh.

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see my house as I was today. I'm not sure how I'm going to make it 65 miles when today was just a hair under 40 miles and my legs were wiped out. But I got my Cinderella registration card in the mail today, so I guess I'll get thru it somehow. Here are the stats for today: