Friday, January 30, 2009


I heard about Ahmed, from Playtri Coaching/Racing, today. While in Kona, Hawaii for a training camp he was hit by an ignorant driver descending from a climb with a couple other guys. My prayers go out to him, Staci, his son Ali, and the rest of his family. I know he had big plans for this year, one of them being Worlds in Australia. His injuries- a broken collarbone, fractured ribs, and a punctured lung- will make it tough to recover soon enough. But if anyone has strength, determination, and a positive attitude it's Ahmed. I wish him the best and fastest recovery. Please keep him in your thoughts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

From one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda...

Queda Prohibido-

Queda prohibido llorar sin aprender,
Levantarte un dia sin saber que hacer,
Tener miedo a tus recuerdos…

Queda prohibido no sonreir a los problemas,
No luchar por lo que quieres,
Abondonarlo todo por miedo,
No convertir en realidad tus suenos,…

Queda prohibido no intentar comprender
a las personas,
Pensar que sus vidas valen menos que la tuya,
No saber que cada uno tiene su camino y su dicha…

Queda prohibido no crear tu historia,
No tener un momento para la gente que te necesita,
No comprender que lo que la vida te da,
Tambien te lo quita…

Queda prohibido no buscar tu felicidad,
No vivir tu vida con una actitud positiva,
No pensar en que podemos ser mejores,
No sentir que sin ti, este mundo no seria igual…

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Saturday Ride- Lake Miramar to Julian

Yesterday was priceless. I made the drive down to Lake Miramar to meet with my coach for a long ride. I'd seen posts, pics, and heard comments about rides out to Dudley's Bakery (yes, food is always the focus and essence of a good ride hehe). So, I was pumped.
We left promptly at 8am, expecting, and looking forward to, rain and colder temps. It was drizzling the first 5 or so miles but then Murphy's Law held true and given that we wanted bad weather, we didn't get it. Granted, it was cloudy and cold enough for jackets and toe warmers, especially at the top in Julian, but no rain and no Dallas-like wind chills :)
I'm trying to expose myself to miserable weather in order to toughen up my wimpiness-uhhhm, yea.
Anyway, it was a blast. After about 2:30 we reached Dudley's I gulped down a sandwhich and a fabulous choc chip cookie and we continued upward. All in all it was about 7,000ft elevation gain, constant rollers and gradual long climbs even on the way back. We climbed up to Julian in 51min and then made the descent to head back. I loved this climb. Last year I did Palomar which is basically the other side and only slightly further from Dudley's. Palomar is a bit longer but neither presented any traffic at all, maybe it was just luck of the days to ride, but that's always a plus.
After I raced to Whole Foods and sinned on sushi once again (oops!), devoured a pint of Java frozen yogurt, and then went to Kristin's for a while to chat. She ran the Carlsbad Marathon today and absolutely killed, getting 2nd in her AG in 3:28!
That was it- an epic, must repeat ride. I'm feeling some great early season fitness and only hope to continue healthy and build up more and more.
This morning was an ez swim....about 70min, mostly IM work. Then I picked up the kids at their grandparents' and got in my run.
Now it's chill time and an OFF DAY tomorrow! It'll be good to get some errands done and squeeze in 2-3 naps :D

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bike Fit at Edge CycleSports

This is the best multisport/bike shop in the world! Hank rocks! I've searched far and wide for a good bike fit, unwilling to place myself at the hands of anyone inexperienced. In early 2007 I was fit by John Cobb, but after outgrowing shoes I started to tweak things and that led to removing shims, adding them back, moving the cleats back, then forward again, then back again, then adding more play, taking play away....A DISASTER!
By a miracle I emerged out of Arizona injury free and have been OK until now. Yesterday after a 5hr ride Saturday, the 2.5hr interval-big-gear ride did me in. I was tight as ever in my hips, and my right outer shin and knee were not feeling so good. So, I got in to see Hank and he fit me on both my road and tri bike. It was life-changing. I now feel like I can just pedal/ride and not constantly fight the pedal stroke and spend extra energy moving around trying to get comfortable. I can get into a more agressive position and hold it forever.
The tri bike is still at the shop getting the powermeter fixed as it has failed to read the last couple of rides. So tomorrow I will be taking the road bike on the 5-6hr trek with my coach up to Julian.
I'll be leaving MV early for San Diego, meeting Kevin, and then riding through Santa Ysabel, stopping at the famous Dudley's Bakery (YUM!), and up to Julian all for some long awesome climbing.
We're (yes, me I have to turn crazy) searching for rain & cold temps to make it a true sufferfest. Sweet! Bring it.
A little run after the ride and then I'll drive back home to sleep until mid-morn Sunday :D

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Tomorrow, Starts Today!!!

What a day! What an honor to be a part of this historic moment in time. Despite the few Presidencies that I've lived through, this man, Barack Obama, gives me the most hope. His persona radiates integrity, strength, determination, intelligence, and the desire to fulfill what America's Founding Fathers had in mind for this wonderful country.
It will take time to get us out of this dark hole that the past couple of years have led us to. But we must stand behind Obama, stand behind each other, and get this nation back on its feet- people out of unemployment, kids succeeding in school, smooth out foreign issues, and be a role model for freedom, peace, and global preservation and progress.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fly 'Till Ya Die

That was the theme for today's swim. Thankfully I got a great night's sleep. The kids spent the weekend at sleepovers and were finally home last night, pretty tired. I cooked some dinner, and then we all headed to bed. So this morning I was up early, at just past 4, made the drive to Starbucks, read the paper, and jumped into masters at 6am. Fly, fly, fly, and more fly. It was painfully awesome!
So scratch the thought of today being mellow and easing into the week, ha. An hr of each swim, bike, run, weights today. A long run tomorrow, med bike and swim Wed, long bike and run Thurs, Fri same as today, longER bike and t-run Sat, and long swim and run Sun- SWEET!! Next week I'll get a day off somewhere, after close to 3 wks sans one. But I actually love doing shorter workouts or ez ones to supplement off days so am feeling good as ever.
Surf City is next weekend and as of last night, Tritonman is officialy on my schedule which will be the first triathlon of the yr for me :D
The week looks like it will bring some cooler temps, 70s vs 80s haha...ahhh I love SoCal!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


A great end to the week! After two easier days Thurs and Fri, yesterday's long ride with Chris was awesome. His coach bailed out on us hehe, but we rode the "Santiago Canyon loop"...which I think I can remember for future rides :) Ez-steady pace for 5ish hrs, the last hr and change on my own. I got home to take a quick shower while my Amy's pizza was in the oven :D
The kids spent all afternoon and the night at a friend's house so it was a full recovery day in bed with frozen yogurt in hand. I have a weakness for Stoneyfield Farm's organic frozen yogurt (Java or Fudge Swirl flavors).
So I hit the pillows just before 8pm and got up at 5 to eat breakfast. Now I'm at Starbucks reading the paper, writing this post ha, and in a bit will head over to longer (90min) masters.
After that I want to take the kids ice skating or on the paddleboats at the lake and then finish off with a short run before dinner.
I'm not sure what next week's schedule looks like yet but am assuming a calm Monday and then ramping up as the week goes on. That's good as Mon the kids don't have school so I can take them to the park, theatre, or whatever.
I've been looking to add a few shorter races Feb & March- Tritonman Sprint and Desert International look like possibilities...we'll see what coach thinks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Mid-Week 2

I'm now at the point of routine. I love routine and thrive in it. Schedules result in efficiency and force discipline. Everyday I say thanks for the opportunity to live and train here. This year truly is providing the perfect set up for my goals in life and sport.
On a more detailed level- swimming is kicking my butt, which is good :D Slowly I'll move up lanes and in the process gain some incredible overall fitness. This week's focus is IM and fly will definitely let you know if you're in form. Don't ask me about my fly hehe.
It's been about 3 weeks with no "off" days. Of course, there's been active recovery and ez days, but in this new terrain where hills are unavoidable 99% of the time, I'm starting to feel it! The next two days will be an ez hr spin on the trainer, albeit outside, ez 45min runs, and masters. By playing it smartly, I'll be able to absorb the last week and 1/2 - 2wks of training and hopefully see some new found strength on my long ride Sat. I'll be riding 5hrs, and though I could pull it off alone exploring the roads, I'd rather be led through some cool routes by peeps who know where they are on a map :) So, I recruited Chris Hill to show me around his hood, and I think his coach will be joining us too. I'm looking forward to an awesome ride in what continues to be summer weather!
In a couple of weeks (2 or 3) I'll be running another half marathon- Surf City...likely I won't be rested for that race either so it will be cool to compare to last weekend's. Then Feb 14 will be the best Valentine's Day as I'll head down to Palm Springs with my coach, a couple of his athletes, and some others for a century rally.
So that's about it. Training's going amazing and so is daily life in general. Today forced 2 naps on me- hard work is being accomplished.
May the next 10 months be the same!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

So Cal Half Marathon

I'm happy to report it went close to perfect. I headed down early- around 5:30am, to get my packet and snuck in an extra hr nap in my car before warming up. Lesson of the day: warm up with enough time to make the decision of what clothes to leave in the car and not have to head straight to the start line. I took off my undershirt and raced with my jacket- mind you a cycling jacket that is tight like a jersey but warm as it's meant for riding in winter temps. Anyway, I zipped it down a bit but that was not much help.
The first 400-800m were the typical zig zag getting around people and settling in. I didn't line up at the way front as I wasn't expecting much speed today. Plus at my best/freshest day I can't hang with the elite runners.
The course was nothing spectacular. If you threw me down there from the sky I wouldn't have been able to distinguish these streets from those in Kansas. It was all pavement, some on a path along a creek or dam, and lots of out and backs. Elevation wise, it was flat with about 5-6 short/steep ascents like bridge passes.
We didn't really have wind either until about the 10k when the out and backs became a struggle-then-fly pattern.
For me this race was about execution- easing in, holding steady, and finishing strong/faster. That went great. I kept my HR in control the whole time, no eyes-out-of-sockets efforts, and pushed the last 5km. At about mile 7 or 8 my legs definitely let me know they were hurting. I could feel the effects of the week in new hilly terrain for sure :). But the lack of spark in the legs was part of the game plan for this race and am happy with the result. It wasn't chip timed so I dunno if my watch yielded a faster or slower finish time, but I clocked 1:33:03.
I left right after to stop by the Whole Foods in Tustin, only 10min north, and grab some groceries for dinner with the fam.
Tomorrow I'm heading to masters in the AM then doing an ez hr spin on the bike. It's gorgeous outside- summer temps all the way!! I have some Amy's pizza in the oven for Anne Marie and her friend and when they finish that we'll head over to the pool and I'll do some hot tub/cold shower deal ;)
Supposedly I was going to head down to San Diego for the SMU Cox Alumni reception that's from 5-7pm but I really really don't want to make the drive and I want to cook/eat the yummy salmon I bought. So I think that's going to be scratched off the list...we'll see.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This past week has left me speechless- hence the delay in blogging. I moved in with the Magers Sunday evening. It was a short drive from Encinitas. That morning I got in an awesome run at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course, then dropped Blake off at the airport (he had to cut the trip short due to a family thing), met with my coach, got in a quick swim at the YMCA, and finally went over to the Mayer's house (whom I stayed with all last summer) to catch up with Kristin for a bit.
Anyway, when I finally got to Mission Viejo I was exhausted! The adrenaline from the whole drive up here and the excitement mellowed down and I needed a bed asap. I was greeted at the door by Anne Marie- the youngest of the two kids. The boy, Michael, was over at a friends. By the time I unpacked and we winded down for bedtime, I had met the whole family, minus Scott, the father, as he was working late, and we clicked right away.
The children are absolutely wonderful! They are living proof that a loving household, and a super healthy/active lifestyle yields very well behaved kids. As the Magers are uber health conscious and experts in their field of nutrition/holistic medicine, I am having the greatest time expanding my knowledge, sharing recipes, and applying it toward perfect recovery from training/racing.
About Mission Viejo (the palce itself)- OMG!!! It's like Colorado or Montana mixed with palm trees and typical SoCal perfect weather. The house is practically on top of a mountain, ok not a mountain, but the street to get into the community I have to walk as a cool down home and that's a workout in itself.
I cannot get enough of the hills. The riding is unbelievable. Very little traffic compared to Encinitas/SD area, nevermind Dallas or Texas in general ha, and beautiful landscapes.
Yesterday I rode out from the house to Santiago Canyon, and the views made me think I was in the Tour de France. I only went up like 2mi and then back home for just under 2hrs. Oh, and the running- wow, the parks here are gorgeous, and there's a lake a little over 3 miles around right down the hill from the house and some sweet trails. Ahh I could just go on and on. Last thing to boast about- MVN masters rocks! I've only been going every other day this wk as my schedule right now is pretty mellow but soon enough that pool will be like my second home :D
K well I gotta go get my run in for today. Tomorrow's the SoCal Half Marathon! It will be a good benchmark to see where my run fitness stands and progress from there.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Home's Where the Heart Is

And I can say I’m home. After an incredibly smooth trip, Blake and I arrived in Encinitas yesterday shortly after noon. I managed to pack very quickly and we had the car stuffed like the Beverly Hillbillies. I drove until just before El Paso and then Blake took over until the end. We were lucky to have zero traffic, car issues, bad weather, etc. On the 2nd we stayed the night in Tucson after being on the road nearly 13 hours. I-phones are the best thing ever invented- I searched for Mediterranean restaurant and we landed in Athens Greek Restaurant where I had one of the best meals. We even splurged on a little philo-wrapped apple dessert with vanilla ice cream . To top off a perfect night, we found a brand new Holiday Inn Express- you could lick the floors it was so new/clean. Saturday morning I got up around 5:30 ran just under an hr on the hotel treadmill and then we showered, grabbed some coffee and were driving again.
Long story short, I felt like a kid in Disney when we started to approach La Jolla, then Solana, and made the stop in Encinitas. As Blake is also a triathlete, and thus shares the same views/lifestyle that I do, seeing his reaction to this place and its perfection for our sport’s training, was like a mirror image of myself when I came two years ago for some training with my mom during Spring Break.
I found a hotel, the Leucadia Beach Inn, for a great deal and right on PCH. Since we had that booked we went over to KI’s for lunch first, then I drove him around a bit and was flooded with awesome memories and nearly tears.
We then chilled at the hotel for a bit and went off to run along PCH, up Leucadia to Quail Gardens, and a loop of the trail on Encinitas Ranch, back through Encinitas Blvd, to PCH and the hotel.
It was then time for dinner so we went to Via Italia, enjoyed a great meal, watched the game, and came back to crash for the night.
Today we’ll go for a run in Rancho Santa Fe, along the golf course, my absolute favorite place to run! Then hopefully hit up masters for the AM swim, lunch, and sneak in for a “trial” pass at Frog’s gym for some spin/weights. I want to get my bike out of the car but doing so would cause chaos to the 100 other bags and random things stuffed in there like distorted puzzle pieces, ha.
Then it will be a short drive up to Mission Viejo- my final destination! I’m so excited to meet the Magers, unpack my stuff, get settled in, and start to train for real!