Friday, December 30, 2005

Not much new on the tri front.

We were able to get in one run in Texas on the 24th (calves killing me) by Town Lake in Austin (leaving from RunTex, an awesome running store, and doing a 3 mile there and back along the trail). My mom does a weekly walk on Saturdays with Charles, manager of one of the RunTex stores, leaving from the Riverside location. Occasionally my dad joins them. My parents started doing the walks when RunTex sponsored a train for a 5k/ get free shoes program through the senior center.

We also got in workouts on the 27th and 28th while at my in-laws in Geneva IL (lifting chest, arms, back, abs then 35 min treadmill then swimming drills one day, lifting legs and 35 min on the elliptical on the other -- upped the resistance to 20 for BRIEF intervals (30-45 seconds) near the end, chanting sand stairs sand stairs sand stairs to myself).

We got back from our Christmas travels last night. I am so proud of myself for calling Mel and setting up a run for this morning. We did our short loop but at least it was something. Three short walk breaks rather than doing our timed intervals (one of which wasn't really necessary but I wanted a brief break prior to the hill and didn't want to walk the whole way up to the point where I planned to take my short walk break....did that make sense to anyone except me?).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fiji Anyone?

Now it looks like Fiji is definitely an option. Truth to tell it's easier to get to the South Pacific for us than to the Caribbean.

Check out Maruva Plantation Resort and Swiss Fiji Divers. Both favorably reviewed in Undercurrent (my dive travel bible of sorts).

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Not Christmas vacation, of which 3 days will be spent with my parents outside Austin, TX, and 3 days with my in-laws in Geneva, IL; but SPRING BREAK.

We're trying to decide what to do for spring break. Options include a dive trip to the Caymans (Pirate's Pointe Little Cayman), ridiculously expensive, but we're craving warm gin clear Caribbean water, and I've never been there; Tour de California, a road trip up north including some time in Napa; Hawaii the Big Island (this was the original plan but got bumped down due to the phase of the moon -- seriously -- Dave is an amateur astronomer and we were going to visit the observatory, and it's a BAD TIME OF MONTH, because the moon will be full); and ?

The expense usually isn't a factor, but this year we're starting to do more triathlons, and between the entry fees, pet boarding fees, hotels, etc, those babies are expensive. (Never mind I want to get an XTerra Pro2 full wetsuit, on sale this week for $275 (from $475) with our LA Tri Club discount, because my sleeveless won't be adequate for the 1.5 mile 55 degree Escape From Alcatraz swim next June ($295 entry fee to which is due by midnight December 31st).)

Luckily, there are a ton of triathlons in Southern California that are driving distance, so the only out-of-town ones we're currently seriously planning are: Wildflower near Paso Robles; Escape From Alcatraz; and Santa Barbara long course in August. Of course, we've also signed up for the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon in January and are still thinking of doing the Tour de Borrego bike ride in Anza Borrego (both of which will require overnight stays, pet sitters etc).

So, back to the vacation topic: if anyone has any ideas or opinions on a fun, active week-long vacation spot, let me know! (Other things we've done in the past include visiting Zion & Bryce National Parks, a week in San Diego, dive trip to Belize, and a dive trip to Bora Bora/ Rangiroa.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Gods Want Me To Be A Triathlete

Case in point:

I won carbon-fiber Profile clip-on aerobars at a LA Tri Club 1st Thursday social event (the first 1st Thursday I've ever been to).

I wrote a haiku and won a free entry to the Hemet Tinsel Tri after I thought my 2005 tri season was already over.

And now, after Mel, Dave and I decided to try for the random drawing/ lottery slot for Escape From Alcatraz....

....I got a slot.

Shit, I should be buying freakin' lottery tickets.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Yikes! Tagged! by KLN:

1. Your favorite holiday memory: sorry, can't pick just one.
2. Your favorite holiday cookie or treat: rice crispy squares. Basic but oh so yummy!
3. Where you will be over the holidays: Dec 23-26 with my mom, dad and brother in Kyle, Texas (near Austin); Dec 26-29 with my in-laws Rosemary & Curtis in (gulp! brrrrr!) Geneva, IL.
4. Your favorite holiday song or carol.: Chestnuts Roasting.... (The Christmas Song). 'Traditional' Nat King Cole
5. A special holiday tradition in your family: a relatively recent one, since I lived in Austin doing my pre-veterinary stuff at UT Austin in the mid '90s-- visiting the funky lights in the neighborhood (Hyde Park) where I lived. Amazing, creative, nontraditional displays.

So, in turn, the following folks are now 'it', if they choose to accept their mission: Nancy, JennyRae, and Laurie!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Workouts This Week

Workouts so far this week:

  • Monday: off (I know, great start, but I did do the sprint tri Sunday)

  • Tuesday: ran with Dave (short but hard, especially at the end): short loop (Greenbelt to 190th to Strand & up Pier and back to the car)

  • Wednesday: lifted (Hammer bench & decline -- you know how you always like doing something you're relatively good at? that's decline for me; lat pulldowns; seated rows; tricep machine; preacher curl bicep machine. I also did a couple half-hearted sets on the poorly designed, pain in the ass leg press they have (NEVER AGAIN will I try that machine -- the apparatus for unlocking the carriage is so user-unfriendly if something went wrong I'd end up with blown out kneecaps).)

  • Wednesday: Spin class

Workouts for the rest of the week:

  • Thursday: Run with Mel

  • Friday: Lift & swim. Spin class

  • Saturday: Long run with Mel and Dave. Possible early a.m. swim

  • Sunday: Long bike &/or hills

Tinsel Triathlon Race Report

The Hemet Tinsel Tri was the first tri for which I've had absolutely no pre-race jitters -- most likely because I knew I wasn't going to get the shit pounded out of me in the surf. Hah! there was no surf. The swim was a measly 100m in a heated, outdoor pool. More on that later.

The Tinsel Tri is also a backwards tri in that you run first, then bike, then swim.

I was hoping to hit around 36 minutes for the 5k for several reasons:

  • I'm getting better

  • It was first, so my legs were fresh

  • It was at 9 a.m., so I'd been up and, other than the 1hr45min car ride, about

  • I had time to warm up and stretch

And I did! There was no chip timing but by the time I hit the area where they had the timer for the 5k I was just over 36 minutes.

The course itself was a little dull, just around the residential neighborhood near the high school. No mile markers. One water station (I'm guestimating) a little past the halfway point.

The bike course was a flat 12 mile there-and-back. Again, not particularly scenic, but like with all my previous triathlons, I got to pass people. There was one kid I know I passed on the out direction....and passed again on the direction back. Trust me, I've very conscious of who passes me on the bike....and I don't remember this kid ever passing me after I passed him. Oh well, if he cut the course, bad on him, his loss, he's only cheating himself, and so on.

The hardest part about the swim was the fact that my bike was racked in the rack farthest from the entry/exit for the transition area (all the others were totally filled by the time I got to the race that morning) and that meant I had to traverse a fairly long distance barefoot.

Regarding the swim: I obviously decided that 100m just simply wasn't long enough, so, considering how I entered the pool at the near corner, I ended up doing a down (following the black line), half across (going under the divider), back (following another black line), and the rest of the way across the pool width-wise (to exit up the stairs). And I swam like I'd never done the TI workshop -- ARGH.

My overall time was about 1:31. I have no idea what the splits were beyond the rough estimate for the run.

Would I do this one again? Probably not, unless I combined it with a trip to Glen Ivy Spa on the way back. It's just not scenic or interesting enough of a tri to make the 200 mile round trip worth it. But I am happy with my performance, and considering I'm not registered for any events til mid January, it was nice to do something. And the long-sleeved t-shirt's really cute!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I don't WANNA be out there that long!

So I'm adding it up in my head, just estimates for times for all three legs of Wildflower, and I'm thinking, wow, 4 hrs at least. (And again, we're talking Oly, not long, course.)

I don't want to be out there that long.

I'm sure that's a realization that comes to every slow triathlete or runner. Yeah, I've finished 2 marathons, and I was out there over 6 1/2 hrs.. Per marathon, not total, mind you. It gets old.

The only good thing is that I fully believe I can and will get better, if nothing else because of sheer stubborness, as long as I keep up with my training. I'm nowhere near the point where I have to figure out all sorts of esoteric workouts to improve. Just doing it will make me improve.

I can tell I'm becoming a better runner. I am also becoming more aware of what is an easy, moderate or hard pace for me; how far I can go at that pace; and so on. And my easy pace is faster than it used to be.

This morning's run on the Strand (about 4.5 miles, including ending up a hill -- admittedly you start by going down that same hill), I caught up to my husband at the end (he's slow, too, but faster than me overall). I cut down one of my walk breaks* and ran more time and pushed myself (huffing and puffing to an observer; to me, I was just timing my breaths with my strides and exhaling forcefully) just because, damn it, I WANTED TO CATCH HIM.

The sad thing is, if I didn't take walk breaks, if I could maintain my pace, I'm faster than him. I think as I consistently increase the run portion, and as my endurance improves, I'll get to that point. And honestly, I think I could do longer time on the run at the same pace I'm doing the majority of those intervals (but not at the 'I'm trying to catch Dave' pace). So next week sometime I'll be increasing the run time.

Watch out, hon!

*I have to admit that when I'm doing those run: walk intervals, those times are SACROSANCT. I live for the beeping of my watch, signalling those intervals. Currently I'm still at run 4, walk 2.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Okay, it wasn't too traumatic to register for Strawberry Fields, despite the images of 10 foot surf at the LA Tri Club Year End Party (YEP). Yes, the water's going to be freakin' freezing, but that's a great excuse to buy yet another wetsuit, right?

But signing up for Wildflower.....ewwwww, kinda scary. One of the hardest Oly courses out there? and I'm tackling it as my first?

No guts, no glory. What's a little more pain. And so on.