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Tri Girl Tri Recap October 15, 2008

Posted by K in K's Perspective, Pain, Triathlon.
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Tri Girl Tri is a fun little tri in Napa with a short swim in Lake Berryessa, an somewhat hilly 11 mile ride, followed by a 3 mile run. This year I had planned to completely rock the swim and then kick butt on the rest of the triathlon. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Picture this, it’s 5:00am on a Saturday morning and it’s dark and scary. You get into your car, pick up the person you’re carpooing with and realize that it’s really windy in SF. You hope that it’s not that windy and cold in Napa cos you have a triathlon to do, most of which is spent in a skimpy shorts/top combo that doesn’t provide much warmth. Alas, when you arrive at Lake Berryessa, it is colder and still windy. You think you’ll still kick butt on the swim, despite the fact that it’s cold out but then the race organizers are working to foil your plans of triathlon butt-kicking.

They cancelled the swim. That’s right, they cancelled the swim because the wind was making the lake too choppy for the rescue canoes. They took away the only part that I’m really good at. Sad Face to say the least.

Instead, we ran a half mile, biked the 11, and than ran the original 3 miles. I opted to not switch to my bike shoes because i figured it would cut down on my transition time. I did fine the first half mile and took it out kinda fast. There’s this one part by the finish and where you come into the transition area that was all gravely and I made it through fine. That time (ooo foreshadowing!)

The bike was OK. It was windy as all heck so you were really pushing against the wind for the first half. I tried to take every downhill as fast as possible so I could keep momentum against the wind and the next up-hill cos for every down, there was an up. After the bike, my legs felt a little wobbly but I ran into the transition area, grabbed my hat and ditched my bike and headed out on the run. I had to walk a teeny tiny bit and i had to stop at a different point to take a rock out of my shoe. Other than that I’d like to think that I ran fairly strong.

As I was coming back through the very last half mile, some girl started running very close behind me. I thought it was strange because there was ample room for her to go around if she wanted to but no, she chose to jog along behind me. Well as we reached the gravel, I sort of lost my footing a bit but would have been fine if the foolio behind me hadn’t been so close! She stumbled into my stumbling, which made me fall, and to add insult to injury, she fell on top of me. Stupid ho.

Alas, gravel is not a friendly falling surface, especially if you’re in shorts. I got right up though, and finished and tried to even beat stupid girl but i couldn’t go fast enough to get around her. I crossed the finish line and took a look at my injuries. They didn’t appear to be too bad so I got some food and my tshirt and I headed back into the transition area to pack up and meet the boyfriend. When I got there I was a bit more bleedy than i thought i would have been and I realized that I basically lost a good chunk of skin (though not very deep). I cleaned it up, packed up, and got into my car and drove a grueling 3 hours to meet up with the boyfriend in Cloverdale. Needless to say I was grumpy and tired upon my arrival.

My scabs are healing nicely and are getting to the point where I can start to pick them off should I choose to do so. I probably will pick them off cos i’m gross like that.

Next up – Swimming!


Training Update – Injuries August 11, 2008

Posted by K in Biking, K's Perspective, Pain.
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Well, there’s not much to update on with regard to training as to be quite honest, my training has been rather lackluster. However, there is something to update on, this:

and this:

And my knees:

Yesterday evening, I was riding my bike home after being out at the Toronado 21st anniversary event all day long. I was riding down some street in the lower haight with the boyfriend when I found myself in the middle of the Muni tracks. As I was zipping down the small hill, I thought to myself that I should get out of the tracks and that I was going to go down. Rather than slow down, lift my bike out and move on, I thought that I could be cool and jump the tracks. Alas, I was not cool and my rear tire got caught in the track. I think I went face first over my bike, hit my helmet, followed by my chin and my outstretched right hand. Next thing I knew, I was laying in the street, shocked and completely freaked out. I quickly got up less i get run over, grabbed my bike, staggered to the corner, leaned my bike up against a parking meter and collapsed against a wall. The boyfriend ran over, got me some water as I tried not to throw up or cry, or both.

My chin is scraped up and bruised, my right hand is missing a chunk of skin on the side, i have a few other holes in my hand and my knees are scratched up and bruised. I’m sore from falling and my rear derailer got bent and my bike is temporarily out of service. I’m feeling sore and just trying to dry out my open flesh wounds so I can go swimming tomorrow. I just feel ugly because my chin is swollen and black and blue. I have a wedding to go to this upcoming weekend and I’m going to be all gross in pictures. Thank god for make-up 😉

Update July 26, 2008

Posted by K in Biking, K's Perspective, Pain, Running, Why Am I Doing This?.
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Am exhausted. brick workout of 26 mile ride then a 3 mile run. In the heat. Without enough hydration or energy. Kicked butt on the bike but pretty much almost died on the run. Can’t walk without pain and am ready for a nap.


plus? burned 1850 calories already!

Healdsburg Harvest Century Recap July 23, 2008

Posted by K in Biking, K's Perspective, Pain.

From the better late than never file comes the Healdsburg Harvest Century (herein  referred to HHC) recap.

The boyfriend and I drove up to his parents’ country place on Friday since it was closer to Healdsburg than SF. We got there in the evening/dusk and took the dog outside to play for a bit as it was still sunny and fairly warm.

We got to bed early as we had to wake up at a nice friendly time of 5:00am for the ride. After a fitful night of sleep (boyfriend’s coughing + hot night of no AC or breeze = lack of sleep), my alarm went off at a bleary 4:45am. I got up, got the coffee started, got the boyfriend up and started to get everything ready. We had to take the dog out to be the little poo machine that she is, and to run and play before we left. We also needed to drink coffee and fuel up on delicious oatmeal for breakfast. After we were all ready to go, the doggie kissed us goodbye and wished us good luck. We drove from Cloverdale south to Healdsburg and checked in at 6:30am.

The HHC was a rolling start from 6:15am to 8:00am and the boyfriend and I wanted to start on the earlier side before it got hot and so we could get back to the doggie-pants. After checking in, we both made sure we had everything and we started on our way. We quickly left the town of Healdsburg and headed out to the California “country”. Much of the ride looked like this (that’s the boyfriend up ahead):

And this too (yay CA wine!):

with mountains and sun:

It was 14.9 miles or so from the start to the first rest stop and they were pretty easy. Some nice small rolling hills through the vineyards and just amazing views all around. I thought to myself that if the entire ride was like the first 14 miles, it would be super easy and a wonderful ride. The boyfriend quickly ditched me and so we met up at the first rest stop. I had a banana, did a wee bit of stretching and peed again because I’m a girl. We pee a lot.

We got on our way just a short 5 – 10 minutes after getting to the rest stop. The second rest stop was at mile 37 and quite frankly, the distance between rest stop one and rest stop two would be the most difficult for me. Once again the boyfriend ditched me almost immediately. That second stretch contained the first big hill and though it wasn’t a huge hill, it was still a long enough climb with a slow grade to really kill your legs. I managed to reach the top in one piece and got to witness a little verbal shouting match between two dudes ahead of me which at least made me laugh. At around mile 30, I suddenly got very cranky and very bitter. I mean, after all, I work my butt off training and my boyfriend had ditched me. How was it that I was so slow? I was bitter, hurting, sore, and all around ready to kill someone or myself. I thought that if we didn’t reach the second rest stop by mile 40, I was going to get off my bike and lay down in the road.

Lucky for me, the second rest stop was at mile 37 and as I wearily got off my bike, i nearly collapsed on the ground. The boyfriend was there and he swore to me that he had only gotten in a few minutes before me though I didn’t believe him. I told him I needed food and to stretch. Thankfully, the second rest stop had the most delicious PB&J evar! I had a half PB&J, a handful of potato chips cos I knew I needed salt, a few celery sticks and a fun size bag of M&Ms. I also took three advil. I stretched, relaxed, drank some fluids, and then stretched again. The boyfriend confessed that he was also starting to feel a bit more tired and had a difficult time with that last stretch as well. I stopped feeling bitter about his cycling ability after food and after his confession.

With food in our bellies and Gatorade in our water bottles, we got back on our bikes for the home stretch. I’m not sure if it was the food, the Gatorade, or the M&Ms (I’m thinking it was the M&Ms), but I finally hit my stride and I felt GREAT. I took off. I was powering up the hills, zooming down them, passing people and keeping a great pace. I even managed to pull ahead of the boyfriend but since I’m so nice, I stopped to wait for him and snap a picture:

I felt somewhat better about my cycling ability in the later half of the race. As we finished the last 20 miles or so, it got hotter and hotter. There were some short but steep hills and a few hills that ended near a cow barn or something else equally smelly like a dead skunk (saw two of them). For the record, gasping for breath after reaching the top of a hill is not fun when it smells like skunk or cow poo.  Yuck.

We passed over the Russian River at a point in the last 10 miles and I seriously considered ditching my bike to go for a swim in the river but I knew that lunch was waiting for me at the finish. Seriously, I’m like the horse that knows when we’re heading back on the trail. I pick up the pace and think of the food (no wonder I’m such a piggie).

I pulled into the finish just a bit before 12. According to my heart rate monitor, we completed the 60 miles in just under 5 hours (rest stops and all) and I burned 2525 calories. I finished strong and finished sweaty:

Yeah, i look pretty gross and I have helmet hair. Let’s see how good you look after biking 60 miles. Anyhoo, I was proud of myself and the boyfriend. we had a great time and I even managed to do this ride more quickly than I did the Cinderella ride which made me think that I am getting stronger though I feel fatter than ever.

Here’s my bike:

And yes, I totally chose my biking outfit to match my bike. I’m cool like that. In sum:

* This ride was a fun ride and I would gladly do it again.

* I clipped in for the whole ride. Go me!

* I took some good pictures while riding! Probably not the safest behavior but still awesome to me.

* The lunch at the end was so worth it.

I think next time I do this ride, I’ll do the 37 mile option instead, start a bit later, and hit up the wineries that we passed. Woo for wine!

Not So Fond Memories June 26, 2008

Posted by K in K's Perspective, Pain, Running, Team in Training, Why Am I Doing This?.
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Way back when, I ran cross country for three years in high school. It was my “off” sport so I didn’t have to do P.E. when it wasn’t swim season. My super awesome XC coach (who was also Greek) would always call myself and my running buddy the “surf and turf club” because we were both swimmers and cross country runners. We used to run at least 3 miles a day and in fact, usually ran at 5+. Unless it was a track workout day. Ahhh fond memories…

wait no,… running hurts and track workouts suck!

I just got back from the weekday Team in Training practice where we did our first track workout. Mileage worked out to about 2.5 miles but the track part was 3×400 sprint, with 400 recovery in between. I hurt. All over.

I did my first sprint one at like 1:50, the second at 1:52, and then the third I said to myself, “K, you used to run way faster! you used to not be so fat or so suckey!” so i pushed it out and got it down to 1:46 and then promptly felt like puking but did not. The plus was that after all of that, I had to ride my bike home and even though it was less than a mile, it was cold and windy out. Pity me 😦

Calories burned = the silver lining in all of this: 793!

Mermaid Tri Recap June 16, 2008

Posted by K in Biking, K's Perspective, Pain, Running, Swimming.

This past Saturday, I participated in the Mermaid Women’s Triathlon in Fremont, CA. It was a 400 meter swim, 11 mile bike ride, and a 2.5 mile run. It’s a great little sprint tri with an easy course and a good vibe. My official time was 1:18 compared to 1:31 from last year so go me!

The Swim: The swim went really well and was a great warm up. I believe that I was either second or third out of the water for the For Fun division and I did it in 8.27 minutes. The water wasn’t too cold and I didn’t get kicked or swum over so that is always a plus.

Transition One: My slowest transition. Aside from the fact that you have to run up a grass hill (in your swim suit I might add) you have to dry off, and if your me, you have to do a deck change and put on your bike shorts and top and shoes while still wet. I swam with my sports bra under my suit to try and cut down on time but it didn’t help all that much. My first transition took me 6.06 minutes and because of that, I’m seriously considering purchasing a tri-suit for when I do the Pac Grove tri.

The Bike: When I got on my bike I was chilly and a bit worried about how it was going to go since I made the brave decision to clip in (I fall over because sometimes I can’t un-clip in time). However, when I started peddaling, I felt really good. I kept a pace of about 17 to 18 MPH during the whole course (it was a nice flat 3 loop course) and completed the bike and my second transition in 38.89 minutes (they lump the two together for some reason…) I could have gone faster I think but I had some serious doubts about the run and didn’t want to blow out my legs. I haven’t been running and I was pretty sure that I would suck hard core. The bright side was that I didn’t fall over! woo hoo!

The Run: Going into the tri, the run was what worried me the most. I was afraid I’d die and that I’d have to walk the whole thing and that I’d probably crap my pants because that’s how running makes me feel. Instead, I got off the bike, took off my bike shoes, slipped on my running shoes and grabbed my hat, and began the run. I felt like crap for the first part of the run and everything hurt but I was possessed and felt that I NEEDED to keep running so I did. Fortunately I hit some sort of delirious runners high because I kept going despite the fact that I was in a lot of pain. I ended up running the whole way which made me very proud of myself and I finished strong (despite the fact that the finish is along the beach and is SO HARD).

All in all, a successful tri! I’ll see if I can post pics when they send them out to us. It made feel positive about the upcoming Pac Grove tri with Team in Training and I felt pretty strong overall.

My Version of Training in Texas June 14, 2008

Posted by M in Feelin' Good, Gross, M's Perspective, Pain.
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Yesterday I joined three friends for tubing fun in New Braunfels.  For those not familiar with tubing, you basically lay on an innertube and float down a river.  “This is what Texans do for fun?”  Well, you take a cooler of beer and get to lay out in the wonderful Texan sun all day with your friends and try not to die; I think that’s pretty awesome.  The plan was to take the four hour Guadalupe float, which I’ve never been on, but an hour into it, I was over it.  I got caught in the wrong current, busted my left toe on a tree while trying to avoid slamming into it, and got stuck in the rapids.  I decided to get out for a bit and told the rest of the gang I would walk down stream and meet them in a less hectic area.  Biggest mistake ever.

The thing with the Guadalupe is that there isn’t a trail following the river, it’s all private property that you’re not supposed to walk through.  I didn’t know this.  I got out of the river and tried to find the trail but soon realized I was on someone’s property and tried to make a quick exit before I was found trespassing and got shot.  In Texas we shoot first and then ask questions, which was a mentality I used to support until I became a possible target.  So I hiked through some undeveloped area for about a half hour, in a bikini, flip flops and carrying my huge innertube, before I came up to a fence.  It was a four foot tall fence made out of oak that I was able to crawl through without getting splinters.  Yay me!  I walked down a country road, still carrying my tube, still exposed in my bikini, for about a half mile before I went ahead and admitted I was completely lost.  At this point I decided to screw joining them on the river and my main objective was to go back to the launch site, pick up the car, and drive down to the pick up point.

As I said before, it’s all private property and the road I was walking on was a good three miles from the launch site, which wouldn’t have been a problem if I weren’t wearing a bikini and it weren’t 100 degrees outside.  I needed cover, fast.  I walked the half mile back to the houses I had walked through, rang some random person’s doorbell and asked for directions to the launch site.  Yes, in Texas a sweaty girl in a bikini and flip flops can just go and ring a doorbell asking for directions, and the owners will not blink an eye and be very polite.  This is why I love living here.  Anyway, I was told to walk down the road where I would come up to a fence that I could jump over and it would take me to the launch site.  I walked to the fence and saw that they had forgotten to mention it was EIGHT FEET TALL.   I threw my innertube over and began the five minute process of climbing over the fence.   A scraped shin and lots of curse words later, I was over the fence.

I finally got to the launch site, got the car, and hauled ass to the pick up site because at that point all I wanted to do was lay on the hot grass and die.  My whole adventure took about an hour and even though it was extremely frustrating and I got a killer sunburn, I found solace in the fact that I could say I did my training for the day.  And that’s how we do it in Texas!

Didn’t Quite Make It May 21, 2008

Posted by K in K's Perspective, Pain.
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I had planned on going swimming during lunch today but I didn’t quite make it. I had some work stuff to finish, greek school homework to finish, and my swim buddy didn’t make it so I didn’t go. I suck!

At least I rode my bike yesterday. I did the bike to the train station, take the train to the Mountain View station, and then bike to work thing yesterday. It works out to 32 miles round-trip and heading home is really hard because the whole way is pretty much heading into the wind. I’m pretty tired today from biking into the wind yesterday and I’m planning to do it all again tomorrow so at least I’m doing something.

I’m checking out a new pool on Friday as I’m going to walk up to the local public pool for a lunch-time lap swim. Part of me is scared that the pool is going to be nasty – which makes me think, I could do a post on a the things to look for in a lap swimming pool… Check back tomorrow to see if I live through riding to work again and then on Friday for a new swim workout and a pool review!

One Event Down April 7, 2008

Posted by K in Biking, Goals, K's Perspective, Pain.
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Two more to go.

This Saturday I participated in the Annual Cinderella Classic. It’s a 65-mile bike ride for women only. Proceeds from the bike ride go to various women’s charities around the Bay Area. I didn’t train as much as I thought that I would going into the bike ride so as previously mentioned, I had two goals: 1) don’t fall over and 2) make it at least 40 miles. Well I’m proud to say that I accomplished both goals as I did not fall over and I rode all 65 miles!

Saturday dawned somewhat windy and chilly but my mom and I loaded up our bikes and drove across the bay to get started. The ride had a rolling start so basically you just show up sometime between 7:00am and 9:00am and get started. We arrived around 8:00, checked in and got underway.

Since part of the ride is about dressing up like a princess (cos it is the Cinderella Classic), I wore a tiara on my helmet and a sequined mini-skirt over my bike pants. I also had biking socks with little pink crowns on them, a pink and black jersey, and my pink arm warmers. I felt pretty stylish and well matched for the ride.

There were three rest-stops along the ride. The first one was almost 20 miles in and when we got to the stop, we had some snacks, took a potty break, refilled our water and then got on our way. I was feeling pretty good. The second stop was about 33 miles in and as we neared the second stop, I knew that I was feeling pretty tired but in good spirits. Thankfully the second stop was the lunch stop so we got off our bikes, had a sandwich and some fruit, rested and stretched out a bit, took another potty break and then got underway again.

It was between the 33 mile mark and up to the 50 mile mark where I had serious doubts about my ability to finish. We had some climbing to do which wasn’t a problem, I’m pretty good at climbing for the most part, it was just that I was so sore from sitting on my bike seat at that point. My butt, my neck, my arms, everything just started to ache. My knees really hurt and I don’t have a history of knee pain at all so I was really worried about my ability to finish the ride.

At about mark 50, we got to the third and final rest stop. I took some more advil, filled up my water bottle, had some energy stuff and a bit of food and just stretched and rubbed out any soreness. When we finally got underway again, I got some weird sort of second wind and so I pulled away from my mom and her group that we were riding with. I pushed hard for the next 10 miles because I knew that I was almost done and when I hit about 60 miles, I really thought I was going to die. I persevered because I knew that I only had five miles to go and sure enough, I made the turn into finishing area and looked down at my odometer and saw 65 miles. Woo hoo, I had completed the course!

We loaded up the bikes, checked in and got our ride water bottle and commemorative patch, had some soup (and I had some of those delicious pink and white animal cookies), and then I drove back to my parent’s house across the bay where I promptly jumped into the hot tub in hopes of pain abatement.

I have never been so proud of myself for an athletic event because I am not joking/lying/trying to be dramatic when I say that I have never ever ridden more than 25-30 miles in a single ride (okay, that a wee bit of a lie because I was really proud of myself when I swam a 500 free in under 6 minutes for the first time). I hadn’t really trained the way that I wanted to for the ride and hadn’t ridden in three weeks so I was really scared on Saturday. I finished the ride though and though it took me a long time to finish, I still did and so I am really proud of myself. If I train and continue to ride, I’ll be able to do that full century at the end of the summer.

Go me!

Two Week Update March 5, 2008

Posted by M in M's Perspective, Pain, Running.
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Okay, actually yesterday was my two week training anniversary but I forgot to post about it and then there was this tornado and the primaries and my dog got sick after he ate my homework and my great-aunt died and then I got sick…Yeah, I think that’s pretty much every single excuse I used in college all in one sentence. In retrospect, I was a pretty crappy liar.

So yes, yesterday was my two week anniversary and to celebrate, I decided to kill myself a little by going on a two mile uphill run. Fantabulous! Okay, it wasn’t that bad and I was actually pretty proud of myself that I made it without too many complaints. My biggest complaint came out when James asked me to sprint a quarter of a mile. He was able to do it in about a minute while it took me an extra minute or so. My legs aren’t long enough! It was nice and cool outside so that helped a lot. I’m not looking forward to training in the insane Texas heat, which is only a matter of weeks away, so I made sure to enjoy the crisp air while I can.

All in all, it was a good run. My quads were putty after a while but I still had enough energy in my legs to faux kick an Obama sign at the polling place near our house. Bitch is the new black! Hillary 2008!