Fiesta Island Club Race

Built For Speed
This morning I did what most 30 year olds do, I had breakfast with a bunch of friends. Normal right.....sure just after I finished the Fiesta Island club race. It was cold, the water was murky...,, but it the race was free. Believe me if you bought a ride like the one above you'd want to ride it in any race you could. I bought a used wheel disk this fall from a nice couple in Encinitas. That's a story in itself. You see we went to buy the disk for Tim, he was hemming and hawing and I was like"Tim it's perfect, it's a great deal and you'll buy one later when you decide you can't live without it" Turned out it wasn't Tim's size. It was mine. Then the shoe was on the other foot. Uhh, mm, uhhh.....er well...."It's great but I don't have a fast enough run to roll a disk, sorry. No. Not for me." We headed out the door. As we were pulling out of the drive , the man ran out he looked at me and said"Do you know Terry Martin at UCSD ? She helped me out a lot." For a few minutes I was thinking "What does that have to do with anything?" Then I got it..... there is hope for my run. If you are a guy and you arer mediocre. You can roll a disk and it's no big deal. If you are a girl and you roll a disk people notice. In my head I could hear the whispers "Who does she think she is." Honestly, it would be the equivalent of wearing Juicy jeans...... with a muffin top. Ugh.

We drove home and I thought things over. If I buy the disk I will have to commit to my run. Something I've never done justice too. Potential I've never really fulfilled. Hmmm......should I? I look in my mirror and the No sign over the words unfulfilled potential I'd written on my mirror was written all over my face. I wrote that. If you are what you eat, you better be what you write. I bought the disk mostly to help my running.

A disk isn't something you just roll on the coast on. It special for race day. Although, I do remeber Pete on his shiny Schwin rolling that cloth wheel disk around the neighborhood with a flip up roadie cap and bike gloves that were used as "THE CLAW", but that's a different story as well. Anyway, Tim told me when I roll my disk it would feel magical. I heard they can be sketchy in the wind. Tim thinks I need to use it at Ironman. I'm not sure about that, at least not without some practice. The frame of my bike is light and with all this training so is the frame of my body. I don't want to blow off my bike at Ironman. So on this Saturday I would roll my disk for the very first time. Tim was working the night before the race and until after the race in the morning. This left me solo to deal with the technical difficulties of the disk.

Earlier than I should have been up on a Saturday morning I struggled with the crack pipe (valve extender) trying to inflate my disk. Grrr.... I am determined to do this on my own, that's part of being an athlete. You have to do things on your own. You've got to be accountable for yourself. It just keeps leaking. I'm trying to stay calm because it's only a club race but minutes are ticking away. I even waste a CO2 cartridge thinking I can use both hands to keep it from leaking. No go. I give myself mental props for being creative. Now, I've managed to let all the air out of the tire. I throw my bike in the car and head to Fiesta Island. Worse case scenario I'll switch out my wheels when I get there. This would require me to change brake pads too. To think I thought tuning skis was difficult. I get there and some nice guy holds the valve on while I inflate the tire. I recognize him from the tri club meeting the other day. He says the crack pipes never work well and I am relieved it's not just me. Yippee. I get to roll my disk. I'm ready to go.

I'm later arriving than I wanted to be and it's colder than I wanted it to be. That's why I'm racing today. To expose myself to variables I can't control. (and free breakfast) I run my warm up while Dave Huff gives directions. (i.e. I don't listen to the race director) After the swim (where I am very slow) I strip my wetsuit off while my bike sits all by itself in the transition rack. I think I heard it swear at me. It said "damn you hurry up" I don't bother with the jacket or gloves I have and I race away. As soon as I am rolling my hands sting with cold. My bike mentions to me that maybe if I swam faster she'd let me put my jacket and gloves on before starting the bike segment. I don't know how fast I go because I usually use my Garmin and didn't bother with it. In a short race it's never worth fidgeting. Probably should mount it to the bike, but I don't want to deal with anything electronic today. My bike "Sweet Thunder" gallops very fast and I have a fun ride. The wheel disk is light but not squirrly. It is not windy, honestly I don't feel it. I just feels easy and I keep passing people. Matt Sparks keeps me humble by passing me and I know I have been lapped. I drop a lot of boys and start to smile. I imagine having a bell on my bike to ring. I pass Heather Catchpole on the bike, I say good job. She has an intensely serious look in her eyes and I know she will try to run me down. I pass another girl I do not know and enter transition.

Crap. I don't know which way to go. In bigger races you can just follow somebody, but here it is too small and nobody is around. I have done club races but not the Fiesta Island one and I feel a bit foolish because I find I am running the wrong way. That's what I get for warming up when Dave was explaining the course. I turn around also noting it would have been wiser to park my bike at the other end of transition. Oh well. I see Heather out of the corner of my eye in an ideal spot. I know she is a faster runner, she's also smarter than to run the wrong direction. I try to pick up the pace but my feet are like cinder blocks. She runs by me and puts a little distance on me. I stay the same distance back. I try to close the gap. My legs want to move but my feet have no balance. I hear the pitter patter of a barefooted runner getting closer. He passes me, tells me to catch Heather. I try but can't seem to pick it up. I realize mentally I ride to go fast and I run to survive. I need to run more aggressively. I'm trying to do so, my feet loosen up a little and I am at the finish line. It ends too quickly for me, but it was fun.

I am happy with my physical performance today. I should have taken the transitions more seriously and treated it like a true race, but I really wasn't that concerned about loosing time in transition. Mostly I wanted to see how my body would respond at speed. I also want to do as many club races as I can because they are free vs. the large amount of money I have spent on organized races and gear. Also the tri club has great breakfasts after. I hurry into about 10 layers of clothing and grab some oatmeal. Tim arrives still in scrubs and joins me for some breakfast. I tell him all the details wishing he could have been there.

Move over Martha

They Say Martha Stewart Can Do Everything.

Rumor has it. She's been replaced.
By a younger, fitter, and way more fun version.

Tria234;=675=576=XROQDF>2323:68784:;8ot1lsi.jpg">While Martha may have brought wonderful cupcakes to the post ride potluck. She would have been dropped from the ride and never could have bandaged up the boys she dropped on the ride.

Move over Martha!

Juggling it all.




December 5th.

This is the fisrt week of my Ironman training program. It's not that the miles are so tremendous but there is definately an increased commitment to consitency. Also, there is much less forgiveness if you roll late for a long ride because it's dark by 5 p.m. On top of my training plan today I am (by default) hosting a party for the Bella Vela's . Pro triathlete Peter Clode and his elite athlete/wife Neily are coming to my home with a bunch of my fellow Bellas to have our now annual Ironwoman talk. On my schedule today is a master's swim workout, a 50 mile recovery ride and a 3-5 mile run. The girls will be arriving at 6:00 p.m. Meaning I need to have my place ready to host by 6 p.m. I have a little bit of anxiety regarding all of this but decide to dive in literally to my day.

So diving in to UCSD master is a little bit shocking. I am new to the UCSD Master's program. The coaches name is "Sickie". This"Sickie" dude is going to kill me. Today was test day. 12 x 100m fast. Plus a whole lot of other stuff. He actually told me to just "survive" Nobody is slow at the 7:30 am swim. I can't even catch the draft. Good thing the rest of today is easy. I think I bonked. It's hard to eat before am swim. I am trying to think about my form and all I can think about is the 1/2 of PB &J in my locker. I will survive. Hang on until the end of what "Sickie"calls test day and I call hell day. He congratulates me on being a trooper and as I'm finishing the last lap and most people have departed the pool I see him drive up on a motorized scooter to collect the signs. For a minuted my bedraggle head thinks I 've been had. Then I remeber I signed up for this. . I didn't know there was another option. I just "survived"


I head in to the locker room . This must be T1. I shower and recover, I eat my 1/2 pb &j while getting dressed. I'm starving. After that I through no fault of my own go on a wild goose chase around campus attemping to obtain a semester pass for swim. Finally I am off campus and head to the base of Torrey Pines for my "recovery"
-----
My recovery ride consited of 48.00 flat miles @17.80 miles/hr
Carmel Valley to Oceanside and back. So I think my heart rate was a little elevated from swim, so I probably went a little faster than intended. I tried not to jump at all but it's really hard when I'm trying to spin easy and gomer guys think they can drop me. Have to stay focused on my own game plan. Save some legs for the run. I think I could have used a little more nutrition to get me through this day but managed to suffice on hammer gel flask and electrolye drink. The waves were raging today. They were a real show 12-16 feet were I was riding. I'm told 18 in the cove. It was a fun ride. My anxiety about what I have on my plate today eases (fat lady in the buffet line) and I think of my Dad saying "things have a way of working out" I finish the bie ride and throw on my shoes. I know if I get started preparing for the party first I will never get a run in. After all what is 20 more minutes.
-----



I run across the street and into Torrey Pine state Beach. I am surprised by how low the tide is and how much shore there is. I wish greatly that Tim was here. He'd kill to run barefoot on this hard packed sand and the view is incredible.
Enjoyable run 80% on the hard packed sand from Torrey Pines to Del Mar and back. Waves are huge and the view is nice. Not sure if I should be running in the sand after the ITB/Superfrog experience but I don't feel any inflammation so I plan to walk if there are problems but there are none
Busy day. Three workouts and playing Martha Stewart for an Irongirl party. Priorities. If I have no time to shower or clean my room the likes of Raja, Tina, Elaine, and Juls won't care. Managed to squeeze everything in but didn't get a break in between biking and running. I think coach intended for a rest period in between. No rest today. Up late. Past my bedtime as people stay at my house until 11 pm. I'm cleaning up until 11:30pm and in bed at midnight. I'm fairly certain Ironmen don't go to bed at this hour. Ugg. Tomorrow is not an easy day

Tales of Thanksgiving: The Feast


Wednesday, November 23




Our Thanksgiving Day





We have a lot to be thankful for!


Today we celebrated Thanksgiving. It was a day before the national holiday but the Neuschwander family was kind enough to accommodate my work schedule. Bruce , Cindy, Tim and I head out for the morning ride and CDF challenge. I feel a pang of sadness as we climb the hill, knowing today is my last day of gluttonous riding. I wonder if this game is as fun for Bruce when he doesn't have us rookies to egg on.


Cindy and Bruce turn early to prepare for Tim's Nana and Gramp's arrival. Tim and I climb Calaveras again only this time we spot the Golden Eagle's nest Bruce and Cindy told us about. We also descend down the other side into San Jose. It is a fun descent. I feel a little tired today and think maybe I am getting a cold but agree to do "Sierra Road" anyway. I am glad as my sinuses clear while I ride my bike and I gain energy along the way. I am certain I can handle anything on a road map and we turn the corner onto Sierra Road. Errrrt, screeech, halt, thump, thump, thump, goes my heart because from here the road goes straight up. Maybe it's an optical illusion but the road goes straight up. It starts at sea level and ends at the gates of Heaven. I look at the hill head on and think this might be it. The moment I have met my match, I might not make it up. Of course, it's all or nothing for me. I can't fathom taking a rest stop and summitting the climb bit by bit. No, not me. I start to sort of panic "what if I can't make it" I have visions of tipping over on my bike because I can't spin the pedals. I worry it will be too much strain on my back and I'll hurt myself. I start to wonder what other fool, no less female fool would take this on. I start to think about what the Bellas are doing and I know it also isn't this. I also know they beat me on race day and I start to make the connection. I verbalize this to Tim who doesn't buy it. I apologize to Tim for the behavior I am about to exude. I tell him I may get really ugly before we get to the top. Tim kindly offers to ride back and get the car while I sit on the side of the road and wait. He says it might be too much for me and my pink bike. We make it over the first pitch which is the steepest and I chill out. Then I start chirping like a bird. "That wasn't so bad!" Tim is quick to remind me of my comments a few minutes ago. I enjoy seeing the faded paint that once brightly said "Go Levi". This climb is from the Tour of California. I wish the street was lined with people cheering and ringing cow bells today. How about somebody to hand us feedbags as we ride. What about a team car. I think a custom painted pink and blue Mini would be perfect for me. Those tour riders have the life. The scenery is awesome. Tim offers to let me stop for a break, but I refuse. I must prove to myself that I don't quit when things get tough. I'm embarrassed for confessing my weakness at the base. Tim is smarter though and has us stop for pictures. We continue to climb and I remember riding through New Zealand from Arrowtown to Lake Wanaka. This is an epic ride despite my meltdown at the base. Once we reach the top the road is so curvy I feel like we are in never-never land. We descend a long way and at the bottom make a right hand turn. The road we turn on looks like a driveway and I miss it the first time. It is an immediate climb and it takes me three tries to get in a low enough gear to climb.

We ride as fast as we can back to the homestead. Thanksgiving dinner is waiting. When we arrive we are greeted by the aroma of wonderful food and the presence of Tim's Grandparents. I quickly shower and get ready. Valerie, Tim's sister-in-law arrives and joins us for the feast. Unfortunately Seth could not make it. Once again he was fighting fires to keep us safe.

We enjoy the dinner and time together. Shortly after dinner Tim takes me to the San Jose airport (yes the airport where my knotty stick was confiscated after the Rock-n-Roll marathon) . I fly home, crawl into bed, and have sweet dreams of hilly country rides.

me looking at the climb......you want me to ride what ?



this is what Riley thinks of the Sierra Road climb

Tales of Thanksgiving: 2 days left of gluttony

Tuesday, November 22






This morning we sit in the kitchen with a map. Bruce asks if we'd like to do something other than ride our bikes from home. He suggests BARTing into the city (San Fransico) or going to lunch at a cafe in Napa. He even suggests driving to Napa and doing a short ride. We think about all these things. They all sound like fun. Then we decide we haven't had our fill yet of riding the roads where Tim grew up. Out the door we ride. We leave with Cindy and Bruce but keep going to the top of Calaveras. I love this ride. The climb is perfect. A constant up, but it has switch backs so it isn't ultra intense at one time. If you have genetically developed quads like mine (and the right gearing) you can spin it.


The way back down is like a Giant Slalom race course. Time to make perfect S's as my Mom would say. I taught skiing for a long time and a lot of kids say they hate making S's. They say it's boring, usually this means they don't know how to turn. I tricked them into learning to turn by leading them through a series of S's while pretending to make airplane noises. The corners are banked just right and I can't help but making airplane noises out loud. Tim joins me and we have a great time.


Today we take a shorter lunch and head out for a tacky single version of double Palomares. Yes, that's right a single Palomares is tacky. Must be like asking your parents for a ride down the block to track practice. Palomares is another beautiful summit that one should ride down the other side so they can climb it twice but we didn't have enough daylight so we settled. Just before the summit things got really steep but to the top we went. It was beautiful country here. Tim calls it "old California" I say it's how California should look. I guess too many people just like me came to stay.


We ride quickly back to Tim's folks where the aroma of apple pie fills the air. I make two pumpkin pies. I am a little worried about how my crust will turn out. Nobody likes a tough crust. Cindy's apple pie looks like a work of art. I've heard of people giving courtesy "mmmms" to as they choke down the leather some call crust. My reputation is at stake here. It's one thing to be known as "the girl with the pink bike;" it is quite another to be be known as "the girl with the pink bike that serves cowhide crust."

Tales Of Thanksgiving : D -Day

Sunday, November18th
Today is day # 3 of this so-called vacation. Today I agree to ride 50 miles and summit a 3,489 ft peak otherwise known as Mt. Diablo. After I agree to take this on I am informed of a certain time limit I need to complete this task in. I guess this is another one of those glory vs. shame moments.

Me after a triumphant summit

The view from the top is spectacular. I'm told summer days are sometimes hazy, and the best viewing is often on the day after a winter storm. Then, you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands; southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton at 4,213 feet elevation; south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 3,791 feet elevation; north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range at 4,344 feet, and still farther north to Mount Lassen in the Cascades at 10,466 feet. North and east of Mount Diablo, the San Joaquin and Sacramento Rivers meet to form the twisting waterways of the Delta. To the east beyond California’s great Central Valley, the crest of the Sierra Nevada seems to float in space. With binoculars, I'm told you may even be able to pick out Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. I also was told hiking Half Dome might be too much for me. If you believe that I'll sell you the Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Diablo is a sacred mountain to California Indian people. Just about every California Indian community who viewed Mount Diablo would, at one time or another, make a pilgrimage to the summit area for ceremonies. It thinks today's ride could be considered a pilgrimage of some sort, although there wasn't too much carnage.

A bit of history.

The reason Mount Diablo is so sacred to the California Indian people is that it was the creation point for the Miwok people or genesis for some California Indian people. 1851, the mountaintop was selected as the starting point for a survey of the public domain. Ignoring the excitement of the Gold Rush, Leander Ransom and his men erected a flagpole at the summit of Mount Diablo and began to extend the base and meridian lines that are still used in official land surveys.

Much of the rock that makes up Mount Diablo is sedimentary in origin. It was laid down millions of years ago on the floor of the ocean. Within the last one to two million years, a piece of hard, red 160-million-year-old Franciscan rock was pushed up through six to eight miles of overlying rock and soil, tilting and distorting the rock layers and in some places turning them completely upside down. As a result, the fossilized remains of many sea creatures, as well as those of mastodons, saber-toothed cats and three-toe horses have been discovered here. Elevations in the park range from 300 to 3,849 feet. This wide range of elevations creates broad variations in temperature, rainfall and wind exposure that have resulted in a wide variety of plant life on the mountain. Summers are hot and dry, so many people prefer to visit in spring and fall. Tim actually had his favorite birthday party ever in this park. Somebody gave him a really cool sword that he stills plays with daily and he got to go climbing on the rocks.

I'm told the park is also popular in winter,when Bay Area residents occasionally enjoy the unusual experience of a snowfall on the mountain’s peak. Bruce has a story of how one New Year's Day he was the first to Summit Mt. Diablo. He actually didn't start riding until noon and the real early birds had been forbidden to summit the climb due to snow an d ice. Still he was the first one to the top that year.

Most of the park is typical central California oak and grassland country with extensive areas of chaparral. Riparian woodland occurs on the lower slopes of the mountain, where the streams have water in them throughout most of the year. Several isolated stands of knob cone pine occur within the park, and foothill pine is found in many places. The northern most groves of coulter pine occur on the lower, northerly slopes of the mountain, near the old mining ghost towns of Nortonville and Somersville just outside the park. Other trees include the coast live oak, big leaf maple, California laurel (Oregon myrtle), maul oak, blue oak and buckeye. In all, over 400 species of plants have been identified within the park’s almost 20,000 acres. Wildlife is also abundant. Coastal black tailed deer, raccoons, California ground squirrels, eastern fox squirrels and gray foxes are often seen, but striped and spotted skunks, bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, deer mice, cotton tail rabbits, black-tailed hares and many other animals call the mountain home. Mount Diablo is known to harbor red-legged frogs, tarantulas, and the rare Alameda whip snake, as well as its cousin the northern rattlesnake. To think Tim said that Bruce carried pepper spray for protection from kids, not mountain lions.


So back to the ride as we are riding to the mountain we have a nice long warm up with some rolling hills. Bruce tells us we have to make it to the park in one hour. This terrain easily allows me to roll 20mph plus I can draft Tim so I am not worried but I'm also careful not to take the bait. Bruce told us about the trick he'd played on Seth (Tim's brother) the other day. Bruce was tired and didn't want Seth to drop him at the end of the ride. Bruce pushed the pace a little so Seth would jump in front and tire himself out while Bruce backed off a hair and saved energy. When he shared this story I realized exactly what fire I was playing with and that I have to fight fire with fire. I know because I am on a TT bike I am set up more efficiently getting to the climb, once there the situation will be reversed. I efficiently stay on Tim's wheel. We descend a long hill and I yell to egg Bruce on. "IDB, IDB" I hope he will pass me down the hill. I'm hoping he will waste his energy on the downhill and will have less to fire with on the climb. By the way, IDB stands for "I drop boys." I know this is very dangerous for other reasons but when we get to the climb I do my best to antagonize Bruce in hopes he will take the bait. He's a little too smart though. You can't kid a kidder. Bruce says we need to reach the summit in less than an hour. I tell him I'm not playing . I'm saving my energy for my brick run after our ride. I invite Bruce to join Tim and me for this run. We keep telling Bruce he is ranked 11th in the World for his age at the 1/2 IM and he should be going faster. We tell him to sprint and show us how it is done. Tim then asks Bruce what his best time is and well lets just say it's a little more than 59 minutes. The ride is fun and beautiful. I don't make it to the top quite as fast as the boys but I am pleased with my climb just the same. The descent is long and slow on my TT bike. TT bikes are designed to go fast in a straight line so the handling isn't as precise as my road bike. I feel as if I am snowplowing down the mountain instead of carving my turns. No worries though. I enjoy the views and it's still free speed.

After the descent we motor home. We see another cyclist. He tries to pick up the pace and drop us because there is a girl in the mix. He learns otherwise. We roll home very quickly. We have a few sprinting contest in the neighborhood just before we finish. Bruce tells Tim and I to load up our legs with lactic acid and then do our run. "Go, go"he yells. You got to load up your legs. Fill them with lactate. I'm not falling for that one.

After our brick we have dinner then head to Sunday evening service. We attend the Catholic Church. Apparently Sunday evening is a very popular service and we have a difficult time finding parking. We park a fair distance from the church and have to walk. By the time we enter the very large and modern church it is standing room only. There are no pews but it is acceptable to sit on the carpeted floor. The Catholic church is not for the weak of heart or the feeble and we still sit, stand, and kneel with the rest of the congregation. This task was executed without difficulty for all of us except Bruce. Apparently he had stressed himself a little more than he let on because he had to get up in three steps. It sort of resembled a turtle on it's back. We gave him beyond a hard time about this on the way home. Bruce claimed that he was the first to summit Diablo. I claimed that though he won the stage, I won the race because I rode at a pace appropriate to allow me to complete tasks of everyday living.

* References made from California State Parks Visitors Guide

VDOT

VDOT is the Vo2 Max at speed. How fast you can go based on your cardiovascular fitness and economy of motion.



VDOT say I should be able to qualify for Boston.....if I train for it.


He's killing me. I've come a long way though.



Good form. Access tilted forword. Chi Running. Let your legs fall forword. Free Speed.






Nice angles. She must be fast. Wait that's me:)




According to my VDOT I am capable of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I am just not trained for it yet. My VDOT says I can go 3:36.28 (based on my 5 k split at the Encinitas sprint tr after I almost drowned :)








VDOT Running = 43





Easy pace = 9:37/mile





Good for warm up, cool down, recovery run, long run


100% of weekly mileage for 6 weeks/base building (later only 25 % of running)





According to this I have been running too hard:0 Does that mean I can slack a little more?





Marathon Pace = 8:15/mile


No more than 90 minutes at that pace. Steady run or long repeats.








Tempo = 7:42/mile


20-60 minutes at that pace


Tempo/aka Threshold





Interval = track repeats or fartlek pace. No more than 5 minutes at a time


1000 mailto:meters@4.26min





Rep pace = burning lungs





400m @ 1m 40 seconds





Don't go faster than this pace ever because there is no benefit. Aka you at track last summer pushing the pace. It's a good way to hurt yourself and your training partners. Only will your system be stressed.





No refiguring VDOT for 3 weeks. Only increase by 1 unit at a time.





As your father says "Don't hurt yourself"



According to Jack Daniels (and not the beverage) I should try to focus on shorter, lighter strides. Imagine that you're running over a field of raw eggs and you don't want to break any of them. Run over the ground, not into it. Try to get the feeling that your legs are part of a wheel that just rolls along, not two pogo stickks that you bounce along.



No more Tigger.

Tales of Thanksgiving: Redwood Forest Ride


Riley says "it's time for you to get up"


Monday, November 19

I like mornings in this house. Riley comes and looks at me and waits patiently for me to wake up and acknowledge him. After petting his soft and furry head I tiptoe in to check my e-mail . Riley now turns his attention to Tim. After awakening Tim, Riley is satisfied and beds down for a nap. We shuffle into the kitchen where Tim and Bruce make yummy cappuccinos with Bruce's really cool and labor intense Italian Espresso maker. I like watching the dynamics between Tim and Bruce as the milk is foamed. I sort of savor the morning, it's relaxing and exertion is around the corner.

Not long after breakfast we head out for a ride. Told you exertion was coming. We ride through the Redwood forest. It is really gorgeous. I love the trees. It starts to rain. Bruce apologizes but despite it being cold I think I like the fact that it's raining. It makes the woods seem genuine and authentic. We talk about dropping down into Berkeley to warm up and sip coffee. We nix the idea. I can only foresee getting cold if we stop pedaling. Although, I would like very much to do this ride again and descend into Berkeley for coffee. It is beautiful. I chuckle to myself remembering my last experience in Berkeley with my brother Tom. I was one day post marathon and hobbling all over town. The grin on Tom's face went from ear to ear.

The ride is pretty calm and quiet today. After yesterdays Mt. Diablo climb nobody has extra energy to egg the others on. I'd call it a moment of "truce". We ride through the forest then back towards town. We ride through Walnut Creek and Danville. It stops raining and we stop for a cookie break. Yum, Cindy's cookies are good and good energy. Soon our 50 mile loop is over. Now we can rest, right?......Wrong.

Tim and I are teased about our leisurely lunch. PB&J's with another capuchi. "This is the life," I want to say. However, we are the ones riding the most miles this day. We head out for round two with Cindy. We ride the "Sunol" loop. It is really pretty. Lots of hills and farm houses. I would like to live on one of these roads. It's beautiful. It feels good to spin out our legs. We enjoy another 15 miles. I like this loop very much.

When we finish we skip our bricks and clean our bikes instead. We are a little fanatical about this, but boy do they glisten and shine. After that we enjoy dinner and retire to bed. Sweet repose.

Tomorrow will be another great ride.

Tales of Thanksgiving: The Arrival

Cindy leading an idropboys ride

Saturday, November 17th
November So after 6-7 hours in the car with only one stop for gas and one stop for Sbux bizzle we arrived in Pleasanton. Tim's mom Cindy and dog Riley greeted us at the door. Riley was full of energy and bouncing around like a puppy. He knew there would be some good adventures in store. Tim's father was decked out in Boston Marathon Finisher gear cross training in the back yard. (Cross training a.k.a. yard work) I think Bruce secretly likes to wear his Boston Finisher and Ironman Full Finisher gear when Tim and I are around to get our goats. Bruce was planning to do a long run but Tim and I twisted his arm into riding with us. We grabbed a quick lunch and the four of us headed out the door on our bikes.

Cindy calls herself "the weak sauce" member of the family. Yeah .... right. She likes to ride in the front and lead the way. I think it's because she thinks drafting is for the weak. Before we had 5 miles under our belts she had already dropped 5 guys. Weak sauce. Hah. We comfortably drafted behind her as we headed towards Calaveras Road.
Just as we started to warm up in the saddle we turned onto Sunol Road and saw a climb ahead. I heard some commotion behind me and some shouting. "CDF Challenge, you can't go below 20 mph, sprint, sprint." I pick up the pace a little bit as Tim sprints ahead. I hear "dropping, dropping;" I slow down thinking "dropping " means a rider is being dropped. Oh dear, "dropping" meant I was dropping that pace to less than 20 mph for the climb. When Tim stopped his bike at the top of the hill I heard a frantic cry "No, No , No, the sign, the sign." Apparently the rules of the CDF Challenge are that one must sprint from the bottom of the hill to the California Department of Forestry sign. After finishing the climb at 20 mph, the contestant must throw his fist in the air as a salute to the California Department of Forestry. Poor Bruce, he had waited so long to share this game with Tim and me and we didn't even get it right. Beyond that, the next ride we said we weren't playing and on the last day Tim bastardised the game by announcing the CDF challenge was to keep your bike from rising above 10 mph. Poor Bruce, he didn't hear this; if he had, he would have shook his head and said " I raised you better than this."
The ride out was extremely scenic and great for hammering on our new TT bikes. After riding a bit, I let go of the reins and my bike Sweet Thunder galloped ahead. I think she thought with all the cows and horses in the pastures she had broken free. Tim's bike Pumpkin does this too. He takes off and he can't be stopped. Over the rolling hills charged our bikes. When we reached the entrance to Sunol Regional Park we started to climb. I love this climb: it is curvy with switchbacks and overlooks a reservoir. The air was cold and crisp, and the sky was clear and blue. We rounded corners and went through shaded sections where the sun never hits and the cold air settles, known as" the refrigerator".
We turned around at the top, marked by a bald eagle's nest, and headed back to the homestead. We later were told we were expected to descend toward San Jose and climb back up the "Wall" for an extra few miles. I believe not climbing the wall was deemed "tacky." Apparently 42 miles just wasn't enough. We tried to dig ourselves out of the "kids these days" hole by taking Riley for a brick run. We ran 2.5 miles before calling it a day.
Ahh... what a day.

Tales of Thanksgiving


When the family dog wears running shoes......it's your first clue



Saturday November 17th Tim and I packed up the car and headed to Northern California. Well, it's what we call Northern California. The Bay area to be more specific. We arrived with plans to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with  Tim's Mom, Dad and  dog "Riley". Loyal and loving Riley, who Tim raised as a puppy. If this was the normal Thanksgiving blog I wouldn't be blogging it so get ready for some super sized reports on gluttony that exists beyond turkey consumption.
By the time the actual Thanksgiving day rolled around I'd be back in San Diego working on Thanksgiving. I'd be giving thanks to family, friends, and the 290 miles I'd ridden in the five prior days. On Thanksgiving day I would be reflecting on the weeks "challenges" and choices made to determine "glory vs. shame"

When we left for Tim's parents house I felt a little "out of shape, de-trained, etc". For the the average American this would be a problem entering the holiday season. The average American loses their fitness regime and gains 5 pounds during the holidays or on vacation. Not so, for Tim and me. We are always one good week of training away from peak form. We are part of a rare group of people who can use the terms "training camp" and "vacation" interchangeably. While Tim and I may be average Ironman  Wanna-Be's  we are certainly not average Americans. I must say it like it that way.


Reasons For IMAZ


11/28/07

Reasons to do IMAZ:

All my (girl) friends are doing it.

Tim said he'd sherpa. Three IM's would be too much for him. He'll be post Kona and too busy to train w/ residency

Sweet Thunder clicked the register button

Sweet Thunder didn't want to be left behind

My wheel disk makes my a** look fast

I can drive there. Decreased opportunity costs

Extending training season = Extended time in skinny jeans

I won't always have this much "disposable" time or income



Drum Roll Please:

I Love running in the dark

Official Insanity


November 27


Peer Pressure. It will get you. A bunch of my gal pals are signing up for IMAZ. Tim offered to be my support crew. This is probably not the wisest thing to do. Signing up for a second IM before my finishing my first. However, life is short and I am sure there will be a time in my life when this opportunity will not exist so easily. Unlike others I know. I actually love to train. Also, if I quit training for Ironman, my quads might go straight to my thighs. It's off to the active.com site to sign up.

P.S. Stay tuned I really will get the Tales of Thanksgiving Blog out soon.

Coming Soon


Due to increased activity Jenny girl is a bit behind in blogging. Stay tuned for Tales of Thanksgiving. They will be released soon.

Some Things Never Change




Some things never change. So the bike may not be pink. Note my matching kit: red ribbons, red pants, red accents on my jacket. My partner in crime is my friend Kristi. She could really drop boys. Even at that age.



For the record: I did not run over any live toads with my trike


Thank You

Honoring the Honorable Intentions




November 14th

Yesterday I told Tim I was going to get up 30 minutes early for work and ride the trainer. I think I told him of this intention so he would tell me I won't do it. This is the motivation I need to complete the task and prove him wrong. Tim said "That is a honorable intention but I doubt it will happen."

Around 10 p.m., after my roommate and her dog have gone to bed, I tiptoe downstairs and set my road bike up on the trainer. It looks very pretty there. My cell phone alarm is set for 0450. By 0457 the next morning I am riding on the trainer. At first I am half asleep on the trainer, but as I wake up I enjoy my little spin immensely. How can one enjoy riding the trainer you ask? Well, it's sort of like indulging in a guilty pleasure. As I ride, I glance to the shelf beneath the coffee table . On the left there is a pile of magazines: Runnner's World, Triathlon, Bicycle. Hmmm, boring at 0500. I might fall back to sleep. On the right, gleaming and shining copies of my roommate's Marie Claire and Cosmo glisten. I pick of a glossy copy of Marie Clare and balance it on the handle bars of my beloved pink bike. Gwen Stefani's ""Hollaback Girl" blaires in my ipod. (In case you don't know this song, it's the loud peppy one that says this shi*'s bananna B-A-N-A-N-A-S"). For some reason, this makes my legs spin faster. If anyone saw me it would ruin my hardcore triathlete image. First go the prescription Oakleys, now it's pop music and Marie Claire. What's next, a move to Hollywood to try to make it in "the business"? Who is this girl.

It's 0530 and my secret life is over. Into the shower and off to work I go. I have extra spring in my step today. I text Tim and mention "Honored the Honorable". He texts back "What?" He so didn't think I would ride the trainer he forgot about it. I tell him I rode for 30 minutes. He says he is proud. I don't mention the Marie Claire or Gwen Stefani music. A girl's got to have a few secrets.

Being there with Bells on


November 13

Today Tim and I head out for another ride. Same loop as yesterday but not nearly as excitiing. I am a little more sedate with tired legs. We ride along and occasionally I think "How will I antagonize the boys after my Chris King hub breaks in?" It will no longer buzz. I think I will miss the buzz when it's gone. Ding, Ding, the answer comes to me. A bell. Wouldn't that be fun. Himena Florit, local gal and former Olympic moutain biker is known for this trick. She rides up behind boys. As they huff and puff she prepares to blow their house down. "Ding, Ding" goes her bell and then she passes them with ease. They don't know what's hit them.

Today I bribe Tim with a Pannikin stop because honestly it will be a nice chance to recover. It's a really nice day and warm like summer. Ahh....Novemeber in San Diego. We sip iced coffees in the sunshine. What a life. After that we ride home. The coast is very quiet today as there is no surf and it's a weekday.

When we get home I insist on bricking. We run two miles in 15 minutes. That's fast for me. That's fast for just completeing a 54 mile, 3000 ft elevation gain ride. Partly we run this fast because I am working on my form. I am concentrating on getting rid of the bounce. I read and am told that you just sort of fall forword. It is much faster, but my lungs are sort of in shock. Tim comments my stride is a little too long. I don't really want to hear I have one more thing to worry about. What happened to the days when running was a time to space out. I shorten my stride pickup the pace and I think Tim regrets saying anything because this pace is above comfortable for both of us. I pretend the run is easy:)

It's 2 p.m. and I am exhausted. Tim has to go to work and work all night. But me....all I have to do is blog ;)

Hello Love







Veterans Day


If you've ever seen an episode of "Sex in the City" you know how the story's main character Sarah Jessica Parker, Aka Carrie, has an affinity for expensive shoes. In one episode, she picks up a pair of Minolo Blahniks and wistfully says "Hello Love". That's how I feel about my pink Chris King hubs. They are the equivalent of jewelry from Tiffany's only better because they have function.

I felt especially peppy today. I could use the excuse to say I was out of shape while turning on the hurt. I hadn't been able to ride my bike (minus the measly trainer) for a week. After an am eye appointment I was ready to go. Tim had the day off from the lab due to the Holiday. He had no excuses not to ride. Well, except for the 98 miles he rode the day prior. I was slaving away at work so I couldn't ride with him. (Not really was I slaving away , but once again this is my blog). Tim asked where I wanted to ride and I replied Elfin. Elfin forest is a 54 mile loop with 3300 ft of elevation gain. It's a really pretty ride and leaves from my front door. If you pedal fast you might finish in about 3 hours. Tim groaned at me. "Oh,,,,you don't really want to ride Elfin do you? "I'm going to hurt"

Knowing Tim's legs probably felt like beef jerky put extra spring in my step. It gave me extra pep as we have a little rivalry with mileage, pace, and showing weakness. I was relishing in this moment. Tim was squirming. He stated that if I dropped him today it wouldn't count. Ha, ha, ha...... when a girl drops a boys it always counts. In fact it counts double. ( I make the rules, I'm founder and owner of idropboys.com). The fact that I am "detrained" is not an issue. I'm going to pull as many watts as I can and pretend like I'm not even trying. I'm relishing in this moment. Tim's always riding in the front resting and waiting for me while I grunt and grind. This is for glory or shame. This is my chance. Come on Baby Doll lets roll.

PAUSE HERE FOR PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT:

DR. LAURA SAYS:
Jennifer is clearly classified as the jealous type. She exhibits jealousy of the 98 miles her humble and loyal boyfriend rode. She palys the "martr" role and refuses to take responsibility for the choice she makes. The choice to work for extra money while her eyes healed from laser surgery while her boyfriend rode his bike. She wants to inflict pain onto others and seeks revenge. Clearly she is to be classified as narcissistic, masochistic. Based on other behaviors she exhibit traces of ADHD.

MY REPLY:
I'm not really any of those things. I just like dropping boys on my pink bike. It makes for a good story and keeps me fit. Besides that Tim helped create this monster. Dropping boys is how I show my appreciation for what he has taught me in terms of cycling.

Continuing On:

Tim and I start the ride. He's sort of lolly gagging( Sorry Timmy Baby, but this is my blog and I can not tell a lie) His legs are tired. Tim asked me to give him a little sympathy, but I said no. What will he ask for next? I did bribe him with the offer of a pumpkin pie if he could stay within a couple of bikes lengths of me. I explained I was sorry to ride so fast, but I only know how to ride this new bike fast. Besides I got this new Garmin (Hence yesterday's DT shift) It uploads my HR, cadence, distance, and the map of where I rode to my computer. I wouldn't want it loading slow results to my computer. Also, riding is a little like playing poker. I know if I push the pace he may fold before I do.

A few miles up the road we wait at the corner of Camino Del Sur and San Dieguito Road for the light to change. We see two roadies coming from the north on Camino Del Sur. They make a right hand turn onto San Dieguito and pedal off. I see them take a look at my bike as they accelerate around the corner. We get the green light and I see them up ahead. One prerequisite readers must know is everyday a roadie rides it is a race. When you see a guy on a bike with pencil thin arms and quads of steel, matching spandex, and shaved legs he's not simply out for a ride. He's out to drop as many people as he can. We see the two riders ahead riding at a conversation pace, riding side by side and chatting. This means they have dismissed me as a threat. I know I can catch them. Tim asks if I want him to pull me up to them and I nod. We steadily close the gap. I hop in front of Tim and get ready to "Drop The Boys". I pause for a second. My pink Chris King Hub buzzes when I coast. It's similar to when I stepped on the fender of my original Sweet Thunder when Tom was chasing me around the neighborhood. I casually glance over my right shoulder and say "Hello boys" in the drawn out tone "Carrie" used to address the Manolo Blahniks. With a flick of my pony tail I was off and racing away. Down and hill I went as fast as I (safely) could . The gentlemen attack back and pass me down the hill (gravity for you). I pass them back up the next one. One of the two riders passes me again, but the other can't catch up. Tim and I turn right and they go straight. I wave like I'm friendly and wasn't out to make them hurt. I know they are thinking what the.......? They'll probably take their bikes in for a tune up when they get home or start training on there race wheels. They are going to withdraw their donations to Title 9 sports.

Tim and I chuckle very hard about this episode for many miles. We do are climbing on Del Dios . I take advantage of Tim's tired legs buy zipping off on any of the descents and carrying my speed as long as I can. When I get to the uphill I roll with my momentum as hard as I can until it runs out then I look back at Tim and let him catch up. He zips in front of me and pretends he's been appreciating the effects of fire. This area got hit hard during the fire. It's amazing to see charcoal extend right up to somebodies yard and stop on their property line. Talk about being thankful to the fire fighters. They really had their work cut out for them. Tim jumps back in front and I enjoy frequently allowing my Chris King hub to noisily buzz. (When you hear me buzz it means I have to stop pedaling for a few moments in order to not over take you). Tim pretends my Buzz is bothering him, but I know he loves it. It's a good training tool for those I ride with, kind of like a cattle prod.

Aside from bribing Tim with pumpkin Pie. I twisted his arm to do this ride by promising that we can stop for coffee and treat at Pannikin. I even offer to buy coffee. When he get close to Pannikin, I retract my offer and tell him it will be dark soon and there isn't time.

PAUSE HERE FOR CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL INSIGHT:

DR. LAURA SAYS:
"Clearly Tim is involved in but has agreed to a mentally, physically, and verbally abusive relationship. This Jennifer is clearly a dangerous creature. She is very manipulative. Offering her boyfriend coffee then not following through. Playing it off as if it "what's good for him"

MY REPLY:
I'm not really "abusive". I am not one of those girls who thinks she knows what is good for her boyfriend. I am the girl who really knows what is good for her boyfriend. If you ask me "he got what he wanted"


Continuing on Again:

Sans Pannikin we stop at Swami's surf spot and refill our water bottles. As we pull back out into the bike lane my next victim rolls by. Tim says lets get him and sprints ahead. I do not sprint. He looks back and asks what is wrong. I respond "Nothing. I'm taking a moment to study my prey". I see his form is not great, but I can tell by my nursing assessment that he will override his level of fitness to outdo a girl. I comfortably and steadily close the gap. I don't allow Tim to pull for me. I want to drop this one on my own. Soon I pass him with ease. I smile and say hello as I whisk by. After all, I'm the ambassador for "I drop boys" . I must be cordial. He doesn't like this and tries to pass me back, but he can't. He gloms on to my back wheel. We stop at a light and he takes off in front. This is bad and stupid bike etiquette. He could have saved himself a drop by letting the faster riders go first. He jumps and with ease I drop him again. So much is tactics. He hangs on to my back wheel until the hill entering Del Mar. I see him on my back wheel , and lets just say it took a HR of 185 but I cleaned my back wheel and he was dismissed. We meet again at the next red light. I'm starting to feel like I stepped on wet toilet paper. The next few miles is always and should always be relatively pedestrian. There are lots of pedestrians and four way stops. A few stop signs later I am dutifully pausing at the stop sign. I can balance on my bike while stopped for 30 seconds. So no Father, I didn't roll the stop sign. Yes, cyclists, get tickets too. Meanwhile, the not such a gentleman cyclist ran the stop sign, jumped in front of me a latched on Tim's rear wheel. Yes you....you on the RED bike, with the upward pointing red aero bars. In addition to having poor etiquette, horrid manners in cutting off a female after drafting her for miles (without permission) then attempting to draft her boyfriend and separate the couple, compromising safety, and BREAKING THE LAW running a stop light......I am about to drop you. I hammer ahead of him and tell Tim my story. We up the pace and ditch him for the final time.

We turn on to Carmel Valley Road and begin the Carmel Valley challenge. This is where you descend the hill and carry your speed as fast as you can, for as long as you can. You can usually beat the traffic. Don't worry MOM , I'm very careful of the traffic here. At the end of Carmel Valley Road there is an uphill and if your legs are fresh you can carry your speed all the way up My momentum was good I was drafting Tim. My legs were a little tired so instead of passing Tim I nonchalantly asked Tim " Is that all you got" He said I give up, I passed him and he got off his bike and pretended he couldn't ride anymore. This made me giggle hysterically but I sternly said I was not going to pollute the environment driving back to pick him up. Then I went on a rant about chivalry and how the man was supposed to pull. Tim started to pedal again and we duked out the bike path. I'll be honest my legs were a bit tired. They however weren't 100 mile legs. I knew it would be a long time before I would be able to have such fun and Tim's expense again. On the final incline of the 56 bike path I upped the pace. I could grind this pace out that's it. I got no more. If Tim responds to this pace with an attack back.... I'm going to eating humble pie. "I give" Tim said. This is when I tell him about cycling being a lot like poker. "Just kidding" he said and sprinted off. Good I respond "you have enough energy to brick". Tim groaned. Complained of abuse, but I told him if he wanted to beat his Dad at Ironman he was going to have to get going.

Off for a 1 mile run we ran. It was quite fast as I'm working on shorter faster runs with better form.What a fine day to introduce my new technique to Tim. After that we enjoyed protein recovery shakes while I made pumpkin pie.

TIM's TAKE: "Well clearly it's abusive, but the pie makes everything alright"



Tales From The Trainer


November 8th

Today I multi tasked. Yes, I channel surfed while riding my road bike, a.k.a Princess, on the trainer. I could maybe ride outside but I have been stuck behind the street sweeper one too many times too take any chances. I rode for 45 minutes. I used to ride much longer in the attic of my Petoskey apartment but since moving to So Cali I have become soft. (Yes in the attic......uh -oh maybe that's why I have asmtha)

While channel surfing from the trainer, I came across the Travel Channel show "Passport to Europe". The rather engaging host Samantha Brown took me to Denmark for a snadwhich with caviar and Prague for the largest apple strudel I have seen in my life. Between you and me, I am a little worried about this Samantha. She's always eating. I'm mean shouldn't she be touring the city via bike or runnning the course of the Prague marathon. I know this girl who toured New Zealand on her bike. When she took her boyfriend to Mackinac Island, she showed him the sites by running the course for the 1/2 Marathon. Now a girl like that should host a TV show. .......Wait a minute. Oops I apologize that girl is me. I need to call the Travel Channel and tell them how to have a real adventure. Anyway I liked the part about Prague because I am a 1/4 Czech. Maybe my baking genes originated there. I wonder if I could make a strudel like that. My grandpa emmigrated to Ellis Island when he was five. His family settled in Chicago and opened a bakery. I also get my Alpine genes from there too. You see my great grandmother snuck across the boarder to Austria to give birth to my Grandfather. Austrains are the best skiers in the world. I think they omit the fetal position and assume the tuck position in utero. I'm sure my grandfather never skied. I never knew him as he died when I was a baby. I know his Austrain birth because I was complaining about "Aundrea the Evil Austrian" from the Evil Ski Empire across the street called Boyne. She's actually a lovely lady except she was always beating me by something like ski 3 seconds a run. Once or twice she bobbled when I didn't and I'd take a run from her. On these occasions she'd be sure to ride up the chairlift with me and mention in a thick accent "Jennifer, you know it gets harder as you get older, when I was on the world cup." Great so I am young and in fact back in the day you were on the World Cup I was on the tow rope. One day I had enough. I called her the Evil Austrain. That's when my mom scolded me and told me it was my heritage. I wasn't the one who coined the term "Evil Austrain" The boys referred to her as this. In retrospection I know it was because she dropped them too. .




The Way I See It



November 6th

This morning I met Tim for a 0530 roll time. We managed to get in 56 miles before undergoing laser vision correction. Well, before I underwent laser vision surgery. I used my new bike and she went ...fast. After our ride it was a quick shower and off to Scripps La Jolla. I slipped a little (prescribed) Valium under my tongue. I was a little nervous before the Valium but soon I was giggling. I told Tim the world would be a better place if more people took Valium. I also said I thought it would aid in muscle recovery since I sort of stomped on the pedals this morning.

When the Doctor arrived a few minutes late he asked if I got nervous waiting. I laughed again and said "Noooo" I was a bit nervous before the Valium. I have to admit I sort of came down from my Valium euphoria when they applied suction to my eyeballs. Shortly after Tim took me more with my eye shields and told me to sleep for the rest of the day. I woke up a few hours later and could see pretty well but left the shields on to keep me from getting to rambunctious. I sedated my self with some TV and fell back asleep to TV shows I haven't seen since I had strep throat. "The Biggest Looser" and "The Real (pathetic) Housewives of OC". I like to watch these shows when I am incapacitated because they cement that I really haven't missed anything while I have been busy training.

Around 8:00 pm I took off the shield and I could see. Yeah. My eyes don't hurt. They don't itch. I've had glasses since 4th grade. When I was 18 my vision was 20/300. Now it's 20/10. Nice

Tim's a little bummed to see my prescription Oakley's go. Now I don't have to worry about swimming to Mexico if my rx goggles get kicked of in a race. I can also put my sunnies on top of my helmet when it rains or they fog.

The Oakley's may make a come back but at least they'll be optional. That's how I see it.

In Her Shoes


Monday, November 5th


I started the morning with an ART session. For those of you who are not crazy triathletes ART is a therapy where the athlete moves one way.Th clinician presses deeply and pulls the tissue the other way to break up adhesions. I must say it worked very well except now my left glut is a rock and my right is soft. Wait a minute I just paid for a painful therapy to have a soft glut.....What the? I was also shown some exercises to help me "beef up" my gluts to help stabilize me while I run long. After this therapy the Doctor asked me how I was doing with the psychological aspects of not running. I've been advised to undertrain running throughout the winter and not to go long until spring. Although I sort of long for a good long run at Penasquitos Canyon. I'm using this time of forced recovery to allow me to reflect on my life and the choices I make. I'm taking time to identify what goals are and how I'm going to get there. I'm using this time of forced recovery to allow me to reflect on my life and the choices I make. I'm taking time to identify what goals are and how I'm going to get there. I've identified my number #1 goal for 2008 is to finish IM-CDA in the best shape I can. My friend Meredith mentioned the sacrafices she made along the way to IM Florida. She mentioned missing going for walks with her husband and dogs. She also mentioned that IM is such a big commitment she didn't know if she would do another. She decided to go all the way with it. Tim is training for IM CDA I don't think I have to worry about missing him much. However, I will have my own set of sacrifices to make. Yes, yes, I will. I am not sure if sacrifices is really the right term. In Jenny's blog it's called choices.

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about what caused this injury and eliminating the offending factors. One, I believe was my bike fit. Aero bars on a road bike just pulled at the base of my gluts. I fixed that. I identified a loss of flexibility and resumed yoga a few times a week. I think that is helping. On top of that I think I probably just a lot of my body. The reality is Iron man is going to ask for that much more.

The final offending factor is my shoes. For the most part if you want to imagine life in my shoes it's slightly scuffy running shoes, clip clop cycling shoes, or flip flops. These aren't the offending ones. It's the ones that make me tall ;)

Years ago I read the Bridget Jones Survival Guide to Life. In this book it advised the fastest way to loose five pounds was to wear taller shoes. My friends and I tried this giggling. It does work. At five pounds an inch I could loose 15 pounds by donning 3 inch heels. Unfortunately over the last year I've realized that tall shoes hurt my Achilles as well as inflame my IT Band syndrome. I was vainly wearing Dansko's with scrubs before Superfrog. Everybody at work was complimenting me on how fit I looked.....and then my IT band blew to bits. Note to self....Nike Frees or Croc's are best for work. I also have these really cute sandals with flowers that gave me blisters so bad I could barely ride my bike for three days. Note to self, body glide isn't just for triathletes. It's a requirement before all dress shoes.

I also know if I want to finish IM fast and go sub four hours at my next marathon I need to beef up my gluts. What 30 year old female actively tries to "beef" up her gluts. They say every great Ironman is just a little bit crazy.

So you see my choices. I am sentenced to a life of painful therapy to soften my gluts, followed by exercises to beef up my gluts. My designer jeans sentenced to a life on beefy gluts paired with Puma's, Merrils, and various flats (purchased from Ross to offset the price of Chris King hubs)What 30 year old Southern California female would choose flats and beefy gluts over tall shoes and skinny jeans?

Me :)

It's a tough choice but I think crossing the finish line of an Ironman with beefy gluts in a pair of Newton's would be pretty fab.

So that's life in my shoes.

idropboys Fiesta Island



It looks so innocent that little pink bike.


Monday, October29

After a few days of hard riding on a new bike I decided to do a short "easy ride on Fiesta Island followed by a 10 minute run. Fiesta Island was it's usual windy self. It's not the most scenic place but there are few cars and it's a good place to practice time trialing. I wasn't planning to time trial today. Apparently the men of the island thought differently. I start my ride. I'm just chilling and listening to some tunes. I loosen up and drop into the aero bars. I have no idea how fast I'm going or what my heart race or cadence is. I still haven't put a spedometer on my new time machine. I'm pedaling along minding my own business when I pass a gentleman. He speeds up and his legs are all over the place as he tries to keep up. His eyes become larger than saucers as he sees a girl on a little pink bike. Holy cow, he says your killing me. Dude, just because your a boy doesn't mean you are inherently faster. "Your not even out of breath" he says. No.... because I do this often and I'm riding at a pace appropriate for my level of fitness. We pass another gentleman and the two boys take turns jumping out in front of me, then dying and latching on to my back wheel. This is slightly annoying as I don't know them. I don't want them crashing in to my rear wheel in a Tour De France style crash. It's also bad form to draft somebody on a time trial bike. Ugh, so much for an easy day. I shift into a harder gear. Bikesnob NYC said everyday you ride is a race. I feel like I'm pulling a few more watts a few moments later I sneak a glance back......there are four men struging to hang on my back. Gentlemen.... your drafting a girl....on a little pink bike! I ride in a fashion that makes my legs burn. At the end of the lap 2 of the men have been dropped. The other two leave the island. One of them thanks me for the fun time. Apperently pink bikes stir up a lot of excitiment. My work is done. I continue this pace until I am on the other side of the island where I sit up and drink from my water bottle. After I finish my ride and my 10 minute run I go to Tim's house and tell him my story. He laughs and imitates me in a high pitched voice" I'm not a time trialist, I don't have the right body type" Let me rephrase "I'm only a time trialist when there are boys to be dropped.

San Diego Fires




October 29th


One week later my life is back to normal.

Monday October 22, I was evacuated from my home due to the fire.

Luckily, I had already gone to Tim's due to the poor air quality. When I left on Sunday. I thought the smoke was drifting down from the Malibu fires. I brought my computer to Tim's to work on my blog and my bike so we could tinker with it. After a weekend of riding it needed a bit of love. I also packed a pair of scrubs for work the next day. I didn't anticipate the fires would be so close to my home. On my way to work Monday morning an official evacuation was called for my area. Tim offered to get some "things I couldn't live without" but called back shortly after and said it would be impossible due to traffic. My roommate Emily grabbed a folder for me but I had know idea if she grabbed the right papers. It was weird starting my work day not knowing if I would ever go back to the place I lived. It felt like staring ahead on an empty freeway. Nobody new exactly where the fire perimeters were because it was too windy to fly. The winds were gusting up to 80 mph and the embers flew up to 2 miles. I knew 3000 acres had burned in and around Ramona. Ramona is home of some of my favorite(roll out the door from home)climbing, As you summit the grade, the landscape changes dramatically. The mountains become scattered with large rock formations that look like they could be from outer space. It is less densely populated with large farms. It has a real feeling of being rural and I find that comforting. When, I arrived at work I learned Highland Valley Road had burned. I wouldn't wish my complex to burn on for the others who live here but I'd gladly trade all the contents in my place to have that road back. The first time I rode Highland Valley Road with Tim I mentioned I was thirsty. It was hot and there were no parks with water fountains or convenience stores for miles. We came upon an estate with an orange orchard. Even though it was late in the season the oranges were perfectly ripe and hanging over the fence, and scattering the side of the road. We stopped and Tim reached the high branches picked a few and squeezed them into my water bottle. I had freshly squeezed orange juice. Hydration and nutrition in a chivalrous matter. I couldn't get the sadness of loosing this beauty out of my head as I tired to focus on my current assignment as well as prepare to receive patients evacuated from Palomar/ Pomerado hospital. The TV blared, and I learned Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Santa Fe were burning. Oh boy...they are right up the road from me. Typically I ride my bike north on Camino Del Sur. I ride East to RB or West to Rancho Santa Fe. Ugh, if they can't save Rancho Santa Fe they are not going to save my place. I still don't care about the possessions I loose. The best things in life are free. Everything else is replaceable. I learn Del Dios highway is burning. I remember riding this road for the first time with my friend Katie. She translated that Del Dios meant highway of God. It was during this ride I decided to abandon travel nursing and commit to a life in San Diego. I figured any decision made on the highway of God had to be one on the right path. With this news I feel bewildered and dismayed. I feel if my memories will burn. Life as I know it will change. This is the route Tim and I ride when he sneaks into the lab a little late. (sorry I hope Tim's boss Alan never reads this blog).

Throughout the day I feel some hope and comfort. Support seeps through San Diego and through Scripps Mercy. I have many offers for a place to stay. Many from people I barely know. I am thanked for coming to work. I think where else would I be. This is when I am needed most. This is why I am in this field and not selling vacuum cleaners. I appreciate this renewed relevation. Tim is on call Monday night. I go to his house after work and watch the news. It is smokey, even in PB. The side of his street is reminiscent of the 4th of July, when people park on this street to watch the fireworks. I fall asleep hoping the wind dies down and things return to normal soon.

Tuesday is another nail biter but the helicopters begin to fly. We know the fire in Rancho Santa Fe is contained and Tim is able to get some of my things that it would be nice to keep. I am nervous for him to be at my place. I would rather everything burn than have him in harms way. He assures me that the winds are blowing in the other direction. He doesn't want my things to survive the fire fire only to be looted. It is nice knowing that I won't have to replace my passport and knowing that I won't have to fight with my renters insurance to replace my most expensive things. Ironically I feel blessed to have had my first road bike stolen, and my car broken into while relocating across country. The loss of the road bike prompted me to get property inusrance. Loosing the loot from my car taught me that letting go of possesions can be hard but things can be replaced.
I am working again this day. Tim and I discuss cancelling our trip to visit his family in the Bay area. We learn medical volunteers being turned away from Qualcomm. From the 10th floor of Scripps Mercy I seesmoke all around us. I learn of my coworkers who watched Mt San Miguel burn during night shift. I learn of my coworkers who saw flames out there windows. I am lucky I think.

Wednesday I work again I learn the band has been lifted where I live. Tim picks up some things so I have what I need to comfortably leave for the Bay area. He picks me up from work that evening and we head to the airport. We land at Oakland airport and the air smells fresh. I sleep well that night.

Thursday we enjoy a run (well run /walk with my IT band) on the Pleasanton Ridge. We take Tim's family dogs. Life feels selfishly normal. That evening we enjoy dinner in San Fransisco to celebrate Tim's mom's birthday. We have a nice time. I enjoy the food, company, and the sights of the city. I am very lucky compared to those more deeply affected by the fire.

Friday we return home. Tim is on call that evening. The Air Quality is improved. I pick my new bike up from the shop in Poit Loma. I take it for a few spins around Fiesta Island before heading to my place. Upon arrival home, the air isn't quite as good. As I wipe the soot from my sink, fans, and windowsills I am thankfully my place is intact. I wonder what life would be like if my house burned down. I think of those whose homes burned. When will there lives be normal? I think of those injured in the fire or lost in the fire, and those fighting what is left of the fire. They are in my prayers.

Jen

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A Bike Is Never Just A Bike








I believe in naming my bike. Why do you think Natasha Badman at age 40 is the fastest in the world? She loves her bike. She tells it to "Go and run fast now, this is your home" After digging the picture of my first new bike out of the archives and noting the plate in front said Sweet Thunder I decided that would be a great name for my next bike. My road bike has a name too. I'm just not ready to go public with it.