Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Iron Team Keeps Me Moving!

Is it bad that I can't wait to get home from spin tonight and get back into bed?  I didn't want to get out of bed today, but I knew I had to finally clean up after Christmas dinner and I knew I would eventually have to get up to go to spin, so I thought I might as well be a little productive today.  So I got up, washed the dishes, went grocery shopping, baked cookies, made turkey and black bean quesadillas, did my laundry, and returned presents to Target and then got a new sports bra, workout top and cute pair of black pants.  Now I am sitting around waiting for it to be time to go to spin, and I just want to curl up in bed, take my heart rate monitor off (it's at 68 right now) and turn on netflix.

But alas, Iron Team is getting me out of bed.  Actually they got me out of bed on Sunday too.  I had a little to drink on Christmas (which wasn't necessarily a little, but was definitely less than what I used to drink), and Sunday morning I so did not want to get out of bed.  But I knew my team was waiting for me, and I thought I just had a 35 mile ride, so I got up and went.  Funny thing is that it ended up being a 35 mile ride full of hills, and a 70 minute run full of hills, and then core.  But after it was done, I was so happy.  It felt so good to be able to know that I worked out for 4 and a half hours the day after Christmas.  I didn't need to worry about the extra chocolates I had eaten.

Me finishing 35 mile ride and then 70 minute run!  I think you would stick your tongue out too!

I really love Iron Team...I think this winter would have been full of a lot of excuses to stay inside (and stay in bed).  But the team gets me out and gets me doing things...and it's an extra bonus that everyone is so great.

Me on the phone during core having to postpone my lunch plans, because training still wasn't over!

And we are always full of spirit!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Week Training

 This week has been so much fun! I got to finally go to spin class on Tuesday at Studio Balanza...who knew we would also get a dance workout after spin? And then, what a treat, the sun came out on Thursday and I got to get a tan while I swam. Hee hee that rhymes!

Monday, December 20, 2010

2011 is Going to Be an Awesome Year!

I never knew how hard it was to be a model...I mean I should have figured, since when I filmed that commercial last summer, it was so much more difficult than I thought. Who knew Team in Training was going to make me into a star?  Hee hee, just kidding.

Anyway, 2011 is going to be an awesome year, especially since everyone can now have a 2011 Girls That Give Calendar to inspire them all year long.  13 ladies who decided to do something with their lives and give back.  All of them have now run marathons or completed triathlons and are helping to find a cure for cancer!

The shoot was so much fun, and I just have to thank everyone that participated.  Thank you to all the girls who gave up their Sunday afternoon to sit for hours while we got the perfect shot.  Thank you to Rocky, my mentor, for convincing his lovely wife to be one of those ladies, and for helping to direct us all day, and thank you especially to Jose, who donated his time and all of his photos, so that we can really use this calendar to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  And thank you to Club One in Oakland who let us use their amazing facilities all afternoon!

If you want to order one, go to this link: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dDI2eV9MZUFteE05ODQ3MzdUSEZGN2c6MQ#gid=0

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Triple Brick

Yep, that's what I said...triple brick.  But wait, that's not all, first we swam for about an hour and a half.  All in all, I think we did about an Olympic distance triathlon today and this was just a training!

The pool was fun, but I can't wait til we get to go in open water!  (Please remind me I said this when I am hating open water swims in February).  After the swim we did:

30 minute spin
20 minute run
30 minute spin
20 minute run
30 minute spin
15 minute run

The good thing is I feel great! 

See, this is me after the running.  Still smiling!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ironman Christmas Carol

See it was fun!

Ok, so 4:30 am wasn't that much fun.  It SUCKS getting out of bed that early.  But by 4:34 when I had my swimsuit on, I wasn't feeling so bad, and by 4:38 when I was in the car listening to Ke$ha and Shakira, I was getting pumped. 

The  best thing about getting up that early is no one is going to see you, so no need to bother with makeup!

And the pool is usually empty at 24 hour fitness, or at least the people in the pool are swimming laps, and not just lounging around getting in your way.

And if you wake up that early you have a chance to swim and take a spin class, which as long as you take it on Wednesdays with Tracy, it totally rocks!

(yes, I put a little mascara on for the spin class...I mean there are other people there, and I didn't want to torture them)


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There IS something fun about 4:30 in the morning

Contrary to popular belief, I believe there is something fun about 4:30 in the morning...ok, maybe the word isn't fun...but definitely something rewarding!  And I am going to prove it to you all.  I am super tired right now. It's 10pm at night.  I have not gone to bed like a good Ironman at 7pm, but I am still waking up tomorrow at 4:30am.  I am going to go to the gym and swim and then take a spin class...and I will prove that it is rewarding.  How am I going to do that?  Well I don't know yet.  Stop asking so many questions.  Just be prepared to want to start waking up that early once you hear how wonderful it is!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sometimes It's Hard

I just had a great weekend. Full of Christmas parties, fundraisers, and training.  (Not too much studying...but I still have one night to cram for my final), but last Thursday was a pretty hard day.  I woke up really tired, maybe because it was 4:45 in the morning. But I am not always that tired.  I went to the gym and tried to do my core workout and an hour spin class.  I didn't get through the core before the spin class started, so I just decided I was ok with that.  Then I went to spin and it was so boring.  The instructor had sucky music and I kept wanting to fall asleep...so finally I left at 6:45...instead of staying until 7am. 

Now I don't know what it was that day...and most days I have tons of energy and am super happy about everything, but all day long I was plagued by old insecurities and doubts that have almost become unfamiliar to me.  But Thursday, all day they were with me, dragging me back to a place that I hoped I had left for good.  Now, I considered not writing about this, because I don't like to bring people down and talk about things that could be depressing, but the other part of me realized that one of the reasons I am writing this blog is because I hope everyone sees that they can do exactly what I am doing.  If you put your mind to something, you can achieve it.  And if I only write about how great everything is, then it might seem like I am different, and am leading some sort of blessed life.  And although I do feel very blessed, some days I just feel like crap about myself. 

I was thinking about all of this on Thursday, and then I started thinking about what I have been doing lately with my life...and what I will be doing, what I am working towards.  And some how the dark cloud started to dissipate. 

I believe two things.
1. Everyone CAN do something incredible, something that they never thought they had the ability to do. It doesn't have to be a triathlon or marathon, but anything you find truly challenging.
2. Everyone SHOULD do something incredible, something they never thought they had the ability to do.  I realize that challenging myself and seeing that there aren't limits where I thought there were has helped me so much.  When I have those dark days, I am able to get out of them because I think about everything I am doing, and all the wonderful people I am doing it with.  And I also think about all the people who would give anything to be healthy enough to challenge themselves.  Training for an Ironman will probably make me more physically healthy, but what I know it is doing is making me more emotionally and spiritually healthy, and that's something everyone should give themselves.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thankful for the Small Things

Twice today I was thankful that I don't have to wear underwear with my bike pants.  The first time was this morning when I had woken up at 6:30 to get ready to go for a ride in Pleasanton.  I kind of freaked out, because it was early and I was having a very weird dream (too weird to post about here, but if you ask me about it, I may tell you).  So I had put a pile of all the clothes I was going to use on my ride in the middle of my floor, and as I was going through the pile kind of frantically so I could get ready on time, and for a second a felt a slight serge of panic, because I hadn't taken any underwear out to wear.  I know it's not that big of deal to have to get some from the drawer, but I would have had to decide on the style, and cut, and what matched my sports bra, etc...but then I realized, that I don't need to wear underwear with bike pants.  So I had a little moment of thankfulness.

But I didn't get to be thankful about this just once today, but twice.  On my way home from the ride, after I had delivered poinsettias and door hangings and was running late for a date, I had to pull off the freeway to get gas, rearrange my bike, and go to the bathroom.  I was in a super rush and I was a little worried about leaving my bike on my car, so  as I ran into the bathroom to go pee, the thought occurred to me how much faster it was going to be because I only had to pull down my pants...no underwear to deal with.  So I was thankful once again.

Maybe I should wear bike pants more often!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Super Scared

I have to do my 2 mile marker after work today.  That means I need to go to the gym and run as fast as I can for 2 miles.  Ugh...and I thought I was nervous about the swim marker.  The funny thing is, I am not nervous about what time I will get, because I know it won't be that fast.  I may break 20 minutes, but not by much.  What I am nervous about is how it is going to feel.  I don't know how people go fast, because it's so painful.  Maybe not even physically, but mentally, to keep yourself going, and going, and going.  Margo will be there to pace me.  Last time we did a tempo run I ended up running faster than I thought I would, and it wasn't even that bad.  So maybe today won't be that bad either.  I mean, it's just 2 miles, right?  I can do anything for two miles.

Sure, she looks all sweet and innocent, holding Frunkey, the fundraising monkey.  But she's about to kick my ass in about 3 hours!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Didn't Want to Do It!

My alarm went off this morning at 5:45am.  I sleep with an electric blanket, so it was all warm and cozy in my bed, and freezing in my bedroom.  I had a swim marker to do today.  Which is swim 1000 yards (40 lengths of the pool) for time.  Since 24 Hour Fitness has short pools I had planned on going to El Cerrito Community Pool...which is outdoors.

When the alarm went off, I turned it off, convinced myself I could do the swim marker this weekend and maybe get in a swim after class tonight indoors at 24 Hour Fitness.  I reset the alarm for 7am.  Then I lay in bed for a minute thinking about it....and I realized I just needed to do it.  Nike was so smart when they came up with that marketing ploy...because it is so true.  Just Do It.  That needs to be my mantra.

So I got up, put my suit on and went to the pool.  Lucky for me it was heated, so once I was in the water I was ok.  We had to do 1000 yards of warm up and drills before we started the marker, and it's funny, the whole time I was doing those I was dreading the marker.  Swimming is my best sport out of the three...but I really hate anything that makes me push myself.  A little ironic, I know. I love endurance sports, but I hate pushing myself! Anyway, the warm up and drills came to an end and it was time to start the marker.  When I started it, I realized "It's only 40 laps" that's like two 500s and I used to race 500s in high school.  It really wasn't going to be too bad.  So I checked the clock, took my first breathe, and started swimming at the a pace faster than was comfortable.  I did 1000 yards in 18 minutes and 24 seconds, I think. I lost count at 21 for a second and thought I was on 23, but couldn't remember, so I dropped back down to 21, so maybe I did an extra 50.  So I guess actually this isn't the greatest marker, since I don't really know if I did the correct distance.  Lucky me, I guess I will be doing another swim marker this weekend.

But you know, I don't regret getting up this morning.  In fact, when I was done with the swim and walking to the parking lot, my 7am alarm went off (I use my phone). And I smiled, thinking I had almost stayed in bed. It was a really good feeling!

Me leaving the pool.  You know there is something a little wrong with having to wear your snow gear to go swimming.  I miss the summer!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Holiday Week

So Wednesday I flew to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with my bro, his awesome wife, and our parents.  But of course, you can't stop training, just because it is a holiday!

On Wednesday it was an hour swim and 40 minutes of core, but I can't seem to get that much core done in 40 minutes, so it took me about an hour!

I was the only one at the pool that day.  I guess everyone else was all warm inside enjoying time with their families.

But the next day, Thanksgiving, I got to enjoy it with my family! Kathy and I did a 10 K, and then we did a 5K with our parents and John and Sugar.

But we did get to relax in the hot tub afterward.  Gosh, I love visiting my brother!

Yep, those are mimosas in our plastic cups.  Hey, I am training, but I still have a life!

Then Friday it was back to the gym for the best spin class ever, then another hour swim.  This time a really cute guy who swam well and looked hot in a speedo was in the lane next to me.  Sorry, no pics of that.  :(

Flew home Friday night and Saturday morning had to get up bright and early for a 22 mile ride in the rain with the Team.

We got to ride all around Tiburon, it was beautiful!  And it only rained for about 12 miles out of 22!

And then today, swim, run, core.  I was told I need to practice sticking out my chest more in the water.

How do you think I am doing?  Funny thing is, this summer, the run coach said I needed to stick my chest out more...hm...what am I doing wrong, I definitely need to practice this more often, either that, or people really want to see my boobies.  ;)

We finished the workout with everyone's favorites: burpies!  If you don't know what these are, consider yourself lucky!

And then we got to go eat! Pictures of that to follow....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I am so thankful for so many things in my life. First of all I am thankful for my parents, who not only gave me life, but have helped me have a wonderful one.  When I wanted to work in Ecuador when I was 16, they sold boxes of grapefruits all year to help me fundraise enough money to go. When I said I wanted to move to New York to be a teacher, they flew out and helped me move into my new apartment.  When I realized I hated teaching, and didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, they helped me take 3 months off to go to Brazil to volunteer at a hospital there and re-evaluate my life, and ever since I joined Team in Training, they have been there to help me fundraise, cheer me on at my races, and help me get all my training in.  Today they drove me to the gym in San Diego, and after they had driven away I realized I had forgotten my goggles and swim cap, so they drove back to my brother's to get it for me.  I truly am blessed with the best parents ever.

I am also thankful for my awesome brother who has always been such an inspiration and who always helps me in school.  From high school when I used to drive into Berkeley and he would help me with my take home physics tests (by doing them for me) to these days when I call him asking him to explain respiratory processes because I can't seem to get them.  It's amazing how much simpler Anatomy and Physiology is when you have an awesome, patient doctor explaining it all to you. And I am so thankful he married the most amazing woman ever, who I am so happy to have as another sister!

And of course I am so thankful to my other wonderful sister Erin, who has the kindest heart in the world. And who is infinitely more responsible than me, even though I am ten years older than her.  She is the best auntie to my baby Dizzie, he couldn't ask for anyone better.

And then there are all my friends who I absolutely love.  My old friends from pre-school, middle school, and high school, my friends from college, and from St. Anthony's, and New York, and Brazil.  I really am super blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life.  But I have to say a special thanks for my five home slices who have gone above and beyond for me.  Cathy, Carolyn, Joy, Jessica, and Loulena basically dropped everything they were doing a few years ago in order to help me through a very difficult time in my life. I cannot thank them enough for all of their love and support.

Wow, the list could go on, and on, and on.  How could one girl be so lucky?

Thank you to everyone in my life who makes everyday wonderful and beautiful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Your Own Weekend

So this weekend had two On Your Own workouts, where we are supposed to do all of the training by ourselves.  But lucky for me, I have such awesome new teammates, I didn't have to do anything on my own.
Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 6:20 am to head over to King Pool in Berkeley, where I met up with coach Elaine, Mark, Elizabeth (not Iron yet, but working on her to join), Jasmine, Rocky, David, Mark, and Eddie. We had a lovely hour swim, although I have to admit, I didn't really follow the schedule.  I tried, but there is only so much Catch Up I can do, so I did a couple of IMs (Butterfly, Back, Breast, Free) and then went back to Freestyle. We were told it wasn't going to rain until 10am, but it started in the middle of our swim, so I jumped out of the pool to help the life guards save all of our stuff from the rain.

It was still raining pretty hard when we started our run.  And I thought I was going to be miserable, especially since coach Elaine decided we were going to do strength training to get it out of the way for the weekend.  So after every lap we ran we had to stop and do squats, or lunges, or toe touches.  I can't decide which was harder and which is making my butt hurt the most today: doing lunges around half the track, or doing 75 squat jumps in a row.  All I have to say is that my ass better be awesome by August or I want my money back!

We were lucky and the rain stopped mid way through our run and the sun came out in time for us to take pictures.

Our muddy legs.  I think Rocky's and David's were the muddiest. 

 Then on Sunday I drove up to Santa Rosa to meet up with Les, Jenn, Joel, Rachel, and Megan. It took me about an hour to get there...but it was well worth the drive.  Besides the awesome company, the ride was absolutely gorgeous.  Sonoma county is so beautiful right now.  I can't believe I've never ridden up there before. 

I love biking up here, it is awesome.

I will be missing all team workouts this week because of Thanksgiving, and I am really going to miss everyone.  But I am so excited for the next 10 months.

Go Team! Iron Team!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Do I have enough strength to keep going?

So I just realized that Iron Team is going to be a lot different than my last two seasons on Team in Training.  I thought I would just be swimming, biking, and running longer distances...but no...they want me to get stronger.  We have strength training 4 times a week.  Now, I am not complaining, because I have always known I should be doing strength training...I just haven't done it.  It's hard.

Last night we were sent home from our track workout and told to do our strength training on our own.  That was a tough one.  Something in me just didn't want to do it.  Finally I realized that if I start taking short cuts now, I will never get to where I want to be (crossing that finish line on August 28th in Canada). So I sat in my room doing squats and lunges, and push ups, and wall sits, and crunches until I was so exhausted I just lay on the floor, and almost fell asleep there.  The funny thing is that last night's workout was only 20 minutes.  Tomorrow we are supposed to do 40 minutes! 

I am sure if I keep doing it, I will have the physical strength to keep doing it...I just don't know if I have the mental strength right now.  Any suggestions on how to make core workouts more fun, or at least not so terribly frightening? 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pondering Poo

So the conversation got a little dirty during the half marathon this weekend.  And when I say dirty, I don't mean it in the naughty way...but the yucky way.  And yes, it was probably my fault...but who can really be held responsible for the conversations they start when under the duress of running 13 miles?  Anyway, Nic, Bonnie, Aly, Emily, Dave and I went down to Monterey to run the Big Sur half marathon this weekend.  (Well Dave went down to cheer us on).

Emily and Aly and I ended up running the whole thing together. Well run/walk-9 min run, 1 min walk, which I have to say was awesome.  I think I can totally do a marathon if I do it like that.  I feel great today.  Hardly sore at all.  It took a little longer than when I ran the whole thing, but only 25 minutes longer, and I had so much more fun than when I ran the whole thing and was dying the last 3 miles!

Anyway, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous!

So back to the dirty talk.  Don't get all excited, this wasn't the fun dirty pillow talk...but I had some questions I needed answered about pooing while doing triathlons.  See I swear that someone told me (maybe my cousin Sarah?) that when people are really intense and are doing a triathlon and don't want to stop, they poo in their pants and then hold open the leg of their tri shorts and let it fall out.  I even recall that whoever told me this, also told me there was a hand signal for if you do this while on the bike to let the person behind you know what will be falling out.  So I told Aly and Emily this, and they said there was no way that could be true.  They said you would chaff too much, which seems true.  Then we decided you could maybe pull down your shorts before you went, but it might fall on your seat, and that would be kind of disgusting.  So they almost convinced me that whoever told me this (I wish I could remember for sure) must have been joking.  But at the same time I know there are people who do Ironman for time, and if they have to poo, what would they do?  It seems unlikely they would pull over and stop...so my question is...can anyone tell me if people only pee on themselves while doing Ironman, or do they poo on themselves too?

I am just trying to be completely prepared for next August.  :)

Just kidding, I will probably pull over and use a porta-potty. Unless someone can tell me how to do it in a really clean way!

Aly, me, and Emily at the end.  

 Oh and I can't forget to say what an awesome job Aly, Emily, and Bonnie did.  They all completed their first half marathon this weekend!  Go Gu-Gu Dolls!

And congrats to Margo who got a PR 1:48! We never saw her because she was so fast, it was like lightening shooting past us!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Back in the Saddle

So I just did my first workout in 2 weeks.  Who knew running 3 miles could be so difficult?  Oh, wait...just so you don't think I am lying, I did go to the track workout last Saturday and ran a mile, but I don't really think that counts cause it was really short and I was coughing and wheezing.

Today I felt ok...I mean I didn't start coughing until I was done running, and I could tell my body was still in good enough shape for running 3 miles, but I have to say, mentally it was really challenging.  I kept wanting to stop the whole time, I kept thinking, "I am just getting better, I should be able to walk some."  But the thing was, physically I could tell I didn't need to walk.  Mentally I totally wanted to walk.  So it was kind of a struggle. And of course, me being me, I mapped out a run where the last mile was uphill.  Don't ask my why I did this.  My philosophy on running is always that running uphill is always better at the beginning of a run than at the end.  But what can I say, sometimes I don't really think ahead.

So the last mile I was running up hill on a street that kept twisting, so I couldn't tell where it was going to end.  Each corner I would think, "maybe this is it," but it wouldn't be.  The one thing I had going for me was that I knew I was on my last mile, so I repeated my trusty mantra over and over again: "you can do anything for one mile, you can do anything for 10 minutes, it's 10 minutes, you will be done in 10 minutes, you can keep going."  I love that mantra, it works for longer distances too...like at Big K I started it at mile ten. "You can do anything for 3 miles, it's only 3 miles, you can do anything for 3 miles."

It may sound silly, but it got me to the top of the hill, and let me tell you, it felt great to finish and to know I had run the whole thing.  Although I do have to say my legs were all tingly which normally doesn't happen, and then I went and did a circuit workout with weights at the Fit-Lite on Solano, and I felt a little shaky the whole time.  I'm sure it's just cause I am starting out again.

Tomorrow is our first long team work out.  We are training from 8am until 1pm.  Swimming, then running, then core work out.  I am super excited!

Go Iron Team!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

One Down Four to Go!!!

Today was Kick Off!  Iron Team has begun!  But don't feel left out, there is still time to join.  It's fun, it's exciting, I'd say it's easy, but what in life is worth having if it comes easily?  Nothing much that I can think of.  But this will be challenging in the way that will help you see yourself in an entirely new light.

Today was our first work, just some strength and track work.  Lucky for me, I've been sick all week, so I got to feel like I was just starting out again.  Lungs burning after two laps, wheezing, coughing. Good memories of how I used to feel when I first started doing all this stuff.  It was a good reminder of how far I have come.  Today the thought of running 3 miles terrified me (so I was really glad we didn't have to), and that's just because I've been sick all week, and this was the first time I had even gotten out of bed. 

Sometimes I forget how hard it used to be, how each step was torture...so today was a good reminder.  It helped me realize why people don't do this.  Because at first, it can be kind of hard...ok, it can be really hard.  Ever seen Biggest Looser?  Those people don't look like they are having fun at the beginning of the season.  But it also made me realize what a good decision it was to start doing this and why I keep doing it.  After the initial shock to the body, it actually become fun.  Challenging, for sure, but fun.

So...I've gotten my friend Sherri to sign up for Iron Team, and I only need four more people to join.  You will absolutely love it, and I will win a really cool windbreaker, which I will let you borrow once in a while!

All winter teams are just starting now.  So why not try something new?
 (Sometimes I feel like TNT should be paying me for all the publicity I give them)

Who knew Ironmen make excellent Wheel Barrels?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Little Under the Weather

Nov 3rd...I should be snuggled up under my blankets, trying to keep warm and sipping my peppermint tea to help me get over my cold, right?  Well I am in my shorts and tank top, no covers on, window wide open, sweating thinking about how I wish I wasn't so lazy because I would really like a popsicle  from up stairs right now...but I am too tired and lazy to go get it for myself.  Yes, this is me, the person who plans to do an Ironman in 297 days, and I won't even walk up the stairs to get something refreshing to cool myself off.  But that's because I am under the weather.

I got a cold or virus this weekend, and I'm full of snot, and tired, and a little cranky. For some reason when I am sick I begin to think negatively.  I guess that isn't that abnormal, but considering I am usually pretty optimistic I find it strange when I start to think negatively about things.  I guess this is the time to relax and be lazy.  I am sure I will be feeling better by Saturday (I hope I will be feeling better by Saturday, since it is kick off!) And everyone needs some down time, right?

So I guess I will just embrace my tiredness and sickness, go to bed early, sleep in, and have an excuse to call my roommates tomorrow morning and see if I can get them to bring breakfast down to me in bed. (I live in the basement....but that's another story).

Shot of my bedside table full of medicine and tissue.  And yes, I have a teddy bear, although I don't know why my captains pin is there...I couldn't find it all summer!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Just a Decision You Make

I feel like a lot of people think that I am about to do something incredible, something amazing, something they could never do.  True, a very small percentage of people actually do triathlons, and even fewer attempt to do an Ironman, but I really think most people could do it.  It just takes one decision.  If you decide you are going to do something, you can do it. 

I'll tell you a little bit about how I got here, so you can see that you can do this too!

One and a half years ago my cousin Sarah called me up and told me she had joined Team in Training and was planning on doing a triathlon in California and I should come watch her. I had never really thought about triathlons before in my life.  I mean I think I knew you swam, biked, and ran, but seeing as I am very accident prone (hit by a bike twice, by a car once, and crashed my car once) I thought riding a bike would be very dangerous, plus running 3 miles was a huge chore...who could imagine doing more?

So I went down to Wildflower, held at Lake San Antonio, to watch her do a Half Ironman (70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running in one day).  I was absolutely amazed by her.  For those of you who don't know, Wildflower is an extremely hard course, with incredibly difficult hills on the bike and the run.  But she did it.  I remember not being able to understand how she could have done it...it just seemed so impossible.  But she told me she did what Team in Training told her to do, and she did a great job.

My Inspiration: Sarah

I thought, well I could never do a Half Ironman, but maybe I could do an Olympic distance triathlon, and after having so much fun down at Wildflower camping all weekend with my cousin and seeing the sea of purple participants compete each day, I resolved to join the next year.

So I started training for my first triathlon with Team in Training, using a borrowed hybrid bike that I was terrified of.  But each day I did what the schedule said to do and I never felt like I was ever given anything that was too difficult for me.  At first it seemed quite easy, and by the time we were doing longer runs and bike rides, they didn't seem long at all.

By the end of the Spring Season I had completed an Olympic triathlon (.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.1 mile run),  and I wanted to do more.  I was still really intimidated by a Half Ironman.  I mean there is a huge difference in the bike and run.  A Half is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run.  I had just done my first triathlon, but that distance still seemed impossible.

But when the season began I met a bunch of wonderful women who had all signed up to do the Half Ironman, Nic, Stephanie, and Margo had never even done a triathlon before and they weren't scared of doing a Half.  So I made the decision that I was going to do it too.  It might be hard, and I was scared it might be painful as well, but once that decision was made there was no turning back.

I have never regretted making the decision to join Team in Training, in fact I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Good things just continue to happen, I keep meeting wonderful people. I keep experiencing the incredible generosity of all of my friends and family, and I have learned that if I really want to do something, I need to make the decision to do it, and everything else follows from there.

I can't wait for Ironman training to start!!!!!

Nic, Margo, and Me

Steph and Me

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sherri Did It! Shouldn't You?

Tonight Team in Training had an alumni party at Pacific Coast Brewery in Oakland.  One free beer and tons of free food.  I was planning on cooking dinner...but I didn't have to, instead all I did was bake an apple pie when I got home. 

So anyway, we got three new recruits for the upcoming season.  Two people we met joined the winter Tri Team.  They are going to have an awesome winter, training for an Olympic distance triathlon in Hawaii!  But what was more impressive is that Sherri signed up for Ironman!  For those of you who don't know, Sherri is my friend from Summer Team.  She just did her first triathlon at Pacific Grove last month, and now she has signed up to do an Ironman next summer.  She totally rocks! 

OK, I'm going to try to not use this blog as a soap box, but let's be serious...it's me, of course I am going to try and convince you to join TNT. I can't help it, Team in Training is amazing.   So please forgive me if I show you a little video I helped make. Winter season starts November 6th.  You could be a part of something amazing! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pigeon Point Ride Weekend

I just had the most amazing weekend.

Saturday morning was pretty cold.  Of course, I shouldn't have expected anything less.  It is San Francisco, which is normally cold.  10 of us met up at Daly City BART at 9 am to bike down to Pigeon Point Light House: Jeff, Steve, Dave, Bobby, Maureen, Aly, Emily M., Nicole, Lisa and I.  Dave, being the great guy that he is, offered to drive SAG for the first half of the ride (from SF to Halfmoon Bay) and I drove SAG from Halfmoon Bay to Pigeon Point.  For those of you who don't know what SAG is.  I think it means Support and Gear, but some people say it means Supply and Gear...either way, it's a car with all your stuff that keeps driving with you as you ride in case something goes wrong.  Which luckily nothing ever did!

So I had told everyone there were 3 hills and they didn't seem that bad.  The worst one was only a 4.2% grade.  I mean that seemed like nothing, right?  Well just to let you know.  That is kind of steep!  And it was a lot of work.  And although I hate to be a a wimp, it was kind of nice knowing I wasn't going to have to ride the whole way down!

So we all made it safely, set up camp and made our beds at the hostel.  (Some of us were camping, some of us were staying at a hostel). Then we did the normal camping things...barbecued an awesome dinner, made s'mores, and drank lots of wine and vodka.  Oh, except we also went to a bar, watched the Giants kick the Philly's butts, took Woo-Woo shots, and arm wrestled a 12 year old.  He beat me and Lisa, but Maureen beat him.  Apparently I need more upper body strength.

The next day almost everyone was tired out from the ride down (oh and the fact that I convinced them all it would be fun to do a 3 mile run once we had gotten there). So we got Nic's mom to come pick some people up, and only Steve, Emily M., Dave and I attempted to ride to Halfmoon Bay.  I thought the first half of the ride was super hard, but apparently the second half was too!  No wonder no one wanted to ride back up.

We got almost to Halfmoon Bay when it really began to pour! So Aly drove ahead to drop off the bikes in Halfmoon Bay at the lunch place and came back to pick us up.  Dave and Emily and I had to do situps and pushups on the side of the rode for 20 minutes to  keep warm.  It was quite hilarious. At one point we were all doing something like a squat where you just sit there and I realized we must look like we are just sitting on the side of the rode in a line peeing!  Oh well, we were wet anyway, I guess it wouldn't have matter.

Aly finally came and saved us, and we ended the trip at the Halfmoon Bay Brewery where we drank beer and ate great food.  By that time Steve's girlfriend had come down in her car too!  So all of us were saved from riding back up Devil's slide in the rain.

It was a great weekend, I just suggest checking the weather ahead of time if you plan to do it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

So Excited For This Weekend!

Tomorrow me and 13 of my dear friends will be biking down highway 1 from San Francisco to Pigeon Point Light House (43 miles).  We will be spending the night and then riding back the next day.  We'll be going in a hot tub that over looks the ocean, having a campfire, maybe doing a 9 mile run, and cooking great food!  I am so excited about this!  And so glad I joined Team in Training and met so many great people who like to do stuff like this too! Here is our route:

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Official: I'm a Dork!

So at about mile 25 of my 45 mile ride today, I started feeling lazy.  I knew I had one more hill coming up, but I didn't really feel like going up it.  So I saw a sign that said there was a bike route going under 24 and I thought I could skip going into Moraga and Orinda, skip the hill, and cut right over to the Dam Road.  I'd get home a little earlier, my ride would be a little shorter, but I was ok with that.  I'm not in training right now, and I wanted to be lazy...so I was going to be.

Too bad I make really bad decisions.  Now let me ask you...does the name Happy Valley Road make you think that you will be riding on a nice Valley Road?  I thought so.  Well it was not a valley and I was not happy!  I start going down the road, and it's starts to ascend, but I keep thinking I'll be able to cut over soon so I can get to the Dam Road which is down hill.  Well, even though I was feeling lazy today, I am also very stubborn, so I wasn't going to turn around and go the other way...so I kept going all the way up the hill!  Finally I got to the top and was praying that I would end up down on the Dam Road when I came down the hill.  Alas, I couldn't find the Damn Road! (hee hee) instead I ended up in the middle of the Three Bears, either way I went I had to go up the bears.

All in all I ended up ascending and extra 1,000 feet, because I wanted to avoid a 200 foot climb!  Yep, I am a dork! On the bright side...I didn't injure myself on this ride!  Woo hoo.  It's been 9 days!

At Least the Ride was Beautiful!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A week in the Life....

I think it will be a good idea to compare a week of my life in preseason Ironman Training, so I can look back and see how far I've come...hopefully my weeks will be full of so much amazing training and fundraising, I'll look back on my life today, and think: "Wow, I was so boring back then, I'm so glad I have so much to do now!  I totally made the right decision to join the Iron Team"

Ok here goes:

Monday: I came to work (on BART, since my car needs work), worked all day and then went to Lake Anza to swim with Dave.  Now I am a good swimmer, and I am never scared of drowning or anything...but open water creeps me out.  The water was pretty murky and I kept thinking I was going to swim into a dead body, so we only did about 1000 yards before I my nerves were too frazzled to go on.  Note to self-find an open water swim place that doesn't remind me of the ending of Friday the 13th! (Left my house at 7 am got home at 7pm)

Tuesday: Woke up at 5:15am so I could take BART to have Margo pick me up and go to our Tuesday morning 5.25 mile run group at the Berkeley Marina.  Then I opted for coffee instead of a shower on my way to work.  (Bad decision, I know, especially since a photographer from a magazine came to take pictures of my my boss, and I had to be in them!) Then class at night, with a mock lab practical, which was actually fun!  (Left my house at 5:45 am got home at 10pm)

Wednesday: Work, then study for lab practical for an hour and a half, then track practice, then go to Concord to get my parent's car so I can drive to Joy's wedding festivities this week.  (Left my house at 7 am got home at 10:30pm)

Thursday: No training today!  Woo hoo.  I get a break.  Just work, then school (lab practical) then drive to SF to go to Joy's rehearsal dinner.  (Leave house at 7am get home at 11pm)

Friday: Gotta do a long ride today, so leaving my house at 7am for a 45 mile ride with three CAT 3 hills.  Then it's off to the city for a manicure and pedicure with the bride, then spending the night in Concord at my parents house to visit, and get a ride to the wedding on Saturday.  (Leave house at 7am don't come home)

Saturday: It's Joy's wedding, but I still have to do a 10K at race pace in order to stay up with my half marathon training.  So up at 6am to run.  Get ready for the wedding, get picked up at 9am to be taken off to all the wedding fun!  (Leave house 6:30am get back at midnight)

Sunday: 5 K this Sunday to raise money for the Mount Diablo Unified School District Athletic Club.  My goal is to run it whether or not I am hung over from the wedding...I mean it's just a 5K, right.  So that doesn't start until 9am, so I get to sleep in until 8:30am Sunday!  Woo hoo.

So, hm...totally boring huh...I'm such a couch potato these days...good thing Iron Team is starting in November, because I don't know if I could stand this level of inactivity for much longer...I hope my sarcasm is coming across...

I have to ask myself again...what the heck am I getting myself into?  This is a normal week, with no Ironman training. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big K Video!!!!

Here it is!

Bumps, Scrapes, and Bruises

Ok, so I decided to have a count of how many days I can go with out injury.  Then two days later I forget to change gears when I stop at the bottom of a hill for a chat with my friends, and of course I get back on my bike, and try and start pedaling up hill, and can't even move my pedals because the gear is too high and fall over with my bike on top.  Now I didn't think much about this, but of course Dave had to remind me that I needed to start my count over again.  My knee was bleeding just a little bit and I was trying to argue that if I don't need a bandaid it doesn't count as an injury...although this morning it is black and blue and a little swollen.  And of course I did this to the knee that I scraped up a month ago, so it doesn't look that pretty.  So do I post every single bump and bruise I get?  If I do that I will be posting probably every day-Emily ran into the door again and has a bruise on her forehead, Emily tripped while running and skinned her knee, Emily was cooking pasta for friends and burnt her arm...hm, but if I do post each one then maybe I will start paying more attention so that I stop letting myself get hurt.  I actually work much better with outside motivation...anyone want to bet me a $10 that I can make it a week without hurting myself?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Iron Injuries

So I think it will be a good idea to keep track of all my injuries...and start one of those day counts, you know like they have at your job.  We've gone so many days without injuries.  Let's see how many I can go.  Today we are at zero days without injury because I just slammed my finger in the bike locker after I locked up my bike.  Sometimes I wonder why I am not more careful, I could avoid so many painful experiences.  You think I would learn.  Well let's see...how long do you think I can go without another injury?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Decision Time

So I have been on track to apply to the Masters Entry Program for Nursing at UCSF since more than a year ago.  I spent all last summer studying for the GRE and rocked it.  I took the first half of Anatomy/Physiology, and did great, and now I am in the second semester of it.  But all I want to do is go to bike trainings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Part of me thinks I need to stick with the class because once it's done, I don't have to do anything else before I apply. But the other part of me is having crazy dreams where I get mad at my professor for taking a point away from me on a test for a question I answered correctly, and then I throw my books down on the floor and tell him that he doesn't know anything about AN/P and storm out and never go back.  And when I say dream, I don't mean it's something I really want and think about while awake. These are crazy images that come to me in my sleep.  I have very vivid dreams, often about things that are bothering me. 

So the question is, do I do what I really enjoy and want to be doing (bike trainings) or do I do what I wanted to be doing a year ago?  Not taking the class right now will actually not hinder my application to UCSF, because I can apply without having finished the requirements, and then just take the class next Fall.  Of course then it will be with people I don't know and I might forget all the stuff I learned last semester.  Hm...I haven't decided yet, any thoughts?  What would you do? 

And not to influence your opinion but here are two photos, one of me in class and one of me on my bike:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Half way there....Sort of!

So I am now officially a Half Iron Lady, except that Big K wasn't an official Ironman event, so I guess I am unofficially a Half Iron Lady!  That means I am half way to a full Ironman, right?  Well except I have an entire year of challenges and learning in front of me.  Although I did learn a thing or two yesterday when I did my 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 mile run:

1. When a room full of triathletes tell you NOT to wear underwear with your tri suit, you should listen to them.  The last 30 miles of the bike ride was quite uncomfortable, I guess I am just lucky I am single!  ;)
2. No matter how many times you pee in the morning, you are always going to have to go again, especially once you put your wetsuit on.  It's best to go in your wetsuit when you are in the water, but if you are lined up getting ready to start the race and don't have time to jump in quickly....no one really notices if you just pee right there.  (Sorry to the people who were standing in the sand behind me).
3. If you are really hard core you will also pee on your bike and while running...I guess I have a lot to learn, I'm not quite there yet, had to run off the course to find a toilet during the run!
4. Pray a lot for yourself and your teammates, and everyone will finish the race safe, healthy, and happy!
5. Watching an episode of Jersey Shore in the morning totally pumps you up!  There is nothing like trashy TV to get your ready to swim/bike/run 70.3 miles!
6. Start the after party early, because you'll want to pass out by 8:30pm!

I will hopefully be uploading a video of the day in a week, but my mom took her camera with her on vacation, so I will have to wait until she gets back, until then, here is a picture of  me starting out my run: (Oh and another bit of advice, do all of you walking and crying and limping before you run past all your friends, so they can get pictures like this of you looking totally happy and not miserable).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What did I get myself into?

What is an Ironman you ask? Well it is an endurance event for extremely good athletes and then crazy people like me. You start by swimming 2.4 miles, then you take a short bike tour of 112 miles, and when you are finished with that you only have to jog 26.2 miles to the finish line.  Oh and you have to finish it all in 17 hours, or you don't get a finisher's medal. So why did I sign up to do this event before I have ever even done a Half Ironman?  Please refer the the earlier statement that I am crazy. However, besides my insanity, there is also the obsessive compulsive part of my personality, that has now decided to be completely obsessed with triathlons.  Oh, and I really love Team in Training and the fact that I am helping to raise money to find a cure for blood cancers.

So this Sunday is Big Kahuna, my first Half Ironman.  I'll be swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles, and then running 13.1 miles.  If I can finish this in less than 8 hours, I think I should be good for the Ironman which I will need to finish in less than 17 hours. If I can't finish in that amount of time...well I guess I have a year to get into better shape.  Or I guess I could find another Emily Walton to sell my IM Canada race entry to.  Actually there are tons of Emily Waltons, if you look my name up on facebook you will see. But I wonder how many of them are going to do an Ironman?  Hm...I wish you could put that in your search criteria for friends on facebook!

Well I guess I will be posting again next week when I am half an Iron Lady.  For now, here is a picture of two future half Iron Ladies, me and my friend Steph.  Oh and if you are in Santa Cruz on Sunday, you should come watch me compete!