Thursday, June 27, 2013

2014: Let's start planning!

I'm already thinking about 2014, but I've made zero commitments. I will definitely make some. Later. And that 2014 will be epic - again.

Here's what's on my mind:

1.) Be a "streaker" and do ALL of the Tri California events. There are 6 nicely spaced events, including the Wildflower long course, a couple of Olympic distance events, a mud obstacle course, and an Alcatraz swim.

2.) Participate in only Sprint and Olympic distance events and work on speed. I may be more of a short course person - what do you think?

3.) Try to qualify for the Boston Marathon. This sounds horrible, but everyone is doing it. Maybe I'm missing the joy of running at my top speed for 3.5 hours. Hrumm...

4.) Sign up for a long bike ride like the Aids Life Cycle or RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). I've never ridden over 70 miles in one day. This would be a new non-running challenge.

5.) Train for a longer swim, like the Waikiki Roughwater Swim. Only 2.38 miles should only take me 5 hours. Ok, I exaggerate.

6.) Join the Prancercise revolution.

7.) Just go on a really epic vacation, like to Iceland, or Africa.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Random Recap: Because SF is Random

After the Mermaid Half Marathon last month, I knew my running had taken a back seat to everything else. It made me very sad, since I mostly consider myself a runner. Sure, I was happy to still be able to run 13 miles, which I hadn't done since January, but I could feel an unusual tightening in my quads. (It must be the cycling.)

When a friend and work colleague asked me if I wanted to run the San Francisco (2nd half) Marathon, I was game to try out my legs again. And hey - free t-shirt! The first half is over the Golden Gate Bridge, and quite hilly, so I figured the second half - a little run through the park, then through the city - would be a bit easier, and a great practice run for my upcoming 70.3. Running over the GG Bridge is really awesome, but I've never run through the city before.

I added some running miles, and worked my butt off at track workout for the past month. Anyhoo, I ended up beating my 2009 Personal Record by 55 seconds. I'll take it!


Why not? I've been hitting the speed hard. This PR is in my sights. Live for today. Motivate. Motivate. I promise your legs will not fall off.

Hills: There were some rollers in the beginning, so the course was not as easy as I thought. I really had to hustle up and jam back down when I got the chance.

Running on Haight Street: Out the corner of my eye, I think I got flashed by a homeless dude. But, I caught a glimpse of something and started to run faster. I still had miles to do and didn't want to think about this dude's junk for another 45 minutes. There is no San Francisco without a hint of nudity (or just full on nudity) - and the placement on Haight/Ashbury couldn't have been more perfect.

Talkative and noisy guy: It bothers me when people talk as they are running, and even more so when they are trying to chat with me. I'm running at capacity here! Not only that, but he was panting loudly and making disgusting hacking sounds to cough out phlegm.

1:45 pacer in view: He was there, in view, for most of the race. I thought I might catch him during the last three miles. I was close. Sometimes the pacers don't finish in time, so this guy was good.

Hipster Guy bumping tunes from his bike: When running without an iPod, it's great to hear someone play some Nicki Minaj. "Fly" is in my usual music rotation.

Bad bands: There is always one band that makes me want to get out of the area as quickly as possible. This one was a woman singing Bobby McGee.

Getting into a pace-line: I found a couple of people slightly faster than me, and followed them for awhile. I hope I was sneaky about it.

When you are running "Big Data" anything is possible, right?  I love how Silicon Valley this shirt is. HADOOP! 

The finish line that dragged on for miles. Can't beat that weather in San Francisco, though. Awesome day!

Final time according to Garmin. Looks like I ran a little extra, probably to get away from the talkative guy. Official time 1:45:21. Now I have to break 1:45.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Eddie just wants to ride his bike!

Trash TV is great. I watch all of the Real Housewives shows because I know they aren't really real. They make me feel good about not having too many material possessions or meaningless relationships.

Well, it turns out one of my favorite housewives was married this past weekend! Yes, Tamra Barney was married to Eddie Judge. Personally, I thought this was a good match the last couple of seasons. He may have something to do with her evolving into a nicer person. Err. . .

Eddie proposed to Tamra last season in Bora Bora. I'm sure that was the producers idea. The entire time Tamra is like, "When are you going to propose??" I can just see the producers saying, "Pssst. . .just let her wait another day, then hide the ring in an oyster shell, like this." Men are awesome, but honestly, they don't sit around thinking about the most romantic thing to do for their woman on a daily basis. If your guy does to that - he's seen it on TV.

This season, the #RHOC (yes, I just did that) are taping a bunch of stuff leading up to the wedding, which apparently happened just this past weekend, after the taping of the show. During one episode, Eddie flat out tells Tamra that he doesn't have time to plan a wedding, and if she wants a wedding, she will have to do a lot of it herself. Tamra says, "If you don't want to get married. Why did you ask?" I'm with Eddie. Getting married and having a wedding are two completely different things.

Anyway, Eddie is a good guy for playing along on most things. He seems to know that she is going to call the shots on all of the girly stuff, and he is obliged to do things her way, especially since they are on a TV show. About her. If I were on my third husband, he would definitely be a good contender.

One thing Eddie likes to do that drives Tamra crazy is ride his bike. "He spends more time on his bike than he does on me." Well, yes, Tamra, because riding a bike takes longer. Duh. In an episode when the group goes to a winery, Eddie misses brunch because his bike ride is taking long than expected. Can you blame the guy? Here's how I see him weighing the choices, 1.) Be at brunch with Vicki Gunvalson, or 2.) ride my bike a bit longer? Hmmmm. Not a tough decision. Bike wins!

Clearly Tamra knows nothing about bike riding, and she needs to let Eddie have his time on the bike. It's not like he wants to ride his bike, he HAS to ride his bike. Also, the reason Eddie is hot is because he rides his bike. So, I'm not sure why she is complaining.

I was happy to read that Eddie's bike was placed front and center on the alter at their wedding. Maybe Tamra is a nice person after all. Although, I hope she told him about it in advance. Cyclists hate when you touch their bike.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Going downhill

Going downhill is scary.

I don't like it at all.

I don't like it with a box, I don't like it with a fox.

Going uphill rocks.

Of course, I'm talking about going downhill on a bike. You know, reaching speeds of 40 miles an hour, then seeing a pin curve in the road ahead. Of course, this rarely happens to me, because I'm fluttering my brakes most of the time. I know it's just practice and a bit of gall, but for now all I can think about it my last breath or what my face would look like after my skull hits a tree or tumbles hundreds of feet to my death below.

Sorry for the visual.

This weekend I rode the Sequoia Century 100k with some Meetup folks. I had been looking for a safe opportunity to climb Tunitas Creek. I had heard horror stories. So, I figured I would try it out with a few hundred other people - safety in numbers. The ride was super awesome, and I'm proud of myself for finishing my longest, most vertical ride ever. Yeah, I had to break up Redwood Gulch, but I made it. The steady climbing up Skyline Boulevard was just fine, and I even liked the 6 miles of Tunitas Creek - sections of 14% grade? Whatever. Totally doable. I met a guy at the bottom of the climb who said, "It's a beautiful ride up," and I focused on that most of the time. Trees, streams, lovely sun beams. Everything about it was breath-taking.

(Pun intended.)

I would climb Tunitas Creek again over and over if I didn't have to go down Alpine Road to get there, or down Kings Mountain to get back to the flat road. I saw a deer on Alpine Road and thought, "Oh deer, please don't move. Please don't come into the road!!" I found myself envious of the people going 6 mph up the steep parts of Kings Mountain, and I was just scared to blink on my way down at 30 mph. I know it just takes some getting used to, and I have yet to encounter such a downhill on a triathlon course so I don't do it very often.

Another metric century in the books. Except this one was 109.4 kilometers. Sneaky ride organizers!

About halfway through, at the lunch stop with GK. I sported my new SVTC riding gear. Gotta break it in! Also, next time I ride next to the beach, I need to remember arm warmers. It got rather cold, and I wasn't expecting it on a 90 degree day inland. It sucks going downhill when you are freezing. (Forgot to mention that earlier.)

After the ride with Steven. The hot meal at the end of this ride was great, and I got to spend an hour with some quality people and compare notes.

Sorry I didn't get any pictures of going downhill. Too risky.