Monday, March 24, 2008


Yesterday we celebrated Easter with my husband's family. It was nice... actually before that I went on this killer 25 mile ride of the Alcatraz race course with some of my Breakaway Performance team. That was pretty spectacular - riding along the coast - up through the Presidio, down Baker Beach, through SeaCliff, by Robin Williams' home, Legion of Honor, Ocean Beach, up through Golden Gate park and back to North Beach the same way we came.... the hills were hard, but good.

Anyway, people are asking me about the upcoming Wildflower event... how's training going, is it hard, etc... And a couple people have even said - "Well if you don't like the race (while you're doing it), you can always just quit!".... WHAT? Are you kidding? No I can't!

I've been steadily training since October '07 and committed to Wildflower in January. Quitting this race is not an option, unless I'm bleeding out all orifices or something tragic has happened... knock on wood. It's just not an option. Never. I'm always surprised though when i hear people say it's an option. While I know it probably has more to do with them than me, I can't help but wonder "Do YOU think I'm GOING to quit? Do you think I secretly WANT to quit? Do you think i'm just looking for a QUIET WAY OUT of this? " As if being granted the option to quit makes it all ok. Maybe I'm taking it too personally. (I am.) Quitting is not an option.

That would take away all the fun (like making jokes about peeing in the Bay Club pool), the process (keeping a detailed log of all my workouts, cookies and wine consumption), the hard times (having the sensation of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness wake me up in the middle of the night), the sense of accomplishment (knowing I climbed to the top of the Marin Headlands on my bike when most of the Bay Area was peacefully asleep), the challenge (my first Sprint Triathlon...).

Quitting is DEFINITELY not an option for this triathlon newbie.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What the Trainer Said....

Today was a brick team workout with my coach, Joel Ramirez. He's been gone for a few weeks... off getting married to one of the coolest women I've recently met. Anyway, I've been sans "Joel" workouts for about 3+ weeks and I think he was nervous to find that maybe our base wasn't as strong as it really was. We swam for an hour and then did a special strength and running class for 75 minutes focusing on intensity and speed. Even though my total weekly hours have been low for the last 3 weeks (approx 8 hours total), I think I surprised him today. I did the 100M swim in 1:17 and the 500M in 8:42. He didn't freak out that that was bad, so I think it's "ok!" And I felt pretty good on our quick run too.

But most importantly, Joel pulled me aside and told me that though I'm new to this sport, next year he's going to really push me... that he thinks my competitive nature sets me apart and will help me do very well in the multisport events. I LIKE IT! Of course, my first response was "Will I win!???" Maybe not in California, but somewhere!

All that said, Kevin and I really want to try to have kids this year. My coach is begging that I hold off until after the "Season"... which is December 1st. But I'm starting to get that itch! I want kids! And I would love to be one of those bad ass mom's that works out throughout my pregnancy and is running a stroller, swimming and doing everything possible to stay active and immerse our child into that lifestyle as well. That's the challenge!

So we'll see - if all stars align, Kevin and I will be blessed with a little Finnster - AND I'll be able to still kick ass in the triathlon. It's been done before by many strong women. I think I can pull it off as well.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Typical "Obsessed" Triathlete.....

I am Not.  

I kind of wish I was - or at least that I had a little more juice in me, but I tried, and it didn't really work for me.  

About 5 weeks ago, I had 2 really hard core weeks where I did 12 workouts each week.  And it was hard! Not just physically, but logistically! How on earth are you supposed to get in time to work? And what about my poor husband!? That 12 workout week lasted until my first sprint triathlon.  Something strange happened to me... i think i realized just how hard this event is, but I think it also took a little of the mystery away for me.  I feel slightly less freaked out and anxious about it now than I did in those couple of "manic" weeks of mine.  However, I've also lost that "must-workout-at-all-costs" attitude.  And I like it. I really like having BALANCE to my life. And I don't want to eat, sleep, and drink the triathlon. I want to hang out with Kevin, snuggle up on the couch some nights watching American Idol, go out to dinner and meet up with friends, and sleep in every once in a while!    

So i guess I'm a little conflicted.  While my time in training has been short, I do feel like there's a hard core, manic, obsessive aspect to triathlon training that doesn't really work for my life today.  My whole motivation for training anyway was to help me establish balance and order in my life. But if the pendulum swings from 100% work to 100% triathlon, then I think my efforts at balance have failed.

All that said, I took yesterday off and skipped our team ride this morning. But I'm kind of looking forward to a nice long run and swim, alone, in this beautiful San Francisco weather today. Lesson learned: My triathlon training and schedule has to be something that works for ME.  

I'd like to learn more about how people make training for a triathlon not monopolize their life. Is it possible to just put in 10 workouts a week and not suffer through an olympic distance triathlon??? Is it normal to feel guilty if you take a day off if it's not built into your scheduled training week? What about 2 days off?! This is quite a process - and has taken all aspects of my mind, body, and spirit over the recent months. Yet while it's been a challenge, it's also definitely been worth the ride.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My first sprint triathlon!

I've been meaning to post this for a while now.... My friend Robin van Vliet actually dragged my butt to the Stanford Treeathlon in late February - about 8 days after I learned how to ride a roadbike!  And she took me to do my first sprint triathlon in Redwood City. It was my first time in the freezing cold Bay waters, first time in a wet suit, and I totally choaked - not physically - but mentally. I lost all sense of what the hell I was doing.  it wasn't pretty.  

The video pretty much epitomizes my utter deer in head lights fear and exhaustion that I associated with that whole event.  It scared the shit out of me.


I threw away the cookies.

So I think I had about 9 cookies on Monday, 6 cookies on Tuesday, and I definitely ate 4 cookies today... and it's only 10:58am.

I had to throw them away. It's my greatest weakness in my training. It's the sugar. I can't fight it... I mean, i suppose I can, but I just keep losing. Unless it's completely removed from my house, guaranteed, I will eat as close to my body weight in high-sugar content foods as is humanly possible.

After ditching the peanut butter cookies, I chose an orange. That was more filling anyway - and I don't want another one.... much unlike my experience with those damn cookies.

On a less gluttonous note, there's less than 7 weeks to Wildflower. While my biking is strong (considering my first outdoor ride on a roadbike was February of '08!), I'm actually still in the Base Training stage of both my running and swimming. Not ideal, but I'm doing the best I can to juggle work, my personal life, and also prepare for an olympic distance triathlon. Considering this is my first of this distance, I think i'm doing fair to alright. Plus our head coach, Joel Ramirez, is back from his honeymoon, so i'm sure he's gearing up to bust some skulls getting us ready for the big event.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I'd like to say I'm appreciating my new lifestyle with such a heavy exercise component to it, but I have to admit, I'm a victim to the cookie, the ice cream, the dark chocolate with slivers of orange peel, ... basically anything with sugar in it.  

While I'm training for Wildflower (which is only 7 weeks away!) I can't help but feel dragged down by my poor nutrition. Don't get me wrong... I have "good days"... and those basically mean that I eat 3 balanced meals a day (carb, fat, protein) and a couple snacks for pre & post workouts...  But for all the good days I have, I have probably 2-3 "bad days."  Just to be clear what a "bad day" really is:
Breakfast: apple, low fat greek yogurt, toast w/ almond butter & sugar free jam
Snack: 4 peanut butter cookies
Ran 4 1/2 miles
Lunch: salad with tons of fresh veggies, toast w/ mustard and turkey
Snack: 2 peanut cookies
Snack: piece of break with peanut butter
Swam 42 laps
Snack: 3 peanut butter cookies
Waiting for dinner.... a glass of Chardonnay

Hmmmmmmm.... what's up with the peanut butter!!!???

Anyway, when I was on my jog today through this gorgeous, amazing city that I get to live in, it occurred to me that maybe rather than write in my little Triathlon Training Diary that "I will NOT eat sugar," maybe instead I can take a NEW approach... something that actually isn't a total set up for failure!  

My new idea...... What about saying - "sure - i probably will still try to eat my body weight in cookies - even though I'm putting my body through such strenous training. BUT, what if I commit to creating videos (which i love to do) about things like the affects of sugar on training for a triathlon, the affects of good/bad nutrition on sports performance, etc... I can do that!  So with that said - I will commit to creating at least 1 informative video between now and Wildflower based on the numerous books and reference material I read everyday.  (One would think I'd GET IT after all that I've read.) But I really think that sugar is up there with meth, crack, ice, boom, pow..... 

So, look out.... i'm gonna start educating. (but don't hold your breath....  it may take a while to pull this thing together.)