Monday, January 30, 2012

Shots for Breakfast

This is my pre-breakfast every morning.

Doesn't that just look yummy! A work-out friend asked me what supplements I take and I told her. A shot of minerals, a shot of Bio-Noni for Women, a shot of Omegas, a bigger shot of Kefir and a bigger, bigger shot of Green Vibrance - my green drink.

The only tablet I take is of glucosamine. It is the only table I can stomach. I have tried to take a lot of pills and all of them have made me queasy and nauseous. I figured it can't be good for me to feel so crappy taking something that is supposed to make me healthy.

Now, the shots I can take. Maybe it is psychological. After all, most liquids you drink from a glass are good tasting.

I guess I could take my preventative medicine with a spoon.

Somehow that image just does appeal to me.

But give me a dose of Bio-Noni for Women in my Mt. Whitney shot glass, or my Seattle Rock-n-Roll Marathon shot glass, or my

and I am ready for the day of swimming, biking and running.

Bottoms up!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why I Love My Training Partner

I am the luckiest woman in the world because my training partner is my husband. He is fabulous. Robert is a fabulous training partner because he is not competitive with me at all. So I am not competitive with him.

We can use all our competitive energy on training. Sometimes I push him and sometimes he pushes me. But he is always a gentleman.

Okay, sorry, but my guy is way better looking than this. My guy may be older, but still, when he was younger he did modeling work, too, and he was better looking than this. But this is my gentleman image, however lame it is.

Robert is a way better and faster cyclist than I am, but when we ride he always lets me take the lead. Sometimes I let him ride behind me and I set the pace. Other times I tell him to get out in front and go and I'll follow......and I immediately get dropped, but that's okay. I know eventually he will wait for me.

Okay, one time Robert and I were riding with a group and he forgot about me and rode away and I was left riding by myself. I was mad and I was alone and I started to cry and when I eventually met up with him I was PISSED! I know that was a lot of ANDS, but I was all of those AND it has never happened again.

I usually wait for Robert when we run. I can run faster than he can (for now). Every once in a while he gets a burst and pulls out in front. But mostly I feel like I am running slow and I come upon our usual "walk across the street" spot and I'll look back and he will be back...sometimes way back (just like me when we cycle). I always circle back for him.

Robert is a way better swimmer than I am (for now). But when we open water swim, he is patient and makes sure I don't get too far behind.

But here is the most important reason why he is the best training partner ever - he has an awesome sense of humor. He makes me laugh all the time.

Tonight on the way to the Triathlon Connection get-together we decided to stop at a P.F. Chang's and use our free appetizer coupons that we got from the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll expo. Robert set the Garmin to find the P.F. Chang's and then, in a deadpan voice said, "This (Garmin) even has the menu." What? "It shows the menu." He actually had me believing that the Garmin was showing not only the direction to P.F. Chang's, but also the food menu for the restaurant. Even though I was driving I demanded that he show me where on Garmin it showed the menu. He showed me Garmin and pointed to the middle bottom where it said MENU.
And then I laughed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Goodbye Team Odwalla. It was Fun!

Notification came today - Team Odwalla is no more.

The ActiveAmbassadors email said Odwalla is taking the season off, but that ActiveAmbassadors is hoping to expand our (my) reach by offering sponsorships from other brands. Stay tuned.

So as I depart from Team Odwalla I want to say Thank You Odwalla for offering me the opportunity this past year to learn what it means to be an Ambassador.

As a member of Team Odwalla, I was given tri-shorts and a tri-top (both of which I love), running shorts (never fit me right) and a run shirt (love it), a podium shirt (love it, too, though I never wore it on a podium), a jacket (nice and warm) and a visor.

Another perk of being a member of Team Odwalla was the LOOT!

I got several cases of bars during the year - about 1,000 bars all together. Odwalla gave me lots of coupons for free drinks and LOTS of coupons for 55cents off of drinks ($1.10 off a drink if you went to a store that doubles coupons). Yes, lots of LOOT that I shared with the Riverside Bicycle Club and  my Jazzercise friends and athletes at triathlons where I was competing and students in classes I taught.

I confess that I did hog the Banana Nut bars because they are my favorite. I did hand some out, just so I would not feel guilty, but the majority went into my mouth and mouths of my friends.

Another great perk of being a Team Odwalla Ambassador was that I talked the "team managers" into forking over about $120 to buy a tree for Alcott Elementary School's Native California garden. We planted the tree during the school's Jump Rope for Heart Day and I handed out Odwalla bars to the kids.

It was fun to dress in the Team Odwalla clothes and participate in various runs and triathlons during the year!

So now my Odwalla clothes will be my practice clothes and not my race day clothes.

But no worries because ActiveAmbassadors are going to help me expand my reach by offering sponsorships from other brands. Well, Odwalla and I fit together not because I am a fast triathlete, but because I am a triathlete that is also a Master Composter. Odwalla's green thinking meshed with mine. We were on the same page about the environment, recycling, replanting.

I think something happened when Odwalla was bought by the Coca-Cola Company.

Oh well, now I am open to other possibilities. I've been making a list of other sponsorships that come my way and it is kind of limiting. I am thinking that most of the sponsoring companies are looking for fast athletes who are going stand on a podium. And that's not me, though I have improved enough this year to make it to the top 10 at several events.

No, I am thinking that the only sponsorships I will be offered this year will be from a company that knows I can represent them in other ways than just being an athlete.

I'll be waiting for their call.

In the meantime, I need to find a new profile photograph and hide that last carton of Odwalla bars I still have.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Marvelous Monday

This Marvelous Monday went by in a blink.

The alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. and I had ever intention of jumping out of bed and going out to the garage gym for 45 minutes of strength training before getting ready for work.

Hand Hitting An Old-Fashioned Alarm Clock - Royalty Free Clipart Picture  Instead I reached out and hit the snooze button - not once, twice or three times, but four times. I mentally rearranged my day and moved strength training to AFTER work.

Six hours and 45 minutes with all-day kindergartners on a rainy day is an endurance event in itself. The little darlings came into the classroom early because they couldn't play outside and they couldn't go outside for recesses. Plus lunch got cut short. I spent the day working on bladder strengthening.

My first stop at home was the freezer in the garage refrigerator to grab that delicious Spinach and Chicken Sausage Lasagna I had bought at Costco. It almost overcooked while I lifted. I had popped it in the oven on my way out to the garage gym and told a boy to pull it out when the oven buzzer went off. About an hour later the other boy came in and asked me if I needed someone to take the food out of the oven.  "Is the buzzer going off?" I asked.  "Yeah, for a while," he said.

I brought my heart rate up as I ran into the house to pull the brown around the edges meal out of the oven.  I yelled that dinner was ready and grabbed my gym bag. I ordered the family to leave me a piece of lasagna and headed out the door.

5:30 - LA Fitness Pool. Carolyn and I met to practice our floating on our sides, our breathing, our winging and our rolling. 900 yards later we were both mentally exhausted from thinking of all the rules and we called it a night.

I stopped by the store on the way home to pick up cereal, coffee and a bottle of wine. Coffee - an important breakfast staple for me in the morning, cereal for a boy and the wine for, well, a glass of recovery tonight.

Another day of Train-n-Tri ing!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Grape Fun 63 mile Bike Ride.......That Really Wasn't.

The forecast said rain, rain and more rain. But we had already plucked down our $50 per person for the Grape Fun Ride and Wine Tasting and we had set the day aside to celebrate our friend Gary's 55th birthday, so we were going forward with our plans. Who cares if it's cold, and rainy and miserable? We could get our ride on and put those 63 miles behind us with no problem. And anyway, the rain really wasn't going to happen. You know, the weather man is wrong ALL the time in Southern California. So we went to bed with thoughts of sunny skies, a lovely bike ride, and wine tasting. Then I woke up.

Rain, rain and more rain. The weather man was right. But we went forward with our plans anyway, because surely, the sun will break through at just the right time for our ride to start and it will be a fabulous ride. Maybe not the original 63 miles we had planned, but we could easily pedal out the 30 mile ride. So we loaded the four bikes in the back of the Suburban and drove in the pouring rain the 25 miles to the start of the FUN ride.
Carolyn and Gary (Happy 55 Birthday Boy) at the Starting Line!

photo.JPGRobert and I at the starting line.
Notice how both Robert and Gary are wearing SHORTS in raining weather, but Carolyn and I are either wearing long cycling pants or capris. Also notice that everyone has a bicycle, but the four of us.

We never even took our bicycles out of the back of the SUV. We checked in, got our numbers, our goody bags, our tshirts, and quickly got back into the car. We decided to go the whole route and travel the entire 63 miles...RAIN OR SHINE!

Three rode and I drove them on the 63 mile adventure. Birthday Boy Gary started whining about mile seven that he was hungry. We looked for something along the route, but soon it was obvious there was nothing along the route. We did come upon the first (and only) SAG stop, which was just an easy-up in the Home Depot parking lot with about 15 cyclists huddled under it trying to stay out of the rain, but we didn't dare park and check out the food. There wasn't even-potty...Yikes, and we needed to pee! We made a quick stop at Starbucks and unfilled, then filled up on coffee. Still raining out, we suffered and ran back to the bikes (in the car) and continued our route.

Even though we had a route slip which hadn't been desimated by the rain, we managed to get a bit off course and ended up at an unplanned, but greatly appreciated SAG stop.

This SAG stopped Gary's least for a few miles.

We didn't fuel up with bananas, or Gu, or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We went for the hard stuff - bacon, eggs, hashbrowns. It was raining, afterall, and we needed our strength and endurance.

The route took a turn uphill and we were in utter alarm/awe at the cyclists who were riding in the pouring rain in tennis shoes with flapping shower curtains whipping out behind them. Okay, they weren't shower curtains, but they sure looked like it. Especially, the woman in the pink shower curtain, er, I mean poncho. They all looked drenched. They all looked miserable. I turned the heater on our feet up a notch and mashed my foot into the pedal as we wound our way up Mountain Avenue into the foothills of Mt. Baldy.

We said it - outloud, to God, to ourselves - "Oh my God, we could be riding out there in this." And then we would silently give a salute to those fellow cyclists that were either too stubborn or too stupid and had ridden in the horrible weather and taken on the 63 miles and 4,000 feet of climbing.

Another 20 miles and we were in need of another SAG. We never saw another official SAG along the course, so we had to find our own.

Now we were comfy and cosy, driving along in our warm coccoon with our bikes tucked safety in the back, thinking how lucky we were not to be really riding this route because there were not enough SAG stops or signage, when we came upon the first rider on the side of the road not pedaling.

We pulled over and asked if he needed help or if he had everything he needed.  He had a flat. He had a tube, but no air. We could fix that!

Robert jumped out with the bicycle pump and the cyclist was soon on his way!

Not too much further along the road we saw two cyclists on the sideway, a bike turned upside down.  Should we turn around and see if they need help? "That's what we do," said Gary.

 I know it is hard to tell, but he is holding his route slip in his hand...paper plus rain water equals MUSH!!!!! He had a mush slip, not a route slip! We gave him directions for the rest of the route. He thanked us for the SAG support!!!!

The last 10 miles of the route were torturous! We just wanted to be finished. Driving in the car was wearing on us. Even though we were all wearing padded shorts or pants, our bottoms were getting tired. We were tired, hungry and we needed that wine tasting! And the men in the back seat were starting to complain about being carsick!

The Finish Line!

We passed on the lunch (white rice, beans and BBQ pork) because it was too cold to eat out in the wet parking lot at the winery where the event was held. We did partake in the wine tasting.

Happy Birthday time, the ride is ON!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Busy Triathlon Friend Week

Wow, time goes by real fast when I get busy working out and training with my triathlon friends.

My whirlwind fun started last Thursday. Robert and I drove down to Escondido so I could attend a spin class at the 4S Ranch LA Fitness. Now why would I put on makeup and drive 65 miles away for a spin class? Well, because Meredith of SWIM BIKE MOM fame was a special guest at the class.

Meredith on left, me on right

Friday, my friend Carolyn and I swam...well we floated on our sides and practiced breathing and lifting our elbows out of the water. We are learning Total Immersion swimming techniques from square one. We spent an hour in the pool going back and forth without actually swimming.

Carolyn on left, me on this isn't of us in a pool practicing swimming. This is us coming back from a week in Washington State where we ran our first (and so far only) Marathon - the Seattle Rock-n-Roll Marathon. It was to celebrate my 50th birthday.

Saturday I rode with my Triathlon Connection friends. We rode from Yorba Linda Regional Park to Huntington Beach and back, about 45 miles.....45 fast miles. I made sure all my friends got to take lots of little breaks in their ride because they had to wait for me to catch up.

After our 45 miles bike ride, we ran.  Most of the above athletes ran 5 to 6 miles. I slowly jogged and walked about 2 1/2 miles. My legs were done.

My bike riding/triathlon friend Edith had planned a big mountain bike ride for Sunday. I called her Saturday night and said I just didn't think my legs could stand pedaling up a mountain. She said our guys could ride and we could walk - our dogs.

I walked the 4.5 miles up Skyline Drive as fast as some mountain bikers rode. Downhill Willie, my dog, and I were a bit slower. Both Willie and I were tired when we got home and we took a big nap!

Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s holiday and I took a day off from work and exercise.  Oh, but I didn't just sit around - Robert and I went to Coach Tony University class - Nutrition for athletes.  We were given the tools so that we can figure out how many calories of protein, carbs and fat we should have before, during and after training depending on what type of training we are doing or if we are competing.

And this is how we finished off the class......

I love triathlon training!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Lucky World!

Sometimes life throws you a curve or two to see how you will handle it. I am pretty happy with the way I handled my curves the past couple of weeks.
First, someone stole my ATM card, my camera and my Lucky coin purse while I was at my gym working out.

I didn't freak. Just called the bank, got my cards cleared up, and bought a new camera and coin purse on eBay.

Man, that Yoga class is really working for me. I barely flinched through that. Though I really missed the Lucky coin Robert (my hubby) had given me and my Lucky jade stone - both which were in my coin purse.

But today it all was made better. Robert gave me another Lucky Coin. And this isn't just a Lucky Coin. This is a LOVE Lucky Coin.
It is so pretty, like getting a bouquet of flowers, but better because on the back.....
I love that he knows how to give me flowers and money at the same time.
So I had some of that love-feeling in my coin purse and in my heart tonight when my 19-year-old son decided he was so ill that he couldn't drive himself to the doctor and needed me.

This doesn't need me - Lucky coin purse - with Lucky Jade elephant from my mom, Lucky coin from Robert, Lucky coin purse from eBay and Lucky pills!

Sometimes it is hard to be needed...but my Yoga classes are really helping because as I drove my son to the doctor I barely thought about my Master Swim Class for Triathletes I was missing. Swimming may be my biggest hurdle to a fabulous triathlon season, and this one class may have made a HUGE difference in my swim ability, but I hardly thought of that at all as I drove him to the doctors.

I did text my Coach and my Swim Buddy that I wasn't making it because of a family obligation. But never once did I feel stressed or put-out.

I actually ENJOYED going to the doctor with my son (aka Muddy Buddy). He went in for poking and prodding and I read my "Start to Finish Ironman" book. Then we went across the street and had dinner together. It was just another bonding experience time together. 

Oh, and I think my son (aka Muddy Buddy will live - at least until he leaves wet towels on the bathroom floor.

And tomorrow I can swim.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Running Without Knee Pain

These little babies are going to turn me into a runner WITHOUT knee pain.

I've been waiting a couple of weeks for these inserts. Dr. P casted my feet and took my (gulp) large wad of cash several weeks ago. Dr. P called me yesterday and I raced (in the car) to his office to pick them up.

I stuck them in my running shoes this morning, said a prayer that I could run 3 miles without my knees hurting or my hip aching, grabbed the dog, pushed the button on my Ironman GPS watch and took off.

At first my right foot felt as if I was running on a big wad of tissue stuck in the bottom of my shoe. My left shoe felt a little different, but not by much. Willie and I jogged slowly through my neighborhood for about two miles before we stopped for a short break.

 While Willie cooled off in the lavender bushes, I assessed my knees. No pain. Hips? No aching. The Footlevelers brochure said it could take from one day to as long as a month to adjust to the stabilizers.

The last mile of our jog I didn't even notice my feet, my shoes, my knees or my hips.

I am hoping that today was my adjustment day and tomorrow I can just be back to having training days.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Rubbing Elbows with Bloggers

No, it doesn't say says Bloggers. Well, maybe just one blogger. Thursday evening I am rubbing elbows with Swimbikemom. Okay, I'm not rubbing elbows, but I am going to share the same ROOM with her at a spin class at 4S Ranch LA Fitness. And Yes, I have directions.

Swimbikemom is one of my heroes.

Swimbikemom, aka Meredith, write a blog about her life as a triathlete. So why am I so impressed? Well, she has a FULL life and she still manages to get it done. She doesn't whine or give excuses why she can't do it. She manages to find a way. And a lot of us are like that. We manage. We manage our relationships. We manage our kids. We manage our work. But the hardest part is managing ourselves. Yep, that's my hard part.

Every day triathletes figure out a way to manage THEIR time to run, bike, swim, weight train (yes, Coach T. I am getting the lifting in). And it isn't easy. Some of us don't work, but some of us do. Some of us have kids, but some of us don't. Some of us have lots of responsibilities and some of us don't. Some of us have handicaps and some of us don't. But somehow, we (triathletes - and I am one) manage to juggle our lives to find the time and the way and the hours to train.

See you Thursday, Meredith.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Calling All Athletes! Time to Give....made EASY!

I love reading all the plans and goals my friends and fellow athletes have for 2012.  It seems everyone is planning to get out there more, move more, spend a little more time out on the road - on their bike or in their running shoes - or in the gym. Yippee! I think it is fabulous that more people want to be healthier.

Here is my challenge to you!

Use your FITNESS this year to raise money for a great cause. Since you have made a goal to walk so many miles, or run so many miles, or hike so many miles, or swim so many miles, or golf? or rehab? or table tennis? or carpool? or play motion-based video games (no joke)...well, here is the charity for you.

Every workout you do raises money for the cause you pick. And there are a lot of good causes - International Mountain Bicycling Association (sponsored by Rock Shox), World Bicycle Relief (sponsored by SRAM), American Heart Association (sponsored by Wells Fargo)....LOTS of great causes....

Your fundraising part? Move it and log it. That simple.

All you have to do is sign up and get out there and move it or even rehab it (yeah, Plus3network has it that you can make money for your cause by rehabbing your injury). Then you go online and log in what you did. An hour of running? Make some money for your cause. Weight lifting? Yoga? Do it and log it and make some money for your cause.

You are exercising anyway. This is just a great way to make some money for YOUR cause. The sponsoring company pays you to give money to your cause. The more you move and log it, the more money you make.

It is a no brainer....

Well, it takes a little brains. And some technical savvy (which I am working on).

If you hand enter your workout you make less money for your cause than if you have a way to download your workout (such as using a Garmin). So far I have been earning mere pennies because I have just been hand entering my workouts, while my friend Marty has been raking in the dough for his cause because he uses his cycling gps contraption and downloads the information.

Luckily, I just got my hubby a Garmin Cycling GPS for Christmas which I am going to love using just for this purpose.
garmin edge 705 bundle garmin edge 705 bundle
I may need training to use this. But it will be worth it. I am going to make way more money for my Plus3network cause - World Bicycling Relief. I am just going to change my run,bike, swim, strength workouts to run, bike, swim, strength, techno training workouts.

We've raised $49,999.63 for our cause. - yep.....we have and that's just for WBR.

World Bicycle Relief was founded in 2005 by SRAM Corporation in response to the December 2004 tsunami that swept the Indian Ocean. In partnership with World Vision Sri Lanka, this project provided more than 24,000 locally manufactured bicycles to carefully selected men, women and children in greatest need. Following the tsunami, World Bicycle Relief retained an independent organization to measure the impact of Project Tsunami. Two years after the project was complete, the results are outstanding: 88% of recipients depend on bicycles for livelihood activities, and bicycles can save a household up to 30% of its annual income for transportation costs. The bicycle program provided critical transportation enabling households to resume important livelihood, education and service activities.

Puts my daily activities of triathlon training into perspective.