Monday, February 27, 2012

New Running Shoes!

I just ordered a new pair of running shoes online. Well, really they aren't new to me. They will be new in the box when they get to me, but I have been wearing these shoes for the past three years.

I used to wear another brand and my feet always hurt while I was running and after I was running. Then I switched to another brand and same thing.

In desperation, I went to a specialty running store and they looked at my feet, which are VERY FLAT, and watched me run up and down the aisles of the store a couple of times and then brought out a few pair of shoes for me to try on. They told me I was a neutral runner and really didn't need much cushioning. I bought the shoes they recommended for me and I was off and running.

The new shoes were pretty and had pink and shiny silver on them, but they felt kind of clunky when I was running. It must be me, I thought.

A few weeks later I went to one of my favorite stores (REI) and while my guy was checking out something outdoorsy, I checked out the running shoes. They had a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 13 for women and the sign said it was for neutral runners. That's me. I tried a pair on and fell in love. Yes, in love.

I wore those shoes and ran them into the ground. I trained for my first half marathon in them, completed my first half marathon in them, trained for my first marathon in them, then completed my first marathon in them, trained for my first triathlon in them and competed in my first triathlon in them.

Then I read an article on how long you should wear a pair of running shoes. The article said running in old or worn out shoes could lead to injuries because over time running shoes lose stability and their capacity to absorb shock, which leads to stress on the feet and legs. To prevent injury, the article said, just replace running shoes when they wear out.

No problem. I just went back to REI to get another pair. PROBLEM!!!! They didn't have that style anymore. They had a new, improved style. I put it on and walked around the store. The back of the shoe bit into my heel. I wanted to cry. I asked the manager if he could order the old version of the shoe. Nope, no can do. He suggested I go online and see if I could order the shoes from someone on eBay.

I went online and began my search for my shoe. While searching I came across another article that said running shoes should be replaced between 350 to 550 miles depending on your running style, body weight and what you run on (dirt, asphalt, cement). The article suggested tracking mileage and replacing shoes when you hit your 350-550 miles. For runners who log 25 miles a week, it suggested replacing shoes every three to four months.

Okay, well I was running less than 10 miles a week, so I guessed my shoes should last six to eight months. But then I would have to replace them. What would I replace them with? Mizuno no longer made the shoes I LOVE!!!!!!

Luckily, I found an online store that had three pairs of MY shoes. I bought all three pairs because who knew when I would ever be able to find these shoes again. I mean they weren't making them anymore and how many size 6.5 were there sitting around. Three pairs should get me through months and months, even a couple of years of running.

While waiting for my three pairs of running shoes to arrive, I read another article that said you should mark your calendar when you buy a new pair of running shoes so you remember to replace them. It also said to keep track of how many miles you run in your shoes and that you should have another pair of running shoes to rotate into your runs. The article said running shoes would last longer if they could "decompress" and dry out between workouts. I guess running shoes need recovery days, too!

My shoes finally came and I relegated my old shoes to the garden shoe pile. I opened two of the boxes and marked the dates inside of them and shoved the remaining box under my bed.

Months of training and eventing went by and one pair of my running shoes were done for. They had been through Navy Seal one-day training, the washer (I know, I know. You aren't suppose to wash your running shoes in the washer, but they were so wet and sandy and I tried to just rinse them out, but it just wasn't working) and a Muddy Buddy Competition, and another wash cycle (MUDDY Buddy, need I say more).

These are now my new gardening shoes.

Then before I knew it, another pair had done it's time.

There are more numbers on the outside of the box, but you get the idea. I was surprised to see that these running shoes got me through last year's Race on the Base (a year ago) and lots of miles since then.  These are now my walking around shoes.

These are now my first on the line running shoes.

I had to pull my precious last box out from underneath my bed today.

This last new pair will be rotated in with my first on the line running shoes. Eventually they will be my first on the line running shoes.

Which means that in about 400 to 500 miles I won't have any running shoes to wear.

The thought of not having running shoes I LOVE freaked me out.

I immediately went online.
I found a pair on

They will be under my bed in about a week.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Race on the Base Update!

Race on The BaseRace on the Base 2012 Results

A quick wrap-up of today's Race on the Base event:

I came in 8th place out of 33. That is exactly what place I got last year, though last year there were only 29 women competing in my division.

This year's run was 3.7 miles and it took me 37.06 minutes. I really can't compare it with last year's run because last year's run was shorter. 

T1 - I was 7 second longer in T1 transition this year.

Bike - I was 2.11 minutes faster this year. Maybe because of my aerobars and my great bike fit from Coach Tony.

T2 - I was 1.78 minutes faster this year. Which cracks me up, because I tried to get out of my bike shoes while they were still on my bike and it was a DISASTER! I got my foot out of the right shoe and it spun around and hit the ground. So I had to unclip my left foot and dismount. Once off the bike I had to stop and take off my left shoe and then unclip my right shoe from my bike and then run with my shoes in my hand while holding my bike. I really don't like running in my bike shoes, so I need to find a solution to this problem.

Swim - .25 minutes faster than last year. I ran to the pool and jumped in with my socks on. I pulled them off as I dunked under the lane line at the end of the first 50 meter lap. I threw them up on deck and continued to freestyle the entire rest of the way. That's right....No backstroking for me. It was all freestyle. My breathing was erratic - some breathing on the left side and some on the right, with no rhyme or reason to my breathing, other than to just get air.

All in all, I am happy with my time and place. It was 2:53:3 minutes longer than last year's time, but the race run was longer this year! I think the bike leg was longer also.

The best part was sharing the fun day with my fit friends!

Also Congratulations to the "younger" Triathlon Connection crowd. They got to race in Wave 1 and they rocked the house!!!!! Us "older" athletes had to wait until 10:45 for our wave to take off. We think next year the over 40 crowd should get to go first!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Race on the Base

ROTB 2012 Logo
Race on the Base was my first triathlon - 2010.

Tomorrow will be my third year in a row to compete at the reverse sprint triathlon.

I don't have any pictures - great, good or okay - from that first year. It was pouring rain. Pelting rain. The whole triathlon was a muddy, wet blur. I real blur because it was raining so hard on the bike leg that I had to squint and only look out of one eye at a time to be able to see.  My time? Well, I am not really sure. They couldn't find my time at the end of the race. For some reason my chip didn't work. Maybe it was water logged. Eventually, they said my final time was 1:26:13, but they didn't have any splits for me.

I didn't care. That first triathlon was a blast! And the triathlon raised money for the U.S. Men's Water Polo Team (and since my boys played water polo it seemed like a good cause to support).

2011 - I signed up for Race on the Base again thinking it would be a lot of fun and again, it was for a good cause. A couple of my friends also signed up. Then my boys said they wanted to compete also. Well, one boy hurt his back and could not compete.  The other had just got a job and couldn't take the day off. My friends dropped out and it looked like I was going to be competing at Race on the Base all by myself.

That was okay! My goal was to just go and compete and match or beat my 1:26:13 time. Hey, at my age I figure that every year if I can just keep my fitness or manage to better it just a tad, I am doing okay.

My guy, who had competed several years earlier in Olympic Distance triathlons involving ocean swimming, stepped up and said he would go with me. Luckily, they let Robert take one of my boys' entries.

Robert and I at our very first triathlon TOGETHER! I am wearing my huge throw-away sweatshirt.....I left it hanging on a railing at the beginning of the race. No worries, I have a new (old) throw-away sweater for tomorrow.

My time? Well, I didn't match or better, but then again, the course was different. Instead of a 5k run, it was more like a 5k plus quite a bit run. Overall, I completed the course in 1:35:57:4 (run 30.55/T1 2:28/Bike 51:49/T2 4:18/Swim 6:25). At least they didn't lose me last year and they had my splits!

I came in 8th place out of 29 women in my 50-54 age group.

2012 - This year I want to match or better my last year's time. I think I have learned a lot this year.  Robert is competing again. Our friends Carolyn and Gary are also competing, as is my friend and client Jeanne. The event still raises money for the U.S. Men's Water Polo team.

My knee has been a bit stiff, but I am sure it can take me the 3.7 miles of this year's run. I know I am a much better cyclist, thanks to my friends pulling me up GMR, Robert riding with me up Skyline on the mountain bikes, and my Triathlon Connection friends dragging me along the Santa Ana River Trail.

I am hoping that my swim lessons with Coach Tony will get me through the swim in a decent time. I know I need a lot more lessons and practice, but last year I backstroked through part of the swim.
Not this year!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Giving up Alcohol for Lent!

I am not Catholic. I am married to an Italian guy and he was brought up Catholic, but he doesn't practice.

So why did I say I would give up alcohol for Lent? It seemed like a good idea at the time, even if I did make the decision when I wasn't drinking.

Lent started yesterday, February 22 and it goes through April 5.

40 days.
Lots of days in 40 days.

From everything you wanted to know about Lent: According to, Ash Wednesday starts the beginning of the Season of Lent. It allows Catholics a time of “penance, reflection and fasting” that will prepare them for Easter Sunday.
Ash Wednesday occurs 40 days before Easter and falls on different dates each year, depending on the date that Easter follows on for the year.

Okay, I probably have some things I should pay penance for. I can't think of them right off the top of my head, but give me a couple of weeks of not drinking and I probably will have a list. Reflection is always a good thing. During Lent I will be reflecting on how not drinking is positively affecting my athletic performance. That's my hope, anyway. Not drinking alcohol will be my version of fasting. I envision that cutting out the booze will help me lose the last 5 pounds I have sitting around my middle.

I know I have some abs down there, I would just like to see them, or one!

All those calories I will not be drinking over the next 40 days should help me in losing the weight. I'll post my ab picture as soon as I get a can (6 cans in a pack, right?)

The reason I picked this year to jump on the Lent bandwagon is that this year (again from Everything you wanted to know about Lent): Catholics will have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, a French priest who had ties to Jesus’ mother Mary and created the Total Consecration.The Total Consecration, which is made up of prayers and spiritual practices, occurs on the same day that Lent starts this year. Father Ryan Wayne Erlenbush told LA Times that the next time this will happen will be 2075.
Erlenbush said, “It’s a unique opportunity to do both, this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make it our best Lent ever.”

Bingo - It all came together for me. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lose some weight, give my body a break from the glass of wine at dinner and then another at the computer every night, and be part of a spiritual practice.

Right after I decided to give up my vino for Lent, I found out it was National Margarita Day!

I am going to celebrate on April 6.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Endurance Pictures

Maybe it's just me. Does anyone out there have any great pictures of themselves from an endurance event? What about a good picture? An okay picture?

I never look good in my endurance pictures. NEVER! I know I can be self-critical, but I have pictures of myself not competing in endurance events and there are some I like.

These are pictures from last weekend's Steelman Challenge sprint triathlon. It was a reverse sprint.

The run was first. First? I already look like I am tired. And the medicated bandaid on my right knee is not very attractive. My hair is not long enough for a ponytail, and not short enough to be manageable. What is a good haircut for endurance events?

Then the bike ride. I yelled at the photographer not to take my picture. I had a peanut butter GU in one hand and the stuff in my mouth, so I wasn't in aero position. But he didn't listen. He just snapped away.

This is HORRIBLE! The last lap of the swim, I popped my head up to look at where to get out. I didn't see it. There were people standing at the edge and I yelled, "Where do I get out?" They pointed to the corner. (They being my friends Edith and Dana - both in background with towels wrapped around themselves). I swam to the corner. It was just the corner of the pool. WHAT THE HECK? The race directors decided they wouldn't offer the competitors a ramp or stairs to help us get out. NOOOOOO! They added insult to injury and made us get out of the pool by ourselves without any assistance. Luckily, I have been working on my push-up skills and was able to put my hands on pool deck and lift myself out the water and place my feet on the deck and then run for the finish line. But not everyone was able to do that. I saw a few people have to slide on their bellies to get out. I wonder what their pictures look like?

I have another sprint triathlon coming up this weekend. I am going to work on camera presentation. I'd really like ONE great picture of me competing. Well, a good picture anyway. I'll settle for an okay one!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Clipped In and Riding on Dirt!

For months I have wanted to try a Mountain Bike Triathlon. It looks like a lot of fun! 

One of my goals for 2012 is to compete in a Mountain Bike Triathlon! For something different! For Fun!

A swim is a swim is a swim is a swim. Well, you get the drift. It doesn't matter if it is a Tri or a MB Tri....the swim is a swim is a swim.

I always get a kick when I run on a trail. Running in the dirt gives me a feeling of freedom!

Please, don't get me wrong. I LOVE road cycling! It is my favorite part of triathlon. If I had to give up any one of the three parts, it would NOT be cycling!

Look, I'm not really that good at mountain biking. But I like being out in nature and I never have to worry about cars when I'm biking out on the trail. Okay, so every once in a while I have to swerve to avoid a bunny.

Those bunnies are probably out there when I road bike, but I don't see them. I also don't see hawks while I'm road biking. I see them ALL the time from my mountain bike.
Yes, I know that the hawks are hunting the bunnies.

I've gone down harder on my mountain bike than I have on my road bike. Unless there is a lot of gravel strewn about, the road tends to stay pretty stable. The trail can change from hard pack to sandy to granite and back so quickly it makes for a challenge to stay upright sometimes.

Today was my first day to clip in on my mountain bike. I've been mountain biking for about two years and in all that time I never really had the courage to clip in. But this year I am living boldly!

This year I boldly signed up for the mountain bike triathlon at Wildflower. I figured I could celebrate Wildflower's 30th by competing in the mountain bike triathlon. I use the word competing loosely. Then, I boldly declared that I would be riding in Wildflower's MB tri clipped in.

Okay, well, I will have the option of being clipped in or not. My pedals are platform on one side and clips on the other side.
    Thank you Robert! An extra Valentine present from my guy!

Today when we started out on our ride, I told my guy and his friend that I wanted to just ride the fire road at Sycamore Canyon Park and practice with my new pedals. They must not have heard me because I ended up following them on single-track and up and down hills.

It was nerve-racking thinking about whether I could make it up a hill, and if I didn't think I could make it, I had to unclip and use the other side of the pedal. I unclipped a couple of times when I shouldn't have and it slowed me down so much that I ended up having to push my bike up the hill.

I only laid my bike down once. Luckily, I unclipped really quickly and was able to jump clear and land on my feet.

The guys FINALLY got tired of listening to me swear and we rode over to the old Air Force Base land and rode the fire road around the bunkers! I stayed clipped in the entire 4-mile loop. Yeah!

It was a glorious day in Southern California. Temps in the low 80s while we were riding. The peaks with snow on them are San Gorgonio on the left and San Jacinto on the right. I have hiked to the top of both of those mountains. Uhm, I wonder how hard it would be to mountain bike to the top of them. Just kidding...I am not doing that - This year!

By Wildflower I think I will be able to stay clipped in because until then
I am just going to be training and trying!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Friends Rock at Steelman!

This is why I love being fit.

These are my Jazzercise friends. Some of them competed at the Steelman 5k run and some competed at the Steelman Challenge - a sprint triathlon. We all had a rocking great time. Dorothy (far left in plaid jacket) was the third woman over the finish line in the 5k. She ran the 5k in 24:36 (7:56 mile). She always was first in the 25-29 age group. Congratulations, Dorothy! Next to Dorothy in the orange shirt is Jyll. Jyll got 3rd place in the 45-49 division with a run of 31.40.4. Way to run it Jyll. Next is Veronica is the turquoise blue jacket. She came in 5th in the 40-44 division. I am standing next to Veronica and I came in 11th in the Triathlon in the 50-54 division. My buddy Carolyn is standing behind me with the happy grin and cute GOTRIbal visor and she came in 12th in the Triathlon in the 50-54 division. Standing next to Carolyn is Amy. It was her first run. She came in 1st in the 30-34 division. Next to me is Kelli. She came in 10th in the Triathlon in the 50-54 division. Over Kelli's shoulder to the right is Peggy. She came in 3rd in the 55-59 division for the run. Next to Peggy is Jamie. Jamie came in 1st in the Triathlon in the 45-49 division. She had 23:58 for the run portion of the tri. Jamie you are an awesome runner and biker. And soon you are going to be a rocking swimmer!!!!

I love doing fun, fit activities with my Jazz friends!

 These are my Triathlon Connection Friends. I love doing fun, fit activities with my TC friends. TC was called to the podium so many times for the Steelman Challenge awards. It was just awesome.

All these people are great inspiration!

They all make doing this Fun!
Thank you Fun and Fit Friends!!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Double Dipping!

Thinking it was smart and would save me money to sign up way in advance for an event, several months ago I doled out about $55 for an entry into the inaugural Pasadena Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon. I ran the Pasadena Marathon a few months before and enjoyed running by the historic homes with their sweeping well-manicured front lawns. I could do that again....and for way less than a regular R-N-R event. So I plunked down my money and patted myself on the back for a job well-done.

Fast forward several months and a new triathlon pops up in Fontana - STEELMAN.

I grew up in Riverside and everyone (yes, everyone!)knew that Fontana was a dump...sorry, but that was the impression of Fontana in the 60's and 70's. So it was with a huge misgiving that as part of getting my degree in Journalism from CSU, Fullerton, I accepted an internship at the Ontario Daily Report covering the City of Fontana.

They liked my work...enough to banish me to the armpit of their coverage area.

I learned a lot....about poisonous plants, boring city council meetings, police cover-ups and child abuse. Oh, and Sammy Hagar once lived in Fontana!
Add in Route 66 and you have a winning combination.

So, I was intrigued by the thought of a sprint triathlon in Fontana. Then I learn that Scott McAfee from Don's Bikes designed the course. I have met him several times. I don't think he remembers or knows my name even though I tell him every time. His energy is bountiful. That's a nice way of saying he reminds me of a second grader with ADHD.

The Steelman bike course is slow up, fast down, slow up, fast down, slow up and fast down, with a sharp turn in there somewhere. Lots of triathletes are going to suffer on the bike course, especially after running.

I wanted to compete in Steelman, even though I was already signed up for the Pasadena R-N-R 1/2 marathon. I'll take triathlon over run anytime. ANYTIME!!!!
 And all my Triathlon Connection friends are signing up. I don't want to be left out. But I paid money for the Pasadena run, and the Steelman is a little pricey.

Dilemma - two fabulous things to pick from!

I picked Steelman. But I didn't want my money to go to waste.......

A couple
of Triathlon Connection friends and I went to the Pasadena Rock-n-Roll expo today and picked up our bids and schwag.

We had a great time at the Expo and collected a lot of goodies.  The shirts they gave us are great - women's cut and tech! With all our freebie stuff and the fun time I had, I'd say I got my money's worth.

Then I gave my bid and tag away to someone who is going to enjoy running in my place. I am sure however they run (fast or slow) it will be faster than I would have run it.

And that person will probably finish the Pasadena Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon faster than I finish Steelman tomorrow morning!

Either way, both events are inaugural and I am PRing!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Could I Be Allergic to Swimming? Biking?

Got a swim in yesterday afternoon.

My headache started almost the moment I walked through the doors at my local gym. I could smell the pool chemicals. The odor must have been seeping through the glass walls which separates the people who dare to put on bathing suits and get wet from those that stay fully clothed and work up a sweat to get wet.

After about 45 minutes my head was pounding and I couldn't take it anymore.

A few aspirins later and my headache subsided to a manageable level. I thought back to when I first started swimming and after every pool swim my entire head would get congested and I couldn't breath and I felt horrible. No amount of hot steam in my face, hot shower or use of a neti pot would clear me out.
I never looked this happy when
I was using my neti pot. I always ended up with the water all over me and my mascara would run.

I was miserable. My doctor suggested I may be allergic to the chemicals in the pool. I started using a nose clip to keep the water out of my nose and nasal cavity and that has helped tremendously.

This morning when I woke up I still had a headache, plus a scratchy throat. Pool chemicals? I did manage to get some pool water in my mouth while I was swimming yesterday, but I quickly spit it out. Maybe I didn't spit it out fast enough.

More aspirin for my headache. A few hours later I was feeling better and my guy and I went on a bike ride. After the ride my head was hurting again. I wondered if maybe I was becoming allergic to bike riding.

Nah, not possible! Bike riding is my favorite thing to do. I'll take a bike ride over a swim any day. Bike or run? No brainer! Put me on wheels, baby!

Maybe I just have a touch of something. I mean, after all, everyone I know has been sick, is sick, or is complaining they are around someone who has been sick or is sick. Wahhhh...I hate being sick. I have no time to be sick. I am sick of being sick and I'm not really even sick.  Oh,oh, I just sneezed.
I am going to bed. I can be sick until Sunday morning.

Then I have a triathlon.
Steelman - my "D" race for my "C" race for my "B" race for my "C" race for my "B" race for my "A" race. And somewhere in there I have a couple of "F" races...hey, watch your mind - "F" is for fun!!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Left, Center, Right!

It's been Valentine's/Birthday Celebrations with a big C (for calories) in my family the past two days. Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Robert's birthday and tonight was my mom's 70th birthday.

Food, cake, drinks, no time to train = behind on training and gained a least.

But it was all worth it.

Tuesday was Robert's birthday and Valentine's Day. He loves chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. I actually baked it and then ate it (2 pieces). I was a nice wife and made chicken Parmesan with heart shaped ravioli. Yeah, I can get in the spirit of it sometimes.

Notice the cake is heart shaped!

Today is my mom's 70th Birthday. My mom rocks!


We had a fabulous party for her at my sister's house. We had Mexican food (her favorite, I learned from a stupid game where I didn't know any of the answers about her, but yet, my guy knew so many of the answers about my mom that he won the prize - a candle...a jasmine scented candle. The irony - he would know more about my mom than I do, yet he wins a jasmine scented candle, a plant he is highly allergic to).

We drank and had cake (and not just any cake, but Simple Simon's 16-layer Princess Cake...totally worth the extra calories) and painted a picture for my mom and played Left, Right, Center.

Left, Right, Center kind of sounds like Swim, Bike, Run and it costs me a lot of money, so I feel like I am still sort of in triathlon heaven when I play it.

Each player starts with $3 (and thank you, oh fabulous guy of mine for fronting everyone the $ basically we all played on Robert's money and one person won all of Robert's money, which is really my money, but I never saw any of it because it went into someone's pocket by way of LEFT, RIGHT, CENTER).

Each person rolls the 3 dice. The dice are labels L (for left), R (for right), C (for Center) and
  • for keepsey.   You roll the dice and basically give your money away until one person is left with one dollar. And that lucky person wins everything (or in this case $54...uhm, I could have bought a lot of Hooha for that).

Women with Money on their Mind!
Oh baby, give me three dots!
That is one of my sons trying to make a money deal with the other son. It went something like this - if you win, we share the money and if I win I get all the money for me and my girlfriend and don't argue because I am older. And then the younger one turns and says, "Yeah, but I am bigger and can kick your ass." Poor sportsmanship and neither one won the game, if you can call it that.
Sharon won!

I have never won this game (of chance)......yet!

But I did have a small win tonight....
My son, Dion, who will never let me take pictures of him, took a picture WITH me!!!!

Okay, birthdays over, celebrations over, eating and drinking over!

Tomorrow I am back on track with training!!