Thursday, May 31, 2012

Riverside - a Bike Friendly Community?

I sat my butt in a chair for 1 1/2 hours yesterday for the Mayor of Riverside.

I sit on the Mayor's Fit, Fresh & Fun Forum.

I don't know what makes me more tired...sitting in the chair and listening to people talk "governmenteze" or saying Fit, Fresh & Fun Forum.

All jest aside, I was excited to go to the meeting because Charles Gandy, the city's consultant on cycling was presenting.

It was a let-down.
I have ridden my bike all over town and there are lots of ways to improve the cycling routes.
There are a a few bike lanes, but they are willy nilly.

There is the SART (Santa Ana River Trail), but I don't think there is one bike lane I could ride on to get there.

Of course, I wanted to know about my neighborhood in particular.
In my neighborhood a bike lane starts several miles to the east along a major avenue and leads down past a lot of residential homes and then stops right near my house. The major avenue continues on to a shopping area less than 2 miles away....but the bike lane does not. So there is not a safe way to bike from my house to the shopping area.

I asked about this one time and was told by an elected official that I could ride on the sidewalk. I laughed and told him I don't ride on sidewalks.

 There is a sidewalk on ONE side of the street, but at certain times of the day it tends to be congested with students from the high school either walking or riding their bikes toward the Plaza area and the neighborhoods surrounding it.

Can you imagine trying to ride AGAINST that traffic?

No wonder Riverside did not make Bicycling Magazines' list of America's Best Bike Cities.

The mayor has said he wants Riverside to be a bike-friendly city.

 The city council even went so far as to hire Mr. Gandy as a consultant. His contract expires Sept. 1.
 Mr. Gandy was hired a few years back by the City of Long Beach to help it become more bike friendly.

Long Beach ranked 19th on Bicycling's list this year.
A bike lane in Long Beach. NICE!
Riverside does have a bike plan. The plan was approved by the city council several years ago. Mr. Gandy said it was time to "activate the bike plan."

The plan is to use PAINT.

Mr. Gandy named four main streets in Riverside that he recommends taking a car lane from each side of the street and making it a bike lane.
Unfortunately, the main street by my house was not one of the ones he talked about.
After the meeting I asked Mr. Gandy about continuing the bike lane by my house so that cyclists could ride to the major shopping area.

He said he didn't know off the top of his head and he would get back to me.

The clock's ticking.

Riverside has a lot of work to do if it wants to make Bicycling's 2013 list.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Triathlete's Worst Nightmare

You've finished the swim, managed to get out of your wetsuit without it sticking to your wrists and legs and remembered to buckle your helmet before you took your bike off the rack in transition. You gulped down some electrolytes flavored as raspberry, squished a GU into your mouth and now you are whizzing along the road on your bike. Maybe you are in aero.

The next thing you know, you are in the hospital and hooked up to machines.

A triathlete's worst nightmare.
A triathlete's family's worst nightmare.
A nightmare.

This is what happened to Kristen Walker.
Kristen was competing at an Iron Girl Triathlon on Sunday.
They don't know exactly what happened and she was the only cyclist involved in the crash. It might have been from a blow-out.

Luckily there were several nurses, including an ER nurse competing in the triathlon and they stopped and helped Kristen.

It has been reported that Kristen has broken bones and a traumatic brain injury and had surgery on Sunday.


I found out about Kristen and her accident through my friend Meredith, who writes the swimbikemom blog.

This is what is being asked:
Send your good thoughts and prayers for Kristen
if you feel you need to bank a little bit of good KARMA you can donate to a fund for Kristen and her family.

I don't think I could say this any better than Meredith: "We all get wrapped up in racing, in speed and in pushing forward – sometimes we need a reminder how dangerous this sport can be… how we must always remember that we are human racers… and stopping to assist Our Fellow Triathlete may just save her life."

And this is from me:
Always ask competitors on the side of the road if they are okay. Always ask someone stopped and struggling in the water if they are okay. Always ask anyone who looks as if they may be over-heated or staggering if they are okay.
Always ask, because unless you are a PRO and getting paid money, it is all just a good FUN way to stay in shape and to stay healthy!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Golden Ticket to Kona 2012

That's right. You can have a chance to get a "Golden Ticket" to Kona for this year.
October 13, 2012 to be exact.
Okay, the one above is from Willy Wonka and the one you can win is from WTC.

LAVA Magazine is offering a Kona slot to one lucky subscriber.
That's right - ONE

If you subscribe you will automatically be entered to win the ONE slot LAVA is offering to race the Ironman World Championship in Kailua, Kona.
Since I am so sure I am going to win because my coach wants me to win because then I will have to dig deep and really RUN every day, every week, every month until Kona, I am going to share a FREE way for you to enter. So go ahead and enter, but it won't do you any good, because I am SURE I am going to win this.

Send your name, address, phone number and email to:

514 Via de la Valle
Suite 300
Solana Beach, CA 92075

Go ahead and do it, but it will be a waste of your time because I am sure I am going to win this....

I better start open water swim practice WITHOUT a wetsuit.

At least they will let me wear my SwimSafe - it is USAT approved.
Maybe I can get Lance to autograph it. I am sure he will be there.

Until I get the call that I won I will just Train-n-Tri!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pasadena Half Marathon

My entire Pasadena Half Marathon yesterday can be summed up with my coach's words to my husband after the event: "You know, if Kandi wants to do the Half Ironman, she is going to have to run more."

And by running more, I am sure he doesn't mean just in the week leading up to the event, but every day, every week, every month....

Today I am walking around with a stiff knee slathered in Biofreeze.

Here's why: In January I ran 38.85 miles; February, 37.27 miles; March 50.41 miles; April 21.63 miles; during the 9 days between May 8 and May 17, 23.31 miles.
Yesterday 13.1 miles.

As soon as my knee is better I am getting on a regular running schedule and sticking to I will NEVER have a repeat of the Pasadena Half Marathon 2012 again.

Start to mile 9 - fabulous
Mile 10 - ouch, my knee is starting to hurt
Mile 11 - walk 50 paces, run 100 paces and realizing that I am not going to break the 2:30 mark
Mile 12 - Please Mr Medic, can you tape some ice on me!
Then walk 100 paces, hobble jog 25 paces, then fast walk.
Mile 13 - fast walk
Mile 13.05 jog because I refuse to walk across the finish line

Tomorrow is a new day to Train-n-Tri.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Team Aquaphor and Active Ambassadors sent out their acceptance invitations yesterday:


You have been selected to become a member of the

2012 Team Aquaphor
"Your athletic accomplishments and individual interests were a perfect match for the sponsors’ goal of building a dedicated team of influential, social, passionate athletes who value both performance and fitness and the power in combining them both."
Well, I am tri-ing my hardest, and I feel that triathlon is the perfect sport for older women (yikes, I just put myself in the older woman category) such as me. It is hard to train for all the six areas of triathlon...yes, I think there are six parts of triathlon - swim, bike, run, strength training, nutrition and recovery!
I hope Team Aquaphor picked me to join their team because I represent the "older" woman and what is possible.
 Unlike lots of women triathletes my age, I didn't play sports in school. I did have horses and rode English and Hunter Hack, but the only running involved four cantering hooves. I was on a softball team when I was 18. The team was sponsored by a liquor store and while we did go out on the field and play against other teams, our main objective was to get through the game and then celebrate our win or loss (mostly losses) with a party. I didn't play sports in college either. I went to classes, partied, studied, partied and partied. My elbow got lots of exercise.
Then I got married, had kids and sat on the sidelines and watched them excel at sports. I would take a walk once in a while.
I didn't pick up Triathlon as a sport until I was almost 50.
Before that I never ran. I didn't ride a bike and I didn't know how to swim.
It is possible to go from couch potato to athlete.
It is possible to learn to love running.
It is possible to learn to ride a bike and go fast.
It is possible to learn how to swim in a pool, in a lake and in an ocean.
It is possible to get an invitation to be sponsored by a team....again.

A few months ago I blogged that Odwalla would not be sponsoring a team in 2012. After being on Team Odwalla for the 2011 season, I was teamless. I still have my fabulously supportive, fun, awesome triathlon club.
But it is fun to be on a nationally branded team.
The best part of being on Team Odwalla was I was able to get them to buy a tree for the local school's native California Garden. Sure the drinks and the bars were great and I loved sharing them with family and friends and training partners, but that tree will be there a long time.

Now I have packed up all my Odwalla apparel and I will wait patiently for Team Aquaphor's shipment.

I love their products.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don't Do Anything New on Race Day

Don't do anything NEW on race day - that's the advice doled out by coaches and pros. Go with what you know. Don't eat anything different. Don't wear anything different. Be a creature of habit.

But I have a couple of new things I want to try out.

So I made today my practice race day.
I tried two new things today and both worked fine, so I am going to use them when I run the Pasadena Half Marathon on Sunday.

This is the first new thing I tried.

I got this bottle of Electrolytes yesterday from my Chiropractor, Dr. Pete. During my ART session with him we starting talking about Wildflower and my bike triathlon competition. Dr. Pete told me he had another client who also competed at Wildflower. This other client, I'll call him Mr. X, did the long course. It was Mr. X's second year in a row to compete in the long course (half ironman) at Wildflower. According to Dr. Pete, Mr. X took Sport Connexin (Pure Electrolytes for Optimal Performance) this year and shaved LOTS of time off his event. Lots meaning more than an hour and less than an hour and a half.

(Okay, Mr. X probably trained his ass off this past year, but even he texted Dr. Pete and said what a difference Sport Connexin made.)

I just want to shave minutes off my run on Sunday. Last year I wanted to break 2:30. I know that is not fast for all you fast runners, but for me it is a good clip. I ran with a UTI and had to stop at several bathrooms along the way. I managed a tag time of 2:33:54.

I just want to lose 3:54 minutes this year.
If Sport Connexin can give me an edge, I am taking it.
The bottle says it will restore your Body's pH to:
Maximize endurance and energy
Neutralize metabolic acids
Speed muscle recovery
Reduce cramping and Injury

I took 3 pills (considered a serving) this morning before my run and it didn't give me an upset stomach so I am using it on race day.

Here's my second practice race day item:
The most expensive pair of shoelaces EVER. $20 for two laces, $10 per lace.

My guy and I each picked up a pair of XTENEX laces at Wildflower.
They are touted as "The Lace of Genius".
I'd like to think I am smart for handing out $20 for a pair of shoelaces, but I am still on the fence about it.
I have tried those other elastic laces you don't have to tie, but after a few miles of running they always seem to be too tight and hurt the top of my foot

This morning before my run, I laced up one of my running shoes with XTENEX, but left the other with the regular lace.
After 5 miles I could tell the difference.
The left foot in the running shoe with the XTENEX in it felt less constricted. My right foot felt a little squished.
My feet must swell when I run more than I thought and since the XTENEX laces have some give, my left foot was not squished.

Going with XTENEX on race day also.

I'll let you know how it all goes after 13.1 miles.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tired Girl

I love days like today.
I feel as if I really LIVED the entire day.
I used up every second of it.

I wrote and edited 30 pages.
I ran 5 miles.
I lifted weights for an hour.
I did a couple loads of laundry (I could have done without that, but it is a necessity).
I made tuna sandwiches for my son and me and I ate out on the patio and read a magazine and watched the birds eat from a feeder.
I took my bike to the bike shop for a cleaning and tune-up.
I bought 3 bags of healthy food from Trader Joe's.
I went to see Dr. Pete and stood on the Turbo Sonic Vibration Machine, then had an hour-long ART session (Active Release Therapy).
I worked out in my backyard watering some plants, pulling some weeds and cutting back some bushes.
I went to my Master's Swim Lessons for Triathletes.
I made Vegetable Chicken Alfredo for my gang.
I updated my workout log.

I am going to love tomorrow, too!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Gifts

This Mother's Day I did something I have never done before. I gave myself a gift.

Yes, I got a gift from my husband. I had sent my guy an email saying, "This Mother's Day I want a tri bike, or a subscription to Triathlete magazine or my drip system fixed"....and I am not out riding for joy because I got a tri-bike and I spent a half hour watering some plants tonight, so you know what I got from my guy. I got gifts from my three kids also. I call them kids, but two of them are now "officially" adults, but they are still my kids, and one is still "officially" a kid, but thinks he is an adult.
Anyway, they gave me some new gardening gloves and clippers, a winchime and a clean kitchen.

 I appreciate all of these gifts.

But this year, I wanted something special...for me!
Not for me, the mom, but for me the person. I love being a mom, but sometimes women, and I am generalizing here, lose themselves in being wives and mothers. For years, I focused all my time and energy on my children and my family.

I don't regret one single minute of it, but now I don't need, or want, to spend every single minute on my kids or family. I have time to spend time on me.

And in exploring who I am and what I like to do I have narrowed it down to this - I love writing, so I am a writer; I like gardening, so I am a gardener and Master Composter; and I like Triathlon, so I am a swimmer, cyclist and runner.

But am I?

I have biked enough miles, including a couple of century rides, that I think I can call myself a cyclist. I have some scars on my arms from crashing on my bike because I forgot to clip out.
I am calling myself a cyclist.

I've put on running shoes and managed to run, jog, walk and hobble through a marathon.
I've made it through a few half marathons.
My coach has  more running written into my training plans than I can keep up with.
I am calling myself a runner.

But am I a swimmer?

I want to call myself a swimmer. I can swim in a pool with no problem. Thanks to the Master Swim lessons for Triathletes with Coach Tony, I know what I am suppose to do to be an efficient swimmer. I am practicing.

At my last triathlon I swam 1000 meters in a lake and not once was I scared. I swam and kept my mind busy thinking about my swim form.
But the thought swimming in the ocean has freaked me out.

I want a lot of space for my dreams, so my gift to myself was to take a step forward in getting rid of my fear of ocean swimming.

I went to an ocean swimming clinic at Seal Beach this Mother's Day morning. We swam out to the halfway mark of the pier and back in. The group did this three times before we swam from the pier across the water toward the jetty and back.

It was my start at sweeping away some of my fears.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

TriEvents Series 2.....Done!

It was a beautiful day at Bonelli Park. The lake water was warm and the breeze was gentle.

I haven't seen the results yet, so I can't tell you how fast or slow I swam the 1000 meters. I can only tell you that I swam freestyle the entire way with just a couple of breaststrokes when I needed to sight and the sun was in my eyes. I wasn't at the front of the pack, but I wasn't at the back.

I ran up the hill to transition and had my wetsuit half off, goggles, cap, earplugs and SwimSafe in hand by the time I hit my spot.

Again, I haven't seen times, but I did NOT stand in transition shivering like last time. My fingers are crossed that I got out of T1 quicker than last time.
I don't need to see any times to tell you that my bike speeds ranged from 34 mph down one hill to 9 mph up another. My legs still weren't recovered from Wildflower last weekend and all the running I have done this week, so I didn't push it on the bike or the run.

I actually enjoyed the run. (Don't tell my coach, he may think that means I want to run more). Maybe I enjoyed it because I jogged/ran/walked with three other women. We chatted along the way. I gave a GU to one of the ladies. I gave a pep talk to another one who was sure her performance today meant she would not be able to do the Half-Ironman distance she has already signed up for in July. I set her straight.

Just take what you have and keep training-n-triing!

Me, Barb (it was her first triathlon) and Jeanne (it was her first open water swim tri).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Round 2 - TriEvents Championship Series

Tri Events

Tomorrow morning I will be competing in the TriEvents Championship Series #2.

I bought into all three of the events on the day after Thanksgiving. Yep, it was a BLACK FRIDAY sale and I could not pass up the deal.

The first tri was pretty short and sweet - swim 500m, bike 23.3k, and 5k run. My goal for the first one was to swim the lake swim calmly and have fun and get out of my wetsuit quickly. I met my goals and the event was a success.

Tomorrow's event is a 1k swim, 27k bike and 8.8k run. The swim is LOOONNNNNGER, the bike just a tad longer and the run a little longer than last time.

I don't think I have fully recovered from my Wildflower weekend last weekend. And really I didn't take much of a break this week because I have the Pasadena 1/2 Marathon next weekend, so I put foot in shoe and hit the pavement this week. My coach should be happy. My legs are not.

After last month's TriEvent, I had made all sorts of improvement goals for myself. Yes, I would be racing a longer distance, but I still wanted to step it up.

Tonight I don't even want to take a step.

So I am giving myself a break, throwing those pre-set goals out the window and setting a low bar for myself.

My goals for tomorrow's tri - have a calm, fun swim, run all the way up the ramp and have my wetsuit halfway off before I get to my bike in the transition area, get the rest of my wetsuit off quickly and get out of T1 quicker than I did last time. The bike and run, well, I am just going to enjoy it, push myself a little, but mostly just enjoy the time out on the course and try not to do too much damage to my legs.

I do have a 1/2 marathon to run next weekend.

event halfmarathon

Thursday, May 10, 2012

National Bike Month

I got my ride on today....outside.
Usually on Thursday I go to the 6:45 p.m. spin class at LA Fitness. The last time I went to the class someone was on the bike I usually ride and I had to ride a different bike in a different aisle. It just didn't feel right.

I received an email from peopleforbikes today and it motivated me to take the extra effort and ride outside....and on my own bike.

Thank you Riverside Bicycle Club for having a nice Thursday evening ride. We started 6:30 p.m. from the Bakers on Adams and headed out toward my familiar pedaling grounds - Irving, Monroe, Victoria, Dufferin-

Palm Trees and Orange Groves with hawks in the sky.
My kind of ride!

Bike Month
In case you haven't got your May bike ride in yet, you can ride your bike to work next week for National Bike to Work Week (May 14-18) or just ride your bike to work next Friday for National Bike to Work Day (May 18).

For cyclists that like to log the miles you can always sign up for the National Bike Challenge (May 1 - Aug. 31).

The National Bike Challenge is a free program with the goal of uniting 50,000 people to bike 10 million miles.

I signed goal is to pedal 850 miles of those 10,000,000 miles.

So get a friend and go on a bike ride!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wildflower Virgin No More!

Wildflower 2012 - 30th Year Anniversary

I went.

The first thing I did after checking into registration was to find the swim area. I thought I might be freaked out when I saw it, but actually I was calm and kind of excited for the swim. The buoys didn't seem very far out....and they weren't because I was only signed up for the Mountain Bike Triathlon, so the 1/4 mile swim was a shorty.

Then I rode up and down Lynch Hill on my mountain bike.

I camped out with my Triathlon Connection friends.

And obviously ate with Triathlon Connection Friends!!!!

Then it was time to compete!
I have been practicing my open water swim and my mountain bike riding skills for the past two months. Since the run was only 2 miles I didn't too much running practice, much to my coach's chagrin.

My transition area is all set up....My stuff is all on the yellow mat.

Then I waited in line for the PortaPotty....along with several other people....several times!
Then it was time for the swim. Wetsuit on, SwimSafe on, cap on, Zoggs on, noseclip ready!
I followed all the advise I have received and jumped right in during the warm-up, getting my face wet and going underwater several times. I swam a bit and then hopped out. The water felt great! I wasn't scared at all. I felt ready to swim!
Then the gun went off and I was off. That's me on the left with the orange goggles. I was in and swimming and those other ladies are still standing there talking about how awesome it was going to be to see Macca in the water for the Olympic Distance the next day.

Then I was out!
Then I was out!
And I ran all the way UP the UPHILL ramp. I even managed to get unzipped and my arms out of the my wetsuit before I hit the transition area. When I got to transition I had cap, goggles and SwimSafe off and earplug out (that's a lot of accouterments).
I put my race belt on and sat down to put my socks and shoes on. I almost started to put them on standing up, but then I thought of Lance Armstrong and how he tried to put on his socks and shoes standing up at his first 70.3 and he got off balance and wobbled and had to sit down anyway. I saved myself those precious few seconds and just sat down to begin with.

I wore my Nathan backpack, just to make sure I was getting enough hydration. Look how good I am, running with my bike out of transition and sucking down water at the same time.

The course was not as hilly as I had expected. All those rides up Skyline Drive in Corona, the big flipping hill my friend Edith made me ride up to where the handgliders take off by her house, and the fast riding in Sycamore Canyon with Robert and his friends prepared me for the Wildflower Mountain Bike course. There wasn't any single-track and really nothing too technical. It was just fast, fast, fast riding, and keep riding through the sandy parts and avoid all the people who didn't know how to ride, and didn't know how to downshift BEFORE they got on a little hill.

And before I knew it, it was time to ride down Lynch Hill and into transition for the 2-mile run....which started with this.......

the Stairs of Champions...and I did RUN up all the stairs. When I got to the top I heard someone say, "Did you just see that old lady run up those stairs?" I am hoping they were looking at the blurred age on my right calf that made my 52 look more like a 62, than at my face....but I took the compliment anyway and ran on.

The run was a mile out of rollers with a quick hose off at the turn-around
 and then a mile back of the same rollers.

It was hot and there were several people puking on the side of the road. I just kept plugging along, enjoying the run because I knew it was going to be over soon enough.

And then my race was over, but WILDFLOWER  was NOT!!

We celebrated Sinta's HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
(and don't go any further if you are do NOT want to see naked people....that's right, part of my WILDFLOWER weekend included naked people. Well, they did have shoes on. So don't go any further if you do NOT want to see naked people with shoes on.

So obviously you wanted to see the naked people, aka, streakers. They run through the camp every year. Sorry if the picture is small and a little out of focus. Next year I'll try to have my camera on close-up to get better pictures.

And still WILDFLOWER was not over!

The next day Robert and I check results and found out I got 2nd place in my age group. We stopped by and picked up my medal.

Then we spent the rest of the day watching friends and others competing.

Macca (other...though I wouldn't mind being his friend).
Julie Moss (she WALKED up the uphill ramp that I had RAN up the previous day...just saying)
Barb finishes the Olympic!

Triathlon Connection...yeah, everyone made it over the finish line!

Time to jump on the bus! That bus was filled with fit, athletic people!

Next year I am bringing my skinny wheels!