Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon and I Cycled

I took my bike to a running race this morning and I was the first cyclists over the finish line.
I may have been the first cyclist over the finish line, but I didn't get a medal at the LA Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon.
I did have lots of fun, got some cycling miles in (some REALLY slow), received a free tech shirt and an entry into an event next year (maybe LA Triathlon?)
My friend, Jeanne and I, had signed up to be volunteer Lead Cyclists through California Triathlon.
We weren't really sure what this meant, but we were up for the challenge....and I mean, we were up EARLY!!!!
We drove to LA and found our pre-paid parking lot.
It was foggy!
Riding from the parking lot to the start line of the event was a blast.
NO Traffic!!!
I will say it again, NO TRAFFIC in LA around the Staples Center and the LA Convention Center!!!!
Riding the around LA streets at 6 a.m. with no traffic alone was worth the drive.
We checked in and then made our first stop.
Oh come on, it was a race and even if I wasn't racing, I had to use the porta-potty.
What's a race without a porta-potty?
This was the first time Jeanne and I had ever volunteered to ride our bikes at a running event and we weren't too sure what we would actually be doing.
We ended up volunteering for the "mini" marathon. That sounded easy. Then Gene Simmons told us our job was the hardest.
Well, he wasn't really Gene Simmons, he was just dressed up as Gene Simmons. His face makeup was pretty good. I didn't ask him to stick out his tongue.
A lot of people were dressed up, since this was the "Halloween" 1/2 Marathon.
Gene, aka, the guy really in charge, explained our job to us. I was assigned to ride with the lead male runner in the "Mini" race (about 3.6 miles) and Jeanne was going to ride with the lead female  "Mini" runner.
When we were pretty sure who the leader was going to be - at about mile 3 - we had to call a lady named Ann at a certain phone number and tell her the person's number and their name.
Yes, I was going to ride my bike by someone who was running fast and get their name from them, and look at their 4-digit number and make a phone call and convey the information....
Obviously this is not me. I don't have a picture of me doing all of the above. It made me a little nervous because one time I was yelled out through a loud speaker by a Highway Patrolman for talking on the phone while riding my bike.
Did I mention there were motorcycle police and bicycle police EVERYWHERE at the race?
We rode to the spot where the "Mini" racers would peel off from the Half-Marathoners.
 I did not have a costume, but the orange vest they gave me to wear made me look like a pumpkin.
Jeanne looks like a pumpkin also.
We got to our spot and we waited.
First the hand cycles and wheelchairs went by.
Then the elite men runners, followed by some women and then, boom, the "Mini" racers

These two guys ran pretty neck-in-neck for quite a while.
(Is taking pictures while you are riding a bicycle dangerous?)
So I called in and told Ann that it was pretty close between #? and #?.
The question marks are because I can't remember what their numbers were.
this guy comes flying by both the lead guys and I have to start pedaling faster. I get his number and his first name and I stay with him while I call Ann and tell her that #? Antonio is in the lead...and by that time he had about a block on the other guys, so I was pretty sure he was going to cross the finish line first.
He kept asking me how much further?

And then he was almost to the finish line. (He is the guy running on the left hand side of the picture). I dropped back so I wouldn't be in his picture. Later I saw him and told him congratulations. He said thanks for riding next to him and yelling at people to get off the course.
It was unbelievable to me the amount of people who stood right in the middle of the road that was obviously coned off for the "Mini" race.
After Jeanne got her female "Mini" finisher over the line, we played first aid and rode our bikes through the course.
We didn't see anyone who really needed first aid. I did ask one woman who had bruises all over her legs and was on the side of the road if she needed help. She said no, she was just chafing. Another woman said her knee hurt when she ran, but didn't hurt when she walked. I told her NOT to run, and the first aid station was about 1/2 mile away. She said she was fine if she just walked. She was at mile 4 so she was going to have a long day of walking ahead of her.

Riding through the running crowd was hard. Sometimes I was only going 3 miles an hour.

We stopped to take our picture.
And to listen to some of the bands, and to watch the "Thriller" dancers.
I did see one FB friends running. I yelled and took his picture, but he didn't hear me.
He's a cheetah......

even though he was also dressed like a pumpkin today.
At the end, Jeanne and I were cold and hungry.
We turned in our orange vests and rode our bikes to the car.

This is probably the only time I will ever ride my bike by the Staples Center and NOT worry about traffic.















Saturday, October 26, 2013

Family First....

I was suppose to get up this morning and load my mountain bike in the car and put on this shirt....

I love this shirt.
I loved this shirt when I wore it to compete in Muddy Buddy with my son two years ago

(my blog from Muddy Buddy two years ago)
My son, Dion, loves the shirt also. He wears it all the time. But he didn't love it enough to do Muddy Buddy with me again. He said he had to work. But truth was he took his girlfriend to Knott's Scary Farm and ????? Yeah, I get it. He is 21 and is busy with his work and girlfriend.
So this year I talked my husband/guy/training partner into signing up with me.
He finds it hard to say NO to me.
I mean, he hardly ever says NO to me.
I mean, he has never said NO to me.
We even went out earlier in the week for a practice run/bike because in Muddy Buddy one of you runs while the other one mountain bikes and then you switch off when you get to an obstacle. We are great at the obstacles. We have done several mud runs together and the obstacles are no problem.
This was from Rugged Maniac at the beginning of October.
We were a little concerned about sharing a mountain bike. I am only 5' and weight 103 pounds and he is 5"11something and weights more than me and we ride different sizes of bikes. I can NO WAY ride his he would have to ride mine.
Our practice went well and he even agreed to be the person who would move the seat up and down.
Photo: Muddy Buddy practice....
We did about 2 1/2 miles switching off running and biking in Sycamore Canyon near our home. The trails we ran and biked were harder than the ones I remembered from competing with  my son.
Our dog, Willie, is in the picture, but we were NOT going to be bringing him. But since we were just practicing we brought him along for a run. We kept him on leash because there have been reports of coyote packs in that area.
Two years ago competing in Muddy Buddy with my son. It was raining and REALLY muddy!
We were ready.
I had my gear ready and I went to bed early.
Then this morning, my other son had a medical issue. He probably never is going to read my blog, but if he does, oh, well....
He has Epididymitis and Orchitis.
(Infection and swelling in the testicles)
My son (NOT my Muddy Buddy son, but my younger son) went straight to the doctor this morning.
Yes to Doctor!
No to Muddy Buddy!!!!
Family ALWAYS comes first!
I love participating in my events and I LOVE my second families, but my FAMILY will always come first.
P.S. I missed you "my other family" and hope you all rocked it....can't wait to hear!!!
Muddy Buddy from two years ago. Dion is peeking his head over my shoulder!!!
Some of these ladies were at Muddy Buddy today and I know they rocked it!!!
And it all worked out for the best because my doctor told me four weeks ago that I had rib muscle strain and NOT to do anything, but I have "stubbornitis" and I did back-to-back triathlons last weekend. I was in a lot of pain on Monday and went back to the doctor.
Bottom line - I refused to have an x-ray because no matter what it showed (cracked rib) they were going to tell me the same thing - don't do ANYTHING!!!
So the doctor I saw gave my condition a fancy "itis"  name and rolled her eyes at me when I told her I was going to compete at a Muddy Buddy.
She would be happy to know that I didn't compete....
Instead I just did a weeks worth of grocery shopping (lifting bags), worked out in the yard for several hours, some laundry and .......
It would have been easier just to compete at Muddy Buddy!!
But Family will ALWAYS come first!


Duathlon National Championships - I'm NOT there!

The USAT Duathlon National Championships are taking place today (10/26) in Tucson, Arizona.
I qualified for the event when I won 2nd place at the Encinitas Duathlon back in May.
(I chickened out of the tri because the waves were TOO was the first time I ever competed in a duathlon)....
It was a hoot. But I know in my heart I am not fast enough to toe the line at the National Duathlon Championships.

Maybe next year....or not.
It's just nice to know that I COULD have gone to the championships if I had wanted to....
Good Luck to everyone competing today at the Championships.
May the speediest win!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Back-to-Back Triathlons Day 2

Day 2
I survived.
I can still walk.
I am happy.
Tomorrow is a rest day!!!
Yesterday I competed in the Seal Beach Triathlon and I place 4th in my age group.
The triathlon was a 600 meter swim in the ocean, a 10k bike ride on the crowded San Gabriel River Trail and a 2 mile run in deep sand.
You can read about my Seal Beach Triathlon experience by clicking on the above link.
Today I woke up and it was Round 2.
Today's race was totally different from yesterday's.
No surf.
No narrow bike trail.
No sand.
I was concerned about today though. I pushed my body pretty hard yesterday. Could I pummel it again today?
Okay, I am laughing about that because I did okay today and I feel good tonight. Tomorrow it may be a different story when the DOMS sets in (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
And HAHA, I am teaching 5th grade tomorrow and I won't have any sympathy for them if I am feeling DOMS, so my sympathies to them.
I won't bore you with all the details of the tri today, but I do want to tell you about the highlights. To FORCE myself to be brief, I will be using bullets to for the best parts of  today's Riverside Triathlon 2013:
  • A lot of my Triathlon Connection peeps showed up for the tri and a LOT of them ended up on the podium. Everyone gave it their all. I love you all and congratulations to all of you whatever your placement. You all ROCK!! (P.S. - even you Jazzercise ladies rocked it...and if you had been a part of Triathlon Connection you could now be proud part owners of a Club sign up and next year we can all work together to regain the trophy!)
  • Again, my guy was with me for the event. What more can I say. He is just there for me!!! I am blessed.
  • My athletes rocked it....Yeah to Orietta who placed 2nd in her age group and was 4th woman overall across the line. And all that considering she was 1st in her age group yesterday. I told her to take tomorrow off.
  • Orietta and me...she is the fastest one, but I am the Coach!
  •  And nice job to Jeanne, who placed 8th in her age group. Jeanne has made such HUGE strides, especially in her bike. Next step is her run......(you can do it Jeanne).
  • I placed 3rd in my age group and I ran a 27:32:6 5k. Yeah, I know that's not fast for a lot of you, but it is fast for me, especially since I ran 2 miles in deep sand yesterday. Yippee, I am a runner!!!
  • Sinta 1st place age group, me, Orietta!!!
  • I stopped in the middle of my swim to help someone finish. Oh, it probably only cost me 30 seconds, but it was well worth it. I am so proud of Veronica for facing her fears and finishing the swim. Sorry, sweetie, if I yelled in your face....but I yelled with love.

 - as I was running down Victoria Avenue, I saw Coach Tony running back the other way. (Coach Tony was my first coach and I was a Coach Tony ambassador when I was just a newbie triathlete. I have learned a lot from him.) As he ran by, I yelled, "GO COACH!!!" and he yelled back, "GO COACH!!!"
 I pinched myself and it was true...I am a Coach!

- I found that I enjoyed my athletes having awesome finishes as much as I enjoyed competing.
It was a great back-to-back tri-weekend....
tomorrow I am taking the day off.

UHM, maybe I'll swim!


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Weekend of Triathlons Day 1

This is my weekend of back-to-back triathlons.
Today was Day 1 - Seal Beach Sprint Triathlon.
600 meter open water swim; 10k bike ride; 2 mile run.
The reason I originally signed up for this triathlon was that I REALLY wanted to get an OCEAN open water swim triathlon under my belt.
I had signed up for the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon in May, but my triathlon turned into a duathlon when the waves that day were HUGE and scared me!
Today was my first Ocean Water Swim Triathlon and it was fabulous!
When we got to Seal Beach everything was socked in with fog.
Oh, no, I thought, not another fog day.
A couple of months ago several members of my triathlon club met at Seal Beach and went for a swim.
While we were swimming, the fogged rolled in.
Today was just the opposite of that experience.
By the time we racked our bikes and had our wetsuits on the fog was gone and the sun was shining.
Do you think Robert is comparing our transition setups and wondering why his has so much compared to mine?
It was a gorgeous day at the beach.
I had signed up for the YELLOW wave, which was comprised of people who thought they could finish in less than 30 minutes, but longer than 15 minutes.
My swim was 17:37 minutes.
But I think my actual swim was shorter than 15 minutes. When I got out of the water, I stopped on the shore and stripped off my wetsuit and then carried it as I ran the long, long, long sand run to transition. It was the LONGEST run from swim to transition that I have EVER done. I was glad I striped my wetsuit before I took off running. Going into transition they had a water station and I grabbed a cup, but instead of drinking it, I poured it over my feet to wash the sand off my feet.
The results don't give transition times, but in T1, I put on my bike shoes without socks, put on my sunglasses, strapped on my helmet and I was out of there.
The bike course was kind of tough only because I could not go as fast as I wanted to, or as I could have gone.
The bike course was on the San Gabriel River Trail and it is pretty narrow. I only had one guy pass me at the beginning of the ride. I passed a lot of people, but it was frustrating when I would get behind someone and had to wait until it was SAFE to pass them.
This was the bike trail we were racing on. But with LOTS of cyclist on it going fast, it was kind of dicey in places. I stuck with safety first and had to forgo my speed in lots of places.
My T2 time was fast (though I can't prove it). I rolled into T2, took off my helmet and bike shoes, looked at my running shoes, the quickly left them there and ran out.
Yes, I was a barefoot runner!
But it was on sand.
Running on sand is hard work!
I ran until my quads burned and then I walked backwards. Yep, I walked backwards until my quads weren't burning anymore and then turned around and ran again.
It worked and before I knew it I was finished.
Finish Line!!!!
I didn't have a clue about any of my times until the times were posted because I evented NAKED today!
I didn't wear my Garmin 910, I didn't have my Garmin Edge 705 on my bike, I didn't have my Cateye computer on my bike and I didn't wear a regular watch.I had no clue how fast I was going at any time or how long anything was taking me. I just knew I was going.
My goal was to be in the top 10 of my age group.
I placed 4th.
One of the best parts of the whole day was having my athlete, Orietta, place 1st in her age group.
She has been training so hard and is so dedicated.
I am so proud and happy for her.
Of the 364 people who participated in the triathlon, Orietta was 49th over the line.
Another best part of the day was having my guy along for the fun.
It's always great to have Robert along at our events. He works so hard for our family, and still puts himself out there to event, sometimes with not enough training (or sleep) under his belt because he has been so busy working.
I love my new tshirt and BLING!
The Seal Beach Tri is the second event in a series I am doing to get bigger BLING!
I ran the Seal Beach 10k in April for my first event in the series. And in February I am going to event at Race-on-the Base for my third event.
Doing all three means I'll get this:
I am going to make a windchime with all four of the medals.
Okay, my bike is cleaned and lubed.
My Tri bag is packed and I am ready for tomorrow....
because tomorrow is Day 2 - Riverside Triathlon (reverse sprint).
It's a weekend of......


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two Trees to Test out One Knee

My right knee has been doing great lately.
I ran 9 miles on it last Saturday, no problem!
I rode my bike 50 miles on Sunday, no problem!!
My right knee has been a BIG source of trouble for me since I decided to become active.
My first marathon, (okay, my only marathon thus far), was the Seattle Rock-n-Roll in July, 2010.
I had never ran 26.2 miles when I set out to run 26.2 miles.
My knee felt it at 13.1 miles and at the end of the run, it was as stiff as could be.
But I did finish and I hobbled away that day!
But with my hobble was a vow to myself that I wouldn't put my body through anymore trauma unless I was trained for it.
So over the past several years, I have smartened up (kind of) and I train for my events.
My knee pain did flair up in 2012 for no apparent reason.
I just babied and eventually it got better.
I even got orthotics.
Things were going smoothly until I tried to do laundry.
That time, the doctor called it JUMPERS KNEE.
Eventually it healed.
Sometimes I can feel just a little stiffness in my knee, and then I baby it, which means I don't run as much on it and I bike and swim more.
My knee has been doing great. I ran 9 miles on it last Saturday and I never even felt a twinge. The next day I biked 50 miles and while my legs were a little tired, my knee did NOT hurt.
My right knee hurts LOTS yesterday.
And it is because some kid ran his head into my knee.
Oh, don't worry, the kid's head is fine.
My knee is another story.
He got up and walked away. I bit my lip and didn't cry, but hobbled back to class after the PE class I was teaching.
I went home, put my legs up on my reclining couch and watched TV. I skipped my Tuesday night bike ride and RICED!
This morning I went on a short hike with my son to test out my knee.
Two trees is a good hike...about 1.3 miles straight up and 1.3 miles straight down.

The hike has a pretty view.

This was the only flower I could find.

By 9 a.m. the sun was UP UP UP and making great shadows!

The Two Trees trail is always UP UP UP!!!.

And more up!

And more up!

Then I was at the top!
My knee felt okay. I walked the 1.3 miles up, with a couple of jogs up the steepest parts. I thought it would be best, though, if I didn't push my luck and run down. So I walked down.

 What goes up, must go down.....

and down.......

Yeah, at the bottom of Two Trees, I did not have any knee pain.
Tomorrow I am going to try a short run...and then a bike ride, with a short run.