Thursday, January 30, 2014

My New Athlete

Today I sat across the table from my newest (and youngest)  athlete and told him he could not run a marathon in two months, or four months, or six months.....maybe in a year.
He did not like what I was saying.
His mother was sitting next to him when I told him if I was going to be his coach, he was going to have to take it slow.....
Most 12-year-old boys don't know the meaning of slow.
Go figure.
Eduardo won his 1-12 age group at the Mission Inn Run's Half Marathon in Nov. 2013. He ran the 13.1 miles in 1:46:54.
Pretty good for a kid who just likes to run.
I asked him today what his goals are....short term, long term....
Short term - run a marathon.
Long term - run in the Olympics.
Does Eduardo have a chance?
Yes, because he has someone special looking after him.
Tanya McPeek, is a guidance counselor at Thomas Rivera Middle School in Mead Valley.
I met Tanya when Robert and I went on a 3-day biking/wining (yes, wining - as in drinking wine) bike ride in Sonoma for our 25th Anniversary.
She was in our riding group.

 Tanya is the second from the left (and she is wearing my Odwalla jacket from my first year of being an ActiveAmbassador).
Later, Tanya hired me to train her for a duathlon she had entered.
Tanya, a guidance counselor at the middle school, is running the school's 100 mile club in the mornings. She sees something in Eduardo.
Now, she has reeled me in to help Eduardo, too.
I asked Eduardo how many miles he runs in a week.
He said five.
He runs 5 miles a week and he ran the Mission Inn Half Marathon in 1:46:54 not because he had trained for it, but because it felt good.
He said he felt good running the entire race.
He ran 8:09 minute miles because he felt good.
"I love it," he said, when I asked him how he felt when he was running.
He's been running five miles a week and he wants to run a marathon...
I told him we would work slowly up to his marathon.

He wasn't very happy that Tanya, his mom and I didn't agree to sign him up for a marathon next week....

Well, maybe next week we will sign him up for a marathon, that is a year away....

Next year, Eduardo.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Good Thing I didn't Wear Mascara Today

I didn't put on mascara today.
Good Thing.
By the end of the day it would have been all over my face.
My day started out hiking up Mt. Rubidoux with my longtime friend, Barbara.
Barbara and I met when we were both reporters at The Corona-Norco Independent in the mid-80s. I've known Barbara longer than I've known my husband. Barbara was with Robert and I and some other friends in Ensenada, Mexico for a weekend back in 1985 when Robert proposed to me.
Even though she later moved back to Pennsylvania, where she grew up, we have stayed in touched and remained friends.
Whenever she is in town, we get together and hike Mt. Rubidoux and hit a couple of yard sales, or estate sales, or thrift stores.
We have always enjoyed being "junkers."
Today, though, we talked about how having "stuff" can take up too much space - in our homes, in our garages, in our lives, with our time.
I've been clearing out "stuff" from my house.
There is a lot of superficial clutter still in my house, but I am working on getting rid of it.
I told Barbara I could really live without a lot of stuff that I have...except for my bikes.
Yes, I am trying to hold my skirt down because of the wind.
Today was a windy, windy, windy day hiking up Mt. Rubidoux.
My eyes watered a lot.
If I had put on mascara this morning before the hike, it would have been running down my face.
After our hike Barbara and I got in my car to go breakfast when my sister called.
The news wasn't good, but it wasn't unexpected.
My mom died this morning.
My mom had Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a fancy way of saying "pre-leukemia."
Because of her age doctors would not consider doing a bone marrow transplant. She tried chemotherapy and it almost killed her. For the past several months she has been living on blood transfusions and platelet injections.
She was tough.
But the other day the doctors told her there was nothing else they could do for her and on Tuesday they sent her home to be on hospice.
I visited her on Wednesday.
I knew she was not going to be with us for much longer.
I'm sure I'll blog more about my mom in another day when I don't feel so ripped up inside.
If I had been wearing mascara today it would be all over my face....I don't think I'll be wearing mascara tomorrow either.
After meeting with my sister, my husband and my mom's wonderful caring husband and setting the time and date for her Life Celebration, I went to the cemetery.
My visit to the cemetery did not have anything to do with my mom.
I had an appointment.
While I was waiting at the cemetery, I had a few minutes to think about life and death.
I looked around the cemetery and silently gave a prayer for all my relatives that were buried there - my great grandmother, two grandmothers, two grandfathers and one of my daughters.
My second-born daughter was buried there in 1994.
She was born and died on the same day.
Good thing I was not wearing any mascara today because I would NEVER had been able to keep it from running all down my face, or cleaned up in time for the real reason for my visit to Olivewood Cemetery.
My visit to Olivewood Cemetery had to do with the death of David Mendez. David, 22, of Riverside and a student at Riverside Community College, was riding his bike east on Central Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5, when he was hit from behind by a car.
David was wearing a helmet, but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The driver was arrested for driving under the influence.
At the cemetery, I joined up with Mark Friis, of Inland Empire Biking Alliance, to put up a ghost bike in memory of David Mendez.

Thank you to my guy for donating the lock and chain. Mark chained the bike to the sign closet to where the accident happened.
The bike is on Central Avenue along a strip of road that is unsafe for cyclists. It has no bike lanes, yet is a main road cyclists use to ride from the Poly High School area to the Riverside Plaza.
It is a strip of street that I have complained to city official for awhile. I can not ride my bike safely from my house to the Riverside Plaza, though the two are only about a mile a part.
Until the city of Riverside makes Central Avenue between the Riverside Plaza and Victoria Avenue safe for cyclists, I don't think they should call my city "Bike Friendly."
End of my rant.....for now.
Donations are being collected to help cover funeral expenses for David. You can contribute by clicking on the link below:
What is a ghost bike?
According to
"Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists' right to safe travel.
The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 575 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 200 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again -- but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed."

While I was emotionally done with this day, the day was not done with me.
My boys had been told about their grandma, but my daughter had not. My daughter, 23, currently lives in Hemet in a group home for adults with mental illness. I've blogged about her before. She is schizoaffective. After several years of trying different medications that did not work, last year she started on a medication that works. A miracle drug for her. She has made huge strides and soon will be moving back to Riverside to live. But I couldn't tell her about my mom over the phone. My daughter and my mom were REALLY close. My daughter even lived with my mother for a while.
It was heart-breaking to have to tell my daughter that my mom had died this morning.
My daughter and my mom at Christmas....sharing memories.
At the end of this, I wish I had some great philosophical stuff to say about life and death....but here's all I've got -
Go out and make a lot of memories that you can share. Make so many memories that they overfill a photo book. Be so busy making memories that you forget to take pictures, except with your heart.
 Try to make all your memories be positive.
Don't spend your time on "stuff", spend it on people and experiences.
Tomorrow I am going to make some memories, but without mascara (yeah, I'm thinking I'll still be weepy).
On Saturday, I am putting my mascara on.....I have some memories to make.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

No Run, but Lots of Fun!

Today I hung out with about 1,000 runners...but I didn't run.
I ran last Sunday, before I biked and swam and I got first in my age group at the Kendall Webb Triathlon in San Diego.
They also gave me an ounce of silver for being the SENIOR Master Woman.
Yes, I realize that I aged up on Jan. 1 and I am now "54" according to USAT, but a SENIOR? Come on.
So being a SENIOR, I have come to realize I can NOT pound it weekend after weekend after weekend.
So last weekend was my race weekend and this weekend was my BOOTH weekend.
Yep, I had booth at the Citrus Heritage Run in Riverside.


It was my first booth as a USAT Coach!
I had so much fun talking to people and telling them that "YES" they could do a triathlon.

My booth was great because of the people in it!!!

Shirley helped (WO)man my booth.

Shirley is one of my athletes. She finished her first Half Ironman at Barb's race in July. Now she is an awesome Aqua-Biker until her foot injury subsides.
She is a mean machine on the bike.
And in my booth.
Thank you Shirley!!!

Jeanne helped (WO)man my booth when she wasn't getting arrested.
First she was just standing by the Batman car and then I heard she tried to get in the car and drive it.......

So the Gotham City Police came and got her......

 Uhm, you don't think she did all that because she has a bike ride she needs to do tomorrow, do you?

Patty didn't work by booth, but she rocked my shirt!!!

She was sick and probably should have stayed home.
But Patty is a hard-core athlete so she got her ass out of bed and came down and ran a half marathon in 1:44.

(FYI - I could not run that time if I was 10 years younger and NOT sick, or 20 years younger and NOT sick....or...the list could go on......)

Patty (my sick girl) in my booth before the start of the half marathon.
Photo: Running into the finish line! Awesome run, Patty!
Does she look sick?
Patty rocking the run to the finish.
 Photo: Congratulations on your GREAT 1:44 run at the Citrus Heritage Half Marathon this morning. YOU ROCK!!!!
Yeah - 1:44 and 29th overall.
Way to go, Patty.
Her next goal is to rock the LA Marathon and qualify for Boston.
I believe she can do it!!!!!
My booth had a great raffle.
Winners have been notified.
Thank you to my biggest supporter and friend....Robert!
He helped me set up my booth and then he was lead out ride for the half marathon...
That's my guy on the bike on the right side of the road (in the shade) and that's the first person (guy) about to cross the finish line.
I wouldn't tell this to anyone else, but I am so glad Robert made it to the finish line without getting lost...
because tonight he cooked me dinner and tomorrow he is going biking with me.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Race Plans for 2014

2014 Race Plans
I'm staying healthy and injury-free this year, so I'll be eventing at all my planned races.
I may even add a race or two along the way.
Jan. 5 - Starting out the year with a fun sprint in San Diego - 3 mile run, 10 mile bike, 200 yard pool swim - around Fiesta Island with Breakfast Burritos from Mimi's afterward. This will be a great way to start the new year of Tri-ing.
Feb. 2 - Surf City Half Marathon

Feb. 22 - Race on the Base Reverse Sprint Triathlon (This will be my 5th year eventing on this flat course. Every year it is different - rainy, sunny, windy, cold, hot. Who knows what it will be this year.
March 2 - Desert Tri International Distance. I did this one 2 years ago and it was my first "close to" Olympic Distance. Missed it last year.
March 15 - Pasadena Triathlon. I evented here in 2011. I like the course. I loved the tech t-shirt. It is still one of my favorites.
April 5 - Run Seal Beach 10k
April 13 - Tri Series 1 at Bonelli Park
UHM...I think that somewhere in the month of April is the Grape Stomp Sprint Tri - but not sure exactly when yet.
May 4 - Wildflower Olympic Distance
May 10 - Tri Series 2 - though I may bail on it and go to the CWOD (Courageous Women of Dirt) workshop
May 17 - Xterra Bonelli Off-Road Triathlon
May 31 - San Diego Century (thought I think I signed up for the Metric Century, which is actually about 70 miles)
June 8 - Tri Series 3
end of June - Tinman in San Bernardino - reverse sprint
July 26 - Xterra Snow Valley (There is a rock there with part of my skin on it and I am going to own it this time around).
I am not signed up for a single RACE this month....but no worries, I'll be getting my endorphins on because Robert and I are going to Cycle Yellowstone....7 days and 500 miles with 20,000 feet of climbing....which is really good training since Robert and I signed up for....
Oct. 5 - Silverman 70.3 (Happy 28th Anniversary to US AND Happy 50th Birthday to Robert - even though he is in denial)
Oct. 19 - San Diego Espri - a revisit to my first open water swim triathlon.
Triathlon San Diego Esprit de She
And Riverside Tri is somewhere in there????
Nov. 1 - Bike the Coast, Taste the Coast (Of course, I am doing this...I won free entries/free jersey from last year's event)
Maybe I'll run the Mission Inn Run this year (5k, 10k, Half?)
Haven't decided...HITS Palm Springs or Tinsel Tri in Hemet??



And I have the right to change any of the above or add to any of the above at a moments notice.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day 2014

The New Year started out with my 3rd Annual Polar Bear Ride and Plunge.

The plan was to ride from Yorba Linda to Huntington Beach, jump in the ocean with some other people and ride home.
Besides my guy and me, I had 5 other people say they were going and 8 "maybe"s.
We (Robert and I) got up early and I checked my phone....
.....not making it because....
....don't feel well, staying home....
....partied too much last night....
Robert and I looked at each other figured since it was whittled down to the two of us we weren't really on a time we had a cup of coffee....
and then we had a second cup.........
We left our house about an hour later than we would have if other people were going.

Sorry you all missed the ride and the fun....happy to spend the day alone with my guy.

Everything works out for a reason!

We put the bikes in the BIG car and headed out. was 45 degrees, but called for sunny and 71 degrees at the beach.

It was sunny when we started in Yorba Linda. We pedaled easy and talked.
And stopped (calls from his work, call from my daughter).
The ride started out sunny.....but by mile 13 the weather had changed.
It was foggy.
It was cold.
I had dew droplets dropping off my helmet and nose.
I was having second thoughts.
When we got to the Huntington Beach Pier it was starting to clear up. It was starting to warm up.
And I still had time for breakfast before the plunge.
$20 for a tshirt, having men cook me pancake breakfast and a lot of fun! Worth every penny!
Robert and I joked how this was going to be the most unhealthy meal of our year...and it was our first. Robert asked me if I wanted more high-fructose corn syrup on my pancakes. NO! But I would have loved some REAL maple syrup.
Almost time to take a dip.
I have to stop here and tell you that at this point I was thinking maybe I wouldn't take a dip. I was on the fence. Yes, it had warmed up, and yes, I had paid. But, I was not looking forward to riding home with wet tri-shorts and a wet sports bra. Everyone around me has been sick and I've been staying HEALTHY, but I've been tired....and I didn't want to push myself over the edge.
But when I sat down at the table to post a picture on FB of Robert and me,  I was hit with news that a friend had passed after her battle with cancer. I don't want to or won't go into a lot of details, but I had the privilege of knowing her through her children. Her son spent some nights at our house when he was playing water polo with my boys. Her daughter went to the same school as my daughter.
We weren't the best of friends, but I liked her.
 She was around my age.
And now she was dead.
But I was alive.
I am alive.
And last year when I did not take the dip at the New Year's Day Plunge because it was freaking cold, well, I felt some regret afterwards.
I don't want to feel any regrets about my life when I come to the end.
I don't want to look back and say, "Gee, I really wish I would have stripped down to my tri-shorts and sports bra and run into the cold ocean water on January 1, 2014. Why didn't I?"
So I did.

First, I promised the lifeguard he would not have to save me.

Then I gathered with the other 300 crazy people.....

and ran into the Pacific Ocean.

I ran out far enough to easily dunk down to my neck and then I ran my wet hands over my face and my hair.

I'm the one walking out of the water, almost in the middle of the picture.
I rejoined Robert who was given a "Certificate of Sanity" for avoiding the waters at the 14th Annual Huntington Beach Surf City Splash.
 He should be proud!!!
I was wet and little chilled when we started our ride back to Yorba Linda. I did have my handwarmers that I stuck in my shoes.
I love these things....
The ride back was quick.
Before I knew it we were at the car and the bikes were loaded.

He said his New Year's goal (no resolutions from the DeCarlo Family) is to get more exercise in.
Have I got a training plan for him....
The New Year's Day ride continued when we got home.

 Bike bath time!

Happy New Year!!