Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fat Tuesday

Ok, calling it Fat Tuesday is a bit of a stretch, but I woke up feeling bloated. My mid section feels like a sponge. This was followed by a number on the scale that was up 1/2 a pound. Boo hoo :-(

Upward trend

I've been around the diet block enough times to know that diet claims are not a given. The Bulletproof diet says you can lose UP TO one pound a day. I knew that since I am trying to lose my last 10 pounds that it was not going to be easy...but in the back of my mind I was still wanting to see the number down today.

While the diet stresses not counting calories and eating until you are satisfied, I still want to keep a handle on the amounts going in my mouth. Last night ended with me feeling like I had eaten just a bit too much. The small dish of ice cream (even though it was Bulletproof) was probably not necessary. In fact, after I ate it, I just felt gross...like that feeling on Thanksgiving when you eat another slice of pie even though you have absolutely no room for it...lesson learned.

Looks harmless, probably 250-300 calories
Hoping for a downward trend tomorrow! #dreamingseason

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cooking Fool

After HS and I finished Les Mills "Pump and Shred", I got to cooking. For dinner I fixed baked chicken with cauliflower "not rice". Since I didn't have any dried mustard, I improvised on the recipe... I marinated the chicken breasts in lemon juice, turmeric, curry, and jalapeno powder. While the chicken baked, I prepped the cauliflower "not rice".

Simple ingredients
This is the second time in four days that I have fixed "not rice". It is much easier to make than mashed cauliflower and much tastier. I used a cheese grater to get the cauliflower into rice like bits. Next, saute the cauliflower in grass-fed butter until lightly cooked (do not over cook).

Saute cauliflower in grass-fed butter
When the cauliflower is cooked, toss in the cilantro, MCT oil and lime juice and serve. Simple, simple.

Finished product
Tomorrow's Lunch

For tomorrow's lunch I fixed BP taco salad's for me and HS. While the meat cooked, I did my best to make a bigger mess of the kitchen.

Messy Marvin ;-)
Don't worry...I cleaned up my mess LOL

Salad without the meat
So pretty!

Dressing on the side
The only thing missing from the picture above is the meat, which is in a separate container so it can be heated tomorrow at work.

First Fail

Since I was on a roll, I decided to try the "ice cream" recipe. Unfortunately, I didn't read the instructions completely and missed the step that said to mix the ingredients until creamy AND THEN add the water & ice. Ugh.

While the ice cream had a good flavor, the bits of congealed butter and or MCT oil was too much for me. I had a small serving but was really disappointed. I should have stopped after two meals tonight ;-)


Join me as a TrainingPeaks ambassador...

Monday - Bulletproof Day 4

For a Monday, today started pretty darn good...I got on the scale and fully expected it to have climbed a tic. Not only did I eat a delicious Umami burger yesterday, but things have been a little "backed up" for a few days.

My burger looks like a giant lettuce clam

Amazingly I was down a pound from yesterday!

Yesterday's meals consisted of the following:
  • Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee w/ grass-fed collagen
  • Lunch: Umami burger (bun-less)
  • Dinner: Leftover Bulletproof stew with some BP pulled pork

The Plan for Today

Since today is my first day back at work since Christmas it will be a bit of a learning experience for me in terms of this diet. Typically I eat breakfast at 4:30am, have a protein bar for a snack at 8:30am, lunch at 12:00 and then another snack at 2:30pm. 

Today I had a cup of BP Coffee at 4:30am and will not eat again until 12:00. If my math is correct, that's 7-1/2 hours a way (or 7 since I'm still sipping my coffee as I write this). Will I be starving at noon? Will I miss my morning snack? I guess I will find out.

Today's BP coffee was made without extra collagen so I don't get hungry as quickly. I am also keeping the option of eating at 11:30am open too ;-)

Lunch is going to be smoked salmon and avocado "not sushi"...basically you slice an avocado (I grabbed a small one) and wrap strips of wild caught smoked salmon around it. Super simple and it sounds much better than my typical can of tuna with mayo :-)

"Not sushi" lunch

Dinner is TBD, but I will probably fix the chicken I was going to do yesterday.

Fingers crossed...hoping the scale keeps heading in the same direction! #dreamingseason

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Start of Day 3 - Bulletproof Diet

Got on the scale first thing this morning...down 1/2 a pound. However, I'm not going to get excited until I see a definite trend.

Yesterday's meals consisted of the following:

  • Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee w/ grass-fed collagen
  • Lunch: BP Pulled Pork w/ two fried eggs
  • Dinner: Bulletproof stew and wine ;-)

Ok, maybe the wine isn't "bulletproof", but I'm not really ready to go hard core on any kind of nutrition plan/diet.

Sunday's Plan

Already started the day with a big cup of Bulletproof coffee. Based on the portions of MCT and grass-fed butter that I use, my coffee is roughly about 300 calories. I also added collagen based on the recommendation in the book for women my age. I added the collagen yesterday too and can attest that I was hungrier sooner than when I just drank plain Bulletproof coffee.

Hack #3: Eat Protein With Breakfast If you’re over 40 and/or have significant weight to lose, it might help you in the long-term if you add some protein to your breakfast because it helps to reset your leptin sensitivity. In the Bulletproof Diet book, I go into the details about leptin sensitivity, and even how lectin hurts leptin… 
Try mixing grass-fed collagen right into your Bulletproof Coffee. This will make you hungrier sooner than regular Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting because it kicks on your body’s digestion process and effectively ends your fast, but it will also help reset your leptin levels, allowing you to both feel better in the long run and lose weight faster.   
Lunch is up in the air. We will be driving our daughter back to SF and will more than likely end up eating out. I'll figure something out ;-)

Dinner is going to be Bulletproof chicken, but I plan on grilling it instead of baking with "Cauliflower (not rice)" as a side dish.

Hoping for another 1/2 a pound by tomorrow morning! #dreamingseason

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bulletproof Stew

This is a fairly simple recipe (complete recipe at the end of this post)...provided you have already made some bone broth.

Unofficial step 1... make plenty of bone broth ahead of time

First, brown the stew meat in ghee (good thing I've properly stocked my pantry), toss in some ginger and turmeric and simmer for about an hour.

Next, get your veggies ready. I was almost going to toss in some mushrooms but I decided to check the Bulletproof Diet book first. According to the book, mushrooms are "kryptonite" (for various reasons)...so I left them out, even though I am doubtful of the claim. I also like to add an onion occasionally.

Veggies go in at different stages so they don't get over cooked.

Final step...coconut milk
Yeah, I know the book says not to count calories, but I used light coconut milk instead of regular.

Nom nom nom
I have never been a big fan of stew, but this one is unlike any heavy, gravy-coated stew you've had. The coconut milk is creamy and adds a unique flavor that works with the ginger, turmeric and cilantro.

The actual Bulletproof recipe can be found on page 265 of "The Bulletproof Diet" by Dave Asprey. The recipe below is how I tweak it for my family:

1-2 lbs. stew meat (Beef or lamb)
3 tablespoons ghee (I don't always use this, sometimes I'll brown the meat in avocado oil)
1/2 inch fresh ginger (or a tad more if you are like me)
1 tablespoon ground turmeric (I use about 2 fingers of fresh turmeric)
3 cups bone broth
2-3 carrots
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 large zucchini or 2-3 smaller ones
1 large onion (if you aren't following a strict "Bulletproof" diet)
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (I get the light coconut milk from Trader Joe's)
Fresh cilantro

Bulletproof Diet

I was loath to try another diet after last January's utter failure. January 2014 started off with me feeling like crap...sort of like I feel right now...

I decided that I was going to an "experiment" based on some of the things I had been reading. The experiment guidelines were fairly simple:

  • Eliminate grains and sugars from my diet whenever possible
  • Exercise at least 3 times a weeks for a minimum of one hour
  • DO NOT weigh myself again until Valentines Day
  • DO NOT count calories

Lessons Learned

While weighing my self every day can be problematic, not weighing myself was even worse! 

Not counting calories can be a noble endeavor, however, I was eating nuts like they were entirely calorie free...not going to do that again.

Not a Diet

Ok, the book says "diet" but a lot of what the author preaches is very similar to how I normally eat...just with a lot of grass-fed butter and MCT oil added. The one thing I learned from the 2014 experiment is that no matter what an "expert" says, I still need to listen to my own body.

I am starting off with what he calls the "2 Week Protocol"...breakfast every day for two weeks is a cup of bulletproof coffee (will probably continue to use Starbucks beans).

The next two meals can really be whatever I choose from the back of the book. The picture below is the Bulletproof Taco Salad that Lindsey and I fixed for lunch on the first day.


Let's Get Started

I was going to start this diet on Monday, but I figured why wait...besides, I knew there was going to be a lot of prep work to get ready.

Step 1) Toss out crap. This was a very sad moment for me as I threw away my remaining Christmas mints. Actually, I didn't have a lot of bad stuff to get rid of probably because we went to other people houses for Christmas Eve and Christmas day :-)

Step 2) Stock up. Lindsey and I hit the health food store for gelatin, ascorbic acid, xylitol and some other little goodies. We then went to Podesto's and the real shopping began. I got a pork shoulder for the "BP Pulled Anything", beef marrow bones for bone broth, stew meat, bacon, grass-fed ground beef, cauliflower, carrots, fresh herbs, celery...we looked like very healthy eaters at the checkout stand.

Future bone broth
Step 3) Start. Once we got home I started cooking the pulled pork and I also started the bone broth (which was going to need to cook for at least over night)

Starting Info

Got on the scale this morning...2 days after Christmas and a few days before my favorite aunt shows up...147. Not as bad as I expected it to be. In fact, given all of the junk food and crap I have been eating over the last two weeks, I am thrilled to be only 5 pounds above my race weight from last summer.

Since the Bulletproof diet claims "Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life" I will be weighing myself every day for the first two weeks instead of once a week. A pound a day is asking an awful lot...I will be happy to get to 140 by the end of the two weeks...that is 1/2 a pound a day...still a lot to ask for.

Can't wait to see how this turns out :-) #dreamingseason

Friday, December 19, 2014

Data Enthusiast

Week 2 of R&R...starting to go a little stir crazy...hence all the not so interesting posts ;-)

I can't wait to see what my first month of workouts looks like. I can't wait to start tracking my progress...and I got a few favorites ways to do this...


What can I say, I love my 910XT! I wear it swimming, cycling, running and racing. During the summer months I sport a Garmin tan line ;-)

5150 just about sums it up
I absolutely hate those odd occasions that I forget my Garmin or the battery is dead. It's even worse if I mess it up during a race!

Training Peaks

Yes, Garmin Connect tracks most of what I want, but Training Peaks is just a little more robust. One of my favorite things is the ability to track equipment usage and shoe mileage. I know this seems like something silly, but I had actually tried tracking my shoe mileage on Garmin Connect by entering the shoe in the comments...not exactly the result I wanted...I wanted it to total up the mileage.

Training Peaks, however, lets me tag the bike I rode or the shoes I wore so I know when maintenance or replacement (shoes not the bikes) may be required.

Time for a new pair of shoes?

Training Peaks offers a free program as well as a premium program. I would suggest checking out the free program first to get a feel for the system but keep in mind the premium version gives you much, much more data. Also, if you are a USAT member, login to your account for a discount code on Training Peaks.

Click here to check out TrainingPeaks

UPDATE: Garmin now offers bike and shoe tracking on their Garmin Connect site!


Another gadget I love is my Tinke. I learned about this cute little tracking device from Ben Greenfield's book "Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance Health & Life". The Tinke plugs right into my iPhone and within minutes it gives me a reading on:
  • Heart Rate
  • Blood Oxygen Level
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Heart Rate Variability
The last item, heart rate variability, is supposedly a good indicator of overtraining. My issue is remembering to take my reading first thing in the morning ;-)

Interesting device for around $100

Here's to gathering lots of data in 2015!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Run Just for the Fun of It

Today marks the end of my first week of R&R. Since it followed the California International Marathon, it wasn't that difficult to endure. However, Tuesday afternoon, as I drove home from work, I thought "This would be a nice day for a run".

Today was my first run since the marathon. I left the Garmin and my iPod sitting on the kitchen counter and I went out for a run just for the sake of running. Of course, whenever I do this, my mind tends to wander...

Random Thought #1

I wonder if I would be able to go to the USAT Age Group National Championships following Vineman? This is the second time I have qualified and the second I've already signed up for a race in the same time frame...

Sadly,  since it's two weeks after Vineman...I just don't think trying to do this race is wise...maybe if I qualify again, I will go in 2016.

Random Thought #2

Vineman? Ugh...what was I thinking?  LOL Oh, yeah...now I remember what I was thinking...I was thinking that if I could do a half iron distance race, I could do a full.

Random Thought #2.1

I wonder if those time prediction calculators are right? I've read that if you take your 70.3 time, double it and add 40 minutes that should give you an idea of how long it will take you to do 140.6. Hmmmm...5:49 x 2 + 40...that puts me somewhere around 12.5. I would be happy with 13 hours.

Random Thought #5

Starbucks smells much better than McDonalds.

Random Thought #6

I wonder what Captain America thought when he got home from CIM and saw what the back of his running tights looked like. Maybe he already knew...I wonder if he knew...I think I would know...LOL

Random Thought #7

I keep looking at my wrist...ugh...no Garmin...I miss my Garmin.

Random Thought #7.1

Without my Garmin, I won't have any data for Training Peaks :-(

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Vineman sounded like a good idea several weeks after completing Barb's Race for the second time.

This is not the face of someone that thinks she can finish an "Iron" distance race

Vineman sounded like a horrible idea about mile 18 of the California International Marathon (even worse above!) How was I going to run a full marathon after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 miles on the bike? I was suffering just running a straight 26.2 mile race! Honestly, last Sunday during the middle of the marathon, I wanted to cry when I thought about what I had signed up to do. What was I thinking???


I registered for Vineman on November 1st...day one. It was more symbolic than anything. I wanted to commit to the race.

I made HS push the [Enter] key with me as our joint commitment to this race. I've been doing triathlons for over two years now and I know there are going to be days when I'm done with the whole thing and there are also going to be days when my loving husband is just as sick of it as I am...this photo represents our agreement to tough out those times.

The Original Plan

Back in October, I blogged about my plans for Vineman...

The Original Plan

I figured would just read The Triathlete's Training Bible for the fourth time and I would figure out what I needed to do to survive Vineman. In fact, I had a very rudimentary training calendar planned by the end of the month. However, everyone I talked to that had done a full "iron" distance race, told me that I needed to get a coach that had raced this distance. Ugh!

The Revised Plan

My dilemma was solved when Coach James posted this on the team's Facebook page...

A Kona finisher that was willing to coach the likes of me? Let me be frank...when I first heard about this training option I Googled Coach K...I then Googled athletes that I found that had been coached by Coach K (serious stalker status, really!). All I can say is "Wow!" I feel incredibly fortunate that he wants to spend time coaching someone at my level. I hope I don't disappoint...I hope I can keep up... I hope I am coachable!

My Blog

I will be taking a page from Meredith Atwood in her book "Triathlon for Every Woman" and I will not post my actual training calendar/schedule. Of course, I will continue to post about individual trials and tribulations, but if you want the experience and guidance of Coach K, then you need to pay him his due ;-)

Stay tuned! In the mean time, I'm enjoying a three week break before things start to get real ;-)


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CIM 2014 - Race Report

I heard a great line in a commercial last week..."I am not a control freak, I am a control enthusiast."

I'm sticking with "enthusiast"

One thing that racing teaches you is that you really aren't in as much control as you think or would like. You can have a pacing plan, a nutrition strategy, a goal time. You can control what you wear, what music you will listen to, what you are going to eat before the race. Unfortunately, there are certain things you have absolutely NO CONTROL over and you learn to just deal with them (which has been a very difficult lesson for me).

Needless to say, I didn't make my goal time. Not really sure what happened...it just wasn't in the cards for me on Dec. 7th.


A week before the race I got a message from my new triathlon coach (more about that in another post) asking me if I was fired up for race week. For some reason, I don't have the same level of anticipation for a marathon that I do for a triathlon...perhaps its because I know I can't drown or crash in a marathon ;-)

Instead of looking forward to the race, I found myself focusing on logistics. What if I over sleep? What if we don't get to Lindsey and Max's place on time? What if roads are closed around the convention center and we can't get to the bus? What if? What if? What if? I knew I wasn't going to relax until my butt was in a seat on the bus. (Minor control issues LOL)

I went to bed at 7pm the night before the race. Unfortunately, I was awake at 10:30 tossing and turning for the next 5 hours. I managed to doze off right before my alarm went off at 2:50am. UGH! Breakfast was a bagel with lox and cream cheese. I also had one cup of coffee and 1/2 a banana. On the bus ride to Folsom, I drank my chia fresca.



This year I decided to follow the 3:55 pace group (turning over control of my pace was a scary thought!). Last year my chip time was 3:55:04, so I didn't think it was going to be a problem sticking with the pack. However, when I run, I like to start slow and speed up as I go. Last year I had my Garmin programmed for a progressively faster pace.

Last Year's Plan (me in control)...worked until mile 20
The goal of the CIM pace team is to take a more steady approach.
"A Pace Team Leader is an experienced distance runner whose primary objective is to evenly pace runners to their set time goal. They achieve this by setting an even pace (min/mile) from start to finish (with slight variations for terrain)."~ CIM Website
When the gun went off this year it took me approximately 2-1/2 minutes to get across the starting line. These 2-1/2 minutes were going to have to be made up somewhere...unfortunately, I think most of them were in the first mile! In fact, I heard one of the pacers talking to a runner in the group telling him that we were a second over in the first mile and a second under in the 2nd mile.

Even HS, who ran with my group for a bit, commented that it seemed pretty fast in the beginning. It may have just been the long down hill, but it did seem quicker than I would have liked to have started. I should have listened to myself then, but I didn't want to give up on the group that quick.

First 12 miles

Actually, when I look at my splits, they don't seem as bad (fast) as I thought they were. However, mile 3 at 8:46 is much too quick for me that early in the race. In last year's plan, I wouldn't hit an 8:46 pace until about 1/2 way through the race. 

Last Half

Around mile 22-23, both of my calf muscles started to cramp a bit (no way to control this). The pain/injury I inflicted on myself at Avenue of the Vines flashed through my mind. The last thing I wanted to do was mess up my pending Vineman training which starts in 3 weeks. I made the difficult choice and walked out the cramps (three times!!!)


During the first six miles I nibbled on watermelon Chomps and drank my Nuun electrolyte drink. This year I opted to carry a water bottle instead of having to make frequent stops at the aid stations. I carried the bottle on all of my long training runs, and knew it wasn't going to be an issue. Every 5-6 miles I ate a GU (I don't want to see another GU for a while).

When I eventually drained my bottle, I stopped at and aid station and refilled it with 3 cups of electrolyte drink, I repeated this exercise again about an hour later but this time filled the bottle with water. The weather was much warmer than last year and I was sweating much more than usual. I felt like I was drinking enough, but maybe a little more would have prevented the cramping at the end of the race.

Heart Rate and Other Stuff

This year I decided to wear all of my tracking gear. This was going to be a data collection mission. Not only was I wearing my heart rate monitor, but I also clipped on my cadence sensor just for giggles.

More data than I know what to do with
Actually, I look at this stuff and really don't know what it means. LOL Was my heart rate too high? Too low? Should I be taking longer strides? Less strides? Actually, I do know that my running form needs some work. If you can have your stroke corrected in swimming, why can't someone do that for running? There has to be something I can do to improve my running form.

Post Race

After the race, HS remarked that I was walking much better than I did last year after the race. Well, there's one positive.

This is me two days after the race ;-)

Another positive was a message I got from my coach telling me that if I pulled everything out of myself then that is all I can expect. When I look back on the race, I have no regrets about my level of effort. I feel like a ran a good race and did what I needed to do to finish and not injure myself (one of the few things I could control).

Post race photo op
It was great getting together with the team! Can't wait until our next event!!!

Goals for 2015 
  • Learn to listen to myself
  • Enjoy the marathon during Vineman
  • Convince HS, Lindsey, Max, and Ashley to run CIM with me!

Happy B-day (early) to me!

Since I  know that I'm going to give this another shot, I went ahead and took advantage of the $89 re-run special. 2015 CIM here I come!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

CIM Check List

I feel like I've forgotten something...

  • Pick up race packet
  • Finish playlist for iPod (4 hours is a LOT of music to program LOL)
  • Pack/Layout clothes (make sure everything is clean and ready)
    • Running tights
    • Clear glasses
    • Running gloves
    • Nike long sleeve top
    • Socks
    • Shoes
    • Jacket
    • Unfair Advantage ;-)
  • Things to consider:
    • Carry a water bottle?
    • Pace group - 3:55 or 3:45? (I'm leaning towards the slower group)

  • 2 mile run
  • Gas up truck
  • Buy bagels for tomorrow's breakfast, pack food to eat on the drive to Sac
  • Buy some GU 
  • Rest


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Big Decision

I've got about 10 more days before registration opens for the Vineman events. I have been giving serious consideration to doing the full Vineman in 2015. Of course, I have lots of questions...Am I ready for this distance? Why do I want to do this race? What happens if I get injured on the way to the start line? What kind of training am I going to do? Will HS train with me?

The simple act of even writing about considering this race takes me one step closer to actually signing up. Of course, I have floated the possibility of doing Vineman with a few people in my inner circle. I have also discussed the idea of this race with HS... with more care and forethought than if I had told him I was thinking about having another kid. LOL

If I do this race, I am all in... and I need my man, my best friend, my training partner, my sponsor, the love of my life (aka HS) to be all in too! It will probably be just has hard on him somedays as it is for me. I wouldn't ask him to support me in this endeavor if it wasn't important.

Vineman is ready. Am I?


Why Vineman? Well, after completing Barb's Race twice, I am familiar with the course. I like the swim venue and the bike course is beautiful. I also like the fact that the race promotes itself as a race for everyone...
"In 1990 the Vineman was designed to be "the people's full distance event" with an emphasis on making the average athlete's experience of completing the classic distance the most enjoyable and personalized as possible."
Of course, I have no delusions that "enjoyable and personalized" means easy. This is going to be a 140.6 mile journey...with lots of pain (and probably tears) along the way. During Barb's Race, as I approached the finish line, I would look at the Vineman competitors completing the bike leg of their race and vow to never put myself through that. The realization that they had a full marathon to run when I was dead tired after racing half of their distance made me question my sanity for even considering it.

Why Not?

During my first year competing in triathlons, I read book after book...story after story of Ironman competitors...their journeys, their training, their failures and their triumphs. The thing that got me every time was their recollection of crossing the finish line and hearing themselves announced as an Ironman. Well, since Vineman is not a trademarked Ironman event, there will be no such announcement. However, I have moved past that...the announcement is not important. I don't need everyone watching to hear my name announced as an Ironman. I need to know...in my heart...that I can complete the distance. The challenge is what is important, not the title.

The Plan

My plan is very basic at this point in time:

1) Sign up for the race (commitment is key)
2) Delete Candy Crush and all Facebook time sucking activities. I waste a lot of time on stupid games. If I'm going to seriously train, I need to use my time wisely. Instead of Candy Crush...housework, laundry, my man (not in that order)... you get the picture. I won't have time for crap.
3) Finish my annual training plan. Right now my plan is easy because it is basically just running to get me through CIM. Things change in January 2015.

Still working on this plan
4) Focus on form. I need to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses and decides which disciplines may require some private coaching.
5) Enjoy the ride! This is going to be awesome!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Tarantula Run - Race Report

I love doing events like the Tarantula Run because I know I have no chance of getting on the podium! Yes, that sounds like a pretty negative attitude to have going into a race, but I am a realist. I have done several 1/2 marathons and I have never received anything more than a finisher's medal. The closest I have gotten is 4th place and I chalk that up to a slower field of competitors at that particular race.

Brazen Racing has awesome finisher medals and personalized bibs

I would never assume that I would do well at a swim meet going up against people that do nothing but swim. I would not expect to win a road race against true cyclists. The same is true for running events...especially running events on trails (trail runners are an entirely different breed). On top of that, there was serious prize money at stake, so there were some serious runners.


Although it has been almost three months since I completed Barb's Race, I am still in the healing process. One small toe nail came off last week but I am still waiting for the big toe nail. This was a concern on Saturday morning before the race.  The nail was still attached on one side, but loose on the other. I clipped and filed what I could then wrapped the toe in a bandage and then secured the bandage with some duct tape.

Want to see what's under the tape? Still around til the end ;-)

Breakfast was my usual pre-race meal of eggs on toast. I added some chia seeds for a little extra oomph! I had a cup of coffee and a glass of water too.  On the drive over to Los Vaqueros I massaged my calves and Achilles with Penetrex. About an hour before race start I took a dose of Sports Legs as well as some Energy Bits.

Sunrise at Los Vaqueros
HS and I killed time by people watching. There was one guy that was especially intense (must be after that prize money). He went through quite an elaborate (and fascinating) warm up routine. He had a race kit, compression sleeves, kinesio tape...you name it he had it. I was trying to read the name of the team on his kit when I noticed that his shorts had a shammy. Excuse me? Are you wearing a tri kit for a trail run? HS said the guy reminded him of Napoleon Dynamite. LOL

Where's Waldo? This pic isn't about me ;-)
(Hint: There is only one person lined up for the race)

My main goal for today's race was to beat my time from last year. However, the pre-race announcement made it clear that this wasn't going to be possible. Last year the race was put on by the Contra Costa Water District. The CCWD called it a half marathon although their course was only supposedly 12.2 miles (I had about 11.8 on my Garmin). This year, Brazen Racing took over the event and announced that the course was 13.3 miles (13.4 on my Garmin)...alrighty then.

Back to my goals...aside from my desired time, I wanted to pace myself and come out uninjured. Throughout the race I would remind myself that this was a training run for CIM. I focused on running my own race and to not getting caught up in what other people were doing. The first couple of miles were the same as 2013, but then things changed. Instead of heading up the paved road leading up to the top of the dam, we stayed on a single track trail that climbed and climbed and climbed.

That little green lump in the elevation chart is a lot bigger in person

This pic doesn't do the climb justice either

There was over 2,200 feet of climbing in this race. Mile 3 started at an elevation of about 300 ft. The climb ended a little more than a mile later at about 1,250 ft! Suffice it to say, I walked up the hill...so did just about everybody else around me. I walked past people trying to run ;-) Unfortunately for me, I am a little to skittish going down the hills, so my descents are not much faster than my climbs. I was amazed at the men and women that would go barreling down the hills past me. How do they do that?

Whoa! Not too fast!

Brazen Racing had recommended carrying water with you even though there were three aid stations. I opted to go without but after spending around 40 minutes trying to get through the first three miles, I wished I would have brought some with me. (The first aid station was at about mile 3.25). I think it was the triathlete in me that didn't want to carry any extra weight during the race. Of course the trail runners have hydration backpacks that seem to laugh in the face of extra weight worries.

So, since the courses for 2013 and 2014 were different, the only thing I could compare was my minutes per mile pace. Last year my average pace was 11:45. This year my average was 11:12. Not too shabby :-)

Highest elevation was the only thing the same.
Beautiful day for a run
Luckily I had my photographer with me
I love the challenge of this race and will probably be back next year...maybe I'll figure out how to run down hill before then :-)

The Toe Show

So, you really want to see what my toe looks like?  Scroll down...

Keep going...

Here it is...


It's a little shriveled up from the bandage, duct tape and sweat. LOL

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Don't Want To Run Today

There are some days when you just need to get out the door and do what you have to do...regardless if you feel like it or not. Today was one of those days...

As I was leaving work the outside temp was around 93 (according to my car). This was not what I wanted to see. I was already feeling mentally beat up from a long day at work and the last thing I wanted to do was run in the heat. It was one thing when I was training for Barb's Race and I knew it was going to be hot during the run. However, last year at CIM it was 27 freakin' degrees out! If I had managed to break a sweat in that race, it would have frozen!

Probably the only thing that got me out of the house today

So, as I was saying, I really didn't feel like running today. On top of that, my legs felt like they weighed 500 lbs. after Sunday's 18 mile run. There was just no way...let me repeat...no way I was going to be able to do 4 x 1 mile repeats at my 5k pace...NO WAY! Why 4 x 1 mile repeats? Because I found a marathon training plan for my ability/skill level that fits with my annual training plan.

Yes, as a matter of fact I do follow random training plans I find on the internet.

Think about it!  ;-)

Just Do It

I came home and synced my Garmin so it would have the workout I created on Garmin Connect. I programmed in a 2 mile warmup, 4 x 1 mile repeats with a minute rest in between, and ended with a 10 minute cool down.

Workout as planned
After all of my planning, I forgot to start the workout!  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Instead, after checking my satellite status, I pressed start and began my warmup. HS eventually took off and ran at his own pace because my warmup was a little on the slow side. Honestly, it was as much a mental warm up as it was a physical warm up. Every step presented a new reason to stop... Ooooh? What was that? Something feels like it is rubbing my leg? Is that a real pain? I don't like the way my new water bottle feels in my hand. I can't pick up my feet. It's hot out! And on and on and on... for two miles! Two miles of walking and jogging and excuse making.

Yes, please! LOL

Time to Move

Eventually my two mile warm up ended. I think it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 minutes. It was at that point I realized I didn't start the "workout" on my 910XT. Normally, if you are running a workout, it gives you a countdown to the next pace or interval. Nothing happened this afternoon. Hmmm. I looked at my watched and started running at my 5k pace. Eventually it dawned on me what the problem was. Ugh! Another excuse to stop. I mean, why not? I didn't start the workout, why keep going?

Why keep going? Because I am training for 26.2 miles that kicked my butt last year. Because I am also in training (mentally) for running 26.2 miles after a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike ride. That's why I need to keep going. Besides, not having the workout running on my watch is not exactly a deal breaker...I know how to work my Garmin with or without a pre-programmed workout running.

So I manually worked my Garmin and did my repeats. I had planned to run at a 8:10-8:20 pace. I thought I was being conservative because my legs were tired. The first mile felt pretty good and I tried to ease up a bit so I would have something left for repeats 2-4. My one minute rest was extended a bit due to a traffic signal and because I'm 46 and can do whatever the hell I please! So there!

Mile 2 felt a little bit better (probably due to another traffic break LOL). Mile 3 was good too. At that point, all of the negativity that plagued me during my warm up disappeared and my attitude did a 180! Bring on mile 4!!! During the last half of mile 4 I pushed it a bit more just because I knew it was almost over. As I eased into my cool down, I congratulated myself on starting and finishing...I'm so glad I didn't call it quits :-)

This is why I post my workouts :-)