Saturday, January 31, 2015

Coach Looking for Long, Lost Bike

John Griffin, head coach of the Lodi Swim Club, is trying to locate his long, lost DeRosa bike. I believe he gave it to someone who gave it to someone else and it could possibly still be in the bay area. He asked me how we could find it and the only thing I could think of was the Internet. In fact, my daughter-in-law located her two lost dogs last week with the help of dedicated, animal-loving folks on Facebook intent on locating lost pets and them to their families. It was nothing short of a miracle.

So, for John's dilemma, I am starting here and asking everyone that reads this post to share it on Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever social media they use...if there is a lead, have them contact me here or contact John on Facebook.

Close up of the bike - John describes it as a lavender color

John and the bike

#derosa #lostbike #dreamingseason

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Garmin Connect - Ione to Plymouth

Park & Ride - Ione, CA
Here is a challenging but fun ride from the Ione "Park and Ride" to Volcano and back. If you are a new rider, you might want to start in Sutter Creek and ride to Volcano.

Garmin Connect - Ione to Plymouth

Rest stop in Volcano

Beautiful ride, very little traffic

Back to downtown Ione

If you stop in Sutter Creek, you have to go to Pizza Plus!!!

Join me on TrainingPeaks!  #ResultsStartHere

Friday, January 23, 2015

My New Coach

One day after completing Barb's Race 2014 I knew I wanted to do the full Vineman in 2015.  I immediately began re-reading The Triathlete's Training Bible (for the third or fourth time) and planning out my season. In fact, my plan for Vineman started the Monday after Barb's Race.

Time off? Ain't nobody got time for that!

I also re-did my "natural abilties" profile (page 69) and once again found endurance to be my strong point. I also found my force and speed to be lacking (no surprise there). This was good info and I was going to use it to build my annual training plan (ATP).

I'd rather have endurance than speed for Vineman
As with my past attempts, I became overwhelmed by all the info in The Triathlete's Training Bible. How was I going to come up with a plan that addressed my lack of speed and force? How was I going to improve my endurance so I didn't suffer too greatly over the 140.6 mile race? I penciled in a plan based on 3 weeks on, 1 week off starting from Vineman 2015 and working my way back. I then added my "big days" and a few races and that was about as far as I got.

I started researching training plans online and signed up for TrainingPeaks to track my ATP. A few people I know that have completed a full iron-distance race told me that I needed a coach...a coach that has raced the distance. I looked at some of their recommendations and wasn't too sure if I would be able to work with a coach. I looked at pre-made online training plans and found the "samples" to be just as confusing as the TTB. What was I going to do?

The Answer

Then, Coach +James (aka F'n James) posted this on our tri club's Facebook page...

So, like any good stalker...I mean triathlete...I Googled +Bob Korock. Who was this guy and did he really do Kona five times? As his competitive history was revealed (Thank you, I also discovered athletes that had trained under I Googled them too :-)

Lodi New-Sentinel - July 20, 1988

My next question was "Why would Bob Korock want to train the likes of me?" I am clearly way, way, WAY below the athletes I found online.

First Meeting

After signing up for Vineman, I contacted Bob and set up a meeting with him and HS (If I was going to hire a coach, HS needed to be just as comfortable with the coach as I was). We met at Starbucks and spent a good hour discussing contracting, kids, and of course triathlons & training.

My initial thought was he seemed easy going and not like some overly-intense (scary) triathlete. On top of that, he is around my age so he understands what it feels like to be a 40+ athlete. Throw in a contracting business and other hobbies and interests and it would seem that he clearly understands how to balance life with training.

HS and I discussed the meeting and we both thought it would be a good idea for me to work with Bob. I contact Coach K a few days later and let him know that I wanted to proceed and would start my training in January 2015 (after taking a few weeks off after CIM).

The Start of Training

Prior to the start of my actual training, Coach K sent me a couple of templates and asked what I thought. I made a few comments, but the base plan didn't seem too bad. In fact, on paper it almost looked too easy. In the beginning of January, Coach K activated my calendar and my initial training plan was revealed to me. What the...?

When I saw the plan I was taken aback by the simplicity. Is this all there is? I was expecting some sort of plan like those I had found on the internet...something that could only be translated by the mad-scientist that came up with it. Something complicated. Something highly detailed. Something super hard.

I questioned the training plan and asked about workout specifics. Coach K's response was "Endurance training should not be really complicated." Hmmm...Ok, I'm good with uncomplicated. In fact, HS calls me "Rain Girl" because of my routines (eating, training, TV, etc). I love consistency and stability. My previous (homemade) training plans were so consistent that even F'n James had my training schedule memorized.  Whatever! It works!

Three minutes to Wapner ;-)

#dreamingseason +TrainingPeaks

Monday, January 19, 2015

Figuring out TrainingPeaks

I have so much to learn about #TrainingPeaks! I was looking at my 2015 calendar and checking out how all of my Garmin data matched up with my planned workouts and I started wondering what the different colors signified. I figured green meant I completed a planned work out, but some of my completed workouts were showing up yellow or red.

So I went to the TrainingPeaks help center and found the answer...

  • Green: Completed time +- 20% of planned 
  • Yellow: Completed time between 50%-79% or 121-150% of planned 
  • Red: Not completed or Completed time less than 50% of planned time or greater than 150% of planned 

Unfortunately, my swim workouts all show up yellow because TrainingPeaks doesn't count my time on the wall. So, even if spend a full hour in the water, TrainingPeaks only counts my time I am actually MOVING! Boo :-(  

New challenge +James CottaI need to swim 48 minutes in order to get a green box!

My red box on Saturday was because I only ran 10 minutes out of a planned 30 minute workout (life got in the way...had a baby shower to attend and I figured some was better than none).

Heart Rate 

Another thing I am working on setting up is my correct heart rate zones. 

TrainingPeaks has some formulas to automatically figure them out, but I decided to manually change Zone 2 so it was my training zone per Coach K. Unfortunately, I didn't change the other zones, so Zone 3 overlaps part of Zone 2 and my total time in each zone is more than my total time running. Not a big deal... 

Ultimately, I know that I spent an hour and five minutes out of two hours in my correct HR zone. I guess this means that 21 minutes were spent in Zone 3, which is not significantly higher than Zone 2, but I would have preferred to have more time in Z2.

My peak of 175 was after I ate a GU at mile 6. For some reason, as I scraped by teeth across the gel packet to get the last bit of GU out, I started thinking of all of the hands that probably touched the packet in the store...all of the dirty, gross, germ covered hands... YUCK! Anyway, just the thought of this sent my HR up. Another time, I let my mind wander to #vineman and the thought of the actual race shot my HR up again.

Need to remember to think happy thoughts ;-)


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bulletproof Two Week Protocol Wrap-up

So, this weekend marks the end of a couple of things...1) The end of the Bulletproof diet two week protocol (plus one week) and 2) the end of my first two weeks of Vineman training.

Bulletproof Two Week Protocol + 1 Week

The author of the Bulletproof diet claims that you can lose up to a pound a day, that didn't happen for me. To be honest, I have about 8-10 pounds to lose, so I didn't expect to see a big loss on the scale. I expect a battle to get the last several pounds off that will probably take several months.

Since I felt things were inconclusive at the end of the Two Week Protocol, I decided to give it another week...just to see if the scale continued to move down. I started the diet on Saturday Dec. 27 at 147 pounds. I ended the diet on Friday, January 9 at 143 pounds. Not bad...but I kept going with the diet to see what would happen...

On Monday, January 12, I was up to 146-1/2. It's not unusual for me to be up a bit after the weekend (long workouts and snacking) so I wasn't worried. It would normalize in a couple of days.

On Tuesday, I was up to 147-1/2...I was starting to get concerned because I had been eating very cleanly. On Wednesday, I was up to 148-1/2...NOT GOOD.

Bulletproof Positives

Regardless of the weight issues, I did notice some non-weight related positives:

  • I slept through the night...a good deep sleep
  • I woke up clear headed with no brain fog
  • I felt energized throughout the day and was able to focus and be extremely productive
Back to the Diet

Unfortunately, these positives dissipated as I started my second week of Vineman training. After my trainer ride on Tuesday evening, I climbed off the bike and thought "I don't want to do this again" and that is unusual for me. I typically LOVE my workouts and look forward to the next one. I started waking up in the middle of the night and tossing and turning for 1-2 hours. My brain fog returned and I felt lethargic.

Something Needs to Change

I revisited some of the things I was doing and not doing that the diet required.

  1. Eat 3 times a day - Check
  2. Drink Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast everyday - Check
  3. Cut out fruit and bad starches - Sort of...had a cheat day, but I did cut out Coke Zero and candy
  4. Day 6 & 13 no protein - Nope, only did day 6, forgot about day 13
  5. Eat lunch and dinner within a 6-hour window - Nope, lunch is at 12pm and my workouts make it hard to make the 6-hour window...especially on swim nights.

One of the biggest changes for me was only eating 3 meals a day. Normally I would have a mid morning snack and an afternoon snack. Since HS and I get up at 4am and eat within a half an hour, it is a long stretch to make it to lunch at noon. On top of that, as the days of training increased, I noticed that I felt like I was starving in the afternoons.

At that point, I made a decision to scrap the 3 meals a day and add mid day snack back to my routine. I also added a little more carbs back to my diet. On Wednesday, between my run and my swim, I chomped on some pretzel chips as we drove to the pool.

Thursday, my weight was down a pound, and Friday it was down one more. I'm not ready to write off the Bulletproof diet as ineffective, but I need to keep in mind that I am training for an endurance event and that some exceptions/changes will need to be made in order to have enough fuel in the tank for my workouts.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bulletproof Country Oxtails

Now that I have become a little more familiar with the Bulletproof diet I am trying out different recipes and modifying them to make them Bulletproof. Saturday night I decided to tryout a Paula Dean oxtail recipe. Paula Dean is almost synonymous with butter and what could be more Bulletproof than that...of course it will be grass-fed butter in my recipe. 

Here is Paula Dean's original recipe from the Food Network website...

Click here to go to Food Network

Finding a variety of grass fed meat at the store has been difficult unless I want ground beef or tri tip. Because of this, I have to resort to regular farm raised beef. I found the oxtails at Costco. They were about $6 per pound.

Seared oxtails

Here is a list of my modifications:
  • Instead of canned beef broth, I used my homemade Bulletproof beef bone broth
  • Instead of small red potatoes, I used sweet potatoes
  • I left out the onions and garlic because they are considered Kryptonite
The recipe called for baking the oxtails in a dutch over for 2-3 hours. I think I cooked my dish for close to 3 hours at 350. However, the larger pieces of oxtail were still a bit on the chewy side. I think 4 hours at about 320 would have been better...or perhaps all day on low in the slow cooker.

Ready to go into the oven

Surprisingly, white rice is OK (preferably eaten in the evenings) on the Bulletproof plan, so I served dinner over hot grass-fed buttered rice.

The sauce/gravy was amazing! I could have eaten a big bowl of rice covered in the sauce!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Trying to Determine My Race Weight

Every year when I start my "diet", the goal is to get down to my perfect race weight. I have always said 135 is my number, but that is nothing more than pulling a number out of a hat. In college, I tipped the scales at about 125, but I definitely didn't have the muscle I do now. My weight for Barb's Race last year was 142 but I feel it could have been lower (I wasn't a skeleton).  So how do I know what my race weight should be?

Barb's Race 2014 = 142


I've found the following article on that gives you a formula to use based on your body fat percentage...

Racing Weight: How Much Should You Weigh by Matt Fitzgerald

Unfortunately, determining your actual body fat percentage is easier said than done. Yesterday I tried out our home scale. The first time I did it, I forgot to select my gender so it gave me a reading of 15% body fat. I then changed it to female and redid my reading. This time it came back at 28%! I then used our digital fat calipers. This time I came back with a reading of 14.4%...but who knows if that was correct. If I pinched in the wrong place or pinched incorrectly, this number could be garbage too!

I did a quick internet search on how to get an accurate body fat reading and did not find anything promising. According to most options are either incorrect (my plastic calipers) or expensive

The Best (and Worst) Ways to Measure Body Fat by Charlotte Hilton Anderson


Because the body fat measurement methods I have available are highly inaccurate, I decided to use an average based on the highs and lows. For my "Lean Body Mass Goal", I used the low end (13%) of the range for women my age from the article.

So, my goal weight may be as high as 139 (I think this is too high) and as low as 118 (I think this is WAY, WAY too low)...but the average of 130 may be a little more realistic. I guess the only way to know is to actually get to 135 first and see how I feel.

Keeping Track

Last year, I started with a simple spreadsheet, but have since moved my "metrics" into Training Peaks. Below is my weight chart. It may look erratic, but the ups and downs are really a range of 7 lbs. I like seeing this visual and hope to see the yellow line on a slow steady descent :-)

#trainingpeaks #dreamingseason +TrainingPeaks

Join me on TrainingPeaks! (Free version available)

Special Thanks to HS

One of my guilty pleasures is watching My 600-lb Life. While watching the episode "Zsalynn's Story" I was saddened by the lack of support from her husband. He was HORRIBLE to her...a complete ass! He had a preference for fat women and he resented her getting weight loss surgery to save her life. When she wanted to join a gym, he mocked her and told her to grab a vacuum and work around the house. When he was going out to get something to eat she asked for a salad and he said he wouldn't buy her a salad, that if she wanted to eat grass she could graze in the yard. So sad.

This episode made me even more thankful for HS! I'm sure Zsalynn's husband never expected his fat wife to want to lose weight just as HS never expected his wife to want to do an iron distance triathlon. But HS has embraced my crazy life and supports me at every twist and turn and workout. He also supports all of my diets (which he ends up having to do with me)...and for that...I am so, so, so, so THANKFUL! Thank you for being there for me and for being so supportive, Honey! I love you!!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

For My Sisters in Suffering

This post is not for men folk…you have been warned!

Bad Time to Start A Diet

I started the Bulletproof diet over a week ago. The diet starts off with a two week protocol that claims you can lose UP TO a pound a day. Today I am a pound heavier than when I started the diet!

  • That is a pound heavier than 2 days after Christmas!
  • Christmas! Basically a week of unapologetic eating and drinking!
  • And I’m heavier today than I was a couple of days after that binge!

This weight gain is freaking me out! My first thought today, after I weighed myself, was that I needed to get back to my regular way of eating and to quit this Bulletproof crap. I mean seriously, why go through all this effort only to have the scale go the other way? Don’t I do the same stupid thing year after year? What is wrong with me???

(I bought my punctuation in bulk for this post!!!)

What’s Wrong with Me?

You know what’s wrong with me? I’m a woman! That’s it, nothing more. Aunt Flo came to town and brought her usual baggage…including weight gain. Heck, for all I know, I could be down 5 pounds on the diet! Of course, I would never know because of my stupid monthly visitor! Ugh!

Honestly, I can gain 4-6 pounds during this time!!!

"Some women will not gain anything at all but on average the typical woman will gain 1-6 pounds. However it could be as many as 10 poundsfor other women."

I’m glad I’m not in the “other women” category! I could not handle a 10 pound weight swing!! I don’t think HS could handle living with me if I had a 10 pound weight swing! LOL

Reserving Judgment

Due to the weight gain issue brought on by mother nature, I will continue to weigh myself daily, but I will reserve judgment on the Bulletproof diet until things return to normal.
As the days go on, hungerand cravings dissipate, you lose the bloat (and any excess pounds). In fact,you’re at the lowest weight of the month right after you stop bleeding. Enjoyit while you can!
That being said, I have noticed some positive changes this month that I can only attribute to the change in my diet. Typically I suffer from weight gain, cravings for candy and potato chips, insomnia, and constipation during this time. I am usually one unhappy camper.

Cravings: While I have indulged in some 90% cacao chocolate bars this week (they are Bulletproof), I haven’t had the willpower-destroying cravings that lead me to devour entire boxes of Frosted Mini Wheat or tubs of Ben & Jerry’s.

Insomnia: Normally I would be plagued with sleepless nights the week before. Waking up at 1:00 AM to toss and turn for the next few hours only to doze off 30 minutes before the alarm…thus ensuring a groggy and crabby day. This last week, however, has been extremely restful. As soon as my head hits the pillow I basically sleep through until my alarm. And, I awaken feeling refreshed and ready to go.

As for the issues of weight gain and constipation, I’ll just have to do my best to deal with them…

Weight gain: Just trying to hang in there and remain positive :-/

Constipation: You would think that with the amount of grass-fed butter and MCT oil that I have been eating that this would not be an issue. In fact, Dave Asprey, the author of the Bulletproof diet warns of “disaster pants” if you eat too much MCT. This has lead me to research some other possibilities besides PMS that could be causing this problem…more on that later.

Bulletproof Shepherd's Pie

Found this recipe on Artesian Natural Food's website for Paleo Shepherd's Pie...

I made a few tweaks to the recipe to make it a little more Bulletproof...

1) I followed the same basic recipe for the sweet potato topping, but I added a bit of grass-fed butter and skipped the pepper.

2) I left out the onions and mushrooms (Kryponite according to Dave Asprey) and added some fresh peas even if they are considered "suspect".

3) I also added fresh turmeric, ginger, yellow squash and zucchini.

4) I poured the rest of the coconut milk into the meat and veggie mixture (no since in wasting anything).

Fresh turmeric
In the original recipe, they simply place the potato mixture on top and then serve. However, I put mine in the oven for 10-15 minutes to brown the top a bit.

Baked in the oven until brown

Finished product was very tasty...leftovers for lunch!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bad Batch of Before Pics

I decided to take some "before" pics Saturday to catalog my transformation (hopefully) over the next several months as I train for Vineman. At this time, I am only willing to share one of those photos. Here it is...

Between my bed head and the poor lighting, most of the photos were SEVERELY unflattering. Next month when I take these pics, I will definitely choose a better outfit and I will make sure the camera and I are in the correct positions.

Lessons Learned

1) Bike shorts are really not flattering on anyone. When I saw the pics of my backside I was thinking "What is wrong with my ass???" Oh, yeah, I've got a pad in my shorts. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

2) Get a tripod. I know that HS means well, but taking time to center the subject in the frame or focusing the camera are apparently overrated in his photography book. Please Honey, TRY...just a small take a flattering picture of me. I know I wasn't giving you much to work with, but that is why you get paid the big bucks! LOL

3) Take a shower...even if you are going for a bike ride immediately after the photoshoot. Proof is in the pudding...or should I say, hair ;-)


The day this picture was taken, I weighed 148. That is 6 pounds heavier than my race weight last year for Barb's Race. My goal for Vineman is to weigh 135. By the start of next month, when I take my next set of photos, I plan to be back to 142-143. The next 7-8 pounds will come off slowly over Feb-July.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bulletproof Diet - Week 1 Recap

Well, I've completed a full week of the Bulletproof diet...trying my best to stick with the two week protocol (except for New Year's Eve). Unfortunately, this morning when I got on the scale it was the same as day one. I guess the good news is that it wasn't higher. I'll reserve judgement until the end of next week...I mean, honestly, a one and a half pound weight swing isn't a shocker. I've had worse LOL

The one thing I have noted is that I have slept like a baby the last four nights. I don't think I moved last night (bit of a stiff back this morning). On top of that, I have been more focused and have had more energy...this could be a result of the better sleep or just the diet, but I'll take it!

Week 2

I am going to continue with the two week protocol and then I will reassess my plan. If my weight is still the same, I am going to look at the calories. I am to the point where I am trying to lose the last 10 pounds and it is not easy. A few extra hundred calories a day could make a difference. My Vineman training also starts this week, so I will be back to training and burning some calories :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bulletproof Diet - Roasted Pork Belly with Vegetables

Another super simple, extremely decadent, and very tasty recipe!

Prior to cooking this recipe, my experience with the term pork bellies extended to the movie "Trading Places". At the time, I had no idea why anyone would buy pork bellies or that they were used to make bacon. Even when I saw this recipe in the book, I didn't know what 2 pounds of pork belly was going to look like.

When I went to Podesto's to buy the meat, I wandered back and forth at the meat counter helplessly looking for a sign that said pork belly. I looked at the pork section...nothing. I looked by the sausages and bacon...nothing. After a few minutes of this, the butcher asked if he could help me find something. I said I was looking for pork belly. He replied "I'm slicing some right now, how much would you like?"

The recipe calls for 1-2 pounds of pork belly. I was only going to buy a pound because I couldn't fathom eating more than a pound, but HS convinced me to get two so we would have left overs. Ok, two pounds it is.

Like I said, the recipe is super simple...

Step 1: Read the instructions all the way through (don't want to make another mistake like I did with the ice cream).

Here is what a two pound pork belly roast looks like. In the picture above, you can see that I have scored the skin and placed the roast on top of some veggies.

The roast has a good layer of fat under the skin, but still has a fair amount of meat. Why doesn't my bacon ever have this much meat?

The ghee rubbed on top of the roast seems like over kill, but I'm sure it added flavor and helped brown the skin :-)

Two and a half hours later...with a little extra time under the broiler to make the skin nice and crispy...dinner is served!

Just enough

The picture above is my actual serving at dinner. I was afraid to eat too much so I started with a very small amount. The roast is so decadent that this is all I could eat... looks like we get to have pork belly for lunch.

Actually I went back for one, small, itty, bitty bite...

The best pork rind I have ever eaten!

Tri in 2015?

Today is the start of a new year, a time when a lot of people make resolutions to lose weight and get in shape. I would like to make a simple suggestion...give triathlons a try. 

I signed up for my first "Triathlon 101" class in August 2012. Since that time I have completed 13 triathlons and a handful of duathlons. To say I am hooked would be an understatement. This year I am going to attempt a full iron distance race and I am super excited for the journey ahead of me!

Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that an Ironman should be everyone's goal, I'm merely suggesting that if you want to reach your weight loss or fitness goals, you need to set a goal for yourself that is going to stretch you a bit...whether it be a sprint triathlon or and Olympic distance race. Let me tell you, there is no better motivation than knowing you have a race looming in your future ;-)

My Tri Journey

Below is a picture of me in 2008 at my heaviest. I was a very unhappy girl at this weight. (You can read all the details here). 

November 2008

Below is a picture of me at my first triathlon, the Golden State "Super Sprint" (which basically means super, short). As you can see, I still had a way to go but was at least 30 pounds less than the picture above.

October 2012

Below is me at Barb's Race in July 2014. It was a long journey to get to this point and it took a lot of hard work, but it was SO worth it! 

July 2014
Triathlon 101  

If you want to do a triathlon in 2015, Lodi Masters Triathletes has a "Triathlon 101" class starting in April. You might wonder why I'm telling you about this class now...four months ahead of time. Well, I have learned that one thing that prevents people from signing up is that they think they need to be in shape to do the class. WRONG! That is what the class is's to teach you about triathlons and to help you will get in shape during the class.

That being said, if you think you need to train first before signing up... or you want to lose weight before you get in a swim have four months to get your ass in gear ;-)

Here's the info
If you want to keep motivated until the class starts...follow the group on Facebook or message me!

Here's to a great 2015! #ResultsStartHere

Extra Motivation - Free of Charge

If you want extra motivation, Training Peaks offers a free tracking program that allows you to track your workouts and your nutrition... Click HERE to sign up

Day 6 - No Protein

Back down to 145.5 :-)

Today is a "No protein" day. I will do this twice during the two week protocol. Once on day 6 and again on day 13. We'll see how this goes since it is New Year's Eve...we don't have any plans yet, but things could change.

Today's Plan

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: Bulletproof Iceberg Salad
Dinner: Sweet potato - ginger soup...maybe ;-)


Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: BP Taco Salad
Dinner: Poached eggs on sauteed (sp?) greens (with a little left over pulled pork)

It was a little too cold for a run (just not feeling it) and it was way to windy to ride, so we got on our trainers. It was HS's first Spinervals workout.


I didn't publish my post yesterday, so I can say that I sort of stuck with my plan up until New Year's Eve fun (snacking & drinking) got in the way :-)

I did fix the the soup and it was delicious. Lindsey suggested adding a can of coconut milk, so I did and it made it so nice and creamy.

Woke up today feeling pretty good...however, I decided to skip the scale today just in case last night caused the scale to climb back up. The weight gain wouldn't have been a result of the Bulletproof diet, so it wouldn't be fair to include today's weight.

Today is the start of 2015! #dreamingseason