Thursday, June 26, 2008

He Said/She Said

How to Date and Train with Someone Who's Faster:
...without getting left in the dust...

He Said:
I guess by the time this gets posted on Rachel’s Blog I may be single again but here is my take on the situation:

Having a significant other who also does triathlon is absolutely wonderful! She just “gets me”. She understands the ups and downs of training and racing, and it’s great to be with someone who shares the same passion! We push each other in the pool, in the ocean, on the bike, the weight room, and certainly on the track. We spend hours talking about equipment, training techniques, and who’s who in the triathlon world. And I know that if I start missing workouts (I am training for Ironman AZ on 11/23/08), she will get on my case and keep me in line. I mean, sometimes things just come up that you can’t avoid that could make you miss a workout…like happy hour.

So you're probably wondering……..who’s faster??? We’ll that depends. We’re about the same in the pool, I’m a better cycling, and she’s a better runner.
So what happens when we “train together”???
Here’s the scoop:

We swim about the same pace. So we usually carpool together to our early morning Master’s swim class, swim in the same lane, and if we have time grab breakfast afterwards. Sure there is some jealousy when one of us is stronger on a certain day, but no big deal. (I’m just going to throw this in there. Thank God for the Breast Stroke. Guys, you know what I mean! Who needs coffee in the morning to wake up? Totally Awesome!)

OK, she can smoke me and I know it. In the Aquathlons (1k swim/5k run), she always passes me on the run. But I don’t really care. OK, maybe a little because of the smirk on her face when she passes me like a little girl that just took the last piece of chocolate out of her little sister’s Halloween bag. And honestly the view from behind when she runs ahead of me makes me want to stop and wait for her to run by anyway.

We do actually run together a few times during the week. Sometimes she just takes off and makes me wonder why the fuck I drove all the way over to her office to run on the nearby trails. But then she will circle back and everything is fine. Then on Sunday’s we usually do a longer group run (up to 12 miles now! Yippee!); she can take off at a faster pace and I still have someone to run with.

During the week we usually will ride together once or twice for a quick but laid back 20 miles or so. We usually just hang out and talk and every now and then I’ll try my best to impress her by riding a little faster. OK, maybe a lot of the time I go faster. But we always re-group shortly after I break away. Yes, I am trying to get a workout in too.

Then on Saturday, Rachel will usually organize a group ride. And yes, she puts a lot of effort in to the ride by planning the route and printing out route sheets and I’m really grateful for her effort. I TRY my best to hold back on the group rides (Usually 60 – 80 miles) but when other riders take off I just can’t hold back. I have to go fast! I mean, come on! This is the only event that I’m halfway good at! This is where the trouble starts. I think she wants me to hold back and just ride with her the whole time. But I REALLY enjoy going fast and challenging myself. Plus I am training for Ironman Arizona and need to work on decent pace for long periods of time.

Yes, I’ve gotten yelled at a few times on the bike rides. To where it’s almost embarrassing. In fact she told me a few weeks ago she didn’t want me to come on her rides anymore! Now it even seems like other riders try to instigate a fight on the ride for entertainment. This needs to stop!

1. Quit training together.
(not really an option)
2. Find another girlfriend that does triathlon but can’t speak English.
3. Let her draft off me the whole bike ride.
4. Tie a Bungee cord to the back of my bike.
5. Buy a beach cruiser to ride on the Saturday rides.
(Does Cervelo make a Beach Cruiser??? The “P3B”??? You know, the kind with the pink bell and streamers. SWEET!!!)
6. Compromise and just ride the first half the Saturday ride with her and then ride with the faster group afterwards.

She Said:
So I've been dating this guy (surprise, surprise). Turns out he's just as crazy about triathlon as I am. It's great. Fantastic. We train for the same races, frequent the same tri-geek social events, go to masters swim classes together (at 6 in the g-d morning), bike together, run get the picture. Are you gagging yet?

Everything was on cloud-9 until I noticed the tone of my Saturday bike rides had shifted. Mainly, I would get insanely pissed off at the poor guy on every ride. Of course, my fury would build and build because I couldn't ride fast enough to catch him and yell at him. What happened to "Miss Independence"? I had been reduced to a needy, whining, helpless princess...the antithesis of everything I stand for. ICK! At the end of the ride, when we would all regroup, I would unleash my wrath on my bewildered, unsuspecting beau...much to the amused delight of all the other riders. What on earth was going on here?

First off, he's a stronger cyclist than I am. Fact. And I'm okay with that. I don't have such a fragile ego that I can't handle dating someone who is faster than me. That's ridiculous. Besides, I'm still faster on the run so it all pans out. I'm not humiliated when he smokes me on the bike at his easy-breezy pace of 25 mph, and I don't have a prayer of hanging on (okay, maybe a little but I can deal). I know how to handle myself on the bike; I certainly don't need a babysitter. And the last thing I want to do is hold someone back on my behalf; that would just make me feel S.L.O.W.E.R. Please! Go on! Go on! Leave me to ride behind at my embrarrassingly slow pace by myself where no one can see.

However....(c'mon you knew it was coming), when he makes a big stink about how we're going to ride TOGETHER and "bond" on the entire car trip to the bike start and then promptly drops me in the first few miles, I get a little PISSED OFF!!! To compound the matter, I have 4-6 hours of solitary riding on the bike before I can meet back up with him, and tell him what's on my mind. That's 4 to 6 hours of me doing nothing but thinking about how angry I am. When some people get angry, they wait 10 minutes to calm down before discussing their issues rationally. Unfortunately, that doesn't work for me. I stew. For 4 to 6 hours. I could melt steel with that kind of rage. No wonder he's riding ahead so fast! I guess I'd be hauling ass too! Dark be the day that I finally do catch him.

Girls who get "left behind" also appreciate a chivalrous text every now and then from their guy riding ahead. It makes it seem like the guy cares about her well-being and would like to be informed if she's been taken out by a drunken motorist and is lying maimed and bleeding in a ditch on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

In the end, I just want to spend a little time together. Our long rides take a big chunk out of our Saturdays, and I experience so many incredible things. It seems a shame not to share them, especially when we're on the same f*#%ng ride.

After one particularly bad ride where I considered excommunicating him from all future rides, we finally hashed it out. How can we both get in a good workout and yet still spend time together during rides? Turns out, after talking to many of my tri-girlfriends, our feud is commonly shared by many active couples. Then, I happened upon the May issue of Runner's World, featuring a whole piece on "Love and Running". In it, they discuss how to share time together, yet still get a good workout in when one person is faster than the other. Ring a bell?

"Even if you prefer to run separately, make time to run together sometimes. Running lowers your barriers and puts you in your comfort zone, which allows you to say things you wouldn't necessarily share otherwise."
--Christian and Deena Johnson Hicks; Runner's World, May, 2008

1. Get faster.
Would be the simplest solution but in reality, much harder than it looks on paper. Believe me; I've been trying.
2. Get slower.
Not really fair to the person trying to improve their bike split.
3. Don't ride together.
Doesn't really solve the "let's spend time together" issue.
4. Ride together some of the time and separately at other times.
Hmmm. Compro-what? We may have hit upon something here. Ride together sometimes, separately other times, or a little mix of both. This may just be crazy enough to work!
5. Discuss your plan for the ride beforehand.
Make sure both of you are on the same page.

We decided on #s 4&5. For our next long ride, we agreed to ride together for the first part of the ride and then he would ride on with his bad-self, and I would meet up with him at the end. (Plus, he texted me a few times during the ride...extra bonus points!) The ride was awesome. I got to ride with him a bit, ride with everyone else a bit, enjoy the sights, we both got in a great workout, and no one got hurt or angry. If only every problem in life were that easy to solve.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

How a Night Owl Became an Early(er) Bird

I hate the phrase, "The early bird gets the worm." I'm not an early bird. I'm a night owl. My sister's an owl. My father's an owl. My mother's an owl. It's in my blood, hard-wired into my genes. Unfortunately, we live in a diurnal society that operates in a tyrannically oblivious manner to alternative circadian rhythms. Night owls are frowned upon in our 9-5, workaholic world, where co-workers compete to see who can arrive at the office the earliest. Night owls are considered lazy, undisciplined, low-achievers.
"Night people are stuck with psychopaths like Adolf Hitler and Juan Arreola, the guy in Pennsylvania who nearly killed his girlfriend's 2-year-old last year, explaining to a judge, 'I'm not a morning person.'"
--Deepa Ranganathan, Slate, June 13, 2008
I have battled this preconceived prejudice for years. How many early birds have painted prolifically or written a short story on a creative burst at 3 a.m.? How many early birds have pulled a lounge chair on the lawn to watch a late summer meteor shower or catch a rare total lunar eclipse? There is nothing more soothing than the peaceful solace of the dead quiet of night, an hour before the first rays of sunlight break the thick blackness.
However, contrary to how it may seem, I've long harbored a secret envy for the early bird and a deep-seeded desire to come over and join the "light" side. The early birds, admittedly, seem to get a lot done before noon and are annoyingly cheerful first thing in the morning (without coffee--sacrilegious!). Perhaps I find them irritating because I'm secretly seething with jealousy?
Once I started becoming more active, my daylight hours suddenly became a precious commodity. For years, I lived in denial, believing that I could work out just as well at night. I would spend many hours inside a gym...alone, unable to bike after dark (or run because of the high crime-rate in St. Louis). However, let's face it, the best group workouts, the best gym classes, masters workouts, and bike rides--they're all held at the crack of dawn. I was missing out. I used to use every excuse in the book: I'm tired. I don't feel good in the morning. I don't have time. I'm just not a morning person. I've heard them all; I've used them all.
After I signed up for Ironman Arizona, one workout a day just wasn't going to cut it anymore. The hard, cold reality was staring me straight in the face. I couldn't avoid it anymore; I would have to start doing morning workouts. It only took a few morning workouts to appreciate the benefits of fitting in a 12-mile run and luxurious brunch with my girlfriends, all before 11 am. On those mornings, I felt less rushed and more relaxed. It seemed I was getting more out of my day. After my long run, I still had time for a nap, errands, and the rest of the afternoon to lounge on the beach. I could have my cake and eat it too--my life motto. Words to live by. Plus, I was able to enjoy the quiet of the morning just before sunrise. I relished in the stillness of the early morning traffic, no people, just plenty of empty bike lanes to hammer down while everyone else slept off their late-night hangovers. Did you know the temperature drops suddenly just before dawn breaks? Did you know songbirds actually do start singing at first light? All things I had never experienced.
I was also finding it easier to fall asleep earlier in the evening, exhausted from my busy day. Maybe I was onto something. I was hooked. I had joined the other side of those annoying, cheerful "early birds" (don't worry--I'm still far from cheerful when I first stumble out of bed at 5:15 am). Slowly, gradually, I started waking up early. 6 am swims, 7:30 am runs, 6:45 am bikes. I saw 5:30 many mornings, in the dark, damp, cold days of winter where the only thing to get me out of bed was a steaming hot shower, coffee and the promise of a nap later on. It has taken years to reach this place.
It has gotten easier. My stomach feels better in the morning; I can actually eat a small breakfast now before my workout. It's easier to jump in the cold water of the pool or take that first pedal stroke. Over the last 6 months, I have become a morning person. I can't keep my eyes open past 10:30 (I prefer to be asleep by 9:30), and it's easy to hop out of bed at 6:30. This, from a person who used to stay up routinely until 2 am and sleep soundly until 11 on weekends.
I'm still far from perfect. The other day, I was beating myself up for sleeping in until 7:00 am and missing my 6:00 am masters swim class. I went to the 7:30 am class instead. Halfway through the workout, I did a mental check. I felt good. More than good. Awesome. I reflected back 1 year ago when making a 7:30 am swim workout was pretty much impossible. Progress. I am making progress.

Tips for Waking Up Early:
1. Go to bed early (seems simple but it actually works).
2. Make small, incremental changes (Try moving back your bedtime and wake-up time by 10 minutes at a time. A 30 minute change takes several months).
3. Lay all your stuff out the night before.
4. If you're a coffee drinker, set up the pot the night before.
5. A quick, hot shower first thing in the am can really help wake you up.

Night Owl vs Early Bird Links:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Summer Solstice Ride

On Saturday, a wonderful group of about 20 people showed up bright and early (7 am) for an 80-mile coastal ride. It was a very humid day...for San Diego. Temps moved up into the mid-to-upper 80s, a perfect day for a coastal ride with cool ocean breezes.

We rolled out, and I chatted easily with friends I hadn't seen in awhile, and met new people who had joined us for the ride. I love the Saturday rides for the simple reason that I can simultaneously enjoy the outdoors, tour all of the county, get a great workout, and socialize. There is no better way to spend a Saturday.

--rolling out (before the "separation")

I looked back and noticed no one was behind us. The front group stopped on the border of Leucadia and Carlsbad to wait. We waited. And waited. I tried calling to some missing members of the group but we were in a dead zone. We started to worry (turns out there was a flat tire). Finally, we decided to do the "right" thing and circled back. Within minutes, the rest of our group zipped by in the opposite direction, blissfully unaware of our rescue operation. Damn!

We circled back and were instantly caught by a red light. And the next one. And the next one. And, no shit, the next one too. The main group continued on at a blinding pace, in a desperate attempt to "catch up" to us. Where's the karma in that? Alex, Mark, and I buckled down and formed a tight paceline. We began hammering. For the next 5-8 miles, we took turns pulling at a blinding 23-25 mph pace. I could feel the little glycogen in my quads, still not replaced from the 4 hard bike workouts earlier in the week, depleting rapidly like the nosediving needle of the gas gauge on a Ford Expedition.

F.I.N.A.L.L.Y., we caught the main group by the Carlsbad Starbucks and soft-pedaled to catch our breaths. And we still had 60+ miles to go. Oops. There was now a new front group, still hammering ahead to try and "catch us" but we were exhausted, and let them go.

At the base entrance of Camp Pendleton, we whipped out our IDs and re-grouped. I made a phone call to one of the riders in the front group (that would be Brent...always in the front group) and within minutes, we regained 100% group cohesion. I breathed a big sigh of relief, and all is right with the world again.

Riding through Camp Pendleton is always a treat and Saturday was no exception. Songbirds sang and wildflowers lined the road. There was little traffic, and the winds were unusually calm (unfortunately, this also made it hotter). The ocean glittered to our left. Out of the base, on the north side, we connected with the Trestles Bike Path, an abandoned highway where only bikes roam, a cyclists paradise. As I cruised through the tunnel that leads to the west side of the freeway, I let out a loud hoot, reverberating off the walls. I felt good. Very good. As we approached San Clemente, we circumvented around straggling surfers lazily swinging their surfboards to-and-fro. We stopped at a small liquor store and refueled with water, peanut butter crackers, and I stumbled upon a long-lost love, "Who's Your Daddy" energy drink. Oh, yeah!

--the group at the rest stop; from left to right: Kim, Kathy, Brent, Mark, Mark, Alex, Chris, me, Cheryl, Mary, Beth, and Dean.

Our bellies full and our bloodstreams caffeinated, we hopped back on the bikes and headed back. I felt tired but relaxed and kept waiting for the caffeine to kick in. There were no joyful hollers in the tunnel on the return journey, not because I was not joyful but because I was starting to feel a little less exuberant. It's more of a peaceful, relaxed tired, however, as opposed to a drained, I-don't-want-to-do-this-anymore tired. The heat has risen noticeably, and I drank extra water, liberally pouring it through the vents on my helmet for relief, a'la IMAZ style.

I chatted with Mark and Alex to pass the time, and Alex taught me about "negativity drills" and the definition of a M.I.L.F. I always learn something new on the Saturday rides. I greedily drank in the ocean view. The waves curled and rolled lazily onto the shore, and the water was a brilliant turquoise.

--Along Coast Hwy on the return trip, suffering the terrible view. Look at what we have to put up with here!

Back at the start, we loaded up our bikes and made the short 100-yard trip down to the ocean at Fletcher Cove. The cool water was so soothing on my hot, dry skin. We all dove in, swam past the breakers, and gently bobbed up-and-down in the buoyant salt water. Of couse, it's at this opportune moment that the caffeine from the energy drink kicked in, and I bubbled with conversation and enthusiasm, much to the bewilderment of the rest of the weary group. Feeling completely refreshed, we made our way across the street to the Naked Cafe for a generously-sized brunch (Banana and Blackberry Pancakes anyone?). A perfect ending to a perfect ride.

(Thank you, Brent, for the wonderful pics!)

Double Tagged!

I keep getting tagged so here goes:

#1--I got tagged by Renee.

1. Find the book closest to you and turn to page 123.
2. Locate the 5th sentence.
3. Post in your blog the following three sentences.
4. Then challenge five others to do the same.

I'm picking Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox because it RULES!

When I looked up to breathe, to confirm what he had just told me, off to my right side was the North Island, and I could see our starting point, jutting out ahead of us by three or four miles. When I lifted my head straight up, to see where the South Island should have been, all I saw in the distance was haze, and a sea of waves and heavy winds. It was impossible to think of cotinuing through it; I was exhausted.

FYI--This book is simply awesome. Check it!

#2. I also got tagged by NikeMom so here goes:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.
Fact #1:
When I was little, I was super allergic to poison oak. If it was a hot, windy day, I could catch it just by standing next to a bush. I didn't even have to touch the leaves! During the last week of 6th grade, my little sister gave me chicken pox as I battled simultaneously with a particularly nasty bout of poison oak!

Fact #2:
I used to ride horses competitively. Specifically dressage. I was kind of good at it and absolutely love horses and riding. I started triathlon when my 3rd horse, George, passed away. I miss it and will someday resume riding again. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to explore the world and discover other paths like triathlon.

Fact #3:
I began training for my first half-marathon during the middle of a sweltering summer in St. Louis. I did not know anything about proper hydration at the time. I would run loops around Forest Park in the middle of the day sans water (there are few drinking fountains in the park as well). During one particularly hot run, I became so dehydrated that I conjured up an imaginary drinking fountain. When I ran over to quench my overwhelming thirst, the cruel fountain magically disappeared.

Fact #4:
I'm normally a very sound sleeper who could snooze through World War III but I've had insomnia 2x in my life, each time for about 2 weeks. The first was right after graduating from college and immediately before getting married. The second was right before defending my thesis in St. Louis. I also mysteriously broke out in hives during this time. Sleeping pills only made me feel worse and all attempts to catch some Zzzzzs were miserable failures. I finally gave up going to bed at night completely and instead painted (watercolors) all through the night.

Fact #5:
I've been to Tempe Arizona two times, both of which instigated record highs. The first was for the Soma Half Ironman in late October 2007. Temps reached the upper 90s that day. The second was for Ironman Arizona April 2008. Temps were, hmmm, let's see...upper 90s that day. How many people still want me to come spectate in November?

Okay, now it's your turn. The following five fellow bloggers have been double-tagged:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Amateur Tri Girl Sprains Toe at Aquathlon

The weather was beautiful. The water was warm and glassy smooth. I pedaled down to the Shores after work for the 2nd TCSD Aquathlon of '08 ( Put on my wetsuit and body-surfed until it was time to start. I felt good.
We all marched down to the Marine Room for the start. I felt calm and relaxed, very different from last year. I guess I've finally done enough club aquathlons that I can just enjoy them now without getting nervous. It's a great way to get in a hard-core speed workout and socialize with friends at the same time.
The whistle blew and the stampede was off, me trailing behind. What's the hurry? I dove under the waves and began stroking through the water. The mass start reminded me of IMAZ as I navigated in and out, in between, under, and over several bodies. I had a draft the whole way. I decided to push the pace a little. Focusing on technique, I thought about increasing my turnover while maintaining my glide, all the while, checking to see if my breathing was rapid but even. Sharp, rhythmic breaths. Ah, yes--that's the pace I want. I glanced at my watch as I hopped out of the water: 14:42, a full 2 minutes faster than last month. Yes! I'll take it.
I wriggled out of my wetsuit and began I love running barefoot on the sand. I feel so light and fast. The beach was packed with kids and throngs of surfers, parents, walkers, joggers, sunbathers. The sand was littered with rocks, deep trenches and sandcastles. It was a dangerous obstacle course to navigate around but the extra challenges were kind of fun. I was able to narrowly circumvent all the treacherous hazards and was heading out to the pier on the 2nd lap with a dangerous invincible Superwoman feeling on a packed, flat, calm tract of sand when it happened. The big toe of my left foot somehow mysteriously got hooked in the sand as my left leg pulled forward for the next stride, bending my toe unnaturally in the opposite direction.
I knew instantly the damage was done. I limped severely for 20 steps. I'm out, I'm out, I thought repeatedly. I should stop. But, stubborn me, I didn't want to. It must have been the adrenaline. I continued limping onward. I tried to run. Couldn't. Then, tried to break into a slow run. This seemed to work. Maybe it was the endorphins but after a few minutes, I felt no pain. I finished the run, albeit at a slower pace (23:46, as opposed to 23 last month).
As soon as I crossed the finish line and broke to a walk, the pain in my toe screamed out, reminding me of the damage I had done. I limped over to the surf to soak my toe in the ocean. Then it dawned on me, and I almost broke into tears: I have the San Diego International Tri next weekend.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bike Commute Day 2 (Take 2)

So far, so good. Everything is going very smoothly. At first, I was very tempted to jump in the truck. Would be sooo easy. Afterall, I already biked! I woke up early and went for a nice recovery ride with my new friend from next door. Plus, I got to ride Pandora with race wheels--she's all prepped and ready for next weekend's big race (San Diego International Tri).
By the time I got home, I didn't want to have to change to Strider (he's nice and all, no offense--but he's no Pandora) and ride up Torrey Pines to work. Plus, I knew I needed to stop by the BoA ATM, which was at least a mile in the wrong direction...uphill. Where is that whining coming from? I bungee-corded my light bike bag to the bike and hopped on Strider (tires already pumped and ready to go) in my lightly used bike clothes. No activation energy required. It doesn't get much easier than that. I just started pedaling. The whining, oddly enough, immediately disappeared.
I cruised through the ATM, weaving in-and-out of traffic hazards in the shopping center parking lot. I had no idea riding through a parking lot could be so dangerous! Way worse than riding on the road! I was hungry so I stopped by Jamba Juice for a smoothie. I nestled the cup in my bottle cage and sipped on ice cold Razmatazz with a whey protein boost on my ride in. It doesn't get much better than that.
southbound on 101 out of Del Mar. Ocean on the right, Torrey Pines straight ahead.
As I rode west through Del Mar and hit the coast, I smiled. How many people get to appreciate an ocean view on their daily commute? I was very glad I had ignored the whining voice in my head. Not only do I get to save gas $ and get some exercise, I get to relax and enjoy a little ocean therapy. Not a bad deal.
ocean view on my daily commute. Can we say I'm spoiled?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bike Experiment Day 1

I've felt kind of guilty for using the car sometimes but I know half biking/half driving is a more realistic approach. Tuesday morning, I carpooled to Point Loma for a 6:45 am bike workout with JT's group at Moment Cycle Sports ( It felt wrong to drive to a bike workout but it was downtown and a good 20 miles away. Plus, the commute, although possible, can get a little hairy with traffic during rush hour.

My legs were a bit wobbly from the 5 trips up Torrey Pines on Torch the evening before (yea for hill repeats!) so I only made 1 trip up the Tidepools hill before going back to do a 2nd loop a'la San Diego International bike course (which I'm doing in 10 days; ack!). All in all, it was a good workout, and as usual, I felt better afterwards for doing it.

After getting dropped (by vehicle--sigh) at home, I hopped on Strider and took off for work. I was quickly reminded how much HEAVIER Strider is compared to my other steeds (especially with the bag on the back) as I toiled up Torrey Pines, sweat running down my cheeks. But after showering and changing at work, I felt great. It was a good feeling. Not too shabby.

I did, however, forget the key to my bike lock so Strider spent the day in my office. After a quick run in Torrey Pines, I made my way home. Uneventful, yet rewarding day of bike commuting.

Things of Note:
1. I bungee-corded my bag to the back of the pannier rather than the sides and liked this better. No falling off, no weighing the bike off to one side. It was much, much better. Much more stable.
2. I had all my clothes and toilietries waiting for me at work. The locker room supplied the towels. Now if I can only remember the combo to my locker...
3. I kept my running clothes and a spare pair of running shoes at the office to make running after work very easy.

Day 1 Bike Commute Stats:
Miles Commuted: 13
Gas $ Saved: $2.95 (gas is $4.54/gallon--the cheapest!)
Calories Burned (just on the commute): ~550!

P.S. I've also decided to go 7 days without sweets. That's right....NO chocolate! Ack. Of course, I decided to do this while PMSing. Not too smart. Oh, well. Today is Day 4. I feel great and have already lost 2 lbs!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Awesome quote...

This totally captures the essence of the title of my blog. Check it!

"Anytime you add that structure to something, for me, it kills it. Think about the word 'amateur': It has its root in the Latin word 'amare', which means 'to love'--you do it for the love of the sport."

--Charles Carlson, Bicycling June 2008

Resurrection of the Bike Experiment--Take 2

I'm back in town, fully recovered from my cold, and ramping up enthusiasm for the bike commuting experiment again.

I'm going to use the lessons I learned from Phase 1 and modify Phase 2:

1. I wil always, always, always use a U-lock (maybe more than that) to lock my bike. Also, there's a great article in Bicycling ( this month on how to "Booby-Trap" your bike (shift the bike at stand-still so the chain will fall off was my favorite; undo the skewer so the wheel falls off was my 2nd fav),6610,s-4-41-17213-1,00.html
2. I am going to alternate between "car" days and "bike" days.
It was unrealistic to bike everywhere. I was cancelling appointments because there was no way for me to realistically bike there. For Phase 2, I will cluster errands, activities and appointments on days when I use the car. On the other days, I will bike commute. I'm going to make the most out of my car days...
Which leads me to #3:
3. On car days, I will truck in fresh clothes for bike days so I don't have to schlep a ton of stuff back and forth. I have a locker room (with a locker) and showers (with towels!) at work. I can just keep my clothes (an extra pair of running shoes) and some toiletries here, and I'm set! The few items I need to carry can go in my jersey or in a small bag in the panniers.
4. I will bike whenever possible on car days. If I have a small trip to make that can be done on bicycle, it shall be done.

Phase 2 is all about temperance--bike commute when realistic but when it's not safe or feasible (I had a Dr's appt. downtown this am, for instance), I will, albeit begrudgingly, use a vehicle.

Other Notes:
  • I will tally up money saved while bike commuting, money spent when using the vehicle, and compare to prior months when I did no bike commuting to figure out how much I will save.
  • The bike experiment will be for 2 weeks (about 7 non-consecutive days).
  • I'm using Strider--Specialized Sirrus--my true commuter bike.

Day 1 (take 2) begins tomorrow!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

GH Sports Product Review
Get 20% off by entering the code: TG1153
I don't normally do this but this seemed like an exception. Greg Hind of GH Sports in San Luis Obispo contacted me and offered readers 20% off on products from his site (just enter the code listed above). Sounded pretty cool to me! Check out their site--they have all sorts of apparel and accessories for all your swim, bike, and run needs!
I tried out a pair of GH cycling shorts. Eyeing the thin pad, I was a bit skeptical. However, after trying them out, I'm totally sold! They are hand-stitched and completely seamless. The pad feels gel-like, allowing extra padding with less bulk. There was absolutely no chafing, rubbing, or any other forms of uncomfortable friction...and I'm kind of the princess and the pea when it comes to my bike shorts. Anyway, my bum was happy---2 thumbs up!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Long Ride and Long Run--What Better Way to Spend the Weekend?

I wasn't going to ride on Saturday. I was battling a nasty cold. My fever was gone but it had left me with a nasty cough and muscle weakness in my legs. My lungs ached when I breathed hard. Not a good sign. My friends advised me not to ride.

But it was my ride. I had planned and designed it specifically so that I would be excited about the route ( I've been organizing the Saturday rides for 10 months now, and I've never flaked on a ride. I probably spend about 4 hours a week planning the ride--studying maps, planning and memorizing the ride, making the route slip, sending e-mails, recruiting new riders, and fielding questions...and I absolutely love every minute of it. Friday evening finds me polishing my bike, preparing my bottles, and laying out my cycling outfit for Saturday's date. Although I'm not a morning person, Saturday's are the easiest day of the week to get up early. I love meeting new people that come out, socializing with old friends that show-up, taking in the sights, and getting in a good workout. It's the highlight of my week.

This Saturday, was no different. Only, I had planned on not riding. The plan was to ride down the hill, hand out the route slips, get everyone off and riding, and roll back up the hill and back to bed. Maybe, if I feel good, I can start and turn-around early...this was already becoming a dangerous mental conversation.

I roll down the hill and 20 people are waiting. Everyone's there early...there's lots of new people I have never seen before. There are also a lot of friends who showed up that have never come on my Saturday ride before. I was touched. Plus, I needed a "redemption" ride after having Bluebell stolen. For some weird reason, doing the ride was symbolic--I wasn't going to let my stolen bike or cold keep me down! That was it...I was up and fighting.

We started off, and I rode at a conservative pace, hacking up phlegm as I rode, which generated many nervous glances from my fellow riders (we are, afterall, type A triathletes who border on OCD and live in constant fear of getting sick). Since there was no way I was going to ride fast that day, I decided to play "Ride Mama" and hang out in back, making sure no one broke down or got lost.

I chatted with a friend as we rolled down the 56 bike path, through Fairbanks Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe, and up Del Dios Hwy. It was a long climb but I was hanging in there, relying on my base to get me to the top. I felt fine. I barely noticed that I had long ago passed my turn-back early point and was now past the point of no return. The first regroup in Escondido had sort of disintegrated but I had the group in my sights as I wound my way through Elfin Forest. I marveled at how green everything still was; the creek was even still running because of some recent freak rain San Diego has received.

Towards the end of Elfin Forest, before the regroup at the coffee shop off San Elijo Rd, I started getting cranky. Ah, the first sign that something's amiss. I was alone, which wasn't a big deal. I had lost my route slip, which has never happened, but also not a big deal; I knew where I was; afterall, I had designed the route. But I was sick, and this mattered. My morale started to plummet. By the time I reached the coffee shop, I was in bad shape. My group was waiting patiently, and I did my best to hide my grouchiness. I scarfed down a blueberry muffin and iced mocha and felt instantly better. Hmmm. A sign? Obviously not enough calories. (Ever since IMAZ, I haven't been able to get down the sports drinks or gels, no matter how hard I try. It just gives me gut rot. I end up giving up and finishing the ride deep in the hole--dehydrated and nearing the bonk zone.)

The rest of the ride was a struggle. My cold was making it loud and clear to me that I had pushed too far. I couldn't wait to reach the coast and have an easy, flat 15 back to the start. We reached the coast and began riding south towards home. I was hit in the face with a strong headwind, eerily reminiscent of IMAZ. Only much colder. And I was oddly hot. Dripping sweat. Oh, yeah, that's right. I'm sick! I cursed and slowed down and was plagued by stomach cramps from a Cliff Block that was being rejected. And I was thirsty because I had only brought InfinIT and no water, and my stomach was rejecting the sports drink too. I was hating life. I was done.

Luckily, a splinter group from one of the SDBC's ( regular weekend rides was heading my way. They picked me up and pulled me the final 8 miles to my final turn for home. This is not the first time they have come by and saved my sorry ass. Yea to roadies!!! You guys ROCK! Thanks for the lift!

Overall, the ride was awesome. It was a great group and beautiful views. I just pushed too hard in my weakened condition. I spent the rest of the day resting and recovering.

Sunday's Run--I Can't Be Stopped!
Sunday I slept in and missed my morning run with my regular group. By the afternoon, I was itching to run. I guess I never learn. I went for a 10 mile run on the coast with another running group. I felt fantastic. I held back the first 8 miles. Then, I couldn't take it anymore. I took off. And it felt wonderful. In my mind, I kept repeating, "I feel good! I feel good!" Over and over. Faster and faster. And then I would run faster and faster. I felt so strong at the finish. I wish it had been longer. Runs like these are always a pleasant surprise. Oh, yeah. I LOVE running. Funny, how I forget just how much until I have an awesome run. I'm always the happiest after a good run.

My cough is subsiding. My energy is returning. My cold is finally melting away. This week is a recovery week. My goal is to find some structure and routine that I can take comfort in. I'm going up to NorCal this weekend for my little sister's college graduation. Next week, the bike commuting experiment will resume.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Bike Theft Rampant at UCSD (Campus Police Look Other Way)

Why is this tolerated? I have been actively posting my stolen bike on message boards only to discover a rash of other victims of bike theft. How many bikes have to be stolen for the police to care? Students are advised to ride a crap bike when they go to college because it WILL get stolen. WTF? Why is that okay?

When I reported my bike as stolen to the police they acted like it was my fault. Sorry, Officer. I shouldn't have dressed Bluebell up in such a sexy outfit. I guess she was asking for it. I guess I should let it go. But I'm having a hard time. That bike meant a lot to me. I feel like someone kidnapped one of my pets. We've been through so much together. I am disgusted that she is probably sitting in a pawn shop somewhere.

I called the local bike shops. I've looked on EBay and Craigs List. I posted my bike on Craigs List. I even have the freakin' serial number! Doesn't that count for something? I've stated calling the pawn shops. But there are SO many! What pisses me off is that if 1 person took half-a-day, they could probably track down a dozen stolen bikes. But nobody cares. The nonchalant attitude of the campus police is totally unacceptable.

We should start a group: the Bike Thief Vigilantes. We could set-up a sting--put a really nice bike with a cable lock up at UCSD and hide out in the bushes. When the thieves come, we'd yell: "Swarm! Swarm!" and take them out our way....I think the thieves would prefer to be taken in by the police.

I guess I have to let it go. I'm still in the ANGER phase. I've been reluctanly looking on Craig's List for used road bikes for sale. I'm looking at 2 this weekend. But I don't want another road bike. I just want Bluebell back.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bike Experiment Suspended...For Now

I really wanted to ride today. Especially after Bluebell got stolen. It takes more than that to keep me down. I can't believe my bike got stolen. I could have so easily accepted a ride from my prof. But I was trying to make a statement. Now, more than ever, I want to commute, if only to show the f*&$ing thieves they haven't won.

However, I woke up with a fever. The cold has moved to my chest. I called in sick and slept in bed all day. So, because of my nasty cold, I have decided to postpone the bike experiment to a later date...when I'm healthy. Sigh. It's been a tough week. Maybe it's a sign. Why do I have to be sick on top of all of this? It makes me angry. Livid. I feel like I've been kicked while I'm down one too many times. And now I'm pissed. I'm back on my feet and ready to fight again.

I've been checking Craig's List and E Bay in a desperate attempt to find Bluebell. I've been reluctantly looking at used road bikes. I need to replace her. But in the end, the search saddens me more because I realize I just want Bluebell back. Nothing can replace her. Unfortunately, my renter's insurance isn't going to cover it since I was robbed less than a month ago. They threatened to drop me. So the replacement bike will be out-of-pocket. Such is life.

I posted the stolen bike on Craig's List in hopes that someone may find it.
Here's the ad:

Stolen Road Bike

Reply to:
Date: 2008-06-05, 10:17

My bike was stolen from UCSD between 12 and 1 pm on Wednesday, June 4th. If you have any information, please contact me.

Description: blue aluminum road bike with carbon fork
Model & Make: Felt F70
Size 52 cm
Tires are 700s; front is black and back is blue; brand is Vittoria Diamente Kevlar
Shimano 105 components
27-rear cassette with compact cranks
Look Keo sprint clipless pedals
Black BG women's geometry seat w/cut-out
Mounted w/front and rear lights
Also equipped with bike computer (Cateye double wireless rear-mount)
Serial Number: A308590681

I bought her in 2004 but have kept her in excellent condition. She was my first road bike. Her name is Bluebell. I miss her very much.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bike Experiment Day 3

Bluebell gets stolen.

This does not bode well. Need I say more?

5:15 am
The alarm blares for UCSD masters. I switch it off. I slept like crap because of my cold, and I opt for to swap the workout for more sleep.
10:15 am
Feeling a bit better, I roll out the door on Bluebell. Now that I've skipped masters swim, my backpack only weighs 7.5 lbs. I also readjusted my backpack so it sits lower on my back. It's waaay more comfortable. I may have hit upon something here.
10:25 am
I curse and hate life again as I toil up Torrey Pines hill. Sweat drips down my face. I realize I actually am battling a low-grade fever along with my cold. The sky is gray and thick with clouds and the air is damp.
10:45 am
I reach my final destination at lab. I start to feel a bit better. My sinuses feel more clear, and I have a bit more energy.
11:40 am
I turn down a ride from my professor to a seminar at UCSD, hop on Bluebell and roll towards campus.
11:55 am
I arrive at the same time as she does, feeling quite proud of myself. I lock her to the bike rack with my cable lock...afterall, I'll only be gone an hour. Little do I know, it's the last time I'll ever see her again.
1:05 pm
I walk out to the bike rack and can't find Bluebell. I look around, confused. Slowly, reality sinks in. I hit the big blue button on the Emergency call box and report Bluebell as stolen to the police. It has now started to rain.
1:30 pm
The police arrive, and I give them a full description. My collegue from lab comes to pick me up. I reluctantly accept a ride back to lab in his vehicle....

Miles Biked:
(total this week: 46)
Gas $ Saved (gas is $4.45 today!):
(total this week: $10.13)
Total Calories Burned:
(total this week: 1750)

The rest of the day, it rains steadily, almost unheard of this time of year in San Diego. My cold is coming on really strong now--I can hardly breathe and my fever is building steam. Plus, I have a 6:30 pm appointment. It's as if God is telling me not to bike today. Between the weather, the oncoming darkness, my stolen bike, and my cold, I get a ride home from Brent and drive to my 6:30 appointment. I feel defeated. I know the battle has been lost but the war is not over yet.

Me on Bluebell at the Devil Dog Duathlon in 2006. She was my first road bike. I did my first triathlon on her in St. Louis in June 2004. I did my first half-Ironman on her. She will be deeply missed.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bike Experiment Day 2

My Irrational Exuberance from Day 1 has now mellowed to Rational Acceptance. Bike commuting with a fresh cold is definitely not easy. However, I'm still having a lot of fun. I've also noticed the bike commuting thing is becoming a sort of religion. Friends ask if I want a ride or want to go out to lunch. I have been turning down rides since making forward progress in a motor vehicle is currently forbidden. This has evoked several strange looks. I have, however, met friends for lunch or breakfast by bike. Often, they are surprised by how quickly I get there. Driving is not always faster than biking!

6:00 am
Woke up and realized I now have a full-blown cold. Popped some Sudafed (the real stuff--the kind the meth cooks use, not the crappy fake Sudafed) and Ibuprofen, ate some oatmeal, OJ and tea, fed the bunnies and went back to bed.
9:30 am
Woke up for the 2nd time. With the meds and extra sleep, I felt better. Decided to try and make my way into lab.
10:00 am
Silently curse at myself for not getting my bike bags ready the day before. I forgive myself a little--I felt like crap last night. Pump up Strider's tires and put some lube on his chain. Attach the panniers and am off. Finally.
10:15 am
Head down the street. Make a mental note that I could have saved myself 15 minutes by packing bags night before. I'm wearing my running clothes in case I want to run later (less stuff to pack). Interestingly, I get fewer waves and nods from fellow cyclists on Strider in street clothes than I did on Bluebell (road bike) in full-on bike clothes. Hmmm. I smell an interesting cycling social psychology experiment.
10:20 am
Hop off to adjust panniers. My back is thanking me but I hate how the bags bounce around. I also hate how heavy the bike has become and how difficult it is to maneuver. Panniers are great for flat rides or short distances but maybe not so great for 7 miles of hills. At least Strider is more comfortable. However, Bluebell is faster.
10:25 am
Realize that there is road construction on Torrey Pines Road, the very steep 1 mile climb, which is the only obstacle separating me from work. The entire right-hand shoulder and lane is closed, making biking up that damn hill entirely unsafe. Not an option. I veer right into the park to take the inside road, which is MUCH steeper. I convince myself that it will be okay since it's shorter and more scenic.
10:30 am
I am cursing at this point, sweat is dripping down my face, and all-in-all hating life. It's hard for me to appreciate the gorgeous ocean views as I pedal at an agonizingly slow cadence to haul the HEAVY commuter bike and bags up the steep grade. Plus, did I mention I'm sick? Oh, did I mention my ankles are swollen and sore from climbing out of the saddle on Saturday? I resort to a seated climb the whole way to give my ankles a break and my cardio system, which isn't happy with the cold plus the hard effort.....not that I'm complaining.
10:45 am
Cruise into the back rack and lock Strider up. Change in the bathroom. Smile. That wasn't so bad now, was it? Funny how quickly we forget pain and torture. Plus, my cold actually feels more mild now. Maybe it's the drugs. But maybe, just maybe, it's the light exercise?
5:00 pm
Despite my cold, I was able to get some work done, thanks to cold meds. I head over to the UCSD track on foot for a low intensity 4 mile run. Since the cold is all in my head, I'm hoping the little exercise will help clear my sinuses.
6:00 pm
Feeling much better, I load up Strider and prepare for the commute home. Struggle with the panniers. I miss just throwing on the backpack and riding off. Something to think about. Originally, I was sort of lagging and dreading the ride home, especially with the cold. As I zip through rush hour traffic, I begin feeling pretty good. I zoom down Torrey Pines hill. Victory! Especially after the brutal am climb. It's a sweet reward. I would much rather go uphill in the am and downhill in the pm. I breathe deeply as I pedal by the coast at Torrey Pines State Beach, the smell of salt thick in the thick, ocean air.
6:30 pm
I arrive home, re-energized. Instead of feeling worn-out the ride home has revitalized me. I immediately pack my bags for the next day and get Bluebell ready. This is beginning to get easier. I'm actually looking forward to my ride tomorrow.

Miles Biked:
(total this week: 38.6)
Gas $ Saved:
$2.82 (about 1 grande latte from Starbucks--not that I'm a caffeine fiend or anything! Gas is now $4.34/gallon!)
(total this week: $8.35)
Calories Burned:
(total this week: 1500)
Guilt from eating an extra chocolate-chip cookie?

Advantages of Strider (commuter bike) over Bluebell (road bike):
1. more comfortable (especially with panniers on bike)
2. less chance of flat
3. can ride in street clothes
4. easier to hop on and off (street shoes)
1. SLOWER (need I say more--I have a need for speed; places to go and places to be!)
2. panniers are a pain to get on and off; also can sometimes become dislodged and need to be re-adjusted mid-ride (ugh)
I'm riding Bluebell tomorrow with a lighter backpack (down to from 13.4 to 9.8 lbs!). I've begun leaving things at work, including a fresh pair of jeans and shoes. However, I miss some of my beauty products that I apply after a swim workout and before work. With the extra weight, these have become a luxury, and I have been going make-up-less and without my favorite hair-care products (I know--more of a gal problem than guy problem here). I think in the future, I will truck in a stash of all the supplies I need and keep them at work. I will also keep a week (or half a week's) worth of fresh clothes at work. Then I can bike on Bluebell bag-free! Whoo-hoo!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bike Experiment Day 1

I have undertaken Day 1 with Full Exuberance. I doubt I'll be able to maintain this energy for all 7 days but at least I'm off to a good start. I'm certainly learning a lot.

Night Before:
Packed my backpack (as lightly as possible) with my swim stuff, work clothes, and work gear. Cleaned off Bluebell, gave her some lube, pumped her tires and made sure my bike bag was packed with an up-to-date flat kit. Also checked the batteries on the lights in case I have to ride home after dark.
5:00 am
Alarm goes off. I hit snooze.
5:15 am
I finally roll out of bed. My bike clothes are laid out, making the activation energy for getting ready to roll out the door really low. I quickly feed the bunnies, eat breakfast, and hop on Bluebell.
5:50 am
After making several adjustments to the bike seat (I had recently put a new one on her), I'm off and rolling. On the downside, masters technically starts at 6 but the official workout starts at 6:20, which in my mind, gives me 30 minutes to get there. On the upside, it's light out and I don't have to worry about riding in the dark. There is no traffic.
6:20 am
I arrive at UCSD and lock Bluebell with my cable lock. Not ideal but will do the trick for my swim and is somewhat of a deterrent. Plus, it's waay lighter than a U-lock. The 7-mile ride is pleasant and uneventful, albeit a bit harried. I forgot how hard it is to ride with a 20 lb (okay, 13.2--I weighed it later) backpack. At least I can descend like a demon!
6:30 am
I hop into the pool, halfway through the warm-up. Not too bad, not bad at all. The swim felt invigorating and restorative after my crazy-ass weekend (62-mile ride and 19-mile run). Felt way better than I should after swimming 2800 yards. Also felt ridiculously ravenous.
Here's the workout:
8:00 am
Pedal over to Einsteins and gobbled down a bagel omelet, OJ, and coffee. Still hungry so grabbed another bagel with lox and cream cheese.
9:00 am
Arrive at lab and changed into my work clothes...still clean after my post-swim shower.
12:00 pm
Walked to a nearby eatery for lunch. It's so nice to be outdoors moving around, especially on a beautiful, sunny day like today. I admired the hummingbirds buzzing around. Only thing is--why am I eating so much? Food has become my new gasoline. At least it's better for the environment!
4:45 pm
Change back into my bike clothes and pedal 7 miles along the coast to my massage in Solana Beach. Has my backpack gotten heavier? I make it there in 30 minutes--exactly. Just in time. Along the way, a roadie passes me and asks me if I want a pull. I hate that! I shake my head no, and point to my backpack--my weak excuse. He asks me if I bike a lot. My reply: "A little."
6:30 pm
I slowly pedal home. I have gotten slower and slower as the day has progressed. I am tired, and I swear my backpack has gotten heavier. My calves are a little crampy, and my lower back is sore. I make a mental note to use Strider Tuesday since he's set up for panniers. Plus, my throat is getting sore. I think my weekend's wild escapades are catching up to me. And a cold. Apparently, I'm not super-human.
7:15 pm
I arrive home to discover a delicious dinner ready and waiting for me. Brent has cooked dinner while I got my massage. Now that makes a gal feel special! I ravenously gulp it down. Exhausted and now fighting a building cold, I fall into bed at 9:30 pm. Hopefully, some much needed rest will do the trick.

Total Miles Biked:
Total Gas Saved:
$5.53 (enough for 2 grande lattes at Starbucks)
(in my Nissan Frontier ~20 mpg; gas is currently $4.25/gallon)
Total Calories Burned:
~1,000 cals!
No wonder I'm hungry!

Bring on Day 2!

Tips for Bike Commuting:

1. Plan ahead.
When using your car, consolidate and cluster errands to be more efficient and traverse as few miles as possible. Get everything done at once. Then, have the rest of the day to take a nap or go for a run! Also, on "car days", you can bring a change of clothes to work so they don't get wrinkled in your bag (this also significantly lightens the load on your back).
2. Pack the night before.
This saves oodles of time in the morning. Pack lightly too. You have to carry it!
3. Carry a repair kit, id, cell phone, and lights for riding at night.
4. Plan your route carefully.
The best route may not be the quickest one. Think about traffic volume, bike lanes, safety.
5. Make sure your commuter bike is in good repair.
6. Lock your bike when you arrive at your destination.
A cable lock works for short trips. For long trips, use a more secure lock, like a sturdy, U-lock. Because it's very heavy, I leave my U-lock at work so I don't have to schlep it back and forth.

Weekend Excursions

...Bike experiment is ongoing. Stay tuned for the results....
Day 1 is in progress. I will post data from Day 1 tonight!

It probably wasn't such a good idea to hit it as hard as I did this weekend but at least I had fun. To clue you in on how my legs are feeling, I have to divulge a little of my crazy weekend.

Saturday, I went for a beautiful, scenic, yet hilly Tour of San Diego 62-mile ride with a group of about 15. It was a wonderful ride--gorgeous views, perfect weather, and great company. We hit Torrey Pines, Mission Bay, Point Loma, Sunset Cliffs, Mt. Soledad, and La Jolla Shores. Afterwards, we dined at Soupplantation before my 2-hour nap. I slept like a baby Sat night!

Sunday, I woke up early for my long run in Penasquitos Canyon with my great running group of gals. The weather was nice and cool, and I loved the extra work required mentally to carefully traverse the rocks, sand, and hills. Trail running is the best!

At mile 8, we encountered a thick-bodied, 4-foot rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike on the side of the trail. Luckily, a group running the other way had warned us so we were ready. Actually, he was very pretty. I stopped to watch him as he slithered off. I think he was more scared of us than we were of him.

After our tough 9-mile run, we had a big breakfast. I forced myself to do my errands and chores before settling down for my early afternoon nap. Brent called me that afternoon and invited me on his long run with his running group. I have never, in my life, woken up from my Sunday nap after my long run and thought to myself, Hmm. My long run wasn't long enough. I want to run more! But this Sunday was different. Run again? I think I will! Great idea! I put on my running shoes, visor, sunglasses, and strapped on my Fuelbelt, and off I went. I ran another 10 miles. And felt awesome. I can't believe I ran 19 miles Sunday for no good reason! Just to see if I could. And it felt great.

Afterwards, while the other runners soaked their legs in the ocean, I threw on my wetsuit, cap and goggles and headed out past the breakers for a swim while everyone shook their heads in disbelief. It was very soothing to go for a relaxing swim after my long run.

I'm definitely sore today but I don't feel like I ran 19 yesterday! We'll see what tomorrow brings.