Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sandman Triathlon (August, 2021)

 I'm about to start Week 4 of school. School is exhausting. I had forgotten. It seems I can workout most mornings before school but after school is a crap shoot. I've never been able to get up early before. All of a sudden, I'm an early bird? I'll go with it. I've also lost 17 pounds and am maintaining it so far. 3 more to go to reach my goal! Feeling strong, feeling proud. 

Week 13: Training Continues

Monday (8/23)-weights in the am. swam about 2300 yds at Burgess after school. Did a descending ladder starting at 500.

Tuesday (8/24)-ran about 5 miles with Juneau before school

Wednesday (8/25)-swam with my friend at the M-A pool early in the am. She said I looked faster! Made me so happy. Did about 2300 yds. Main set was 3x200 and 4x100s at race pace with 20 seconds rest. I was so tired after school, I went home and went to bed at 4pm!

Thursday (8/26)-rest day. Tired and felt out of sorts. 

Friday (8/27)-ran 6 miles with Juneau. Pooped my pants. It happens. Had a massage after work and went home and went straight to bed. I've been TIRED lately. 

Saturday (8/28)-rest day. bad air quality and really hot (95 degrees). I could have done weights. I did lots of school work. And napped. Feel much more rested.

Sunday (8/29)-ran at least 13 miles at China Camp to preview the course for next weekend. I got very lost and kept running in circles. It was like the Bermuda Triangle. I'm very glad the course will be marked for next weekend. I still had a great time and am glad I have a bit more knowledge about the course. I was out on the trail for 4 hours!

(EDIT: got sick just in time for this race and decided to bail to race again another day. Unfortunately, I did not resume working out after being sick for the rest of the school year and gained back 12 pounds. Ugh. Frustrating.)

Week 12: Sandman Triathlon

The second week of school kicked my butt even more than the first. I still got my runs and weights in but that was about it. However, it worked out since I had the Sandman Triathlon on Sunday. It ended up being the perfect taper. I had a great race too! Very chilly (54 degrees) ocean swim with some nauseating swells (750 yards). I was surprisingly slow. Maybe because I was against the current? Anyway, it took me over 20 minutes! The bike was only 13 miles but very hilly. I took my road bike and ended up just riding my regular wheels, which was definitely slower. However, it rained, making the roads very slippery. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The bike took me 53 minutes. The run was 4 miles in sand. Lots of holes and seaweed to dodge. My shoes got soaking wet. I felt strong but definitely not fast. I think the trail running helped. Overall, I came in just under 2 hours. It was a fun workout. I had a great time and will definitely do that again. 

Water was cold (60 degrees). 3/4 mile swim-long for a sprint but fun!
Bike is only 12 or 13 miles but very hilly with lots of short, steep climbs and fun but windy descents through the beautiful hills of Aptos. The ride is beautiful and very scenic. 
This 4-mile run is always a big challenge since it is on the sand. This year, much of the sand had been recently washed away, leaving a steep and unpredictable slope down to the surf. This meant that I was running with one hip slightly below the other when I ran close to the waves, where the sand is usually the most compact (easier to run on). In order to run in more flat sand, I would have to leap up to deep sand. In addition, the beach isn't closed, meaning the entire course becomes a technical obstacle course. I have to keep my eyes peeled constantly for darting children, frisbees and dogs, fishermen and their lines, seaweed, logs, numerous holes, and other fun surprises. For some reason, I actually really enjoy this part of the Sandman. I have no expectations for going fast and find my mind completely occupied with where to put my feet. The miles fly by as I am challenged both cardiovascularly and mentally. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Still Going Strong. No excuses!

 Despite the first week of school kicking my butt, I still managed to do all my workouts! It wasn't easy but I'm very proud. The trick was not to focus on distance or speed but just doing a workout. I told myself if I didn't feel good after 5 minutes, I could quit. I never did! Plus, I managed to lose 2 more pounds!

Here's how the rest of Week 11 panned out:

Wednesday, August 11, 2021: First Day of School!

I woke up early and did weights! Who is this person? School was hectic and exhausting but so great. I'm so glad we are back in person. After school I was exhausted. By the time I got on the bike, it was 5:30. But the key was that I got on the bike. After a slow warm-up, I felt peppy and killed it for 20 miles on the trip bike! I even included some little hills with Alpine and Arastradero before coming back on Foothill, where I was going 18-20 mph. Smokin'!

Thursday, August 12: I took a nap. I didn't think I was going to work out. Around 8:30, I put on my headlamp, got Juneau and went out for a 5-mile run. It was so much fun! I love night runs!

Friday, August 13: After school, I went to the pool for a swim before my massage. Knowing I was getting a massage right after was great motivation. I did a back-free-breast warm-up, then a 500 free, followed by 3x200, 3x100,  and 4x50 to try to work on speed. I'm definitely not faster but felt strong and managed 2100 yds. 

Saturday, August 14: Let the hard training weekends begin! I ran in Huddart Park again but this time did 10.4 miles. It was HILLY (1800 feet--all in the first 6 miles) but the return descent was heaven. It was hot too! I drank my entire Camelback, plus 2 salt tabs and 5 orange Cliff Blocks. I think I'm training for a half marathon! The ice bath was heaven. 

Sunday, August 15: We did the Coast Loop (51 miles, 4,000 feet of climbing, up to Skyline twice). I basically did the same ride as last weekend but with more added to the middle. I killed it on Tunitas! I'm so proud of myself right now. Just very sore. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

School Starts Tomorrow!

 I am all ready for year 9! Everything is prepped and ready to go. I'm very excited, after a year-and-a-half of distance learning. I'm also motivated to keep up with exercise and healthy eating. I've loaded my classroom with healthy lunches and snacks and am going to bring my workout clothes with me to school and exercise immediately afterwards, instead of going home first.

Here's how the week has been going:

Sunday, 8/8/21:

After my very challenging Huddart Park run, we rode a 40 mile out-and-back ride to Half Moon Bay. The Bike Hut was our midway point. I was nervous. This is a very challenging, 4,000 foot ride with two trips up to the top of Skyline. Yes, my legs were tired. And, yes, I nailed it. I was enormously proud of myself. I felt strong (slow, but strong) the whole way and could have even gone farther! Link to Bike Hut Ride.

Monday, 8/9/21:

This was my first day back, and the endless meetings usually do me in. I forced myself to swim at Burgess and was so happy I did. The warm up sucked. My body was tired and sore. I put no pressure on myself and just kept swimming. Then, my body loosened up, and I found a good solid pace. I ended up swimming about 2300 yds. After a 450 warm-up (free-breast-back), I did a descending ladder (500-400-300-200-100). I ended with some 50s and a cool-down.

Tuesday, 8/10/21:

I was going to take a rest day, but I'm worried about skipping a day. I was exhausted after school so I took a nap. Juneau got me up and convince me to run. We did 4.75 miles around the neighborhood. I actually felt peppy!

Saturday, August 07, 2021

End of Summer, Finishing Strong

 I've had some great workouts this week. When I look back at where I was 10 weeks ago, I'm very proud of myself. My heart rate is 55, and I've lost fat and gained muscle. I feel stronger when I swim, bike, and run. I've also begun increasing the weights during my weight routine. School starts next week. I know I won't be able to work out at the same intensity that I am right now, but my goal is maintain consistency of workouts. Over the summer, I've been working out once or twice a day most days. I really enjoy it. During the school year, my goal is to maintain 5 workouts a week. In the past, I dive into school and abandon everything else in my life. I'd like to be more balanced this year. 

Here's how the rest of Week 10 panned out:

Friday, August 6

6-mile neighborhood run with Juneau

I ran with Juneau to school. I left the GPS at home. After my last run, I began beating myself up for being slower than normal. It sucked all the fun out of that run. I'm doing these workouts for fun and my health. I decided if focusing on speed wasn't making me happy, I'd just focus on enjoying the run instead. It was a bit more hot and humid than normal. I allowed myself to find any pace that was comfortable. And Juneau always helpful on runs. She is always so happy and eager to run; she helps me keep a consistent pace and motivates me to pick up the speed. If I'm hurting on the run, I just look down at her and see her smiling face and light, rhythmic gait, and I can't help but feel good. She's the best running partner.

At school, Juneau followed me around the classroom as a rearranged desks, climbed ladders to replace old ladders with new ones, and organized drawers. I scrubbed down the desks and wiped down the counters. I even tested out the new SmartBoard. When I sat down at the computer to print out masters, Juneau laid down beside me. Travis used to do that. Afterwards, Juneau and ran home. It was short and fast. We both felt sprightly after our active break at school. In total, I ran 6 miles. 

Fun Gull Park Swim

I then decided to jump in the inlet at Gull Park in Foster City and do a relaxing mile. The water felt silky and cool against my skin, refreshing after a hot run. The cool temperature (about 65-68 degrees F) soothed the joints and muscles in my legs. It was the perfect recovery. My stroke felt easy and rhythmic, allowing my mind to drift. I swam out to the bridge, against a mild current due to the afternoon wind coming off the San Francisco Bay. There was no one else in the water. I had the entire inlet to myself. The bubbles from my breathing and the sound of my hands slipping through the water was calming. On the return, the current picked up, pushing me forward, like a tailwind. The waves picked up; sometimes I would turn my head and discover no pocket of air and have to skip a breath. At times, it felt a bit like bodysurfing. It was actually quite fun. 

Saturday, August 7:

9-mile hilly Huddart Park run

I have a trail half marathon coming up in a month. I use Trailstompers to help plan my runs (this run is linked in the Title). It's been an amazing resource for me. Last week, I ran the shorter, 6-mile run (1100 feet) in Huddart to begin training. It went well so this week, I decided to do the entire 8.7-mile loop (1600 feet) feet this week. It was very hot and humid at the bottom; at least more than I'm used to. It was a long, slow run, so my goal was to run at any pace that felt comfortable. One rule: just keep running. 

There was a lot of climbing in this run. The first half is uphill and pretty steep at times, especially at the beginning on Richards and Skyline, which surprised me. Those hills came late and were super steep. I somehow kept my knees and feet bouncing me up the hill, even if my steps didn't take me far. I know I could walk them, but I wanted to practice running them because I know it will help me get up those hills more easily in the future. So I pushed myself. I wore a Camelback packed with some orange Cliff Blocks. I had only eaten a light breakfast; I was glad I had brought something with me to keep me from bonking. I sipped on my water every few minutes, especially at the beginning, where it was hot and I was already climbing. Somehow, I made it to the top. I was glad I had done the shorter version the previous weekend; that one had been tough too but at least I knew what to expect. 

The new section to get to the top of Skyline was just as much uphill with some really steep stuff on the top. I felt like someone was playing a prank on me. C'mon, really? Another hill? Finally, finally the trail that would begin the descent back into the park appeared. I had maintained my pace and run up the entire hill. The downhill would be my reward. I found renewed energy as my feet flew down the single-track trail and around the switchbacks. I focused on keeping my feet under me and landing light on my toes. I use my quads to pick up my knees and keep a high cadence. This is where the cycling helps. It really protects my knees and allows me to be a decent downhill runner. I had an awesome runner's high for the last 3 miles as I zipped downhill. I felt like the old me again. 

At the end, my legs were pretty tired and my muscles (especially my lower back!) were also fairly sore. I know we want to do a challenging bike ride tomorrow so I decided to take a 15 minute ice bath to help recover. Hope it helps!

Post note: I saw 5 lizards and 30 hikers. It was pretty busy. On the way home, I saw a doe with two fawns, grazing in a grassy field along the side of the road. 

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Week 10-Keeping on keeping on

 I've been tired this week. Not sleeping well. Feeling blue about returning to school and work next week, which is normal this time of year. I know as soon as school begins, I will feel better. I've been slower in my workouts and beating myself up about it. As the week finishes, I've been shifting my focus to just getting the workouts done, enjoying them and focusing on my health. 

Monday, 8/2/21: Rest day. I felt tired and sore after a weekend of solid workouts. However, taking a rest day was hard for me. It felt awful.

Tuesday, 8/3/21: Run (4.5 miles with Juneau) and weights. I was slow and beat myself up about it. Time to  leave the GPS at home for awhile and just enjoy running.

Wednesday, 8/4/21: 2300 yd pool swim, including an 800 free and 10x100. Again, slow. My best time was 2:08 and it only got worse from there. I was so sore afterwards.

Thursday, 8/5/21: 27 mile bike ride (Edgewood/Canada/Whiskey/Loop). I actually felt pretty good. This was a solid ride. Followed it up with weights. 

Looking forward to the rest of this week's workouts!

View from the top of Edgewood. Always makes the climb worthwhile.

Gull Park in Foster City where I do my open water swims.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Back from Hawaii and Going Strong!

I'm wrapping up Weeks 8 & 9 after a week in Maui and just pinching myself. I feel amazing. I've lost 10 pounds and gained muscle and energy. My mood has been boosted. I'm finally able to start working on speed. I'm feeling stronger, and the workouts are becoming fun again. I'm a bit sad that summer vacation is ending; I'll be returning to the classroom for year 11 in a week. My goal is to continue my fitness journey while balancing the stresses of a crazy-busy job. I may not be able to work out with the same intensity that I have been, but I know I can keep up my exercise and diet if I focus. My peroneal tendonitis is feeling better but still nagging me. I'm seeing the podiatrist this Friday for advice. Luckily, I've still been able to run. Oddly, it's hiking that seems to trigger it (that's when I always roll my ankles).

Here's how the rest of Week 7 finished up:
Wednesday, July 14th: I biked up King's and added the rest of the Portola Valley Loop for a total of 33 miles. My (left) ankle was acting up after the previous day's run, and I found that climbing aggravated it. 
Thursday, July 15th: Rest Day
Friday, July 16th: open water swim at Gull Park (1.2 miles). This was an out-and-back swim, and the return was challenging. The wind picks up in the afternoon, and there's always significant chop to fight through on the way back. In some perverse way, I enjoy it because it makes me focus, and I can't think about anything else.
Saturday, July 17th: Alan and I rode the tandem on Foothill (20 miles) for a mellow bike. I followed this up with weights. 
Sunday, July 18th: Juneau and I ran to Holbrook-Palmer Park for a loop and back for a conservative, 3-mile test run. My ankle felt better. Flat runs on the road definitely are not exacerbating my injury. I then did a pool swim at Burgess. 2200 yards (45 minutes). The main set was 10x100s with 20-30 seconds rest. It's the first time I've worked on pace in a long time, and it was fun. My best time was 2:03 min/100. My goal is to hit a consistent 2:00 min/100.

This week finished up well. I hit my quota except for missing 1 run due to the ankle. 

Week 8: 
No quota this week due to vacation in Maui! However, I wanted to stay active with hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. This trip was my first time in Hawaii, and it was everything I hoped for!

Monday, July 19th: I biked the loop on Torch (tri bike) and felt fast! 21 miles and averaged 16 mph (fast for me anyway).
Tuesday, July 20th: I snuck in an early morning run (5 miles) with Juneau around the neighborhood before hopping on the plane and flying to Maui. When we arrived at the condo, the view of the ocean was so spectacular, I couldn't resist jumping in the ocean and going for a swim (about 0.5 miles)! The ocean is much rougher than Gull Park! I swallowed a lot of saltwater but got to see lots of fish. The water was so nice and warm, about 78 degrees Farenheit.
Wednesday, July 21st: We did a 10 mile hike with ~1700 feet of climbing on the Mahana Ridge Trail. Spectacular views, lots of tropical plants and flowers, including pineapples and guava! I made sure to jump in the ocean for a little swim back at the condo too.
Thursday, July 22nd: We snorkeled at Airport Beach and Black's Rock. I wore a skin to keep the sun off and keep me from getting too cold since I was just floating and staring at the fish and turtles a lot. I didn't want to get out of the water. After 3 hours, it was time to get out and eat lunch.
Friday-Sunday, July 23rd-25th: Scuba diving (2 dives per day)! We used Dive Maui and did a refresher dive at Airport Beach with Simon. Visibility was poor and the current was STRONG, even at 35 feet down. The peacock flounder was my favorite critter. Afterwards, we went to Mala Pier, which was my favorite dive site. So many critters, including a white-tipped reef shark, eels, and tons of turtles. On the next day, we took a boat to Lanai Cathedrals and dove with Jeff. I got super seasick after the 2nd dive and learned you can throw up through the regulator underwater without any problems. Good to know. The final day of diving was Mala Pier and Honolua Bay with Will. Mala Pier was my favorite site. So many turtles! Turtles everywhere! They should call this dive, "Turtles All the Way Down". 
At the top of the Mahana Ridge Trail

Week 9: 
Monday, July 26th: Our last day on Maui. We did a 6 mile hike in the Makawao Forest, which was nice but not as impressive as Mahala. We followed this up with another marathon snorkeling session at Onolua Beach (Mile Marker 14). Again, about 3 hours in the water. Alan couldn't get me out! So many turtles!
Tuesday, July 27th: Rest day. We spent most of the day flying home, and I was exhausted and in bed by 8 pm (5 pm Maui time).
Wednesday, July 28th: I ran 5.5 miles with Juneau around the park and neighborhoods. My ankle felt okay, but it was definitely achy at times. I followed this up with weights. 
Thursday, July 29th: I biked on Torch down the Bay Trail (south) and back on Middlefield. Headwind on the return and lots of traffic. This was not a pretty bike but it is flat and windy. I probably won't do this route again. 
Friday, July 30th: Pool swim at Burgess (~2,000+ yds). Main set was a descending ladder starting at 500. I felt strong and could have swum farther. My pace is the same as a week ago. I did try a 50 just to see and was pleased I could manage a lap in less than a minute. I cannot make it across the length of the pool on one breath though; something I need to work on. I ran later that afternoon (school loop), knocking out 4.5 miles. I wore the GPS for the first time in years to check my pace. I was faster than I thought (9:45 min/miles average)! This is on flat roads. 
Saturday, July 31st: Awesome bike on Pandora (road bike) up Old La Honda, down Woodside, right on Portola to finish the loop, then up a steep shortcut to Alpine and to the top and back down for a total of 35 miles and about 3,000+ feet of climbing. I had to refill water at the top of Skyline by Alice's. It was a bit hot (I went through 3 water bottles). I also ate a bar and Cliff Blocks to prevent bonking. It was a solid ride, and I felt proud of myself. Took about 3 hours. 
Sunday, August 1st: What great workouts today! I started with a 1.2 mile swim at Gull Park and met some other triathletes from the Silicon Valley Tri Club. Looking forward to training more with this club and gaining some workout buddies. I practiced in my wetsuit (ugh) and chafed a little. I will wear a rashguard for the race. Until then, back to swimming in just my speedo! After a meal and a nap, I did a 6-mile run in Huddart Park. Slow and hilly but my ankle felt okay. It's so good to be back on trails!

All in all, I'm feeling strong and beginning to work on speed. I'm enjoying myself and reaping the health benefits of the workouts. I'm excited for the races coming up! 

Race Schedule:
  • Sunday, August 22nd: Sandman Triathlon, Aptos
  • Saturday, September 4th: China Camp 1/2 Marathon, San Rafael 
  • Sunday, September 26th: Santa Cruz Triathlon (Olympic)
  • Sunday, October 3rd: San Jose Rock'n Roll Half Marathon

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Already Week 7?

 Just got back from a trip to Portland to see my sister. Proud to say, the trip did not derail my weight loss or fitness goals. After the weight gain hiccup last week (which was due to bloat, yay PMS), I have now lost a total of 8 pounds! Feeling proud. Long story short--keep sticking with it, no matter what the scale says. It will all even out in the end. I also met my workout quota last week! Double yay!

Friday, July 9th--This was the day I flew to Portland. Luckily, it was in the afternoon so I had time for weights and a 5.5 mile neighborhood run with Juneau. It went very smoothly.

Saturday was a rest day in Portland.

Sunday, July 11--I woke up early and put on my running shoes for a Portland run along the Columbia River. It was cool, gorgeous and lined with wildflowers. I ran about 4.5 miles. My left ankle has been feeling sore. I think it started when I rolled it on a hike (which I due often). It's starting to get worse.

Monday was the day I flew back to SFO. I took a rest day. Felt jet-lagged even though I didn't cross any time zone. 

Tuesday, July 13--felt groggy all day. Finally went out for a 5.5 mile neighborhood run in the late afternoon. I felt groggy and slow. My left outer ankle hurt. I got it done and followed it up with a solid weight session. Juneau helped on the run. Run route linked here.

I finally did a google search on my ankle. Pretty sure it's peroneal tendonitis. Fits perfectly with the symptoms and my anatomy. I have weak ankles. I roll them all the time. I'm going to need to do some strengthening exercises to tackle this. I think I can still run through it since I'm only doing 3 days a week of about 5 miles. I won't be able to add mileage for awhile. I will need to avoid slanted surfaces and be careful of not rolling it when I trail run. 

Thursday, July 08, 2021

Happy Thursday!

 I've been trying to do 2 bikes, 2 swims, 2 weights, and 3 runs each week. Because I'm on summer vacation, it's actually been very doable. I was a little stressed about this week (Week 6) because I'm going to Portland for the weekend. I wanted to front load my workouts so as not to need to worry about my weekend trip. However, I felt very fatigued. I've been working out like crazy, without a rest day, which I actually think I like better (I can always take easy days when I'm tired, instead of a rest day). Long story short, I think I'm going to make quota this week!

Thursday, July 8th: Swim & Bike. Today, I swam in the local Burgess pool. I didn't have to make a reservation! I just dropped in! It was so much fun to swim in the pool for however long I wanted and just play around. I was pretty sore from the swim in Gull Park the previous day. Even though I had to split a lane, it was so nice to swim in a pool, with a pace clock. I did a long warm-up (about 1,000 yds) focusing on my stroke, mixing in back stroke and breast stroke. I find that back stroke really helps stretch out my sore, overused muscles from freestyle. I then did a descending pyramid, trying to increase speed with each new set. I'm slow but steady and can do a base pace all day long. I did about 2,1000 yds. I 

After lunch and a nap, I headed out on my trip bike (Torch) for a little ride. Something easy, short, and fast--I was feeling tired but needed to get on the bike. I knocked out 20 miles with lots of flats and some short hills. It was perfect. I went up Alpine, headed back on Arastredero and then home on Middlefield. Next time, I'll take Foothill home. Too many stoplights and stupid drivers on Middlefield, including 2 teenage boys in a black Audi SUV (LP# P3OUOUO) who squirted water in my face at a stoplight. 

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Gaining Weight and other Mundane Frustrations

 I overate one day--4th of July. I planned on it. I had been cutting calories and would still have a net deficit. How is that I am 5 lbs heavier?! Makes no sense. Despite this confusing setback, I'm pushing through. Continuing to count calories and work out. I'm hoping that over time, things will get easier and the weight will go down. 

The workouts continue! My legs have been really sore but I found that working through it actually makes them feel better faster. I haven't had a rest day in awhile but I'm beginning to prefer it that way. Rest days seem to become rest weeks for me. I'm enjoying the consistency and structure of my daily workouts. I feel like my body can always do something

I have been more tired though--taking lots of naps. My workouts are in the evenings, when I have the most energy. I'm fortunate to be able to have the freedom to plan my schedule with such flexibility. 

Tuesday, July 6: After Monday's bike ride (which I feel really good about--climbing Old La Honda), I was really supposed to swim, but it didn't happen. Juneau and went for a 5.5 mile run in Holbrook-Palmer Park and Lindenwood. Flat and fast. I felt zippy. I followed it up with a weights session.

Wednesday, July 7: Solid 1.5 mile swim in Gull Park. I'm beginning to play in the water and linger a bit more. I'm just having so much fun. I do a warm-up and cool-down in the cove by the beach. Then I headed out to Marlin Park with the current. Had a blast powering through the current and chop fighting me on the return. Very therapeutic. 

Monday, July 05, 2021

Going Strong--onto Week 6!

 The workouts are feeling so much easier and fun lately. I'm definitely getting stronger and faster! I'm proud that I've been consistent at working out and counting calories. Onto Week 6!

Recap of the rest of Week 5:

Friday, July 2nd: I biked up Old La Honda to Skyline and took Woodside Road back down. This was a challenging ride, about 27 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing. I did great, until about 4 miles from the house, where I bonked. My muscles were shaking, and I had to stop to eat a bar. If I had taken in some calories earlier, I would have done much better. 

Saturday, July 3rd: First, I took Juneau for a 4-mile run. I just wanted to get in a 3rd run for the week. It went great, until about 0.5 miles from the house, when my stomach protested. It had been awhile since I had woken up early and run without breakfast. My GI system is just not trained for that yet. Fortunately, I made it home uneventfully.

Afterwards, Alan and I went for an 8 mile hike in Pescadero State Park, near Tarwater Creek. It was hilly but fun. Very remote. Not that many people. Lots of beautiful redwoods. A few lizards, lots of butterflies. The land is very dry right now due to the drought. My legs were so sore the next day!

Sunday, July 4th: I needed to do one more bike to meet my quota for the week. Even though my legs were sore, I decided to do an easier ride. I took Torch up Alameda de las Pulgas, turned west on Edgewood for a brisk rigorous, two-hill climb, and then returned on Canada. It was a great ride with a few rollers, something new, and 19 miles. Plus, I got to burn some calories before the big feast of July 4th (cheeseburgers, potatoes, corn on the cob, watermelon, champagne, pie, etc, etc. I cooked!).

Monday, July 5th: Started off Week 6 right with a repeat of Friday's ride. I started off with Alan, before he headed off to do the Pescadero Coast Loop. Even though my legs were sore, I warmed up out of it and had a great ride. The pancake and egg breakfast helped. So did the granola bar at the top of Skyline. I finally feel like I could out to the coast and back (climbing Skyline twice). My next ride, I'm going to see if I can climb both King's and Old La Honda as a test. Should be challenging!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Week 5-Trying to be Patient

 I need to try to appreciate all my health and fitness gains lately. I've been fixated on the static number on the scale. However, I'm getting faster. I'm getting stronger. I'm seeing more muscle tone. There have been positive changes to celebrate. Despite feeling a little "meh", I've pushed through and continued to workout this week as well as count calories. I am loving summer vacation because I get to focus on getting myself back into shape and getting healthier. Looking forward to some fall races!

Tuesday, 6/29/2021: did solid set of weights in the morning. 

Rode 9 mile recovery ride with dad in the afternoon.

Wednesday, 6/30/2021: rode Old La Honda to top of Skyline and back on 84. 27 miles, 2500 feet of climbing. Felt great, until I bonked, 4 miles from the house. Ate a protein bar and was fine. Tip: put a 3rd bottle of ice water in the back of your jersey for a cool treat and extra water!

Thursday, 7/1/2021: Ran 6.5 miles with Juneau to school and back to check on the fish. It was mid-70s and sunny. We ran through the Lindenwood neighborhood which was cool and shady. I relished in the ease of our pace. I feel like I've finally found my base pace again, where I can float along effortlessly forever. Time to sign up for a half marathon! 

Did weights after a nap. Felt good. Finished with some extra lunges.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Week 5 Up and At 'Em!

 I did a double today. Very similar to last Monday, except I didn't feel as exhausted. I started with a 6 mile run in Rancho San Antonio. Slow but strong. I was lucky it wasn't too hot. I did wish for water by the end. Beautiful views of the Bay. I spotted an acorn woodpecker, black-and-white flashing as he flew into the trees. Several dragonflies and butterflies--some small, orange-and-black and others yellow and black (swallowtails). Great run. Only regret was that it was over too soon. 

After a smoothie and a rest, I headed out to Gull Park. I had a new swimsuit and bright pink cap to test out. I did the same swim as last week--turned right and headed to the Hillview Bridge and back. It was about 2000 yds or so. Felt great!

Weekend Workouts

 Now that I'm not training for an Ironman, weekends don't have to be marathon sessions. I'm focusing on working out consistently every day instead. It's so nice to be able to workout and have enough time and energy to enjoy the rest of the day!

Saturday, 6/26/21: Pool swim. Burgess is still requiring a reservation: $10 for 35 minutes. It sucks but I do crave the pool now and then. I used it as a time trial. I got in 1800 yards, including a little cool-down at the end! Felt great. I can't wait until there is no time limit.

Sunday 6/27/21: I was grumpy all day and almost did nothing. Finally, at 5 pm I got on my bike (Pandora) and headed out to the Portola Valley Loop. It was only 20 miles of rolling hills but it felt wonderful. And, I felt fast. Finally, a bike ride that didn't kill me. 

After 4 solid weeks, the workouts are finally not beating me up so much. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

It takes 4 weeks for the runner's high!

 It has been 4 weeks since working out regularly again and 1 week of counting calories and minding my nutrition. I have lost 3 pounds (15 more to go). I'm trying to focus on the positives and not beat myself up about the negatives. I feel so slow, and the workouts are kicking my ass. I keep forgetting that I'm not training for an Ironman and can relax and just enjoy the workouts. When I start trying to meet a workout "quota" (like 3 swims, runs, and bikes a week), I bite off more than I can chew and get discouraged. Instead, I'm trying to focus on working out 6 days a week with 1 recovery day (just walking that day). After feeling beat up from workouts that felt waayy  harder than they should have been for the last few days, I've decided to just swim today. I tried to get into the pool but the stupid lane reservation-COVID precaution thing is ridiculous. So, I'll be off to Gull Park today to turn an open water workout into more of a pool workout (swimming laps in the cove instead of a long, out-and-back swim). 

Friday, 6/25/2021: Runner's High! I almost didn't work out today. This evening, feeling guilty, I did weights after dinner. Then, I took Juneau for a run. I wanted to do at least 3 miles. I soon as I took my first step, I knew it was going to be a good run. I felt that familiar spring in my step, which had been absent for the past few months. Finally! Maybe it was the cool evening breeze, or maybe it was 4 weeks of consistent running, but it didn't matter. From the very first step, I felt like I was in love all over again for the first time. My feet floated along the road; my ankles were like springs. I easily found my old pace, like an old friend. My mind floated above as my legs independently carried me along. The pace was effortless and fast. I had intended to just do 3 miles but found myself adding on extra loops. I ran through a new neighborhood, marveling at the large houses. I ran 5.5 miles and definitely could have gone farther. Looking forward to my next run. Here's the route.

Thursday, 6/24/2021: 28-mile bike on Torch. I totally underestimated this ride. Either it was much hillier than I realized, or I'm much more out of climbing shape than I realized. Probably both. I rode North on Alameda de las Pulgas, cut west on Ralston, and then came back on Canada Rd. Route can be found here: I think I did this one time before, only took Edgewood (after) instead of Ralston. (I remember that ride also being harder than anticipated.) Ralston was very dangerous--no shoulder or bike lane, speeding cars, very discourteous. I almost got run off the road twice. Not sure if intentional or just not paying attention, but terrifying, nonetheless. I felt completely worn out after this ride. My muscles were weak and tired. Route

Wednesday, 6/23/2021: My brain is in summer vacation mode. I had forgotten about my goldfish at school.* I decided to run with Juneau to school and run home. I could modify the run as I chose--anywhere from 3-5 miles. Despite my rest day, my body felt tired and my muscles felt weak. I planned on running to the park and doing a loop before continuing on to school (Route here). That way, if I chose to run home along Middlefield, it would cover my minimum goal mileage for the day. This ended up being a solid 4.2-mile run. Here's the route. Oh, I also did weights!

Tuesday, 6/22/2021: Rest Day--I felt completely sore from head-to-toe, weak, and exhausted. My body was telling me to rest. I walked the dog. Does that count?

Do you care about my goldfish at school? No? Skip the following paragraphs! 

*I have a 40-gallon "rescue tank"** at school. It currently houses 4** goldfish and 2 minnows. The tank is accessorized with a filter, aerator, and automatic feeder. During the school year, I check on them and feed them daily. Over breaks less than 2 weeks, the tank is on an automatic feeder that is, unfortunately, quite finicky. Otherwise, I check on them once every ten days to change their water and check the feeder.  

**I inherited the goldfish from a colleague at the beginning of summer break after my 2nd year of teaching. He didn't anticipate they would live through the students' "Eco-Column" projects. They cost 15 cents each. The 4 that survived are now 8-9 years old. The tank is a bit small but I fear they wouldn't survive in a pond (one has cataracts, and they no longer seem to mind if I touch them). My favorite, Carrot Top, is actually 9 years old. I actually purchased him as a pet when I moved back to the Bay Area. Originally, he was white with an orange patch on his head. Oddly, over the past year, the orange has receded to just a ring around his eyes. I don't have names for the other ones, which is very unlike me. Maybe Cat (-aracts), Goldie (for obvious reasons), Ghostie (again, obvious). 

***The tank had 5 goldfish but Shrimpy finally passed during quarantine, despite the automatic feeder (set too conservatively to preserve water quality). Born blind, he had always been smaller than the other fish. He didn't thrive, and I always feared he'd be the first to go. Still, I felt horrible when I came to change the water one week and found his little skeleton, picked clean, at the bottom of the tank. 

You're welcome!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Week 4 Off to a Great Start!

 I lost 2 pounds! I've also gained some muscle; my arms and legs are more toned. Now, if I can lose this bowling ball I'm hauling around in my gut. I've been feeling much better about the workouts. They are still challenging, sure, but I'm doing much better considering I haven't been working out consistently in a long time. Lately, it feels like I'm back in training but I don't know for what. I think it may be time to sign up for some races. However, I want to focus on getting the workouts done, having fun, and just enjoying them. Anytime I focus on speed, I feel so dejected. I'm in no shape to go fast right now. 

Summary of Latest Workouts:

Monday (today!) 6/21/21

I did a double session today! First, I ran 5 mile on trails in Wunderlich Park, one of my favorites. The weather was pleasant, and the trail offered lots of shade. Interestingly, the run was way harder than running on streets around my neighborhood, but I enjoyed it much more. I don't have to struggle to make my mind go blank. Instead, I'm constantly entertained by changing terrain, sticks and stones I have to leap over, and beautiful scenery. I love the smell of eucalyptus and treasure the redwoods. The first 2.5 miles was straight uphill and very challenging but I did it and was rewarded with a wonderful, long relaxing downhill on the return. The views from the Meadows were stunning as always. It was hard, but not too hard. 

Afterwards, I stopped for a quick lunch at Robert's Market before heading to Gull Park for a swim. I don't know what got into me but I was just itching to jump in the water and go for a swim. I swam a new route that started off against the current (what little current there was) and then enjoyed a free push on the return. Because it was Monday, I had the entire lagoon to myself. I felt rhythmic in the water and thoroughly enjoyed the flow. I swam this much in a long time. I swam about 1.2 miles. 

Sunday (Father's Day) 6/20/21

I rode Torch to Los Gatos, which was just under 30 miles. It was fairly flat with a tailwind but felt much more challenging than it should have been. I did try to push the pace and was cruising on Foothill around 18 mph for much of the way, which was blissful. The end got tough but that may in part have been due to the rising heat. Saratoga and Los Gatos are about 10 degrees hotter than Menlo Park, and it was 90 when I arrived at my dad's red-faced, dripping and panting. He was quite alarmed but help me cool off and made me lunch. Happy Father's Day! I did bring him a hand-painted card that I carefully wrapped in waxed paper and slipped into my jersey. It's fun pretending to be a bike messenger.


I started with a challenging weights session. Because it was my first workout of the day, I felt fresh and hit the weights hard, doing a mix of machine and free weights. I followed this with a 4.5 mile neighborhood run with Juneau. We went around the school and back. It definitely felt easier than lat time but was a bit hot. I didn't realize how hot it actually was until I finished. It was 84 degrees. 


Weights on the machine and a 1.2 mile swim in Gull Park. I'm just loving these open water swims! (Especially when it's hot!)


Rest day. I hate rest days but it was about 100 degrees outside. I could have gone for an evening run but I wimped out. I guess I should be taking 1 rest day a week.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hot Bike

 Today, I biked and did weights. I felt energetic and strong. I knew it was hot, but I decided to go at noon, rather than wait and risk losing motivation. I did the Portola Valley Loop clockwise, which is about 20 miles, peppered with long, slow climbs. I focused on finding a steady pace and spinning evenly. I felt the power from my hips as they rotated in a repetitive, circular motion. I was impressed by all the other cyclists and runners braving the heat like me. I did not bereave my slow pace. Instead, I made sure I was getting a good workout. Sweating? Check. Breathing hard? Check. Legs burning? Check. It felt good. When I returned, I finished up with weights, just in case I wasn't going to be sore enough tomorrow. Apparently, it's 93 degrees out there. I thought it was mid-80s. I had no idea. Feeling proud that I braved the heat!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Week 3 Workouts

 I was disheartened to learn I hadn't lost ANY weight when I got on the scale this morning. I'm only weighing myself once a week. I couldn't believe it. I've been cutting calories, eating more fruits and veggies, and working out every day. So frustrating. I have about 20 pounds to lose, and they are NOT coming off. I'm trying to just focus on getting into shape and being healthy, even if I have to do this with the extra weight. I'm still slow as shit too but I have to admit, the workouts feel easier, and I even see some muscle definition starting to pop out. Trying so hard to focus on the positives but internally, I'm feeling very meh. 

Saturday, June 12: 4.4 mile run (thought it was 5 so this was disappointing to realize my "long" run is still so short. I used to run marathons, after all. Ugh.)

Sunday, June 13: 26 mile bike up King's Mountain to Skyline and back. About 2500 feet of climbing. My first ride with significant climbing since I started working out again. Despite everyone and their little sister spinning past me uphill and making me feel like a snail, I felt strong and steady. I never had any doubt I could reach the top. 

Monday, June 14: 1.2 mile open-water swim in the bay (more like a pea-soup, saltwater lagoon--Gull Park in Foster City). This was fantastic. My first open water swim since the fall, and it went, well, swimmingly!  I felt great the whole time, despite the current on the way back, kicked up by the afternoon winds. My back and shoulders were very sore the next day. Best part? I didn't need a wetsuit! The water was upper 60s. This was a great workout. 

Tuesday, June 15: 4.5 mile run. I got it done. Juneau helped. It was a bit hot (70s--I know, I'm a wimp). I could find a steady pace to maintain indefinitely (finally) but I'm SO slow. Oh, well. It was a good workout.

I don't know why I feel so blah. I've been doing a great job and am getting stronger. I just wish I was faster and weighed less. Working on it, but it's not easy.

Friday, June 11, 2021

Getting Better

 My last couple of runs have been getting easier. I'm so glad because running is my favorite. It's disheartening when your favorite sport becomes your weakest. We've started adding extra quarter miles. Tonight, we did about 4, and I finally found my old groove. I'm still slower than I want, but at least I can find a base pace where my mind can drift now. I followed up my run with some weights. My goal right now is just to work out consistently most days until the workouts feel less challenging. Then, I'll add distance and speed. I've been looking at races coming up later this summer. I've been looking at workout groups. I need to get my base up and my confidence too. 

This week's workouts:

Monday (6/7): weights and 1 mile swim (I had 35 minutes so I swam as fast as I could and as much as I could in the time given).

Tuesday (6/8): 20 mile bike

Wednesday (6/9): 3.5 mile run

Thursday (6/10): rest day

Friday (6/11): 3.75 mile run and weights

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Windy Bike

 I took the tri bike (Torch) out for a little workout today. Just down Foothill and back. Supposed to be an easy ride. Afterall, this used to be my taper ride. It was nothing but. Challenging and humbling. I'm out of shape. It's hard to tell how far I've fallen but I remember workouts being easy. Now, there's no such thing. It was also very windy, though I didn't realize how much until I turned around and was hit in the face with a wind tunnel. I'm not doing this for speed. I had to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this for health and for fun. I got it done, and I'm glad I did. Can't wait for the workouts to start feeling easier! Keep on, keeping on

Monday, June 07, 2021

Summer is here!

 Apparently, I haven't posted since last July. The school year was tough, really tough. Hopefully, it will go down in the books as the toughest ever. Somehow, I made it through, and, based on the crowds, the pandemic seems to be over in the Bay Area. Now that I'm vaccinated and school is out, it's time to work on myself and get back into shape.

I definitely gained the "Covid 15" but I'm in no worse shape than I was a year ago. Okay, I'm a little bit (a lot) more out of shape than my last post. I'm excited to be able to sign up for races again to stay motivated.  Logging my workouts seems to motivate me too, which is why I'm here. 

I've had my ups and downs this past year, but I've never given up on working on myself and fitting in the odd swim, run, or bike here and there. Travis passed in December. That was the biggest low of 2020. I still miss him every day. Luckily, I still have Juneau, and she is a faithful running partner. So I'm keeping on keeping on.

One of the highlights was being able to swim in the school pool with a new friend (water polo coach, ultra swimmer and fellow Bio teacher). We swam at 6:30 am 2x a week for 6 weeks! This past week, I swam 3x. I loved it and can't wait to resume next year. It certainly makes me look forward to getting to school. In the meantime, the ocean is open (although very cold--upper 50s), and I have a 35 minute slot at the local pool this afternoon ($10--grrrr--can't wait til the COVID restrictions are lifted).

Here are this past week's workouts (first time I was consistent and had something worth writing about for awhile):

Monday (5/31): 8-mile hike up Montara Mountain in Half Moon Bay with doggo and bf. Hard and hilly the first 4 miles but we made it! (see pics below)

Tuesday (6/1): 45 minute pool swim

Wednesday (6/2): 3 mile run with Juneau to the park and back (I'm out of shape; it was harder than it should have been).

Thursday (6/3): 45 minute pool swim

Friday (6/4): 45 minute pool swim

Saturday (6/5): 20 mile bike--rolling hills on "the Loop" in Woodside/Portola Valley. Gorgeous. I pushed it and was really sore the next day.

Sunday (6/6): 3 mile run with Juneau (same as Wednesday). Again, harder than it should have been. I was sore from the previous day's bike.

Monday (6/7): weights and a swim soon. can't wait!!!

Keep the momentum going!