Sup guys?

I just “ran” for the first time in months (and the time before that was probably months as well).  The quotation marks are because I only had to run for a total of 5 minutes – and even that I did at my usual lumbering pace.  It did not feel good.

Platitudes that are not consoling me:

  • Every journey starts with a single step
  • You’re still lapping everyone on the couch!
  • The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen

Still, hey, I’m glad I did it.

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Race Report: Inaugural Downtown LA Turkey Trot 5k

I’ve done THREE races in the past few weeks, and I haven’t yet written about any of them. Unacceptable! Here’s the first. I’ll give ya my take on the Spartan Race tomorrow, and the HITS Palm Springs Olympic Triathlon on Tuesday. Pinky swear!

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I think that the whole idea of a race on Thanksgiving day is just brilliant. You get up early and burn a few hundred calories (before consuming a few thousand), it’s a great start to the day before all the food and family craziness begins, and it’s NOT FOOTBALL. (Last year I watched parts of four games. That’s, like, three and a half games too many for me.) Also, people dress in awesome costumes.

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Tell me you don’t want to go jogging with this guy.

Alex and I are training for a half marathon in January, so it seemed like a good way to get a maintenance run in. Plus, we had a pretty good time last year at the Newport Pie Run. My younger brother Raymond (I first typed “little brother,” but let’s face it – at 17 he has scraggly facial hair and towers over me, so that’s not really appropriate) was also considering doing the New Year’s run, so to test the waters we got his registration for this, too. It was his first official race – d’aww!

The route was through downtown Los Angeles, which is familiar but still pretty. There was a pretty decent hill that I remember hating during the LA Marathon in 2010, but despite that, Alex and I took no walking intervals. Score!

Speedy McYoungster placed 19th in his age group, and Alex and I maintained a respectable (for us) sub-12:15 minute per mile pace. It was a lot of fun. And now that we’ve done the inaugural one, I’ll probably want to run it every year that we’re in town. Maybe try the 10K next time!

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WEEKEND WEEKEND WEEKEND

I swear, scarcity improves things. When I’m watching calories, the food I do eat (especially after a workout) tastes SO GOOD. Similarly, when I was unemployed, weekends were not nearly as sweet as they are now, after a long work week.

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I’m excited to get out of here. I’d LIKE to just go straight home and get ready for the parties we’ll be stopping by tonight (I’d say “attending,” but I’m supposed to go for a group bike ride at 8am, so you know I’m not staying out too late!). But, I’m going to be good and get to the gym for a maintenance run first. I am inspired by my cousin, who is working towards a goal and went to the gym four times in the past two weeks, because she is awesome. I would like to be, as well!

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What I “Won”

Ok, so my name was not called at the raffle. But once 25 or 30 other people had claimed all the best swag (Garmins! Wetsuits!) they did say anyone who’d joined in the past six months could come up and select something. So I did:

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Don’t be jealous of my boogie.

Training starts back up today. I will go for a run when I get home. I will, I will, I will.

Warrior Dashin’!

This weekend, I’m traveling up to Northern California to participate in my fourth Warrior Dash. I’m very excited to report that I’ve just exceeded my fundraising goal, and received donations totaling more than $300 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Yay!

I don’t think there’s any chance of topping last year’s shenanigans, but I’m still looking forward to it. Life’s been crazy lately, so I’m undertrained, but it’s a 5k, so I know I can get through it. My husband is running it with me. Check out this picture of us from the 2011 race:

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As you can see, he is awesome and I… well… yeah. Yet I’ve met my goal and he hasn’t. Crazy, right? If you’d like to donate, please click here. No amount is too small to help; I love $5 donations because that’s within almost everyone’s reach, yet it’s enough to actually help a child with cancer. Please consider giving to this great cause!

Leaving the Country Again!

Well, in a few hours I’m getting on another plane. (Remember when I told you I was having trouble settling into a routine?)

Alex and I are off to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, for a family wedding. I’ve never been to that part of the world before (in fact, all I’ve seen of Mexico is Tijuana, Rosarita, and Ensenada), but the internet tells me it looks like this:

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Photo credit: travel.usnews.com

So… yes, please. I’m excited!

I have two fitness goals for this trip: first, to track all my calories ONLINE daily, even if it means being a party pooper and sitting in the hotel lobby (where there’ll be wifi) for 15 minutes every morning to do it. I came back from France with a week’s worth of paper-journaled food I then had to enter into MyFitnessPal.  Not fun! Second, I want to go running twice. I know I’m going to eat and drink like a gluttonous lush, so I’m not going to kid myself about that.

When I get back, my triathlon training for the rest of the season will begin in earnest. Irondad is writing me up a training plan that is all color-coded, based on zones, and categorized into base, build, peak, and recovery weeks. Fancy! I think I’m going to need a new heart-rate monitor, though… I can’t find the telemetry strap for my Polar. Do they sell those separately? Should I get a Garmin brand one so Señor Garmin will have a girlfriend? Inquiring minds want to know!

Race Report: Big Rock Sprint Triathlon

Saturday was my second triathlon! Here, let me tell you all about it.

The Good

  • I got to share the experience with wonderful people!  My husband and two of my close friends also participated, and it was their first triathlon. The husband of one of those friends was there too, and I made sure he knew that Support Spouses are the unsung but much-appreciated heroes of multi-sport. My Irondad and stepmom came out and cheered us on and took pictures and video. It was so great being there with all these people I love.
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Triathlete husband, Irondad, and me!
Photo credit: Andrea Bonham

  • The course was nice! The water temperature in the lake was pleasant, there were pretty wildflowers growing throughout the recreation area, and there was a paved path to run on.
  • I made a good decision, asking for late check out at the hotel so we could go back to shower and change after the race. I felt so much more human going out to lunch minus all the sweat, sunscreen and cold wet clothing!

The Bad

  • The weather. It was hard to enjoy the scenery because we couldn’t see it – the whole morning was ridiculously foggy. It was also kind of cold, windy, and drizzly on the bike (this didn’t bother me, but Alex was cursing me, thinking “She SAID it was going to be pretty!”).
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Triathletes in the mist!
Photo credit: Scott Evans

  • The race was pretty disorganized. There weren’t enough buoys or kayakers on the swim course, especially considering the visibility issues. The volunteers were all kids who didn’t know what was going on or where anything was. The transition area was not arranged by number (which I know is just how it is sometimes, but I’m not a fan). The run was on the honor system – there was no volunteer or timing mat at the sprint turnaround point, just a small sign.
  • The religious element. Nowhere in the advertising for this did I see anything about it being a Christian event, yet I stood there uncomfortably while they said a pre-race prayer over the PA, and we are now the not-so-proud owners of Big Rock Triathlon t-shirts with bible verses printed across the front. Not cool.
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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come…” (???)
(Best comment from one of our friends: “Pretty sure He got DQed after trying to walk on the swimming stage.”)

Now on to the race itself!

The Swim

It was a Stephen King horrorshow of mist and fog. Triathletes would head out into the water, get about 10 feet away, and completely disappear.

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Photo credit: Scott Evans

My girlfriends and I were in the very last wave, and I know I’m not a particularly strong swimmer. I worried that everyone would just take off and I wouldn’t be able to see anyone or know which way to go… so I threw everything I know about proper swimming technique out the window. I kept my head above water almost the entire time, and did my bizarre breast-stroke doggie-paddle frog-kick swim as fast as I could. It worked! I followed the half-mile course and finished in 19:01.

The Bike

I survived! The 20k course took me 47:53, which is just ok (averaged about 15mph). I know I can ride faster, especially with some hill training and some more practice with clipless pedals). My loaner bike was light and fast, but I am still getting used to the different geometry of it, and the clips still terrify me. I mounted and dismounted very slowly and carefully (but didn’t fall!), and I walked a little bit on the big hill at the end because I was going so slow I was afraid I might fall over, clipped in. All in all, I’m ok with my bike leg.

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Photo credit: Mike Radogna

The Run

Ugh. Not my best 5k. Lots of walking – my calves were cramping and the cardio endurance just wasn’t there. 37:32.

Overall… I’m so glad I did this one. I’m proud of myself and my loved ones for completing it, and it was a good wake-up call that I have some work to do before my longer triathlons this season.  Onward!

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Photo credit: Scott Evans