"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ah, the smell of urine in the morning!

As Jane can attest, I don't live in the greatest neighborhood. It isn't awful, and it is surrounded by nicer neighborhoods but if you want TOTALLY NUDE GIRLS or a massage at 11 o'clock at night with "parking in the back" my hood is the place to be.

Hey, I am a teacher, in California, that owns a house. It is what it is.

This does however create an interesting running environment since I run at 4 in the morning. I usually run two 2.1 mile loops around my neighborhood and for the most part I can stay within the residential area which is quite nice. Older homes, mostly older people and young families, like I said pretty nice. But there is one 0.6 mile stretch where I have to venture into Pervertland.

I hang a right at the liquor/adult video and "toy" store and proceed up Degenerate Row (not the real name of the street, but added for effect). Sometimes I see the girls getting off work from the Pink Poodle, but usually I am alone. This morning while running by the sketchy alley that already gives me the creeps (and according to Garmin makes for my fastest splits. Fear, the great motivator) I catch a whiff of what is unmistakably NOT cat urine, but sugary, 'I drink so much my kidneys are spilling glucose', Bum urine. ICK!

Fortunately the fine specimen that had produced the urine was not still hanging around.

It was a great run. My first since the 50K, but I could have done without the Bum urine.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That's it! I am getting friends that are less hot

Let me begin with what started this whole rant in my head. My husband decided 2 weeks ago, let me repeat,

2 fucking weeks ago!

that he was going to lose some weight. Not try to lose some weight mind you, he was just going to go ahead and do it.

Yeah, easy peasy.

Today he announces that with infinitesimal changes in his diet he has already lost 8 pounds, let me repeat

8 fucking pounds!

and you can already see the difference in his waist. Last year when I went to Jenny Craig it took me at least a month to lose eight pounds, and no one noticed anything until I had lost 15 pounds which took me about 3 and a half months.


He is 14 years older than me and we look the same age. The checkout girls at Safeway (grocery store) still get all giggly and stupid around him. I, on the other hand, get ma'am-ed to death. Let me repeat,


Now, I appreciate that he is hot. Always have. And I know I married out of my league hotness wise, but it is still irritating.

Ok, back to the needing "less hot" friends rant:

While having lunch with my 25 year old and extremely hot friend (Ladies, want to try out being invisible some time? Hang out with an extremely hot 25 year old. It is awesome! I bet I could steal a car in front of a cop.) I am asked by the former student that is our waitress, "Hey, is this your daughter?"

Yes, I went from pregnant at 13 years old to being your biology teacher. That is how it ALWAYS works out.

But wait it can get worse,

Months later at Jiffy lube, while waiting for my car, after a particularly bad day, my gorgeous, 31 year old, LA Run buddy comes in to bring me a Starbucks. The genius at the counter asks "Hey, is this your daughter?"

Great, now I have to go to jail for shoving a can of 10-40 motor oil up your ass

Then today, after showing pictures of me and 34 year old Jane at the Skyline to Sea trail run to a friend he says, "That is so cool that you got to do that with one of your students!"

I betcha if Jane was a blonde I would have gotten "Hey, is that your daughter?"

Monday, September 22, 2008

Race Report:: Skyline to the Sea 50k September 20, 2008

If I was to sum it up my first 50k in one word, that word would be



since I am incapable of such concise thought I will drone on about all the minutiae of the day.

Mile 0

Jane and I got dropped off at the start and were immediately surrounded by seriously hardcore trail runners. We were the only ones in pink. We also were probably the only ones that hadn't eaten twigs and soil for breakfast.

These people were not your typical flashy tri-folk. They were sinewy, weathered and ready to pound out 7 and 8 min miles on trails with over 3,000 feet of climb and 5,000 feet of often technical decent for over 30 miles.

Holy shit.

Well, at least we look cute

Mile 1

The start was at the top of Highway 9 in Saratoga. The race director essentially said, 'have a good run' and we were off. Ultrarunning is very low key. If you want a lot of fanfare I would suggest that ultrarunning is probably not for you.

Within about 500 yards we were DFL. Don't worry I have photographic evidence to prove it.

Here is the back of the pack. Were we dropped so fast it was as if we had our own start.

I had been told that the first 6.5 miles were the most glorious downhill on a soft redwood trail that you would ever experience. It did not disappoint. It was beautiful and easy and we were feeling quite wonderful.

Wonderful until I suddenly felt a sharp pinch then burning sting on my back behind my right arm. Then we watched as a runner in front of us flailed and pawed at her hair. "Swarm of Bees! Run!" Jane screams. I am a little slow on the uptake and I get stung again. Christ, that hurts.

We were attacked again at mile 2 and then a third time at about mile 4. Then in the ultimate insult one of the little fuckers stung me at mile 28. Mile fucking 28! This, of course, caused me to swear profusely. Which I did (in my defense, unknowingly) in front of sweet, blue eyed cherub, his little sister, and their shocked parents. Whatever, that shit hurts!

All told I was stung 6 times. I still have to take Benadryl to sleep at night almost 3 days later.

I later found out that the attacks were by wasps. Yellowjackets to be exact. Now, as a biologist I should not wish harm upon an entire species, but I have done the research, and I see absolutely no value to these vile, spiteful creatures and am hereby calling for their elimination from the planet.

"But, wait they are important animal pollinators", the wasp-loving, twig eaters will whine.


Honeybees are cute, fuzzy, excellent pollinators, and only sting you if you are stupid enough to try to harm them first. They are not prone to chickenshit, unprovoked attacks. Yellowjackets consider yourself on notice!

Anyhoo back to the story.

Miles 2-7

Yellowjackets notwithstanding, it was a BLAST! Beautiful, easy, and we took every opportunity to take silly pictures: Jane and fallen redwood, RBR in redwood hollowed out by a lightning strike.

Miles 7-11

Here we started a long, slow, slightly demoralizing climb. Don't get me wrong it was still beautiful, but I started to wory about our ability to make it to mile 15.5 by the 1 pm cutoff.

By time we got to the top of China grade and the second aide station we had actually passed two people! We were no longer DFL! One guy looked pretty bad and said there was much more climb than he had bargained for and the other guy was demoralized by both bees stings and the climb.

The volunteer at the aide station said we had plenty of time to get to the next aide station where the cut off was.

Miles 11-15.5

Breathtaking views, childlike scampering over rock formations, quad frying technical downhills. I have to say I was giddy with joy. It was so AWESOME! Pictures: Me hamming it up as usual, Jane tearin' up the trail, Stunning view and stunning trail.

iles 15.5-20.3

Sucked plain and simple. We made the cut off but we had to push it and then we were treated to a celebratory climb for over 3 miles. I think this picture sums up our morale during this stretch.

Miles 20.3-29

After the aide station at mile 20.3 there was not another aide station for almost nine miles. There was one more big climb and the rest was downhill.

Jane and I separated during this stretch and ran alone. This part was equal parts hard and amazing. I felt like I just ran and ran. My Garmin was unreliable in the forest and I had no idea how far I had gone or how far I had left to go. I vacillated between wanting it to be done and I wanting it to continue.

I have to admit I felt a little super human during this stretch. I was tired, I was sore, but I was still running and enjoying myself. Picture: A bench made from a redwood log at about mile 24-25.

After what felt like hours, I finally reached the mile 29 aide station. I instantly fell in love with the volunteer and tried to woo him with my charm and wit. Oddly, he seemed unaffected by my advances.

What? Salt encrusted, foul smelling, babbling idiots, able to devour a package of red vines in one swallow aren't his type? Freak.

Whatever, I pressed on. There were just 2 miles left. The Marsh trail was the last half mile and you would have thought I found the Holy Grail when I saw the bridge over the marsh.

The finish line was orange traffic cones and a clock that read an embarrassing 8:52 finish time, but I finished. I survived it and I still had a smile on my face as I crossed the line.

I captured possibly the WORST finish picture EVER of Jane as she crossed the line, but we had done it. We ran 31.1 miles.

Regardless of finish time I am immensely proud of us both.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I am running my first 50K (31.1 miles for us ugly Americans) today. All I can think, is what the SAM HELL was going through my pea brain when I signed up to do this?

Jane came in last night from Texas. She is such a trooper! She has been sick all week, but she is willing to give this thing a go. Of course, what else would you expect from someone that PR'd a half-iron triathlon with a dog bite wound wrapped in duct tape?!

We had dinner last night (at around 8:30 pm [10:30 pm her time] due to my catastrophically poor planning and absolutely shit schedule) and it was so cool to meet her. I started following her blog about a year or so ago and am always inspired by her honesty, humor, and get back up and fight attitude. She ROCKS (hee hee. Sorry Jane) and I am very stoked to get to do this run with her.

But as I sit here drinking my coffee I am plagued with worry:

1. The biggie is, what if I don't make the 8 hour cutoff? Really, I am more worried that I won't get a t-shirt or WORSE, they will have to wait and be mad at me for signing up for a race where I there was a high probability that I wouldn't make the cut off.

2. What if I am so slow and Jane feels like she is trapped with a lead anchor all day? Oh worse yet, I am a hyper, irritating, idiot that she is trapped with? That is pretty likely too.

3. What if they tow my car that I left in the parking lot of the finish yesterday because I didn't want to ride the bus to the start? Or more likely, what if someone steals it? I fucking hate Santa Cruz. I have a novel idea, pot-smoking losers, get a fucking job instead of breaking into cars!

4. What if I can't make it at all and hikers find my lifeless body being gnawed on by ground squirrels? Alright, less likely. Ground squirrels aren't really known for there scavenging, carnivorous nature, but still, a concern.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Race Report:: Triathlon at Pacific Grove September 13, 2008

Race Report: Triathlon at Pacific Grove September 13, 2008

I will begin this report with the important news ...


FINAL TIME: 3:52:27


And the old guy in the Hawaiian shirt on the fixed gear bike didn't beat me, so my coach still has a job. I am sure she was very worried about losing such an elite athlete.

Picture: His name is actually Stu and he is out there every year. He is a hell of a nice guy. He swims without a wetsuit and after he does the olympic race on Saturday he does the sprint race on Sunday with his wife. Everyone LOVES Stu! I still kicked his ass though. I have to take my victories where I can get them.

The Swim: A retrospective and comparative analysis

Total time
2008: 55: 32
2007: 1:09:20

Yep, I took almost 14 minutes off my swim time!

Number of times I puked:
2008: 0
2007: 1 and a few dry heaves

Number of times I was followed by a rescue canoe and/or surfboard:

2008: 0
2007: the entire second loop

Improvement? Me thinks, yes!

Picture: Me (foreground) and LA run buddy coming out from our warm up swim.

I struggled with sighting and ended up wrestling with the kelp more than I would like to admit, but I felt really strong on the first loop.

When I came out of the water (to run around the stupid rock and enter for my second loop) I wanted to check my time. My watch read 9:15. Hmmm... unless I found a jet ski that would never happen, then for a split second I thought "I feel really strong maybe it said 19 minutes!!!" Reality (in the form of failing, inefficient swimmers that were the only ones of my wave that were left with me ) splashed me in the face and after I sputtered and coughed I thought " ok, maybe 29 minutes. Whatever, still good for you. Keep swimming."

Picture: Team RBR getting ready to rumble!

On the second loop, I kept hearing someone screaming "left, left!" and I thought "Oh for fuck's sake just pass me already!" When I looked up, I saw the surfboard girl. Ok, let's be honest, as I almost ran into her, I saw the surfboard girl:

Surfboard girl: "I was trying to help you keep out of 'this'."
By 'this', she means a big kelp bed that I was now entangled in. Shit.

Me: "Oh , I thought someone was trying to pass me."

Surfboard girl: looking at me as one would a mentally slow child "They usually only say that when they pass you on the bike or the run."

Me: feeling like a MAJOR dumbass "Oh."

After I extracted myself from the kelp I swam on and finished my fastest Pac Grove swim EVER!

Picture: Ha! Take that stupid Pacific Ocean! I am your bitch no longer!

2008 6:12
2007: 14:24

Secret of my success? I ran up the hill, instead of the slog of failure I had done the previous year and I didn't sit down or cry. That, apparently, saves you a lot of time. Who knew?

The Bike

2008: 1:39:08
2007: 1:43:28

I rode hard, but not a huge improvement. I need to work on speed on the bike. I HAVE to find people to ride with. I don't push myself when I am alone. Overall I was happy with my ride. I felt great on the bike and I did push it, but I am just not fast.

Picture: I am SUPER mature at all times. Hardcore to the bone. That is I.


2008: 5:21
2007: 1:47

I ran off the bike (ok, "ran" is strong. But I did shuffle quickly, off the bike) I didn't get lost. I didn't go pee. I was racked in the same old lady racks I always am. What that hell? What WAS I doing for over five minutes?

The Run

2008: 1:06:13
2007: 1:07:24

My legs felt great. My feet were numb from the bike for the first two loops of the run (hubby is moving my cleats, he thinks they are too far back. I had no idea it wasn't normal for your feet to go numb when you bike over 20 miles)

Picture: Team RBR Wonder Mascot, Lucy, waits on the run course for her mama!

Unfortunately, I had inhaled some sea water and it triggered my asthma. After the first loop I was struggling to move air. I had kept it at bay on the bike with my inhaler, but since I wasn't running with my run belt I did not have my inhaler on the run. Big mistake. I felt great but I could only move so much air. That kept me from being able to bump it up after I got my legs back. Oh well. Lesson learned and I still had a good run.


Fantastic race. I had an absolute blast. It was exactly what I wanted, fun and fitness with friends, old and new.

The Triathlon at Pacific Grove is such a newbie friendly, craziness friendly race. We cheered for everyone and were cheered for by everyone. We met up with Calyx and Donna and got to take pictures and swap stories and nervous energy.

I won't let the cat out of the bag (but, since we know it will take FOREVER for Calyx to do her race report) Calyx and Donna had AWESOME first races! It was such an honor to be there with them!

Picture: Team RBR and Wonder mascot, Lucy

Here is a link to hubby's album. Zenfolio | ed rader

He is still processing and uploading so check back. I am still waiting on several key pictures, but I wanted to post a timely race report (ahem, Calyx, Hint, hint)

He takes pictures of LOTS of people (not just Team RBR) so if you or anyone you know did Pacific Grove feel free to send them the link! I always feel bad that he has these great pictures of people and they never get to see them.

Friday, September 12, 2008


This week has been completely RIDICULOUS! I have just packed all my stuff I have no idea if I have everything, but I am heading out to Pac Grove. No internet at the hotel so I will have to check with you peeps on Sunday when I return!

Pray that the tri goes INFINITELY better than that last long run, my last brick or the last four days.

I am bringing both my camera and my photographer so I will have plenty of pictures of RBR girls and hopefully Calyx and Donna!!


Sunday, September 7, 2008


You know the old adage that a shitty last long run means you will have a good race, if it is true I may fucking well WIN the Triathlon at Pacific Grove next week.

Elevation for today's run:

Fremont Older Run: 10 miles 2:33:08 - List of Shit that sucked ass on today's run:

1. I was in a foul mood from the moment my alarm went off at 5 am (it is 10 trillion degrees these days in California, you have to run early)

2. My legs felt crappy from the first step until the last.

3. 9 billion 327 mountain bikers out on the trails today.

4. I got yelled at by one of the aforementioned Mountain bikers.

Let me recount the story for you:

We are both climbing up a steep as fuck hill in the sun on a single track. I will admit that I do not hear him behind me because I have my iPod on, but I always stay to the right of the trail. And in this case, it was a single track, there was no right of the trail. As soon as the trail widened a little, I moved over and he passed me growling "that is why you turn down your iPod."

Me thinks:
We are both climbing on a single track, multi-use trail. I am NOT expected to dive into the fucking Poison Oak and cling to a cliff edge to let your self important, bitch-ass pass me.

Me says: Fuck you!

Rapier wit and class all in one cute, little, pink package!

5. Some asswipe in a HUGE truck (can we say overcompensation much?) blocked me into my parking space. It took me a full 5 minutes (and two very nice men directing me) to get my car out of the parking lot once this god forsaken run was finally done.

Fremont Older Run - List of Shit that sucked ass LESS on today's run:

1. As usual it was pretty.

2. It is over.

Here is the evidence of the only redeeming quality of today's run

Where is the fucking chocolate cake...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Today I...

Today I swam around this

Photo credit: HunterBlock
The Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Does it look far? 'Cuz it is.

With these

Photo credit: CelinaMcM Sea lions of Santa Cruz.
Cute 'til one of them swims under you weighing in at around 300 pounds and moving about 30 miles an hour!

Today I am feeling a little like this

Today I went to Mary's memorial.

All I have to say is that it isn't often that you go to church and see a nice, God fearing Episcopalian woman in a Sunday bonnet sandwiched between a 20 year old un-wed mother wearing red sequins and stilettos and a guy with full sleeve tattoos. When they gave Communion over half the congregation (myself included) remained seated. It was hotter than Hell in the church. Hubby said that the heathen count was too high.

BTW, he is the dude with full sleeve tattoos and we were both certain we would immediately erupt in flames if we set one foot on the altar to take communion.

When I looked around at the people that were at her memorial (it was packed) I thought, it really represented her well. That was Mary, a walking lesson in tolerance, acceptance, and a true love of all things "life." No matter how fucked up.

I miss you Mary. Thank you for everything.

I scared

I have to go swim around the Santa Cruz Wharf today.

Me no happy.

The really rich part is that I pay to do this shit.

If I get eaten by a shark or taken hostage as a large male sea lion's sex toy, it has been a true pleasure knowing you , my friends.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Numbers, numbers, numbers

August 2008 Training totals:

10,612 yards
Bike: 230 miles
Run: 100.3 miles

YTD 2008 Training totals:

Swim: 47,841 yards
Bike: 1,059 miles
Run: 577.5 miles

I am pretty happy with the numbers. It is the first time I have ever racked numbers like that did not involve fat grams or calories consumed.

Today I got up at 3:30am to run 5 miles and I haven't stopped running since. It has been a long day. I got home 2 hours ago and now I have to go back out to pre-masters swim class and then after class I have a 30 minute swim lesson because I don't have any other time to have it. I will get home around 9:30pm and then I have to do lesson planning for tomorrow and do it all over again.

I tired.