"...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)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Well, that was SUPER!

Today I went on my first ride with the tri club.

Ok, with is a slight exaggeration. I met them at a parking lot, we all left that parking lot at the same time, and that was pretty much the extent of the with for the day.

I had a feeling when all the Cervelos, Felts, and Guru's showed up I was in trouble. They kept saying "don't worry we are taking it easy today", "this is an off season ride" , and "stay in the back with me. I am slow." To which I say, BULLSHIT, BULLSHIT, and BULLSHIT.

I did make one friend, a girl that was riding in the back with me after the entire group dropped us like a bad habit in the first 2 miles. She said, "I'll stick with you if you stick with me."

Here we are after the ride

Isn't she a cutie? This is EXACTLY what she looked like to me for the majority of the 31 mile ride


She dropped me approximately 43 seconds after she told me she would stick with me. Apparently, what she actually meant was that I should stick with her if I was faster, but she could drop me like a used condom if she was faster.

One poor schlub would wait for me at each turn (probably the guy that drew the short straw at the last club meeting) so I didn't get lost. But, really, if I am going to ride alone anyway I would prefer that one person not be forced to wait for me, show me the turn, and then immediately drop me again.

Super awesome ride. Really, I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, November 28, 2008

As if there was any doubt...

I am a super geek.

I was intrigued by this fourth folder, fourth picture thingy I have seen lurking around blogland.

This is the fourth picture in my fourth folder.

Are you kidding me?

Shirleyperly has a professional Runner's World photo shoot where she not only looks like a world class runner, but a super model to boot, AKA Alice has her adorable children as babies covered in bandaids, Cindy has adorable Dink playing fetch AND her cute as pie son being carried in an Igloo cooler (she cheated and posted 2), Stef has a soapy, sweet face, poochalicious, Brinley.

And me? I have Dorkfest 2008.

Photo Explanation: This is a transmission electron micrograph of 3 T2 bacteriophages (bacteria specific viruses) injecting their DNA into an E. coli cell. I mean, as transmission electron micrographs go it is pretty darn cool, but...umm... yeah.

Excuse me while I go find my pocket protector, I have to get ready for the Star Trek convention.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Race Report: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10K November 27, 2008

I was supposed to run this with my dad, but Thanksgiving dinner obligations kept him from joining me (read: Mom was pissed he was skipping out to go run instead of helping.) No one wants an unhappy Mom and since I have a smaller role in the preparation of the meal (read: I do jack shit for the dinner and bring a store bought pie for dessert every year) I had no room to complain.

I thought I would be solo in this one, but ...

My Run Buddy decided to join me and do the 5K!! Yay!

It was really crowded but I felt pretty good, so I tried to keep a good pace. This is only my second 10K and the first one was done for fun with friends. One of my goals had been to run a 10K at a 10 min per mile pace and today I succeeded!

Total time 1:02:30 a 9:58 min/mile! Woo Hoo! After running 24 miles in the redwoods on Sunday I really thought this was a pipe dream, but lookie there I did it!

After the race we ran into my friend from State. She had run the 10K in 50 minutes.

Whatever, she is freaking 22! When I was 22...

hmmm.... let's see... when I was 22 I was chain smoking cigarettes and barely had the wherewithal to leave the couch to get another Snickers bar.

Ok, bad example.


Today I want to give thanks for all the things I am grateful for in my life, but honestly the list is overwhelming. Great! There is ANOTHER damn thing I am grateful for, an overwhelming list of things I am grateful for.

I spent many years of my life clinically depressed and unable to feel gratitude or happiness. Now, I am awed daily by the undeserved bounty of my life. Here is my incomplete list: (in pictures of course!)

1. My family:

The people that know the real you, not just the pretty package you present to the world, and love you anyway.

My husband has been at my side for the worst of the worst and the best of the best. He has stayed when lesser men would have run away screaming. In my wild swings from one extreme to the other he represents my 'middle', my safety. It doesn't sound very 'girl power', but nothing I have accomplished would have been possible without him. I am stronger and better for knowing and loving him.

My animal family remind me daily that whatever my current crisis or deadline, it just isn't that fucking important. They love me just as much at 130 pounds as 160. They love me just as much with a college degree as without, whether I PR a race or sit on my big ass eating Ho-Ho's. They just love me and I thank the stars above everyday for each and every one of them.

My friends: which I feel close enough to call family. I didn't think I was capable of having friends like this. I am without words for how happy they make me.

The Blogland community of friends. This is another area I am overwhelmed with gratitude for. I have met and virtually 'met' so many amazing people through this journal. A journal I just started to shed a few pounds, but it gave me so much more.

I have a post in my mind that I want to do, but I will have to wait I have to go into work today, but I just want to say thank you. Truly, thank you for all the love and support you have given me over this last year.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Don't hate me because my trails are beautiful!

Hee, hee that title was for Willie.

I will start that this week included 5 - 17 hour days. Monday through Friday. Total insanity.

I left the house each morning at 4:30 am and returned at about 10:00 pm. I was at work all day, then taught an after school AP Biology review session, then went out to teach my class at State, then back to the high school to teach another AP Biology review session. I packed three meals a day to take with me. I was able to run 5 miles each day on Tuesday and Thursday at lunch and go back to shower at school and teach my after school review sessions and so on. When I got home I had to write lesson plans and grade. I slept about 2-3 hours a night. Then on Friday night and Saturday morning I taught labs for AP Biology. In between all this I had a 25 page research paper to finish and turn in and a research poster to create and present. I had to bail on several very important faculty meetings (can you smell the sarcasm?) and now have four friendly reminder (yep, more sarcasm) emails about my absence at said meetings.

It was a hell of a week.

Needless to say I was more than a little concerned about my long workouts this weekend and my ability to complete them.

On Saturday, I did a long ride of sorts. It was only 18 miles, but it did have some hills, so I am counting it toward my new "get your ass ready for IMCdA before you embarrass yourself" resolution.

On Friday, I got an email from a gal that trains with my coach. She was looking for people to run part of her 35 miler this weekend. Hot damn! I told her I needed to do 20 miles and was looking for something relatively easy. We decided to run in Big Basin Redwood Forest and, well, somehow that 20 miles of easy trail translated into 24 miles and a whole lot of descent and climbing.

Garmin had some trouble tracking in the forest, but USGS says 24 miles
and 3980 ft of total climb.

Five of us ran. 3 of the gals ran the 12 miles from the headquarters to the beach and had one of the their husbands pick them up. Then Helen and I turned around and headed back up the hill. I have to say, I would have rather climbed in the beginning and had the descent at the end, but it was worth to get to run with a group for a run I was seriously dreading.

Julia (Run partner from Bizz Johnson) crossing a wood bridge at the end of the first short climb, before the big descent

Julia hamming up the climb. She just got over a nasty cold so she was quite the trooper for being out there

Claire posing with one of the many cool fallen trees that have become part of the trail.

Julia and I in the dark forest

This little red speck is Helen. She is a seriously BADASS ultrarunner. She is doing the 50 miler at the North Face Challenge in Marin on Dec 6th. The fact that I was even on this run with her made me feel more than a little badass myself.

I don't know what happened here. Low light + shaky runner hands = shit picture.
Sorry for the blurr. Left to right: Lori, Helen, and Claire. Julia was off taking pictures of a newt.

Here is Julia as a newt!

Not surprisingly, I did not take any pictures on the 10 miles of climb up from the beach. I was working a little too hard! But I did get this picture describing the and I had to add oone I took of Jane's thoughts of this trail during Skyline to Sea.

In the end I was pretty damn proud of myself. I had to get a picture with Helen 1. because she is a bad ass and 2. because she helped me get up that damn hill! I look a little happier than her because I am done and the poor thing still has 11 miles in these hills to go!

All in all a great run. I had a blast and felt pretty darn great. Product mini-review: This is the first run I have done using Perpeteum from Hammer. I have been looking for a drink for longer workouts and I had a free sample so I decided to try it. It tastes like shit, but I think it helped. I didn't have any stomach trouble using it with Gu and fig newtons. They jury is still out since it was just one run and I was conservative because I didn't want to have stomach problems in the forest for 24 miles.

Jane is IRON!!!!

She got it the fuck done!

You rock my socks girl!!

Go see her and tell her what a fucking rockstar she is! I am so excited you would think I did the damn thing.

Our other ROCKSTARS of the day:

S. Baboo rocked the hell out of it as usual! What else did you expect? The man is a MACHINE!!

Debi- SWTrigal blazed the course and probably rode her bike home from the event.

SWTrigal's hubby Hartley laughed at time cut offs and had a hell of a first race.

Congratulations 2008 IMAZ athletes! You rock!!

**Redwood trail story to come (with pictures). I had a pretty rockstar day myself, but I had to celebrate my buddy first!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Send some positive athlete love and energy to Tempe Arizona today, 'cuz


Go Jane Go!! Forward Motion, baby! It is all about forward motion!

Here are the numbers to watch:

Jane (first IM) 2225

Debi - SWTriGal (Second IM this year!) 2611

SWTrigal's hubby Hartley (first IM) 2005

S. Baboo
(3rd, yes I said 3rd, IM distance this year) 1230

Here's to being safe, successful and having a freaking BLAST!! I am so proud of and inspired by you all.

On another note, my schedule is so INSANE that I can't even believe it. Even for me it is ridiculous, but the semester is almost over at State. I have missed you all. I have read most of your blogs, but I have had no time to comment. I will be back after my 20 miler today in the redwoods to whine I am sure.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ride Report: Solvang Metric Century - November 15, 2008

Ride Report: Solvang Metric Century - November 15, 2008

I survived my first organized, and longest distance, bike ride. It was tough, but I am very glad I did it for several reasons:

1. It showed me how far I have to go to get ready for IMCdA.

Long rides EVERY weekend from here on out. I can always get my long run in, but I bail all too frequently on the long ride.

2. It proved to me that I am stronger on the bike than I thought.

I did the first 45 miles without using my granny gear. By the time I hit the second big climb, my quads were pretty fried and I was tired, so I had to go into the granny gear and had to stop a few times on the hill. I stood there panting in the shade with MANY other riders. The heat got up to 90 degrees, so we hopped from tiny shade spot to tiny shade spot up the 3 mile hill. On the extremely indelicate side, I was also surprised that my ass and *ahem* other parts held up much better than expected.

Elevation Chart for the ride. It was 65 miles, not 71. I forgot to turn off my Garmin and it tracked our drive back to the hotel. It also says that it took me 12 hours to complete the ride, since it kept counting until it ran out of battery.

3. It reminded me how much I LOVE my LA Run Buddy!

Getting ready to head out!

Pretty central California views. This is my first attempt at pictures from the bike.

Picture of LA Run buddy. This is not as easy as you would think.

The self portrait wasn't any easier, nor very flattering.

This is Molly. She was the official greeter at the first rest stop (around Mile 19/20). This picture was granted at the price of one Oreo cookie and a belly rub. Dogs are so cheap. I would have held out for at least two Oreo cookies and a belly rub.

At the second rest stop (Mile 31ish) after the first big climb. We are feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

Miles 35-45 were a long, slow, painfully boring stretch on a straight highway. I attempted to hold the camera over my head and take pictures of LA Run Buddy behind me. Most were
WILDLY unsuccessful.

Finally. Here she is wrestling with the ride sheet. We thought it better that she navigate since I SUCK at it and had lost a contact lens that morning.

LA Run Buddy at the Utopian Rest stop at Mile 45. It was a little tough to leave this
beautiful, food filled aide station when less than 50 feet out of the rest stop you started the
worst climb of the ride.

The only thing worse than the climb from Miles 45 to 48 was the hellish descent. The road was super steep, cracked, pitted and riddled with cavernous pot holes just begging to fold your front tire into a pretzel. I have never swore so much on my bike. And that is saying A LOT because, believe me, I have sworn A LOT on the bike.

I honestly don't know how the guys handled it. They must have spent an hour after the ride trying to dislodge their testicles from their liver.

On our way back into town, we passed Ostrichland! Unfortunately, the birds were
WAY out in the pasture, but I think you can see them.

Still smiling at the end. Always a good sign.
We had a great ride. It was tough, but I think we both held up pretty well.

We will be back in March for the full 100 miles!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Race Report: Big Sur 1/2 Marathon November 9, 2008

PR baby!!


Thank God. I feel like my last few races haven't gone so well. It is certainly not that I am all about speed, but it is nice to have a run that just comes together.

The run is called the Big Sur Half Marathon at Monterey Bay because it is NOT at Big Sur, it is in Monterey. It is put on by the same people as the Big Sur International Marathon, so they keep the name. This is very irritating to most people. Me, meh, I don't care. But I felt like I should explain.

My Run Buddy decided to not do the race, but still offered to come with me for moral support so that was cool.
I don't know why I always look like I am wired on crack in these pictures.

We got there at 5:45 for packet pick up and the race started at 7:05. It was cool (not fucking, FREEZING like Bizz Johnson) and lightly raining (not POURING like Stinson Beach) I actually got perfect running weather. Maybe the curse has been lifted.

It was a much bigger race than I expected. The news reported 6,000 runners. It was really crowed for the whole race I was dodging people at Mile 13. That NEVER happens to me. At my speed, I practically get a private finish. I spent so much time dodging people that my Garmin read 13.37 miles at the finish. My pictures are pretty awful because I didn't slow down to take them.

Of course, the lack of blur in my pictures taken at full running speed DOES harm my self esteem a bit.

A very boring shot of running through downtown Monterey

For the first 3 miles I felt like crap. My legs felt heavy and I was thinking it was going to be a long morning. Then around Mile 4 I got a burst of energy. and I started to feel pretty great. At Mile 6 I started to feel super human (Look there are nines!!)

Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
111' 34+1' 155.2-0.6+10 ft
211' 01+0' 425.4-0.40 ft
310' 13-0' 065.9+0.1+10 ft
411' 16+0' 575.3-0.5+3 ft
510' 44+0' 255.6-0.2+42 ft
69' 52-0' 276.1+0.3-56 ft
79' 52-0' 276.1+0.3-13 ft
89' 53-0' 266.1+0.3+26 ft
99' 50-0' 296.1+0.3-7 ft
1010' 01-0' 186.0+0.2-17 ft
1110' 14-0' 055.9+0.00 ft
1210' 25+0' 065.8-0.1+13 ft
1310' 11-0' 085.9+0.10 ft
end01' 22' 11+01' 11' 520.7-5.1-7 ft
Versus average of 10' 19 min/mile

We got to run through the tunnel which was fun, except it was still when I felt like shit at that point, so I was cranky about all the yelling. Boo.

Heading into the tunnel

Running down Cannery Row (a bunch of old fish canneries turned into tacky
tourist shops. I just don't see the draw)

Sammy the Sea Otter, the mascot from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, came out to cheer on runners. Now THIS is something you MUST see if you come to California. The aquarium is amazing. Simply amazing.

At Mile 6 we turned down to the water's edge and the views were stormy, but beautiful.

My pictures do not do it justice.

I felt like I was working pretty hard, but when the Mile 8 guy called out the splits I did some quick calculations and decided a PR was not in the cards today.

An all female Taiko Japanese Drumming group at Mile 9

Last beautiful view at Mile 10.

At about Mile 11.5 I regained the ability to do math and realized that I could get a PR on this race. I kicked it up a notch (well, as much of a notch as I could muster) and brought it home. I was passing people left and right (that NEVER happens to me) it may be because I was breathing so hard they thought a freight train was bearing down on them so they were diving out of the way.

I was thrilled to see that I finished in 2:17:37 almost a 2 minute PR over the Santa Cruz half marathon in April.

At Denny's for a celebratory breakfast. Again with the crack eyes?

By the way, that last picture was taken with my new PINK blackberry! I have had a crappy couple of weeks, so I did me some retail therapy!