About Me

My photo
Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

How many days do I have?

Until the next Du/Tri? I have all of July to TRAIN!

This week I started up with my bike commuting again, so that has been good. I have to rely on walking to get to the store or when I want to visit Starbucks (Target) for my coffee. I don't miss going to my regular Starbucks so much even though school is out and it is much quieter these days.

Today I decided to do a quick run after arriving home - my ride home was pretty good with my average hovering around 15mph while going into the wind and the run felt surprisingly good. This is just the beginning of ramping back up for the All Women's Tri/Du event at Blue Lake - hope to have a team for this one because it will be totally fun!

Since riding the Tour de Blast I have decided that it would be good to drop some weight. That would greatly increase my ability to ride up hills, run like a fool and all other things that require me to move fast. So I have started to track my food intake on The Daily Plate (again). This is a handy tool that allows me to see what all I'm eating and helps me to make better choices so that I can reach my goals. It's not so much that I'm on a diet, but just making sure that I get the kind of foods that I should be consuming each day and balancing my carbs/fats/proteins. Today I did pretty well, with all the calories that I burned riding to and from work along with the walking to the store and to Mali's shop, I managed to have so many calories available at the end of the day for dinner which we usually try to keep pretty light and healthy.

Aaah, food....we have a new favorite that we tried this week Sushi Roll in a Bowl - I don't know why I didn't think of this myself. The first time I saw it was in the June issue of Prevention Magazine and I have been wanting to try it for at least a month now. It's a really fun recipe to do, it's almost like making salads, only instead of lettuce sushi rice is used. The rice is surprisingly easy to make and will easily feed four people. We had a few of our favorite sushi type items, cucumbers, carrots, shrimp, smoked salmon and a couple of other things and had a fun time making dinner together...it's a new favorite so it will probably be a regular feature since it is so easy.

So hopefully in the next month I will gain some strength, lose a few pounds and most of all stay PSYCHED!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Du #2

Or a Tri - as a team. Last week was a week off from serious running, riding and other things I should be doing to prepare for multi-sport events. I decided to ride to work today and make it a sprint, as much as I physically could. The ride was good and I feel a little tired still, but I can't stop completely. It's part of my obsessive nature. I really want to do the All Women's Du (or Tri relay) so I'll be ramping up the training again in the next couple of weeks. There is a 5K race in Ridgefield, so that will be a possibility, just to get out with a bunch of runners. Runners who are much faster than I am, but I need that so I know what I am capable of.

It is possible that I do a lot, but that's okay, I have all winter to rest ;)


Thursday, June 18, 2009


I didn't realize how tired how would feel after doing the Duathlon. Turns out my body is pretty fatigued. I spent the last 6 months getting ready for this and now that it is all over I can be tired. Seems weird that the tiredness only just now started. There have been other things that have caused me to slow down, but not to the point that I will put off a run or riding to work. I figure my "reward" is rest for this week. Did one brief run this week and Tom and I went for a ride this morning a short one (just 13 miles). It's all good though, because I don't feel the urge to push myself right now. I am reserving that for the next multi-sport event, the All Women's Triathlon/Duathlon on August 1st. With just over 5 weeks until this next event, I'm hoping to get a team put together and make it a relay - share the wealth of fun! I had a lot of fun during the first one and it is an experience that cannot be compared to anything else.

This was a fun event to do just to see if I could do it and see just how much effort I would have to put into finishing. Turns out I had to put a fair amount of effort into running the second run, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was a slow run, but really I didn't feel so different than when I ran my first 5K for the LIVESTRONG Challenge a year ago.

I like being active and challenging myself to do better. Nothing about the things I choose to do is decided on a whim. Since I had my brain tumor diagnosis 5 years ago, it has been my goal to experience as much as possible and not take life for granted. I would rather spend life being adventurous and have all these memories to look back on than to worry about my health. There is no reward in that.

Here's looking forward to more multi-sport events....I'm Psyched!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's next?

Next up for me is this event - once again at Blue Lake. That is one of my favorite places!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Next Time

Now that I have completed my first Duathlon I can honestly say that it was very cool. The whole thing is just so exciting, watching other athletes running around getting their gear set up and warming up for their event. Duathlons are really fun and challenging – doing a triathlon would just about kill me since it involves swimming and not just a short little jaunt, but a ½ mile in a LAKE. EEUUWWW – lake water, being splashed all over the place. I might swim decently, for short distances, but a pool is more my speed. So, choosing the duathlon was a no brainer.


Yesterday we talked about what to do as far as training for a better result next time. I’m all happy and excited that I finished with no stopping, but with the right elements in training I could possible break the 2 hour mark. I’m getting “old” so I don’t expect to do much better than 2 hours, although there were some other women out there who were “old” like me and they were doing pretty good time! I suppose with all things, practice, practice, practice! That would bring results.


So, what will I do to be better duathlete?


MORE RUNNING – Well, that’s somewhat obvious. My running has improved quite a bit since the beginning of the year and I felt pretty good on my first run on Saturday and my time was better than I expected! The second run reminded me of our first 5K run that we did for the Livestrong Challenge. My legs were fatigued during that run almost as much as they were for this event. So, I think that I’ll need to work on speedwork and maybe hill work….both would help a lot and I could possibly improve both runs. Right now my pace is just under a 12 minute mile…good for still being a beginning runner, but I know I can improve on that. I want to get closer to an 11 minute mile before this year is over – then next year we’ll see what happens.


CYCLING – Well, I just need to continue working on riding faster on my compact crank. We had a 16.33 mph on the bike course, but I know we could do better. Still, it took us 44 minutes to finish the course…much quicker than I thought could happen.


STRENGTH – Probably my least favorite training activity. I know how important it is, and yet I don’t do as much as I should or could when I do get to doing some weight training. I have read over and over the benefits of strength blah blah blah…it’s a really nice theory. I hope to test it out sometime soon.


NUTRITION/HYDRATION – Ugh…always hard to eat well and drink enough fluids, but I know I can do better especially with my nutrition. I try to make good choices, but with the summer months coming up and the potential to eat away from home more often, it might be hard to find the kind of foods that I should be eating…ho hum. It’s so much easier to pick hamburgers or greasy Mexican food, but we do alright. Just trying to not overeat wherever we end up.


REST – I really need to get to bed at a decent time and try to get as much sleep as possible so my body can repair itself while I’m snoozing.


I suppose I can treat the next month or so as an experiment since the All Women’s Sprint Tri/Du is on August 1 and I plan to participate in this event also. Until then I’ll be working hard!




Saturday, June 13, 2009

2009 Blue Lake Sprint Du

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow:
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox slideshow


Today was the big day! It was the most fun I have had in a long time. Nothing about the day worried me, because all I focused on was finishing each leg of the Du. Pretty smart on my part!

The purpose of this event for me was to challenge myself even more than I have in the past as a celebration of being 5 years past my brain cancer diagnosis. The Livestrong Challenge was not coming to Portland so I needed to find something to do that would give me a sense of accomplishment - I don't know how I stumbled on Blue Lake, but it just must have meant to be. I toyed with the idea of doing a Duathlon for a while, as a way to get in better shape, and this was just the perfect time to do it. During the time of year where the heat has cranked up yet, but just far enough into the year to do the training. Since this was our first Du I wasn't sure exactly what to do to prepare besides running and riding and the occasional strength training routine so I just went with my willy-nilly, kind of following a plan plan and did alright.

We did the first run at a nice easy pace so as not to overdo it before the ride. I'm not a great runner, so I was happy to be at the way back end of the group...back far enough to see the other runners, but not so much that we were last.

The Ride...well, I LOVE to ride so the ride was easy, and even more fun since this was a race. It was fun going FAST, and even more fun going fast AND passing other cyclists. There were a fair amount of people passing me too, a lot of people on tri-bikes with aero bars...SO COOL. I didn't mind being passed by those people...they were serious about their race. Made pretty good time with the ride and kept my average up above 16mph until we got back to Blue Lake and the average went down a little because of our having to get off the bike to go back to the transition area. The only thing I would change with the ride is not using my road pedals and shoes, definitely will change out the pedals to my mtn pedals for an easier run going thru the transition area.

Second run...I was not surprised at how slow I went...I can't even say it was a run or a jog...maybe a shuffle. All I thought about was that it was only 3 more miles and I already know what to expect so no surprises on the run. What I was happy about was that I kept running. My goal was to continue "running" no matter how slow and stopping briefly to take a drink at the water station (need to figure out how to run and drink at the same time). Oh and there was one spot on the route that was a short little downhill which had gravel and rocks...I walked that too. The second run definitely took longer, but the no stopping part was the best. I know that I can do it!

At the beginning of the second run Tom was hanging back a little as I was slow to start and at one point I just told him to just go and run his own pace. It was a liberating feeling having my own race to run as he ran his own - not relying on him for pacing and all that. While I was on my own I kept thinking about how much harder it was being a cancer patient and all the stuff I had to do...doing this event was easy by comparison. Not that it was, but mentally it seemed easier. Everything about going thru cancer is mostly about attitude...I had the I can do this attitude then and I still have that attitude now. It's magnified because of the cancer. That's pretty cool.

In the end it was a great experience, I wasn't sure just how much I would like multi-sport events. They are a blast! All sorts of people, fast, slow, in between, big, small, athletic, not so athletic. The whole race atmosphere is somewhat intoxicating...exciting!

The next Du will be at Blue Lake (again) on August 1 - the All Women Tri and Du. I'm planning to do that one and hopefully get a couple of my athletic friends out there with me....



Results were posted... 2:11:13 overall time

Run #1 - 36:28
Tran #1 - 4:22
Bike - 44:05
Tran #2 - 4:02
Run #2 - 42:16

Not too shabby for my first Duathlon!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Countdown Begins...

My Race Day Packet (click the pic)

Got my transition bag all ready to go.

along with the scurrying around and making sure that I (we) have all that we need for the Du. I have already packed my bag for the transition area which includes my shot blocks, two bottles of Gleukos, towel, cycling shoes inhaler....camera...better get that in there. I have pain reliever in the car and another water bottle. I have already downed a couple of quarts of water and on my way to floating my way thru the event. Not to say that it will be easy....just a lot of hydration going on!

It turns out that Kristan M. will not be able to make it (as of today at 1pm when I left) it would be too much to try to get someone to cover her for a couple of hours. Also, she may consider doing the All Women Duathlon at Blue Lake in August. I might be able to round up a couple of people for that one for sure. I should not get ahead of myself, I may not enjoy this at all, but the reality of it all is that I think I will. I'm not expecting to do anything spectacular, but to finish. That in itself will be a huge accomplishment

As I was hanging out at work I was looking up all sorts of race day prep advice on the web and I found a really cool training plan called the "Low-Key" Duathlon Training plan. It pretty much is what I did...fitting in at least 3 runs per week and continuing my riding and doing the speed work and tempo this and that. I may do alright after all. The main thing that I figured out was that I what I did end up doing kind of was close to what this plan lined out. No set schedule which is good...although, I like a good plan, but with all the cycling that we have been doing it was hard to keep to the schedule as it was.

So with all the tips that I managed to find, we will make a trip to our favorite coffee spot and have a treat and ready ourselves for what I have been focused on for so many months now

Blue Lake here we come! I thought this day would NEVER come! I'm TOTALLY PSYCHED

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sprint Du just a couple of days away...

I'm feeling pretty good right now...considering that my "training" has been spotty for the last couple of weeks. There will be a couple of people from work joining us on Saturday - one will actually do the Sprint Tri. Aahh, swimming, not a favorite of mine. I'll stick to land sports thank you very much.

My level of excitement will certainly build over the next couple of days probably to the point where I will feel terror the morning of the event. Good thing the Du has a 8:00 mass start. So really, I won't have a lot of time to think about it. Just need to make a list of the things that I want to pack with me that day. Just got my Gleukos yesterday so I'm set as far as my hydration fluid of choice - After I pick up my packet on Friday I might have a little time to get over to Performance and get a few more Shot Blocks (margarita flavor) and then figure out exactly what I want to wear - no swimming so it should be fairly easy. I'll need to choose a jersey with nice big pockets to pack my shot blocks at least...easy to get to or may I should go with Gu...hmmmm. Ah well, once I figure it out I'll change my mind again!

This will be fun, especially since my friends Kristen & Kristan - church Kristen and work Kristan will both be doing Blue Lake. I'll get a chance to visit with Kristen since we'll be carpooling to the event and then she'll do the Sprint Tri. Hopefully Tom and I will find Kristan during the set up part and the 3 of us will muddle thru the event together. Kristan and I have already decided that the first two parts will be a no-brainer....but the second 5K - we'll see....

If I really enjoy the suffering I may considering doing the All Women event on August 1. All of the time that I put into this just helps me to realize that being active is good for the mind and the body. I'm more fit than a year ago and I ALWAYS feel better emotionally after a ride or a run. The run takes a little longer to recover from, but it's always good having done a good run. Usually after a run I don't feel so much like a loser...I have a problem with that. Next year might be the year that I try to increase my mileage to a 10K distance. I'm not sure how well that is going to happen, more distance requires more time and sometimes I feel like I don't have any time to devote to longer runs. I'll have to try to work that out at some point. Things usually work out somehow.

Here's to this Saturday and as always - I'm PSYCHED!!!