Monday, January 26, 2015

Coyote Hills Run

As I plug along and try to get back into the swing of running I returned to the Coyote Hills 5k (um really 3.5 miles) run. The night before I was in quite a bit of pain with my reoccurring shoulder issue and a newly developed sciatica issue. I am so lucky, or dumb  for not taking better care of myself.

My chiropractor worked on the sciatica issue and I taped up my shoulder and went to bed hoping for the best. I woke up and was not experiencing as much pain as the night before so I called that a win and made the drive to Fremont.

This was more about just getting it done then anything else. I wanted to log the miles and enjoy the day. This course is always challenging; not just because of the extra distance but also the elevation gains as well as changing surfaces. You run pavement, dirt and wood piers, so you have to pay attention to the ever changing surfaces.
Early on when the course is crowded
I knew it would be a warm day but it was cold in the morning so I wore arm sleeves knowing I could push them down if I got hot. they lasted all of 3 minutes before I was too hot, a that point they come in very handy for wiping sweat off your face. 

It's always fun playing leap frog with people. I passed this one woman who took offense and passed me later. Then I passed her again, I felt like I was running a steady pace, so perhaps she was not. We leap frogged a few times but once we hit the hills, I never saw her again. 

I took some sort of sports drink at the aid station since I wasn't hydrated particularly well. As we made our way to the backside of the park I really took a moment to just take it all in, it's so pretty and I genuinely felt very lucky to have the ability to run in such a beautiful spot. Then it was back to negotiating the hills and passing the 10k walkers. As I approached the final hill it was all mental toughness to get to the top, but once I did I knew the worst was over. 

Coming downhill after the last climb.
As we rounded the corner you could just feel the relief from everyone around that we were almost done. I picked up the pace and made my way to the arch. 

This kid racing me to the line


So happy to be done! 
After the race Mary Sue and I chatted with our friend Pia that we met at this race last year. She reminded me that the Bay Breeze race is coming up on Valentine's Day, so this will probably be my next event. I'm hoping I'll have my first shipment of goodies from SunRype in time! 

Race stats:
13/49 AG
144/458 OA 



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Exciting things in January

So many exciting things have happened in January! I'm going to have write some more in depth posts this month about everything that is going on.

First off I am most excited about some new toys! Everyone knows I love gadgets, so it was not hard to convince me to purchase the new Garmin 920XT. It also helps when you have a friend who works at Garmin who is able to feed into your obsession with a helpful discount. I'll do a dedicated post to this amazing new watch, but so far what I love is that it connects to satellites faster, has an activity tracker and connects to my phone. I can't wait to try it in the pool with all of the new pool features.

Speaking of the pool, if you have ever swam with me you know that I love pool toys. Seriously, I think our swim coach thinks I have a problem... I probably do. At the end of last year I won an awesome bag of swim swag from Swimoutlet.com and included were Finis Agility Paddles. These are paddles that you can use for all four strokes and so far I'm loving them for breaststroke. Since I tend to have a lot of shoulder problems between swimming and all of the dog walking I do I ordered the Finis Alignment Kickboard. I haven't been to the pool yet to give it a try so I'll do a more detailed post about all of my new pool toys once I've thoroughly tested them all out.

This past weekend I knew it was important to jump back into racing. I've lost a lot of my cardio ability in the past few months and there is never any easy way to get back into it other than to just go. That being said I raced the Dam Run 5k at San Pablo Dam Reservoir this past weekend. I love this course but since I last raced it with Kylie in December I forgot how hard it is when you are actually running the entire distance. Is that hill really right here at the beginning??? I never looked at my watch for pacing I just ran it based on feel since I knew I wouldn't be setting any records and my goal was to just work on getting back into it. The best part was that this one woman tried to pass me a a couple of times on downhill sections but I always reeled her back in on the uphills and ultimately held her off to the finish line. I'm over two minutes off my best time but my run was still good enough for second place in my age group. Then I realized I still would have finished second even if I had run my best time, so phew, good thing I didn't kill myself!


The other great news is that SunRype has selected me to be an Ambassador for 2015. I am super excited to represent this brand as they make all natural fruit snacks. I'm really big on food that contains only natural sugars and their line of snacks are also gluten and nut free. It's safe to say that my kids are uber excited to sample all of the products and flavors. I expect to get my first samples of fruit strips and fruit source early next month, so let me know if you want to try them.

In addition, I am super excited to be coming back for another year as a TriSports.com Champion. I haven't signed all of the paperwork yet, so shhhhh. Don't worry, last year's codes are still good through the end of this month for discounts. If you need one, let me know.



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome to 2015

I'm easing back into the swing of things over here. I'm still trying to plan my events for 2015, I was disappointed to find out that Mermaid Series is not having their Alameda Triathlon this year. After having a huge PR on that course in 2014 I was really looking forward to racing it again this year. This leaves me the task of having to find other multi-sport events for 2015.

I also discovered that the Moraga Triathlon doesn't really allow me to race and complete in time to assist my kids with doing the kids tri. We are still discussing ideas; one is that Scott and I do it as a relay again. This time I would do the swim portion only and Scott would do the bike and run. I explained to him that meant he would actually have to train and learn how to run off the bike. Last year he pushed so hard on the bike there was no way he could have run, thankfully he didn't have to. In all honestly, he'll still have a faster run leg than me even off the bike. This set-up would allow me to assist the kids in getting set up for the kids portion of the race.

With an uncertain schedule ahead of me, I'm focusing on running and looking at events one month at at a time. Mary Sue and I have signed up for Brazen Racing's Coyote Hills. We've done this before, it's about 3.5 miles and hilly. It's a good way to get back into the swing of things and see where I'm at after two months of being sick with an upper respiratory infection, ear infection and strep throat. Yes, it was a trifecta of fun at my house.

I'm also considering the Dam Run next weekend. My original plan had been to do the 10k at this race, but seeing as how I wasn't able to run for two months I'm considering doing the 5k. Scott and I would both like to race it, and Sydney thinks she wants to as well. Kylie however does not, so we may consider having Kylie stay home with a babysitter so the three of us can run.

The only other sure thing for this year is the Catfish swim. That was a lot of fun last year, so I registered for that early to secure the best pricing.

If you have any favorite mult-sport events that are local let me know!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Onward

I'm sure I say this every year, but it's difficult for me to grasp that this is the last day of 2014. There have been so many great milestones this year and I am so thankful for the ability to be active and to teach my children to be active as well. 

Someone asked me the other day what was the last race I had done and I realized that my last three races of the year had been with my girls and my husband. I can't even put into words how much fun it has been to run as a family. While I haven't had much of a chance to work on my own goals at the end of 2014, I have been able to help my young daughters work on and reach their goals. That has given me more pleasure than anything I could accomplish on my own. 

I've been sick for the majority of November and December so I was more than happy to run with my six year old daughter at our last race of the year, The Dam Jingle Bell Run. My husband ran with our nine year old daughter who was excited to run at a smaller race and hopefully earn a 5k PR, even though the course would be hillier than her last two races. 

Kylie needs constant motivation when running, otherwise she will just walk. It seems that Mom knows exactly how much running she can handle and how to motivate her best. We talked along the way and she enjoyed passing by the top runners on their way back to the finish line. We also got to see Sydney and Scott on their way back in before we hit the turn around. Like the Mermaid Run we used visual references to mark how far we would run and how far we would walk. When we reached the crest of the last hill and could see the finish line I told her we had to run all the way in, and she did! Kylie earned a 6+ minute PR. She placed 5/10 of her age group, also being the youngest runner out of all 10 girls! 

When we reached the finish line we found out that Sydney ran the course in 30:33 for a 3+ minute PR! This was when I realized I had a new training partner. She's pretty close to my best 5k time, and I have no doubt she end will up faster than me in 2015. She came in 4th in her age group which was 9-12 years old. Pretty good considering 1st-3rd were all older than her. 

Sydney and I recently went out on our first run together. We ran two miles along the Moraga trail and had a great time. I'm looking forward to many years of some girl time on the trails. 


Post race treats! 



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mini Mermaid Running Club!

I was waiting to blog about our MMRC 5k until we got the professional photos back, which took longer than I expected.

We were up super early, and I love that my kids never complain about having to get up early on race morning. We agreed that Scott would run with Sydney since she really wanted to earn a PR and she also really wanted to run the entire distance without walking. I would run with Kylie and hopefully motivate her to run more than walk.

Kylie and her friends started out pretty hard and none of them wanted to run with their parent. This left me running back and forth between 3 six year olds. They were having so much fun though and you could tell they were soaking up the energy along the course. Kylie ran about half of the course with one of the other Mom's and I stayed mostly in front of them to try and keep Kylie motivated. Eventually the Mom went to run with her daughter and it was just Kylie and I. Around the two mile mark she began to talk about having to do another lap. When I explained to her that we only had to do one lap of the course, her entire attitude changed and she started to run more. We set visual markers as goals, "we'll start running at the next garbage can" and "we'll walk after 5 garbage cans". This strategy worked well for her, she didn't really seem to believe me when I told her we were getting close to the finish line, but when she saw Scott and Sydney cheering her on, she knew she was close and she sprinted all the way to finish line. Kylie ended up with a 23 minute 5k PR.



So very proud of her
After we crossed the finish line I was amazed to hear that Sydney had a 4:26 5k PR as well. Scott simply ran behind her and let her set the pace. She ran a 33:49 and now has aspirations to run a sub 30 5k. I guess this means once I get healthy, I'm going to have to start taking her running with me. 

Love this photo of her! 
We also ran the Turkey Trot this year with the kids, So I'll post more about that next time! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's almost time to get back to me

How is it October already? How is October almost over already? The days are flying by and with that means eventually I'll get to return the focus back to me and determine what I really want to focus on this winter.

We transitioned the kids successfully from swimming to triathlon, tennis and running club. Yikes, we've been busy! The girls recently finished their last triathlon of the season. They are very bummed to learn that there is an off season for triathlon. It brought us such great pleasure to watch them race and to enjoy the entire process of it all. When I did my first multi-sport race it brought a huge feeling of accomplishment and joy as I crossed the finish line. It brought amazement at what my body was able to accomplish. I can tell you that none of that even compared to watching my kids cross the finish line and the looks on their faces as they did. Smiles and determination to not give up is what I see in their faces. In just three months they've completed one duathlon and two triathlons, they also think its way cool that they are now members of USAT and get their own magazine with a kids triathlon section in it.

One thing that we learned from running club this fall, is that training for a 5k immensely helps your run in the triathlon. In the last tri Sydney had a hard time on the bike and lost some posts on they very rough dirt trail they rode. However, she made up all of that time and passed three girls on the run. We were floored to watch her coming up the trail so quickly. In addition to that, this past weekend the girls and I ran the two mile course at the Lafayette Reservoir Run. Sydney ran the entire two miles without walking. It's the first time she has done that in a run event. She also had a 5 minute PR for a 2 mile run. She is really excited to pursue track and field in the spring.

Kylie's running is also making huge improvements. Fort he girl who always complains about running, her body is finally grasping it all and pushing herself further and further. She had a 10 minute 2 mile PR this weekend. She almost ran the entire course without any walking. Super proud of our Smiley Kylie.

Running Club will be finishing up in two weeks and once I'm done coaching it will be time to finally turn the focus to myself and what I want to do this winter. I'm anxious to return to running and thinking maybe an early year 10k race sounds fun.

Love this photo of her

Kylie cruising past all of her competitors on the swim


Monday, August 18, 2014

All things lead to triathlon

It's been a face paced summer filled with swim team practice, meets, tennis and dog walking. Nothing brings me greater joy than watching my kids swim and watching the improvements that come from all of their hard work. It's not difficult for the six year old to put in the effort everyday and sometimes twice a day. Convincing the nine year old that improvements are a result of hard work during practice was slightly more difficult. I'm proud to say that for the last two weeks of swim team she worked really hard and saw some huge improvements in the championship meet. 

Here are some highlights from the summer season.
Swim sherpas spend lots of time holding towels, parkas and flip flops


Our coaches spend most of the summer leading awesome cheers

The typical summer scenery

Kylie's backstroke start started looking really good

She got to swim on a lot of relays, even one that earned a gold time!

Sydney had an excellent summer as well




Sydney's butterfly progressed beautifully
So much so that she earned a bronze time in fly at the championship meet



Lots of parental cheering
Lots of parental hugs



Lots of hair care

I love that the kids had such a great summer and learned the lesson that good things come from hard work. Kylie wants to continue with fall swimming since she is concerned that she is moving up an age group for next summer and she really wants a gold time. Sydney wants to pursue more tennis and running in the fall. 
The awesome part is that both girls decided they wanted to do a triathlon in two weeks. I'm so proud of them for doing new things even if they are scary. So for the next two weeks, I'll be helping them "train" for a triathlon as I begin my owning triathlon training program.