Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Last ride of 2007 / Hello 2008!

Goodbye 2007...Goodbye Berkeley!

Full sunset set at http://www.flickr.com/photos/strejo/sets/72157603608208264/

I've been busy with a lot of things lately and I can't believe December, along with 2007, has come and gone. So many changes this past month and yet to come! I'm still letting it all sink in.

Because I've been so busy, I've put off that 2008 calendar I've been meaning to make. It's happening this weekend and I will post it, along with my week's training plan. I think by putting it onto my blog, I've made a commitment to honoring it.

As I reflected on my training last year, I realized something interesting - back in July I set 3 goals for myself. They were:
  1. New bike
  2. Training regimen (based on Triathlete's Training Bible) for Big Kahuna
  3. Get resume together/up-to-date

By 8/21, I had completed the first two. I also realized that not only did I write those GOALS down, but I wrote out my training regimen for the 6 weeks leading up to Big Kahuna. I implemented it and followed it very closely. What happened in the end was a PR and me feeling very optimistic about having a sub-5 hour half-ironman (well...one that's relatively flat, anyway).

The main point is that by writing them down, I had something to go back to, to check in with.
The difference between a goal and a dream is the written word.
-Gene Donohue
That subject is a whole other blog entry - there are tons of studies that point to the benefits of writing down your goals rather than just thinking about them. So why don't we do it more often?

I don't know, but I need to, since I am an especially goal-driven person. I want that Clearwater qualification!! Goals to appear here soon...my first goal of 2008 is to write my goals and my training plans!

I completed #3 a couple of months ago, and as of yesterday, have found a new job in the non-profit world that I am incredibly excited about, especially since it is leading me in the direction of public health - a passion I've had for the last 10 years or so. Did I also mention I moved? Yes, I made the big move from Berkeley to Santa Rosa on December 31 with the help of many dear friends. I am so thrilled to finally be living in Sonoma County and especially about not having to wake up an hour earlier to drive up for a bike ride in the mornings!

So, just a few notes here and there:

Jessica and I rode together for the first time ever (she's getting back into cycling) on my last day in Berkeley and had a fantastic time together. We did the Wildcat Canyon -> Camino Pablo -> Moraga Way -> Pinehurst -> Skyline -> Tunnel Rd. -> back through Berkeley loop from my (old) house.
The view from the top of Pinehurst is just lovely. Hello Mt. Diablo in the back!
Would've taken Grizzly Peak from Skyline but we were pressed for time so we thought it might be faster to go through Berkeley. It was a very frigid morning that proved itself with the several ice encounters we had along Camino Pablo on the east side of the hill. Brrrrrr!

The nice thing was that because she's just getting back into it, we took it slow and easy and it was a very aerobic ride for me (as opposed to riding w/the guys, which would have been a mix of aerobic and anaerobic up the hills since I would've tried to kick their butts up the hill - damn ego). It felt really great and reminded me that I need to still do more of that as I ramp up my hours, especially with my runs. It's far easier to push yourself and work hard than it is to work out at very aerobic rates because psychologically, you think you're not doing enough. It is a very frustrating endeavor, one I know many athletes struggle with.

There was a great article today from Active.com called Train Smart This Winter on this very issue. Some helpful running tips as well. Get it here.

Speaking of running, my friend Sarah invited me on a really awesome run. It's called Saturday Morning Run and it is loosely associated with the Tamalpa Runners. I think this description from the website is apt:
This run began in 1971 and is the longest-standing group run known to the club. It is 100% trail running, always hilly, generally lasts 1 1/2 to 2 hours covering 7 to 10 miles. There are plenty of options to run longer or shorter depending on your ability, time, and interest.

We went out on Saturday, 12/29 in spite of the rain we encountered on the drive over. I'll be honest, I was very dubious. All I could think was "damn, it's gonna be cold and wet. How fun can that possibly be?" Thankfully, I'm not one to flake so I stayed the course.

We got there pretty early but right before 9:00, the cars began to arrive en masse. "Wow, these people are really committed," I thought. We met at the Mountain Home Inn near Mt. Tamalpais and the run began at about 9:15 a.m.

First we went down, the flat, then more down into Muir Woods. Then up, up, up and MORE UP. It began to hurt. Yet, in spite of my labored breathing and hurt, it still felt good. It felt good because I knew everybody else was doing it, too. It felt good because I was in good spirits. The people were so nice and so welcoming, especially when some found out it was my first Saturday Morning Run. No wonder Sarah loves it - I loved it and I'd only been once!

I can't say that doing a ton of hill training will necessarily be good for my triathlon training, but I think that coming out once a month for their trail runs would be really nice and a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning. THANK YOU, SARAH, FOR THE RECOMMENDATION!

This past weekend I did yoga for the first time in a month or so and my body reminded me why it's important to do yoga often rather than sporadically. Oh, so sore! It will be nice when I can get settled in and find a place to do yoga at on a regular basis. About halfway through class, I thought "you know...this is nearly better than a massage." It's that good. :)

Finally, an article from today's Wall Street Journal caught my eye - "Are You An Alcoholic?" Just a nice article about how they're trying to adjust the definition of alcohol abuse and dependency for the new DSM-V that's being compiled to include a range of severity so that potential problems can be caught sooner than later. Also a good reminder of what's 'normal' for alcohol intake for all of us. I'll be the first to admit my love of vino and beer, as well as the occasional gin & tonic. Still, I find I'm much more careful about my intake now than I used to be, and don't even necessarily crave a glass of wine every night with dinner. I'll also admit, however, that I would have a hard time going 60 days without craving a drink. Sure, I could do it (let's not put me up to the challenge right now though, okay?), but because I tend to enjoy my wine with dinner at restaurants or have a beer when I go with friends to the Belgian Brewery (The Trappist in Downtown Oakland - totally ROCKS!)...would make it a little rough socially because I wouldn't want the temptation, so I just wouldn't go out. Then...what's the point?

Speaking of alcohol...my friend David told me to drink a grog to warm up. Not a bad idea... :)

On a clear day, a ride in Berkeley is simply just stunning. Me at the top of Tunnel Road on 12/31. Full set of photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/strejo/sets/72157603608270826/


Paul said...

Congrats on making the move to Santa Rosa. It's a great area. I'm looking forward to hearing about your 2008 goals.

Kaisen L said...

No more NBTF?! Where do you work now?

Carla said...

Hey Sarah, do you have a new job now? How's that going?

Sarah said...

Hey Everybody,
Thanks for the comments!

Kaisen, I haven't left NBTF just yet. Last day is 2/4/08. I LOVE NBTF, but not enough to make the commute to Santa Rosa, and that is really why I am leaving.

Carla, I start 2/11/08...so I'll let ya know. ;) Hope to see you soon!!