Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Confident actions produce confident thinking

One of the nice things about pigeon pose in yoga is that if you reach just the right threshold and hold it just long enough, your hips will slowly start to release. You can move a little more forward and hold (while breathing!); hips will release a little more.

Similarly, my mind is slowly releasing its death grip on this idea of what I 'should' be doing. I am coming to terms and becoming comfortable with the fact that I just don't have any desire to run right now. I am confident that it is completely OKAY for me not to. (And you know what? I realized I can stay in great shape still doing all the other things I'm doing!) Why do it if I just don't want or need to right now? There are no triathlons for me until May.

On that note, one of the things I have been thinking about is to try a new approach with the triathlons this year. It is to simply not care. This does NOT mean 'not try.' Just simply not care about what my times will be, how they compare to what I've done in the past, or what I think I 'should' have been able to do. Instead, the goal will be to do as best I can given what I've put into it and ENJOY the race for all that it is, being confident in my abilities. The bottom line is, I am fully aware now that when I put the time and effort into it, I CAN be fast. I could be faster than I ever was, if I put the practice into it.

Simply put, it is no longer where I want to be. 15-hour training weeks don't appeal to me right now, especially with the changes that are taking place in my life and other commitments I am making. Actually, I'm still figuring out exactly where I want to be, and I am having SO much fun doing it!

Last night I went to swim practice. I met one of the coaches for the first time and we were discussing which lane I ought to jump in. "Well," I said, "I've been a little slow lately because I'm trying to get back into a swim routine but only swimming about 3x/week." I told her I'd been swimming in a lane that's been doing about a 1:35 pace. It was comfortable to me.

She said "yeah, but I have a feeling they're going to be going a little too slow for you. Why don't you jump in with AnneMarie?" Panic briefly struck me. They swim FAST! Usually 100s on the 1:25. Could I hang with that? It's been awhile since I swam that speed. The coach confidently said to me "you'll be fine, just leave after 3 seconds if you need to and hang onto the draft!"

Our main set consisted of 2400 yards. One set within was 6x100 on 1:30. It meant I would have to try for 1:25 intervals if I wanted 5 seconds of rest. Somehow, by the time we reached the 6x100 part, I was feeling incredibly confident. I knew it would be tough, but instead of worrying about whether I would make the pace, I just put my head down and did it.

What do you know? I did it all! And I was actually feeling strong making all of the intervals! I smiled at the end and said "well, I guess I'm officially back in this lane now." Swimming was so fun. Last night made me realize that I've really missed it and I'm ready to get back in the pool on a more regular basis. The challenge, the pushing yourself (I tried to make 75 fly in under a minute...that failed miserably but it HURT SO GOOD!), the fun of having others around to push was all great. It was so encouraging to feel so strong and confident in myself, especially after having started the workout feeling like I've been so slow lately.

My subject line for this post also works the other way around - if we think confidently, our actions will be confident as well. But I think too often we don't act confidently because we wait for our brain to feel confident first. Why not try it the other way? Put yourself in a position to act more confident than you feel and see what happens.

You might just walk away with different thoughts altogether!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Winter Wonder Yin

I just found this article called "Winter Wonder Yin" on Yoga While it may be slightly more appropriate for December, it explains a lot of why I've been feeling less energetic lately and much more introspective and quiet. I think most of us would agree it makes some sense.

Also, the part at the end about avoiding Yin foods like raw veggies and cold drinks and salads was something I really liked. Interestingly enough, the other day I was thinking "gee...I haven't been craving my salads like I usually do...what's up with that?" Clearly, nature has it all under control.

Running has been nil over the past two weeks. That may change this week: what with a road trip to LA and all, I may be forced to log some miles on the Asics. I'm fine with that, just need to remember to start back slow and easy and not go all out.

However, spinning and cycling has been incredible, and I've been managing some swim time in also. Yoga is awesome and is kicking my ass. I LOVE it. I love how, when I was doing it 2 days/week I wouldn't really get sore because I was doing it JUST enough. But now that I'm doing it 4 days/week, I'm getting SORE because of all the improvements I'm making and additional ways I'm pushing my body. I finally, FINALLY got Astavakrasana (see photo).
It's the little things...

...Like massage! I got a massage yesterday and I think she really helped to work out this scar tissue I've built up in my right quad. Essentially it starts to lock up (not cramp...but just tighten and cause much pain) when I run any sort of hills with intensity. Case in point: my last XC race was an epic fail because I was in so much pain by the end I had tears in my eyes and it was all I could do just to keep running, let alone run FAST. I can feel it somewhat in the pool and on the bike, but it's not nearly so severe. Yet another reason I've disliked running. BUT this woman is AMAZING and not only did she seem to work some of it out, but it was nearly pain-free as she did it!

On the topic of actually having a 'season': I've finally committed to one thing so far: The Solvang Century with Carmen on March 14.

BUT, BUT GOALS this week are as follows:
  • Get spin classes for the rest of the week written/playlists made
  • Find a class to take to get certified to teach mat exercises (read: abs; we do this after spin at the Airport Club and I suck at teaching ab exercises)
  • Get bike races lined up (or at least a few over the next 2 months)
  • Decide on triathlons for the year
  • Find spin continuing ed classes to take

That's a lot...esp given my semi-short week. But I usually do better when I set a lot out for myself because it means I have to be more productive with my time. SO that's my Monday post! Wishing everybody a happy and productive week in whatever way that may be.

I'll end this post with a couple photos from the "Ride the Route" on January 17...

Carmen and Kelly chilling...

The group in Calistoga getting ready to head back over the mountain

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Blog that Will Make Your Day

So this person Katie probably thinks I'm a stalker now, but judging from other people's comments on her blog, I'm thinking that I am not the only one who has become totally enamored by her colorful world.

Feeling a little blue? Go visit Color Me Katie.

I promise she will brighten your day. :)

(and thank you Dan for posting about her on Facebook!)

Oh and while you're checking out new things, how cool is THIS organization? It's called Improv Everywhere and their mission is as follows: "Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places. Created in August of 2001 by Charlie Todd, Improv Everywhere has executed over 80 missions involving thousands of undercover agents. The group is based in New York City."

Check it out. It, too, might just make your day (or at least make you crack a smile).

Update on Liz Hatch

Bob wrote a report on how Liz is doing. Miraculously, she has no broken bones or any concussion. Just some cuts and bruises. I am so glad to hear it and am amazed at how lucky she really is. When we came upon her, it looked so much worse. Happy healing, Liz! Hope to see you out on the bike again SOON.

Here's the article from Bob: A Crash in California - Hatch Hurt, But Very Fortunate


Liz wrote about it all herself here:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ride the Route: the Recap

It was an okay ride for me.

First I just have to say if it weren't for Carmen not letting me quit and Kelly coming back to ride with me I would've ridden back to the FJ mobile and called it a day.

It started out alright as we left the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. Then we hit Calistoga road and my HR immediately stayed in the upper 170s - low 180s. I thought I was going to die but I knew I wouldn't so I just decided to keep it slow and steady. (FYI 1 hour earlier I had just wrapped up an hour spin class where I realized I must be fighting a cold or something - my heart rate AVERAGED 170 when it normally averages about 156 in spin)

Then we hit the top and I thought 'okay, it will be okay.'

Nearing the bottom of the hill, I looked ahead and saw Carmen miss the right turn onto St. Helena Road so I had to chase her down. At the same time, she was thinking she had to hurry up because she wanted to catch the rest of the group. So she was moving fast. Yelling at the top of my lungs, I gave it about 10 tries but she didn't hear me. I had to sprint twice to get closer; with everything I could muster, I yelled in the loudest voice I could ever imagine, "CAAAAAAARRRRRRRRMEEEEEENNNNNN!"

She heard me. We turned around.

We rode quickly along the road to make up as much time as possible. Kelly came back to ride with us, which was nice. St. Helena Road was hard but I was cheered up by the fact that I love it even if the climb is hard at the end.

As we neared the top, I looked behind and noticed some other folks coming up on us. It's Liz Hatch and two friends (whose names I later learned were Bob and Eric). I say "where did you guys come from?" and Bob says "SOMEBODY was late!" He was smiling - Liz had been running late. Liz rode up next to me and I said hi and reminded her we'd met last year at the Risibisi ride and she said 'oh yeah!' Then they dropped us.

We got to the top and enjoyed the view. Kelly and Carmen had never been up that way so it was cool. Then I cautioned them and said "now be careful on this descent. There's some really tight turns so just take it easy around the corners."

Away I went. I was cautious but having fun, reveling in this descent I'd worked my butt off for. About halfway down, this guy is waving a wheel saying "SLOOOWWW DOWN! PLEASE SLOW DOWN! SOMEBODY CRASHED."


I brake hard as I come around the turn. It's Liz. She's on her side, crying, her friends are there with her. Two motorists have stopped to help, one is on the phone with 911. Kelly and Carmen soon arrive. We all stop to, I don't know, be supportive? It didn't seem right to just ride away. I called Steve and Chris. We decided to at least wait until the ambulance arrived. Liz didn't know why she was there or what day it was. The way her fork was broken was crazy. I'd never seen anything like that. (We guessed she'd swung wide into the curve, slid on some pine needles into the guardrail and broke her fork that way; her helmet was severely cracked as well. It seemed like, thankfully, it wasn't anything more than a couple broken ribs - I am hoping that's all it was and that the concussion wasn't too severe)

Anyway, once she was in good hands, Carmen, Kelly, Steve (from West County Revolution - awesome bike shop), Eric and I all took off. A few turns later we see a cyclist with a wheel. His rim tape had scrunched up to the side so the spoke was poking through. Steve and Carmen stopped to help. The rest of us stopped briefly but realized we couldn't help in any way so we kept going.

We hit the bottom and waited a bit for Carmen but didn't see her and I knew she would be okay with Dennis and Steve so we took off. Thank goodness for Eric. He pulled us almost the whole way to Calistoga (only 7 miles but my legs were still stiff from all the standing). Again my HR was in the upper 160s - low 170s. My legs hurt. Everything hurt. I was so bummed about Liz. Seeing another crash in the space of 6 months sucks (Click here for my Santa Barbara Tri experience).

Finally hit Calistoga. Glad to see everybody. Relieved. Dreading going back. Legs hurt. Tired. Bummed out. Chris from Fitness Journal was so awesome. He took my bike and said 'what do you need?' and made me a PB&J sandwich. Mmmm. Having the FJ mobile and Chris on a ride is the best thing ever. His presence (and the entire FJ crew, really) made a big difference in my mood.

I tried to shake it off and enjoy the moment but it was hard.

We pushed off. Calistoga Road was hard. But I did it. And I was proud of myself. Carmen and I worked together for a little bit after the climb. I was just about to have her pull but then the next hill started. I think that's where I really lost it. Cardio-wise, I was okay. Yes, HR high, but I can sustain high HR. I just felt like I didn't have any strength left in my legs and the grade of some of those hills was forcing me to use strength, which I just didn't have. I could feel my calves beginning to cramp. Ugh.

As we neared the top of that second climb, I told Carmen, "I think I'm going to call it a day." She would have none of it and told me it wasn't an option.

We crested the hill and I took off. It was a pretty sweet descent where I didn't have to brake too much - gentle turns and enough of a grade that I could pick up some speed. It felt soooo good.

As the road flattened out I looked up and saw Kelly riding back (again) to ride with me which I thought was really nice and awesome and helpful and if it weren't for Kelly and Carmen I would've been miserable.

Kelly and I finished the ride together. Then I waited around for a long time for the BMC reception to begin. I was really waiting for the FJ mobile to arrive get my stuff. Not really sure what I'll do with an autographed picture of Team BMC but it was still nice of them to do that.

So that was that. And now I have a cold and my legs are like WTF?

It was an okay day. A bit chaotic. But I did have some fun in the midst of it all. Please be careful on descents.

Friday, January 16, 2009

For $500 you, too, can be a VIP in the ToC

I wonder if I had this much disposable income if I'd actually spend it on something like this. (I know, some (though really, how MUCH?) of the money is going to charity, but still.)

They're touting it like it's some amazing thing to ride over the GG bridge and while yes, it would be cool to do it on the main part of the bridge, you already CAN ride over it..for FREE. The more I think about it, the more I think I would NOT spend that much money just to ride over the bridge with the peloton. Suckers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This has nothing to do with cycling, triathlon, training or cooking. Though I do have some EXCELLENT recipes for a few things I've cooked recently that are KICK-@$$. That will be the next post.

I just decided I'd list a few movies I've seen recently that completely rocked and I can't stop recommending them to people.

And then I will also post Tuesday's "Get Fuzzy" comic because for anybody who likes baseball, it's hilarious.

Recent movies I've seen that were totally awesome:

1. Bigger Stronger Faster - a very well-done documentary on steroid use in America. It presents both sides of the argument without taking a stance for either one. You decide.

2. The Visitor - made by the same guy that brought us "The Station Agent" (also AWESOME movie); very un-American style film about friendship and the issues immigrants face here in the US. Another must-see.

3. True Romance - a Quentin Tarantino film, need I say much more? Came out in 1993 and has tons of movie stars. I HEART THIS MOVIE SO MUCH!!! Just saw it for the first time last night and omg...I think I like it more than Kill Bill.

And this week's Get Fuzzy has been all about Bucky Cat making fun of Rob being a Red Sox fan. It's awesome.

Get Fuzzy

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enjoy the ride

FYI: Speaking of rides, I will be doing the 'B' ride of the "Ride the Route" that I posted yesterday. If you're up for riding with us from SR->Calistoga and then riding w/the women pros and jr members of Team Swift back from Calistoga to SR, please let me know (by comment or email). We want to make this as big of an event as possible!

Second FYI: You MUST check out the APOD today! It's INCREDIBLE!!!

And back to the normally scheduled programming...
Last weekend's ride originally it began as "Carmen's Jelly Legs Ride" - meaning, your legs would be JELLY by the time you were finished! She and I had spoken a week before about riding over Coleman Valley Road because neither of us had done it before. For anybody not from around here, the Santa Rosa Cycling Club has a nice profile of the climb here (along with all the other major climbs in Sonoma County).

Coleman Valley Rd, starting at Occidental and ending at Hwy 1

10.1 miles

Total climb in forward direction: 1089 feet
Total climb in reverse direction: 1633 feet (this was the way we went - the reverse other words, that straight DOWN you see was straight UP for us - awesome!)

We both wanted to do this climb and thought of starting/ending a ride at the Wildflour Bakery I've written about in Freestone. But they're closed for a few weeks in January for their winter break. Boo. :(

Carmen's original route involved some 5,000 feet of climbing over 50 miles. We decided to file it away and do it when Wildflour reopens. Instead, we made a variation of her route that was still 50 miles but didn't have QUITE as much climbing (though, MapMyRide told me about 4,000 feet of climbing and Pat's Garmin had 6,000 feet of I don't know, maybe it was just as much) and started/ended at West County Revolution in Sebastopol.

We called it Matt's Birthday Ride since Matt's birthday was Sunday. Ride profile on MapMyRide is here. The weather decided to cooperate and we were going to be in for a spectacular day. In fact, spectacular almost doesn't do justice for the views we were treated to. Our first hint that it was going to be an amazing day was climbing up Burnside Road (a very apt name for a road that makes your legs BURN!) and getting to experience 270-degree views at the top. The hills below us were green and out west we could see the coast, looking east we could see all the way to the Geysers. It was amazing.

Arriving at Hwy 1 seemed to come in no time. We'd been on the bikes for a little over an hour but it seemed like mere minutes. We were all in great moods. For the first ride in a long time, I could actually feel my toes! I didn't need my super warm gloves! This was awesome!

Instead of staying along Hwy 1 until Coleman Valley, we opted for a common cyclist route along a road called Bay Hill Road. It's a small country road that diverts off Hwy 1 at Bodega Bay and takes you up and over the hill and meets up with Hwy 1 again just north of Bodega Bay. Much safer and you don't have to deal with all of the tourist traffic (and hence, unsuspecting drivers not used to cyclists on a road with no shoulder). But, of course, there is some decent climbing involved here as well.

However, just as the top of Burnside Road rewarded us with magnificent views, cresting the last hill on Bay Hill treated us to an incredibly clear view of the coast ahead. There wasn't a speck of fog and the water was as calm as you could ever imagine. Wow.

We made our way down to Hwy 1 and took in the delights to our left. This was a day that made me so grateful to be in this place, at this time. Over and over in my head, I just kept thinking "wow, we are SO lucky." Apparently the surfers thought so, too - they were out in FULL force. There were perfect surf conditions - gentle-breaking waves and the air was cool but cold by any means (though I'm sure the water was freezing...that's what wetsuits are for!).

Reaching a parking lot, we stopped for a group photo and to savor the California coast for a moment before we began our tough climb back inland. Everybody agreed that there couldn't have been a better day to do this ride, as typically the coast gets socked in with fog and wind during the summer.

Our moment of tranquility ended before I was ready to let it end. It was time to CLIMB! Climb, climb, climb we did. Looking back, it doesn't seem so bad. But that's the mind just playing tricks. I won't lie, it was damn hard. The first part of Coleman Valley is a wall. Something like 19% grade at some parts, I think. When somebody built that road they just decided to cut to the chase and get to the top.

I was really wishing for a 27 on my rear cog. But I just kept turning my legs over, cautious not to let my heart rate get too high because I knew there was more climbing after the initial ascent and I didn't want to burn out too soon. It's also a tough climb because you see these turns and you think "well maybe it's over around that corner." Nope. It kept going (or seemed to). Usually the first time on any tough climb is the hardest, generally because you don't know the turns and where it ends.

Eventually, though, it did end. We all made it, and we did it well. I was very proud of all of us.

Me at the top!

The view from the top!!

The road goes through a beautiful valley and then you have to do more climbing to get OUT of the valley (legs were tired by now), but then there's a great descent to Occidental that was a lot of fun and not too many sharp corners to have to slow way down for.

We made our way back to Sebastopol and had post-ride beer and lunch at HopMonk. I don't think I could've picked a better way for such an incredible ride to end. Saturday's ride was one of those rides I will remember for a long, long time. We stayed together as a group, we worked hard, we had fun and of course, I can't wait to do it again.

Here's a photo album of all the ride pics:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ride the Route

EVENT DATE: Saturday, January 17, 2009
Benefit for Women’s ATOC Criterium & All Sport-Team Swift

EVENT: Stage 1 Ride the Route - Calistoga to Santa Rosa
(Petrified Forest Road KOM)

On Saturday, January 17, 2009 , join a group of Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) Women’s Criterium competitors and the All Sport-Team Swift junior riders for a ride up the final King of the Mountain climb of ATOC Stage 1.

After the ride, meet the BMC Professional Cycling Team at their Santa Rosa training camp for photo and autograph opportunities.

This will be a fully supported ride including:

  • Pre-ride Bike Check – Provided by West County Revolution
  • Sports Drinks and Energy Bars – Provided by All Sport-Team Swift
  • Full Mechanical and SAG Support – Provided by West County Revolution and
ROUTE: Group A (Main Event) ~2 hour casual ride from Calistoga to Santa Rosa with Pro Women and All Sport-Team Swift. Includes:

  • Pre-ride bike check
  • Shuttle to Calistoga with your bike
  • Full ride support (mechanical/SAG)
  • Route map & energy bars/drink

RSVP REQUIRED: Contact Laura at by Thursday, January 15th to confirm a seat on the bus and bike transportation.

Group B (Advanced/Unsupported): ~4 hour moderate ride to Calistoga and back. Note: Group B from Santa Rosa to Calistoga will be unsupported. You will be provided a pre-ride bike check and a route map. Cut off time to join Group A in Calistoga for the supported ride is 1:00PM .


9:00-10:15AM Group B -- Registration
10:30AM Group B -- Departure
10:00-11:15AM Group A -- Registration & Load Bus (RSVP Required)
11:30AM Group A -- Bus Departure
Noon Group A -- Arrive in Calistoga and unload
12:30PM Group B -- Arrive in Calistoga
1:00PM Groups A & B Depart Calistoga
3:00PM Groups A & B Arrive in Santa Rosa
3:00-4:00PM BMC Pro Racing Team Reception
4:30PM Riviera Dinner Special ($20 fixed-price menu)


Registration: Longs Drug - 2771 4th St Santa Rosa , CA 95405
Look for the All Sport-Team Swift Tent and Van.

Please bring a copy of the release form at

Parking: Free parking is available along the perimeter of the Longs Drug and Safeway Parking lot or on the street. Registration will help provide direction on available parking. PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN SPACES DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF LONGS AND SAFEWAY. THESE ARE RESERVED FOR CUSTOMERS.

Cost: Suggested donation - $20**
Proceeds benefit All Sport-Team Swift and primes for the ATOC only official Pro Women’s Criterium to be held on, February 15, 2009 in Downtown Santa Rosa.

Your donation will include one-day licensing and insurance fees, transportation to Calistoga, ride support, and the BMC Pro Racing Team Reception at the Flamingo Resort. Bring your USAC License if applicable*

Dinner reservations must be made separately by calling Riviera Restaurant at 707-579-2682. Mention that you are with the “Ride the Route” group.

*$7 minimum required for license/insurance (included in $20 donation)
**Cash or Check only. No Credit Cards.

After the ride, join the BMC Team at the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa for a meet and greet from 3-4PM . Refreshments will be served.

(Please feel free to join the reception even if you do not ride)

Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa
2777 4th St, Santa Rosa , CA 95405
(707) 545-8530

Friday, January 09, 2009

Lost: Motivation

(Written Friday...posted today on Sunday)

My motivation seems to be lost and I don't even know where to begin finding it.

One of the worst things we can do as athletes is to compare where we were during our peak of fitness to where we are during the height of winter off season. Yet we do it anyway. Bree seems to be fighting it, too. She felt so crappy about her performance during training camp because she knew she could do better. But at least she's AT TRAINING CAMP! She is getting it done!

Now I seem to be in an even worse phase, comparing what my former motivation used to be. After arriving home this afternoon I was all set to head up to the Airport Club to get a swim in and it never seemed to happen. Instead my afternoon was spent on the phone with my good friend Alice (which was a very good thing because one of my New Year's resolutions is to stay in better touch with good friends), searching out a good recipe for dinner, running an errand, and, well...that was it. Now I'm writing, enjoying a beer and waiting for dinner to be done.

Not that I did nothing today. In fact, I did wake up at 5:00 a.m. to teach spin and do some ab work afterward.

Moments ago, however, I lamented what my 'old self' would have done. "Last year you would've gone for a run after that spin. You would've gotten your butt up to the club to get that swim in. SARAH, HTFU!!!" (for anybody who doesn't know..."Harden The F*** Up" is what that stands for)

Now that life is back to the grind, my desire to get myself on track seems to be lacking. Finding the energy to pack my bag, think about dinner for later, know that by the time I'm in the pool it's 6 p.m., then out of the pool at 7 at the earliest, and showered and back home around 7:30, hopefully I can throw something healthy together by 8:30, sit down to eat, and still be in bed by 10 for tomorrow's bike ride - UGH!

There is no doubt in my mind that just about every triathlete out there is all too familiar with this routine: Wake up early, get the workout in, go to work, get the second workout in, try to eat a healthy dinner but sometimes don't sit down to eat until 8:30 or 9. Try to digest and get to bed by 10 or 10:30. Do it again the next day.

Yet even though I've taken more than enough time off from it all, I still feel burnt out. Tired of doing that. Essentially, I've been doing THAT for four straight years. With, of course, some break during winter, etc.

Does this mean I'm not hard core? Does it mean I suck? Does it mean I'm sick of triathlon?

During my time off over the holidays I spent a lot of time thinking about all of this. I did a lot of spinning, cycling and yoga. I did a little bit of running. I did some swimming.

Swimming is a whole post in itself. Last month I took three weeks completely OFF from swimming, something I haven't done in the entire 10 years I've been doing it. Now the issue is whether to stay with Santa Rosa Masters or join Wine Country Masters, which is affiliated with the Airport Club where I teach - hence, it's free. Why pay to swim with SR Masters, right? But WCM doesn't really have times that work for me, unless I want to give up my Tuesday evening track workout with the Empire Runners. So then I face the issue of either doing track workouts on my own (yuck) or swimming on my own (also yuck).

Maybe that's what's really got me down. Schedule-wise, Santa Rosa Masters swimming worked, so long as I could get my butt out of bed in the mornings. And when I needed to, I could do it. But Wine Country Masters only has practices at 11 a.m. every day (it IS the Airport Club, after all...back in Berkeley we used to call the 11 a.m. practice the 'Country Club workout'...ha...) and Tu/Thu at 6 p.m. I like evening swim. But I also love Tuesday Track.

So trying to nail down a good schedule has been tough, to say the least. Not having a masters team to call home has been tough. Missing workouts left and right because I simply throw my hands up in frustration has been tough.

Yes, it's time to stop whining and figure it out. But it brings me to asking what I want to achieve this season and I just can't seem to nail that down with so many emotions and thoughts running through my mind.

I feel sad that I don't desire to swim the way I used to (ultimately I think it goes back to the social aspect of masters and the friendly competition that I enjoy so much).

I feel bummed that I can't quite love running the way other people do. I really, REALLY want to love running!! I wish I could take an ounce of my love for cycling and put it into my desire to run.

That leaves cycling, which, between weekend rides and now teaching spin 3x (moving up to 4x/week in Feb)/week, I still love it more than ever. And yoga. I've been doing more yoga than I ever have in my life and I can feel it changing me. My body and my soul. I'm back to stretching before bed. I begin to crave yoga. So maybe it's just a sign that I'm ready for change. Maybe it's time to slide swimming and running to the back burner for a little while?

Before I started triathlon, I wasn't sure if I could even really run 10K. A half-ironman seemed like such a faraway goal. Now I know if I wanted, I could do an Ironman for sure. But lately I think about things in terms of cycling - double centuries, races, possibly crits...and I think of yoga - handstands, arm balances, the challenge of staying focused and centered...

...and with that (now that it's Sunday morning), I'm off to get a run, swim and some yoga in. Eventually, some clarity will arrive. And I'm sure that when it does, the motivation will be right there with it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Happy New Year

I've got a bit of writer's block, though that's not why I haven't written much lately. We closed the office for two weeks so I really kind of took a break from EVERYTHING! The last time I forgot what day of the week it was, it was last year in Hawaii.

SO because I'm technically still on vacation I will keep this short. I just wanted to wish everybody in the blog world and beyond a very awesome 2009.

It was so fun to be part of this community in 2008 to see the goals people set and how they went about achieving them. I was inspired by the way people managed to succeed in spite of so many obstacles. I was encouraged by so many great stories and comments.

And now, with 2009 lying ahead, I hope you all not only reach your goals, but learn more about yourselves and your abilities and strengths in the process. I look forward to being part of another journey!

As for me...I've been thinking a lot about what 2009 will hold. I have a strong feeling this blog may be more of "Sarah's Cycling Adventures" in the first part of the year. I am a wimp about the weather, but I really want to try out some bike racing this year. I'm thinking the Tri for Real Series in Sacramento because I can still train for bike races and do Olympic distance races. Then maybe lay off the bike and turn toward the run and finish the year with a half marathon and one or two half-ironman distance tris.

One resolution is to do MORE YOGA! So far the count this week is that I've done yoga on Sunday...Tuesday...Wednesday (fyi I went to this place in Berkeley called Yoga to the People...SO AWESOME)...and FRIDAY! FOUR DAYS OUT OF SIX! That's more than I've ever done and I've got so much energy. We went on a 15 mile hike on Monday which was gorgeous but I forgot the camera...swam on Tuesday...ran on Wed...cycled on Thursday and ran today. Woo!

Hope to do more cooking this year. One of my Christmas presents from Matt was a cooking class from Ramekins and I am SOOOO EXCITED! The hardest part will be trying to pick which class to take...

I wish I had more interesting things to say. Just wanted to thank everybody for the support all year. It's been a fun ride.

View of the Napa Valley from Spring Mountain