Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sleep and change

Racing is hard – mentally and physically. Now I remember why rest is so important, both before and after. And it SHOULD be hard! After all, if it’s not hard, then how is it different from another training day?

That bike race, while one of the most fun days I’ve had, was apparently one of the most taxing things my body has gone through in quite awhile and I am still recovering! It’s clear why it took so much out of me: my average heart rate for nearly two hours was 163 and I maxed out at 184. It was truly the first race effort in about 5 months and my body is just now getting over the shock of being back to racing.

I overslept for spin class on Monday. The first time ever. Ugh. It was an AWFUL feeling, especially to walk in this morning and have people say “oh so you got up this morning, huh?” D’oh.

Yesterday was even worse. I felt like a zombie. It was impossible to concentrate on work, I had visions of crawling under my desk and taking a nap, and by 4:00 it was time to hit the post office and head home. By 5:30 I was crawling under the covers with my crossword puzzle and after filling in one word it was lights out until 9:30 p.m.! Woke up, ate some dinner and went back to bed by 10:30 p.m. 

It’s cheesy to this, but the way I feel today compared to yesterday is the way a spring morning in Sonoma County can seem so SO grey with the fog and by noon the sun is shining and suddenly everything feels right again.

Today it feels like I’m alive again and it is amazing to think clearly and not want to just lay my head down on the desk.

With all of this clarity in my head, my summer of racing began to enter my mind. The path is clearly headed in the direction of cycling races and open-water swims and hiking treks and not so much in the direction of triathlon.

Never fear, dear readers! I am not forsaking triathlon forever! One of my awesome new teammates Beate said it best:

“See, it’s like this: triathlon is a virus. And you’ve got it, but it’s just going into its dormant phase for you!”

I LOVE that analogy! It’s not the end as far as I can tell. Like Rocketpants, I seem to have athletic ADD and like to mix things up, try new things and always have new and different adventures. Life is like that for me as well. In cooking, I’m always looking for new recipes to try and never like to cook the same thing. While many people dislike change, my appetite for it seems to be strong.

That said, last night I tweeted about whether my blog title ought to be changed. If there are no triathlons in 2009, shouldn’t I consider renaming it to reflect that?

It would be fun to have a poll on that - everybody loves polls! But first I need some good possibilities. So far I’ve got two that really made me smile: Maggs had a great one - “Sarah Tris Cycling.” Ron says “"Sarah's Cycling, Swimming, Cooking, Yoga, Running (sort-of but not really), Hiking, Spinning Adventures."

(Jen H.’s suggestion also cracked me up: “Sarah is the smart one!” Hee hee!)

How about some other suggestions?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Climbing, wind and teamwork

Name of Race: Windy Wente Road Race

Date: April 25, 2009

Category Raced: Cat 4 Women

Weather Conditions: Windy. Chilly. Windy. Warmer?

Field Size: 47

Today I finished my first bike race. Last year I attempted a bike race but that didn't work out so well due to having a flat tire 20 minutes into the race. Today was the REAL DEAL!

The day was a big 'IF' - being #15 on the waitlist, it was important for me not to get my hopes up too high, just in case I didn't make the cut. Still, I had to go through all the motions as if I was really going to ride because I would not find out if I had a spot until 15 minutes prior to the race. Oh, the stress!

My team director Laurel, Christine and I arrived with plenty of time to hang around. Getting out of the car, I noted that it was a LOT chillier than expected. Remembering arm and knee warmers was a good call! I knew it would be windy (the race was located at the Altamont Pass - also the location of many wind-powered turbines) but I was skeptical of how cold it would be, given that earlier this week we had temperatures in the 90s.

Going into this race, I had two main goals:

  1. Have FUN!
  2. Work hard and don't wuss out!

Having this mindset really allowed me to relax and not worry too much about the multitude of things Laurel had coached me on prior to the race. The race would unfold as I went through it, and it was important not to have too high of expectations for myself because this is a WHOLE other world from triathlon. Today was about going out and enjoying the experience, learning from it, and racing!

At 11 a.m. (Race time was 12:15 p.m.) Laurel, Christine and I headed out on a warm-up ride. My legs were so stiff at first so I was grateful for the time to spin them out and get my HR up. According to Laurel, the MORE fit you are, the LONGER it takes your body to get warmed up. I also really wanted to check out this 'hill' that was going to be the bane of my existence three times through.

Post warm-up it was almost noon. Women were beginning to gather toward the front of the staging area. Admittedly a small part of me hoped I wouldn't get a spot and I could put this off just a little longer! This was going to be a painful experience and I would be JUST fine if I didn't get to enjoy it today. But actually, most of me really DID want to race. Thankfully, good karma was with me for the second day in a row and Christine and I got the last two available spots. PHEW!

The race started and off we went. Unlike Winters last year, the pace lifted almost immediately. These women were chomping at the bit and it was TIME TO GO! I did the best I could to just stay mid-pack even though I had a very good feeling I would be dropped like a bad habit on that first climb.

Sure enough, as the pitch began, riders began to engulf and pass me and I was sliding back in the field. "DAMN!" I thought. Still, I couldn't do a thing about it. I was going hard as Laurel had told me to, but when your HR is already at 180 and you're only 1/3 up the hill, you have to just accept it and keep moving.

Instead, I opted to be positive with myself and say "just get to the top. Spin it out. Don't let up no matter how hard you're breathing. You'll catch some of them so just keep GOING!"

As I reached the top there were two other women who made it right when I did and we decided to work together. Christine and another woman eventually caught us and I was glad she was in so we could hopefully break away from this group at some point.

What Laurel DIDN'T mention was how the hills KEPT...going...UGGGGGHH. Actually Ron sent me a really great ride report of the whole course along with elevation data so I knew there would still be climbs to come. I guess I didn't realize they'd come so soon after the initial climb.

About halfway through the rolling hills I looked back and realized Christine was no longer with us. Damn! It was me and three other women. We committed to working together and reeling as many women in as we could. On the first lap, it was a good plan.

As we came down out of the hills and back to the SUPER WINDY flat we were taking turns pulling and I began to get agitated that we weren't moving faster. I wanted to GO! We only had two laps to do this and this first one only had about 6 miles left in it. As I took my turn up front, I lifted the pace a bit and made a decision to just keep moving forward.

One by one, we kept reeling women from our field in. It was AWESOME! In my head, I could hear Laurel's wise words echoing "do as little work as possible. Stay OFF THE FRONT." Oops. But I knew I had to do this because these women were not doing what I needed them to do and with only one lap to go it was time to get down to business.

Suddenly, I looked up ahead and saw some familiar red and white colors. Sure enough, it was Stephanie from my Early Bird team. YESSSSSSS! Like a horse getting close to the barn, I picked up the pace a little more, eagerly anticipating the teamwork we could pull off together.

"HEY EARLY BIRD!" I called out. Stephanie looked behind her and saw me and she said "OH MY GOD I am SOOOO glad you are here!" She had been riding alone for awhile and was beginning to consider canning the entire sport and selling her bike for golf clubs. Enter me to the rescue! (You're welcome, Steph)

Catching Stephanie right near the bottom of the climb, my resolve was to keep up with her through the climb and have us work hard on the second lap together. We dropped all but one of the six other women who had been with us on that climb. The hills were just as hard this second time through but I actually felt better staying out of my comfort zone and I just kept pushing, pushing, PUSHING! NO WUSSING OUT!

Before I knew it, we were headed toward the Hill for one last final effort up (the finish line was at the top). It was me, Stephanie, the third woman and a fourth we had picked up. Quick flashback to an XC race from last year - I was coming into the final 1/4 mile of the race and a woman and I were gunning for the finish and I thought "well what's the WORST that can happen if I push harder?" So I did and it hurt like hell and I got my HR up to 193 and I thought I was going to throw up but I BEAT HER!

Back to this moment before the hill. I did NOT want to let woman #3 (who had been with us for much of the 2nd lap but didn't like to do her share of pulling) beat ME. Uh-UH. Figuring, however, Stephanie probably would beat me, I thought if I could just try as hard as I could to stay with her and just go ALLLLL OUT then it might work. And, really, what's the worst that could happen?

Well: the difference between pushing yourself above and beyond anything you've ever done before in running vs. cycling up a HILL is that if your legs are spent, you can push all you want but it may not really translate into moving faster.

BUT I DID BEAT THAT WOMAN! HELL YES I DID! I tried to keep Stephanie close but she managed to maintain some strength through the last part of the climb. I was further back just trying to keep turning the pedals over, find any semblance of power and focus on being done. Hitting the 200 M mark, I tried to stand up and sprint but legs were saying "SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN, GIRL!"

In the end Stephanie and I came in 31st and 32nd, respectively, out of 47 riders. Not exactly in the top 15 as I had sort of maybe hoped I might have SOME chance at. But honestly, it fills me with so much hope. Hope for development, for improvement, for potential.

Honestly - today was one of the best days I have EVER had on my bike. The strategy involved, the teamwork, the way I kept thinking about my next move, the way I kept on pushing myself and made decisions on when to push harder than other times. It was all just totally amazing. I also had FUN and I was SO inspired by all of the amazing cyclists who passed me today.

It also reminded me of those training days on your bike when you ride with people way better than you and you're gasping for air most of the time and you hate it and you think "why did I do this?" and then an hour after the ride you think "wow that was the BEST RIDE EVER!" It was totally like that. Except that even when it was hard, I was still having fun.

Today gave me such a great sense of direction. I want to do more of this. I want to be a better climber. A smarter racer. I want to see how much stronger I can make my body. It's a good feeling and ABOUT TIME I got that appetite back!

So that's that. The next road race is May 10 - the Berkeley Hills Road Race. The route will take place over the infamous "Three Bears" route which I used to ride ad nauseam when I lived in Berkeley. I'll get to relive my first couple years on the bike!

Thanks to everybody for all the support lately. It was really with me today in the confidence I felt and the mindset I went into the race with. Special thanks to Laurel Green of Wenzel Coaching and my Early Bird Women's Developmental Team Director - your pre-race tips were invaluable to me and I am so grateful to have you as a mentor! Also thanks to all of the Early Bird Women who showed up today and rode strong and cheered for me afterward. Having a team is SO FUN!


The 2009 Early Bird Developmental Team

Friday, April 10, 2009

A week of firsts

Let’s start with Tuesdsay evening: as I was finishing up Wednesday’s spin class, I was bending my toes on the carpet and suddenly felt a pull on one of my toenails. Ouch! Felt like it was kind of ripping so I immediately walked into the bathroom to grab some clippers. As I bent over my foot, there was my second toe with ITS TOENAIL HANGING OFF.


I have heard about you runner folk and your black toenails that fall off, but it has NEVER happened to me before! In all the years of tri I always managed to have shoes that never caused black & blue toenails. But back in January Matt and I had gone on a hike and as we were running down the trail to beat darkness, my left second toe kept jamming into the front of my hiking shoes; I definitely had a hunch it would be bruised. Sure enough, it eventually turned black.

Little did I know it would FALL OFF. How WEIRD is that?! It’s like my toe managed to form a protective layer between the skin and the nail so that when the nail DID come off, it was kind of no big deal. But I’m still weirded out by the fact that my toenail just kinda…fell off!

Onto Friday: my first ART session. For those not in the know, that’s Active Release Therapy (ART). Matt has been going to Patrick Pisenti, DC for a few different ailments and I know plenty of other people (including Holly) who have sung his praises for whatever injuries they were dealing with.

I’ve been dealing with this scar tissue in my right quad for awhile now and it hasn’t ever gotten any better. It affects me most when I run but I still feel it when I swim and bike and even in yoga. My right quad generally feels weaker than the left. I was just tired of feeling it and feeling injured.

Last November I felt so angry after my last XC race because it really flared up to the point of causing so much pain I had tears in my eyes and it was all I could do just to finish the damn thing. This stupid injury essentially ruined what should have been an awesome race for me. That was really when I decided to hang up running for awhile.

So I decided it was time for me to visit Pat. ART is PAINFUL! But I’m hoping it works. I’m supposed to follow up my treatment with the good ol’ foam roller and see how it goes for a couple weeks before I make any follow up appointments.

Onto the weekend! Hope everybody has a wonderful Easter weekend and gets some great rides/runs/swims/egg hunts in!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

2 Recipes for healthy people on the go

I know, I know, I’m waaaay overdue. Things have been nuts lately. My cooking has been much more of the “how can I make this as healthy as possible while still making it as quickly as possible because it is already 8:00 p.m. and I am STARVING?”

First up: Stir fry

No special stuff here but this is my ALL time favorite go-to ‘hurry-up-i-need-something-healthy’ meal.

-I start with a base of Trader Joe’s Chimichurri Rice. If you are a TJ’s shopper, YOU MUST BUY SOME OF THIS! It is a frozen rice mixture with some great spices. Re-heats REALLY well and serves as an excellent base. I do all kinds of stuff with this.

-In another pan, start braising tofu or saute some chicken or ground turkey or turkey sausage…etc

-Meanwhile, start cutting up all the veggies you’ve got:

  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Chard
  • Whatever other great veggies you might want in a stir fry

-I often will actually use a third pan and get my onion and mushrooms going by themselves

-In the Chimichurri Rice pan, once it’s been on heat for about a minute, start throwing in your veggies based on how long they need to stir-fry for. Carrots first, Asparagus and bell peppers next, then once the mushrooms and onion are almost done, throw them into the mix. Time it so that about two minutes before everything is all done, you can throw your meat or tofu into your wok also. Then about one minute before it’s all finished, throw in the chard. Chard cooks quickly so be sure everything else is done. Keep turning the chard over so that it cooks evenly but usually you never want more than a minute before it will become over-cooked.

That’s about it. In about 15 minutes of prep and cook time, you’ve got a pretty solid meal of protein/carbs/veggies and it tastes REALLY good. Sometimes I’ll wrap it in a tortilla, sometimes I’ll eat it alone. Mmmm.

April 041

Next up: Quinoa and Black Beans Salad

I heart this SO much. This recipe makes enough salad for two people to stretch out for about 2-3 days so you may want to halve it.


  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa 
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed, if canned
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked corn (cut from about 2 large ears) *
    (I used TJ’s frozen corn and it was great; also use TJ’s ‘Soycutash’ mix and that works really well in this, too)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups tofu, chopped into small blocks (something I added on my own, definitely optional!)

For dressing :

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


Rinse and cook quinoa. (If you’re not familiar with it – rinse a few times as you would rice. Can use a 1-2 ratio – 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water; bring water to boiling, put quinoa in, let simmer for 15 min or so until all the water has been absorbed)

While quinoa is cooking, in a small bowl toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and cool. Add beans, corn, bell pepper (and tofu) and toss well.

Make dressing: In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, salt, and cumin and add oil in a stream, whisking. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. (*Note: I used about 3/4 of the salad dressing)

Salad may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. 

April 038

Doing without

Without what?

A lot of things. The last two weeks have been all about extreme control and conscious restraint. Yet, I still seem to be in a good mood!

Matt has been having some stomach issues and thought it might be a good idea to try giving up alcohol and coffee for a month. Figuring that I would probably also benefit from such restraint, I decided to go along for the ride.

It’s been a little over two weeks so far and here are the results:

Alcohol: I mean yeah, I get jealous when James updates his Facebook status with what type of beer he’s relaxing with or JP mentions having noodles and beer. I passed by the Russian River Brewing Co the other day and thought “oh…that sounds GOOOOD.” But overall, I think it’s good to give the ol’ liver a break.

We went to a mixer last week for an organization called GoLocal (all about promoting the support of local business) and the theme last night was “Drink Local” – supporting local beverage makers (and while Sonoma County IS wine and beer country, they also were talking about some local tea/coffee importers, etc.).

So we go to pour ourselves a glass of water and what is sitting next to the bottles of water?

A BIG jug of Russian River’s Pliny the Elder. I let out a little whimper as I spied it. Taking a deep breath, I said confidently to Matt “I’m fine. It’s fine. Just give me the water.”


But after that, I really WAS fine. The evening went on without another thought of the matter. Which shows me that a) I’m not that addicted to beer and wine (that’s good!) and b) It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.

Coffee, on the other hand, has been a completely different story. MY GOD am I craving my fresh French-pressed brew!! We’ve been drinking black tea in the mornings instead but it just isn’t the same. And since I’m not the one with the stomach issues, I think lasting through two weeks of experimentation has been enough for me.

In all actuality, I haven’t really completely given it up. The other morning Matt felt bad for me and made me a pot. The day before that I had a breakdown and went to Peet’s on my way to FedEx (they’re next door to each other, how convenient) and got an Americano. At the GoLocal mixer you’d better believe I was ‘sampling’ (if that’s what you could call getting a refill three times) the decaf blend.

If that’s what ‘giving up’ coffee has done to me, then I think I was better off with my one-cup-each-morning habit!

Besides restraining from coffee and alcohol, I’ve been counting calories. Fitness Journal has a really cool food diary that can either be really detailed or really simple. The detailed version is cool in that a lot of foods are already in there from other members (i.e. Clif Z-Bars). I’m not so much wanting to ‘diet’ as more wanting to understand exactly where the calories come from and what my daily percentages of carbs, fat and protein are. Further, I want to make sure I’m doing enough to get the majority of my carbs from veggies and fruits rather than starches. I’ve actually really enjoyed doing this and it’s helping me to make more conscious choices during the day, especially if I can see that I’m lacking on the protein or the carb/fat/protein ratio is a little out of balance – I can adjust meals accordingly.

Overall, training’s been good. Still not much running to speak of. Fine by me! I got in a great swim last Saturday on my own and decided that I can’t be a wimp about it anymore. If I can’t make a Tues/Thurs eve master’s workout, I just have to suck it up and go early those mornings on my own. I CAN push myself and I CAN be disciplined. I don’t necessarily enjoy it as much, but I need to do it and I’m always glad when I did.  I decided that I definitely want to get some open water swims in this summer and when Shan moves up here I want to round her and some other folks up and go BAY swimming! I haven’t swam in the Bay in quite awhile but it’s really an awesome experience (cold, but awesome).

Finally, I should announce that I have officially joined the Early Bird Women’s Racing Team and may be racing as early as April 26 at the Wente Crit Race! YEAH!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What is the meaning of life?

Whatever you want it to be.

That was the question/answer on a card I wrote today. I love it. It couldn’t be more true.

This week has been nuts in the most awesome way. It started Saturday and has been pretty much, well, great, every day since. I don’t even know where to START! After such an incredible weekend, I began to reflect inward a little bit. Last month I mentioned a few things about how our attitude is everything. I am starting to see the difference my positive thinking is making on my life and my actions. Not only is it helping me to see the brighter side of things more easily, but I can see it in my confidence as well. I’ve been making decisions recently that are the direct result of more confidence in my feelings and direction I want to be going. It feels so good to make a decision and not question it or wonder if I should be doing it differently.

I looked at a blog post I remembered writing almost a year ago to this day. I was feeling pretty alone here in Sonoma County. Frustrated that my relationship with my students at the YMCA wasn’t forming immediately (patience is something I constantly work on). A little disappointed in my Oceanside 70.3 race (btw GOOD LUCK TO YOU FOLKS RACING!). Missing my friends in Berkeley and Oakland. Lamenting on my former life.

A year later, I can honestly say my life and outlook are 180 degrees from where they were one year ago. Take spin: several hours later, I am STILL on a high from spin class this morning. A year ago I was doing everything I could to look forward to spin on Mondays. And a year ago, when I was stoked that spin was 85% full? This morning’s class was full by 5:35 a.m. - for a 6 a.m. class. As I think about why I feel so fulfilled by teaching spin, I realize it’s something that I have worked so hard for. The comments from my post last week about Wednesdays were interesting to me. People seemed surprised that I’m always changing up the workout and playlist. But just like the quote at the top of my post today says: you get out of things whatever you put into them.

One of the things I know I am good at and love doing is building relationships and friendships. In spite of that, I am also impatient. The former takes time and yet, my personality likes things to happen YESTERDAY! Especially when I get EXCITED!

Just as it took a good 6 months for my relationships to really deepen with my spin students, it’s taken time for me to build my community here in Santa Rosa. To build friendships. To figure out what I wanted out of my new life up here. But I was so thrilled to be moving up here, to get out on my bike and learn every road in Sonoma County, to enjoy all this beautiful place has to offer, I think I expected it all to happen overnight.

I’m kind of interested to go back to another post from March of 2008 where I said:

After this year, who knows? As much as I love this sport and love the fitness that comes along with it, there are a lot of other things I'm interested in doing. I'm interested in cooking more. I'm interested in growing a garden to use my own veggies. I'm interested in becoming fluent in Spanish. I'm interested in reading more. I'm interested in getting into cycling racing. I'm interested in more yoga. I'm interested in learning more about web design and learning CSS. I may even be interested in running a marathon at some point.

I don't think I'll give up triathlon after this year, I just think I'll back off the intensity and just have fun with it. Pick a couple key races to do every year and do them for fun.

Kind of funny to look back on that! I was already gearing up for 2009 and yet, a few months ago, I was STRUGGLING SO MUCH with the idea of letting go! A WHOLE YEAR AGO I KNEW what I wanted. And yet up until about last week I was still hanging on to the last threads of somehow feeling like I NEED to do triathlon. Or that I NEED to run.

Yet the only thing getting in my way of pursuing other, just-as-exciting things was ME. Life is what you make it.

Now that I’ve set the stage (no this post isn’t over yet), let’s look back at what I said in March 2008 that I wanted to do:

  1. Cooking more – have to say I’ve been really lazy lately. Haven’t been posting recipes at all lately and my cooking has lacked pizzazz. Time to step it up! I’m going to try and plan at least two great meals a week that involve a little more extended time in the kitchen. I’ve got PLENTY of inspiration from JP and Devon!
  2. Garden – possibly working on doing a community garden with Carmen, yeah!
  3. Spanish – nada. Still have to table that one for a little while.
  4. Reading more – reading at least 15 min a day from a BOOK and it’s working out great! (in addition to Bicycling…New Yorker…Gourmet…Swimmer…)
  5. More yoga – yes! I’ve totally picked this up this year! Going to keep rockin’ that one…
  6. Web design and CSS – another one to be tabled. Maybe someday…
  7. Marathon – nope, certainly not right now.
  8. Cycling Racing – funny this should come up…

On the topic of road racing: last week on that FANTASTIC Riviera Ride from West County Revolution (an absolute MUST for anybody remotely nearby – I will let you know the details for the next one), I met a woman named Laurel Green. I told her about my desire to race this season and she said “Do you have a team?” I said “No.” Her: “Want one?” Me: “well…YEAH!”

Laurel is running a development team for women in their first year of road racing. How PERFECT! As the ride went on we spoke more about what’s required and what I could expect to get out of this experience. The result? All that’s left for me to do is send my team dues in. Count me IN!

Besides it being a great ride for finding myself being recruited to a racing team, it was truly one of the most gorgeous days in Sonoma County I’ve seen this year so far. A perfect day for riding, and boy did we RIDE! I found myself feeling feisty and got into a few pacelines and attacking up a few hills. It hurt SO good. I posted the pics below!

After and incredible lunch at Riviera, that evening I went to my FIRST professional hockey game! We watched the Sharks beat the Phoenix team. GO SHARKS! It was awesome. And I couldn’t believe they just LET them keep fighting!

Sunday I did more riding with Soda. She came up around 2 p.m. and we set off to do about a 40 mile, 2 hr mostly flat ride. Well…it ended up being 53 miles and 2 hrs 40 min. Oops. We got into Occidental and she had never turned right on Bohemian Hwy from there. We were both on TT bikes and I said “oh…Soda…that is THE BEST ROAD FOR A TT BIKE! YOU WILL FEEL LIKE YOU ARE FLYING!” I thought we’d go down from there to Monte Rio and take River Road in – a long flat ride back – perfect, right?

Kind of. We enjoyed Bohemian Hwy all the way down. We hit upwards of 3o mph! Once we were on River Road about 4 miles from Guerneville, we were moving along at a nice clip of about 21-22 mph. I was letting Soda do all the pulling since she’s the one racing next week. :) I decided to kick it into my big ring and slow down the cadence a tad. As I pulled the left gear toward me, it, well…kept pulling back! “What the hell?” I thought. I looked down and my chain had gone nowhere. Damn. Front derailleur cable had snapped! Still, worse things could have happened. With no bike store in Guerneville, we decided to just focus on getting back. I didn’t want to slow Soda down so I just decided I’d practice my spinning all the way home (I should also point out I couldn’t shift up to any of the last 3 gears on my rear cog because the chain would start rubbing against the front derailleur, so I was pretty much stuck with one gear on the flat).

Home – guess I kind of forgot it’s about 20 miles from Guerneville. Oh well, we still managed to do about 19 mph with my legs spinning the whole entire way!

Once we got there I had planned on doing an easy 20 minute run with her afterward. As we embarked down the block, my legs were SCREAMING. The thought of running another 18 minutes seemed like a feat I would not be able to conquer today. I apologized and told her I just had no strength left in my legs. All in all, it was a great ride and I definitely wasn’t concerned about missing out on the run.

This week started off really well, too. Monday spin was great. Went to yoga that evening and it felt so good but my legs were still hating me and for the first time in a LONG time I had to come out of my warrior poses to massage my quads! Oooohhh so sore.

Tuesday, in spite of still sore legs, I willed myself to go out at lunch at get a 20 minute run in. I won’t lie. The first 10 minutes sucked eggs. I spent every step plotting how I was going to describe the pain in my blog entry. The muscles right above my knees especially – just so tight. I’m wondering if that’s soreness from using the TT bike which I haven’t ridden in months? After the first 10 minutes it wasn’t so bad, but folks…it was dreadfully slow! I haven’t run that slow in AGES!

I sort of smiled about it all. Perhaps doing a 10K in two weeks might be out of the question. Of course I have the cardio strength for it but not sure my legs have it. And honestly…I don’t really care. I am really beginning to think that I may just take a total break from triathlon this season. I am TOTALLY FINE WITH THIS, FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL YEAR! On my ride on Saturday, about 20 minutes before I spoke with Laurel, I said to Lee “you know…I think I might just be okay if I really just focused on bike, swim and yoga this year.” Kind of funny how it all worked out.

Life is like that. It seems to work itself out. Things don’t always happen as quick as we want them to, but I am coming to the full realization that if you just set some goals and gain a clear understanding of what it is you really want, put it out there for the universe to hear, and work at it, everything will be okay. Obviously there are always hiccups and roadblocks along the way, but nobody ever said succeeding was easy. I know more times than not I wish life were easier, but when I look at the big picture I know that life really is good and I can make it into whatever I want. I like that.