Monday, April 23, 2012

Moving on to a new chapter.

Started a new blog. A Tumblr, no less. I had to actually google "what is a Tumblr?" to finally understand why I might want to use that, over, say, another Blogger site. But it seems to fit with where I'm at. Minimal site design. Easy to post from my phone. Less emphasis on text, more on substance. I like it. So I did it.

If you care to follow the next chapter, which will be about food, wine, bike riding, Sonoma County adventures, and other random nonsense, you can find me here.

Otherwise, I will say farewell to all of the triathletes who have stumbled here in search of good information and motivation and inspiration. May you find what you're looking for, and always remember this:

just do your best. 

If you finish the race and you can honestly say you did your best, then be pleased and focus on what you enjoyed. Don't harp on how you could have saved a minute here, or two minutes there. It's just a race. I know you spent months of preparation on it, I know you paid lots of money to be there, you sacrificed a lot to make it happen. Remember, I've been there!

But that's the point - you gave up a lot in time, money and other opportunities (like sleeping in!) to make it happen. So go out there, do your best, and enjoy the ride. Kind of like life.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April already? Thoughts on this blog.

Holy crap, I can't believe my last post was in January. Where did the last 3 months go?

Well, in that time, I've gone from cautious Paleo adopter to full on Primal. I love it and I'm never going back to bread, legumes, processed sugar and eating cheese 7 days a week. The way I feel is awesome. But more on that later.

Maybe I'm not posting because I hate my blog layout right now. But maybe, more than anything, it is just time to hang up this blog and leave it to the search engine junkyard for mining. I want to get back into social media - namely, Twitter and blogging, because I enjoy it. I just don't have a lot of extra time these days. But also, this was started as a triathlon blog. I may do an occasional triathlon here or there down the road, but I think my attitude has changed too much from what it was to consider myself a triathlete.

But then what will I write about? Probably a mixture of indoor cycling thoughts, Primal-inspired recipes (you thought I used to cook a lot? Ha. I realized that I used to be a person who "cooked occasionally" to a person who cooks 2-3 times/day. And loves it.), thoughts on life, points of view from the dog's perspective (Marney has taught me a lot, too), and of course, I will still write prodigiously on great bike rides and swims. Probably not so many runs.

(Marney reminds me it's good to stop running and take a break!)

In short, I will be working over the next month to build a new blog. This one will stay up. But it will direct anybody who wants to follow the next chapter of my life to a new spot on the enormity that is the web.

Triathlon was a whole chapter in my life. A very good chapter that taught me a lot about life, myself and helped me to learn that no matter what happens, I will always ADORE swimming and biking. Running - eh, well, I'll be up for a run if it's the only thing I can do, or if it's a slow run through a state park that can be enjoyed in the company of a good friend, or if it can be a run/walk. Running is not the worst thing ever. It's just not my favorite and I'm ok with that.

Triathlon, however, was also an escape for me. It was an escape during a big chunk of my 20s when I could have been exploring other potential business ventures. It was a way to say I had to 'be somewhere' (swimming/biking/running) when really I could have been furthering my knowledge. I could have been learning about gardening, cooking, etc. etc.

Don't get me wrong; I don't regret it in any way. But I do acknowledge that I was running from something as I found a sport to occupy so. much. time.

So, I'm 31 now. I started this when I was 24. Holy crap. 24?! First triathlon in 2005...yep, 24. Not only do I feel old but sh** - wow how my priorities and interests and cares and joys have changed. I love my garden. I love my dog. I love Matt. (not in that order!) Definitely time to move along.

I'm going to call it a day now. Time to go turn that grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A New Week

Regarding Paleo:
Each day this Paleo thing seems to get a little easier! I noticed that I am starting to think about food the same way I did before; that is, you think up what to have for breakfast in the context of what is available, not "Well, I guess I can't have toast. I guess I can't have yogurt and fruit." Instead it's more like "hmm, poached eggs sound good. Oooh and I can put some lox and avocado with that too. Perfect!"

And there you have it - my new favorite breakfast:
New fav breakfast! Poached egss, lox and capers, and some avocado. Nom nom nom!

Proper Fueling for Workouts
The one thing I noticed last week that was NOT so good was that I need to figure out pre- and post-workout fueling. I went out for the Tuesday Fun Run at Heart and Sole Sports last week. This was an easy 5 mile run - moderate pace, a couple of easy hills - definitely a run that could be deemed "Fun Run" as I was able to maintain a conversation throughout most of the run. Then I taught spin on Wed at 5:30pm. On Wed and Thursday nights, I woke up with my legs in extreme pain - the kind of pain that I've only experienced after doing half-Ironmans. WTF?!? It wasn't like I'd done anything crazy and yet, my legs were in so much throbbing pain that it was difficult to get back to sleep.

Upon further thought, I realized this may have had to do with improper fueling before and after workouts. Even without grains, I still need to find some proper carbohydrates to get into my system. 

This Week's Agenda
This week is all about setting up the year's schedule. I want to start planning for events now, so I can have some semblance of a training plan, and not just decide I am going to swim because I feel like it. I kind of got off the running schedule because it's been SO EFFING COLD here (it was 22 degrees Fahrenheit at 6am this morning. NOT cool.) that I haven't been doing my 6am runs. It may just be time to HTFU and do it. Or find a more reasonable hour (and temperature) to train at.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I’m going to start writing again. I don’t really have the amount of time that I used to, but in order to get back into writing, you have to just keep doing it. I miss writing and now that I actually have some goals again, I feel a need to express my thoughts and feelings about the new adventure I’m on. 

When I have some more time, I’m looking to redesign the blog as well. 

But here’s what’s up in 2012:

1. Not sure if I’ll do any tris this year. Maybe one or two sprint-distance (or Olympic if I’m feeling really snappy).

2. I want to do the Marin Century this year. It’s one of my all-time favorite and hardest centuries and it’s just gorgeous. And the County of Marin has recently repaved a TON of the roads on the course, as I’ve recently found out on drives out to Dillon Beach. In order to do this challenging ride, I need to be in *awesome* riding shape (because I want to beat my best time, which is something like just over 6 hrs).

3. I want to ride my bike. A lot. (see above)

4. I want to swim. A lot. This might be a little more difficult, if I’m doing #3 well, but I’d like to swim as much as I can. But what I know is that just as many folks get “runner’s high,” I get “swimmer’s high.” Swimming exhilarates me so much more than running.

5. But now that I’ve figured out what my running problems were thanks to Dave Townsend, MPT at Santa Rosa PT, I can actually run again without pain. It doesn’t mean it’s the most awesome thing ever all of a sudden, but it IS nice to run a couple times a week without feeling like I’d rather be doing anything else. So I might do the Santa Rosa Half Marathon in August. We’ll see how that goes.

6. I went Paleo. I know there’s a lot of controversy around this ‘diet,’ but I’m not really looking to defend myself to anybody. This is a personal choice and at Day 9, I am feeling *really* good. I don’t necessarily intend to be super strict and never, ever eat dairy or grains or sugar again. But as I intend it to be a lifestyle moving forward, I plan on sticking to it as closely as possible. My reasons for choosing this are as follows:

*I’ve put on about 10 lbs over the last 1.5 years and it is largely due to how I’ve been eating. Drinking too much, consuming too much sugar, not enough veggies, too much cheese (yum!), and just generally living the life that a typical Sonoma County resident might. Let’s just say that around here, it is entirely too easy to get too much of a good thing. 

*I want to get back to the basics in my diet. Eat lots of fruits, veggies and meat, without the extra carbs that are so unnecessary. This diet just make s a lot of sense to me. I figured I would try it, and if for some reason it didn’t jive, then I would stop. But so far, it’s been great. So I’ll be using this to chronicle how I feel and the journey I’m on to take it one day at a time.

The first week of it was a little rough, feeling frustrated about everything I couldn’t have. But now that I’m just feeling really good, it’s actually starting to be fun finding alternatives and exploring new recipes with all of the veggies we have. 

That’s it for now. Next goal: write again tomorrow.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fundraising event tomorrow, 5/22!

I know, it seems like the only time I post anymore is when I have something to sell or promote, right? Pretty much. (BTW I did sell the bike! Woo woo!)

But this time, it’s not about me. It’s about a young boy in our community. Read on for more details…


Buy me some peanuts and Crackerjacks!!!!

Come enjoy a sunny, family-fun, community day at the ballpark!

Let’s knock our Rookie (6, 7 & 8 year-old) A's socks off with the biggest and most EXCITED crowd we can muster! Kind of like this crowd here:

That's the kind of energy we want to re-create Saturday for the boys.  Make up some posters and placards.  Bring some peanuts and popcorn. Get creative. Have fun!  Be loud! Bring some friends!

We want this to be a big surprise for our boys, and watch their eyes light up when they see how many people come out to cheer them on!

After the game, watch the little guys get their season-end trophies, and enjoy a fundraiser BBQ* to help support the Codoni Family. There will also be a raffle drawing. We have an autographed Cal Ripken book, a signed Kirk Reuter (most wins by a SF Giant left-hander, ever) baseball, we have gift and wine baskets,  a free week at the SRJC baseball camp and other things keep coming in! Joey plans to be at the game, too! You can read more about Joey Codoni and his journey at this blog:

Please feel free to tell ALL your friends and bring them out to the game! The bigger the crowd, the better! We want this to be a day the boys won't forget, and a very memorable experience for Joey.

We are going to make our very own magic happen on a tiny ball field in Rohnert Park. To cap off a great season for our Cal Ripken A's, to benefit the Codoni Family, to have some FUN – please join us! Be a part of what is sure to be an unforgettable day.

* Once the game is over, we are going to have a Codoni Family Benefit BBQ & raffle. We are asking a $10 donation. All proceeds will go directly to the Codoni Family to help defray the costs for Joey's heart surgeries, and other treatments he's undergone.

This is turning into a big event.  We have expectations that more than 100 people will be at the game. The kids will be amazed and maybe even a little nervous! 

In the end, this is all happening to give Joey the feeling his team and community haven't forgotten him.  Let's make it as memorable as we can.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

TT Bike for Sale

Excellent condition 2006 Cervelo P2 Carbon 54 cm time trial bike.

Component Group - Shimano Ultegra Double
Brakeset - Shimano Ultegra
Aero Bars - Profile Design
Handlebars - 42 cm
Shifters - Shimano 105
Front derailleur - Shimano Ultegra Double
Rear Derailleur - Shimano Ultegra
Crankset - Shimano Ultegra 39/53
Cassette - Shimano 10-speed, 12/27
Wheels - Stock Easton 700c
Tires - Continental Grand Prix 4000 700x23
Pedals - Look Keo

Bike has about 1500 miles on it. Got it August 2006 and loved it, but stopped doing triathlons in 2008 and never ride it anymore. Just think somebody might be able to use it more than me. Found it to be a very comfortable bike as TT bikes go and it goes fast!! Full album of photos at:








If you know anybody who’s interested (or you are), feel free to email me at sarah.monica[at]gmail. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where I’m at…where I’m headed

I finally cracked open "The Cyclist's Training Bible" (Joe Friel) and I'm remembering all over again why it is I want to train and not just exercise. I've decided not to make any race commitments or ride commitments, etc. until I get a little further on in the book and can begin to set some real goals (I don't really have any right now) and then make a plan. And I need to seriously get down to selling that TT bike and buying a new bike, ASAP!!  Joe Friel does a really great job of  basically saying "look, you're not pro, you don't make money doing this, so just chill and have fun with it. If you have family and work and other priorities, you canNOT make this your number one thing." Which I knew, but I keep feeling like everybody else is so hardcore with it all and I've been such a lazy butt and was getting all jealous that everybody else is in great shape and I'm not (yes, I’m in shape. But not great RACE shape). But then it's like everything else in life, which ebbs and flows and right now I just have other things that are more important (like home improvements). I was also reminded that burnout can take even years to come out of so now I don't feel too bad.

Basically I'm gonna go back to basics. I'm doing a 6-week thing with Tone Fitness since they're a sponsor and I got a good deal. They're going to help me work out my alignment issues, which we're now thinking is a big source of my quad and calf pain. I realized I DO like to run - when it doesn't hurt! They found that I'm very externally rotated with my right knee and foot, which explains a lot. It feels more like PT than Pilates! I get ‘homework’ to do and I come home all sore! 

Lately I've tried to take the pressure off by just allowing myself to 'exercise' and not really 'train.' I even had this moment while I was leading last week’s “Entree” route (the medium-paced route) for the Soup Spoons & Carbon Forks ride where I thought "ya know...I could get into riding like this...easy and laid-back style. This is fun!”

But then there's still that part of me that likes to try and hang w/the strong guys, likes to battle it out for the sprint lines, likes to compete. It really is so frustrating being part type-A and part mellow! I CAN'T ‘just’ exercise; there has to be an underlying motivation there, a reason to push harder, a reason to ride even when I don't feel like it, etc. So I think by setting some real goals for the year and rehabbing my leg, I will finally feel refreshed and ready to get back at it.

I feel excited about the year ahead and what it will mean for me and that I finally feel like I don't care what everybody else 'wants' me to do/race. I'll do what I can do given my situation and that will make me happy. Some people have put a lot of pressure on me and it's made me really wonder if I should even be racing because I don't want to make it what I’m all about 24/7. 

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this. But before it was with triathlon, and now it’s bike racing. Same story, different game. And once again, I am learning that there are no ‘right’ answers.

It’s been awhile since I actually created some real, achievable goals and I think going back to the basics is a good place to start. And maybe on that goals list I can put down ‘new blog,’ too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

What I’ve Been Up To

Not writing on my blog, that’s for sure!!

Actually, a new blog is in the works, as I’ve previously mentioned. I’m hoping to use it to combine my love of cycling and cooking. But life is busier than ever and it’s kind of been on the back burner as far as getting it built up.

Still, I think about this blog all the time, and I also think about all you folks in the triathlon and cycling community that I’ve come to know through it as well. I thought I would check in, say hello and post my latest video creation. I’ve been getting more into documenting my adventures with my camera, and I’m beginning to consider buying one of those chest mounts.

Most of the times I ride my bike I think about how to share the beauty I experience with others, whether they are cyclists or not. I really do realize how lucky I am to live and ride in Sonoma County!!

Last weekend we had the 2nd “Soup Spoons & Carbon Forks” ride, which is sponsored by West County Revolution (you can read more about them at Lee’s blog). This is a new monthly ride that takes place on the 3rd Saturday of every month. We start from a different restaurant every time, and after the ride, sit down to enjoy a meal and revel in the post-ride endorphins together.

This month’s ride began at Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar (my most favorite place ever, and according to SF Chronicle’s Michael Bauer last Thursday, worth driving an hour north of SF for). We headed northeast up Old Redwood Highway and made our way out to Chalk Hill Road. From there we continued on the 8 mile rolling stretch to Hwy 128, and turned right to head south toward Calistoga. Before we hit Calistoga, however, we turned onto Franz Valley Road to take in some even more beautiful country roads and get ourselves off the busy 2-lane main thoroughfare. Franz Valley led us over to Petrified Forest Road, where we could climb up, up up to Calistoga Road and head up over the mountain to come back into Santa Rosa. It was about 3000 ft of climbing ALL  at the end of a 45 mile ride! Still, it was great to have friends to suffer with.

There is a huge storm thrashing the Bay Area right now, and we all were prepared to see it hit Saturday afternoon. Imagine our surprise when we began to ride under blue skies and sunshine! However, it only lasted until we got to Calistoga Road. With about 7 more miles to go, the skies began to darken and the air got much chillier – it was time to pick it up and get back to the restaurant – FAST!

Below is a movie I made from all the different videos I took during the ride. I think I had as much fun editing it as I did taking the footage!


So besides that, I’ve been racing at the Early Bird Criterium Training Series down in Fremont every Sunday. It’s been GREAT to race again and get the cobwebs out! I can’t wait for the first real race of the season – the Cherry Pie Crit in Napa on 2/7/10.

That’s about it for now. Happy New Year to everybody and have a great week!


"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Sarah’s Birthday Ride & Lunch: Sat, 12/5/09

Come join us!

We’ll be meeting at the Bear Republic Brewery at 8:30 a.m. on Sat and heading over to the Flying Goat for coffee. At 9:00 a.m. we’ll gather and push-off for the ride.

There are three routes to choose from:

-The Appetizer Course – 40 hilly hard miles (includes the climb up and over Sweetwater Springs Road). This will be a ‘drop’ ride meaning if you flat or are slow they um, won’t wait for you. Jon Erickson will be leading this ride.

Route info is here: Appteizer Route - 40 Strong Hilly Miles

-The Main Course – 41 lumpy easier miles
This will be a no-drop ride – meaning if you flat we will be nice and wait for you. We’ll head out West Dry Creek up to Lake Sonoma and continue north up Dutcher Creek to Asti. Then back down through Geyserville along 128 and back to Healdsburg.

Route info is here: Main Course Route - 40 Nice Rolling Miles

-The Dessert Course – 30 Flattish Miles
This will also be a no-drop ride for those who prefer a more leisurely pace and like to stop and smell the vineyards.

Route info is here: Dessert Course Route – 30 Flattish Miles

Once we roll back by 12:00 p.m., we’ll put the bikes away and head into the Bear Republic Brewery for LUNCH AND BEEEEEEEEEEER (hello, RACER 5!).

If you want to join in the fun, please let me know. I’d LOVE to see you!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No, I didn't die.

030 Early Bird Women 2009 Team.
Love these ladies!

I'm sure somebody out there began to wonder if, maybe, something awful had happened, right?

Nope. Nothing awful. Just the insanity of life over the past two months.

Between buying a house, moving the office, renovating extensively and having several other things to keep me busy in between, there really hasn't been much time for writing.

Sarah Side Angle Yoga keeps me grounded.
I got to pose for Three Dog Yoga as they build their website up!
Photo credit: Shelby Erickson, Erickson Design


Besides plain busyness though, there has been something else on my mind that I think has kept me from writing:

Contemplation of change.

The longer I went without writing, the more I began to think about blogging and whether to continue. One thing that has troubled me over the past year is that I don't have the time to be part of the blog community the way I used to. All those links you see on the left-hand side of this entry are people's blogs I have enjoyed reading at one time or another. Some of those people became Facebook friends. Others have become awesome real-life friends. I've made real friendships from this blog community! I miss it!

True, ultimately I write for myself. I started this blog 4.5 years ago that way. But as I got to know others around the web and the triathlon community, it gave me an added incentive to write. I found inspiration and great advice from others.  Sharing my story was a way to be part of that community, to offer my own mistakes and experiences to the mix.

Additionally, my life is rapidly changing before my very own eyes. Hard to believe that indeed, I started this blog nearly half a decade ago, during a very different time in my life. It began as a way to record my adventure into this strange world of triathlon, as a way to log my experiences and remember them as I went forward.

As I ready myself to begin the last year of my 20s, I find myself embarking down a new path to start new journeys. Similar, but different, with different goals. I'm different:

I don't feel the need to prove myself as much as I did 5 years ago.
I've got more confidence than I ever have.
I'm aware of where my athletic talents lie (5 years ago I didn't even think I was capable of running a 10K. In fact, I was contemplating SWIMMING a 10K!).
I have a better sense of direction in my life.
I know what sport is my favorite (cycling).
I am SO much better at listening to my body. I know when it's telling me to rest and I know how to obey it.
I don't freak out about missing workouts.
I know what Gu is.

And so on. Reflection is a lot of fun when you realize you've come a long way.

In fact, perhaps I've neglected writing because I don't identify with this blog the way I used to.

"Sarah's Triathlon Adventure?" I think. "But I haven't done a triathlon in over a year!" The words 'Sarah' and 'triathlon' in the same sentence suddenly seems strange. Past races are foggy memories where only the best parts seem to shine through, the way the photos on your walls all remind you of a happy or joyful memory in your life.

So I guess you could say I'm movin' on. Not to say I wouldn't ever race triathlons anymore. Never say never. But racing my bike this year was absolutely, phenomenally fantastic and I can't wait for more next year. I can honestly say that I wait for winter training to start, either! 

As for the blogging – I DO want to continue to write, even if I don’t have as much time to go out and read others’ adventures. Still, something has to change: it is time for a new blog. It's kind of like a photo album, where I'd label this one "Triathlon Years, 2004-2009". Nothing wrong with this one, simply time to start a new one. One that will include not only bike-related adventures but also many of my culinary adventures. My friend Jo Ann inspired me recently to get back into the kitchen and I've been having a great time with it. I want to have a blog where I can do a better job of recording my recipes and making them easier to archive and find.

Until that time, however, my goal is to write at least once every two weeks. Life is finally beginning to settle back down and my time is becoming a little freer. It's time to pick up the pencil (keyboard) and let the thoughts flow.

Feels good to be back. :)  

Sarah Giro SF 1

   9/7/09: Giro de San Francisco. I placed 12th out of 40. Was definitely hoping for Top 10 but I’ll have to save that for next year!


<---- Me in a 4-woman breakaway with 5 laps to go! (They caught us a lap later)

Photo credits: Veronika Lenzi,



Sarah Grio SF 2