Major Fail

I haven’t kept up on my blog, I have been training…just not writing about it. Major FAIL!

Here are some pictures from some rides recently, maybe it will help you catch up 😀

First off, I participated in a race and had to DQ. It was a 1,000 meter swim and I got caught in a rip current, my calf severely cramped and I have to get pulled out of the water. On the drive home, I hooked up my Compex to my calf and let it go to work. Not sure if it helped, as I still was in pain for a few days after the race:

One Sunday, George took me for a nice challenging ride. We went up to Foothill Blvd where some of the grade’s were over 20% and then we rode over to Pasadena and climbed up to Sacred Heart High School. It took me a while, but I made my way up. Here we are at the top:

I also did a ride with a group call WE Ride, it’s mostly for women (men come to). I like it because it has a fitness component to it, not only are we encouraging people to get out and ride, but it is also a challenge.

I’m over on the right…

I have been doing my brick workouts pretty regularly, but this week I threw out my back and am just trying to walk at the moment. I know it will get better eventually, but it can get a little depressing when every morning I wake up in severe pain. I went to physical therapy on Tuesday and go again tomorrow. Just trying to relax the muscles and get them to shut up!

I am also planning on selling my bike. Our friend is going to sell me his Giant TCR all carbon bike and before I buy that off of him, I need to sell mine. The new bike will also be the correct size for me, which I am really happy about and a heck of a lot lighter!

Anyway, that’s all I got for now. One more day till Friday!


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Memorial Day Weekend Fun

I love 3-day weekends, I really wish they were the standard. I seriously could get my job done in 4 days a week…I’ll write my congressman!

Anyway, my weekend was busy and fun. Friday, George and I put together his new bike that he got. It is a full carbon fiber frame and has Shimano Ultegra all the way around. It also has a pretty cool crank too that I am jealous of:

He rode it up and down the driveway a bit to test it out.

Saturday, I woke up when the spirit moved me which was 9AM, did 3 loads of laundry and then got my cycling gear on. I didn’t get out of the door till 11:30AM and it was already pretty warm. I decided to head north and do some gradual climbing. I went up a new street (for me) and at some points the grade was 13%. I was starting to get really hot so I was using my water to cool me down and my sweat was starting to make my sunscreen on my face drip off. So needless to say I was a tad uncomfortable…but I made it up to Foothill and biked over to Ross where my mom was. I surprised her and we decided to eat lunch down in Montrose. So my ride was only 40 minutes, but whatever, I was hungry!

Later in the day I groomed one of my dogs, Meeko and gave both Meeko and Toto a bath. I realize my grooming skills are not that great, but to get both of them groomed would cost me $80 and they are freakin dogs! They don’t care if there is a little wisps of fur on the legs 😀

Sunday was pretty busy, but I got an early morning ride in. It was so beautiful out and I rode for about 30 minutes. I actually use the rides to clear out all the crap in my sinus’ because I have to sing for church and it isn’t pretty when there is left over snot from the night before. After church we actually had to go to church again! George was getting confirmed, so we met up with some family for lunch then went to church for the big event! Okay…it wasn’t that big….but now we can officially get married in the Catholic church…thrilling stuff really….Later we went to JAX in Glendale (a local jazz bar) and had a drink. There was a lot of drinking that day and I fell asleep with a bit of a headache.

Then Monday I woke up to go to church AGAIN! I was singing for Memorial Day mass and I decided to take my City Cruiser. I rode down and sang my little heart out then decided to go to the market after to get some ingredients for a cake I wanted to make as well as BBQ stuff. Well, I got a little excited and ended up having WAY to much stuff to carry back home. In order to get home, I put 2, 2 liter bottles of soda in the basket in the back along with my music book, shoes and purse. On the front I managed to hang a reusable bag on the front and it carefully sat on the fender. Then I had another reusable bag that I managed to sling over my shoulder like a back pack and I slowly made my way home. I seriously felt like a Nigerian woman traveling over the desert to get food back to the family. In retrospect, I should have just called my mom to pick me up…but I guess I wanted the challenge. All those bags made the bike a bit unstable, but the faster I went the easier it was to control.

Once I got home I unloaded everything and started on my cake. I made a Raspberry Lemonade Picnic Cake, with Lemon Buttercream Frosting and homemade Raspberry Purée drizzled on the top:

It was really good, and a great cake for a hot/warm day!

Overall it was a really nice weekend and I am glad that I was able to get on the bike all three days. I am also starting to lose some weight…so that is nice too.

P.S. I also don’t eat much of the cakes I make…got to keep that weight off!

Little Lion says hi –

Compex, Monday Run and My Little Heart

I realized that I probably haven’t explained what the heck Compex is….

You see, I applied for a sponsorship with a company called Compex and actually was selected as one of the ambassadors! They sent me one of their units to use through training as well as a nifty hat that gets too hot because it is black.

Hot Hat

They also sent over some temporary tattoos that you will probably see me wear in some races.

Anyway, what is Compex you ask? Compex is a muscle stimulator that can be used from warming up before a race, to recovering after a hard workout. Here is a quick description on the unit they sent me:

“The new Compex Sport Elite Muscle Stimulator features nine programs which target specific muscle groups and enables athletes to maximize muscle strength and development. The Active Recovery® Program increases blood flow and circulation, reduces lactic acid and promotes muscle relaxation so athletes can recover quicker after a strenuous workout or competition.”

It came in the mail about a month ago, and here is a picture of what came in my box:

If you have ever used a tens unit at a physical therapist, it is similar to that. From that little unit comes some chords which hook up to little pads and sends pulses to the muscles and it feels really good. Anyway, I have been using it during my training and I really like it. The biggest difference I have noticed is that I recover so much faster and then I can get back out there training. Sometimes, I would have to wait a day for my muscles to rest but now I feel great the next morning/day. If you want more information, you can visit their website here:

I can also get you a 10% discount if you are interested in buying a unit, so just shoot me and e-mail and I will give you instructions (and the code) to buy it.

In other news, I went for a run last night and I am pretty dang proud of it. I also figured out how to use the Garmin Connect and I am pretty proud of that too! So now if you want to see all the nasty details about my runs or rides I will post a link, like so:

I decided to just do 3 miles, but to do it hard and fast. And yes, 10:53 average pace is fast for me you rabbits! Anyway, I was starting to get some side cramps toward the end and thought I was going to die but I really wanted to test myself and see how well I could do and I am pretty dang proud of my run. If they had a medal for this training run I would wear it proudly around my neck! I have a 5k next weekend out in Huntington Beach and I am really hoping to do well.

And last but not least, my little heart. I had my physical yesterday, and we went over all the stuff you go over in a physical. A week ago I had my blood panel done and so I was able to see all my cholesterol levels. Everything looked great and I am not allergic to Pigweed…in case you were wondering. But I wanted to talk to my doctor about my heart, at last Wednesday’s brick while I was climbing up Lida…my heart it 217 (max heart rate is 220). After I got to the top I immediately got a sever migraine and barely made it back to the car. I have been battling some pretty severe allergies and took some Zyrtec D, so I think the D part assisted in making my heart rate spike. But on average I am hitting 205…which is still too high for me. So she is going to set up something with a cardiologist to do a fitness stress test and try to figure out why my heart rate is so high. Not sure when this is going to happen, but I am sure there will be a post about it 🙂

Today is my day off from training, George and I have a little potluck this evening and I will be making mini red velvet bundt cakes. Then tomorrow I plan to ride into work, then do the brick in the evening that will consist of a long run. Thursday, I am going to ride into work again and then Friday I will take off.

That’s all I got for today…

Bike – Swim – Bike

In an effort to not be lazy bums on Sunday afternoon’s, George and I went for a training ride and swim yesterday. Since I got that trunk for my bike, I am able to load it up with a bunch of stuff and it really has opened up a new world of going places. Instead of driving to the pool, we decided to bike. So we put our swimsuits, goggles and a towel in the trunk and headed out. George’s bike has a carbon seat post, so he can’t carry it on his bike…but I don’t have a carbon seat post so guess who got lucky??? I don’t mind so much, I really feel like I get a great workout on my hamstrings because I really have to crank to keep that bike moving at a decent pace.

Here is our elevation chart for the ride, the first hill heads north then drops us down into Pasadena. It isn’t the most efficient way, but we wanted to get some climbing/miles in.

Click on image to enlarge.

We got to the Rose Bowl in 42 minutes and got ready to swim. We did a half mile swim, then hopped out to get back on the bikes. Here I am in the locker room, had to take a rogue picture.

No naked people behind me! Although…there were a few in there…

I was feeling pretty good, while I was changing I ate a Clif bar and really made sure to hydrate and George made sure to keep me in check with some electrolyte pills! We finally got back on the road and I could feel the drag in my legs, they were not excited about having to head back. Not to mention, we also decided to do a pretty tough climb in order to get home.  On the elevation chart, the second climb is between miles 10 and 12. Also, not sure what happened to my Garmin, it  makes it look like I dropped off a cliff and fell 600 feet. Most reasonable explanation would be that I forgot to press “start”, I really need to figure out that automatic stop- start feature….

Before we made the climb up Lida, George took that pack because I don’t think I could have made it with me carrying it. So up and away we went and I really pushed myself to get up quickly, my legs were burning but I knew that it was all downhill to get home so why not go all out? When we got to the top I took a couple pics, here is George doing circles trying to figure out why I was just standing there:

Then I told him I wanted to take a picture of us, so he stood next to me and we took this one:

It was such a gorgeous day out, it has been a tad windy the past couple of days (so we were fighting headwinds) but it clears all the crap out of the Valley and makes it look like this:

Ahhh, Southern California…gotta love it!

After that we headed down back to the house. Once we got back I hooked up George to the Compex and he got to experience the Active Recovery on his legs. He thought it was pretty cool, so now I have a set of pads for him to use as well. After recovering for a bit, we went and had some really good Mexican food then came back and I used the Compex on my quads, gluts and hammys. Today I am feeling really great and plan to go on a run later. I am noticing that with the Compex I am able to really push myself on a ride, and the next day I feel fantastic. I am not wasting time recovering for a day which means I am building strength faster. So far I am really liking having this as part of my training regimen.

Bike to Work Day 2010

First off, a fellow blogger is having a contest on her blog. She is giving away a gift basket from the American Cancer Society…so visit her blog here to find out how to enter!

Yesterday was Bike to Work Day here in L.A. I have participated in this event for the past 4 years and I really enjoy it. This year Pasadena was very active in the event, so I had a lot of things to do.

First off, being that I have commuted to work a few times on my bike, I know the logistics. For example, I keep clothes in my office at all times that I don’t necessarily miss from my closet but are nice enough to wear to work. If I know I want to wear something else, I simply bring clothes in the day before (which takes some planning). I also put a trunk rack on my bike to carry various things or even spare clothing. If you have a carbon seat post, you should not get one of these racks. However, if you bike is anything like mine and has a carbon “wrapped” seat post…then you are good!

So Thursday morning I woke up at 6:15 and was out of my house by 6:50. It would have been earlier, but I couldn’t find my helmet. I finally found it and was on my way. This week, Glendale was offering free rides to anyone with a bike. The plan was to go to the nearest stop (1/2 mile away) and take the bus up to Montrose where the first stop was. Taking the bus takes a pretty significant climb out of the commute. While it would be great to get that work in…it also cuts out 30 minutes of the commute time. By 7:03 the bus arrived and I got on. It took about 5 minutes to get to the top and I was dropped off a block away from the first stop. Nothing too fancy here, just picked up some small energy bars and said hi to the owner of Montrose Bike Shop. I didn’t want to spend too much time there and took off, I had more stops to go to! I climbed a bit to get to Descanso Gardens, then dropped down into the canyons. While this is a longer way to ride, it is absolutely gorgeous and there is hardly any traffic. Through the rolling hills I went and popped up in Pasadena. I took the Holly Street bridge-

From there I went up to Orange Grove then to Walnut and down Fair Oaks to my second stop, Subway. When I initially pulled up I saw the balloons and a table, but no one was standing there. I waited a little longer and a Subway employee came out and offered me free breakfast! So I got a Subway breakfast sandwich and an apple juice. I think he wanted to give me the whole store (yogurt, apples, more juice) but I was trying to travel light. They took a few pics of me and I took a self shot:

From there I went to Pasadena City Hall –

They had a pretty nice set up there with some breakfast items. My only complaint is that they have all these giveaways for the city employees and don’t offer anything to everyone else…but I did get a free water bottle from Incycle so that was nice 🙂

From there I went to my next stop, it was on Colorado and one of the building management companies. They had a nice spread of nutrition bars and some other little things. At almost 8AM I was only about the 5th or 6th one there, so they were happy to give me some stuff. Since it was nearing 8AM I knew I had to start moving to hit my last 2 stops. The next one was at One West bank, and they had a TON of stuff there. I picked up a Noah’s bagel with cream cheese, some cool little tool kits, and all sorts of other stuff. They took more pictures of me there, then I went to my last stop which was right across the street from my office. They had a bike mechanic doing free tune ups, so I handed over my bike while I enjoyed some nice coffee. They also had some cool stuff to give me and then it was to my office to start my day. Here is all the loot I got:

And here I am standing outside my office:

Good thing I had that trunk on my bike, I was able to carry everything back to the office.

After work I headed over to the Pasadena Museum. They were having a lecture about bicycles in Pasadena, a history. I stayed for a bit but had to get going, so jetted out and took the short way home, Colorado through Eagle Rock. I also got to cross over my favorite bridge, the Colorado Street bridge-

This picture is actually facing the wrong direction, I was going the other way…

I was home in 40 minutes and tired! I had put a good amount of mile on my bike yesterday and the day before. I was hungry and my legs were tired. After I ate, I decided to put my Compex to the test. I put the pads on and set it to Active Recovery and watched TV while I let it go to work. This time I cranked it up a bit more and like muscles were actually twitching…it was cool/weird… But my legs feel great today, it’s my butt that may be a different story…

All in all a really good day, my new goal is to ride into work at least ONCE a week. It feels really good to get out there and I know I can do it, so I should.

Happy Friday!

Revlon Run/Walk 5k Race Report

On May 8th, I participated in the Revlon Run/Walk 5k in Downtown Los Angeles. This is a fun and meaningful race because it raises money for women’s cancer. I participated in the race in 2006 and 2007 as well. The other cool part is that it finishes in the Coliseum and then there is a concert on the field. Anyway, here is how it went…

The night before I used my Compex Sport Elite on my quads. I put it in the “strength” mode hoping for some miracle or PR the next morning. In order to put the pads on correctly, I had to referred to the manual. It was very helpful and I remember that you needed to put the red wire farthest away from your body to get the best effect.

I didn’t crank it up to high, since I am still trying to figure out my limitations. So I left it at a comfortable level and watched Glee online during the 30 minute session.

The next day I woke up and got ready to head down to the race site. Because there is an absurd amount of people that run this race, I parked near my Alma Mater and jogged the mile down to the race site. This seems to work out really well and by the end of the morning I had gotten in about 5 miles (I had to run around some construction).  I was supposed to meet my team that I was doing the race with in the coliseum, but they got caught up in all the traffic and didn’t make it in time. Here is the coliseum before the race:

Here is where the whole day started to go downhill and precisely why I don’t like to rely on other people. I was told that I would be getting a t-shirt to run in, so I wore a “throw away” shirt that I had. It was just a black cotton long sleeve shirt, fine for walking around in…not cool when it is time to run a race.

I also wanted to get down to the start as soon as possible, but I was still waiting on the people to show up. Time kept getting closer to the start and they still weren’t there. I finally came to the conclusion they were never going to make it and I would have to run in the hot shirt and head down to the start. After fighting through huge crowds I got as close as possible, which was still quite a ways away.

The race was supposed to start at 8:45 but they kept introducing a bunch of people, presenting checks and having a gospel choir sing…so we didn’t get going till 9AM. That was a bit annoying because it was starting to get warm out. They finally blew the horn and tossed the confetti and we were off! Sort of…it was the pre-start line shuffle for about 5 minutes. I finally got past the start and was off trying to dodge all the walkers. While I was waiting in the crowd before the start, I remembered that I had parked right along the course, and I might even have a chance to change into another shirt I had brought with me. I knew this would kill my time…but so would that hot black shirt! I also had to pee, but since I was trapped in the death trap of people (seriously, doesn’t that creep anyone out? All those people?) I couldn’t go. So the whole time I am running up Figueroa I am thinking I can stop in one of the restaurants…but everyone else had the same idea! About a mile in I get to my car which is parked along this tree covered street a little off the course. By this point I was hot and I had to pee like no other…so I did what I had to do… I opened up both car doors and popped a squat… Slightly illegal? yes…Worth it? YES! Fortunately, I had parked next to a HUGE tree so that covered me as well. Once I was done I changed tops and was back on the course. After my stop I ,for whatever reason, could not get back into the groove. my time was shot to hell and I figured I should just deal with it and finish. I don’t want to say my time…because it was really sad 😦 But when I came through the finish, I gave my best sprint and finished strong:

I also tried to flash my way cool Compex tattoo that I had on my arm, but it is kind of hard to see. After the race I jetted out and went over to get my goodie bag and some other freebies and walked back to my car. Later that day I actually had to go to the bank and the teller asked me if the Compex tattoo was real…I said no and that made him happy (for whatever reason…guess he didn’t like it).

All in all a fun race, too crowded and I don’t think I will do it next year.