Sunday, January 31, 2010

welcome to the thirties

welcome to february! last weekend i had a blast celebrating my birthday with my husband and even came home to an amazing birthday surprise on my 30th b-day/one month wedding anniversary. when we were married in cabo, Mike Doyle's paintings were all over the hotel. i fell in LOVE with a couple of them. when we inquired about the price, we figured that $3000 would be better in our downpayment-on-a-house account than on the walls of our rented apartment. so, oh well, no painting for me. well, i came home friday and found this on my wall....

can you believe it?!?! it is HUGE- 3 feet by 7 feet. my ingenious husband actually "commissioned" a friend (the better half of "team tall" (who happens to be a fabulous artist) to make me a very similar painting to the one i loved. incredible. i love it.

the rest of the weekend was spend riding out in east county san diego. jen invited me along on one of her adventures and i got to hang with the big girls riding Great Western Loop to Pine Valley (an amazing ride).
i also hung out at the YMCA spin-a-thon and did an hour with the lululemon Carlsbad crew, raising money "for the kids". "for the kids" was also my excuse to bid on (and win!) some fun silent auction items. saturday night, James took me to Yu Me Ya sake house for my 30th and we happily rang in my new decade in a quiet corner of the sake bar with good food, drink and the good company of eachother. and of course frozen yogurt for my "birthday cake" after.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

last week of the twenties...

The last week of my twenties was pretty darn good. And pretty darn usual. Which means that my life is typically usually pretty darn good.

I got off work early on Wednesday and hit the coast with two of my NytroWomen teammates, Colleen and Sara.

James got a new euro fauxhawk with a little rat tail to boot.
I ate my favorite breakfast/lunch/dinner several times- one small baked sweet potato (or 1/2 a large one) with cottage cheese. sounds nasty. tastes DELICIOUS. and very good for you and filling.
[some tips if you try it: if at work, microwave potato for 5 minutes. i like to add salt, cinnamon or nutmeg and (insert favorite sweetener here: spenda, agave, truvia, maple syrup, brown sugar)
I got a special birthday surprise- sweet Suunto heart rate monitor fit for everyday wear!
AND it was crazy socks and shoes day at the school i work at. As a geeky triathlete, this was NO problem.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

father daughter ride

Friends and family made this weekend tops. James and I had a little stateside party at a local wine bar to celebrate our wedding (and our birth month- james' b-day is tomorrow and i'm 30 on the 3oth- ouch!) with our san diego friends ...My parents made the trip out from philadelphia for the party, which was the best.
Some of my favorite girls at the party...
this b&%tch decided to front and steal my outfit! the horror!!! at least we accessorize differently!
The party was a blast. But, the highlight of my parent's trip to san diego was a 3-hour ride with dad and james. My dad is essentially 100% responsible for my inital dabble into triathlon. In June 2007, I somehow convinced him that the best (Master's) graduation gift would be a real cycling type bike with clip in pedals and all. Not that i knew how to ride one, but I promised I would learn. So dad came out for my graduation and took me shopping (on crutches from hip stress fracture!!!!) for my first bike. It helped that Dad is a cyclist himself, so I ended up with a pretty sweet "entry level" full carbon ride. I had to promise not to ride it until I was given the doctor's go ahead...(ummm....ok, I may have cheated just a little). Well, I DID learn to ride that sucker, and I think Dad got his money's worth with my Orbea and I'm still riding it. Without that gift, there is absolutely ZERO percent chance I would have bought a bike because I seriously had NOOOOOO money. I couldn't have even managed a Wall-Mart Huffy. So, that was one of hte many firsts and lucky days for me over the past few years. Thanks, Dad! Love you!

Living on opposite coasts, Dad and I had never gotten the chance to ride together..Until Saturday! Let's just say the old man's still got it- Dad and James were dropping me on the coast...We went 40+ miles and Dad still had some energy at the end....
Daddy's girl :)

today, sunday, I ended the weekend with ANOTHER ride with James (4hours! and then an 11 mile run, and THEN an hour swim...ooooch!) good thing a recovery week is on tap next. woo hoo! love me some recovery!

Monday, January 18, 2010

the newleywadventures in Arizona!

Last weekend. I was supposed to ride my bike 375 miles from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Last minute snafus and inclement weather cancelled the trip, but not my desire for a getaway training adventure. Luckily, Katya was headed to Phoenix to work with Team World Vision and get to know her teammates for the Comrades ultra-marathon that will happen in South Africa in June. Katya and some other athletes, like Josh Cox and Andy Baldwin (remember the Bachelor?), are running to support Team World Vision and raise money to sponsor hundreds of children in Africa. And I was along for the ride! Both recently married, but sans hubbies, we set off without our better halves (which turned out to be quite risky- we're not the "planners" of our respective teams).

We began with a near empty tank of gas and decided to "get out of town" before filling up. uh....bad choice. we hit "0" on the digital gas meter and somehow made it the extra 30-40 minutes by practicing our drafting skills on the highway. seriously. We drafted this truck for a good 10-15 minutes at 50 mph in a 70 zone.

We made it to the gas and eventually to our destination. Once in Phoenix, we were treated to wonderful hospitality by the Team World Vision crew. While Katya had some things to do with the Comrades team, I was able to get in some solid tempo running on desert trails in Papago Park and riding out along the Beeline Highway. I definitely contemplated Ironman Arizona out there- nice and flat- just my style!

After Katya's filming was over (and my "star" sniffing- i definitely enjoyed hanging out with all the running celebs and watching the action) we went to the expo (where i happened to sign up for the half marathon....whoops!) and then packed back up and headed to Tucson to hang out with Hillary B. and her german Ironman, Maiki... (ugh- I feel like such a "chamois sniffer"- more name dropping!!! but, i'm just trying to tell it like it is :) and i'm very lucky to be getting to know such awesome people and friends.)

Out in Tucson, we had the latest dinner i've ever eaten (nearly 11pm!) and a wonderful time catching up with the crew. Our hosts were fabulous: Hillary is hilarious and lovely and Maiki is so sincere, humble, and the most accommodating Ironman machine in the world.

Saturday morning, Hillary had some bugger of a 3 hour run to do, but Katya and I were interested in checking out 4+ hours of Tucson riding. Lucky for us, Maiki offered to be our cycling chauffeur and we had an incredible (and incredibly hard for me) ride around Tucson.
I was sooooooo dropping some watts to not get dropped and for the most part, I held my own more than usual on the back of the Maiki train. The ride goes down as one of my top 3 of all time. For sure. I almost felt like a cyclist. In fact, I told them before the ride that I was cool to ride on my own. Maik said we might be fine but we'll see. At the top of the first climb (Gates Pass), Maik said to me (in his cute german accent), "I think its okay we all ride together". I PASSED THE TEST! Wahoo!!!

Back at the Biscay pad, we did some quick transition runs and packed back up for Phoenix. After all, we had a half marathon to run the next day! When Dirk had given me the last minute "ok" to run the race (on Thursday- thanks for the flexibility, coach!), I expected (and hoped :) ) he'd tell me to run at so and so heart rate or cap it at a certain pace. Instead, he said to go ahead and go out and run it. AND ignore heart rate. excuses, huh? No "training" run? Hmmmmm.... well, Katya still had a "directive" from her coach- "Go out slow and pass people the whole way" so I thought I'd hop on her train for the first half. For her, "go out slow" is about 1:30 pace. I thought, even though I hadn't been specifically training for the half marathon per se, and had a tough ride with two pro Ironman athletes the day prior, I could still squeak out something along the lines of a 1:30.

Race day morning was a bit of a s$%t show. partners in crime...
The shuttles from finish to start line took WAY longer than anticipated and we barely made it to the first corral by the gun time. we seriously had 30 seconds to spare when we got there and neither of us had safety pins for our bibs. WHOOPS!! but, K assured me that the races you are least prepared for are often the best.
Turns out she was right! We ran side by side comfortably for the first 7 miles around 6:40 pace.
see....having fun! (we had gotten 1 safety pin each from a kind soul in the corral just seconds before the start, so looking at our bibs in the race pics is funny... quite crooked, but did the job)
Katya started dropping the pace at about mile 6-7 and there were some gradual uphills (if you can call them that) around miles 8-9. I nearly lost it, but kept her within 5 yds through the rough patch.
see here- i almost fell off the k train (i'm behind mr. gloves, keeping katya in my sights...

by mile 10, i knew i could squeak out 3 faster miles literally following in her footsteps. and i did. I made it back to run next to her for the last couple miles. It hurt! (nice bibs, girls!)

and it was worth it. i was doubled over in the finish chute and katya still looked fresh, fresh, fresh....
I got a nice half marathon PR- 1:26:39 (6:37pace) thanks to my expert pacer. About 2 minutes faster than my previous best. woo hoo! The entire thing was run negative splitting each mile. we started out with steady 6:40's and dropped though the 30's down to 6:20's the last few miles.

I'm starting to think this Dirk guy knows what he is talking about. Hill repeats and tempo runs ARE good for me! Well, coach D knows what he's talking about except for the 2 hour ride he had on the schedule after the half marathon. yeah. that didn't happen.

After the race, we spent some quality time with Travis, Katya's manager and all-around supremely great guy, and then we hit the road. near Yuma, i decided to drive. I also decided to go 85 and get pulled over by highway patrol. considering i didn't have my license on me and K's car insurance wasn't in the car, I was pretty stoked to pull out of there with only a ticket for 75 in a 65. not bad!

good times all around.

Friday, January 8, 2010


it's not so much that i've been too busy to blog...i've basically just been tired and lazy!

the wedding was everything i'd ever imagined and, friends, beach, sun, tequila...check!i'm just basking in the post-wedding glow and taking 2010 as it comes. nice and easy :)

a little picture recap of the nuptual week in case you're not on facebook...

we landed in paradise at the Cabo Surf Hotel....had one day of rain..and then perfect weather the rest of the trip.
the view from our room wasn't too bad.

the week started with a surprise bachelorette party that involved
playing the bongoes
big margaritas

and a dance party at Cabo Wabo complete with waboriticles
all the partying was surely remembered early the next morning when we embarked on a 4 hour snorkel/catamaran cruise with the whole crew of 40 people.....good times! especially for those that were a bit toooooo hungnover, i mean seasick.
but we saw the dolphins and whales!

stopped for lunch and a snorkel....
posing at the rocks

wedding day came quickly.... and was just as i had imagined

getting ready with the girls was half the fun!

james getting "ready" to walk down the aisle...

husband and wife :)

the sun set and the moon rose during cocktail hour

time to party!

father daughter dance to "Touch of Grey" by the Grateful Dead- dad and I used to dance to this song every night after dinner when i was in grade school. my dad can cut a rug!
everyone danced all night long until we were too tired to dance no more....

all in all, we just felt so lucky and happy to be married surrounded by all of our family and friends who had come so far to be with us on the big day....THANK YOU EVERYONE! (turns out, as i learned from the wedding speeches, that our blogs are quite the source of amusement from the extended family....hi family!! love you!)
that's all for now... i'll surely post some more (and bore you to death with wedding babble) once we get our wedding photographers pics. ...up next- back to the real world! ironman training in full effect! happy 2010!