Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Morning SF

Given that soon I will have to begin doing 2/day workouts to fit my training into my schedule, and given that I have gotten out of the habit of early morning workouts (this is easy to do when working at home and having the option of "sneaking" out for a run/bike in the middle of the day), I figured I should start to train myself to get up and outside. I used to be great at waking up and practically running out the door, so I know I can do it, it's just a matter of getting back into the habit.

So, it wasn't that easy this morning...I had to check email, eat a few grapes and drink coffee first, but I made it out right after 8am. I did my "hill workout," which is a 3.5 mile run up to Noe Valley, a cute family neighborhood, with a few good "rollers" as I think they're called. I call them hills--they make me breath hard. "Rolling" to me means--Sunday-drive, this is fun, I'm hardly breathing, are we already at the top?--kind of hill. There aren't many "rolling" hills in San Francisco! On the up side, on this run, I am rewarded with an awesome view of the city both on the way out and back. I'll have to remember to bring my camera next time.

Right after I started my run, at a stoplight, I saw a cyclist get hit by a car. It didn't appear the cyclist got hurt, just a little bruised, and likely a bent bike. But the woman driver was going too fast trying to make the yellow light. And the cyclist may have jumped the green light a bit...It's hard to say exactly. I wasn't paying that close attention until after the crash had happened. Another cyclist and pedestrians, along with the driver of the car all checked out the cyclist to make sure he was ok.

It made me think how I take for granted that cars will stop for me when I'm running, walking, cycling. I can do everything correctly, but I just never know when the car driver doesn't see me. Especially in the morning and evening when the sun creates a glare right in the line of vision, and people are in a hurry before and after work. I need to be more aware of cars around me and similarly when I drive, aware of the pedestrians, runners, and cyclists using the roads. Hitting someone, even if it's just a scratch (good case scenario) will make me later and cause me more problems in the long run, than if I'd just slowed down in the first place.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things I love this week!

The simple pleasures...

1. Fender for my bike. Prevents the muddy, wet splatter on my bum and back!

2. Nut thins. BBQ--yummy, crunchy crackers

3. Hulu. To watch TV and movies on my computer

4. Sunshine

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sonoma County Team Camp

This weekend, I attended the team camp for the bike team I joined this year, Early Bird Women's Developmental Team. We stayed in a cute cabin, next to a river in a tiny little town, Monte Rio, in Sonoma County. We all showed up on Friday night in time for team photos & planning for the rest of the weekend.

Camp Day 1

Oh my! This was the hardest ride of my life. The morning started pretty chilly (for here) at 34-degrees, so we bundled up with multiple layers. We started out on a flat, warming our legs up, but after about 10 miles, we began to climb, for what seemed like 3 hours. Really, this is not an exaggeration. Despite this, the ride was absolutely beautiful. We made our way north then over to the coast where we followed the stunning coastline and hooked up to Highway 1 for a bit. We added another climb about mid-ride that took us through farmland and country, past the little black lambs chasing their mothers, past horses and cows. A dad of one of the girls rode behind us in his car in case we had flat tires, needed to shed clothing, refill water bottles--it was so nice of him and reassuring to know we had support if we needed it. We stopped in Occidental at an adorable bakery to refuel on smoothies. That evening we hung out, chatted about the season, made dinner, and relaxed.

Camp Day 2
We rode through Sonoma County wine country over the rolling hills, through the vineyards. We simulated a road bike race, so worked on our team strategies, drafting, descending and ascending. This ride we focused on cadence (leg speed) and overall speed. Even though we didn't have the monster climbs of the day before, it was incredibly intense, and we still rode about 55 miles at a fast clip. We had one of our sponsors ride his motorbike with the lead group for support, and a teammate's mom drove her car in the rear.

Korbel Winery
We got our team kits (outfits for cycling) this weekend. We wore them on our training rides, and we looked really sharp. I really felt like I was a part of a team, especially with the "support" cars. As always, I learned a lot--keeping my legs moving, refueling, cornering, catching people on the descents.

On the way home, since we were in wine country, we stopped for a quick "pick up" of sparkling wine at Korbel Winery. The grounds filled with budding and flowering trees and shrubs, shaded a bit overhead by the redwoods--it was beautiful.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Things I love this week...

1. The King's Speech warmed my heart.

2. Peanut Butter Luna Protein bars. 12grams of protein. I have been eating these before my long bikes and runs. Yummy!

3. My flannel sheets.

4. Arm warmers! For biking, cycling. Genius.

5. Exit through the Gift Shop, a documentary about street art, particularly in Los Angeles. Banksy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Biking, running weekend

Saturday, a few friends & I  rode from SF to Nicasio, a cute little ranch, hippie town in Marin. According to Wikipedia, it is an unincorporated "community" of about 1000 people and it was where Grateful Dead musician,  Jerry Garcia was when he died.

Anyway, round trip from my place, the ride was about 68 miles. The weather has been unseasonably warm and dry, and the day was beautiful. Our turn-around point was Rancho Nicasio, where we were joined by cyclists and motor-bikers stopping to refuel. After drinks & food, a quick stop in the porta-potty, and a pose for the camera, we were on our way again. Only one flat occurred, and our "pit crew" (us) fixed it in record time. We got back to SF in time to enjoy some of the afternoon sunshine.

Sunday, I ran the Kaiser Permanente 1/2 Marathon. The race took place mostly in Golden Gate Park, plus an added loop around the Panhandle and 6 mile jaunt along Ocean Beach. The weather was amazing. We don't get many beautiful days in SF, especially along the water, and especially in February. By the time the race began, the temp was near 70-degrees. Whoa, I am not used to the heat! I ran with a pace-group (a group leader runs a set mile time for the entire race) for a 1:45 finish time. The "pacers" usually hit the mile marks perfectly timed, carry balloons to distinguish the group, and chat the entire race! I asked our pacer to tell us jokes, which weren't "good" by any stretch, but we'd been warned. The jokes did help pass the time! I finished the race a head of the pace group. It was a such a beautiful day that I took my time biking home from the race.