Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Running...

This blog was started to share my life adventures and then my triathlon career. Life adventures have been moving full speed ahead, while my triathlon career for now has been replaced with running. A lot of running, which I love.

I had foot surgery last September and was pretty uncertain what the future held for my triathlon career. I figured I would take it one day at a time. The surgery went well (other than the infection I got, which thankfully we cleared up quickly with antibiotics). When it was all said and done I was off running for about nine weeks. For someone who has been racing professionally for many years, nine weeks seems like an eternity, but at the same time it actually passed quickly. I focused on the things I could do - I got back in the pool when the incision was healed, I hiked, I spent a lot of time at Microscope World working. And before I knew it I was cleared to run again, just five minutes to start, but every single one of those five minutes made me smile.

The bone that was sticking into my Achilles before surgery.

The more I ran, the more I remembered how much I really love running. And the more I ran, the less I really wanted to swim and bike. Mostly because I wanted all those training hours to do other things in life. Surprisingly I still loved and went to masters - but only once or twice a week. I rode my bike to the coffee shop, had treats and rode home. I explored running trails all over California.


My competitive fire never went away and I decided if my foot continued to hold up, maybe I would have a bit more balance in my life outside of training and I would simply focusing on run training and chase some of my PRs.

These are my run PRs (all from triathlon):
5k = 17:54
10k = 38:00
1/2 Marathon = 1:24
Marathon = 3:05

It's incredibly humbling to take nine weeks off training and then start running again and realize just how slow you actually are. I figured no better way to get back to where I used to be than by jumping into some races. I ran the La Jolla 1/2 marathon at what felt like a snails pace. My parents were awesome and came out to cheer for me. It was fun, and that was all I really wanted to find out (other than just how much work I had to do) by racing. I wanted to make sure I still loved racing. And I did.

I raced a 10k on Memorial Day. I was still slow, but there was progress and again, I loved being out racing. Also, racing a 10k is so logistically easy compared to Ironman. I showed up, did a warmup, raced and then we went out for breakfast. It was fantastic.

10k Strawberry High-Five
Elliot agreed to train me again and I picked out a few races, with my primary goal being a fall marathon up in the Redwoods in northern California. I want to run under 2:55, and right now that still seems VERY far away from my current fitness level. But I like chasing goals and I'm excited to be back running with a foot that is allowing me to run some quality speed intervals and volume without pain.

For the first time in four years I'll actually be home this 4th of July holiday, rather than off racing in a foreign country. So I signed up for the Coronado 12k - mostly because I want to go see the parade after, but maybe also because it will be an automatic PR . . .

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hoh Rain Forest

Olympic National Park is massive. On one of our run adventures we ran 18ish miles through the Hoh rain forest. We really wanted to run all the way to the glaciers, but that would have been a 36+ mile run (and we are not ultra runners). These are the photos I took on that run with a waterproof (often wet) camera. I hope the photos do it a little bit of justice - it was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have run.

So many ferns and tress.

Moss everywhere.



So. Much. Green!


Our trail was often a stream.







In other news I'm racing a local hilly 1/2 marathon next month. I've been running a lot and decided why not, let's find out where my fitness is.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Seattle

I had a birthday. And all I really wanted to do for my birthday holiday was run in some really awesome places. So Eric and I planned a trip up to the pacific northwest. In March. Because running in cold rain is appealing when you're from sunny California where it's 70°F all year.

Our first stop was a day in Seattle. I ran the Seattle marathon many years ago, but that's my only Seattle experience. This was our day in photos...

I was in love with the flowers growing on the roof of the Public Market

The market itself was also amazing.

Best car wash sign ever.

And another because it was so awesome.

Run with your baby at arm's length when he needs changing!

The space needle was cool - we got lucky with a day with a view.

One of many coffee breaks...

The sun came out.

And we took a boat to our running adventure week.

I got some great photos from our week spent running all over Olympic National Park and I will do my best to post them in the next week 6 months.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Death Valley

I have lived in California more than half my life and I've never been to death valley. I guess it just takes a French roommate and some reduced training to get me out and about more. The short version of the weekend was: we drove a lot, we saw beautiful scenery (as Jose said: Your country is AMAZING), and we had some awesome trail runs - my favorite being running down part of Mt. Whitney in the snow. The photos speak for themselves...

Amargaosa Opera House.

Death Valley below sea level.


Salty.

Beautiful.

Being able to run up a mountain and end up...

Here. Views for miles.

Snow.

3 hrs to hike up. 1 hr to run down.

I will say - having foot surgery and taking time to really let it heal (ie not diving right into tons of training) has made way for some awesome adventures. I'm headed up to Olympic National Park next week for tons of rainy and cold trail running. I will post photos when life provides time (so probably much, much, much later).

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

LA

After college I lived in LA for two years working in advertising. Once I left I haven't been back much except the occasional cursing-drive-through required on the 405 freeway in order to reach more awesome places north (ie anwhere) of San Diego. This past weekend the roommates and I took Frenchie to see the sights.

City of Angels - sprawling concrete.

There's some cool old buildings downtown.


Find Frenchie...


My version of the touristy sign...Hollywood

Lights!
 



I love the great outdoors and wide open spaces, but can also appreciate the contrast in cultures and arts that the city presents. I'm probably good for not needing to visit LA for another ten years, but I will say we all had fun!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gratitude

It's that time of year when the evenings are dark and cold, baking abounds and although we want to slow down and enjoy the holidays, they seem to make everything hectic. Somehow life got busy even though I wasn't training.

I had foot surgery. My foot healed a bit. My foot got infected. I was taken off all activity except walking to my car & put on antibiotics. Once the infection went away I did a lot of hiking. Then I was allowed to run for 15 minutes. I started swimming again and was super slow.

During all of this most of my time was spent focusing on work. In the midst of foot drama I launched a new microscope website - ViridianMicro.com, and I'm proud of how it turned out.



I like Thanksgiving not so much for the food (although the pies are fantastic!), but because I like to pause and think back on the year and remind myself how grateful I am for my life. It is definitely not perfect, nor is it always easy, but in my eyes it is good.

In no particular order - my grateful list for this year:
  • Travel - from New Zealand to Mont Tremblant, Sweden, Croatia, and even San Francisco and Santa Cruz, I am incredibly grateful every time I am able to see more of the world.
  • Actually moving forward with a plan (surgery) and fixing my foot. I hope to have many more years of awesome activity with less foot pain than I had in the past.
  • Bicycles - I have what most would say is too many, but they bring me such joy!
  • Friends - for anyone who knows me well, I hope you know how much you mean to me. Thank you for laughing with me, crying with me and listening while I try to solve life's problems (mostly by talking about them a lot).
  • The great outdoors - I am most at peace and happy when I'm far from civilization and on my bike or hiking in the redwoods. I'm grateful to live in a place where nature continually amazes me with its beauty.
  • Coffee - on those days where life seems really shitty or overwhelming, coffee rocks. It's good on the other days as well.
  • Progress - I am a very action-oriented person. If you come to me with a problem I will want to help you fix it. I've seen progress over the past year in life, love, work, sport, - many areas of my own life and I'm grateful for this.
  • Coaches and mentors - I've had many of them and I am grateful for each of them and all they have taught me.
  • Running - I've recently done some of this pain free and it's a new thing for me.
  • Eric - thank you for sharing life with me and letting me be ME.
I hope each of you have a holiday filled with things that make your heart happy.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lulea Sweden

It's been a while since I was on my Sweden / Euro adventure. Thanks to foot surgery resulting in additional free time, in the next few weeks I've decided to post my favorite photos from the trip.

After Ironman Sweden I flew up north to a town called Lulea in Sweden. When my Mom was 19 she spent a summer working in this town and living with a friend and her relatives. We spent a few days in the town and went to see the house she used to live in before we traveled further up north above the Arctic Circle.



There's a small town near Lulea called Gammelstaden that is basically a church town. Many years ago it was required for people to go to church, but many lived far away from the local church. So they would travel several days to get to the church, stay in this "church town" overnight, then travel home.




These fences were in Gammelstaden and were so simple, yet so complex.


This final shot is one I captured while running the last day I was in Lulea. It was the only foggy day on the entire trip.