Where is My Mojo

Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

My 2014 Ironman 70.3 and 2015 Ironman races list before deciding to do ironman Florida. Now I need to pick two 70.3s. :)

In Triathlons on September 29, 2013 at 5:50 PM

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Top 6 Ironman Races for First Timers

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on September 27, 2013 at 6:03 PM

My friend and USAT coach, Magui, from Trijungle posted this video on our team’s Facebook group page today… And this is how I decided to aim for Ironman Florida in 2015, once I have turned fifty!

Ironman.com: 5 Superfoods for Triathletes

In Triathlons on September 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Ironman.com: 5 Superfoods for Triathletes

Peppermint?

Cocoa as a mild sunscreen?

Interesting and quick read.

I have NO Abs

In Run, Triathlons on September 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Today I went to my first session of physical therapy for my worn out lumbar disc. I will be doing these sessions two times a week for three weeks before going back to the doctor’s.

After conversing with the PT for a while and explaining him what was going on, and that the doctor said he did not recommend to continue running, we started the session. I did a couple of exercises before he made me lay on my back with my knees up, and crunch over to touch the tip of them. He couldn’t believe it. He said it was BAD. Yes, I wasn’t able to touch them. As he walked away to get one of those gigantic stability balls, he said “You have no abs”. And I was like Ahhhhhh…

I’m not too surprise about that, but I thought I couldn’t crunch because of the pain. Chicken? Egg? I’m not too sure which one was first. The thing here is that although he said that wasn’t good, it can be solved. And he also said he saw no reason why I wouldn’t be able to run. 🙂 As long as I had a strong core to protect my spine. 🙂 🙂 🙂

So, things on the triathlon front are looking much better than on Thursday morning. I just need to “grow” me some abs and everything is gonna be alright!

A Sad Day with an Optimistic Ending

In Life, Triathlons on September 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

For the past year and a half I have been dealing with pain in my lower back. I have not paid much attention to it because it only bothers me when I try to get out of bed and sometimes when I sneeze or cough laying down. Other than that, it has never interfered with training, racing, working or any other daily chore. To get out of bed, I just roll over to the side and off I go. Mind you, in pain, but off I go. Then my body just warms up and I’m good for the rest of the day.

Since I’m on my self-imposed off season, I decided to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Today was that appointment. Short story long, the last disc on my spine is worn out. Like really worn out. He made a little drawing that looked something like this:

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And I was like: WTF?

I felt a hole in my stomach and my eyes started to tear up when he said that the type of sport I am doing is not helping at all. That he couldn’t tell me not to do it, but that he would recommend not doing it given that I was almost 50.

To tell you the truth, the reason why I wanted to check on this pain was precisely because I am no young chicken anymore, but the way things are going, it looks like I will be on this planet for at least another 20 years, unless I get run over by a truck or something like that. I am very healthy; I don’t have high blood pressure, or any other illnesses; I’m vegetarian; I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink much either… every blue moon I will have a glass of wine or two, but when I am training, I don’t ingest alcohol. If you take a look at what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half from my Tuesday post, you can can do the math on how many glasses I have had. The bottom line is, if I live to be 70, I want my body to be as pain-free as possible, and without the use of a cane.

He said yoga was excellent. He also said swimming couldn’t harm me. He even said the bike would be ok, just not now until I got through therapy because of the aero-bar position. He did say the run was the no-no. The pounding on the body is not good for my “traitor” disc. Fun! Of the three sports, that’s my strongest one. Hey, I’m not saying I’m fast and furious when it comes to running. I’m just saying that it’s my strongest discipline. You figure out the rest.

As the day progressed, I texted and emailed my friends, who all gave me solutions. From acupuncture (which I will definitely do) to learning how to speed walk to “don’t worry about it” to wearing the Hoka shoes, which is like tying yourself to two mattresses the size of your feet. One of my friends reminded me of Sister Madonna who has completed several Ironman races speed walking. But, when I went to check her out, she actually runs. Fast. Fast enough. Faster than me on a good disc. Ok, I may be exaggerating this time.

Anyway, the day ended on a higher note. My heart was not as heavy as in the morning, and there’s was light at the end of my tunneled head. For now, I will be going to physical therapy and checking in with the doctor in three weeks time. And as hard as it was to hear this news today, I still was able to feel blessed. Blessed that I was aware of this condition and blessed that if I have to change gears and take another route in life, then so be it. Change is good. Always good.

Good night, folks!

P.S.: I went to the supermarket today and just had to get me some Frosted Flakes to comfort me. I know. Absolutely not healthy. 130 calories with 12 grams of sugar. I could probably go out for a short run now. 🙂

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Related humor

In Humor, Triathlons on September 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Mojo. Where are you?

In Bike, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on September 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

It’s been long since I last wrote. And it’s been long since I last trained. Since the “Hell City” race (a.k.a. Ironman Florida 70.3 in Haines City) it’s been really hard to get back on the training wagon. Hell City, as renamed by my friend and teammate Karla, was… well? HELL. She couldn’t have given it a better name. The heat was excruciating during the run and doing three loops with two climbs each for a total of 6, was… ahem… HELL. To me at least.

Since after the race, back in May, all up to maybe a month ago, I was feeling terribly guilty because I was not training properly. I would maybe go out for a long run on a Sunday, but skip the previous Saturday brick workout. Or vice versa. And during the week, I couldn’t find the strength to get out of bed at 5am. Then it wasn’t even not training properly, it was not training at all. The guilt trip I submitted myself to was horrendous. Many Friday nights I packed my transition bag for the next day’s brick workout. As soon as the alarm would go off at 5:15am there was no incentive attractive enough to get me out of the bedsheets. Not even if I was told that Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Gosling, and Johnny Depp were all waiting for me at Alien Endurance Beach. Turning off the alarm had become my new sport.

The interesting thing about this funk I was (and still) going through, was that it was not physical. It was worse. Mental. I was mentally broken into pieces. My body was strong. My mind and will power, frail.

The guilt trip went on for quite some time, until my friend and teammate (also Hell City finisher) MyMultipersonality returned from her summer gig and were talking about what we were both going through. She made me realize that I had been going non-stop (and so had she) since January of last year. More or less this is what I’ve been up to for the past year and a half (or more):

  • January 2012 – ING Half Marathon
  • April 2012 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • April 2012 – Key Biscayne Half Marathon
  • May 2012 – Tri Miami/Sprint Distance
  • June 2012 – Trilogy #1/Sprint Distance
  • June through September – Training for my first 70.3 (Augusta)
  • September 2012 – Escape to Miami Triathlon/International Relay – Bike
  • September 2012 – ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta
  • October 2012 – Started training for a full marathon which then I downgraded to a half after running 20 miles of physical and mental pain
  • November 2012 – Miami Man Triathlon/International Distance
  • November – Turkey Trot/10K
  • January 2013 – ING Half Marathon
  • February 2013 – Chapman Partnership Run Wild/5K
  • February 2013 –  Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • March – May – Training for my second 70.3 (Hell City)
  • April 2013 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • May 2013 – Ironman 70.3 Florida (a.k.a. Hell City)

I’m completely out of breath from just writing all of the above. Mind you, this does not account for 2011 which was my first year of triathlon-ing. Click here for full list.

Thanks to Edith I purposely began to skip training all together and give my mind and body the rest it needed, guilt-free. I haven’t bothered in setting the alarm at 5am, much less on a Saturday. I’m listening to my body, and I am really enjoying it. At one point I felt I was going to be left behind. But now I’m certain that when I get back I will pick it up very quickly with a stronger body, and a mind that will not be sabotaging me along the way.

I now feel so good, that tonight I went out on a one-hour run with Karla and I felt like a million bucks. Body responded well. My mind was at ease. Now my soul is at peace. Little by little I think I’m getting my mojo back (yeah, baby! In the words of Austin Powers).

For what’s left of the year, I will not race. I’m done. I’m hoping to be at full throttle by October as I’m already signed up for the ING Half Marathon 2014 and will be doing my first Ragner race with my friends and teammates a week after the ING. Those are the two races I am registered for early next year. Soon I will look into doing a couple of 70.3s for 2014, to prepare myself for 2015 when I plan to do a full Ironman once I have turned 50. I hope by then I am still kicking and stretching and kicking like Sally O’Malley.

Good night, folks!

Touring the Grove with Baby Blue

In Bike, Life, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM

It’s been a while since my last post… and this “It’s been a while” has become way too frequent as well.

It’s been hard for me to keep up with posts, although I have many things in my mind to share, when it comes to sitting down and putting them in writing, I fail BIG TIME. Laziness, I call it.

Just to recap my year of races, I did the ING Miami Half Marathon, the Chapman Partnership Run Wild 5k (getting a third place in my AG – yeay for me), the Disney Princess Half Marathon, Nautica South Beach Triathlon Classic Distance, and the Florida Ironman 70.3 in Haines City. This last race I completed two weeks ago. I have no words to describe this race other than: BRUTAL! Actually, the run was brutal. By the time we hit the ground with our two feet, it was hot, humid and no shade. I did my longest half marathon distance, ever. I think. It took me 7 hours and 40 minutes to complete this… hmmm… bitch! If you want to know what the experience was like, I suggest reading my friend and teammate’s, mymultipersonality race report: http://mymultipersonality.wordpress.com/2013/05/20/race-report-ironman-florida-70-3-haines-city-may-19th-2013/. She does an excellent job going through the deets of the course and what we were going through.

The only thing I can tell you is that Augusta Ironman 70.3 is the Disney World of half Ironman’s. Haines City, for me, was the real thing.

Now to what brings me back to writing…

Today I went out to cruise the Grove with Baby Blue, my beach cruiser. Ain’t it pretty?

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With a weekend totally for myself… the Dude (the boyfriend) is at a spiritual retreat, some friends out of town, no work to do, and not 100% ready to fully train after Haines City, I decided to go out for a ride.

I got Baby Blue over a month ago after wanting  to be able to go out and about the neighborhood, especially to “downtown” Coconut Grove without having to deal with the stress of looking for a parking spot if going by car. So, on weekends whenever I want to go for Starbucks, Baby Blue takes me there. I normally go from point A to B and back, but today, given I had nothing better to do, after my coffee and a quick visit to the GAP, Baby Blue took me on a residential tour of the Grove.

I want to make something clear. I normally do not put names to objects, bikes, cars, computers, phones. Most of my tri-friends have names for their bikes and the majority are female names. My tri-bike has no name and if it were to have one, it would be a male name. In any case, I refer to it as “tri-bike”. Now, I’m not certain why I have given Baby Blue’s a name, but it’s a no-brainer one. And yes, it has no gender.

I rode for almost an hour. I rode those little streets I never get to ride with my tri-bike. I rode the road I ran this morning with my friend and teammate, Karla, for an 1 hour and 15 minutes. I saw more details on the houses I usually pass in front of. And saw another house with an owl sitting on the fence. You see, Karla and I have noticed two houses on our running path that have fake owls either on a balcony or on the roof top. Now we all know there’s a third one!

I rode around several friends’ houses, and took pictures along the way. I rode with one hand, yes, one hand (I know my friend the Big Q. would be proud of this, of course, he’d be more proud if I did this on the tri-bike… to which I say: in another life!). I even took turns with one hand off the handlebar. Yeay for me.

I came across so many people, and to all of them I said hi with a huge smile on my face, because that’s what I was carrying all throughout the ride. It was complete happiness. The feeling of being a small child, just riding my bike without a destination. For some reason, every time I’m on Baby Blue riding the Grove, I’m smiling, and giggling inside of myself… I love the feeling. I’m happy.

If thanks to Pocho I finally made the switch to being a vegetarian, and becoming a triathlete has changed my lifestyle, living in the Grove has given me a place where I truly feel I belong. It reflects what I am about. The people who have been living in this area for a while, are real people. People who are grounded. People who are unpretentious. Just your regular folks. I like that.

Baby Blue visits a friend.

Baby Blue visits a friend.

With my Florida Ironman 70.3 bag. At one point I had it on my bike. I wonder if I lost credibility! LOL... Not worried.

With my Florida Ironman 70.3 bag. At one point I had it on my back. I wonder if people thought it wasn’t mine.

Share the Road - Coconut Grove

Share the Road – Coconut Grove

With the sound of the wind and of the fat tires turning on the ground, Baby Blue and I arrived at this tree that always blows my mind in total awesomeness when I see it.

With the sound of the wind and of the fat tires turning on the asphalt, Baby Blue and I arrived at this tree that always blows my mind in total awesomeness when I see it.

Although not a good picture, I wanted you guys to see that peacocks are a regular thing on the streets of the Grove.

Although not a good picture, I wanted you guys to see that peacocks are a regular thing on the streets of the Grove.

There’s good energy in these streets, the streets of the Grove and I like to ride around them, and hopefully I will for many years to come.

I am a Grovite.

Baby Blue's home and will rest for no more than a week.

Baby Blue’s home and will rest for no more than a week.

Three hours alone with Cato

In Life on March 3, 2013 at 5:35 PM

So, what am I supposed to write about today? It’s not easy to have a blog. Then again, people just write about anything that’s going on or have done in any given moment. Therefore, I will tell you about my Sunday, while one of my dogs’ paws is laying on top of my left hand just because he wants me to carres him.

This morning I slept in. Yeay for me. I’m mentally exhausted for several reasons, so being able to get some rest, mental rest that is, feels good. The usual after I get up… bathroom, brush teeth, get decently dressed, take the boys out for their walk around the block, come back home, feed them, and then… what? Should I have breakfast at home? Or go to Starbucks? Decisions. Decisions. Then, which of my dogs should I bring with me? Sweet Chema who pees on every tree? Or crazy Cato who really needs to be socialized because when all three of us go for walks, he goes bizerk when people or dogs make their way through our path. Decisions. Decisions. And this was not an easy one, cause Chema is so sweet and well-behaved he deserved the outing. But I needed to check on Cato’s social skills and being able to correct him at the moment something would happen. So, I took the little one with me.

We drove to downtown Coconut Grove, a 5 minute ride, parked and off we went. It’s amazing how well he was doing by not having his brother next to him. The fact that he didn’t have to either prove himself or protect us from possible threats. Going into Starbucks was a breeze with him. Two kids that were making the line behind us started talking to me about Cato. The one who talked the most told me they had two Schnauzers and two Westies. One of the Schnauzers was 5 months old. He was amazed by Cato’s color because he had never seen a liver colored Schnauzer. While he was amazed by Cato, I was amazed that this teenage kid had initiated a conversation with a much older person, and was really into it. I know few kids that age who like to talk to adults. Or even able to put a sentence together. Anyway, he told me all about the 5 month old and I told him about Cato. He asked if he could take a picture of him to show his mom. And by the time we said goodbye, he said “If my mom sees him she will take him away.” To what I replied “I’m sure she will return him.” LOL Cato is very energetic.

While I was having my Venti Wet Soy Cappuccino with three raw sugars and oatmeal with soy milk, Cato, who I had tied to my chair, was going crazy with all the little birds flying around. He was very attentive to their movements and tried to chase them several times, only to realize he was going nowhere.

Cato observing birds.

Cato observing birds.

We then walked around and he was cool. If a dog would approached us, he would bark but nothing crazy. And with people, and especially men, he was a sweet heart. We got back into the car and drove a minute over to my friend Princess Karla just to say hi. We were there for maybe 30 minutes or more, and her dog Dexter and Cato got along well. But Cato was not interested in playing, especially after discovering a pile of sunflower seeds she had laying on a plant to feed birds. I have no idea how many seeds he munched on, but this guy was having a feast. I guess it was like having Skittles, you just can’t have one. I finally carried him so he wouldn’t eat them all, and of course so he wouldn’t have an upset tummy later.

From her house we drove one more block to Gifford Lane where a small art festival was taking place. The Gifford Lane Art Stroll was just what Cato needed to graduate summa cum laude from this outing. Not only there were a lot of people strolling from one booth to the other, there were as many dogs. Some of them he didn’t even pay attention to. Others he sniffed, growled a bit, but when corrected he got calmed. Many people stopped me to compliment me on his colors. A couple asked me where I had gotten him. They had a Schnauzer and were looking for a little brother for him, after their long time White Schnauzer passed away last year. Sound familiar? So we engaged in a conversation of our losses and how brilliant our little lost angels were. I, of course, showed them my phone case that has a picture of Pocho, and some photos I have as screen saver and wallpaper. I recommended them to look into Schnauzer Love Rescue, the rescue Cato came from and also ZacarĂ­as, an older dog I had who passed away a couple of years ago. They were very interested in contacting them. I hope they do. I really love this rescue organization.

Pocho, the love of my life.

Pocho, the love of my life.

ZacarĂ­as, aka Zack or El Viejo, was my other Schnauzer Love Rescue rescue.

ZacarĂ­as, aka Zack or El Viejo, was my other Schnauzer Love Rescue rescue.

So after our lovely, calmed walk, Cato and I jumped back into the car for our 5 minute drive back home, to grab Chema and go for a short bio break, and to wake up to reality because while Cato excelled on “Walking alone with momma 101”, he terribly flunked “Walking with momma and Chema 101”.

Sweet Chema.

Sweet Chema.

Making some chocolate

In Triathlons on February 28, 2013 at 7:07 PM

I found this recipe for raw chocolate and since then I’ve made it twice. It’s very simple, and I’m hoping healthy as I have become somewhat addicted to it.

The recipe calls for:

1/2 cocoa powder

1/4 coconut oil

1/4 raw agave

Sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt

Mix all the ingredients, spread the mixture on a parchment paper and freeze for at least an hour. Yes, that simple. I can even make it. When you begin mixing the ingredients you might think “This will NEVER mix.” but it will.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Last night’s batch I added some crushed cashews. I didn’t go crazy because I didn’t want to ruin it. But it ended up being good.

Now, this is not a chocolate you want to leave outside the fridge. Nor take with you on a road trip. It will melt.

I know the pictures don’t look too appetizing, but they don’t look that good either from the site I pulled the recipe from. But believe me this is good.

Now, I need my friend and teammate My Multipersonality to try this and give me her blessings. She’s a kick-ass triathlete, playwright and awesome cook.