Where is My Mojo

Archive for the ‘Run’ Category

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!

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!

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.

A Princess for a Day

In Marathons and Half, Run on February 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Last Sunday I ran Disney’s Princess Half Marathon which goes from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and then back. It took me three years before I could run this race. I had signed up to do it in 2011, but I injured my knee on mile 9 of the ING Half Marathon, making me walk to the finish line. Since then, when running a half I feel happy to pass mile 9 in one piece. In 2012 I didn’t give the Princess race any type of consideration. But by 2013, after having done many races and a Half Ironman, I thought I was strong enough to endure two half marathons a month apart… the 2013 ING and the Princess.

My friend and teammate, Karla, also signed up as she too had a similar story… foot injury in 2011. No consideration in 2012. Getting the tutu out of the closet in 2013.

I had my tutu specially made from Princess Doodle Beans on Etsy. I had decided to use the colors of my triathlon team, Alien Endurance, which are black and orange. I’m proud of our team colors and wanted to use them for my run, so I went as an Alien Princess.

In front of Cinderella’s Castle.

I received a lot of compliments on my tutu. And I also saw a lot of people secretly checking it out and smiling at me. The best is I loved running in it. I’m not the most girlie girl, and you can ask my boyfriend, The Dude, about that; however, I was excited about the tutu. Of course, you will never see me sporting a pink tutu. Orange and black is the most you will probably see me in.

Now, the race. I was somewhat under the impression we would run a lot inside the park. But, that’s not the case. We ran from Epcot Center through Disney’s highway towards Magic Kingdom. We arrived into Magic Kingdom through a service area that connected into the Main Street leading up to Cinderella’s Castle. Of course, we had to make a stop to take a picture in front of the castle, especially because we were wearing a tutu,  and then continue the run. We ran no more than a mile through the park and out through the service area again, back to the highway towards Epcot.

I do need to say, the run through the highway was not disappointing  Every mile or so there was live entertainment on the meridian. For example, the Pirates of the Caribbean ship with the cast… Captain Jack Sparrow and the other ugly guy… of course, not Johnny Depp and the other ugly guy, but the Disney cast crew. At another point we started hearing Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and as we approached the showcase there were the “witches” of several Disney tales… Cruela Devil, Snow White’s Stepmother, etc… I thought that was pretty cool. People would stop, make a line (at Disney, everything requires a line), take a picture with the cast members, and get back to their running. As you might have figured, this is not a race to PR at. This is a race to have fun.

Because they’re bad!

Karla and I ran the race together, laughing, talking, sometimes in silence, always pushing each other. Yes, we’ve done other halves, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It gets just a bit easier, but it’s not easy. My IT band started acting up around mile 11, so I had to stop to stretch two times, and by the last mile I don’t know how I managed to run faster and not pay attention to the pain. Karla and I pushed harder during the last mile, I think because we were ready to finish, go back to the hotel for a shower and head back home.

Finishers

Princesses for a day. Queens for a lifetime.

Another thing I loved about the race, was that there were around 1,000 or so men who ran it. This is mainly a girl race, but several men joined the fun. And fun they had! And more fun we had too. They were wearing tutus, full princess costumes, butterfly wings, wigs. You name it! It was funny. I really loved their sense of humor. If the Dude would’ve been in town, he would’ve done the race with us wearing a tutu. I have no doubt about that. And he would’ve had so much fun.

So, we finished the race in 2:49… not the best time, but between two bathroom stops, stopping for pictures, stretching thanks to my IT band, not being able to speed up during parts of the course because it narrowed down, there was no way we would’ve done it faster. But we did have fun. And a lot.

About to pass through Magic Kingdom's car entrance

About to pass through Magic Kingdom’s car entrance

Karla and her little friends.

Karla and her little friends.

By the way, traffic in Orlando SUCKS, but the Princess Half Marathon was cool.

I wanted to close this blog entry by thanking my friend Karla for running this race with me and being a great roommate and travel companion for the weekend. Un beso, Karlita!

What makes us triathletes?

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on February 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM

A team member posted this morning the following question to our coach Andy Clark on our Alien Endurance Facebook Group Page:

“Coach Andy, at what moment are you considered a (true) “triathlonist”?”

And this was his response:

“There will be a moment immediately after you cross the finish line … The announcer will call out your name, a volunteer will place a medal around your neck, and you’ll see other athletes in the finishing chute trying to catch their breath. At that moment you’ll realize what you just accomplished. You just did something only 1% of the population has done. At that moment you have arrived as a triathlete! Then you’ll smile!”

For any of you who has doubted for a moment if  you are a true triathlete, these words should clear it all up!

I love my coach.

Have a beautiful weekend.

It’s been a while…

In Bike, Life, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on February 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM

… since I last wrote. I don’t even want to look at the date of my last entry. Why bother? I know it’s been long.

So many things happened in between. The love of my life, my dog Socrates a.k.a. Pocho, passed away; I broke up with my boyfriend a gazillion times and got back with him; I had a lot of work; I trained like crazy; I completed my first Ironman 70.3 and did some other races; I started my way back into my spiritual journey, and many other things along the way.

All in all, it was a good long while, with it’s plusses and minuses; yet I still carry a heavy heart for the loss of my favorite little guy. I had to make the decision of putting him to sleep and that’s one that can haunt you forever. This, by far, has been the darkest hour of my life.

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And the brightest was finishing the ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta on 9/29/12 in 6:53:48. If that’s a good time or not, it’s all relative, but I finished strong and happy, feeling like a champ. Satisfied for the entire journey towards Augusta… all the training… the trip with my coach and teammates… the unconditional attention from my boyfriend who made sure I enjoyed every minute of MY moment… the packet pick-up… race day… THE FINISH LINE.

 

pochoaugusta

 

Above, stopping before the finish line for a photo with a handkerchief printed with Pocho’s face. He made it with me through the race!

 

Photo Oct 04, 6 27 52 PM

That is me above feeling proud and happy with my medal.

This is me below bragging because I can.

Photo Oct 11, 10 45 58 AM

This year started off with the ING Half Marathon (results here) and the Chapman Wild Run 5k (got third place in my age group; first time ever). Next in line are: the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of the month; the Nautica South Beach Triatlon (the first tri of the season) and the Key Biscayne Half Marathon in April. There are many other races I’m doing this year but have not signed up yet… and yes, one of them is Augusta, and another Ironman 70.3, probably Haines City.

Life is good!!! And while I am happy doing the things I like, my heart will always weep silent tears for my little man Pocho

IMG_057

Aliens Run on Newtons

In Marathons and Half, Run, Triathlons on July 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Last night, after our Track workout session, I went to Fresh Market to grab some fruits, nuts, vegetables, and gluten free crackers and chips.

While waiting in the cashier’s line, a woman approached me and asked “Are those shoes good?”

She was referring to my blue and orange Distancia Newton Running shoes. Newton Running Shoes… You either LOVE them or HATE them. Us Aliens are OBSESSED with them… I won’t speak for all the Aliens, but the a vast majority wears them. Some of us have started our little own collection. I have four pairs… Three that are active and one retired… my first pair, the “Lady Isaac”. She and I ran my first half marathon together, and did all the 2011 tri races I participated up to the November Miami Man International Distance. During the run I broke the news to her that it would be our last collaboration together. We had shared so many moments, and we were almost one, but it was time to let her rest. Since then, she has been the first, and still only, inductee of my Newton “Hall of Fame”.

After a pause, because I had to access my hard drive to find a good answer, I told the lady “It depends. I LOVE them”. And then I went on explaining the front logs, and what they were for, etc. The man behind me in the line was caught in the middle of a conversation he probably didn’t care for, but ended up asking if there were any “neutral” colors for men. After thinking for a micro second I said no, but then I said yes, there a couple of neutral colors… black… white… but always with some flashy, colorful accent.

He made a comment about me probably having several pairs to match my apparel, to what I answered “not really”, but actually I do have an orange colored pair, the Gravitas because 1) They match my Alien Endurance uniform and 2) They were on sale. But these I don’t really wear for races, because I run better on the Distancias. I think Distancias rock, especially going up the Key Biscayne bridge. I feel I’m catapulted with every stride.

The lady was very happy with the info I gave her, so I can only hope we get a new follower. And for the gentleman behind me, I think he’s a closeted Newton fan. I hope he gets the strength to come out soon and get a pair as well. Newtons ROCK!

My little Newton collection

The Countdown to 47!

In Bike, Life, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 4, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Tomorrow is my birthday. Right now I’m saying goodbye to my 46th year on this planet. A year filled with amazing experiences, great challenges and incredible sacrifices. It brought the best out of me and the worse. It taught me a lot about myself. Of what I am made of… and I can still stand tall and proud. A year that brought me right to this place. Right now. The good. The bad. It was all a blessing, because of all of it I am who I am in this moment. And yet I feel eager to see what the road ahead of me has instock.

I can continue to write nostalgically, romantically, spiritually, deeply, or real corny… But not today. Maybe tomorrow. Today I will tell you this as the most profound thought of the day: Tomorrow I will be 47 and as far as this blog is concerned, that only means I get to remain in the same age group (45 – 50) I’ve been in since last year… So the trauma of moving into a new age group will have to wait three more years!!!

Send me love tomorrow!

 

Augusta on my Mind

In Bike, Life, Run, Swim, Triathlons on June 3, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Some of my Alien Endurance teammates and I, along with our fab coach, Andy Clark, have decided to train for the Half IronMan in Augusta, GA on September 3oth.

Now that said… I have no clue how the hell I will achieve this given the extra hours of training we will be submitted to on a weekly basis, and my past history of slacking. But my teammates and I have made a pact of blood to push each other… I actually asked if they could pull me out of bed each morning, especially now these days when 3:21am is my natural wakeup call to connect within. Yes. This is my wakeup call to meditate, contemplate or get inspired… or all of the above. I had been setting my alarm clock for 5am, but I guess that was too late for the Universe, so everything starts earlier for me. Perhaps the Universe is on European time, I don’t know. But I don’t complain cause I’m enjoying it. Especially enjoying the inspiration and the reconfirmation that I’m in the right path.

But back to training, it’s gonna be hard… yesterday we did a very short training session, which even got me guessing if it was worth wearing my AE uniform… but I did. However, today we did an hour and a half bike ride with bridge included… twice. Thirty minutes of those ninety consisted of going out all the way like if we were racing… I did well, or so I think, but my calves are already hurting. Which makes me wonder, how will they behave tomorrow?

Our coach is supposed to change our training programs soon… probably as soon as this week, if not by tomorrow (yikes!). I’m curious to know what’s in it. How I will combined my days with work, training, and growth. It will be exciting to see how all this pans out. I’m sure it will work out just great, because I do not want to sacrifice the training and my path to growth. And work? Well, I can’t sacrifice that either.

Please wish me luck in my trainings, and send happy thoughts so that I can make it to Augusta in September with my teammates wearing the orange and black Alien colors!!!

P.S.: If you click on the Alien Endurance link, you will see me… I’m the third from left to right in the first row. This was before our Tri Miami Pre-Race workout the day before the race. 😉