Where is My Mojo

Posts Tagged ‘running’

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?

Image

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.

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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

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. 😉

Tomorrow is THE day!

In Run on January 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM

We had a great day today visiting the Expo and picking up our bibs, with a much needed lunch afterwards because we were starving! I’m happy to say I did manage to get a commemorative jacket and a long sleeve t-shirt. And also happy to announce that this year’s ING t-shirt is actually very nice. I like it much more than last year’s which has been lying in total darkness inside a drawer for the entire year.

With the two Franks!

My team mates

Now, tomorrow is the THE day and I’m overly excited. I know I won’t sleep, and I need to be up by 3am. I will set up two alarm clocks, cause I would hate that what happened to Jean Paul Jean-Paul on Seinfeld, happened to me. Because we are meeting at the race location at 5:15am with our coach to stretch, we are leaving at 4:30am from a friend’s house in a cab. I thought this was a brilliant idea! No looking for a parking spot, no stress. Brilliant!

Undoubtedly tomorrow will be a long day filled with excitement and tiredness, and for sure with a sense of loss once it’s all over. I normally get the post-race blues, and it’s terrible. Seriously terrible.

I have my race strategy in place … stop at every aid station to replenish and stretch, and continue, while focusing all the way on giving my body the extra energy so the muscles keep on going… I want to cross that finish line running, not hopping and grab my medal, so any additional happy thoughts that can help the cause, are most appreciated.

Now, I gotta go to have dinner with The Dude and kids… Good night, my friends and thanks for reading!

Yoga Poses

In Run on January 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM

I just found this on my Facebook news feed. I remember the days yoga was my thing. Stretching, stretching, stretching. It was great. If you have an injury, or want to prevent one, check it out and if you don’t know what these poses are, go here and find them.

Thanks for reading!

Thrive

In Run on January 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM

A friend of mine who has in the process of converting to a vegetarian wrote me recommending the book Thrive by Brendan Brazier, a vegan professional triathlete that has done several Ironman races. When I went to look it up, I saw he had three books. Being the practical, straight to the point person I am, I went to Facebook, liked his fan page, and left him a note as to which of the three he recommended I go for, because quite frankly I will not read all three books. I need the short cut to the real thing. His response was: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. The beauty of Social Networks! Don’t you love it? I’m still in awe with technology these days… So I already downloaded the book to my iPad and am looking forward to seeing what there is to discover in order to feel better before, during and after training.  

Just so you know, I’ve been hurting badly from my IT bands during the long runs and I know it’s a combination of many things… poor strength leg training (I really find it hard to do this on my own at home), new shoes which implies changing my running posture (I got these awesome Newtons that make you fly up a bridge. Seriously), no post-training/racing recovery discipline (I know I should ice, etc), don’t get much supplements into my diet and, something I came to terms with, I’m not getting enough protein into my body (so poor muscle repair). Nutrition is important, period. And if on top you are training and racing, it’s even more so.

I can only hope positive changes are coming my way in the next weeks… On the meantime, I just want to get through the half marathon pain free.

I think I’m an athlete…

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on January 23, 2012 at 9:00 AM

… cause I already lost a toe nail. Yes. The nail that corresponds to the middle toe on my left foot. Not sexy at all. But the good thing is that it’s such a small nail, you can’t tell there’s something missing, unless I put some nail polish on them… like. let’s say, red nail polish. The problem now is that I have the feeling (because I’m literally feeling it), that my big toe nail on that same foot will eventually say its goodbyes to me. I can feel how it’s separating from my inner skin. It’s an odd sensation. Now, that’s a BIG toe nail. Even in the dark you can tell if it’s missing. Again, not too sexy. But I will deal with it when the time comes.

Our last long run before the ING

In Run on January 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Today we did our last long run before racing the ING Half Marathon next Sunday 1/29. Wow! As the date comes closer, I get more and more excited.

A 5 mile run was all there was to do. Like our coach Andy Clark said last week, from now on there’s nothing else to do to get better for the race. If we haven’t worked hard enough, there’s nothing that we can accomplish in two weeks to improve. If we’ve work hard enough, then it should be a breeze. By the way, click on his name to see how hot and mean he looks.

My challenge has always been my legs. Last year it was the knee. This year IT band. Last week’s 13-mile run was brutal, especially the last two miles. I was hurting pretty badly, and by mile 11 I had to walk. There was no way I could run. And that’s very frustrating when you are in great shape to the extent that you don’t get tired during a long run, and it’s just the legs that can’t do their job.

My strategy for next week… Take a break at every water station and stretch. This time is not about … time. It’s about being able to run the whole race and go through the finish line… running. And above all… enjoy it. I’m planning on taking out my phone and snapping some shots.

After this race, comes many more… another half marathon, a triathlon and a swimming event which I’m all set and signed up for. Additionally, today we started fumbling with the idea of doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon, which last year we couldn’t do because of injuries, despite being signed up. The excitement of doing a race in Disney sounds magical especially if you can wear a tutu while you  run (I have mine ready from last year). But we decided to hold our horses, wait for us to finish the ING and see if we can do Disney. Hopefully the gods of knee injuries will send their healing energy and I will dash through ING’s 13 miles directly to the Disney Half Marathon. Keep your fingers crossed and send your good thoughts my way!

Anyway, I’m excited and ready to wear the Alien Endurance t-shirt on Sunday January 29th and run with my team mates as a proud Alien!

 

Got me some new Newtons…

In Run, Triathlons on November 26, 2011 at 1:28 PM

RIP Lady Isaac (left). It’s been an exciting year and to have had your support has been a delight, both training and racing. But now it’s time to move on. We’ve come to the end of our relationship. Your work is done, and there’s nothing you can offer to make me grow and perform better. I must give way to my new Distancias (right). Hopefully he (these are “he’s” BTW) will succeed in keeping up the Newton name in the heights! I promise to keep you in my closet as a memory of what we once had…

Random thoughts that get me through

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on October 24, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Trying to do a 60 minute run yesterday, after an hour and forty minute/22 mile bike ride, put my mind to spin. What are you to do while you push your body to run under the inclement sun and the abnormally dry weather of a Miami Sunday morning? Think. That’s what you do. Think. Random thoughts that fly through your mind like that floating feather at the beginning and end of Forrest Gump. Only that sometimes it can become a whirlpool.

But I thought. I let my randomness take place in the infinite space called “mind”.

I thought of the previous day while being at Top Dog Cycle getting my bike fitted. There was a man who I could tell was a cyclist, not a triathlete, and who suggested I took off the plastic reflectors off my wheels so I would look more professional, and people on the road would not mess with me. I thought “whatever”.

The man nicely insisted to one of the shop guys to take them off. By the time I was leaving he again told another guy that “I” wanted them off. To what I responded, nicely, “No, it’s more like you want them off”. He: “I just want to avoid people making fun of you”. Me: “I almost drowned during my first triathlon. I made it to the shore with a floating device and was disqualified, and yet finished the race feeling like a champ. I don’t think I will be embarrassed of those plastic things.”

The sun was crispy and I was not into the run. Not exhausted from the long bike ride, but more like bored and wanted to get home quickly. But my mind then connected the dots to the time when I was around 5 years old and my teeth were falling off. I was so happy of them moving out and making way for the real ones to grow, that I had no problem smiling and showing my tongue through the imperfections of my dental infrastructure. There are no photos of that time that I do not come out smiling and showing my holes. I was small yet proud!

By the time I cut my run short, I realized my life has been one of taking pride, as much as I can, of those things that are hard for me to accomplish or those I had never ever imagine being capable of even trying to do. I simply realized that at the eye of adversity or a challenge, I continue to smile, now tall and proud like the little girl I was at age 5.