Davis Turkey Trot 2014

…and how I did not PR my 10K again.

The Turkey Trot was my first 10K. And I didn’t do it under my name. Ssh, don’t tell anyone! A friend got injured and there wasn’t time for a bib transfer. I went to keep her husband company. We ran it in 51 something. The weather was beautiful and sunny, and with good company, the time flew by.318578_620320431170_602739264_nFlash forward a few years and another friend got injured and now has to take a few months off running. ;( Very sad. I was originally going to run it with her to keep her company, but because I had not signed up yet, I bought her bib. Unfortunately I got a cold a week before the race and was far from better the day of. I decided to run it anyway because… Yeah, I’m not really sure what I was thinking.

The morning of the race was wet, but not cold (54F). I was certain of my wardrobe (long sleeves and shorts), but went back and forth on gloves. For at least 15 minutes. Okay, there might have been some jogging up and down the street to test out comfortable paces as well. As a result, I didn’t make it out the door until 15 minutes before the race start. Luckily the race start was less than a mile from my house and I made it in plenty of time to watch a friend finish the 5K and find my way to start line.

I had a pre-sickness goal based on recent half marathon and 5K times, but decided to try for slower pace (7:45) = my 10K PR, set 2.5 years ago. The race started and I ran at about 7:40 for 6 minutes or so and then had to stop for a bit. Yes, I started walking 6 minutes into a 10K… And my hat fell off. Fabulous.Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.28.47 PM


I have a history of falling apart in races and walking. Too soon you might ask? Never.

I managed to collect myself and run at an even pace until a little past 5K foot pad. You see I had decided to try to pick it up a bit, but my stomach started cramping immediately. And my pace tanked from there. Physical? Mental? Probably a combination of the two. Yikes.Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 10.44.47 PMI finished in 49:30, 11 seconds faster last years race (49:41 and also sick). I know I can do better than 7:59 mins/mile, but I did not have it in me. I am proud that I managed to get six miles in after a really tough week.

Forced smile…
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Congrats to everyone who ran today!!!!


Sick Day and Survey Post

I’ve been sick with a nasty cold all week. I could blog about how I haven’t been able to exercise since Sunday or how I’m supposed to race tomorrow and will either a) run very slowly or b) skip the race altogether. Instead, I decided to answer some questions I borrowed from the Running Bun blog. Keeps me distracted for a bit. Fitness can wait until I’m better! ;)

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Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  1. Dee Dee. Thanks Gordon lab! Don’t ever say on first day of work that you don’t care what they call you. It might stick, eight years later.
  2. Di.
  3. D. Most common (and preferred) nickname used by friends and coworkers.
  4. Babe (just my husband).

Four jobs I have had (not counting any current jobs):

  1. Mystery spot tour guide.
  2. Plant waterer at UCSC Plant Conservatory and Arboretum.
  3. Student assistant and waterer at UCD Plant Conservatory. Do we see a pattern here?
  4. File clerk at a dentist office.

Four movies I’ve watched more than once

  1. Gosford Park.
  2. Empire Records. Oh high school… I’m pretty sure this was a monthly occurrence.
  3. Night at the Opera.

Four books I’d recommend

  1. Fauna and Family.
  2. Me Talk Pretty One Day.
  3. Hokkaido Highway Blues.
  4. Harpo Speaks.

Four places I have lived 

  1. California (Santa Cruz).
  2. California (Davis).
  3. California (San Diego).
  4. California (Davis)…

Four places I have been (outside of US)

  1. Mexico
  2. Austria
  3. New Zealand
  4. Ecuador

Four places I’d rather be right now

  1. Anywhere but here.
  2. Hawaii, on a beach somewhere.
  3. Yoga retreat.
  4. Tahoe in a cabin with fire place.

Four things I don’t eat

  1. Licorice.
  2. Beer.
  3. Artificial sweeteners.
  4. What I consider to be weird animal parts – feet, eyes, etc.

Four of my favorite foods

  1. Pomegranates.
  2. Peanut butter.
  3. Avocado inari.
  4. Wine.

Four TV shows that I watch

  1. Hinterland. Finished entire series this week…
  2. Sherlock.
  3. Supernatural.
  4. HIMYM.

Four things I am looking forward to this year (in the next 12 months)

  1. Snowboarding. I hope there is snow!
  2. Taking Millie to see snow for the first time (see #1).
  3. Baking treats to give away at Christmas.
  4. Doing an olympic distance triathlon next Summer.

Four things I’m always saying

  1. “Coffee?” (Except I really mean tea break b/c I don’t drink coffee.)
  2. “Like”. Ug, trying to kick this habit.
  3. “I’m dying” (during workouts).
  4. “I didn’t get any sleep.”
  5. “Bitches!”

Your turn. 

Workout week (in review): Apple Hill Edition

I’ve been in Davis for over 10 years, and while I’ve been to Tahoe numerous times, I haven’t explored the foothills very much. Lately, I have been trying to remedy this with a hiking trip a few weeks back and a visit to Apple Hill yesterday. It is the perfect time to explore because the weather is gorgeous – cool, but not cold and clear blue skies. And there haven’t been many people out and about, which is surprising given how pretty it is.

Two week ago I went with some friends on a doggie hike on the Codfish Creek Trail. See what I mean about the sky? And the road down is enough to discourage most people so we pretty much had the trail to ourselves…

2014-11-02 11.38.10As for Apple Hill, well it is region around Placerville that has a lot of apple farms (~50 or so). You can buy doughnuts, pies, cider, and of course apples at different orchards. You can even pick apples if you come earlier in the season. There are also quite a few wineries in the region although it isn’t known for wine. What did I do there?

I sampled the cider doughnut, which are cooked to order. 2014-11-15 10.00.05I’m sorry to say that I was not a big fan. Then again I don’t really like doughnuts. J loved them though.

I also bought apple butter and about seven pounds of apples to make a pie later in the week. Then there was also cider tasting at Jack Russel Farm Brewery and wine tasting at Lava Cap. Yum. The scenery was quite beautiful, but I was too busy to snap a photo. To sum up the trip, I had a lovely time at Apple Hill, but ate and drank too much.

On the way home I stopped off at a mall to go bra shopping (does anyone else hate that?) and ended up coming home with no bras and cute Lululemon shorts. Win?

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 12.49.36 PMI definitely never would have bought this color from online photo (above), but was pleasantly surprised when I tried them on in the store. The ladies of GVH try to sport crazy tights at the speed workouts. I think these will work well. ;) On side note, I found it funny that the guy at Lululemon was trying to sell me a white workout top to match. Please. I’d likely ruin it after one run.

Monday – Swimming – kicking and pulling. I don’t actually remember the set.

Tuesday – Yoga II; run easy 5 miles. It was Veterans day and since I did not have to work I made it to AM yoga. Love. I probably should have kicked butt at GVH in the evening (mile repeats would have been great training for upcoming race), but I was feeling lazy and did an easy run with friends instead.

Wednesday – Swimming – sprints. It was a good set (100s and 50s), but I was not thrilled by my lanemates. That was okay because I still got great workout in and was pleased with the effort I put in.

Thursday – Run 2 miles easy; swimming (distance) 30 mins. I was looking forward to a do-over of the mile repeats I missed, but my usual running partner did not want to run. Sad. I ended up doing a few miles easy with the dogs and then swimming on my lunch to get some XT in. I only made it through 1.25 rounds of 125s before I had to head back to lab, but it was still a worthwhile way to spend my lunch.2014-11-13 13.00.40

Friday –  Rest day!

Saturday – 5 miles of running. I felt pretty great the whole time, which was surprising because I had some wine the night before and ran early  (640AM). I kept a decent pace, at least the part without dogs. Success.Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 1.24.29 PM

Sunday – 9.8 mile running. Bleh. It was gorgeous weather and I had good company, but I was not feeling it. Maybe I ate too much the day before? Or I was slightly under-fueled from eating small breakfast too early? Whatever it was, I felt tired and my stomach was making very loud noises by the end. While the run was not my best effort this week and my stomach is still feeling off after breakfast, I am happy to report that new shorts were quite comfortable and did not chafe at all. Excellent. Oh, and I didn’t walk or bitch (much), which is better than I can say for other runs.

Week summary:
22 mile running
230 mins XT

I still have yoga session this afternoon. Biking didn’t happen. Or core (outside of yoga). Sad…




Workout Log

I get a lot of enjoyment out of making lists, keeping track of data, and generally being highly organized. Maybe I’m OCD or I cannot leave the scientist in me back at the lab when I leave work for the day. Whatever it is, pretty spreadsheets make me happy. Like this one I use for work.Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.17.04 AMIf you’ve been following the blog, you know by now that I track my activities for the week. I started a few years back because I liked checking off workouts for race training plans. I’d write them in my daily planner. Yes, I still use a moleskin, not my smartphone. More recently, I have had to track both my run miles and cross training for the fitness study in excel. When the study was finished, I found myself missing logging my miles in an organized format. Seriously, I felt that something was missing at the end of the day. After half a week of this feeling, I downloaded the spreadsheet the researcher used for the study, removed a few columns, and started my own personal log.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 6.18.24 AMIsn’t it pretty? I obviously cannot take credit for this as I did not come up with the concept. I deleted some of the columns (ie food logging), but kept some of the mood tracking (angry, tired, anxious) to see if I can find any correlation between training and how I’m feeling. I understand that daily logs are not for everyone, but I wanted to share mine because I am currently enjoying my latest format.

So what do I hope to achieve with my log? Well, it appeals to my sense of organization. But I also hope to become smarter in my training and I assume that it will make following race training plans easier. Sure I can look back at my planner for a week or two, but it is really hard to figure out what I was doing six months ago!

I’m currently ‘training’ for a local Turkey Trot 10K. I say ‘training’ because I only decided on actually racing (not just running it) last week. The training plan was provided by the person running the fitness study. Thanks! I’ll be doing 20 miles running this week and my usual XT (swimming/core/biking). Next week I’ll up the volume to 25 miles of running and then cut back significantly on race week. Wish me luck. ;)


Workout week (in review): Taper time

The fitness study is finally coming to a close! This week I was tapering, meaning that I cut my initial training volume in half. My target was ~9.5 miles running + 140 mins XT. Once again, this was not quite reflected in my workout week below because the study week goes from Thursday – Wednesday. My impression of the first week was that I missed running. Even though I was still doing it. ;) Two miles was just not enough time to relax and get the endorphins going. Can’t wait to get back to ‘long runs’. In addition, I was expecting to feel like I had a whole lot more time. Unfortunately, I was really busy and barely had time to squeeze in any workouts. Too busy baking pumpkin cake. Clearly I’ve got my priorities.

2014-10-24 21.30.46The cake above was for my Dad’s birthday. I went down to visit him and have a belated celebration. It was raining on Saturday, and without running or easy access to a yoga class, I did nothing! Ok, not nothing… There was plenty of window shopping, reading, walking, food, and a friend came to visit. On a non-workout-related note, a bobcat snatched one of my Dad’s chickens in front of me while I was there. Very sad. On the bright side, at least the bobcat got a good meal as I imagine it is rather slim pickings right now…?

Monday - 2 miles running.

Tuesday – 45 mins bike trainer; 1.75 miles running.

Wednesday – Swimming.

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Thursday – 2 miles running.

Friday - Swimming – 30 mins IM. This workout just about killed me, not sure why. And I only got through 125 swim. My back was super sore after. Bummer. Guess I need to do some more core work.

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Saturday – REST

Sunday – 2.5 miles running.

Not sure what the next week holds for me. I imagine I’ll up my workouts a bit, but I am not sure by how much because I have never cut my volume by 50%. I don’t have race plans though, so I guess there is no rush. I do want to take advantage of the beautiful Fall weather while it lasts.

Golden State Triathlon

I am a bit late in posting this, but last weekend I participated in the Golden State Triathlon – sprint distance. It was 0.5 mile swim – 15 mile bike – 3 mile run. What makes this course rather unique is the draft legal bike course and river swim. This was definitely first for me!

Race Backstory
I signed up for this race weeks ago. The fitness study needed a target race so I picked this one. Unfortunately the study was extended by 2 weeks so the race fell in the middle of my last week of intensified training. Fail. The week leading up to the race I wanted to drop out. I felt that I was in poor shape to compete in any form. While I do not expect to win any race I enter, I don’t want to be unprepared/feel crappy going into it. I was also stressed about gear, specifically a wetsuit for the river swim. I finally set aside my fears and decided to go through with the race as planned. $100 is a lot of money to throw away.

The Morning Of…
I woke up bright and early and picked up a friend who was volunteering and kindly offered to lend me her wetsuit since she was not racing. Thanks! Transition setup went quickly and I had a lot of time to snack and watch the super sprint triathlon participants. One of the volunteers passing out race bibs thought I was a 16 year old boy. Excellent… It was rather windy, but not cold. This was lucky as it can sometimes rain in October in Northern California. And I tend to freeze before races.

The swim
The swim was in the American River and was 75% downstream and 25% upstream ‘J’ shape. We are in a drought and the water level was very low. One guy actually ran part of the swim (bad sportsmanship in my opinion). Anyway, the water was disgusting. Water plants were everywhere and they were close enough such that they clung to my arms. I was kind of worried I’d kick glass or run into dead animal. Anyway.. I started at the back of the pack and had to fight my way past slow swimmers. Mistake #1. The end buoy looked miles away. Long story short, the swim was less than fabulous and I couldn’t wait to get it over with.

The bike
Wind and sharp turns. I am not a strong cyclist and struggled a lot on the course. I managed to draft off a few people (which was a nice break), but there were long stretches of me alone. I am not sure what my speed was, but my overall time was slow. So many people blew past me. I’d like to improve my cycling, but I don’t make time for it. 26lb steel frame bike doesn’t help either…

The run
Running is usually strong suit in triathlons and this race was no exception!  The course was a flat (and partially shaded!) out and back. Love. So much better than Tri for Fun dirt fire road in full sun. I was hurting more than usual, but managed to keep running and a good clip. I only stopped to walk once, for about five seconds to pour water over my head.

The finish
Despite intensified training and a sub-par bike, I managed to get 4th in my age group!? I was totally surprised by this. Although I did have good run average swim. In fact, every one from Mad Cows who raced placed in age group. One woman actually came in first woman overall. Amazing accomplishment, though I am not surprised. Go tri club!

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Unfortunately I did not the record race on my Garmin. All in all I thought it was an okay race. I will probably do the race again, but only at urging of friends. It wasn’t an amazing course (still waiting to do something in Hawaii or San Diego), but it was definitely a fun way to spend a weekend morning.


Workout week (in review): San Diego style

2014-10-18 18.04.21

I’m currently in San Diego. I flew down to visit my grandparents and the trip happened to coincide with the birth of my cousin’s baby girl Zoe. Very exciting! She’s totally adorable and already has incredibly plump cheeks. In addition to family stuff, I’ve been trying to relax a bit with some yoga and retail therapy. It’s been fun wandering around my old neighborhood. So many cute shops and yummy things to eat. I almost bought a dress, but decided I should save money. Boo! Oh, and there are palm trees…because it wouldn’t be Southern California without them.2014-10-19 08.13.02

In other news, intensified training ended Friday. I am rather excited that the fitness study is almost over! While it isn’t really reflect in this week recaps (because study week goes Thursday – Wednesday), I enjoyed skipping long run on Saturday in favor of not working out. I was back at it today though with a lovely run through my old neighborhood. I miss having hills to run everywhere.

Monday – Run 5.6 miles. This was the day after Golden State triathlon. I usually take day off or do easy 2 miles day after race, but would not have been able to get miles in if I had taken day off. I worried that it would be a horribly painful run, but it actually wasn’t too bad. Fatigue set in on Tuesday. ;)

Tuesday – AM – 3 miles running ; PM – 3 miles running + 20 minute on bike trainer. Ouch. Running was slow…and I pretty much hated every second of it. 11 minute miles with lots of doggy potty breaks? Yes, please. I did find renewed love for my bike trainer. Watching tv while biking = win.

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 5.36.17 PMWednesday – Run 3.8 + Swim 52. I calculated the exact miles + minutes I need to hit weekly goal and stopped there. I was thankful to have a friend along for the run through the UCD Arboretum as it distracted me from the task at hand.

Thursday – Rest

Friday – V02 max test. Ug. I want to push myself but it is so hard with helmet on. Fear of falling off treadmill doesn’t help either.

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – 2 miles running; yoga 1-2. Love the yoga studios in San Diego. While they may not have early morning classes (fail), there are so many advanced weekend classes to choose from. I love challenging myself with standing poses and arm balances. I did, however, skip Bound Half Moon as I am not about to strain any muscles this close to finishing up the study. I can already tell I’m going to be sore tomorrow.

Workout week (in review) and intensified training continues…

I’m half way through my last week (!!!) of extra workouts and I am rather surprised that my body hasn’t fallen apart (yet). Even more surprising, my legs don’t feel half bad and rolling out has mostly gotten rid of minor muscle soreness. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been fun. Some workouts have felt less than fabulous. I also have wanted to eat carbs. Macaroni and cheese was never my thing, but now every time I see it in the hot bar at the market, I want it. Gross. Oh, and I’m currently loving (and living off of?) Co-op breakfast burritos.2014-10-02 08.14.17

By far the saddest part of all this is that I’ve mostly lost my enthusiasm for triathlon training. Last Winter when I was training for half marathon I would get super excited about hitting targeted mileage. Ran 3 miles? Go me! Now I just think every day: ‘Did I hit 25 miles yet?’. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll get my motivation back.

Complaining aside, this week has probably been my best week of intensified training because a) I took two rest days and b) I raced in a triathlon and exceeded my expectations.

Monday - REST

Tuesday – 7 miles of running; 20 minutes of core. This was one of those less than fabulous workout days… Really, though, I should not have been disappointed that I ran seven miles, albeit slowly.

Wednesday – AM – 2 miles of running; PM – swimming

Thursday – AM – 4 miles of running; PM – swimming (sprints). Felt fine for both activities. My lanemate was a bit moody, but it was a gorgeous day to be in the pool.

Friday - REST. I might have had a bit too much of this to drink…2014-10-10 18.55.00

Saturday – AM – 15 mile cycling easy; PM – 2.3 mile run. I had planned to take Saturday as a rest day. However, Friday was a mess at work and working out did not happen. I did make persimmon bread and hang out with a friend who was in town and drink (see above) too much at a lab party. Good times. Because of this, I woke up at 330am with a hangover and then lounged around the house rehydrating until 10am. I probably should have paid better attention to my diet two days before triathlon, but it is hard to be ‘good’ all the time.

Sunday – Golden state triathlon and yoga. I’ll save the race recap for another post, but all in all it went well. Maybe the intensified training is working? Fastest triathlon run time to date and I was not very sore the next day.

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Have a lovely week. My Monday is off to a very productive start. Hopefully my motivation with continue throughout the week. ;)

Swim workout: IM and puppies

2014-10-05 20.13.21-2A few rants things:

Where is the rain? For a few days I thought it was Fall. Rain, highs in the 80s. Now it is in the 90s again and feels a lot like Summer, except that it is dark for my morning runs. And Davis has recently observed the return of students. And I fear for my life (or at least my limbs) now on my morning commute because most of them do not know how to ride a bike.

Intensified training phase of the fitness study is over in eight days. Not that I’m counting or anything. I’m so ready to have more free time. And a full body massage…

And now for something positive…

The last chapter of my PhD thesis was accepted for publication!!!! I still need to make some minor revisions, but this is a huge step.

Workout today:
2 mile run easy
73 minute swim (IM)

Oh doggies, I love you, but you make my runs so slow…

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 8.56.19 PMBut they are so cute I cannot not take them with me.2014-10-07 07.50.41


2014-10-08 18.14.32Why 73 minutes? Well, I had planned on 80 mins to hit my XT goal, but my calf cramped on the second time through the kicking drills so I called it a day.

As for the rest of the set? I felt okay, but I was a bit cranky with my lanemates. One of them was doing fly down the middle of the lane and smacked me in the head. Not cool. However, 250 IMs were a great workout so I cannot bitch too much. ;)

Workout week (in review)

I’m always torn when I sit down to type to keep subject matter light, but also be true to what is actually going on in my real life.

A week ago today, one of my fellow Golden Valley Harriers passed away. Even more sad, she committed suicide. While I did not know her well, she was quite a fixture in the community (both running and in their profession) and will be greatly missed by many. Her loss hit a lot of my fellow GVHers hard. I’m not going say much else on the subject except that mental illness is a physical disease, one that is not readily acknowledged or accepted. Furthermore, help is not always easily accessible. I definitely have firsthand experience with this… Be mindful and kind to those around you because they could be suffering silently. Rest in peace Sophia. Thank you for sharing this video at the GVH Christmas party last December. It definitely made me, and everyone else, smile.

Monday - N/A.

Tuesday – 5.5 miles easy run. It was definitely a solemn atmosphere at the GVH speed workout.

Wednesday – AM – 3.3 miles easy run; PM – kicking/pulling. 2014-10-01 18.17.41

The run was not memorable. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing. The doggies and I took it easy on the greenbelt and my legs felt relatively fresh after. This was a good thing because evening brought long fin 100s at swim practice. Boring. And repetitive. But always a good workout.

Thursday – AM – 4.6 mile run; PM – 22 mile bike. This was my best run of the week. I hit nice negative splits, though I probably cannot take credit for because I was running after running with a friend.Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 8.16.05 AM

Perhaps because I had a good workout in the morning, I was slated for a ‘bad’ workout in the afternoon. The bike was fun (but slow) until the point where I got another flat tire!? After having to stop and change tubes every other ride for the past month, I decided it was time to invest in some Gatorskins. Hopefully this will be money well spent and my poor riding partner(s) will not have to sit by the side of the road and watch me wrestle bike tubes every other ride! Perhaps all the practice changing flats (5 in the last month in case anyone was counting) will give me confidence should I encounter one in a race… Oh, and Millie likes to cuddle when I fix flats on the floor at home.

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Friday – Swim – sprints. Lots and lots of 25s with fins. I might have exhausted my legs kicking with zoomers (and not hydrated properly after) and paid for it on my Saturday long run.

Saturday – 2 miles with dogs + 7.3 miles with GVH. This run was extra nice because J ran with me and took one of the dogs. Unfortunately part II was slow and slightly painful. Thanks swimming! Oh, and I walked a lot, mostly because I really had to pee.TMI? ;) I might have gone a bit overboard trying to kick a dehydration headache from the night before. Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 9.23.23 PM

Sunday – Brick. 30ish miles on the bike and 2.3 miles on foot. Once again I headed out to Lake Solano to get some hill work in.Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 4.59.27 PM

I did not feel amazing, but it was solid workout to finish up the week. I had wanted to get in a yoga session too (mostly for mental relaxation and not fitness), but I could not find the time. I hope to make sunrise yoga tomorrow morning because, well, I need it!