Tag Archives: triathlon training

In the B.A.G.

I learned something new while swimming in the Pacific Ocean this weekend. Two things, actually.

1) It is possible to get seasick while swimming in the sea. Previously I thought that it only happened while in a boat. I generally don’t get seasick in boats, but I felt really nauseated while doing that swim. Water temperature was fine. Getting past the break was fine. Swimming a half mile while nauseated? Not so much.  I swam against the current yesterday for the first time this year that I can recall. I’m fairly sure it took me upwards of 45 minutes once I walked into the water to touch dry land again. I think swimmers are reasonably expected to close this distance well under 30 minutes. It’s okay though, because I did finish that swim.

2a) It’s extremely difficult to reach a goal when you can’t see it and 2b) You won’t reach your target if you don’t know where it is.

I was a little late in walking over to the sand for the group swim, and so I missed the chance to do the bottom check– the walk in to check the sandy surface under the water and to get used to the water temperature before it was time to swim. A small group of us started stressing about that and I didn’t even think to look over a couple of towers and spot the buoy in the water that we had to swim to. Needless to say I had no idea where it was once I got out far enough past the break to swim parallel to shore.

This reminds me of the Big Audacious Goal (B.A.G.) concept. The best way to attain a measurable goal is to break it down into manageable chunks and like a shark — where you must keep moving along and making progress with these things– you power through until you obliterate them.

My chunks were simple enough:

  • Ignore the disgusting ocean water taste.
  • Relax and try to not hyperventilate.
  • Swim or at least keep moving forward. I still had to break down the last one a little more into a bit of a pep talk chunk because I couldn’t see the buoy:
  • Just swim toward a house on shore in front of me and/or swim to catch up to at least one resting swimmer ahead of me.

That worked. By doing the smaller goals, eventually I spotted the yellow buoy and made a beeline swam like a fish toward it. Getting back to shore was relatively easy but I had to fight the urge to stop and rest for a while instead of hurrying to get on my bike in a simulated race situation. My T1 needs a bit of work, but with 7 ocean swims completed this summer, I’m happy to note that removing my wetsuit quickly is now my main “worry” about the tri. Not being daunted by everything, and not feeling overwhelmed about whether I can even manage to do this swim.

2011 personal goal: Run a half-marathon
Next weekend is the Disneyland Half Marathon. I am doing what I can to mentally prepare. I set a goal to go for a long run (10+ miles) this weekend. I did intervals (ran/walked) 13+ miles for the first time ever on Sunday and I felt good afterward.

Athletic Linkage

Stumbled upon this while browsing my Facebook feed. I’m posting here so I will remember to check this one out in more detail and so you can check it out too.

Black Girls Run website
Black Girls Run on Facebook

My dear LA locals,

I’ll be hopping on a plane soon to travel east for a few days, but when I return get ready for a half marathon weekend extravaganza!

Over halfway to the goal!

Big thanks to my awesome triathlon crew of donors: Tiffany Sy, Lisa W. and Frank, David B., and Matthew H. With your generous donations we’re over halfway to the goal. However, I’m still in need of a few (or many) more donors to push that thermometer to the tip top!

I’m now $70 shy of meeting the minimum donation amount required to race with my team and only $130 from my personal goal.  If you can help support my fundraising efforts, please click here to donate at this (easily shareable) link:  http://bit.ly/jamtNK

This week has flown by for me. Only two days ’til the next ocean swim. I have high hopes the water will be warmer than 58 degrees this time. Very high hopes.

Homestretch of triathlon training + Goodreads mini-review

There are 3 more weeks until the Strawberry Fields Triathlon, my first tri of the year. I am glad this event happens to fall on the same weekend as “Carmaggedon” (A.k.a. the shutdown of the section of the 405 freeway between the 10 and the 101 freeways so that they can remove the Mulholland bridge).

Training has been going all right, but I don’t know that I will feel ready until next weekend, after I do at least one ocean swim. It seems a little more daunting to hit my time target now, since the notable recent surge in summertime temperatures. This week I’ve swum dozens of laps, run at least 7.8 miles, biked 12 miles, and hiked 4 more miles. I should think about brushing up on my transitions and getting a proper nutrition pack together for the course. I should also secure some sort of temporary shelter between my place and Oxnard soon.

To my fellow Americans, have a wonderful fourth of July! I’ll leave you with a mini-review of a book I finished reading today.

Goodreads mini-review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this one, but the very end left me saying “whaat?” with each twist of the plot after the major event occurred– with some time/space travel issues that required another level of disbelief suspension. Also, the main character seems to be written much older than her age of 17 at times, but I suppose teens grow up fast when thrown into the Hunger Games. I wish there were more ways for the reader to figure out what was really going on, rather than being forced to buy in to what’s going on as it was understood by the protagonist, only for her to change her mind and have the situation actually be another way entirely.

Again, blatant set up for the next book, but overall enjoyable.

View all my reviews

I get distracted sometimes, but there’s still hope for me yet

Oops! I completely forgot about

1) posting this week’s blog entry and

2) going to the Pasadena Chalk Festival today.

It didn’t even cross my mind until I saw a photo of an actual sidewalk drawing on Facebook around 5pm. I’ll try to stop by tomorrow and check it out because I remember that I really wanted to go last month, inspired by the 2011 Earth Day Chalk Art Challenge in Redondo Beach.

Guess I’ve been preoccupied with other things this weekend, like meeting the newest member of the family; an 8 week old puppy. He’s a mostly black and little bit white chihuahua poodle mix, named Oreo. In my defense I did not name him that.  Also in my defense that was the big distraction. I now live with a puppy! He’s newspaper trained and mostly sleeps, so I haven’t really done more than walk over to his corner to gawk at him at this point. Photos to come on Flickr later this weekend.

In other news, Summer begins next week here in the northern hemi and I am looking forward to it. I’ve begun biking and swimming weekly, in addition to running, in prep for my triathlon, less than a month away. One more big detail to figure out for that weekend in July and I’ll be all set.

For LA locals, there’s a sponsored (free) screening of Twittamentary on Tues., June 28, in Culver City. See the Eventbrite page for details. If you’re going, I’ll see you there.

Inspiration and perspiration


On Sunday I visited LACMA for the Tim Burton exhibit. It was my first time there and I will likely go visit the museum again for three reasons.

1) I was inspired to create while I was there.
2) There was more to see than what I saw that day and they will have new things to see throughout the year as well.
3) It’s free to visit now that I am a member.

LACMA welcome sign

The thing that really inspired me was seeing how much artwork Tim Burton has created over the past 30 years or so.

This is me at the entrance. They didn’t allow photography inside.

Outside of the entrance

A prolific body of work already and he’s continually creating more. A lot of it is dark and morbid and likely stems from his not fitting in while growing up. Overall, fascinating art with lots of detail. Not only did Tim Burton create and style a host of unique characters for tons of movies, he designed costumes for Batman, animated several short films, authored a few books. However, he did NOT have anything to do with the movie, Coraline, which is why I didn’t see any creative material for it anywhere.


Today, I went on a long ~20 mile ride in Griffith Park starting from the LA Zoo. There was an intense mountain climb (1400 ft of climbing according to someone’s smartphone app) followed by a brake-gripping downhill zoom past the Greek Theatre down to Los Feliz Blvd. for a street ride with car traffic, and then a casual stint along the LA River Bike path that surprisingly had moving vehicles on it too (in preparation for the 2011 LA River Bike Ride).

As this was my first ride in a couple of months it reminded me that I need to do regular rides or else each one I do will end up giving me the soreness of a swift kick to the bum! Bike riding aside, it’s been a pretty successful week in terms of training, with over 7 miles of running. I have 6 weeks until my Strawberry Fields Triathlon and I plan to incorporate swimming regularly in the next month. I have confidence that I will be ready by mid-July, unlike last year when I was not ready until the gun went off. That’s okay because, well, is anyone really ready for their first triathlon?

Here’s to another week of challenges, and I hope not too much soreness in the next 48 hours.

Madeline’s gone Hollywood: Zac Brown Band + Pirates 4!

This has been a whirlwind week in Hollywood for me. Here are the highlights:

I ran 6 miles this week. I mention that because running 6-8 miles per week is what earned me a spot on the guest list to see the Zac Brown Band play at Jimmy Kimmel Live. I won the contest for the person who ran their best (ie. showed up the most consistently to the tri team group runs).

I’m glad the prize wasn’t intended for the person who can run the fastest. I’d never win that because the group’s average running pace is a lot faster than mine. The contest was a great way to motivate people to keep running, no matter their ability. Why am I continuing to run, twice a week now? One reason is that I just signed up to repeat my very first triathlon, Strawberry Fields in the summer. I hope to cut 10 minutes from last year’s time.

My speed goal this year is to run a race with an official sub 9:00 minute/mile pace. I have done it in practice 5ks, but my official records clock me at about 9:13+ min/mile (running 4 miles on relatively flat terrain). To kick off my dedication to this feat, I picked up some new running shorts and “athletic” ankle socks. You know it’s serious once you bother to invest in special running socks. I have high hopes that this will be the best $3.75 I’ve ever spent on cushy footwear if when I reach my goal. 😛

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band

ZBB fans are some good people. I was backstage before the concert at Jimmy Kimmel Live with a friend. We found a spot on a couch in the back area armed with a small plate of tasty snacks and people kept approaching us to say hi and to strike up conversation which made us feel very welcome. At some point Ginny Goodwin came into our area for a short standup teaser bit on camera before her interview. She looked so adorable, but I couldn’t hear her interview very well from the green room after she went onstage because there were so many people around me busy chatting and mingling. Chris O’Donnell was the other non-musical guest. I didn’t see him in person but a few people around us did.

The fans we met in the green room were fun-loving and told us that they came up from Orange County to see the show. After discussing some songs we really liked from the band, one guy mentioned that a show producer was his friend and told us to hang with him so we did, and got some great spots to see the band play when we went outside. They played their songs and we were in southern rock heaven… until they had to stop after a few minutes because we were too noisy. Apparently people watching African Cats in El Capitan Theatre next door could hear us in their movie, so the mini-concert was short but sweet (3 songs). Next, we went into the then-abandoned Kimmel studio set to look around and then moseyed across the street to Hollywood & Highland. There we saw a pirate ship…

Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
Stumbled upon a pirate ship

The ship was very finely detailed with lights along the insides of some of the skeletons. I stood at a non-opening door with working knockers and mugged for the camera. The final part of the night was going to Crumbs Bakery downstairs and trying their cookie dough cupcake. Yum! More photos should be posted on my flickr site this weekend.

The next night I saw the movie at a screening on the studio lot! It was fantastic and the cast was great. I do have a couple favorite lines to share but don’t want to spoil anything before the film comes out. I recommend that you see it because it’s a fun, thrilling adventure in true Disney Pirate fashion, plus it’s in 3D. One tip: Make sure you stay through the credits for an extra treat.

LA locals, this is for you.
Today at Hollywood & Highland complex there’s going to be a Pirate Day party event outside of the Hot Topic store at 4pm. Show up dressed like a pirate and you could see the movie early too.

Bike n’ run

Four bikes at the beachOver the last few weekends I’ve been training for the Santa Catalina Triathlon, mostly on weekends. I may try a local reverse tri before then, but I haven’t yet registered for that one. Last weekend included two days of ocean swimming but this week has been too rainy for the water quality to be good for swimmers. Today’s workout consisted of a 13 mile hilly ride followed by a 2 mile run in Palos Verdes (PV). In my training I’ve learned a few things.
1) A painted solid white line 4 feet out from a gutter half-filled with brush and other debris does not a bike lane make. And why did the city paint “bike lane” in huge raised letters within the lane? Those don’t feel good to ride over and there are enough hazards in the bike lane already (more info on bicyclinginfo.org).
2a) Hawthorne Blvd in Palos Verdes is a beast with that long double hill to climb.
b) A BEAST, I say.
3) When running a hilly route for the first time think twice about picking a route with three flights of stairs. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
4) A “healthy” breakfast burrito never tasted so good than after a brick workout.
5) Recovery naps are the best. Oh, yes.

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