Friday, June 27, 2008

Three More Weeks

There are three more weeks to go until my first triathlon. Since then, my workouts have been very rigorous. It consists of 60 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training. People have noticed my progression. I have seemed to amaze many people, including myself. Who would have known that I would complete 28 laps around an Olympic-size pool? Three weeks ago, I wouldn't have completed one!

I started spinning classes again. Boy do I miss it! Because of spin, I am training to be... Miss Olympia!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Century Number 5 Continued...

I hope that you are staying cool under the hot sun. Yesterday, I completed yet another century in Cambria (The Gene Cerese Century Classic) with my friend Mandy, who is an alum. For the record, this is number 5. The ride was very scenic with high terrain (it was 3600 feet of climbing). Also the temperature was 85 degrees compared to the record 110 in Fresno. The routed started in Cambria headed East to Paso Robles off of Hwy 46, back to Cambria, turned right on Hwy 1, went to San Simeon, passed the infamous Hearst Castle and Lighthouse, and headed to Ragged Point near Big Sur. Along the way, I had a nice view of the ocean. Total time was about 7 hours.

As I crossed the finishline, I held a button of all of my honorees up high and kissed Debbie. I know that she was watching over me. Chandler, you were in my thoughts friend!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Century Number 5

The Gene Cerese Century Classic was a great experience for me. Flat with high terrain. Over 3600 feet of climbing. Wonderful ride!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Going Vegan and Green



Part of my training regiment is to eat nutritious foods. I must say, I am very particular on where to shop for groceries. For the record, you will NEVER see me purchase foods at a convenience store. Outlet grocery stores are not particularly my favorites. Regular grocery stores such as Save Mart, Albertson's, or Vons are always at the top of the list. However, seeing junk food does make me go sick to my stomach! Wholesome, certified organic stores such as Whole Foods (www.wholefoods.com) and Trader Joe's (www.traderjoes.com) is where you will see me purchasing goods to stack up my refrigerator.

Though I may have to commute to the nearest health foods store (ahem- Whole Foods and Trader Joe's in Fresno, CA), I firmly believe that shopping for nutritional reasons is very cost efficient. Organic foods decrease cancer, heart disease, and fight off the body's immune system. In addition, it promotes biodiversity and minimizes processed foods that are free of hydrogenated fats, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. Yes, you may think that purchasing an organic cheese is expensive, but in the future it will help you defeat cholesterol.

With all the organic hype that has surrounded our nation, I have decided to "Go Green." I have spent more commuting time on my bike and shopped at local groceries stores where the the USDA Organic logo is displayed. However, don't worry America, I still wear regular clothing as I spend the other half of my income on places where I like to shop for clothes (i.e. Gap, Express, Old Navy, Limited, New York Company, and Macy's) Also, my home consists of somewhat free of hydrogenated fats. Although, I am trying to convince my parents that the reason why their cholesterol level has lowered is due to the processed foods that used to plague our kitchen (Not to mention I did convince them to exercise!). Well, at least I am saving the world right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Store Recommendations


For as long as I can remember, I have always been quite the trendy shopper. Here are few stores that I recommend for any triathlete, cyclist, or marathon runner:

1. REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc)- This national retailer has great products for any sports endurance athlete. They provide excellent service to their customers. Some employees at selected stores are experienced triathletes, cyclists, or marathoners. Their Novara and Canari bicycling clothing lines are very durable. Memberships are available at a one time fee of $25. (www.rei.com)


2. Rubber Soul Bicycles, Fresno, CA- Great service.... All of their staff members are experienced cyclists who are willing to help people with their cycling needs. Supports local charities such as Team in Training and California Bicycle Coalition. (www.rubbersoulbicycles.com)

3. Sierra Running Company, Fresno, CA-Staff members at this store know how to run. They consists of experienced runners and triathletes who answer to all your needs. Knowledgeable staff will assist you with the fitting process into purchasing the perfect shoe and tri gear. (www.sierrarunco.com)

4. TriSports.com- Online retailer founded by triathletes that offers products at affordable prices. In addition, they have weekly specials and clearance sales to members. (www.trisports.com)


5. Sierra Bicycle Werks, Visalia, CA- Wonderful staff and a friendly owner. A 10 percent discount is offered for cycling club and Team in Training members. (www.sierrabicyclewerks.com)


With this said and done, it is time for me to go to bed!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My First 5K


I cannot believe that I did the unthinkable! As part of my triathlon training, I am supposed to run several miles whether it would be on a treadmill, track, flat land, or hilly course. Well, today I decided to do a 5k (3.5 mile) run on a treadmill! Never have I ran this many miles since my early collegiate years. The most I ever ran on a treadmill was at least 1 mile.

Running on a treadmill always seemed hard for me. I never could withstand walking or running for several miles. At least in cycling, you are able to sit on a seat for long periods of time. However, after the first mile I decided to change my ways. I was able to complete the course in a little over half an hour.

I know that a 5K run may seem a lot to you, but it doesn't to me. A 5k is a stepping stone towards greater achievements. Another triathlon, marathon, and century ride are in the works. Most importantly, it will help me lead a productive lifestyle.

For the record, the picture posted on the left is not me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friend-sick


(Cycle Campaign Coordinator Sheryl and Bob- Team Tahoe 07 and 08)

(Ben and Me- Team Tahoe '07)

(Left to Right: Alice, Amy, Denice, and Erik- Team Tahoe '08)



As a member of Team in Training, I have made many lasting friendships. Above are some people who I have met. Those who are missing are Brian, Andy, Mike, Mandy, Janet, Laura, Dave G., Greg G., Pete, Nancy, Shelly, Kasey, Trish, Heidi, and lastly Debbie Turner (1958-2008). I think about them all the time, especially Miss Deb. I miss them all!!



Swimming with Relaxation

I finally swam in my kidney-shaped pool at my backyard. I did not have a rigorous training day under the sweltering 100 degree heat. (Justin, Susan, and the rest of the Visalia Tri Club members, if you are reading this blog, today is the day that I prefer relaxation!!!) Rather than sticking to my regiment, I swam like a fish and managed to do a few laps around the pool. Hopefully, my little time at the yard will help me become a stronger triathlete.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shoes!!!

I went to the gym only to find out that I left my shoes! I only had packed one pair for my left foot and forgot the other! Agh!! At least I will be there tomorrow. Hopefully I will remember to bring my shoes at that time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 4 of Training




Training for Debbie Turner


I received word via email that Debbie Turner, one my leukemia honorees, passed away earlier this week. She was loved by several people. Below is a short note that I am writing to her:

Dear Debbie,

You are inspiration to many people. Thanks for being my friend. I will miss your smile, warmth, and constant emails about life. Please watch over me as I train for several sporting events as a member of TNT (see my swimming picture on the left). Ms. Turner, you will always be my hero!

Love always,

Mel...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Swim Swim Swim!!


The other day, I signed up as a member at the local YMCA. For the past few days, I have utilized their pool services as a part of my training regiment. The fitness center that I joined prior to this didn't have an Olympic-sized pool for me to train. And for those of you know where I reside, the kidney-shaped one that I have in my backyard is not sufficient for me to use.

While at the Y, a few high school swimmers employed at the facility have been serving as my swim coaches. They have been teaching me the fundamentals of swimming One of the products that I have been using is a buoy (see picture on the right) which has been a great tool for perfecting a swimmer's strokes. In addition, energy is saved rather than stopped midway through the route. Thus I will continually use the buoy until the coaches say so.

Well, that's enough from me now! In the meantime Happy Trails!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Triathlon Training Part Deux

Just got finished riding and weight training in the midst of the Laker/Celtic game. Okay Celtics fans, you can say your "hoo-ha's" if you so please. Did a 40 mile ride after weight training. I wanted to swim, but the water in my backyard is too cold! The pool at the fitness center is closed for maintenance. I will probably will go tomorrow. Until then, ttyl!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Attention Parents!


The other day, I rode with a few cyclists at a local city park. I came a cross a Moms-in-Motion team as they were training for a sports endurance event. They brought their children, some in strollers, to help them train. For those of you who don't know, Moms-in-Motion (www.momsinmotion.com) is an international network created by a stay-at-home mother that connects mothers through wellness and philanthropy. In addition, they promote childhood nutrition and physical fitness.

As an educator, I am saddened that our nations youth has gone through a health crisis. Childhood obesity has become a national epidemic. Over 20 percent of children are overweight. Thirty percent of children are developing Type 2 Diabetes. Hypertension and heart disease are also on the rise. Lack of exercise and nutrition are factors to this problem. Schools are providing processed foods to children and cutting physical education programs because of budget cuts.

There could be many reasons why children are extremely overweight, but the answer is plain and simple. Parents need to educate them proper nutrition and exercise will help them gain self confidence. Joining fitness clubs such as Moms in Motion and Team in Training (yes I am biased!) teaches children how to live a healthy lifestyle. Therefore parents who are reading this blog, please take care of your children before it is too late.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cycling Journey








For the past year and a half, I have been a cycling enthusiast. Above are pictures throughout my journey.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Strength Training

Just got done with my strength training class at a local fitness center with some members of the Visalia Triathlon Club (http://www.visaliatriclub.com/). The master, Justin Levine, has set me up with a training regiment that will help me complete the event. His military style attitude has helped many athletes reach their potentials. Many of my classmates once led a sedentary lifestyle. Now, with Justin's guidance, they are triathletes.

The training course is a 90 minute workout consisting of 60 minutes of upper and lower body weight exercises and 30 minutes of cardio. Sounds painful huh?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Greatest Team



This is a picture of the Greatest Team
Team in Training Tahoe '08

Triathlon Financing

As many of you know, I have decided to do a triathlon to add to my sports endurance agenda. A few weeks ago, I signed up for the San Luis Obispo Triathlon as a member of the Visalia Triathlon Club slated for the end of July. The training will be very rigorous, but it will be beneficial in the future. I firmly believe that exercise is the key to longevity. Who would have known back in my high school days I would be competing in a long distance program?

Though training for a triathlon may not seem easy, financing for an event can be very difficult. The average tri athlete spends about $4000 (if not more) on gear, travel arrangements, and registration. A typical wetsuit costs about $175.00 to $400.00,. Rentals are $50. Running shoes are priced at $110. Transition bags are $35. Then there are triathlon club and gym memberships that amount to $30 to $40 which can add to your monthly budget.

My suggestion for any person wanting to do a triathlon is to spend your money wisely. Find an event that is not too far from your home. Join a triathlon club where you can get a discount at a reasonable rate at a local store. For Team in Training members, I use my TNT card at places where I'm a regular, including bike and shoe stores. Shop at ebay or Craiglist before going to a discount, outlet, or retail store. Hopefully, the money saving tips that I have provided will help you in the future.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Update

I know it's been a while since I last wrote on this spot. I've added two centuries and a triathlon under my belt. As you can see, I am a self addicting sports enthusiast. I'm crazy!!! I'm born to ride!!!