Sunday, October 26, 2008

Who Let the Dogs Out???

As I was training with my friend Steve for the Trail of Two Cities Half Marathon, I was bitten not by the love bug, but by animal dominance. In the midst of a 11 mile run, two aggressive terriers were running towards my side on a country road. I attempted to use pepper spray as recommended by a reader, but failed to release the button in time. Instead, one of the dogs bit my left leg near the hamstrings, creating a few scabs. Afterwards, I threw the object towards them thinking that they would leave me alone. However, it added towards their frustration. Fortunately, a noble citizen pulled over to the side of the street in my rescue.

Stress Reliever

The other day, I received a letter from the California State Insurance Commission stating that I'm not a licensed driver and owner of a vehicle. I was in a rage. I wanted to go to the insurance office and throw something across their faces. How could this be? Did my insurance company fail to submit their paperwork with my policy plan? Could be their a glitch in the state's computer system? Perhaps a state employee deleted their email stating that I was a new member. Regardless of the situation, I was ready with a vengeance!

I drove all the way to the insurance office and gave them a piece of my mind. One of their agents looked into their computer system and saw that I was a customer in excellent standing. I make my payments on time and haven't had an accident in over a year. My driving record is in near perfection.

Afterwards, he called the California Insurance Commission on my behalf. The representative informed him that there was a problem with their network earlier this year and to accept their apologizes (yeah right!). He then faxed my original paperwork to them.
Once I headed home, I grabbed my bike and went for a run. I wanted to release all of my frustrations and vent. I was on fire! In the end, I was able to complete a 11 mile bike ride and 6 mile run. Boy, did it feel good!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

13 More Days...

It's less than two weeks before my first half marathon and excitement is beginning to linger. I am stronger physically and mentally. Most importantly, I am starting to enjoy the sport of running. Move on people, the Melinator will cross the finish line before you know it!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Valley Girls Ride

Alright, I may be training for my first half-marathon, but I have to go back to my first love- bike riding. The third annual Valley Girls Ride was located in Fresno, California in honor of Marsha Sorenson, a Team in Training Alumna, who died in 2005. All of the proceeds earned will go to local charities.

This is my second time competing in the event. Albeit, it was bitter sweet. A dear friend of mine decided to ride with me after a week of enduring stress. And what a great way to vent our frustrations! Thus, we completed a 65 mile ride in about six hours with very little terrain.

Out of the many courses that I have ridden, this is my favorite ride. It's fun to see people in their costumes (especially men in drag) for a good cause. I plan to ride the VGR next year as it will be bigger and better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Slow-Poke Child Turned Triathlete Ready for Half Marathon

With triathlon season over, it's now time for me to focus on another sport, running. When I was a child, running has been my least favorite activity. I could not qualify for the elementary school track team because I was overweight and slow. The middle school that I attended did not have a cross country team. Besides, my 7th grade P.E. teacher would wander around the track knowing that I would finish last after a mile run (albeit, she would be the only person to cheer once I finished the course-- therefore I would give her kudos for that!).

Now, the tides have turned. I am no longer that "slow-poke" child most people remember. I am consistently running several miles a week in preparation for my first half-marathon. This is in lieu of achieving my ultimate goal of training for my first Half Ironman in 2010.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

1st Annual Tulare Triathlon

Third time is indeed the charm. Another triathlon is in the books. The First Annual Tulare Triathlon was a success.

Like Merced Triathlon, the course is flat which is great for beginners. It consisted of 400 yard swim, 10 mile bike, and 3 mile run.

Swim:The swim was very short, compared to what I experienced last week at Merced. The pool was 25 meters long, as opposed to 50 in Merced. Because of the length of the pool, I didn't feel winded and swam straight through without stopping. Although, once I got out of the pool, I slipped along the transition line and nearly cracked my head.... Ouch!!

Bike: To make up lost time as a result of my fall, I had to pedal fast on the bike. I averaged 17 to 20 miles per hour while on a 10 mile ride. Most importantly, there were no hills! Not so bad for a person who has completed 5 centuries!
Run: I must admit, running is my weakness of all the events in a triathlon. Although, I underestimated my overall performance. I averaged about 4.0 miles per hour. Most importantly, I ran as fast as I could with one of my closest friends at my side. Thanks Mandy!
With another triathlon in the books, I have my eyes set on training for a Half-Ironman in Auburn, California near Sacramento However, it will probably be after nursing school.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Run With the Wind

People say that mother nature does takes it course. Boy, they are right. Since I was a child, I have always loved the wind. I enjoyed having my hair messed up because I was having a bad hair day and watching leaves twist and turn across the sky. Those days are long gone, but not forgotten.

As an athlete, I truly enjoy running with the wind on my shoulders. However, the wind can bring the worst performance that any athlete can endure. While training for the Trail of Two Cities Half Marathon, I became somewhat timid and went to the gym. I managed to get a few miles on the treadmill. Although, I would rather be running with the wind at any time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Number Two is in The Books

The Merced Gateway Triathlon was a very easy course and perfect for beginning triathletes. It consisted of 400 meter swim, 6 mile bike ride, and 2 mile run. I had a very smooth transition pace. Most importantly, I did not walk during the run! Overall, I finished at a reasonable time of an hour and fifteen minutes. Not so bad for a second go around, right?

Along the way, I met an 83 year old man competing in this event. He finished first in his age group. Let's hope that I will be in as good shape as him when I reach my eighties.
Top 10:
Division: Women - 30-34
1. Laurel Larkin, Reno, NV 34 0:48:37 O'All: 7
2. Jenny Drake, Fresno, CA 31 0:56:01 O'All: 22
3. Jill Benson, Sacramento, CA 30 0:56:53 O'All: 25
4. Marie Cleveland, San Jose, CA 32 0:57:42 O'All: 27
5. Janet Groome, Castro Valley, CA 30 0:59:58 O'All: 29
6. Colleen Dettling, Merced, CA 31 1:04:06 O'All: 36
7. Leslie Lawson, Atwater, CA 33 1:05:17 O'All: 39
8. Julie Gosling, Bakersfield, CA 34 1:11:47 O'All: 42
9. Melanie Tatco, Lemoore, CA 30 1:12:49 O'All: 43
10. Stephanie Ramirez, Merced, CA 32 1:13:36 O'All: 44

36. Colleen Dettling, Merced, CA 31 1:04:06 30 - 34 / 6
37. Hope Sarafa, San Jose, CA 38 1:04:45 35 - 39 / 7
38. Pam Riffle, Fresno, CA 55 1:05:06 55 - 59 / 2
39. Leslie Lawson, Atwater, CA 33 1:05:17 30 - 34 / 7
40. Ashley Johnston, Fresno, CA 24 1:11:08 19 - 24 / 11
41. Jennifer Duran, Merced, CA 26 1:11:15 25 - 29 / 2
42. Julie Gosling, Bakersfield, CA 34 1:11:47 30 - 34 / 8
43. Melanie Tatco, Lemoore, CA 30 1:12:49 30 - 34 / 9
44. Stephanie Ramirez, Merced, CA 32 1:13:36 30 - 34 / 10
45. Julie Tripp., Merced, CA 40 1:14:37 40 - 44 / 2
46. Mary Hintenach, Merced, CA 51 1:18:17 50 - 54 / 3
47. Deanna Black, Atwater, CA 35 1:19:12 35 - 39 / 8
48. Kristine Ulrich, Fremont, CA 43 1:19:19 40 - 44 / 3
49. Rebecca Moon, Fremont, CA 34 1:26:22 30 - 34 / 11

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nutritional Information With Training

Marathon Training Program:

In regards to all the aspects of marathon training and preparation, nutrition is one of the most important topics for which to thoroughly consider and give your full attention. A carefully conceived training schedule is of little value if a runner fails to properly plan to meet his or her nutritional requirements for long distance training and racing. While a general overview of nutritional guidelines are presented below, specific nutritional issues relating to the long run, the taper period, and the marathon are featured in their own sections of this site. I strongly urge you to take time to review the comprehensive nutritional information presented within these pages.

General Guidelines Water is the drink of choice for both general health and for runs lasting under 90 minutes.
  • Water is the drink of choice for both general health and for runs lasting up to 60 minutes.
  • Sports drinks should be consumed (along with water) for runs over 60 minutes in duration.
  • Don't rely on your thirst mechanism to indicate signs of dehydration.
  • It is virtually impossible to "catch up" on your fluid requirements once you sense that you're thirsty. It is vital to stay well hydrated throughout the day. The color of your urine should be relatively clear. Urine that is dark or approaches the amber color in appearance is a signal that you are dehydrated and need to significantly increase your fluid intake.
  • A word about hyponatremia – While staying well hydrated during endurance exercise is very important, too much of a good thing can be harmful and even potentially fatal. Hyponatremia, also referred to as “water intoxication”, occurs when fluid intake (also including sports drinks) exceeds fluid loss during exercise, resulting in an imbalance between the body's water and sodium levels. This condition can lead to nausea, fatigue and vomiting and in the most severe instances, seizures, coma and even death. For additional information about hyponatremia, check out The American Medical Athletic Association’s on-line brochure entitled “The Right Way to Hydrate for Marathoners“ (PDF format).
  • While there is much debate regarding the proper mix of foods, aim for 65 percent of your total calories consumed coming from a variety of carbohydrate sources.
  • Emphasize healthy and nutritious foods in your diet while limiting your intake of fried and high fat foods.
Preparing Nutritionally for the Long Run, The Taper Period, and The Marathon

Please carefully read the following sections of this site for detailed nutritional information that pertains specifically to these important areas of marathon training:
I highly endorse Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook for any athlete interested in becoming more knowledgeable about, and incorporating sound nutritional principles as part of their overall training.