Monday, March 14, 2011


Did you know it's Pi Day today? It's March 14, 3-14, you know, like 3.14... Kinda strange random tid bit of the day.

In preparation for the Big Rock Olympic Distance Triathlon next month, I did my first "long run brick" workout yesterday. The longest run I've ever done off the bike is only 4.5 miles so far.... I do a regular brick workout of 35mile ride and 5K run, so I wanted to test how a long run would feel off the bike.

The morning was a nice one, only kind of windy, nice, sunny, and comfortably warm. I took off on my usual route and aimed for an out-and-back 25 miles. It was a really uneventful ride; it was over before I knew it. It was a lot less windy than usual, so it made it a lot easier. On the ride I contemplated on how I should jazz up my bike for the upcoming triathlons.

1) Clip on aerobars? How effective are clip ons on a road bike? Has anyone used clip ons and liked it? And what kind should you buy? There are SO many options and SUCH a big price range. I can afford to spend less than 200 bucks... are the ones for that price range any good?
2) Triathlon shoes VS Road shoes. I have hookups to get good road shoes for a very good price, but should I invest in a pair of Triathlon shoes instead? What difference would it make?
3) New tires
4) New wheels. Yah. This one is not gonna happen anytime soon.
5) New triathlon bike. Yah this one is even less likely to happen!
6) Triathlon attire; what should I wear to the races coming up? I own tri shorts, but don't own any tops. I have done all of my three triathlons wearing Wife beaters. I don't even like saying that name. I need a new top! Any cute and cheap ideas that a) not a crop top (sorry, too embarrassed about my muffin top) and b) not a tri suit (definitely CANNOT pull that one off!)

Any thoughts would be immensely appreciated.

In the end I completed 26 miles exact on thebike. It's a little bit longer than 40K, but I don't mind goving over on the bike, since I don't really "feel" the effects of a couple extra miles on the bike.

Onto the run.
I put my bike back in the garage, sucked on some hydration and took off. I planned on doing 5.5 miles. Immediately I knew it was gonna be a tough run. My legs felt dead. Just plain old tired and heavy. Perhaps it is my nutrition. Perhaps it is because I spent all night wearing high heels. Perhaps it is because I have been super stressed. Who knows.

I tried to block out all negative thoughts from my mind and just tried to focus on moving forward. I knew each step would just get me closer to the end. I also told myself I could slow way the heck down if I wanted to. I just wanted to keep going.

As I was reaching the 5K mark, I looked at my Garmin and noticed that I was running a sub 8-min mile pace. Duhhhhhhhh. No wonder I was struggling. I was running some of my best times! I know I run faster off the bike, but I was running near PR paces! Of COURSE that would make me feel tired! The funny thing is, I FELT really slow. I was pretty sure I was running 10 min miles. It felt slow, tired, and painful.

I actually had to take two mini-breaks (15 seconds each) to just kind of calm myself down, but I managed to finish all 5.5 miles of it at an 8 min mile pace. Not bad for my first attempt, given the fact that I had no real training leading up to it. However, it did surprise me how hard it felt. Gotta start banging out those bricks!

I've also been swimming a lot more... but it sucks cause the pool I have access to is only 18 meters long and is really awkward to train in. But, any swimming is better than no swimming I guess!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to ask the world to keep Japan in their thoughts and prayers. As you may know, I grew up in Japan, and all of my family, and many many friends currently live in Japan. I am so incredibly fortuntate that everyone I know is safe and sound, though all of them have been impacted. My brother got stranded after work and had to walk for hours to get home. They experienced continuous after shocks, which I am sure must wear on their already tired nerves. They are also experiencing black outs, and worse of all, are expecting another big earthquake to hit Tokyo soon. My family is staying strong; they have gathered emergency supplies, and have bags packed to evacuate at any moment.

I have been watching the news with fear and a heavy heart. Even though we all grow up knowing that an earthquake can hit at any moment, it is so incredibly heart wrenching to see it actually happen and see the people and places you love so much in turmoil and grief. I broke down crying yesterday just seeing all the pain in Japan. My heart goes out to everyone in Japan facing this catastrophe with so much bravery. I almost feel guitly about being all the way out here in California. I feel so...helpless, and that I should be back in Japan helping my friends and family. It is such a wierd feeling knowing all my loved ones are suffering, yet here I am in California with the perfect weather, running water, electricity, and free time to train for my races. It feels....wrong.

The news on TV doesn't seem to be getting any better; with the nuclear plants, crumbling economy, and the rising death toll. It's really really really scary.

Please send your thoughts and prayers to the people in Japan. Please pray for miraculous stories of survival, and also for a speedy recovery. Please pray for courage and strength to get through this tragedy.

Thank you.

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