Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Roller Coaster Ride

I've gone through such a range of thoughts and feelings since my last post. For the first few days I was really scared and convinced I had made a terrible mistake. One thing that was really scaring me was the bike course. Before ever registering for this I had heard about this huge hill on Lucas Valley Road and after registering I learned the bike route went up that hill. I went on the Craigslist Bicycling Forum and asked about it. Everyone said it's not that bad, though they are all hard core cyclers. I did make a decision though. I was planning on driving the route to take a look at it. I decided that this was not a good idea because I think it would just scare me and from the time I saw it until the time I rode it, the image of the hill in my mind would be associated with fear. I may have fear now, but no image of the hill in my mind to attach to it.

And I noticed a discrepancy on the website. The map they posted showed an out and back ride but the written description described a loop. I emailed them and heard back, "Hi Michelle, We originally had hoped to do the looped course thru Dominican. We changed it to out Lucas Valley Road and back. A GREAT ROUTE !!" Alright, so on Wednesday I routed the ride on to see what the elevation was like. Here's the route with elevation: [click for larger image]

Whoa, that elevation maxes out at around 300 feet. Not scary at all! Well, at least it doesn't sound nearly as scary as before and I think I can do that. Now I really want to get out and ride it. Maybe the route doesn't quite get to the scary hill before we turn around. Whew, I think that means one less thing to worry about.

My other thing is the swim. I'm considering doing the Tiburon Triathlon, a sprint distance tri on July 27th. In their information they write about the open water swim.
"A word of caution about cold water swimming: If you intend to swim without a wetsuit, you will have an unpleasant shock if you have not prepared suitably. That would be equally true for other non-wetsuit events such as the Olympic Club’s Trans-Tahoe Relay race or the open division in the RCPTiburonMile race from Angel Island to Tiburon. To swim comfortably in cold water, you need to train in cold water. Good local open water practice venues are Paradise Park in Tiburon, China Camp in San Rafael, Stinson Beach, Crown Beach in Alameda, and Aquatic Park in San Francisco."
This suggests to me that people swim without wetsuits at China Camp, where the Marin Tri will take place. I don't know if I could or would do that but it gives me more to think about. TriMoreFitness holds coached swim classes on occasional Sundays at the pool where I took the class with Jean. My plan is to go to one of their classes and just start asking questions. My hope is to get some good info and get set on the right path.

So we were supposed to go camping this 4th of July weekend at Big Sur. But the whole place is on fire and the park is closed. We were going to meet some friends (who live in Ventura) there. Instead we drove to Ventura to visit them. We left Wednesday evening (we'd both taken Thursday off) and got to Ventura about 1am. On Thursday they both worked so Miguel went to play golf and I bought a day pass to a local 24 hour fitness. I did my run per the training plan I'm following and then weight training. The run was hard and I had to take a couple of walk breaks. I'm really starting to think I might have to shift my training to a 1 minute alternating run/walk plan. Anyway, when that was over I went and got a massage. The masseur really dug into my shoulders and back and it felt really good.

Miguel and I brought our bikes down and on Friday morning we plotted out a ride. My training plan said to do an 80 minute ride. We headed out on our road bikes but Jeremiah wanted to come, though he doesn't have a road bike, so he rode his beach cruiser. We were a sight to behold. This is Miguel and I ready to head out.

And here's the route we took.
About 30 miles in all. There were only a few hills at the start of the ride and they weren't that bad. We were on the bikes 2-3 hours and we nearly killed Jeremiah. Here're the boys riding, followed by a pic of Miguel taking a spin on the Beach Cruiser and then us taking a break on the side of the road, by a Pacific Coast Bikeway Route sign. What's that? I googled and found this cool diary of this person who rode it from SF to LA.

I can't believe what a trooper Jeremiah was going with us on his Beach Cruiser. Even though he said it nearly killed him, he made it!

After we got home I checked my Garmin's stats. It claimed I burned 1500 calories. I'm not sure about that. Anyway, I'm sure I burned enough to cover some food! We hung out all afternoon at their apartment, BBQ'd (I ate a chicken breast, some tri-tip, grilled eggplant, salad, grilled corn and angel food cake with strawberries and FF whipped cream for desert - not bad, eh?), drank some really good Margaritas (bad?). Wait, those Margaritas were really good and not bad calorie wise. He made them with Crystal Light Lemonade with bottled Key Lime Juice and bottled Lime Juice and good Tequila and they were great! I'll be making those some day for sure! Here's a few shots from our afternoon.

After a day in the sun Kelly really wanted to see fireworks. We rode down to the pier and watched some, to be honest, crappy fireworks. I guess Ventura is too small a town to have good fireworks. Oh! But before the fireworks we ate funnel cakes. Yummmmy!! A picture of my guilty face eating funnel cake followed by Kelly and Jeremiah watching fireworks.

After the fireworks we went to In&Out Burger. A burger with no cheese and ketchup and mayo instead of their special sauce is 5 Points. I got that and sampled some of Miguel's fries. That and water and I was good. A few more pics from our evening. I didn't bring any warm clothes and had to borrow Kelly's, Hi Kelly! She took that pic of Miguel and I walking and I can't believe that's me! She couldn't either and spent the whole weekend telling me how skinny I am. I have to visit her way more often :)

This morning I got up and wondered if I lost any weight this week. I didn't go to my normal Thursday meeting since I was here. I looked up meetings and there was one about 4 miles from Kelly's. Miguel was off playing golf so I rode my bike to the meeting. And...duh, duh, duuuuuhhhh, I lost 1.2 pounds!! Woot! That puts me at 160.6 with a total lost of 73.2! The woman who weighed me (mooooooo - I feel like a heifer when I weigh in) was kind enough to compliment me on losing so much. Thank you! I stayed for the meeting even though it was all about how to eat healthy for the 4th, and, well, the 4th was over. Still, meetings always motivate me so I was glad I stayed. Plus it won't be my last BBQ of the summer I'm sure so I could use the info.

From there I rode a few miles to a Taqueria and met Miguel and the gang. I had grilled fish tacos and a salad (with dressing on side of course) and water. We put the bike in the car, I'd had enough. And today is supposed to be a day off anyway.

Before I sign off I want to introduce a new blogger - MJ (Megan). She used to blog with me on this site, MuscleTankt. She could use a few blogging buddies so stop by and say "hi" if you have time, she can use some support. She's lost a lot of weight and is working hard to get the rest off. She's taken up running and is doing great!

Thanks for all the encouragement, seriously. I really was scared when I wrote that last post. I read all the encouraging comments over and over. I'm feeling better now, though pangs of fear still hit me sometimes. Ok, I'm off to update my weight log.


  1. Garmin is a BIG FAT LIAR when it comes to calories burned. Motionbased told me I burned 2700 calories on my ride today. More like 1200.

  2. Thanks for the "ad", Michelle. I really appreciate it- it made my day! =)

  3. Oh yeah.. umm.. I hit enter too soon. lol.

    I had meant to also say- you look great in those pictures!!

    Also- that one of your friends and the fireworks is truly awesome! (coming from a photographer :) )

  4. GO YOU!!

    and how cute are you (superficial and unimportant, I know :)) and Im also jealous of where you live.


    it's far too too hot where I reside.


    1. you were jealous of where I live...and now you're here too!

  5. Everyone looks like they are having a good time, even if it's Ventura and not Big Sur (it's not like Ventura doesn't have it's own greatness). I am going to try that low-cal margarita mix!

  6. Looks like you had a great time this weekend.

    Glad you mapped that race route because 300 yds isn't that scary. You can do it.

    And be careful about consuming the calories Garmin awards you. I've found it to be a bit generous.

  7. OH my goodness Michelle,
    You look fantastic in those fotos!!!! I love the one of you and Kelly and the one of you and Miguel (sideways). Hon, I am so frickin' proud of you--you've worked so hard, been so courageous, honest, and STRONG! You truly inspire me to get out there, try new things, and not be afraid of a challenge. You GO GIRL!

  8. looks like a fantastic time! I think you look great, and congrats on losing! Im hoping I can still get a loss out of this weekend, but definitely not counting on that.

  9. what an awesome weekend and weight loss week for you.

    your pictures really are awesome, and you look fantastic.

    don't be scared about the tri - it's supposed to be fun, right? remember, your physical reactions are the same for fear and excitement. Be *excited*!

    Have a really great week this week,

  10. Good tequila makes any drink great!

    Looks like a busy but fun weekend!

    Great pictures. :)

  11. You look great! What a fun weekend!

    You may have those pangs of fear right up to race day -- I know that is what happens to me.

    They generally disappear after the start though. :-)

  12. That was an awsome post! Uually I don't stick around for long ones but I just kept reading. Your day sounded amazing. REally pretty simple but just a FUN day! You look so great, though I only know the old you thru pics, the before and after are great!!
    (you'll do great on the tri. YOu'll question many times before then why you signed up, but after you rock it you will LOVE IT!)

  13. It sounds like the most delightful get-a-way!

    Congrats on the weight loss! AND the compliment from your friend. That alone probably made your weekend!!!!

  14. Can I just say OMG your BUTT LOOKS SO SMALL!? I am very jealous. And, you look great from the front too, but the butt thing makes me jealous.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  15. what a weekend! I am sooo jealous I am missing my summertime BBQ's and just sunny warm weather. I am really cold today! Whilst we don't get snow in the region I live in, it's still cold. :-)
    Thanks for dropping by my blog, I figured now I had some US readers I should put measurements in pounds - just to be fair!

  16. OMG. You're going to be awesome at it. And I'll be cheering you on from the comfort of my couch (ok...eliptical at the Y, I promise) ;)

  17. Keeping busy and having fun! Great job!

  18. Woman, you are so slim. Lookit yer face! Wowwee! You look fabulous and you are a great athlete! Keep up the great work!

  19. Hey Michele:

    Your "oh my gosh, what have I done?" thoughts are normal.

    Do not worry; do not listen to them.

    DO buy a wetsuit. Really.

    Spend the money or, at least rent one.

    I went to the website for your Oly event and the site indicates that the water temp might be in the high 50s. THAT IS COLD.

    You'll want as much protection from the cold as possible. Trust me on this. I don't like the water when it is in the mid 60s....


    I had the best 7 point turkey brat over the 4th. (3 pts for the bun; 4 for the brat).

    Sure makes summer worth while!

    Talk to you soon.

  20. Look at those pics, you ARE so thin...I wish I had a butt like that. Your weekend sounded great!

  21. Oooooh, this post makes me so homesick! I grew up in Ventura and from your map it looks like you rode right through my old neighborhood. And the pic on the Promenade... I was there, visiting family and running my first half marathon last September, I think there's pic of me in about the same spot. I spent many a great weekend on that promenade as a kid.

    I'm so enjoying reading your old posts. I'm feeling the itch to sign up for a tri after reading your excitement about them... but I really don't like lakes. Too bad I can't to one out in CA where I could swim in the ocean. Wait, my family's still out there, maybe I could... hmmmm...

    Anyway, your old posts are as inspiring as the new ones. It's weird how you keep talking about "jogging" and even at one point crossed out the word "running" and replaced with "jogging." And no mention of the kiddos!!

    1. I'm enjoying it too. Each time you comment on an old post I go back and read it. On the kiddos issue, this weekend in Ventura was when I found out I was pregnant with my son Marek. Of course I couldn't include that here at the time :)


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