Friday, July 31, 2009


The countdown is now at 3 days. I feel like I need to get so many things done before the ciaos of Ironman training begins. One of my "must do's" was to get out to see my best friend in Az. We use to see each other almost every other month. This makes it depressing and shocking that we've gone over a year without a visit. Unacceptable!
If you've ever made the drive out the 8W to Phoenix you know the drive is boring boring boring!
You get over the mountain range (at which point I wished I was biking because I was driving by some of my favorite east county riding routes!) and then there is NOTHING for hours. Seriously, this is as good as it gets:

Usually I dread the drive. But after picking up a John Grisham novel on CD, and making a few random cd's of mucic (my iPod is on the fritz) I was ready for a therapeutic drive. When taking a road trip I'd always prefer to drive rather than be a passenger. Way more relaxing and time goes by much faster! I made it through 1/2 of the book and enjoyed a few jam sessions! When Kings of Leon, "your sex is on fire" came over the speakers I broke out into a full on sing and dance episode. The truck drivers got a kick out of it as I flew by.
I couldn't resist making at stop in Dateland to check out the "world famous date shakes." Weird, right?!?! Problem is they move VERY slowly in Dateland (aka B-F-E!) and I wasn't patient enough to wait.

But I was ecstatic to see this sign. Dang us SoCal peeps pay way more than others for petroleum! $2.39...Sold!

By the time I got to Az I was like a 5 year old waiting for Santa. I blazed down Diana's street blaring the music and honking repeatedly. I don't think I've been to Az since Diana's wedding...

Now, off to ASU for masters swim practice. (I packed my running shoes, and might sneak in a very short run later. I know I said no running, but I need to rebuild into running slowly. So a short 20-30min run might be a good idea).

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A new morning

Oh, no, don't worry! It was not a new morning filled with ironman training. The countdown is now at 4 days. Once it starts, there is no looking back. So I'm still enjoying this time for what its worth.
This morning brought about a new found love for a new found breakfast recipe. The truth of the matter is I can't get enough of breakfast. It's my favorite meal of the day BY FAR! Oh wait, does dessert count? Nah, I think I still enjoy breakfast more. So much so that I usually eat breakfast three times before I can move on to lunch.
I have to thank Katheryn for sharing her routine breakfast with me while I was in San Fran. This concoction rocks! Take the ingredients pictured above, throw them in a bowl and enjoy: Greek yogurt (more protein than regular. But I add a little vanilla yogurt or honey for sweetness), FROZEN blueberries (this is the key. It freezes the yogurt and makes it so yummy. So I guess it makes "frozen yogurt." hmmmmm maybe that's why I love it), Kashi's Go Lean cereal, and raw almonds.

LOVE IT! Thanks Kathryn for sharing. Yum, Yum.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I never thought I could make it through two weeks without my running shoes and bike. I was honest with myself by allowing myself to attend masters swim practice during this hiatus. Here were the rules I set for my mandatory 2 week triathlon vacation:
1) No running
2) No biking
3) No more than one hour of working out each day
4) No super early morning workouts
5) Each workout must include an alternative perk

I have succeeded well beyond my anticipated expectations!
1) My running shoes haven't even made it to the door. Finally after all this time away from running I can finally walk when I wake up instead of wincing in pain from the swelling that takes place in my tendons as I sleep. I miss my Brooks, but the break was necessary to ensure I don't abandon them again until October 18th.

2) I cheated once. Not too bad considering I was on a "training camp" weekend get away in Mammoth last weekend. The altitude sickness assisted in me only violating this rule once. Too bad the ride included a massive climb with limited oxygen. Still, I'm proud of myself.
3) Does yoga count as a workout. If so, I have two violations to my score card. Otherwise my only violation is the bike ride. But I already counted that violation under #2, so why count that twice.

4) No problem here!

5) It's July in San Diego, so it isn't hard to enjoy our climate by getting out in the elements to "workout."
Another perk...if all I do in a day is attend one swim workout, I can actually swim halfway decent! This week I feel like my stroke has lengthened, I actually kick, and suddenly sets that include base -5 intervals aren't nearly as dreadful.

Taking a break from formal training isn't easy. However, with time I hope these nagging injuries escape my legs and passion and drive will refill them! I love this sport! Passion is what energizes me on the long ironman training days and weeks. I already know my love for training is coming back. Last night I couldn't fall asleep before sending an email to my favorite training buddy's asking if anyone was interested in a ride to palm springs and back in a few weeks. Ahhhhh, those are the days when passion for the sport is a necessity.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Life at 10,000ft

Altitude Sickness defined: Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes. This causes symptoms such as a headache and not feeling like eating. It happens most often when people who are not used to high altitudes go quickly from lower altitudes to 8000ft or higher. Symptoms include: severe headache, weakness, nausea, insomnia.

I've never experienced any of these issues...but I've also never gone from sea level to 9,500ft in 6 hours. I didn't sleep well the first night. The second was a disaster. I experienced every symptom listed above X 3. From 11:30pm-3am I awoke every 30-40mins in a panic. The drill was the same: couldn't breath, ran upstairs, scary inability to remain calm, cold sweats, vomiting, drink more water, back to bed. Repeat. At 1:30am I was googling "altitude sickness, help me." If I had a car here I would have packed it up and driven down 2,000ft. I was sure riding my bike today would be out of the question.

Before getting into today's ride that I couldn't pass up, here are pics from our awesome swim at June lake yesterday:

Oh, and I should add that alcohol is not the best idea at altitude if you're experiencing trouble acclimating. Well last night got away from us, and we topped of a great day with a few cocktails. Good Peeps, Good Times!

Night one: Me, Brandy, and Chris

The Girls:

I am not a dog lover, and def. don't go around picking up random dogs for pics. Too many glasses of wine perhaps?

And, on to today's ride to remember! As of 3a.m. I was sure there was zero chance that I'd be able to join the group for the climb up the Tayoga pass to Yosemite. After popping a few altitude sickness pills I was feeling better. Plus, I couldn't say no to another workout. The ride went down to 7,000 feet. From there we turned onto the famous Tayoga pass and went up to 10,000ft in just 12 miles. It was intense. Perfect recovery ride, right? I found myself once again begging for air! These pics don't do the ride justice!

1,000 feet to go!

They even serve my favorite treat inside the park!

Playing in the river inside Yosemite

I'm not a trailer, but that was difficult...

I think I like being a sea level living girl!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2 Weeks. 2 Whole Weeks?

It is time! Time for a mid-season break. Throughout the Vineman run my legs reminded me that they want time off. As if the recent shin issue wasn't enough, a few old old old injuries reared their ugly heads. have my attention. I am listening.
Another sign that I need a little break from the normal training grind was my mental attitude going into Vineman. I can't remember the last time I woke up for an athletic competition with little interest of participating. I think I'd have to go back to my swimming days. Maybe when I was 8 and really wanted to go to a friends Birthday party but instead had to hammer out 4-6 events at a swim meet. Life has thrown several speed bumps this year, and I think this is 90% of the reason for my disinterest. It is time to smooth out these bumps, and allow my body and mind to recover. It won't take long before I'm craving the swim, bike, run!
In an effort to abandon the typical tri-grind I decided to recruit friendly suggestions for alternative activities. Monday I did get in the pool for a short recovery swim. Tuesday I wanted to try out paddle boarding. What is this craze sweeping our San Diegian waters?
Tom was awesome and agreed to take me out at sunset. Paddling along the Cali coast was amazing! (and he didn't even mind that I was more interested in the view and searching for dolphins than actually getting a workout). I don't think I'll jump on the paddle boarding fan wagon, but it is a great change. The ocean has finally warmed up, making it way more inviting than the previous weeks.

I'm determined to take 2 weeks away from cycling and running. I want to go into Ironman training refreshed, refocused, and motivated. I love training, and I don't want injuries to hold me back over the next few months. What to do? Surf...I plan on taking the board out for the first time in 3 years next week. Paddling...I can't wait to go again. How about roller blading? Is this craze really coming back? That is an injury waiting to happen. However looks like this guy has it down!

So. No biking or running for 2 weeks. I was committed. Then I was invited to join a training group in Mammoth (near Yosemite). Hmmmm, how do I do this if I am not doing two of the three sports. Thing is, I've never been to Mammoth, and never seen Yosemite. I packed my bags (and bike...couldn't leave him behind!) I got up here today and already hit the amazingly beautiful lake for a swim with the gang. The air is quite thin, making it nearly impossible to work hard. I played with the fish while those training for IM Canada hammered out a few pick-ups. Now they are out on their bikes. Today I did something I never do. I said "NO" to a workout! Legs just aren't there yet. I'm determined to give it a rest, but may venture out with the group tomorrow. It is breathtakingly beautiful here. I'll post pics tomorrow for sure!

Keep Smiling!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vineman Race Report

I have to warn you that this race report might be a bit "strange." My mental state leading up to the race is not where it usually is. I just wasn't ampted to race. I have never gone to sleep the night before a race not wanting to race the next morning. I love racing! I can't pin down one single reason for this feeling, but I woke up with little desire to race. I had to pull it together because I was staying with my buddy Kevin. It was his first half IM ever, and I tried hard to sound excited for the day. I don't know if it is because I need a mid-seasn break, because I haven't been able to do any run training for the past month, or for other reasons.
I thought when I got to the race site I'd be more excited. I wasn't. This was so so weird! I took a little while alone and had to pull myself together. I was lucky to be racing, and owed it to myself and those who support me to get my crap together and get ready to hammer. In order to do so I set some different goals/experiments for the race. They were:
1) Swim: Find feet on the swim and stay with them. If I lost the lead girls feet I had to suffer a penalty. This would consist of 20strokes all out, 10hard. I'd have to repeat this until I found the feet again. (PS- I hate feet, and I don't draft well).
2) Bike: Put the Garmin305 watch in the bento box. After on the bike put the watch on, and monitor the HR. I wanted to remain in the mid/upper 150's through mile 36. From there I'd go by perceived effort and try to make the same move that I made at Buffalo Springs.
And #2 for the Bike- enjoy the scenery. If you have never done Vineman before, this is what you're missing out on. Vineyard after vineyard! It's so green and so beautiful in NorCal!

3) Run: I struggle to take in calories in the run. Last year at Kona I didn't take in a single calorie via gel or food. I only took Gatorade and water. It worked fine, but it can't be the smartest approach. I also wondered if my bonk at BS in the last 5k was due to poor run nutrition. In order to prepare for Ironman I decided to test out a new nutrition plan. I mixed 2 scoops of CarboPro in a gel flask. I added half a nuun to give it some flavor.
4) Run: Do not go out too hard. Remember my final 5k at Buffalo Springs. Try to go out reasonably strong, and negative split the run. If I felt any bone pain in the shin I must opt for the DNF.

Ok, I had my crap together and headed to the water. I was warming up and realized I didn't put my race number and belt out in T1. Ugh, this is what happen when I become absent minded and disinterested in the task at hand. Small details slip by. Not good. I ran back, threw it by my bike and made it to the start just in time. One quick "suck it up and race!" pep talk and I was off.
Here is a pic of me with the sign Andrea waved out on the course! I've never had anyone make a sign for me. THANKS for your support Andrea! You rock!!!

Swim: BANG- we were off. Within 5 seconds I think I had 3 body lengths on the rest of the W30-34 field. My thanks to Kate for our fun 50's with deep water starts. After a few minutes two girls grabbed my feet. no no, that wasn't my plan. I slowed and they passed. Or so they thought, I grabbed their feet and never let go. That NEVER happens for me! They rotated back and forth for the lead and I followed. The swim felt way too easy. I wasn't breathing hard, my shoulders didn't feel like they were working, and I wasn't kicking. As we approached turn around I looked for anyone else ahead of us with purple caps. I didn't see anyone. I questioned making a break for it, but I've tried that before and it never paid off. My goal was to draft the entire swim, so I remained where I was. I sang a few songs in my head and just simmered down and enjoyed the pull.
There wasn't a mat at the swim exit, but I was later told I exited at 29mins. Not bad. If I worked hard I could maybe go 45seconds-1minute faster. I think I made the right move by sticking to my swim goal of drafting. One down, two to go.

Bike: Oh the start was not good. If anyone thinks you can put a garmin watch on your wrist while riding, please practice before race day. It was impossible for me. I can't take my hands off the handlebars of my tri bike or I'll veer off the road. I tried to put the watch on 3 times. I slowed to about 6mph and still couldn't get it on. Ok this trial was a large failure!
Then there was my attempt at the bento box. Ugh, I use it in training rides and sometimes it falls off to the right, but not like this. It wouldn't stay upright. My knee hit it with every stroke and it was frustrating beyond belief. Then I noticed my front wheel was rubbing. Ok, things were not going well. Time to make q pit stop and regroup. Yes, I pulled over and stopped. The watch went onto the wrist so I could actually see my HR, I stuffed the bento box belongings into my pocket, and I ripped the bento box off and threw it toward some volunteers, and adjusted the wheel. I think there was 1/2 a banana in there still...hope the bunny's enjoyed it.
I started riding again and felt way better! I literally went from being annoyed and unhappy to free and fast. After making it through the tree fiasco I was right behind Charisa. She is an amazingly solid racer. She's THE BOMB! I wanted to keep my distance and keep her in sight. I felt great. Then two cars flew by me and immediately slowed. To like 10mph. I was stuck behind them for about 3 minutes and again became angry. Man I love racing on closed bike courses! I didn't feel save behind them, couldn't get into aero, and was riding the breaks. Not cool. Eventually I had to get around them. To do so I'd have to go into the left lane and pray no cars were coming towards us on the winding road. Whew, safe pass. I was free again, and again felt great.
Thankfully the rest of the bike was uneventful. I was motivated to hold the average speed at 21mph. I knew without all three stops I could have broken 2:40, but still wanted to get into the 2:30's so bad. I was motivated and kept my eyes on the HR and speed. It was right on, and thought I broke into the 2:30's. Both computers showed a 2:38split. However, I forgot that my bike computer and Garmin stop when I stop. Therefore when I saw my official bike split I sadly realized my bike split was actually 2:41:21. Not as good, but it was still a bike split PR.

I am still learning what it feels like to be a half-way decent cyclist. It has always been my weakness. But I've put a lot of time/effort/focus on my riding. It is paying off, and with it is more confidence. I'm still learning how hard I can push the bike and have no doubt that next year I'll see a few sub 2:40 splits.

T2: Ok, I know most don't make comments on their transitions. But they are SO important. I always pay attention to my transition times compared to others at the race (especially the pro's). Due to the lack of the swim splits we didn't have T1 times. My T2 time was only 7seconds off the fastest pro female T2 time, and they come into transition with less traffic and better rack locations. Transitions are free time, and I captured about 30seconds on my competition.

Run: Hot, Hot, Hot! I didn't notice the heat on the bike at all. But the minute I left T2 I knew it would be a scorcher. My Garmin would provide me with constant splits, as well as a projected 13.1 time. After 1/4 mile I checked in. 6:05 pace and 1:20projected time. No! I instantly slowed. I felt great, but I haven't run for a month (other than BS race). I had no idea how my legs would respond to the impact. I didn't even know if I would be able to finish the run. The first 5k was all about self control and continuously checking in with how my legs felt. I didn't have any pain around the suspected stress fracture location. I counted my blessings and ran on.
I don't know my run splits because my Garmin is still making its way back with my transition bag via TriBike Transport. Therefore, I am not sure if I succeeded at the negative split goal. My suspicion is that I did not. Although my shin didn't hurt I had 2 old injuries rear their ugly head. My right ankle (2yr old injury. GRRR!) was not good. It hadn't hurt like this all year. Pisser. The pads of my feet also felt like they were on fire. This was an issue that caused me to give up long distance running a few years back. Orthodics solved the issue last year. I pray this was only a result of not running for the last month, and my legs not being use to the pounding.
Over the last 5k I tried hard to hold my projected run time under 1:40. Considering I didn't know if I would finish the run, I would be quite happy with that. The temperature kept going up (or so it seemed), as did the burning of my feet. (if anyone else has ever suffered from this and has any suggestions I will take 'em!!!!!). The volunteers were unable to keep up with the flurry of thirsty hot runners coming by the aid stations. If you wanted water you had to grab it from the table. Probably not smart because I was dying for aqua.
My run nutrition experiment went splendidly! I took in the full 200+ calories, and never felt ill or disinterested in taking in the calories. This is a wonderful lesson and one I will now implement in my Kona training and race.
Run time: 1:40:31. At first I was pretty dissatisfied with the run split. I have no doubt I can run low 1:30s, but again that will have to wait for next year. I am so hard on myself after races. After absorbing the entire lead up to the race and race itself I have to be satisfied with the run.

I finished 4th in my age group (again). I knew the top three would be unbeatable for me, and they didn't disappoint. They dominated. They were the top 3 overall, and beat many of the pro women. A huge congrats to Meredith Keeran, Charisa Wernick, and Kathleen Calkins!! These girls are all studs. I am inspired by each of these girls, and hopeful that I too can get faster with age ;) Every half Ironman I've done this year has been a new PR (besides Clearwater- which doesn't count!). Vineman didn't disappoint, and I beat my BS (previous PR) by 6 minutes.

Moving up to the "big girls" age group has been quite an adjustment for me. The 30-34 year old girls are a large step above the 25-29 competition I faced. I believe if you want to be your best you have to race the best. At every half IM I've done this year the girls that won my age group have been the best. It is pushing me to expect more from myself. It's exciting! No better stage to continue the path of improvement than Kona!!!!

All too often triathletes refuse to be happy with results. They improve, but still aren't happy. I am one of these triathletes. So I went back and looked at my Vineman experience from 2 years ago. That was a break through race for me. It was my first half-way decent bike split, and the race when I realized that you can really push the bike and run 13.1 strong after. This year my time was 22mins faster! In 2007 I was 15th in the W25-29age group and 54th female overall. This past weekend I was in a MUCH tougher age group and finished 4th in the age group, and 11th female overall. Think I can improve that much over the next year or two?!?!

A Ginormous THANK YOU to XTerra and TriBike Transport! THANK YOU for your support! I'm very honored to be able to represent these amazing companies (backed by even more amazing people!)

This is my post finish pic. Immediately after crossing the finish I ripped my shoes off. My feet were throbbing and on fire! This is my "I'm happy to not have shoes on" face. Or is it my "it's blazing hot out here" face?!?!?!

A huge thanks again to TriBike Transport. If you ever want an easy/worry free bike transport option this is it! If they service the race it is WELL worth it! Thanks Marc!!!!!

A HUGE congrats to Kevin on finishing his first half IM!

I even fit in a wonderful visit with the newly relocated Shannon and Stephen. We really miss you guys!!!!!

Next up: an attempt at 2 weeks of no biking or running. I strongly believe my "I don't want to race" mindset will change dramatically if I can cure these injuries and give myself a much needed mental break. I've been going hard since January. 2 weeks, Can I do it?!?! So far, so good. I'm off to the ocean to give paddle boarding a try.

Dang, that was a LONG one!!! Thanks for reading!! Cheers!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Race Report to come. But First...

I really struggle with writing a race report when I can't stop thinking about how one athletes race was abruptly stopped. Accidents happen at races way too often. But it is never easy to see! When I got to mile ten of the Vineman bike course we were greeted by flashing emergency vehicle lights. Not good! We were asked to come to a stop because a HUGE tree had fallen into the road. We had to get off our bike and go under and over the big limbs to get by.
Once I was half way under the tree branch I saw a mangled bike that was stuck under the tree. I couldn't allow myself to look at the cyclist (I guess 3 were severely injured), but it was not good. I just hate hearing these stories, and seeing them is even worse. To have a huge tree fall onto the road during a race...what are the chances in that.
Please say your prayers for this man. I worried the crash could have been fatal, but thankfully it was not. I just found a short news article:
It could have been any of us. God, keep all those who suffered injury in your healing hands!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Safe Landing in San Francisco

I have to admit that with all the plane issue lately I was a bit nervous to fly. I always am, but even more so this time. On the way to the airport I got an automated call that my flight would be delayed. My friend, Rachel was keen with hanging out in Little Italy with me for a bit while I passed the time. Little Italy is a small quaint area of San Diego with awesome Italian food, served by real Italians.

Sadly, I wasn't hungry, nor up for Italian wine. Rachel quickly informed me that a new FroYo place opened down the street. The kind where you serve yourself. As in, you get your own samples, pour the yogurt, and apply your toppings. TeHe...samples! I want one of each...we did after all have time to kill. After sampling each flavor (there were like 12) I practically already had a decent serving of FroYo. Rachel stood back, observing and laughing at me. I was like a kid in a candy store, that just couldn't resist. Seriously, I should not be turned loose in this kind of establishment!

We still had time to kill, so from there it was off to our favorite law school coffee shop, It's A Grind. Recent news stories have been swirling about the owner of the shop. The man that served us our daily caffeine (oh wait, I meant HOURLY!) drip he has been linked to several crimes. Bad ones! We wondered if the shop had re-opened, but arrived to this:

No comment. Just closed. It infuriates me that I supported a man who was capable of hanius criminal acts! And all there is to say for himself is "closed."

Ok moving on to happier thoughts. The flight to San Fran eventually took off and landed safely. I have been all over the city this morning, and LOVE IT HERE! This is without a doubt the greatest big city of all! My brother's place is in a kick ass location. One block from Chestnut (where all the restaurants and bars are) and 4 blocks from St. Francis Yauct Club and the water.
This morning I woke up and found my new favorite coffee shop. Thanks to a friend of my brothers who is also in town and staying at his place, I was able to find my new favorite coffee shop this morning. Seriously, if you're ever in San Fran check out Coffee Roastery. They even have healthy bake goods, and oat cakes like the one's sold in Honolulu Starbucks! I was the only person in line who wasn't greeted by name by the owner upon ordering. I can guarantee that if I was a local, I'd be in there daily!

I tried to hang on to the warm coffee feelings as I mentally prepared for a swim in the San Fran Bay. My wetsuit is with my bike, so first I had to scrounge through my brothers gear and find his. The great thing about the fact that he too does triathlon is that I found myself a wetsuit, and body glide! Yes, I was able to fit into my brothers wetsuit. It was a tad big, but not too bad. Maybe I need to get myself on a diet :(
I threw on my bathing suit and a fleece jacket. PS- San Francisco is NOT warm in the mornings! As I walked towards the water I began thinking: it is perfectly normal to walk around with a bathing suit and no pants on in San Diego, but not sure about San Francisco. This was confirmed when I heard a little boy yell to his mother "Mom Mom, look that girl has not pants on." Clearly I've become a custom to the warm beachy lifestyle.

I looked across towards Alcatraz Island, and thought about how I want to do Escape From Alcatraz next year. Heck my brother lives .25mi from the finish. Then I entered the water. My face and head frooze. And I was only in 5ft of water....maybe Alcatraz doesn't sound so appealing after all. I'll just look at it from inside Aquatics Bay.

I stayed within the line of buoy's and practiced a few pick-ups and pacing. Hard to the first buoy, moderate to the second, over and over. After 5 minutes of this I warmed up some and thoughts of Alcatraz re-entered my mind.

After the swim it was time to return to Chestnut to eat again. I met up with a few friends who were about to drive through San Fran on their way to the race. We met for lunch, and I gladly took another tour of the city. Vineman will be Kevin's first half ironman. I can't wait to see him kick butt on Sunday!!

Although my brother call San Francisco his "home," he is rarely here. I've decided that I love the city and need to get back here more often, brother present or not. Thankfully he'll fly in from Hawaii (they safely completed the sailing race to Honolulu) and I'll be able to fit in a little more sibling time later in the weekend....oh and a half ironman too ;)


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bye Bye Baby

Packing for races is never fun for me. In case you didn't read my blog leading up to BS70.3, let me quickly fill you in. I HATE packing my bike into a box! My baby hates it, I hate it...together we don't make a happy couple during this time!
AHHHHH, no worries today though. TriBike Transport to the rescue! I walked into nytro with my bike, a fully packed transition bag, and a wheel bag. I'll be able to fly to San Fran with one carry on, and TriBike will take the rest. Love it!
Thankfully the Nytro guys know me well enough and knew they should give the bike a once over. Sure enough there were issues. Thankfully they never gave me reason to become concerned and took care of them chop chop. After a few minutes in the bike doctors office he was race ready.

I am sincerely thinking that next year I might only travel to races that TriBike services. Another big thanks to Nytro and TriBike Transport for all of your support. Good thing they get plenty of laughs out of me (or should I say "at me") to keep them entertained.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Livin' On Vacation!

I can not believe that in just 6 weeks I will be celebrating my San Diego anniversary. It is crazy to think that in just a few weeks I will have lived in San Diego for SIX years! WOW! I still remember the cross-country trek like it was yesterday. My car was loaded to the gills. A friend was going to make the drive with me, but I had to decline his company because all I was taking was what would fit in my car....and it was already riding low...VERY low! 2.5 days later I was here (that has to be record time for a solo driver making the MI to SD trip!).

Ok I'll get to the whole anniversary celebration when it gets here. But today I was reminded of the moto I quickly developed after arriving in San Diego. When my family and Michigan friends called to ask how I was doing, I'd say: "Great, I live on vacation." (then law school started and my vacation quickly ended). But, seriously, people dream of being able to visit San Diego for a quick vacation. I live here. It's like a constant vacation (haha, not really...but today I wanted to think so, for just an hour).

I was able to swim at the noon workout. We call it: "club med," because the sun is shinning, the chics are wearing their 2 piece bathing suits to minimize tan lines, and well...we're swimming at noon and not in an office (if only the pool was my office! Right?!?!). For this hour, life has to be good, Right? I mean I get to swim at noon with some of the best triathletes in the world ;) When Kate is there as my lane mate she always keeps it interesting. Here we are sporting our favorite goggles/caps...from Australia of course! Vegemite, no thank you! Engine goggles, sold!

And when I asked Mac how long until Lake Placid, this is the face he gave. Competition beware!

The week leading up to a race I try to swim almost everyday. I believe much of swimming is about feel. So instead of 3 full workouts, I do 5 shorter swims. I jumped in for a quick easy swim. Good thing, because I wasn't feeling too peppy!

Later in the day I got to meet my friend Maggie for some much needed girl catch up time. Why not meet in beautiful La Jolla, and enjoy the spectacular view. After all, we live on vacation!

Is that a shopping bag I see? Not possible! I gave that addiction up long ago ;)

Every minute I get to spend with Maggie makes me a better person. Few things in life are better than that kind of friendship!!!