Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

Every now and then you meet someone who makes an impression on your life. Someone who, through their integrity, hard work, selfless achievements, and personal sacrifices, is, simply put, a hero. I was fortunate enough to meet such a person recently, although I didn’t fully realize the scope and quality of her heroism until the other night.

I met Molly Thorpe for the first time several weeks ago when Alan and I volunteered at the Run for Ike 5k. When I met Molly, I was mostly impressed that she had managed to put the event together in three weeks, involving the community, the police, and the city government as sponsors, supporters, and volunteers. It was impressive, but not heroic. I also knew that she coached young students to run in many events, including training for, participating in, and hopefully finishing the Los Angeles Marathon. Again, impressive, worthwhile, but not necessarily heroic.

All that was before I attended the annual award banquet for the Palm Springs Marathon Runners and finally recognized just what a hero Molly is.

First, a little history of the Palm Springs Marathon Runners. The program has just finished it’s fifth year. Molly was inspired to start the Marathon Runners after reading an article in Runner’s World Magazine about ‘Students Run LA,’ a similar program, which focused on taking ‘at risk’ students and training with them to run the Los Angeles Marathon. Molly embraced the idea, partly because she was a runner and a teacher and loved the idea of changing students lives through running.

Over the years, 75 students have participated in the Palm Springs Marathon Runners program. Of those, 30 completed enough smaller events to qualify to run the marathon, and 27 of those completed the 26.2 mile race. Along the way, the children learn about commitment, dedication, friendship, goal setting, hard work, and accomplishment, just to name a few of the benefits. To date, each participant is either still in school, or has graduated from high school. Some have gone on to college. And these were troubled kids, some of whom had been expelled from school, who, had they not found this program could have ended up being written off by the standard school system.

While I was preparing to write this post, I sent Molly an email asking about the history of the Palm Springs Marathon Runners. She quickly replied and asked me to spread the word about the program. To do so, I added a new page to this blog and copied Molly’s entire email, which gives a lot more information about the program. To read it, click here.

When we arrived at the banquet, we mingled for a while, then following the seating charts were seated at table #2, along with some friends of ours. Greg Klein, co-owner of KleinClark Sports, who produces many of the running events in the Coachella Valley, and helped the PS Marathon Runners’ program by offering discounted race entries. Cherie Gruenfeld, who has completed numerous ironman distance triathlons and has written a book on how to train for the event. Cherie introduced Molly and her kids to multisport, and they added a triathlon to their training program. Jim Franklin, who at 81  still competes in many running events and enjoys sharing his experiences (and the road) with the young people in the marathon program.

Our friends, Jim Franklin, Greg Klein, and Cherie Gruenfeld were seated at our table.

After we had all taken our seats, Molly introduced herself, talked a little about the program, then introduced the people sitting at table #1, who included her husband, Jay, some family and close friends. Then her teacher side came out, and she had her runners introduce the rest of the guests.

We were shown a video of the runners participating in this year’s events, then Molly, again channeling her inner teacher, called upon her students to stand before the crowd to tell about their experiences.

This was when I realized that I was in the presence of a hero. As child after child stood before us, they all, some haltingly, some confidently, spoke about their experience becoming marathon runners. They talked about the challenges they faced, the accomplishment they felt, the confidence they gained, all through participating in the Marathon Runners program.  Most of all, though, what came through during their speeches was the love and respect for the woman who, in reality, had saved them. It was Molly’s guidance, dedication, hard work, and love that enabled them to learn that they could succeed.

Ironman Cherie Gruenfeld gave all the kids a signed copy of her book, "Become an Ironman."

The rest of the evening went quickly. We were fed (I was able to make a nice vegan tostada salad!), many awards were handed out (Molly really knows how to put together an awards banquet!),  The last part of the evening was dedicated to the Run for Ike. Ike was the Palm Springs K-9 who was killed in the line of duty last month. The proceeds from the race will be used to purchase and train a new K-9 officer for the police force.  Amazingly, $15,130.25 was raised! Palm Springs police officers Lt. Fallon and K-9 Sgt. Cabrera were there to receive the check. Sgt. Cabrera brought tears to my eyes as he choked up himself describing the loss that the entire force felt with the death of Ike.

I love being called "Ikes Angels!"

What really touched me about the whole experience was this: This dedicated woman put together this program from scratch. She worked with the community to raise money to fund the Marathon Runners. She has dedicated her life to these children. She is, of course, out there running right along side them, both in training and in the marathon. She stands behind these kids, fights for them, and when all is said, she loves them. Molly Thorpe, not only are you a hero to your kids, you are my new hero too.


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Yes, I know that we are over a month into it. And here in the desert it will soon (some will say already) feel a lot more like summer than spring.

But spring means starting over, refreshing, new, and that is how I feel right now. Winter in the desert means great weather (especially relative to the rest of the country), but it also means “the season.” “The Season” means Snowbirds. For those of us in service businesses, like personal training in my case, Snowbirds means “too busy to do much else besides work.”

So, the dawn of spring means the end of 10-12 hour days, relief from the horrendous traffic, the ability to walk in to places like restaurants, hair dressers, Starbucks, etc. without an appointment or reservation and not be turned away. Spring means, in a word, recovery. And, oh God, are we desert dwelling service providers ready for it. Quick, now, before we snap each others heads off!

Not yet, but soon

For me, personally, it means more time to play. Meaning running and riding my bike. Hurray! (gosh now what will I use for an excuse?)

May is still a wind-down month. Many Snowbirds are starting to leave, but many remain. A lot depends on the weather “back home.” Several of my clients will stay until June, so I can’t totally relax yet. But, I can feel it coming. The gym is quieter, the traffic is lighter. And we have the freedom to make plans. So, in addition to probably getting an extra day each of running and riding during the week, here is what is going on in May:

May 1st is my sister’s 45th birthday. This has nothing to do with spring or our plans (because she is in Texas), but I like to keep reminding her that she is catching up with me (hope you’re reading this, Lis!). edit: Whew, I got the card in the mail! Always a challenge for me.

The following Saturday, May 7, usually a riding day, is the Run for Ike. Ike was a police dog who was killed in the line of duty a couple weeks ago, saving his partner’s life as he gave his own.

Alan and I are volunteering, he as the announcer, me as, well, whatever they want me to do. Probably at registration and the finish line, since I’m good at that stuff. I’m not sure how many people will be there. This was put together pretty quickly, plus it’s probably going to be hot (another reason I was happy to volunteer instead of run)!

Friday the 13th is Alan’s birthday. That weekend we plan to take our six year old grandsons to Disneyland. Although I’m sure that Alan and I must have been there since we’ve been together (15 years!), the last time I remember is when my youngest son was six years old. He turns 30 in a couple weeks, so it’s been a while. A very long time for someone who basically grew up at Disneyland. We lived about 15 minutes away and it was cheap back then (about $10)! I like to say I spent my teenage years on Tom Sawyer’s Island.

On May 22, my lovely girlfriend who lives in the valley (that would be the San Fernando Valley for you non-LA types :-)), invited me to WorldFest 2011. She is the one who stayed and rode with me on our disastrous Tour de Palm Springs century. I can hardly express how excited I am about this. Just a bit of the description from their website (click through for more…but come back):

“The WorldFest 2011 Earth Day Festival will be held on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011, from 10:30am to 7:00pm, at the beautiful outdoor setting of Woodley Park in Lake Balboa, CA. We will welcome our attendees to a magnificent day filled with entertainment, education and enlightenment. The combination of great music, empowering speakers, environmental, humanitarian and animal welfare non-profits, kid’s activities and a delicious food court make for an earth-friendly experience that is sure to be inspiring and enjoyable for all.”

Seriously, I can hardly wait. I get to go to this very cool event, plus, best of all, I get to visit with a friend I don’t see too often. If we actually have time to ride together I may just faint from the excitement!

The last weekend of the month is Memorial Weekend. I have to work on Saturday, but I’ll have Monday off, so it should be a nice weekend. We haven’t made any plans yet, so maybe we’ll just chill out here in the desert (can a sentence be an oxymoron? If so, that is definitely one, because I’m sure it will be over 100 degrees by then). Even so, as much as we love traveling, we’re always happier at home with our dogs (and my vegan cooking!).

Spring is here!

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>Alan and I headed out on our ride at about 7:00. We always begin our ride along the same route: from our house, west to the hills that encircle our neighborhood (why they call it the La Quinta Cove), down the hill that runs along the wash (about a mile and a half), then a U-turn, head up the hill, around the cove, then down the hill on the east side of the cove. By the bottom of that hill, we are about 6.5 miles, and at that point we have options to ride in several directions.

Alan, being the stronger rider, tends to ride ahead for a while, then either wait or ride back to check on me. We both carry phones of course, for special circumstances, but he stays pretty close. Usually. On this day, I was just starting down the hill on the east side, when I hear the sound of something metallic as I ran over it (I never did see what it was). Although I didn’t hear the pop, I knew right away that I had a flat tire, so I pulled over and stopped. I could just see Alan ahead of me, rounding a slight corner as he headed down the hill. I called out his name, but he didn’t hear me.

I surveyed the damage and prepared to change my tube. I opened up my seat bag, and, surprise, only one spare tube (I always try to have two). I pulled out the old tube and checked the tire. I found a couple of small cuts, but nothing that went all the way through. As I used the CO2 to fill my tire, POP!, there went my only tube. I do carry a patch kit (which I’ve never used), but due to the nature of our ride I was only about a half mile from home so I thought that it would be easier for me to walk home. During this time, I had tried calling my husband a couple times, but he hadn’t answered or called back. I kept expecting to see him riding back up the hill looking for me, but, there was no sign of him.

Ah, the kindness of strangers. As I started to walk toward home, several people stopped to check on me. One woman told me that she lived right on the corner and if I needed, I could go to her house. The security car for the Tradition Country Club stopped (I was walking along the outside of the Tradition grounds). Finally, a cyclist pulled up and offered me a tube. When I told him that I didn’t want to take his last tube, he said it was okay because he had a patch kit. I guess he was much better at patching than I. I promised to “pay it forward” and took the tube.

Uh oh, that’s not good (and yes, I have a Tinkerbell house key)

As I changed my tire again, I realized that I was in serious trouble. I had not noticed the first time, but I had a cut on the side that went all the through. When I finally fixed my tire, it bulged dangerously and I knew that my ride was over for the day. I did ride home (slowly and carefully), racked my bike, and as I changed out of my bike clothes I told myself, “No way! You’re not canning it for the day.” Instead, I changed into running clothes and headed out for a five mile run. Pretty proud of myself for that one, as it was already 8:30 and getting warm. I left a note on the door and hit the road.

As I was running, I finally saw my husband. He had left his phone at home, so had not received my calls. After riding a ways, he had finally realized that I was not behind him. When he retraced the route, I must have already been in the house. In any case, our paths didn’t cross until I was out running.

As for Sunday, the original plan was to run with the cross country team at practice in the morning. Instead, after a trip to the bike store for a new tire and some tubes, I decided to get in that long missed bike ride. I spent my Saturday evening putting on a new tire. Sunday morning, I packed up my bike and gear into Alan’s car. We meet at the local college for weekend practice, so I waited first until Alan and the kids headed out for their run, then for the sun to come up, then, finally, I got to ride my bike.

It was an uneventful ride. The weather was cool (as I mentioned, I wore arm warmers and kept them on through most of the ride). I ended up riding about 30 miles, not the distance I’d planned for, but enough to get me started on my new, goal oriented training program.

So, I’m on my way. We still have cross country for a few more weeks, but with the weather cooling off a bit, I’ll be able to add an extra ride during the week. The main change, though, is the attitude. I am actually excited to start training, to have goals, and especially happy for the cool weather.

See you at the finish line!

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>Lots to talk about…

First of all, I say this every year, but it still amazes me how suddenly great I feel when the weather finally cools down. It happens every year, but after several months of training day after day in hot desert weather, you start to feel slow, sluggish, unmotivated, lazy. This morning when I rode my bike (wearing arm warmers!), it was cool for the entire two hour ride and I felt strong and wonderful. It has been abnormally hot in October (over 100 degrees just the day before yesterday), but finally, finally, it looks like it is going to finally cool down. Did I say finally?

Now that my attitude has done a 180, I can address some of the complaining I’ve done in recent posts.

Goals? I was whining a couple weeks ago about not having goals and therefore not feeling motivated to train. Almost immediately, two women spoke up and offered ideas, motivation, and shared goals. One is a very good friend, who suggested that I pick a century ride to train for and said that she would train and ride with me. We don’t live close, but hopefully we will also have an opportunity to ride a couple of training rides before the event. We’re thinking about the Borrego Springs Century, which is on January 1, 2011 (talk about ringing in the new year!). Depending on my friend’s holiday travel plans, we may ride the Stagecoach Century, which is on January 15 (checkout the link, there’s actually a picture of me on their homepage).

The other woman who offered motivation was Kate, whom I’ve never met before. She lives in San Diego and is the author of the blog “Run with Kate: Tales of a SoCal Veg Runner” (check it out!). She also read my whiny post and my speculation about the Carlsbad Half Marathon. Through blog comments, we discussed signing up and running the race, maybe working up a veggie blogger angle to get a few other runners involved. Unfortunately, since then, Kate has had to deal with some injury issues, which forced her to drop out of another race. Now Carlsbad is sold out, so it doesn’t look like that particular event is going to happen.

But, just the fact that these two women reached out to me was inspiration enough to pull me out of my dreary self pity. I’ve decided that in addition to the January Century, I’m going to sign up again for the Tour de Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Half Marathon and go after that Brick Award again. Yes, I know that I do this every year, but this time I’m going to train for them. No, really, I am.

So in the spirit of training, bolstered by the fact that we did not have a cross country meet this weekend, I made a simple plan: a moderate 45 mile bike ride on Saturday, followed by a medium run, five to six miles, with the cross country team on Sunday. I’ve lost a lot of my endurance over the last couple months, so I want to build back up without injuring myself.

So, goals, plans, and cool weather all combined to give me a positive attitude and the motivation to get back to training. My weekend training coming up in part two of this post.

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>…a plan? A goal? Some motivation? Something to excite, inspire, and get me off my ass.

Having pretty much failed at achieving my athletic goals for the year, (oh, and this link, too) I find myself sinking further into a training rut. The summer heat, now extending into late September (111 today!), plus cross country season, which sounds really athletic, but really means I’m doing a whole lot of coaching, traveling, and driving, and very little running, cycling, and, well, sleeping.

What’s worse is that I feel like I don’t care. That’s not really true, or I wouldn’t be writing this at all, but I’m finding myself feeling pretty blase about training these day. No running due to cross country meet? No problem.  Ride cut to 30 miles because we dared to sleep in to 5:00 am and it got too hot? Oh, well. I didn’t get to ride my bike for 11 days because (pick one) cross country, work, heat, family? Big deal.

I need to change this relaxed attitude immediately! So, in an effort to motivate myself, I will:

Pick a century ride in December or January and sign up. The Borrego Springs Century is on January 1st (that should be an interesting group), and Stagecoach Century is on January 15 (there is still a picture of me on their homepage, so I should probably ride Stagecoach). I need to get my mileage back up  (which will happen as soon as the weather starts to cool down). I did ride a century in July, so I’m not a total slug, but lately I’ve barely ridden 30 miles at a time.

I also want to pick a half marathon, probably Carlsbad, because it’s one of my favorites, and sign up. Just a couple years ago, I would proudly say that I was always ready to run a half marathon (not the same as racing one, but I could definitely go the distance). Well, that was then, and two years and one hysterectomy later, I find that I struggle to run 6-8 miles. Okay, I won’t lie, recently it’s been more like 4-5 miles.

Note:  I found, when I was linking the Carlsbad Half Marathon website, that they expect to sell out by the first week in October, so I’ll have to make my decision very soon. Like, tomorrow.

February, of course, brings the Tour de Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Half Marathon, one weekend of pure, athletic hell fun. I completed the Brick last year, and I plan do it again  It would be real nice to actually be in shape.

So, it’s back on the road for me. I’m assuming, of course that the weather will finally cool down. I do have another month of cross country (more if we qualify for CIF), but if I’m motivated, I can find the time.

I also need to take more time to stretch and recover. Yes, I’m a coach and personal trainer, but that doesn’t mean I always follow my own advice. I am declaring, right here and now, that I will stretch after each and every workout (and in between if possible). I will also make use of that foam roller that I know helps me (but hurts like hell).

See, just writing this down has me excitied about the coming months and, finally, excited about training. I’m ready to go! Well, maybe not tomorrow, because it’s supposed to be 112, but definitely the next day.

How have you done on your goals for the year? Are they in sight or have you, like me, had to revise them?

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>You may have noticed that I haven’t posted much about riding lately. Actually, I haven’t posted much at all, but put that down to the time of the year and being extremely busy at work, plus the extra clients that I see after regular work hours.  In other words, I’m pretty pooped much of the time. Add in cooking and (a little) cleaning, not to mention running and riding, and the bottom line is, there is not a lot of writing going on.

Anyway, I have not posted a cycling story since the Tour de Palm Springs back in February. The reason is that I haven’t been riding very much, due to some knee pain that I have been experiencing. Now, I have had knee issues for years, but this is the first time that it has impeded my cycling. Riding my bike has always been my escaped from the knee pain I sometimes have when I run.  So, as you can imagine, I have felt very discouraged, even betrayed, by this problem.

It started during the Tour de Palm Springs. With about 30 miles to go, I noticed some pain in my left knee (top of the kneecap-new spot for me). Wisely or not, I completed the ride.  The pain stayed about the same for the rest of the ride and it would go away altogether at the rest stops. Of course it would come back as soon as we started riding again.

The next day, I had no pain at all during the Palm Springs Half Marathon.  Yeah, my legs were toast, but they didn’t hurt! I had been a smart athlete (to a point, anyway), and had stretched and iced after the ride. I thought that all was well.  That is, until I went for an afternoon ride the following Tuesday.  Oh no! Knee pain within just a few minutes of starting my ride.  Again, I was smart.  I resisted the temptation to just ride a little bit, and instead, turned around and went home. I was able to run the next day, no pain.

This was very weird. Not only was the pain in a new location, it was hurting only when I rode my bike.  As soon as I stopped riding, the pain stopped. Hmmmm….

In a nutshell, I have spent several weeks taking some time off riding. I cut back on the running too, with the thought that even though it didn’t hurt, it would be a good idea to just generally give my knees a break. In the last couple weeks I have gradually started adding some miles and I’m happy to say that today I rode 60 miles with no pain (well, my neck hurts, but that a different story–getting old just sucks!)

So, since I seem to be healthy again, I am excited to state that I have a GOAL!  I did mention, back in January, that I would like to ride a double century this year. Well, it’s now or never, I am jumping in with both feet and declaring “Let’s go for it!”  I’ve decided to ride the Grand Tour, which is on June 26. Now, if this seems somewhat soon (12 weeks from today), here are my reasons for choosing this ride:

1. There are two route choices for this ride, Lowland or Highland. Lowland has about 5,000 feet of climbing, which is very little for a 200 mile ride. Perfect for me, with my knees and fear of climbing. Even the Highland has only 8,000, so either ride will be relatively flat.
2. The ride is on June 26, which is just a few days past the longest day of the year.  Meaning more daylight, less time spent riding in the dark.
3.  The ride starts and ends in Malibu with much of the ride along the coast toward Oxnard, Ventura, and Carpinteria. Beautiful scenery.
4.  Alan will be announcing the Ventura Triathlon on Sunday. Not only will they be paying for one of our nights at the hotel, with him working, I can be sleeping in. Yeah!  Something I rarely get to do.
5.  I will have the absolutely best riding partner. No, not my husband this time. This time my partner will be a girlfriend, ME, that I rarely get to ride with. But, when we do, we have a great time, seem to ride about the same pace, and really enjoy each other’s company.  Plus, she was crazy enough to say yes when I asked her to join me! She is experienced riding double centuries (she earned the Triple Crown in 2007, when she finished five double centuries, even though she only needed three!), and I know she will help (comfort, urge, motivate, kick my ass) me to finish this ride.

I love this picture. Yeah, I know, we look awful 
(we had just ridden 100 miles after all), my head looks huge,
but still, it reminds me of the great fun we had on our ride.

So, there it is, in writing, for all to see.  I am committed.  I noticed that they have opened registration for the ride. I think I will wait one more week, try a 75-80 mile ride next Saturday. If all goes well, if the knee stays strong, I will sign up. Then I’m on my way. For the first time in a while, I’m going to take the time to create a training plan. That always helps me get out on my bike, after work, when I’m tired and it is hot.  I tell myself “It’s in the plan, you’ve got to do it,” and that helps me get my butt out on the road. I know that, in addition to increasingly long rides, I also need some time in the saddle, just to get my body used to more time on the bike.

Also in the plan, getting together with ME a couple times, for long rides, either at her place or mine.  I know she will be my motivator and I love riding with her (plus, it will all be photographically documented–she’s the queen of the camera as well as the road). I also have an organized ride scheduled, the San Diego Century, in mid-May.

I am very excited. I have a goal, I have a plan. The only thing left is the execution, something I have always been able to follow through on. Grand Tour, here I come!

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>Well, the tree is gone, the lights are down, the decorations put away for another year. After a quiet New Year’s Eve (dinner at home, bed early, up early to get started on 2010!), a six mile run and the above clean up, I’m sitting here mulling over my plans, goals, ideas, for the upcoming year. No resolutions, just thoughts about what I would like to accomplish in 20-10.

First, a really quick review of 2009. Professionally I had a fulfilling year. The fitness center I manage exceeded our financial and usage goals, and I was named the WTS International Manager of the Month in October. We are a Spa, Fitness, and Lifestyle consulting and management company with over 100 properties that we operate nationally and internationally, so I was quite honored (and surprised) by the recognition. Ironically, due to the recession, wages are frozen at my club this year, so in spite of my most successful year as a manager there, no raise is forthcoming.

Personally, we lost one family member and gained two new ones. Our beloved Bloodhound, Morena, died in February at the age of 12 following a brief battle with cancer. It was, and is, heartbreaking to both Alan and myself. We had no intentions of adding to our family again, for a while at least, wanting to take the time to grieve before taking in any more dogs. Plus, we still had four, so it isn’t like we were lonely. But, in August, we rescued both Olivia and Lily. So, then there were 10 (six dogs, two cats, two humans).

Alan and I continue to live, love, and train together. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in October. Yes, the personal life is good.

Finally, my training. Running and cycling that is. After having major surgery in August of 2008, I felt that 2009 would be a recovery year, and it was. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have goals. I planned to complete a Century a Month, but unfortunately, weather and other circumstances put a kibosh to that in August. I was disappointed at the time, but, well, I got over it. I did manage to ride 3,956 miles in 2009, and I am pleased with that. As for running, even though I completed a couple half marathons early in the year, it wasn’t until October or so that I really started to feel good again about my running. I’m still pretty slow, but every mile isn’t a struggle, as it had felt at times during the year. I am very happy about that, as running in my first love (sports-wise anyway).

So, onward and upward, goals for 2010:

As I wrote, the personal life is good, so no need for any changes. Maybe work to keep my house a little cleaner. I do want to always remember that this is the important part of my life, my husband, my dogs, my home. I do not want to add any more animals to our menagerie. As a vegetarian, I plan to continue the process of removing all animal products from my diet (and clothing, furniture, etc).

Work-wise, I obviously have goals for my job, which I won’t bore you with here. I just completed a Flexibility Specialist certification and renewed my personal training certification, but I would like to continue to add to my professional knowledge in some way. Last year I took a short Yoga (teacher) course and enjoyed it, so that may be a road I head down in 2010.

Now to the area I most enjoy setting goals for, my training. While, as I said above, running is my love, it is cycling that I seem to plan for the most. Maybe because it is newer to me, maybe because it is easier on my bones and joints, whatever the reason, my riding goals are the most important in my training plan. They are very easy to think about and write about, but the time and energy is always a challenge to keep up with. And, of course, the desert summer makes any outdoor activity beyond challenging. So enough of my (pre hoc) excuses, here is the plan:

I’ve thought and talked about it for a long time, but 2010 will be the year that I ride my first double century. I would like to do the Grand Tour in June. It has several distance options, but best of all, it doesn’t have an enormous amount of climbing. While some cyclists thrive on climbing thousands of feet in the course of their rides, my knees make even a little bit painful. The Grand Tour Highland has about 8,000 feet of climbing, definitely doable over the course of 200 miles.

In 2007 I rode over 6,000 miles and I would like to accomplish that again. Obviously, training for a double century will require that I get in some serious time in the saddle, so the two goals go hand-in-hand. And while I’m not planning a Century a Month this year, I do enjoy long distance riding, so I will definitely get some centuries in this year. I will find rides that I enjoy, either with friends or fun, organized centuries, but not feel obligated to head out on August 31 when the forecast is a low of 90, high of 110, just to get in one damn 100 mile bike ride.

As for running, I might, just might, maybe, think about running a marathon in 2010. I am almost afraid to say it, when I think about the time and dedication factor of marathon training. It has been about three years since I last ran one. (note-just looked it up at Marathon Guide, it was LA Marathon in March 2006, 4:19:24, not one of my better times.) Mind you, I’m a marathon veteran, having run 36 between 1996 and 2006, with a personal best time of 3:17 (St. George Marathon, October 1999). I’m also 52, with exercise induced asthma and a bad knee. So, I will think about it. In the meantime, I will enjoy my running, add some mileage, do a couple half marathons, maybe even add a little speed work to see if I can get a little faster again. If all that goes well, then I will seriously consider training for a marathon.

I would also like to get in some more gym time this year, mostly because I know it will help my running and cycling, not to mention overall strength (and help my abs look good :-). Last year, Alan and I were doing Yoga together two or three times a week, and we both would like to get back to that (although it is a challenge with six dogs climbing on you and kissing you).

So that is the plan for 2010 in a nutshell. I feel pretty good, because I started off the year with a run this morning and will head out for a long ride tomorrow morning. Only 364 more days and a few thousand miles to go!

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