Friday, May 28, 2010


OK, so I'm known to get addicted to whole kind of different things! Not my fault I like so many different things. With summer coming I don't know why I am getting more and more into redecorating the house. Nothing major but small changes to improve our space. Maybe get rid of the plastic boxes in which toys accumulates endlessly. Figure out a way to curb all the pile of junk everywhere, whether it is a bowl, a cup or a clean surface. Maybe those extra sturdy trash bags are the solution to my clutter problem.
We are also in the process of remodeling our upstairs. The carpet was ripped out last Wednesday. The floors in their bare state were liberated. However things are slower than expected and the charm of this new look well faded slightly and has been replaced by a slight irritation over the utter mess created.

Anyways I now have a new source of distraction and once I have been through my triathlon blog I jump on the decorating ones. I am in awe at what is created from so little. I have never dared buying a junky looking arm chair on craigslist and give it a face lift ! Maybe I should.... I just bumped into a post on how to make a white slip cover and let me tell you the chair underneath is really well damn UGLY!

Now that the kids are older I decided to give myself one year to create a nest! So little by little I will create a clutterless place to live Our nest... It is quite a project but I will conquer this bad habit of ours....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hill workout

So today I had a one on one session with my coach. Since my swimming is pretty much covered by masters, I will try to attend her BRICK workout next week where she can check out my riding we settled for a run workout!
We decided to meet at her place in Mission Hills. It took me a while to get there even with a GPS! I discovered a new place in San Diego. I have never ever been in that part of town before. It isn't San Diego at all, it looks like San Francisco or Seattle. Anyways the streets are narrow and the hills are steep.
After a 5/10 min warm up, I did a 10 min high tempo since I didn't have my HR monitor with me I did it by feel. I was probably more at threshold level and my carnitas burrito threaten to make a come back! However my gait had improved a lot and it felt good the first 6 minutes ;) After a short walk followed a short jog we got to the hill! It was short but steep like it is hard to drive up steep 20% grade steep!

So here I go on that hill and it is hard! I am out of breath about the middle of it but I have to finish and even try to speed at the top! Tough tough but oh so empowering!

After a few more of those maybe 5 or 6 total we were done. Well I was done huffing and puffing that hill and she was done waving and encouraging me! Yes it was a tough workout but time goes by fast when working out with her. I always know that I'm going in for a tough workout, the intensity is always overwhelming and then when it is done I am in such happy peaceful place!

On a completely different note, I love the houses over there. They look like most of the houses I love to check out on the decorating blogs I have been reading. Unfortunately Mission Hills is quite far from work and even further from B's work... so Yuppy Hell shall be our home! I have to admit I do like Yuppy Hell, yes the houses are not quaint and lack personality for the most part.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In the mood for change

So since I can't easily redecorate my house I decided to give a face lift to my blog, change the colors a little. I saw a girl who had an awesome font for the title but couldn't figure it out in a timely fashion so we are stuck with good ole Trebuchet!

I was chatting with a friend at work today and realized I would love to take a 2 months break from work to do all the things I have to do around the house. This would include:
Sewing projects - Make some roman shades for the piano room, make the gumdrop pillow, make some pillow case
Wood projects - Make a few bookshelves to replace the one we are about to give away to Goodwill, make a cubbie thingy to stow away the kids toy in a elegant fashion so the piano room isn't a mess, a bench or something for the bathroom downstairs to put some shoes, etc..., and a table for the kids to replace the god awful one from IKEA and maybe a lounger.
Paint projects - Touch the downstairs bathroom paint, touch up the kids bedroom paint, finish repainting the guest bedroom.
Decoration projects - Frame and mat a bunch of family pictures for the stair case...
Outdoor projects - A small retaining wall...
Cleaning projects - Get rid of all the old toys, pile of old papers etc...

Yup that about sums it up and I'm sure I can find some more. The ironic thing is that when we bought the house we thought it was perfect nothing to be done ;) HA! Oh this isn't even counting all the craft projects and all the training. I mean if you are home might as well fit in some 2-4 hours bike ride etc...

So since there is no "home project" leave of absence it will take me a while longer to do 1/10th of that list ;) Oh and there is training too and well all the other things.
Today we had to clean up the upstairs somewhat for the guys to do the floors, to be able to move the furniture around. So we packed the rest of the books, the kids clothes, the kids toy and dismantle the kids shelves....
Anyhow we finished a little earlier than expected, so I made some chocolate chip banana bread for the kids. B got some Indian food and we are watching CASTLE! New favorite show!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Did I say rest!!! Yeah after 3 weeks of hard training, not one session missed besides the core workouts oops.
My legs are shot and I am off today! Tomorrow is easy swim with yucky drills.... Wednesday though won't be a walk in the park since I am doing a hill workout with my coach dangerous!

A coworker of mine is also completely addicted to DIY projects. She has impeccable taste and she is well dangerous. At least she is the source of great deals... Unlike my last stunt at the fabric store... should I've gone on

Anyways my list of home project is growing at an alarming rate. Last website is I saw a set of bookshelves, an awesome lounger and a cuby thingy to store the toys downstairs with a small cushion it would be great next to the piano.
So much to do so little time...

However first I need to finish my knitting projects, my fabric projects gumdrop pillows and such.... Too bad I wish I could stop working for a while... do all my home project train like crazy and spend time with my kids. Do you think I need vacation?

Buyer's remorse

I am the Queen of buyer's remorse. Last week I went on a spending spree.... First I spotted a pair of Michael Kors sandal on the Gilt. I bought them since there was a something of summer in the air and I was feeling like dressing up again.

Winter is back and I feel like wearing jeans and flats again.... Since B likes them a lot I guess I'll keep them.

Then on my last bike ride I realized that my prescription rayban were just not super cool and air was getting in my eyes. After some shopping I spotted a real cool pair of Rudy Project but since I didn't want spend 175$ on a pair of bike sunglasses I settled on those 40$ ones.

I just got them and realize that even 40$ is too much for something I will wear only on my bike. Lets face it wearing those cool bike glasses won't make me faster nor cooler! I think I'll return them.

Finally I went on the JCrew website and bought 3 tee shirts, a pair of chinos and a pair of silk pajama pants... These items will get there soon and we will see how much will make it to my closet!

On another note, we are getting ready for our vacation to France. We haven't gone back there since Christmas 2009 and I can feel it. The great part is that we will have a 4 days getaway sans kids! For that we decided to go in Auvergne and we found two bed and breakfast.

This is one of them 40Euro/night for a bedroom and breakfast. If you want to share the host table it is 18 euro for the dinner.

Nature and good food made from the vegetable garden ;) I foresee a bunch of hike, lounging and trail running. I don't have pictures of the second one but the host takes whoever wants on mountain biking adventures ;) I hope we can borrow bikes and have fun!

Now what is for dinner tonight ...
I think I will make some steaks with ratatouille and polenta! Maybe the ratatouille and polenta will turn into mash potatoes not as healthy but ah well still quite delicious.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Most people binge on ice cream, chocolate cake or something... I binged on brown rice balls, my favorite comfort food on a late Sunday night!
I think I posted the recipe before but hey here it is again:
Cook brown rice (1 1/4 cup)
Once cook add 2 eggs and some cheese (I usually use cheddar)
Form balls in your hand (a bit yucky) then roll the balls in bread crumbs
Saute in olive oil.

Serve it with a salad and enjoy with a glass of wine!

Back to training

Today was the last hard workout of my 3 weeks block of hard training!
We are redoing our upstairs floor and that is starting on Wednesday morning. We are removing the filthy carpet and putting the same engineer wood floor than downstairs. The stairs will be carpet in the middle and woods on the side.
Our guest bedroom has a big bookshelf which covers the whole wall and I'm sad to report isn't enough to store all our books! Anyhow it is an ugly fake wood bookshelf and redoing the floors is the perfect excuse to get rid of it. However that means packing all the books!
Anyways that took most of the morning and we still have about 4 boxes to pack! Then we will have to get rid of it ;)

After that we had lunch and met the neighbors at a big park fest. There we bumped into other friends of ours with their kids. The kids had a blast in the jumping house, racing etc...

Since I had to go for my 2:30 workout and B want to fit a run or a bike ride afterwards we had to leave. It was windy windy and cold... The idea of going up Torrey Pines as hard as possible 5 times was really not appealing. I got on my bike went up 3 times than realized that I was running out of time and so headed home. I was really really hoping that B would be ready to go on his bike ride which would be a great excuse for me to bail on my run. But no he wasn't ready at all so I put on my sneaker and went running. It was painful but I managed to kind of do the intervals for 25min.
Tomorrow is OFF yeah and the week will be easy besides a running session with my coach which will be really painful it will be easy.
Of course my laundry is in a sad sad state and a lot of other things still need to be done but hey my legs are getting stronger ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My other hobby

I have another hobby which doesn't require sweating. I love colors, patterns and texture. OK so when I walk in an art store, a fabric store or a bead store I have butterflies in the pit of my stomach. This is my creative side kicking in. I love putting things together. I am still baffled to this day that I am not in a career involving creativity.
Anyways we inherited an old rocking chair which is in dire need of refreshing!
Anyhow this morning after swimming we ended grabbing bagels for breakfast followed by a trip to the back of Von's in search of boxes. I spotted a fabric store and decided to run in and take a look for a few project.

This is the fabric we chose to redo the rocking chair.

Of course while at the store I totally got stuck on the following fabric

and decided to buy 2 yards to make Amy Butler's gumdrop pillow for the family room

Of course I didn't buy enough fabric! Yeah checking out the pattern before going to store would have been wise. However since I already spent an "insane" (for my wallet) amount of money on fabric I will improvise. I will probably make those shorter or just make cubes instead.
I still have a princess dress to make, this pillow, refinish the rocking chair and make a couple pillow out of the rest of the fabric! So many projects... not counting the sweater I started for MAC, the one I did for MEC but for which I have to redo the collar. The necklaces that I started for both of the teachers!!!! Yeah as B would say please could you finish a project before starting a new one!

Each time I think about creating, flower arrangement, painting or pillows, each time I look at fabric beads and such a fireworks of idea is exploding in my mind. It makes me wonder really if I am in the right industry.

Ooooh but programming is a mode of creativity yeah geeky but hey I'm a geek... in disguise ;)

My other creative hobby is cooking. So for the past week we have been eating really late like 9:45pm-10:30pm late. Well since I can't get up at 5am to do my workouts well I do two of them at 8:45pm! So last night I'm hungry what I had planned for dinner doesn't sound appetizing. I am completely into my book thus it is getting later and the dinner isn't getting cooked. I jumped on williamssonoma websites to try to find a good recipe... until I bumped into a pork recipe with sweet potatoes and jalapeno/peach barbecue sauce. We had a slight variation on the barbecue sauce since I needed a recipe that required items in my pantry ;) I settled for a red wine barbecue sauce recipe from epicurious.
Dinner was more of a supper but it was really good.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So I have started about 10 new posts in the last few days. Mostly they were a bunch of rambling, whining and such about triathlon and the meaning of life.
I am very tempted to just end this blogging trend. I mean honestly I don't know who reads me and who really would miss besides bunny and nevertap. But since I love reading other people blogs I do continue this weird actitivity of mine.
I am blog stalking women triathlete I don't even know. If I ever were introduced to them they would be weirded out I think....
But Hey Reading their blog is quite motivating. I don't drool in front of people magazine reading about the latest of the rich and famous. I drool in front of the local girls blog relating their great races and their wins etc... However their gruesome story about ironman racing hasn't yet given me any desire what so ever to race 15+ hours!
However their exploits really motivates me to train hard, to plow through fatigue and mild soreness.
On the training front I believe my hard work is starting to pay off. I won't be on the podium any time soon booh. However I am getting a little faster every week. I joined the masters swim program at JCC where I swim twice a week. I am finally getting a hang of the correct stroke to use and I am starting to get consistent timing. Also to soothe my ego someone new just join and thus I am no longer the slowest of the whole group. Small petty victory I know but so good for the ego.
Especially because the ego took some bruising over the week end. I am not one to buy all the latest and most expensive gear. I own two sports bra, one bike jersey.... only my running wardrobe is a little more complete.
So anyways about 18months ago when I bought my bike, I found a decent bike for a decent price. That was before I knew of the existence of triathlon bike! Since I discovered their existence I am really curious on how they feel. Do they feel that different from a road bike?

Sunday I decided to stop by one of the tri shop in town. Of course I always step in those store completely intimidated... I should really work on my attitude! So the guy asks me how many triathlon a year do I do? Me to answer sheeplishly 3. I get the look (Maybe he didn't really give it but that's how I felt). I added that eventhough I had only 3 races scheduled I did train seriously about 8H00 a week. On the bike he adds. Then I felt about 1 foot small. I just wanted to turn around and get right back out. I know this is the mecca of triathlon. I already feel like a fraud because I decided to focus on the quality of my race rather than the quantity or the distance. Plus I walked in with two kids in tow. Maybe I should tattoo on my forehead that I spend 9 hours of my day geeking in front a computer writing software to analyse genomic data!
Yes I don't get up at 5am to train but I wait until 8:45pm to do a bike workout when all I want is cuddle on my couch with a glass of wine!

So yes I AM a beginner ATHLETE! I won't be buying a tri bike soon because the legs are doing the work not the bike you are on! If my coach can win 2nd place at XTerra world championship on a 7 year old second hand mountain bike. My fuji is good enough for me ;)
So now I have to motivate to start my workout in about 45min yikes!

OK I completely lost focus on that post

Monday, May 10, 2010


I have been lost in blog land lately. Following my favorite women triathlete blog and the hopping from there to various other women triathletes blog. It is both inspiring and humbling. They are all so damn good. They also have/make the time to train for ironman that is 20+ training week.
I have 8 hours a week to dedicate to training! Thank heaven I am only interested in sprint and olympic distance triathlon!
I would love to have more time to train but it just ain't gonna happen since I want to spend time with my husband and that usually happens between 8:30pm and 11pm. I want to spend time with my kids and their sacred hour is from 6pm until 8:30 and in the morning and during the week end. I want to work and write software to help scientist make sense out of a bunch of genomic data. That happens between 8-5pm with a lunch break for workout the sometimes for about 1h00 in front of the TV, for instance today I learn about DelegateCommands in WPF while watching Stargate.

Since I started working with my coach I am getting better. Just the fact that I am training about 8hours a week is a great accomplishment. I am still looking forward to most of my workouts.
So anyways I wish I were that good but I will have to take the time to get better little by little!
Now off to bed because 42M ride, followed by 2100yds swimming and a full week ahead requires me to rest.
Oh but first I have to deal with the laundry yikes!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's day

Yeah it is mother's day... I am not really into mother's day, valentine's day and others day. All I need is a happy mothers day from my kids and some quality time with the family and I'm happy.
On Valentines day a nice dinner with B is all I need.
This week end on the training front I had a 3H00 ride and 1:30 run with some hill repeat at the end.
We had some errands to run and it was pretty hot on saturday so I decided to go run that day and go bike on sunday morning. Happy mother's day to me ;)
After spending 3H00 at the mall, so that B can try every single tee shirt at JCrew, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Sun Diego, Hollister and Express. He is not picky but seriously there is nothing at all for a guy who like relaxed tee fairly thick. The tee shirt are either too narrow, too form fitting, too long, too thin etc.... His job is also super laid back with some kids that could seriously be his own they are 21! Identity crisis .... Anyways he found 2 tee shirts and a pair of shorts! The kids totally scored at Old Navy and I bought MEC three dresses and none of them are Pink or Purple!
I didn't find anything for myself but I wasn't really in the mood for shopping. We had lunch at CPK at 3:30pm, we got home at 4:30pm I dutifully put on my shorts and running shoes and head out the door for my run. First 45min were good slow but good. The first 4 2min hill repeats were strong too but the last 4 were tough and I started to come undone.
We had a late dinner now that I think of it it was the regular time at 9:30pm. I made some lentil salad with tomatoes, mozarella, prosciutto and arugula. Absolutely delicious.
This morning I woke at 8am and needed to get out the door for my bike ride. Yesterday the weather was gorgeous but today not so much.
I drank coffee and ate some toast and got on the road. Since I wasn't too keen on trying a new route by myself I settled on a big funky figure 8 between Carmel Valley and Rancho Santa Fe. I know the roads there so I feel pretty safe.... I started my longest ride to date! It is nothing exceptional but still 42M 3:15min and a few hills!
It was great ride. We then had lunch at the Beach Grass Cafe followed by grocery shopping, homework and an evening with friends.
Very very good week end.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yum Yum

So when I run I usually crave juice cold fruits like Mango and greens especially when it is hot!
Today wasn't an exception. We had a really late lunch at CPK so of course we weren't hungry before like 9:30pm. Oh wait this is our usual dinner time ;)
Anyways I had to put together something quickly. The other requirement of that meal was healthy. I have been reading blogs after blogs of really good triathlete in great shape so I also want to shed a few pounds.
I bought a while back a pack of cooked lentils from Trader Joes. I didn't really know how it tasted so it can of stayed in the fridge for a while. Tonight I decided to take a shot at making a salad.

cherry tomatoes + mozarella balls + prosciutto + arugula + warmed olive oil with garlic + balsamic vinegar + lentils = The most delicious salad ever!

Great! We love lentils one of the 5 healthiest food great source of protein, iron and fiber...
But then we love steaks, wine, chocolate and ice cream!

Friday, May 7, 2010


Swim... Yeah I am a bit obsessed with triathlon at the moment but then what's new. So I have started swimming about 1 year and half ago. Mostly during the summer but I have been going once to twice a week, at lunch at the JCC. Right at the same time then the masters is held. You would think that I would have joined the darn class way back when. No, that is what someone reasonable would do especially once they realized that it isn't more expensive to do. But then again am I a sensible person. Apparently not ;) So the reason I have stalled for so long is that well I'm too slow... again that's probably why I should have joined way back when.
Anyways after Sunday's triathlon I have decided that I need someone to give me feedback on my stroke each time I go swimming until I improve my technique.

Today I was supposed to go swim at the Cove with a work colleague but well work go in the way. I went to the pool and traded my swim pass for a master class pass. Luckily the pool was empty today and so I swam alone. The coach gave me all kinds of pointers and it was a very very productive session.
Besides that training is back on, I swam/bike/ran/swam 50 minutes each this week and I have a 3H00 ride this week end and 1:30 slow run. I was hoping to find someone to ride with but I guess it will be me and my ipod ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring sprint

So today was my first triathlon of the season and the first year anniversary of my first ever triathlon. I had high hopes since I did pretty well at my last triathlon and that I have been working with a coach for the past 2.5 month.
Anyways I was a basket case all week. Computing recomputing possible finish times and what it would mean in the grand scheme of things.Oh did I mention that I moved from a competitive age group to a more competitive one! I decided that I would try to shave off 10 min from last years time since I trained on my own for 5 weeks for that.
So anyways yesterday I did my last workout before the race and went to bed early. I woke up at 3:45-4-4:30 and finally at 5am. Got ready, grabbed my gear and off I go alone in the dark! Really... got to Fiesta Island (just before Seaworld), get out of my car to realize that I forgot my warm clothes and change of clothes and that it is darn cold this morning. The sky is overcast in the 5:45am light and brrr...
Anyways set up my stuff, get body marked, go to the restroom, say hi to a few people, get inline for the bathroom again, put my wetsuit on, freeze my butt off waiting to get in the cold cold water.
The horn goes off and here I go, too many people swimming just on top of me... don't like that so I slow down (not that I was going really fast) and try to get into my groove, wetsuit isn't too comfortable and the water is dark dark it feels like walking in a dark maze with a bright spot each time you breathe out.. feels long. I think 4 min into the swim I knew I would not have this amazing miracle and so I might as well stop killing myself and just enjoy the race ;)
5 min later I was really reconsidering this whole triathlon thing especially since my next race has a 1km swim (0.6m).... Anyways slowly but surely I make my way back to shores, that nasty part is finally over with. Run to my bike.... T1 is hell as our rack is way way out there, find my bike get out my wetsuit into my bike shoes, put helmet on, sunglasses and off I go.... Start of the bike goes pretty well until I hit the windy side of Fiesta island and I slow down to a turtle pace.... Legs are pumping and I'm like ohhhh run is going to be painful! I managed to take 4 sips of my energy drink.... Bike is over and onto the run never was able to settle into a pace. I don't know if it is because I'm tired or because I'm going fast. The first mile goes on forever, I get a side ache and then nausea settles. It is hard to push the pace when you feel like you are going to puke any minute! Nonetheless I tried to plow my way though the run, tried to keep the pace up. I passed quite a lot of people and got passed by people clearly in better running shape than I was so good sign. At the beginning of the run though I did take a quick peak at my watch to see that I would probably finish in about the same time than last year! Big Big mistake on my part!
Anyways the last straight line, I managed to actually sprint to the finish line.
A good friend of mine totally surprised me by hugging me at the finish line! This is so sweet after a hard race when you finish time was actually worse than the previous year and you put more training into it! I tried to push the bad thoughts away. I drank a little bit of water, didn't eat anything since I was still quite nauseous.
I came home took a long hot shower and had my first bite of food at noon! I know I know not good... to be fair though nausea left me alone about 2hoo after I was done.
So anyways all bummed out I write this dramatic email to my coach etc....
She very nicely puts things in perspective for me. She also tells me that she talked to several friends of her who did the race and 1) the swim was long 2) The wind on fiesta was strong. She also said that don't look at the time but rather how did you place in your age group.
Then two minutes later the results get posted and this year the whole women 35-39 sucked and so I finished 16/63 in the top 25% of my age group! Woot Woot. For once I don't care that if I had race in the 30-34 I would have barely made the top 50%.... that all the strong 35-39 triathletes decided to do some other race or stay in bed because today no matter what I finished in the top 25% of my age group!

Note to self.... consider a new wetsuit and please go practice open water swimming and finally figure out your nutrition so nausea is not your running companion ;)
Now I am very curious to see the splits because I have no idea on how slow/fast I ran these 3 miles....