Santa Barbara – San Diego Road Trip

One night while watching TV, Stewart told me that he was going to need to go down to San Diego for work. Typically this meant a few days apart but with my new employment situation (thank you Strava) I could join him! We decided to make a week vacation out of it and make some stops along the way. We brought our road bikes, despite a rather pessimistic weather report and hit the road.


Santa Barbara

We both received our undergraduate degrees from UCSB, but no we did not meet there. Our first stop was campus as we traveled down 101. I missed the sound of the waves.



We stayed the night in downtown Santa Barbara, near the coast, at a little B&B. Although, I don’t think you can really consider it a B&B. Sure it has some ‘wine’ and cheese in the evening and bagels with coffee in the morning but I think calling it a B&B was a bit of a stretch. Regardless it fit our needs for two nights. The rain started moving in that evening so we called it an early day after hitting the store for some quick dinner options.



We woke up pretty early to the sound of a crazy downpour. We started to think that maybe the weather report wasn’t lying….that didn’t stop us though. Always up for an adventure, we ate a quick breakfast and realized that biking was out of the question so we laced up our shoes and headed out the door.



The wind alone was powerful enough to make our ‘0.7 mile run’ difficult. The rain hit us like pebbles so we had a change of heart and decided our day was going to be a bit different than scheduled. We headed down to State Street. The streets were already flooded. As prior UCSB’ers, we knew how to dress for the weather….shorts and flipflops. We waded our way across the streets and made our way into Peets where we enjoyed some warm coffee and played cards for an hour or so. We then walked in and out of some of the shops that were still open before taking a drive through the hills. I decided I had enough driving after seeing a couple of mudslides so we headed back to home base.


2017-02-17 14.06.22


That evening we enjoyed a very nice dinner with one of Stewart’s co-workers and his wife. The company was great and the food was very good as well. We called it a night and headed back to the ‘B&B’. The rain finally started to let up after nearly 24 hours of straight rain. The next day it was dry enough to put on the kits and venture up to campus. I am always amazed how quickly a place can change….


That afternoon we packed our bags and headed down famous Highway 1 to Los Angeles where we stopped at my grandparents for the night. That morning we played tourist via bikes. We made our way to Griffth Park, saw the Hollywood sign and road up on Mulholland Dr. No Celebrity Sightings.



The weather stayed calm, making for dramatic skies and cooler temperatures. I wasn’t a big fan of the ride down through Hollywood on Ventura Boulevard but we survived so I guess it wasn’t too bad…



We both agreed that the only way to see Griffth Park is by bike, for future reference. Next task is to hike to the Hollywood sign 🙂


That night we had dinner with my grandparents and Aunt & Uncle. We said our goodbyes and continued our journey south. San Diego. We got in late but that didn’t stop us from wake up early to tour around. We headed to the coast with Stewart’s grandfather and had a late lunch. That evening we drove around San Diego and ended up on Coronado Island. Immediately we both said we wanted to move there….then we stupidly looked up the house prices, never mind.



We grabbed some ice cream and went up to Point Loma to visit Stewart’s really good friend. The visit was another short one before we found ourselves back on the road to grandpa’s. That morning we visited the US Campy office. secrets secrets. The riding was spectacular. The weather was a much-needed improvement from what we were seeing on the news for our hometown so we took as much of an advantage of it as possible.


That night Stew headed off on his business trip while I held down the fort at Grandpas. I made dinner and worked a bit. We watched some TV but it was off to bed quickly for me. The next morning I enjoyed a peaceful walk around before we headed to dinner with Stewart’s extended family. Stew eventually made his way back as we celebrated our last day of our trip. Visiting family was great and it was hard to leave.



4am came quickly as we packed the car, loaded the bikes, and looked up the nearest Peets. We got on the road and tried to get ahead of the LA morning commute. Yeah, didn’t go exactly according to plan but it could have taken a lot longer to get out of the Valley. It is always hard coming home from an amazing trip and getting to spend so much time together, but it always makes me look forward to the next vacation!

South Bay Duathlon – Race Recap 3/12/2017

I’ve competed in only 2 triathlons up to this point. Repeated wildflower two years in a row. So today marked my first ever duathlon and the description seems like a better match (in other words no drowning) unless you want to count the fog this morning we have to shlep through.

The race started earlier than usual thanks to daylight savings time and losing an hour of sleep so the roads were still dark with the light glow from the stadium lights reflecting off the thick morning fog. I picked up my packet and got situated in the transition area. What a difference it is not having to sort through all your gear when it’s just a run bike repeat!

7:04 came quickly as we lined up. The group wasn’t big but I could tell there was some strong competition that showed up. The nerves set in as we began the 10K, turning out of the parking lot onto the main road. Daylight was just starting to break. I kept a steady pace, which is saying a lot because typically I push it too hard at first but this time I slowed it down. This paid off in the end as I didn’t allow too many people to get away from me and I managed to sneak in a PB (Strava) 10K time. The course consisted of two loops around Live Oak Highschool, the backside had a slight incline before making the turn down a gradual hill before coming across the finish. The last two miles started to take a toll on my ankle, seriously? Another injury? My motivation was that my bike was waiting for me and I would get to spend some quality time doing 5 laps very shortly.

The fog started getting thicker in the transition/finish area, which made our range of sight a bit difficult. This may have actually been a blessing for me because it meant I had no idea who was in front or behind me as I turned into quickly change shoes and get moving. This was one of my slowest transitions. I had a hard time deciding if I should shed a layer. While running I noticed that the sun was peaking through on the other half of the course and that I would be pushing it harder on the bike than the run…2 minutes. Yes, this decision took me a total of 2 minutes before I was back on the course, embarrassing!

The bike is where I feel the most at home. I had minimal hip pain so I pushed it hard, but knowing that I was going to have to give my ankle one more 5K I pulled back on the slight climb on the back side. 40K of smooth sailing. I was in my zone and I did my best to stay as consistent as possible. I did pretty well, each lap was about 15 minutes on the dot averaging roughly 19.3mph. Not bad for a first race post injury.

I was focused and determined but I had no idea how many people in my age group were in front of me. I was pretty certain I was at least in the top 5, but thought this was maybe my imagination. I knew I had a good lead on the women behind me that I had passed on my bike but wasn’t sure if it would be enough once we got back to running. I worked my ankle out on the final descent behind coming to the last transition. I quickly ran, in cleats its more of a hobble, to my station and changed shoes. I grabbed my sunglasses because the beautiful (is it spring yet) sun made its morning appearance. Only 3.1 miles let. Or 3.10686 to be exact. I ran that distance with Christy on Wednesday, I could do this. My pace really slowed down, my ankle was throbbing. I told myself I couldn’t stop, it was the Ragnar all over again. If I stopped I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep going.

My Garmin chirped. 1 mile down. 2 miles down. Only one more ‘mile-a-day’ left. Easy. I tried picking the pace up a little bit and the slight downhill helped with the motivation. I crossed the finish line. Medal. Banana. Done. I grabbed my stuff and found Stew. After a few, I went to go check results so we could head home. I turned around and motioned to Stewart that somehow I placed 3rd. Sweet! Typically I’m a 4th place kind of person and last year I was definitely stuck in that rut. I’ll take it 🙂



Overall my first Duathlon was a success. My legs held up. There was no swimming portion to lead to drowning and the course was really fun, especially because you basically do 8 loops so it’s great for spectators. It showed me that while my biking is quickly getting back to its race shape, my legs in running have really taken a hit. However, I think I have spent enough time in recovery mode that it is time to start hitting the track and gym again. Full speed ahead!