Last February I decided to take on the challenge of competing in the Wildflower Triathlon, one of the nations most difficult Triathlons,which took place in May of 2006. The distance I would cover included a 1.5K (1 mile) Open Water Swim, followed by an intense 40K (25 Mile) bike ride and finishing off with a 10K (6 Mile) Run. I finished this race in 5 hours, since then I have continued to document my journey.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Week 12: There are freaks in them thar hills!!!


I probably had THE HARDEST workout I have ever had in my life on Thursday. We started off with a long bike ride up Foothill Expressway into the cupertino hills then we did something called hill repeats which entails riding up and down these really steep hills as many times as possible within an allotted time frame. After our ride back we were told to transition to the track as quickly as possible and run 2 miles. This was followed by some stretching. All I kept telling myself is "This is Thursday?!?!" Realistically I think that what made it hard is the fact that we did this after a long day at work. I really think that if it were on Saturday it wouldn't have been so hard.

On the bike ride up I kept waiting for it to get really hard like it used to but it never did. Don't get me wrong It was not easy but it didn't kill me either. What did kill me were the hill repeats. It frustrates me that I could never get up this one steep hill. It seems like everyone else can. I am normally at the head of the pack when I leave mountain view high school. I typically stay near the front until we start getting to the mountains then everyone passes me. Today I came in to work early so that I could get some hill work outside. My goal is not to have to get off my bike at Wildflower. I'm not quite sure how realistic that goal is but that's what I'm going to aim for. The good news is that I am quick enough on the flats and downhill that I typically finish my rides in the middle of the pack which should also be the case during the triathlon.

The running felt really good. I just got these new orthotic insoles and they seem to be making me a lot more efficient in my running. When I got off my bike to start running it felt like I had suction cups at the bottom of my shoes. This sensation is due to the fact that I was using one set of leg muscle groups for biking and then another for running. After about 3 laps my legs were back to normal and running became easier. The second mile felt good and I was able to finish strongly but exhausted.

Friday was my birthday so my family surprised me with a great dinner and drinks at Taragon in Mountain View. The food was amazing and so was the wine. Too amazing. On Saturday I was in no mood to wake up early for practice but it looked like it was going to be a fun one so I went.

Saturday's practice took place at Bayland Park in Menlo Park and we participated in a game called Ride N Tie. We were asked to pair up with a buddy, wear costumes (we were hippies) and bring a mountain bike. We ended up using my mountain bike and boy was it heavy!!! When I got the bike I thought it was the lightest bike ever and loved it now I still love it but not because I think its light. There was a 2 mile course in which we had to complete 3 times as quickly as possible. There was also an optional hill that we could climb (as a pair) that would take 3 minutes off of our times. One person would ride a mountain bike while the other person ran. At some point the biker would drop their bike and helment then begin to run. The first runner then had to pick up the mountain bike and ride it past their partner for them to pick up and commence running. There were also objects that we could pick up along the way which would take time off our finish. These objects range from water noodles and footballs to crutches and boogey boards. The object was to take 3 laps around the course in the shortest amount of time. We looked pretty silly running around a random park all in costume. Here is a picture of me drinking my hippie juice in my costume:

People kept trying to ask me why we are running around the park in costumes carrying around these odd items. I didn't want to lose any time so I told them it was a race and kept on running. One couple came as the big bad wolf and little red riding hood. They looked awesome:

There are many possible strategies but we decided that I would ride first and pick up as many objects as possible. I had my watch attached to the bike and we decided that each one of us would ride for 5 minutes. I rode first and picked up a water noodle. When I dropped my bike I had to began to run with the noodle. My partner passed me then I picked up the bike and rode with the noodle:

After 5 minutes I dropped the bike and ran and ran and ran. It turns out that my partner (no names here because he reads these updates) missed the bike. I did the entire 2 mile loop then picked up my bike and rode it to another destination. Then I ran again. After finishing the course I had to go back to find my partner this wasted valuable time which I should have spent sitting still to wait for him so that we could cross the finish together. Instead he passed me on the bike and I had to run in order to catch up to him. In the end we didn't win any prizes but I still had a great time. The next day I was pretty sore so I definately got a great workout with this game.

I hit my goal but you could never raise too much money for this great cause. If you have already donated...I thank you very much. If not...WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!

Here is a link to my fundraising site:

Update on Ethan:

Tuesday April 18, 2006
In the Hospital
Hi All,

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. We did.

Ethan spiked a fever last night and we are still in Santa Barbara visiting my (Greg) family. We brought Ethan to the emergency at Cottage Hospital last night and he was admitted for fever and neutraphenia ( low ANC). Andrea will be staying with Ethan at the hospital while I will be with Colin and Erin and Grandma's house. We are all doing well and are fortunate to have my family here to support us.

Please pray that Ethan's counts will recover soon so that we can return home.

Thank you,
Greg (for the Marleys) Saturday April 15, 2006
Santa Barbara Bound!
Hi, Everyone!

It looks like we'll all be going to Santa Barbara for Easter! Ethan's spirits have really picked up, and he's awake longer now, but still is more tired than usual, and still not interested in drinking or in eating anything other than Cinnamon Life cereal! We have been able to make sure he gets fluids by feeding them to him through a syringe (like his medicines), and that will just have to do until he starts drinking on his own again!

Thank you so much for your messages and your prayers!
Have a Blessed Easter!

Andrea (for the Marleys)


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