Under Armour

Just sent this off to Under Armour to thank them for my favorite workout capris.

(Side note: The fall referenced in the letter was not a bad one. Just some scrapes and bruises. I returned home and went to the gym.)

Dear Under Armour,

I am so thrilled by your Shatter Capris that I had to write you to explain. I bought my first pair over two years ago as I was training for a half marathon. The compression in these helped me with the IT Band issues I was struggling with.

About 9 months ago, I bought a bike and signed up for AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I bought a second pair of Shatter Capris for training, fully intending to switch to padded shorts for the ride itself. Three days into the ride, I was so grateful that I had brought your capris with me – both pairs! They outperformed my cycling shorts in so many ways – they were more comfortable, wick away more sweat and allow for more breathing. On top of all of this, the tried and true compression factor helped my legs recover quickly.

(I have to add in here that not only do I love the performance of this garment, the quality is excellent as my original pair – which have seen huge mileage both running and cycling – are still in great shape!)

Unfortunately, a few days ago, I had my first big fall while cycling. And yet again, I was so thankful that I was wearing these Shatter Capris. My knees were only slightly scraped under this fabric instead of skinned as my elbows were. Not only that, but the fabric held up. There was not a tear or a single stitch out of place.

Thank you so very much for your products!


AIDS/LifeCycle – Training Week 1

Because of my work schedule, I’m going to log my training weeks from Friday to the following Thursday. It was a pretty good week. No injuries. And I was able to complete all of the workouts, which is the bigger concern I had initially.

Day One – Friday 

Short ride. It was a debate between hill repeats and sprint intervals. A Boyle Heights route was the compromise. I never realized why they call it Boyle “Heights” until I rode there for the first time. 14.04 miles with an average 5:31 minute mile. It was a good ride to warm up for the longer Saturday ride.

Day Two – Saturday

Long ride. This was the Three Rivers ride. It was a really good ride without any major problems. 75.45 miles with an average 4:50 minute mile. (That sub-5 minute mile showed me how hilly the previous day’s ride was.)

Day Three – Sunday

Was supposed to be a recovery ride. I skipped it because I had to work, and I honestly needed the rest. 75 miles for the first time made me really need to give my legs a rest.

Day Four – Monday

Power walk. Or in my words, “I need to use my legs in another way.” This was actually tougher than the long ride. My co-worker emphasizes the power in these walks. 5.10 miles.

Day Five – Tuesday

Actual rest day. Yay! It’s my longest day of work, so I figured it would be the best day to rest.

Day Six – Wednesday

In the gym. Stationary bike for 10 miles of hill intervals. 15 minutes on the elliptical. And about 10 minutes of core work. My not-so-favorite part of working out.

Day Seven – Thursday

Treadmill. Very easy run. 5 miles. I ended with six 90-second boxing intervals on a punching bag.

It wasn’t too bad of a first week. I thought the plan was manageable, and the adjustments (particularly dropping Sunday’s ride) made sense for where I’m at.

If you’d like to support my participation in this ride, $10 will do it!


AIDS/LifeCycle – Long Ride #1

The plan was to bike 65 miles last Saturday. The Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition sponsored a Three River Ride that included the Rio Hondo, the San Gabriel and the Los Angeles rivers. It was a 44-mile loop led by one of the authors of Where to Bike Los Angeles.

Since G and I are training together for this, we decided that we would ride 10 miles to and from downtown Los Angeles to reach the necessary 65 miles.

I have to admit that setting an alarm for 6:30 on a Saturday after a long week of work was not my first choice to start off the weekend. My disdain for the plan was furthered by the fog that appeared once daylight hit downtown. But out the door I went.

The first 11 miles to the park (we were already off in our calculations) was a lot faster than we had planned, which made me feel really good about the start of the day. And at that point, I was warm and ready to go.

We met with a group of about 20 riders – most older than us. My initial comment was, I bet they’re faster than us anyways. And they were definitely faster than me, but they were extremely nice people. They were very caring and the whole group was attentive to each other and looked out for all of the riders. So, it was a lot of fun.

Which is probably why we rode five miles past our first turn off. This added an additional ten miles to my overall ride, which was good and bad. After having trained for a half marathon a couple of years ago, I try my hardest to keep increases in mileage reasonable at 10% per week, and at the moment that I figured out what the increase in miles meant, I had a brief moment of doubt. The truth was, though, I felt great.

We ended with the group around 64 miles, which meant taco time as a break. This is my second long ride, and both times I have had carne asada tacos to refuel. So, that might be a tradition for me. Who knows…

The next five miles were not too bad. I was definitely tired. The food gave me a little energy, but my legs were tiring quickly.

Then, we hit some really good head winds, which are my biggest enemy psychologically. I think they are going to become the equivalent to my “Mile 8 Issues” from running. So, I was less than thrilled to finish the ride.

But I do have to say that when all was said and done, I’m extremely proud of this ride.

The lessons from this ride:

  • Check the map! Even if other people are leading. Still check the map!
  • My hydration plan is not a good one. I can’t keep a solid pace and use a water bottle. I was planning on a CamelBak, and I guess that’s going to have to be sooner rather than later.
  • Eat. Eat. Eat. The day before mostly. I did a good job on this one, I think. 
  • Stop to reapply sunblock. 
  • Get more than six  hours of sleep the night before. Particularly if I’ve gotten six or less hours for consecutive nights. I don’t know how realistic that’s going to be for the next two weeks, but it’s a goal. This didn’t hurt my ride too much, but I was done for the rest of the day.


cycling…and I registered for the AIDS LifeCycle

So, I bought a bike.

About 5 months ago. Of course, I immediately decided that I was going to start blogging about it, but I refrained. I thought it might not “work out.” After all, I bought everything I needed to begin swimming a couple of years ago. Since a post on swimming never materialized, you can imagine what happened to that.

But biking? Biking stuck.

It’s kind of awesome. Once I got over my fear of downtown streets (okay, I’m not over it), I realized how much more amazing travel is on a bike. I learned I could cover much more ground that I could running, and I had much more face time with nature than I ever do in a car.

Fast forward five months, and I completed a 55-mile ride. Not only did I complete it, but I got home and still felt human. (Way different from my first 10-mile run.)

Now, I have registered to ride in AIDS LifeCycle 12. 

565 miles down the coast of California.


Novel Synopsis: Out of Her League

(I guess technically this is a beginning of the draft of the novel synopsis.)

At the age of twenty-seven, Julia Loren is promoted to manager of the Single-A Castroville Cats minor league baseball team. Sitting before the national media who have a keen interest in the antics of the first-year female manager, Julia struggles with her history-making position from day one.

Through the course of the season, Julia constantly fights to step out of the shadow of her father’s failed minor league career, a general manager who loses faith in her, a surly centerfielder who doesn’t want to play for a woman, and a young Mexican player who is threatened with deportation. She is determined to keep all of these challenges under control while relying on ex-boyfriend Dylan and a bottle of Jack Daniels.



[All of this is copyrighted and officially registered. Thanks for appreciating and respecting my work.]