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2011 Nautica Malibu Triathlon

This morning’s Facebook post:

There is no can or cannot.  There is only TRI.  It’s go-time. 

Of course, I posted that as I was getting up at 3:30 AM.  Yes.  3:30 AM.  Crazy!

This was the 2nd year that I participated in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  I was bound & determined to beat my time from last year.  And last year, I was only 2 minutes (2 minutes!) away from making it onto the podium in 5th place.  So I pushed myself to beat last year’s time by at least 2 minutes, and I’d have a spot on that podium.

Sadly, I did not make the podium this year.  On the bright side, I cut 8 minutes (8 minutes!) from my race time last year.  The person in 5th place was still 5 minutes (5 minutes! – are you sensing a theme?!?) ahead of me.  This whole time I thought I was racing against the woman in 5th place, when really I was racing against myself.

2011 – Nautica Malibu Triathlon Results:

  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  0:16:08
  • Swim Rank:  295
  • Transition 1:  0:04:03
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  1:03:43
  • Cycle Rank:  783
  • Cycle MPH:  16.9
  • Transition 2:  0:01:49
  • 4 mile Run Time:  0:42:21
  • Run Rank:  978
  • Run MPH:  10:35
  • Total Time:  2:08:09
  • Overall Rank:  748
  • Rank in Division:  6
As compared to last year, 2010 Nautica Malibu Triathlon Results:
  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  0:18:29
  • Swim Rank:  388
  • Transition 1:  0:04:53
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  1:06:31
  • Cycle Rank:  947
  • Cycle MPH:  16.9
  • Transition 2:  0:3:10
  • 4 mile Run Time:  0:43.42
  • Run Rank:  1130
  • Run MPH:  10:55
  • Total Time:  2:16:47
  • Overall Rank:  933
  • Rank in Division:  6

So, the difference – 2011 to 2010:
  • 0.5 mile Swim Time (Pacific ocean):  Decreased time by 0:02:21
  • Swim Rank: Increase in overall rank by 93
  • Transition 1: Decreased time by 0:00:50
  • 18 mile Cycle Time:  Decreased time by 0:02:48
  • Cycle Rank:  Increase in overall rank by 164
  • Cycle MPH:  Increase in MPH by 0.7
  • Transition 2:  Decrease in time by 0:01:21
  • 4 mile Run Time:  Decrease in time by 0:01:21
  • Run Rank:  Increase in overall rank by 152
  • Run MPH:  Increase in MPH by 00:20
  • Total Time:  Decrease in time by 0:08:38
  • Overall Rank:  Increase in rank by 185
  • Rank in Division:  6
Looking at it, I decreased my time in each and every event!  Woot!  My biggest issue this year and last was the run; my best was the swim, both years.  This year’s bike felt really good, although my right hip started with pressure around mile 13, and then it started radiating towards my lower back.  I highly recommend the Yankz shoe laces!  I credit that with my decrease in my Transition 2 time!
Comparing myself to celebrities, I did not beat any of the celebrity relays.  I did beat Ali Vincent, Winner of The Biggest Loser, Season 5!  Only by a minute and 12 seconds, but still!  She is so amazing, I’m so psyched that I was able to power it up to beat her!  The only guy celebrity that I beat was David Denman (i.e., Roy from The Office or Tony from Drop Dead Diva) – who I saw last year.  This year, I refrained from yelling “Woohoo!” at him as I was running out and he was on his way back in…
I have a number of pics (just call me psycho paparazzi) of the various actors from The Office:  Including Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), Ellie Kemper (Erin Hannon), Andy Buckley (David Wallace), Ed Helms (Andy Bernard), and Paul Lieberstein (Toby Flenderson).

David Denman & Rainn Wilson

Ed Helms

The triathlon was run really, really well!  I was very impressed with the whole thing.  The t-shirts are great, and I love the baseball cap.  For raising more than $750, I also received a donation prize of a Nautica jacket.  It’s really nice, and completely unexpected.  To me, it’s unnecessary, and I’d really rather that the money for the jacket go towards Children’s Hospital of LA.  But, I know that some people raise money in order to get the fundraising prizes, so I know that it’s really a good thing that Nautica is doing for the group.

Finishing the swim. I was in the LAST wave of racers, in the light pink cap. I passed all those yellow caps!

Sheena Easton was the singer for the National Anthem.  She really did do a good job with it.  Sometimes, people do a poor job with their “rendition” of the National Anthem.  I find that type of thing annoying — I’d much rather someone took the song seriously and sang it with feeling – and didn’t sing it to put their own stamp of approval on it.  Anyway, she did a great job.  Wondering if she’s trying for a “come back”?
I’m psyched about how well I did.  I’m so happy that my hubby and my parents were here to watch, and were willing to get up at 3:30 AM to watch!  We had a great time down in Malibu today!
The rest of the day was a bit of a lost cause.  I’d burnt 1500+ calories (per my HRM), so I wasn’t too worried about what I ate for the rest of the day.  But, instead of going out, I decided that I’d rather go home and get comfy there.  After showering, I made some leftovers, then took a nice nap!  After getting up, my parents showed me all the things they brought me from home (old-timey wooden skis that we’ll use as decor in the living room, an embroidered chair that my great grandmother sewed from 1880, and a bunch of other items).  We had pizza (more Trader Joe’s pizza crust!) and wine.
Such a good day!  Time for bed!

Weekend Hangover

No, sadly, not that kind of hangover.  Not that there’s really a “good” hangover.  But, in general, I’m just out of it today.  And I’m pretty sure it’s because this weekend (well, Sunday & Monday) weren’t all they were cracked up to be.  

Honestly:  I didn’t have much fun.  

Not sure HOW I didn’t have fun while wine tasting, but I didn’t.

Friends, I’m going to vent for a while.  If you only want to read me when I’m chipper & witty, time to pack up this browser now…  

But I miss my friends.  I went wine tasting 3.5 hours away from my home for 2 days with 9 people (plus my hubby) that I would not consider friends. And it was not good.

Friends are people that I will always have some juicy tidbit of information to share with.  Friends are people who I want to share my sips of wine and my cheese plate with.  Friends are people who are not going to order a beer at a brewery if it’s 101* outside and I’m not allowed to come in.

And my friends have all moved away.

So, now I’m stuck with the “B Team”.  Yeah, I get it.  I’m their “B Team” too.  They probably have other people they’d rather hang out with than a sullen non-drinking foodie, who is more interested in whether her dogs can come into the tasting room than if the wine’s any good.  Seriously.  I’m not easy to get along with.  That’s probably why I miss my girls (and boys) so much.   (PS:  I was DD – otherwise I probably would have drank until I had fun!)

I wanted to have fun.  I really did.  When people arrived 15 minutes early on Sunday morning, before I even got a chance to open my newspaper, I wasn’t even irritated.

But, the irritation started early, and continued.  One of the guys is 6’8″, and he didn’t fit as well into my car as he would have hoped.  I drive a fairly large SUV – and I can’t help it that he’s a giant.  Seriously, stop complaining. And when my dogs were just trying to be friendly because they assume that everyone loves them, but the same guy then asks how I can make my dogs stop breathing in his ear.  (Ummm, really? You want them to stop breathing? Get out.  Now.)  And then we’re on a dirt road, and “Why did we have to pick a place so far away?”  I don’t know, but shut up about it.  You’re sitting in the back seat, sleeping, or listening to a lecture on MP3, but you’re sure as heck not driving.  And then we end up at a really crummy sandwich shop; and they forgot the veggies on my vegetarian sandwich.  Although, to be fair, they forgot the cheese on another girl’s vegetarian sandwich, so we should have combined forces.  Except hers had yellow hot-dog mustard.  Ewww.  I can go on, but I won’t.

What I’m trying to say is that Every.Little.Thing bothered me.  And I’m not sure what to do about it, because I’m not usually “that girl” who’s upset all the time.  And I’m never going to make any new friends with this puss on my face.

It’s a Grape Day!

We’re up early this morning – headed up wine tasting!  In honor of all the grapes I’m not tasting today (since I’m DD), I added some super crunchy ones to my strawberry 0% Chobani & Homemade (disaster) granola breakfast.

Always buy organic grapes! Farmers use the most pesticides on them!

Pair that with the Sunday paper, and a bit of iced coffee (OK, cold coffee – who wants to water it down with ice?!?).

Fact: My 2nd favorite weekly ritual is reading the Sunday paper! (Favorite is taking the dogs to the dog park on Friday mornings before work!)

As a final send-off, found this little cutie in the laundry basket.  She’d nuzzled herself between a set of clean (but unfolded) sheets on the bottom and our softest blanket (the NAP blanket from Brookstone – you MUST get one).  I’ve titled this pic:  Softy McSoftysoft.

Say "Hi" to Tinkerbelle!

French Army Knife, Please!

Spent the day with a friend in Santa Monica, after missing my massage appointment.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I’m so upset!  My appointment was for 1 PM, but I was convinced that it was at 2 PM…  So I’m getting ready to leave the house at 1:40, grab my phone and check it, somewhat absent mindedly…  And lo and behold, there’s a message from my Chiropractor’s office, “Hi Lara, Just wondering if you could call us back to reschedule your appointment.”   Aaargh!  That’s the 2nd appointment for something that I’ve missed this week!  Talk about disorganized!

Left my hubby and 10 of his dearest co-workers to DESTROY my kitchen with pizza and beer, while they drafted their Fantasy Football teams.

PS: I was NOT a happy camper when I came home this evening to find my kitchen & living room & patio a mess, hubby up in bed, dogs unfed (and no water!), and spare pizza on the stove (with pizza boxes on the upholstery of the stools at the kitchen counter.  Not a happy camper, indeed.

But, I did have a fantastic time in Santa Monica today!  I picked Tash up & we headed off to the 3rd Street Promenade, where we promenaded to our hearts content, until I realized after leaving The Gap that I hadn’t eaten anything all day.  Despite having 2 iced coffees and running 3 miles.  Totally unlike me!  TOTALLY.  I do not forget to eat!

Amazing what happens when you’re 33 – there IS a first time for everything.

We decided to head over to the mall, Santa Monica Place, and try out a wine bar that she suggested, the Sonoma Wine Garden.

Loved the wooden & cork menus!

I just could not believe that we were in a mall – it was beautiful!

Isn't the chandelier beautiful? I want one!

And I loved the wall art!

Anyone know where I can find one of these? Fleur de lis & all?

We sat on the patio, with a bit of a view of the ocean.  Lovely day, lovely company, lovely wine & lovely food.  Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc to share.

They also had wines that you could serve yourself with 1, 3, or 5 oz pours.  Stick a little card in, based on what you’ve pre-paid for, and get your tasters.  Will have to try that next time.  The only problem is that those were all the way over by the bar, and if you’re sitting, enjoying your company, etc., it might be kind of a pain.  Would be a fun place to spend happy hour though.

We shared the truffle fries, a beet & goat cheese salad, and a “Garden pizza”, which was mushrooms, garlic & arugula, with ricotta cheese.  All of it was fantastic, and the service was very good.  I never waited more than 3 minutes for my water-glass to be refilled (I drink a lot of water when out, and it’s a huge pet peeve if it’s not refilled when I need my next big gulp!)

Mixed beet, Goat Cheese & Avocado salad to share.

The last piece of pizza. The crust was so crispy!

After lunch/dinner (it was about 5 by the time we finished), we headed over to Nordstrom’s.  HUGE shoe sale!  But, they didn’t have anything that I was dying for on the sale rack, so I held back.  But, I did get some new gold Havaianas Slim flip-flops.  Hey, I live in California.  Flip flops are worn year-round!  And, I’ve been lusting after them for a while, but could never find my size (I’m a 10/11 in shoes — closer to the 11, so I never like buying shoes online because I can’t guarantee they’ll fit, and I’m not good at returning stuff when I order it).


Now that the kitchen is clean, it’s off to bed with me.  Wine tasting tomorrow!  (Won’t be blogging until Monday evening, likely…  So much for the PostADay challenge.  Although I did vacuum today, and I also found my retainer!  Winning!

Oh, What a Weekend!

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WARNING:  LONG post!  I haven’t blogged all weekend, and we did LOTS!  Unfortunately, no pics of any of these yummy things!  Sorry!

I pondered naming this blog post “Oh, My Aching Chamois”, but thought better of it.  But, that was too good not to share!  Cycled twice this weekend, 12-ish miles on Saturday, then 29+ miles on Monday.  Monday’s ride didn’t feel so great, until my undercarriage just went numb.  Then I was a-OK.  (Wait. What?  That’s TMI for you?  Ooops, so sorry.)  Both rides were along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu — so beautiful!  Could have done without the head wind on the ride out, but loved it pushing me along the ocean side on the way back!

After cycling on Saturday, we headed to brunch at Coogie’s Beach Cafe in Malibu.  I had their vegetarian version of Eggs Benedict — instead of the muffin & ham, I had portobello mushrooms and sauteed spinach.  Ordered the Hollandaise sauce on the side, but it didn’t need it.  The poached eggs were a bit over done for my taste — which was OK, since I could scoop out some of the yolk & leave them, and they never did bring the toast I ordered once I realized that the stacks didn’t come on the top of English muffins.  2 of those stacks were served with house potatoes (never done perfectly, but I always end up eating all of them, after I slather them with hot sauce), and four (yes, four!) cups of coffee.  

Indian dinner on Saturday night with the hubby and a friend (his wife was down in LA with another friend).  Ate WAY too much — but the flavors were good.  Most of the Indian food I’ve had lately have been lacking in flavor, so I was happy to see that the new place we tried, Saffron, did a better job at that.  We found ourselves comparing it to Bollywood #3, and Bollywood is still the winner.  But with a $40 Groupon, Saffron was hard to beat!

Sunday morning we were up & out the door to go wine tasting.  We stopped at Foley Wines first, where the pups were lavished with all sorts of love from people who were surprised to see that we could bring our dogs there!   Then picked up some sandwiches from Panino — my favorite is #23 (goat cheese, roasted bell peppers, and sundried tomatoes with arugula on focaccia bread) — and met up with Allie & Mike.  Allie is my personal trainer, and it was her birthday weekend!  They’d just been to Sarloos & Sons to do a wine & cupcake tasting, and we decided to meet up so that Matt & I could take them tasting at a few of our favorite (read:  free because we’re wine club members).  

We stopped first at Lincourt, then headed over to Roblar.  We then dropped Allie & Mike off, as they were done with the wine, and Matt and I (and the pups) headed in for some more tastes in Solvang.  We had heard of some pet-friendly places, so stopped in at Carivintas Winery’s tasting room.  Super cute, and they had 2 different types of tastings to do.  We bought a bottle of one of their sweet wines (2010 Sauvingnon Blanc Sweet), and they didn’t even charge us for the tastings!  

Stopped in at the Wandering Dog Wine Bar, where I was able to have a glass of wine from a vineyard that we visited in South Africa (Fairview Wines)!  Matt got a beer, and all was right with the world (he’s more a beer drinker than a wine-o, but enjoys both wholeheartedly!)  Eventually though, we realized that one of us needed to drive home (as there were no pet-friendly vacancies in the area).  So, I got the last 1/2 of Matt’s beer, and he switched to water.  

Headed to dinner at Cecco Osteria Enoteca, where we had the most amazing fried artichoke appetizer.  Our other appetizer and the pizza we shared were also fantastic, but the artichokes were out of this world!  And, to imagine, they were a last minute add-in (me, literally yelling the order, to the waitress as she was walking away from us!) 

On Monday morning, even through my wine mouth and a bit of a hangover, I headed out cycling with my friend Lindsay.  Picked her up at 8:40 (a bit later than planned), and we headed off to Malibu again.  Rode a good 30 miles, then back home to clean up the house and start prepping for our BBQ!  A small group of friends came over, and Matt and I had prepped some flank steak marinaded in Trader Joe’s Soy Teriyaki sauce, some chicken breasts in this fantastic apricot marinade Matt made, and some zucchini, yellow squash, and green bell peppers in olive oil, black pepper & sea salt.  Also had a bunch of berries out, watermelon, broccoli with taziki sauce, as well as a few types of chips & dip.  Lindsay & Mike brought a great salad (arugula, feta, heirloom cherry tomatoes, dressed in olive oil), and Holly brought a buttermilk bundt cake.  A pitcher of margaritas and a few empty beer bottles later, we had had a fabulous cookout!

Mike & Lindsay stayed, so that we could watch “The Power of One”.  If you haven’t read the book by Bryce Courtney, do it NOW.  NOW, I say!  Best.Book.Ever.  The movie took a lot of “liberties”, and not for the better.  I was SO looking forward to re-living the whole of the book.  Oh well — that’s how it always happens, right?!?

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