37 years old
freelance photographer
running coach
Sunny Southern Cali, US of A


by Danny Dreyer

by Joe Friel
& Gordon Byrn

by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel


by Chuck Klosterman

by Haruki Murakami




2/1/09 Surf City Run HALF MARATHON
2/8/09 Chinatown Firecracker Run 5k and 10k
2/14/09 Tour de Palm Springs 55 MILE RIDE
3/14/09 Pasadena Triathlon REVERSE POOL SPRINT
4/4/09 Oceanside 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
5/3/09 Cinco de Mayo Run for the Cure HALF MARATHON
8/1/09 Vineman Full FULL IRONMAN
11/1/09 New York Marathon MARATHON
2/3/08 Surf City Run HALF MARATHON
2/9/08 Tour de Palm Springs CENTURY RIDE
2/10/08 Chinatown Firecracker Run 5k and 10k
3/08/08 Pasadena Triathlon REVERSE POOL SPRINT
4/19/08 Rage in the Sage HALF IRONMAN
5/25/08 IM Brasil FULL IRONMAN
140.6 BABY!!!
7/20/08 Strawberry Fields Triathlon OLYMPIC
2/4/07 Pacific Shoreline HALF MARATHON
3/31/07 Oceanside 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
6/3/07 Danskin All Ladies Tri SPRINT
6/24/07 Breath of Life Tri OLYMPIC
7/12/07 Playa Del Run #2 AQUATHLON
7/22/07 Vineman 70.3 HALF IRONMAN
8/9/07 Playa Del Run #3 AQUATHLON
8/19/07 Hansen Dam Tri SPRINT
10/7/07 People Powered Ride METRIC CENTURY FUN RIDE
11/4/07 New York Marathon MARATHON

Lance NotStrong
Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!!
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called danskin all ladies triathlon '07. Make your own badge here.



Sunday, February 10, 2008


cen•tur•ist |ˈsen ch (ə)rist|
noun ( pl. -rists)
1 one who has completed a 100 mile journey by way of bicycle
not to be confused with "centrist" or "censure"

it's official. i've now completed a century ride. and btw, i totally made that word up.

i drove out to Palm Springs friday with Sinta, my dear friend from way back in the early marathon days who is also a triathlete now and training for IMAZ#1. Iron Maidens, Cindy and Juliet, were driving up later and staying at Cindy's parents' house. Sinta and i were all set to stay the night with our old running coach, Vic Gainer, who was also excited to be signed up for the 10 mile ride (his longest ride EVAH). we had a blast catching up on old marathon training days and convincing Sinta that she's ready to go for Boston. Vic is retired and hasn't run in over 6 years since his hip replacement, so he really lights up when he gets the chance to talk about running and hear what we're up to now. he was my mentor, giving me my first opportunity to coach, and for this i will be eternally grateful. everything i know about how to coach and how to get people to the marathon finish line, i learned from Vic Gainer. we ogled over his medal collection and scoured all his old books and articles. then he found a box that stores all his old Runner's World training calendars!! he showed us his best year, 1986, the year he ran a 3:09 at Berlin, and talked about his typical weekly mileage as well as essential days off. after our slumber party of running talk, i could see that Sinta had the spark in her eye for marathon again, and after IMAZ, i think she'll be more than ready!!!

earlier in the week, i'd gotten a call from my Brasil roomie and fellow tri club member, Oliver. he said he wasn't able to drive out until the morning of the ride, and would i be able to pick up his bracelet at packet pick up. "sure, no problem" i said. then he asked "so do you want to ride together?" um, yeah, don't think you're gonna wanna drag along with me, Oli, but thanks anyway. but he explained that he really wasn't gonna go all out. in fact he was planning to ride his SINGLE SPEED for a "bit of a challenge." WTF??? so this is what shows up to pick up his bracelet on ride morning...

Oli's single speed caper...

these, ladies and gents, are the legs of a Kona competitor. in fact these legs placed 6th in their age group at IMAZ '07 with a time of 10:06 which qualified these legs to go to Kona and finish in 10:15 after suffering TWO FLATS ON SEW UPS. these legs rode this single speed saturday over 100 miles because he just "wanted a challenge." how rad does this bike look with the paint job all stripped?? so these legs started out with little ol' me 'til about mile 5 when we got out of the cluster fuck of kooks tripping over their own faces and eating shit on road cones, and that's when i told Oli not to wait for me anymore. he went on and eventually caught up with MACCA!!! yep, Macca, triathlon's favorite son, was out there as well. sorry, Bold, looks like he's flown the coop from Boulder for some Sunny SoCal training months. he's also been spotted at my massage therapist's office, and don't think i haven't plotted how to schedule an appointment and run into him. i'm not a star fucker or anything... i'm just sayin'. so Oliver rode along with Macca and crew, and as usual, Macca was a totally humble dude, asking Oliver how his day at Kona went and hoped he'd see him there again this year. but i digress....back to the legs.....these legs will be sharing the same room with me, sleeping in a bed right next to mine, at IM Brasil, and while these legs have a girlfriend around which i'm sure these legs are wrapped tightly, i think i'm gonna be more nervous about sharing a room with Oli than the actual Ironman itself!!! hold it together Monica!!!

after the legs and i separated coming outta town at mile 5 or so, i was pretty much on my own as Sinta was way the hell ahead of me riding in a pace line with her fellow tri club riders. Iron Maiden Juliet was somewhere behind me, and Cindy was only doing the 55 miler. the next 10 miles was a gradual uphill grade to the first SAG stop at mile 16. this proved to be not as flat as i had expected but not impossible either. i just put it in the small gear and spun, trying to remind myself that this wasn't a race, and being it was my first century, i should just take it easy and get through the distance. the desert terrain was absolutely beautiful, with Mt. Baldy to the west and Joshua Tree park to the north. yep, another day to be reminded of how rad it is here in SoCal!! coming outta the first SAG stop came the first downhill, and i couldn't help myself. i just flew. it was so friggin' fun!!! for the next 35 miles or so we had rollers and some good descents. i passed up the next SAG stop as i just didn't feel like stopping. i didn't need to pee, and i pretty much had all my nutrition on me as i was trying to take this opportunity to once again practice nutrition for the big day. on one descent i passed a guy parked on the side of the road who looked to be waiting for someone else. he screamed out "whooooooa!!!!" and when he caught up to me later he says "man, you're flying!!!" ok, i have to admit, that felt kinda cool.

coming into the mile 50 SAG stop we had the longest descent of the ride, maybe 5 miles of downhill. everyone was just coasting it except for a few 3-4 person pace lines. it was pretty funny to watch the reaction on the faces of these super tricked out guys as i flew by them. i guess i just wanna make up for how friggin' slow i am on the uphill, and i'm not nearly as afraid to fly on the downhill as i used to be. at one point i clocked 36.4 mph which is not as fast as the 41mph i clocked at the People Powered Metric Century back in October. still though, i was breaking the speed limit!!! if only Ironman was all downhill....

50 miles down. halfway there. i'm feelin' ok. i think i can do this.

coming out of the mile 50 SAG stop, the surroundings were a little more suburban and ugly for a few miles. i was keeping neck and neck with a pace line that had formed when one guy said "what are you doing over there?? just jump in with us!!" i've never ridden in a pace line, never really saw the benefits of it if i can't draft in a triathlon, especially not an Ironman. so i explained this to him when another guy sarcastically shouted out "oh noooo. she's a traithlete. she's got fancy AEORBARS!!!" but the first guy said "who cares. jump in." i was kinda shocked at how nice he was. cyclists, at least LA cyclists, have the worst dickhead reputations, so i figured he must be hitting on me. so naturally, I JUMPED IN. all i can say is HOLY SHIT HOLD ON!!!! these guys pulled me through the next 10 miles holding 21-22mph like it was nothing. i couldn't believe how fast i was going. unfortunately, we were also passing through some of the prettiest parts of the course, past date farms with rows and rows of gorgeous palms, but we were flying so fast, i couldn't reach for my camera or risk taking someone else out just to get a pic. finally after about 10 miles at this pace and never moving to the front to pull, i realized i was gonna do myself in if i kept it up, so i bid farewell and dropped off the back only to watch them disappear onto the horizon. thanks dudes....

coming into the mile 70 SAG stop it was about 80 degrees out now, and my feet were ON FIRE!!! i had to peel my toe warmers and socks off just to get some relief. i figured Oli was done by now and i oughta check in with him, so i gave him a call. yep, sure enough, the guy killed it on his single speed in something like 5 hours or a little less. INSANE. i told him not to wait for me, but he said he'd go out for a "little run" and come back by 2:00 when i should be done. aaaah, the life of a Kona champ. so now the pressure was on to finish this mother and get to have a beer with the legs at the end!!! i took off out of the SAG stop looking towards another good sized climb, and by now it was 80 degrees. no worries, just spin it. you'll do fine. another fun descent through a neighborhood and back out on to some more stop 'n' go signals through various Palm Springs neighborhoods. at one stop a guy said to me "hey your back tire is looking REALLY low." SHIT. ok, let me get somewhere where i can stop and cess the situation. coming around the next corner i nearly fishtailed out from the low tire nearly coming off the rim, taking about 3 other cyclists with me, but i caught myself before i went down and nobody else went down either. i added a whole cannister of CO2 and it looked like it would hold, but as soon as my 21.1% fat ass got back on the saddle, it looked low still. do i go back to the last SAG stop or keep on to the next one, and how far is the next one?? FUUUUUCK!!!!

so i powered through to the next and last SAG stop at mile 90. nothing like 15 miles with extra resistance from a low tire. i called Oliver, who was now done with his 50 mile ultra marathon. he couldn't wait anymore because he had to get back to town to pick up his other bike from the shope for the DUATHLON he was racing the next morning. again, WTF??? the guy's an animal with great legs, and i get to stare at them for a whole week in sexy Brasil. how's that for motivation??

at this point, i just did not want to deal with the back tire at all. there were even bike mechanics who could do it for me, but there was a line, and i was only 12 miles from being done, so i grabbed a pump from their tent and said if i could get it to hold 120psi, i would just power through. i could hear a slight hiss, but i did get it to hold 120, so i crossed my fingers that it would hold out for the last leg. lazy or impatient or just plain stupid?? you make the call. at this point, i'd been having a great ride, i wasn't really in any significant pain save for my burning feet that felt like someone had shoved my toenails back with a mallet, and i was ready to EAT REAL FOOD. so i powered along with the rest of a clump of riders through the stop 'n' go of the next 12 miles. one woman in particular just started to get on my last goddamn nerve with her"on your left!!" and "slowing!!" and "sand!" calls out to the group and her stupid little handlebar bell (those things oughta be outlawed). she was also riding a triple crank and passing me on every climb. i guess i was starting to get a little negative from the miles, but i just wanted to clock her and say "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!" instead i decided to throw down the hammer and leave her in the dust. if i could just beat her through one light, i'd be done with her, but she kept catching up. finally on one little downhill stretch i found her weakness and my strength as i flew by her and another 3 man pace line. SEE YA, WOULDN'T WANNA BE YA!!!! the 3 guys caught up to me at the next light where one exclaimed "you're looking really good and riding really strong for this late in the mileage!!" ok, i have to admit, that felt kinda good again. i don't remember much of the last 5 miles, but boy did those finish line balloons look mad cool, and there was Iron Maiden Cindy waiting and cheering me on!!! Juliet came in about 10 minutes later. total ride time was 6:24. i know, i know. not very fast for all the shit talkin' i do, but hey, i got weeks and weeks to get faster....

First Century = Done
losses = 1 launched water bottle, 1 gel flask, 1 CO2, 1 tube
gains = knowing i'll probably make the bike cutoff at Ironman


i told myself if i could get home from Palm Springs by 9pm and get in bed by 10pm, i'd run the Chinatown Firecracker 5k/10k the next morning. this is a great annual race i try to run, but missed it last year due to travel for work. i wasn't so upset since i heard it rained balls that day, but i really wanted to pick it back up as a tradition this year. it's always in February celebrating Chinese New Year, complete with dragon dancers and the lighting of 100,000 firecrackers to bless the racers and ward off evil spirits. the last time i ran it, i recall my friend Lamar from the tri club running the 5k at 8am, finishing, and then getting back in the corral with us to run the 10k at 8:30. i was in awe. Lamar's one of those ultra marathoner, Ironman freaks of nature like Oliver who does it all and is constantly looking for the next ultra challenge. in fact, look what he has planned to do on the way to IMAZ#1. so when i looked at what coach had planned for me that day, 10 miles, i thought "could i actually run both?" that would make 9.3 miles, not quite 10, but this was a mother shitter of a hilly course, so that would suffice. i took off on the 5k and didn't know how my legs would react after the century ride the previous day. they definitely still felt bricky the first mile, and the course instantly headed uphill which didn't help any, but into the second mile i was able to come into my rhythm. finished the 5k in 27 minutes and some change, and with about a minute to make my way back through the crowd, we were off again for the 10k. NO WAY. there i was doing what i thought Lamar was extreme and crazy for doing in past years!!! i actually pulled it off. for the 10k though, i forced myself to take it super easy and maintain my heart rate at between 160-170 which wasn't easy with the hills. i took planned walk breaks every 4 minutes. it was so hard not to want to compete with others around me, but somehow, i still passed some folks and brought it in at a respectable 1:02 and some more change.

things are cookin' now!!! next weekend ends the long ride saturday followed by the long run sunday routine. i'll start doing long swims saturday followed by a long brick sunday or long swims saturday morning followed by long runs saturday afternoon and long rides sunday. either way, it's all LONG LONG LONG!!!


Blogger Rainmaker said...

Damn nice ride! Congrats on going the distance!

Per your comment, if I'm ever around LA I'd be happy to cook. I think the closest I have on the radar currently is Oceanside 70.3 in late March (29thish)

February 11, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Blogger Allez said...

Great job!

btw, my word verification is "funckung". hehe.

February 12, 2008 at 6:47 AM

Blogger CVSURF said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. BTW Great Blog!

February 12, 2008 at 8:08 AM

Blogger Dan Seifring said...

Fantastic job Monica. Hope to get up to that mileage someday.

February 12, 2008 at 7:43 PM


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home