Tag Archives: Devil’s Canyon

The Rematch Update 2: Getting To The Starting Line And I Think Yoga Is Going to Help Me

28 May

I don’t know why it seemed easier last year, but for some reason my body seems to agree with me. It was easier. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m one year closer to the big 4-0. It may be, a lot can happen to your muscles and bones in a year. But I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I’m checking a new age-range box on applications. I think it has to do with the fact that my one year old is going on two.

Have you heard of twos? They’re terrible.

You would think the sleep deprivation would have stopped after a year. But no … no. This kid is just psyching me out, waiting until I got a little comfortable and then BAM! the middle of the night drama happened again. Just randomly. Sometimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sometimes just Saturday nights. Just to mess with my head.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com

It’s this power struggle that probably effected my ability to function properly during the day. It’s this power struggle that probably has me looking for anti-aging cream at the CVS. It’s this power struggle that probably has me using the adjective “weary” to describe myself now. It’s this power struggle that has probably effected my training. My brains and bones are just not the same. No matter how many vitamins I’ve been acquiring, it seems to take me a lot longer to jump-start my battery. This is when I start to wonder about osteoporosis, arthritis, and sciatica. Is it possible to have all three before you hit 40?


But I do have to say … the yoga has been helping my back. Thanks to 13-letter word yoga poses ending in  “sana” I seem to be chugging along. The whole yoga stretching appears to be helping the training process. After doing them, I seem to have enough umph left to help train my son for his Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. He’s doing really well in the biking part, and I’m happy that he’ll be taking swimming classes this month to help prepare him for his big dive in the pool. In fact I think he’ll probably do better than me in the water. In truth I’m more excited about his race than I am mine. It’ll be our first race together and I’m feeling all “parenty” about it. I’ll probably be high-fiving him all day. And it’s the anticipation of these high-fives and his smiles that really keep me going.

Making sure that I’m there at the starting line to see him take off is inspiration enough to kick my own ass. My race starts at 7 a.m. his at 9 a.m. I’m gonna be there, camera in hand. So watch out Devil’s Canyon, I’m getting ready for you.

One of my goals this year is to conquer Devil’s Canyon without stopping or passing out. Now I don’t have a fast and light racing bike, which would probably help my time, but my Bianchi hybrid will have to do. Maybe I can add rocket boosters or something, you know for that final climb. But maybe I can do a few extra squats so that my quads won’t be burning up when I’m climbing all those hills. And maybe I’ll increase my bike rides through the park, so that I can go passed the stop sign and reach the heliport. And maybe I’ll increase my downward-facing-dog, cat-cow yoga involvement so that my back isn’t killing me while I’m going up the mountain. I’ve decided … I’m gonna make it to my son’s starting line on time, even if I fall off the bike and have to crawl there, which I hope doesn’t happen. But either way, I’m getting to the starting line and I think yoga is gonna help me power through … well I know it’ll help my back. And that body part seems to be very important. It connected to all the vital parts I need for the race.


The Rematch … It’s On Devil’s Canyon … It’s So On. I’ve Got Backup This Time

2 May

It’s that time of year again … the time when I challenge my weary bones and muscles … the time of year when I pretend I can swim freestyle knowing full well that it never works and I just end up swimming the backstroke and floating my way to the finish line. It’s that time of year where I step out of the “mom” box and step into the badass frame of mind which lasts up to 24 hours, then I go back to being defeated. It’s … Tinman Triathlon time and Devil’s Canyon awaits.

Pinche Devil’s Canyon. It’s on … It is so on.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com


I’m counting down. I’ve got about two months to whip this Guat body into Tinman shape. Don’t get me wrong the Fight For Air Climb certainly put my quads where they belong, it’s just the rest of my body that needs to cooperate. Specifically, the old parts. The parts that take Glucosamine and something called CoQ10. But I’ve decided to add some yoga and stretching to the mix, because my lower back seems to be aging faster than any other part of my body. Although my knees are a close second, and I’m afraid I’m going to need both to conquer Devil’s Canyon. So if you have any pointers feel free to share them.

However this time, the Tinman experience will be different. The training will be different. I’ll have someone there. My son. My four-year old son has agreed to enter the Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. A super miniature version of the race and I’m excited to see him cross the finish line.

This of course means that I’ll be doing double duty when training. I can’t really go at full speed when training with him, so I’ll have to do my training whenever I can get it. This usually means at the break of dawn, which sucks for a night person like myself, or it can happen in the dark of night where suspect people usually walk the streets and I have to keep my Hapkido skills on high alert. Win-win I guess, but at least I have one day during the weekends where I can get my muscles up to Tinman status.

My son is pretty much at Mini-Tinman status when it comes to biking and running. He’s pretty high energy all we have to do is extend the road he covers. However we do have to practice our swimming a bit more, so the Lightening McQueen floaties and goggles will be making an appearance.

We’re both excited about the event and all I’m hoping for is that he finishes the race. He doesn’t need to be first. He just needs to finish. As for me? I don’t need to be first either. I just need to conquer Devil’s Canyon. It kicked my ass last year and I’m hoping the incident doesn’t repeat itself. In truth all I want to do is finish my race before the Tiny Tinman race starts. I want to be at the starting line cheering him on and be part of his pit crew when he gets on his bike. So I definitely need to get into kick-Devil’s -Canyon’s-Ass Shape.  It’s a rematch. Definitely a “Thrilla in Manila” type of event.

Stay tuned.


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Despite Devil’s Canyon, It Was The Best Hour-and-a-Half I’ve Had This Year. I Am A TinMan.

25 Jun

I couldn’t believe it happened to me again.

When someone says something like that, it’s usually a negative thing. A speeding ticket. Getting stood up. Getting crapped on by a pigeon. Stuff like that.

But not that day.

On Sunday, it happened to me twice. The it? The awesome unshakable feeling of enthusiasm to the tenth power. I was oozing with this great you-did-it feeling. I guess most people call it pride. And it lasted the whole day.

I earned my TinMan Triathlon medal, and I’d like to thank every single muscle in my 36-year-old body for contributing to this accomplishment, because it wasn’t easy.

The day began at 4:30 a.m. and even though I’m not the greatest morning person I made my way through a morning routine and jumped in the truck. As I drove to the race, I was still a little nervous, but as I was changing the radio stations I heard one of my songs …  Give me ho! if you got your funky bus pass, ho! ho! ho! The Double Dutch Bus coming down the street … Then it was followed by Maroon 5 singing Payphone and then the jams kept coming all hour-long.

It was an omen.

I was going to do well. And I was going to finish the race. I was on the positive track and that was the right place to before the race.

I got to registration, set up my bike and little transition stand, then made my way to the starting line. There were no crazy costumes in this race, but everyone seemed to be looking the IronMan part. You know, wearing those biking/swim suits so you need no transition from bicycle to pool. You just get off the bike and go.

The starting line.

And once again, there I was with shorts and a t-shirt. But I still felt good. The fact that I had the number 160 written on my left arm and calf made me feel like I didn’t need IronMan clothing to participate in the race. T-shirt and shorts were just fine for The Guat. No need for a hundred-dollar wetsuit or fancy Tour De France looking bike apparel. I was sporting 160 ink on my body and that was good enough for me.

I heard the countdown, followed by the ding, and I was off.

I hadn’t worried too much about the running part of the race. I felt that my post-Warrior-Dash training  would help me out in this. And it did. I passed many of the triathletes that sprinted the first hundred yards. I started slow, but made my way through the pack and found a good pace. Passing up all the IronMan looking people. I thought I was doing well.  Until I saw him.

Can you see Happy Feet Running Club Kid in the yellow?

There he was running away, not even breathing heavily. In fact he was actually having a conversation with the person next to him, which he eventually passed. There he was … A ten-year old kid with his Happy Feet Running Club shirt passing me by at mile two.

I couldn’t believe it. There he was, Happy Feet Running Club Kid,  running smoothly. Practically no sweat. But he wasn’t running in the triathlon. They had a 5K race for kids, and he was one of the many participating.

So once the running phase was done Happy Feet went one way and I went the other. Even though Happy Feet  finished a little bit ahead of me I was glad I had made it to the end without stopping. A lot of people began walking at mile two as the early sun began beating down on us. You would think early sunshine would not be hot, but it was, I had the sweat to prove it.

The Biking Station

Once I got to the biking part I felt relieved. I thought I would be cruising during this part of the race.

But I was wrong.

They call it Devil’s Canyon for a reason and my quads were in hell.

This was the toughest part of the race.

It started off pretty good. Zooming past the straightaways, but then when the incline began I had to change to lower gears. I passed by the residential areas and kept making my way uphill. Then I came across a security guard who was pedaling without a helmet. He was going up the hill faster than I was and he did not have a 21-speed bike. Apparently he was on his way to work at the nearby university. It was his daily route. I told him he should have entered the race, he would have done well. He laughed and pedaled passed me.

Once I got through the residential areas, I saw it. The hills. The never-ending incline up to the mountain. It was so steep that some Tour De France looking people with professional bike shoes got off their bicycles and began hiking up that monstrosity. But I pressed on and kept changing gears.

The beginning of Devil’s Canyon

Then, just when I thought I had reached the top, I hadn’t. It just kept climbing and climbing. Pinche Devil’s Canyon. My quads were burning, and for some reason my lower back felt like someone was stabbing it.

All that strain going up hill must have put a kink back there, and all I could think about was … man I should have brought a radio. I might have been able to groove my way up the mountain.  I even tried singing, trying to remember all the lyrics to the jams I heard in the morning. But it was useless, I messed up the lyrics and got tired of singing the same song four times in a row.

So I got off to drink some water.

My ongoing quest to conquer Devil’s Canyon

But then I couldn’t get back on to pedal, so I became one of the hikers. The sad part was that I only walked for about five minutes, before reaching the top. If I had held out a little longer, I would have made it through without stopping. But I had no idea what was lying behind that curve. I thought it was more mountain. Instead it was two older ladies from the local Rotary Club passing out water and encouragement. Even though I reached the top on foot, that didn’t matter. I just got on the bike and made my way down hill. A fast trip down hill.

I was hesitant once I got to the swimming part, seeing how I only got in the pool once during my training. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were lifeguards galore. So I plunged in. Six laps. I started off with freestyle, then turned to the doggie paddle. After four laps I was exhausted, so I just decided to do the backstroke all the way to the finish. No crazy cramp. No need for CPR from the lifeguards. I floated on my back and splashed to the end.

The Finish

Even though they had a be-careful-it’s-slippery sign  right out of the pool, I began jogging to the finish line, barefoot. It was about 100 yards. Once I saw the finish line I smiled. I had never been so happy to see something pink, and for those of you who know me, know that I hate pink, every shade of it.  But today… today was the day I was happy to see pink. I crossed the finish and smiled.


One hour and thirty-eight minutes. It was the best hour-and-a-half I’ve had this year. I was a TinMan.

Giddy up!