Miles of Life ~ My life as a donut Kylie Donia

Archive for September, 2005

sooooo hot

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

And here I was thinking I was going to need to start getting used to cooler weather. Just did a 6 miler to get a break from the desk, and it was boiling! Definitely not used to that kind of heat and wind and such right now… I got back and checked, and it's 93-97 degrees right now! Lisa is right… definitely some Santa Ana action going on.


Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

I found a 50k sorta near where my mom lives, and on trails by the
ocean! It's mid-November, so I think I should go for it. Good
motivation, and nice to visit home. Especially with $50 plane tickets
right now! And we would have Thanksgiving a weekend early. I love
multitasking my trips!

Great mountain bike ride yesterday. Went
with a guy I met at eCamp (a younger off-road tri guy — Ryan) and we
hit a loop (easy for him, midle for me with a few tough climbs) that is
between where we live. I felt like I was doing pretty good (not great
on the climbs, but if I was perfect it would be harder to convince me
to practice). It left me feeling more in shape than I have in a while.

From the trail flew straight to karate and made it with 2 minutes to get changed and ready.

Got a few more AR plans coming up now…

Oct 15th: Desert Rage San Diego (was canceled, but they are selling the course maps and a ton of teams plan to do it as a practice day).

Oct 22nd: SVS Finals (with TdB and friends)

Nov 12: Explore CA Gold Country 24 (with Ryan, Christopher – an eCamp volunteer, and one of Chris' friends

Nov 19th: Stinson Beach 50k

Dec 3 – 10: volunteer Baja Travesia

So much fun coming up! It should be great for spirits (even if a bit hard on $$)

more than a blog…

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

It's kinda odd. I feel like I totally know some of the people on here. I read about their training, histories, races, injuries, goals, hopes, dreams, disasters, and sometimes their families and life outside of tris. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I only have a face for Lisa, and that the rest I only know through icons. The joking and support back and forth makes me really feel like there is a TriFuel family on here. I like all the brothers and sisters I've had contact with on here!

Ok, I'm done being sappy. But we should totally have a Trifuel sponsored race somewhere and have a big family reunion BBQ the next day! I say the BBQ the next day cause the course should be a sprint distance, but the number of laps of each event that you do should be up to you… so if I want to swim 323 miles, bike 12, and run 3 miles, I could 🙂 hehe. I could do all the swimming, all the biking, then all the running, or even mix up my laps! Dang that would be sweet. Ok back to reality for a bit…

ahhhh! *dances about*

Friday, September 23rd, 2005


(assuming I really end up racing with the team I’ve been talking to ;-))

It's the journey

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Well I wanted running motivation. Just something to remind me of the reasons I run. And I somehow found my way to this article.
Wow. So many things I have thought about running, and about myself. And
so many things I want to have be part of my experiences. So I think I
will find some ultras in a few months, and I will do one. I will get
out and train, and enjoy the good and the bad runs. Live like you are
dying. It's the journey.

Oh, and I did get out for a run this morning… one of the bad ones. But it was the first step in getting back into the good habit.

sooo sleeeeepy

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

I think a few things are just making me exhausted lately…

  1. 28+ hours of AR at eCamp the weekend of the 16-18 (plus no sleep the nights before for prep stuff)
  2. 26+ hours of AR in Baja last weekend (plus no sleep the nights before for prep stuff)
  3. sore throat/feeling a bit sick since eCamp and a friend has been sick
  4. not sleeping in a bed in the last week (I keep falling asleep on the couch…)
  5. no regular workout schedule to help make me be good about bed times and morning times

So… I need to get back on a regular schedule which I haven't done since the crash and then getting sorta sick a few times. At least 2 times of mtn bike each week, and at least 2 on road bike. I think 2 days swimming will be good for now, and 3ish running. I also want to get back into having my longer bike and run days, 'cause I'm starting to feel that I'm losing some of my endurance.

Now there is the plan… I just have to detail it out and stick to it! I can do this, I know I can. And it will make me feel better. It's just the first few days that are gonna suck….

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

This was definitely the hardest race I’ve ever done. Although I guess
muscles might have been more sore during IMAZ, this race went longer
and at times it was mentally tough to just figure out what to do next.
However, the racing buddies were awesome!!

Dave and Donny of Big Bear Adventure Racing picked me up and down into
Baja we went. Having never been to Mexico, that part was a big part of
the experience for me. It really was amazing how close and yet how
different it was. It was almost as though even the terrain knew the
difference, as the Mexico side of the border fence and that on the US
side were slightly different in color and vegetation density. It was
also an interesting contrast to see the road border patrol on Mexico’s
side used as compared to that used by US border patrol — one looked
like two side by side hiking trails, and the other looked almost like
dust-colored pavement. Also during the drive we discussed strategies
and began planning what little bits of the race we could. However, we
knew that most of that planning would have to be done after we got the
maps and race details that night. We drove all the way down past
Ensenada and arrived at our campground — a little point overlooking
the Pacific. Gorgeous!

That night we got our map, plotted our
course and packed our gear. We hit a few hitches in this — for one,
the maps weren’t waterproof and we had forgotten contact paper. Luckily
another team gave us some. Course selected, we climbed into sleeping
bags and slept (or tried to) until the 5:30 am firework alarm woke us.
We got up, pulled on wetsuits, and grabbed the single pack we were
carrying for the first section: aquaterra. By going up and over a
ridge, we ended up at a nice little bay that had relatively easy
access. We climbed down and into some shockingly cold water, and set
off swimming about 1k. As I stepped into the water, a wave pulled one
of the rocks I was on loose, and I twisted my knee a bit. Once in the
cold water, I forgot all about it. Checkpoint reached, it was onto land
for a 1k jog through cactus and brush on a small trail to a cove where
we found inflatable (but not inflated) boats. Pumped the boat, climbed
in, and off we went. Here we realized another mistake — we hadn’t
carried any paddles. Although the race was providing some, it turned
out to be only 2, and that they had sent out an update Thursday night
(which we missed) saying that using your own paddles as well would be
allowed. Learning of this on Friday, we should have called Paul who
hadn’t left yet and gotten some from him, but we didn’t think of this
until after the fact. So our paddle was slow, and as the boys paddled I
fed them, and made sure they were drinking, and secured our gear (to
the boat and myself). After a huge wave threw us as we entered, we swam
our way into shore, deflated the boat, and made our way up into the
transition area above — one of the last few teams off the water.

off, trekking clothes on. Grab a pack. Put on shoes. Don’t forget to
get your maditory gear from the aqua pack! Squirt sunscreen in your
hand and put it on as heading out on the dirt road. Another check point
reached, and it was time for the creeks of poison oak — a section
highlighted on our maps and that we were warned about. Although there
was a choice of going around the area, going through looked to be by
far the easiest path, so we did. Much rock climbing and bushwacking
later, we found a well-used path in the area where we thought CP3
should be. During this, Donny, who has blown out his achilles a few
times, started to have some foot issues. He sucked it up though, and we
kept going. Here we made our next major nav error — we second guessed
ourselves. We had marked that the CP elevation should be around 550
meters, but decided on the ridge that it might be 450 instead, headed
right, and for about 2.5 hours looked for a checkpoint with a number of
other teams. Finally we took that same path up out of the area, after
no teams seemed to have spotted it, and after a false-cow alert —
white cows can sure look like CP signs! We passed the spot where we had
found this path, and within about 5 minutes hit CP3. We should have
gone left! It’s elevation was about 580 meters… our initial thought
had been correct. Oh well… gotta keep moving. We passed another team
as we climbed down some trail and some creek bed, and shared a
rattlesnake experience with them. Here I realized my knee definitely
twisted a bit more than I thought — for parts of the downhill I felt
like it would barely support my weight. As we climbed down rocks, and
slid down sections of hills, I just focused on keeping moving, and
perhaps using some duct tape on it once we got to the transition.
Through some barbed wire, and we were into the transition area, in 7th
place! CP3 was giving lots of teams some trouble, and we went for a
fast transition to keep our advantage.

With the help of Karen
and Paul, we were back out on the road quickly, and flying down it. On
the bike, both Donny’s ankle and my knee felt much better! But then it
was time for another nav error! We had “12k” marked on the map, and
thought it was for the stretch of road we were on. When we reached the
ocean, we realized it had been for the whole stretch to the CP, and
that we had missed a turn. Not sure how far back we had missed it, it
took us another hour and more spent energy to get back on course. This
meant that we reached the CP just as it was getting dark. And next was
the hike-a-bike section… which was supposedly 4k.

Some of the
volunteers made sure we found the right trail, and soon instead of our
bikes carrying us, we were carrying them. Headlamps on, as it was now
dark. We ended up on a wrong fork of the trail, and were almost not
able to backtrack. We realized our transition might have been a bit too
fast — although we got our bikes and bike gear, we forgot the
magnifier and glasses for Dave, our navigator! So in the dark it took
strong headlamps and some help from Donny and myself for Dave to read
the map. We made it back to the path though, and ended up climbing up
and up and up with the bikes. Dave was the hero of the day here — he
would hike his bike up a ways, come back and help me. There were
sections I would have had a hard time just hiking! Not to mention the
number of cacti lining all the trails. Oh, and Donny’s ankle was not
too happy with more climbing uphill. After this section, I love Stan’s
(the tubeless system I put on my bike). There were a few times a tire
and cactus met, and we’d hear the “pssssssss” of air rushing out of the
tire. But spin the tire, and the sound stopped! At the end of the
section, only one out of our six tires needed air, and none needed any

Anyways, we climbed up, and found no checkpoint. We
were a bit too far south! So back onto the trail. Dave scouting ahead
and keep us on track, Donny fighting with his foot, and me just keeping
moving. Finally we saw headlamps! It was CP5! One ridge over… if we
could make it up it. But there weren’t too many choices. Donny’s ankle
was to the point that he could barely walk, but somehow he was going to
have to hike his way out of the hike-a-bike. So we pressed on, almost
out of water. Reached the CP around 1:30am, and were assured it was
only a little ways further to the road, and that about 50% would be
rideable! As we continued, the fog rolled in… And I don’t mean just
any fog, but fog so thick I could barely see Dave in front of me! Which
meant that all this terrain that we hadn’t seen behind the ridge, and
that we were now passing through, would remain a closed book. Dave
showed some awesome nav skills here — using a bearing and some
scouting ahead, as well as helping with all the bikes, he lead us right
to the road! It may have taken about 4 hours, but we made it! He also
did an awesome job motivating us through it, and keeping the team
going. Donny pretty much checked out for a while — asking us things
like if the CP was around the next corner, or if we were almost to the
final point. Although we told him we weren’t even heading for a CP, but
just a road, he was convinced we were almost there… It was definitely
our team lowpoint, and Dave did a great job keeping us going and sane.

hit the road right as it got lighter, and the first rays of light
brought us a better outlook. Donny came back to reality, and my knee
had been pretty good on the climb down (using the bike to break and
steady myself had really helped). Down the road, we headed back to TA 1
where we had exited the water, and where they had water for us. A
number of teams were at TA1 having never found CP3 and having hiked
their way back. They and the volunteers helped us refill water bottles,
gave us some anti-inflamatory stuff for my knee and Donny’s ankle, and
helped motivate us to keep going. A quick radio check with Karen and
Paul informed us that we’d still get points in the series if we took
the short course (as a CP was being cut out, saving us about 5-10k and
300meters of climbing). Antonio, the race director, told us we could do
it… that the climb wasn’t that bad, and that we’d be on dirt roads
the whole way. Back on our bikes, and Donny helped tow me up. And I
walked up parts, again helped by Dave. We kept moving forward… and
that was what mattered. Finally, the peak of the last major climb
(except for the one taking us over the hill by our camp). A great
downhill section, cruising along and just relaxing and enjoying the
ride. Then the really final climb, and our whole team rode the whole
thing (thanks to Donny helping me)! It was a great feeling, and we then
had another fun descent into camp! Down the hill, and into the finish
area! We had made it!!

Just over 26 hours after starting, we
were the 8th or 9th team to complete the course, and only 8 or 9 ended
up completing it. It had been tough, and got the best of some really
good teams. With our first time navigator, and our first time working
as a team, we made some mistakes, but overall were happy with how we
did, and with our perseverence and just finishing the thing! The
volunteers along this course were great, and the experience of racing
in another country amazing. There were teams near us on the trek which
mostly only spoke Spanish, and our team knew very few words. Yet we had
a bond — we were all attacking this beast of a course. Antonio is
definitely a director we love to hate — his course was tough, but we
proved to ourselves we could do it. And like he said, we wouldn’t have
wanted an easy time out there, or we’d be doing triathlons 😉

it home, soaked lots of gear in Simple Green to remove poison oak, and
did many loads of laundry. I also washed a really dirty bike with the
help of Sonja. Iced my knee, and although it is still sore it’s not
feeling horrible. Also cleaned many blisters on my feet, which weren’t
used to hiking in bike shoes. I think I might be immune to poison oak
— like after climbing in it during the Big Blue race, I (so far) don’t
have any spots of it. And slept. It was a tough weekend. But the
feeling of accomplishment at the end really makes it all worth it. I
hope I get to race with those guys again, as through it all it was
still fun, and they were like wonderful big brothers. We went through
some hell, but it brought us together.

easy street

Thursday, September 15th, 2005

Well, at least it was a fairly easy week… the camp coaches warned us to take it easy for about 5 days (no running on pavement or even packed dirt), and the blister on my little toe helped me be good. Got in an easy bike this morning (pretty flat and about an hour of riding), and that is all I've done this week. Tomorrow morning it's off to Baja and another 24 hour deal — at least I feel sorta rested and hydrated, although I'm not caught up on sleep yet. And I think I'm back to a decent fuel load after the lack of working out and regular eating of this week 🙂

My mtn bike is being set up with a tubeless tire system, and given the thorns we've been warned about that should be good. I'm curious to see how well it works.

Mexico should be great though… racing with the Big Bear Adventure Racing group (Donny and Dave and myself will make up this team). I'm definitely excited! I've lived in CA all my life, and southern CA for the past about 6 years, and I've still never been to Mexico. I also hear it's a gorgeous course.

just keep swimmin'…

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005

Memories of eCamp

* 2.5 hours of sleep once the map was ready the night before
* headlamps glowing in cold morning air as we wait for the start
* stepping backwards off an 85′ rock with my life in the hands of the ropes and Luke who set them
* the view of the lake as the sun finished rising
* the joys of gummies — bears, sour worms, and sharkies!
* wiping out on the mtn bike on a trail I really like
* learning to trust the person in front of me and adapt to his style as needed
* kayaking in wind, weather changing the course
* learning from mistakes — if you had seen a possible route, go back to it instead of looking for an easy way ahead
* a map is not always what it seems
* water crossings aren’t that bad
* peeing anywhere, anytime
* riding up loose surfaces in the dark, riding down crazy rocks in the dark, and hiking back up when it was the wrong way — 500′ of vertical error makes for a good pre-hike hike
* a light burning out, a rocky road, and a mountain bike don’t equal death
* nav while climbing up a mountain (10,000′ of mountain) fullsped ahead is HARD! But at least this climb was without the bike
* just keep swimmin’ — Dora knows! Even if this was on a mountain…
* 3 minute naps in the middle of the trail
* space blanket training and their warmth, and piles of spooning folks on top of a mountain
* sliding down a trail, calling out “ROCK!” to give people time to hope they don’t get hit
* my baby toe trying to grow a new toe
* finishing with new knowledge and bonds of friendship
* being too tired to even get in the sleeping bag and using it as a blanket

So yeah, an awesome weekend. Left me tired, but ready for the race in a few days 😉

swimming frustration

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

So I go to swim practice to improve my technique. I can swim too fast
on my own. Since I got back after the bike wreck I've been in a faster
lane, and I feel like I'm not working my form at all since I'm trying
to hit the times for the lane. Today I was about ready to leave just
into the workout because IT'S SOOOO FRUSTRATING!! I don't want to feel
I have to be faster than I am. I left feeling out of shape, fat,
disappointed in myself, slow, and like I'll never be any good at this.
Oh, and I was hitting times I have been ok with before.

was so frustrating that I was too close to tears for something that I
do for fun. In fact, I made it through the part of practice I stayed
for (had to leave on time instead of going a bit over like usual) by
telling myself it was the last time. I figured it might just be that I
had just gotten back, so I've gone to at least 4 or 5 practices since.
And they are staying frustrating. I pay a coach to help me get better,
not to give workouts and then let our group do them fairly on our own.
Trifuel has tons of good workouts that are posted, so why am I spending
~$65 a month on this? Yes, it is good motivation to have a set practice
time and people who expect to see me. But as an instructor (of martial
arts) I feel that part of the job of an instructor is to help with
motivation, self-confidence, and ability. I don't feel any of this is
being met right now.

So now to decide if I really never go back…

I'm considering…
… tring it a few more times (I usually go 3x a week)
… trying a practice with the other coach (only 1, maybe 2, a week that I could do)
… looking for another swimming group
… just swimming on my own for a bit — there are no big tris coming up

was definitely worth it for IM training, and when I felt the coach was
helping me. It's just that I'm not sure any more if it is worth it.