Ironman Lake Tahoe Training · Training

Week 14: The Three Bears

Running with my brother in the Marina
Running with my brother in the Marina on Friday

Michael Bluth: What have we always said is the most important thing?
George Michael Bluth: Breakfast
Michael Bluth: Family
George Michael Bluth: Oh, right. Family. I thought you meant of the things you eat.
Arrested Development 

I love that quote not only because Arrested Development is pure genius, but because I pretty much always have food on my mind. And of course family is the most important thing in the world, but if you were to ask me in a hangry state I’d probably say Chipotle. Chipotle is the most important thing.

In all seriousness, it was a great weekend with my parents and my brother in town from the Midwest. I’m one of three siblings (with two older brothers). And with Team in Training we did a popular bike ride called the “Three Bears” which consists of three hills called “Mama Bear”, “Papa Bear”, and “Baby Bear”.  Appropriate for my family theme this week!

My brother and I ran the Chicago marathon together 6 months ago so when he was in town I made sure we got some good running time under our belts. We ran in the Marina on Friday, through the Marin Headlands on Sunday and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful weekend in SF — clear skies, sunshine, and warm weather. I bet I won’t have to twist his arm to come back and visit soon!

Saturday: 3 Bears

Saturday we did a run/bike/run workout. Wait, why on Earth would we run, then bike, then run again? Makes no sense, right!? Well the Wildflower triathlon that’s coming up in 4 weeks is changing from a traditional swim/bike/run to a swim/run/bike/run because of the new swim location 2.2 miles away. There is absolutely no water in Lake San Antonio so they’re moving us down the lake a little so we can swim 1.2 miles in Harris Creek. Then we run to the bike transition (2.2 miles). Then we bike 56 miles. Then we run again (10.9 miles). So to get used to the feeling of biking after running we practiced this on Saturday.

I don’t think I noticed any difference on the bike after having run 10 minutes so I’m hoping that Wildflower will be the same. I don’t think 2.2 miles is enough distance to really get burned out enough where it will affect the bike. But who knows. The run after the bike, however? That’s a different story. It takes a good 2+ miles for my legs to feel normal after a long and hilly bike ride.

Biking the 3 Bears / Pig Farm ride in the East Bay
Biking the 3 Bears / Pig Farm ride in the East Bay. Wore my new “No Meat Athlete” jersey!

The Three Bears ride was challenging but really fun. I wore my “No Meat Athlete” jersey and rode most of the way with Jason and Jeremy (per usual!). We went 38 miles with ~3,100 ft of elevation gain which is quite a lot. The East Bay was so gorgeous with its lush green rolling hills and TONS of farmland and animals. We saw chickens, cows, horses, a peacock (I think), owls, eagles, goats, and pigs.

I felt really strong on the bike and had faster times on almost every segment of this ride compared to last time we did this on March 1st. I hope I can keep up this progress! Below is some more details on the three bears if you’re interested in trying it out. We started at the Pleasant Hill Ed Center.

3 Bears + Pig Farm: Strava Output
3 Bears + Pig Farm: Strava Output
3 Bears
3 Bears

Sunday Runday

Epic. Spectacular. Gorgeous. Pinch me. Unreal.

That’s in a nutshell how I would describe our Sunday trail run. We ran 9 miles in 80 degree sunshine overlooking the Pacific Ocean with 1900 ft of elevation gain. It was an informal non-supported Team in Training run so I invited my brother to come along. Jeremy led us from Tennessee Valley to Muir Beach and back on Middle Green Gulch and Miwok descent. I was wearing my Hoka One One Kailua Trail shoes which I absolutely love. I’m still gaining confidence on the trails but the grip of the shoes really helps. My brother did great even though he doesn’t normally train on hills like this in Chicago!

Trail Run annotated elevation chart
Trail Run annotated elevation chart

Anyway, I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

Trail run starting at Tennessee Valley in Marin
Trail run starting at Tennessee Valley in Marin
First climb of the day
Jeremy leading the way
Jeremy leading the way
Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean


After our run on Sunday we were driving to my favorite Cafe del Soul but on the way noticed a fruit stand. “We have to stop!” I said. Because that’s what you do when you see a local fruit stand.  You stop, you sample, you support the local farmers, and you get to know the people.

The owners of this stand couldn’t have been nicer! I ended up buying 5 jars of pickled veggies, homemade salsa, and garlic pickles along with fruit and sandwiches for my parents. The sandwiches were made from a local shop down the street called the Davey Jones Deli. Davey himself was at the fruit stand and he showed my brother and I his cargo bike complete with a wooden sailboat. (You really had to be there). He referred to it as a more sustainable food truck. Love it!

Davey Jones cargo bike with sailboat. Photo credit:
Davey Jones cargo bike with sailboat. Photo credit:
Produce and pickles galore!
Produce and pickles galore!

After the produce stand we had fabulous veggie wraps at Cafe Del Soul in Mill Valley. Then went next door to see Jenny at SF Running Company (hi Jenny!!). Those guys at SFRC are crazy knowledgeable and super friendly; check ’em out! After SFRC I continued my trifecta Mill Valley tour at Equator Coffee to give my brother a taste of a local brew. Yummm.

This Week’s Training Log

Sunday the 6th. Run. Trail run in the Marin Headlands. 8.8 miles. 1900 ft of elevation gain. 12:48/mi

Saturday the 5th. Run. #2. 3.2 miles post-bike ride Brick. 8:46/mi

Saturday the 5th. Bike. 3 Bears in the East Bay. 38.6 miles. 3,179 ft of elevation gain. 2 hours 48 minutes.

Saturday the 5th.  Run. #1. 1.1 miles. 8:58/mi

Friday the 4th. Run. Easy 6.0 miles in the Marina.  9:53/mi

Thursday the 3rd. Swim. 2,475 yards. 1 hour 13 minutes.

Wednesday the 2nd. Run. Treadmill and Spin bike 45 minutes plus core.

Tuesday the 1st. Bike. 45 min spin class.

Fun with veggies! As seen in the EA cafeteria
Fun with veggies! As seen in the EA cafeteria

Thanks everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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