Never Stop Chasing Raspberries: Vineman 70.3 Recap + Blog Hiatus

Today’s post comes with a bittersweet note. You see, while this is my first half Ironman recap, it is also my last blog post. After a lot of consideration and restless nights, I have decided to take a blog hiatus. It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog, and I have completed all my goals from a 10k, half marathons, full marathon, sprint triathlon, and now a half Ironman…

Which leads me to my Vineman recap! After a long road trip up to Sonoma County with my friend Gaby all day Friday, the festivities began with a course preview early Saturday morning.


After the course preview, everything from packet pickup to eating dinner was a blur.  I remember the excitement on everyone’s face, but it hadn’t hit me that I was doing a half Ironman. I kept telling myself that once I cross the finish line, it would be real. Once the medal was wrapped around my neck, it would be real.

Race day morning started with an early wake up call. My body was surprisingly ready for what was ahead, more so than with other races in the past. Even though I woke up at 3 a.m. I somehow managed to get into transition 10 minutes before my swim wave started. Normally in that situation I would be freaking out, but I knew the drill: mount bike, put wetsuit and swim cap on, and anti-fog the goggles. Once I headed over to the swim start, all the girls in my wave started joking around in the water.  Everyone was happy.


After the horn went off, I started swimming with a big smile on my face. It wasn’t until the first foot hit me in the head, that I realized I where I was and what I was doing. That’s when I told myself to get my shit together and start swimming at race pace! So I swam as fast as I could. The swim course was perfect because it was a simple out and back. You could stand up at almost any point during the swim making this the perfect race for someone who isn’t as comfortable with swimming.  At the turn around point, I remember looking at my watch thinking that I wouldn’t hit my goal time. Then I remembered it was a shorter swim on the way back!!! I came in exactly on my goal time of 45 minutes.


The transition from the swim to the bike went pretty well with one small mistake. The transition zone was divided into two areas, and I headed in the wrong direction for a split second before making way to my bike. The bike course was absolutely beautiful! We rode through rolling hills of vineyards, forests, rivers and gorgeous wineries. Before I knew it, the 56 miles of biking were over and it was time for the run.


The run started out strong. I was able to stay on pace for the first 6 miles. Around mile 6, we ran through a vineyard. Butterflies and dragonflies were fluttering all around me! It was the stuff from a story book. There was even a mist machine! The aid stations were stocked with grapes, white nectarines, and tortilla chips. I’ve never been to a race with so many goodies. One might think this would be my best half marathon yet! However, I hit a wall around mile 7. My joints started to ache and there was shooting pain in my foot. I remembered this pain… it was the same pain I had during the marathon. That’s when I told myself to run from hill to hill. It wasn’t long before I came across mile 10, then mile 11, then mile 12… I was almost there! I made an effort to pick up the pace and run to the finish. The next thing I knew, the most beautiful finish line was right before my eyes! My total time was 7:07!


After all is said and done, I feel like I’m leaving the blog on a high note! I now know that I no longer need this blog to keep me accountable for living a healthy life. My lifestyle has changed for the good. I will continue to train for Silverman, and I just signed up for Oceanside 70.3!  And who knows?!  Maybe I’ll even do a full Ironman one day.  Anything is possible, right?!  #neverstopchasingraspberries

LA Tri Series Triathlon

Happy Monday my friends! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. My weekend was awesome because I completed my second olympic triathlon on Sunday!

IMG_3985_sI am going to start by saying I went into this race with low expectations because I haven’t been training as much as I would like… especially with running. I kind of dislike despise hate tolerate running now. Something happened after the marathon, and I just can’t get back into the groove.

Anyways, this race went better than expected! I finished exactly on my goal time of 3:30:00! Cool beans.

IMG_4058_sThe swim was a little daunting at 1,500 meters because that was the longest I have ever swam open water. For the first half of the swim I couldn’t get into a rhythmic breathing pattern, and I wasn’t kicking my feet… at all. The second half of the swim went really well! There is something about seeing the swim finish banner on shore that kicks your butt into gear. My total swim time was 36:33.

IMG_4116-sBoth of the transitions went very smoothly with only a few minor glitches here and there. Yay for not knocking over expensive bikes!

IMG_4166_crop-sThe bike was a hilly 25 miles with three laps around the lake. I took the first lap nice and easy saving energy for the second two laps.  The Bear told me that I can get a triathlon bike once I can pass all of the mountain bikes during a race. Guess what?! I totally passed them all! While I am not getting a new triathlon bike next week, I am definitely in the market. My total bike time was 1:44:50.

IMG_4343-sThe run was hard… so hard. It was about 90 degrees out when I started the run, so I definitely got my sweat on during this race. I stopped to walk up a few short hills, but overall, maintained a decent pace throughout the run. My total run time was 1:06:05.

IMG_4348-sThe biggest lesson I learned during this race is that I need to train a LOT more before Silverman in October. Hills, hills, and more hills will be the name of the game over the next 5 months!


Tri Events Triathlon

On Saturday I raced in Tri Events Championship Triathlon and it was a blast! Bright and early the Bear and I arrived at transition where I met my California Triathlon teammates. I have to say this triathlon most definitely did not go as planned. There were signs that it would be an interesting race from the very beginning.

IMG_3432-s IMG_3437-sAll the photography is by the loving Bear!

IMG_3451-sWhere’s Jillienne?

The swim started on the north shore of Bonelli Park. I started out very enthusiastically and thought the swim went really well considering I haven’t done much open water swimming. However, after looking at my watch I actually swam almost twice the distance I was supposed to. As it turns out, it’s a good idea to stay as close as possible to the buoys! The swim took 23 minutes for .96 miles.

IMG_3482-sThe transition from swim to bike went smoothly. I knew I was behind because everyone else had already left with their bikes.

IMG_3508-sI tried to make up time on the bike, but the hills got me. I maintained a 14.4 mph pace for a total of 1:08 minutes for 16.4 miles. Not my fastest, but also not my slowest for a hilly course.

IMG_3533-s IMG_3593-sThe transition from bike to run was… interesting. When I put my bike on the rack, the entire rack fell down!!! Luckily I caught it with my arm, preventing damage to several $3,000 triathlon bikes.

IMG_3611-s(Calling for help as I was holding up the rack!)

A nice gentleman helped me fix the bike rack, and then I was off on my run. The run was slower than I would have liked.

IMG_3662-sMy brick training was at a faster pace than I ran on Saturday. I stopped to walk up two different hills, but I couldn’t pick up the pace. It was all I had in me on Saturday. I finished 5 miles in 50 minutes.

IMG_3874-sI am always learning something new in each triathlon race. I look forward to using my new knowledge to my advantage at the Tri Events Triathlon next month!

Turning Ironman: Silverman 70.3

Now I have really lost my marbles! Last week I signed up for Ironman 70.3 Silverman!!! It took everything I had not to announce it on IG immediately after signing up for the race!

994648_461681107275153_1389799161_nAll signs have been leading to Ironman 70.3 for a while now. I wanted to wait until after my HB Triathlon to sign up, but that was canceled so I decided to take the plunge anyways. My original plan was to do a lot of shorter triathlons, but I decided it’s never too late to go big! Instead, I will be racing two Olympic distances before this half Ironman in October.


Obviously I am very excited for this race, but I am so, so nervous too. You see… Silverman isn’t your average triathlon. The bike course has over 4,000 feet of elevation gain. These virgin bike legs are in for a rude awakening when training starts in July. Climbing will have to be name of the game. I’m afraid, very afraid!

On the bright side, I will probably PR at every Ironman 70.3 after this one! My friends over at California Triathlon seem to think I can handle this race, so I’m rolling with it. Life is going to get interesting very soon!

Have you ever done a 70.3 distance triathlon? Any advice on surviving?

HAPPY Fit Foodie Friday #4

Welcome to Fit Foodie Friday! During this series, I will share my trials in eating clean and staying active during the week. You may even find a health goal pop up from time to time. Feel free to join in on the fun!

Fit Foodie Friday

It’s Friday! I am so HAPPY! It’s been a long week, so I’m looking forward to an active weekend. The thing I love most about getting outside and doing something active is that you forget about all the worries of the world. Whether I am swimming, biking, or running, it puts my mind at peace and I always feel HAPPY after the endorphin high. I love a little zone-out time to get my heart rate pumping. 


I am very HAPPY to inform you that I got my coffee addiction under control. It’s no longer an afternoon requirement. Instead, lately I have really been loving homemade deli salads.
imageI combine baby kale, spinach, and chard with cucumber, bell pepper, onion, deli meat, and sometimes hard boiled egg. I top it off with a mustard dressing which I made by mixing spicy mustard and water together. It’s really the simplest recipe out there, yet soooo delicious!


Hopefully you still HAPPY to read about my triathlon training. It seems like my life revolves around triathlon at this point and it’s only going to get worst!

My training schedule still looks there same with a few minor changes:

Monday – AM Swim + PM Recovery Run/Strength
imageTuesday – Track Intervals

imageWednesday – AM Swim + PM Brick Training
image(California Triathlon is big on the power of the unicorn. An adult male wore these socks to Brick on Wednesday!)

Thursday – Tempo Run

Friday – AM Swim or Strength/Run
imageSaturday – Long Ride + Run (10% of the ride distance)

Sunday – Rest Day

That’s all for now folks! Have a HAPPY weekend!

Up Next: Tri Events Championship

You didn’t think I was going to let my canceled race slide, did you!? Nope, I found another race to register for… it’s in two weeks! I decided to register for the Tri Events Championship race at Bonelli Park.

TriEventsSince Bonelli Park was the home of my first half marathon, that gives me an advantage because I remember how freakin’ hilly it is! I ended up registering for the Championship distance instead of the Express distance because I was probably dropped on my head. Here’s hoping all the training I’ve done in the last month gets me through the 1k swim without drowning!

While swimming is my favorite of all three sports, I mostly enjoy it in a pool. Swimming in open water so much more difficult (at least for this girl!). Though recently, I learned that some of the best open water swimmers breath on every right (or left) swim stroke! This makes me very happy because I was trying to breath on every other right swim stroke. I will be trying this out before my May 10th race!

Question: How often do you breath while swimming open water?

Triathlon Shenanigans

If you came here looking for a race recap, sorry to disappoint but my triathlon on Saturday was canceled. After arriving in Huntington Beach at the crack of dawn, I was informed by the race directors that due to 6 foot waves and 25 mph winds there would be no swim/bike/run. So sad. While I was disappointed, I was also relieved… I didn’t feel like drowning! Because that’s exactly what would have happened in 6 foot waves!

imageMy number one fans (mom and cousin) came all the way up from San Diego to volunteer at the race! Instead we went to Starbucks since that was the only place open at 6 a.m. Afterwards we went for a nice walk on the windy beach.

imageIt was beautiful!

After my family and I parted ways, I decided not to let the day go to triathlon waste and did a brick workout on the way home from Huntington Beach. It was a difficult 20 mile ride with tough head winds followed by a 2 mile run.
imageI recently learned from my fellow California Triathlon team mate that you only need to run 10% of what you bike during brick workouts. Mind = blown!
imageLater Saturday evening I went to a Dodger’s game with California Triathlon. It was a blast!

imageI need to learn how to take pictures!

image Even though my triathlon was canceled, it turned out to be a fabulous day!

Going Vintage

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fabulous Easter with your friends and family! My Easter started with a little reminiscing about my childhood with my family. I whipped out the old photos albums and came across these gems…

05I am pretty sure my mom made these AMAZING sweaters with puff paint. 03

Martha Stewart would be proud of this bunny cake! My family is big on creating themed cakes.One year my cousin made me a Barbie cake for my birthday! It’s still my favorite cake to this day!

01Since I don’t have any more posts planned for the week, this is my attempt at making this a fitness related post.

Baby triathlete in training? 02We will see this Saturday! Until then!

California Triathlon Team

Over the last few weeks, I have been hinting that I joined a new training team. It only makes sense that I would join a triathlon team at some point since as you know I am very fond of running teams. A few months ago during marathon training, I met the California Triathlon team president, Thom, at Matty Reed’s clinic. Thom’s pitch was very convincing as California Triathlon is the only non-profit, free membership triathlon team in the area.10155345_381107255361089_1968703796_nOnce I signed up to become a member, I found out that the team offers a whole calender of weekly training activities. After the LA Marathon, I jumped right into triathlon training because my next race is the Huntington Beach Triathlon.  I started attending Tuesday Track to gain some speed back after the marathon. I never really ran intervals until I started training with the group!

1972454_379036245568190_6027373513231512242_nShortly after attending track, I became a regular at Wednesday Brick training. Like track training, each brick session is different. The first time I rode with the group was on a course called “Little Italy.”  Boy, was I in trouble! It was the hardest course I have ever ridden, but everyone was extremely supportive as I huffed and puffed up the hill, TWICE! During brick training we also practice repeat transitioning from the bike to the run.

small I’m in the orange! small2

California Triathlon has even taken me on some of my longest bike rides during their Saturday long bike ride sessions. And as you know, I volunteered with the team this weekend at Oceanside 70.3.

small1One of the best parts of being a member of Cal Tri is this program called VOGO. If you volunteer at a race, they will give you a free race entry. Pretty cool because those races add up quickly!

California Triathlon is probably the friendliest athletic team I have been a member of, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve ran with 5 different teams. Last Sunday, they threw a sprint aquathlon for members of Cal Tri who volunteered at a Rosebowl event. It was a blast to open water swim with the group, and it also became very clear that I need more practice before my upcoming triathlon!

small5 small3Walk like an Egyptian!

IMG_20140330_104819If you are training for a triathlon and live in the LA area, you neeeeeeed to join this team. California Triathlon offers free training all the way from Riverside to Malibu. I am always one of the last to finish during training, but the “good jobs” and “get its” from other members are never ending. Everyone is so supportive!

Oceanside 70.3 Ironman + Juice It Up Giveaway

What a world wind of a weekend! For those of you who were following me on Instagram, no I didn’t race in Oceanside 70.3 Ironman. I did, however, volunteer with California Triathlon.


Before I decided to volunteer I was planning on going to the half Ironman because my half alien, half Ironman friend was racing. You may remember Brett from older posts. He is the person who introduced me to this crazy world of triathlon. He is also my latest hero! I’ll have you know he came out of the water shortly after the pros.

IMG_8047 - Copy IMG_8241_s

Volunteering with Cal Tri was right up there with one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We worked the Transition 1, so we got a VIP view of all the pros transitioning out of the water.

IMG_8060 - Copy


Just three little pro bums transitioning. Not a bad view, eh?


I may have even met Karena from Tone It Up. It’s hard to believe that she is even more friendly and gorgeous in person. We may have gotten a little too close for her comfort during this picture of Karena transitioning. She was a real sport about it though!


Pro triathlete Andy Potts handed out the medals after he finished the race. Talk about amazing!


Let’s be honest… I wasn’t just volunteering this weekend. I may have been scoping out the course for next year. :-) The swim in the harbour looks nice and calm, but I heard there is one hill on the bike that some people walk!!! Eeek… training is necessary!


Spectating is seriously a sport! I was at the race for ten hours volunteering and watching the triathletes cross the finish line. After a long day, I needed a pick me up so I stopped by Juice It Up to test out their new raw juice menu. The Detoxifier is my favorite!


Juice It Up wants you to test out their new menu too, so they are giving away four $5 giftcards. Enter to win using rafflecopter below. I will email the winners next Monday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway