The Green Girl and Lexa's First 40 Mile Ride

Santa Ana River Trail
Sunday morning, the Green Girl and Lexa went on a long ride with a one of the Sole Runners, Kathleen.

In contrast to last week's weather, the marine layer had burned off significantly and though relatively cool, the morning was dry and partially sunny.

We started off south of the Huntington Beach Pier and headed east on the Santa Ana River Trail.

Dry Santa Ana River Trail
To control flooding, the Santa Ana Riverbed has been channelized with cement embankments and is subject to varying water levels.

The Santa Ana river plays a vital role in recharging the groundwater basin. Several retention basins are formed by levees along the river help to replenish the water table.

The Green Girl and Lexa at the Honda Center.
The route took us past residential areas, a golf course, and we even went by Anaheim Angel Stadium and the Honda Center.

After seeing the potential bike muggers last week, we approached each underpass with caution and I told Lexa to cover her eyes so she wouldn't get scared.

If our initial experience wasn't terrifying enough, we quickly realized the bike muggers were also scattered along the trail and using the bushes for camouflage.

Santa Ana River Trail
At one point, there was a single female rider ahead of us and we saw one of the bike muggers come out of the bushes in her direction but when he saw us, he froze and just stared at her as she rode away.

We reached our midway point somewhere in Yorba Linda and we paused to stretch and refuel.

Lexa's first time in a bike rack
I got excited because it was Lexa's first time in a bike rack.

I must admit that I am feeling a lot more confident about Tour DaVita.

My biggest concern was the saddle discomfort but I must admit that the Pearl Izumi Sugar Shorts are amazing.

After some initial chafing, I purchased some Chamois Butt'r from RunJunk.com and that did the trick.

At this point, my main issue is tightness in my lower back. I stopped several times and attempted to stretch but it didn't seem to offer any relief. My core is strong so I am assuming my body just needs to get accustomed to the positioning.


The Sole Runners Colored Band System

Sole Runners technical shirts
The Green Girl helped distribute Sole Runners technical shirts at the registration table at Marina Vista Park this morning.

I also received a second blue mentor shirt.

As I was registering one of the new members, she asked me how long I'd been with the Sole Runners and I surprised myself when I realized I'd been training with the group since 2008.

LeAnn going over the Sole Runners banding system: green - half marathoners, yellow - full marathoners
After Coach Steve's announcements, LeAnn explained the Sole Runners banding system.

Colored bands were distributed for participants to attach to their hydration belts.

Green indicates you are training for a half marathon and yellow means a full.

Sole Runners doing body looseners
The mentors also verified emergency contact information had been provided for each Sole Runner before they received their training band.

Coach Steve led the ChiRunning body looseners before we all headed out.

By the time we started running, the morning had warmed slightly but thanks to the marine layer, it was still comfortable and not too hot.

Coach Steve leading the Sole Runners
I ended up running with a new Sole Runner, Veronica.

She mentioned she had never run far enough to reach the beach so it became our goal to get her to the ocean on this run.

I was so proud of her when she not only made it to the beach but also managed a negative split on the way back.

Mentor George leading the Sole Runners in Hillbilly Yoga
Post-run, Mentor George led the Hillbilly Yoga.

I love that Hillbilly Yoga not only has unique pose names but is flexible enough to allow the names to evolve.

More than one Hillbilly Yoga pose has been renamed based on a suggestion from a Sole Runner.

Under Armour Rain. Sleet. Snow. Wind. Brave the run. shirt
On my way home from the run, I stopped by Sports Authority to look at capris.

I spotted the Under Armour Rain. Sleet. Snow. Wind. Brave the run. shirt I'd been admiring on other runners at races.

It was on the sale rack so on impulse, I made the second running shirt purchase of my life.

Now, in addition to my Run Run Run shirt, I have this awesome new shirt!


Introspections and Reflections of a Green Girl

Lost balloons in the sky
The Green Girl has spent a great deal of time introspecting and reflecting on herself lately.

Early in the year, I had a running epiphany that inspired me to finally 'Say Goodbye'.

It was liberating to release myself from the all that emotional baggage. Those dark thoughts were counterproductive to my happiness.

8th and Termino Ave. Before
Change can be difficult to embrace at times.

This morning when I was out on my run, I went by the little Long Beach trail I'd discovered on my birthday last year.

Much to my dismay, the area had been completely leveled for the Termino Drain Construction project.

8th and Termino Ave. After
I paused for a moment to mourn the loss of the little trail.

There was a giant bulldozer beside several dozen storm drain pipes.

The intent of the project is to alleviate flooding in the neighborhood during heavy storms.

Termino Drain Construction
In other words, the little trail had to be destroyed for the greater good of protecting the surrounding area.

Just as in life, you sometimes have to make difficult, painful decisions because ultimately, it's the right thing to do.

The Green Girl's 'Say Goodbye' Trail Cairn

All changes,
even the most longed for,
have their melancholy;
for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves;
we must die to one life before we can enter another.

Anatole France


Sole Runners June Monthly Social

McKenna's On The Bay
Last night was the Sole Runners at McKenna's On The Bay.

A warm day had cooled to the perfect evening for a dinner and drinks overlooking an Alamitos Bay sunset.

Coach Steve was already seated on the patio when I arrived.

Mentor Barb in her sexy shoes and the Green Girl
We placed our orders and chatted as other sole Runners trickled in.

Coach Steve congratulated me on my first 30 mile ride and group experience.

It was announced that our next destination race would be the Honolulu Marathon in December.

I politely declined and explained the Tour DaVita in September was already a significant financial investment for me.

Sole Runners June Monthly Social
I congratulated some first time marathoners on completing the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon a few weeks ago.

I enjoy talking to new runners because their excitement is contagious and it's so refreshing to see that sense of accomplishment in their eyes.

One thing I really love about my running group is how friendly everyone is.

The Green Girl and Mentor Bill
It's only natural that some friendships have been formed in the group but I never get the sense that there are 'exclusive' cliques.

After indulging in some tasty appetizers and satisfying conversation, I headed out for a short run.


The Green Girl and Lexa's First Group Ride

The Green Girl and Lexa
Sunday morning, the Green Girl and Lexa went on their first group ride with a couple of Sole Runners, Isabelle and Kathleen.

The morning was cool and damp with a mixture of the marine layer and a light drizzle. I was grateful for the warmth of my Zensah Compression Sleeves on my arms.

We started off just south of the Huntington Beach Pier and then we headed east on the Santa Ana River Trail.

Kathleen and Isabelle
I had concerns I wouldn't be able to keep up with Isabelle and Kathleen but we maintained a comfortable pace.

Along the way, Isabelle offered some pointers she had picked up from her triathlon classes and I shared some of the things Coach Steve had taught me.

I focused on staying in my portion of the lane so I wouldn't hit either one of the girls.

On our way back, as we were going under a wide overpass, I saw the most terrifying thing ever.

I looked up to my left and saw a number of what appeared to be homeless people perched at the top of the cement wall just below the street above. Lining the entire length of the wall were what I presumed to be stolen bicycles.

The Green Girl and Lexa with the Anaheim Angels Stadium in the background
When we were a safe distance from the scene from a horror movie, Isabelle reminded us never to ride alone on river trail alone. No argument from me.

We ended up doing a total of 30 miles.

I had a really good time and I'm definitely looking forward to future rides with Isabelle and Kathleen.


Sole Runners Saturday Morning Marina Vista Run

Sole Runners Summer Season registration
The Green Girl helped with the Sole Runners Summer Season registration at Marina Vista Park before the Saturday morning run.

With summer training already in progress, I was pleasantly surprised by the volume of new registrations.

Sole Runners doing body looseners
Since it's still early in the season, Coach Steve welcomed all the new and returning Sole Runners.

Coach Steve proceeded with some running basics and then he went over the ChiRunning body looseners that we do before every run.

New Runner's High owner speaking to the Sole Runners
The new owner of our local running store, Runner's High, also spoke to us briefly.

He let us know Runner's High is now matching competitor prices and the store has extended their return policy so if a shoe doesn't work for you, you can return it regardless of when you purchased it - within reason.

Sole Runners heading out for the Saturday morning run
The marine layer clouded the sky as the Sole Runners headed out for our run.

I started off running with a couple, Brian and Stacey, and their friend Rose Ann.

After awhile, Rose Ann and Stacey fell back, and Brian and I went ahead.

As we ran, Brian explained how he and Stacey had started running.

Mentor Matt leading the post-run yoga
I'm always fascinated by personal running stories.

We ended up doing 8.55 miles. It was one of those comfortable runs where you take it easy but you feel satisfied at the end.

When we returned to Marina Vista Park, Mentor Matt led the post-run yoga.

It felt really good to stretch out on my yoga mat.


Zensah Compression Arm Sleeves Review

Green Zensah Arm Sleeves from RunJunk.com
The Green Girl was thrilled to receive a pair of green Zensah Arm Sleeves from Robert from RunJunk.com.

According to the manufacturer, Zensah:
The Zensah Compression Arm Sleeves have a second-skin feel which makes them the most comfortable compression arm sleeves out there. They are made with a seamless design and ergonomic fit which increases circulation for maximum performance.

Zensah has created the best compression arm sleeves that can be worn as running, basketball, baseball, softball, cycling, triathlon, and football arm sleeves.

Benefits of Zensah Compression Arm Sleeves Design:
  • Graduated Compression - Increases circulation and oxygen blood flow, preventing the forearm muscles from becoming tight and therefore helping to reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
  • Pin-Point Compression - Direct support at the exact source of pain for elbow injuries such as Elbow Tendonitis (can be worn as Elbow Sleeve)
  • Provide protection from sun. The Zensah compression arm sleeves shield and protect arms from harmful sunrays while the silver ions are thermal regulating, keeping the arms cool by wicking away perspiration with protection of UPF 50+

The Green Girl wearing her green Zensah Arm Sleeves
This was my first experience with compression so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I wore them the first time on a run after work. I was impressed by how soft the material was.

I wasn't exactly sure how high they were supposed to go so I yanked them up really high and they really irritated me as I was running.

I finally stopped and pulled them so they were just above my elbows. They were suddenly really comfortable once the tops of the sleeves stopped rolling down my upper arms.

They kept me surprisingly warm - I found I was able to run without a jacket with the sleeves on.

I liked the idea of having more sun protection on my arms while I'm out riding Lexa.

I really liked how they felt when I was cycling. The support felt good on my arms and my forearms actually felt less tired at the end of my ride.

The sleeves also come in a variety of fun colors:

In addition to the Zensah products, RunJunk.com also carries a great selection of nutrition and supplies for endurance athletes. They offer free shipping on all orders over $50.

If you would like to get 10% off your RunJunk.com purchase, simply use the discount code 'GREENGIRL' when you place your RunJunk.com order.


Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) Road Bike Review

Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) in Satin Crystal Pearl White/Sparkling Silver/Platinum
After riding Lexa for a few weeks, the Green Girl is ready to review the Trek Lexa SLX XS.

I'm 4'10.5" with a long torso but short arms and legs. The biggest obstacle for me was to find a bike with a low enough standover for me to actually stand over it.

As far as I could tell, the Trek Lexa SLX 43 cm size 65.4 cm standover height was the lowest of any comparable road bike.

The Trek Lexa's women-specific geometry is a thoughtful touch because it's designed for a woman's proportions.

I feel comfortable when I am riding the Trek Lexa. I don't feel like I am straining to pedal.

I did have to rotate the handlebars slightly towards me in order for my hands to fit comfortably around the brakes so I can't really hold the bottom of my handlebars. This has not been an issue - I just keep my hands on top.

Trek Lexa SLX XS handlebars
The smaller handlebar design allows me to easily reach the brake levers with my short arms and small hands.

I initially felt the seat was on the hard side but after doing some research, I discovered a hard seat was preferable for long rides to minimize chafing.

The ride is very smooth and shifting is easy. I feel like I could go really fast because of how well the bike handles.

The bike is light enough for me to carry it effortlessly down and up several flights of stairs each time I take it for a ride at the beach.

The small size can be very convenient at times. I love how I can fit the bike easily in the trunk of my car. When I use the public restrooms on the beach, I am able to roll the bike into the stall with me.

The Green Girl's Trek Lexa SLX
Since the frame is significantly smaller, there's only enough room for a single bottle holder. Since I tend to drink a lot, I am planning on carrying a hydration pack with me on longer rides.

For those interested in purchasing a U-lock, please keep in mind due to the limited space on the frame, you will need to carry it on you in your pack.

I had not anticipated spending so much on a road bike but now that I've made the investment, I am very satisfied with my purchase. I am confident the Trek Lexa will get me to the finish line of my 240 mile bike tour this fall.

Trek Lexa SLX XS (43 cm) Geometry

GChainstay length41 cm
DEffective top tube48 cm
Frame stack48.1 cm
CHead angle70
BHead tube length13 cm
HOffset5 cm
LFrame reach35.5 cm
ASeat tube angle75.5 cm
Seat height maximum65.5 cm
Seat height minimum55.5 cm
QSeat tube38.8 cm
KStandover65.4 cm
ITrail6.2 cm
JWheelbase97.1 cm
Weight8.6 kg

Trek Lexa SLX
Frame Alpha Black Aluminum
Fork Bontrager Race, carbon legs, SpeedTrap compatible
Frame fit H3

Wheels Bontrager SSR, 650c
Tires Bontrager R1, 650x23c

Shifters Shimano 105 STI, 10 speed
Front derailleur Shimano 105
Rear derailleur Shimano 105
Crank Shimano R-553 50/34
Cassette Shimano 105 11-28, 10 speed
Pedals n/a

Components Saddle Bontrager Affinity 1 WSD, steel rails
Seatpost Bontrager Carbon, 20mm offset
Handlebar Bontrager Race VR-S, 31.8mm
Stem Bontrager Race Lite, 7 degree, 31.8mm
Headset 1-1/8" integrated, semi-cartridge bearings
Brakeset Tektro R540 brakes w/Shimano 105 STI levers

Grips Bontrager gel tape
Extras Fender mounts


The Green Girl and Lexa's Santa Monica Ride

Lexa at the Santa Monica Pier
The Green Girl and Lexa with her new rear tire headed up to Santa Monica for a long ride Sunday morning.

In an attempt to avoid the saddle pain I experienced on my first long ride, I layered my running shorts over my new padded Pearl Izumi Sugar Shorts.

I parked at a meter just north of Venice Beach and headed south on The Strand.

Dismount & Walk Bikes
The Santa Monica portion of The Strand is approximately 8.5 miles.

I had assumed I would be able to follow The Strand all the way down to Manhattan Beach where I often run after work.

Unfortunately for Lexa and me, bicycle traffic is not allowed on some portions of The Strand and there was no way for us to go that far south without having to go on the street.

Instead, I just opted to go up and down the continuous Santa Monica portion. We were able to go as far north as Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades before we turned around and headed back to Venice Beach.

At one point, I did make a feeble attempt to ride on Pacific Coast Highway but the cars got way too close to me and I quickly changed my mind.

Mr. Green Garmin mounted on Lexa's handlebar
This was our first ride with Mr. Green Garmin attached to the handlebars with the Garmin Forerunner Bicycle Mount.

It was a lot easier to look down to see my speed and distance since I'm not coordinated enough to take my hands off Lexa while I'm riding.

Lexa in the bathroom with me
One advantage to having the world's smallest road bike is that Lexa can fit into a bathroom stall with me.

I must admit the padded shorts made a world of difference. We ended up doing 25 miles and I didn't experience any discomfort.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the Green Girl's cycling career.
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