Saturday, December 29, 2007

Technical blogging questions

1. Does anyone know how to change the thingey by your weblog address (which, if you use Blogger, is an orange B)?

2. Does anyone have an opinion about TypePad vs WordPress as an alternative to Blogger?

Musings

Random thoughts for today:
  • I ran 10 miles the other day and focused on hills. Ended up with 2390 feet up and 2444 down. New goal? I want to run a mile up in a run. Isn't that like 3600 feet? Well, let me tell you that even 2400 feet of ascent feels like a LOT of hills! But I still want to do it, and soon.
  • I weigh 4 pounds more than usual after a month of indulgence. But I feel really strong. If I could just defluff, I'm sure there's some muscle there. Strange thing is that I'm not too worried about being up in weight, cuz I know what to do to bring the number back down.
  • My training room got a Christmas present: a 44 pound (20 kg) kettlebell. I've been using it in swing ladders -- hard and fun!
  • Did a plyometric DVD with Tim yesterday and my calves are SORE! We're snowboarding tomorrow, and sore or not, they're in for a workout.
  • Gymnastics season starts next weekend with a meet in Bakersfield. Then it's Rancho Cordova, Palo Alto (Tracy -- wanna meet up at Stanford???), San Mateo, San Francisco, and Oakland. I'd better get my clean eating back in place, cuz it's easy with lots of travel and hours of sitting on bleachers to mindlessly munch!
  • Plan for today is a kettlebell workout in the training room, out with Tim to look at massage chairs, then out with family to see Bodies!!!
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

A fun Christmas gift


My girlfriend got me a set of fun notecards. My favorite is the illustrated palindrome or maybe preferences, both of which are shown here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!


Hope it's your best Christmas so far!

Proof of snowboarding

Tim took this video when we were at Sugarbowl on Friday. I'm convinced the camera makes me fall (the run before what you see, I linked 15 or more turns and didn't fall once!), and when I snowboard it feels like I'm going way faster than it looks here on film. But now that the disclaimers are out of the way, here is proof that I actually snowboard, and don't just blow smoke!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fun!











I just got a kettlebell sticker for my car and I love it. I put it to the left of the license plate, and while I think it looks great, Tim thinks it looks unbalanced. So I was thinking about what I could put on the other side, and 13.1 seemed like a good idea. I got onto Cafepress.com looking for a sticker. I found this one, which I really like:

And in the search for "13.1", this was also included, which made me laugh:

Desire



My snowboard is fine. It gets me down the hill, and as I get better, it gets better. :) But yesterday at Sugar Bowl I saw a snowboard that filled me with lust and envy. Can you see why? Now I really have to get started meditating!

Ego and defiance

I was reading the instructions for Holosync this morning, and read this: When people occasionally have trouble with the program, it's almost always because they failed to take a few moments to read the instructions and support material.

Then the thought occurred: when I have trouble with anything, it's because I refuse to follow directions. That's the truth. I'm not sure if it's my ego (I'm better than that!) or just a complete lack of maturity (I WON'T, and you can't make me!), but If a study guide says to study 30 minutes a day, you'd better believe I'm going to try to do 3-1/2 hours one day (it's the same amount of time, right?!?!). And if the instructions say, "For best results ..." I'm already formulating a "better" plan for me.

As time has gone on, I've gotten better at following directions, mainly because my tolerance for emotional pain has lessened over the years, which is a good thing indeed! And I don't know if it's time or sobriety (almost 23 years!) or maturity that has moved me towards ... towards what? I'm not sure what to call it. All I know is that life seems to work better when I have a willingness to follow directions.

On that happy note, it's time to meditate. (No that's not a joke -- I'm really going to sit here for an hour (!) and be still.)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quick notes

I like Colette's suggestion about keeping workouts on track, and sort of going with the flow in terms of eating at this time of year. Yesterday's workout for me was running:

10.35 miles
9:24 pace
1335 feet ascent
1274 feet descent
1497 calories

The run was tougher than usual because I'd done a heavy leg workout the day before. But the run needed to happen when it did, because tomorrow we're heading up the hill for snowboarding (our THIRD trip this season!), and I want fresh legs. It's been raining here all week, the snow should be sensational and I can't wait!

Here's a post that talks about having an anchor for your eating. It's written for when you travel, but works very nicely in the context of holiday craziness. (I'm writing this as I finish my everyday breakfast bowl of oatmeal/flaxseed/Splenda.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lists of lists


This feels like a crazy time of year. In addition to normal life stuff, there's Christmas stuff (addressed nearly 100 cards today), birthday stuff (Tucker is TWELVE today -- brought 30 maple bars to school today, dinner with extended family tonight [super fun]), weblog stuff (I promise I'm going to respond to every lovely comment!). It's all good, but it feels like a lot, you know? And then of course there's fitting in workouts, and trying to eat well (THAT has not been going all that well, but tomorrow's another day, right?).

Best of luck to everyone as they continue moving forward in this fun busy time of year.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Carrot love


Just because it makes me laugh!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

50 happy 11 year olds


Here are the three happiest 6th graders who are about to throw the party of the year. FIFTY kids turned out for an evening of dancing, food, limbo, rapping (they had a contest to see who could come up with the best rap about milk!), and Soldia Boy dance offs. The energy was infectious and even the parent chaperones had fun. The DJ (one of the dads) was asked to play "Low" by T-Pain something like 10 times, so now that song is stuck in my head, and I'm smiling every time I hear it. As we left, Tucker declared it was the best night of his life. And that makes every single thing that went into pulling this off WORTH IT! And my prayer is that I can learn from the lessons of being pushed WAY out of my comfort zone, and the blessings that came from it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

MUCH better


The party starts in 3 hours, and I'm doing much better. Really, as I read what I wrote, I kinda want to slap myself (although the feelings were very very real). What we have here is a quality problem, no? Thank you to everyone who commented, emailed, and phoned -- it made a huge difference. So I'm gonna go tonight and know that my kid is going to have a great time because he gets to be with his friends!

P.S.


Here's today's Daily Motivator. When I read this, I feel like I can breathe just a little bit better.


The Daily Motivator
www.greatday.com

No Limitations
If all your limitations were suddenly removed, what would you
do? If you were able to make absolutely anything happen,
what would it be?

If there were no challenges standing in your way, where
would you go? With absolutely nothing holding you back, what
would your life become?

It's easy to get so caught up in pushing against your
limitations that you start seeing yourself solely in terms
of those limitations. Yet you are so very much more.

Instead of identifying yourself in relation to the
challenges you face, dig deeper and find the real person
inside. For the truth is, you exist apart from any challenge
or limitation, and it is a powerful exercise to get solidly
in touch with who you are.

Yes, there will always be obstacles and limiting factors.
And the best way to get beyond them is by knowing that they
do not define you.

Imagine a world with no limitations, and discover who you
are in such a world. One by one, the challenges will fade in
the distance as you express the limitless vision that is
yours to live.

Ralph Marston

The truth of why I meditate

I am terrified today. Stressed out. Wishing that maybe a car would hit me and then everything would be ok. Why? Because I'm in charge of a 6th grade Christmas party tonight and I am so far out of my element it's not even funny. My son and his friends planned the party, and we're renting a room and a sound system and serving snacks and we'll have balloons and music and fun. But honestly, all I can see is what might go wrong. What if nobody has fun and this is the worst thing in my son's life? And because I'm the "point man" on this, I feel so responsible for it and if it goes bad, it's on me. And I don't know what to have the kids do. And my husband keeps asking me questions that I don't know the answer to: how are we handling the music? Shouldn't there be some games. I DON'T KNOW! I HAVE NO IDEA!

So that's why I want to be hit by a car. Because then I have a completely legitimate excuse as to why the party has to be called off. And nobody will get hurt. Well, except for me. But that's ok.

I really do understand that there's another way to look at this. My son, through his perserverence and determination, has managed to create an event that has the entire 6th grade (90 kids) excited and happy to anticipate. And it looks like half of them will be at the party. That's amazing! My kid found the room. He called DJs and caterers (but all were way too expensive, so we've found other ways to do this, but still -- he took the initiative). And he's beyond excited. But I feel like I can barely breathe and I'm so scared I can taste it.

So that's why I meditate. To try to find a different way to deal with all of this. Oh, and today's meditation really could be called a worry session. But that's just semantics, right?

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Best Christmas song...

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
...is "The Best Christmas" by Christopher Cross. Brings me to tears each time I hear it. Close second is "Welcome to Our World" by Michael Smith. Oh, let's face it -- I LOVE Christmas music!

Life is good!

I'm having a great week. I'm trying some new meditation CDs (Holosync) so my mornings have been filled with Bible reading (my choice) and then 30 minutes of sitting quietly listening to the sound of rain and crystal bowls on "The Dive" CD. Do I sit quietly well? I wish I could say yes, but honestly it's a challenge. But I'm finding that I feel more centered, I'm doing things differently, and I'm snapping out of ick moods much quicker than I usually do.

Workout-wise, things are good too. Did an intense timed workout on Tuesday, and today I ran almost 8 miles while listening to "Eat, Pray, Love" on my iPod. (The author reads her own book and although I've read the book twice, hearing it is wonderful too!) Eating? Going good. Today's run (with lots of hills, of course) burned 1279 calories, so after the run I had a P90X recovery shake (yum!) and a while later had my favorite snack treat: whole grain protein bread with some sunflower seed butter and honey on top.

What else? I'm enjoying adding pictures to my weblog. I think it makes it more readable and just more fun. Speaking of pictures, I got a Santa suit this year. It looks nothing at all like this one, since I got it at a high class ... upscale ... hmmmm, well, let's just say that I didn't get it at Target, and Tim thinks it's the best Santa suit he's ever seen!

Ok, verging on an overshare, I'll sign off now. Oh, and to everyone who has been kind enough to leave a comment -- I DO read every single one, and appreciate them all, and I'll be writing about them in the near future.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Balance in all things

My last writing was about being all domestic, which is a part -- a big part of my life. But it's not all that's important to me.

To prove this, I offer a digital short from Saturday Night Live. If you're easily offended, you may want to take a pass here. But if you have a snarky sense of humor, and you want to watch a lovely video that has a lot to do with Christmas, just click HERE!

Enjoy, but remember, you were warned! (And whatever you do, do NOT watch this the first time with your kids!)

Figuring out family dinners, again!

If you've read my writings for any length of time, you know that a recurring question is "what the heck am I going to make for dinner?" The problem is not a lack of talent (I'm actually a good cook), nor a lack of interest. Rather it's a lack of -- well, here's the problem. With one vegetarian (me), one who gets hungry early (Tucker), one whose schedule is unpredictable all the time (Tim) and one who's never home (Austin) and needs transportation at dinnertime (me as transportation), it's just tough to make it all come together.

But I've had two successes -- actually three -- in a row. Saturday Tim and I were heading to a Christmas party, but I cooked up some pasta and tossed it with lemon artichoke pesto (thanks Trader Joe's!) which everyone loved. After snowboarding I used one of Tracy's soup ideas and put together a Mexican inspired vegetarian concoction, which the whole family loved. And tonight I made the BEST chicken pot pie (of course it's wonderful -- it's made with fresh chicken, half and half, tons of veggies, and is topped with homemade biscuits), and a big fluffy salad. I enjoyed the salad while the guys enjoyed the pot pie.

So I'm thinking that maybe the answer is vegetarian meals half of the time, and "regular" stuff the rest of the time. I honestly don't mind cooking things with meat, and this way some of the time we eat all the same, and other times I just eat the "side" stuff for my meal. I'll let you know how this works as time goes on.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Snow

Rather than doing Filthy Fifty today, I did something much harder: I went snowboarding. It was really really fun and I'm so glad we went. But every time we hit the slopes it's pretty amazing to me that I'm even there at all.

Tim took this picture of us on the chairlift.

Austin at the end of the day. He is so good and so fast that a picture on the hill is NOT a possibility.

Tucker hams it up for the camera. I SWEAR we did not force him to be barefoot and half naked in 20 degree weather!

So my history with snow sports is not a great one. My parents were terrified that I would break a leg if I skied, and living in Sacramento and going to a nice high school meant that nearly everyone was off in Tahoe skiing on the weekends. I desperately wanted the raccoon eyed, red nosed apres-ski sunburn that my friends sported. One time I was allowed to go night skiing with my church group. It was fun to go fast, but it was my only opportunity to try skiing.

Then college. I was poor and didn't have equipment, but our dorm did a cross country ski day. I wore two pairs of jeans (because it was going to be cold!) and was soaked by lunchtime. As the day wore on, and I got colder, it got harder and harder to move. I ended the day coming off the hill on a snowplow.

My final ski experience came when Tim and I were engaged. Tim started skiing at age 5 and he's the kind of skiier that people watch because he's so darned good. I wanted my fiance to be proud of me. So when I fell and my bindings didn't release and my knee popped, I just kind of shook it off and kept going. Knee popped several more times that day, and I walked with crutches for months after that.

So when Tim and the kids learned to snowboard, I felt the fear and did it anyway. I didn't want to ski -- it just felt way too risky. But snowboarding, where your feet are both connected to the same board? Well, that seemed to make more sense. The learning curve for snowboarding, at least for me, was steep and painful, but by the second season I was going down intermediate runs. In fact, we were at Northstar on my 45th birthday, and Tim got the entire lift line to sing "happy birthday" to me! But later in that year I had a really bad day on the slopes and my confidence hit an all time low. And last year I didn't even get onto the board at all.

So today I reminded myself that I am NOT a sidelines mom, and headed up the hill. It took a while to feel comfortable, and my legs were definitely a little tired from yesterday's run, but after the first few runs I was having a great time. I only fell once -- when Austin's coat got tangled in the chair lift and he shoved me as I came off the chair!

So a great time was had by all, and even though my entire family is better than me (that's not a hard thing, being better at snowboarding than I am!), I'm just happy to be right there with them.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Run? Done!


Today's run is done! Results?

13.04 miles
2:06:51
9:43/mile
1910 calories
2277 feet ascent
2656 feet descent

It felt like way more hills than the numbers show, but whatever. And I'd hoped to break the 2000 calorie mark, but whatever. It was a long hard run and now it's DONE!

(And no, those aren't my running shoes, but mine are in about that kind of shape. It's definitely time for a new pair!)

I'm considering doing the Filthy Fifty from Crossfit tomorrow. I'll be sure to let you know if it's a "go!"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A "not fitness" post!



This is my lovely new handbag. I've gotten a little "into" handbags recently and I tell you what -- there's a lot to love about this one. The leather is soft. The hardware makes it a bit edgy. The size is perfect. And the color makes me happy!

We will now resume our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The end of an era


Tonight Austin was doing homework and used up the last of a glue stick. When he looked for another, there wasn't one. There was a time when glue sticks, crayons, and construction paper were staples just as much as bread, cheese, and apples. But no longer. With kids who are 14 and (in two weeks) 12, it's a different ballgame. Am I sad? Actually no. But two summers ago when I bought grown up hangers for Austin, and in the same week he told me he was completely done with his stuffed animal collection (all dogs -- super cute!), well that was a sad time to be sure.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Better blogging

Tim, who reads my weblog faithfully (thank you, sweetie!), commented that it lacks a certain something -- namely, PICTURES! And he's right. So here, my friends, are some recent photos which should help break up my text-heavy posts:


This is Tim, with his favorite dog, doing one of his favorite things (probably checking fantasy football stats -- he's currently tied for first place in his league!).


This is me and Tracy at Peet's in San Jose. She is the real deal, friends!


This is CrossFit HQ in Soquel, CA (just outside of Santa Cruz). It's not very big, but they certainly get the job done in bringing elite fitness to the masses.


Here are Eva T. (one of the best skiiers on the planet, and an awesome athlete) and Jeff Martone (who makes everything with a kettlebell look easy and fun) planning our next session of the certification.


These white boards are everywhere in the CrossFit gym. This one tracks max pullups.

No pictures to go along with these comments, but there are a few more things:

1. I swung (swang?) at 72 pound kettlebell several times at the cert. It was fun!
2. In tonight's workout I incorporated some of the new stuff I can do from the cert: Turkish Get Ups (5 on each side with an 18 pound kettlebell -- THAT will get your heartrate up!), bottoms up cleans, speed swings, and lots more American swings than I usually do. I think I'm gonna be sore, and that's a good thing!

Weekend update

Kettlebell weekend was awesome! It started with an unexpected surprise -- I got to have coffee with Tracy Reifkind! We met in San Jose and being with was like reading her blog -- I came away inspired and focused and really really happy. Tracy, who is nothing but consistent in her message and her actions, brought a simple snack she had prepared at home: fuji apples, persimmons, kiwi, and date rolls. I felt so cared for. (And I'll post pictures once I load them from my camera. Tracy, who is nothing if not on top of things, already has a picture of us on her blog!)

Time with my sister, brother in law, and my niece (age 6) and nephew (age 3) -- priceless. The kids are beyond excited about Christmas and that's infectious and fun. My brother in law is passionate about caring for your body by eating smart and right, so we had some great talks. And my sister? If only we lived closer, like next door or in the same house.

So on to the certification. It was held at the CrossFit HQ in Soquel, which was super exciting to me, because I've watched tons of CF videos and to be where they're shot was really cool. The weekend was led by Jeff Martone, who was a great instructor -- patient, humble, and crazy knowledgeable. He was assisted by Eva T., a skiing and a CrossFit legend. She was also patient, humble, and crazy knowledgeable.

There were 13 students in the cert -- 9 men, and 4 women. People traveled from Australia (a couple who run The Original Bootcamp), Portland (a CrossFit affiliate), Chicago, and San Diego to attend. There were some crazy strong MMA and CrossFit guys. One of the women was 6 months pregnant with her first baby, and she glowed with health and strength. It was fun to be part of such a strong, committed group of people and we had a lot of fun together.

So what did I learn? First of all, I learned that I know a lot about teaching basic kettlebell moves. That may not sound like much to learn, but it was huge for me, because I don't have other trainers to bounce ideas off of like I would if I worked in a gym. So to discover that I really DO know something was great. But beyond that, I learned how to use and teach the high tension kettlebell moves. In particular, I learned to love the Turkish Get Up, both as a whole body exercise, and as a movement that could help enhance my shoulder stability. And finally, I learned to not be afraid of the snatch, another whole body move that I've avoided (until now!).

On Sunday we did a practical test and I passed, so I am now CrossFit Kettlebell Certified -- hooray!

Yesterday I got my long run in and got to visit with a friend. Stacy is searching for her lost motivation, and we met for a run/walk. By the time we were done, we'd covered almost 6 miles, so I decided to go home the long way. Stats for the outing:

11 miles
1939 calories (and I didn't try to make this up -- hooray!)
1 hour, 55 minutes
2928 ascent (we did some hill repeats)
2906 descent (what goes up must come down)

Today is super busy -- back to back clients, lunch with some of my favorite people (mother in law and sister in law), another client, them into the mom swing of things. Have a great day, friends!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Quick update

I'm leaving today for Santa Cruz for the CrossFit Kettlebell Certification workshop. Can't wait to learn all sorts of new fun stuff!

Ran yesterday. Tell you what -- hills will kick your butt into shape. Wish the Nike Plus system recognized elevation changes. I'm still using my Garmin to track results. So here's yesterday's run:

6.26 miles
1:01:57
9:53 pace (LOTS of hills)
994 calories
ascent 1233
descent 1334

Wish I had something interesting to say, but I don't, and it's time to wake kids, so I'm out. Have a great weekend, friends!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Back to reality

Long weekends can be great, but by yesterday, we were all ready to be back to the normal routine that school and work provide.

Remind me next year to ban all Harry and David popcorn, caramel, and chocolate products from my house, ok? Wowie did I indulge, and as predicted, my mood took a nose dive. Today I'm back on eating clean and feelin' fine.

Fitness wise I'm still plugging along. Friday I ran 10 miles at a 9:15 pace, and just an hour after I got home, we took the kids (Austin, Tucker, and my niece Amanda) ice skating. It wasn't my first choice personally (vegging on the couch would have been just fine!), but I kept remembering the part in "Ultra Marathon Man" where he runs 200 miles, then takes his kids on the roller coaster at the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. Yeah, if he can do that, I can run 10, then ice skate. Skating was fun! The check in girl said, "Oh no! You only have an hour and a half to skate!" Ummm, do we LOOK like professionals??? That was plenty of time for all of us, but we really had a lot of fun.

Today as penance for my indulgent eating, I decided to run 10 again. Today's pace was 9:08 (faster, which is good, although there were strong winds on Saturday) and it felt easier than Saturday.

Oh, I almost forgot -- I did a bootcamp at S&B Elite Training on Saturday. It was really fun and included some boxing moves -- roundhouse kicks and punching combinations -- in addition to all sorts of other challenges. And at the end, they award a t-shirt to the "soldier of the day" and I was chosen for the award! Now I want to go back every single weekend, although a gold star or a sticker would have the same effect for me, as I'm highly motivated by praise!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Shopping tip

I really like Red Envelope and until Monday they're offering free shipping (there's a code on the front page of the website). If anyone has gifts to buy, it might be worth a look...

New year, new goals

Some of you may remember that I started 2006 with the goal of doing 1000 lunge walks per day for the entire year. I made it all the way to the end of March, when I realized that while it was a fun goal, I was actually GAINING weight, because the lunges left me too sore to do much of anything else for exercise. And since it was my goal, I could change it if I wanted to, so I did. But I still can't believe I did 90,000 lunge walks!!!

2007 has been all about getting my training business up and running, and I am happy to say that the business is thriving! I've stayed on track with fitness throughout the year, but haven't really had a goal in mind, other than fitting in my clothes, staying healthy and active, and learning how to be the best possible trainer there is.

Looking forward to 2008, I was brainstorming with myself about what might be fun to do. Something challenging. Something that feels exciting and purposeful. Something that helps me to continue to fit in my clothes. And what I've come up with is this:

A HALF-DOZEN HALF MARATHONS!

I'm so excited! I love the half-marathon distance because it's long enough that you have to train, but short enough that things don't really start breaking down. Plus the longest training run is 2 hours, which I find tough but doable. And I've identified 5 local and local-ish races I can do: the Davis half in February, the American River Parkway half in May (it goes right by where I grew up in Sacramento), the San Francisco half (this is the first year the SF Marathon is including a half!) in August, the Nike in October, and the Four Bridges half in Folsom in November. So if I find one more, I'm good to go. Yes, the runs have to be races, not just covering 13.1 miles on my own.

If anyone else is doing a fitness goal for 2008, I'd sure love to hear about it!

Fun is Fun!

The party was wonderful! I've never seen Secret Service men up close and personal and it was very exciting to be in the same room as someone who warrants their protection. The house? Amazing! Two pools -- indoor and outdoor. Beautiful everything. My favorite part? In the master bath, there was a recessed ceiling that was painted and lit to look like it was filled with sunshine!!! And the food was great. The hosts are Turkish and a friend of theirs prepared Turkish food for 100 people (!). Nearly all of it was vegetarian and the homemade baklava was to die for.

Kings game? Amazing! (Sorry for all the exclamation points, but truly they are required!) We sat behind the basket on the Phoenix side, right at the edge of the court. We got to toss balls back to the players as they warmed up, and during the game, Tim tossed a ball back to Steve Nash (very exciting!). Grant Hill nearly landed in our laps in the first quarter. Honestly, it was one of the most exciting things, being that close to such great athletes. We went to the VIP lounge at halftime which was not as exciting as I'd thought it would be (but the chocolate cake was great!). And although I set up Tivo to record the game, I must've gotten the wrong channel because no game taped. Oh well. And yes, we took pictures, and once I can transfer them from my phone to the computer I'll post them here.

As far as workouts, yesterday's workout was a tough 5 mile run. It was tough because I just didn't have any energy (perhaps the baklava effect?). Here are the stats:

5 miles
47:21
9:27 pace
821 calories
951 feet ascent
976 feet descent

Today's plan is a circuit style weight workout, and Thanksgiving prep. Time for me to go -- first client arrives any minute. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Let the fun begin!

Workout is done. I was not alone in my misery, as my girlfriend came over to workout with me, and Tim drove up after golfing just in time to play too! This is the hardest workout CrossFit has to offer (in my opinion), and my friend did great. I reminded her that in January, I had her do burpees, and when she got to 5, she was dizzy and had to stop. Today? She did FIFTY!

Two fun evenings and penance

Tomorrow night Tim and I are attending a political fundraiser at one of his client's houses. The house has a heliport (!) and looking at it from Google earth, it looks unlike any house I've seen (except for the crazy house on Star Island where we attended a party several years ago). I'm very excited about going. However, I don't know what to wear! Tim's going to check with one of his contacts, but right now I'm thinking a dress and my favorite Cole Hahn boots...

Ok, so then Tuesday night Tim's boss gave us courtside tickets to see the Sacramento Kings vs. the Phoenix Suns. We're sitting right behind the Phoenix bench (hooray, cuz I love Steve Nash!) and we get special snacks (also hooray!). And because we have four tickets, our whole family gets to go!!!

With all that fun to look forward to, you have to pay in some way, right? Well, maybe that's not how it works, but the reality is that I'm doing a workout today that is nothing short of torturous. It's posted on the CrossFit website and it's nicknamed "The Filthy Fifty." I just call it hell. Here it is:

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

I'll be using a 20" box for the jumps, a 24 pound bar for the push presses, a 16 pound med ball for the shots, and will be substituting tuck jumps for the double unders (because I can only do like 3 or 4 double unders at this point).

Laurie's question

Laurie posted this yesterday:
"Hey I know I'm not your client, but wondering if you could help me out a little bit. I'm trying to figure out how to lift and work on my running. I just can't figure out what I should be doing on what day of the week. My main goal is to run a 10K but I don't want to lose any of my muscle that I've built up. I workout on MWFSS (and I like my long run on either S or S) and only have an hour but I'm at a loss trying to figure out what days to do legs. Any help would be HUGELY appreciated. "

Laurie,

I'm happy to help you move towards your goal and I'm glad you asked the question.

Given your schedule and time constraints, as well as your goals, here's how I think I'd structure the week:

Monday: weights + speed interval running
Wednesday: weights (legs) + running
Friday: weights + elliptical (non-running cardio)
Saturday: long run
Sunday: weights

A few notes:

Speed interval running means that after warming up you choose an interval (maybe 30 seconds) and you go as close to all out as you can. Then you recover for a minute, then repeat.

Doing leg weights and then running will help with your endurance, but you'll probably go slower on this day.

You know I don't do bodypart training so any day that says weights is going to include lots of full body and compound lifts. If this was my training schedule, I'd do it like this:

Monday: pushing muscles + speed interval running
Wednesday: lower body blast + running (steady state)
Friday: pulling muscles + elliptical
Saturday: long run
Sunday: whole body weights

Laurie, I hope this helps. As always, there are lots of opinions out there, and if you asked someone else, you'd get a different (possibly better!) answer. If anyone else wants to comment, please do so -- the more brains, the merrier! And do let us know how it goes, ok?

Comments on comments

A big THANK YOU to everyone who takes the time to read what I write -- if you keep a weblog, you know how great you feel to know that someone is reading you. (If you don't keep a weblog, trust me -- it feels fantastic!)

Regarding "Remembering What I've Forgotten":

Matt: From the bottom of my heart, thank you for what you wrote! Reading your thoughts made a huge difference, and I so appreciate you!

Stef and Colette: Yes, sugar IS evil, and yes, I've written about this before. Thanks for helping me to get and stay on track.

Regarding "Running with (kettle)bells":

Eileen: You DO need some kettlebells, girlfriend!
Evelyne: Yes, I saw kettlebells at Target too, and they come with an instructional DVD that's done by an RKC (an incredibly wonderful certification). Let your husband get you one!
LizN: I hope kettlebells make their way to Australia soon. You will LOVE them!
Stef, Colette, Laurie, and Irene: thanks for the encouragement!
Tracy: Yep, the crossover effect is a wonderful thing!

Regarding "Tough Workout":
Matt: Yes, I'm very happy with the 5 second per mile speed increase!
Colette: You could do exactly the same thing if you wanted to -- you are stronger than you think you are.
Regina and Stef: Thanks for the nice words that made me smile.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Random weekend stuff

I'm importing and listening to vintage Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass as I type this. I have really fun memories of making up dances to this music with my brother (we were young!) and dancing in our never furnished living room. The dances always ended with us holding hands and spinning until we let go with a dramatic crash against the walls.

(This Guy's in Love With You just came on -- what a romantic song!)

Today was long run day and it was difficult, coming off of yesterday's tough workout. Here are the results:

10.18 miles
1 hour, 35 minutes
9:23 pace
1512 calories
1423 feet ascent
1615 feet descent

I just found the ascent/descent information and I find that interesting. Incidentally, on my longer runs, I do not worry about pace at all -- I just want to cover the distance, so I'm fine with my 9:23 average.

So we're heading to church in a few minutes. Since family dinners are so rare in our family (gymnastics takes its toll!), we've made Saturday night family night. We hit the 6:15 church service, and then go out for dinner, taking turns for who picks the place.

(Now Herb Alpert is done, and I'm importing some Led Zeppelin.)

I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, and preparations are being made. Thanksgiving is the most food-centric holiday there is, and it's just so much fun! Being that I no longer eat meat, I'm not looking forward to cooking the turkey, but I'm not skipping the centerpiece of the traditional meal. Thanksgiving is the perfect meal for vegetarians, because there are so many side dishes to choose from. My favorite? My own sweet potato casserole (fresh sweet potatoes, lots of butter, lots of sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon on top!).

Oh, one more thing -- if anyone local knows anyone who wants to buy a bass guitar, please let me know. Tucker bought this guitar (list price $400, he got it for $300) this summer, played it once, and decided he didn't want it. Of course we'd already tossed the box and receipt. Anyway, it's a Fender guitar with an amp and a case, and if he could get $175 for it, he'd be so happy.

That's it for now. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Irene posted this on her weblog, and it's so worth watching that I grabbed it and copied it here -- thanks Irene!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tough workouts

Yesterday: running
6.01 miles
52:23
8:43 per mile
893 calories
The good news about this run is that it included half of the hill known as "backside" which is a tough one. The other good news is that I didn't eat 900 calories of crap just because I ran!

Today: 5 minute rounds of intensity, 1 minute for each exercise.

Round 1
16k swings
pushups
16k swings
Arnold press
16k swings

Round 2
16k swings
suitcase squats with 2-12k bells
16 k swings
bodyweight step-ups on 16" box
16k swings

Round 3
16k swings
floor crunches
16k swings
floor oblique crunches
16k swings

Round 4
16k swings
pull-up negatives
16k swings
lat pull-downs with black band
16k swings

Intense. Difficult. Done!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Running with (kettle)bells

If I ever create a training log, that's what it will be called. Kettlebell training is making my run times faster.

Today's run:
4.35 miles (my hilly 4 mile route, plus a little extra)
38:22 minutes
8:48 pace (!)
700 calories (I will refuel with healthy, fresh stuff)

I'm already feeling more balanced now that I'm eating less sugar. Life's still busy but it feels good busy, not "my life is going to eat me" busy, which is a very welcome change indeed!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Remembering what I've forgotten

I've forgotten something important and I just remembered it: sugar makes me crazy! In my love of running and the joy of calories burned, I have completely forgotten that if I don't watch my intake of sugar, my mood takes a nosedive.

Saturday's long run provided some time to think about why I was feeling so out of sorts. I was pondering why I spend so much time living in the lands of fear and confusion. My life is great and I have much to be thankful for, so why why WHY do I feel frightened and confused so much of the time? And yesterday I was thinking about it again, when a lightbulb went on and I remembered "Oh yeah, I don't do this fitness thing because of how it makes me look. I do it because of how it makes me feel!" And I'd forgotten that.

So starting today I'm going to eat "clean" which for me means staying far away from processed sugar. I'll betcha my mood will improve dramatically. I'll be sure to keep you posted...

Comment appreciation

It is so fun waking up to find that a) someone took the time to read what I've written, and b) that someone took even more time to write thoughts about what they read.

Tracy -- No, I haven't gotten coaching on snatches. If I am ever in your area, I'd LOVE to get together again. You certainly know your stuff! In the meantime, keep the workout ideas and great food posts coming!

Juls -- Let me know if you do visit the Bodies exhibition. I can't wait to see it!

Colette -- That's fun that you have a numbers thing too! Thanks for the encouragement on my run.

BosuJen -- love your factoids -- thanks for playing! And I'm happy you're blogging again!

Irene -- Your brother (who I met) was messy? For some reason, that surprises me! Oh, and again, congratulations on your PR at the half marathon!

Matt -- You are absolutely right -- to "begin with the end in mind" or picture how great it will feel to be done (with a long run, or with anything that's difficult) is a great way to get going. As always, thank you for your encouragement -- it means a great deal to me.

Laurie -- Hooray for finishing YOUR long run!

Stef -- Thanks for the encouragement -- I'll remember it the next time I'm facing a long run.

Katie -- You are a brat, and you made me laugh!

LizN and Erica -- It was fun reading about you via the 5 facts game -- thanks for playing!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Run? Done!

13 miles
2:03:38
9:30 pace
1813 calories

Why do long runs make me nervous? Because they're HARD! But, like it says on the wall of my training room, HARD WORK PAYS OFF!!!

On the run

I'm heading out to do 9 or 10 miles. Why do I get nervous before each and every long run? Does everyone else who runs do that? Honestly, I'm writing right now because if I tell you that I'm going to do it, then I've made a promise that I have to keep, which is not a bad strategy. But I just get so scared. Will that ever change? Maybe I'll ponder that as I trot along. Gotta run...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tagged

I've been tagged by Irene to list five factoids about myself, and then tag five fellow bloggers. So here, in no particular order, are the five things that I can think of to share:

(ummmmm, nothing)

(no, that's boring)

(not sharing THAT!)

(Oh, ok, here's one...)
1. I used to be fat. I don't know if people who know me now really know that, but I was. I was 24 years old, and I weighed around 180 pounds (I'm 5'5" tall). My size 14 Evan Picone suit skirt (it WAS the mid-80s) cut red lines into my waist that stayed there for hours, but I was too poor and too vain to get a bigger one.

2. I grew up thinking, believing, I would be fat and crazy someday. My mom has struggled with mental illness and weight for my entire life. (I wish her life were different.) So when my parents told me, at age 22, that I was adopted, I was thrilled because I thought that maybe fat and crazy was not my destiny.

3. On a lighter note, I LOVE odd numbers. Why? Don't know. Don't care. But given a choice, I will set the temperature to 77 or 79, not 78. Same with digital volume controls. And I'm super happy when it's an odd numbered year. In fact, I've been claiming 47 as my age, when I really have two months to go, but it's because I'd much rather be 47 than 46. Maybe that's because my birthday is odd numbers: 1/9/1961!

(I can't think of anything else that's not stupid or boring.)

(Maybe I can stop at 3. What -- the blogging police will come?)

(Oh, here's one.)

4. I am not naturally neat or organized, but I'm married to the most organized, methodical man on the planet. I've worked very hard to get better. Once when I was in my early 20s, my parents gave me some fruit to take to my apartment. My car was so messy that I did not discover the fruit again until it had rotted through its plastic bag and made a nasty odor in the car. But I'm much better now (right, Tim?)!

5. I believe with all my heart that I have adult ADD. I am highly distractible and have a terrible time staying on task, although I do force myself to get things done. But what's good about the ADD thing is that I have a multitude of interests and always have many projects going to keep things fun.

Now who to tag? (I really need to update my list of blogs I read, cuz I read way more than I actually have listed.) I tag

BosuJen
Erica
Liz
The Street Workout guys, and
Laurie

Coming to Sacramento!

Bodies, The Exhibition is coming to Sacramento. As a girl who grew up thinking she would be a doctor, I've been fascinated by science my whole life, and I can't wait to see this.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tabata everything!

I'm about to do a workout where every element will be done Tabata style and I'm nervous because Tababa is HARD! In case you haven't heard of it, Tababa is an exercise protocol of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. A "full" Tabata is 8 rounds or 4 minutes in length. But the point is to push yourself as hard as possible during the work intervals, so while this might seem easy on paper, it's very hard in practice. Today's workout includes these exercises, Tabata style:

jump rope
Kettlebell swings, 16K
pushups
ring rows
step ups w/overhead press
bodyweight squats
ball crunches
Kettlebell swings (again!)

Actually this workout is perfect for today, because I'm donating blood this afternoon, and they always want you to rest after that. Ummmm, yeah, no problem today!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Comments

Like I said, I don't think writing every day is my style. But I am going to try handling comments differently, by responding to each comment IN the comments. I've always been impressed when bloggers do this -- it seems respectful and nice -- so I'm going to give it a try.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thoughts about fitness

So the floors are still dirty, but the workout is completed. I decided that today's workout would emphasize endurance, so I set the timer for 30s work, 15s rest. After warming up with some lunges and overhead presses using the 18 lb kettlebell, I did 13 rounds of two-handed swings using the 26 pound kettlebell. Why 13 rounds? Well, first of all because it's my lucky number, and secondly because I don't think my hands or forearms could have taken any more than 13 sets. Then I rested for a full minute, and went into bodyweight squats, 7 rounds of 30 squats per round, which got harder with each and every round. Then I did a few round of pushups, then some of ball crunches and I was done.

So I was thinking that one of the problems in working out is that most people don't know what they're trying to accomplish when they go to exercise. For many people, especially women, the general idea is to "tone up" "burn calories" and "lose weight." And that's fine, and I certainly understand it, but I think workouts become way more meaningful if you can assign a purpose to each and every workout. In my case, Friday's 11 mile run was done to promote endurance, and to burn lots of calories (so I could enjoy some indulgent eating). Yesterday's run was done to burn calories (I do that a lot) and recover. Today's workout was designed to promote endurance, like I said, and how that helped me was that when I was getting really tired, I could think about my purpose and it helped me to push past the pain.

Oh, and I must email Tracy to tell her that I roasted some brussels sprouts (delicious!) and some beets the other day, inspired by her food posts. And I even braved some new produce, picking up a parsnip and some turnips, which I'll be trying tomorrow. Thanks Tracy!

Still here!

Some of my favorite bloggers are doing a November challenge where they write every single day. That gives me lots to read, which I love, but it's not something that works for me. Why? Because I only write at the intersection of two conditions: 1) time to write, and 2) something to say. (Oh, and sometimes when Tim or Stacy bug me about not writing! :))

Well, today I'm writing because I don't want to mop my floors just yet. Yep, it's writing as as form of procrastination, but I do have the time to write, and I do have something to say.

I've decided that I like being in half-marathon shape, and I plan to train to stay that way. So my plan is to run a long-ish run every weekend, following this pattern: 13, 8, 11, 9. Two weeks ago I ran 13, and last weekend it was 8. Friday I ran 11, and next weekend it will be 9. Running is hard, but that's part of why it's so effective. (Incidentally, in a semi-related note, I'm wearing my size 2 pants and they fit with ease -- hooray!) (No, I will not be wearing them when I clean my floors!)

I have a client whose neck and upper back are chronically in spasm these days, and cause her pain and headaches. So we're not training the upper body at all. And I'm concerned about having her even hold weights when working her lower body, but I think I've found a solution -- dive weights! YEARS ago, I got certified in scuba diving, and in order to combat your body's buoyancy, you have to wear a weight belt. Well, I started thinking about that, and today I went out and bought a dive weight belt and some weight pouches. My hope is that this will enable her to do some weighted lower body exercises.

Again, thinking back, I have personal experience with working around injuries. When I was 27, I tore my ACL while skiing (it was only my 3rd time on skis!). At that time, I was doing exercise tapes by a company called The Firm (the tapes are still great, incidentally). So while I couldn't bend my knee or straighten it completely, I did what I could do, which was to do upper body weights. And then when I dislocated my shoulder several years back, it was all lower body, baby, and let me tell you, when you can only do lower body stuff, it shows in a very good way!

Next subject -- I have a new favorite 4 mile run. Yesterday I did it as as recovery run at a 9:07 pace and burned 633 calories (it's quite hilly!). For any locals who are interested, you start at my house and run to the trail. You do the upper trail, then the lower trail, go across Park into Whitney Oaks. Take the steep hill trail by the golf course to the top, then turn left on Park. Turn right on Crest and head back to the start -- that's 4 miles. My new goal is to do it at a sub-9:00 per mile pace, which will be tough because the hills, they are not gentle or easy!

Today's plan -- mop floors, kettlebell workout, church tonight (we go on Saturday nights, and this week there's a great speaker talking about the Lord's Prayer -- he gave the first part of a 3 part series last night, and it was THAT GOOD that I want to hear more tonight).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The problem with Halloween...

You MUST read this -- Crabby says it better than I ever could.

(But if you don't have time to click the link, here's the excerpt that says it all: "The problem is: we're a culture of infants who think every f*cking day of the year is a holiday.")

Halloween candy update: I DID open the bag last night, intending to have one or two special favorite pieces. But then Tim was working on the iMac (installing Windows so I can run Exercise Explorer again), and I was tired, and guess what will help keep you awake? That's right -- mainlining chocolate! So I woke up feeling hung over and icky. Here's hoping that tonight and tomorrow morning will be better!

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Good Amount of Busy

  • Right now I'm planning workouts for the four clients I train tomorrow -- happy day! I think four is the perfect number of clients to see in a day.
  • I got a shoe pouch for my Nike+ and the mileage reading is much closer to that of my Garmin. Calorie burn is still quite different, but Nike+ doesn't know about Rocklin's hills. Today I did laps of the golf course hill (a few of you have experienced this oh-s0-steep hill). Managed 7 laps in 55 minutes, and covered a little over 5 miles. Nike thinks I burned 600 calories, whereas Garmin thinks it's closer to 900. Either way, I'll take it -- it was a HARD workout!
  • I'm having a hard time getting back on track with clean eating. Monthly hormone changes made last week a tough one for emphasizing fruits and veggies. And Halloween is just 2 days away!!! I bought candy today and it's still unopened, but for how long???
  • CrossFit in Santa Cruz is having a Kettlebell workshop in December and I think I'm going to attend! Tracy, my kettlebell hero, told me about the RKC workshop in San Jose in the springtime, and I have no doubt that it's a wonderful experience, but it's very expensive (and while I'm not opposed to spending money on education, I don't know that the cost would be worth the benefit in my case), and (the bigger concern) you have to pass a snatch test in order to be certified, and my shoulder stability doesn't allow me to do more than a few kettlebell snatches without feeling the joint slip inside.
  • This weekend my technically savvy husband moved me onto an iMac with Leopard. This computer will replace the PC that died, and will allow me to run Exercise Explorer (a PC-only program that can run layered on top of Leopard -- one of its cool new features). As I'm sure you know, any computer change is not without bumps in the road, but I think I'm closing in on smooth sailing -- hooray for Tim!

Friday, October 26, 2007

What I'm holding in my hand

Though I wish I could say that what I'm holding is a magical fitness device that makes EVERYONE love running, it's actually a glow necklace. Jamba Juice was handing them out and blowing bubbles at mile 2 (I think?). Because it was crowded I couldn't get over to get a necklace and I was sad, but didn't want to turn around and get one. But a few hundred steps later, I saw one on the ground and picked it up. Voila -- happy once again!

Running makes me happy


Running makes me happy
Originally uploaded by lpglives
I think more of the pictures would look like this if I could have gotten my iPod to work. (If you ALWAYS run with music, it's hard to run without it.) However, this picture is proof positive that I really do like to run.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nike Half Marathon photos

I'm going to try to post the Nike photos in a Blogger post, but sometimes that can be a little tough to make happen. I did manage to get the pictures into Flickr, in case you want to check that out (it's on the right-hand side bar). And if THIS post disappears, you'll know that I got the photos here, where I want them to be!

Kettlebell fun

Now that the race is over, I can get back to more varied workouts. Today's workout was especially fun. I did two six-minute circuits, and two five-minute circuits, and each exercise was done for 1 minute.

8 kg swings
pushups
8 kg swings
TRX rows
8 kg swings
Arnold presses

Then I took a couple of minutes to rest. Next up, swing ladder.

8 kg swings
12 kg swings
16 kg swings (hard!)
12 kg swings
8 kg swings

Another couple of minutes of rest, then:

pushups
12 kg swings
Arnold presses
18" box step ups, fast
floor crunches
18" box step ups, 12.5 lb weights at shoulders

Then one final swing ladder.

16 kg swings
8 kg swings
12 kg swings
8 kg swings
12 kg swings

Whew! Fun! Done!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wisdom

My girlfriend heard this at an Al-Anon meeting:

I will fill this day with only as many things as I can do well without haste or tension.

Maybe I've finally found something meaningful enough to have tattooed? Ok, that was a joke, but the saying is one I could benefit from reading, perhaps hourly or more frequently!

Nike Miles?

Today I did a 5 mile test run, using both my Garmin Forerunner and the Nike+ system. I also entered the run info into My Food Diary. Here are the results from the same exact run:

Nike+
5.02 miles
9:28 per mile
509 calories

Garmin
5.33 miles
8:59 per mile
817 calories

My Food Diary
742 calories (at 3% incline)
558 calories (at 0% incline)

So are Nike miles longer than regular miles? I don't really know! To be fair, there are two things that could throw off the accuracy of the Nike system: 1) the way I have the sensor attached, there's a good amount of "play" which could throw the readings off, and 2) you can calibrate the system in some way that I haven't taken the time to do. And when it comes down to it, it really doesn't matter what the numbers say, as long as you're moving in the direction of your goals, right?

But I kinda want to figure the discrepancy out, ya know?

Sponsorship works

In the post-race glow, all I want to do is wear Nike garb, listen to my iPod, eat Bear Naked granola, and play with Neutrogena skin care stuff. Honestly, it was a great race, and now I'm just in love with all the companies that sponsored the event.

Monday I bought Nike+ and even though I was sore, I tried it with an easy 1-1/2 mile run. It's so fun! And you don't even need Nike shoes to make it work. I tried doing shoe surgery and when that didn't work, I turned to the Internet and found a nifty way to attach the sensor (cut down a plastic bag, wrap sensor in it, attach to shoelaces with duct tape).

So I love the voice that tells you how far you've gone and gives your pace, etc. And the whole Power Song idea -- genius! (My current Power Song is "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse, but I'll probably alternate that with "Love Addict" by Family Force Five, another perpetual favorite.)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mystery solved

Remember how I said I got all sorts of great male attention in SF? (The waiter at lunch in Little Italy even bought me a drink [iced tea, but still!].) I know why. On Friday Sandy (my mother) and I did some girl shopping, and she introduced me to NARS makeup. I bought some foundation, mascara, and some wonderful blush. The color? ORGASM! No wonder I felt so popular!

Mission accomplished?

Yes, I'm back at the Apple store.  Thank you everyone for the super supportive comments -- I was blessed to read each and every one!

Race was awesome, but I'm not sure of my finish time.  My Garmin thinks I came in under 2 hours (1:58), but my Garmin also thinks that I ran more than 13.1 miles from start to finish.  I'll have to check the Nike website for race results to see if I was under 2 hours, but I know I'm really really close.  The finish line was awesome -- the minute I crossed, there was a man in a tuxedo handing me a Tiffany box.  Yes, the necklace IS fantastic!

The course was awesome.  It was just getting light when we started and we saw the sun rising over the ocean.  The views were breathtaking -- between the old architecture and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean it's hard to know what to look at.  The race is really well supported, and the gospel choir at mile 1, the rock music from Nike Plus at several spots, and the bagpipes at mile 10 were my favorite things to listen to.  (My Nano is in some sort of strange mode after being engraved -- after I write this, I'm gonna have an Apple person take a look at it.  So no music for me this race.)  The hills were tough, mainly because my pre-race nutrition needs some help.  After I wrote last night and everything was awesome, I fell into loneliness and self pity because I couldn't find anyone to hang out with, and my "medication" of choice was too many slices of bread with dinner (how many is too many, you may wonder.  The answer is SIX!) and a large pack of M&Ms as dessert.  Next time I'll have a better plan for fueling my run.

But would I run this again?  You bet!  The atmosphere is so fun -- one runner this morning described it like being in Times Square waiting for the ball to drop, without the drunk people!  Turns out there were 23,000 runners, composed of 900 men and the rest women.  And it was really interesting to be in a race where the shortest distance was the half marathon -- you've never seen so many fit, healthy, ALIVE women!!!

So it's time to get my Nano checked out, hop on BART, and head home.  Have an amazing Sunday everyone!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I heart SF, I heart men

Feeling very grown up now that I've driven to BART, taken the train into the city, and found where I was supposed to be.  And it feels VERY special to be here in San Francisco with 19,999 other runners getting ready for the race tomorrow.  Nearly all of Union Square is covered by a huge Nike tent.  I waited almost 2 hours to have my iPod engraved with the special race logo.  Didn't want to wait for massage or pedicure, but they're available!  And Niketown is crazy -- there's a line to get in, and in a huge two story window, they have the name of every single runner!  (I took a picture with my phone -- don't know how it will turn out, but fun.)  Had a GREAT visit with Irene at the Expo -- met her husband and brother too!

So men are cool too.  At the BART station in Pleasant Hill, the information guy told me I was beautiful.  And the waiter at Rose Pistola told me if I didn't have the huge rock on my finger, he'd be saying things that would make me blush.  Two really nice day brighteners, for sure!

Next time I travel alone, I need to remember that I am good with spending time on my own.  And it would also make life easier on everyone around me if I could remember that nearly every single bad thing that I anticipate does NOT come to pass!!!  (I'll make sure I read this before whatever big scary thing I decide to do next!)  Maybe then I won't be quite a prickly to be around (sorry for being so tough last night, Tim!).

Plan for tonight is to revisit the wonderful vegetarian restaurant Tim and I loved when we were here in July.  Then I'll read my new book (How Starbucks Saved My Life) or re-read my old book (Eat, Pray, Love), get to bed early, and by mid-morning tomorrow I'll be wearing that Tiffany-designed finishers medallion!

Be good, friends!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Feel the Fear, and Do it Anyway

I'm scared.

Reasons:

  • Traveling by myself.
  • Strange city.
  • Staying with people I don't know WHO ALL KNOW EACH OTHER (really scary!).

Reasons to be happy:

  • Support of wonderful family.
  • Support of wonderful internet friends.
  • New Nike running shirt (pink) and skirt.
  • Tiffany-designed finishers medallion at the end of the race.
Eyes on the prize. Eyes on the prize.

Something else that's great about pre-race preparation is eating all kinds of shit, whatever I want ... I mean, carb loading. Yeah, carb loading is a lot of fun, and pretty important if you want to do well in a race!

I should run a half marathon every single week!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tapering sucks!

The week before a race, you're supposed to cut back on running so when race day comes, your muscles will be fresh. The irony of this is that just when you're really feeling good and strong as a running -- poof -- you're supposed to stop running.

I did the six miles yesterday and even with my slow trot of a start, and lots of hills in my route, my average pace was 9:10. My goal for the race is a finish with a "1" at the beginning. There. I've said it. Two years ago I ran a half marathon in Folsom and finished in 1:47, which is an 8:15 pace. (I trained way better for that race with my Real Marathon Running friend Jenny.) In order to finish in under two hours, I'll need to average 9:00 per mile. What is in my favor is my hill training and my pigheadedness. What works against me is not knowing if I will be able to move in a race this crowded, and not knowing how intense the hills will be.

Enough about running. Let's talk about my husband. He tells everyone I'm his trainer, but that's not really the truth. I try very hard to just let him do what he wants to do, and to only offer advice when asked. So he manages his own workouts, and he does a great job of it. Yesterday he did one of his favorite Crossfit workouts: 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 bodyweight squats. You just repeat that progression for 20 minutes and try to do as many rounds as you can. He managed to do TWENTY TWO rounds (that's 110 pullups [!] 220 pushups [!] and 330 squats [!]). So what did he do today, when any normal person would take a day off? Oh, just did a little 4 mile run! I think he may take a day off tomorrow, and it's certainly well deserved.

What else? Well, my birth mother is coming for a visit tomorrow and we're all very excited. Sandy is so much fun -- for example, at age 65, she just competed in her first ballroom dancing competition (and took first place in the novice division!), she achieved a DTM rank in Toastmasters (tough to get, for sure!), and she's just a fantastic person. She'll be here through Friday night, and early Saturday I'm heading to San Francisco for all things Nike and running!

One final note: I haven't been brave enough to try on the new pants since bringing them home from the store. What if there's special magic in the Ann Taylor store that makes things fit better? Maybe after the race I'll be brave enough to try! (I'm not kidding -- the pants are still wrapped in tissue paper and sitting on the loveseat in our bedroom!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pre-run Procrastination

I'm about to do 6 miles and it's windy and cold, and my house is not windy and warm. So I thought I'd take a moment to check in (but just a moment!).
  • My PC died yesterday. I use a MacBook for everything BUT the big exciting thing that I just started -- training clients without me being there (online training). The program I chose isn't actually online -- you generate workouts that are printed, along with exercise cards, and given to the client to use in the gym or at home or wherever they workout. About six weeks ago I tried an online option that I didn't like all that much. So I bought this software, customized some exercises, and gave them to my guinea pig person (thanks Amy!), and then ... the PC died! Tim says I can install the software on his PC, but I don't quite believe him -- he's pretty protective of his PC and likes being able to use it when he wants to use it. So I'm re-looking at other options and bummed that the work I've done thus far is lost.
  • Don't know when my brain will not feel fat. Was out running errands yesterday wearing workout clothes. Felt like people were looking at me. Felt defensive and mad (quit looking at me -- I know I don't look great, but so what?!). Asked Tim if I look lumpy and icky. He says no. So maybe my brain needs to lose weight!
  • Kettlebells are the bomb! Every one of my clients is now swinging kettlebells, and I am so happy about that. I think clients are happy too, for the most part, except when they're really tired and they see me pulling out the 12K (26 pound) bell! If you read this and you're not using kettlebells, you've gotta start! (More on this another time -- I still need to do that run.)
  • Still loving My Food Diary. At only $9 a month, it's really worth checking out, if only for a month. The part where it tells you what you'd weigh in a month or in 3 months if you ate every day like you did today -- it's really helpful!
Ok, gotta run (literally!).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Elastic Waist

I don't know how I had a life before Bloglines. Bloglines lets me know when a weblog I read has a new post, so I no longer have to load (and reload and reload) weblogs to see if there's anything new to read.

One weblog that's really growing on me is Elastic Waist. I probably only completely read 1 out of every 4 posts, but the ones I do read are highly entertaining. Here's today's video post, the first of a new "show" titled "The Daily Special." Enjoy!

Brain Dump

  • I have an 8:30 client today and I can't seem to wake up!
  • Running burns a butt-load of calories, which is part of why I love it so much. Yesterday's run burned 900 of 'em, and boy did I enjoy eating back those activity calories, as per My Food Diary!
  • Don't tell anyone, but we watched "Little Miss Sunshine" with the kids last night. Besides the 30+ f-word instances (yes, Tucker counted) and a few inappropriate scenes, it's actually a wonderful movie about family loyalty. Lots of good "pause the movie and we'll talk about this" moments, to be sure.
  • Another great new running song is "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. Great beat!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My iMix

Thanks, Irene, for discovering that there's a secret step to finding my iMix, if you want to see it. You have to select Nike Sport Music, and from there you can scroll down to Sport iMixes, do "See all" and THEN you can search for "lift personal fitness training." Whew!

And speaking of music, I was at a running store last night and heard a song that had me tapping my toes and moving. I asked an employee who the song is by and he told me. So today's run (5.27 miles, 8:59 pace) has me listening quite a bit to Jill Scott singing "Hate on Me."

100 Beginning Running Tips

Found this link on the Elastic Waist site: 100 Beginning Running tips. Hope you find a tip of two that improves your running or your fitness in general.

A new size

All my clothes are loose these days. And yet I still find that I have my fingers crossed and say a little prayer before attempting to pull my jeans over my hips (don't know when, if ever, that anxiety goes away). But when shopping at Ann Taylor last night I made an amazing discovery. I am a new size. A size called 2.

Yes, there's size inflation. Yes, there's more of it at nicer (pricier) stores. But when I was trying to shed my unwanted 25 extra pounds (I gained them in my early 40s through a combination of no exercise due to injury and Starbuck's white mochas) there was a time as I got closer to my goal that I would go into Ann Taylor about once a week and try on something, anything, in a size 4. I did that for like 6 months, which is how I got to know all the salespeople there. Didn't buy anything. Just tried my goal size on. At first it would go past my hips. Then it went past, but was WAY too tight. Then I could zip, but it wasn't a good idea. And then it (finally) fit.

Size does not matter in the scheme of things, and I believe with all my heart that what matters is on the inside and not on the outside. But today my running will be a little faster because I'm happy with my new size.

My Food Diary

I've been playing with a new way of tracking food and fitness -- it's called My Food Diary and I really really like it. Probably the best part is that at any point during the day, it tells you how many more calories you can eat to maintain, lose slowly, or lose quickly. And it tell you stuff like this at the end of each day:

If every day were like today ...

* You would lose 0.6 lbs per week.
* You would meet your goal weight of 127 lbs on 1/16/2008.
* In one month, you would weigh 132.5 lbs.
* In three months, you would weigh 127.6 lbs.

(Those were my results from yesterday which was a day off from exercise.)

MFD has a VERY active user forum -- actually a little too active for me to keep up on. But it's there if you want to use it. And it costs $9 a month -- a bargain for what you get.

Here's the big downside: because I am a numbers girl, I have to fight the temptation to eat only packaged foods (because they have nutrition labels and I love the precision of the information). Actually, that's a bit of a lie. Here's the real truth -- I'm lazy and it takes more effort to log the ingredients in, say, a salad, than it does to log a processed burrito. (But because you can save foods in the system, once you've saved a meal, it's there forever for you to use.)

I may require/strongly suggest that clients use the software. I'm finding it certainly gets me to think before I eat!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lift iTunes iMix

If anyone wants to check out the music I use when training clients and when I workout myself, go to iTunes in the iMix section, and search for "lift personal fitness training". I created an iMix of the songs I love, but darn it -- I can't get it to post here all pretty with pictures and neat graphics. So check it out -- I hope you'll find something you like!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Random Goodness (or Goodness, I'm Random!)

  • I have a million 2 ounce portion cups from Costco. Turns out they hold exactly one ounce of raw almonds. I think that's neat.
  • One of the benefits of not following anyone else's eating program is that I get to decide what works for me. And in my perfect eating plan, Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Pepsi Max are both completely acceptable choices (in moderation, of course).
  • My Garmin thinks I burn crazy amounts of calories on my runs. Today I ran almost 5 miles total with some tough hill repeats. G thinks I burned like 850 calories. I don't think it was quite that much, but I did feel like barfing on the last repeat. In a Biggest Loser-ish way, I kept going to the top, but I walked after that because I do NOT want to associate hills with barfing when I'm 11 days away from a half marathon in San Francisco!
  • As I type, I'm snacking on a Diet Pepsi Max and some raw almonds -- YUM!
  • If you read Katie's weblog, you may have seen her "rest of the story" post about the Bull-mastiff she was trying to save, and my friend who gave the dog a home. Well that friend, Tanya, is coming over tomorrow. She's an amazing young woman, finishing her degree in Kinesiology in December, training clients out of her home, and saving dogs in her spare time. So Tanya and I have been meeting once a month to bounce ideas off one another, so we can both be the best trainers we can be. I can't wait to see her tomorrow and find out how her new dog is doing!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Walking and Running

Oooooh, I wish I'd written this. It's some perfect advice about adding running into your cardio workouts, and it has a playlist (this is where I found my new addictive song!) where you run if the song has "run" in the title, and you walk if it has "walk". Isn't that fun???

All Fours Fitness

I find myself with a few unexpected free minutes, so I thought I'd share something I find really intriguing -- it's a website called All Fours Fitness and the movements are based on animal movements. Check this exercise out -- I've been playing around with it, and Tim incorporated the advanced version into his workout last night. If you're a client and you're reading this, yes, you can expect to do some new fun things like this in the near future!

Running on Sunshine!

Distance: 13.1 miles (yep, the whole distance of the half marathon!)
Time: 2:04
Pace: 9:30
Calories burned: 1891

Let the snacking begin!!!

Seriously, the run was hard. The process was ok but not fun, especially not the last 5 miles. But how I feel now? FABULOUS!!!

Watch for many posts this weekend, cuz I have lots to share. First item is a new song: Running on Sunshine, by Jesus Jackson. It's wonderful -- sexy beat, fun words, and I've already listened to it like 10 times today. Just trust me on this one -- you NEED this song on your workout playlist!

Ok, gotta get back to listening to my new favorite song and dancing!

Mood: nervous

Why? Because I'm doing my 12 mile run today and I always get scared before a big run. Eyes on the prize (Tiffany finisher's medallion!). Eyes on the prize. Eyes on the prize...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Fast Run!

Went out Monday and did a 4 mile run and felt like going fast. Hamstring stayed in place, and my Forerunner tells me I did an average of 8:13 per mile. It felt GREAT! I know I won't be breaking any land speed records in the Nike Half, but I was encouraged that my time was more like times from a year ago.

Life is BUSY and I wouldn't have it any other way. Tonight's my work night -- client at 4:45, client at 6:00. Time to work on the laundry mountain until then...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

49ers pictures

It took a long time to get these pictures to upload successfully, so I'm not daring to change the order or anything else about them. Here's Tim, Austin, & me at the game:


Checking out the action on the field (our seats were upper reserved in the end zone):


The field:


Tucker, Tim, and Austin, my 3 favorite guys:

Post football workout

Game was fun. 49ers were not so fun today. Pictures will be posted in a day or so. But tonight, after our 10 hour football day, I managed to keep my promise to myself that I WOULD workout tonight. And for those who are numbers inclined, or who just like knowing what other people do when they workout, here's what I did. Each exercise was done for 1 minute, with 45 seconds of rest between exercises (couldn't do it without my Gymboss timer).

8K kettlebell swings
12K high/low kettlebell swings
squat-offs from 16" box with 12.5 pound weights at shoulders
squat-offs from 16" box with 15 pound weights
squats with 15 pound Arnold presses
12K high/low swings
16K swings
16K swings
blue band tricep press/lat pulldowns
squat-offs from 16" box with 15 pound weights at shoulders
fast bodyweight squats (61 squats in 1 minute)
8K deck squats
8K deck squats
12K one arm row, right side (stopped at 20 reps)
12K one arm row, left side (also stopped at 20 reps)
16K swings
12K swings
12K swings (15) squats (15) swings (15) (this took more than a minute)
12K swings (10) squats (10) swings (10)
12K swings (10) squats (10) swings (10)
fast bodyweight squats (64 squats in 1 minute)
12K swings

Saturday, September 29, 2007

A MUCH better long run!

Just finished an 8.43 mile run in 1:20 (average pace 9:29 per mile). What a difference from last weekend's long run -- this time I feel great! Here's why this week went better:

1. Since I did 10 miles last weekend, 8 miles is not new territory, and it's always easier to do a distance the second time.

2. My pre-run eating was better this weekend. Last weekend I had some protein and water, then some carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, and took one bottle of water on the run. Today I had some walnuts before the run, and took a water bottle and a Power Gel (which I took at 5 miles) with me. Much smarter.

3. Last weekend I started out too fast and just died at the end. Today I ran negative splits, and had enough of a kick at the end that I ran all out for the last three blocks before my house.

Now it's off to the shower, then Costco, then church. And tomorrow we're in SF for the day at the 49ers game, which will be Austin & Tucker's first pro football game. Go Niners!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Read ...

...this! (I SO wish I'd written it, but the next best thing is to make sure all my favorite people get a chance to enjoy it as much as I did!).

A good problem

My "Seven for all Mankind" jeans (purchased two years ago at Tim's insistence -- I could NOT get over the sticker shock, but I've worn them like crazy, and the cost per wearing is very low at this point) are too big. Guess it's time for a new (smaller) size. Happy day!

A lot can change in 10 years

Recently my favorite XM station (Take 5, XM 155) changed their programming to include Dr. Laura in the lineup. I was listening to Broadminded, my favorite XM show, and some of the listeners were talking about how much they dislike Dr. Laura and her views. That got me thinking about how much I USED to like Dr. Laura, and how much I've changed over the last 10 years.

Ten years ago I was 37 years old, with a four-year-old and a two-year-old in tow with me everywhere I went. I mostly wore a pair of overalls with a white t-shirt and my hair in a ponytail all the time. (Ask Tim if you don't believe me!) (If I knew how to scan pictures, I'd post proof!) I listened to Dr. Laura because she supported my decision to stay home with my kids, and my life staying home was very very hard. I was a perfectionist, but didn't know it, and was pretty closed off to friendships, because I was afraid if anyone got too close, they'd find out how messed up I was inside. My hobbies at the time were running, scrapbooking (I got a page published in Creating Keeepsakes magazine, for those who scrapbook), and cooking. I remember this time of my life as super difficult, and I didn't think things would ever change. I believed I would always be the same, and my life would always be the same.

Fast forward 10 years. I feel younger and sexier now than I ever have in my whole life. My kids are now young men, and they are really great to know. I don't listen to Dr. Laura because I think she's shrill and annoying, but I appreciate her message and how it helped me. I'm much more accepting of my limitations (there are many, but that's just life) as well as my strengths (there are many of those too!). And because I now know that we are changing and growing all the time (if we're open to change and growth), I'll be excited to discover the me that will emerge over the next decade!

Kettlebell ladders

Last night, and then again this morning, I did a kettlebell ladder, inspired by Tracy.

30 seconds 8K swings
30 seconds 12K swings
30 seconds 16K swings
30 seconds 12K swings
30 seconds 8K swings

In last night's workout, I did 3 ladders, mixed in with some overhead squats (using an 18 pound Body Bar), and some 1 minute swing intervals. This morning I trained a client, and then we did a 4 mile run together. After that I did 5 ladders, and in the last two, I extended the 16K and the 12K parts, knowing that what I need with the half marathon coming up is ENDURANCE.

Tonight I am SO getting frozen yogurt as a treat! (I'm getting the only kind I ever get -- non-fat vanilla with carob chips -- HEAVEN!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Training and eating

Training has been going well. Today was 4 miles of mostly hills, cuz Rocklin is mostly hills. (I'm counting on that working in my favor for the half marathon!) Yesterday was a day off. Monday I worked out with a girlfriend -- fun! -- and then did a kettlebell swing workout that evening.

Eating? Well let's just say if it wasn't for monthly hormone wackiness, I'm pretty sure I'd weigh a lot less than I do. Yesterday's indulgence? Processed food heaven, in the form of Hostess cupcakes! (What is John Berardi's first rule of clean eating? If it's in your house, you will eat it! Ummmm, yeah, we've got proof of that from yesterday!) Today wasn't anything quite that indulgent. Well, are Frosted Mini Wheats in the same category? Hmmmmm -- don't answer that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A wonderful quote

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
Michael J. Fox

Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 miles

Done. It wasn't pretty, but it's over.

Melange

As per my high school French teacher, a melange is a mixture, and that's what I'm writing today -- a mixture.

  • I'll be doing a long-ish run later today (8 miles or so). Initially I'd planned to go early, but when I woke up, guess what? I didn't want to run, and that is perfectly fine. Tim and I did a timer workout yesterday (1 minute work, 1 minute rest for 30 minutes) and my glutes are pretty sore so I think running later when everything's a little more awake will feel better.
  • For breakfast today I had an Asian pear and a FlatOut wrap with hummus, carrots, and baby lettuce -- YUM. I was checking the stats on the FlatOut and I think they've made a mistake on the nutrition label. Here's how it reads:
Calories 100
Calories from fat 25
Total fat 2.5 grams (so far, so good)
Total Carbohydrate 17 grams
Dietary fiber 8 grams
Protein 9 grams

What confuses me is this: since protein and carbs are 4 calories per gram, when I do the math, I get 104 calories from the protein and carbs alone. Add in the fat, and you're at 129 calories. I don't particularly care about a 30 calorie difference because I'm not a calorie counter for my own purposes, but I feel like I'm missing something here. Are you supposed to do something with the grams of fiber? Anyone?

  • I did a double-under yesterday!!! I have tried and tried to do double unders, but have never been able to make it work. But after watching this Crossfit video, I succeeded. Accomplishment feels great!
  • What have I done this morning rather than run? I've been vegging out and loving it. I've watched an episode of Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. Now I'm checking out a new show: Lyon in the Kitchen, and I really really like it. Nathan's food philosophy is right on (read about it here) and I think I'm going to try one of his recipes for dinner tonight.
  • Play last night? Not to my liking. In fact, from getting up at 5:15 on Friday and at 6:15 yesterday, I napped through quite a bit of the show. But getting out with my husband? Just so much fun!!!
  • Speaking of my husband, he's dropped 10 pounds over the last couple of months! How? Through watching what he eats, and being consistent with exercise. (Shocking, I know!) So now my 40-something man is buying size 31 pants, which is quite an accomplishment, and he looks amazing (and he looked great before).
Time to go back to watching Nathan Lyon. Have a fabulous day!