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
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:


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
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. "


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
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
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
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


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

The Street Workout guys, and

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
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


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).