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!
video

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!