Sunday, August 31, 2008

Nick and Tucker

A surprisingly good day!


1. Church. Nick Vujicic was funny, smart, and inspiring. If you EVER get a chance to see him speak, don't miss it!
2. Nice time with Austin. Tucker was with Tim's dad, so we took Austin out to lunch and to the mall. I did a little carb loading in the form of See's Candy -- YUM!
3. A little alone time. Tim's at the golf course, Austin's with friends, and Tucker's still out. I did a 30 minute Yoga for Runners workout from Yoga Download. I liked it a lot, and when I went to check the site out again (I'd bought this workout like 2 months ago, but had never used it), they've made nearly all of their 20 minute yoga workouts FREE -- nice!

Let's hope the rest of the day goes well. I just agreed to have one of Austin's friends spend the night on the condition that they be quiet after midnight. (I have to be up and out of here by 6:30 tomorrow.) Maybe I'll threaten them with having to wake up with me if they're loud... :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stinky workout smells

With 4 active people in the family, we have a LOT of stinky laundry. And a lot of stinky shoes. (Well, Tim's feet don't smell. I'm not kidding. It's so unfair!) To deal with the laundry I'm using Penguin Sport Wash, which is formulated for athletic clothes. It works. And for the shoes, I keep a bottle of Oust (citrus scent, of course!) in my closet, and give my running shoes a spray after every single workout. It seems to do the trick.

And finally, I could not live without Secret Clinical anti-perspirant. It's a product that lives up to its claims, and I love that!

My first (and last) brick workout

I needed to get out of the house. But I'd already run 7. So Tim suggested riding my bike and catching up to him as he ran. So I rode 2 miles and got to him. Then we ran 2 together (I slowed him down A LOT but he was a great sport!). And then I rode 4 more miles. My bike is a $100 Costco special, so it's not a performance bike, but I love it. I don't really love riding though. The truth is that it scares me. But I headed out (sans helmet -- MUST pick one of those up if I'm going to ride more than once a year) and it felt good.

The truth is ...

...I don't like long weekends. Since my "job" is really taking care of my kids (which means feeding and transportation these days), a long weekend is a misnomer in my case. Maybe if my kids got along better, or if my older son didn't feel so unhappy being anywhere near his home or near us -- maybe then it would feel different. So I may be writing a lot this weekend.

Playing with photo booth

I love my iMac!

Parenting is tough

Nothing else to say about this.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nick Vujicic is speaking at our church this weekend

We who have arms and legs have much to be grateful for. I can't wait to hear his message of faith and hope!

Answers and comments

Katie asked about running and stretching. I mostly run on asphalt, but some on concrete. But I've built up my mileage over time, which is why I think I have very few joint aches and pains. As far as stretching, I'm not very good at it, but one thing I do is Hero pose several times a day. And I also do hip opening stretches like Pigeon pose.

Julianne asked where I bought MacaSure. I ordered it directly from Oceanside, who resell Sequel products. Like I said, I don't know yet if it works, but I'm hopeful...

Matt -- are you a nutritionist? You really do know a lot about food and supplementation. Thanks for the feedback!

Colette -- thanks for the nice words -- they brought tears to my eyes! Can't wait for our workout tomorrow!

Jennifer -- you haven't missed a workout in 13 months? Impressive! Of course, you have planned days off, right? RIGHT??? :)

Anne -- thanks for the reminder!

Jen -- thanks and I did enjoy every single bite of the cake! It was the right kind of frosting (buttercream, baby!) and that crunch of sugar -- that SO works for me!

Kara and Julianne -- two minds with a single thought that made me laugh!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Trying something new -- MACA!

The short story: I've decided to supplement my diet with maca, a root vegetable from Peru. I think it will help with adrenal fatigue (from frequent workouts), sugar cravings, depression (which I mostly have under control, but when I find something that claims to boot serotonin, my ears perk up!) and overall health.

The long version: From page 156 of The Thrive Diet, by Brendan Brazier (an excellent book)


Curtailing the effects of stress by helping the adrenal glands regenerate, maca is an ideal "modern world" food. I know I have been better able to adapt to physical stress when supplementing with maca. Maca also works to restore the negative effect that stress has on hormonal health. Even a modest decline -- or increase, for that matter -- in certain hormone levels will impair the body's ability to build muscle and recover from stress in general. And out-of-balance hormonal system is a catalyst for numerous aliments. A prolonged hormonal imbalance will also induce signs of premature aging, and cause excess body fat to be stored.

Maca possesses the building blocks or precursors for serotonin. As you read in Chapter 1, the body will often try to self-medicate when it's feeling overwhelmed by stress-induced chemical reactions in the brain. It's at this time that sugar cravings are prevalent -- they're the brain's attempt to raise serotonin levels. A diet that includes a daily dose of maca will supply the body with what it needs to curtail stress and construct serotonin, thereby reducing or altogether eliminating sugar cravings and the vicious circle they can initiate.

Sterols are steriod-like compounds found in both plants and animals that promote quick regeneration of fatigued muscle tissue. Maca is a rich source of sterols. During the off-season, I build my strength and muscle mass in the gym. Strength is important for any athlete, even an endurance athlete, as it improves the efficiency of muscle contractions. I like to start the season with a bit more muscle than I need since it will be whittled down as the year progresses. I've recently experienced exceptional strength gains when supplementing with maca. I've been able to lift more weight than in previous years and recovered faster. It has enabled me to perform more high-quality workouts. Maca increases energy by means of nourishment, not stimulation.

Comment from me: I just started this today, with MacaSure from Sequel. I'm taking 3 capsules a day and I'll let you know how it goes.

This made me smile

Thanks Katie for posting it on your weblog!

Help, I can't stop eating!

Ok, remember that great "get back on track with eating" plan? Yeah, well it's not going so great. Combine insane desire for sweets (hormonally-driven to be sure, but still very real), yummy yummy cake at a birthday meeting last night (I got a corner piece! And then one more semi-smallish piece), with a little "I want what I want!" immaturity, and you have a recipe for indulgence. It's not like I'm eating non-stop, but I KNOW eating cleaner makes me feel better. When will I do it? Ummmmmm, that's kinda the mystery question.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Comments, questions, and answers

Before I head off to bed, I had to take a moment to say hi and thank you to those who've taken the time to comment.

To Take One, Jennifer, Jen, Anne, Katie, Colette, and Irene -- your sweet comments were so appreciated! It feels great to be back!

Black Knight -- thanks for stopping by. It's impossible to NOT eat everything while on a cruise!

Irene -- hi, and I can't wait until we can run together! I listen to "your song" on most of my runs, and I think of you.

Matt -- You are so sweet -- thank you!

Colette -- Somehow I've managed to still fit in my clothes, even with all the treats. See, lots of running has its benefits!

Julianne -- You'll be back on track in no time. And a honeymoon is the best possible situation for indulgences of any and all kinds!

Taunya -- So did you manage to eat good today?

Matt and Katie -- I don't take any chondroitin or anything like that. After I dislocated my shoulder, I was taking glucosamine and chondroitin, and my arms and hands got really swollen, like an allergic reaction. I haven't taken them since. But as my mileage has crept up gradually over the last few months, I'm really not experiencing too many aches or pains. But you've got me thinking.

Colette -- I'm getting plenty of calories. But it's funny because although my clothes are quite loose (which I quite like!), the scale hasn't changed! Damn technology! Thanks for the nice parenting comments -- we can use all the encouragement we can get these days.

Ok, so NOW I'm really going to bed. Sweet dreams...

New leaf, day 1

Moderate success. Had a great day of eating, and got TONS done, as I had no appointments or anything scheduled. Things got tough at 3:30 when I went out for a run. I wanted to do 7 or 8 miles and it was 95 degrees. Tough, but doable. But I didn't leave enough time to cool down properly OR have dinner before I needed to get to Back to School night at the high school. So with wet hair (guess that tells you what my priorities are -- given a choice between looking good or feeling good, I'll choose feeling good any time!) and a snack-ish few bites of food, I headed into THREE HOURS of open house. The time was well spent, but I was ravenous by the time it was over. Picked up a vegan burrito bowl at Chipotle and at it at 9:00 tonight. Maybe that's why it's midnight and I just can't sleep.

6:00 is going to feel VERY early in the morning! Night-night!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New week, new leaf

Much of the week has been fueled by sugar, which does bad things to my energy, my mood, and my waist. The good news is that it all stops now!

This week my plan is as follows: on Monday and Tuesday I'll be having green smoothies for breakfast and lunch, supplemented with raw almonds and fresh veggies. Sugar will be verboten, except in the form of a small bowl of cereal in the evenings. That's the plan and I'll keep y'all posted. And I love that there are others who are feeling that it's time to rein in the impulsive children that can control our choices! Best wishes to us all!

The last two weeks I've run more miles than I've ever run. 47 last week. 44 this week. In the upcoming week I plan to run 25 miles, which at one time would have sounded like a crazy high number, but in this "I LOVE RUNNING!" state of mind, it may be tough to do. I need to cut back in order to have fresh legs for the Labor Day race.

In other sports notes, my older son started water polo this week. Tim's LOVING this, as water polo was his sport in high school, where he was an all conference goalie. And Tucker starts cross country running tomorrow. I'm hoping the temps will cool off a bit. Today at 3:30, which is when he starts practice, it was 95 degrees!

It feels great to be blogging again!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A week of indulgent eating

This week I've eaten everything. First day cupcakes, batter and frosting. Lemon frosted sugar cookies (bought 'em at Costco in a giant vat, as everything from Costco is in a giant vat!). M&M's (another Costco purchase, to fill Tucker's M&M dispenser collection). You name it, I've eaten it. And this has got to stop. Yes, I stay pretty active. But YOU CAN'T OUT-EXERCISE A POOR DIET. Next week it's back to clean eating that makes me feel fantastic, instead of impulsive eating that makes me feel momentarily good.

I promise!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm back!

The last few weeks of summer were really tough. But school has started and my kids have some direction and purpose and we're finding our equilibrium once again.

Each year I bake "First Day" cake on the first day of school. At 15 and almost 13, have my sons outgrown this tradition? I don't think so!

Austin after his first day of High School.

Tucker after his first day of Junior High.

Here's me in my high school cheerleading uniform. As part of this week's challenge at dailymile, you had to do a workout wearing a costume. The other day, I ran the last 1/2 mile of a 10 mile run wearing this uniform from 30 years ago. The skirt is SOOOOOO tight -- I can't believe that in high school I felt fat!

My new Asics -- I'm in love!

Even Gumby and Pokey love my new shoes!

Running has been really fun for me over the last few weeks. Last week I ran my age in miles -- FORTY SEVEN MILES in one week! Today I tried running trails -- shockingly hard! I did 5 miles, 2 on the roads, and 3 on the trails, and I am going to feel it tomorrow. This makes me nervous, as I'm doing a TEN MILE trail race on Labor Day, and a trail half marathon just a few weeks after that. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SF Half Race Report

So the race was fantastic, but that doesn't give a lot of insight or detail, now does it? Here are some of the highlights of the two days surrounding the race:

The Expo was fantastic! In my opinion, it was even better than the Nike Women's Expo last year, but maybe that's because I spend almost 2 hours in line there waiting to have my iPod engraved. There was so much to see and try. My favorite booths were:

Catra and me!

There were seminars at the Expo and I got to hear Dean Karnanzes speak. Good thing I got there 45 minutes early and got a seat, because it was standing room only. He was funny, humble, and his legs looked like anatomy models with every muscle and tendon fully visible. One guy in the back asked if Dean could just come to the back so he could look at his legs!

Saturday night Audrey and I went to Greens in the Marina for dinner. Really yummy vegetarian food, but I started having really bad stomach pain right when we got there (no idea why!) . We had a great time talking and laughing, but by the end of the evening, I just wanted to be curled in the fetal position, and even Pepto Bismol wasn't doing the trick.

Neither of us slept much, and the 4:15 alarm felt very early because it was. But no stomach pain anymore -- hooray! Got dressed and caffeinated and grabbed a taxi to the race start.

Audrey and me before the start of the race.

There was a sweat check at the race start which was wonderful because standing around in SF at 5:00 in the morning, it's cold! But I thought sweat check meant you could toss your bag around mile 1 or 2 -- nope. Means you are supposed to drop your bag off before the start of the race! We were in wave 4 (more about waves in a minute) and thank goodness for the nice spectator man who took our bags to the half marathon drop point within moments of our starting gun!

The wave starts were GREAT! Every 5 minutes, a new group of runners would start, with the full and the first-half people all together. We were in wave 4 (1:45 - 2:00 est finish time) and were able to run right from the start, unlike so many races where you're just trotting along trying not to trip anyone around you.

The first few miles were nice -- lots to see, not too hilly until we entered the Presidio, and again, that wave start thing meant that although there were almost 20,000 runners, you had room to move! At about mile 5 we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge and I was getting really excited. Running across the bridge really was worth the early start time. It was overcast, but that just made the bridge look mysterious and cool. It was really windy on the bridge, to the point where I was holding onto my hat at times! I think the out and back on the bridge was about 3 miles, so we had time to really enjoy running where most people never can! And they had it set up great: one lane for outgoing runners, one lane for incoming runners, and a "buffer" lane so there was some room between you and the cars.

After the bridge it felt tougher, but nice spectators helped pull us along. There were a few more hills in miles 10 - 12, but nothing crazy like you might think you'd find in a San Francisco course. At this point, Audrey was really digging deep, since she'd only ever run 9 miles as a training run, so this was all new territory! But we kept moving along, with me running a few steps behind her, so as to let her set whatever pace worked for her. Well, FAST was what worked, because we crossed the finish line in 2:00:35 (official time).

Me and Audrey after the race -- all smiles!

We gratefully accepted the shiny post-race blankets (the finish point was the coldest part of the whole race!) and the post-race snacks. And headed back to Audrey's apartment for lovely post-race SHOWERS!!!

After getting my car from the BART station, I had the first of many post-race treats. This one? Diet Pepsi and Cool Ranch Doritos (my lunch of choice in my 30s!). YUM!!!

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Just a quick note to say that we did it! My Garmin thinks we ran the race in 1:58, which is phenomenal for Audrey's first half marathon! Getting up at 4:00 this morning to catch our 4:45 taxi was tough. But getting to run across the Golden Gate Bridge was amazing! Pictures and more words later. Time for me to head to the BART station now...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Goal revision

Gotta love Apple stores, where you can jump on the internet any time you want to!  I've changed my goal.  I'm actually running this race with my 23-year-old niece, who lives here in the city, and it's her FIRST HALF MARATHON!  And now that I'm here, it's clear to me that this race is about her having the best possible time.  So I'm sticking with Audrey, and just enjoying the whole thing.

Already went to the Expo and it was awesome.  I met Catra, who keeps an incredible ultra runing/CrossFit weblog.  She was incredibly warm and friendly and invited me over to the dark side of running ultras.  Hmmmmm -- something to think about...  (I'll post a picture of us when I get back.)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and if you're up by 8:00 tomorrow, I should be completely done with my long run for the day! :)


Post title is my new favorite song. It's by Ok-Go and I'm planning on listening to it many times between now and tomorrow. Just occurred to me that if all goes well, I should be finished running about 24 hours from now!

I'm not nervous about the actual run. I think I've trained better for this race than I've trained for any other race. It's more the stuff around the race (getting there, not being late and so on) that has me a little keyed up. Think I'll apply the serenity prayer here: God grant me the serenity to accept what I can not change (that it's almost time for my period, that the race starts so early), the courage to change the things I can (get address for the BART station instead of worrying about finding it!), and the wisdom to know the difference!

So what am I hoping for out of this race. I have 3 levels of goals. My first one is to break 2 hours, which I think is pretty doable, although the route looks like it goes through the Presidio twice, which is quite hilly. Second level is a sub-1:55. Third is a sub 1:50. I think of them like getting a B+/A-/A+. Of course, I haven't done any speed training, so the sub 1:50 thing is not very realistic, but it's fun to dream...

Time to finish packing (after finding the BART station address) and head on out!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Playlist notes

1. Dawn Raiding -- This song is prefect, since we start running just as the sun comes up!
2. Paradise -- Irene, my runner girl friend who's recovering from a broken hip, picked this song. I'll be running in her honor, hoping that somehow this helps to speed her recovery.
3. Shut Up and Let Me Go -- Heard this on XM20 recently -- super fun and great driving beat!
4. In the Ayer -- Also on XM20 -- makes me think of Tucker, since we've heard it a lot this week.
5. Jam for the Ladies -- Moby is COOL!
6. Missing my Baby -- my song for Tim. I really do miss him!
7. Running on Sunshine, Jesus Jackson -- somehow this didn't show up on the iTunes playlist, which is tragic, because it's one of my all-time favorite running songs. Sexy and fun!
8. Last Name -- Yeah, I used to be young and stupid.
9. Disturbia -- Tucker's pick for this half marathon. I told each of the kids that they could pick a song for me to run to.
10. Everybody Got Their Something -- Another all-time favorite. The lyrics are fantastic.
11. I Stay Away -- No playlist of mine is complete without some Alice in Chains. Love the rock juxtaposed with orchestra.
12. Shoot the Runner -- Joe on dailymile has this on his SF Half playlist. How can you NOT run when this is playing?
13. Family Reunion, Rhymz Suhreal -- also didn't show up on iTunes. Fabulous Christian band, great beat.
14. We're all to Blame -- Austin's pick for this race.
15. Ruby Blue -- Fun Latin beat.
16. Can You Feel It -- what can I say? At 47, I'm the definition of "Old School!"
17. Glorified G -- another dailymile find!
18. Leave Home -- great techno beat.
19. Dude (Looks Like A Lady) -- so much fun! Again, how can you not run when listening to this?!
20. Roam -- :)
21. Invincible -- My new favorite song. I'll probably be repeating this one several times.
22. Ruby Baby -- I've loved this ever since it first came out. Great harmonies.
23. In the Stone -- EWF will never grow old to me!
24. Kernkraft 400 -- When energy is waning...
25. Feeling Good -- Michael Buble -- YUM!
26. Black Hole Sun -- Loved this song forever
27. Bodhisattva -- I'm pretty sure I break land speed records when I run to this
29. Do I Do -- Oh Stevie!

Sunday I'll be running to...