Saturday, April 5, 2008

Out Having A Life @ China Camp State Park

Today was all about mountain biking. I have a book of rides in which I've been working my way through all the rides categorized as easy. There's a loop trail at China Camp State Park in San Rafael that I've had my mind on for a while now. China Camp has single-track trails on which mountain biking is permitted, something that I understand is unusual in the SF Bay Area.

We decided to go by REI first and pick up a bike computer since my old one wasn't really up to snuff for my new bike. I really like to know how fast I'm going, how far I've gone, how long I've been riding, etc. All that techie stuff just adds to the fun for me (although I didn't wear my heart monitor). Well, we ended up lollygagging at REI for way too long but we got on the road finally. I'll have to post a pic of my CatEye bike computer next time.

We arrived at China Camp and got on our bikes. The trails are really nice and well-kept. I was worried before we went that I'd be holding up lines of people wanting to go faster than me but a call in to my friend Joy who's a mountain biking expert soothed my anxiety. She let me know there's usually enough room to pass and that people are generally understanding in any event.

The ride was great! There were plenty of uphill sections for me but I didn't have to get off my bike once. The plan was to ride the Shoreline Trail loop. About 4 miles in I noticed we were climbing a lot. I thought to myself, this can't be easy, and if it is, I'll never get to intermediate.

Anyway, we came to the top of a hill and we knew we took a wrong turn somewhere. There is no "top of a hill" on the Shoreline trail. So I was feeling mighty proud of myself at that point for making it up there, venturing off the easy trail without even knowing it! Of course I had to get a picture to prove I'd been up there.

But, we were lost. Fortunately another mountain biker was resting and taking in the view and he directed us back to our original path.
But first, a self portrait of Miguel and I.

We carried on from there and rode the rest of the way to China Camp and then back to our car.

I think the total was about 7.5 miles. We were out there for a little over an hour. I would have liked more time but we wasted a lot in REI (and lunch at Baja Fresh too) so I was in a hurry to get home. I went to an Italian themed dinner party and had to make my items, Bruschetta and a Roasted Bell Pepper salad. Yumm. Dinner, wine and good company were a nice close to the day.

And what's on the agenda for tomorrow? Mountain biking of course!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Feel Fat

I think every woman knows what it's like to feel fat. On days like this I like to wear loose fitting clothes, sweats if at all possible, and try not to catch accidental glances of myself in the mirror. One thing I would really not want to do is get on the scale.

Well, it's Thursday and Thursday is the day I go to my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh-in. I didn't expect a loss and was just hoping not to gain, and if I did, not too much. The weather was gorgeous (and chips/guacamole and pound cake made it into my mouth this week so every extra calorie burned counts) so I decided to ride my bike to the meeting. It's about 2 miles away with a freeway overpass (aka an incline). I had a great time riding my bike. And, much to my surprise, I lost 2.4 pounds!

I guess "feeling fat" doesn't necessarily mean being fat :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Move More

My biggest challenge in losing this weight, and in maintaining it I'm sure too, has been balance. I tend to get that all-or-nothing thinking. As in, I can either go to the gym for 2 hours and do my full workout routine or I can't do anything at all. I'm either tracking my food, staying within my points, following the 8 healthy guidelines - or not. So I'm working on being able to do ok sometimes, not perfect but acceptable. A Weight Watchers' motto is Move More. I say all this because yesterday I faced a couple of challenges. Our boss took us out to lunch at a Taqueria. I ordered a shrimp burrito with black beans, rice and salsa on a whole wheat tortilla and ate 1/2 of it (it was pretty big). That was fine, but the chips were delicious. Of course it would have been easier if I never tasted them at all, then I wouldn't have known how good they were. Oh well, live and learn.

Yesterday was not a gym day and I sure as heck wasn't going to spend 2 hours in the gym over some tortilla chips. But wait, I have a new bike. And I have an appointment about 2.5 miles from my house after work. And hey, I could ride my bike there! So I rode my bike there and back. It was mainly flat, with a few little inclines here and there. It wasn't easy the entire time but it was fun and I'm sure the 5 miles burned a few calories. Maybe not enough to burn off all the chips (and guacamole) but that's alright, because I'm not striving for perfection here.

Today is a gym day. I've got my bag packed and I'm actually looking forward to another Week 4 C25k jog.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Week 4 is well underway

I started Week 4 of Couch-to-5k yesterday. Today, I did it for the second time and the most exciting thing of all is that I was able to do it! Week 4 has 2 five minute jogs in it. My walk pace is 3.7 mph and my jog pace is 5.0 mph. It wasn't easy doing the five minute jogs but I got through them. I'm realizing that jogging is very mental, I can't even really describe it yet. I think I'm getting a very small sense of what long distance runners must go through psychologically.

I rode my bike to the gym today! My legs are still sorta sore and the wind was blowing against me so it was tough. It's a little over 2 miles and I'm glad I did it, it was fun!

Okay, gotta go to bed.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Riding through the Wildflowers @ McInnis Park

I did it! I bought a bike. It's beautiful. It's made by a company called Marin and the model is Hawk Hill. Hawk Hill, I learned, is a hill at the tip of the Marin Headlands where it's the best spot to watch migrating birds. Here's my bike!

Isn't it nice looking? It has front suspension, mechanical disk breaks, etc, etc. So even though my legs were killing me from my return to the gym I had to get out and ride it a little.

I went to a nearby park, McInnis, that has some flat trails that wind through wetlands and wildflowers. The path was often stacked high on both sides with wildflowers growing tall and beautiful. I haven't put my odometer, mph computer thingy on my new bike yet so I don't know how many miles I rode. I left there and rode over to the water district trails a couple miles away. I had to ride up a small incline and I was happy to see it was relatively easy for me. Okay, here's the rest of the pictures I took.

Alright, so changing the subject entirely. I like Ramen Noodles - Top Ramen, Cup O' Noodles - usually Chicken. But one thing they all have in common, they're really high in fat. For that reason I never have them anymore. I was grocery shopping the other day and saw something called Choice Ramen. In the whole package (who eats a 1/2 package anyway?) it has only 2 grams of fat and 280 calories. That's 5 Points. At 380 calories and 14 grams of fat regular Top Ramen would be 9 points! They tasted pretty good (I added a little salt!) and the noodle consistency was different but not in a bad way. I almost like the noodles better, they're not as mushy. It's not something I'll be eating a lot of but it's nice to have an option to eat Ramen noodles if I want.