Friday, May 2, 2008

The Weekend In Review @ Bolinas Ridge and SF Stairs

I forgot to mention in my last post that I fell on my a$$ in the locker room at the pool on Thursday. Slipped on some water and leg went flying up in front of me with the full force of all 170 pounds of me (hee!) landing on my left forearm and my butt. About 10 tweeners witnessed it and all expressed a lot of sympathy and started sharing their falls-in-the-locker-room tales. I'm ok, just bruised.

So on Friday I rode my bike to the gym and did Week 6 Day 3 of c25k. That's 25 minutes jogging with no breaks! I'm not going to pretend it was easy. I kept waiting for it to get easier but it just sort of stayed challenging. I wasn't dying and out of breath and my legs weren't burning, it was just not easy, ya know? Anyway, I'm going to repeat Week 6 next week as per my usual plan. Oh, but every time I took a step my butt hurt where I fell. Jiggle Jiggle.

On Saturday Miguel and I had plans to go on a bike ride. I picked one out of Bay Area Bike Rides. This book doesn't rate rides on a scale of difficulty, the author gives you the route, elevation profile and a description like "moderately hilly" and lets you figure it out from there. So I picked this ride in Bolinas that starts in town and rides up to Bolinas Ridge and across the mountain ridge and then back down to town. This is one Mr. Hosler describes as Moderately Hilly. I'll try and make a long story short from here on out. We realized the ride was longer than we had time for so we decided to ride up to the ridge and do the mountain trail portion of the ride only.

As we drove up the 5 mile road we had planned to ride our bikes up I quickly realized there is no way in hell I could have cycled up that road.
It was so intense that someone painted, about every mile or so, in huge white letters across the road, words like DESPERATION, REGRET, SUFFERING. Can you imagine? At the top, where we stopped and parked, the word RELIEF was painted across the crest of the road. Hmph. Moderately Hilly. Sure.

So we parked but noticed it was really crowded, lots of people standing around in this really remote area. We got out and asked what was going on. An endurance trail run of 52 miles was being done on the trail we planned to ride, the Bolinas Ridge Trail. Oh boy. We got our bikes out and took a crack at it. The trail was really nice, technically and physically challenging but doable for me, even if I had to walk up some hills. But there were almost always joggers around us. It made it hard to enjoy the trail. Once the trail turned really hard we decided that the combo of joggers and really hard was too much and we turned around. When we got back to our car we'd ridden three measly miles. I won't call it a total waste...the 1 hour drive there was beautiful, we got to know a trail we'll probably return to some day and...Miguel took a few nice pictures of me :) Here they are...

On the second one Miguel was trying to take one of me riding but didn't realize the camera was zoomed in. I really like the way it turned out though, even though it is so not flattering. Chin looks fat, tire roll at the waist, and my big chubby arm in the center of the shot. Hey, I'm just being honest! Anyway, I came home and got ready to go out to dinner with some friends. I had a really good Italian meal with desert! Oh the Points. I couldn't even really take a guess so I just wiped out the rest of my daily Points and counted 20 WPA's. That's what I will do when it's just too hard to try and figure out.

A quick note on eating. I overate at meals twice this week. I think my stomach has shrunk or whatever but I sometimes forget I can't eat like I used to. On Friday night we went to In-n-Out Burgers with a friend. I had a burger, fries and a milkshake. The milkshake was a mistake. I felt so full afterward that my stomach just hurt. I ate too much last night (Saturday) too and my stomach hurt. Both times I felt awful and tried to sear the pain into my memory to stop me from doing it again. I have been feeling very foody lately and just want to be eating all the time. I think that's what makes me eat too much. I need to do more snacking between meals.

So this morning I did a "Stairway" walk in SF. Here's how the organizer described it:

"The machines at the gym are fine for the work week but on the weekend there is a much better option - San Francisco’s collection of hills and staircases can elevate your heart rate as well as your spirit while building those buns of steel. As an added incentive we can get a group workout and have some fun while enjoying great views and fresh air that you just can’t get on a conventional stairmaster."

I had to be in The City at 9:30am. Blech. It was a lot of fun though. The stairs were great exercise and the views were fabulous. Here's a few pictures:

After the walk I went to my second bicycle maintenance class. We took apart the rear section, took off the chain, learned how to fix a chain, learned how to adjust the rear derailleur, took the pedals off and on, etc. It was really fun. I've learned so much in that class. I really feel like I can handle more common problems now that might come up on the road or trail.

Whew! I'm home now and I'm tired. I mean tired. I'm going to bed now. I hope you all had a fabulous weekend too!

p.s. I'm going to take the advice from Swizzlepop and Aslant and not lower my Daily Points Allowance when I drop into the 160's. That might not happen this week though due to aforementioned overeating problem. Thanks for all the support!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I've Got a Plan.

I wrote up a training plan for the triathlon. Well, I guess it's not really a training plan so much as it is my regular gym days with some swimming thrown in. Nonetheless, here's the plan:

Mon: Gym, Pool
Tue: off
Wed: Gym, Pool
Thur: Pool
Fri: Gym

As much as time will allow I plan to ride my bike to the gym and to the pool. I rode today to my Weight Watchers meeting (more on that in a sec'), then to the pool, then home. I had to ride over a hill to get to the pool, the biggest I've ever climbed. It wasn't easy but I used the tips Katie gave me on my weekend ride and just pedaled and focused on short distances. Anyway, I rode a total of 7.7 miles. I had the experience of swimming and then biking too, which was an unexpected benefit (of course I left the pool, showered off the chlorine, changed back into my clothes and then rode home so it wasn't the speedy transition I'll experience in the tri but still).

Miguel and I will continue to do stuff on the weekends so hopefully that will get my biking up to par. You know, all I really want to do is finish the triathlon and that's what I'm focused on. The thing that worries me the most is the 3.1 mile run. Jogging is still challenging for me and I haven't gotten up to even 2 miles yet. The thing going for me is that I will be all warmed up by the time I have to jog, but that's the downside too because I could be a bit tired. Anyway, I know I'll finish, even if I have to walk, but it would be nice to jog the run portion.

Of course now I'm in the market for some "tri" shorts. They are like bicycle shorts but with less padding so you can swim in them. It's either that or swim in my suit and throw some shorts on after for the bike ride. I won't have padding that way though. Oh the dilemna (which is now apparently spelled dilemma, they changed it!). So these are the shorts I decided I wanted but they are sold out everywhere. Dagnabit! Rest assured, I'll be keeping you posted on all the shopping.

Alright, enough already. Without further ado...It's weigh-in Thursday!! Woot Woot! Does all the fanfare give the idea I had a loss this week? Yes! I lost 2.4 pounds. Wow. Normally when I have a big loss (3.something pounds last week) I don't have one the next week.

Well I'm hanging on to the 170's by a thread. Next week I might drop into the 160's, which would be great and also mean I'd lose a daily point. I'm actually thinking of doing my Points Quiz in a way that let's me keep the point. It has to do with how much activity you get during the day. I rated my activity the lowest because my job is a lot of sitting and driving. But since I'm doing all this exercising, now I'm thinking about upping it, which would mean 1 extra point per day. I don't know, we'll see.

So last week I even went 4.5 points over in my points.

See that red "weekly exceeded" number? Oh I hate that. Anyway, it didn't hurt this week. Balanced out by all the activity I imagine.

Alright, I'm beat. Oh, and I changed my mind, blogging is therapy. So can I bill my insurance for my typing time?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Did I Mention I'm Doing a Triathlon?

So yesterday morning I registered for a sprint triathlon. That sent me on a serious search for a pool. First and foremost I wanted to make sure I still know how to swim. Secondly, I wanted to know if I can swim 400 meters, however far that is.

I rode my bike to the gym first and did my cardio routine, including c25k Week 6 Day 1, weight training and core. I rode home and picked up the car to ride to the local city pool. Closed. Doesn't open until May 24th. Darn.

After several hours and many phone calls with no success (who knew this was so hard?) I decided to drive to a local school where I know they have a pool. A teacher, Jean, was teaching a class. I asked someone and learned the class gets out in 45 minutes. I decide to wait. Turns out that was a good idea.

Jean was a dream. I explained my swim/pool dilemma and she agreed to let me sit-in (well, swim-in since it's a swimming class) on her class for the rest of the semester, which is three weeks. I jumped on that! Thank you Jean! What a stroke of luck. I hurriedly changed and put on a swim cap (with the help of a 12 year old girl in the locker room - so cute!) for the first time in my life.

I came back to the pool with my nose clip in hand and Jean remarks, "You can't be a serious triathlete with a nose clip." God bless her she doesn't mince words. Well, since I'm not yet shooting to be a serious triathlete I keep my noseclip. She has me swim a lap and critiques me, "too fast, slow waaay down". She was right, I would have died at that crazy arms-flailing legs-flying disorganized mess of a swim pace. She proceeded to give me things to work on for the 45 minutes I swam.

After a while she suggested I call it a night so I'm not sore tomorrow (which is now today - not sore) after my first time in the pool. Man! Swimming felt great. I have a lot to learn though and Jean said she'll do what she can with me in the next three weeks. And she's gorgeous, in her 50's I'd guess, with beautiful gray hair and perfect blue eyes. But she's tough. I heard her yelling at some kids during the class and I was scared for them. Let me tell you I did what she told me in the pool. She suggested I consider taking her fall swim class if I want to get "serious" about swimming. I think I'll have to do that. So I head back to the locker room feeling triumphant and lucky. Of course I have a camera so...

I was so tempted to crop out my chubby arms in this picture but then I figured, what the heck, they're my arms and they are taking me places so they deserve to be in the picture too.

I learned a lot but two things are: 1) I still know how to swim and 2) I can swim 400 meters. Now, can I then go on to cycle 11 miles and jog 3 miles? That remains to be seen. Ack! What have I done?!

So all day today at work I couldn't shut up about the tri.

Hey Michelle, how's it going?
I registered for a triathlon!
Really, when?
Blah, blah, June 21st, blah blah, swim, blah blah, cycle...

You get the idea. I must have done this to at least 5 unsuspecting souls. Some seemed to be humoring me but others, mostly people who cycle, swim or jog, really got into it with me. Yay! I vacillated between this excitement and fear all day. Sometimes when the tri would enter my mind after I'd forgotten about it I'd get a little boost of adrenaline.

So today was a day off from the gym. Now that I'm doing this tri thing (did I tell you I'm doing a triathlon?) I might have to write out a schedule for myself so I can squeeze it all in.

Irene - Yes, I signed Miguel up too. He's excited! Kristy - 26%? That sounds like a big chunk fell off me iceberg style. I wish I could draw, that'd be funny. Thanks for all the supportive comments after my last post. I'm glad you all believe in me, since my mother never did. Oh wait, this isn't therapy.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where's the Pool?

I am really into tracking things. I like tracking my heart rate, my weights lifted, my distance hiked/biked, all of it. That's why I know a Garmin Edge 305 is in my future. But this isn't about that. I have been meaning to plot my weight loss on a grid to get a graph for a while but haven't gotten around to it. Kristy read my mind, something we have a habit of doing, and made one for me.

Wow. Wouldja look at that? My brain has a way to go to catch up with my body so visuals like this are very helpful. Thanks Kristy! I counted and there are 9 rows. I just entered row 7. My brain better hurry up before I get to goal weight. Funny thing about goal weight, it's becoming less and less meaningful. I think of it more in terms of fitness and how things will be easier when I'm carrying 30 less pounds than I am now. It's not so much about the number anymore. Who is this person typing right now?

Anyway, a few weeks ago I read about this book on someone's blog and purchased it. It's called Slow Fat Triathlete . Needless to say I can really relate to that title. The more I read the more Jayne convinces me I can do a triathlon. Have I lost my mind? Well, if I have indeed lost it, maybe I'll find it on the triathlon course because I just registered for a triathlon!!! It happened when I started browsing through events on looking for a 5k. Needless to say I found a few of those but I'll tell you about that in a minute.

I stumbled upon an event called Tri for Fun in Pleasanton on June 21st. They describe the event as "designed for novices". The course is a 400 yard swim, an 11 mile bike distance and a 3.1 mile run. Can I do this? Well, Jayne (and some of my friends who have been telling me I'm in better shape than I realize) have convinced me I can. I signed up Miguel too because having him by my side will make it all the more fun. I called and told him and he's very excited, "That'll be fun!" Yes it will...I hope.

I did go to the site to find some 5k events though, which I did. Originally when I started the Couch to 5k running plan I picked the 5k at the SF Marathon in August as my goal run. Well a rafting trip to which a friend invited us conflicted so I had to find a new run. I found a couple. I signed up for the Marina Green 5k on July 20th and the Golden Gate Park Cross Country 5k on August 17th (with my friend Reina!!). You might have noticed that both of those are after the Triathlon. I guess I just inadvertently moved up my 5k goal to the date of the triathlon, June 21st. I signed up for three events from the comfy-ness of my couch. This is too easy. I need to stop. A triathlon? Holy Goat Cheese!

I woke up this morning with an inkling to find a pool in my neighborhood in which to swim some laps. Guess I better find it.