Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Calf and Grill

Day 3 of no exercise.  It's not easy being on the sidelines from the gym.  I have been SO tempted to "just do a little" but I'm not good at that so I steered clear of the gym altogether.  My calf still hurts like hell when I squeeze the muscle but it's no longer feeling like it's going to cramp up at any second.  I got a compression sleeve on Monday and have been wearing it every day (except today, because I had shorts on, but I'm going to put it back on right now). I sure hope I am ready to go by Saturday.  It's Wednesday so I have 2.5 days of healing time left.  I mean, I think I'll be ready to go, I just hope I can GO!, if you know what I mean.  The upside is, this is a sprint triathlon I've done three times before.  It's not a big time event for which I've been training for months.  My point is, I won't be heartbroken if I have to hobble my way through it.

I've been keeping busy, using my extra hour to shop at Goodwill.  I got a couple more pair of short pants (what do you call shorts that go to your knee?  Long shorts? Short pants?).  I scored a cute pink pair a few weeks ago and have been loving them.  Monday I picked up a blue pair and a black pair.  I got some inexpensive t-shirts last week at Forever 21 (the type of store I could *never* shop at before) so I'm fairly solid in the summer clothes department.  Maybe by next summer I can wear tank tops (gasp!).

The other health/fitness related activity has been the arrival of the George Foreman challenge material.  I am excited that it cooks more than 1-2 servings. 

So I got right to work.  I took the kids to the library for story time this morning and then we walked to a local bakery for snacks.  The bakery gives a free cookie to the kids that go to story time, which is nice.  I steered clear of the baked goods and had a Fage 0% yogurt with a Del Monte canned lite mixed fruit.  I'd packed this and snacks for the kids before we left.  I was happy to get home and make a real lunch.

I washed the (removable) grill plates and then plugged it in to heat up (8 minutes).  Then I plopped my frozen chicken breast on there (Foster Farms, thin sliced from Costco) with a little salt and garlic powder.  I had nothing to go on in terms of how long it might take so I guessed at around 15 minutes.  The top puts pressure on the chicken so I figured it'd cook pretty quick, and it did.

The lone chicken breast.  No oil, just salt and garlic powder.

I put the chicken on my dressed up sandwich thin and voila!

Sandwich thin, mache, tomatoes, honey mustard, chicken breast - YUM!
And then I realized I need a bit more food so I sliced up some zucchini and put them on the grill.

Brushed on a hint of olive oil, then salt and pepper.
And 10 minutes later...

Grilled zucchini.
After I got the kids down for their naps I was able to sit down and enjoy my lunch.  3 Points for the sandwich thin, 3 points for the chicken, 1 point for the olive oil (though it was so little it probably doesn't even count) and there you have it, a super yummy 7 point lunch. 

But I am seriously itching to go to the gym.  I'm going to see if Miguel will clear me to go tonight.  I just want to get inside and do something.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grilling the Pounds Away

The George Foreman Grills Weight Loss Contest is ramping up!  The starter kit, with our grill and contest booklet, are in the mail (I should get them this week).  We have to take "before" pictures, measurements and answer some questions about our behavior and goals.  And they're sending a pedometer too!  I've never worn a pedometer.  We are asked to track our steps and, I think, reach a certain step goal every day.  That will be good for me, I have a sedentary job and this might help me to get up and take a stroll every once in a while.  We are getting a suggested menu plan with nutritional information and recipes.  I don't know how much I'll follow the food plan, I can probably do dinners more than anything.  I am looking forward to having the dreaded, "What's for dinner" question answered for at least 12 weeks.  And I'm sure I'll find some keeper recipes to add to the routine as well.  I am planning to use this contest to help motivate me to push toward my goal weight.  The challenge group has a Facebook page where we can all interact (there are 45 of us in the challenge) and also get support/information/advice from an RD (registered dietician).  I'm excited, it's getting more real, and I think once my grill and booklet come and I take pictures and measurements it will be even more real.  Wish me luck!

In other news, I got a compression sleeve for my calf.  I wore it most of the day yesterday and overnight, and I plan to wear it all day today.  Heck, maybe I'll wear it all week.  I'm wearing capri pants so the sleeve shows some.  I don't care, we're in the middle of a heat wave - I'd wear shorts to work if I could.  And I'd wrap my calf in bubble gum and then dip it in honey if I thought it would heal faster.  I need it to be good by Saturday so I can give my racing buddy Laurie a run for her money at the Sprint tri.   In closing I'll post a picture from the second time I did the Tri for Fun back in 2008.  It's my Where's Michelle picture and I love it. 

Tri for Fun 2008.  Can you spot me?  I am looking directly at the camera.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Ugh, it's Monday, right?  No better time for some reminiscing about the weekend.  Saturday was a day off from the gym.  But Miguel had to work (he works one Saturday a month).  A couple months ago we designated Saturday as family day - both of us are forbidden from making outside plans on Saturdays.  The only exception being events (races, sporting events, concerts, etc) that are fixed on that date.  Anyway,  Miguel had to work so I took the kids to the annual art & wine festival.  We met a friend and her son and walked around before stopping for lunch.  Whole Foods had a cart so we all had hot dogs.  I shared one with Myra.  Then we hit the jumpy houses for a bit before stopping for frozen yogurt.  Myra has always been a very independent eater, as soon as she could feed herself she'd turn her nose at a spoonful of food being offered.  But hand her the spoon and she's happy.  So they both ate a frozen yogurt and, of course, I helped.  Neither of them could finish and they threw away most of their cones.  I resisted finishing them off, reminding myself I am not a human garbage disposal.  After the festival, home for some down-time and wait for Miguel to come home so we can enjoy the rest of the evening as a foursome.

I was up and moving bright and early Sunday morning.  I'd signed up for a swim class through TriMore Fitness from 8 - 9:30am.  I rode my bike there, it's only about 2 miles from my house, with a plan to run after the swim and then ride my bike home.  It was a great swim session.  I haven't been in the water since the Marin Triathlon back in November!  We did freestyle, breaststroke, single arm and catch-up drills.  Good stuff.  At the very end coach Neil had us all pile up in the same lane to swim, a little open water start training.  I got halfway across the pool when my calf cramped up.  Ugh.  Neil told me to take it was for a week (!!) to let it heal and that I could actually cause an injury if I don't give it some rest.  But you don't use your calf on the bike so I was cleared to ride.  I did some online researching last night and cramps can actually cause a muscle tear.  So this week is going to revolve around the needs of my left calf.  Good thing is, it's week 4 (my recovery week anyway) and I can also call it tapering for my sprint Tri on Saturday.  Good timing all the way around.  More about my cramp later (I bet you can't wait!).

Anyway, I wish I could get faster at swimming but without more practice it's not going to happen.  I'm thinking of doing a weekend intensive in the future to dial-in my form.  For now I'm getting faster at running so I'm happy.  After the swim most folks were headed out for a 40+ mile bike ride.  I didn't have time for that but a couple women were interested in a plan B option.  The three of us set out for a one-hour ride.  Here's the whole crew about to head out on our rides:

Coach Neil in the middle, and the two women I rode with to the right of me.  Can you tell what a beautiful (and hot!) day it was?
We had a great ride and were out for a bit more than an hour, logging 17.5 miles.  About 1/4 mile from the parking lot I blew a tire.  Bang!  It was loud.  I walked back, figuring it'd take the same amount of time to change the tire (maybe more).  We changed for a short trail run, logging 2 miles, half of which I walked.  I was beat and my calf was threatening to cramp up again.  Whew!  What a morning.  I was so tired when I got home I had to take three breaks while making a much needed sandwich. Yummy!

Double meat, double avocado, tomato, Alvarado Bakery essential flax seed bread (3 Points for 2 slices), honey mustard. 
I tried to nap while the kids did but mostly I just rested. I am a terrible napper.  After Miguel's soccer game we met him for dinner at a local taqueria.  I had nachos with grilled chicken.  I forgot to ask for black beans on them so they had refried.  They were pretty good and after my big morning I had more than enough Points to cover them.  Needless to say, I went to bed early last night.

All night I had to move my leg like it was a sleeping baby.  Gentle, gentle.  My calf is so sore that I am limping.  I don't know what, if anything, I'm going to do for exercise today.  Likely nothing.  A good, clean eating day to balance out the inactivity and I'm happy. 

I love you my sweet calf.  Please heal quickly.
Yes, I just wrote a love note to my calf.  It has to know how much it means to me, right?

p.s.  I found more Mud Factor pictures.  I'll close with those.

This is fun!

Happy Monday everyone!