Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Clear Lungs and Rock-n-Roll Race Prep

I never thought I'd be excited about getting a chest x-ray but that was how I felt Monday morning.  I was so hopeful it would be clear.  But having a cold and doing a bit of coughing has made me nervous.  What if I had a pneumonia relapse?  A LOT of people warned me about that.  Anyway, I got the x-ray and then tried to be patient and wait for the doctor's office to call me with results. 

Other than that Monday started with me feeling a bit down about some of my eating choices over the weekend.  I basically had chips and chocolate eggs for dinner on Sunday.  I think I had two bites of normal food and the rest was pure junk.  I told myself that it was an Easter thing and to just move on.  Besides, when the doctor's office called and said my chest x-ray was clear I felt like I got a fresh start.  Woo-hoo, it's on!  I went to the gym after work and started with a 15 minute run on the treadmill at 6.4mph with two 1-minute 7.4mph intervals thrown in.  The run was the best kind of hard.

While running I tried to dream up a pace that I might start the half-marathon on Sunday.  Does 11 minute miles seem too ambitious?  I'm going with a plan to run (except for the hills) until I can't and then do a run/walk combo to the finish.  If I finish, which I sure hope I do.  Going into this with almost zero training is like a good mystery novel.  Can't wait to see what happens!  One thing I know, they'll be lots of music and with any luck a good after-party so fun is sure to be had. 

Which reminds me.  I have a friend who has a big-time job in The City and she was sent two VIP wristbands for the race.  And she gave them to me!!  (Thanks Wendy!!) 

My favorite part of the VIP information docs is where it says, "Important note: Please bring your official ID if you plan to enjoy the VIP bar."  Oh yeah, a post run adult beverage is in my future.  If for whatever reason I don't finish the race, several post-run beverages might be in my future!

I finally took a good, hard look at the elevation chart for the event.  It looks scarier than it is.  I hope.

I know I'll be walking up the hill that leads to the bridge, it's fairly steep.  The rest of it I hope to run.  I love the second half of the race.  Running back over the Golden Gate and then cruising downhill back along the marina should be spectacular!  Which reminds me...weather.  A quick check of the forecast for Sunday and...

No rain!  Well, 10% chance.  61° with a moderate breeze sounds like good running weather to me!  Of course it won't be 61° at the 7am start, I'll be freezing my socks off next to the bay at that hour in San Francisco!  Shorts or capris?  Short sleeves or long?  Well, time to check the Runner's World What to Wear tool.

So the tool suggests to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt if I want to feel cool or a long sleeve shirt if I want to feel in-between.  I think I'll go for in-between.  I don't want to feel like I'm freezing my ass off.  Which I know I'll feel standing there in shorts.  Might go for capris too, we'll see. 

Ack!  I can't believe I'm running a half-marathon on almost no training.  Oh well, life is nothing if not interesting and I'm very excited to be participating in the inaugural Rock-n-Roll half-marathon for San Francisco.  I've read so many race reports from Rock-n-Roll runs and they seem like such fun!

Oh boy, back to yesterday's gym visit.  After the treadmill I did legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  My legs are still weaker than they were but I'm slowly working my way back.  The biggest thing are my jump squats.  Partially because of my back too, but my jumps have me barely leaving the ground whereas before they were all JUMP! squats.  Now they're like (whisper) jump (/ whisper) squats.  But I can still do them and that's good enough for now.  I've been loving working my shoulders lately.  I'm upping my dumbbells to 20 pounds next time I do Arnold's.  A challenge, but one I know I'll enjoy.

Today my eating was a bit more on track.  I had my Kashi Go-Lean for breakfast and a cheese stick and banana for a mid-morning snack.  For lunch I was out in the field so I picked up a deli sandwich and enjoyed the lovely weather and beautiful surrounds in Southern Marin.  I only ate half the sandwich and saved the other half for later.  Later back at the office I had a half of a large chocolate chip cookie.  And just before the gym my stomach was growling so I had a few Shot Bloks I found in my car.  

At the gym I rode the upright bike for 15 minutes.  Man, it's still killing me!  And then back/biceps/core.  My back is still tender so I took it easy on some things but I did everything, just with lower (or no) weights on back extensions and decline crunches.  We'll see how my back feels in the morning but so far tonight it's good.  Dinner was a bit off course but can I call it carb-loading for the half?  LOL, if it's not one excuse, it's another.  

Before I go just want to mention that Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition is casting.  If you're interested in being on the show check out their casting site: http://extrememakeovercasting.com/home

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chocolate Eggstravaganza!

I'm enjoying a quiet moment between all the egg festivities.  Before I get into all that I'll jump back to Friday for a quick gym rundown.  I rode the bike on Level 8 for a quick 15 minutes and woah, it was a challenge.  I was grateful to not be doing my normal 25 minutes.  After that I did chest/triceps/core for strength training.  Spent a good amount of time stretching my back, which is s l o w l y starting to feel better.

A local bike store did a remodeling and was having a big re-opening sale so I stopped in to see what I could see.  I ended up buying a box of Shot Bloks and a box of Clif bars.  And they had a bike jersey I liked.

I like the lines.  I only have one jersey that fits me well, so now I have two.  As an aside my padded bike shorts are ridiculously big on me (size xl) so this afternoon I stopped into REI and got a new pair (size medium) with a 20% off coupon and a nifty little dividend from last year's purchases.

Friday evening I found myself out on the town listening to Phil Lesh play with his sons' band.  I wasn't out very late and only had one drink so it was a subdued sort of outing.  Still, I enjoyed the music and being out amongst the grownups.

Saturday came bright and early.  I helped set up the Easter Egg hunt for our mothers club.  The kids and Miguel showed up later for the hunt and we all had a nice time.

The candy situation is a little out of hand.  But I have a plan to get it out of the house after today so hopefully that will be the end of it.   Anyway, after the hunt we came home for lunch with friends.  The day rolled along nicely.  I made lasagna for dinner along with garlic cauliflower and grilled eggplant.  The veggies were mostly for Myra and I, since we're mostly the ones that eat them.  I had more lasagna than I needed.

Eggplant on the Foreman grill.
That reminds me!  I had a dream the other night that I got on the scale and weighed 159.  I was so upset, getting off and on the scale hoping it was a mistake.  Nope, 159 each time.  Then I noticed one corner of the scale was on a piece of carpet so I moved it and, voila! 138 (or something like that).  Ok, dreaming about gaining weight is not good.  I don't feel like I'm that preoccupied with my weight.  Though I do have a blog that is pretty much all about it so maybe that's not true.

After dinner we stayed up to watch more Game of Thrones.  The stuffy/runny nose was driving me nuts so I ended up taking some NyQuil before bed, pretty much insuring I'd sleep like a baby.

Today started with a lazy Sunday morning at home.  The kids had fun hunting for eggs in the back yard and I wish I could say I stayed out of their baskets but, well, I had more than my share of chocolate eggs.  By the time I settled on a bike ride I had to hustle to get out the door.  Miguel had a soccer game later so I was under a time crunch.

Sporting my new jersey!
The weather forecast rain later in the day so I took off hoping I could miss most of it.  The clouds were gorgeous, beautiful, fluffy white ones mixed with a sunny sky poking through in some spots, menacing gray in other spots.  I didn't wear my Garmin so I have no idea how many miles I rode but I was on the bike for about an hour.  I rode up a hill near my house that I've been avoiding for years.  And, as is the case most of the time, it wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting.  Hills have a way of looking worse than they are.  Next time I'm going to face down the Lucas Valley Road hill up to Big Rock.  That's probably the last hill to be conquered on my big scary hill list.  It's steep and seems to go on for miles (and miles).  Anyway, the ride was great.  I did get rained on during the last mile or so but it wasn't bad.  The water didn't hurt me none. 

After the ride I picked up the kids and the three of us went to Baja Fresh for a late lunch.  I had a Baja Bowl of chicken, black beans, rice, and veggies.  I threw on salsa and jalapenos to kick up the flavor.  After that we strolled over to REI for the aforementioned bike shorts.  We ran into a dad friend out with his offspring so the bunch of us sat around for a while.  The kids had a blast playing in the fountain.  It was a little hectic but not a bad way to finish off the afternoon.  I foresee a lot of fountain playing while I sip a latte on a sunny afternoon in my future.

Well, that's all I got.  Miguel has a bunch of friends over.  They're grilling up carne asada and all the fixings in anticipation of a big soccer game coming on in a bit.  After that dies down and the kids are in bed we're going to watch more Game of Thrones.  9pm can't get here fast enough.  I need a rest after all this fun.

Oh!  I have some really cool news related to the Rock-n-Roll half marathon.  But that will have to wait, kids are needing me so I've gotta run.