Saturday, November 30, 2013

Balancing My Inner Motivators

Maybe it's time for some major introspection. Maybe all this, "My eating is not good", said in a passing manner, is not doing the problem justice. This journey is always about finding balance. In this case it's balance between the hardline approach and the gentle approach.

Both have their benefits, something to offer, but for me, the gentle approach offers more in the end. It's positive, hopeful and understanding. Understanding with regard to my imperfection. And central to following the gentle approach is knowing, knowing that motivation will return. It will return and when it does, that's when I can "Get it together!" and "Crack down!" - but the difference will be, I will do it out of an internal desire, without the cognitive dissonance (sorry for the psych terminology there) I'd experience if I tried to take that approach now.

Let's follow that path for a moment, the hardline path. So I try get "tough" with myself, tell myself DO THIS, DO THAT, STOP MAKING MISTAKES! And yet, because my motivation is a bit off (a bit, Michelle, really?), because my attention is diverted to other things right now, because my heart's not in it, there will be that push-back, that inner rebel who doesn't want to be forced into anything. And then I'll falter, I'll fight harder than I need to for lesser results. And in the end, I could end up in a deeper hole than I'm in now.

But if I take the gentle path, approach each decision as an opportunity to do the best I can in that moment, then I have a chance of maintaining a core strength, one not weakened by battle, and that strength will be there for me when the spark comes. Does that make sense? Am I over-thinking this? Well, of course I am, I over-think everything but that's just what works for me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Turkey Roll

No, I'm not talking about a re-imagined recipe from the 50's involving rolled up turkey meat and cream cheese. I'm talking about a bike ride, on Thanksgiving! Last year I did the turkey trot, this year, the turkey roll.

The weather was gorgeous. I mean perfect, sunny, windless, gorgousity. San Francisco Bay perfection is what it was. Early that morning I'd packed my car with layer upon layer of warm clothes only to need hardly any of them. It was still a bit chilly when we started so I wore a thin base layer, a slightly thicker top and a windbreaker type jacket. I had on bike shorts with capri pants over them.

We started out at Blackie's Pasture in Tiburon, probably my favorite launch site for all things bike and run related. If there were a place to swim in the bay there it'd be perfection. Wait...maybe you can swim from there. Richardson Bay is right there...I'll have to check that out. Anyway, back to The Turkey Roll.

We rode from Blackie's Pasture toward Mill Valley without a clear plan on where to go. Down the Mill Valley/Sausalito path into Sausalito. Well heck, if we've gone this far, why not head toward SF? The views of the bay were phenomenal. So a bit of climbing from Sausalito up to the base of the GG Bridge. By then the plan was to ride over the bridge but Conzelman Road was calling to me.

Conzelman was the final hill on my list of hills. Marshall Wall (check), Big Rock/Lucas Valley Road (check, and check) and Conzelman Road. I don't know why this hill scared me so much. Oh wait, yes I do, because it looks scary as hell! It just winds up, and up and up. And there's the car factor. It's a two lane road on a cliffside with tourists winding up. Eek!

But yesterday seemed like ideal conditions. Ideal. Perfect weather (by then I'd ditched my top layer and converted my jacket into a vest) and almost no cars (remember, it was Thanksgiving morning, most sane people were home cooking). I had to do it. So I took a deep breath and started pedaling. I remembered all my hill skills - go as slow as you need to, pick a spot in the near distance and ride to that, remember - hills always look worse than they are, steady even strokes, take your time the hill will wait.

This hill was nice in that there was a little bit of a break about 1/3 of the way up. Here, check out the elevation profile (full Garmin stats here). You can hold your applause.

Conzelman Road & Marin Headlands elevation profile

After a brief photo opp we discussed ways to get back down. We could ride back the way we came or ride partially back that way and then turn left to go the tunnel route. Being adventurous and apparently able to conquer any hills we might encounter, I went with the mysterious tunnel route. But first, photos.

Satellite view of the ride.

Alive and well!
As I was riding up the hill I was thinking, "Yep, this is why this matters to me, why I want to stay in shape, why my eating habits matter." If only that were translating into healthier choices but more on that in a bit.

So a bit of WHEEEEEE! down the hill back into Sausalito. My legs started to hurt a tad in the last few miles but nothing that rose to the level of pain. Just a reminder that I've not been moving them enough lately. After the ride we went for a snack before I headed home. I had a quick shower, packed up the kids and Miguel and I headed to my mom's house. Thank goodness for moms who host Thanksgiving! I brought some cranberry/permission sauce and the tequila. Yep, margaritas were apparently on the menu.

I skipped the margaritas but most everything else made it into my mouth. Here's my Thanksgiving plate.

Thanksgiving Dinner
And if that's all I'd eaten all would have been right with the world. But no, I ate that plus olives, nuts, several (albeit tiny) slices of pie, chocolates...the list goes on I'm sure. I've been eating like that lately, like food is never going to come around again. No, more like I'm constantly looking for some form of distraction or comfort or anythingotherthanthemoment.

My weight is stable (142.2) but my body fat is creeping up. I was at 30% the other morning! It's exactly like I described in my Fool Me Once post - if you rely on your weight as the only measure of how you're doing, when you first start to fall off the wagon the scale fools you into thinking you're ok - when you're not. Your body fat is creeping up, your muscle is wasting away and soon, all hell is going to break loose. And I'm at soon right now.

What happens if you see a train coming down the tracks, directly at you? Get the hell out of the way, right? Do you see me moving? Not really. But I want this, I know I do, and I know I'll find my way back to what works for me before too long. If I don't, I might have a posse of people ready to do an intervention on me and send me off to fat camp somewhere for some re-conditioning.

Meanwhile, I'm about to undergo a bit of surgery. I'm not really in a position to share what that's all about right now but don't worry, no life threatening involved. It's just a bit personal and I'm not up for getting into too many details on that right now. One day I will, just not now. I know, a lot of mystery on my blog lately right? Sorry 'bout that.

So the surgery is this coming Tuesday and I'll be seriously recovering for a good 7 - 10 days. Doc says NO exercise for at least two weeks. If my timing is right I might be limping into the gym with all the resolutioners come January 1st. That I should be so lucky. So I have two goal races to get me back on track post-surgery. If my body responds well and I bounce back quick-like, I'll shoot for the Kaiser half in February. But more like is the Emerald Nut Run in March, which is only a 12k - more time to train and a shorter run, MUCH more likely to happen.

Ok, so the personal life is chaotic, work is busy, I'm in some sort of slump thing and I'm heading into surgery. Lovely. I guess we'll just have to see how this goes. You know I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the support - I'm really going to need it in the coming weeks/months.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Pneumonia Chronicles

I came home from Hollywood and crashed. It was a busy two-and-a-half days and unfortunately I had to work on Friday. Exercise was in the way back of my mind. Friday ran late but luckily I had dinner/playdate plans at a friend's house so at least I didn't have to figure out what I and the munchkins were going to eat.

A quick background on the pneumonia saga. I was diagnosed about three weeks ago. After a one-week round of antibiotics I went to the doctor for a follow-up appointment. Bad news, I wasn't as far along on the road to recovery as the doc had hoped. She said I could 1. Wait it out and hope for the best or 2. Do a second round of antibiotics and knock it out for sure. With the Hollywood trip on the horizon (and with being tired of being sick) I chose #2. I started round two of the antibiotics but unfortunately I forgot to take them on the 2nd day. And then on the 4th day I realized I was supposed to take them twice a day, not once a day like I had been. So I stopped taking them altogether. I figured she'd given me option 1 and I'll just switch to that, especially since I was feeling better.

Jump to Friday evening. While in Hollywood I'd had a bit of fever at night. Plus I felt tired. In the airport waiting to come home I felt almost drugged. I knew the trip was exhausting but not that exhausting. My friend Catherine is a nurse so I asked her to give my lungs a listen. Not good. She could hear crackles and let me know there's infection there. Dammit. So I started back on the antibiotics, taking them twice a day and not forgetting a dose. And I have a new follow-up appointment for Wednesday to see how my lungs sound.

Thanks for the support FB peeps!
In response to this Facebook post Melissa asked why I keep getting it. I wish I knew. This isn't really me getting it again though, it's more like it never went away. This is only the second time I've had it. If I get it again the doc's going to send me to a pulmonologist. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

And oh yeah, the Oreos. Ugh. My eating has been all wonky. Super wonky. Scary wonky. It's the exercise/tired/off schedule thing. I think. I hope. No, I know. I know that's it. I know I am not returning to the old me. And if my prior lifestyle is trying to launch a comeback during this weak time, well it's not going to happen. If nothing else I have this blog to set me straight, right?

So bad food choices aside, I think I'm doing ok, considering. On Saturday I did a leisurely 8-mile bike ride on a relatively flat paved trail. Sunday brought another bike ride, this time a tiny bit more work riding along The Great Highway in San Francisco. I rode from Sloat Blvd up past the Cliff House and back, also about 8 miles but including a few good hills. It's hard to ride very far in SF without encountering a hill or two. I felt good. My legs were hurting a bit but it felt good to be doing something.

Today it was back to the workweek. I felt a bit feverish this evening but on the whole I think I'm getting better. Oh, what the hell do I know. I woke up in the middle of the night last night with a wet sheet under me from all the sweat. Gross, I know. And on that happy note, I'll wrap this up.