30 March 2012

It's the end of the week...

...we made it.


A random brain dump to freshen me up for the weekend...

• So I raced last Sunday and I'm still sore. What up? I keep telling myself that it's because my brain forced my body to go way beyond its current fitness capabilities. I've been rolling and stretching, and I even did a little recovery run...of sorts. But I am just aching. My hip isn't too angry, which is good, but it also isn't happy. I need for it to be happy.

And sorry but no race pictures. Thankfully :) There were no photographers on the section of the course where I ran. I find that kind of weird. But whatcha gonna do?

• Yesterday was a climbing day. I've been going to the gym every other day or so to play on the elliptical and the treadmill and to work on the hangboard and pull-ups (I've decided I want to give myself a pull-up for my birthday in 6 weeks). The great news is that my hangboard/pull-up work is helping my hand and arm stamina. At the end of my session I was, for the first time, able to untie my own ropes.

Overhangs are no longer my nemesis...
...see how the rock juts out and over...overhang.

Now it's smooth handholds called slopers (click that to see different hand techniques).
No, they are not purple boobs.

I f*cking hate them. I actually cursed them under my breath yesterday when faced with them. I just don't know what to do with them...I slide right off. That means I am going to work them all the time until they no longer elicit profanity. 

• Bay to Breakers is approaching. I have 7 weeks to get ready. And 7 weeks to decide what "ready" means. I had set a lofty goal last fall of wanting to finish in an hour. That would be holding an 8-minute average pace for the entire 12K. Barring serious use of amphetamines or cocaine, that isn't going to happen. So...it isn't going to happen. Given that I essentially ran my race on Sunday at the same average pace (though it was a longer, more challenging course) as in 2011, I am going to set my sights for B2B on completion. And if completion seems to be well in hand, then I'll shoot for a little faster than last year. I need to be realistic in view of my lack of training. 

• I'm still trying to decide how to handle Hood to Coast Relay options. While I'd love to run with Team Nuun again, it's not a sure thing. And I will need to come up with a killer application idea. How can I ever top the nun running at noon for Nuun

Who wants to run Hood to Coast? Are you applying to run with Nuun? Have you ever run a long relay like it before? Did you have any super annoying people in your van? I was so lucky last year! I would go nuts if I had to deal with whiners or otherwise annoying teammates. But then again, I have a lot of practice with that particular facet of the experience...driving a minivan full of whining, screaming, complaining, fighting children every single day.

• I'm still wading through comments, thoughts, and emails in the wake of yesterday's post. Some people are really attached to their chocolate milk! I know I have a tendency to get on a soapbox and be a little pushy, so I'm not going to press this issue any further. If you feel solid in whatever nutritional decisions you are making, don't let someone else's say-so mess with you. If, however, the say-so makes you question your current mindset, by all means get busy researching! No one wants to feel like he or she is making poor choices...but sometimes poor choices are made. I'm not casting any stones because I know I make foolish decisions all the time :)

And, hey! Lookie here...five different bullets! I could have called this "Five for Friday"...or something like that.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend :)

I'll close with some alliteration  ;-)

29 March 2012

Why you won't see me pimping chocolate milk...

A new movement is afoot. The Chocolate Milk Movement.

If you read fitness blogs you may have noticed a good number of bloggers extolling the fabulosity of chocolate milk. There are fitness bloggers vying for sponsorship with Team Refuel with Chocolate Milk. High-level athletes and regular folk alike are touting the benefits of drinking chocolate milk as a recovery beverage...and receiving compensation for this. Chocolate milk is yummy. How awesome to be told that something so yummy is also so good for you! 

This is excerpted from the Team Refuel website

Lowfat chocolate milk has 9 essential nutrients that an athlete needs, including some not typically found in recovery drinks.

Chocolate milk’s liquid assets:
A natural source of high-quality protein to build lean muscle. The right carb-to-protein ratio scientifically shown to refuel and rebuild exhausted muscles.
Vitamin A to support a healthy immune system and good vision. Electrolytes including calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium to help replenish what’s lost in sweat.
B Vitamins for energy. Fluids to rehydrate.
Calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, protein and potassium to build and maintain strong bones and reduce the risk for stress fractures.

Lowfat chocolate milk contains the right mix of carbs and protein scientifically shown to help refuel muscles. Chocolate milk helps restore muscles quickly to their peak potential.


Replacing muscle fuel (glycogen) after exercise is essential to an athlete’s recovery. A recent study found that drinking 16 ounces of fat-free chocolate milk with its mix of carbohydrates and protein (compared to a carbohydrate-only drink with the same amount of calories) led to greater concentration of glycogen in muscles at 30 and 60 minutes post exercise.1


In a study of 13 male college soccer players, post-exercise consumption of lowfat chocolate milk was found to provide equal or possibly superior muscle recovery compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery beverage with the same amount of calories following a four-day period of intensified soccer training.

They call this the 'Science' behind chocolate milk. 

Addressing the claims of milk being a nutritional powerhouse...apparently the process of pasteurization renders biologically unavailable the majority of nutrients that are, indeed, present in cow's milk. Furthermore, pasteurization destroys phosphatase which is a critical enzyme involved in making the calcium and phosphorus in milk bioavailable. In fact, a test for the absence of phosphatase is used to determine if pasteurization has been complete. 

Pasteurization also completely destroys other digestive enzymes, such as the proteases, making milk extremely difficult to digest. The vitamins are either partially or completely obliterated. The nutritional components of milk that remain following processing may very well be passed through the body without being absorbed. Remember, unless you are drinking raw milk, the milk you are ingesting is a highly processed food. 

And then there's the sugar. Most commercially-produced chocolate milks have, on average, 24 grams of sugar per 8 oz. serving. Generally speaking, 12 of those grams are naturally present in the form of lactose. This means that an additional 12 grams of sugar are added per 8 oz. serving...and the Team Refuel page refers to 16 oz. as an amount used in their study (see above). This added sugar is often in the form of high-fructose corn syrup in most commercially produced chocolate milks. 

Okay, okay...

I'm about to start ranting. And that will turn people off of doing their own research into what milk really is, what milk really does, and determine if milk is really something they actually feel good about drinking. 

The National Milk Producers Federation and the National Dairy Council have done a very good job. They have convinced nearly the entire U.S. population that milk is necessary. They have made milk and calcium all but synonymous in the American mind. 

Go ahead and shoot holes in my discussion. Go ahead and tell me that I've no sound scientific basis for my rant. Then realize that all of the "milk is good for you" science has been funded by the good people selling the milk. 

Because I've spent way too much time searching the internet for milk nutrition sources that are not sponsored by the state or national dairy boards to compile coherently everything that I have found, I'm just lobbing a giant wad of links at you. Feel free to pick and choose...or simply ignore. Ignorance is bliss, they say.  But sometimes bliss isn't the healthiest way to live.

Don't get me wrong, though. I enjoy my cheese from time to time. I eat ice cream. And butter... OHHHH, BUTTER! And who doesn't like dunking a cookie in a glass of milk? But I, for myself, just can't get behind elevating (and promoting) milk (especially commercially-produced, highly-processed pasteurized milk) to the status it holds as a nutritional powerhouse and perfect recovery beverage for health-seeking athletes.

And that is why you won't see me pimping chocolate milk.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

and here's the insane collection of fun and informative links:

Where do the cows get calcium from? From plants. So eat a 
big green salad next time you are concerned about getting 
enough calcium. 

high amts of casein which is impossible for humans to digest and assimilate... http://drbberkowitz.hubpages.com/hub/NutritionWeightLossCowsMilkNotHealthyPart1

calcium consumption, protein consumption and osteoporosis... https://www.msu.edu/~corcora5/food/vegan/osteo.html

op-ed piece on milk lobbyists and propaganda... http://www.kstatecollegian.com/opinion/a-lobbying-success-story-of-milk-unnatural-unhealthy-unwise-1.1909923#.T2D6Xpis8UU

monsanto keeping info from consumers... http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/01/8029

asking the question...do we believe harvard researchers or the milk lobbyists? http://www.fransussman.com/harvard-vs-the-milk-lobby/

"As a nurse and someone who has had kidney stones during each of my pregnancies, my urologist said stay away from chocolate milk at all costs. Whenever you mix Oxalic acid (from chocolate) and a calcium source, it can (doesn't mean it automatically will, but can) crystalize the calcium and cause deposits in your kidneys. I NEVER drink chocolate milk and my kidney stones were due to reflux into the kidneys due to the position of the baby on the ureters, BUT just thought this was info that was good to pass on. He also said that chocolate binds the calcium so it makes it useless to the bones/teeth.

Read more: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/nutritious_foods_for_a_healthy_body/muscle_enhancer_chocolate_milk.php?page=2#ixzz1p1jj2CRn"

"To make people believe that chocolate milk is good for you is utterly ridiculous. Commercial chocolate milks may have lower fat %, but they compensate for this with added sugar. You can get chocolate flavoured whey protein with only 0.2g sugar, rather than ingest 40g after a work out. This will ensure that you get just enough carbs and plenty of protein/amino acids to help your body recover. You do NOT need sugar/fat to recover from a work out. Why waste your time working out in the first place? Wake up people.

Read more: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/nutritious_foods_for_a_healthy_body/muscle_enhancer_chocolate_milk.php?page=2#ixzz1p1jj2CRn"

"Most commercial chocolate milks contain high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. This is made from GMOs, as in, BT corn. The benefit in drinking milk post-workout is the whey protein, not the sugar, and chocolate milk is higher in sugar than white milk and unless it is raw, you are getting more chemicals (especially in low fat milk) than nutrition from drinking milk. Chocolate milk has more sugar than soda, it is not a health food.

Read more: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/nutritious_foods_for_a_healthy_body/muscle_enhancer_chocolate_milk.php?page=2#ixzz1p1k6FFEn"

"Does anyone else not think it's weird to be drinking another animals milk?!
Wake up people! 
Milk full stop wasnt designed for humans so of course it's going to have negative side effects to our bodies.
The Dairy industry brainwashes you into thinking it's your only source of calcium where there's so much more in vegetables + herbs!

Read more: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/nutritious_foods_for_a_healthy_body/muscle_enhancer_chocolate_milk.php?page=2#ixzz1p1kEJOcV"

"Get your calcium from dark leafy green vegetables. I know the dairy industry made it ingrained in all of us to believe that calcium only comes from dairy, but it does not. The only thing you get from dairy is blood and puss filled garbage. The human body was not designed to consume it, at all, ever. Cow's milk is for baby cows. There is Soy, Almond, Rice, Hemp and Cashew milk out there. Much more delicious, and it won't kill you, or cows. Everyone wins! Yay!

"Pardon me, what? The HEA of PEI wants chocolate milk subsidized? That 500mL box of chocolate milk that Doug wants subsidized contains 10 added teaspoons of sugar, 400mg of sodium, and the caloric equivalent of a litre of Coca-Cola, and the Healthy Eating Alliance wants to subsidize its sale to promote its consumption?

To put the sugar in perspective, if kids in PEI schools drank one 500mL carton of chocolate milk a day for a year they'd be drinking 76 cups of added sugar! That's just over 7 five pound bags of sugar and that doesn't include the sugar naturally found in milk. Add that in and they'd be drinking 118 cups or almost 60lbs of sugar a year. And with 200mg of sodium per 250mL they'd also be drinking a third of their daily recommended maximal sodium allowance and enough non-satiating, liquid calories to support a 37.5lb gain.

Natural Osteoporosis Community...Awesome link:

"The amount of calcium consumed is not always related to the amount retained by the body. Availability of calcium for absorption is referred to as bioavailability, and is improved by factors such as the presence of phosphorus, vitamin D, and the extent to which the calcium mineral salt is ionized to form the divalent Ca2+ ion. Cellulose and hemicellulosefibers decrease absorption of calcium in the intestine. Sodium and caffeine both increase urinary calcium. Caffeine also causes an increase of calcium secretion into the human gut. Unabsorbed fats interfere with calcium absorption by forming a fatty acid–calcium soap complex, which is subsequently excreted. The bioavailability of calcium ranges from 5 to 70 percent for most foods, depending upon the type of mineral from which it is derived, the food product, and the presence of inhibitory substances. Oxalate and phytate both inhibit calcium absorption. A diet deficient in calcium may increase the risk of rickets, hypertension, osteoporosis, and scurvy. Vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus into bones. Osteoporosis is one consequence of low calcium intake during the younger years of bone mineralization. There are conflicting opinions on the efficacy of increasing the intake of calcium for older people who are already suffering from osteoporosis.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/phosphorus-and-calcium#ixzz1p1wVWsgC"

28 March 2012

What happened between the Car-Nads and the expletives... (Mostly Wordless Wednesday)

The 35-minute playground trip that cost $49...

Three distinctly different play structures...

Reminiscing on our vacances à Paris eleven months ago.

This one is like a huge Skwish...

We heard a familiar-yet-out-of-context noise...
X could see over the fence...
...a TURKEY!
see the red wattle and blue face?

Boys playing with big sticks...we know where that's headed.

On the 'old skool' play structure...
the very same one I played on when I was 5 years old in 1968.

Example of crap action photo...
totally missing the air shot...
got the landing, though.

I still need to pay that ticket.

27 March 2012

Ice Baths, Balls, and the Evil Parking Authority

You know that since this will address the Evil Parking Authority there will be cursing in this post. I am saving it for the end, so if that sort of thing offends you...well, you can stop before we get to it.

These three things named in the title are completely unrelated, one to the other. Hence, they are tangents ...stabbing out into the world from my life. And today is Tuesday. But Triple Tangent Tuesday as a title is so trite. No offense intended if you titled your post thusly today.

First up, the Ice Bath. After Sunday's run, which was my longest run in a few months and doubled my mileage for the month of March even though it was 'only' 6.6 miles, I was feeling pretty thrashed and decided an ice bath was in order. My awesome family had come to retrieve me from my hand-off spot and delivered me to my own vehicle post-haste. (I was lucky enough to get a good walk in between finishing my leg and getting picked up...a nice walk through a questionable part of town but everyone loves a runner wearing a race bib so I encountered nothing but smiles...also lucky for me). My husband hurried home to start an ice bath for me. So thoughtful! The only downside of this was... when the equivalent of a 5-lb bag of ice has been sitting in a tub of cold water for 15 minutes it is WAAYYYY harder to sit your heinie down in the water than if you wait until you're IN the water and THEN add the ice.
See? Major goosebumps...and you can't hear the screeching of bad words...
fortunately, I kept that under my breath...but did say them out loud.
Lesson: always get in before adding the ice!

Next up, the Balls. Why do people do this? We dropped Big G off at his tutor yesterday and this was parked out front of the trendy Berkeley café...

He found this hilarious...that someone would put a ballsack on their car. I found it even more hilarious that they were put on a Volvo station wagon...the absolute ballsiest of cars...not. I especially love how the driver of this Volvo color-coordinated his/her TruckNutz (that is their real name) with the car's exterior...snazzy. And tough. Do you have TruckNutz? What color TruckNutz should I put on my dark grey minivan?

Now for the bit about the Evil Parking Authority...get set... the vile profanity is about to begin...

...are you ready?


After the car-nad sighting and dropping G off with his tutor, I decided that the sunshiny day would be perfect for a brief playground outing with the other three kids. We drove a very short distance to a fun park and parked the car here...

view from driver seat...
street sweeping schedule signage peeking out from behind telephone pole...
the identical sign just behind my car (out of view) stated that this was NOT street sweeping day.

We walked across the street to the play structures and had a blast for about 35 minutes. Then it was time to head back to the car. Upon arriving at the car, I noticed a white envelope tucked under my windshield wiper. Yes, a f*cking parking ticket. Issued five minutes before we returned to the car. Nice. I couldn't for the life of me figure out the statement in the 'reason' section...something about 2-hour zone and permit only...we had only been there for 35 minutes! And the resident permit parking areas allow non-permitted vehicles to park for 2 hours...in most places. So then I start walking up and down the street trying to figure this bullsh*t out....truly baffled... and I see this ONE f*cking sign...

...a single, lone sign and it had been neatly obscured from my view by that telephone pole. 
Probably the only BLOCK in Berkeley that has this sign on it...f*ckers.

The City of Berkeley is notorious for overly vigilant, borderline vicious parking officers. The sit near meters that are ticking down and start writing tickets as the driver is climbing into the car. They will watch a driver park in a weirdly signed, ticketable spot and not say a thing...eager to write that ticket and reach their quota. It has created an incredibly hostile parking environment. There are warnings posted on meters and on the officers' vehicles declaring that assault on a parking enforcement officer is a crime and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. People want to seriously hurt these guys.

Anyway... so I got my ticket, found out why, got in the car, and what was running through my mind? Stupid mutherf*cker assh*le cocks*cker d*ckwad f*ckface b*tches...seriously...what.the.f*ck? Then I realized...my bad. Not healthy to get so f*cking worked up over a missed sign. There was a sign. That officer was just doing his/her job. It was not personal. It was just business. And I broke the rules. Once I was done being angry about the situation, I just felt stupid. I really didn't want to pay $49 for 35 minutes in the park. That's my set of chrome TruckNutz right there.

25 March 2012

2012 Oakland Running Festival Marathon Relay Recap

It is so different participating in a race where you are really just focused on finishing and not hurting yourself vs. hitting a challenging time goal.

It is so different running for an hour vs. running for two hours.

I'm kind of digging these hey, let's just run for a little while because we can kind of "races."

Of course, I'm largely digging them because I haven't been training with any intensity or volume for several months. My cumulative mileage over the past 2 months might just barely break 20 miles...then again, it might not. Injury does, indeed, suck.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was running today's race on a wing and a prayer.

In keeping with the concept of minimal preparation, we had chocolate cake for dinner last night. I'm not kidding.

How's that for pre-race fuel? Now, had I been running a 2-hour race instead of a one-hour race, this would probably have had a real negative effect on my performance. But since today was all about survival, simply moving and breathing would constitute "performance." For this, the chocolate cake proved sufficient.

This morning I awoke before anyone else in the house and began my preparations. Hmmmm...didn't need to pack Gu-type stuff...didn't need to bring water...was the Garmin charged? Who knew? I tossed it in the bag...expecting... whatever.  I got dressed. Knowing that at any minute during the race the sky could open up on the course and deliver a deluge, I dressed to minimize chafing...but knew that I would only need to endure whatever hand was dealt me for about an hour instead of two. Even with that knowledge, I liberally applied the Body Glide all over. Luckily, the rain stayed away :)

I left the house an hour before my expected hand-off time even though early on a Sunday morning traffic is usually non-existant and I live 12 minutes away. The sky was clearing. The drive was a breeze. Parking was beyond easy. But... they only had two port-a-potties to serve this exchange/aid station. The line snaked around and around and around... it was probably a 30-35 minute wait. This is my only organizational beef with the Oakland Running Festival. Who doesn't understand this:  You can NEVER have too many port-a-potties! Right?

Time to go find my Leg 1 chick. I headed over to the exchange area, which looked like this...

She was right on time with her "about an hour" prediction :) She ran past me, calling my name. I leaped out and grabbed the little wristlet timing chip and took off...too fast. The incline a block later snapped me back to reality.

My plan became:
  • chill on the flat.
  • survive the uphill portions.
  • destroy the downhills...however big or small they may be.

 Given that the first 5 miles were dominated by uphill portions, slow and steady survives the race :)

Leg 2 – 2012 Oakland Marathon Relay

My splits over the first 5 miles were all over the place and entirely dependent on the terrain, ranging from mid 11's to as fast as mid 8's. And then came that monster downhill...the BIG one...

THIS one...

Last year, I pissed myself going down this thing. This year I held it together. No peeing.


Flying for me, anyway.

Yes, it's a screaming downhill. I acknowledge that. Nonetheless, it was quite refreshing to see 6 as the first number in the split window for a half a mile :)

I tried to hang on once things leveled out. But. Just. Couldn't. Quite. Do. It. Was I surprised? Absolutely surprised to run down that hill as fast as I did and absolutely NOT surprised that I slowed down dramatically upon hitting the flats. My Leg 3 receiver was fantastically ready to go and saw me before I saw her...even though she was wearing a neon yellow jacket! I gave her the strap, and away she went!

I was done.

Time: 1:03
Distance: 6.6 miles

I am not going to go on and on about how hard I found this because there were folks running alongside of me who had to keep on going...for another 14 miles. They are total rockstars, each and every one of them. The full marathon in Oakland is a toughie...not what one would call a "BQ course."

The takeaway from this race for me is huge, though...

Hip? Solid. Fitness? Sucky. Desire to run? Sky-high!

And that, my friends, is a winning combination. Having a body that (at the moment) works and a desire to work it can change the fitness component. I just need the right approach. I think I'm on the right track.

24 March 2012

Racing on a wing and a prayer

I use the term 'racing' very loosely.

While my participation in last year's Oakland Marathon Relay was impromptu...getting the call the morning before...this time around I've known for a year that I'd be doing it. As the year progressed, I had high hopes of annihilating my time from last year, seeing as how I was getting faster and stronger all the time. For months I relished the thought of tackling the hills of Montclair with gusto and power. I was in training.

This past fall and winter brought some unexpected health crap into my life. I've blogged about it. If you missed it, suffice it to say that things went from 'ehhhh' to 'blehhhh' to 'WAAHHHH' to worse. Presently, I've emerged from the depths of the abyss and am actually looking forward to the SurvivalFest that will be Leg 2 of the Oakland Marathon Relay...most likely in the rain.

Though I'm minimally physically prepared, I feel mentally ready to take it on...to run hard and smart. All the hills I've walked can only help...even if I was only walking them. Leg 2 is a tough one...not as challenging as having to run the stretch as part of running the full marathon. This I know. I'm not trying to blow a hilly jaunt of 6.5 miles out of proportion. I am going into it undaunted at this point but knowing that it will not be pretty. And like last year (recap of the 2011 running of Leg 2 can be found here...along with the photographic evidence of my stellar parallel parking skills), I bow in respect to all runners of the full. They are badass. Insane but badass.

My guess is that my average pace will be marginally different from last year...and it might not be faster, which is a bummer but reality. And I'm guessing I'll pee my pants again while running down the monster hill at the end. But it will probably be raining so no one will know ;-) Instead of my 20-year old cotton Sporthill pants and 17-year old faded cotton tank, I'll be wearing my basic black, hopefully-more-slimming-than-last-time racing outfit and adding a little pizzazz in the form of my $2 Target knee-socks-turned-arm-warmers...

You know you want some. What's stopping you?
And there are many colors and patterns to choose from!
yeah...going all fashionista here at Taking It On...
look out!

Here's hoping that all runners have solid runs this weekend, whether racing or training. And here's to flouting reality :)

What's on deck for you this weekend? How are you feeling about it?

Have you ever used that expression...on a wing and a prayer?

22 March 2012

"...simply ridiculous."

Three hills this week.

That, in and of itself, is simply ridiculous.

This morning I met up with one of my all-time favorite running partners, @sarahlouwou. Neither of us have run much since the last time we met (I'd link it but it's been so long I can't find the post), and both of us were itching to work fairly hard. The topic of walking up insane hills was raised, and that's what we decided to do.

We picked one midway between us and proximally located to where we each needed to be after the climb...

Marin Avenue in Berkeley...

Though this photo is a tad grainy, you can make out the hill behind the fountain...and the car stopped at the intersection. The perspective gives you a decent idea of the steepness in the first block we walked.

And here is the view looking down from the top of the steepest part...and almost the top of the hill.

The following is excerpted from a cycling blog or site or I'm not sure how to categorize it:

Of course, it's not the peak. Crossing Spruce gives you a little break (remember to take advantage of CVC 57492.1: "the right-of-way must be yielded to people in extreme pain"), and then the next couple blocks again aren't quite so bad. Then the block before Euclid is pretty nasty, pushing 20% grade, but really it's just letting you know that you're about to begin the hard part.
Past Euclid is where the road gets really absurd. The average grade from Euclid to Grizzly Peak is 22%, but that includes the flat intersections. Actual riding is closer to 25%, and that first block is probably near 30%. I don't care how low your gears are, or how light your bike is; either you have the leg strength and aerobic capacity to ride up this hill, or you don't. Good friggin' luck."

The author calls it The Deathride. I'm feeling pretty Thursday Thankful that we were just walking it. Gotta get ready for this race thing anyway I can!

21 March 2012

Another Day, Another Hill...

...and today is rockin' just like Monday :)

In keeping with my get-as-ready-as-possible-given-the-situation-at-hand (i.e. startlingly little running or exercising of any sort) training plan, this morning I repeated Monday's double workout scenario. After meeting with my physical therapist yesterday, we agreed that I am not going increase my level of fitness by this Sunday, all I can really do is get my body prepared to handle what's coming at it in it's given level of unpreparedness. Did that make any sense?

Today, I mixed things up a little.

The gym was the logical place to begin since it is right around the corner from dropping the kids off at school, but here's where I get all crazy... watch out! First, I did 10 backward minutes on the elliptical. Second, I ran on the treadmill. I know... so confusing. Last time I did it the other way around.

I discovered what many before me have already discovered...the elliptical is an excellent warm-up! When I was done with my 10 minutes and jumped onto the heinous road-to-nowhere, I was not nearly as bored treadmilling as I was on Monday...mostly because I was able to start out faster than an 11-minute mile. I was ready to go and cranked that puppy up to a brisk 7 mph at some incline...that part I haven't figured out entirely yet so I just pushed that ^ a couple of times. I am way to lazy to do the math but I do know that it is faster than a 10-minute mile and slower than an 8-minute mile so I'm good with it. I felt great at that pace for 5 minutes and then every minute I made it faster, running the last 2 minutes at 8 mph. I felt great and this is still my run fast song :)

A little walking cool-down, a little more backward ellipticalling, and a session on that cool, arm-burner...the hangboard.

Time to tackle a hill!

Monday was Moeser Lane...when I told my p.t. I was using Moeser, she started laughing hysterically.

"Only YOU would go after Moeser! Only you..." as she stood there shaking her head.

Today in the interest of mixing things up, I went a quarter-mile north to Potrero. Potrero is a bit shorter than Moeser...but it's got some agonizing steepness...

See those houses on the diagonal at mid-picture? 
That is where the steep part begins. 
The foreground is a gentle incline but looks almost downhill in comparison.

So...yeah...it's kinda steep...

...for a ways.

Even when you're nearing the top, there is still a slight incline...
and the neighborhood is chock full o' super interesting bush shapes!

On the way back down, I noticed this sign ^.
I don't think Moeser has one which may indicate that this section of Potrero is steeper
than any portion of Moeser... :)

I swear it looks like the road just drops off.

While Monday's hill is longer and runs through a section of open space and had the statue of the boy fishing with barbed wire, today's hill running exclusively through a residential neighborhood showcased some stunningly sculpted bushes and one of the awesomest displays of lawn ornamentation I have ever seen...

It's Cupid sitting in the fountain.
The wolf is howling.
The whole thing is in the shape of a heart! It took me a minute to figure that out :P
And technically I guess it isn't 'lawn' ornamentation since there's no lawn...
but the rocks are red and sparkly white so that's got to count for something.

I'm now on the hunt for more wickedly gnarly hills to take on in my quest for fitness and spectacular garden accessories!

What is the most interesting yard display you have ever seen?

20 March 2012

My Monday Rocked! (mostly because I didn't run out of gas again...and I worked out twice...sort of))

The strangest thing happened today. I got to actually utilize the proximity of the gym to my kids' school. Pretty schweeeet, eh?

Once free of the kidlets, I scurried over to my new party palace and ran a single 10-minute mile on the blurry treadmill. Good Lord! How do people stay on that thing for any length of time? I guess, like anything else, you can acquire a taste for it...or maybe you have no choice. It's not that I didn't like it, it was more of a focus issue. I kept spacing out. Oh, and singing out loud. Sorry, Mr. Treadmill-neighbor. And where the heck am I supposed to spit? I am a big-time spitter when I run. And I'm really good at it, too. I don't think Berkeley Ironworks would appreciate a set of my expectorations anywhere on their premises no matter how awesomely expectorated they were. Before choking on my own unspit-out spit, I jumped off the road-to-nowhere and moved on to backward ellipticalling followed by some foam rolling, the birthing machine, and the super fun, arm-burning hangboards...my new favorites :)

Then I was done.

Except there's still this little race thing happening next weekend that I would really prefer to survive. With that in mind, I headed over to climb Honey Badger Hill again. No rain today, but she was still badass...

So you know how pictures never really show how effin' rough a hill is?
This set of photos almost succeeds.

This is looking up from about halfway.

Here I have about a quarter of the way to go.

And this is looking down from that same 'quarter of the way from the top' spot...
It's probably naïve for me to think that the super-charged power lines will somehow
juice me a little...but I pretend anyway.

Taken about a quarter of the way from the bottom of the hill, 
you can see the street curves down and then continues straight from the center of the picture...
and there's the Golden Gate Bridge :)

Since they occurred in different locations, I'm calling this a double workout. Oooooooo... It's been a long time. I'm ignoring the fact that each workout was little more than 30 minutes in duration.

Riddle of the Day

What can you (fortunately) get with:
9 quarters
11 dimes
6 nickels
70 pennies

A whole, entire 
(and a pissed off gas station attendant)

'Cuz the last thing I needed was a third incident this month!


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