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The San Francisco Hot Chocolate 5k (Race Recap)

it was a hot chocolate party
it was a hot chocolate party

Yesterday was the first official race I’d done since last June (See Jane Run). I was excited, I was nervous, I was happy. I started myself on the couch-to-5k program again a few weeks ago, and as of this week I’m up to Week four. I told myself I’d just go at whatever pace felt comfortable, and I just wanted to finish and celebrate being back in the (sort of) running world again.

I was a Hot Chocolate Ambassador for this one, meaning they sponsored my race registration (thanks Hot Choco folks!). I have to say, for someone living in the East Bay, this was one darned inconvenient race. First of all, there was no same-day packet pickup, so all race packets needed to be picked up at the San Francisco Presidio Sports Basement beforehand. All I can say is, it’s a good thing I am still not back to my job yet! I LOVE Sports Basement the store, and the Presidio is absolutely gorgeous, but MAN, it is not an easy place to get to. I was giving it directions from THREE separate GPS devices (two apps plus my car) and not ONE of them could locate the store correctly. Fail. I kept driving PAST it or OVER it on the freeway. So, that was a pain. Once inside the store, though, the place was teeming with Hot Chocolate volunteers and there were virtually no lines. I was able to present race information for a dozen people and get EVERYone’s goodie bag. BTW, the goodie bags were AWESOME.

pile o goodie bags!
pile o goodie bags!

The biggest item (aside from chocolate!) in the goodie bag was this fantastic fleece HOODIE complete with thumb holes. So great for a chilly January day. So much better than the (hardly ever used) stack of coupons and protein bars that come in most goodie bags…

The race folks also sent out a dozen emails warning us to NOT park in or near the race, and to take these shuttles, but there were no East Bay shuttles (cough: for next time, please) and BART trains did not start running until half an hour after the start of the race. So it was a real trick getting over twelve East Bay runners over to the park for start time.

It was emotional starting the night before, setting up my pre-race pile. I hadn’t done that in so long, and it is such a beloved ritual.

pre-race pile
pre-race pile

One of our Team in Training honorees, Justin, recently passed away. This was such a heartbreak for our team. Justin came out at the start (and end) of many of our race trainings and he was so inspiring and encouraging and… relentless. I was so so sad to hear about this loss of such a good young guy. His memorial service was yesterday also, so I made sure to wear our team shirt with his name on it, and this run was in his honor.

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I couldn’t sleep well all night. I kept waking up about every hour, worried about sleeping through my alarm. Four-thirty came soon enough and I got up, ate my traditional whole wheat English muffin + peanut butter, and then went to pick up Lily for our carpool. It felt so great to be picking her up in the pre-dawn hours again! So many times we did this during our triathlon training, and it made me feel all emotional and nostalgic.

We met up with Annie, Lisa and Mary for our carpool and then headed over to the city. My friend Caroline had posted a welcome sign (Happy Running, Susan & Friends!) on her garage door. Awww! We could see lots of people on the streets all headed to the park. One last stop at Starbucks for hot coffee and bathroom, and we were off! I was toting my big inflatable gold “5” with me. (for my fifth year of running and 5th healthaversary!)

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The race itself was BIG. I had no idea how big it would be, but they announced something like 10,000 runners. Pretty awesome! I lined up in the last corral which was the one that allowed walking. There were LOTS of people there!

Corral E/Start line
Corral E/Start line

I had that nervous happy butterfly feeling when we inched toward the start line. Then the air horn went off, and we start shuffling off! It was one of the most crowded races I’ve been at – similar to Bay to Breakers – and the road we were on  was so narrow, we could not help going pretty slow. I hung with Lily, Mary and Lisa (her first race! Ever!) and we got nice and warmed up until the course spread out and then we did a little bit of slow-running intervals. There were a few loops so we got to pass the faster runners going the opposite way on a few occasions. That’s always inspiring and exciting.

Mary, Lisa & Lily at the start!
Mary, Lisa & Lily at the start!

This race had some rolling hills – some flats – going through Golden Gate park, which I LOVE. For the first three-four years I lived in San Francisco, I was always just a few blocks away from the park. I spent a lot of time in there, getting lost in the trees and paths. It felt like coming home.

We did alternating jogging and walking, whatever felt right. (mostly depended on up or down hills!) It felt like a push from my regular workouts, but also not painful. Julie and Anne met us right at the the finish line and urged us to push through the last bit. It felt good to do a little sprint but then I was panting! In a few minutes, Lisa and Mary came through. It was so exciting to see Lisa cross her first finish line!

Woo hooo! First finish line ever!
Woo hooo! First finish line ever!

Victory chocolate! We had little chocolate fondue cups with bananas (ergh) and other stuff to dip in. Marshmallows, mmmm.

hot chocolate fondue, mmm
hot chocolate fondue, mmm

We took a bunch of photos, met up with the whole group.

 

It's @sarahlou1976!
It’s @sarahlou1976!
Team Weight Watchers!
Team Weight Watchers!

George, who had been my first mentee when I was a mentor for Team in Training, is now a traithlon mentor himself, as well as training for his first 50-mile ultra marathon race. BEAST, George! So happy to see him again.

Triathlon Team reunited!
Triathlon Team reunited!

All in all, I was really happy to return with this sweet not-so-little race. I was really glad to be surrounded by friends. After all that happened in the latter part of 2013, this felt like a great way to start the year. Yay for chocolate and running!

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Race Recap: See Jane Run 5k

ImageThe See Jane Run 5k Race today was great for so many reasons. First, it was the very first race I’ve ever repeated. My first SJR was in 2009, and it was only my 2nd race ever. So it was cool to have a repeat experience.

It was also great because I decided to do it just about a week ago. It feels great to just be able to decide on the spur of the moment to do a 5k race, and to know that I am pretty much “race ready” any time. That. Is. Awesome.

Last weekend I went for a 5k run with the Team, and it just felt wonderful – effortless and pain free and just GOOD. So the next day when I saw that my friend Mary had posted on Facebook that she’d run 5k for the first time and was looking for a race to do, I quickly suggested See Jane Run. It’s so wonderful for a first race: flat, with beautiful views, all women, and ending with champagne and chocolate AND a medal. Can’t beat that, right? So she signed up and I was probably more excited about HER having this experience than myself.

In the back of my head I was thinking I probably would not be as fast as I was in 2009. I was lighter then, and focusing more on running than other stuff, and younger (heh). So I didn’t have huge expectations. I was just happy to be there and to support Mary.

As great as it was for her to be accomplishing this thing she thought she’d never do, it was so meaningful and emotional for me to know that  *I* had been her inspiration to start running in the first place. What! Me! She had come to my Healthaversary party in January, and there were so many people who were runners and triathletes, it got her thinking she wanted to start it up. We told her about the couch to 5k app, and she just went ahead and DID it without me knowing, and voila, last week she completed it! I was so impressed and proud of her.

One of the thing I love about See Jane Run is that it actually openly allows music and MP3 players. I think that makes a huge difference for me. I ran the race with my Runkeeper app, and every 5 minutes it told me my pace, time, distance, etc. I thought I wanted to be close to my last SJR time of 36-37 minutes. (OOPS I thought it was 39 until I just checked!) Anyway, I learned from last time. I didn’t start off with a rush near the front. We started toward the back of the pack and it was just relaxed. There were LOTS of runners! And walkers. And strollers.

The weather was gorgeous and perfect – starting out cool and foggy and then sunning up as time passed. It was just so comfortable. I went out slowly, and then as I warmed up I felt stronger and stronger. We got to the halfway turnaround before I knew it, then it was over. I wasn’t struggling at all. At the end, I sprinted with a burst and that just felt GOOOD. I was so happy!

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We celebrated with champagne and chocolate and hugs, then Mr McBody and Mr. Mary took us out for a great brunch. Then home for a nap. It felt so awesome to do this race for FUN. 

And, well, I didn’t beat my record but I matched it, and that was good enough for me. Yippee! More fun to come!

Race Recap: Oakland Running Festival Twilight 5k!

So y’all know that originally I was planning to do the Fight for Air Stairclimb, the Oakland Twilight 5k AND the Oakland Marathon Team Relay all in one weekend. Crazy, right? Right! And the 5k for a while felt like a bit of a consolation prize when I tried to register for the team relay and it was sold out. Well, it all turned out to be just riiiiiiiiight. (as it often does)

I did the stairclimb yesterday morning, then came home to blog (naturally) and rest and shower and nap. (<<<<excellent move) Then I woke up, had a nice cup of coffee and headed down to Jack London Square where I was to meet up with Sabrina again (she had had no nap, but a full day of sightseeing in San Francisco! Yow!). As soon as I got to the Square I found her AND a bunch of other people I knew! I met a friend whose daughter had gone to school with my daughter. I was so thrilled to see that she was there and ready to run her very first 5k. I was so excited for her! Go Jill!

Then I found my buddy and very first Couch-to-5k running partner, Mary. That made me feel so happy and emotional! She was the one who started it all with me, from our very first 60-second run that I wasn’t sure we would survive. How awesome. It seemed like every time I turned around I was bumping into someone else I knew. It was such a big PARTY! There were tons of kids, from little ones to teens, and older people and just every kind of person imaginable. The vibe was very big Oakland party.

They announced that they were moving the course last minute (?!) because of mud or puddles or some such thing, and that we were all going to walk a block down the Square to some green line on the ground and line up behind it.  Huh? But we all did just that, and at some point people started running and we were off. I put on my iPod earbuds and my regular running music and went. My only goal was to run the whole way at whatever pace. Often when I am training-running I will do some walk intervals, but I just really wanted to run this whole thing since I knew I was not going to be running any part of the Sunday marathon.

When we started out, it was just a huge sea of people. The kids were running all willy nilly, darting in and around the crowd, and the spectators were loud and noisy and boisterous and YAY! I just felt so overwhelmingly happy and full of love for Oakland. It was truly twilight and the weather and the light were beautiful and perfect. I just took off feeling relaxed and loving the feel of all the people around me. We headed through the square toward the Port of Oakland and then at some point not too far off, all of a sudden the front runners were heading back the other way. I actually love this feeling, seeing the fast runners just pushing it out. It’s so inspiring. I got so excited seeing them, including some awesome looking women and one small, very fast child. It was incredible!

Then before long we turned around and made a U-turn too, and back through the Square full of all the cheering people. YAY that was fun! Then we ran down toward the boathouse where my daughters have been rowing crew for the past 6 years. Man, I know this path so well. I have walked and run it so many times before, and there was something so lovely and comforting about that particular stretch. I saw the 2 mile mark and was like, What? Only 1.2 miles left? I was feeling so good. A lot of people were walking around me now, and I passed a whole bunch. Including some of those kids who had charged out of the gate so early.

I passed one guy walking with a cane, and one paralyzed arm, like he’d had a stroke or brain injury. He was just trucking along. There were two women walking backwards in front of him, cheering him on. It brought tears to my eyes. I saw quite a few people of significant size, and I was like, GO YOU! You’re not waiting to get to X weight to do this! You’re doing it!

I saw so many people who inspired me during this race. It just filled me with pride and happiness. My body felt great – not any soreness at ALL from the stairclimb. I just felt relaxed and good. When we came to the last .1, and that Finish arch was right THERE, I decided to just push it out into an all out sprint. It felt amazing. I just tore through that finish and all I can say is I hope that someone took a picture because I was on fire.

Then I stood at the finish and watched everyone else come in. I loved it. And then the craziest thing happened. I was standing there, and this woman I didn’t recognize said, “Excuse me, but do you blog?” I said, “Yeah…” and then she said, “Are you Foodie McBody?” I could have fainted dead away right there! She introduced herself as Bethany (@, a reader and blogger herself! WOW! WOW! I think that was one of the absolute highlights of the weekend.  Today I went and found her blog and it’s awesome! Everyone go read her!

That's @bgetnhot

Then I met up with Sabrina, who had ended up walking the race with the friend of friend, and apparently they had the best time chatting away! I was so excited to be with her at our SECOND finish line of the day! Yahoo!

That's @brematt!

Then we went and met up with Mary and her family at Souley Vegan, an awesome restaurant up the street. Yeah… vegan soul food! You can read my full review of it here but needless to say it has redeemed my estimation of vegan food! YUM!

Mary's daughter gazing adoringly at the Everything Platter
Crispy Tofu Burger is a thing of wonder!

I have to say that this was one of my favorite race experiences EVER. There was so much to love: being in my own town which I love, with other Oaklanders (and fans of), having such a cool and enthusiastic crowd to cheer us on, feeling totally relaxed and without pain or struggle. It was just wonderful. The only thing that would’ve been better would be getting some nice BLING but that didn’t happen. Ah well!

I had been feeling all sour grapesy about the actual marathon, but this morning I just wanted to be part of it. I knew my friend Lydia would be running the 2nd leg through my neighborhood so I made a sign (with two sides) and went down to Montclair Village to see the marathoners coming through. Well, I have never participated in a race as a Spectator before, and let me tell you, it was awesome. It was so exciting and I was so happy to see the runners and frankly very grateful that my running for the weekend was OVER. 🙂 People were SO happy to see my sign, and many of them yelled out, “No, YOU are awesome!” (What?!?) and “THANK  YOU!” It was fantastic. I just loved being there and again felt so inspired. Lydia zipped right past me before I could get my phone out to take a picture. She looked fabulous!!

I came home and it was time to get my own workout in. Yeah, there’s no days off with this #30daychip! Because TODAY I also completed my 30th day in a row of exercise! It felt great. Now I’m waiting for my #30daychip to show up. @Bradgansberg? 🙂

Day 30 done!!! Yippeeee!

When that was over, I was ready to rest and sit down. Finally. My friend Ericka and I met up to see the movie Jane Eyre. Which I loved. It was the perfect ending of a pretty much perfect weekend. YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!

Off the Couch

OK, so due to semi-popular demand (thanks MizFit!) I am going to write about my extremely nascent running experience, specifically with Couch-to-5k, which I began… yesterday!

Earlier in the week, I did an actual 5k (walk/run combo) around the wonderful Lake Merritt. I have not circled Lake Merritt in wayyyy too long, despite its proximity to my house, and I wonder why I stayed away so long. (umm, maybe because I was on the couch) Anyway, it is a great training ground because its perimeter (I just looked it up: on the walking path, NOT the sidewalk) is exactly 5k, which is perfect.

Lake Merritt is called “the jewel of Oakland” and for good reason. It’s beautiful. It has a totally awesome bird sanctuary. It is incredibly diverse in terms of race, age, gender and socioeconomics. You see EVERYone going around the path on Lake Merritt. It made me feel so happy to be there. There were couples, and girlfriends, and tottering little old people, and babies and dogs (even though they are really not allowed) and super fit young athletes, and lots of people huffing and puffing, and just EVERYone. I went around sundown and got to see the pretty “circle of lights” light up, along with the gorgeous historical streetlamps. So it was great to be there.  I took my iPod and it took me exactly 41 minutes to go around the lake, I’d say probably 40-50% running. Not bad.

So I thought I was in FINE shape to do this Couch to 5k training, and even contemplated (HA HA HA HA!) skipping ahead to week 2 or 3 because I was feeling so ridiculously overconfident. I posted a notice on Facebook and a bunch of friends said they wanted to do it with me! (now THAT is one of the absolute COOLEST and best things about FB!)

My friend M happens to do some work in the same office as me. We met up in the office yesterday and at first we were going to go to the Lake, but realized we both were squeezed timewise b/c we had to pick up our kids at a certain time. So instead we went to one of Oakland’s OTHER jewels, ie. Mountain View Cemetery. This is where my trainer often takes me and runs me up and down the steps and ramps. It’s a beautiful and intense outdoor gym!

The first 3 sessions of Couch-to-5k consists of this: warmup walk for 5 minutes, then 60 second run, 90 second walk, 60 second run, 90 second walk. Keep going for 20 minutes.

Now. I scoffed at this workout. I was like, that is too easy! HA HA HA HA. I did come to eat those words. I was nervous. We walked from the office to the cemetery, which was more than five minutes. When we got into the gates, M set her very cool sports watch (she is a very accomplished gadget geek, which is one of the things which makes her an excellent running partner!) so that it would beep at 60 seconds, 90, 60, etc.

She said, “Go!” We set off on our first sixty. Can I just say that these were some of the LONGEST sixty seconds EVER? (dwarfed only perhaps by sixty seconds of being in active labor) I was rather stunned when it was over and I was so happy to be walking. For some reason, the 90 seconds went by quicker than the 60 – how is that? 🙂

I think we did 8 or 9 circuits of each, which was definitely more than 20 minutes, because we were late leaving and I was late picking up my kid and she TOTALLY let me have it. And I was beet red and sweaty. It had kicked my butt – the easy one! Ack!!

We do our 2nd set of this tomorrow, down at the Lake. My friend C is doing it “in tandem” on her treadmill. And I am meeting my other friend K on Sunday in San Francisco, since she was so eager to join in as well. I am happy to have all this company. But I am still chagrined that the first set of this workout was not as easy as I had imagined it would be.

Only one way to go from here, right? Onward!

The Long Road Back

photo credit: Unsplash/Sylwia Bartyzel

Last night, I had a dream about trying to do a triathlon. It was a short, “fun” triathlon and I recall that maybe I just showed up, hoping to participate. But I couldn’t find any of my gear. I had to leave the course and run into a nearby apartment building and run up 3 flights of stairs to some random apartment to get my running shoes, or bike helmet or something. Then I came back down and I couldn’t find my bike. Where are the bikes? I asked frantically. I could see the very last, slow runners coming in to the finish. Someone said, the bikes were “over by the lake” wherever that was. Somewhere out of sight. I realized, with a sinking feeling, that I did not have my act together and even if I found my bike and the lake I would never finish in time. My friend, who had finished the race, showed me the “medal” which turned out to be a piece of tacky plastic like one would get from a gum ball machine. The whole thing made me wake up sad.

Sometimes I see photos of my prior teammates working out, training for marathons and triathlons and big rides and such and I can’t believe that that used to be me, training hard six days a week. These days I am feeling pretty bad-ass if I can accomplish a short little half-walk half run. I’ve been back to Couch to 5k, but it’s a very slow process and nothing like it was the first time.

The GOOD news is (in case this turns into a total whine fest!) that I’m both getting physical therapy (2x a week, which is helping SO MUCH) and have also returned to seeing patients as a physical therapist. It’s a little surreal, but it feels good to be out and about in my little car, in this beautiful weather (sorry, non-Californians) and helping people in their homes. I am so awed by my own PT who has crazy mad skills and has helped me have the first pain-free run I’ve had in almost a year. So YAY for that.

I’m moving my focus back toward writing again, and that also feels really good. I have a book coming out with SheBooks in the near future (believe me, you’ll hear all about it!) and next week I’m traveling up to Seattle for a writers’ conference. SUPER BIG YAY!

I’m still here. I’m walking around, and every so often I even break into a little jog ;-). I’m going to be trying to figure out my upcoming races – I would love to do the Oakland Running Festival and See Jane Run this year. Anyone else??

 

Photo Shoot (Me)

silly shot with Junior & Juniorette
silly shot with Junior & Juniorette (photo credit: Laura Duldner)

About a month ago, I got an email from someone at a diabetes publication, saying they’d found my blog and wanted to interview me. Yay! I like doing interviews. I was feeling good about my 5-year (!) healthaversary coming up, and it felt great to commemorate it like this. Five years!

The phone interview was fun. I blathered on. The writer who was interviewing me asked a lot about advice I’d give someone who was newly diagnosed. I realized the stuff that helped me then is the stuff that continues to help me now; i.e.. small changes. That is why Weight Watchers, Couch to 5k , #wycwcy (What-You-Can-When-You-Can) and other small, gradual steps have made all the difference, both at the beginning and on an ongoing basis. In many ways, I am starting from the beginning again.

After the interview, the writer said they could find some pictures here from my blog, or I could send some. Then a few days later I got an email saying that they’d like to “send a photographer.” SEND a photographer? Here?

Yes. And then last week I heard from the photographer herself. I had NO IDEA what big-deal photos she had taken (look here and have a heart attack like I did). She informed me that I was going to be on the COVER of the magazine and did I have a hair stylist? A makeup person? (#faint) I hurriedly went to check out this magazine and saw… 40 million readers… and the people on the cover? Gulp. Looked to be about twenty years old.

It threw me into a tizzy of anxiety, nerves, wanting to eat Everything In Sight, and just have a general meltdown.

Monday came. My hair stylist (aka my regular person who sweetly offered to come to my house before work) and my Makeup Person (friend of mine, who I had a vague idea “did makeup” but again had no clue what a pro she is!) arrived. I threw every piece of clothing I owned onto my bed in a fit of despair and I-Have-NOTHING-To-Wear!!

The hair blowout was fine. I was used to that. But then… the makeup… OMG.

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trying to be cool as a cucumber
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a bit beyond my usual naked face + Burts Bees tinted chapstick

The photographer arrived early, to “scout out” the house and surroundings for suitable backdrops. She decided on the front porch and “yard” (it’s more of an overgrown jungle). She got her equipment set up while I got my Face on. It took like 90 minutes which was fascinating and also kind of overwhelming. I felt like a painter’s canvas! But the end result was the most natural makeup I’ve ever worn and I still felt pretty much like me. Whew.

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me + Junior, and sans glasses
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She’s not messin around. So… I guess they didn’t like the Instagram selfie I sent in?

We took about a gazillion shots on the front porch and in the yard. Many outfit changes. Sweaters. Scarves. Running clothes. Medals. No medals. Rocky shot! I have-to-pee shot! (apparently this “elongates” the body- who knew? one could look so svelte when waiting in line at Portopotties?) We even went up to the park nearby (where I usually run) and I did some fake-running while she photographed me from her belly on the very edge of the trail. I pretty much had to run OVER her body while she exhorted me to “Keep coming at me, at me, at me!!” She had to do a costume change herself when we got back to to the house, so encrusted she was in trail stuff.

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She really worked for her money that day!
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Here she demonstrates the “have to pee” pose. Very elongated!

It turned out to be, after all, a lot more fun and a lot less stressful than I anticipated. The stress happened before and… after.

It was pretty trippy to do this. It messed with my head in various ways. Of all the magazines to be on the cover of, I was pretty proud and happy to be on a diabetes health magazine. (the only one I could ever hope for is to be on the cover of THIS magazine) I loved doing the interview. But the focus on my physical appearance for hours on end was just unnerving. I’m not used to it, and it just made me all discombobulated. I got really unbalanced. I sort of lost it a little. I was anxious and moody and jumpy and weepy. I found myself thinking crazy thoughts like, I hope they PhotoShop me. (even though I am so against that kind of thing!)

Going for a run-walk near the beach brought me back to myself yesterday. As did returning to a beginning meditation class this week. This is tricky stuff, y’all…

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running the next day

What?!? An Easy Workout?!?!?

I did a real double take when I saw our run workout for today. Five minute walk warmup followed by 10 intervals of … WHAT?!? Easy run of one minute (?!?!?) intervaled with one minute walks? ! WHAT?!?? Lily and I had to read it over a couple of times, pinch ourselves, and then read it again before we could really believe it.

Wow!

So I guess after four days of really hard stuff, this must be our “active rest” or whatever. It basically was the same drill as the first week of Couch to 5k. AWESOME!

It felt so good. It really did. I mean I felt like I was certainly doing SOMEthing, but it was easy. It felt wonderful. It was a gift from the coaching gods!!

We’re beginning to get an idea of what these weeks are like. Some days are hard. Some days are easy. We’re getting a bunch of different things all together. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Maybe I can do this after all.

Big grin.

 

Toes in the Water, Out of the Comfort Zone

Toes in water by ♪ MissMaryMakk ♪
Toes in water, a photo by ♪ MissMaryMakk ♪ on Flickr.

Wow. Today I did two workouts that were both wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone. First I did another treadmill interval workout courtesy of Junior. I’d been dreading this one but I wanted to give it a try. Whereas the “Mountain” workout is all about upping the incline (not the speed), the “Treading” workout is about the speed. Which scared me.

Why is it called Treading? Because it’s like treading water and you feel like you’re gonna drown? Or because it’s on a treadmill? I have no idea.

So the drill is that you’re supposed to warm up for five minutes. (love this part)

Then, 5 minutes ALL OUT, maximum heart rate, the fastest you can run. Now this is tricky because if you’ve never done it, how do you know what speed that is? I decided to start out at 6.1, which is just below a 10 minute mile (like 9.5). I know lots of people run entire races sub-10min/mile but that’s not me. Depending on the length of the race I’m anywhere from 12-15 minute mile. But I have always wanted to run at least a 10 minute mile so I thought I’d try it.

I made it four minutes and then I really though I was going to fall over and puke. So clearly that was too fast (heh).

What you’re supposed to do after the 5 minute sprint is to bring it WAY DOWN to walking, to slow your heart rate down for another 5 minutes. I got confused here since I didn’t complete the 5 minutes. So I cooled down and walked for 4 minutes.

The pattern is supposed to be 5 minute ALL OUT, 5 minute recovery. 4 minute ALL OUT, four minute recovery. 3 and 3, 2 and 2, 1 and 1. Repeat.

The four and three minute sprints were hecka hard. They really were. And they reminded me of when I first started to try running. i was probably running at this level and of course couldn’t keep up the pace. So I quit.

I fooled around with the speeds but as I kept going down in the time lapses, I was also getting more and more warmed up (boiling hot is more like it). By the time I got to the one minute interval, I was sprinting at 7.0 for that minute (8.3 minute mile pace, woo hoooooooooo!).

When I got done I went back up to the five minutes and was able to do it at 5.9. It actually felt easier.

Again, like yesterday, I was absolutely drenched in sweat and beet red at the end of this one.

THEN i decided to go in the pool (partly to cool down, because I was dying of heat!). The requirements for the Olympic level triathlon include being able to swim 200 yards with “10 seconds rest” (total?). The lifeguard said the pool is 25 yards long, so… 8 lengths. OK. I bought myself some silicon earplugs (I am so prone to swimmers ear) and some new goggles. I hopped in. The first 2 lengths went OK but then it started being a struggle. I rested a few seconds at the end of each length. I’d estimate I probably rested a total of one minute, and when I finished the 8 I was JELLY. I was panting. I was really really wiped out.

When I got home Mr. McBody asked me what stroke I was doing and I told him Crawl. Because it’s like the only one I remember. He said it would be a good idea to alternate breast stroke or others (side?) because then I can get a rest from the breathing. I knew my breathing pattern was super inefficient and just WRONG, and it was pooping me out. I can’t wait to get some good coaching on this.

I haven’t swam laps since I was pregnant with Juniorette. She’s 17 now, so…. a long time ago.

Both of these workouts were very, very humbling today but i was glad I pushed myself out of the comfort zone. It reminded me of when I first started running. There has to be some equivalent of couch to 5k for swimming right? (probably alternating strokes or some such) In any case, I am very glad I’m going to get some training in this area because I sure as heck need it.

Taking My Skin Off

Well, if my first solo performance show was a little bit like getting up on stage naked, my next show is going to be like taking my skin right off. It feels uber naked. But also important.

This piece is a continuation of the show I developed this spring, and includes a bunch of outtakes from my original. I was just trying to jam too much into that first show, so it got pared down to my diabetes diagnosis and subsequent return to Weight Watchers, to blogging and couch to 5k.

THIS piece is what I’m calling the Underbelly of how I came to gain that weight in the first place. It’s an exploration of emotional eating. Because I felt like to just focus on Weight Watchers and running as the “cure-all” left a lot of the story out. This is the rest of the story – of how that emotional eating began, and how I worked to get away from its grip.

It’s intense stuff, man. I feel really vulnerable. But at the same time, I feel like putting this out there is really important. Because it’s not a simple manner of counting calories/points and getting in a bit more exercise. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

I absolutely adore my Solo Performance Workshop group – my gifted, brilliant teacher and my amazing classmates. I feel utterly safe with them and know they are going to support me as well as PUSH me to make this the most amazing show ever.

For anyone who’ll be around these parts, this performance will be debuting on Monday, August 9th, 7pm at Stagewerx Theater in San Francisco. As always, or perhaps more than ever, I’d love supportive audience members!

Whoa: Slooooow Down, Nelly!!

I’m sitting in the hospital lab, on the 2nd hour of my glucose tolerance test. I’m very happy that I have a nice waiting room with free Wi-Fi in which to pass the time. The glucose drink was nasty but not as awful as I’d remembered. I survived it.

I thought I’d review some parts of the Beck Diet Solution book that I was raving about so much when I first started. I haven’t looked at it much lately, and thought it would be worthwhile.

One thing I have just not gotten really good at is eating slowly, which hinders my ability to guage my fullness etc. I just happened to open to the “Eat Slowly” chapter in the Beck book. Which is a good thing.

When the relatives were here for that nice dinner over the weekend, I noticed that my husband and I both finished our plates WAYYYY before his cousin and her husband. I kept staring at her, wondering, how does she do that? I just got used to absolutely snarfing down my food at some point (maybe when the kids were little??) and haven’t been able to break that habit. But here are the things that Beck suggests to help with this issue. I’m going to give it a shot.

  • Change something in your eating environment: cloth napkins instead of paper, a little vase of flowers, different colored plates, whatever. Every time you notice that changed thing, think to yourself, Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be eating more slowly.
  • Set a timer to beep every 1-3 minutes. Every time it beeps, put down your tableware and count to 10. When you pick the fork or spoon up again, remind self to eat slowly. (note: I can bet that one minute will seem as long as the 60 seconds I’m running during Couch to 5k!!)
  • Take a sip of water after every bite.
  • Eat something very hot, like soup. Which will force you to slow down.
  • Pay attention to bodily sensations. Notice sensations of fullness
  • Look at the clock. Notice what time it is when dinner begins and ends. Try and stretch that time out by a few minuets every meal.

I’ve noticed that we can usually polish off dinner in less than 10 minutes, usually an average of six. That’s probably really bad. We are Hoovers! I know I need to make a conscious effort to try all of these exercises because I know that the speed of my eating has really caused me to gain weight.

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