Monthly Archives: June 2005

6/29/05 Flunking The Test (130)

Wednesday. Wisdom day. I’ll come up with something wise later, right now I’m too busy jumping up and down because last night I ran a mile in 11:05! That’s great for me. We had our first mileage test last night at practice. I actually flunked the test, but who cares?!?! I ran an 11:05!

It was hot and humid last night so I was going to take my workout to the gym but as usual I procrastinated the whole day (actually was working) so by the time 6 p.m. rolled around I figured I might as well get some practice in the heat and went up to suffer with my fellow teammates.

It was a short workout. Our goal was to run one mile twice with recovery in between at our best race pace. The trick was the second mile had to be done in the same time (or few seconds less) than the first mile. If you were 10-15 seconds or more slower on the second mile you “flunked” and have to work more on your pacing. If you were more than 15 seconds faster you also have to work on your pacing.

We started at Bethesda and did a warmup jog to tavern on the green. There is a 1 mile marker at 64th street (finally actually saw where it is). They broke us up into pace groups so I was with the 12 minutes+ group. When we started there were about 6 of us (out of about 25) who took off and separated quickly from the rest of the 12+ group. Fairly quickly I was running by myself. The other five pulled farther and farther away from me until I knew I wouldn’t catch them. I figured they were in the wrong group.

It was hot and I was ready to be exhausted, but strangely, I wasn’t. I was waiting for the prickly heat, but it didn’t come. So, I just tried to run as fast as I could maintaining a deep effort level 3. (To illustrate that level of breath you are supposed to hold your breath for 30 seconds — when you let it out that is how deep you should be breathing for effort level 3). I think I was running a 3+, 4- (look at me with different effort levels!!)

When I got to the carousel I saw all the people that had taken off ahead of me. Everyone single one of them had stopped and started walking. I was fine and kept going. I really, really wanted to catch them and pass them but I was already running as fast as I could and just when I thought I could catch them they started running again. So their final times had to be around 10:50 including their walking so I know they were probably running at a 10 when they started. I got to the 1 mile marker and slammed the brakes on my watch 11:05!! The coach knew from Sunday that I wanted to break 11:30 so he seemed happy for me.

Now we had to slow our run down to recovery level so when we got to the 1 mile marker again our breathing would 100% normal — effort level 0. Almost everyone was walking. I found it harder to actually walk so I did a baby jog just to keep my legs in motion.

One of the things the coaches had said before we started was to build up our pace. Like a car, you don’t just go 0-50 in 10 seconds. You build it up slowly until you get to 50 and then you sustain it. He told us to do the same thing and use lampposts as our guides, gently accelerating one lamppost at a time until we got to our pace and then hold it. As I was recovering from the first mile, I realized I didn’t really do that and made a note to try that for the second mile.

So when I got to the second mile marker (now I had passed everybody from my group because they were all walking) I started slower. Every second lamppost I asked myself could I go a little faster? The answer was yes. So I increased my effort ever so slightly. By the time I was about 1/2 mile in, I was still increasing. Then I hit the little incline on the east side near the carousel. I realized I could have been going faster all along. Now on the incline I plowed through.

It was strange. I was breathing deeply, but nothing in my legs hurt anywhere. This was a new feeling for me. It almost felt like my legs were not even there. The only limitation I had was my breathing and even that was not actually “hurting” I just didn’t want to go beyond the level he told us to go. I kept worrying. I was thinking how can this be? Why am I not passing out? It was very hot. Lots of people were walking. (Tons of people were running, but they were the real runners so I don’t compare myself to them.) My time for the second mile was 11:35 and I know I could have finished faster had I started faster. I had tons of energy left when I was finished. We recovered back to the starting point so our full workout was only 3.4 miles. It was fun though.

So of course all night I kept thinking about how could I go faster? What if the weather had been better? What if I had been lighter? Maybe I could get a faster foot rotation if I tried. I was happy all night that I did that 11:05 because it opens up a world of possibilities and hope for my running. If I get fitter and lighter maybe a 10:30 is around the corner. (I ran a 10:39 once two years ago and it has never been close to being repeated so I figure they must have timed me wrong.) I felt so happy that it didn’t bother me that my opponent never showed up to my tennis match last night (I won by default). There was terrible traffic over the Queens Borough Bridge last night. It was 11:30 and they closed down too many lanes. Everybody was honking and yelling and cutting each other off. I just sat there and let everyone cut in — I didn’t care — I had run an 11:05! Life is Good!

So I guess my words of wisdom today are just because you flunked the test doesn’t mean you can’t pass the course. Even in failure there can be achievement.


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6/28/05 Holding Down the Fort (131)

Tuesday. Nice, humid, rainy Tuesday. Ugh. Tonight we have a mile test for marathon training. It will be an easy workout. We run a warm-up from Bethesda to the 1 mile marker and then run 1 mile as fast as we can and recover to the terrace. Then we do it again. So total will only be 3.4 miles but the goal is to run two miles at our fastest pace and make both times the same. I wouldn’t bother going due to the weather, but since at 9 p.m. I have to go play a tennis match over at Roosevelt Island I figured I might as well get out and about. I practiced staying up to 11:30 last night so I won’t fall asleep on the court. This should be interesting — I’ll have a cup of coffee around 6 p.m. and hopefully that will keep me awake. I’ll be hungry when I get home at 11:30 so I’ll try to have a fruit salad and some soy crisps on hand so I don’t get those late-night practice munchies.

Yesterday had a workout with Rhonda — that went well — did some upper body work, a lot of throwing the medicine ball around and balance stuff. We both feel my balance is 10,000 times better. When I first started with Rhonda I couldn’t even stand on one foot and hold it. Now I can stand on the foam mat and balance on one leg and lift light weights. Big improvement. I’m also getting better at doing those touch tap exercises (which I hate btw!) but I’m getting better. Those are the ones where you balance on your butt with your feet in the air (knees bent) and hold a big ball and tap it on one side and then the other. I feel it ripping right up my abdomen. Ouchy. I can only do 20 at a time, but when I first started I couldn’t do it at all so that’s better. I think Rhonda thinks I can do more, but we’ll have to have a meeting with my abs and let them in on that plan! I think they have another opinion.

I feel I am definitely stronger than I was 6 months ago. I know I have a long way to go, but I am happy that I am making strides.

Had a lot of work to do so I didn’t get a swim in as I had planned — maybe tomorrow. I want to make sure I can still swim a mile because I have a couple of triathlons coming up, in TEN DAYS!!! Ack!

So yesterday I managed to not write down a single thing that I ate. Why is that so hard for me? It feels like punishment to write everything down. I ate fine yesterday — everything core, but for some reason I can’t get myself to write it down. You’d think this was hard — it’s mental. I am finding most of everything is mental. My problems with my serve — mental. My backlog of certain work tasks — mental. My refusal to be accountable for every morsel I put in my mouth — mental.

I’ve been thinking a lot about why we hurt ourselves first when we have stress or are afraid or uncomfortable. If you think about it, it is counter-evolutionary. A lot of the time our reactions to situations can be explained by some pre-historic drive. Fight or flight, the need to procreate, the need to nest or rest. But the part I don’t understand is why we take out stress and fears on ourselves? Let’s take smoking (and no I’m NOT picking on anyone in particular — this is just for example) I know for myself, whenever I was stressed I used to smoke more. I’m sure it was the need for a nicotine rush but why wouldn’t my natural protective instinct jump in to stop me from doing something so self-destructive to myself? I suppose the first time you have a cigarette, most people are repulsed by it but then the nicotine gives you a false calming effect — until you want more and more.

Food I guess is the same way. I can be an emotional eater. If I get angry or upset, food is my “reward.” So and so said whatever to me, I’ll show them and eat a chocolate cake. It doesn’t make sense. There is no logic. Why wouldn’t my body reject that self-destructive behavior? I guess because it doesn’t sense it as self-destructive — it senses it as building up the fortress. If you are being attacked, shut the door to the moat and barricade the doors with bags of Doritos.

Feeling like you are a master of your food can lead to a false sense of security. I guess if we feel out of control everywhere else, controlling our food makes us feel in charge — even if we are doing it to excess (or deficit). Of course that is like setting fire to the fort because you think you can’t stop the Vikings from burning it down first. You’ll be damned if they are going to burn your fort so you’ll do it yourself just to say at least they didn’t do it. You want me to eat that? I’ll show you and refuse or if you are like me it works the other way. Oh, you said I can’t have that? Here, watch me. You don’t get to tell me what to do; I’ll show you and eat that whole pizza. There, I told you didn’t I? Where’s the Pepto?

Food stops becoming about nourishment and it becomes about power. Animals don’t do this. Even a lion will not bother to attack an antelope if he is already eating another deer — he knows he has enough. I mean can you imagine a lion going out and killing 3 antelope and sitting there eating them all until it is sick? No they just don’t do that. Conversely can you imagine a Lion starving himself just because he feels out of control? No, emotions don’t come into it — food is about survival. You can swim with the sharks if they are well-fed. Only we humans empower food with other attributes. The sad and tragic irony is the only person we are hurting is our self. At a certain point we have to stop become our own enemy and become our own advocate. We have to take care of our bodies — they are our front line and deserve all of the support we would give our best soldiers because we are the only army we have.

I had a funny little experience at a picnic last Sunday. Someone had made some very decadent brownies and brought them to our picnic. They looked really good with all kinds of little nestle chips on top so I really wanted to try one. So I took a small piece as did a couple of others. We all agreed — too sweet. Just one layer too much of sugar (it had some kind of glaze). Yes it was good and someone with a real sweet tooth would have loved it, but it wasn’t for me. So I had one bite and there was one bite left. I wanted to just pop it in my mouth and be rid of it (that would be the easy way) but my mind said “stop, you don’t have to eat it — you can get rid of it.” I had a moment of struggle between brownie devil and angel athlete and finally I said to the girl next to me “look, here’s my self-control, I’m throwing this away.” I walked over and threw the bite of the brownie in the garbage. I was all proud of myself like I had knocked three Vikings off the side of the fort. She replied “it’s just a brownie.” What? I thought to myself. Just a Brownie? It is NOT just a brownie! This represents my will conquering my demons! This represents liberation from my shackles of oppression! This is my independence over the evil forces! This is freedom for all the imprisoned patriots of my country! This is emancipation from tyranny! Or perhaps, it is in fact, just a brownie.


Weight Watchers 1 pt Fending Off the Vikings Cupcake Brownies


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vinegar, cider
1 1/2 tsp margarine, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a second bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Pour water mixture over flour mixture and stir until batter is smooth.

Pour into a nonstick 12-hole muffin tin coated with cooking spray, filling until half full. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let sit 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack to completely cool. Hurl at the heads of the vikings climbing over the wall.

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6/27/05 Week 25 check in (132)

Monday. Mindfulness. Today’s focus will be on tracking everything I eat in my journal. I didn’t lose (or gain) and weight this week and my weight loss remains at 30.5 pounds. I think my body is in a stage where it is just used to my routine and I need to shake it up a little.

The other day I realized that if I’m not losing weight with all this exercise, if I stopped all this exercise I would be in real trouble. Not that I plan on stopping this exercise, but if I did I would have to greatly reduce the number of calories I am consuming. The core plan has been working so far, but I feel I am at a standstill because I take too many liberties. Last night I went out for a splurge dinner (felt I “deserved” it) and had some bread and lots of wine. These are still my splurge foods. But after yesterday’s race we had a picnic in the park. I had a bialy with cream cheese and a pita bread with hummus. I thought I “deserved” that too. I have a pretty big reward system which is proportionate to my derriere. I think the only way to address this is to start logging every bit of food I eat. I don’t want to do this, but maybe just try it for today to see how hard it is. It’s time to start becoming a scientist about my weight. Measure, calculate and observe. The marathon is approaching.

I wrote yesterday about how I had made my weekend workout into such a big deal when in fact it wasn’t that much. I think subconsciously I was telling myself I was working out so much so that I would give myself license to eat more. In reality I didn’t deserve so many points. I think my body is becoming more efficient at certain workouts as well so I’m not exerting as much effort to get the same result. This is just my hypothesis — I have not proven it. 5 mile runs are not exerting the same stress on my body as they used to so my body doesn’t have to burn as many calories. I think it gets back to that effort level thing. If I run 5 miles at effort level 1 I don’t burn as much as at effort level 3. Time to up the effort level.

So I made a big deal out of how much I worked out over the weekend when all it was 1 hour bike, 1 tennis match and 2 five mile runs. That really only 5 hours of exercise (and the 2 hours of tennis really don’t count for burning many calories since I was playing doubles). I think my body is stronger now and can take that easily. People do that all the time — that’s not so much. Some of the pro tennis players run a couple of miles AFTER a 5 set match of singles. I assure you that Amelie Mauresmo puts in a lot more than 5 hours of working out over a two day period. (I know, I know, I’m NOT Amelie, I just play like her on the t.v. of my mind).

Amazingly I woke up this morning without a bit of an ache or a pain anywhere. I had been anticipating needing a big recovery from the weekend. This morning I woke up feeling more refreshed than tired. I did a little stretching and not one creak or ache. Very strange. I went joint by joint doing an inventory, knees ache? Nope. Quads tight? Nope. Sore muscles anywhere? Hamstrings, calves, ankles, shoulders, biceps, triceps? Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope and nope. I tried to think of what the difference was and I realized it was stretching. Yesterday after the race (not a good result — a 12:38 mile due to the heat) we all sat around waiting for a picnic. So I stretched for a good twenty minutes. Usually I just fly through my after workout stretches — 5-10 minutes. The difference a good twenty minutes of stretching in warm weather made is very noticeable this morning. Other difference? I took two aleve on Saturday and two aleve on Sunday. Perhaps they had a lingering effect.

The next 4 Tuesdays I have tennis matches and then that will be the end of the women’s Season for this year. Robin and I won our match in 1st doubles on Saturday. We won 12-10 in the 3rd set tiebreaker after defending against 4 match points (we were down 5-9 and were playing a 10 point tiebreaker.) It was a good win for us and I would like to throw a couple (let’s say 4) more wins in to end the season. My serve was still bad but not as bad as the last match. Too many double faults, but that will go away as I become more comfortable on the court again.

A lot going on the next couple of weeks. This weekend 4th of July — I think I’ll take my bike up to CT and try for a longer ride. Next weekend NYC Triathlon (Olympic Distance). Following weekend Mossman Triathlon (Sprint). 4 Tennis matches, marathon training. I think that pretty much wraps up July and it hasn’t even started. Vremya Leteet — Time Flies.


If you have never read Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” how about today?

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6/26/05 Big Baby (133)

Sunday. Made it through the weekend. I had a lot of apprehension about my weekend’s activities and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do everything. But now sitting here after all activities have been checked off the list I am left with only one questions, what was I making a big deal about?

Friday was my day of rest and I was worried because I had a brick on Saturday morning, a tennis match on Saturday night and a race on Sunday morning. It sounds like a lot, but when I really analyzed it, was it that much? Not really.

The brick on Saturday was a 1 hour bike followed by a 5 mile run. I really didn’t want to do the run. My legs were still feeling tired and I was trying to think of a zillion creative ways to get out of doing the brick. This was a brick for the New York City Triathlon practice and it was considered a key workout. I showed up but I was already mentally cutting deals with myself on how I could duck out of the run. The bike part didn’t bother me — would gladly do double the bike to be relieved from the run. I considered just doing a lower loop (1.7) and calling that the workout. I made every little ache and pain seem much more debilitating than it really was.

After I got off the bike I started the run and was half way up Cathill when I said “I just can’t do this, I’m too exhausted, everything hurts, I’m too old, I’m tired, I want a cappuccino.” So I started to walk. About twenty paces I came to realize that in fact I wasn’t THAT tired and actually I COULD kinda run if I really tried, so half way up the hill (on the steepest part) I started a little jog — begrudgingly. I think I was actually imagining my legs to hurt more than they really did. My mind was actually trying to convince my body that it hurt more than it did. “C’mon” I heard my mind say “you’re tired, can’t you feel how tired you are?” My body, however, wasn’t really ready to give in. How uncooperative!!!

When I got to the top of the hill I found one of my mentees from the Memphis tri. She was walking, obviously struggling with the temperature and the workout. I caught up to her and slowed down to keep pace with her. I kept encouraging her and telling her she was doing great and we proceeded on together. About 1/2 mile later we found one more struggling teammate who had also started to walk and we picked her up for our little jog group. I kept chatting away, trying to motivate them — neither one was looking too happy. I went into entertainer/cheerleader mode.

My mental plan had been to cut the workout short by cutting across the 102nd transverse thereby avoiding the northern hills. As we were approaching the cutoff I offered “do you two want to do 4 or 5 miles?” “The workout is 5” they responded. “Crap,” I thought I can’t convince them either. I was disappointed because I was working very hard on cutting this workout short, but my mentorly duties got the best of me and I knew they would need a little extra encouragement on the northern hills and sighed “okay, 5 it is” and proceeded with them to the big downhill.

As we were going down the hill, one of the gals asked “how can you talk while you are running? I can’t even breath never mind make a sentence.” I realized I had been blathering away and my level of exertion level was level 1. I didn’t want to say I wasn’t working hard so I just went into a long explanation about exertion levels that I had been learning about in running class. Yakkety, yakkety, yak I ran with them encouraging them up the hills all the while feeling terribly guilty that not only was I doing the 5 miles but in fact it wasn’t hard at all. What had I been making a big deal about?!?!?!

We got to the top of Harlem Hill and I felt great, like I was ready to start running. I saw one of our really good runners stopped over on the side of the road (he runs around a 7 minute mile in races — sub 7 for 5k’s, so he is fast in my book). I told the gals I was running with to go ahead and I would catch up. I asked him what was wrong and he said he had a painful stitch in his side — it felt like someone was putting a knife into him. I didn’t think someone who runs 7 minute miles would want any advice from someone who runs 12 minute miles, but I also hated to see him suffer. I asked him if he knew about blowing through the straw? (A trick I had learned in my Road Runner’s class). He said he didn’t. I told him his stitch is really a spasm and he needed to break it up by changing his breath and one way to do that is to pretend that you are blowing out through a straw with very hard, short breaths. Then I told him a second way to do it is to actually speed up. By running harder he would force his breath into a different pace and the spasm would start to release. I jogged with him for a few feet and he said it was too painful and that it happens all the time and he knew that it would take twenty minutes before he could move again and told me to keep going. I said okay but left him with my last two tricks — stretch to the opposite side and also press in on the stitch.

Ironically I have never had a stitch in my side. I just run at the back of the pack where I see every kind of injury and hear all the different cures. So over the last couple of years I have come across a lot of people with cramps and stitches and heat stroke so I feel like I’ve had all of these things myself. (Cramps and heatstroke I have had).

I ran ahead and caught up to the two women I had been running with earlier. They had been run/walking so they were not that far ahead. I was okay with picking up the pace for a short distance to catch up because I knew they would then be at a good recovery pace. I spent the remainder of the running giving them encouragement and running them into the finish. They both went off their merry ways and I was left to realize that not only did I have the strength to do 5 miles — it wasn’t that hard. I was kind of mad at myself for having been such a big wimp. Why was I such a big whiner about doing the 5 mile run?!?!

The nicest part of the workout was when the fast guy got back he came up to me and thanked me profusely for my help. He said after I left he kept trying the straw tip and it worked! Then when the stitch tried to come back he did the speed up tip and did the straw tip at the same time and it worked even better. He was so happy and said nobody had ever told him that before even though he had been suffering with side stitches for a long time. He was genuinely thankful. I just said “you didn’t know about it because you hang out with the fast runners — you have to hang out with the back-of-the-packers to get all the dirty tricks!!”

I had given the same straw tip to one of the guys training for the Memphis tri and he told me later that he used it during the race and it helped him. Both of these guys were so grateful to have this trick that it seems crazy to me that coaches just don’t start the season with a bunch of “here’s what you do when you have bladdy blah…..” tips. I find it so strange that these really fit and fast young guys get some advice from an O.F.S. woman and are so oblivious to the fact that I am nowhere near their level of fitness, speed or endurance and quite frankly will never in my lifetime see their level of athletic ability.

So what did I take away from my big brick on Saturday? I didn’t think I was strong enough to do the run. I was strong enough. I am stronger than I think I am. Yeah, so maybe I’ll always be a slow runner, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe just being out there “sweeping” is not such a bad role to be playing. I felt like I helped a couple people with their workout and at the same time when I wasn’t looking I got my own workout in. So next time I don’t want to do the five miles, instead of looking for a shortcut across the transverse maybe I can start right away with making my game plan to find someone else who needs my help and focus on them instead of my whining. The energy I put into figuring out how to get out of my workout was wasted. Next time I’ll just put that energy into looking for someone else to encourage. I can see it now, some little old lady will be walking along the road in Central Park and I grab hold of her arm encouraging her “c’mon you can do it, let’s go, yippee, hurrah!!” Then five miles later she confesses “I was already at my turnoff to go home, but it seemed so important to you for me to keep going that I didn’t want to disappoint you. Now can you call me a taxi to get home?”


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6/25/05 No Entry (134)

No Entry.

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6/24/05 Row, Row, Row Your Boat (135)

Friday. Feelings. A little annoyed that my weight keeps going up and down. I don’t think I’ll be down anything at Weight Watchers this morning, but everybody keeps telling me I look thinner (I think it is just my new black pants). I took my measurements again (since April) and everything is the same except my thighs — they are down 1 whole inch! (That is the body part with the most opportunity for improvement and still is!). My waist and hips and everything else are only down like 1/4″ (barely perceptible) but everybody keeps saying I look so much thinner. I don’t know. I guess I’ll just keep plugging along. I mean, after all, what’s the alternative?

Rhonda took some pix of me working out the day and I thought I would share for inspiration. Who knows someday maybe I’ll become a workout model?!?! ROFL!

This Picture is to show that I am having a good time working out and can smile through the pain!

This picture is to show my Elvis socks and my great strength while using the stability ball.

I should get a picture of me on the Bosu ball doing the dead bug pose — that would be attractive. (Just kidding, no need to do the dead bug pose, no need….)

Last night I went rowing on the Hudson with my friend Corinne and her niece and roommate. It was fun. I ended up going in another boat so we would have even teams of rowers. The company is called “Floating on the Apple” and they operate out of pier 40 (across from Houston). On Tuesday and Thursday nights they offer free rowing. Each boat holds about five people and you row out onto the Hudson and back to the pier. It still blows my mind to think you can be out in the Hudson River swimming or rowing or kayaking. How many people get to do that? Rather, how many people do it? (Because anyone can — it is free!) The free part blows my mind too. I’m not ready to add another sport to my weekly workout, but for once in awhile cross training — it’s fun. There is a lot of work to getting the boat out and into the water (carts and pulleys) and afterwards you have to wipe down the boat, but still for the hour workout it was an interesting experience. Nice, nice people too.

So yesterday I ate a lot of food. Most of it was good core food until I went out for Chinese food last night. That wasn’t so healthy and I kept eating and eating like there was going to be a rice famine or something. I swear they put some chemical in Chinese Food to make you want to eat more. Granted we had just come back from rowing on the Hudson (great fun and a good workout) and I had also walked the 2 miles to get down there (so a total of 2 hours of extra exercise on top of my morning run with Stephanie) but the salt and msg has left me feeling bloated and up a couple of pounds this morning.

I don’t want to get into starving myself the day before a WW meeting just so I can show 1/2 pound down on Friday mornings. I also don’t want to fall prey to the rationalizations inherent in the WW psyche. “It’s the salt, it’s the msg, it’s the moon.” I hate to blame something from the previous night’s meal because I eat every day — not just the day before a meeting. So if I’m up 2 pounds this week compared to the same time last week I hate to make excuses. I ate a lot of food yesterday. But I feel I exercised it off too. I don’t know, I don’t know — we’ll just keep going and I’ll report tomorrow what happens at WW today. I hate to say it, but I think it is time for me to start journaling all of my food intake — ughhh — say I don’t have to……

More important than today’s WW meeting is today is my day of rest. Yahoo!!! I love Fridays because I don’t do a thing (workout wise). Nothing, nada, zip, zero. My legs are tired. I don’t feel too much from last night’s rowing session, but that’s probably because I work out my arms and back in the gym so I think I was in good shape for that. But my legs need a rest. My knees need a rest. Tomorrow we have a big brick and Sunday a race. Today they need to chill. I may do the Jacuzzi or a massage because they are pretty tight.

These weeks are beginning to fly by. Summer is here and already I feel like the month of June just slipped right through my fingers. July 10th will be here before I know it and I’ll be swimming, biking and running in the NYC tri.

My life feels a little like rowing on the Hudson — I think I am strong, I think I have a good rhythm going, I feel the boat moving in the right direction. Then, all of a sudden, the Ferry comes by and creates a huge wave. You start rowing, rowing, rowing to try to get out from the wave, but you realize it is much bigger than you and you lose grip of your oar — you are stuck in the mercy of the water. Our coxswain Carlos (great kid — senior in high school and already wiser than all of us put together) just kept a big smile through the water we splashed on him trying to get out from the waves “no problem, you’re doing great, it happens all the time — the big waves come and then they go but you just keep rowing.”


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6/23/05 The Good, The Bad, The Margarita (136)

Thursday. Thanksgiving. I’m thankful I got my run over with already!! Steph and I got up at 6 a.m. and went for our run along the Westside bike path. I was verrrry creaky and I’m glad my legs can now just rest until Saturday.

Yesterday had my workout with Rhonda in the morning. She’s leaving soon for the rest of the summer so I’m going to get a substitute trainer while she is gone. Did you ever see that movie “What about Bob?” Where Richard Dreyfus plays a therapist and Bill Murray plays his needy patient who follows him to the country because he doesn’t think he can get through August without him? That’ll be me. Rhonda will be at Mount Rushmore and she’ll look up and see me waving “hey Rhonda, look! I’m doing pushups!” Then she’ll be looking down into the Grand Canyon and she’ll see me waving “Hi Rhonda, wanna see me do some squats?” She’ll be having a romantic dinner at the beach with her boyfriend when the waiter comes over and says “excuse me Miss there is some woman outside in the parking lot doing Jumping Jacks and wants me to ask you ‘how many?'” Poor Rhonda — she thinks she’s getting away from it all — they’ll have to leave late at night while I’m sleeping….

So last night we had our big party at the trailer park lounge. I didn’t do too badly. I didn’t do great either. I had a big Greek salad around 5 p.m. so I wouldn’t be too hungry and pig out (most of my big eating happens early in the day). All they had at the restaurant was fattening food. Mac and cheese, burgers, fries. Yucky stuff. The salad worked because I didn’t eat anything at the restaurant. (Frankly, I wasn’t that tempted). So that was good. +2 for not eating mac and cheese or sweet potato fries.

They are supposedly famous for their margaritas. Several people told me “you have to try their margaritas.” When I called, the owner said “we make the best margaritas.” So I ordered a margarita. Eh, it was okay. I think you have to get the frozen ones to get the “great” margarita because mine was just mediocre (and small). So I had a second one to make sure I didn’t miss something. Then I had a third and then I had a fourth. I felt a little buzzed, but not much. As my friend Missy put it so well “I could drive home.” 4 Margaritas at Zarellas or Rosa Mexicana — I’m out for the count. So that was not so good. -4 for margaritas.

The real problem with the margaritas is when I got home, THEN I was starving. It was only 9:30 (+1 for getting home early) but I was on the prowl for food. I ended up eating popcorn, then whole wheat crackers with peanut butter and jelly before going to bed. – 2 for the crackers and peanut butter and jelly. Popcorn alone would have been fine. It’s not the margaritas that are the problem — they are the START of the problem. The alcohol kicks off your defenses and had I had more fattening food in the fridge I assure you I would have been chin deep in moon pies. (-1 for not having some fresh fruit around which would have been a good choice. +1 for not having bad food around so I couldn’t make more harmful choices).

I got to bed around 10:15 and slept straight through to 5:30 when the alarm woke me up (very unusual so the margaritas must have had some effect.) I got up to meet Steph for running and although a little tired — made it to my workout and did my 3.4 mile run (today was easy run 3-5 miles). So +2 for that.

All of these pluses and minuses are to illustrate the point of how difficult is to keep score through life. Could I have done better last night? Yes. Could I have done worse last night? Yes. Did I end up having a good time and not feeling deprived? Yes. Do I feel a little guilty about bingeing on food at 9:30 at night? Yes. Will I probably show no weight loss on Friday? Yes. All I can say is today is another day and I will try harder. I think I’m doing better than I used to do and not as well as I will tomorrow. After my run this morning I stopped at the grocery store and bought all kinds of delicious fruits and veggies so I can snack away and feel good about my food. The old me would not have left the bar until 2 a.m. and would never have met Steph for a run. So I guess that’s why they say we have to take the good with the bad. Somewhere in the middle is contentment.


“I know I’m a little compulsive — good thing on me it looks good.” — Nobody famous, just me.

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