Friday, July 29, 2011

I have a confession

Remember this post?


I'm not doing so good with it.

I think I was just done with being so strict for such a long time, preparing for my Jamaica vacation (aka Sara's wedding).  Little did I know, I go more berserk when I'm not obsessing about *something*.

I downloaded an app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal.  Oh Lord.  That was all I needed.  It's perfect in every way.  I can track EVERYTHING on this.  Everything I eat, drink or do can be recorded on this app.  I have been using it for 5 days and can honestly say I am addicted and obsessed.

So, sorry to disappoint anyone but I am, once again, obsessing.

I had a very challenging 53-mile ride yesterday with two friends.  We started (45 minutes late) in San Ramon and rode all the way to "the wall" at the top of Calaveras and back.  We stopped in Sunol on the way back and I had a delicious vanilla milkshake.  When I got back to my car it was 89 degrees. This was my first hot ride of the year.  It's not too bad as long as you keep rolling.

Today I took a friend for a bike ride to Alum Rock Park for her first time.  We started at REI and the ride was 30 miles round trip.  It was a terrific recovery ride after yesterday.  We took it nice and slow and chatted it up.  She did great and we were rewarded with this beauty at the top of the park.

Tomorrow I have a fun day planned with a cycling buddy of mine.  We are going for a fun 8-mile trail run at Tilden and then tea tasting in Berkeley.  I'm looking forward to it.  Three days off = three days of fun!

Until later.............

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bike 4 Breath, 2011

This 62-mile ride was absolutely AWESOME!  The weather was perfect and the company was even better.

Jennie, Karen #2, Soraya, Erin, Karen #1, Kathryn, Me
I did this ride last year as a way to make amends to my mother-in-law who passed away from lung cancer in 2004.

This year I did the ride in her memory and had six other friends sign up with me.  These were mostly women I have been riding with since January when I signed up for the Cinderella Classic training.  We even wore our Cinderella Classic jerseys.  Oh, and I painted my nails to match my bike (and one of the sleeves on the jersey).

  We met up in the parking lot in Foster City at 7:00.  We all got checked in and were ready to roll right at 7:30.  Just as we had planned.  We rolled out together, as a group.  I started off with arm warmers under a wind breaker.  The beginning of the ride was right along the water for about five miles.  It was a bit chilly for that time.  After about an hour, we had our first climb.  We all pulled over and stripped off our necessary layers so we wouldn't overheat. 

Soraya and I.  First to arrive at the rest stop.
Our first rest stop was on Canada Road, we got there at 9:00.  The girls were thrilled to see PB&J sandwiches - real food, they said.  From there we went north on Canada Road past Crystal Springs Reservoir where there was a pretty good cross wind.  I really wished I had my windbreaker but I managed.  We did a loop with some pretty good hills.  I remembered the course from last year and was quite happy that I wasn't struggling as much as last year.

Crystal Springs Reservoir

We dropped back onto Canada Road and headed south to the same rest stop.  We all enjoyed more PB&J sandwiches.

Karen #2 and I
From there we rode into Woodside and Portola Valley.  We were starting to separate into two groups about this time.  We would always meet up at rest stops though.

Jennie and I
We pulled into the rest stop at mile 41 with cowbells and bullhorns and cheering volunteers.  Actually, all of the rest stops had extremely enthusiastic volunteers.  They made us feel like we were coming in first in a race or something.  I had a huge smile when I pulled into each rest stop.

Somehow, after that last rest stop, Soraya and I got separated from the rest of the group.  I'm thinking they didn't make it through a green light.  Soraya and I chugged along and made pretty good time back to Foster City.  The stretch along the water had a terrible headwind.  Soraya was behind me for a bit and I kept us at 17 or 18 mph.  I finally got worn out and she was kind enough to get in front and pull me for a bit.  I was pushing as hard as I could and my legs were hurting.  But, I felt GREAT when I pulled in at the end.

The rest of the group pulled in within five minutes of us.  We all enjoyed a very yummy lunch and talked about our ride.  I could tell they all had a great time.  Soraya had to get home to her kids so she isn't in the final group photo.

Karen #1, Jennie, Karen #2, Erin, Me, Kathryn
I can definitely tell an improvement in my strength, now that I actually have a ride to compare to.  I didn't feel destroyed afterwards.  I even went to Body Pump the following morning.

I am so thankful to these friends that signed up and did this ride with me.  It was so fun riding in a group again.  I like seeing different women riding together and chatting, getting to know each other or just catching up.  It warmed my heart.  I had a marvelous time with everyone. 

I have a ride planned with two of these girls tomorrow -  a ~55-miler through the Oakland/Moraga/Orinda hills.  Soraya and I have signed up for a 100k in August.  Of course I will continue to see a few of them a week during club rides. 

Because you have read this far, I will reward you with a photo of Boomer.  I know most of you are used to seeing photos of him on my blog.  So, here you are:

Thanks for reading.

Until later.............

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The fun just doesn't stop!

I have been having the time of my life lately!  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last week we took Boomer and Bella to the beach.  It was hotter than heck here so we went there to cool off. 

The 4th of July is not one of Boomer's favorite holidays.  The illegal fireworks started two days prior to the 4th but the 4th was horrible for him.  I had to give him tranquilizers because he just shakes and pants so bad, it's no fun at all.  This year I tried something different (at Keith's request), I put cotton balls in his ears.  It seemed to help a little bit. 

Keith and I went to the county fair one day.  It was 94 degrees and I was very thankful I had my big hat to keep me shaded. 

The last day before a 5-day stretch of work, I was able to get in a fun trail run with a dear friend of mine (and Boomer of course).

Below is Stacey and I at Garin.  Could Boomer be any happier?  I got the best compliment that day.  Someone asked if Stacey and I were twins.  :)

Knowing that I had 4.5 days off of work coming up, I set up lots of fun things to do with friends.  Tuesday started with a Fremont Freewheelers group ride through the Fremont hills.  This ride is always full of fun people that are fast and love to climb hills.  I'm neither but I enjoy their company anyway.  I rode to the start so the ride was a total of 35 miles for me.

Wednesday I went to Livermore to ride with Kathryn, a friend from my Cinderella training group.  We toured the wineries without stopping to taste any wine.  For one, I don't drink and two, it was 8:30 in the morning.  It was COLD and windy.  But the ride was fun, we completed 21 miles.


After riding, Sara and I went to a movie.  We saw Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.  It was a very good "feel good" movie and I highly recommend it. 

This morning I had plans to ride Calaveras with Soraya and another princess from our training.  Much to my surprise, two other gals showed up too.  Here they are at the false summit.

Jennie, Karen, Karen, & Soraya
We met at the Sunol train station.  Round trip is 30 miles.  When we got to what is normally our turn around point, Soraya had different plans.  Evidently, you don't ride Calaveras without going down "the wall" and back up.  Soraya wasn't taking no for an answer.  Down (and back up) the wall we all went.

Here is Karen as she crested the top of the wall.  All smiles. 

Here is Soraya, making light of the fact that Karen flipped her off for making her climb the wall.  Soraya means well, she really does. 

After turning around, it's a pretty fun ride for a while - 10 miles of rolling hills with sweeping downhill turns.  Jennie and I felt like 12-year-olds while flying down.  We were the first to make it back to the false summit.  

It was such an awesome ride.  We all had a blast.  I love riding with friends.  We can all be different levels of riding but for some reason, it all works out in the end.  Some are stronger on the hills, some on the flat stretches and some on the downhill parts.  We always seem to meet up for regroup within minutes of each other though.  It's so fun.

I still have two full days off.  I hope I don't kill myself. 

Until later.............

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm done obsessing

About everything! 

How many calories I consume.

How many calories I burn.

How much I weigh every morning.

How much I weigh every night.

How many fat grams I ate today.

How many grams of fiber have I had.

How much water have I drank.

Shall I go on????

I'm sick of all of it! 

I am way too active to ever become what I consider overweight.  Yes, I love my sweets but I'm also smart enough to exercise a little harder when I over indulge.  I have a certain number on the scale that I refuse to get over, I think we all do.  I think weighing myself every morning is reasonable but I don't need to see how much food or liquid is sitting in my body every night prior to going to bed.  I haven't had to "diet" in four years.  I pretty much have the balancing act figured out.

I am still very diligent about my "Move Every Day" commitment but I don't feel the need to put it on the bottom of every blog post any longer.  I have it on my calendar where I can see it and I am happy with that.

I'm not "training" for anything right now and don't see anything in the near future that I will *need* to train for.  I basically go for a ride when I want to and get out for a run as often as I can.  Both activities make me very happy and work my entire body and give my heart a workout as well.  I will admit I enjoy cycling with friends better than alone but running with Boomer is really all I need.  Sure I record how far I ride or run but I don't stress anymore about how long it takes me.  I'm thrilled that I am able to get out and cycle or run and that's all there is to it.  And then there's hiking too.  I like hiking, always have.  If a non-running friend asks if I want to go for a hike, I can and will say yes.  I don't need to always run when I'm on a trail!

I don't want to throw the "age" card in here but it looks like I'm going to anyway.  I'm 47 years old and I'm pretty sure I do a lot more than the average 47 year old does.  I am learning to embrace that (my being 47 years old) and appreciate myself and the awesome body I have.  No, not awesome in *that* way.  I mean the fact that my body is so awesome, it still allows me to be as active as I want to be.  And it does it with minimal discomfort.  Very minimal discomfort.  For that I am grateful.

Instead of constantly staring at the flaws on my body, I am trying to look at positive things.  Why obsess about one little thing and have that be my focus every time I look in the mirror?  It seems almost cruel to do that.  I feel much better when I point out the positives.  I'm far from perfect but I'm as perfect as I'm supposed to be right now.

I'm ready to let go of these chains that limit me in so many different ways.  I'm ready to live life the way it's supposed to be lived - Happy, joyous and free.

I just hope I can. 

Until later.............