weekend in tahoe

We had a hard time packing for this weekend, as we’d planned on bringing bikes but kept hearing snow reports.  In the end, we brought everything.  I’m famous for overpacking and this weekend we not only had all of our sports gear and clothing, but a mini food processor (to make pesto) a small sieve (to make dashi) and everything out of our fridge.  We’re bringing most of it home with us and we still managed to do three grocery store runs over the weekend!

On Saturday we drove up and did a ride around Donner Lake.  The altitude made it a little difficult but the ride is basically flat and under 10 miles.

Yesterday we (and the rest of the world) took the gondola to high camp at Squaw and skied the two runs that were open for a few hours before we braved the grill and bar crowd and hung out in the sunshine.  On the way back down the mountain we decided to skip the gondola line and attempt to find a snow trail.  We found ourselves on some tricky, slushy terrain and I decided that it was time for the California bikini skiing I’d always heard of!

Today we hopped on our bikes again and Team Diva plus my fiance rode from the Squaw to Lake Tahoe and around a few miles.  My legs had a tough time getting going and I realized on the way back that it was easier because of tail wind and drafting off AC.  Lucky me!  It rained a bit but the temperature was perfect and we’re about to recover with some sushi before the drive home.

The workout:

get up to the mountains and try whatever activities are available!

… 25 miles of cycling at altitude & a day of summer skiing


Runners are friendly folk. Twice this week I’ve been stopped by out of town runners to inquire about routes. The one today actually caught me again at the same street corner on the way home. He found the GG bridge via the route I suggested and loved his run. That’s what I like to hear!

I was going to bike to work and call that my exercise for the day but decided an early run to the beach would suit my mood better. I was finding myself increasingly agitated about nothing in particular so I got into the park and ran hard. I stretched and enjoyed the ocean for a bit then ran home. Ahhhh…

The Workout:

4 mile run, constant pace with stretch midway through

core work

Nikken wellness:

breakfast smoothy with coconut milk, banana, strawberry, avocado, yogurt, cherry juice (yes these are all things that happened to be in my kitchen), greenzymes, chocolate protein powder, cinnamon & tumeric

magnetic sports bracelet– got my through rehearsals yesterday and will keep my hands in working order again today!

next race

Today it actually is pouring so I’m heading to the pool soon. I just began my morning with an hour of yoga/core work. I am really seeing the results of my PT exercises as I sit through long hours of rehearsals and my back only aches minimally sometimes. This has encouraged me to take them even more seriously and my goal is now to do two sets a day instead of just one. My therapist mentioned this week that I need to be concentrating on the glutes and upper back muscles in addition to the stomach area core to continue supporting the lower lumbar region. I have added two exercises to help this:

Lying flat on the floor with face resting in hands, find a neutral spine and slowly raise upper body 1 inch off ground. My back is not strong enough to do this from elbows, so I am simply lifting my head to feel the effort in my upper spine, while keeping everything in the lower half relaxed.

One legged bridge pose (see Core work page) tends to cause cramping in my right hamstring because that glute isn’t strong enough. My therapist suggested I rest my feet on my heels instead of feeling feet flat on the floor. This took care of the cramping and I am now lifting into bridge and immediately raising my toes then alternating leg lifts. I can only do 2 reps on each side at this point without letting the work move into my lower back, but I’m building up!

My race season for the rest of this year is in the works, and I hope this will lead up to an ironman in May. There are many factors so I am not taking this decision lightly but am starting to plot out races to build up just in case I take the plunge. The first will be Golden Gate Triathlon next month. My racing/Dining for Women friend alerted me to this race at our last DFW meeting. I am signing up for the sprint, as the bike is a loop course and two loops is plenty. It will be a fun race before an afternoon show and I hope to have many friends joining me! I plan to have a new “Race Training” page up and running soon. Please check back for a training schedule!

The workout:

1000 yd swim-

200 yd warm up

200 yd freestyle

100 yd drills

200 yd freestyle

4 x 50 yd sprint RI:15

100 yd cool down

hot tub!

Nikken Wellness:

plenty of PiMag water

mushroom immunity complex

rain or sun?

I skipped the Team Diva ride this morning because of threatening rain (which turned into sunshine) and Obama’s entourage (which did block off the Marina/Crissy field area) and went to the gym instead.  I swam yesterday so I thought a run would agree with me today.  I began with a rather pointless pilates class.  Most of the exercises that I could do, I’m already doing as part of my physical therapy program.  When I was trying to modify other exercises, the instructor didn’t offer any suggestions and I ended up sticking around after the class to do my usual regime on my own.   I did an easy speed workout on the treadmill and witnessed an amazing parking job during my run.  A camry attempted to park in a spot big enough for a tank and still managed to slam the cars on either sides three times.  Gotta love street parking.

The workout:

(from yesterday)

900 yd swim, mixed strokes but keeping a quick pace- had to get to work!

(from today)

pilates class or core floor exercises

5 min warm up

30 min run, middle 15 minutes sprint 30 seconds/easy 30 seconds

5 min warm down

running in the clouds

I had a PT appointment this morning and he worked me over so I’m a bit sore.   I decided to go to the gym anyway to put in time on the elliptical trainer (aka running in the clouds from my college days) then do more core stuff.

I stepped on the machine and programmed in random (brainless) workout for 30 minutes.  I turned on a little Zac Brown and I was off and, ummm, running??  I ran 3 miles with no impact, legs moving forward and backward.  It felt good and I wonder if the 280 calories I burned cancelled out all the cookie dough I ate pre-gym.  I did my stretching and core exercises on the rooftop sun deck.  Ahhh…

The workout:

get thee to the gym and program a machine for 30 minutes… but don’t let it be completely mindless, as poor form or distraction when using the machines can result in injury (you’ve seen somebody fall off a treadmill before, right?) and pointless workout (you know the people hanging on the bars, reading a book?  why bother??)

nikken wellness:

pimag water– trying to drink more water again, as I’ve been so caught up in tea and coffee lately I’m feeling dehydrated and having problems with muscles cramping

back on the bandwagon

I spoke with my wonderful future mother-in-law last night and she asked how my back was feeling after my first week of work.  Then how my running, biking and swimming were going.  It occurred to me then that I hadn’t written in over a week and it was time to get back on the bandwagon.  After all, if this blog is about keeping up with workouts through travel and busy day to day life, I’d better actually keep up!

Opera season began Tuesday and we were rehearsing in the Presidio, which makes my ride to work very agreeable and fast, and my ride home very up-hill.  I also never got around to re-attaching my pannier bag rack so getting to and from work with work clothes and snacks in a backpack,  making sure my violin and music were there and figuring out which cafes would be open at our strange lunch hours required some planning.  I was fine until yesterday when I biked to work and remembered that I needed to bike home with my backpack and violin.  I have doubled up with backpack over violin backpack but it’s not particularly safe and I didn’t want to strain my back.  My fiance got a call in the afternoon and he was waiting with the car to bring me and all of my belongings home at the end of the day.  What service!

Today we joined the start of the SF Bike Coalition 49 mile scenic city ride.   I began my day with a big bowl of multi grain hot cereal, to which I added flax seeds, dates, banana and strawberry.  Yum!  I used to always eat oatmeal with soymilk, blueberries and walnuts before a long ride to get a good mix of carbs, protein, omegas and antioxidants but I’ve branched out and am happy with the alternative.   We met the entire crew at Four Barrel Coffee, a fantastic coffee shop on Valencia and I indulged in an over-priced affogato.  The espresso was pretty bitter but the beer icecream was fun touch.

The ride commenced at the Civic center and we actually decided to go our separate way from the start, as they were heading down Market and toward Union Square and we were more interested in exploring the southern part of the city.  I had never ridden (or driven) most of the streets we took today and we were pleased to find Sunday Streets on the first part of our ride.  In the end, I enjoyed seeing how the southern half of the city connected but it’s not a ride I’ll do again.  On the way home my back started aching and my fiance got a flat tire so we hopped on a bus for the last few miles.   It was a long ride for the short amount of mileage covered but you can check it out here or on my lauratogo routes at mapmyride.com if you want to try it yourself!

The workout:

slow but hilly 20 mile ride

Nikken wellness:

plenty of pimag water for hydration before, during and after the ride

magstrides in my slippers

weekend festivities

We’ve been busy preparing for my bachelorette party but the great thing is my sister JA and several of my friends here are also fitness oriented, so the workouts continue.  Thursday evening AC led the Divas in a boot camp training session.  We ran through the park and did all sorts of fun exercises, like jumping the patterns of various alphabet letters.  We looked absurd, laughed plenty and, collectively, had sore hips, butts, shoulders and arms the next day.  Yesterday JA and I met KM for a gorgeous but foggy run above the beach.  We walked the steps and uphills but still ended up tired and feeling as though we’d had a good workout.  Like any good workout requires, we went for coffee after.  KM knows everyone in Simple Pleasures and the place has a funky, relaxed atmosphere.

This morning the Divas rode 20 miles, which felt exhausting because of wind and hills.  I rode in my Nuu-Muu exercise dress and actually had a non-gay guy pass me and yell “Hey, nice skort.  I like it!”.  Cibo was our coffee stop today before heading back up the Sausalito hill.  Love the vibe and the coffee at this place, and on sunny days the front patio is a great place to lounge!

Tomorrow morning, Bay to Breakers with all of my party girls!!  More after the weekend…