motivation from a friend

Yesterday morning I spoke with a friend who told me of his trouble finding motivation to go to the gym.  Then he informed me that he read my blog and was hoping he’d lose weight by doing so.  I laughed and asked that he let me know how it goes- that if he actually lost pounds by reading my blog, I’d be pleased to recommend it to others as a weight loss aid.  I encouraged him to check out the gym in his building and said I’d check on him later to find out if he’d actually worked out (he did).  After the conversation I realized that I’d better practice what I preach and committed to 1/2 hour on the spin bike even though I had no desire to work out.

This morning time flew by as I prepared for my trip tomorrow, ate breakfast and did a little yoga.  Before I knew it, I had an hour before I needed to leave for my concert and I had yet to visit the gym.  My husband and I rushed over and I did a hill repeat workout on the treadmill then a fun but short routine to work the rest of my body.  I’m glad we fit it in before the concert because I sure didn’t feel like doing anything by the time I got home this evening!

the workouts:

Saturday spin: 30 minutes spin bike at gym with purpose of keeping my RPM high because that’s what I have the most difficulty with outside

15 minute warm-up, increasing cadence every 5 minutes, light resistance on wheel

10 X  :30 sprint / :3o RI slower spin, medium resistance on wheel

5 minute cool down, light resistance on wheel


Sunday run: hill repeats on the treadmill, bonus- no downhill- better on my knees!

5 minute walk to gym

5 minute easy jog to continue warm-up

10 X  :30 @ 5% incline / :30 @ 0% incline, same speed

cool down- walking forward and backward lunges, squats, grand plié (2nd position), functional reaches

bridges and  balanced leg lifts on foam roller, plank w/ knee tucks, side plank


off and running…

I awoke before my alarm this morning and took advantage of my bonus time by going for a short run in the park.  As I hurried outside, I realized that my hair was still a straggly mess and I’d left my rubber band somewhere.  I ran back inside for another then took off.  In my scramble to get dressed in the dark, I’d grabbed socks that were too big and they chafed at my heals as I began my walking warm up, but luckily I forgot about them shortly.  I stopped by my friend’s house but she was enjoying one of her infrequent sleep-past-7 mornings so I continued on by myself.  The park was bursting with pink and white blooms and comparatively, the poor roses looked gothic and lonely, all cut back to stalks, black and colorless.  Joggers had taken over the park and one dad biked by, followed by his swarm of brightly clad children on little bikes.

I did a short loop, keeping mostly to the trails and noticed that my hamstring pulled only going downhill.  Only one runner looked up and smiled back at me and when I actually said,”good morning”, another woman glanced around first to be sure I was speaking to her (nobody else on the street) before responding.  On my walk back home, I appreciated the red outline of the GG bridge in the distance and the layered hills of the gorgeous, green headlands.

I rushed into the bathroom and was met by the lingering stench of nail polish remover.  I scrubbed down the tub, where I’d been balancing my foot for yesterday’s lengthy old-pedicure excavation and noticed my missing rubber band- wrapped safely around my wrist.

I’m off and running…

the workout:

5 minute warm up

20 minute easy jog, varied hills

5 minute cool down

ad-hoc roll out while writing this


I finally rode with the girls again!  The weather is in the low 60s and I was almost overdressed for the ride in my coat.  We got a late start and were dreading the bridge crossing but the tourist contingent still must have been sleeping because we didn’t end up dodging too many I Love San Francisco sweatshirt-clad people staring up at the bridge, oblivious to all else.  I was nearly knocked off my bike from the strong wind coming around the first tower and braced myself before hitting the second.  Smooth sailing all the way down to Sausalito then out to the end of the bike path, but my excessive tea drinking pre-ride left me uncomfortable on the way back, so we stopped at a public restroom.  I walked in first and was greeting by a shaggy little dog running around in circles.  I was startled but amused.

Two of us had the time for a coffee break at Cibo before attacking the hill back up to the bridge.  We ordered our coffee then chose a table in the sun.  Ahhh… I love San Francisco!  RC and I got into a discussion about how people are so tuned into electronic devices, we’ve forgotten how to communicate in person.  We made a pact that we would greet or smile at one random person on the street each day.  I’m heading to the South soon so that shouldn’t be difficult.  We soaked in the sun for an hour then she pulled me out of Sausalito and after another stressfully windy ride across the bridge we yelled our goodbyes and went our separate ways.  On my ride home, I passed a construction worked and shouted a “good morning”.  He looked up, startled then said the same back.  Hmmm…. not so difficult!

the workout:

22 mile ride, 2 climbs in steady, low gear,  back tired by the end but leg feeling good

another day

My left hamstring in pulling a little again.  Don’t know if it’s from yesterday’s run or long walk, or if I went back into my workouts too hard last week.  I am fully focused on not letting it flare back up and I’m scheduling a visit with my massage guy as soon as I return from the next trip!

Today I felt as though I wasted a day running errands and not really getting anything done, and my only exercise was biking the four miles to and from my doctor appointment.  The upside?  I’m well rested and the ride felt super smooth.  My legs are ready to ride with the Divas again tomorrow morning!

spirituals & hebrew

I’m specializing in multi-tasking this week.  I set my alarm early so I’d have time for a short run in the park before my rehearsal.  I love days like today, when the sun is warm but the air is still a little crisp.  It almost feels more like fall than spring, except everything is already in bloom!  The park was swarming with dog walkers, cyclist commuting to work, weighed down with laptops and supplies, and runners, avoiding the yappy little dogs and meditative walkers.

I entered the park near the rose garden, but I was so focused on my music I forgot to notice if there were any roses or if the bushes were fully trimmed in preparation for summer blooming.  My initial soundtrack of the day was the spirituals I would soon be rehearsing for our upcoming Gold Coast concerts.   I switched to a Hebrew podcast as I neared Stow Lake and repeated today’s vocabulary back to voices in my headphones.  The short hill up to the running path around the lake left me winded and I slowed my pace slightly to bring my heart rate back down.  Basically, I zoned out for the rest of the run, checking in with my HRM now and then, and smiling, thrilled to be out in the sunshine.  Once out of the park, I walked it home from the top of my hill and did some toe/heel walks to stretch and strengthen calves and shins.  I did a few quick stretches in the shower then grabbed a bite to eat and poured Electro Mix into my water bottle as I ran to catch the bus.

the workout:

5 min walking warm up

25 min run, easy but constant pace, ave HR 80% (although my monitor says I went up to 210% last week, which technically means I’d be dead, so I guess I need to refigure my max HR!)

5 min walking cool down, toe heel walks

elliptical studying

Today was gorgeous and warm again but I wanted a quick, low impact work-out and also needed to study my Mozart recording, so I opted for running in the clouds at the Y.  I put the program to cross training and prepared to “run” up and down two hills, forward and backward.  My intention was to keep it light but I found that I wanted to move quickly and was enjoying the music as I ran.  I tried to listen with a critical ear to my trio’s recording of the Mozart divertimento, (that will soon come out on our debut CD!) so that next time I perform it, I will have more ideas.  I kept getting caught up in changing my direction from forward to backward per the machine’s instructions and reminded myself to move quickly so I would still have the same mileage as a real run.  My heart rate settled into a steady high ZN 3, perfect for light aerobic work but as I continued, my heart rate crept up and I was nearing 80%.  I always find it harder to balance on the machine as I run backward but it felt better on my back when I made a point of not relying too much on the handlebars and focusing on my core.  You can get way more out of these machines if you use the handlebars simply for occasional balance, not as a crutch.  I never get why people waste their time draped over a machine, reading a book, gasping for air but not paying any attention to what they’re actually doing!  It’s way more fun to be present and appreciate the workout.  I raced my Mozart to the end but it won (the divertimento is a long piece!), then I immediately switched to some Hadag Nahash for my core work.

the workout:

30 minutes elliptical “running in the clouds”, level 1 but fast-paced, just over 3 miles, almost 300 calories

core exercises, focusing on bridging, lunges and functional reaches to concentrate on hamstring strength and core mobility in every-day activities


a good week

I’m taking a rest day today and after pushing myself for the past four days.  Yesterday we did an afternoon ride up the headlands, which are newly opened all the way to the top!   They put in a weird roundabout halfway up.  Biking round and round proved to be an entertaining way to rest mid-way and wait for our third friend to catch up!  We concluded our Friday afternoon ride with happy hour.  That’s my kind of exercise!

the workout:

15ish miles, mostly uphill, no wind, very little traffic on bridge