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Archive for April, 2011

Day 2

I just got home after a long night out- salsa dancing and then a party.  My first stop was the Red Poppy Art House, where a Cuban band played and the bartender offered free shots.  I drank mint tea.  My second stop was a friend’s house party in the Marina.  I was struck by the friendliness of the people and the delicious smell of Trader Joe snacks warming in the oven.  I resisted and came home to my 2T of olive oil chased with lemon water.  Luckily I love California olive oil and happened to have a really good, green & fresh tasting oil in my pantry.

The day was a success in food terms.  I only felt wacky this morning as I sat on my yoga mat doing a 5 minute body-scan meditation.  I woke up feeling as if I’d taken Nyquil last night and my body didn’t quite want to function.  By the end of the yoga practice and meditation I was beginning to feel human and after watering my garden in the morning sunshine, I’d even forgotten that I was starving and didn’t rush to making breakfast.

The same thing happened with lunch as had happened with breakfast- I was out running errands and ended up shopping, completely forgetting that I’d been hungry!  After finally making a delicious lunch, we went to Crissy Field for a b-day party and took a short walk.  That (and some very aerobic salsa dancing) was my exercise for today.  We agreed early in the day that we were not following another soup recipe from the Clean book because last night’s soup was horrible, so we chose a recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups instead and I took mine along in a thermos to Red Poppy.  Sipping it over a long period of time left me feeling comfortable all evening and like I wasn’t missing out on the food and drinks (too much)!

breakfast- mango smoothy, snack- 1/2 apple w/ almond butter & cacao powder, lunch- salmon seared in coconut oil w/ tropical fruit salsa over brown rice, beet & kale sauteed with garlic, trumpet mushrooms & artichoke, dinner– garlic cauliflower soup

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Day 1

I embarked on a 1-3 week cleanse today and between practicing more than usual, conserving energy and managing a sore back, my workout load will continue to be light. One of the things recommended in the book Clean is keeping a daily log of food intake throughout the cleanse. I’m going to go a few steps further and use my blog to record not only food but how I’m feeling physically & emotionally, my exercise regime and anything else I decide is worth keeping track of.  I began a pre-cleanse on Tuesday, eliminating all foods that I would not take with me into the cleanse, including dairy, wheat gluten, alcohol, caffeine, acidic & nightshade family veggies, & most sweeteners.  As long as I don’t eat out, I believe the most difficult things about this program will be portion control and not wandering into the kitchen to eat because I’m bored!

Last night I began a one month unlimited pass to a new yoga/pilates studio out toward the beach called Purusha (translated as “true self”). I attended a core class last night and a gentle flow class this evening. After the core class my back felt better than it had in days. However, after a day of practice, a PT session & possibly too much time in poses that might not agree with me, I find myself a little uncomfortable tonight. Hopefully a hot/cold shower will help out (not only good for sore muscles but also for detoxing!).

Speaking of water, I had a short amount of free time between appointments downtown today and headed for the pool.  Then I thought better of it since swimming in a chlorinated pool doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as I rid my body of toxins.  I instead opted for a 15 minute sit in the sauna, which barely started me sweating, but was relaxing nonetheless.  Not exactly my kind of workout but whatever…

This evening I biked to my yoga class.  Since reading the article from Yoga Journal that I posted yesterday about forward bends, I am sitting on my bike saddle at a slightly different and more comfortable angle.  I also had a Feldenkrais session with my violin on Wednesday and am now thinking about my pelvis as two separate pelvic bones and feeling the weight of my bones instead of the muscles that struggle to keep them in a certain place.  Hmmm

Food for the day:

breakfast- power smoothy, lunch-rice bowl w/ lettuce, cukes & sprouts, braggs & olive oil, dinner– spinach & dulse soup

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feels good to run again

Sunshine!  I love it when the morning sun wakes me up and encourages me into the sunroom for my yoga.  It’s such a perfect way to begin a day.  I decided to continue my morning with a run in the park.  I was heading out in a t-shirt as I received a text picture from my realtor in Breckenridge of his deck covered in snow.  I’m glad I’m here, not there!

I stuck to trails and ended up running on the dirt path around the equestrian track.  I pitied the cyclists who were riding laps below me, remembering my ironman training months when bike workouts included sprint intervals, going round a round the track.  It was even more boring than riding a stationary bike.

On my way back up the park, a bug faced its untimely death by flying into my mouth.  Luckily I reacted quick enough to prevent ingesting extra protein.  Running with my mouth open instead of breathing through my nose is a sure sign I’m out of running practice!   Though I took it easy by my usual standards, the run left me a little out of breath and it feels as though my aerobic capacity has dropped in the few weeks I’ve been mostly walking.  Guess that’s to be expected and hopefully I’ll gain it back quickly.

I followed my run with a green power smoothy (recipe is posted on my recipe page) and am returning to the yoga mat for some core work before my violin takes over the day!

the workout:

10 min warmup, 30 min run, 3 min cooldown

core work, roll-out, stretching

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My new favorite time to hit the gym is Saturday morning at 9 am.  Am I nuts?  Car talk is on and the gym is reasonably full but not crowded.  I also enjoy the walk over as the neighborhood is waking up.

This morning was my first workout since I last blogged.  I took a break for my back and focused on getting through long flights and Passover Seders comfortably seated!   I began each day with a gentle yoga practice and walked later in the day, either around my in-law’s neighborhood (gorgeous and in full bloom!) or through NY city.  On practice breaks, I stretched, did roll-outs and core exercises.

We arrived home late Wednesday night so on Thursday I took my city bike out to run errands.  Gas is up to $4.11 at the cheap station, so I figured no time like the present to really reduce my driving!  My husband and I are beginning a 3 week cleanse so I made a long list of things best found in bulk and biked across town to Rainbow Grocery.   I stuffed both pannier bags full and had quite a time balancing on my bike when I first started home!  Luckily the hills on the way back are minimal and I got the hang of riding weighed down pretty quickly.  Since then I’m slowly getting back in the swing of things, with a walk yesterday and 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer this morning.  I enjoyed working up a sweat again and am feeling antsy about getting back into more regular workouts!

the workout:

30 min elliptical, ave HR 135- low aerobic zone, 275 calories, 2.9 miles

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18 needles and an LED

Yesterday I had an amazing acupuncture appointment.  I love these appointments because they are part acupuncture and part pressure point massage, and I always come out feeling really great.  Now, almost 24 hours later, my back is still feeling perfect.

My day began with got up early swim because I thought my body could use a good stretch.  What I found is that when extending my arm above my head for freestyle, my back hurt.  I avoided the stroke and just enjoyed moving through the water for the rest of my time in the pool.  I did an easy 500 yds, mixing strokes and kicking drills.  The water felt good but my back wasn’t any better than when I’d started.

After the pool, I crammed in all of my practice then walked over to acupuncture.  I breathed a sigh of relief as I sank into the table and felt every muscle relax.  Each session begins and ends with massage, with the acupuncture in the middle.  I think we set a record for the most needles ever used on me at 18- mainly in the left side of my low back.  RH explained that if the needles could encourage relaxation in the region, my back could begin to realign itself.  After removing the needles, he did a brief LED light therapy treatment.  I walked home in a state of bliss.

Now, it’s time to practice and see the dentist…. wonder if I can maintain this feeling!?

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training for wagner

On Monday I decided that I needed to begin treating my preparation for this summer’s Ring Cycle as I would any other endurance event.  Each practice session would have a specific goal and I would begin and end with stretching.  Each day I would do my “drills”.  My final goal is to be able to sit through rehearsals and play performances without hurting (and, of course, hitting the correct notes).   Wagner stands out for me because even thought I love it, it’s really strenuous and lasts a long time.  Hmmm… sounds like a triathlon.
Let’s compare:  Timings for the operas are approximately  2:35, 4:30, 4:50, 5:15 =  just over 17 hours total.  My ironman took me 14:20- less than the Ring Cycle but my race was all in one day with no breaks and the operas will be on separate days with intermissions.  I can get through both races and operas, but not without proper training.  My first off-season from the opera I joined Team in Training and barely touched my violin for several months.  I had never in my life put my violin down for such a long time and when I picked it up again and dove back into 7 hour-a-day rehearsals, I paid for it.  Everything hurt and my technique had suffered.  I should have known better; I would never decide, after sitting on the couch for 6 months, to go do a half ironman!

I’ve taken the past several days off from outdoor workouts, as I sort through the latest back pain.  Foam roll-outs help relieve the discomfort and my acupuncture appointment this week really helped.  I continue to explore different bodywork options and as I play my violin, I’m being really conscious of position and posture.  I take frequent “shake-out” breaks and dance around my tiny practice room  to loosen up (a challenge, as it’s currently my laundry drying room also!).   Good times….

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אין בעיה

Today’s title, ein ba’aya, roughly translates to “no problem”.  It was my mantra as I rode up the Sausalito hill on my way home- partly because I learned it yesterday and didn’t want to forget it but mostly because I figured if I repeated it over and over, I might believe it!

Riding today was a last minute decision.  I didn’t set an alarm to get ready for the ride and was supposed to go sailing with friends if I thought I could manage the wind.  Even though the wind didn’t seem too strong, I still chickened out after my last sailing experience left me puking over the edge the entire way to shore.  I knew a few of the girls were meeting at 9 so I rolled out of bed with just enough time to scarf down a bowl of cereal and apply sunscreen, then spun lightly  to warm up as I made my way to the bridge.  I found my friends and we added a fifth rider, who was visiting from Michigan and looking for a team that didn’t appear to be there, then we took off over the bridge.  We rode north, chatting in pairs, and wound our way through cute little towns up to Fairfax.  We stopped to refuel at a coffee shop, which was over-run with cyclists.  GC and I opted out of coffee there and said goodbye to the rest of the group.  Their ride up to Nicasio would be longer and harder and neither of us was up for it.     We turned around and took our coffee break in San Anselmo, where the solitary cyclist at the next table immediately struck up a conversation.  He was happy for company and we were happy to have found somebody to follow back to the bridge.  It occurred to us after we left our group that neither of us had a clue how to get home!  He guided us through a much less crowded, more scenic route, which included a bike path, where we were yelled at twice to slow down.  By the time we hit Sausalito I was completely done with “bike dude talk” and didn’t feel like I’d be able to maintain speed with him climbing back up to the bridge, so I stopped with GC.  We visited the boys at Mike’s bikes, where they gave my bike a quick tuneup and re-fitted me so my back would be more comfortable.  The guy who’d sold me my bike was thrilled to see me out riding and enjoying my bike so much!  After another tea break on a friend’s charming houseboat, I was ready to tackle the hill.  I knew my key to comfort today would be to do most of my climbing in the saddle and keep my gearing light.  I spun fast and each time I was tempted to switch into the big gear for more power, I resisted.  My back thanked me for it.   The northwest parking lot of the bridge, where the cyclists come out from the bike side of the bridge is under construction, but I decided to tackle the gravel instead of going around.  A girl at the top told me “your bike wants to stay upright” so I took the downhill at a slow speed, feathering my brakes, and my skinny tires made it through the gravel no problem.   The rest of the ride home was a breeze and I put in my time stretching and doing core exercises before eating lunch!

the workout:

45 mile bike, to Fairfax & back

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