roller coaster

Running uphill, into the wind, away from the sun seemed counter-intuitive to me this morning, but as I’ve mentioned many times before, combining exercise with food and friends is a top priority!  KM was stationed at Simple Pleasures and running there to meet her for a cup of tea seemed liked a great idea when I made the plan from my sunny kitchen.  I decided on the most direct and hilly route straight down Balboa since I was only going a short distance.  The Balboa bus line is my favorite in the neighborhood because it’s slightly reminiscent of a roller coaster; every other street is up and down, and the drivers treat the stop signs merely as suggestions.  Running the street wasn’t nearly as enjoyable but it got me to my destination, only slightly winded.  After a long cup of tea I excused myself to run home and clean the house.  The fun never ends today.  At least the run home was with a tail wind and back into the sunshine!  I was feeling a little pull in my right shin at the end of pounding the pavement so I made sure to do my toe-heel walks.  Now I must get to core exercises and cleaning!

the workout: 2 miles, quick paced, hilly

building mileage

I’m back on my bike again and it feels great! I aim to keep it that way by building up slowly instead of testing out speed and distance like I did when I first became acquainted with my Supersix.
Now that I’m in the swing of things with Ring Cycle performances I know what kind of energy I need for each show and how to prepare myself any given day. Both my back and elbow are feeling good, and I continue to do my core exercises regularly, go to PT once a week, and get frequent massages/acupuncture treatments.

I began my latest return to cycling on Sunday with a ride to the farmers market, then later decided it was too nice of a day to get in the car so I rode to work. I almost ran down a skateboarder in the park trying to inconspicuously snap a picture of him. He was sporting a fluorescent green speedo and nothing else! When the ride home following a 5 1/2 hr Götterdämmerung still felt okay, I knew I was back in riding condition!

Monday morning was gorgeous again so GC & I did a beach ride. We were fortunate to find The Great Highway closed to cars and only had to dodge one tractor removing sand from the road. I felt stuffy and tired the entire way but we took it easy and the sunshine did me good!

On Tuesday morning I felt like a new person and was ready to tackle the Sausalito hill. JG instigated this ride, calling ahead the night before and even agreeing to an early ride (defined: starting before noon). Nothing like a new bike for motivation! He (on his new bike) and RJ were eagerly waiting for me at the top of Arguello when I rolled up 15 minutes late after another tax related phone call that took too long. We decided not to overdo it since two of us hadn’t ridden much lately and went only as far as Sausalito. Unfortunately there was loud construction outside Cibo and we had to sit inside but the breeze was warm and we were all thrilled to be there. Fresh strawberry lemonade was the perfect fuel and I powered my way up out of Sausalito. (Or maybe it was my competitive side, not wanted JG to beat me!). Either way, I topped the hill feeling great and after an easy pedal home, had just enough time to stretch and shower before acupuncture.

total mileage: 28, mostly easy effort and checking in frequently with back & elbow

mixing it up in the pool

My swim today was quite different from last week’s outdoor swim in the sun.  I entered the Presidio pool lobby and was greeted by the familiar smell of chlorine, which didn’t bother me, but the pool was cold! All the more reason to get moving quickly.
I mixed kicking drills to give my arms a rest with freestyle executed with fists. I noticed that I needed to use more of my core muscles to roll hip to hip when I didn’t have the resistance my cupped hands usually offer.  When swimming with  fists, I focused on using forearm and upper arm to “grab” the water.  I alternated back stroke and regular freestyle to vary resistance and muscles, putting the majority of the work into my shoulders instead of arms in back stroke.

the workout: 900 yard swim

200 yd warm up, mixed strokes

200 yd  alternating 25 yd kicking/ 25 yd freestyle w/ fists, L7, RI:10

100 yd easy breast stroke

200 yd alternating 25 yd back/ 25 yd freestyle, L5, RI:10

200 yd cool down, mixed strokes

running for food

I woke up feeling tired today and decided to skip the yoga class I’d planned to attend.   Probably a bad idea but drinking tea at home seemed more my pace and I decided that I’d rather run across the park to meet my friend for lunch than bike in the wind after yoga.  After a slow hour of waking up I dressed in layers then stepped out my front door into the chilly sunshine.  I walked for several minutes to warm up then started jogging.  I chose a different route through the park than I usually take, thinking the entire time that running today had been a bad idea and it was making me feel worse.   I took a few walk breaks and was relieved when I came out on the other side of the park near the beach.  After a couple glasses of water and a wheat grass shot, I began to feel more like my normal self.  I can’t say lunch at Judahlicious totally cured me, but it was sure tasty.  Best of all, I’m thrilled that my friend visiting from out of town introduced me to a raw food joint that’s an easy run from my house.  I will return soon…. now, I need to do some core work, rest and practice before tonight’s show!

spa day

This morning, 10 hours after I’d put my violin away last night, I took it out to practice some Siegfried spots before my day of relaxation began.  I almost got through all of the practice spots before I had to leave for my DMV appointment up north (also included in the pre-relaxation part of my day!).  I arrived in time for my appointment, waited 45 minutes more, then was finished 2 minutes after they finally called my name.  I scheduled the appointment in Marin instead of SF because the next available appointment here was late July, after my 30 day deadline for vehicle ownership transfer had passed (don’t know who came up with this brilliant system).

Once released from the stifling, gloomy room, I leisurely made my way down the road to my massage.  I’ve been seeing Jory of Marin Sports Massage for a few years and beside working with me through months of lower lumbar disc trouble, he has helped keep my shoulders and arms in playing shape.  Bonus today- after 3 days of feeling stuffy, I came out of my appointment and my ears finally popped!  As usual, I wandered back to my car in a daze, downing my entire water bottle.

Next spa appointment of the day:  sitting poolside in the afternoon sunshine with LP at the Marin JCC.  Actually, we sat in the shade most of the time even though I was slathered in sunscreen, but seeing the sunshine and feeling the surrounding heat was wonderfully relaxing.  We dipped into the pool, sat in the hot tub for a while, then began our laps.  I haven’t been in the pool for weeks and as soon as I immersed myself and began my first lap, a sense of peace washed over me.  I am more comfortable in the water than anywhere else; I am a pisces, after all.   My laps settled into a gentle rhythm, breaking now and then to chat, catch my breath and stretch.  I turned to kicking drills when my elbow reminded me why I’ve taken to so much time off from swimming, then tried it again just for good measure.  I ended my swim short of where I’d hoped to get, knowing it was smarter to stay ahead of the game with elbow pain than to overdo it and be sore later.  I rested poolside for a few more minutes, then plunged my way into horrible traffic most of the way home.

the workout:

800 meter swim

300m mixed strokes, 300m kicking drills, 100m mixed strokes, 100m kicking drills


Everyone woke up before me this morning and the girls already had a hiking plan in the works by the time I saw the messages on my phone.  With just enough time to fill my water bottle and eat an apricot,  I grabbed my  sunscreen and raced out the front door to wait for KM and Birch.  Two stops later we were heading over the GG bridge to find a trail not too far away.  GC flipped through the hiking book while RJ and I soothed Birch, who was overwhelmed by the excitement of so much company in the car.

We settled on a trail just outside Sausalito which connected with miles of Marin headlands trails and stripped off sweatshirts to enjoy the heat of the sunshine (finally!).   As we climbed, a couple mountain bikers passed us, then a couple cyclists with skinny tires zipped by on their descent (crazy riding road bikes on a trail!). We followed whomever was in the lead (usually Birch) and wandered along the dirt roads and trails until we reached the top of our hill, boasting incredible views from all sides.  The way down could have turned into an adventure if KM hadn’t spotted the horse before Birch saw him and taken control of the situation.  The beautiful tan horse’s rider exchanged pleasantries as they passed us and we snapped a few shots before making our way back down to the car.

A day with the girls wouldn’t be complete without a stop for coffee!  However, it was already lunch time so iced coffee was enjoyed with panini and salads under the orange umbrella outside Cibo.   What a fabulous morning!


I woke up ready to get back on my bike this morning, so I texted a few friends to see if anyone wanted to do an easy ride into Sausalito but heard nothing back.  Then I called GC and tried to convince her to bike with me instead of running later as she’d planned to do.  I was informed that she was very comfy sitting in her warm apartment drinking tea and eating strawberries, and that I should look out the window.  I’d forgotten to do my morning yoga sequence and hadn’t looked out my sun room window to notice that the bridge was completely fogged in.  I wasn’t so enthusiastic about biking alone in the fog but since  I was already in my bike knickers, I decided to do a spin at the gym.  Once I’d adjusted the spin bike, with handlebars high so as not to strain my back or put too much weight on my arms, I settled into an easy warm-up and did a quick search for a spinning workout.  I came across “Our Best Cardio Workouts”  from Fitness magazine and found the cycling workout to be perfectly adaptable to my indoor spin.  Once I finished my workout I returned home to find one texted response to my morning bike buddy request:  11:34am  “I just woke up, sorry, next time”

the workout:

35 minute Cycling Speed workout    I focused mainly on keeping my cadence high but comfortable during all of the recovery phases and finished the workout feeling energetic!