another 1/2 mile

1/2 mile seems to be my lucky number in the pool these days.  On Saturday, then again on Monday, my husband and I visited the pool and I swam an easy 900 yards.  Both days, I pushed myself to actually get my heart pumping and felt great afterward.  Today, after approximately 48 hours at altitude, I swam another 1/2 mile, resting every 50 yards at first, then gradually forgetting to stop, as my mind went elsewhere.  I’m certain my speed was slower than usual but at 7,000 feet I wasn’t gasping for air as I’d expected.

I’m visiting friends in Santa Fe, seeing opera and spending the rest of the time walking and eating with MC.  We usually have the same agenda with both activities and we’re squeezing in time for mid-afternoon naps and practice sessions.  Today I decided to split my rest time between a short after-lunch nap and a swim.  (Life is rough!)  I felt more energized than I have since I arrived and my lungs finally seem to be regulating.  I plan to go back to the pool tomorrow morning for another 1/2 mile!

3 day triathlon

I just got back from a rather unmotivated run-walk, which was necessarily short because I put clothes in the washer at the laundromat and had to be back at the end of the wash cycle to move them over.  My back was hurting in the beginning for no apparent reason and in a different place than before but after I walked a while, it went a way.  I alternately jogged and walked for about 25 minutes then called it a day and took care of my laundry.  The highpoint?  Stopping to smell the roses in the rose garden.  My favorite variety is the hot cocoa rose, just as much for its name as for its scent and coloring.

Yesterday I visited the Embarcadero Y pool in between a practice session and lunch with a friend.  I spent 20 minutes in the water and my goal was just to swim constantly and see how far I’d get.  I swam 1/2 mile, which isn’t too bad, considering my lack of swimming lately!  Nothing hurt and I got my heart pumping.

On Tuesday I biked to and from work again, stopping at Whole Foods on the way home.  After inefficiently balancing my load of groceries between two panier racks, I got on my bike and began wobbling my way through the park.  I forgot that balance is way trickier with so much weight on the back of the bike, but quickly got the hang of it again.  The wind was blowing hard and but surprisingly the only thing bothered by it were my ears after a long, loud morning rehearsal.  What a relief to get home and into the quiet!

the workouts:

8 mile ride, couple of hills, extra weight in groceries

800 meter swim, alternating 100m of breast, free, back

25 minute very easy walk-run

chicago heat

I can’t count the number of times I said “I wish I lived in Chicago!” this past weekend, but now that I’m home, I’m happy to be back.  I biked to work today in the sunshine with RJ, stopping at Papalote for tasty burritos on the way home, and the only thing disagreeable was my soreness from yesterday’s ride!

My husband, sister and I rented bikes from Milleneum park in Chicago yesterday morning and decided to bike north along the lake path.  Our destination was “somewhere for brunch”.  I realized, as I became hotter, more uncomfortable on the uncomfortable seat and hungrier that “somewhere for brunch” wasn’t a sufficient destination for me.  We turned around at the top with the intention of finding brunch very soon.  We found what turned out to be the slowest diner ever!  I wouldn’t have minded the wait if we’d been warned it would be an hour before our food arrived, but at least we’d had enough sense to order a delicious cookies & cream milkshake as an appetizer  🙂  The ride itself was mostly delightful and we enjoyed an urban beauty different from that at home.  It felt a little Santa Monica boardwalk-esque to me, but with a more diverse crowd and a gorgeous skyline for a backdrop.  We were jealous of the people swimming as the temperature continued to creep up, and I was relieved to be out of the sun once we returned to our hotel.

It was much hotter yesterday than it had been Saturday when we went for an early-ish morning run heading South on the lake.  We were all exhausted on Friday night and went to bed fairly early, so a 7:30 wakeup didn’t feel horrible.  I ordered several walk breaks throughout our run and carried my water bottle so as not to overheat.  It was definitely easier getting through the run with friends!  I’m not sure what I’ll do now that my sister is home in NY and my husband is at work.  Guess it’s back to the gym for now…

the workouts:

4 mile run with plenty of walking breaks, lake michigan

15 mile bike ride along lake path, “fitness bikes”, leisurely ride with brunch in the middle

8 mile bike round trip to work, 8.1 miles, ave 9mph


Swimming in a chlorinated pool after a week in the ocean is always a little depressing, but  I wasn’t about to swim in the bay today, so the Embarcadero Y pool was my best option.   I didn’t have much time so my swim was super short, and by the middle my elbow was aching a little.  It didn’t get worse as I went on, so I finished my few laps then tried to hurry through a shower with absolutely no water pressure!

the workout: 550 meter swim

250 breast stroke

150 back stroke

100 freestyle

50 breast stroke


Leaving Hawaii and coming back to the San Francisco fog was a difficult change, but at least I’ve kept my renewed interest in working out!  Every morning last week we swam, ran or paddled; sometimes more than one activity a day and I carried that into this week with gym workouts.

On Friday when we paddled, the water was the choppiest I’d seen from an outrigger canoe, and we might as well have swam fully clothed for how drenched we were getting out of the boats!  We stayed close to the shore because we were a crew of mostly inexperienced paddlers, but still the motion of the paddling and the joy of being on the water left me excited for more.  Unfortunately there wasn’t time the rest of the weekend because I was there to work, but there will definitely be a next time!

The next two mornings I swam and ran, completing workouts in time for teaching and rehearsing.  One of the swims was in such shallow water that with breast stroke, my knees grazed the sand and with freestyle I reverted to swimming with fists because there wasn’t room for my fingers to be fully extended.  This turned out to be great for not only keeping my fingers in-tact but saved my elbow from all strain, since there was less resistance against the water with a closed palm.  Running along the beach to swim in the ocean is the best activity ever- especially when it’s in the early morning and the temperature is just starting to rise.  Both Sunday and Monday began with run-swims, accompanied by rainbows and void of all elbow pain!  That’s what I call a successful workout 🙂

Once I returned home to the fog, I couldn’t bring myself to run outdoors, so yesterday and today’s workouts found me at the gym.  I ellipticized (is that a word?) for half hour yesterday and met RC for a treadmill run today.  I also started an upper body weight training regime using very light dumbbells while balancing on the bosu ball and am beginning to amp up my core work again.  So far so good…

will run for puka dog

I opted out of this morning’s paddle with the outrigger club and I woke up before my mom & sister returned for breakfast so I figured I’d run the canal and see if I’d spot their canoe. Somehow I missed them completely but did enjoy a sprinkling which lead to a beautiful double rainbow. The full ark across the water radiated just beyond the beach park and shone clearly through my entire run. Today’s run was a little faster and longer than yesterday’s and my legs welcomed the movement.
Hours later when I decided I had to have a puka dog for lunch (definitely not the healthiest option!), I smiled that I’d done my morning run at a good pace and “pre-burned” the calories. Yeah, right…

the workout: 30 min run


island dawn

Running felt like a foreign motion to me this morning! I’ve gone for so few runs in the past several weeks that I had no idea how it would be today. Luckily I woke up early enough to join my sister before the heat set in and we took off in the direction of Ala Moana park. We walked for a while then began jogging at an easy pace. The clouds were dark and we watched the waves crashing more forcefully than usual as it began to drizzle. Since we were in swimsuits anyway, the rain felt refreshing as we completed our run to the end of the path and back to the beach. We dove into the clear water and swam one lap. I alternated between breast stroke and back stroke so my elbow didn’t hurt too much (still the left side from playing so much Wagner!) and enjoyed some pain relief from the cold water. I swam a shorter distance than JA & had a few minutes while waiting for her return to stand peacefully in the water and appreciate the magical beauty of the islands.
We then hosed off, wrestled our wet feet into socks & shoes, then ran home. Great start to another day in paradise!

the workout:
25 min run, 10 min swim