sprinklers in the mist

This morning it’s finally sunny.  Yesterday it was not, but I was so determined to ride my Supersix again that I bundled up and went for a ride anyway.  Horrible idea!  It was windy, cold and wet getting to the park, then at the park entrance, the sprinklers were going (even though the fog was so heavy it was raining!) and I couldn’t avoid being sprayed.  I made it to the beach, which was fairly empty because everyone else had been smart enough to stay home, and glanced at the water briefly.  Beautiful, as always, but too cold to hang around.  I rode back up the park, taking the long way home to get a little extra riding in, then immediately jumped into the shower because, not only was I freezing, but I was running late.  New record: 20 minutes to shower, get dressed, pack lunch & prepare everything for crock pot Moroccan chicken.  Dinner was waiting when I came home 9 hours later!

the workout: 5 mile bike ride- thinking only about the miserable weather

Today I’m pre-posting my workout because I’m going to swim on my 2 hour dinner break.  The plan is to take the train to the Embarcadero Y and do 1 kilometer, then grab dinner at the Ferry building on my way back.  Wish me luck!

the workout: 1000 meters

200 m warm up, mixed strokes

200 m breast stroke, alt sprint & easy each 25m

200 m freestyle, alt sprint & easy each 25m

200 m back stroke, alt sprint & easy each 25m

200 m cool down, mixed strokes

running again

I ran again today!  It feels as though it has been months since I put on my running shoes, but until a few days ago I didn’t miss it so I saw no reason to do it.  I went directly from my acupuncture appointment (not painful and no weird reactions this week) to the gym and took my time getting to the treadmill.  I had only 15 minutes before yoga but thought a mile would be the perfect way to ease back into it.  I alternated running and walking every 30 seconds so the mile took ridiculously long, but I did it and felt good afterward!  I then attended a yoga class (another first in a very long time) that my friend and favorite teacher taught.  I hope she doesn’t mind if I repeat (and probably mis-quote) something she said that stuck with me.  We were in mountain pose and she spoke about how she loves the mountains because they are not only majestically grounding but connected to the sky, cosmos, heavens…  My thoughts exactly.  I feel so centered and peaceful when I am in the mountains and I’m going to think of this meaning every time I stand in Tadasana from now on!   The class was challenging for me but I loved spending an hour of my day in such a spiritual, warm environment.

As usual, I missed recording anything about the weekend, but hit another milestone on Saturday in the pool as I swam over 1/2 mile with no trouble.  My motto was slow and steady, which helped me complete 1000 yds with no trouble.  Yesterday we went in search of the sun and found it in North Beach.  We walked through beautiful neighborhoods, exploring city stairs covered in vines.  I had a hard time walking back up and over the hills, eating my gelato, but survived, only suffering sore calves today!


fall season

The start of fall opera season has not been conducive to working out and having extra energy.  Plus, when I have had the time to do something, I haven’t wanted to spend my free time writing about it!  I’ve made a commitment to practice yoga every other day, so on the mornings when I roll out of bed and onto my mat, that usually takes the place of an aerobic workout.  I also rediscovered the elliptical trainer last week and enjoyed 30 minutes of “running in the clouds” last Friday and yesterday.  The grey outdoors have been so very unappealing that I don’t even want to be outside, and I haven’t made it back downtown to the warm pool.  Rumor has it, the Presidio pool’s pump is fixed so maybe I check it out tomorrow.  I do love my gym workouts because of all the props available to me for my floor work and core exercises.  I always come out of there feeling stronger and energized.

My exercise faux-pas of the week was waking up early Sunday morning (after a late show) to bike to the farmers market (with my violin on my back) on the way to a long day of rehearsal and concert at Stern Grove.  If I’d gotten more sleep and hadn’t over-bought produce (as usual) I would have been fine, but by the time I left the market and began bumping along a bike lane in very bad repair, I knew I’d overdone it.  I carefully made my way to Stern Grove, happy that all of my bags were securely strapped to my bike, and was thrilled to find my cyclist friend waiting for me at the entrance.  She’d guessed that I would have no clue how to actually get to the stage from the bike route!  By mid morning, I was so tired I wanted to put my violin down and cry (which I did on lunch break as I called my husband).  He agreed to meet me and haul by bike and produce home after the concert.  I survived the freezing concert knowing I’d have a ride waiting at the end and a warm bath at home.  Bonus… dinner was made while I soaked in the tub.  How did I get so lucky?

I took Monday off from aerobic exercise and walked to the outer Richmond to meet a friend for coffee.  I had time to spare before my acupuncture appointment, so I wandered around the park for 1/2 hour first.  In my appointment a strange thing happened.  Every needle he put into my legs hurt!  I rarely feel a needle go in and almost never ask him to remove one, but I couldn’t stand it.  Most of them were in spots that had to do with digestion.  Hmmm…  I’ve been working with less dairy lately, which seems to be improving my skin and decreasing stomach pain.  I’m sure it’s all related.

Time to get moving with my day.  More whenever I get around to it….

the kicker and Mr. Speedy

Sharing a swim lane with a dude who kicks furiously with his entire bottom half out of the water is no fun.  No matter what stroke I swam, I had to turn my head fully to the opposite side to insure I didn’t swallow a gallon of water each time he passed.  I’m not even sure how he did it, being stick thin and having no body fat to keep himself afloat!  I thought it was bad with just the two of us but then Mr. Speedy joined the lane and we had to circle.  Both me and the kicker raced to each end to avoid being plowed over, then waited while Mr. Speedy did flip turns that sent hurricane waters flying.  Ugh.  I guess that’s what I get for positioning myself in the fast lane.  The other lanes are so slow at the Embarcadero I’d rather wait than be the one waiting since half the time people don’t realize they’re holding you up!

Seeing that I didn’t reach my 1 kilometer goal yesterday and I’m totally goal oriented, I needed to return today and complete it.  This morning I didn’t set an early alarm, but woke up early anyway so took advantage of the extra hour to begin my day with a yoga practice.  I swam this afternoon after work, and I had plenty of time at the pool while I waited for the first express buses to run outbound.  The workout felt great and I rewarded myself with a trip to the Ferry Building for dinner ingredients!

goggles and peaches

I love being part of the morning rush hour mob downtown.  That’s probably because I’m usually heading to the gym, not rushing to work, wearing a suit, like everyone else.  I’m not taking my chances with the Presidio pool’s broken pump and the Embarcadero Y’s pool is generally warmer anyway, so swimming downtown sounded perfect to me last night when I set my alarm for 7:30 am in order to wake up and catch the last express bus.  This morning when the alarm went off, it seemed like a less perfect idea but I got up and made my oatmeal anyway, then joined my husband on the bus.  My purse held goggles & swim cap, a cosmetics bag, flip-flops, an empty egg carton & produce bags- a far cry from the laptops and ipads surrounding me!

The water was pleasant enough that I actually stood in it while adjusting my goggles, then swam a leisurely few laps instead of sprinting my warm-up like last Sunday.  I didn’t have tons of time because I wanted to stop at the farmers market on my way to rehearsal, so I watched the clock and almost reached my goal of 1 kilometer.  I’m happy I saved time for the market because cling peaches are only in season a few weeks longer and I’ve been craving lychees since I polished off last week’s batch!

the workout: 850 meter swim

200 warm up mixed strokes

100 kicking drills/ 100 pull

200 backstroke (I thought longingly back to high school swim team days when 200 back was my event and I could do back flip-turns!)

100 kicking drills/ 100 pull

50 breast stroke warm down

will bike for pie

I wonder how many blog titles I’ve posted that involve me exercising for food?!  My legs are sore after yesterday’s gym session so biking to work this morning felt great. Halfway there, the sun came out and I actually unzipped my jacket because I was overheating.  Biking, rather than driving, really is a wonderful way to start a work day and I’m so glad that we live in a location that allows half my bike ride to be through the park and panhandle!

I came out of rehearsal this afternoon to see the fog rolling back in and within three blocks, I stopped to zip my jacket.  It was chilly enough that I didn’t even overheat climbing the Alamo square hill, which was quite difficult considering the wind and the fact that I was wearing my very stylish but slick knee-high boots instead of bike shoes.  Coming down the other side of the hill, I made a bee-line for the Chile Pie place, which is conveniently on my bike route!  They were serving delicious chicken posole today so I ordered that and my favorite buttermilk lemon pie (forgetting that I’d been planning on skipping dairy today).  I ate slowly, savoring eat bite, putting off the ride home.  I think the only thing preventing me from doing this more frequently is the fact that the rest of my ride home in wind and fog is extra miserable on a full stomach, in a food stupor.

I did make it home, very slowly, and have just finished running errands.  Time for a nice, hot bath!

the workout: 46 min ride, 7.6 miles

getting buff

I walked all over the place to run errands today and decided to stop at the gym on my way home and get buff.  Not that I truly believe my 5 lb dumbbells are going to turn me into a bodybuilder but I have to start somewhere, right?  (Just to clarify, I’m not actually trying to become a bodybuilder, just redefine some of the muscles I used to have before triathlon took over my life!)  Speaking of triathlon, I did all three sports in the past three days!  We biked across town Saturday to run errands and find the sunshine (it was just past Park Presidio).  Besides, we knew if we moved the car, some lucky attendee of the Outside Lands festival would snatch our space, not to be recovered until midnight.  We racked up 11 miles and saved 1/4 galon of gas!  On Sunday we ventured back to the Presidio pool but I was dismayed to find that the pump hadn’t actually been fixed yet and the water was still freezing.  After 600 cold yards, I called it a day and excused myself to the warmth of the shower.  I’m not going back until I have confirmation of warmer temperatures!  Today’s walk was brisk, much like what I would do instead of running at the end of a long triathlon 🙂 and I found myself out of breath as I raced to my appointment while chatting on the phone.  So I’ll call it aerobic.

the workout: exercises at the gym

bosu right-side up for 1 foot balance, upside down for two foot balance and squats while doing various exercises: shoulder press, lat raise front and side, curls,

one leg lunge and balance back and forth with shoulder press

core- quadriped regular & with one leg extended w/ opposite arm tri curl, side and regular plank

leg raises lying on side angled in front of body, parallel & back

fly machine- forward lunge w/ 2 arm chest press, one arm back fly

biking to nowhere

I decided to mix it up and do a spin bike workout today.  I grooved to the 70’s radio station which (I shudder to admit) is of course called Kiss FM.  Spinning felt great, especially since I wasn’t doing it outside in the wind and fog, and my entire gym trip took under an hour.  Now, that’s an efficient workout!

the workout:

30 minutes on a spin bike

5 min warm-up

5 min 1 1/2 turn heavier, RMP 95-105

5 min- half turn heavier, RMP 95-105

1 min recovery, 1 min- 2 turns heavier/standing, 1 min- 2 turns back recovery, 1 min- 2 turns heavier/standing, 1 min- 2 turns back recover

5 min- 1 1/2 turn heavier, RMP 95-105

5 min cool down

core exercises- cross crawl, plank, side plank, chattaranga push-ups, stationary lunges w/ 3lb dumbbell shoulder press

and then I realized that I was starving…  so much for a second set!



Meanwhile, back at the ranch…   we’re home and it’s foggy- although sunny somewhere nearby, I’m sure.  I went to swim at the Presidio Y after spending a small fortune at the farmers market (yay, fresh produce!) and nearly decided to skip it after dipping my toe in the freezing cold water.  My swim was a sprint, not a leisurely, pleasant workout and I had goosebumps the entire time!  I reasoned that the water must just feel colder than usual after swimming in the bathtub-like ocean for the past four days.  I imagined myself back in the sunshine as I dutifully swam my laps, and was never happier for a warm shower upon completion of today’s 1/2 mile.  I inquired at the front desk just to see if I was going nuts and it turns out, the pump broke Sunday and they thought they had it up and running this morning but the heating system hadn’t kicked it yet.  He said to come back in 8 hours.  Better luck tomorrow, I guess!

the workout: 900 yds as fast as you can

alternate 100 free, 100 breast, 100 back


We’re on our flight home from Mexico and the pilot just informed us that it’s 60 degrees in SF. I’m already dreaming of the warm water and heat we left just a few hours ago! We opted to stay close to home and spend the past couple of days at Colomitos beach again. We found that if we arrived before noon we had the lagoon to ourselves. Yesterday we borrowed sea kayaks and paddled down the river to the bay. We were greeted by two dolphins shortly after leaving our home beach where river meets bay. We watched them for a few minutes then continued into open water. We reached the lagoon in about 15 minutes of easy paddling. I was surprised at the nearness since hiking over had taken a while. I was relieved to step out of the kayak and onto shore because my back felt a little strained from the lack of support, but the ache quickly subsided. I used to be able to sit comfortably with legs extended straight in front of me, so in retrospect, doing it again yesterday, after my back challenges of the past few years, means I’ve come a long way in regaining strength & flexibility! After a few hours of swimming & reading on the beach, I was feeling the heat so we decided to call it a day and go rest before dinner. The trip back took much longer because of currents and mid-day heat. I reached our dock totally exhausted and was so grateful for a cool shower and to lay down with my feet up!
This morning we decided to spend our last few hours hiking and swimming. I was energetic despite lack of sleep (wild dogs & confused roosters) and my husband seemed mostly recovered after a long night of upset stomach. Ironically, we’d gone to a nice restaurant to celebrate his birthday and after that meal was the only time either of us felt unwell from the food in Boca. As a side note, the best food we ate was from the local woman who opens her porch to business on the weekends. Posole & tortes Saturday, enchiladas Sunday. Yumm!!! Anyway, back at the lagoon… we bobbed in the water and splashed around for an hour before (right on cue at noon) The America and a couple other tour boats dumped orange life vest-clad passengers into the water. The small beach became crowded and that was our cue to pack up and hike home. The hiking today was more slippery today and the air super heavy after last night’s downpour. We arrived back at our room dripping, once again, arguing over who got the first cold shower!

the workouts:
3 mile kayak
1 1/2 hr hike