mixing it up

Once again I seem to be finding a million other things to fill my time instead of blogging. Fortunately these other things not only include working and Baby prep, but working out and resting. This past week I’ve been unusually tired again- a result of not sleeping long enough at night because my hips are uncomfortable. I’ve tailored my workouts to accommodate this and a new discomfort in my right side, probably due to strained ligaments in my growing belly.
Ironically, I finally found a belt that offers enough support to run comfortably. I’ve tried it only once but it was by far my easiest jog in quite a while and I can’t wait for renewed energy to run again!
My swimming stamina continues to increase. I’m still swimming just half a mile each time I get into the pool but instead of 3 sets of 300 yards, I’m doing 2 sets 450 yards, split into 150 of each stroke (free,breast, back).
Finally, I went to two more prenatal classes this week: a yoga class at Yoga Tree yesterday and a water running class at the JCC this morning. I figured since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, moving around in the water might offer relief to my hips. I was right! I came out of the class feeling energized and like I’d gotten a complete, full body workout. Water can be a tricky place to gage workout intensity since I don’t sweat but I always listen to my body and follow my breathing so I don’t overdo it!


motivation through friends

The last few days I’ve been particularly unmotivated to exercise. The weather has been unpredictable and mostly unpleasant with grey skies and rain most conducive to drinking tea at home! Luckily I had three motivated workout buddies to help me get out the door.
On Sunday night my sister & I made plans with GC to do a Monday morning run to the beach. Of course I was the last to wake up and still groggy by the time we met at the park. All of the paths were muddy, littered with fallen branches. Exposed slick tree roots made it necessary to look down constantly and after a short time we decided to stick to the road.
We chatted on the easy run down to the beach and were rewarded with a stunning view of the expansive beach and grey, tumultuous waves. After a brief walking break, we turned around and started toward home. We kept a good pace on the steady climb, encouraging ourselves and discussing how much easier it was to run with friends. Still, I was thoroughly exhausted by the time we left the park. Our altered course was slightly longer and harder than the usual trails!
the workout: 4+ mile run

Yesterday, I had hoped to ride my bike after bringing my sister to the airport but the rain had already begun by the time I returned home. The afternoon of cleaning, packing and general pre-trip organization got away from me and before I knew it, my husband was on his way home from work. Instead of skipping my workout completely, I made us a fresh juice for energy and invited him to the gym. He was happy to accompany me and we found ourselves side by side elliptical trainers. I punched in a half hour cross training program and set a fast pace with no resistance. I realized a while back that resistance on the elliptical irritated my back but I could cover the same distance as I would running if I treated my workouts as low impact run replacements. I pay constant attention to my form, only holding on lightly for balance when I’m “running” backward and I follow my pacing on the machine to be sure I’m not getting slower. The half hour flew by as my husband and I discussed our days and pizza toppings for dinner. (We ended up making one with fresh pesto, tomato and mozzarella; the other with marinara, leek & mushroom, and gruyere.) I concluded my time at the gym with stretching and core exercises. I added back in a couple I really dislike but I think are necessary for the continued balancing and healing of my back. I’ll post them on my Core page next week.
the workout:
30 min elliptical, 3 miles, HR ZN 2-3 fat burning

staying well

On Monday, by the time I boarded my second flight, I was beginning to feel ill again. My sinuses hurt and my body was achey. On Tuesday morning I took a long walk near our hotel to stretch my legs and clear my lungs, but I continued to feel worse. I was using a saline solution and zicam homeopathic spray to try and keep this latest virus at bay. On Tuesday night, after a long afternoon of rehearsing, I went to bed early and spent a few minutes breathing deeply. I focused on sinking into my new surroundings, feeling supported and giving myself the permission to be well. I slept ten hours then rolled out of bed to do my Yoga Journal “Morning Yoga” session. I felt pretty near normal again and hoped there would be time for a run later. There wasn’t but we took a gorgeous walk near the pier on lunch break. That was better than nothing. 
Last night I didn’t sleep well (maybe I slept too many hours the night before?) but I wanted to get up and go running. It was much colder out than I expected and after two minutes of walking I decided to begin jogging. My hands started tingling and I felt a strange numbness that seemed to be coming from inside my body, not the cold air. I jogged at an easy pace, shaking my arms, until I arrived at the park, then found an area where the Spanish moss hanging off big old trees protected me from the drizzle. I did a few stationary exercises then ran three quick loops around the park. My chest was still congested but I breathed more freely the longer I ran.  I did another set of the same exercises then jogged slowly back to the house. 
As I drink my morning tea and eat delicious Florida grapefruit, I feel well, and ready to tackle the day!

The workout: 30 min run + exercises
10 minute easy jog
push-ups, dips, static lunges, functional reaches
3 quick-paced loops around the park
2nd set exercises
10 minute easy jog home

wrapping up winter vacation

Looks like the holidays, family time and traveling got the most of me!  The workouts continued, sort of, but there was no extra time to write about anything.  The biggest adventures included the following:

On Christmas morning 12 people showed up to paddle so we filled up two boats and went out before dawn.  As we neared the usual turn-around point someone suggested that we go out to the buoy with the Diamondhead view.  The water remained calm enough that we were able to paddle out several miles from shore.  What a glorious way to begin the morning!

December 26th dawned with rain, wind and gloomy skies.  We decided to run anyway and met my sister in the rain at Ala Moana park.  We had very little time before the family brunch so my husband opted to run the entire time and the other two of us decided a swim would be more fun.  JA was in front of me and suddenly she stood up, looked scared and informed me she’d been stung.  We got out of the water and were discussing what to do (we knew it wasn’t a jellyfish but didn’t know what it was) when a man walked up to us and showed that he’d also been stung by a Portuguese man-o-war .  The stinger had wrapped itself around his leg and back but the guys was smiling and informed us there was nothing to be done.  He told JA that she’d feel weird for about 1/2 hour and to rinse it with warm water to open the pores and get the venom out.  I took her back to the hotel and put her in the shower as my husband sprinted to Mom’s house to pick up the car.  The warm water helped ease the sting and we actually found a slimy piece of it in her hair later.  The bumps were basically gone by the next morning.  Next time there’s a Kona wind and debris on the surface of the water, we’ll stay out!

Our final morning (which turned out not to be our final morning) was windy with tumultuous seas.  Our family took a catamaran sail to snorkel with sea turtles and enjoy the water.  By the time I’d been on the boat 5 minutes I was feeling seasick and on the way back in, I felt more miserable than I’ve felt in a long time.  I (and another few kids) spent the sail back puking over the railing.  I was never more happy to have my feet on solid ground!

Our flight was cancelled then we spent two more days getting from HNL to EWR.  Over the next few days I still felt a little out of whack from the seasickness, noticing it mostly in the car, when hearing certain types of  music and if I looked too long at a computer screen.  On Thursday morning, after too much travel and feeling exhausted, I decided to accompany my mother-in-law to her gym.  I was doubtful it would help me feel better but had to try.  Her gym has a cool new elliptical trainer that simulates a rollerblading motion.  I was interested and tried it for 12 minutes but had to step off because I was feeling seasick again!    I spent the afternoon in bed, sick through the evening.  Who knows if the seasickness actually came back or if it was just a 24 hour bug.

New Year’s eve day was the first day I felt sort of human again.  I took it really easy all day in anticipation for the night.  We had tickets for a five course meal (which sounded horrible to me at the time) and a night of salsa dancing at SOBS.  I wasn’t about to miss the biggest NYE we’d ever planned!  Our group wasn’t a big dancing crowd but everyone tried and had a great time.  I attempted to lead and dance with the other girls but I’m much better at following and don’t have the salsa skills I need to lead.  Oh well.  One of the girls was so excited about salsa dancing that she’s already gone out and taken a class at home!  Can’t wait until we meet up in the same city again and go dancing!

The next few days I was afraid of too much movement so I stuck to walking around NYC.  This suited me perfectly and by the time I flew home, I was feeling well rested and ready to try another workout!

honeymoon on the go

I am somewhere between San Francisco and Kyoto, returning from my eleven-day honeymoon in Japan. The sun is rising quickly and night was very short. Plus, we left at 5pm and will arrive home at 11am- still on Tuesday! I have basically been away from home for a month and am ready to sleep in my own bed. I also can’t wait to swim again. I enjoyed some sort of bath or onsen every day in Japan and will be going through “water withdrawl” shortly. Swimming laps in chlorinated water isn’t exactly the same but getting a little exercise and stretching my body out after this long trip will feel great.

The bookends of our vacation were three days each in Tokyo & Kyoto. We did as much walking as we could bear in the zillion degree heat and humidity. The metro system in Tokyo was easy to use and the city is too big to get everywhere on foot. I spent time each afternoon back at our ryokan with my feet up the wall in an attempt to alleviate the pain from my feet swelling. I had comfortable sandals for walking but nonetheless, my body is not used to that kind of temperature. Kyoto was much the same, only smaller & more accessible. We stayed at a temple on the west side of the city and used both trains & bikes to get around. Again, it was uncomfortably hot for any sort of exertion. Biking was most enjoyable after dark and on the final evening of the O-Ban festival, we found ourselves pushing the bikes through mobs of people as everyone watched the bonfires up the mountains. Spectacular!

After Tokyo, we made a one night stopover in Matsumoto on our way up to Kamikochi. I was thrilled to be back in Matsumoto after having spent a month there 25 years ago! I didn’t remember anything except the statue of Dr. Suzuki outside the Talent Education school. Matsumoto is a beautiful town surrounded by mountains and I indulged in an early morning run up the river. Running is quite popular in Japan and I was amazed at how many runners dressed in layers with tights, despite the heat! My 45 minute run/walk felt difficult and my legs were actually sore the next day even though I stretched.
We spent most of our time in Matsumoto roaming around on the free bikes from our boarding house. We were charmed by the small streets of old homes and enjoyed being part of the strong bike culture.

Kamikochi offered a respite from the heat.  In fact, it poured the entire time. We purchased rain ponchos and made good use of them as we attempted but never finished a hike. I didn’t mind much drinking tea and watching the rain and falling asleep to the sounds of the rushing river each night. We also experienced here traditional kaiseki meals, served old style, privately to our room. I’d booked one of the cheaper mountain lodges but between the food, an onsen with views of the mountain range and a room with a balcony, the place felt anything but budget.

We dropped back into the valley to meet our bike guide, Paul, of Freeride Adventures Japan.  He planned our rides, booked our accommodations at an awesome pension and fancy ryokan, and knew the food scene. Because of weather and our current fitness levels, our itinerary changed from the original four mountain passes plan, but I loved being back on a road bike and cranking out the miles. The first day we rode through the countryside of farms and rolling hills. We stopped for lunch at a tiny soba restaurant and ate a delicious lunch of cold soba. We were instructed to drink the soba cooking water for our afternoon fuel.

The second day we parked the van, hopped on our bikes and started climbing. It was a gentle grade but lasted 14 km. I popped a tire near the top as I carelessly rode through a grate. The descent was fast and fun and we earned our okonomiyaki lunch that day.

That about sums up the fitness part of the trip. Nice variety of everything and tons of great food to fuel our way. I’m ready to go back to work, get back into my home routine (as a married woman!) and get started training for the Honolulu marathon!

wading & waiting

My exercise of the day was carrying my luggage through the airport and now alternately sitting and standing in the space of my window seat while the plane receives a new part (1 1/2 hr delay so far). Charming. Our drive into Atlanta this morning took almost three hours and the drive to Estes from DIA should take less than two. Too much sitting today but I’m staying conscious of my posture to keep my back happy!
Yesterday we explored a couple of famous area waterfalls then found a swimming hole in the river. We hung out, treading water against the strong current until we started getting tired then headed back to town for more music.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, half of the passengers on our plane just trooped up to the front, accepting an invitation to visit the cockpit while we kill time. Ughhh…
And now we can get off the plane for food. I already ate so I’m using the time for core exercises in the terminal.

The workouts:

Treading water 15 min, alternate between using both hands, just hands & just feet

Stretching in terminal, followed by backward in place lunges, squats, & plank

On the go

The past few days have been a whirlwind of biking, practicing, driving and on-site wedding prep. Now I’m on the shuttle which will take me to the bus which will take me to my sister in Vail. After her final concert tonight, we’ll head down the mountain to catch a three hour “red-eye” to Atlanta, and after that, drive three hours into the mountains. We have four trio concerts in GA & NC over the weekend and I’m feeling truely “on the go” again. I’m hoping to fit in a few runs and, of course, my swim suit is in my (very small!) suitcase.
Yesterday there was no time for anything un-wedding related but Monday before I returned my bike, I did one last ride. My goal was Frisco but I felt so good I pushed on to Copper Mountain. The ride is incredibly gorgeous & follows a river most of the way. Best of all, the first several miles on the way back are downhill! I was worn out by the end but not sore.
This morning I woke up completely stiff from lack of activity yesterday (my body was in the groove of biking daily!) so I went to the pool outside my condo. It’s shaped like a large jellybean with a good circumference for swimming. Since the sky was grey, I had it completely to myself. The stretcing out felt good but my arms were tired and my violin was calling, so I made it a quick dip.

The Workout:
day 1- bike 34ish miles at 9,000 feet, I took it easy, as I was in no rush to get home to laundry & practice
day 2- stretching & core at night before bed
day 3- six swimming circles in the jellybean pool then two “laps” back stroke, my only intention was to stretch my body out & relieve soreness

Nikken Wellness:
Greenzymes- in handy travel packs!