Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Weekly Update 11/25/09 and Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, a day early, but is it ever a bad time to celebrate being thankful? Nah! I hope you all enjoy a wonderful day, whether it's Thanksgiving in your part of the world or not. As I said last year around this time (but it bears repeating): My blogroll is the "virtual" portion of my gratitude board. I'm truly grateful for the accountability and inspiration I receive daily from the fitness/weight loss and diabetes blogging communities. I receive this from both the bloggers and commenters on the blogs I follow and the people who offer comments and encouragement on my own. THANK YOU!

My week has been somewhat inconsistent. Three days of great workouts, a couple of days of nothing, and a couple of days of not even quite bare minimum activity. Oh well, you'll have weeks like that sometimes. There's been a bit more holiday prep activities, like shopping and returning items that I'd mail ordered long ago that Thing 2 did not fit or like. Food-wise, I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but on the other hand, I didn't go too crazy, either.

Yesterday morning, Thing 2 noticed me putting on my work shoes. I think she's going to be a shoe maven, because she admired my new shoes (these and this other pair I bought...hurray for Ross and deeply discounted shoes in my size!)...and they're not even pink. She asked, "Mommy, are you going to take your running shoes today? Because you can wear those shoes [pointed at shoe on left] for the boring part, and your running shoes for the running part."

"What do your shoes say about your week?"

So...that's nice about this week, but what about the next? Or perhaps, the next 6? Well, I'm not too freaked out about the holidays, oddly enough. Sometimes it feels like a precarious balance, getting all the healthy stuff I need in my diet and allowing for enough of the stuff I love to eat (that doesn't fit into the first category), so that I don't feel deprived and like this living healthy stuff is not worth it all. Not to mention getting in enough exercise to keep me content! But I'd say that's the biggest difference between last year and this one. Last year, I was so afraid that taking a rest day unscheduled or making an "active rest" day out of a workout day would totally switch my track for a return trip to Couchville. This year, I feel (paradoxically) more free to change up my schedule as needed, because the need to workout is now a part of me. I trust it like I didn't before. I'm looking forward to the unstructured holiday days. I'm planning to schedule some time each day to do outdoor workouts; while I love having the gym as one of my options, I really prefer to run and bike outdoors. Hopefully Things 1 and 2 will not be popping like toast before first light, so I can get in some activity while they're still sleeping. But if not, I'm trusting that I can be spared for at least a half hour each day. I really want to take the ol' bike on those dirt trails south of town...

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 100 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 105 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -0.6. Drat, still in the 190s!

Food goals:
- 3/5 work days were food brought from home.
- Ate lots of veggies.
- Got in at least 4 meatless meals but 0 fish meals.
- Fiber: at least 3/7 days were over 30. Could have been better.

Exercise goals: Didn't meet 30/day for 5 days, unless you average my workouts over the week, but did my best.
Total estimated mileage: 21 miles
- Wednesday: 60 minutes of BodyPump class
- Thursday: 60 minutes - 2 mile trail run and 5.5 on recumbent bike at the gym. This was a nice change of pace, because I kicked back with my blog reading and a skinny caramel latte and still got in some exercise!
- Friday: Rest
- Saturday: Rest
- Sunday: 10K run and 6.5 mile bike ride to & from the event (12.7 miles total, about 2 hours or so of activity).
- Monday: 15 minute walk (.55 mile)
- Tuesday: 20 minute dog stroll (.35 mile...our dog is not exactly an action dog, she has to stop and sniff EVERYTHING!)

Sleep: Met goal of 7 hours/night.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)
Bring veggie & fruit tray to Thanksgiving and use it for any mindless noshing.

Exercise goals:
30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
Get kids out to play 1 hour each day during the holiday weekend.

Misc. goals:
7 or more hours sleep/night.
Have fun!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pillar Point Run 10K: The Race Report!

(Thanks, everyone, for the congrats on my "tweet"-style posting yesterday!)

Oddly enough, the big question of the day wasn't, "Can I finish a 10K race?"

Nor was it, "Will I finish last?" (Small race, so I was almost positive the answer would be "yes.")

No, it was, "How many bottles of Metromint can I snag without feeling rude?"

The Pillar Point Run was my first foray into 10K races. The event featured a 10K, 1/2 marathon, and a family fun run to benefit the Coastside Infant Toddler Center. The event itself is well-organized, although I would have liked to see a little more information on the beneficiary's web site.

Unlike Saturday or today, Sunday gradually transitioned (can't really say "dawned") from dark to gloomy. I ate my oatbran-protein pancakes with peanut butter and sugar-free syrup...and 1/3 a glazed chocolate donut. (Heh, funny side note: my spellchecker caught "donut" and suggested "donuts"...I guess one donut or less does not compute!) I rode the 3.25 miles to the race location at Pillar Point Harbor, and a fine coat of thick mist coated my glasses along the way. As I arrived, the half marathon was just starting, so I had about a half hour until the 10K race.

Lovely day for a run!

But thanks to Mr. Robert E. Nylund and his submission on Wikimedia Commons, here's what the harbor looks like on a nice day! And no matter what the weather, it's always a good place to get fresh dungeness crab!

I saw a woman I knew from my mom's club days--she was there with her little guy for the family fun run--and she made me laugh with her tale: she was visiting her sister, and they decided to run a race. She had a new baby, and she didn't have her jogging stroller, but they figured the snap-your-carseat-in variety was fine for a taking-it-easy 5K. Toward the end, they went to pass this guy, and he bellowed, "No way are two MOMS WITH A STROLLER going to pass me!" And it was ON! My friend only stopped sprinting when she realized that the wheels of the stroller were shimmying too much to be safe for the baby. (Her sister did pass the finish line before He of the Fragile Ego, though.)

I was laughing so hard I didn't hear the call for the 10K, and scooted into the back of the pack just as they shouted "Go!" (Whew!)

Here is the grand starting line!

Being a very small field, I quickly found myself bringing up the back of the pack. I kept chanting to myself, "Run your own your own race..." to keep from getting discouraged, but soon I fell into a good running rhythm. I have the runner who stayed just ahead of me the whole time (whom I'll call "Pace Lady") to thank for that; she kept a good, steady pace going for the entire race.

The course is an out-and-back course, and it follows the area's coastal trail; it's nice and flat, and my favorite run. Although you see the same up-close things (houses, trees), the greater back-ground view is different: mountains and distant cliffs on the south-bound direction, different mountains and harbor on the north-bound. And who gets tired of watching the breaking waves? In a way, I'm glad it was a grey day, because I would have been too tempted to stop and take a bunch of pictures along the route!

Not a lot of people out and about, but as Pace Lady and I got to about 2.5 miles, we started seeing other runners coming back the other way and cheered them on. It made for nice camaraderie. There was no shortage of aid stops...I think there was one about every mile in the 10K. I didn't stop, though, because I was toting my own bottle of coconut water and it kept me going. I felt fantastic until about mile 4.5, then I felt a little funny, so I ate a glucose tab. Around that time, odd songs kept popping into my head...there was the "Chihuahua!" song (thanks, Thing 2!)...and then, the "Rum and Coca-cola" song...really, I couldn't have thought of anything better? What's worse, I started puffing out the songs in time to my steps; luckily Pace Lady had pulled ahead enough to not hear me. I thought she was giving it her final kick and was going to lose me, but then, I started thinking "quick feet! quick feet! one two, one two, one two" and I managed to pick up my pace a bit and pull up behind her again. Yeah! When we reached Surfer's Beach, I felt that surge of happiness, that "yep, I'm going to make it!" feeling. I wasn't able to go much faster, but we kept a steady pace past the RV lot and behind the breakwater, past the boat launch and Sam's Chowder House, through the parking lot, and OVER THE FINISH LINE! WOO HOO!!!

I walked around a bit, because I could feel my legs starting to cramp up a bit. Walking and stretching helped. I found Pace Lady and admired how *easy* she made the race look; we chatted about the race a bit and I asked her to take my picture. I found the two ladies whom I'd passed, and we all congratulated each other on finishing.

The "Woo Hoo!" post-race grin

Well, I must say the post-race swag was great! They had Odwalla bars and bottles of Metromint, fresh fruit, and these fruit-flavored bottled smoothies. There was also the traditional t-shirt, and Metromint bags to boot! I milled around a bit, called Mr. Handsome-and-Handy ("You're done already???"), stopped for a bit of gelato at a place I'd heard rave reviews of but hadn't been to yet (OMG, so worthy!!!), and then I biked home...on the trail I just ran!

Overall, I'm really happy with the result of 1:09:16. I was hoping to finish in less than 1:30; it was a generous estimate, granted, because I hadn't been training much for the race and I wasn't sure how the longer distance would play out. I'm delighted that I was able to keep my 5K pace the entire time. I'm not sure why, but this felt a lot easier than the Theta Breakers 5K! I wonder if it has to do with getting a proper warm-up. Races in which I've felt really good (Pumpkin Run, See Jane Run and Tri, and this one), I've either ridden my bike to the event or participated in warm-up exercises; whereas races to which I've driven but not warmed up (other than walking around), I didn't feel as good during the race. It seems counter-intuitive that expending energy before a race would be helpful, but it seems to work for me. I really like the 10K distance for racing, so I think I'll be doing some more of those in 2010!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Food Find!

I usually don't get this excited about a new food find, but oh my stars, what I found today! You know I have a deep love of Greek-style plain yogurt. Well, while shopping for lunch at Whole Foods today, I decided to brave a little agave nectar in the ingredients and test the intriguing "Siggi's" yogurt.

I chose the orange and ginger flavor. It is hea-ven-ly (if you like that combo): orangey (but not overpoweringly so) and extremely tart, but with a hint of sweetness (which I love!), and there were little candied ginger bits. (No actual fruit bits, though, from reviews I've read of the other flavors; this could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how "chunky" you like your flavored yogurt.) Consistency-wise, it's like Fage, very thick and creamy but no fat. (From what I've read on the site and the nutritional info, it seems identical to Greek-style yogurt.) I know there are flavored Greek-style yogurts, but they have higher sugar content than I want, so I usually mix my own with fresh fruit and no sweetener. However, Siggi's had only 10 grams of sugar (12 grams carb total). It was kind to my blood glucose levels: 1 hour post-consumption it went from 87 to 101 (+14), which works for me. This being a rest day, my result was not mitigated by a workout.

When I want my plain yogurt with fresh fruit, I will still bargain shop for my plain Greek-style yogurt; but this will be a really nice treat now & then.

P.S. - Cruising the web, I found a fun write-up of Siggi and his yogurt on "The Amateur Gourmet." Hmmm...pineapple+cilantro yogurt smoothies? Interesting...

P.P.S. - No, I was not compensated for this review. (Though if they ever wanted me to host a giveaway, I'd be delighted.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Big Blue Post + Weekly Update 11/18/09

The Big Blue Test!

Saturday was World Diabetes Day 2009. Landmarks all around the world were lit up in blue in honor of diabetes awareness. And Tu Diabetes sponsored an event called "The Big Blue Test," in which people with diabetes would test together, exercise together, and then test again. The point of exercising was to raise awareness of how exercise can help with blood glucose levels.

Thanks to Thing 1, here is my Big Blue Test, in pictures!

Here I am, ready for The Big Blue Test! (That's my *eager* face!)

Testing: 1, 2, 3.... Used my pinkie, guess I was in a *fancy* mood.

95 before exercise!

It was a beautiful fall day, so I decided to go for a walk. I wanted to see how a lower impact exercise would affect my numbers.

I took a brisk, 15-minute walk, I'm guessing about 3/4 mile to 1 mile in length.

Here's the view from the end of my street. Wish I could have treated you to a view of some lovely horses, too, but the pasture was empty.

"Holy coronitas!!!" You can't see what I'm disbelieving, but it's a reading of...64?!?!
Must be a bad strip, I'll test again....

Second test: 69?!? Testing one more time...

Third and final test: 70! Think I'll have a little snack....

So there is some variation on test strips. This batch, on the whole, has seemed a little lower during the month, so it will be interesting to see how I trend on the next batch of test strips. But still, when I looked at other Big Blue Test participants' results on Twitter during the day, many had dramatic drops after only 14 minutes of exercise. I knew exercise was beneficial, but it was interesting to me to see how even mild exercise could make a noticeable difference. As my good friend Foodie McBody tweeted to me, "It's too bad the (weight) scale doesn't show such wonderful and instantaneous results, eh?"

I saw other participants' results going up rather than down; that had to be discouraging! There are variations on how one's body responds to exercise, and I've noticed this in my own experience. Sometimes I tend to run a little higher on race days (race-day excitement affects my blood glucose levels), when I perform harder exercise (stress on my body can raise blood glucose levels-I noticed this more when I was starting to run), and when I am not getting enough rest.

Anyhow, if you're newly diagnosed and have been advised by your doctor or diabetes educator to use exercise as part of your plan to manage your diabetes, why not try your own "big blue test" and see if your results confirm or deny the effect of exercise on your blood glucose levels? (Unless, of course, you cannot exercise due to disability or medical advice!)

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 88 (met goal of less than 120) <-skewed a bit by the BBT
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 95 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: +1.6. Drat, back up in the 190s! I'm not doing so hot with my eating at home...I've pin-pointed it to stress-feeding, and I need to figure out a better outlet than grabbing salty, high-calorie snackage.

Food goals:
- Brought lunch from home on only one work day, but went nice & healthy & somewhat frugally on the buying days and used protein that I already had in my desk (love dry roasted edamame!).
- Ate lots of veggies. I think this is the first weekend in some time that I didn't make my ratatouille.
- Got in at least 4 meatless meals but 0 fish meals.
- Fiber: at least 4/7 days were over 30.

Exercise goals: Didn't meet 30/day for 5 days, but I wasn't expecting to do so this week.
Total estimated mileage: 21.56 miles
- Wednesday: 20 minutes run (1.44 miles)
- Thursday: 40 minutes walk (1.84 miles) + 10 minute video (ab exercises)
- Friday: 37 minutes (20 walking the dog, .25; 17 running, 1.44 miles) + 1 hour vigorous playing at the park with the kids
- Saturday: 15 minutes walk (.75 mile)
- Sunday: 15 minutes on stationary bike (no mileage estimate)
- Monday: 35 minutes walk (1.84 miles)
- Tuesday: 60 minutes spin class (monitor broken, so I have no idea of the distance; estimating 14 miles)

Sleep: Met goal of 7 hours/night.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
- Keep going with the veggies!
- Rein in the nuts and dark chocolate; pass by some of the "just a taste of this" and "I'll have a dab of that." Get the homefront eating under control.
- Bring lunch from home 4/5 work days.
- 4 or more meatless, low-fat meals and 2 or more fish meals.
- Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
30 minutes of activity 5 days/week. Prepare as best I can for the Pillar Point 10K on Sunday!

Misc. goals:
- 7 or more hours sleep/night.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just a couple of quick things...

Saturday was World Diabetes Day, and I participated in the Big Blue Test! To participate, one took one's blood glucose reading at 2 p.m. local time, exercised for 14 minutes (because WDD is on November 14), and then take another blood glucose reading after exercise. WOW! I'll be providing my results on Wednesday; you can read about FoodieMcBody's experience with the Big Blue Test on her blog. (We're in the same time zone, so we had some overlapping tweets regarding the test and our results, which was fun!)

If you're up between 1 a.m. PST and dawn on Tuesday (tomorrow!) morning, be sure to check out the Leonids meteor shower!

Back on Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Weekly update, 11/11/09

First off, Veterans Day greetings. If you have served in the military, are serving, or are the supportive family member of a man or woman in service: you have my heartfelt thanks.

What's New?
Firstly, thanks to everyone for all of the nice comments on the 5K! I appreciated it very much.

Well, it's been an interesting week. Due to lots of other things bumping up in the queue (Mr. Handsome-and-Handy's nasty bout of flu, various medical screening appointments-finally got around to my annual mammogram, and all's well with "the girls"), my exercise has been really inconsistent. The 3 days I exercised, it was all-out...and the 4 days I didn't, it was nothing. (Not even walking.) It's not really the best mode for me. There have been a lot of hard lessons this week.

#1: I need to run a bit more regularly if I want to improve.

#2: I can't do spin class any less than 100%. I'm not sure why, but I just get too worked up over keeping up with the instructor. Part of it this time might have been going to a different class and having a much more intense instructor. She had this interesting juxtaposition of a wizened face, muscular physique (I want her arms when I grow up!), and bouncy pigtails. She kicked our posteriors in a drill-seargently way, but after class kindly gave me some tips for better adjusting the spin machine. I liked her. Anyhoo, no more kidding myself with, "Well, I'll just only spin at 80% today, I don't feel up to 100%." I think I overdid it. Monday spin classes only after active rest weekends, not race weekends!

#3: I'm learning that listening to my body about exercise is not always easy or what I feel like doing, and not just in the "I'd rather lay on the couch and eat bon-bons" way. Today's run was just sad and weird. I was really looking forward to running outside for a change, since the kids had the day off and I while I still had to go to work, I didn't have the tight schedule. I had missed doing anything yesterday, so I felt like I really needed to do something. It started off well enough, and I stretched when I got to the end of the street, and as I ran I just felt more and more stressed and tired and tight. As I reached the end of my first lap around the neighborhood, I told myself, "You can stop after this lap if you want to. You know, it's probably better to leave yourself wanting more" Usually that galvanizes me to push through and finish, but I just couldn't do it today. I felt so incredibly frustrated by this, and I got a little teary with Mr. Handsome-and-Handy over it. Not sure if you all do this, but sometimes I get really worked up over minor setbacks, along the lines of, "How am I going to go longer? I didn't push through today! I'm never going to be able to progress in triathlons if I can't run twice around the neighborhood! All the other kids are running long distances! Whaaaaaaaa!" The rest of this half of the week is going to be somewhat odd exercise-wise, too, and I just need to try to relax and roll with it. And maybe get in some more stretching or yoga DVDs in there. (Oh, and is this a seasonal thing, with days getting shorter? What gives?)

(Wow, listening to Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone podcast #4 as I write this, and heavens! "Not comparing", "trusting yourself," etc. Timely!)

In the Kitchen with Pubsgal
I don't really spend a lot of time in the kitchen (Mr. Handsome-and-Handy is our Iron Chef), but every now and then I get inspired. This weekend, the secret ingredients were "pumpkin" and "a whole mess of vegetables." (I know, I know...I need to take a lesson from my bloggies and take MORE PICTURES!)

Pumpkin Experiments: Thing 2 and I had fun with a can of pumpkin. I tried two things: a variation on Debby's pumpkin custard and pumpkin cheesecake pudding. Loved the custard! We used a sweetener (erythritol) I'd gotten to experiment with some unsweetened chocolate; it didn't work well with that, but it worked nicely in the custard. The pumpkin cheesecake pudding experiment involved mixing a batch of fat-free, sugar-free cheesecake pudding and adding half a can of spiced pumpkin. It didn't really have a strong pumpkin taste, and actually seemed a bit bitter. Maybe this would work better with vanilla pudding.

Grilled Crockpot Ratatouille: I just can't seem to get enough of this stuff, but I make it a little differently every week. This week, I sliced and grilled 2 eggplant, 4 zuccini, and 1 head of garlic. I roughly chopped these, and added 2 tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion, a little bit of unroasted garlic, and 1 rutabaga. All of this went into a crockpot with 1 tsp each of basil, rosemary, marjoram, sage, and thyme...I might just go back to "a few shakes each", since this batch seemed more bitter than previous batches, but not sure if that was the rutabaga instead; this did mellow over the days, so it was still edible. I added 1/4 cup of olive oil, and cooked until everything got soft and blended...about 4 hours, I think? I think I liked the batch I made with brussel sprouts (instead of rutabaga) best, although the small batch I made the prior week was nice, too (in which I used less oil than the first batch, and everything got roasted.)

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 93 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 96 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -.2, so it's heading in the right direction, ever-so-slowly.

Food goals:
- Brought lunch from home on 3/5 work days, but went nice & healthy on the Whole Foods days.
- Ate lots of veggies. Made my crockpot grilled veggie ratatouille again, with less oil; still delicious!
- Got in at least 4 meatless meals and 2 fish meals. (met, finally, although tuna salad might not be the best choice for fish meals...)
- Fiber: at least 4/7 days were over 30.

Exercise goals:
- Wednesday: 60 minutes BodyPump
- Thursday: Nothing (long mammogram appointment + sick husband = no workout)
- Friday: Nada
- Saturday: Zip, zero, zilch
- Sunday: Theta Breakers 5K; ran in 33:06. I felt extremely sore afterward; I've never had my hamstrings feel quite like they did after this race. I don't think I warmed up enough.
- Monday: 60 minute spin class, 16.5 miles (what was I thinking???)
- Tuesday: Nothing (on standby for possibly having to pick up kids, so skipped walk at lunch)

Sleep: Met goal of 7 hours/night. Wish they were a little more uninterrupted; Thing 2 has resumed her nocturnal attempts to get me to give up my side of the bed, so lots of walking her back to her own bed. Ugh.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
- Keep going with the veggies!
- Rein in the nuts and dark chocolate; pass by some of the "just a taste of this" and "I'll have a dab of that."
- Bring lunch from home 4/5 work days.
- 4 or more meatless, low-fat meals and 2 or more fish meals.
- Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
Not sure I'll hit it this week, but I'm going for my 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week. Prepare as best I can for the Pillar Point 10K on 11/22.

Misc. goals:
- 7 or more hours sleep/night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Got Type 2? Here's a List of Resources

Welcome, MizFitOnline readers!

If you or someone you know has type 2 diabetes, you might like some of these handy (and, I think, dandy) diabetes-related resources.

Locate free health screenings: See this article on "The Savvy Senior" about how to find free or low-cost screenings for any number of medical issues.

Free online diabetes resources:

Jenny Ruhl's "Lower Your Blood Sugar" article is a good place to start if you are recently diagnosed; I highly recommend her excellent Blood Sugar 101 book or web site. (I think it saved my life, or at least my eyesight and a limb or two.) Some of the medical people might feel that her blood glucose recommendations are extreme; however, if you compare the ADA, Joslin Diabetes Center, and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommendations, you’ll see that not even the experts agree. (My own medical team had made different recommendations, mainly because of different perspectives of how to bring a new patient on board, not because they felt that higher was better.)

UCSF Online Diabetes Education provides online education for people with diabetes. If you have a friend or loved one with computer access but who does not have access to a diabetes educator, this is a terrific first resource! It does promote higher carb intake than the lower-carb sites like Blood Sugar 101, but who says you can't do it in phases? This site has a lot of information you'd get from a diabetes educator, and if you're without one, it may help getting one closer to better blood glucose management.)

Diabetes etiquette tips for people without diabetes (PDF file) provides a guide to what is and is not helpful for interacting with your friends and family who have diabetes, from the Behavioral Diabetes Institute.

dLife is a good general resource with lots of articles. My pal Travis from Tu Diabetes contributes articles for this site. Their article on "The Plate Method" may be helpful if you are in a dining situation in which you need to guesstimate portions (or are just fed up to HERE with weighing and measuring stuff).

Tu Diabetes is a social networking site for people with all types of diabetes. It's a good community for not feeling quite so alone with the disease.

Exercise Guides

Gold's Gym has a free (and nicely done) guide to starting an exercise program, applicable for any gym. You can download it from their "Fighting Diabetes with Fitness" web page. I like that they advised new exercisers to set goals, work up to their goals (rather than going gung-ho in the first session, getting sore and tired, and abandoning it), and to combine strength training and cardio. (I would set more performance-based goals instead of weight or size goals to begin with, though.) In a way, my recommending this is kind of ironic, because I always associated this gym with the serious fitness people and felt very intimidated by it. But with much encouragement from my blog buddies and trying it for a week, I found it to be a really positive place.

To get started running, I started with the Zen Habits Beginner's Guide to Running. But now, there's also the amazing Julia Jones's 5K Training Program (via Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone). Not a runner? Train to walk a 5K! Training for an event helps reinforce your fitness goals and can benefit a good cause, too.

Finally, here's what I do: A friend of mine wanted to know what I was doing to manage my type 2 diabetes, so I summarized it here. (Standard disclaimers apply, not a doctor, don't play one on TV, etc.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy World Running Day!

In honor of World Running Day, I ran the Theta Breakers 5K at Stanford
University. It was a small race with quite a fast field. I was way at
the back of the pack, but I ran a reasonable race of 33:06. (The top
finisher in my age group ran it in just over 22 minutes, and was 3rd
overall; whew!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What, November Already?!?

What's New?

Whew! Well, Halloween is done, and boy, was it busy and fun! Things 1 & 2 enjoyed it quite a lot; they were Dale Earnhardt, Jr. of NASCAR fame and a pink cheetah princess. They had a Halloween carnival at school on Friday (I took last Friday off to attend; bonus was "date time" with Mr. Handsome-and-Handy!) and they went trick-or-treating with one of the neighbor kids (who made a great SuperMan; not just the costume but the slicked hair!) on Saturday. Perfect weather-not too cold-and a beautiful, almost-full moon. Mr. H&H hollowed out 6 huge pumpkins! We had fun carving them and making toasted pumpkin seeds. (Nothing terribly sophisticated, but Mr. H&H's "Windows 7" with horns was delightfully geeky.) And while I love the toasted seeds, sorting the seeds from the guts is *almost* not worth the trouble. Evening snuck up on us, though; the pumpkins took longer than we thought, plus we had to cook dinner, too! Ack! All of a sudden we were racing for time, and everyone ended up eating at the counter or standing up. Oh well. Our good pal "twriter" came over for the festivities; the guys watched baseball and hockey and passed out candy while I took the kids around with our neighbor. Luckily, our next door neighbors came over before I went. They had dressed up their 1-year-old as a bee, and they dressed as beekeepers; too cute!

I may not have paid much attention to the scale in the past when it came to the holidays, but boy, the blood glucose meter sure does help me from straying TOO out of line with the sweets. I had some noshings over the weekend, as planned. When Monday rolled around, though, I'm happy to say I got back on track. When I went to bed that night, I felt a little rumble...was that my stomach? Been awhile since I'd felt that sensation! But I knew I'd had plenty to eat that day, and it was a much more pleasant sensation than uncomfortably full. (I did the "Beck thing" and made a little mantra of it: "a little hungry feels better than belly-bustingly full." Thanksgiving should be a good litmus test of that one, don't you think? ;-D )

Oh, So You Noticed The New Decor?

Yes, it's American Diabetes Month here on "Opposite Life" and elsewhere on the blogosphere, culminating in World Diabetes Day on November 14. So I'm sporting the nifty blue template! If you have diabetes, have you heard about "The Big Blue Test"? Save a couple of test strips, and join in! Per the site: "On that day, at 14:00 hours (local time), thousands of people with diabetes will test their blood sugar, do 14 minutes of exercise, test again and share their results on TuDiabetes or on Twitter." The exercise is to highlight the importance of exercise as a tool in managing diabetes. People without diabetes can play, too: join us in 14 minutes of exercise, and be glad you don't have to poke your finger before and after...maybe do a couple of burpees (or your love-to-hate-it exercise of choice) before and after, in solidarity.

Walgreens' Diabetes Wellness Clinics

When I was in the gym locker room today, an ad on TV caught my ears and eyes: Walgreens is hosting diabetes wellness clinics in November at participating stores. According to the Walgreens press release:
"The events, held in recognition of American Diabetes Month®, will take place between Nov. 9-13 and Nov. 16-20 at most 24-hour Walgreens stores.

"Each of these locations will host a six-hour walk-in clinic offering free blood glucose testing, or, for individuals diagnosed with diabetes, free A1C testing. Free pharmacist consultations are also available. Each store’s clinic will be held on one day during either the Nov. 9-13 or Nov. 16-20 timeframe.

"Walgreens also announced it will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association for every test performed at its Diabetes Wellness Events, up to $100,000."

To find a clinic near you here, see the Walgreens Diabetes Wellness Events page.

I found about my having type 2 diabetes from a pharmacy health screening. (Not a free one, though!) Oh, my doctor had gently noodged me about it during my annual exam, given my history of gestational diabetes, but I demurred. ("'Denial' isn't just a river in Egypt," so says the ol' saw....) Earlier in 2008, Mr. Handsome-and-Handy had gone to the doctor regarding heart health; everything's fine there, but he started making some changes toward getting healthier. I'm not sure if the vitamin D and fish oil supplements that I started taking along with him helped me wake up, but I was inspired to go to a pharmacy health screening myself. What an eye-opener that was! In hindsight, I suppose I could have had it covered by going to the doctor's office, but I think I was hoping that either all would be normal or close enough to normal that I could fix it without help. Boy, was I wrong there!

Progress last week

7-day blood glucose average: 100 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 96 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -.6, so out of the 190s. Barely.

Food goals:
- Brought lunch from home on all work days - yeay!
- Ate lots of veggies. Made my crockpot grilled veggie ratatouille again, with less oil; still delicious! I should have made a bigger batch.
- Got in at least 4 meatless meals and 0 fish meals. (Met meatless, missed fish by 2)
- Fiber: at least 3/7 days were over 30.

Exercise goals: I don't think the following prepared me terribly well for my upcoming races, but oh well. Sometimes it's all about doing what you can with the time you've got.
- Wednesday: 60 minutes BodyPump
- Thursday: 45 minute walk
- Friday: 45 minutes hike/jogging, and then a strength "playout" on the backyard swing set with Thing 2. (She likes playing "Mommy's Personal Trainer"; it plays nicely into her liking to tell people what to do.)
- Saturday: Nada
- Sunday: Nada
- Monday: 40 minutes walk
- Tuesday: 60 minutes spin class (hard, but felt great!)

Sleep: Met goal of 7 hours/night. Wish they were a little more uninterrupted; Thing 2 has resumed her nocturnal attempts to get me to give up my side of the bed, so lots of walking her back to her own bed. Ugh.

Goals for this week

7-day blood glucose average goal and fasting numbers: below 120.
Weight goal: Maintain or make progress toward goal.

Food goals:
- Keep going with the veggies!
- Rein in the nuts and dark chocolate; pass by some of the "just a taste of this" and "I'll have a dab of that."
- Bring lunch from home 4/5 work days.
- 4 or more meatless, low-fat meals and 2 or more fish meals.
- Track fiber. Minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
Minimum of 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week. Prepare for the Theta Breakers 5K run on 11/8 and the Pillar Point 10K on 11/22.

Misc. goals:
- 7 or more hours sleep/night.