Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weekly Update, 3/31/10

Thanks for all of your kind comments last week!  This week is going to be rather dull in comparison, which makes me glad that I did okay and don't have to distract you with flashy race reports and such.

So I've got this combination of allergies and a cold.  I felt horrid on Sunday afternoon through Monday, and now I feel pretty good, but now it's mostly in my chest and throat.  I sound like a cross between a pubescent boy and one of Marge's twin sisters on The Simpsons.  I've done a little reading online, and to my surprise, tea with lemon and honey is supposedly more irritating because of the acidity.  (Guess I should have gone for the cherry cough drops instead of the lemon ones!)  Caffeine and alcohol are also not recommended, so no hot toddies.  Drat.  Resting one's voice, drinking water, and keeping one's throat moist are what the Mayo Clinic recommends for laryngitis.  If you have diabetes, be sure to be careful about cough syrups and drops; they can have a surprising amount of sugar!  I found a sugar-free cough suppressant/expectorant and some sugar-free cough drops, so I'm good and get better.

Also some exciting news on the triathlon planning front:  one of my neighbors is interested in joining me for a relay leg in the Tri the Coast!  Woo hoo!  (She received my email asking her about it *right after* reading my Treeathlon report!  Definitely one of those "woo-woo" moments.)  Now to find a if any of you local lurkers get an email immediately after reading this post, why, yes.  It IS your destiny to just "tri" it.

Progress This Week

7-day blood glucose average: 106 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 107 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -.6 pounds.

Food goals: I did well with tracking during the week days, not so well on the weekend.  It has helped me be more mindful about my intake, which is a good thing.
Fiber: Averaged 37 grams/day.

Exercise goals: I did 4 days of at least 30 minutes/day, missing my goal of 5 days due to being sick on Monday. I also missed my goal of 2 strength workouts in the same week.  I am happy that I ran more frequently, even though I didn't do especially long runs.
Total mileage for the week was 17 miles.
Wednesday - 60 minutes, BodyPump class
Thursday - Nothing
Friday - 85 minutes (6.34 mi) - 1.91 mile walk at lunch, 1 mile on elliptical + 3.43 miles on treadmill (mostly running) at gym after work.
Saturday - Nothing
Sunday - 70 minutes (3.38 mi) - .38 mi stroll with the dog and 3 mile run (with about a 5 minute pause to talk to a neighbor).
Monday - Nothing (sick today)
Tuesday - 31 minutes (7.28 mi) - "mini brick" of 6 miles of spin machine + 1.28 mile on treadmill (1 mile run + .28 walk)

Sleep: 7 hours just doesn't seem like enough sometimes...

Goals for Next Week

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

Food goals: 
* Track food intake.
* Track fiber, aiming for at least 30 grams/day average.

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
* 20 miles minimum distance.
* 2 strength sessions (BodyPump + something on my own)

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

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stanford Treeathlon Race Report (and Weekly Update)

Race Report: Stanford Treeathlon, Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Stanford Treeathlon was my second ever triathlon: a sprint event in Redwood City, California.  The course was a 500 meter (a little over 1/4 mile) swim in a protected inlet off of the San Francisco Bay, three lollipop-shaped loops totaling 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) of  bike, and a 5K run (about 3.1 miles) around the outside of the office park.  The course is flat, which was a good thing.

This race, for me, was more about the mental challenge than the physical challenge, which is why I think it was hard for me to write about it right away.  My first race was different:  I wanted to finish, hopefully in less than 2 hours; I was completely amped for the experience and had trained as hard as was possible for me.  It was a race geared toward women, especially women who were new to the sport of triathlon.  I wanted to have fun.  In the Treeathlon, I'd hoped to finish better than I had in my first race, or at least under 2 hours.  I hadn't trained quite as intensely, but I felt like I'd at least kept up my level of fitness over the winter.  I wanted to have fun again.  It was a race primarily for collegiate athletes and secondarily for age group participants; while appropriate for new triathletes, that wasn't its primary focus.  So overall, I was happy to have raced to the best of my ability, to have not gotten injured, and to not have been TOO sore the next day!  But I also felt somewhat humbled by this race as well.

Oh my gosh, did we luck out, weather-wise!  It's been very rainy this winter, but the day dawned clear and bright.  I think this race would have been a difficult one to do in the rain, especially given the swim.

I popped up a little after 5 a.m., just before the alarm clock, and liberally applied my BodyGlide as I dressed.  I gulped down some coffee and a few leftover protein pancakes for breakfast, and then I loaded the car.  The previous evening, I'd packed what I thought was everything I needed, but I neglected a few items: sunscreen, sunglasses.  Luckily I didn't end up needing the sunglasses, and I didn't get sunburned (miracle + application of the SPF 25 BodyGlide to exposed parts), but good to note for next time.  The night before, I'd asked Mr. Handsome & Handy to take the rear light off my bike, but he felt it was on there securely enough, so we let it be.  I had a hard time getting to sleep, and I kept waking up in the night: a typical night-before-race sleep, in other words.  The Opposite Family bowed out of attending this one, given the early hour and that there wasn't much for the kids to do at the race site for 5 hours.

I arrived a little before 7 a.m., just before transition opened.  The race was due to start at 9 a.m., but I'm glad I got there early and got the essentials taken care of: trip to the portables (only 6 for about 600 people!), body marking, chip pick-up.  (Packet pickup had been the day before, at the race location this year, which was great; I'm not familiar with Stanford campus, and having it at the race site allowed me to see what it was like.)  I assembled my transition area and chatted with some of the other people.  I was surprised by the number of first-time triathletes...I also saw some purple Team in Training jerseys and thought of the folks on Team Shrinking Jeans!  I went for a little walk. (Good move #1: having driven our van with its camping toilet in the back!) When I got back, my bike was parked under the rack.  Turns out that the rack had collapsed!  It's probably one of the few times that I was glad I didn't have an expensive racing bike.  I verified with a race official that it was okay to leave it there, propped up by its kick stand.

Around 8 a.m., I started putting on the wetsuit.  It went much more smoothly than in the store, probably because it was a cool morning.  Maybe the cooking spray on legs and arms helped, too, although I'd read that it was more for helping get it off easier later.  (Good move #2:  bringing rubber gloves for the cooking spray application step.  This left my hands grease-free for the wetsuit tug-of-war.)  I'd been worried that I wouldn't be able to find someone to help zip me up, but that didn't turn out to be a problem, and I was able to return the favor.

8:30 a.m. was race meeting time.  Can I remember now what was said?  No.  Oh well.  I munched my South Beach peanut butter meal bar and milled around some more.  At 8:45, most folks started heading over to the swim start, because they announced transition area close at 9 a.m. sharp.  My wave wasn't due to go until 9:30, but it was still good to watch and learn.

(That's my eager face.)

Swim (22:54.2)
The swim was, in a word, really weird. I guess that's actually two words. The starting line is a short swim from the water entry point, and no wave was allowed to enter the water until the previous wave had started.  The collegiate athlete waves went first, followed by the men's age groups, and then all of the women age groups started in one wave.  I hung to the back, since I'm not very fast, and this is usually a good strategy for avoiding the scrum at the beginning of the swim.  This time, however, it backfired.  The boat ramp into the water was very narrow, and it took awhile for everyone to get in.  The wave was started while several of us were still about halfway to the starting point!  The woman in the starting boat tried to be encouraging, "You're only behind about 30 seconds!"  I didn't much care for that, but tried to shrug it off with an "oh well."  (I read some reviews on, and several folks were hoppin' mad about the awkward start.)

The water was cold, as advertised, but not as bad as I was expecting, since I had the wetsuit on.  It was salty (bleck!) and it was hard to keep my face in the water; it hurt my face to keep it in more than 6 strokes or so.  My rental wetsuit was a Blueseventy, and it worked great.  I felt like I couldn't sink in this thing.  And it wasn't just buoyant, it was buoyant in the right places; it felt easier to swim front crawl with good form.  The suit was definitely not made for breast stroke or side stroke, though.  But in general, I felt lucky that it worked so well, as I had never before swum in a wetsuit.  (Trying new things on race day seems to be a pattern for me.)  The swim felt easier as I got warmed up, and then there was the exit:  strapping young college folks hauled each person out of the water by his or her armpits.  They probably got a harder workout than the triathletes that day!  I did the trick of unzipping a little to let some water in, but I think I over did it, because there was a lot of water in my suit.  I was pulled out and flopped onto the dock like the "catch of the day," and by the direction of volunteers I staggered up the ramp rather than across the dock and back into the drink.  The swim time included an approximately 250 m jog to the transition area, in bare feet over pavement.  Glad it was a winter morning!  (They let us use shoes on the walk out to the start, which was a half-mile walk, much of it on gravel.  Apparently, aqua shoes are considered "flippers" and disallowed in USAT sanctioned events.  Made me wonder whether an athlete with diabetes would get an exception for wearing footwear during the swim, given the danger of complications from foot injuries, but I forgot to ask an official.  Volunteers did a good job of sweeping the course and covering the rough parts, so I wasn't worried.)

T1: Swim to Bike (6:36.7)
I didn't want to damage the rental wetsuit or have it get trampled, so I planted my rear on the ground and neatly folded the thing up and put it in its bag.  I sipped my coconut water, powdered the grit off my feet, donned running tights and shoes (I don't have clipless pedals, so no special shoes needed), and slipped on the hydration backpack with water + electrolyte tablets.  About the only thing I didn't do was powder my nose and apply lipstick.  A race?  Oh, that's right!  I'm racing!  On to the bike....

Bike (52:03.5)

Most people were already on the run by the time I exited transition, but there were a fair number on their bikes when I started...not so much by my 3rd loop.  During the swim, I felt a bit deflated by the start, but intently focused on getting to the docks.  The bike left me with a little too much time to think.  With all those fancy race bikes, with everyone whipping past, I spent a little too much time with my brain tuned in to, as author Anne Lamott aptly describes it (don't have the book handy, so this isn't a precise quote), "the radio station KFKD."  A lot of the bike was spent replacing thoughts of  "Everyone here is younger and faster than me" with "Run your own race", "This is hard" with "Just think how much harder it would be in the rain," "I suck at this" with "So what? You rock for just doing it," and "Why on earth am I doing triathlons?" with "For the fun of it!  This is still fun...right?  RightHellooooo-oooo?"   

Will I ever be able to do a bike leg without *dropping* something?!?  In my last race, I ended up losing half the contents of my purse across the road, and having to stop and pick up hotel card key, lip balm, and the like.  This time, I was in the 2nd loops, when I heard a crack! and saw something bounce off to the side of the road.  *sigh*  I stopped, and one of the police officers trotted over and handed me the back light on my bike with a friendly smile.  It took another minute or two to find a gap in the riders and get back on the course.

On the other hand, the hydration backpack was great:  no fumbling with the bottle.  I think I put it together wrong and that it leaked, though.  Definitely handy on the bike ride.

I did a lot of cheering on other people in the 3rd loop.  Not sure if they considered it obnoxious or pleasant that someone going the other way was cheering them on with a hearty "Way to go!"  I kind of like it myself when other racers cheer each other one, but it felt a little awkward.  I'm still wondering if I can pull it off myself.

The course had its pluses and minuses.  On the one hand, by doing loops, I knew what to expect for 2/3 of the course.  On the other hand, it was starting to get a little bit dull.  It was completely flat, but there were several sharp turns that required people to slow down considerably.  I rode hard, for me, but my time was a lot slower than last time.  With all the spin classes, I thought this would have improved, but real biking is quite a lot different, about 1.5 minutes per mile different.  My bike is a hybrid bike, circa 1991.  (19 years old!  Holy cow, I didn't even think about that until just now.)  It's 30 pounds, with nubby mountain bike-style tires, so I'm definitely doing a lot of work on this part of the race.  I can't help but wonder whether using a road bike would improve my time, and if so, by enough to want to make the investment in one.

T2: Bike to Run (2:32.1)
The advantage of not having to change shoes is that I can cruise right through T2.  Given the rack problems, I figured I'd just park my bike with its kickstand.  I kicked it down, and realized that half of the thing had fallen off at some point without my having noticed. *blush*.  I flipped the bike upside down and trotted off to run.  The disadvantage of having a long, rectangular transition area is that one spends a little more time in transition.

Run (33:33.6)
The run went well, although it sure didn't feel like it at first.  By this time, the course was pretty empty, but I focused on just running my own race, puffing a friendly "hey" to the few other runners left, enjoying getting the feeling back in my legs, and checking out the view.  I think next time, I will ditch the hydration pack: its "slosh slosh slosh" sound made me feel grateful that I didn't feel the urge to take a bio break!  On the other hand, I didn't need to slow down at the water stations.  I felt, by about halfway, that I was really hitting my stride on the run.  I felt awful about passing this one woman; she was wiry, in great shape, and I couldn't help but wonder if she felt that it was a little unfair, that someone who hadn't taken as good of care of herself as she obviously had was passing her in the run.

Then there it was!  The finish line!  I did "quick-feet" across the parking lot and to my intense relief, crossed just shy of 2 hours!  WOO HOO!!!  Total race time was 1:57:40.1.

Ah, all done!  I wandered over and grabbed half a banana and smeared it with peanut butter, then noticed all the empty pizza boxes piled behind the table.  Oh well, missed the pizza feed.  I wandered over to the transition area, and I noticed volunteers were about halfway done with tearing it down.  Now that made me a little seemed disrespectful to people still on the course.  There weren't many, but they were out there.

The last finisher was a large guy sporting a purple Team in Training jersey.  At my last race, I had missed the ritual honoring of the last finisher, so I was glad to cheer and whistle as they announced the final finisher coming into the home stretch.  He even skipped for part of it.  "That," I thought to myself, "is the attitude you need for these things."

I did manage to get someone to snap my post-race photo; I packed up, happily consumed a chocolate Jay Bar (mmmm...tasty!), checked out the preliminary results that were posted, and headed home.


Links to Official Photos
I can't quite believe that I'm sharing these links.  However, children and adult-onset triathleticism have robbed me of my modesty.  These links will expire on May 28, 2010, so if you're morbidly curious, check them out!

wetsuit dorkfest 1     wetsuit dorkfest 2     gah, I look so dorky in a wetsuit!
bike (I rather like this one)
run 1     run 2     run 3

Race Geek Stuff
According to the official results, I was 10th of 10 in my age group (40-44); 78/83 overall of the female age group racers. I was nearly a half hour behind the 9th/10 in my age group, but I don't feel too badly about that: the 40-44 group rocked!  All but one was in the top 50 overall, and 3 were in the top 20 women's age group finishers.  Even more cool?  There were 3 women 60 and older racing, and two of the three beat my times handily.  Yeah, I want to be them when I grow up.

I spent a little time analyzing the See Jane Tri vs. the Treeathlon.  I know you can't really compare apples to oranges, but I really wanted to see if I'd declined, improved, or stayed the same.  Given the following, I'd have to say that I stayed pretty much the same, possibly declined a bit.  I know I didn't train nearly as hard for the Tree as I did for SJT.  (I also didn't do a 5K race with a 5K run/walk trek back to my car the weekend before the SJT, so that might have come into play also.)
+10:52 swim (Treeathlon course was +100 m, with an extra swim out to the start and a 250m jog to transition; at SJT, we emerged from the lake right into the transition area.)
+2:04 T1 (In Treeathlon, the wetsuit removal and putting on running tights took a little extra time)
+7 minutes on bike (+1.4 mile, but Tree was a totally flat course vs. a couple of wicked hills in the SJT.  Both times involved a stop to pick up dropped stuff.  SJT had a stoplight we all had to stop at, too, and a moment where I pulled off to let the crowd behind me pass after it.  Tree course had some tighter turns that needed slowing down for considerably.)
+1:10 T2 (No kickstand and flimsy rack; had to flip the bike to park it.  Otherwise, not sure why it was slower in the Treeathlon, other than the transition area being a little bit longer.  Or I was slower jogging out.  Or both.)
-10:09 run (The only part where I went faster in the Tree.  Tree course was totally flat; SJT course was hilly and hotter, plus I paused a couple of times to call Mr. H&H about where I was on the course.)

So...What's Next?
Yes, I'm still having fun with this sport.  I definitely will do more sprint triathlons.  Sure, this one challenged me, but endurance events aren't just physical, and now I've experienced more of the mental challenge.  I'm looking at a couple of possibilities:  there's one in June in my town, but it's the same weekend as my kids' dance recital, in which we are heavily involved.  I'm also eyeing one in July in Lompoc, to combine with a family visit.

I also learned that athletic performance doesn't follow a linear path.  I'd hoped to get faster, so that I could progress to longer distance events, but I don't think I'm ready for Olympic distance (about double a sprint distance) this year.

I also learned that I want to figure out a way to share the fun; racing is a really rewarding experience for me.  It would be nice to race as a triathlon relay team with friends or family members.  (Any takers???)

And now, back to the regularly scheduled Weekly Update....

Progress This Week

7-day blood glucose average: 107 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 112 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -1.2 pounds.

Food goals: I started tracking again yesterday.  I've heard that the intuitive approach works well for many people, but my weight has been creeping more than I'd like.  I also had a fasting blood glucose level of 119 on Tuesday morning, and while I could try to pin the blame on the allowable 20% inaccuracy of blood glucose meters or stress or something, I think it has more to do with pre-bedtime snacking on Monday night (nuts, 6 raisins, and some ham and cheese, so we're not talking a Twinkie binge here, but I'd had dinner earlier and really didn't need it).  The "what" I'm eating isn't so bad, but the "how much" is what gets out of hand, as well as the eating when I'm not hungry.  So it's back to tracking, if only to make myself think twice about shoveling in more nuts.  (Because then I'd have to add it to the log, and that's too much work. ;-P)

Fiber: Not tracked. Eating pretty much the same things as usual, so I'm probably averaging about 25-30 grams/day.

Exercise goals: I did 5 days of at least 30 minutes/day. I met my goal of 2 strength sessions (not of equal duration, but I'm happy to have fit in a little bit of strength stuff on another day of the week), and I logged over 20 miles (thank you, spin class!).  I suspect that after a week and a half of primarily walking, a hard spin class and a long (for me) run was not the most brilliant idea, but it did feel kind of good to push myself a little harder.
Total mileage for the week was 31.57 miles.
Wednesday - 60 minutes, BodyPump class
Thursday - 60 minutes walking (2 miles), 15 minutes on stationary bike at home (3 miles)
Friday - 40 minutes (1.91 miles) walking
Saturday - 15 minutes strength; arms and abs with 10 pound dumbells
Sunday - 30 minutes (.4 mile) stroll with family and friends
Monday - 60 minutes (20 miles), spin class at gym
Tuesday - 52 minutes (4.26 miles), combo running and walking on treadmill at gym

Sleep: 7 hours just doesn't seem like enough sometimes...

Goals for Next Week

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

Food goals:  Back to tracking, and working on getting more veggies in there. 
Track fiber. Eat the usual suspects (veggies, chia, dry roasted edamame, nuts) and go for a minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
* 20 miles minimum distance.
* 2 strength sessions (BodyPump + something on my own)

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

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Look What Was In Mailbox Today!

Check out this gorgeous apron from Juice of the blog "All Things Juice". It's her gift in a blog crafters' "Pay It Forward" gift exchange. I love it!!! Here are a couple of photos, one up close so you can check out her great embroidery skills and color savvy!

Thanks, Juice!!!

P.S. My "pay it forward," the preemie baby hats, are coming along. I've got one knit so far (just need to add pom-poms to it), and I'm on to #2 in a cheery yellow color.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Help Some Friends with Hearts of Gold Grow a Pot o' Gold for LLS

We didn't catch any leprechauns yesterday, which is too bad: there's a good group of folks who are working to raise a pot of gold (well, $48,900 to be precise) for charity. As some of you may know, the Sisterhood (and Brotherhood) of the Shrinking Jeans has sixteen Sisters and one Brother training to run the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team in Training Program (TNT).

They are, in a word, AMAZING!!! I've been following several of the Sisters on Daily Mile, and they are strong, focused, and disciplined bunch, working hard every day toward their goal of rocking that half marathon and making a difference in the battle against blood cancers.

One friend in particular, Christie O. of Baby Tea Leaves and a regular contributor/cheertasker on the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans site is going to be walking on a treadmill at her local mall on March 27 until she reaches her fundraising goal. (And today is the last day you can vote on what crazy stunt she'll do when she reaches it, as if walking on a treadmill at the mall wasn't crazy stunt enough. Right now, it's looking like tattoo or tutu for the big race in June...drat, I was hoping for the "faux hawk.")

If you haven't donated already, the Sisterhood is having a fundraising party over the next two weeks with door prizes and the chance to win a grand prize. To find out more, follow the link:

Team Shrinking Jeans Bash


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Weekly Update, 3/17/10 - St. Patrick's Day Edition

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

As I wrote last year, "Family lore maintains that part of my mutt-ley heritage is Irish, so my people have always celebrated St. Patrick's Day with the time-honored wearin' o' the green and sendin' o' the cards. (And the occasional eatin' o' the chocolates masquerading as shamrocks or gold coins.)" Our Kindergarten teachers do a fine job of covering an array of cultural holidays, and I have them to thank for clarifying that St. Patrick's Day is not about a big pink starfish, but rather, mischievous Irish fairies who leave green glitter and tiny footprints in their wake. ;-)

Ah, 'tis the day of the pitter-patter of tiny green feet on a leprechaun trap!

How we're celebrating today:
  • Mr. Handsome-and-Handy forgot about the wearin' o' the green and felt the pinchin' o' the Thing 1 fingers this morning. (He promptly changed into a green shirt. Drat.)
  • The rest of us donned our green apparel. There was lots of green at school this morning!
  • The Kindergarten class had set their homemade leprechaun traps last night. They had some visitors who left *tons* of glitter, shiny green coins, tiny green footprints all over the classroom, and two notes! (One of which said they'd also left a shoe, but no one had found it yet when I left.)

How did the little green men wield such a big green marker?
  • The Kindergarten teacher was covered with green glitter when she came out of her classroom, and the kids bubbled with excitement. (On the other hand, the Kinders are pretty much that way every's a great age!)
  • I had the privilege of reading "Lucky O'Leprechaun at School" to my daughter's very excited Kindergarten class this morning. It made my day.

  • Mr Handsome-and-Handy is making corned beef and cabbage for dinner tonight. I think we will be the only ones having the privilege of eating it. (I'm flattered that he's making it for us, because St. Patrick's day wasn't a big deal in his family, and it's not a food he particularly likes.)
Progress This Week

7-day blood glucose average: 104 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 105 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: +3.6 pounds. :-P

Food goals: I'm still taking time off tracking, but without corresponding portion control on certain things (nuts, meats), I'm not sure that's such a good thing. I went to Trader Joes and my Inner Squirrel seemed to think that it was preparing for winter. (*blush*)

Fiber: Not tracked. Eating pretty much the same things as usual, so I'm probably averaging about 25-30 grams/day.

Exercise goals: I did 5 days of at least 30 minutes/day. I did not meet goal of 2 strength sessions, nor did I log 20+ miles. I did a lot of walking this week, so it was low intensity. Sometimes there are aspects of exercise that are more important than the calorie burn: an opportunity to be with loved ones, to get some much-needed sunshine, to recover. It doesn't take high intensity to help regulate blood glucose levels, as duly noted on the "Big Blue Test" day, but I have to remind myself of that sometimes, especially when I compare my workouts to my pals on Daily Mile. I am pleased to have gotten in a long (for me) run on Sunday morning and to have gotten on the exercise bike last night when I really would rather have gone to bed. (Which meant only 6 hours of sleep, but oh well.)
Total mileage for the week was 15.98 miles.
Wednesday - 60 minutes, BodyPump class
Thursday - 40 minutes total (1.29 miles), two walks
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 52 minutes run in the morning (4.38 miles) and a 60 minutes stroll with my family in the evening (1.4 miles)
Monday - 40 minutes (1.91 miles) walk at lunchtime
Tuesday - 34 minutes (7 miles) stationary bike at home, at night

Sleep: Came up short last night. Hopefully earlier to bed tonight!

Goals for Next Week

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

Food goals:
Do another week of intuitive eating, but with modified habits:
- Measure to ensure reasonable portion sizes this time!
- Make dinner my last food of the day. (I tend to get snacky after dinner, but it's not hunger.)
- Have a cup of broth with dinner.
- Brush my teeth immediately after dinner.
- Have a cup of tea for dessert. Mr. Handsome and Handy has started the wonderful habit of running hot water for tea through the coffee pot, so it's super convenient to make a cup of tea.

Track fiber. Eat the usual suspects (veggies, chia, dry roasted edamame, nuts) and go for a minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
* 20 miles minimum distance.
* 2 strength sessions (BodyPump + something on my own)

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weekly Update, 3/10/10

Just checking in with the numbers. I still owe you all a race report.

The biggest news is that my last a1c result was 5.4%! Woo hoo!

Progress This Week

7-day blood glucose average: 109 (met goal of less than 120)
7-day fasting blood glucose average: 107 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals: -2 pounds.

Food goals:

Calorie tracking: No tracking, but making good choices. It's been nice taking a break from it. For me, it has its pluses and minuses. I like the data, and doing it on my phone is easier than writing everything down. On the other hand, sometimes it's really tiring having to focus so much on food. It's almost like having to track it makes me think about it too much. Does that make any sense? By now, I know how much I need at each meal.

Fiber: Not tracked. Eating pretty much the same things as usual, so I'm probably averaging about 25-30 grams/day.

Exercise goals: I did not meet my goal of 30 minutes x 5 days, but I did get in 3 days of 60+ minutes during the past week.
Mileage: 33.25 miles
Wednesday - 75 minutes (1.25 miles) BodyPump class + 10 minute treadmill run + 5 minute treadmill walk cool-down.
Thursday - 60 minutes (12 miles) Spin class, monitor broken so I wasn't sure exactly how far, but I know I wasn't going 100%.
Friday through Monday - No exercise, but this weekend was the solo parenting marathon, an endurance event that involved physical, mental, and emotional effort. Saturday involved some housekeeping and a good play-out with the kids and Sunday we were on our feet a lot shopping. (Do lunges in the McDonalds' Play Place count? ;-) Monday was the "get Thing 1 to school and clean up after Thing 2 being sick and 'breathing, not freaking' as I searched for my missing keys" sprint event, followed by getting to be a human pillow for my sick girl until Mr. Handsome-and-Handy got home.
Tuesday - 60 minutes (20 miles) Spin class. This workout felt great! It's so weird, though. I hadn't planned on going to spin class--was going to do a run on the treadmill instead--but I went into this weird autopilot mode when I got to the gym and signed in to spin. Freaky!

Sleep: Coming up short here on several nights. :-P Finally got a decent one last night!

Goals for Next Week

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

Food goals:
Do another week of intuitive eating, but with modified habits:
- Keep measuring to ensure reasonable portion sizes.
- Make dinner my last food of the day. (I tend to get snacky after dinner, but it's not hunger.)
- Have a cup of broth with dinner.
- Brush my teeth immediately after dinner.
- Have a cup of tea for dessert. Mr. Handsome and Handy has started the wonderful habit of running hot water for tea through the coffee pot, so it's super convenient to make a cup of tea.

Track fiber. Eat the usual suspects (veggies, chia, dry roasted edamame, nuts) and go for a minimum 30 grams fiber/day. (Include both insoluble and soluble sources.)

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.
* 20 miles minimum distance.
* 2 strength sessions (BodyPump + something on my own)

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

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Back (With Photos and a Race Report!)

Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments and understanding regarding my bloggy break. It was great to disconnect for a little while, although kind of hard at first. For awhile now, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the social networking whirl (in addition to the craziness of life in general): Twitter + Facebook + social networking sites + blog reading + blog commenting + oh, yeah, guess I'd better update my own blog once in awhile...oh my. Definitely need to scale back a bit. So when my iPhone had zero service during the first few days of vacation, I felt it was a sign that I really needed to completely disconnect and pay attention to my family and to enjoying our vacation.


Yep, you read that right! We went to the beautiful island of Kauai! We are total Hawaiian island addicts. When I'm getting a blood draw or having my blood pressure taken or trying to fall asleep at night, I retreat to my happy place: I see the swaying palm trees and blue-green water; hear the trees rattle, the waves splash, and doves coo-ing; smell the breeze with its scent of plumeria and sea; feel the balmy air; taste a fruity rum drink. (When I'm in spin class or on the treadmill, though, it's the opposite: I envision the aptly named "a'a" lava fields on the Big Island on the road between Kailua-Kona and Hawi. ;-) I might even chant "Ko-NA! Ko-NA" under my breath. Thank goodness spin class has really LOUD music.) We try to get out there every couple of years or so. It had been almost two years since our last trip, so we were more than ready. And to think, before my first trip nearly 20 years ago, I scoffed at Hawaii as being too touristy and overrated. I stood utterly and humbly corrected from day 1. Yes, it has its touristy parts. But, for me, it nearly always lives up to its reputation of being a place of beauty, wonder, and the most fun ever. Well, there was one exception: on a trip 10 years ago, we did have one miserable night wandering around Kona in the heat and vog (fog+volcanic fumes), having elected to bump our flight in lieu of first class tickets on the red-eye later that evening.

So anyhow, here are a few scenes from our trip this time. Hurray for our kids' school district for scheduling a week of vacation at a time when all the other schools in the nation are having only Presidents Day!

View from the patio of the hotel snack bar, overlooking the Hikinaakala Heiau (sacred site, dedicated to the rising sun) and the beach at Lydgate Park.

Thing 1 enjoying the sun and sand at Tunnels Beach, on the north shore (where the surf is beautiful but generally much too rough for swimming during the winter months)...

...likewise Thing 2...
("South Pacific" was filmed in Kauai. Did she just wash that man right outta her hair?)

...and Mr. Handsome-and-Handy and myself!
(I'll be keeping this man in my hair, thank you very much!)

Our hotel was ideally situated, right next door to the beach and the large playground. The main buildings are a bit old, but the duplex cottages were just right for us. We fixed our own food for most meals, eating out about once per day. It's not the sort of place we'd have stayed at without kids, but it was perfect for a family vacation.

The weather there was cooler than we're used to in Hawaii, but compared to just about anywhere else in the country, the 70s were looking pretty inviting. It wasn't too cold to swim, although the ocean water was warmer than the hotel pool! We did lots of swimming at the beach at Lydgate: it has a boulder-enclosed pool of ocean water, refreshed by surf breaking over the rocks. This time, it was 4' at its deepest, and it still had lots of fish. (Not quite the variety I saw last time, but it was a different time of year.) Things 1 & 2 are much better swimmers now, so they finally got to see what Mom's enthusiasm was about regarding snorkeling. Thing 2 didn't take to it much, but Thing 1 enjoyed herding the fish.

We took a little trip up to the north shore, which gets more rain and is typically more tropical-looking than the rest of the island. The beaches are reputed to have pounding surf in the winter, and this year was no exception. We saw a surfer go out at Tunnels and come back with a broken board. Crazy. We enjoyed the sand and had fun exploring the dry cave across the road. (Got a brief peek at the wet cave further down the road; the lot was packed with cars.) For swim time that day, we chose Anini Beach. It's supposed to have great snorkeling and the surf breaks way out on the reef, so the beach doesn't have a lot of wave action, but there was this wicked current parallel to the shore. It was like trying to swim against a quickly moving river. Humbling, because I consider myself to be a strong (if not fast) swimmer. Thank goodness it was shallow enough to stand up and walk through, and it was going parallel to shore rather pulling people out to sea. I only saw one shy little pufferfish lurking in the rocks, but they're my favorites, so that worked.

Health-wise, I did pretty good. I didn't track foods and ate a little more than usual, but I also moved around quite a lot. I did have a few bites of totally worthy items my family was eating: Hula pie, Lappert's ice cream, some ridiculously fudgey cake, bakery macadamia chocolate chip cookie. (At restaurants we shared desserts, because they served such enormous portions.) Overall, my blood glucose numbers were generally good and my weight stayed the same, so I'm content. (Today's a1c will provide a good summary of how the last three months went overall; the meter provides valuable "snapshots" in time, but the a1c provides a more accurate picture of the average.)

Oh, and at one restaurant in Kapaa that has one wall of the building completely open air and facing the beach, we saw whales in the distance. Mostly little puffs from their blowholes, but we also saw them breaching! I've always wanted to see that, and I wished we'd brought the binoculars, so that we could have seen them more closely.

Race Report: Captain Cook Caper - the 5K that turned into 10K! (2/20/2010)

Isn't it funny? While I fully enjoyed the delights of the week, one of my favorite parts of vacation was the opportunity to run a 5K race in Kauai. I had packed my running gear, and idly hoped that there was some sort of running race during our trip out there. Lo and behold, when I cracked open the Hawaiian Airlines magazine during our flight and perused the events in Kauai, sure enough, there it was: a fun run! The "Captain Cook Caper." (Don't you just love that name?) 2K, 5K, and 10K distances! Hurray!!!

Next time, though, I should wish a little more specifically for the race to be closer: the race was an hour's drive, and on-site registration opened at 5:30 a.m. YAWN!!! I was up at 4:30, got dressed and slathered on bug repellent and some sunscreen, and headed down to Waimea. Driving in Kauai at that hour can be a little maddening...well, at any hour really; you really have to watch the speed limit signs, because they seem to change from 25 mph to 50 mph and points in between every half mile or so. Not much scenery at that hour, either. But I made it to Waimea Plantation Cottages and paid my registration for the 5K. I decided to run the 5K instead of the 10K because I had a sprint triathlon the following weekend. I received my 2nd most treasured race t-shirt*...and oh, thank goodness: there was coffee, and lots of it! It was an incredibly starry morning...I wandered around and enjoyed the view upward until it was time to go. (*What's my most treasured race shirt? I was wearing it: my See Jane Run 5K's "I Run for Chocolate and Champagne" technical's a great conversation starter at races, and so functional.)

Race organizers 'fessed up that there were more on-site registrations than they had expected, and there was not enough shuttle bus space to the starting lines. They mentioned something about driving people to their cars after the race, so I figured as one of the latecomers, I should do my part and drive myself out there.

I arrived a few minutes before the start, just enough time to snap a few photos. And then, it was ON! The race was along the highway, which bordered a beautiful stretch of beach most of the way. The sun rose as we ran. Lots of families and friends ran together, talking and laughing along the way, so fun to see and hear. I felt so strong in this race, and incredibly grateful to be racing! In Kauai! On a beautiful day! Does life get any better?

I kept pace behind this one fast guy for probably the first mile, then he started pulling ahead. I passed people, got passed, chugged along. I think it was around mile 2 when it started seeming like we'd never get to the finish. But then, we neared the grounds of the resort. I wasn't sure how much to pour it on, not knowing exactly where the finish line was. I kind of wished I'd kicked it up a few notches when we got to the grassy area. Some people stopped running when we got to the driveway, but I kept running until I passed a guy that said, "Walk! This is the finish!" Oh. Okay. I'm glad I tracked it with my RunKeeper app; when I stopped it after the finish, it was 31:56. My best time (post-age 40) was 31:55 in the See Jane Run 5K last spring, so this was at least equal, if not better by a second or two. Either way, I felt fantastic. And hungry! It had been several hours since I had eaten. Luckily, the resort restaurant was having a race day special breakfast buffet. I ate an embarrassing amount of bacon and these little spicy sausages, along with some eggs (meh) and a dab of hashbrowns (meh) and some fruit (oh holy yum, it tasted so sweet and good).

So I waited around after breakfast for results, but it turns out they were planning to post them at the festival around noon that day, and I wasn't going to be around. The race officials said that the results would also be posted on the West Kauai Business and Professional Association web site; I'm a little bummed that they haven't been posted there. (Silly of me, I know, because it was a fun race and I know I ran well, for me. I'm just racing geek enough to be into the results.)

After awhile of waiting around some more for the awards announcements, which were running late, I started feeling antsy to get going back. The race staff was busy and I felt kind of silly to ask about getting a ride to the car, actually, since it was a lovely morning and the car was only 3 miles away. Plus, I had eaten a breakfast worthy of a full day of manual labor. Definitely had to move some more. So I hoofed it back, a combination of jogging and walking, which took about 40 minutes, and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery back to Kapaa.

At the 5K starting line.

Sun not quite up yet...much of our run was along the road, with a view of this beautiful beach.

The race finish was at the Waimea Plantation Cottages, on these beautiful grounds.
The lobby is that building in the distance.

"Um, excuse us, did you say something about a sprint triathlon?"

Yes. Yes I did. I completed the 2010 Stanford Treeathlon last Sunday (2/28). Unfortunately, I don't have time at the moment to do justice to that thrilling tale. So stay tuned for the race report later this week!