Saturday, June 26, 2010

Race Report: "Tri the Coast" Sprint Triathlon Relay

The 2nd (and hopefully annual!) "Tri the Coast" sprint triathlon was held on June 6, 2010 at the Colony Club in Half Moon Bay, California.  The event is hosted by "Pre and Post on the Coast," a local provider of pre- and post-natal nutritional and fitness coaching.  It was billed as a "non-competitive sprint triathlon...great for those who are new to triathlons as well as for the seasoned triathlete looking to practice for upcoming events."  I really wanted to do this one, since it was local, but it was the same weekend as everything else that was going on.  No way did I want to do the whole thing by myself, and be useless for the rest of the day (which saw the birthday party with the blue the same location, coincidentally!). 

However, it turned out to be an excellent opportunity to fulfill a wish from my last event:  involving friends in a triathlon relay and sharing the fun!  When I emailed my neighbor, J, about it (hi, J!), she wrote back that she had just been reading my Treeathlon race report, and that she would like to try the swim portion.  (Oh, how I love a coincidence that seems contrived! :-)  She also knew a mom at her son's school, S, who enjoyed running (S did the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon as part guessed it! Team in Training!), so we had our runner.  And I was delighted to take the bike portion.

Sunday morning dawned dim, foggy, and early.  I tiptoed around, eating...oh, heck, I forget what it was now.  I think it might have been "spackle" (oat bran+flax+peanut butter+sugar-free syrup), but it might have been my flax toast with almond butter and sugar-free jam.  And coffee.  Definitely coffee.  S and J showed up and we hopped into the van.  Loading the bike took a little umph, but we got it wedged in there.  (BIG thanks to Mr. Handsome-and-Handy for doing my pre-race tire and bike check...*sigh* my support crew!)

We arrived at the Colony Club, a posh facility shared by Ocean Colony and the Ritz Carlton hotel.  The swim was held at the Colony pool, with the bike portion making two loops through the grounds and onto adjacent trails and roads, and the run circling through the coast trail.

We parked and headed up to the transition area, which also served as the registration area and finish line.  We checked in, and were each given a swim heat time. (In this triathlon, two swimmers shared each of the four lanes, and the next heat started when the previous swimmer finished.)  We all looked at each other, feeling that "uh oh" feeling.  "Um," I said, "We signed up as a relay team.  J is going to swim, I'm going to bike, and S is going to run."  I was feeling a little embarrassed, but Meredith (the owner of "Pre & Post") came over and knew what I meant about doing a relay.  Whew!

We then discovered what the "non-competitive" part meant: No bibs, no timing chips, no body marking.  No timing of the participants at all.  I worried a little that J and S were going to feel like they hadn't gotten a "real" triathlon experience, but I shouldn't have.  It turned out to be exactly what they wanted: a chance to get out there and do a triathlon relay out without pressure.  This also worked out pretty well for us, in that S didn't need to wait until I was done with the bike to start her run.

We sat around and chatted until it was time for J's swim.  She did great!  We were impressed by her even, methodical front crawl.  She finished quickly, I think it was about 13 minutes for the 500 yards.  (J, if you're reading, feel free to correct if I was wrong about that.)  Woo hoo!!!

We wandered up to transition, and they saw me off on the bike.  The bike was a fun but bumpy course.  It comprised two loops, going out past the Ritz Carlton, up Miramontes Rd. (a moderate hill), then back the same way, almost to the pool building, but onto the coastal trail and past the golf course.  As the trail left the Colony Club grounds, it got super steep (I had to get off and walk), went over a wooden bridge, then a very narrow dirt trail through a fence.  The event web site said that the event "allows families to participate in the run and bike portions of the event with their children," and that "strollers and bike trailers are welcome," which is extremely cool, but I think it would have been tricky to navigate a bike trail through the dirt trail part.  On the plus side, with the swim going in heats, there was never a bottleneck of riders in the narrow parts, even if there had been more participants. 

After the narrow dirt trail, there was a bit more coast trail, then a segment along Redondo Beach Rd., which was rolling hills and lots of potholes!  I had my camera tucked in my vest pocket, and I wondered if *that* was going to be the thing that fell off during the bike, but no worries.  I also had to windshield-wipe my glasses now and then with the thick fog.  It would have been a much lovelier ride on a sunny day, but it was fun, seeing all the smiling faces, several lit up with that "Oh-my-gosh-I'm-really-doing-this-thing! I rock!!!" look.  Loved it!  Another loop of the bike course, and I was done.  I took about 45 minutes for the 9 miles.

S had started on her run about 10 minutes before I got done--I'd seen her go when I was finishing up my 2nd loop.  The 5K run went past the Ritz and onto the coast trail, where it meanders through the golf course.  It was somewhat hilly.  There were two loops: a shorter loop around the course, then a longer loop that went down to an overlook, then back past the front of the Ritz.  I have only walked part of that trail, and I really want to run it myself, it looks like it would be a beautiful run.  S enjoyed the course quite a lot, and I'm not sure exactly what her time was, but the glimpse I caught of her watch looked like about 33 minutes. (S, if you're reading, please feel free to correct in the comments!)

So we picked up our t-shirts, which featured the cutest logo!  There were bagels, fruit, and water for the finishers, but we didn't feel like eating. 

"I'd like to write about this on my blog and share photos, if that's okay with you," I said.  They were fine with it, and I said I'd use initials, or a pseudonym, if they preferred. "We need handles," said J.  "I can be 'Mermaid.'  S can be 'Lightfoot.'"  "I can be 'Biker Mama,'" I laughed.  "How about 'Biker Babe?'" suggested J.  Perfect, in an "opposite" kind of way....

We headed back to my house, chatting about possible future triathlons, and agreed that it would be really fun to do part or all of them together someday. S and J walked back to J's house, and I pulled my bike out of the back of the van.  And the tail light fell off!  I laughed loud and long, because *something* always falls off my bike on triathlon days.  At least it wasn't me!

And now...the photos!

Our triathlon relay team, rarin' to go!

"Mermaid," pounding out the swim!

The transition area

"Biker Babe," heading out for the bike

"Lightfoot" approaches the finish, making it look easy-peasey

¡Lo Hicimos!   We did it!  (*And* we got the cutest t-shirts!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekly Update x3

Hi everybody!  It's been awhile.  It's been so long, Blogger added these nifty templates, so I decided to spruce things up around here.

Since my last update...

Under the Sea! 
(The gala party shrimp trays and tuna salad sandwiches sort of reminds me 
of the surreal fare at a company party I went to at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  
Picture tables of sushi and pans of paella next to the kelp forest tank...)

We completed the 3-day marathon that is Thing 1 and Thing 2's dance recital, "Under the Sea," inspired by The Little Mermaid.  (1 night of dress rehearsal + 2 performances)  I appreciate so much that the dance teacher does her best to make sure the younger dancers (elementary school and younger) spend as little time as possible waiting backstage, and actually get a chance to see most of the show.  Especially since the backstage room heats up quickly, and we had warmer weather than we usually do.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 did a fine job and had a lot of fun.  Thing 2 was a sailor and a very pink flamingo, and Thing 1 played Grimsby and a frog.  Wish I could show you pictures of the preschoolers; imagine tiny girls in black leotards and tights wearing sea creatures; the snails were adorable with sparkly cloth "shells" that looked like little sleeping bags rolled up on their backs.

The Flamingo Princess and The Frog

I did the "Tri the Coast" sprint triathlon bike leg; my friends did the swim and the run. I owe you a race report...
Pubsgal, Biker Babe!

We attended two birthday parties, same weekend as all of the above.  (I felt sorry for the folks that had to clean up the blue icing ravages of 20+ children under the age of 9...)

Surf's up!  (And so, too, will be the cleaning deposit on this party room, I imagine!)

We also made it through the end-of-the-school-year frenzy.  We enjoyed the school picnic and fund run (same day as dance performance #1).  I chaperoned and drove on Thing 2's zoo field trip on the Monday after that weekend.  One of the moms at our school is a zoo insider, so we got a special tour.  And I realized my life-long dream of PETTING A KOALA BEAR!  *squeeeeee!!!*  Yes, they are very soft. (Coincidentally, this was the same day as we said goodbye to our Bela.  Who, for the record, was softer than a koala bear.) Thing 1's class had a picnic and swim party the day after the zoo trip. Hurrah for tag-team parenting!

Pubsgal with Lollipop, a koala of great forbearance (har har), and the koala keeper.
According to her keeper, koalas in general don't like much contact, even with each other.  
Which begs the question: why do they look so darn cute?!?
(And how old are we in this picture, little girl?)

We also enjoyed our trip to Tucson in the summer time, with temperatures in the 100s.  We spent a ton of time in my dad and step-mom's swimming pool, but we also enjoyed lots of fun outings and a very nice Father's Day.  (Most pix on my other camera, so not much here.)

 "3 Peds Cured"
(C'mon, Debby!  All the cool kids are getting pedi's!) 
Mine are the purple toes...yes, I had a little help from Thing 2 in choosing the color.

In addition to all of the above, there were hairy work deadlines, several graduations of family and friends, a company-client dinner, and a farewell dinner (sadly) for our excellent next-door neighbors.

Progress This Month

[Oh, that's RIGHT!  This is a HEALTH-related blog!]

30-day blood glucose average: 104 (met goal of less than 120)
30-day fasting blood glucose average: 103 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals:  Since 6/2, I am down 1 pound.  "Summer of Sustaining," baby! <-Lookie there, I found the link to Lynn Haraldson-Bering's marvelous post on "Refuse to Regain," in which she discusses "maintenance" vs. "sustaining."  Which led me to recently dub this my "Summer of Sustaining," because I really wasn't feeling up to "challenges" anymore.  Although, yeah, I made an exception for Charlotte Hilton Andersen's June experiment of "Eating Like a Normal Person".  Because it's called an "experiment."  That makes all the difference, right? 

Food goals: Well, I stopped tracking during the crazy-busy weekend, and it has actually been kind of nice to not track.  I don't know how that will work when going back to the usual routine, because "if you bite it, write it" can be rather effective when I'm inclined to eat from being bored or stressed.  Jill's post today on The Sassy Pear, "I don't have a weight problem, I have an eating problem," really rang a bell for me.  When I'm happily busy, I don't feel the need to self-soothe with food.  When I'm stressed and/or bored, I do that.  Part of why I haven't regained seems to be a combination of exercise, the mental/emotional support of blogging, and the kind of foods I've been using to self-soothe.  I've gotten dangerously clever about the "what," but I've learned that binging isn't about the what, or sometimes even about the how much:  it's the out-of-control mental state.  Yuck.

Fiber: No idea.  I'm guessing I'm averaging about 20 grams/day, since I am eating my chia and lots of veggies, but I didn't have chia on my trip.  That's about the only drawback I've found with not tracking.

Exercise goals: I'll spare you three weeks of details.  But between workouts and playouts, I met my goal of 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week.

Teeth: [Insert "who me?" whistling soundbyte here]
Sleep: Getting 7-8 hours per night most nights, especially if you count the sybaritic slumbers of my recent vacation.

Goals for Next Week

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

Food goals:
* Apply the "7 Guidelines", aiming for high fiber.  I think I'll give myself one more week of not tracking, and see how it goes.

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week, tracking through Daily Mile.

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

* Use the time I'm spending NOT food tracking to establish daily tooth flossing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm Back!

Just a quick post to say I'm back (we were on vacation last week-it was great!), but super busy today!  Will post more later....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Type 2 Diabetes: A Disease, Not a Choice

Amy Tenderich of the blog Diabetes Mine featured an interview yesterday with John Anderson, who raced with Team Type 2 in last year's Race Across America ("John Anderson: Proving Type 2 Diabetics Can Be Athletes, Too").  I found his story is inspiring on many levels, but what I think brought it to the attention of many is not merely that he has type 2 diabetes and is an endurance athlete (*gasp!* ;-), but that he was an athlete before his diagnosis (*double gasp!*).  This sure doesn't fit the media stereotype of type 2 diabetes being the disease of "fat, lazy" people.  (And don't get me started on the stereotype of "fat" people as "lazy."  Grrrrr.)

But, oh yes, I bought into the type 2 stereotype initially.  Then I encountered Jenny Ruhl's excellently researched article, "You Did NOT Eat Your Way to Diabetes".  Wow, talk about an eye-opener!  I think it helped, turning the shame and guilt into anger--both at the stereotype and the disease.  I embarked on trying to be as opposite as possible, striving to find my inner athlete, to shake the stereotype.  Only to find later, after some longtime school friends found out I completed my first sprint tri, that my being "opposite" was just another, that's-so-Pubsgal, way of my being "me" all along.  The "me" that had been adrift in a hyperglycemic fog all those years.

I think the thing that one reason why lifestyle is addressed as a cause, is that for many people, taking good care of one's body can help delay or prevent diabetes symptoms and complications.  For me, properly taking care of my type 2 diabetes through nourishing my body with types of foods (and amounts of foods) that keep my blood sugar levels low and steady, exercising regularly, and taking medication (metformin in my case) helped me to become more energetic (even before the fat loss) and to lose much of the extra body fat I'd been carrying.  These things won't change my genetic makeup, or enable me to regrow beta cells in my pancreas.  You can do all the right things and still have to adjust treatment as your body changes over time.  But maybe doing the right things will delay or prevent complications of this disease.   

So, good luck to all of the teams--especially Team JDRF, Team Type 1, and Team Type 2--in this year's Race Across America!  (Teams start this bike race from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD tomorrow, so it's not too late to follow them!)

P.S. [Later on] - Of course, now I'm laughing to myself about getting all riled up here.  Especially since all 8 or so of you who read this blog have heard me rant about all this before.  But maybe the "Race Across America" is news to some of all y'all.

P.P.S. - And speaking of great athletes, Team Shrinking Jeans did it!!!  Woo hoo!!!  Congrats to them all on their completion of the San Diego Rock & Roll Half-Marathon and for raising $43,725.65 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!  THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In Memory of Bela, a Good Dog

Warning: Long and extremely bittersweet post ahead for those who love animals, especially those who have experienced the loss of a companion animal.

I never have written about the "fur kids" here, as much as I love them and enjoy reading about and seeing pictures of yours.  I'm guessing it's because it started out more as a personal health log, then gradually evolved into including "life and times," in which the "furless kids" tend to reign supreme. 

Our lives are graced by having two wonderful pets:  Bela, a small, mixed-breed dog adopted from the Humane Society 11 years ago, and Elsie, a grey shorthair tabby cat whom I adopted as a tiny kitten from a young couple fostering the mom and her litter, 18 years ago.  They embraced the furless invaders from the start; Bela even licked the top of his head when first introduced to Thing 1, anointing him into the pack.  For Elsie, we're kind of like Cat TV; she seems to enjoy laying around and watching us do stuff.  Being older pets, however, they have been more furry presences than playmates with the kids.

I want to share Bela's story today, though, because our beloved girl passed away yesterday afternoon.   As I mentioned, Bela was adopted through the Humane Society, but with a bit of help from a local Welsh Corgi rescue group.  My step-dad had raised and shown Pembroke Welsh Corgis when younger, and when I first met him, he had a lovely, friendly one, Umber.  Oh, I loved that dog!  So when Mr. Handsome-and-Handy and I felt like we could provide a good home for a dog--he was going to be home retraining for a career change and would have some time to acclimate a dog to our lives--I pushed for a Corgi rescue.  The email came around my birthday in 1999 that there were two Corgi mixes in San Jose.  When we went to look, there was just one, a tricolor girl with a tail sharing a pen with a huge, very exuberant puppy (not hers).  She about knee-high, and was obviously part Corgi--we weren't sure if she was part Cardigan, given the tail, or part undocked Pembroke--but she had a delicate face and slender legs, so she was obviously something else, too...after we knew her for awhile, we figured part terrier, but it may very well have been Chihuahua (like 99.9% of Corgi mixes in Petfinder) or some toy breed.  She came over to the fence, and I let her sniff my hand.  She wagged, and so I gave her a little scritch on her shoulder.  She then plopped on her rump, leaned into my hand, and her eyes went to half-mast with bliss.  Pretty lovey for a stray.  We were sold. 

We adopted her on a Friday, spent a weekend excitedly waiting and thinking of names as she had her spaying over the weekend.  The Humane Society had dubbed her "Gretchen," which was the name of my in-laws' dog and had only been her name for the stay at the shelter.  We decided to change it to "Bela," for Bela Lugosi, because we loved Martin Landau's portrayal of the actor in the movie Ed Wood, even though everyone thought it was "Bella." I think that would have fit also, but maybe I'm just biased.  (And it was either that or "Zira," for the female chimpanzee in Planet of the Apes.  Let's just say it's a good thing Juice didn't listen to our dog-naming recommendations.)  Mr. H&H got to pick her up, and I got the call: "Yeah, she's home.  Yeah, everything's going great....aaaaaack!!! She's peeing on the carpet! [phone hangup]"

After some trial and error, we adjusted to each others' ways... 
Us:  You'll be sleeping in the house, but no dogs in the bedroom.  No begging from the table. 
Bela:  No way am I sleeping in this cage, though.  Okay, I'll do my "duty" outside, but what's this slop you call "dog food?"  It has no "bouquet," and where's the ant garnish?

She got along with nearly every dog she met (except the ones that tended to not like other dogs), but she remained very shy with people.  Once, when Mr. H&H was walking her, some children came up: "Oh, look at the cute dog!" She was obviously frightened, so he picked her up out of their reach.  "Oooh, look, she's PEEING!"  But after a 4th of July picnic at the neighbors, with lots of friendly dogs and people dropping food, she felt much more comfortable.  When Mr. H&H went back to work, we took her to dog daycare for a couple of days a week and had the sweetest dog walker come take her for a good romp on the other 3 days.  Those experiences really helped bring her out of her shell.  That, and going to the office with us.  Our office was very pet-friendly, and we enjoyed taking her to the local park at lunch.  The dog park was okay, but what she loved was dragging us on leashed squirrel chases.  (Sure, she would probably have preferred to be unleashed, but there are leash laws.  And she was quick and might actually have caught a squirrel.  She did enjoy catching gophers in our yard, and would go after the big ones that intimidated our cat.)

Bela loved belly rubs, walks, flirting with big boy dogs (even as a spayed girl--her "boyfriend" at dog daycare was a mastiff), and collecting socks and underwear.  On our first visit to my dad and step-mom's with her, she escaped from the dog-enclosed part of the house while we were out at dinner (they were equipped for a Mini Pin, who was much smaller) and created a little nest in the middle of the guest bed with our dirty socks and underwear.  Ah, the comforts of home!  She didn't fetch, but she did learn a few tricks.  One of our jokes was that she had been a circus dog, and knew all kinds of amazing feats, but had been taught in them in a different language, if only we could guess which one.  And she had her own sense of play:  we'd yell, "My box!" (referring to her dog bed) and start going toward it, and she'd race around the living room and then jump into it, rooting around her blankets.  We'd also play a game in which we'd take turns calling her from across the yard, and she'd bound to one of us, then then other, getting lots of pets at each point and doing that open-mouthed doggie smile.

We always wondered what Bela's "life before us" had been like.  We don't have a doorbell, but whenever one rang on TV, she barked.  She was very afraid of people carrying yard tools and flyswatters.  She overcame the yard tool thing.  One time Mr. H&H lowered it to her face, to let her sniff it, and the plastic swatter part fell off and bonked her on the head.  Poor girl, she never quite got over the flyswatter.  She also had a period of her life in which she became terrified of storm drains; I blame the X-Files episode in which Mulder and Scully were investigating a swanky home owners' association, in which this mud monster dragged a little dog down into the storm drain, because it was the walk after that in which she was first afraid.  It faded over time, but weird, huh?

Years passed, as they tend to do when you're having life.  She enjoyed being fussed over by her dog walker when we were both working, then fussed over by us when we took our "parenting sabbaticals" home with the kids.  The great thing about babies is that while it's a huge adjustment for parents, animals are able to get used to their presence long before they are mobile.  Bela adjusted beautifully to the kids; she'd greet them when they came home from school or outings with jumping around and yips of delight (or probably relief, now that her "herd" was all in one place).

She was by no means perfect.  Health-wise, she tended to be of tender tummy, yet she would sneak any disgusting bit of decomposed matter and get sick on it.  We had to be vigilant about letting her out for "duty," especially as she became older and more oblivious about where she "went."  (The home carpet cleaner paid for itself many times over.)  As a younger dog, she also tended to jump onto the counter when we were gone, so we had to be extra careful about leaving stuff up there, so as not to tempt her and to spare her hips.  But for the most part, she was quiet, well-behaved, and affectionate.

She gradually declined during the past year.  We noticed that she seemed unable to hear, and she developed a cough that the vet attributed to allergies, and she was on medication for it.  However, a couple of weeks ago we noticed that she was coughing a lot more than usual and seemed to be having trouble breathing.  With further testing, the vet diagnosed her with bad kidneys and an enlarged heart.  We tried the recommended medications but prepared ourselves for the worst; there was a brief rebound, then she continued to deteriorate.  So we decided to have her euthanized; it was a truly tough call to make.  It's curious; they always say, "You'll know when the time is right," but I'm not so sure about that.  From what I've read, animals by instinct hide their pain, so it was never obvious.  She ate, but there were days when she didn't, or didn't clean the dish like she used to; some days, she spent a lot of time in her open crate or just laying on her cushion or curled up at the end of the hallway to be closer to us.  During the last week, she seemed to withdraw, with brief moments of trying to be like her old self.  She became slower on her walks, not the old I-must-stop-and-sniff-everything slow; had she been a person, her gait would have been described as "shuffling."  My husband was with her during the daytime, so he was a little more in tune with her state; I think I was anxious for a more obvious sign, or hoping she'd pass peacefully in her sleep, but looking back (especially now, as I bring up more memories of her more exuberant self), it's become obvious to me that she was ready.  So being the queen of second guessing, I'm now hoping she hadn't been more than ready.  See what I mean about it being a tough call?  Anyhow, we made the decision and the appointment late last week for yesterday afternoon, giving us some time to say good bye and take her for a couple of final sniff-and-shuffles around the neighborhood.

I'm not sure why, exactly, but I wanted to be the one who was with Bela when she died.  I think reading about the procedure helped prepare me, as well as reading Juice's moving account of Cecelia's death.  (Maybe reading my experience will help someone else, too, when their pet's time comes.)  The appointment was set for Monday afternoon, after I helped on the school field trip to the zoo, coincidentally.  Bela has always been good in the car, but she seemed especially quiet, curled up in the front seat of the car.  It took a little while for us to be admitted, but I appreciated that there was a cushion and a soft, mint-green (and looking to be homemade) blanket on it for her on the floor, and a fan to keep the room comfortable (it was a warm day here).  She took a little sniff around the room, still so calm, and then laid down on the cushion.  I sat next to her and petted her.  She seemed really tired, but peaceful; she even laid her head down.  The vet and vet tech came into the room and were very kind; they marveled over her sweetness and her soft fur.  "Pet her ears," I gushed through tears, "Aren't they great?"  They explained the procedure, which I'd read about online, and then one held her as the other administered the injection; I sat by her head, looked into her eyes, and petted her the whole time.  She didn't even react to the shot, just gradually grew limp.  They listened for her heartbeat to stop, and when it did, they told me to take as much time as I needed.  I did spend a few minutes with her body; she was no longer there, of course, but it was hard to go, even knowing that she was gone and we'd pretty much been "saying" goodbye and thank you during the weekend.

It was a rough evening.  I comforted the kids, talked to my parents, reminisced a little with Mr. H&H.  We watched some home movies of when the kids were little, and we'd catch a background bark, a swish of tail, and our girl prancing across the screen here, laying under the high chair there.  It was comforting, having those in our movies.

A friend ours' dog, I read on Facebook later yesterday, also passed that day.  He was a greyhound, so if heaven for dogs is as we people like to imagine, I imagine she's already flirting outrageously with him, and maybe they're chasing a squirrel or two (which, being the divine variety, would enjoy being chased and never get caught).  Anyhow, our friend posted this quote in her dog's memory; it seems to fit Bela and us, too:
"We give dogs the time we can spare, space we can spare, love we can spare, and in return dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." -M. Facklam
It's funny, those we've told so far have told us how lucky Bela was to have had a good home with us.  But it seems to me that we were the lucky ones, to have had such a sweet dog in our lives.


Our girl Bela, in waggier times.  Romp in peace, little one.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Weekly Update, 6/2/10

Happy June, everyone!  Hope you all are enjoying the spring-into-summer time!  Thanks so much for your kind comments on my last post.  As I wrote to several of you, my friend has lots of friends and family nearby, so I know she is well-supported.  (I feel well-supported by you all, too. :-)

"Stop and Smell the Roses" Challenge on Daily Mile and Weekend Recap

Over on Daily Mile, I was invited to participate in a challenge: "Get outside this weekend and during your training run/ride/walk/whatever take a picture of a flower.  I know, silly, but it will force you to slow down and enjoy the scenery."

Luckily, we had a gorgeous day and I had about 40 minutes while the Things were at dance rehearsal, so I took a trot on down to our local harbor.  I jogged along the beach inside the breakwater, scrambled around on top of the breakwater a little, and jogged back to the dance studio.  I saw several "Team in Training" folks, some riding bikes and others running, so I'm assuming they were practicing for a triathlon.  *sigh*...not much longer to wait, because this coming weekend is the "Tri the Coast!"  Can't wait to write about my first triathlon relay!  I'm excited to be racing with my neighbor and her friend.

We had a ton of outside time this weekend.  In the afternoon, I took a bike ride into town to the Farmer's Market, then perused the shops looking for my kids' art.  (Local merchants are displaying art created by the local school kids through the "Art in Action" program, in which they learn different styles of art.)  I found Thing 1's bird picture, but I couldn't find Thing 2's trees.  So the quest will continue....

Then we enjoyed a sunset scooter ride (kids) and walk (grown-ups) along the coastal trail.  Sunday was also nice, so lots of yardwork ( the smell of fresh cocoa mulch!) and a trip to the park.  Monday was gloomy, but we had a major bubblefest with the neighbor kids in our front yard, so that was fun.  (I planted, hoping against hope, four tomato plants.  I think I've doomed my corner of the world to permafog for the growing season.  No topsy-turvy this year, was an unsuccessful experiment last year, but tomatoes are notoriously tricky to grow in our area.)

Flowers and boat at the entrance to the local harbor, during my jog on Saturday

Saturday evening on the coastal trail with the Opposite Family!

Rite-Aid Matching Donations to ADA

Stumbled across this on the ADA web site:  During the month of June, Rite-Aid is matching donations dollar-for-dollar that are made to the American Diabetes Association, up to $50,000.

Eat Like a Normal Person?  Worth a(nother) try...

I highly recommend checking out Charlotte's "The Great Fitness Experiment" for June, for no other reason than to laugh at the picture and caption.  She usually does hard core stuff like Crossfit, but this month she's trying to eat by the guidelines in Geneen Roth's "Women, Food, and God" book that I keep seeing around. (Mentioned on several blogs, and I even saw a copy in a friend's car the other day.)  Have any of you read this?  What do you think?  I figured I'd give it a try, too, so I commented "I'm in!" and jotted the guidelines on a sticky note.  (I suppose I ought to read the book now.)

I keep *saying* I want to be more mindful about what I'm eating, but I haven't really followed through on this too well.  No time like the present to focus on this, although eating in the presence of others and eating without distractions is going to be tough.  Eating with enjoyment?  Never a problem here.  Eating until you're satisfied?  Sometimes I have a problem with putting on the brakes.  So anyhow, I gave it a try yesterday.  I felt hungry before my lunchtime walk, and afterward, my body said it wanted a no-sugar-added mocha from Peet's and broccoli sprouts with light ginger dressing for lunch yesterday. Bizarre! But surprisingly filling.  Dinner update:  Hmmm...Thing 1 playing a Nintendo DS driving game, Thing 2 watching Scooby Doo on TV, Mr. Handsome-and-Handy setting out a plate full of yummy was definitely what I wanted (beautiful grilled peppers & onions, and 1/2 a cob of corn, and a grilled burger patty with cheese and guacamole), I was hungry, I was in full view of others, and I enjoyed it.  So I guess it was 4/7.  I sure wasn't hungry afterward, so no trawling the cupboards for nuts, and I woke up with stellar blood glucose this morning.

I will still be tracking food and exercise--at least the noting stuff part--mainly because I want to have a record, so I can see if I actually do anything differently when I try this.

On a related note, Sagan was discussing emotional attachment to food and emotional eating the other day.  As I commented to her, regarding emotional eating, stress and boredom really trigger me. I’ve gotten to the point where I can ask the question, “Pubsgal, are you really hungry?” I can now often articulate the reason: “Oh, daaaang, I’m so booooored!” or “Ugh," [insert situation or person] "is driving me batsh*t crazy in this moment!” However, I still struggle with alternatives. What do you do when you know why you want to eat for reasons other than hunger, but you still go for that food anyway?

Progress This Week

14-day blood glucose average: 109 (met goal of less than 120)
14-day fasting blood glucose average: 105 (met goal of less than 120)

Weight goals:  No change from last week, but up 3.6 from 2 weeks ago.

Food goals: I tracked 7/7 the previous week and 4/7 this past week.  I was way over the calorie budget, so I can see where the 3.6 pounds came from.  I was over not quite so much last week, so it makes sense that I stayed the same.
Fiber: Averaged about 25 grams/day (fell a little short of 30).

Exercise goals: I'll spare you two weeks of listing my workouts, but overall, I'm quite pleased.  There were only 2 days of the past 14 that I didn't get some form of exercise.  I got in two BodyPump classes, two spin classes, two bike rides (including a practice run of the triathlon course), a little running, and a lot of walking.

Teeth: Flossed 7/14 days.  Oh my.
Sleep: Getting 7-8 hours per night.

Goals for Next Week

I've dubbed this upcoming week the "Disharmonic Convergence," because there is so darn much going on.  I had to take 2 vacation days to shoe-horn it all in:
Thursday: Dress rehearsal for the dance recital
Friday: School fund run and picnic; night 1 of the dance recital.
Saturday: Dance recital matinee, neighbor's birthday party
Sunday: Triathlon, birthday party, graduation party
Monday: Kinder field trip
Tuesday: Thing 1's class picnic, birthday party
[Pubsgal mops brow!]
The bright side?  I can't foresee eating from boredom!

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

Food goals:
* Apply the "7 Guidelines", track as best possible, given the crazy upcoming weekend schedule.

Exercise goals:
* 30 minutes of activity 5 days/week, make best effort to get some strength stuff in there.

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