Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Training for a Trek

My Sierra Club magazine just came, with all those tantalizing hikes you can take, led by  experienced super-hikers. I don't know if I'll ever go on one of those hikes---every year I circle all the ones I'm interested in and every year I never get around to signing up---but this year I also checked out the Sierra Club's Web site for more information.

And found this fascinating article: "The Man Who Survived a Polar Bear Attack."  I'm not saying this article will keep me from hiking. Because it won't. And if I don't take that same hike Mike Dyer was on when he was attacked, it will be because I can't afford that hike, not because of his experience.

I'm just saying: Here's how he prepared for that hike: "... he loaded up his backpack with 50 pounds of water, strapped on snowshoes, and set off into the woods for 10-mile training hikes. By the day he left, he was fitter than he'd been in decades."

So, as part of my training as 2014 winds down and 2015 winds up, this is one of the things I'll be doing. Not snowshoes. But long training hikes with a backpack full of pounds of something. For wherever and whenever I decide to make my amazing trek.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christie

So, I've been writing about a lot of cycling teachers at my gym, but haven't written about Christie yet. Not because she doesn't deserve her very own post but because I guess I have taken her for granted as someone I see all the time at the gym, who is always friendly and helpful and encouraging. She's just plain amazing. Or, as her husband Derek put it on Wednesday, she's "awesome and hard core," and right now she's about 8 months pregnant with their second child, still working with her training clients and still teaching spin classes, water aerobics classes, and I don't even know what-all else.

Olivia, Derek, and Christie

And she had time to send me this picture of the family wearing their Team Sandra shirts. Is this the cutest family you've ever seen, or what?

(I'll post some of Christie's sayings in a separate post sometime soon.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Core Advantage (Instead of Boot Camp)

Neva shared with Laura and Ellen and me a great way to get core strength that will help us as bike riders, the beginning stretches and exercises in the book "Core Advantage."

Just doing the very beginning exercises felt great, and Neva's explanation was inspiring and motivational.

Neva suggested reading the first chapters, too, which I'll be doing. Thanks, Neva!

Monday, October 27, 2014

More Boot Camp

Busy as I am, grading biology papers and my own environmental science lab reports, I HAVE to go to boot camp on Saturday morning! It makes my day...

Last Saturday's class was a little different. Well, the warmups were the same, with sprints up and down the basketball court, and pushups and squats in between.

Then we had six stations around the gym, and went through the whole circuit three times. I left exhilarated and exhausted. But the pain didn't start until the next day. And it's continuing today.

Then this morning I couldn't make it to spin class, but figured I didn't need to, as I had three adorable grandchildren here. We went on a treasure hunt on the yellow brick road, ate mac-and-cheese for lunch, and then did some weeding and cutting in the back yard. Then when Grandpa got home from work, we went to the lake and watched some people putting their fishing boat in the water and played at the playground. Then home, and nachos for dinner. Yum!

And then, for Family Home Evening, Grandpa played Lazy Horse with the children. So he had Boot Camp, too.






So, this day was probably my best boot camp yet....And tomorrow, more of the same.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Back to Boot Camp

My gym has been offering boot camp classes again, since mid-September, only once a week, Saturdays at 9:00 am, but that has been enough to get me going again.

I love these classes! They leave me exhausted but exhilarated, and ready to do more. So, this morning, after boot camp, I went (with Jason) down to the lake for a jog. Then I ended up just walking most of the way, excusing myself by saying I'd already been running that morning. Oh well, it's a start. (And I know that by tomorrow night I'll have aches in muscles I didn't even know I had. But that's ... okay.)


Here's what we did today:

---Warming up, first 15 minutes: Sprints up and down the gym, then 40 leg-and-arm lifts. Walking lunges up and down the gym, then pushups. More sprints up and down the gym, then something else. You get the picture. At the end of this so-called warmup, which for some (most?) people would have been 10 times more than a regular exercise session in itself, we got down to business:

---Five stations around the gym, two minutes at each station, walking lunges in between.

     ---Karate-style punches while holding 5-, 10-, or 15-pound dumbbells.

     ---Sit-ups with a 10-, 15-, or 20-pound weight disc, holding it up over your head.

     ---Jumping squats, feet together, then feet apart.

     ---Mountain-climbers.

     ---Jump-run over rungs of cloth-tape ladder on the floor, then go sideways around cones, run back to the beginning of the ladder, and repeat.

These classes are run by two fitness trainers who go around making sure we're doing the exercises correctly, and, most importantly, encouraging us. There were about 25 to 35 people there, just the right amount for each station to have not too many people, and to be competitive for the super-athletes among us and fun for the rest of us. Now if only Derek would start his weekday and evening boot camp classes again, I would be very pleased:)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Two More Photos from RATS


Here they are coming up to the finish line.

And at the finish line.

Then we rushed to get to the car, which I'd already parked in line for the 4:20 ferry, and Jason took apart his bike and put it in the trunk, and added Cory's bike to mine on the bike rack on the back of the car, and we went home.

It was Cory's first time on a ferry since that time in KSA, when we all thought we were going to drown. But no such worries on this ferry ride!

RATS! --- So much fun!

Saturday we Rode Around the Sound! Actually, I rode with Cory for the first 7 miles, then Jason rode with him the rest of the way.



It was fun for me to finally have a chance to be the person driving in the car for support.

But you sure can't see those little arrows as well from the car.
At one point I missed a turn and kept driving for a couple of miles without seeing Jason or Cory, or anyone else on  a bike, and thinking, Wow, they are sure making good time!

Then I found the road, and they were still making good time.
I was surprised at how fast they went, and it was a very hilly route.

They slowed down toward the end, and later Cory realized why it was getting so much harder (besides the hills): His back tire had a leak and so the tire was getting lower and lower as he went along.

I have more photos from my phone, which I'll add later. But I must mention now: Cory rode the entire 38 miles, a distance about 3-1/2 times longer than he had ever ridden his bike before. Without padded bike shorts, and without padded bike gloves. Pretty amazing.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Next Saturday: Ride Around the Sound

So, I'll be missing next week's FTU session. Why? because I'll be doing the American Lung Association's Ride Around the Sound (RATS).

Jeff and Cory and Megan and I, or as many of us as can make it, have signed up. It should be a lot of fun. However, even though we've all raised the minimum of $100 required to participate, we may not all be able to ride. We'll still go, as many of us as can.

Last year Megan and I rode in it, and Jeff faithfully drove around the whole route ahead of and behind us and close to us whenever he could. We all took photos. Cory had to miss because he had to work that day.

This year we're going to take turns riding our bikes and driving Cory's truck. We'll take photos and write more about it.

Here's the Web site, if you're interested. But:

Please note: We're NOT asking for more donations! We do ask for your prayers and thoughts for all of us and all our extended families.

It's a worthy cause, of course, and some of the participants have raised thousands of dollars. We're perfectly happy with our entry fees and $100 per. We're looking forward to just having another fun day together.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

FTU Week # 6: Free Socks

So, I went this morning to the sixth meeting of this Foot Traffic University half-marathon prep session.

It was in the downtown Foot Traffic store. Downtown Portland. In case I've never mentioned this to anyone besides everyone I know, I really hate downtown Portland. I hate driving there, I hate walking there, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I'm trying to think of anything I like about downtown Portland. Oh, yeah, Powell's, and the Foot Traffic downtown store. And that music store near Powell's. But getting there, not so much --- or, really, not at all.

Anyway, the plan was to run 5 to 7 miles today, and the route was through a bunch of streets in downtown Portland. Why? Because it's there. Because the store is there. Because the streets are there... Not enough good reasons for me.

So I went and waited around for my "free" socks, then left. Went back to my home town and ran my 6-1/2 miles along my own usual lake trail.

But the "free" socks were good. If I ever want to pay $15 for a pair of socks, these are the ones I will buy. However, one free pair is enough.

And I mention all this because...why? Because every time I go, I learn something new. This time, I learned that you're not supposed to put your micro-fiber or any kind of synthetic sports clothes, including your fifteen-dollar socks, in the dryer. The lady doing the demonstration said, "Hello, you don't put your jeans in the dryer, so why would you put your socks in the dryer?"

I was thinking "Why, indeed?" because, Hello, I've always put my jeans along with all my other clothes in the dryer,. Then, to my relief, another FTU runner said, "Hmm, I guess I'm not as sophisticated about laundry as she thinks I should be," and everyone else nodded.

I'm running the dryer right now. And my jeans are in it. But all my fifteen-dollar socks and other microfiber and "tech" micro-fiber items are drying outside the dryer. Because, heck, I learned something today.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Addicted to my FitBit

It stopped working yesterday, and I'm so used to having it track every step I take, every stair I climb, that I felt lost without it.

First activity of the evening, then, was to go replace it. So glad I originally got it at REI, because they replaced it for free.

Meanwhile, I did a LOT more walking than is showing on my FitBit Dashboard. Probably I walked another 10 miles yesterday. Just kidding. But at least another 3 miles. Which don't show up because the blasted thing stopped working. I'm just sayin'.

But someday I'm going to have to get another tracking device, and if anyone has any suggestions for what to get or not to get, please let me know.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Paleo Diet?

So. Jason and I were talking about a friend who has lost like 50 pounds in a year, who says it's because he cut out sugar, bread, rice, and I forget what-all-else.

So. I mentioned that a lot of the CrossFit people recommend a paleo diet, which I thought was something like that: all meat and vegetables, a little fruit, and no refined anything, including flour and anything made with it.

So. We thought that would be a good idea, except, well, we'd have to have the occasional brownie, and whole-wheat bread for sandwiches, and protein shakes with yogurt, and so on, and so on, and so on.

So. Then I read in National Geographic what a REAL paleo, or prehistoric, diet might be like. And part of the article is online, if you want to read it.

So. Turns out there are a LOT of "paleo" diets some of which are still being eaten by real human beings in our times.

So. Here's another article, for those people who think you should only eat raw food, saying that what makes us human is ... wait for it ... the fact that we cook our food.

So. Back to the original idea: I do know that for myself when I cut sugar out completely (but still eating bread, cereal, etc.), I have been at my healthiest and leanest weight. And I'm working on getting there, again...


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Foot Traffic University Half-Marathon Training

I started this great program on Saturday, July 26. Foot Traffic University is run by the Portland area Foot Traffic stores. There are several classes, starting at different times throughout the year and with training regimens designed for various goals.

I'm in the Session Two Half-Marathon class, a five-month program running through December 14.

At the first class, we got all the starting-up info, walked over to the Sellwood Park, did some dynamic stretches, and then jogged two miles.

(I mean, other people jogged two miles. I was still coughing and hacking from the worst summer cold I've had since 2013:), so I just walked back to the store where I bought a great pair of running shoes for half price. Are these people smart, or what?!? Having classes in their stores where you can see all the great products and take advantage of the great deals, even greater because you get a 10% discount from being an FTU member!)

I missed the second class, on Aug. 2, since I was running in the Crawford Crawl. (Yes, I know I'm doing it backwards: training for a half-marathon for 5 months after running my third one....Oh, well, you've gotta start sometime, right?)

I'll miss the Sept. 13 class, too, because I'll be biking in Ride Around the Sound.

But I'll be going to every class I can from now through the end of the session. The "recommended goal" for the session is the Holiday Half Marathon on December 14, but I won't be running in that because it's on a Sunday. I'll be choosing another goal to work towards.

Meanwhile, the Foot Traffic people send me two email messages every week with training goals and suggestions for that week, and every Saturday session also has some running and/or fitness expert talking about, and demonstrating, some aspect of fitness. 

From the FTU Web site, I learned that we'll be training with the "SMART" goals method.  The site says SMART goals are:

S specific
M measurable
A action-oriented
R realistic
T time-based

Which totally makes sense, doesn't it.  Anyway, I'll be writing more about this as the session continues.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Crawfish Crawl Half

Well, I did it. I did not improve my time today. But at least I finished this crawl. For me, and for a lot of others, it was not so much a race as a test of endurance in the heat and humidity.

I couldn't quit early, though I was tempted to several times, because Caleb told me as I was starting out, "If you finish this race today, I'll be so proud of you."

And so I finished it.I'll post more photos later.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Tour de France: All Those Falls

Here's an interesting story: When those Tour de France riders crash and fall, they're getting injured more than in the past, and it's because their bikes are made of all carbon. It's lightweight, but it's brittle, too.

Crashes in the Tour de France often send riders hurling to the road because carbon-fiber frames and wheels tend to break. Credit Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
From the article:   
Unlike steel or aluminum, carbon fiber does not bend in crashes. Rather the bikes and wheels frequently shatter, often hurling riders to the road and, many fear, increasing the severity of injuries.
“Anyone in a team who’s being honest with you will tell you how frequently their bikes are breaking; everybody knows,” said Mark Greve, a physician and assistant professor of sports medicine at Brown University who studied injuries to 3,500 competitive cyclists. “Few people in the public appreciate how many bikes a pro team will go through in a season, because they break for one reason or another. The bikes, they completely explode.”
And check out this section, about how light these bikes can get:
The International Cycling Union, concerned about the potential danger of ever lighter carbon bikes, imposed a minimum weight of 6.8 kilograms (about 15 pounds) in 2000 for bikes used in high-level races like the Tour. But that applies to the whole bicycle, including the wheels, leaving bicycle makers to continue a marketing battle to produce ever lighter frames. Professional teams simply add weight, sometimes pieces of chain, to a bike that doesn’t meet the minimum.

Before the Tour started, Trek launched the latest salvo in that war: the Émonda SLR 10, a frame that weighs 690 grams (about 24 ounces), making it, the company says, the world’s lightest bike. It sells as a complete bike for $15,750.
You'll probably want to read the whole article, which has details about how the new bikes are constructed, and even about how the carbon fibers themselves are made. It's fascinating. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Big Legs! (And the Tour de France)

Rick, who was my coach-for-a-day during last year's Reach the Beach bike ride, told me he used to coach a college women's crew team. At first he would encourage them by shouting, "Big legs!" Then one of them pointed out that as women they didn't really want to have big legs. I totally understood.

But as I watched the finish of Stage 21 today, and the winners on the podium at this year's Tour de France, what struck me were their strong legs. (No, I don't have any kind of fetish about this.) Of course, that's how they won, how they kept going and going, apparently about 40 mph in the final laps around the Champs Elysee, after all they'd been through: Big legs.

I haven't seen any video on YouTube yet of the winners on the podium, but will add them when I find them. Meanwhile, these guys are real heroes to me, as are the ones who crashed at various times and got right back on their bikes to keep riding.

I couldn't help but cheer for Marcel Kittel as he surged forward to win this final stage. Big legs, indeed! But I realize that even with his physical training, his mental toughness was just as important, or maybe even more important.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/10994251/Tour-de-France-2014-stage-21-Marcel-Kittel-wins-on-Champs-Elysees-as-Vincenzo-Nibali-is-crowned-champion.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/tour-de-france/10993231/Tour-de-France-2014-Vincenzo-Nibali-worth-his-place-in-history.html

This photo came with the note: "Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali will be a worthy winner of the Tour de France and, from his early days in the sport, he has always been anti-doping." 


Friday, July 25, 2014

More About CrossFit

Thanks to Laura for pointing out an article on this topic.

I've read through it and it hasn't deterred me from trying this program, though I won't have the time or money to do that immediately. It will certainly help me be careful when I do check it out, though!

Laura mentioned in her first comment that she's heard some people are injured doing the CrossFit program, and now in a new comment that some researchers had found that indeed 16 percent of people in one CrossFit program they investigated had ended the program early because of injuries.

What is striking about this whole thing is the outrage from the CrossFit community, as seen in this article from "Outside" magazine, reporting on the report. This article comments that the injury figure is "a soft number" and does not represent overall injuries. The original research concluded that people of all fitness levels "...all lost body fat and saw a jump in performance over 10 weeks of CrossFit training. The injury statistic was, literally, an afterthought."

So, what's the big deal? When I get a chance to try this out, I'll be careful, as Laura originally suggested, to stay within my body's limits, not respond to peer pressure to lift more weight than I can reasonably do or to do exercises I know will strain my already-strained joints, and so on.

The "Outside" article concludes, "That's a great description of the impasse CrossFit now faces. Desperately wanting approval, it has circled the wagons and worked actively against the very means to its validation. The biggest problem CrossFit has is itself."

Anyway, thanks again, Laura. And I've found another book comparing various fitness programs, which I'll review when I finish reading it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Sayings of Donna

I originally met this instructor in a class in another gym, and she was amazing.

She's the one who told off the guy who came into the class to complain about the loud music, and then when she told him it had to be that loud because, hello, it was a cycling class, came back again and shut the door. She went out and gave him a piece of her mind, and we all cheered for her when she came back in.

(And then she taught the yoga class right after that spin class, with soft ambient music and a totally different approach, and bent her body in ways that encouraged the rest of us to do yoga poses we hadn't been able to do before.)

(I'm going to attend her cycling and yoga classes again on Saturday, so I'll probably add some more sayings after that.)

ANYWAY: The other day she subbed for one of the regular cycling teachers at my gym, and, guess what, she was even more amazing.

One thing I loved was how she let herself huff and puff and sweat. Just like the rest of us.

She kept wiping the sweat off, until she said, about halfway through the class, "My towel won't accept any more sweat. It's full."

Here are a few more of her sayings:

Warming up. About five minutes. You should be sweating by the time we finish this.

And now for something completely different. 

Come on! Get up! I'm standing, can't you see? Stand up!

I loved the music she played, too, including this song, "Love Runs Out," by New Republic. (I know I included this in "The Sayings of Liz," but they both played it. And it's great for spinning, and dancing, and whatever.)


Later, when she played "Switch Me On," she said, "If I were a stripper, this would be on my playlist."

More sayings:

Okay, you're burning. Which is okay. It's good to burn. Well, except when you pee.

Let's pretend you're tired. And you want to stop now. Just ask yourself, "How would my butt look in  a mirror, naked?" That's all I have to do at ten o'clock at night when I want a snack. I look at my butt in the mirror, naked, and I realize I do not need that snack after all.

I'm horrible. I know it. But that's okay. It's just the way I am.

I need CPR. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

CrossFit?

Has anyone who reads this ever tried CrossFit training? I just read a fascinating article about it, and some friends at the gym swear by it. On the other hand, one of the women I talked to, who said it had changed her life, also said she'd had to quit doing it and return to the gym because it was too intense.

After reading this, I can see why:

The modern gym has been deliberately designed to not require any coordination, accuracy, agility, or balance. The attributes of fitness that bind the body and brain together have become the exclusive province of athletes, dancers, and the few lucky children who still climb trees, pop bicycle wheelies, and hang upside down from monkey bars. The stripping-away of coordination, accuracy agility and balance from physical culture – from our modern notion of fitness – has made us weaker, because power, the ability to apply maximum force, requires neural circuitry that’s impossible to develop on a pulley cable.

But it’s worse than that. If all we lost in the transition from functional fitness to circuit-trained muscle development was power, we’d be losing something the modern world doesn’t demand. Most of us can live pretty well, in a physical sense, without building huge amounts of physical power.

The problem is, the area of our brain that’s responsible for full-body movement…that’s not all it does. The brain controls movement in three areas, depending on the complexity of the movement. The primary motor cortex, the lowest-level switch box, is responsible for simple movements like shifting the position of your head. Slightly in front of this area is a more sophisticated set of controls for integrated movements, like reaching for an object. In front of this is a third, even more intricate control center called the attention association area. The attention association area is the part of the brain that controls complex movements that involve the entire body. This is where coordination, accuracy, agility, and balance live...

...When CrossFitters talk about how the workouts have influenced their lives by making it easier for them to get their act together, they are describing a biological process. On the flip side, the way we allow health club machines to stabilize and limit our range of movement, to literally keep us on track, leaves us less purposeful. The abandonment of complex movement and physical intensity has rendered us, in some fundamental way, less intelligent. We have been kinesthetically brain-washed by the machines that are supposed to make us fit.

(Turns out the article is an excerpt from a book that came out this year, "Learning to Breathe Fire." I think I'll try to find it at my library instead of buying it. But it seems like it might help me take my next fitness steps.)

I Googled CrossFit in my area and found a gym not too far from me, with some very impressive testimonials from people who have been doing it for awhile. But I'd like to hear more.


Can Women Do Pull-ups?

Is it true that women can't do pull-ups? Not really. Of course. But it's hard for most of us.

Some people have studied why it's so difficult for many women to do pull-ups, and their results sound convincing to me.

(Their results also remind me of the very interesting book "The Sports Gene," which Madame L will be reviewing soon.)

From this article in the NY Times Magazine a few months ago:

To do a pull-up you need "a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. During training, because women have lower levels of testosterone, they typically develop less muscle than men...In addition, they can’t lose as much fat. Men can conceivably get to 4 percent body fat; women typically bottom out at more than 10 percent."

If you're interested, you should read the whole article. Anyway, it did my little heart good to see this amazing woman, Kacy Catanzaro, blow up the course in American Ninja Warrior Tuesday night:



Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Sayings of Liz

Liz is the mother of an eight-month old. Unlike most of the other cycling teachers, she is not a size 0, but looks like a normal person --- in other words, like the other women in the class.

This makes her more of a role model for me, unlike the ones who are spending hours every day at various fitness activities. I also like the way she talks and sings along with the music, which is, by the way, great music. Here are some of her sayings as she led us through a workout:

Here's a good question for you: Do you want to be different? If you want to be different, I'm going to need you to work a little harder.

Sit. Tighten your core. Stand. Tighten your core. Sit. Reduce.

We're going to go through this about 6 more times now. But listen to your body. If it's telling you to slow down, then slow down. Take a drink whenever you need it. Don't wait for me to tell you.

Add enough resistance to stand up. This is just a little bump in the road.

Ready? Sit. Add a little.

Take a look at your legs and a look at my legs. Do they match? They should.

I'm gonna push you to get fitter.

Ready to go? If you are, go. If not, don't go. It's a choice. You're making the choices.

Open your chest so you can breathe. Relax your neck. Shoulders should be down, away from your ears. I know it's hard. But I'm here to get you fit.

When you're standing, you need more resistance, so your butt doesn't bounce.

I'm taking a water break. Join me if you need it.

If we train at the same speed and resistance the whole time, what does it train? It trains our slow-twitch muscles, which are already strong enough. We want to train our fast-twitch muscles.

Don't be afraid. Come with me.

Why do we hold on when we ride? We want to be strong and steady. We need a base to push from. Now, brace your core. Stand up.

(Now she's huffing and puffing loudly through the microphone, which I especially love, because it shows that she's human and she's working just like we are. I don't understand why some teachers tell us they're not using their highest level of resistance because they "don't want to be huffing and puffing." Maybe if that keeps them from talking, yes. But they can pause before they speak, right?)

How you should feel now: Breathless. Uncomfortable.

So now where are we going? We're climbing and racing again, through this same cycle again, hard resistance and slow pedaling, then sprinting. Why? Because that's where we make the changes we want to make. Anything else, you're not going to change. And we're here because we want to change.

Right. Left. Right. Left. You're doing good. But you can do more.

Three. Two. One. Take the edge off. Now take another edge off. Go faster. Sprint.

Dare to be different. Dare to be stronger.

Find the beat, add some resistance, now stand.

Now, relax. Take the edge off. Relax your back. Relax your arms.

Now, what you took off, add some back. Ready? I don't know. You're the only one who knows. But I believe in you. Match your feet with the beat. Good. I'm right with you.

Here's one of the songs Liz played during this workout:
She said, "I love this song! I dance in the kitchen with my baby to this song. She loves it, too. She giggles."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Sayings of Angie

Another fun cycling teacher, Angie, is also the mother of a high-school-age girl who runs, so she tells us sometimes about her daughter's adventures at track meets.

But also Angie tells us about her own adventures as a runner and cyclist. And when I say "adventures," I mean tough, hard training.

She told us the other day that right after class she was going to meet another cycling instructor, Chantel, to go riding together.

She added, "She's already been out there riding since seven o'clock this morning. She goes on these five-hour rides. I don't get that. I think riding a bike is hard enough, why would I want to stay on one for six hours? It's long, it's boring, it's painful, it's no fun. Why do people do that, anyway?"

(pause for ironic chuckle)

Anyway, here are some of Angie's motivational sayings from a recent class:

You're sprinting now. You're getting into the anaerobic zone. There is no oxygen for your muscles. You have to switch to another energy system, and it's painful.

I know you're having a hard time. You should be having a hard time.

Pick up the pace. Flush out those legs.

It's on you. Nobody else cares. No one shares the suffering with you. You're all alone in this room.

I'm talking about post-exercise. If you work hard in here, your body will still be burning fat cells two to three hours after we finish.

Your body is always stronger on the home stretch. The harder you work now, the better your body will work later.

Don't sink into the pain. Posture!

I'm looking for muscle recruitment. The more you struggle with those pedal strokes, the more you'll be building new muscle strength.

Faster!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Sayings of Christina

Christina is the pregnant cycling teacher I mentioned earlier.  When I got home from the Huntsman 140, I was privileged to enjoy another class with her.

This must have been her last class before giving birth, because she said at the end, "I guess I'll see you...whenever." Someone in the class said, "Seven weeks?" She said, "I believe I said three weeks, but we'll see."

Then I heard her telling someone, "Yeah, I felt a couple of contractions there!" So, who knows, maybe she gave birth that same day.

Anyway, I loved her motivational sayings that day, including:

I can't break you down. You're stronger than that. All I want is your best.

Everybody wants a good looking body. That's why we're here.

(To a guy in the front row, looking surprised as she approached him:) Yes, I'm gonna pick on you. You're in the front row. You can throw up if you want. Just don't pass out. It tends to bum out the rest of the class.

(To the song "Legs":) Come on, you've got legs. Let's see you use them.

I'm a little more sympathetic toward my mom now. I've got two kids, seven and five, and I'm looking for a summer camp for them. I used to think my mom was so rude, putting us in camp, so cruel and uncaring. But I'm going crazy. You know, the constant fighting. "She's looking at me!" ... "She's breathing!"

I used to be that person in the back, barely looking up, never saying a word. And now I'm in front, with a microphone, talking constantly.

This is not a picnic. You're in boot camp. You're thinking, "I'm stronger than that. I'm better than that pregnant chick." Whatever motivates you.

Okay, give me 30 more seconds. It takes a lot of strength, I know it.

Nice job, guys. See, that wasn't that horrible, was it. (One person says, "No.") You'd BETTER say no.

Come on, out of the saddle! Pop up. Use your legs. Don't haul yourself up with your arms.

You've got to prepare yourself mentally. Now is not the time to say, "I'm tired."

I'm gonna be right with you.

Get uncomfortable. That's when it really starts. Harder! Stronger! You want this! The last half of the class is where you make the progress. Your body is desperate for carbs. You have to make the switch to a different form of energy.

It's mental. Tell yourself, "I don't care. I can do anything for 4 minutes."

Fact: We all hold out just a little bit. That's your mind talking. Keep going. The end is NOW! Those quads should be screaming bloody murder at you. Keep going. You know it's coming.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Huntsman 140: Our Acrazing Day

For now I'm just posting Laura's video. Later I'm going to write about training, and preparation, and life's lessons.

Also, I'll be writing more about this, and posting more photos, at Aunt Louise.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

25 Miles Today


 Ellen, Neva, Laura, Louise, and Reo


(Today being Thursday, June 19, 20140---the last day to reasonably do a training ride before the big one on Saturday)








I think I look like a bug with my helmet and glasses, don't you?



We met at a hotel near the airport and rode from there to the marina at the Great Salt Lake, and back again. "We" were Sandra's five siblings, plus Jeff and Rachael (both of whom will be riding with us on Saturday) and Coralee (who will be volunteering at one of the rest stations and supporting us generally on the ride).




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 7: Riding 104+ Miles in Utah Desert

Neva and James and I joined the Huntsman Hometown Heroes on Saturday the 7th for a training ride. Here we are at the beginning, all full of smiles and energy. We kept the smiles throughout the day, but the energy diminished drastically during the second 50 miles.


Neva and James have ridden with the HHH group before; in fact, Neva is one of the team's coaches. But it was a first for me, and a chance to get used to the higher Utah altitude and heat before the Huntsman 140 on June 21.

Neva had brought a bike for me to ride, as well as energy drinks and an array of snack bars for us to share.



We rode on part of the same route we'll be taking for the Huntsman 140 on June 21. We started at a middle school just south of Salt Lake City to the town of Elberta and back, a total of about 104 miles.

Amazingly, James took these photos as we rode. He took his hands off the handlebars, pedaled up next to me and then Neva, said "Smile!" and snapped the photos of us, plus the view of the landscape we were riding through.

The HHH people call this section of the route, these long rolling hills through the desert just west of Utah Lake, "rollers," a good name for the rolling hills, and they say this is the most dispiriting. And we would agree with that.

BTW,  James's photos are on our Team Sandra page on Facebook. Check it out! All of us are training really hard. For instance, Ellen rode 55 miles that same day, from her home in Salem to the middle school where we ended up---an amazing and courageous ride. And check out one of Laura's rides, with life lessons. And Ellen has posted on the Team Sandra page a story about one of Reo's training rides.

Anyway, I'm really glad I did that ride! The elevation at Elberta is about 4,500 feet above sea level (actually, depending on which Web site you read, it's somewhere between 4,300 and 4,700 feet). And the elevation at Saratoga Springs,* which we rode through, is always listed as 4,505 feet. So we weren't at the maximum elevation we'll be at during the June 21 ride, which is about 6,600 feet. But it's about 4,000 feet higher than where I've been training here at home.

Note: The Arctic Circle in Saratoga Springs was/is like an oasis, as we spent a few minutes there washing the sweat off our faces and eating a chicken sandwich (James) and Moose Tracks Sundaes (Neva and me). The staff there were exceptionally friendly and kind to us, too. Maybe I'll stop there again on June 21.


Monday, June 2, 2014

The Pregnant Cycling Teacher

Tell you what, it made my day to find that today's 9 am spin class was being taught by someone who is about 8 months pregnant. When I got there, she was talking to a class member, about 7-1/2 months pregnant.

Then, as she started the class, she announced that she'll be here for the next 4 Mondays, then gone for 3 weeks, then back again. Someone said, "You could take more, you know. They give you 7 weeks, don't they?" And she said, "I only need 3."

Then she pushed herself as hard as she was pushing us. 

Like I said, it made my day. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Team Sandra Shirts

We wore our new shirts for the first time today:


Week 8? --- And Continuing On

Oops, sorry, I have been so out of it that I haven't kept posting about our 8-week training challenge. Week 8 should have started and finished already. The goal for the week was to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

What I've been doing is focusing back again on the goal of Week 2, which is to eat at least 3 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit every day; and the goal of Week 7, which is to start each day with some "quiet time" or meditation and scripture reading. 

These two goals are the ones that seem to be hardest for me to keep up with, and the ones that give me the most satisfaction and feeling of taking care of myself and accomplishing something.

So I'm continuing, even though the challenge is "over." Because it ain't over till it's over!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sandra's Birthday

(This is the same post I just put up on my Aunt Louise blog. After I wrote and posted it, I realized it could go just as well here, since Sandra is the reason we have gotten an even huger crowd than last year together to ride and support the Huntsman 140 on June 21.)

She would have been 67 years old today. We are riding in the Huntsman 140 next month in her memory and honor.

Laura has created a Facebook page for Team Sandra with photos, videos, and links to our Huntsman 140 page. You don't have to be a Facebook member to go to this page and see all that great content.



By the way, we're still accepting donations! Here's our team donation page.

And here's my personal page. Even though we're called Team Sandra and we're riding in her memory and in honor of another family member, Salvador, we're also riding in memory of others in our family who have died of this dreadful disease.

That's why I put that photo of Lerrys on my personal page, because he was/is one of the kindest and sweetest people I've ever known. And he died of a kind of cancer that didn't have to kill him, if the best care had been available to him. That's what we want to see happen: research and treatment and care that will benefit people all over the world.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Jeff with EMTs, and More Notes

Here he is, smiling---and he never stopped smiling through the whole thing---with the EMTs who cleaned up most of the blood from his face and hand:

This reminds me of a few more things I want to write about this year's Reach the Beach:

1. The support for the ride was amazing. These EMTs were at every stop and driving in between to help anyone who needed help. At one point I saw a bunch of riders standing around a friend who was sitting on the ground, resting, while one of them was changing a flat tire, and these guys pulling up just ahead of them to walk back and check that they were all okay.  There were uniformed cops and deputies at every junction where we needed to be directed to turn across traffic and/or traffic had to be routed around us. There were volunteers at every stop handing out snacks and drinks and ringing cow bells. At one rest stop, four teenagers stood just to the right of the road where we rode out, holding out their hands for high fives and yelling, "You can do it! Go, go, go!" And at the railroad tracks where a rider had fallen two years earlier, instead of just telling us to get off and walk our bikes over that slippery metal plate, they were still there telling us to ride slowly and single file, but they had also put some rubber matting over the tracks. In the town where everyone got traffic tickets a couple of years ago, volunteers stood on the corner of the street where the problem had been so they could warn each one of us, "This is not a four-way stop, Cross traffic will not stop for you, You have to come to a full stop before crossing," and so on.

2. The miracle of last year's riding buddy, or as we like to call him, my angel, Rick Geib, really WAS a miracle. All the riders I saw were super nice, but no one was looking for a riding partner. That was okay this year because now I knew what I was doing. But last year, when I needed that help, Rick showed up. (This year he couldn't make it but called Jason about halfway through to tell him he was with us in spirit and he will be riding with us next year.)

3. My real angel and support through this ride and all my training and riding is, of course, Jason. I can't even begin to describe all the things he has done and keeps doing to make these rides possible. I'm sure I'm not even aware of all of it. But, just a few things here: He keeps my bike working for me; sets up the bike rack and puts the bike on and off and again; drives me to wherever, and then between wherever and wherever else, and then back; makes sure I eat something in the morning and gets snacks for me throughout the day; and when we get home he takes everything off and out of the car and brings it in and puts it away and lets me rest.

4. And that's just on big ride days. On other days, he drives with me to the lake and walks down the trail with me till I get to where I'll start running, and then he goes back and waits in the car until I get back; he even drops me off at the gym and does shopping while I get a few minutes in there; he listens to me talk about this and that exercise, class, teacher, trainer, and so on; and he generally keeps me encouraged without pushing.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reach the Beach

I made it! --- 81 miles from Newberg to Pacific City, Oregon --- and in better time than last year and feeling less exhausted at the end. I still had a hard time lifting my bike up at the beach, though.

Jason took photos of me whenever he could, parking the car in whatever town the next rest stop was and running out to meet me on the road, shouting encouragement and reminding me to smile for the camera.

One thing I don't have a photo of is him with blood streaming down the left side of his face, at the Sheridan rest stop. Strangely enough, I didn't think of taking a photo until at the end, with the EMT's, after they'd fixed him up. He had run out really far to get my photo; so far, in fact, that I turned around to go back and ride alongside him for a ways as he came back into the town. He said, "Go on, I'll meet you there."

So I did, and right after that he took a hard fall. He walked the rest of the way, and when I finally found him, he looked like an extra in a zombie movie.


We found the EMTs and they did a great job of fixing him up. And then he insisted that I get going, and he would catch up with me at the next rest stop. I looked for him all the way there and got worried because I didn't see him. But he had taken the safe way there, not driving past the riders.  It was an incredible relief to see him, safe and sound.







Friday, May 16, 2014

Encouraging Signs

Didn't have time---or a camera with me---to take photos of these signs along the way during the Hippie Chick Half, but I loved these ones:

Running: Better Than Therapy!

and

Run Like You Stole Something!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Progress

I finally got the results back from the half-marathon I ran last Saturday, so I could compare them with the results from the half-marathon I ran a month ago, and I'm somewhat pleased: I "ran" (jogged - walked - stumbled - and - yes - did - a - little - running - too) the second one in about 5-1/2 minutes less time than the first one.

This progress is not huge, not as big as I'd hoped for. But it's something. And even more: My knees didn't start killing me until the 10th mile. Now that's progress!

I'll keep training, of course, and even though these running events have really been training for the cycling events, I'll run my next half-marathon in August, and hope to cut more than another 5 minutes off my time then.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Other Training Blogs

FYI, Laura and Ellen are also writing blogs about how they're training for this year's Huntsman 140, and Neva is keeping us all on track with ideas, training rides, nutrition suggestions, and so on.

Here's Laura's blog: Hung Out To Dry.

And here's Ellen's blog: Fun Journey of Happiness.

Week 7 of Challenge

Sorry for not posting this on Sunday, when this week 7 of our challenge started. And since I didn't post it, I haven't been doing it. But I'm going to do it now. 

Here it is, from the first post about this challenge:

Week 7: Continue Week 6 habits. Add: Start your day with"Quiet Time" every day. This should be at least 30 minutes of meditation, and can include your own scripture study or other medication that you currently do. 

Our final week will begin this coming Sunday, May 18, and it will be to continue with the good habits we've learned and practiced in the previous 7 weeks, plus getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. 

 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Hippie Chick Half: Done

Thanks to my wonderful sisters for your encouraging and helpful comments!

So, I made it through another half marathon, a hard run/walk/jog. And this time my knees didn't start hurting till about the ninth mile, which is a huge improvement.

This time I had a friend with me, Lara, who runs so much faster than me that I told her after about a quarter mile to go ahead, and she did.

I think my time improved, but haven't seen the results yet so I'm not sure. Even if they did improve, it was only by a couple of minutes, but that's okay with me!

There were so many people running!---all women, too! We waited until the crowd thinned out before we started.


We made it! Jeff was waiting for Lara when she got to the finish line, and then me, about 20 minutes later.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Prepping for the Hippie Chick Half

Great name for a day-before-Mother's-Day, all-women, half-marathon, yeah? This will be my second half-marathon. (I was writing "This will be my second half," but it sounds like I'm writing about a very sad basketball game, like the Blazers against the Spurs in their last two games***; or the last half of a very sad and short life. Which I'm not.)

So here's how I've prepared so far:

---This week: my usual 5:30 am spin classes on Monday and Wednesday, and doing some training on my own at the gym on Tuesday and Thursday

---This morning: Eating brownie crumbs I saved in the pan from the brownies I made for and delivered to my visiting teaching sisters yesterday, and then a microwaved chimichanga and half a bottle of Coke Zero, because, of course, I want to be super healthy and strong for tomorrow!

(Don't you love the way Windows tries to help you spell things? And do the Windows people live in a completely un-Mexican-fooded world, or what? Because when I wrote "chimichanga," Windows suggested that what I really wanted to write was "Michiganite.")

---The rest of this day: That chimichanga was so good, maybe I'll have another one for lunch. I'll do some yard work which will count as a light day at the gym (weeding, carrying heavy stuff up the stairs, plugging up mole holes, etc.). I'll go to jujitsu tonight. I don't know what I'll eat for dinner but it will probably be about as healthy as a chimichanga.

---Tomorrow morning: Suggestions for breakfast? I'll have to leave the house around 6:15 to get to the place, and I don't think I'll feel hungry, but I know I should eat. Ideas, anyone? Please?

***Do you think finding a snake in your locker could influence your game? I sure do!  Yeah, sure, it was harmless. But, as the Huffington Post noted, "... if it was meant to unnerve the Blazers, it appears to have worked. Robinson had just two points as Portland lost to the Spurs, 114-97." Welcome to Texas!

What does that have to do with preparing for a half-marathon? Nothing whatsoever.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Week 6 of Challenge

Here's our goal for this week:

Week 6: Continue Week 5 habits. Add: Take supplements each day as recommended by your doctor or other health professional, including dieticians (but not including information from magazine and newspaper articles). 

And I should add here: Continue Weeks 1 through 4 habits, too.

Here's the link to where we started this round of the challenge. I'd sure like to do something different the next time, because so many of these things were obviously designed for college students and/or people who hadn't been exercising and trying to get lean already. 

I need some goals specifically to help push me on to the next phase. If anyone has any suggestions for this, I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

RACC

Yes, we rode the 34-mile loop in today's Ride Around Clark County with the Vancouver Bicycle Club (the most friendly and relaxed and fun set of people you'll ever meet)!

And then, because I felt like I needed more training --- not because I felt great or anything like that --- I rode from the starting place at the college back to our house. Note: I did NOT ride the bike up the 80-degree path up the hill behind our house. I walked the bike up that hill. Even when the day comes that I can ride the bike up Dahlia, I don't know what could happen to make me able to ride up that back path!

(Photos to follow)

BTW, I just *know* the rest of Team Sandra have been out riding today, too! I'm looking forward to reading about their adventures later.

Friday, May 2, 2014

(Etc.)

I'm going to be participating in the charity bike ride Reach the Beach on Saturday, May 17. I rode in this last year and had a great time, with the nicest guy in the world helping me, inspiring me, and talking to me about becoming vegan:)

I'll do the same 84-mile ride this year, not the full 100-mile ride. My riding companion from that year won't be riding this year, instead spending that day helping his teen-age son who will be in a rowing competition.

More training this month: Ride Around Clark County tomorrow (May 3) with Jason, and my second half-marathon the following Saturday (May 10) with a friend. And more of the same training at the gym, around the lake, and so on. And then ramping up in June! Yay! Am I crazy, or what?



Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 5

Already! How time flies, whether you're having fun or not! Here's this week's goal:  

Week 5: Continue Week 4 habits. Add: Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. However, since some people find it hard to drink that much water, you could change this to fit YOUR MAXIMUM healthy amount.  

Should be easy, right?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fourth

Another thought about the Hop Hop Half I ran (jogged/walked/slogged/sprinted) in last Saturday:

I was regarding it as a training opportunity, not a competition, but still I ended up doing better in  the more competitive moments of the race. This happened several times throughout the time I was there, but most notably at the end.

What happened, you ask? What are you talking about?

This is it: Some people would be way behind me and apparently decide that passing me was going to make them feel better. I could hear them coming up on me, jogging along, speeding up, feet flapping on the pavement, and when they would get barely past me, like 5 paces beyond, they would slow down.

I would think, Are you kidding me? And of course, then, being the slightly competitive person I am, I would jog past them. But because I'm not a jerk, and also because I was really appalled at their behavior, I wouldn't stop when I got barely in front of them, but keep going and going and going.

I want to ask Madame L, "What's wrong with these people?" But I know the answer: They're just thoughtless jerks who are trying to push themselves to do better.

And one more thought about it: Because I was regarding it as a training opportunity, most of the time I was able to focus on my breathing, pacing myself, and figuring out how to do better next time. Still, when I found out I came in fourth in my category, less than 4 minutes after the one who came in third, I realized that I *need* to do much better next time. (And BTW she was one of the ones who passed me like that, after I'd stopped to help a runner who was pushing a baby stroller with her fussy 8-month-old baby. Snark.) Anyway, eventually I'll want to finish in less than 1-1/2 hours, like the woman who finished first in my category.

I've already signed up for two upcoming half-marathons, and for these next ones I'll be running with a friend who has already had lots of experience with running events, including a marathon. We won't be staying together---she's way faster than me---but we'll be a support for each other at the beginning and end. And maybe we'll even get to do some training together in coming weeks.

Only a few hundred yards to go, and after Jason took this, he ran alongside me to encourage me to keep running, even though I was more beat than I remember being ever before in my whole life. And it worked. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Okay, For Week 4:

Thanks for those two suggestions. Let's go with both of them. So, this week, let's:

---Add a new exercise to our training workouts;

---Set a higher goal for ourselves, more than we've done before or more than we used to think we were capable of; and

---Re-commit to our current goals, like trying one new healthy recipe and tracking our food intake.






Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 4 of Challenge

Here's our goal for Week 4:
Week 4: Continue Week 3 habits. Add: Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week. This can be as simple as brisk walking. The goal is to raise your heartbeat. If you're feeling a good cardio workout, working up a sweat, increased heart rate, it counts. Also, the more that you can vary your exercise routine the better. So, do cardio one day and weights another. Try different forms of exercise (i.e. an elliptical one day and swimming another). Try to establish a routine. If you must, you can split this into three 10 minute segments for a total of 30 minutes.
However, my question is: Is this too easy for us? All of us are already exercising at least 30 minutes per day, aren't we?  Problem is, I don't know what else we might set as an alternate goal for the week. Any ideas?


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hop Hop Half

So, today I did my biggest so-called cross-training exercise so far: I completed the Hop Hop Half Marathon on Marine Drive in Portland.

See the photo below from the Web page with the giant dancing bunny? Well, he was there again, and a lot of runners wore cute bunny costumes.


It was a lot of fun, for awhile. And when it was over it was a lot of fun, too. And then I went home and I'm glad I did it and I'm glad it's done.

And one more thing: thanks to Jeff, without whose help I couldn't have done it. And that's all I have to say about that.





Wait! Look at this photo from last year's run: Looks like Val, doesn't it?!? But I'm pretty sure she wasn't there.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Recipes

Thanks for the recipes for Week 3! (See comments on Week 3 post.) 

The only new thing I've tried so far this week isn't even new, but it does use a mashed-up banana and some applesauce. It's that oatmeal snack recipe from Madame L, but I cut it in half this time and put in cinnamon chips, and it was delicious. I also used sugar (slap my hand) and I think that's one reason it tastes so good. Also, when I put the dough into the muffin tin, I used canola spray instead of cupcake liners, so the bottom of each of the muffin things was nice and gooey and with bits of cinnamon chips.

It reminded me of pineapple up-side-down cake, so I've decided I'll try something similar, maybe on Sunday, making a kind of pineapple version of this, with pineapple chunks and brown sugar at the bottom of each of the muffins. It will be so nice and gooey and sweet, and I won't feel guilty because it will have FRUIT in it!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Thanks for the Support and Encouragement!

And those great recipes, Neva! I'm looking forward to trying both of those smoothies.

I see on Ellen's training blog that Neva also sent her an email message answering her questions about the nitty-gritty day-to-day training for the Huntsman 140.  Ellen asked, "How many miles should I be doing in a week? How much should I increase distance from week to week?"

I'm pasting that advice here:
It's a good idea to have some cross training and/or resistance training a couple of days a week - on those days you don't ride at all. It's also a good idea to have a day (I use Tuesday) to do some kind of interval work. That is, after at least 10 minutes of warming up, doing 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 intervals of 30 seconds up to 5 minutes (depending on your base and where you are in the season) with recovery in between of at least the same amount of time as you did the interval. One of the things you're working on is increased leg speed and/or increased resistance - higher gear or up hill. On that day, you're not doing a lot of time or distance on the bike, but you're training your muscles to take up oxygen and recover.
A typical schedule might be:
Monday - resistance training and cross training - 30 minutes. The cross training should be gently aerobic. This is not the time to push. The work was in the resistance training.
Tuesday - Interval work - 50 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, minimum 10 min warm-up and cool down.
Wednesday - resistance training and cross training - 30 minutes.
Thursday - a "moderate ride" - not too long or hard, but not too easy either. How long you can go will partly depend on your schedule, but it's nice to get between 1 and 2 hours in.
Friday is a recovery day - 45 minutes to an hour at the most of very gentle cross training, e.g. walking or jogging slowly, or spinning easily on the bike. Heart rate shouldn't go above 120.
Then, Saturday, you do the long ride. If you're able to ride with a group, you'll probably get pushed - I know I did last year. The term "moderate" took on a new meaning. But I wanted to keep up, so I was going pretty hard. And I got stronger and faster as a result. The increase in distance from one Saturday to the next Saturday probably shouldn't go up more than 10 miles per week. Today the "long distance" riders went 60 miles. Two Saturdays ago they went 50, and last Saturday they eased off at 35. Then Sunday, you rest or do something very gentle, like walking or spinning for 45 minutes to let the muscles work the lactic acid out.
This is what I've been doing, more or less.  Sometimes I've made Thursday or Wednesday into a recovery day, instead of Friday. I haven't been taking long rides on Saturdays yet, but did ride with Jason part of the Banks to Vernonia trail Saturday.  We didn't do the whole thing because his back was giving him problems. Then I was going to do more on my own, but got a flat tire, so that ended the day for me. (Yeah, I know there are people who can fix a flat tire and go on riding, but those people do not include me, not a back tire, not on that day.)

Also, I've been keeping up with Laura's blog, in which she writes about her training and, most recently, about some movies about cycling. 

I totally agree that watching movies like the ones she mentioned are good for motivation and inspiration. I watched a couple of movies,*** thanks to her sending them to me, last year, and they were wonderful. So I'm looking forward to watching these ones, this year.

(***The Flying Scotsman and Bicycle Dreams, both of which are available from Amazon.com or to borrow from me---Just let me know!)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beginning Week 3 of Challenge

Here's this week's goal in the 8-Week Challenge:

Week 3: Continue Week 2 habits.  Add: Find a new way to prepare some healthy fruit or vegetable that makes it more enjoyable (i.e., edible). And share this with the rest of us.

BTW: You don't have to be participating in the 8-week challenge to share recipes with us! I really need all the recipe ideas I can get, especially for vegetables. 

The "personal sized baked oatmeal snacks" that Madame L shared have turned out to be a satisfying and easy-to-carry snack. I'm going to make that recipe again, but this time cut the recipe in half and use sugar or honey instead of the "natural" sweetener I used last time. 

I'm also going to add cinnamon chips to half of them and chocolate chips to the other half. Obviously this a departure from the no-sugar origins of the recipe, but I don't care. I have to be able to chew and swallow the things if they're going to do me any good! 

Also, I'm still not going to add the optional ground-up flax seed to the recipe because I don't like the way it tastes in bread and muffins. 

But we were talking about veggies and fruits, weren't we. Help! Give me recipes!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Today's Training

So far: Carrying heavy stuff up the stairs from the garden.

Later: Running and biking.

Yup, that's it for now.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What If Nothing Is Impossible?

One of my Facebook friends shared this inspiring story, and I'm sharing it here:

Concluding line: "Whatever challenges you face in life, if you think you can make a difference, we say you can."

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Schedule

Sometimes you have to make some changes, and I've started with a new schedule: Instead of going to spin classes at 5:30 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, I'm trying the 9:00 a.m. classes.

I just haven't been getting to bed in time to get enough sleep to face those sessions and then have enough energy to face the rest of the day.

We'll see how this goes. So far, it seems to be helping.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Challenge of the Fittest

Just got this email message from AA Sports, the organizers of the Spring Classic Duathlon, with the subject line "Challenge of the Fittest":

30th Annual Spring Classic Du

Thank You Athletes!

Thank you to all of the participants who came out Saturday morning to take part in the 2014 Spring Classic Duathlon. 
Way to charge hard in the elements with wind gusts up to 38 m.p.h.!
There's nothing quite like battling the temperamental NW spring weather, on top of tackling the course, for a strong way to kick off the season!

Kudos to everyone for charging hard, 
and Congratulations to the Top Overall Performers:

Top Overall Male: Birkin Owart, Ellensburg, WA, 1:14:21
Top Overall Female: Janet Howard, Portland, OR 1:29:02
Top Overall Masters Male: Brian August, Portland, OR 1:23:23
Top Overall Masters Female: Angela Allen, Portland 1:35:03

Look at those times---something for me to shoot for, in the future!