Monthly Archives: June 2010

Finding Focus

I love summer for baseball, not so much for the heat. In fact, I detest heat and humidity. Odd coming from a girl from Hawai’i, right? Lucky for me, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we (usually) have year-round mild temperatures. To take it even further, I live in one of the windiest (I like to call it “breezy“) areas of the Bay, and work in one of the coolest, foggiest towns. Awesome, except for those 1-2 weeks a year where it is blazingly hot. Right now is one of them. Its not the worst I’ve ever felt it, but its definitely plenty warm enough for me.

I usually run at the crack of dawn when its still cool, foggy, and in the low 50s. Perfect. Running during the quietness of the morning is a great way to start your day.

Well my workout today was to run some hill sprints. Since there are zero hills around me, I couldn’t do the usual, “lace ‘em up and hit the road” routine. I considered my options:

1. Hit the trails
2. Run the hills around my office building.

The trails would have required me to drive 15-20 minutes to them, run, then drive back. Not enough time to do before work. And since after work running is not an option for me this week, that left me with Option #2. Lucky for me, there is a full locker room at work. So I packed up all my crap; i.e., shower stuff, hair dryer, make-up, work clothes, etc, etc, and headed to the office just before 6 am.

[[As I drove out of my neighborhood I spotted 2 huge raccoons. I have an immense fear of raccoons. During the winter I had phantom sightings of them, but had never gotten a good look. Well I sure saw them this morning. They were strolling down the street, going in and out of people’s yards. I rolled my window down to take a photo. They both turned at looked at me, and I swear, ‘posed’. They were not afraid at all. Ummm, so what are you supposed to do if you come face-to-face with these things?!?]]

I knew this would be a hard workout, but strangely enough, I wasn’t dreading it as much as I thought I would. I ran a mile around the block, which started on an uphill, crossed flat, then ended downhill. From that end point, I back tracked for 6 hill sprints, jogging down and resting for a bit between each one.

Going Up

Downhill

The first couple ones were hard. I was cursing. I kept thinking, “I can’t believe I have 5 more of this to do.” Eventually I stopped thinking about it, and just did it. By the time I got to the last 2 I think I was in a robotic state. I finished by running another mile around the block.

After stretching and getting cleaned up, I was at my desk and ready to start the day before 8 am, about an hour earlier than I normally get in. Along with the workout, that extra hour made the day so much more productive. It was amazing, I had so much more focus. I was able to answer all my emails and complete my “to-do” list for the day; no putting anything off till tomorrow! For once I felt on top of the game. As Jess said in her post today about working out, “I honestly and truly just love…the burst of energy and the positive mood it always puts me in.” There’s nothing like starting your day with a great workout!

Seeing Red

I can hardly believe the weekend is almost over. The Sunday night dread is already setting in.

After being mentally drained from a hard week, I meant to take it easy on Friday night…you know, get some takeout, watch the Giants game. But there is no such thing as “easy” for Giants fans; its more like “torture”, especially when the Red Sox and their fan base are in town and Brian Wilson is pitching in the 9th inning. Needless to say the end of that game had me so amped up, I couldn’t sleep.

I woke up extra tired on Saturday and lounged around until I realized that it was going to be a hot day, and I’d better get moving if I was going to get 8-miles. I scarfed down some breakfast and then headed out the door. I soon realized that:

1. I had dressed too warm (that’s what happens when you live on the water and its cooler than anywhere else)
2. I didn’t give myself enough time to digest breakfast.

I was queasy the entire time. So not fun, but at least I got it done.

As soon as I was done running I rushed home to get cleaned up and then headed up to the City for the second ballgame of the series. Because of dynamic pricing, the tickets for this series were really expensive, so we were really lucky to get our tickets from Lauren. We had an extra one so I invited Kerry to join us. We’ve been talking about meeting up for a ballgame and it worked out perfectly!

Me and Kerry

We knew there’d be a lot of opposing fans and I wasn’t sure how I would handle it. As the park gates opened we met a very nice family visiting from Boston. We gave them some pointers about where things were in the park, what to check out, tidbits about different players, etc. They were so nice and pleasant. If only the rest of them were the same way.

Despite amazing San Francisco weather and a ceremony featuring a bunch of Giants Hall-of-Famers…

Willie Mays

…the rest of the night was a bummer. I’m not sure if I should’ve been annoyed with the season ticket holders who sold their tickets, the annoying Red Sux fans (not a typo), or the pathetic offense. Probably all of the above. Gah! But at least I had a great time, as always, with my fellow die-hards.

This morning I dragged myself to the pool for the first time in 2 weeks. I had it all to myself up until the last 10 minutes. It was awesome! I wish I was that lucky every time I went to the pool.

I spent the rest of the day puttering around the house while watching another pathetic loss. I swear, I get so emotionally caught up in this team that I literally make myself sick. Oh and guess what, its only going to get worse because this week the rivalry is renewed…

Sticking to the Plan Gets Results

A month ago I was up 10 lbs from my “happy” weight, 4 lbs above my “acceptable max” weight. That marathon training had me hungry all. the. time. So when it was over I sat down with my nutritionist to make a plan on how to cut back on my calorie intake and get back to my happy range. After 30 days I’d actually had gained another pound. So during last month’s visit we decided that we would limit my calories to my RMR level of 1757/day. That’s about 450-500 less then what I had been eating.

The first week and a half was one big fail. I simply could not do it. Then 2 1/2 weeks ago I forced myself to do it. That first week was torture. At precisely 3 pm I was crawling the walls wanting to snack. At 5 pm, during the pau hana hour, I’d search my cabinets for something salty, only to find nothing since I’d thrown everything out. At dinner I’d force myself to only 1 serving, no more second helpings.

Towards the end of that week, it wasn’t so bad anymore. My body started to adjust. It got even easier when I saw the pounds start to come off. I was cautious at first, thinking maybe it was just water, but it’s held steady so far – 4 lbs! That’s all the motivation I need to keep it up.

A typical day goes something like:

Breakfast (pre-workout)
Oatmeal with a tablespoon of honey and 1/8 cup of sliced raw almonds

Morning Snacks
Banana-Frozen Strawberries-Flaxseed Oil-Light Chocolate Soy Milk Smoothie (post-workout)
2 hard-boiled egg whites
1 string cheese

Lunch
Leftovers or a salad
Strawberries

Afternoon Snacks
Fruit
2 hard-boiled egg whites
1 serving of chips (lately I’m liking the “Food Should Taste Good” brand)

Dinner
Leftovers

Evening Snack
Chocolate Granola

I say “leftovers” for lunch and dinner because I usually make a big dish of something on Sunday and eat it for both lunch and dinner through Tuesday or so, then make something else that takes me through Thursday (Friday’s I eat out). I have an adverse reaction to touching raw meat so these meals are mostly seafood dishes with vegetables and quinoa, pasta or brown rice.

I’ve realized that the key for me to stick to the plan is to drink lots of water and not interpreting thirst for hunger, stop mindless snacking at my desk and portion control.

I had my June check-in with my nutritionist today and she was more than delighted to hear the progress! We went over everything that I’ve been eating and she recommended taking advantage of the season by grilling and eating lots of the produce that’s in season right now. She said I also need to increase my protein; a smoothie with some protein powder would do that and it could serve a double purpose of avoiding the temptation of ice cream or frozen yogurt (major weaknesses) during the summer months. As for snacking, she suggested I try hummus – something I’ve never had before (I had an interesting experience with chickpeas in Asia that left me no longer having any appetite for it). But everyone I know loves it, so perhaps I’ll give it a try.

Now the next challenge is to keep it up through the weekend that will be filled with birthday celebrations, friends visiting from out-of-town, and of course Giants baseball! How will I keep myself away from the macho nachos?!