Thursday, May 22, 2008

general notes

I am getting ready to pack and leave Cali. I have impressed myself that I have logged miles on the treadmill and pool. I have developed some pretty good habits. Although one night I did get to the pool and it was full of folks, so I went back to my room and ate ice cream... I have gotten off my butt and done something. I thought for sure I would spend a lot of time on-line this week or watching movies. Nope, I spent spare time working out.

Or going for healthy meals. I am gearing up for the next round of WW weight loss. Time to get back to meetings and start losing. Less to carry for the marathon.

I did watch some good old movies - which inspired me to keep walking on the treadmill. I did have a time I was working out and had to remind myself not to overdo it because I would have stay awake at work. Lots of working out, but also lots of napping. I am hoping that the extra workouts will make my normal workouts take less out of me.

I am so glad to be going home to see my hubby and kid. I really missed them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great Run

OK - the Bridge run was GREAT!!! I started the day rather nervous about going by myself. The race was at 8am. They recommended getting there early to get free parking at meters around the convention center. I was planning to get there at 6:30 to get a spot, then thought 7... I left the hotel at 6:45, and the car didn't start -dead battery. By the time AAA got there, it was 7:20. I rushed to the directions I had, then wondered how I would find my way to the start. Then, I saw a bunch of people with bibs! I found a parking lot, with lots of bib wearers in it. I got the last spot - because I had a compact car and the space was tiny. There were a bunch of folks still behind me waiting to pay for parking.

I made it to the start line, after the horn had gone off. So, I was with a bunch of walkers. I learned - you can only go as fast as the pack around you. I did a bunch of walking during the race. I would jog when some space opened up, then walk when I hit a wall of people. Also, when we got to the top of the bridge, lots of folks stopped to take pictures. I offered to take them as well - so they could all be in the photos.

I finished in a little more than an hour. On the website it says 1:11, but Garmin says 1:04. I pushed start when I went over the start line.

It was 80 degrees at the end of the race. There was very little breeze, but the Navy sent a helicopter to the bridge. They hovered there for a while, and it made a GREAT breeze. I got some good pics from under the bridge.

I met some folks that are just starting a fitness routine - I wasn't the largest person on the bridge that day. I also wasn't the last person to finish. It looks like there were more than 350 people behind me.

At just after the 1 mile mark, the route goes up the bridge. It was cool to be there - because the road was very banked. There was a little boy, maybe 5 years old. He was telling his mom that he was too hot, and couldn't go any further. But, at the end of the race, he RAN past me to the finish line, so he caught up.

Towards the end, the path narrowed - we left the road and were on a biking/walking path. I decided to end the race running, and started to jog. Someone behind me was saying, "come on, we are almost there, let's do it, keep going, don't stop..." I thought, "Hey, I can do that, too." When we finished, a man came up to me and asked if I had heard him cheering me on. He told me I was his inspiration to finish. I know it is because I am large, but that was AOK. I was really happy to be someone's inspiration.

Hey - that is the second time someone has said that to me during a race. I forgot about the Shrewsbury race when the woman found me to run with her.

I was really glad to have done it. It felt great afterwards to say, I did it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Next Big Run!

I've mentioned that I am traveling for work. I am here Friday to Friday so I have a weekend here. (I have to work Sunday afternoon, but I figured I have Saturday). I went on line to see what there was to do in the area. I've been sent here before, so I've done a bunch of the touristy stuff. I went on line to look for things to do on the weekend.

I registered for the San Diego Coranado Bridge Run - it is the 22nd annual, four mile run. When I registered, there were less than 500 spots left. As of today, it is closed. There are 8,000 people registered. 8,000 people!!!

I'm pretty proud of myself that I thought to sign up for a RUN. Also, it is the longest distance I have run officially. And, it is by far the most people that I have run with. I started running 5K's with 14-24 people. Then, I had the 5K with 250 people. Now it is 8,000.

It's 99 degrees here today. My job today has been to drink LOTs of non-cafeinated low-sugar liquids. I need to be hydrated tomorrow. I've been told that the bridge should be breezy though.

I had to shop today and get sunscreen. I forgot to pack mine. I bought some that is "Ultra Sweatproof". We'll see.

I also picked up my bib today. I had to go to a running store. There were a lot of people in the store and outside at the bib pickup. I got a t-shirt (2X) and a coupon for a free coffee at Starbucks. I'd send it to my sister, but it is only in San Diego.

I bought a fanny pack as well - to carry water and a digital camera. I hear the view from the bridge is going to be great.

Sunny Saturday Stuff

I got up this moring and worked on cleaning up my computer. Then, it decided to re-boot, so I had to shut it down. I was in the middle of a Simon Templar movie (at 8am), and so ran to the workout room, got controll of the TV and started walking on the treadmill. I did 3o minutes on the treadmill, then 30 minutes on the bike, then another 35 minutes on the tread mill. There was a second Simon Templar movie on after the first. :-)

I did 5.55 miles, and that was 1.5 hours that I wasn't eating or loafing around. However, now, I am exhausted this afternoon. I spent the morning running errands - the post office, shopping, lunch, and picked up my bib!!!

For lunch, I had great sushi. I was driving around semi lost. Then, I saw a place called the Bamboo Hut. It was a hole in the wall place, but had great sushi. Lots of sushi, lots of low points.

It's 99 degrees here. Very hot. I didn't bother to go to the beach - because it is just too hot and the beach would be packed. Maybe I can head to the pool and log another half mile.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Oh, and I am pretty excited too that I did some good grocery shopping. I had ~$40 to spend (by expense account). It could be spent on food all for tonight, or to last a few days. here's what I bought:
bunch of bananas avacado mango frozen peas
frozen mixed veggies oatmeal seltzer water 100% juice - cranberry/pomegrate
sliced turkey coffee mate low-fat yogurt egg substitute
low-fat string cheese melon cherries almonds
lettuce cinnamon gum can of soup no-pudge ice cream bar
whole wheat tortillas (flat bread)

No: chips, dips, chocolate, full fat ice cream, soda (seltzer doesn't count)...

So, after swimming, I have had cherries and blue cheese, and seltzer water. I am heading to bed. Tomorrow I'll probably stop and get wine, for after the Sunday race. None before a race - and proabably not the soup tomorrow. I need to be hydrated, and the soup is high in salt... I wonder if soup hydrates or dehydrates because the salt may retain water. Anyone know?

I am getting back to weight watchers. I haven't been following it lately - I have been adding workouts and focussing on them. I haven't gained much back - my weigh in this week (first in 7 weeks) was 229.6, when 7 weeks ago it was 225.8. And, last time I weighed in with light weight pants and top. This time, I had jeans and kept my jacket on. I like to start at a slightly elevated weight, so the first week I lose a "lot". I know it is stupid - all psychological. But, it works.

It's finally 10pm. I am heading to bed. TV Land went from M*A*S*H to A Fish Called Wanda. I dind't know they showed movies at night. It feels like the middle of the deep night. I hope tomorrow I still like the shopping that I did when so tired. Ok, one banana, then bed.

Couch Potato - on the other coast

I haven't written in a while - too busy trying to work out and balance everything else. I am travelling for work this week. I've been here for a day and I haven't gotten acclimated. I arrived at 8:30PDT, and that's 11:30EDT. Then, by the time that I got the car, checked-in, unpacked and showered... it was 11:30 local time. I woke up at 4am local time - because I am still on the other time zone. I worked from the hotel and then from the work until 6pm, then went grocery shopping and unloaded. By 7:45, I was exhausted!!! I just wanted to go lay down and sleep.

But, instead, since I hadn't done any specific exercise, I went to the pool. I did thirty minutes of walking/swimming laps. I figure, 40 steps a lap, with 30 laps, that is 1200 steps, so at least a half mile of swimming. Pretty much, 5 months ago before I started this all, I wouldn't have bothered going down to the pool. I would have sat on the couch in my room and flipped channels. Probably eaten all the snack food I bought, maybe some wine... - basically instead of exercising or getting a good night's sleep, I would have added calories and spent two hours not getting good sleep. I feel pretty good that I made a choice - and it was a difficult choice. But, at least I made it.

I will catch up on emails and group posts tomorrow. Also, I am excited about the other thing I am doing out here that is TOTALLY out of the character I used to be...
But now, I am too tired.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Photo link to the race

Here is a link to photos from the race.

You can see me coming up on the left in photos 41-44 (in the blue suit).
C & T are walking up on the sidewalk in photo 68.
Photo 96 is C & T walking to the finish line - C is now carrying T.
Photos 263-265 show me (and my running pal Pamela) coming to the finish line. You can see my lovely PINK shirt! With the nice blue Enell underneath.

One thing that I notice from reveiwing the pics - I am the largest woman out there. There is one other that may be close to my size - but it could be her jacket. Maybe that is my motivation, to be out there showing that large gals can do it too. I'm working on my motivation - I'll post about it while away for work.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stair Math

My family has been working on some stair math. My sister is climing the stairs in her office building. We want to know the distance she is going. Here is a summary of what we have decided - in case any visitors want to contribute. We'd love to hear some other way to measure.

When A is going up stairs the true distance she travels should be the diagonal distance - because she is going up AND across. Think of it this way: If you put a plank of wood on the stairs to make them flat, that is the distance she would have walked - like going up a hilly road. To get the measurement of that distance, you can calculate it knowing the height and depth of the stairs.

You have to assume that there is a right angle on the stairs where the height and depth meet - but that is a good assumption, or you would notice a tilt to the stairs. (We also assume that each stair has the same dimension, so once we know one stair, we can know the sum of the stairs.) Use Pythagoran Theorem and you get that the square root of the height squared plus the depth squared is the hypotenuse (the distance traveled). If it is 8 inches high and deep, that is ~11 inches per step, so with 11 flights of 24 steps each, you are at ~0.05 miles.

This is the correct way to measure it - not the up and the across, because she is not shuffling her feet. A - you do not have to measure the arc your foot makes. We don't do that when you are walking outside to get distance.

Unfortunately, as nice as the pedometer quick calculation was, it was WRONG. Sorry to get the hopes up. I told you the average stepping distance was 2,000 steps per mile. That would mean a step/stride of ~32 inches per step. As we stated, the hypotenuse is only ~11 inches. At 11 inches per stride, you have to go 5760 steps per mile. Since you only go 264, you are (again) at ~0.05 miles per your 11 flights of stairs.

Any other ideas on how to get a nicer number? Maybe we should look at heart rate, and results of blood pressure and lactic acid production? Going up those 0.05 miles of stairs is way harder than going 0.05 miles to the coffee machine.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Shrewsbury Road Scholars

I had a GREAT 5K run yesterday! It was my first official run with a number. I've been doing the 5K's with my running club. 14-27 people running a 3.1 mile loop. I have always come in last and been ok with that. Or, I have run 3.1 miles with my Garmin strapped to my wrist. (C suggested I call my Garmin "Larry", since that is the replacement pet for "Gary" on Spongebob Squarepants, and he is a snail... I just can't get used to the name. I may go for "Trot", although he is no longer with the Sox... I may go with Veri - short for my guy Jason, who is the team captain...)

Anyway, I had an official bib number. For the first time, I had to think about where to put the number. I have a lot of real estate that can be covered on my shirt. So sad for those petite little gals that don't have as much material to pin to. It was an awesome dilemma!

I did it overall in 40:47. Fastest yet! The thrid mile was 13:00 even. That is my fastest mile ever. I have hit 11 minute miles, sustained for all of 1 minute. But, this was overall 13:00.
Just before the half way point I met a runner that was recovering from a hip procedure and wanted to walk/run together. So, I did. Towards the end, she pulled out a cross necklace and said he answered her prayers. She had said she needed a partner to show up, and there I was. Pretty wierd being someone's answer to a prayer.

It was a great run. The best? I am almost ashamed of this - I was not the dead last person!!! I haven't had that treat. After finishing, I got to cheer on the rest of the runners.

I was 182 of 233. That means 51 people were behind me! I was #89 of 128 women runners and #33 of the 43 women in my division. So, I wasn't last in ANY of the catergories. I don't run to be first. I run just to finish the race. I say that all the time. But, that is why I am a little ashamed that I am so psyched not to have been last.

C had to carry T on his shoulders for the 1 mile fun run. T was NOT happy to be out walking in the pouring rain. We'll change his mind soon enough...