Exercise · Life

Fun in the Snow

This past weekend, we went skiing and snowboarding with friends. We went to Truckee, CA. I was actually dreading it. Why? Sounds fun, right? Well, I knew the drive would be at least 4 hours (it was closer to 6) and I know that I fell a lot on our annual trip up to ski country last year and I didn’t want to do that again. I’m happy to report that this weekend was awesome instead of a disaster.

Who does’t like to lie down in the snow?

The drive was maybe not so great. We left on Friday and I had on my Pollyanna face – we have plenty of time, as long as we start driving by 2pm. Bahahaha! We left at 1:45 and it took a really long time. My close-to-being-6-year-old started asking “how much longer” after the first 30 minutes! Yikes! We had one bridge to cross and as you know, an accident on a bridge can kill a commute. We missed that accident by about 5 minutes. Seriously. Other friends who also drove up on Friday left at 2:45 and they didn’t get there until close to midnight. So, lesson learned? Leave as early as possible. Kid can eat lunch in the car. Sorry kid.

The weather was fantastic! Highs in the low 30s (Fahrenheit) and lots of snow and fresh powder. While that sounds cold, with the right gear, it’s all good. And, we are not early morning people, so we missed out on being in the snow while it was still in the teens or 20s.

I signed my son up for a 1-hour ski lesson. I’d call it mildly successful. He survived, did ok, but pretty much grumped the whole time. Partially because he was hungry… But why eat when parents tell you to? Why eat when parents say you won’t get another chance before your lesson? Such a stereotype. <big grin> That 1-hour lesson did give me some unfettered access to the slopes, though.

And I, on the other hand, had a great day with my snowboard. Quite unexpected, to be honest. I just figured I would fall a lot, but I actually snowboarded a lot and only fell a little. Woohoo! I also managed to get off of the ski lift without falling on my butt. These are the little things that mean so much! Snowboarding is also great exercise – my legs were thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day. I am not sure if smart/sport watches can adequately capture the calories folks burn like this. It feels like my Apple watch was close. I hope so, because I was really hungry and ate a lot of snacks and dinner after we got back to our rental. 🙂

The second day was spent tubing and sledding. With a few snowball fights for good measure. When we went up last year, this same snowplay area was pretty much barren of snow. It was crazy! This year was amazing. All in all, quite successful and fun. Even the drive back wasn’t so bad. So, while I didn’t get to do my regular workout schedule, it was great to be outside so much. Wish we could do this more often.

Last year (the day before a big snow hit, but still)
This year! Nothing but fun!

Life

Where did the year go?

Source: truestoryhub.com

Well, it’s been a year since my last post… I have been busy and decidedly neglected my blogging. My son, who turns 6 in April, has been keeping me very (VERY) busy. This age is so much fun, though. Tired 5-6 year olds are really very similar to drunk friends. You have to carry them into the house, help them go to the bathroom, put them to bed despite their arguments about not being tired. My son is in Kindergarten and learning to read. I guess that’s where a lot of my time has gone. I basically have homework every night. And, then there are the classes. For us, it’s karate and soccer.

It’s been hard to maintain a healthy(ish) regimen. At least on the food side. I’ve been struggling with way too much snacking – some of it definitely stress induced, some of it for no good reason. I’m working on that. My weakest point is evening. After dinner, I have trouble stopping myself. I have no idea why it’s so challenging. It doesn’t help that I have 6 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in my pantry. Hahaha!

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The good news is that I’ve been pretty consistent with my exercise. Running and spin classes, plus weekly weight work. I should do more weight work, but I don’t know how to schedule that in. I have shifted to 10Ks instead of half marathons, mainly because of the time commitments. The longer the run, the more time it takes to train… And, I just don’t have the time. Plus my kiddo is starting to want all my medals. To be honest, I think my last half marathon took it out of me. I was in 100F heat and I am not cut out for that. I got sick recently and am working my way back to my regular 4-mile runs. I think the older we get, the more challenging everything is. Finding time, dealing with physical changes, working with injuries. I’m still kicking, though, and that’s something. Looking forward to sharing more about my life – exercise, food, extra-curricular activities.

Stay healthy!

Life

The Flu is a Beast

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted… I feel like I’ve been crazy busy, but I’m trying to get back to it. In January, I got the flu. I’ve since recovered, but it was a 3-week ordeal, probably prolonged by some bad choices (I’ll get to those!)

I recall the day it started. It was Thursday, January 25th. About 10am, I started feeling a little tired and had some chills. Shake it off, girl! I tried, but… By, midday, I knew I had a bad cold. By, mid-afternoon, I wanted to crawl under a rock. I had to pick up my son (almost 5) at 4:30, though, I live through his karate class. And, I did. Barely. I sat and drank water for the whole hour while trying desperately not to cough.

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Source: http://clipart-library.com/clipart/Acbrnjy6i.htm

After I got him home, I somehow managed to feed him and then proceeded to lie down on the sofa and fall asleep. When my husband got home, my son (who adorably did check on me a few times), had dumped out what seemed like all of his toys on the floor. Great. I couldn’t move and we found that I had a temperature of 104. Yikes!! Hubby got me some Tylenol and got me in bed.

Honestly, I pretty much *lost the next 4 days*. I slept most of the time and when I was awake, I couldn’t focus. Everything felt foggy. So, I kept taking my Tylenol and trying to keep my temperature around 100-101. I finally gave up and asked my husband to take me to urgent care, Tuesday night (the 30th). I got Tamiflu and a Z-Pack (antibiotics). The doctor said lots of people were coming back with pneumonia, so recommended treating both. Good idea, doc! By, the next afternoon, I was on the mend. Yay!

The following week, I did something super ridiculous. I tried to go running, despite being rundown and tired. I thought I could force the rest of this illness out of me. Yeah… Not so much. I pretty much ended up walking and coughing. I did this 3 times. 3 times! What was I thinking?!? The 3rd time, I pulled a muscle on my right side from all the coughing and decided to stop being crazy.

I took another week off and finally, finally, finally returned to the world of the living. I’ve been running and exercising since then and am back to normal. But, wow, what a journey. I guess my ultimate message here is take it easy if you get the flu. It’s horrible and it is literally killing people.

I’m so glad to be over it. I remember thinking to myself at one point after the 3rd week that I had forgotten what it felt like to feel normal. Ugh. I was also overdue to get some new running shoes. I did that today and am looking forward to reporting back on how I like them. Whohoo!

Stay healthy!

Food

New Coffee & It’s So Good

Ok, so I went to a coffee festival a few weeks ago in San Francisco… Yeah, I know. It sounds maybe silly, maybe pretentious, maybe a bit overzealous in my love of coffee. BUT, and there is a but, it was totally worth it. So many local coffee roasters in one place. I would never know about half of these coffee roasters, and I walked away with some new delicious coffee beans. That was a win in my book!

The first new coffee I have tried is Proyecto Diaz Coffee El Carmen. El Carmen is a light-roast Oaxacan coffee and I find it aromatic and delightful.

This weekend, I was able to spend some quality time with my Chemex and enjoy a few cups of Proyecto Diaz coffee. In addition to fine tasting coffee, the company seems pretty darn amazing. They source coffee exclusively from small-scale producers and co-ops. They are working toward sustainable farm infrastructure and farming practices. Props to these guys. I’ll definitely be buying more.

Exercise · Life

Housekeeping Progress

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now… I finally bought a medal hanger for my race memorabilia. About 2 months ago. Finally hung it up this weekend. There area few that didn’t fit, but that’s ok because there are more runs coming. I’ll have to find another one soon. Until then, at least these are no longer weighing down the light fixture in my bathroom. Small victories! Onward, friends!

Exercise

Just Tried The Brooks National Park Collection Cascadias

Recently, Brooks Running partnered with REI to celebrate national parks across the U.S. The national parks collection features Brooks Cascadia shoes and Brooks t-shirts highlighting specific national parks – Great Smoky Mountains, Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. Brooks is donating 5% of the wholesale cost of each piece in their national parks collection to the National Park Foundation, up to $50,000.

I love Yosemite National Park. Last year, I did the Yosemite Half Marathon! So, bought a pair of Yosemite Cascadias. This is my first pair of Brooks trail shoes (I’m on my third pair of Brooks running shoes). I have worn them several times on walks to break them in… Finally, I did my first trail run in these shoes. While they are comfortable and I didn’t have any issues during my break-in walks, my right sock kept getting unceremoniously pulled down into my shoe. 5 times. 2 within the first half mile. These weren’t new socks or anything like that. Completely annoying. Otherwise, the shoes felt good – not as grippy feeling as my Saucony Peregrine 6’s though.

The Brooks Cascadias have a 10mm heal-to-toe drop, and are made of synthetic mesh. Midsole is EVA and outsole is carbon/blown rubber. These shoes also feature something called a ballistic rock shield. What is it? It’s a thermoplastic sheath used in the forefoot area to disperse the pressure of landing on loose objects. Certainly doesn’t seem to add bulk or weight and will come in handy on my rockier trail runs. Overall, I’d say these are solid trail shoes.

I’m going to try again this weekend to see if this sock issue gets any better. I really like these shoes and this gives me a great opportunity to talk to anyone and everyone about Yosemite National Park – Did I mention that I love it? I might re-lace my shoes to see if that will help. Stopping so many times on a run is frustrating. Anyone out there have a fix for falling socks? If so, please leave a comment. 🙂

Exercise

Spotlight on Accomplishment and Body Shaming

I just watched a YouTube video from REI featuring Mirna Valerio and was so inspired by her. She does things I can’t even begin to imagine training for – like running a 50K. She does weight work that puts a lot of us to shame… But. It’s a sad state of affairs when someone feels the need to tear someone down because they don’t “look the part.” Read the REI blog here: The Mirnavator

Please watch the video.

Watch it especially if you don’t think you look the part, or you don’t think you are a runner, or you feel like you aren’t making fitness progress. She will leave you inspired.

Mirna has also been featured in Runner’s World.

Exercise

Disneyland Half Marathon Recap

Hi everyone! It has been a while since I posted. Time just keeps slipping away from me. So, what have I been doing? Getting ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon, which I completed on Sunday, September 3. The theme was “Celebrating Pixar!”

I have a 4-year-old son, so we made this his first Disney visit. It was definitely magical for him. He got to meet Mickey Mouse and ride most of the rides. We’ve learned 2 things: 1) He’s an adrenaline junkey; 2) 100F makes for a slightly less magical experience. Haha!

The half marathon was hard. Prior to race start, it was ~85F. Did I mention that the race started at 5AM? Yikes.

I chose to dress as Minnie Mouse before I knew the theme

At race end, it was somewhere around 95F. I am not used to running in anything over 60-65F, so I was pretty miserable. At every water station, I drank some and then poured the rest on my head.

After Mile 4, I was sweating like I was at Mile 10! I ended up walking a lot because I couldn’t take the heat. That being said, running through Disney’s California Adventure and Disneyland was pretty cool.

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Disneyland

 

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California Adventure

We also got to run through the Anaheim Angels’ stadium, which was fun.

I wish I had gotten better pictures, but they had characters along the way within the parks. You could stop for a photo op, too. They even had performers, like acrobats.

We were all hot and tired after the race – couldn’t convince my son to do a picture with me at first. Here we are in all our glory. Hahahaha!

Luckily, he changed his mind a little bit later. 

Next time, I’m going to pay more attention to the time of year and regular/average temperatures because… Wow, that was hot. Not sure we are up for another long trip, but they do have a Star Wars half in Disneyland coming up in January… Whoa, there. Maybe I’ll look for something closer. We’ll see.

Life

Back to School Can Be Expensive

Every year, through work, I put together two backpacks of school supplies for kids in need. I always pick one boy and one girl, grade varies.

This year, I went with lower grades, which made things a little less expensive, but still… School can be expensive. I ranted to my husband for close to 10 minutes about the prices of the backpacks. The cheapest ones were $35. I’m not complaining about spending the money – please understand that. But, I can definitely see how these costs can add up and if you are struggling to make ends meet, $35 for a backpack is ridiculous. Because you still have all the other things to buy.

My total cost was about $127 – not too bad. When I pick high schoolers, it’s more because you need calculators and compasses and all that stuff. Out of $127, $70 went toward the backpacks – that’s over 50%. Luckily, kids can use backpacks for more than one year… Yeesh. My son will start Kindergarten in 2018, so I guess I should get myself prepared. 🙂

Here are my 2 finished backpacks:

Woohoo!