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‘Exercise’ Category

  1. Neanderthal Day

    February 3, 2013 by Laura

    Accomplishment of the moment: Today I completed six weeks of 5k training. Yay! I ran for 22 minutes, mostly uphill, and managed to enjoy some of it. I even built in little strategies like speeding up on the flats and downhill, and taking it easier on the way up. Two more weeks and I’ll be 5k ready. The 5k I’m training for is 6 weeks away, so by then I’ll be almost ready to do a 10k. The half-marathon in August feels possible, although running for 2 or more hours still sounds awful. If you’re more interested in weight loss, I’m down maybe 6 pounds too.

    Today is Superbowl Sunday. I used to love football. I was a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan (did you see Silver Linings Playbook?) who sat alone in New England bars on Sundays to watch my team repeatedly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I was the quiet Long Trail drinker in the corner whose occasional loud, foul-mouthed outbursts turned the heads of the plaid-clad Pats fans enjoying their Buds. But since moving to sunny California, I can’t bring myself to sit in a bar on a fine Sunday afternoon, thus football has fallen off my radar. I haven’t really missed it. But now we have cable (we subscribed for baseball), no bar required.

    Even though the 49’ers are in it, I can’t get too excited. Don’t get me wrong; I like a jingoistic display of American commercialism, military domination, alcoholism, and male chauvinism as much as the next flaming, communist hippie. Nothing gets this eco-feminist’s juices flowing like a watching an F-16 fly-over chew up ozone and tax dollars. So like everyone else in America, we invited a few friends over to watch. But you know what, Amurca? Fuck you. This year, we’re going vegan. That’s right, you can take your kielbasa and… nevermind. That’s not at all nice.

    Vegan chili (with extra kale, thank you very much), hummus, and chocolate cake. Supposedly I’m not drinking until St. Patrick’s Day, but that might not work out. We’ll see. Does a taste of beer count?

    I was going to use this as a jumping off point to launch in to my “Why I am not a Paleo Grrrl” diatribe, but I’m losing steam here, and I still have to make the hummus and cake. but here’s the gist of it: Paleo relies too heavily on meat, and I don’t believe grains are the downfall of human civilization. There you have it. I’ll defend my thesis in a later post.

    Meanwhile, pitchers and catchers report in 8 days. Go Giants!


  2. Spare Change

    January 2, 2013 by Laura

    Today I dressed in my running clothes, but didn’t actually run until afternoon. Amos (age 5) gave me the once over, “Mom, you’ve been wearing those running pants all day.”
    “I know, I went running.”
    “Well, they’re not very good pants.”
    “They’re good for running.”
    “But they don’t look good on you… I mean, they’re real big at the top and skinny at the bottom. Pants are supposed to be kind of big at the top, and then just medium all the way down.”

    If you ever want to know if those jeans make your ass look fat, call my son.

    I got on the scale this morning (as I do every 90 minutes while awake, despite abundant warnings not to use this product more than once a week, except under medical supervision), and nothing had changed. Nothing. And when I checked out my butt in the mirror, Dale said, “I think it’s going to be a while before you see any change.” Isn’t that always the way? Looking for change on the outside? Today when I was running, I thought, “If I make it to the end of this (which is to say, exercise with no real end), and someone asks me how I did it, I’m going to have to sound like a damned Nike commercial.” I will have had to have made some internal shift, that no one will ever see. I don’t know why I find it a little depressing. Or lonely. Yep, just me, no one else can just do it for me.

    If you have always been active, you’re not going to get it. Did I mention that I was in remedial gym? I am a naturally bookish, indoorsy type with just enough interest in bugs and greenery to have become a bookish, outdoorsy type. I’ve reverted to indoorsy in the last few years. I may have lost the bookish during the same period. Now I’m pale and squishy, and I think in Facebook updates. Ew.

    Friday starts week 2 of C25K. I’ll have to run for 90 consecutive seconds. I think I’ll be okay.


  3. Not dead yet

    December 29, 2012 by Laura

    I love how since the advent of Facebook, I experience my life through the filter of “in what fascinating and witty way will I describe this particular experience of my life?” I think it makes me a better communicator (To everyone except the people I actually talk to, but that’s another topic, and it won’t make me thinner healthier. Except when I blog instead of eating, which makes me feel like an athlete and a starving writer. Love that. And yes, I do think in dependent clauses).

    I “ran” again today. Childhood friend Penny informed me, “I did that once. It gets better. I stopped at week 4 tho… ” so that was encouraging not really. I like it when people say things like, “You could do a 5k tomorrow if you had to.” No I couldn’t. First of all, I am now running 60 seconds in a row, and my lungs are trying to escape the confines of my ribcage, my esophagus is peeling, and I have cerebrospinal fluid leaking from my ears. And under what circumstances would I have to run a 5k tomorrow? That would be the day before St. Patrick’s Day 2013, when I am signed up to do a 5k, a date deliberately chosen to coincide with the end of 10 weeks of training for a 5k. How much more evidence of my out-of-shapeness do you need? Don’t answer that.

    As the day has worn on, I have become acutely aware of the ball socket joints of my hips. I think it’s run of the mill and not time to replace them yet.

    While the exercise portion of this has already started, the full-on clean living doesn’t start until 2013. There are ingredients to purchase, ingredients to use up, beers not to be shared… Dinner menus to plan… Have I mentioned my weariness of dinner?

    This time around I am really going to be leaning on you to keep me going. I think I lack the crazy evangelical Nutritarian fire that burned in 2010-11.

    Does anyone need a bridesmaid?


  4. Running on empty

    December 28, 2012 by Laura

    Let me start this post with a simple question: Who the hell brought caramel flavored chocolate covered cashews into my home? There’s a mutineer, and I will have his head.

    As promised, I started my run program today. When I started blogging 2 years ago, I could give up anything: Chocolate, cheese, bread, booze, you name it as long as I could sit in my chair and check my blog stats every 3 minutes. I would not give up my sedentary lifestyle. Now, I’m going to try to kick it up a notch. I just want you to know that in real life, I would never say, “kick it up a notch.” If you said it, I would stop listening to you, because I think it sounds stupid. But right now, I think it’s funny. Yesterday I called my cousin Eric to ask if he wanted to do this half marathon too. Somehow, when he said the longest he’d ever run was 7 miles, I told him it was “time to kick it up a notch.” I sounded possessed, I think. Now I can’t stop saying it in “possessed by a trainer” voice. “C’mon People, lets’ KICK IT UP A NOTCH.” See? Possessed, I tell you.

    Yeah, so, today I kicked it up a notch, which, as we already know, means I stood and moved forward for 30 consecutive minutes. I am following the C25K program (or “Couch to five kilometers” for those who still like words). Here’s what I like about the program: you ease into a doable exercise thing. Sixty seconds of jogging here, 90 seconds of walking there, before you know it, you’re practically Uta Pippig, but without the blood and poop (Boston Marathon 1996 reference. God I feel old). What I don’t like: getting out of bed on a non-work day before 8 am to go out and run. And by “run” I mean make funny little joggy motions with my legs while wearing new running shoes and Lycra tights. I’m out there on the badly paved, dangerously canted road, running past neighbors I don’t know, trying to look like I’m not dying, because I have no ID on me. Each little 60 or 90 second increment becomes it’s own little mind game.

    Me running with 20 seconds left: Oh my God! 20 more seconds?? Fuck, I’m going to die.

    Me running with 5 seconds left: Oh thank God! Only 5 more seconds! Fuck, I’m going to die.

    Me walking with 20 seconds left: Oh thank God! 20 more seconds! Fuck, I’m going to die.

    Me walking with 5 seconds left: Oh my God! Only 5 more seconds?? Fuck, I’m going to die.

    I had basically rolled out of bed, snarfed down my coffee, avoided my kids, and out the door I went (now I have George Thorogood in my brain). No breakfast, no water, just winging it. Also, I have a cough. And it was kind of cool from minutes 7 to 14 maybe. Wintery day, up with the early birds feeling all superior ‘n shit. At some point I had to spit, and that was just embarrassing, because I didn’t really get a clean trajectory. Not good. Finally as I was in the last eight minutes or so, I was starting to feel like I’d get through, but then the chorus of “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers started going through my head. Probably not the best choice for the playlist.

    There are people who don’t believe that I am as positively non-athletic as I am. That’s because I am a total poseur. I have a bunch of gear, and I really do like watching almost all sports in a general girly way, and I have slept with hung out around athletic types (I even married one eventually!). I’ve ridden my bike around Lake Tahoe and backpacked all over the place. I used to be a snowboarder too. Ten years ago, I vowed to have a daily exercise habit by the time I was 35. Did that! And I might still be a little active if it weren’t for those meddling kids. They’re ruinous. But they should have a mom who is healthy. I’m going to see if I can’t get myself into the shit hot shape I was in for 15 minutes 10 years ago. If not for myself, then for the children.

    Isn’t this totally inspirational?


  5. Sleep, sloth and exercise

    February 21, 2011 by Laura

    I’m tired, but in the words of Connie Z., my dear Mother-in-law, “Nobody gives a shit if you’re tired.” So I try not to complain. Last night I went to bed early, around 9 pm. I was a little shocked, because I am NEVER in bed by 9, and now I see why. At some point I awoke, looked at the clock, decided it was close enough to 5am, and I might as well get up now before the alarm went off. I told Dale I was going to get the baby to nurse him and he said, “WHY?”

    “Because it’s almost 5 o’clock.”

    “No it’s not, it’s 12:30!”

    Ah HAH, no wonder I didn’t feel all that well-rested. Next time I’ll put my glasses on before I make any big decisions. I continued to wake up every 90 minutes until I got the 5am phone call telling me that the unit was over-staffed today & would I please be on-call. Finally I got a little sleep…

    But sleep is not really my problem. My problem is more like sloth. Of all the lifestyles I may enjoy — Northern California, Wine Country, Middle Class, Festivarian, Nutritarian — the Sedentary Lifestyle is the one that comes up on most health questionnaires. Does anyone else go to bed with a very clear vision of what health promoting activity she will do tomorrow only to have tomorrow go by without so much as an elevated heart rate, let alone 75% of VO2 max?

    It wasn’t always like this. Waaaaayyyy back in 1999, I rode my bike around Lake Tahoe. In 2003 I was in the best shape of my life. I could wear a little bikini. I could run about 5 miles; swim about 2; and bike 50 with no problem. Not all in the same day, but I was working toward that. I had promised myself that I would have a daily exercise habit by the time I was 35. Having accomplished that, I failed to maintain it. Nursing school started, and my daily exercise habit fell like ice cream off a cone. So I have to make that same promise all over again, only this time I have to turn 43. No big deal, I was going to turn 43 anyway. They say that exercise is very good for you. They say you feel all kinds of nice things when you exercise regularly. I simply remember feeling superior to people like the current me. Maybe that’s motivating enough!

    Here are some of my ideas for making this happen:

    1. Join the Y

    2. Commit to iWalk Sonoma and walk up my road every day.

    3. Use up my class credits at Tone

    4. All of the above?

    Any suggestions for one who needs to get over the inertia hump? Don’t tell me to “Just do it,” because I’ll just want to punch you in the nose. But seriously, I’m going to start doing SOMETHING soon. Very soon. Maybe even tomorrow.

    Speaking of tomorrow, I plan to put together a couple of recipes & maybe pictures. Stay tuned.