Sunday, July 10, 2011
OK, so I'm pushing the literary allusion meter a little to hard with the title, but I'm home just long enough to do some laundry, ride the bike, get in a blog entry or 2, and re-pack, so I winged it
I was in Albuquerque Thursday & Friday. The trip went well, especially when I was able to convince my team out there that if we went to out to dinner, it had to be at a good place, which doesn't necessarily equate to a restaurant that heaps 2000-calories on an oversized plate. Last time I was there, we went to a place called Saidie's. Good food, but even the waiter kept bragging about how they purposefully give you more on your plate than you can eat.....I didn't need any of that!
So they picked El Bruno's Restaurante y Cantina where I had a wonderful grilled trout with sauteed spinach and I bought the crowd a guacamole appetizer which the nicely skilled waitress made right there at our table....kind of like a New Mexican Benihana.
It's amazing how my thinking has changed from "more is better; buttery, sauce-covered dishes are the good things on the menu; yes, add some extra cheese please". Now I'm looking for calorie counts, "clean" protein, dishes "unplugged" from sauces, cheeses, gravies and the like.
But it was barely 6-months ago that I was like the 20- and 30-somethings I went out to dinner with in ABQ (not the 20- 30-somethingness as much as the "get all the food you can for your money when you go out to eat" mentality). It's a good and welcome change.
All that being said, I'm back on the road Monday. Off to San Antonio tomorrow, fly from there to Vegas on Thursday, 2 days there, then back home Saturday. But what I'm really excited about is our vacation out to Santa Fe at the end of the month!
I'm still waiting to finalize our whole itinerary, but I got a bead on some good deals in town. Now SWMBO and I like to sample local foods when we travel and we love hot & spicy, so we're looking forward to some nice finds there. Which all means I need to make firm plans to workout....can't leave it to chance
So I'm renting a road bike for the week!
This will work out perfectly,,,,the first real payoff from the travel agent I hired. She suggested it and found this place for me after I told her my concerns. So now, while SWMBO is off getting her Aloe Vera Body Wraps and Desert Fusion Essential Oil massages, I'll go cruise around town on a nice carbon-framed bike....without the 95% Florida humidity I've had to deal with lately. (Today's ride was fairly brutal...even with the wind, today was the first time I really felt sapped by the heat/humidity combo....that's what I get for riding at high noon....it really did feel like my sweat was boiling and bubbling!)
How's that for Spark living...planning workouts into a vacation package! Now we'll still do some family day hikes and such (hell I might even sign up for deep tissue massage while I'm at it.....one place even does it inside a Teepee!), but I need an aerobic outlet or I'll go mad. SWMBO is also into afternoon naps when we're on the road, so while she's catching up on her Sonoran Siesta, your spark blogger-buddy here will crank up the cadence to make sure those Sopapillas get burned off.
Well that's all for now Spark friends....tomorrow's blog will come from San Antonio!
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Well I had a good day of meetings with my boss today during his visit. The schedule threw off my normal eating routine; SWMBO usually packs me sandwiches that I can eat during the day. They total 800 calories, so I normally have another 800-1000 to play with for snacks and dinner during the late afternoon and evening.
Today I left the sandwiches at home because we had fruits & munchies during the morning and a catered lunch with the big guy. Everyone else had these big honking sandwiches but I opted for a salad with grilled chicken and light Italian dressing on the side. We had various munchies available in between meetings, and I was pretty good about not dipping into these too badly.
So by 4:00PM when we pushed him out the door to catch his plane back home, I realized I had barley eaten 400 calories all day....and I was starving.....and today was a weight lifting day at the gym! So I broke open a 3 oz can of emergency tuna in my desk and a 4 oz cottage cheese snack from the fridge to get some food in me before working out.
One of the things I have learned here on Spark people is that I can't get myself into a "starving" mode....very dangerous....very susceptible to uncontrollable snacking. Hence the emergency tuna cans in the desk drawer.
Anyway, I survived and had a nice ST session for legs, shoulders, & back.
Now the bad news.
I fly to Albuquerque Thursday AM and fly back Friday night. Next week Monday-Thursday I'm in San Antonio, then to Las Vegas Thursday night and back home Saturday the 16th. I should do well eating out (although my team out in Albuquerque wants to do a group dinner at some "heap-food-on-your-plate" Mexican joint....I told them I'd be happy to go to dinner.....just find someplace that encourages light-dining). And I can find gyms pretty easily. It's the strength training that will suffer.
I've gotten my routine down pretty good. I'm a creature of habit and can do my squats & presses, lunges & shrugs on the equipment I'm used to, but, call me old-fashioned, throw me in a new gym, and I just gravitate to the cardio equipment and bike it out while on the road.
So we'll see how the next few weeks go....I'm in the groove with ST and don't want to lose it.
Anyway, back on the road tomorrow.....good night Spark friends!
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
So my boss came in to town tonight from Las Vegas, so I took him out to dinner with a few of my division chiefs to a local restaurant where I'm good friends with the owner.
What amazing progress I have made in 6 months!
As I look back at my blogs from Jan & Feb, I see how anxiety ridden I was going out for these big hooplah dinners. Tonight, same restaurant, same menu, same cook (my friend, the owner) and I'm perfectly comfortable ordering light items off the menu, no compulsion to wolf down appetizers or bread (well I did have a calamari from the appetizer tray we all passed around), I'm OK taking a few bites of his exquisite twice-baked potatoes, and enjoying a plate of broiled scallops and grilled veggies.
My colleagues are ordering cheese-smothered Veal Parmigiana:
Artery clogging Fettuccine Alfredo,
and White Sauce-laden chickens.
Me, I'm taking my time enjoying cutting those nicely grilled scallops, savoring almost a dozen at maybe 200 calories tops, telling stories and enjoying the fact that I can walk out of that restaurant with my head held high, and knowing my pants will still sag on my way out the door.
So here's to good Spark living and progress from a life of anxiety to smart eating even in tough social settings
Thanks and good night Spark friends!
Monday, July 04, 2011
OK, OK, so 2 days in a row I'm going to blog about bicycling....I'm excited, what more can I say.
Here's the deal, bicycling for me is such an enjoyable workout. I loved running, but for me, running was always about timing, distance, and endurance. If I was a minute or 2 longer on a 5-mile run, I'd look all over for reasons why. I'm a stats geek, so after every run, I'd plug the Garmin into the computer, pull up Google Earth. and start comparing heart rate vs. distance, avg speed, mileage this week vs mileage last week....I really goobered out. My runs were very structured; I had to be on pace passing certain landmarks, kick up the speed at certain distances (or when the right tunes kicked in)
I do the same on the bike, but with much less concern (for now anyway) for the numbers. I've got the same Garmin 350 strapped to the handlebars and get heart rate readings from the monitor. I like to keep my pedal cadence above 80 RPM, and every now and then like to max out the speed, but that's about it.
Today I rode out 10 miles to a local bike store, shot the breeze with the tattooed, granola-eating 20-somethings for a little while as I perused their wares (I'm also a gear junkie), then clipped back in and rode home. All in all a nice 80 minute workout, with a 30 minute break at the store in between. I never took a break while I was running...God forbid I do anything to bring down my pace!
So biking is an enjoyable, dare I say "recreational", workout for me. And the time flies! I can knock out 60-80 aerobic minutes in what seems like no time at all whereas 30-40 minutes on a stationary bike is all my brain can handle. But outdoors, BAM! Rack up those aerobic minutes!
Which is very good, because tonight SWMBO is grilling burgers on the patio....I might need to ride to the gym to go lift tonight as well!
Happy 4th of July Spark friends!
Sunday, July 03, 2011
I love going fast...really, really fast. And that's the joy that bicycling gives me when I really get in the groove....like today.
As some of you know, I was an adult onset runner, coming to enjoy distance running late in life (trained and ran my first marathon at 48). After last December's surgery, the doc said to wait a year before even thinking about running and even then, to tone it down some.
So I joined another tribe, the tribe of cyclists, to make sure I had a good aerobic outlet. Like running, it's an awesome workout; each is dependent on muscle to get you moving under your own locomotion.
But what a difference in speed! On my best day, with good music, I could eke out a 7:00 minute mile...for about a mile. On a good bike day, with the wind to my back, I can pedal up to 25 MPH and that's on a flat & level road, forget about going down hills.
Today was a blast! I had the right music mix (a very nice "speed" tune, for running or biking, is "Buster Voodoo" a flamenco guitar mix by a couple called Rodrigo y Gabriela...I dare you to run or bike slow while listening to them!) It was typically hot & muggy here in the panhandle, but the key is to keep going fast to have the wind cool you down.
And fast it was today....what a great feeling! I've got a couple of nice routes I've developed that take me down some scenic paths, a few good hills to climb, and the occasional radar detector that I love to see flashing telling me I'm exceeding the 20 MPH speed limit!
Maybe it's just me, but I get an almost primal feeling of satisfaction pushing it up like that. It must be what a cheetah feels like when it lunges out of the tall grass at some unsuspecting ungulate. At one point I felt ready to jump off my bike and sink my teeth into a jack rabbit that bounded across the bike path. Instead I just let out a growl and pedaled even faster.
I'm almost at the point where I need to start setting some bike goals. So far it's been mostly for fun, kind of calibrating myself, gauging what my comfort zones are for time & distance. I know that if I don't set a mark on the wall that I'll just hang out comfortably under the bell curve. So I'm contemplating....I'd like to get toughened up enough to ride for 2-3 hours, something in the 30-45 mile mark, maybe even 50 in the coming months, we'll see. Right now, I get all sorts of aches after about 60-80 minutes.
Anyway, that's all for now, #2 son and I are going to see the new Transformers movie in a little bit.
Good night Spark friends!
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