Monday, August 08, 2011
Ahh routines....home, work, gym....life is good!
We had an awesome family vacation....memories that we'll be talking about for years. But we're all glad to be back home too.
We found just the right balance between rest, adventure, tourism, and culture....but we're glad to be be back home! (didn't I just say that?)
I took an extra day off from work today to take care of stuff around the house, run some errands, and to hit the gym to lift some weights after doing nothing but cardio (albeit, 7 straight days of cardio at 7,000 ft above sea level) recently.
And I started tracking food again....how easy it is too slip out of these good habits!
It's all about the routine
For 7 straight days, we were unplugged from our home-style habits. I made a conscious decision to not track food. We played, we walked, we hiked, we swam, we ate, I biked, and we all took naps whenever we felt like it. We broke our routines. We VACATIONED!
Now we're back home. My brain is re-engaging all those things I have done so well since joining Sparkpeople...and it still feels good. It's 9:00 PM and I'm at 1600 calories for the day. I hit the gym with trainer guy and worked my chest & shoulders for a good 2 hours (I actually felt super-human in the gym today....after struggling up those Santa Fe hills at 7,000 ft, I think I produced an abundance of red blood cells. I pumped that iron like there was no tomorrow...I'll pay for it dearly tomorrow, but today, it feels good)
So tomorrow back to work, back to that routine. Thursday I fly to Las Vegas for a few days....back to that routine too.
But I sincerely believe I can only have done so well on vacation, at work, and on the road through the good habits and routines I've developed through my friends at Sparkpeople.
Good night Spark friends!
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Well our Santa Fe adventure continues to be a blast (I leaned over to SWMBO during one of our walks and asked if she might consider moving here when/if I ever retire....quizzical, non-committal look and a grunt)
We're digging the cool, dry mornings (60s, barely a drop of humidity) and have spent them walking around the Central Plaza, up to the artist retreat on Canyon Rd (some pretty amazing stuff along a mile long stretch of adobe houses), and continuing to enjoy our New Mexican Food adventures. We drove about 5 miles out of town to a little joint called Bobcat Bite ( bobcatbite.com/ ), a dinky little dive that is apparently world renowned for some amazing burgers...and the world is right! I had this amazing green chile cheeseburger to die for.
Of course that meant an extra 30 minutes biking around on Red Olmo
So far it's been a blast taking this red steel speed machine around town! The roads here are very well marked...specific and very large bike lanes....but they are in a terrible state of repair. I got a flat on today's ride, changed out the tube and rode over to the place I rented it from and got a new tube and CO2 cartridge....there is an advantage to renting....if I had been any closer, I'd have walked it there and had them change it.
But renting Olmo was a pretty smart vacation decision. SWMBO gets tuckered out around 2:00 and likes to rest up for evening activities, so having the bike around gets me outdoors. I can already tell that if I had not dished out some hard coin on renting the bike, I could have just as easily said, "screw it. I'll just hang out"
But our routine has worked out just fine. We pack our touristy things into the AM (tomorrow we go for an early AM desert tour in some Land Rovers), get a nice lunch, back to the hotel around 2:00, siesta time (it has been surprisingly easy for me to take naps...we're at 7,000 ft and I can tell I get winded a little easier), get up, take Olmo for a long, easy ride (with some serious speed action down these long hills!), change into swimsuit & splash around the pool with #2 son, then out for dinner or evening activity.
Tonight we go see the Juan Siddi Flamenco Co. ( juansiddiflamenco.com/ )
SWMBO and I have been looking forward to this for a while...we've heard great things about the show....and yes, there is the very real possibility that we two may soon sign up for some ballroom dancing lessons....more to follow on that (she's got a birthday coming up this month, and I'm stumped for gifts....couples dance lessons ladies? good idea?)
Well that's all the news that's fit to print. Keep eating well and working out Spark friends!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Well Spark friends, our first full day in Santa Fe was a blast!
We're a little tired, but we're making an early night of it so we can do some no-kidding sight-seeing tomorrow.
We started off by getting up at 4:00 AM so we could do our early morning hot-air balloon ride. It was a first class blast!
Johnny the balloon guy picked us up at at our hotel at 5:15. He was a character!
We drove about 45 minutes outside of Santa Fe, past the Indian lands to a big open stretch of federal land chock full of cliffs, arroyos etc. We watched the crew assemble the balloon and the rigging, inflate the fabric with fans, then turn on the flame throwers to get it lifted up.
I thought we were going to just cruise up to 1000 ft and float. No way! Johnny was an excellent pilot....7000 hrs of balloon time. We rose and fell into the canyons, swept treetop level over the mesas, floated down to chase a coyote....wow!
Of course I couldn't resist, so I asked him to give me some quick lessons, then took control of the burners and glided our gondola over the ravines for about 15 minutes.....I felt like Red Buttons from "5 Weeks in a Balloon"
(BTW, I photoshopped me and SWMBO into the far left)
We got back to the hotel around 10:00, and by then the family was cackling for breakfast, so I took them to the Southside Plaza Cafe, one of the recommended spots for a good breakfast....and it was. I've never had huevos rancheros like that before!
We got back to the hotel around 1130 and then I had a tough choice to make. SWMBO and I had massage appointments at 2:00PM. I was pretty tired, and eating lots of salsa makes me want to take a siesta. But man if I slept now, I knew I wouldn't work out after the spa. So I donned riding gear and took Red Olmo out for a 45 min spin.
That was the right thing to do, because 10 minutes into it, I perked right back up. Came back, showered, shaved, grabbed SWMBO and drove out to the Encantado resort ( www.encantadoresort.com/spa/ ). That was just what the doctor ordered! I got the deep tissue sports massage which was perfect. I pretty much smelled like a eucalyptus tree sprouting cypress leaves by the time I was done, but my neck, shoulders, and back felt like I had just reset a breaker in my spine. SWMBO was just as happy, her eyes sparkled with relaxation and relief after our traveling adventures.
We came back to the hotel, picked up number 2 son and went over to Whole Foods to pick up some cooked veggies and salsa free food for dinner back at the room. We all agreed that we're in danger of overdosing on chiles, so we have to balance it out.
Now I have a confession to make Spark friends; it is too damn hard for me to track food on this trip.
When I travel on my own, I can make due pretty well. But just these last 2 days with family in tow and odd little spots & snacks has made my brain hurt. So I'm taking a va-ca from logging this week.
That was a tough decision. I have a 202 day streak going....haven't missed logging anything I've eaten since I joined Sparkpeople on 9 Jan this year.
But I'm here to have fun, and while it's not impossible to do, I feel a little more relaxed not worrying about it. I'm using my good eating skills to eat well and not overeat. I'm still torn that I might be using food as a reward (I did grab a key lime bar from Whole Foods to help wash down the broccoli, red pepper, and roasted garlic medley and Orzo with arugula & plum tomatoes), but I'm also resolved to live with whatever Mr Scale has to say when we get back home and live with my decision.
Anyway, that's all for now....goodnight Spark friends!
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Well we finally made it to Santa Fe, at the tail end of one of my more hectic weeks.
I had planned to take Friday off, but my jaunt into the office to "knock out a little paperwork" turned into an 8:00-5:00 labor of love. Then I hit the gym to work out legs, back & biceps, so by the time I made it back home & had dinner, packing started at 8:00 PM.
But it worked out just fine. SWMBO had only a few minor crises trying to make sure that she forgot no lotion or curler, conditioner or sandals, scarf or hat. Even I struggled with this one. I've been watching the weather here fluctuate between lows of 50 up to the 90s, with rain & thunderstorms predicted for most of the week. So we both overpacked.
Still, I somehow managed to forget the camera (saved by the iPhone!), a hat, and sunblock....the last 2 I can get here if I need them.
Luckily the planes ran on time and we made it in to Albuquerque 20 minutes early. I took the family to ":El Bruno’s Restaurante Y Cantina" ( www.elbrunos.com/ ) where SWMBO almost wept with joy for what she said was "the best damn enchillada & red chile sauce I've ever had!" Then I ordered up the "Guacamole special" where the waiter makes it up special at your table with 2 over-sized avacodos, drenching them in lime and spices....kind of like a New Mexican Benihana. She was ear to ear smiles, especially when we brought back tons of leftover for dinner tonight.
My family vacation planning credentials are sealed!
Then we drove to Santa Fe, checked in to our hotel, then went shopping for supplies and water (we're already feeling dehydrated....I've got to keep an eye on these 2 and make sure they drink up 8 oz every 2 or so hours).
Once we got settled in and unpacked, I went out to get my bike!
The guys had it ready to go at the shop, did a quick fitting, and loaded me up with gear (helmet, pump, spare tubes, tools, etc), stuffed it into the back of the funky Dodge Nitro I rented and brought that baby home!
So while SWMBO got rested up from traveling and took a nap, I took my Red Steel SanRemo Olmo out for a tour.
Wahoo freedom! Olmo and I were quite a pair....and fast!
I don't know if it's the Florida humidity, the Florida wind, or maybe my carbon framed Trek at home is not all it can be, or maybe I was just ready to let loose after a week of non-stop travel, but I was clocking some pretty serious speed action.
I did some circular loops around the area by our hotel so I wouldn't get lost, then ventured out towards the Santa Fe plaza, but turned back when I saw them in the midst of some huge Spanish Market Festival. After my road rash last weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was scrape myself up on day 1 of a vacation because some imbecile jaywalks into the street in a "festive mood"
Anyway, life is good. I'm going to give my self some calorie leniency this week, but not much. The bike will help make sure I don't veg out here too bad
Tomorrow morning, we go hot air ballooning, then some massage action at a local spa in the afternoon. Somewhere in between a bike ride, and lots of Red & Green chile sauce!
Good night Spark friends!
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Well, my relaxing Sunday just got quickly filled up with activities.
SWMBO pulled a muscle in her neck yesterday (I sometimes call her "Grace" for the uncanny way she has of stumbling or doing odd things that result in injury. This one apparently occurred from an awkward twist while hefting her purse onto her shoulder!) so she declared that church was off this morning and that we should go to Sunday Brunch at a local bistro.
Hmmm, Brunch....Buffet....Belgian Waffles....Baked Salmon...Crab legs....butter....what could possibly go wrong there?!?!
So here I sit, getting caught up on Sparkpeople, figuring what I need to do to time this right. If I pace myself with a few strategically eaten bananas, I can arrive there un-famished, yet able to take on a few extra 100 calories (note to self, start with the salmon & walk away from the waffles)
She wants to get there early (it starts at 1030) which works out good for me, because I need to get in a bike ride today and also need to spend about 4-5 hours in the office this afternoon to knock out some stuff before I go to DC on Tuesday.
Yesterday was my first tumble and header on the bike. Lots of good lessons learned for me on that as I replay the sequence of events that led to me unceremoniously smacking into the curb, still clipped into the pedals, and landing on all those knobby points (shoulders, elbow, knee) bringing home a wickedly shiny and red road rash that made the family gasp (I thought it looked wickedly cool, but SWMBO said it was gross)
I just bought the clips a few weeks ago and love them, but man 'o man, it's like watching a slow motion disaster replay every time I think back on what I could have done better to have avoided the spill (see curb, think "put foot down to stabilize", foot immobilized on the pedals, think "PULL UP, PULL UP", foot immobilized on the pedals, see wheel smack into curb, see sidewalk getting larger, think "This could be really, really bad", feel shoulder smack sidewalk, feel forearm scraping along same, think "Did anybody see this? If so, get up and make like you meant to do that")
Anyway, it's nothing a little peroxide and neosporin can't fix. SWMBO says she better put some gauze on it before I go into work tomorrow so I don't rub it and start bleeding against my shirt (I love her). During today's ride, I'm going to spend a good chunk of time getting into and out of the clips; I really don't like it when my brain gives body parts a direct command and to have them be immobilized like that.
Family knows I'll be in the office this afternoon, hence I didn't flinch about the brunch deal. This is going to be a fairly busy week before we head out to Santa Fe on vacation next Saturday, so I've got to knock out a bunch of stuff today. I've got a big dinner to go to Monday night, then up to DC Tuesday through Thursday night (note to self, do some rain dancing to help cool it off up there). I'm taking Friday off so I can actually get ready for vacation, especially since I get back home around midnight Thursday.
That's all for now Spark friends...have a great Sunday!
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