Showing posts from 2015

Gingerbread Oatcakes

Gingerbread Oatcakes

Getting into the season by baking! These are so easy to make. Just whip up the ingredients, roll up into a log and slice into discs. I modified the Okarabars recipe and added lots of freshly grated ginger, 1tsp ground cloves, some apple and blackstrap molasses as the sweetener.

I have transitioned from HFLC to another carb-restricted diet which is the Zone. Doing 18 blocks for weight maintenance for training. If not training it would be less, but I am surprised at how it controls hunger when macros are perfectly balanced. It took about two weeks to adjust but am getting the hang of it. It allows a little more flexibility and is a great way to also save a little money as I can enjoy my tofu which is way cheaper than meat. Adding more cardio back into my schedule.

Miracle Mile

Last weekend I mustered enough motivation to do the UCSF Diabetes Center Miracle Mile & 5k Holiday Classic in Golden Gate Park. One mile events are rare, and I never actually did one, so I thought it would be fun to see what my time was. The rain had subsided enough for us to run on dry pavement on a nice downhill course. It was a small race with nice volunteers, and they had race officials calling out your splits every quarter mile. Of course my Garmin froze on me so this was helpful. I think I went out too fast but then found my pace. The shorter races are a little more taxing but it was over quickly and I finished in 6:27. I can use this as a baseline for my speedwork. Though it wasn't a PR, I had not been doing any speedwork, so that is a good number. I ran a 6:10 in my 5k last March, and my goal is 6:00 minute miles. I stayed at the finish line and cheered the kids that were finishing their race, probably for the first time with their families. So cute! The winner of the…

SF Supermarket Street Sweep

Yesterday I participated in the SF Supermarket Street Sweep, a ride for the SFM Food Bank. The heavy rain was pretty much done by the time we started riding and only rained a little at the end. I had done the cargo in 2010, so this time I tried the speed race. My goal was to do at least the bare minimum and get all the items and get back quickly. You get extra points for going to stores farther away, so I battled the headwind to the Safeway on La Playa and got 6 bags of beans, then cruised by Lucky on Fulton and Masonic and got canned food and rice, then wiggled on to Market St and Dolores Whole Foods and got pasta. Went inside Safeway across the street by accident and doubled up on pasta before I realized I was supposed to go to Whole Foods. I was going for 60 points, but because I lost the receipt to Safeway at La Playa, it didn't count, so ended up with 30pts LOL. I only spent around 20 bucks and got some weekend miles in. I was really impressed by the cargo hauls. There are so…

December Already!

The year has been going by so fast! I looked at my mileage logs and did not feel the need to "cram" this month with last minute mileage. Going to stick to my weight training and minimal mileage until 5k training starts. That is harder than it seems, because it's so easy to head out for an hour of 10 minute miles instead of breaking in new muscle. I'm halfway through my PT sessions at Fitness SF. The temps in the bay keep dropping a little each time we go in. Now it is around 54°F. Very therapeutic. Even though I was only in for 20 minutes, I couldn't feel my feet for several hours!

The weekend ride was a fun and mellow trip along the Bay Trail to Oyster Bay Regional Shoreline. This place used to be a landfill and is now a beautiful park with scenic trails and wildlife. Got to check out the Shoreline Drive Cycle Track in Alameda, and a post-ride coffee at Bicycle Coffee.

Swimming in the Bay

The temps are sliding down into the mid 50s but the euphoria of mild hypothermia is keeping our spirits high. Only a few more group swims with WWS left in 2015!

Thanksgiving Swim

Swimming at Crissy Field


Had a great well-earned recovery week. The extra hour of sleep in the morning helps! I started doing strength training with Gaby at Fitness SF which will get me through the winter. Time to focus on speedwork! I put a few things on my calendar but not going to plan it out too much and stay flexible. As time goes on I've learned to let my training evolve organically. Right now, my body wants to build itself up, not tear itself down. Earlier in the year I had thought I would be doing more ultra running but this is better for me. I will stick to my goal of getting faster and building lean muscles and getting injury proof rather than binge running. There will be a time and place for that later. The triathlon prep put me in a great place for what I am about to do.

The water temps in the bay are starting to drop under 60°F finally. Great therapy for sore muscles!

Marin Tri 2015 - Race Recap!

Marin County Triathlon 2015

This race was great fun! I like immersing myself in this location every year: Camping it, swimming it, biking it and running it! It is nicely organized race with nice people for the non-profit Sustainable Sports Foundation and 100% of the net proceeds go toward charity. I finished in under 3 hours, improved my PR by 2 minutes, and in the top 20 females. It was a small field and even smaller for my age group. Don't you just love small local races? I did better on my transitions and a little better on the swim and run. The bike was about the same with two minutes slower than last year. Got 2nd AG! Overall felt strong throughout. The hardest part was the first bike climb out of the water with cold legs.

Time: 2:52:45
Swim: 28:17
T1: 3:01
Bike: 1:29:45
T2: 1:38
Run: 50:04

Setup: Rolled to the site fresh from bike camping at China Camp. It looked like it was going to rain but never did. I just set up my transition area with everything in plastic bags and got to kno…

Countdown to Marin Tri - Just a week away!

Just a week a way from the Marin County Tri! I'm feeling ready! Here is what I did last week:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayHIIT & PLYO - RUNRUNHIIT & PLYO / SWIMSPIN / RUNRESTSWIM / BIKEEVENT / REST
Solid HIIT and Plyo sessions, trail run and some good brick workouts. The HIIT sessions are almost an hour and include some short sprints. In the spin sessions, we often do tabatas. All workouts are 1 hr to 1 1/2 hrs, maybe a little longer on the weekends. I got my bike back from bike shop at Mojo Bicycle Cafe and they did a great job tuning up my bike! It feels much safer and cleaner. The old shifters on the 6 year old Giant Avail 3 were problematic so they were upgraded. On Saturday rode the ESCAPE route after a 1 mile swim along the buoy line. I like the buoy line for training because passing the buoys is great motivation to keep a good pace going.

Did not go out for Halloween because on Sunday I got up early and helped with a fun swim event. Rested the …

Countdown to Marin Tri - Winding down

Another good training week and some added recreation on the weekend walking around enjoying the city. Thursdays is probably the hardest cardio workout, with a challenging group fitness spin class and then progressive 10k run bricked after it. Other than that, just tried to do my best. My bike is at the shop for a full tune-up. I  hope to get it back soon.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayHIIT & PLYO - RUNRUNHIIT & PLYO / SwimSPIN / RUNRESTRun / WalkSwim
It was nice to unwind a little this weekend and distract myself from the focus on training and diet and give myself a break. I went to Wharf Fest for lunch where they were having a chowder tasting of a dozen restaurants down at Fisherman's Wharf. This was a great opportunity to try all the chowders and vote for my favorite! Brick and Beam won the judges choice, and McCormick & Kuleto's won the people's choice. I agree those were good, but my favorite was Cioppino's and Blue Mermaid. I …

Countdown to Marin Tri - Staying on Track

Had a great week of training and even managed to donate red blood and platelets on Friday! Seeing some progress on the body comp! The combination of HFLC / Carb cycling diet and strength training is my ticket. This week I tried a little protein before the workout and banana protein shake after the workout with great results. Saved the carbiest foods for after workout and at night, no sugar, no refined grains, carbs are from veggies and little fruit portions. The night carbs is fuel for my next morning work-out, because I don't do carbs pre-workout, instead I do fats. The banana in the protein shake helps to get the good stuff into the muscles. At this point in training, I'm starting to add more small servings of fruit and squash for carbs to correspond with increased training volume and intensity.

The workouts:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayHIIT / PLYO & RUNRUN 10kHIIT / PLYOSPIN / RUN BrickBlood DonationRestSWIM / Rest

The shake:
Hemp seeds blend…

Countdown to Marin Tri - Swimming with Sharks

Three weeks of real training left until Marin Tri! Here's a quick recap of what I did last week:

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySundayRESTRESTHIIT / PLYO, swimSWIMAthletic Conditioning 1 hr swimEZ Kayak
On Saturday we had a nice long swim along shore. It was too foggy to do Island to Island. We had great help with the incoming flood tide. Later on there was a shark sighting around Alcatraz, so it all worked out! Welcome to Sharktober!

The water has been clearer lately, probably due to lack of rain and runoff. This might be encouraging the sharks to explore our waters. It is a fact of open water swimming that you're swimming with wildlife, and at a certain point you just have to make the decision if you are going to let that interfere with your swimming habits. The only wildlife I usually ever see are the birds. The rest usually keep their distance from humans. The best thing is to go with a group or with a friend, and have a plan. I feel safe with my group,…

Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm

Went to the Hoes Down at Full Belly Farm for the third year in a row! I also went in 2008 with my company, Sustainable Technologies, when we had a methane digester demo. It's fun to go every year and visit the farm and see the changes. This year I noticed they had more solar panels and my company helped them with energy efficiency upgrades to their farm so we had a demonstration of solar pumps and energy efficiency. The other thing different this year is that I biked there! I took the Capitol Corridor Amtrak train to Davis and got my weekend cycling in. It's a 3 and a half hour ride to the farm through mostly quiet county roads. The other half of the route is on the 16 which is very busy with very little shoulder to ride on. By improving cycling conditions on this route in Yolo County would definitely encourage more cycling tourism through this area.

Going to Full Belly Farm is like a weekend retreat, with lots of activities and workshops or you can just kick back and chill a…

September wrap up

Six weeks until Marin Tri! After 2 months of HIIT training 2-3x a week, I feel totally strong! Everything feels easier, including bike handling. I ran a 10k race and half marathon the past few days and did well even though my mileage is low. My running legs are well-developed but then the upper body is flab. So to balance it out In July I started the TRX again, then August and September the 1 hour HIIT & Plyo class at the gym. I  highly recommend Gaby's class at Fitness SF. I also recommend a local boot camp group Body by HYZ. John is a fun coach and participants are mostly members of GGTC and is donation based for KEEN SF. This put me in a much better spot for my tri training and now building up the endurance for 2 hours will be a piece of cake. I'm able to keep an 8 min per mile pace for my 10k and under 9:30 min per mile pace for the half marathon. The HIIT training is cardio and there are lots of fast runners in the class. I learned HIIT (complex circuits) is great fo…

Hunger Challenge Wrap-up

The Hunger Challenge is over for me, I ran out of food. As the week progressed I realized I could eat a little more then on the last day I just went for broke. I was happy! I survived on chicken and cabbage. Oddly enough, my weight remained the same. I have been strength training to build muscle, so that could be a reason.

Technically there were a bunch of pantry items from the list left but I didn't eat them. I can see myself bartering these foods to others for things that I do want, and I know that happens. There is a lot of emotion that can get stirred up from food insecurity. It can be depressing, which is why I think it can be useful to do this challenge to see what I can learn from it and bring to the table.

What I learned:
I learned which stores have the best deals! I took notes while shopping. I even found a better place to get birdseed for my parakeets.You can get more meals out of a whole chicken. I will take advantage of this. Homemade chicken broth is delicious.Organic…

Tour de Tahoe 2015

Tour de Tahoe was a really great destination ride! I had been looking forward to it all year. It was a bit hazy from wildfire season which was disturbing and kind of grayed everything out but the air quality was alright. Six hours of cycling around the lake. The climbs were very manageable with some fast descents. There were several areas of the road under construction but they were well marked. The ride had great support and aid stations. We had sandwiches for lunch and a post-ride taco party.  I had 3 shots of UCAN with me and grazed less at the aid stations. Though I have done longer distances, this felt like a great accomplishment. I enjoyed biking around a huge body of water at altitude with hundreds of other cyclists and spent the weekend at the lake.

At the state line they have a bunch of casinos, shopping & food. Down by the south lake there is kayaking, paddle-boarding and every kind of outdoor recreation you can imagine. Great place for a vacation, even if just for th…

Hunger Challenge Update

I'm in the middle of the SF Marin Food Bank Hunger Challenge and feeling better about it than the first few days. It is kind of a shock at first to slash your caloric intake by almost half and ration and measure smaller portions of food. I didn't know if I would be able to keep my exercise schedule up but so far so good. I even did HIIT yesterday.

Let's check-in to see how the nutrition profile looks:

1600 calories?! I don't think that is enough for me. I was hungry on the first 2 days but by Wednesday I was starting to get used to it. I found out that I had a little more chicken I could add to my lunch and I can double up on my chicken broth for the rest of the week! Also, I delayed eating my lunch that extra hour or two so I could get through the afternoon. I guess I should have looked at my inventory little more closely. I was so worried that I wouldn't have enough that I skimped out on the first few days. I also added a slice of melon as an afternoon snack, so…

Eating on $4.50 a day - Hunger Challenge

I'm taking the SFM Food Bank Hunger Challenge for 5 days to help spread awareness about food insecurity during Hunger Action Month. By eating on $4.50 a day (value of food stamp benefits) plus the items in the pantry box list from the food bank, I am experiencing what it's like for someone who barely has enough to eat. I love food and do not take it for granted, but it's been a long time since I had to budget or ration my food. I come from a low income family and there were times when we did not have a lot to eat and used food stamps. In grade school we were often on the school lunch program, and even the school breakfast program, so I'm not just doing this for kicks. It's a serious issue.

My goal is to see if there is a way to eat healthy, nutritious and possibly organic meals on a tight budget and learn what I can along the way. I just tried to eat closely to the way I am used to eating which I found to be optimal for me, which is mostly vegetables and fat with s…

Summer Training

Here is what the summer training looks like: some HIIT, Spinning, Pool drills, easy running on TM and trails, weekend rides and open water swims.

Cholesterol Results from HFLC

I was very pleased with my recent cholesterol results and had to share. At first I was afraid to leave the safety blanket of high carb eating because I was worried that I would just fade from low energy and my cholesterol would be wrecked. Well, the cholesterol wasn't wrecked and in fact I improved on some important points. I took the test about 2 months into the HFLC diet with a Home Access test kit and plugged the results into this calculator.

2015 Cholesterol:
-Total Cholesterol of 181 DESIRABLE
-HDL of 78 is OPTIMAL
-Triglyceride level of 43  NORMALRatios:-Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 2.32 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) IDEAL
-LDL/HDL ratio is: 1.218 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 2.0) IDEAL
-Triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 0.513 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEALWhat happened is my HDL (good cholesterol) went up 21 points from normal to optimal, and the triglycerides went down 30 points! LDL is still in the optimal range, so no wor…

Comparison of HFLC to LFHC Diet

Here is an observation I made about how some calories are not the same as others for losing weight. I wanted to prove that I was losing weight because I was taking in less calories on a high fat low carb diet so I started keeping a food diary and logging it.

I was wrong.

I am taking in the same amount of calories and losing weight.

Let's just go with it. People can say what they want. I got a new scale and just started tracking body composition so this should be interesting.

Below is typical of what I was eating last year. As you can see it is close to the Zone, with plenty of carbs. I was actually trying to eat more carbs for more energy but falling short. This diet was fine. I had plenty of energy and could maintain my weight with this diet but not achieve weight loss. At this time I was doing P90X and lifting weights, so I thought I had to do protein shakes and builders bars. I did not restrict my calories because that never worked for me. The targets are at the top and then a…