In a short 48 hours, I’ll be stretching and warming up, just minutes away from starting my next stair climb race. The race is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Hike the Halo, and the route is up and down all the steps in all the sections throughout Angel Stadium. I’m been excited for a while now, but there have been some looming questions: Read the rest of this entry »
Guess where I’m writing this post! No, really. Guess!
If you guessed the juror assembly room at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse, you win! Three cheers for jury duty. I’m waiting to see if I’ll get assigned to a trial. Meanwhile, I got nothing but time to put together a blog post, so here goes!
Yesterday I returned, after a 37-day hiatus, to the pool. I felt pretty good in the water, and swam 3,200 yards in 70 minutes. How do I look with a swim cap and goggles?
I took a picture earlier today. Looks like a parking garage, right?
Well, guess what? It IS a parking garage! Yesterday, though, it served another function… as my gym.
Breaking News! I’m a CERTIFIED OPEN WATER SCUBA DIVER!
Earning my certification was the high point of a wonderful weekend on Catalina, an island off the southern California coast. As I mentioned in my previous scuba post (which chronicled the classroom and pool portion of the certification process), I had never been to Catalina before, and didn’t really have Read the rest of this entry »
I got home today from a wonderful three days at Fitbloggin, a conference for health, wellness, and weight loss bloggers that was held in beautiful Portland, Oregon. I learned a lot, met a ton of people, and have a lot to share, including loads of pictures, so I’m going to spread it out over multiple posts. The thought of trying to sum up the past three days in one post makes my head hurt.
The trip got off to a horrible start. The plan was to get to LAX via the Van Nuys FlyAway. It’s a shuttle bus from my part of town to the airport that saves me a ton of money in parking costs. The shuttles leave at specific times, and I get to the FlyAway station with time to spare, park my car, buy a round-trip shuttle ticket ($14), and board the shuttle a few minutes before it leaves. I just happened to be rearranging items in my carry-on bag when I noticed this:
MY DRIVER’S LICENSE IS GONE.
Time to start exercising again! I’ve been on a forced sabbatical from working out for almost a month, as I heal from the surgery I had (which went very well, in case you need to catch up). I was initially told by my doctor that I shouldn’t do anything strenuous, including exercise, for 2-4 weeks after surgery, and it turned out I needed most of that time. But by the time I left for Sweden, I was feeling ready to start moving, at least a little. I was ready to test the waters. And since I was staying with friends in Sweden that have an awesome 90-pound Labrador retriever that needed to go on walks, I took full advantage. Here’s me and Pepper:
During that trip, we went on three hour-long walks through the woods, and a couple half-hour walks on other days. And I felt great. When I arrived back in the states, I felt ready for more.
My legs are still sore from last night’s workout. It was the best workout I’ve had in a while, partly because I pushed myself, and partly because it happened in a very cool new location. That location is called the St. Andrews Stairway, and it’s actually not very new at all.
Back in the 1920s, a public stairway was built up the side of the Hollywood Hills, to allow residents on higher streets an easy way to come down to catch the streetcars that used to zip around Los Angeles (hard to believe, but back in the day LA used to have one of the largest public transportation networks in the country). The stairway is cleverly called the St. Andrews Stairway, as it starts at the end of St. Andrews road. Despite it being there for nearly 100 years, I didn’t know it existed, even though last fall, I ran right past it during an evening run. It didn’t catch my eye during that run because it wasn’t lit at night, but that changed last month.
I read online a few weeks ago that some 8 or 9 decades after initial construction, the city of Los Angeles finally made good on their promise to install streetlights on the St. Andrews Stairway, and I realized that it was relatively close to my office. So last night, I laced up my running shoes and went for a run. And even though I’ve only been twice (once last night, and again today to take some photos to share here), I’ll come out and say it: I love the St. Andrews Stairway!
There are 153 stairs (I counted myself). That’s basically a 10-story building! Here’s what they look like from the bottom. The arrow is pointing to the wall at the very top of the stairs, all the way up on Tryon Drive.
NEWS FLASH! I’m a nerd. A great, big, Urkel-sized nerd. Well, thanks to my weight loss, I’m not as big a nerd as I used to be, but I’m still a nerd, and I’m proud of it. I don’t consider ‘nerd’ to be a derogatory term – I just think it means that I know what I like and am not afraid to express it, embrace it, learn every little thing I can about it, and share it with others.
Long-time readers know one of the things I nerd out about: charts, graphs and statistics. This weight loss journey I’ve been on has been well documented by all of these things: I have a weight loss chart that I update once a month. I have a running chart (more on this later). I track StairMaster workouts with a chart that I call my Skyscraper Collection (more on this later, too!). Even though I haven’t blogged about it lately, I keep statistics on my workouts in the form of Monthly Progress Reports. Long story short (or is it too late for that?), if I can monitor what I’m doing and how I’m doing it in a fun, interesting way, than I’m all for it.
I find all these charts incredibly beneficial. They provide concrete evidence of my improvement in areas like running and stair climbing, both of which are still rather new to me. They allow easy ways for me to look back at where I’ve been, and help me project where I can go in the future. They assist in the setting of both short-term and long-term goals, whether it’s training for a big race or event, or helping me plan my week so I get in enough workouts. They give me a reason to pause, smile and congratulate myself on a great week or a great workout, and offer the opportunity to immortalize that feeling of pride and accomplishment by creating a permanent record of it. They fuel me. They push me.
There’s a new chart in my life, and I’ve kept it a secret from you for months. I keep it on the wall in my office, and it occurred to me the other day that there’s no reason for it to be a secret anymore. Here’s the story behind this new chart, which I’m going to unveil today.
My legs are still sore, ladies and gentleman, from the 10K race I ran on Sunday. That means I really pushed myself. And I’m really proud of how things turned out. But I’m jumping ahead of myself… I should start at the beginning.
Sunday was a beautiful day for a race: sunny and clear, although it was hot. It ended up being 90 degrees that day, and even though the race was held early in the morning, it was obvious that the day was going to be a scorcher. I got to Universal Studios a little before 8am, and met up with a bunch of friends that were also participating in either the 10K or the 5K run/walk. My buddy Mikael took this picture of me near the starting line…
My family was in town recently, for what turned out to be a really wonderful weekend. We headed down to Anaheim and did the whole Disney thing. It was my second time in each of the Disney parks, and it was a really fun and busy time. And even though the family has long since returned home, I can’t stop thinking about my four-year-old niece, Allison.
First, a picture of Allison, along with me, my sister Sarah, and Ariel from “The Little Mermaid.” I’m still wet from Grizzly River Run, the Disney California Adventure water ride we were on immediately preceding our meet and greet with Ariel: