Pop Quiz!

February 27, 2014

POP QUIZ: Why did I buy these gloves?

grip-glove

  • A) To take hot items out of the oven
  • B) To prevent leaving fingerprints during my next murderous rampage
  • C) Because they’re all the rage in Milan
  • D) None of the above

The correct answer is… Read the rest of this entry »

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Setting StairMaster Records AND My Goal For Vegas

February 25, 2014

Scale the Strat is less than a week away! I’ve been training like crazy, and it’s paying off. I’ve never been more prepared for a stair climb race than I am for this one, and I’m glad that’s the case, because I have generous donors and my first-ever corporate sponsor – StairMaster! – and I don’t want anyone to think I’m slacking. Speaking of StairMaster, I’ve set some personal records at the gym, and I’m proud and excited about that!

Feet-on-stairmaster

As I explained in my last StairMaster training post, I’ve been Read the rest of this entry »


Pan-Seared Balsamic Artichokes

February 24, 2014

Artichokes are one of those vegetables that just seem like a hassle. Artichoke hearts are delicious – I buy them in cans or jars a lot – but getting a heart out of an actual fresh artichoke takes roughly 23 steps, and it’s a mess. Similarly, cooking fresh artichokes takes forever, and the payoff, while delicious, is small. Most of an artichoke is inedible.

trimmed-whole-artichokes

Despite all this, when a friend Read the rest of this entry »


How To Get Started Using a StairMaster

February 21, 2014

Today’s post tackles a question from a reader! A friend of mine named Judy (not her real name, but I just watched “Judge Judy”) asked me this:

“Stairs are my biggest fear and nemesis and I am determined to conquer them this year. Do you have any tips on how to start stair climbing and maybe what worked for you when you started out? I am doing stairs at work when I can, but my max is 2 floors. I am back to the gym next week and thought I would try StairMaster too, even if it is only 30 seconds at first, just to get started.”

Great question, Judy, and before I answer let me Read the rest of this entry »


Three Times (!) Up the Aon Center

February 20, 2014

My training for Scale the Strat continues!

aon-center-los-angelesIn addition to regular sessions on the StairMaster at my gym, I’ve been hitting actual stairs as much as I can. I did some outdoor stairs after a hike the other weekend, climbed a brutal staircase 6 times at dawn on Sunday, and, a few days before that, climbed 36 floors while running 2.9 miles (a workout I never blogged about).

Despite all that, I haven’t done any training in an actual skyscraper stairwell. The Aon Center, a 63-story skyscraper that I’ve raced up twice (recaps here and here), offers practice time every week to train in their stairwell, so the other night, I headed downtown to work out in the second-tallest building in the state.

It wasn’t just a training session, though – it was also a lesson. I had asked my pal Jeff, a nationally-ranked tower runner, to give me some pointers, and he happily obliged. Now that I have a few of these races under my belt, I want to work on strategy and technique, so that I can really improve. I got a few pointers a few months ago from another tower running pro, my friend Madeleine, and it totally whetted my appetite!

Read the rest of this entry »


Kale Chips…in the MICROWAVE?!

February 19, 2014

This post is about food, and I need to fess up and say that my eating hasn’t been great lately. I’ve been exercising like a madman, and while I want to be capitalizing on the calories I’m burning to lose a few pounds, it’s not happening. But I’m not beating myself up over it. Just trying to make better choices and do the best I can.

Moving on…

A few years ago, I had a little kale chip kick. I was making them left and right. Kale chips, which are simply kale leaves that are roasted until they’re crispy like chips (see how to make them here), are very satisfying and super healthy. But Read the rest of this entry »


Stairs at Sunrise

February 17, 2014

I can’t remember the last time I was up early enough to see a sunrise. Yesterday, though, I saw a beautiful one… while in the middle of a fantastic stair workout. Here’s the sunrise…

Sunrise-Culver-City

…and here are the stairs:

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Culver-City-Steps-Baldwin-Hills-Scenic-Overlook

These awesome stairs are known as the Culver City Stairs, and they’re at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. How I ended up there was a happy accident.

Read the rest of this entry »