Eight down, two to go, and so behind on my correspondence

Chugging along at the Ridge, doing great. Went to Las Vegas over the weekend, overindulged. Somehow no ability to blog or conduct correspondence or make phone calls during evenings and weekends – all I seem to want to do is exercise and watch TV (on my computer, on demand, such crack). Apologies – will make up for it.

Never enjoyed sweating. Feels gross. Starting, however, to be proud of the sauces of my labor, absent the blood and the tears (usually). Though everybody would enjoy sharing – too bad I can’t transmit the yummy smell.


Top of Stop Sign. Completed at 1:10:15, but got a slow start behind crowd so probably went faster. 4.3 miles to the top, 1000 feet of elevation gain. Started at about 40 degrees outside - warm snap. Layers a must. Hot by the time top is reached, must strip down.


Backpack off. Three layers sweated through. Topmost layer currently visible.

Gray sweatshirt off. Reason why they call it a "sweatshirt." Fat rolls beginning to become apparent (though diminishing over time).

Bottom-most layer. Aren't you impressed? Oh so sweaty!




Happy Thanksgiving

. . . to one and all! Had a delicious, 400-calorie Thanksgiving dinner here at the Ridge. Totally hit the spot, until my usual moment of 10:00 pm starvation. Lovely day overall, concluding in an evening massage. I am woefully behind in all matters correspondence – cannot seem to find the will to write overdue and enjoyable emails, not to mention make phone calls. Then there’s the fact that I used to blog . . . what was it, every day? I promise I will get my act together soon. Unfortunately, I don’t know how soon, as I am going to Las Vegas on Saturday after hike and lunch to meet my friend Kate for my first real (and by “real” I mean high-calorie) dinner in 8 weeks as well as some commercial strolling and browsing and, if I am truly reckless, spending. Back on Sunday evening for week NINE of ten. I can’t believe it. I’m starting to get nervous about leaving. I want to finish my fitness and weight-loss journey (okay, I hate the word “journey” in that context) here. I am a mono-focus kind of girl. I like to do one thing at a time. “Balance” is anathema to me. Must I really eat well and exercise while performing such indignities as work and life and home improvement? But that test is what separates the butter from the margarine, and one can only hope that I am well on the way to the healthy-lifestyle churn. I do promise to get my relationship, email, phone, and blogging act together soon. Enjoy your poorly named Black Friday, think about shopping at Knock Knock, and start cranking your ear-worm Christmas carols. Over and out.

Seven down, three to go

Brief, uninteresting placeholder post here. Had an amazing day yesterday at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Will update soon with all kinds of pictures and stories. Having a slow, bit of a bummer day today. Woke up at 1:30 a.m. last night in a panic about life stuff – work, home, money, etc. – and couldn’t go back to sleep until 4:30. Didn’t go on the hike this morning, slept until 12:30, somewhat unprecedented. Joints are hurting, especially hip. Getting nervous about leaving here, only three weeks left, wondering if I’m going to be be able to finish as strong as I started as well as whether I’ll be able to continue progress at home. Nice to be in a cocoon. Taking today off but feeling somewhat guilty, as if I’m not making the most of the experience. All is fine and will pass, but just one of those days.

I continue to be woefully behind on correspondence – so sorry. Please know that all the kind words and emails are the wind beneath my wings!

Thursday comes before Friday, and that’s why we love it

Pretty good week. Uneventful from a fitness point of view. Though the reports of my running success were premature – the next day, my right hip punished me for my hubris. I would love to be running sooner than later, (a) because it’s so efficient; and (b) because I want to do a real triathlon without any of this namby-pamby walking bullshit. But I’m getting plenty of cardio and muscular work in without running, so I suppose I will just have to accept my body’s limitations for the time being. I’m in it for the long haul and would hate to have an injury during the remainder of my time here.

Today was one of those “What day is it?” days. As a stayover (or townie or long-timer or lifer, depending on which you prefer), I no longer adhere to the printed schedule for my group (for those of you who are curious, I’m in the blue group, vs. green or red; all that means is that not all of us can fit in the gym or the aerobics room, so they stagger us). Instead, I choose the sequence of my classes, taking all the same classes but in whatever order I want. Today that came back to bite me in my hopefully increasingly petite ass. So here was the drill. I thought I had a 1:30 appointment with Kwinten, a counselor here. Turns out it was for 12:30. I wore my swimsuit under my clothes so I could go straight into the 2:30 pool class. What with the rush to start the appointment with Kwinten earlier than I’d thought, I ended up getting out of the meeting with him at 2:00. So I decided to get in the pool early. I didn’t have my goggles with me, so couldn’t do any major swimming. Hoe-dee-doe-doe, I’m hanging out in the pool. Hanging out, hanging out. Nobody else is coming into the pool for pool class. But there’s always pool class at 2:30! Finally, at about 2:32, one of the trainers says, “Oh, on Thursdays, there’s no pool class at 2:30 or 3:30.” But I’m already wet! And in the pool! And it’s 2:32, so there’s no way I can get dried and changed and suited up in time to get anything out of the Treading or Ball . . . what’s that Ball class called? can’t remember . . . So there goes one class slot obliterated. So I go to Treading at 3:30, and then plan to do the Ball class at 4:30 – only for half an hour, because I have a chiropractic appointment for that bum hip. Somehow I end up losing track of the minutes and walk into the Ball class . . . oh, wait, what’s that I see? It’s a stretch class, not a ball class, and I already took stretch class at 11:15. And then I’m too late to get a strap, so I’m ill-equipped for stretch. It was just one of those days – I couldn’t get anything involving scheduling right.

Yesterday in kick-boxing I was thinking to myself, “How annoying – the teacher is making the class so much easier than it was in the beginning. Why isn’t she working us out like she used to? I’m not even getting a good aerobic workout. Why’s she going easy on all these newbies when she was so hard on us?” And then it hit me – the class is the same; it’s my fitness level that’s gone up. Pretty cool.

Tomorrow is Camelback again. I love that hike. Again, one that’s substantially easier than the first time around. Today I did Third Ravine, one of my favorites, and I’m definitely at the front of the moderate-intermediate group these days. I suppose I should transition to fast-intermediate next week, but part of me is . . . lazy! They go so damn fast! I don’t think I’ll get up to advanced before I leave, but one never knows. Even some of the hiking guides can’t do advanced – we’re talking like 16-minute miles over steep and rugged terrain, without stopping. The way I was raised, we stopped on hikes to look at the pretty scenery! Note to others who come after me: If you want a break but you know the guides will push you to continue, just say you want to take a picture.

Looking forward to this weekend. I was going to go with a group to Las Vegas to see Cher on Saturday night, but that’s turned into what we at Knock Knock call a klöosterföoken and is no longer a go. However, I have psychotherapeutic homework to do (I won’t even bother to explain – suffice it to say that I need to script a dialogue between my good and bad selves, aka my ego and my id) and psychotherapeutic reading to (suffice it to say that this consists of a book) and other delightful things, so I am secretly grateful to have my Saturday back. And it was going to be a lot of driving, what with the fact that I am going to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary on Sunday with my friend Kate. I’m really excited about this – it’s an amazing place, I believe the largest one in the U.S. or some such. It’s 33,000 acres and home to some 1,700 animals at a time, from large to small, domestic to exotic. It’s also home to a TV show on the National Geographic channel called Dogtown, which I had neither seen nor hear of before. We’ll be touring in the morning then having a vegan lunch (natch) then volunteering in the afternoon. I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and report back in detail.

Speaking of Kate and of taking picture breaks, here she and I are at the top of Third Ravine.

Speaking of rescued animals, here's a gratuitous shot of Paco and Maisie, taken lovingly by the most amazing house- and dogsitter in the world, Adrienne. My apologies for the head crane - I can't get it to go vertical.

Over and out, all y’all.

Started running today

Kicked it off for two minutes at a time, at about 5 miles an hour, on the treadmills in circuit training. Ouch! It will take a while to be able to run 3 miles at once, but I’ve been challenged to do it in 30 days, because in a month the other Jen and I are going to re-create the St. George Turkey Tri and I am going to run it this time, or at least as much as I can.

Good crew of people this week, though I am getting slightly tired of meeting new people. I’ve given up moving around to different tables in the dining room – I’ve caved, and now I only sit at the stayovers’ table (though lots of new people joined us today – fortunately, they didn’t get the memo). I’m still meeting people hither and thither, but I just can’t deal with any more “Hi, my name is Jen!” at a different table. I’m planting myself and whoever wants to talk to me can come over and try.

I really appreciate everybody’s support so much – comments and emails, bringing the tears o’ joy to my eyes. Thank you, all. I wish I could type fast enough, and stay up late enough, to write a gazillion emails and responses, but I needs my beauty sleep.

Over and out.

The second tri . . .

. . . will be in Pasadena on March 20. Megan and I are committing! And then we’ll be working toward the actual Olympic-length LA Triathlon (though Megan doesn’t know it yet) on October 3, 2010, which entails open water! Some St. George folks might even come out for that one. It’s all about fitness in the oh-ten.

Random and not related to Fitness Ridge – my amazing tree-climbing dog, Maisie

This is Maisie’s special tree, around the corner from my old Venice house. Maisie used to do this a lot more readily when she was younger (she’s nine), and she had already been tired by a hike before I shot this, but I still think it’s a pretty amazing trick. FYI, you will want to turn the volume down, as my voice is pretty annoying on this (and, perhaps, in general). That’s my cousin Katherine there at the very end.