Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 33: 40 days 'til 40

Today we took a few minutes to take pictures of something. Of course, I chose my favorite subjects: my kids and my dogs :). Here are the rest of the photos. I didn't edit them all yet, just cropped a few (someday maybe I'll have time to do some editing).

all-racewalking day!!!

Yay! Today the only exercise I did was racewalking!!! No waiting for the gym to open, and no boring cardio machines.

I walked 3.9 miles in 42:45 and it felt great. I was slow for my heart rate (upper 140s-low 150s) but I didn't care. It was great to be outside. I took a nice flat route from my house to Liberty Park, around the park, and back. Only about 100 ft of elevation change - down to the park, and up on the way back. I took Copper (pictured) with me and she did great! She seems to have recovered really well from her surgery. Hopefully the cancer will take its time in recurring.

It was so enjoyable to be out there. The temperature was 30F (about -1C) and it was clear with no wind. I wore tights, 2 long-sleeve shirts, and gloves, and a hat. I did get a bit tired at the end, and my right hamstring was a little tight (from weights on Friday? not sure about that), so I didn't even mind coming in.

I need to do some planning for training and for what races I'm going to do. It's exciting to be on the way back!

Food for 2/28

Wow - last day of February. Time flies!

Today's food:

1/2c oatmeal prepared with water, 1/2t brown sugar splenda, and 1/2c blueberries (3 points)

Peanut butter & jelly on orowheat sandwich thins; used PB2 (powdered peanut butter - and homemade apricot jam prepared with splenda (2 points)
1 medium grapefruit (1 point)
1 small banana (1 point)
mixed green salad with tomatoes, bell pepper, and spray vinaigrette (0 points)

10 baby carrots (0 points)
1/2c grape tomatoes (0 points)
1 asian pear (1 point)
24 pistachios (2 points)

homemade paella with shrimp (pictured), 1/6 of pan (7 points)

Healthy choice fudge bar (1 point)
no sugar added hot chocolate (1 point)

Total: 19 points

43 min racewalking (5 points; count 1 point toward the day)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Food for today...with points

OK, I am going to do this - it is making me think more about what I eat, which is good. But I'm going to include the points values too. And I'll put it in separate posts so if you're not interested you can just skip them.

Breakfast - 1/2c oatmeal prepared with water, 1 med apple (some sliced into oatmeal), 1/2 t brown sugar splenda, a few shakes cinnamon (4 points).

Lunch - McDonald's Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled chicken and the light balsamic vinaigrette instead of ranch dressing (6 points).

Snack - Healthy Choice ice cream bar (1 point).

Dinner - Roast Chicken Dal (homemade - chicken w/lentils and tomatoes & spices, 1.5 cups, 7 points). Large green salad (spring mix) with grape tomatoes and light balsamic vinaigrette spray dressing (0 points).

Dessert - Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich (2 points) with hot tea (0 points); planning on Swiss Miss no sugar added hot chocolate + 2 marshmallows later on (after the symphony; 2 points).

Total: 22 points.

Activity: 8 points earned, spent 4 points.

Critique of the day - normally would have had a healthier snack (i.e. fruit); 2 ice creams in one day is more than I need but it did satisfy my sweet tooth :). The lunch could have been healthier, but given that we took the kids to McDonalds that was about as good as I could do w/o bringing my lunch there (which is what Sarah did and what I should have done). I normally eat more fruits and vegetables in a day than I did today. Still, I stayed well within my points and it was a good day.

Day 32: 40 days 'til 40

Today we took the kids to McDonald's to play in the Playplace. This was fun for 2 reasons: 1) the kids amused themselves there for an hour and a half with minimal intervention from us, and 2) we got to sit and chat and enjoyed some serious unwinding while hanging out. Very nice. More pics here.

Also nice was the WEATHER today! I racewalked outside for 20 min around 10:45 am and it was delightful. 48 degrees and sunny. I wished I could racewalk more than 20 min, but I was good and didn't do more than that. I did about 2 miles at a 10:37 pace, ave HR 145. OK, yeah, a little fast, but it was an easy-moderate pace and it was SO nice that I just couldn't go any slower :).

Because of the nice weather, I took the kids to the park before we met Sarah & the kids at McDonald's. Most excellent - they ran around for 30 min and I took pictures.

In more workout news, earlier this morning I did the video bike (about 25 min) and the elliptical (20 min) at the gym, before my Weight Watchers meeting. The meeting was good but very crowded and long weigh-in lines. I skipped the weigh in because of the lines and because I knew I was up a few lb anyway; as a Lifetime member I only have to weigh in once a month. I typically weigh in weekly to stay accountable; I will weigh in in 2 weeks when I go back (we'll be at Zermatt Resort next weekend). I feel very motivated right now by the warm weather and by my good news about my injury, so I should have a good food week :). Plus, Dorothy and I are going to show each other our journals in 2 weeks, so I have GOT to stay disciplined or face owning up to failure!!!

Hmmm, maybe I should post what I eat here? That might be too much work (and too boring for all of you). I'll do some but may not continue if it's too taxing!

Breakfast - 1/2c oatmeal prepared with water, 1 med apple (some sliced into oatmeal), 1/2 t brown sugar splenda, a few shakes cinnamon.

Lunch - McDonald's Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled chicken and the light balsamic vinaigrette instead of ranch dressing.

Snack - Healthy Choice ice cream bar.

Will post more later... want to nap for 30 min, teach 2 piano lessons, then dinner and off to a concert. Utah Symphony - Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3 :).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Days 29-31: 40 days 'til 40

Day 29 - another day of good plans gone bad...was going to play with the kids with some "Goop" but just didn't have a spare minute. Oh well; not going to beat myself up over it. Sometimes things just don't happen.

Day 30 - we wrote a card/note and sent it snail mail to someone. Just in case that someone is reading this blog, I'm not saying who I sent it to :).

Day 31 - ahhhhh, the Cliff Spa. One of our favorites from last year. We began with a good workout; Sarah opted for 20 min weights and 40 min treadmill. I chose 30 min elliptical, then 20 min racewalking on the treadmill (max allowed today) and then another 10 min elliptical. My racewalking was super slow due to the altitude and also due to my lack of racewalking fitness at the moment. I had to slow the treadmill down to 4.9 mph ... really pathetic! But it was fun to racewalk anyway.

After that we stretched out really well and then put on our swimsuits. We took a dip in the pool; I did a few laps but it was HOT for lap swimming - maybe 90? - and so we didn't stay in too long. Next we hit the hot tub for probably 30 min or so (don't know; wasn't wearing a watch! yay!). The pool and hot tub are on the roof, open to the (cold!) air, with spectacular views.

Next we each got a lengthy hot shower. We were hungry, so we headed down to the snack bar for a bowl of veggie chili & banana (me) or an apple (Sarah). Finally, we relaxed by taking 30 min to read in the solarium. We wished we had more time, but alas, we had to head back to relieve the babysitter. It was a wonderful afternoon. More photos here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Finally, a diagnosis

I finally had my appointment with the foot & ankle orthopedic surgeon (Dr. Timothy Beals) today. I am SO glad that I went to see him. I had to wait an hour because he tends to run very late (he likes to talk, and is very thorough) but it was more than worth the wait. First I saw his PA, who was excellent as well. She examined me and asked a lot of good questions. It was her impression that the achy pain in my foot (on the bottom, proximal to the big toe joint) might be a separate injury from my sesamoiditis. Interesting...I thought it was part of the sesamoiditis, since I first felt in the day or 2 before the sesamoiditis started.

When the doctor came in the room, he examined my foot quite thoroughly. I carefully explained to him where the achy pain was located, and after he located the area with pressure (ouch! but in a "hurts so good" kind of way - it actually feels kind of good to massage it a little), he had me move my foot with pressure in the area and asked if that hurt more. When I said yes, he was smiling with an "Aha!" kind of smile. He then looked at my MRIs again, and then he was sure he'd found the answer. The PA was right. I have two injuries.

This is actually GOOD news, because the sesamoiditis is not causing me pain any more. In fact, it's Dr. Beals' opinion that the sesamoiditis is healed. When he examined the sesamoids and applied pressure, it was not very tender, and they have not been causing me any pain. But what of the MRI showing inflammation there? He said that that is misleading - the MRI will continue to show inflammation for at least a year, he said, even if everything is feeling much better and is in fact OK.

So, what is the achy pain in my foot? Turns out that I have a very unusual condition - and when the foot/ankle guy tells you it's unusual, you know it's unusual since they see all kinds of zebras. I have insertional tendonitis of my peroneus longus tendon, confirmed by the physical exam as well as the MRI. The peroneus longus runs from the lateral side of the ankle, under the cuboid bone, across the bottom of the foot, and attaches at the first metatarsal. Where it attaches at the first metatarsal is where the inflammation is in my foot. The doc said this injury typically happens only to ultrarunners (or ultraracewalkers!) and basketball players.

Prognosis? Treatment? Well, it turns out that the prognosis is very good. The doc said he'd rather have this than sesamoiditis, and it's very good that the sesamoiditis is healed. He says that with my orthotics (he said either pair will be fine; orthopedic types generally prefer the softer orthotics I got at first, but I actually prefer the ones the podiatrist made) and some physical therapy and anti-inflammatories that I should be able to continue my recovery. I can keep gradually and carefully increasing my mileage and not worry about the achy pain I've been having. He said that should gradually improve with time, and I'm not at risk of further serious injury. Of course, if the pain increases despite PT and the meds, then I should see him again, but he doubts that will happen.

This all really makes great sense to me that the achy pain is a different injury than the sesamoiditis. It doesn't FEEL the same, and the main reason I connected the two is that the injuries happened at a similar time. But it all adds up - the exam, the MRI, and the history all point to this diagnosis. What a relief to know better what is going on!

Wow! I'm SO excited about this! I feel like a huge weight is off of my shoulders. I was really worried about racewalking with that on and off achy pain, and now I can relax and enjoy my comeback. I feel so much better!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

moving up in the world :)

Well, not really. I merely moved up a lane in swimming. There are 5 lanes in our workout, and I was in the slowest of the 5 (lane 1). I'm now in lane 2! Yay! Lane 1 was getting really crowded of late (7 people today!?!), and lane 2, not so much (3 people today, plus me). The coach asked me to move to the next lane! I guess I am getting a little better.

The down side of this was that I had to swim other strokes that I'm not as good at as freestyle. The up side is that I got to swim other strokes and start working on them.

Our workout was pretty interesting - warm-up with 300 free/200 back. Then we did some drills: 5x100 with 25 side kick R, 25 back R arm, 25 side kick L, 25 back L arm. Then we interspersed a bunch of 4x50s on the 1:05 with some other laps leading to a 200 IM. I am not sure of all the details but I think we did 4x50 fly/back (25 each, x4), 50 back; 4x50 back/free, 50 back 50 breast; 4x50 back/breast, 50 back 50 breast 50 free; 4x50 breast/free, 200 IM. Then 6x50 easy, but I only did one before heading to the locker room. That totals up to 2350 yds, of all different strokes. I didn't rest much :). And I still stink at butterfly. I can make it across the pool once but then I'm pretty much toast. The coach has promised that we will have a butterfly day soon...good, but a bit scary. I need the help, so I think it's a good thing, really.


I've been eating pretty crummy lately. Not sure what is up with that. I feel like I'm on the cusp of getting back to more racewalking, but I think that I'm still a bit down about how long this has been dogging me, and it's been hard to be motivated to eat well without the lure of a race on the horizon. Yeah, I'm probably going to do a 5-miler on 3/20, but I can't really train hard for it, so it's a bit demoralizing. Nonetheless, I have NOT given up and I know that I can get where I need to be again. It's just frustrating right now. I think I have to put more energy than usual into motivating myself to work out, and then I also have to put energy into eating right, working, watching the kids, etc. There's only so much energy to go around, and I'm low on energy. Oh well. I'm up a couple lbs, but as long as I snap out of this soon it's not the end of the world.

Day 28: 40 days 'til 40

Oops. Today I just ran out of time to do what we had planned. By the time I got home from work, made dinner, and had Calvin practice the piano and work on his preschool computer program, it was past the kids' bedtime. We were going to sing some songs w/the kids :(. I will do it tomorrow instead, in addition to the planned activity for tomorrow.

On the plus side, I did firm up our birthday plans :)!

Monday, February 22, 2010


I'm cautiously optimistic that maybe my foot is improving. Maybe. Hard to say. Yesterday afternoon, after RW outside Saturday & Sunday mornings (20 min each) it was slightly achy, but not bad. This morning I got up a bit late so just did the elliptical for 25 min and then weight training. Later in the afternoon I had time to hit the treadmill - just set up the kids in front of Cyberchase (on PBS) and I had 30 min to myself :). The treadmill is in the basement with our big TV, so the kids watched down there with me. I put on headphones and listened to music but was able to watch them while I did my workout. 22 minutes and 2 miles later, it was time to stop...sigh. Today was good, though - my foot was fine on our treadmill, probably because this time I moved it so it was actually FLAT instead of uphill. I was able to do 5.5 mph (10:54/mile) pretty well, though my HR got up to 150 at the end. Our treadmill seems to be a little off --- probably 5.5 mph is more like 5.6 or 5.7 on the road. Doesn't matter much though; I felt good, and the foot seems fine.

Tomorrow I need to give my foot a rest, so it'll be a swimming day.

Day 27: 40 days 'til 40

Today was one of our favorites from last year, and we enjoyed it just as much this year. We tasted gourmet dark chocolate! So much fun!

I got a couple of tips from a guy at Liberty Heights Fresh, where I bought the chocolate. 1) Use good quality apples in between to cleanse the palate, and 2) follow that with a little water. Good advice. We did that, and it worked quite well.

We tasted four chocolates, ranging from $6.99-$7.99 per bar; each bar was 2-3.5 oz. Yeah, they were expensive, but well worth it. We only ate just a little of each, letting them melt in our mouths and savoring each. I definitely liked these a lot, and felt like I would not overeat them. It just is something you have to savor in small amounts, believe it or not. Cheap chocolate is easy to overeat, but not this!!!

I'd describe these more, but it's late and I'm tired. I will post our rankings:

Sarah: 1) Rogue Chocolatier Rio Caribe, 2) Michel Cluizel Noir Cacao 72, 3) Sambirano Valley Madagascar Chocolate, 4) Amano Artisan Dos Rios.

Tammy: 1) Michel Cluizel Noir Cacao 72, 2) Rogue Chocolatier Rio Caribe, 3) Sambirano Valley Madagascar Chocolate, 4) Amano Artisan Dos Rios.

Now this makes it sound like we didn't like #4...but in reality, it was delicious. They were ALL very good, it's just that some were a little better. But I'd eat any of them again. This year's picks were better than last year's. I guess I'm learning something? Or maybe just got better advice this year. Regardless, it was fun!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

weekend workouts

Saturday: 20 min racewalking OUTSIDE :). It was fabulous to be out there again. I figured I might as well enjoy the outside a bit, so I did my 20 min and then headed to the gym for 30 min or so on the bike and 20 min on the elliptical.

Sunday: It was so fun to racewalk outside that I did it again today. Still limited to 20 min, but this week I get to RW 5x instead of every other day. I'll take the day off from RW on Tu & Th when I swim. I did 2 miles today, and yeah, it took about 21:32, so I was out there a little longer than 20 minutes, but I think that's really OK. 10:46/mile, and all of it very fun despite the cold (25 or 26, not too bad, but colder than the gym!) and windy, which of course made it feel quite a bit colder. Even a few snowflakes fell while I was out. Later in the day I worked out at the gym for 50 minutes; half on the video bike and half on elliptical.

It's almost been 6 months since I first injured my foot (August 24th). I hope I'm on my way back now, but we'll see. So far, so good. I am visiting the foot & ankle orthopedic guy on Thursday for another opinion; should be interesting. I'm ready to be back in the swing of things, though. 6 months is a long time!

Day 25: 40 days 'til 40

 Yesterday was day 25. We watched "Chariots of Fire"; awesome movie which gave me pause for reflection on the whys of sport. Whatever you think of his beliefs, Eric Liddell showed an incredible joy in his sport that is admirable and beautiful. I think being injured for so long has given me a new appreciation for my sport, and I do hope that I enjoy it this year as deeply as he did.
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Day 26: 40 days 'til 40

This morning we enjoyed breakfast together at the Belgian Waffle & Omelet Inn. Very kitschy diner atmosphere, and pretty yummy diner food. I had some hot tea ( was snowing lightly outside) and a Belgian waffle with hot apples on top. Delicious. The conversation was great, too. We plotted for our birthday celebration (gonna be fun! I'm not telling you what it is yet!) and rearranged our schedule a bit as needed; only 2 weeks left to party, so we want to do it right :). We also had a good time reading more about Eric Liddell from Wikipedia and discussing the movie from yesterday.

I forgot to get a picture of us, but as we left I did shoot one of the restaurant :).

Friday, February 19, 2010

Feeling better

This morning I felt better, so I racewalked for 20 min around the ice rink at the gym to start my workout. It felt great, and I didn't want to stop, but I knew I had to take care of my foot, so I did stop. Then I did 15 min on the bike and about 15 min on the elliptical. Finally, I went to my weight training class and had a good lifting session.

My foot felt fine today, and didn't bother me at all later in the day. Whew. Hopefully it will continue to feel OK.

Day 24: 40 days 'til 40

Today was blow-off-cooking-and-take-the-family-out-to-dinner night. Perfect for a Friday, especially after working Tu, Th, and F this week. It was up in the air a bit as Loren has been home sick and wasn't sure he was up to it, but he mustered up the strength and we drove up to Zermatt and enjoyed the Friday night seafood buffet at Schneitter's restaurant. :) :) :)!!! Ate more dessert that I should have, but I planned to indulge. I am working on unwinding a bit about things, and not getting too tense if I overdo it. One thing I've learned in the last 5 years is that once in a while if you overdo, it's really OK! It's what you do day-to-day that really matters.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 23: 40 days 'til 40

Today we were downloading a song from a new-to-us artist and sharing it. I found out about the group "Las Ketchup" from the Latin channel on the video bike at the gym. Really! I started listening to the Latin songs because they are upbeat and motivating to work out to, at least for me. "The Ketchup Song" was a big European hit in around 2003 or so, and I had no idea. Heck, if it was a hit here, I would have had no idea :). Anyway, here's the video. The kids and I had fun dancing around to the music in the kitchen!

feeling a bit off

I started to feel kind of off last night. Very fatigued and draggy, and a bit dizzy. I wrote off my swim for this morning, and wondered if I'd make it to work. Woke feeling pretty lousy, but dragged myself to work, and all day I've gradually felt better & better. Hoping I'll be up to working out tomorrow before work, as that always makes the day a bit better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

sister-in-law & niece :)

Here's a great photo my brother took of his wife, who is expecting my niece in July! They were taking a long weekend in Pismo Beach - it looks so WARM there.

By the way, this is my sister-in-law who is the FAST swimmer. She did a 1-hr postal a few weeks ago (yes, while pregnant!) and did in excess of 3800 yards. I could not even approach that!!!

Weights on Wednesday

Today I had my weight training class. I got there on time but got started late because I was talking to our instructor, who will be out of work as of June :(. The weight training class is a part-time gig he's done for several years now, but his full-time job is ending in June. He's a great instructor and I hope he can find a job. He's looking for anything physical-fitness related - strength training coach, cardiac rehab, etc. He's really good at what he does, so if you know someone who has an opening (local preferred but anything will do), please comment and let me know.

After talking w/him a while I warmed up on the bike and then did some pull-ups. I actually managed to do 1.5 pull-ups! I am not sure they "count" because I used a sideways grip. But I'm getting stronger I think...maybe. I did a bunch of reps w/a 50 lb assist, and I'm able to do more than I have been able to in the past, so that's good. Today I did 8, 8 and 7 (previously I could only do 3x6). I also did abductor and adductor exercises, bench press w/dumbbells, one-legged dead lifts, and a bunch of abs. Short but good workout.

At home I did 20 min on the treadmill. We moved our treadmill and it was a bit too much on the slope in our not-so-level basement; I moved it a bit but it still felt slightly uphill to me. My foot started to ache about 15 min into the workout :( but hoping it's not a big deal. The rest of the day it's felt fine.

Day 22: 40 days 'til 40

From wii
From wii
From wii
Today we played some Wii games together :). The kids got plenty of turns, too, and much laughter was heard. I think Sarah was heading soccer balls in these photos, and I was snowboarding.More photos here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 21: 40 days 'til 40

Today we're downloading a song from 1970. I perused this list and was surprised at which songs were from 1970. I actually know a good number of them and like them.

Turns out that I don't actually need to download a song - though I don't have them on my computer, my husband happens to own CDs with several of these tunes! I didn't know that, so I'm ripping them from his CDs to my hard drive and making my own 1970 mix to listen to for a bit. What's in it?

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Fire and Rain - James Taylor
Who'll Stop the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival

All of these have water/rain in the title. That's kind of fun! I'm going to listen now :).

Swimming Tuesday

Today was another masters' swimming workout.

500 yd warm-up, focusing on stroke length. Then, 20x25 yd: 5 x (25 kick on side, 25 free, 25 catch-up drill, 25 free). Then a good hard set: 100 easy, 25 fast 75 easy, 50 fast 50 easy, 75 fast 25 easy, 100 fast. By the end I was TIRED and that last 100 fast was only in 1:50. Not very fast! Finally, 12x25 pull, working on stroke length. I took 16-17 strokes for most of the 25s; this is a big improvement for me as I started out doing probably 24 strokes per 25 yd.

The lane was still crowded today with 6; but 2 left early and 4 was just fine. The shower was actually hot today to the end :).

Day 20: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday was halfway for our 40 days!

I took a nice HOT bath in our jetted tub to celebrate. I left the jets off and just soaked. It was marvelous and warm and toasty. Hot baths are one nice thing about winter :).

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday & Monday workouts

Here's what I did to make up for the chocolate cake!

Sunday: Biking with my friend Dorothy, outside! Yay! We biked on the Legacy Parkway Trail, which is quite nice and very flat. That's good in the winter, when going downhill is just COLD. We biked 15.32 miles in 1 hr 44 sec, by my Garmin. Great conversation (as usual) and a fabulous workout. Yes, my biking is pretty slow - but remember that I am riding a very HEAVY hybrid mountain/road bike with a rack and accessories. I may get a real bike someday...but meanwhile, well, it's a good workout, so who cares?

Monday: 4 sports in 1 day! Swim, racewalk, stationary bike, elliptical.

Swim: 500 meter w/u in about 10 min. Then I did 6x100 alternating 50 drill, 50 free. The drill was kick on side, 3 strokes, kick on other side. On the free, I worked on breathing on alternating sides and worked on my open turns. Finally, I did 2 x 50 hard on the 1:10 or so (did them in about 50s; slow today I guess) then 2 x 150 easy, medium, hard. Again, my hard laps were slow. Finally, cooled down with 3 laps easy, focusing on reaching as far as I could and breathing on alternating sides. 1650 yd total in 40 minutes.

Racewalk: 20 minutes easy, focusing on long stride length and slow cadence, as per doctor's orders to keep it easy and slow. I did 13 laps around the hockey rink, watching the hockey game and dodging some spectators, which was way more entertaining than the treadmill.

Stationary bike: 30 minutes easy while reading.

Elliptical: 30 minutes easy while reading (about 3.5 miles).

I did all of this from 9-11:15 am (took > 2 hr because had to change when I got out of the pool, and also there was time switching between apparatus) and regretted that I had not brought something to eat; about 10 min from finishing my body hit the wall a bit. I kept going but it hurt. I only ate a couple tangerines before working out and just spaced bringing some jelly beans or something. Haven't worked out that long in a while and just forgot! Duh!

When I got home I suggested to Loren that we go to Finn's for some brunch. So we did - and it was great to enjoy the time sans kiddos. I had 3 cups of coffee (great coffee, warm, rich, comforting), 2 waffles w/lingonberry jam, and a side of bacon. Great brunch :), good conversation. Ahhhhh.

Day 19: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday was day 19 of our 40 days 'til 40. We had planned to go to a bookstore and browse the bargain racks; due to some schedule changes, Sarah ended up going in the afternoon, and I planned to go to a concert at night with Loren instead. Well, we didn't make it to the concert (the tickets were free, so no biggie) because we were late eating our homemade (and very yummy) Valentine's Day dinner. After dinner, I suggested to Loren that we go and browse the bookstore instead of going to the concert; my parents had the kids last night, so it was no problem to just shift our plans. So we ended up browsing the bookstore after all, and I got a few good bargains. I got a gift for someone (can't say what it is here or it won't be secret any more!), a hardcover edition of Edgar Rice Burroughs' first three Mars books, and some Dostoyevsky short stories which I'm hoping to read for our classic reading assignment (unless Sarah finds something better). The Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars books are childhood favorites - I first read them in junior high, and loved the series instantly. This edition is wonderfully illustrated and was only $13!

It was great to browse with Loren, and we had a wonderful night without the kids. Our dinner was spectacular. I made filet mignons with cremini mushrooms and rosemary, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, and fresh asparagus. For dessert, flourless chocolate raspberry cake, which was 22 points per serving ( = about 3 hr of working out!) and amazingly delicious. I'm not sure it was really worth the 22 points (I mean, really, is ANYTHING worth working out 3 hr to eat?), but I had wanted to try it for a long time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's the recipe:

Flourless Raspberry Chocolate Cake

From Costco Connection magazine

22.5 points each (!)

1/3 c plus 1T unsalted butter, divided
2 (1 oz) squares bittersweet chocolate
2 (1 oz) squares unsweetented chocolate
7T seedless raspberry jam, divided
2T orange zest
2 lg eggs
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c orange juice
Garnish: raspberries & whipped cream

1. preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease ramekins with 1T of butter. Line the bottom of the ramekins with parchment paper.
2. In med bowl, combine chocolates & remaining 1/3c butter. Microwave on high in 30-sec intervals, stirring between each, until melted. Add 4T raspberry jam & the orange zest. Stir to combine. Allow mixture to cool slightly.
3. In med bowl, combine eggs & sugar. Whisk egg mixture into cooled chocolate mixture. Pour batter into prepared ramekins. Place ramekins in a roasting pan. Fill pan with water until it reaches halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Cover pan with aluminum foil, sealing well on edges. Bake for 1 hr.
4. Remove roasting pan from oven and allow cakes to cool in water for 15 min. Remove ramekins from pan and allow to cool. Chill cakes 4 hr or overnight.
5. In small bowl, combine remaining 3T seedless raspberry jam and the orange juice. Microwave on high in 30 sec intervals, stirring between each, until melted (about 1.5 min total).
6. Serve sauce with cake. Garnish with whipped topping & raspberries.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 18: 40 days 'til 40

Today we went shopping at the thrift store for some good bargains. I picked up 2 sweaters & 2 shirts for myself, 4 pr of shoes/slippers & 2 pr pajamas for Michelle, 4 pr pants, 2 pr pajamas and at least 4-5 shirts & 1 sweatshirt for Calvin. Total cost: $74. What a deal.

birthday party

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birthday party

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Day 17: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday we celebrated by watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics together with my mom on my parents' giant projection HDTV. Great fun!

back to racewalking :)

I got to racewalk this morning for 20 minutes. Actually, it wasn't that fun...I really dislike the treadmill, especially when I just have to do an easy pace. But I'm not complaining - I'm glad to be racewalking again. I did a nice easy, relaxed pace. Normally that's about 5.5 mph, but on one treadmill at the gym, it's 5.8 mph, and that's the one I was on today. No way I was doing 10:20 miles! I promise, I was good and did a very easy workout with a relaxed cadence.

Then I hopped on the exercise bike (not the video bike, as they are both broken - bummer) for 25 min, and finally I did the elliptical for 20 min.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday & Friday workouts; foot news

Thursday: 6 people in our lane for swimming. Pretty crowded, but do-able. 500 free w/u, 300 pull, 6x50 alternating fast/easy, 200 pull, 4x50 fast/easy, 100 pull, 2x50 fast/easy, then 6x50 kick (on back) 25 and catch-up drill 25. A good hard workout, and I did a couple of the 50s in about 46-47 seconds. Not too bad.


Friday: 30 min elliptical followed by weight training; I did one-legged squats w/light weights, one-legged dead lifts, and some step-ups. Drat. Forgot to do some pull-ups. Also did an extra 10 min on the bike plus some abs.


Podiatrist news - put this on Facebook too, but essentially he "posted" my orthotics so they'd be stable side-to-side, and I'm now allowed to racewalk 20 minutes every other day. Then next week I can RW 20 min 5 times, then increase by 10% per week. I'm nervous that my foot will start to hurt. Well, I guess there is no way I can know until I try. If it hurts, we'll just have to go from there.

Day 16: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday was day 16, and we were baking something with the kids for our celebration. We decided to make pink rice krispie treats for Valentine's Day presents for the kids' schoolmates. We had a great time!!! More pictures here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

great advice

I loved this post from a triathlete & writer whose blog I read. I think it is terrific advice! If you are trying to lose weight and/or get healthier, these tidbits might help.

Day 15: 40 days 'til 40

Today we're giving to a charity of the other person's choice. Sarah asked me to donate to Haiti relief through World Vision. Great idea, Sarah!

I asked Sarah to donate to International Justice Mission.

I liked giving for a couple of days as part of our celebration. Many of the things we're doing are purely for us, so it's really important to get outside that box. We did this last year, too, and it was a keeper.

cool news

My brother and his wife are expecting their first baby in July. Today, they found out that it's a GIRL! :) I'm excited to have a niece!!!!

Here are her first pictures

yesterdays's swim

Forgot to blog about this. But how could I forget? It was not the greatest swim workout :(. We had SEVEN PEOPLE in our lane. That is just way too many. It was awful. The workout was good, but it was really hard to swim a particular time with the crowd. Warmed up with about 300 free. Then did 6x100: first 3 were 50 kick on side (25 each side), 50 free. Last 3 were 50 kick and roll (with 3 strokes) plus 50 free. Next we did 4 sets of 3x50 on 1:15: easy, medium, fast. This part actually worked OK with all the people in the lane, oddly enough. My easy was about 55 sec, medium 50 sec, and yes, I did the fast in 45-47 sec!!! I am getting better! Finally, we worked on open turns for 10 minutes. I'm still not great at them, but they're getting better with practice.

Then, after the swim, I hit the shower, and was in for unpleasantness. After about 2 minutes, when my hair was full of shampoo and I was soaping up, the water started to get cold. I hurried, but it was NOT a pleasant experience.

If Thursday is not better, I'm going to say something to the coach. 7 people per lane is just silly. I can only hope the shower will be better, too.

achy foot

My foot is still achy. When I woke up this morning, it was feeling sore. I massaged it a little, which helped. I am not sure what is going on exactly here; sesamoiditis affects the bone & tendon not the muscles, so it's probably either referred pain or it's unrelated to my main injury. I suspect the former. In any case, I am frustrated. Oh well...

So I went to the gym and did 30 min on the elliptical, and then attended my weight training class. I did bench press (35 lb dumbbells, which was hard - the hardest part was getting them in position!), ab- and adductor cable pulls, assisted pull-ups (50 lb - up 10 lb, but only did 8, 8, then 6), squat machine, dead lifts, rear delt flys, bicep curls, tricep skull-crushers, then a good hard set of abs.

I felt better, but I am still wiped. Was up too late last night working on an important project (which must remain secret!), and I've been burning the candle at both ends for a few days now. I've now taught a couple piano lessons and am about to leave to take the kids to my parents' house for a few hours. I signed up to judge a junior high science fair. I know, what was I thinking? In my spare time? Ha! But I thought it would be fun. I still think so, if I can stay awake. Unfortunately, all the time I'm sure to spend on my feet will not be a good thing.

Day 14: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday was day 14 of our 40 days 'til 40. Our celebratory task? To donate to a charity of our choice. A co-worker plans to do a fund-raising motorcycle ride to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT, and she is asking for donations. Though I have pets, I don't typically donate to animal-related causes. I thought this would be a good time to do so. In honor of my dog, Copper, who hopefully has a few more months of good life with us, I was pleased to contribute.

Monday, February 08, 2010


Sunday - very intense; 60 min on the exercise bike followed by 30 min elliptical. For the bike, I did the "Vindicator" on the video bike, with a pacer at 165 watts. It was pretty hard - my HR was about 150ish the whole time. Did about 3.5 miles on the elliptical in that 30 min, after the biking.


Monday - REST DAY. I intended to go to the gym for some cardio followed by weight training, but let's just say my body was screaming "REST", and I obeyed. Good Tammy.

Day 13: 40 days 'til 40

Today we are writing a letter of appreciation to someone. That's all the detail I can give at this point!

Day 12: 40 days 'til 40

Yesterday was day 12 of our 40 days 'til 40. The goal for the day was to try some new-to-us mixed drinks. We were over at Sarah & Bryan's for the Superbowl, and while there, we tried two: Truffle Martinis and Cafe Romanos. A truffle martini is equal parts run, vodka, creme de cacao, and half and half. A Cafe Romano is equal parts Sambuca (anise liqueur), coffee liqueur, and half and half. We both really liked the Truffle Martini. However, I didn't know Sarah was not fond of anise, so though she tasted the Cafe Romano, it was not to her liking. I LOVED it though. Probably one of the better mixed drinks I've had (I rarely drink, so that's not saying much). Later that night I made one for Loren, too (he didn't come watch the Superbowl with us), and he thought it was great also.

Here are some more pics of our Superbowl fun (which included not very much game-watching and lots of drink-making, cookie-making, and eating - healthy veggie & bean chili made up for the cookies, a little!).

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Random gym observations

Just a few random things from the gym (Salt Lake City Sports Complex). I am actually growing to like it...of course, I vastly prefer RW, but the gym does offer a lot of variety and is better than I thought it would be at the outset.

*Master's swimming classes are full of very good swimmers and fit people. I'm not a bad swimmer, but I am definitely among the slowest in the class.
*There are more overweight people at the gym than I thought there would be. I am encouraged that they are there and are trying to lose weight.
*The water aerobics classes are a big contrast to the master's swimming classes. The women (all of them are women) are generally very large. I find myself rooting strongly for them to keep going and keep working for fitness. I do wonder, though, if any of them have success. I wish I could help.
*I'm starting to learn that there are certain people to avoid. There is one guy who always smells terrible. I was bummed the other day because he was on the elliptical right next to the video bike; I didn't do the bike just because I could not stomach the odor. I know that sounds mean, but I don't mean it to be cruel - it's just the reality of the situation.
*Some people intrigue me. There is one woman who is there every day really early, doing the elliptical and the treadmill. She appears very fit. She usually runs, but I have seen her walking at 5 mph with bent arms. I'm tempted to ask her if she's ever considered RW - I bet she'd be good.
*Other people surprise me. One woman regularly reads and STUDIES her Book of Mormon while on the elliptical. I kid you not, she actually sits there and underlines things in red pen while doing the elliptical. Now that's some serious multitasking.
*I like this gym because it's really not a meat market at all, that I can tell. I appreciate this.
*I like running into friends at the gym. I have made some friends there, and I also see a few people I know from other parts of life (work, church, etc.) and it's nice to see familiar faces.

People are interesting, and so the gym is interesting. I guess if I'm stuck there for a while, I might as well enjoy the people-watching.

amazing courage

This little girl, Aria MacDonald, is Michelle's age and just had a multiple organ transplant for total Hirshsprung's disease. She is from New Zealand and her family is in Nebraska for the transplant. They are all showing remarkable courage in the face of adversity. If you are a praying person, please keep her, her family, and the donor's family in your prayers. I know her indirectly, through a racewalker in New Zealand.

Ice sculptures at Zermatt Resort

Loren talked me into going up to Zermatt tonight for dinner. He didn't have to twist my arm very hard. The kids came along, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I was even pretty disciplined about my eating! After we dined, we took a tour of the ice sculptures, which are totally amazing. Only $2 to tour them; you MUST go see them if you are local. More photos here.

Day 11: 40 days 'til 40

Today we were going to go snowshoeing, but 1) we were short on time (long story) and 2) it was really warm (almost 50F in the valley!), and we were worried about the snow quality not being so good. So, because it was so warm, we decided to take a walk instead. A casual walk, not a racewalk :). We walked around Sugar House park, and then went to Starbuck's and enjoyed carmel light frappuchinos and great conversation. The only downer was that my foot was hurting a bit; not really badly, just some achiness, but it was disappointing to have that discomfort.

Friday & Saturday workouts

Friday - could not resist 1 mile on the treadmill to celebrate 5 years of my new lifestyle. I did it at 5.5 mph, and my foot felt fine. Later in the day it might have been a little bit achy - or was that just paranoia? After the 1 mile on the treadmill, I joined a friend who was doing stationary bike. Then another friend showed up and I somehow managed to do 55 min on the stationary bike w/o going crazy. Nice to have people to chat with.

Today - the video bikes are broken but are supposed to be fixed soon. I couldn't stomach the regular bike w/o friends, so I decided to skip my WW meeting and go to a spinning class instead. It was a 1 hr 20 min class, but the instructor started a bit late and ended a bit early, so I really only got 1 hr 5 min of decent cardio; still, that was enough. I paced myself better for this spinning class then for the last ones I took a year ago (I think...was that a year ago? Or 2?) and so I wasn't dying but got a great workout. The instructor was a bit lacking in enthusiasm, but it was still way better than cycling alone, at least today.

Let me back up to last night. We were at my parents' house for dinner, and after dinner, Calvin and Michelle were tussling in the living room. Somehow, Calvin landed on his ear on a heavy wooden planter. At the top of his ear, it was literally ripped. It was nasty looking, and I felt SO bad for him. I do not handle my children's injuries well. Anyway, Loren took a look at it and said it most likely needed suturing, so off we went to the urgent care. Loren did drop Michelle and me at home first, thankfully.

But I was very upset, and made the mistake of drowning my sorrows in food. See, even 5 years out, I can still revert to old habits. Of course it made me feel better temporarily, but then I regretted the overeating intensely. The night eating has been better for a few weeks, but then this week it's tanked again. Anyway, I do have the perspective that that is NOT my lifestyle any more, and for that I'm thankful. I'm starting over today with renewed determination to continue my work on the night eating.

So when I woke up this morning, I was NOT in a good mood. In fact, I felt really crappy. Hence, the decision to go to the spinning class. I felt like I needed someone to kick my sorry butt in gear and get me going, and even though the instructor was a bit underenthusiastic, it was still helpful to be in a class setting. It was a good workout, and what do you know? I feel a lot better emotionally. Love those endorphins.

Now, off to have a good week!!!!!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Day 10: 40 days 'til 40

From Movies

Today Sarah and I are doing different things because of our schedules. She is blowing off cooking and taking her family out to dinner :). I will do that later, since we're eating at my parents' house tonight.

I made this video over lunch today. I'm celebrating 5 years since I joined Weight Watchers and began a new life on February 5, 2005. Remembering how far I've come is my celebration today!!!!!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thursday swim

I went to the master's swimming class today. As usual, it was good. I enjoy the workouts and the coaching, and it's not nearly so boring to swim with others, doing a programmed workout. One of the ladies in my lane today had a Swim MP3 player, and it was really neat - if I were going to swim a lot more, I'd have to get one :). She let me try it out, and it doesn't go over your ears; rather, it goes on your cheekbones/temples and transmits the sound through your bones to your inner ear. Pretty nifty.

First we warmed up with 300 free/200 choice. I think I did about 300 or 350 free before it was time to get going on the workout. Then we did 4 x (50 kick on back, 50 drill (3 strokes then 6 kick on side, repeat), 50 free). Next we did pull for a while: 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200. Finally, we did 4x25 breathing drill - first 25, we were allowed to breathe 6 times (not hard at all), and it decreased by one each time until the last one, where we were allowed to breathe only 3 times. I actually thought 4 was pretty reasonable, and the last one I only breathed 2 times and was quite proud of myself. The woman with the MP3 player only breathed once on the last 25, though, so I guess I have room to improve :).

Total only about 1900 yds. Funny, I thought it was more. Well, it was entertaining, so I'll take it.

Day 9: 40 days 'til 40

Arrrgh! Forgot to take a photo of us enjoying our day 9 activity, so this soup photo will have to do. We met for lunch at the Corner Bakery Cafe, which is within walking distance of Sarah's work, and a quick drive from my work. It was a much-needed respite from my day at work; I had a mixed day experiment-wise, and was feeling kind of grumpy. A change of scenery was helpful and relaxing. I enjoyed a bowl of their tomato basil soup with a side of fruit, and it was quite yummy. Sarah had the same thing in a bread bowl. The conversation was the best part, though. I'm still working through how to unwind more in life, and Sarah provided some helpful suggestions, and as usual, was a very good listener.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

today's workout

Today I hit the gym at 5:15 am for a moderately hard 45 min on the bike (did the video bike, with a fairly challenging uphill route) followed by 20 min on the elliptical.

Then it was off to the dentist to get my crown. That was fairly uneventful, and now I can eat on the right rear side of my mouth without pain :). Yay! Unfortunately, my wallet is hurting. $908. Cha-ching!


Speaking of old photos...I ran across these while looking for photos of my grandma. They're from summer 2005, after I'd already lost probably 40 lbs from my biggest. But it's not pretty!!!! I just thought it is a good comparison photo for before & after. If you haven't read this blog for long you may not have seen some of my before pics, and these are particularly scary.

Day 8: 40 days 'til 40

Today we called a fried or family member we hadn't spoken with in a while. I decided to call my grandma. Yeah, I'm lame --- haven't talked with her in several months at least. I really enjoy talking with her, but I guess I have just been overly busy. I spent about 45 min on the phone with her and had a very enjoyable conversation, even though the kids did interrupt a bunch of times, and Michelle actually BIT Calvin while I was on the phone. Grrrrrr. But it was good despite the interruptions. She is an amazing woman and I love talking with her. She always has sound advice and is still sharp as a tack at age 86.

Here's a photo of my grandma with Calvin, in 2005, and also one me & grandma together --- but warning - it's from June 2002, so I'm rather large :). But I love the photo anyway!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

early morning

Got up early, before 6, to hit the gym for 35 min on the video bike & 30 min on the elliptical before heading to my dentist appt at 8:00 am. Just a regular checkup, but I do have a tooth that's been really hurting when I bite the wrong way (rear bottom molar on R side), so I figured I was in for some bad news.'s cracked and needs a crown, which I'll get tomorrow morning at 7:00 am. So I'll be up even earlier tomorrow to get my workout in and get to the dentist at 7:00. Oh boy, can't wait.

Day 7: 40 days 'til 40

Today we downloaded a piece of classical music that was new to us. Sarah suggested that I download "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" by Saint-Saens, for violin and orchestra. I got a great recording - Isaac Stern with Eugene Ormandy & the Philadelphia Orchestra. I think maybe I have heard it before (OK, I'm sure I've heard it before), now that I have listened to the whole thing, but I'm glad to have the recording, as it is superb. A nice treat for a long Tuesday.

Monday, February 01, 2010

and now for something different

I stayed up too late last night, so I decided to only go to weight training and skip the cardio beforehand. I figured I'd just do some circuit training type stuff to get my HR up a bit, and that worked out great. I biked 8 min to warm up, and then did 3 rounds of: walking lunges (with 40 lb), assisted pull-ups (60 lb of help), dead lifts (100 lb), upright rows (40 lb), pulley ab- and adductors (45 lb each), and cable crossovers (30 lb). In between each set I either racewalked or biked for 1-2 min. Then we did a hard set of abs, including ball crunches, roll-outs, ball passes, and 90 sec plank to finish. Felt great, and I wasn't bored. AND, my HR stayed in the 130s for most of it except the abs and stretching.

Can't swim tomorrow because of a dentist appt, so I figure it's the bike & elliptical.

Day 6: 40 days 'til 40

Today we had a music night. We played a bunch of entertaining piano duets from a jazzy collection by Martha Mier, and from a classical compilation. Much laughter ensued :).

For your viewing pleasure (hahaha!), we present, with apologies to Wohlfahrt and Mier, a couple fun pieces: