walking

After Monday’s run, I was pretty sore and the soreness continued on into Tuesday. I wasn’t sure I’d be up for my planned Wednesday run, but as it turned out, my legs felt slightly stiff, but solid. I decided to walk to Kezar and do a track workout, in order to mix things up a bit.

No big lofty goals, just a few laps around the track and a running of the stairs. It was all going pretty well until the effects of this took over my body:

On the walk over to Kezar I got really thirsty for a flavored beverage. I thought Vitamin Water might sit well in my stomach. I was wrong. It made me want to puke! My bad. Luckily, I neither hurled or gave up. I just pushed through the stomach cramps and completed 2 miles of distance between the track itself and the bleacher running. I really need to run the stairs more often. I get so winded and usually start to allow myself to walk the down flights about halfway through.

After the running I stopped and did 10 burpees. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I had done a burpee since Ms. Sides’ 6th grade physical education classes at Everett Middle School. That would’ve been the 1993-1994 school year. Trust me, it felt like I hadn’t done a burpee in nearly 20 years. A measly 10 of them got my heart rate up to near jogging heart rate levels! I need to work on these too.

One thing many people may not know about me is that I am really into San Francisco history and architecture. I haven’t studied it, or anything, but I love looking at pictures. The other day I found myself surfing the San Francisco Public Library’s Historical Photo Collection. I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of my old schools. I learned that my elementary school had actually had a different building back in the day and that it was later torn down to erect the building that I went to school in. The original building was way more substantial and traditional. I also looked up pictures of old schools that don’t exist anymore, such as San Francisco Polytechnic High School.

Poly was a very prestigious school and quite a few famous folk went there. It closed down in the 70s and in the 80s the block was re-zoned for condos and the school was torn down except for the boys’ and girls’ gymnasiums. Since I was there, I decided to go look at them a little more closely.

Note the condos.

I didn’t go across the street to investigate fully, but I think this gym is some kind of art place.

The other gym (which was being taken over by the sun) had some sign that looked like it had been turned into some kind of clown school. For serious.

I just found other pictures of the interior of the girl’s gym online. What’re all of those girls doing resting on cots? How come they got nap time in high school? It’s all I ever wanted! Not fair!

Another one of my favorite San Francisco related pastimes is surfing Craigslist and various real estate sites for houses on the market. Not for me to buy, of course. San Francisco property prices are crazy expensive. Despite it being my dream, I will probably never be able to own anything here. Hell, I can barely pay my rent now, and I just live in a studio! Nevertheless, I enjoy the dream, so I spent time snapping pictures of residences on my walk home.

I love old Victorians, and if I ever had the opportunity to buy, I almost certainly would go for a Vic. I’m all about character and buildings with creaky, uneven floors with beautiful architectural embellishments are where it’s at. When I look, I also like to guess which buildings used to be single residence homes in the early 1900s vs. the split structures they are now. It’s pretty common for San Francisco homes to have been chopped up into multiple unit apartment buildings/condos.

That’s some doorway!

I can never figure out why the owner of this place painted it that shocking shade of blue. Drives me crazy every time I go by the place. As an accent color, fine…but the whole darned thing?!

No tour? Sad.

I also walked past the Park Branch Library. By looking at the historical photo archive, I learned that it opened in 1909 and is the oldest library building in San Francisco.

And it’s closed for renovation until…next month! I can’t wait for it to reopen…I want to check it out!

All this library talk is getting awfully close to a post I plan to make in the near future, so now I’ll stop. I just think it’s really fun to walk around San Francisco, learn about its history and spend unnatural amounts of time trying to decide what colors I will paint my non-existent Victorian home.

Ever notice interesting things when you’re walking?

Some days I feel darned proud of myself. Sure, they may fall few and far between, but sometimes, I know I’ve done good.

Yesterday after work, I didn’t want to walk home. But I did.

Then I didn’t want to cook dinner. But I did.

I know! I deserve some kind of trophy!

What the heck is that? Why, turkey meatloaf, of course!

I have never been a “meatloaf person”. I know many people grow up with it and think of it as comfort food, but no one ever made meatloaf in my childhood home. I always thought the idea of a bunch of meat in loaf form was kind of gross. Don’t ask me why. There is no logical reason. I liked burgers. I liked steak. I liked sausage. But meatloaf? Icky!

Then when I was older and living with my sister and brother-in-law, he would occasionally make the dreaded meat dish. This was when I actually tried it for the first time. I was about 22 years old. I announced that it was….okay.

Even now, meatloaf is not something I ever gravitate towards.

Well, it usually isn’t.

I woke up this weekend with an intense craving for meat. It was serious. I didn’t want a salad or some sort of wacky quinoa dish. I just wanted meat. Luckily, Jenna had just posted a recipe for a turkey meatloaf a few days ago, so I decided that it was about time I make this meatloaf thing happen. I used her recipe completely, with two exceptions. First, I had no lentils, so I obviously left those out. Secondly, I subbed a couple of chopped stalks of celery for the carrot. It still tasted pretty awesome.

Oh, and I also didn’t use a loaf pan, as you may have noticed. Not being used to making loaf-ed foods, I don’t own one.



Today I continued my awesomeness by going for my first run post illness. It was in no way as bad as I expected it to be. I was definitely feeling out of shape though. My heart rate stayed pretty high throughout and I am feeling kind of sore now. On the bright-side, I really did hit my stride about halfway through the run. I normally never really reach that part of running where I feel full of awesome, happy and healthy. I usually feel exhausted and I struggle mentally. Today, it was the exact opposite. As I ran down Haight, everything finally clicked.

That, I enjoyed.

After my run, I showered and walked to work. That’s right, just over 6 miles between walking and running covered on foot today. Boo-yah.

Work has been the only blemish in the awesome day. We learned that one of our contractors passed away yesterday. I didn’t know him very well, but he was always very nice. The vibe in the office is very somber today. I hope that wherever he is now, he is at peace and no longer in pain.

Meatloaf? Yay or Nay?

Work was pretty stressful today. The day just seemed to drag on and on and on. This is a definite no-no, but I bribed myself to walk home. The renewed resolve to walk home is recent, so I really didn’t want to bail out. I have found that keeping up with my walking routine plays an important part in keeping me feeling well, motivated and excited to continue on with other fitness plans.

I’m not really sorry about my choice to bribe myself; it was awesome. I hit up my favorite Rice Pudding/Fro-Yo shop, Loving Cup. I ordered my typical fro-yo combo, chocolate base with raspberries blended in. I decided to go all out and add some Oreo crumbs; my day sort of warranted it. Then I reached into my bag, pulled out my camera and had the “battery dead” message come across the screen. Fail. Then I took out my iPhone and snapped this picture while two other customers pointed at me and whispered.

What? Don’t YOU take iPhone pictures of your frozen yogurt before you eat it?

No. Right. Sorry.

I ate my treat and completed my walk. Fro-yo rules.

Then I made a super weird dinner.

I pan-fried left over spaghetti squash, then I topped it with a veggie sausage and a sunny-side up egg. It was really weird, yet delicious. The runny egg definitely made this meal.

Now to continue on with my Degrassi fest

Do you ever have to bribe yourself to follow through with your exercise plans?

I still love spaghetti squash.

Just thought you all should know.

I still have my cough and it made my walk home difficult. You see, I’ve vowed to walk to and from work on days when it is possible for me to do so. This usually means that every Saturday and most Sundays I walk home from work, then on Mondays (and Sundays when I am the closing manager) I walk to work. I live about 3.75 miles away from my job, so if I am consistent and walk the distance these three times a week, I walk 11+ extra miles a week. I also save $6 in bus fares. It’s a win-win, really.

I got close to bailing out on this evening’s walking commute, however. I was carrying a heavy spaghetti squash from Trader Joe’s and I also knew that walking up the San Francisco hills were going to trigger coughing attacks. I knew the bus would be quicker, easier and would probably save me from the afore mentioned coughing spells.

In the end, I decided that the squash wasn’t that heavy, it wouldn’t take that long and at least I would be coughing outside. Coughing in a confined space like the gym would be embarrassing, but outside is no big deal.

It ended up being a really nice walk, despite the occasional hacking.

I’m so glad I stopped off for that squash. I bought the squash and a package of broccoli/cauliflower mix. $4.43. I had the cheese and store bought sauce in the fridge. I’ll probably get another 4 or 5 meals out of the squash too. Who says eating well has to be expensive?

Now that is good eats!

What’s for dinner tonight at your house?

I don’t know about other people, but personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the gym.

It’s not really a dislike for exercise. I love to hike and walk. Walking is actually my favorite form of physical activity. I walk the 4 miles to and from work fairly often and I pretty much walk almost everywhere I go. Even when I was heavy I loved to walk and although I might’ve been a little slower and a little sweatier (I know, gross!) than the healthier people I knew, I was still usually willing to hoof it with everyone else.

The thing is, I view the gym as the opposite of walking. Walking is like the best pastime in the world. It clears my head and I don’t even notice the time going by while I’m doing it. This is not true when it comes to the gym. I hate cardio machines. I get bored so easily and I just wind up staring at the timer, waiting, longing, begging for the 30 minutes to hurry up and be over so I can go do something I’d actually like to be doing. I thought that getting a gym with a nice view might help me avoid boredom:

Nope.

All of the treadmills and ellipticals at the YMCA overlook the bay. It really is gorgeous. It’s especially awesome when there is some kind of storm going on. Watching the rain fall into the bay….the hard core runners determined to get in their miles….the pedestrians running for safety because they had no idea it was going to rain…it’s all great. For about 5 minutes. Then I start to wish that I actually enjoyed the exercise bikes, because all of those have individual television screens with Direct TV access.

Or maybe I don’t need to use the bikes to have video entertainment….

That’s right, everyone. I can now watch Leave it to Beaver while working out. My life suddenly feels complete. Don’t hate. I love Leave it to Beaver, and I always will. I almost used Fraggle Rock as my example, but unfortunately, the video quality wasn’t as good. Sad.

Sing it, Trash Heap!

(Okay. Sorry. I really love Fraggle Rock.)

Anyway, back to Netflix. I remember hearing that they were going to come out with this capability back when the iPad came out, but I had completely forgotten about it. On Saturday afternoon I made myself go to the gym. I was dreading it. I hadn’t been there to use the fitness equipment in MONTHS. I knew I needed to go though, so I went, hopped on an elliptical and for no particular reason started surfing the app store. The Netflix app was there, I downloaded it and within minutes I was watching an episode of Leave it to Beaver. I was so excited. My workout flew by without me really even noticing. On Monday, I couldn’t wait to go to the gym….to watch Pushing Daisies.

Seriously. Best app. Ever.

Also, now I feel that paying for unlimited data is actually worth it.

Today I decided not to Netflix my gym time away..though I admit the thought was tempting. I instead decided to go back to the first class I ever took at the YMCA–Cardio Kick. I used to go fairly regularly…like twice a week or so. Then my work schedule changed and I couldn’t go as often. I’ve only been a few times in the last year, and I’m always surprised at how challenging it is when you’ve been away for a while. My arms, thighs, abs and, well, everything is on fire! Seriously great workout today.

On my way to class I had a Classic Glo Bar, as I hadn’t had breakfast this morning:

Then I rewarded myself with this afterwards:

Jamba Juice Berry Topper Ideal Meal

As much as I sometimes hate the gym…I’m loving being back this time around. I’m feeling better and dang, I’ve got Netflix!

Do you like working out at the gym? Do you find it tedious? If so, what gets you through your workout?

I must admit that reading everyone’s posts and tweets about the Food Buzz Blogger Festival has been really kind of depressing. You see, it was held right here in San Francisco, but I didn’t attend. It was partly because of cost of registration and partly because I work weekends and would’ve had a difficult time getting this one off. I’m not super sad about missing out on the festival itself, per se, as I’m not a huge foodie or specifically a food blogger. I am, however, sad about missing out on the opportunity to meet some of my favorite bloggers in real life. I keep seeing all of these pictures taken in my own backyard, and I can’t help but feel sad that I’m missing out!

Luckily, I didn’t miss out completely. Stepfanie (SP_STEPF on Spark) from SparkPeople was in town for the festival and she and I decided to meet up for a walk and some coffee. I was totally excited!

Unfortunately it was kind of rainy and dreary in San Francisco today. I lazed around in bed for way too long getting caught up on Glee. Before I knew it, there was a text message to meet up. A quick shower and I was out the door, walking down to Union Square. I was feeling a little bad that I was running late, but walking had seemed like the best course of action given Sunday bus schedules. I also felt a little stupid when I walked into the Westin St. Francis lobby and didn’t see Stepf waiting as she said she would be. After checking my phone, I realized she was at the Sir Francis Drake….up the street! D’oh! So, sorry for making you wait an extra few minutes on me, Stepf!

We ended up walking down to the Ferry Building, and luckily it wasn’t raining too badly. After getting there, Stepfanie needed to get some coffee/food, so we headed to where everyone seems to go when they want to achieve this purpose at the Ferry Building…

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Yep. You guessed it.

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I think I must be the only blogger alive who has been to San Francisco and had never been to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. Sure, I’ve heard of its greatness, but I just never seem to be in the need of caffeine when I’m in the area. That, and I have a really unhealthy attachment to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I know, I know. Blue Bottle is on a whole other level. I totally agree…but really, PSLs are like crack to me. You’re not going to be able to pry me away from Starbucks until January!

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All that being said, Blue Bottle was awesome. They make all of their drip coffees right as you order them. I ended up having a nonfat latte, and they even do the pretty foam presentations (see above). The only other time I’ve had pretty foam was at Dynamo Donut, which by the way, is fantastic. If you eat meat, go there and get the Maple Glazed Bacon Apple Donut. No really, go there. If you don’t eat meat, they have many other choices, so go there anyway! The Food Network does not lie!

After we achieved some caffeine, we wandered around. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any general seating in the Ferry Building…it is all attached to the various restaurants and cafés. Normally, one would just go outside and find a bench, but with the inclement weather, that just wasn’t an option. Stepfanie stopped off at Far West Fungi for a mushroom macaroon (I can’t remember which kind) and I picked up a Cinnamon Sugar Pepples Vegan Donut for later.

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Then, since there was nowhere to sit, we wound up in the lobby of my gym, which was the only place I could think of in the area that was out of the rain and wouldn’t make us buy something. We hung around and chatted for another 15 minutes or so, and then it was time for me to head to work, and Stepf to make her way towards Dim Sum.

It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to connect with people whom I only know from the internet. Whenever I set up a real life meeting, I always have a little anxiety about it, but it is never necessary. You find in life that people are generally good and connecting with people is a lot easier than it would seem. I really enjoyed talking to Stepfanie about Spark, healthy living, not so healthy living and just random things like me touching Jakob Dylan and her love for the Indigo Girls. Fun times! Glad we were able to get together!

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I’m also a little excited about the surprise SparkPeople swag I scored:

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I ❤ t-shirts! I also could use a little help from Coach Nicole on getting Fit, Firm & Fired Up!

Even better than the above were these:

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(the label got a little wet from the rain. oops.)

Holy deliciousness! These almonds are off the hook. I just cracked into them a little while ago and they are seriously dangerous…in the sense that I could eat them all in one sitting if I didn’t restrain myself! I’m definitely going to try making them myself sometime.

Have you ever met an internet friend in person? How’d it go?

Many young adults (Wait…am I still considered a young adult? Eeep!) can’t wait to get away to strike it out on their own, and while the idea has always been appealing to me, I just can’t bring myself to leave.

When your hometown is San Francisco, how could you?

I am one of the few, the proud — a NATIVE San Franciscan. That’s right. I was born here. At Kaiser Permanente on a late spring day in 1982. While I did live on the peninsula for a bit, I never really left. I attended all K-12 grades in the SFUSD. I went to City College of San Francisco and then later to San Francisco State University. For the several years that my identification said I resided in San Bruno, I actually lived in the city.

The city has everything.

So I must consider myself lucky to be able to avail myself of so many amazing things, right?

Absolutely.

I must always be taking advantage of all that my city has to offer, right?

Um, well…eh heh….

It’s true. My city is a huge mecca of activity, culture and opportunity.

But really, I hardly ever take part in any of it.

This is something that I’ve been trying to change since I moved out on my own. I’ve been trying new restaurants and exploring the places that San Francisco is known and loved for.

Places like, for instance, Golden Gate Park.

The only part of this massive park I’ve ever spent any time in is the area right adjacent to the Haight Street entrance. There’s a playground there with these huge cement slides. You grab a piece of cardboard, climb up the stairs/hill, throw a handful of sand down ahead of you and slide down. It’s tons of fun. This is also the area where the big carousel is. My father took me here a lot as a kid and I hung out there later with friends for birthday parties and such. Until yesterday, this was pretty much all I knew about Golden Gate Park.

Yesterday I decided to go run in the park. I consulted a map, briefly, but didn’t make any really concrete plans. I figured I’d walk to the park, do maybe a 3-4 mile jog/walk, and then head home.

Things started off well.

I decided to eat a Glo Bar on the walk to GG Park, as my breakfast had long since worn off. This was my first time trying this flavor and it was one of my favorites! It reminded me vaguely of a Thin Mint Girl Scout cookie in granola bar form. I liked it a lot.

I had a really pleasant walk to the park.

(I packed some cash in my Spibelt in case I needed to stop off for a drink or calories at a store. It was a good thing I did.)

Golden Gate Park was beautiful yesterday.

Unfortunately, soon after the Rose Garden, I somehow got off the beaten path. I took a wrong turn. There were points in there where I was in completely forested areas where it was dead silent and I was alone. It was a pretty dumb move. I kept thinking, “Wow. If someone leapt out of a bush and killed me, no one would find me for weeks in here….”

Eventually, however, I got back on track.

When I finally got out of the park I was waaaaay farther away from home than I meant to be. I had been jogging/walking/hiking for over five miles! I exited at Lincoln and 19th Ave and started the walk/jog home. I was getting very hungry, so when I hit 9th Ave, I crossed over a street to Irving and hit up a Starbucks. I tried ordering a Vivanno, but they were out of bananas! Noooo! I ended up ordering a tall mocha frappuchino and they threw in some whey protein powder for free, since they couldn’t make what I wanted. It helped a lot.

Needless to say, after covering 7.75 miles, I was exhausted when I got home. I showered and then plopped myself down to ice my knees. I didn’t have any ice though. Problem. What did I have?

My ice pack was "fat free" and a "good source of fiber".

Then afterwards, I turned my ice pack into dessert.

My ice pack was delicious!

Are you a meticulous route planner when preparing for a walk/run, or do you like to just go out into the world and get lost?