Friday, July 1, 2011

Embracing sweat, baseball and challenge updates!

Happy Fourth of July Weekend to all USA Bloggers!
After a very rainy and dreary June, Minnesota has finally welcomed summer, meaning warm temperatures and even a HEAT advisory! For me this means that I am getting out early for my bike rides. I can't remember ever sweating so much as I have in the last week. But, I know that it also means that I am exercising hard and really working out and outdoors! So, I am embracing my sweat as yet another indicator of my improving health and fitness levels!!

This week, my favorite ball team, LA Dodgers, was in town for a three game series with the MN Twins. Neither team is remarkable this year and both teams are plagued with injuries and in the case of LA, precarious finances because of their owners. Despite their records and other things, I went to all three games. Twins took the series, 2-1, but I did not care. I actually like the Twins, but when my hometown team comes to play, I bleed blue, just like Tommy! My Dodger fan get-up was outnumbered at least a 1000-1 by the hometown team, again, no problem for me. The sense of camaraderie amongst us few fans was tremendous though with many of us stopping to share our own Dodger stories with each other at the concession stands or when we were standing around in back of the first tier of seats by home plate.

That was my first time to our new baseball stadium, Target Field. It is a beaut. Love, loved it. Of course, I love Dodger stadium, but this one is a close second. Basically any seat in the house is a good one. They planned well for the angle of the sun, so for any evening game, most all seats are shaded. One of the best parts was that I rode my bike to each of the games. I discovered after riding to the first two games, that one of the bike trails goes right under the stadium. I now know that I can ride from my house out to Minnehaha Trail (this is the one I usually bike on) and all the way to the stadium on designated bikeways. Here are a few pictures of the stadium and the trail.

The Grand Rounds Trail map
I live West of Lake Harriett. I ride 6 short blocks to get on the biking trail. I follow on the east side of L. Harriett to Lake Calhoun and then head a little NW to Cedar and Brownie Lakes. The Cedar trail way (a commuter bike route) intersects with the Lake trails (otherwise known as the Grand Rounds). I can follow this to the Target Stadium and come out only a block away. There are tens of bike parking areas, too, at the Stadium. All together, about a 7 mile ride each way. Believe me if you ever come to Minneapolis, you need to get a bike!!
Challenge updates!!

My goals are:
1. Exercise every day at least one hour, with twice a day for 3/7 days in a week. I did another 6/7 days of exercise this week. You can see by my mile ticker that I logged in 85 miles on my bike and it is only Friday!!! Overall, I exercised 27/30

2. Start stair climbing: I am really proud (Alan are you ready??) to report that I officially stair climbed this week!!! I ride by several really great outdoor stair steps on the Minnehaha Trail and it was this week that I actually thought: "Hmm, why don’t I give those a try." Truth is, I had stopped for a drink of water and looked up and was like: Wow! how could I have not thought about these before!!! Here they are:
They are steep set of stairs with small step and a short rise. 48 all together which make for great stairs for me. I climbed those stairs FOUR different times this week; twice I did the stair case twice, and the other two I did them thrice! It was hard, I was embracing my sweat, but doable. I finally feel like I am starting to train for our Olympic National Park hikes at the end of the month! The cool thing is these stairs are right off the trail where I bike. So, I can do a loop or two around one of the lakes, then get some cross training in by climbing stairs, then make another lake loop. The bike ride all together is about 10 miles. June Boom for Michele: a great success! Thanks Alan, for hosting this and all your encouragement. It was a great motivation for me to try something new!
My target for week 3 (June 26-July 1) for Small Change Challenge was to save more calories for the end of the day. I was able to save about 400 calories for the end of the day. However, because of the warm weather here in MN, I did my exercise early in the morning, so I did not need as many calories later in the day. It still was nice coming out with a few more at the end of the day.

Next small change goal (July 2 to July 9): Eat more protein calories at breakfast and lunch. On days that I eat more protein, I do not get light headed when I exercise hard. So, more good protein earlier in the day.
Weight loss:I am staying away from the scale for now. But I can feel a difference, in the way my clothes are fitting!

Moving more: This week I easily made my target of 85 miles. I will probably get close to 100!!

Tracking food: I targeting 1400-1500 a day. I made it under 1400-15500 calories every day but one. I did great tracking in both water and food every day. Every day!

Blogger love: Yes, I have spread the bloggy love. Keep strong everyone. Big weekend ahead!!

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. Have a great weekend (Fourth of July!). TTFN, Michele


  1. Everything about this post made me smile!!! I admire how you have ventured off and found the trail systems so you can bike more. I admit, this is a part where I am a little scared, but hope to explore them a bit more as summer progresses. Glad you had fun at the stadium. I went to one game and loved it, too. Nothing like being there live!! I am kayaking with the pooch at lake of the isles this weekend, so I will be in your neck of the woods.. kinda, right? lol. Enjoy the weekend!!! Oh, and great job on all your goals! I can feel the energy in your post... good stuff!! :)

  2. You are doing so great! Glad you enjoyed the ball park! Have a great weekend!

  3. WOW am I proud of you. You are doing wonderful. It is so fun to read all that you've been doing. Your bike riding is amazing. And those stairs, YEAH!!!
    Have a great weekend Michele. 15 days...tell I get to play show and tell. :o)
    Take care and God Bless!!

  4. Don't you just love summer. I used to hate it because I was always sweaty and hot and ... Fat. I think close looser is better than what the scale tells me...but I like what it tells me. Also protien in the mornings is huge. Mix it with a hearty carb like steel cut oats and you will be charged and ready 4 the day. Enjoy your 4th.

  5. Oh yes, I plan to come to Minneapolis and I have a bike!! Wonder if I can find someone to show me around??

    Great job on the goals. I'm missed participating in some challenges this year. Thought it not wise while we were traveling and my posting was erratic. You've done great with yours!

    July 30 is almost here!

  6. The stairs...I have to do this. I don't have any like your pic, but just up and down, up and down a decent flight or two will get me the cardio I need. You're doing great on your exercise, and keeping your calories low but fueling your body. Have a great weekend!

  7. Those stairs look like a beast, that is awesome. Congrats girl, rock it out!

  8. This is terrific Michele! I'm glad you started tackling the stairs. Yes, the Olympic National Park should be a good motivation. I had friends here last year who went there and just loved it.

    I can't wait to get to Target Field. Hopefully soon. Looks great!

  9. You're on the right track and doing well. Who needs the scale to tell us we are being successful?

  10. Wow! You are amazing! keep up the great work! You are so good not to be sneaking a peek at the scale. I couldnt wait!

  11. I haven't been to the new baseball field yet, not much of a baseball fan but the kids would like it I"m sure. I LOVE Minnehaha Falls, the trails are awesome! Glad you're clothes are fitting better!!

  12. Keep up the good work you are doing a great job!! This is going to be a great week!! Nicole

  13. Hi Michele, soooo behind in my blog reading. Had to chime in that are doing really well!!! Hope you had a great 4th and July is a good month fo ryou!!!

  14. I remember driving by a beautiful park area when I was a child visiting my parent's friends who lived in the Twin Cities. Makes for a more enjoyable exercising, I am sure. What a natural way to do it with those outdoor stairs, as well. Surely much better than a gym stepper thing.

  15. Wow you are moving girl! Way to go! I love how you take every opportunity to move your body. The great thing thing is you do it without going to the gym. Does not cost a thing!!

    Keep up the great work, you have a lot of success going on!! Stay focused!

  16. It's so great that you get all that exercise and continue to add! That's where I need to put some work in so people like you will influence me I'm sure of it!