Sunday, January 19, 2014

Keeping focused on health when traveling!

Hello Everyone,
Just back from a conference trip to San Antonio! Beautiful weather (60 degrees or more everyday!).
I am very happy to report I ate well and I exercised well. If you travel for conferences you know that is an accomplishment. In my profession, conferences are a great opportunity for networking and reconnecting with colleagues about research interests and other professional reasons. Often times that networking is over a meal with tasty beverages involved. I planned really well BEFORE I left by taking a few items that would help me out. I froze my favorite yogurt smoothie mix (1 liter) the night before I left. I packed this frozen smoothie mix along with some PB and J and some of my go to 90 calorie a slice bread.  All of that went into soft-sided cooler into my checked bag. My hotel room had a refrigerator. So, I arrived at the hotel  with my healthy eating supplies in hand. I also located a Subway sandwich shop only 1 block away, which made it easy for me to grab lunch (360 calories).  I ate PB and J for breakfast and yogurt for snacks. Two meals were shared with colleagues. I was careful with what I chose to eat and did not go overboard.

The other thing I did was I checked online to see  if San Antonio had any of the bicycle sharing systems that are popping up in most larger US cities. They did and at $10.00 a day they were a fitness bargain. In fact there was one right around the hotel corner. Each morning I woke up early to get out on the bike and do some miles. Yesterday in my wanderings on the bike I found the jack pot trail along the river. Miles of riding with gentle hills along the fabulous Mission Trail systems.

I was in heaven!! 

Although the trails look empty in the pictures, there were many families and individuals taking advantage of this beautiful and safe place to ride. All together I rode for 43 miles in San Antonio!! 

Have a great week. Stay strong. Be well. TTFN,

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hello Friendly Bloggers!
You all know about the record cold that descended on the Upper Midwest and most of the US and Canada last week. It was too cold for me to venture out much, let alone cross-country ski.This was the low temperature a week ago Monday.

I exercised by riding my bike that is hooked up to a trainer. Over the five-day cold spell, I rode 22 miles on my trainer.  I am just beginning my overall training for spring and summer. I am starting out very slow and easy, just trying to keep up a steady cadence. Any of you that ride on a trainer know that when you stop peddling or pause there is no coasting like on a real bike. This is actually good for me, because the trainer helps me to work on my continued peddling.

I did pick up cross-country skiing after the cold moved out. I logged 15 miles of skiing so far this month, plus 1 mile of skating! Not bad for the fierce cold moth of January! Yesterday we had 5 inches of new snow. I ventured out to a small lake close to our home in Minneapolis. You can see I am making a new trail as I plod along. Because of the depth of the snow it was more like cross country walking, but it was still great exercise.

I am excited to report that I have registered for my two signature (hopefully) biking events for 2014: the Tour de Cure and the Seattle to Portland ride. 

For now, I am working on eating very healthy, including at least once a day a VERY large salad that looks something like this:
I am off for a few days to a conference San Antonio and 60 degrees! I will have many obligations toward the conference, but I found out that they have bike kiosks nearly everywhere in San Antonio. I plan to get on one of those every day!

And the best local news: the Minnesota Orchestra and the Board of Directors settled on a new contract! Yeah for us!

TTFN, stay strong!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Goals for 2014

Happy New year!
We are off to a frigid beginning of the year in the Upper Midwest. We were down to -25 degrees last night. Our high will be -12! That is cold!! But, all that cold is good for keeping invasive species at bay, including many insects that would like to migrate to the Upper Midwest. So, there is always a bright side to the weather. School has now been cancelled two days in a row.

With the inclimate weather, I am back to riding my trainer. I have it set up in my living room at our cabin where I will spend a great deal of January working on my writing. Riding my trainer is a good way fro me to catch up on my New Yorker reading!


I have two overall fitness and health related goals for 2014, one related to weight and the other related to fitness.

Weight loss: My target this year is a 17-pound loss. I weighed in most recently at 166.6, losing 17 pounds will put me in the upper 140s, numbers that I have not seen in over 20 years. I believe a 17 pound loss is doable for me, too. I am hoping to shed this weight by the end of May, when biking season gets into full swing.  My plan is to continue to eat healthy and track what I eat.

Cycling: Distance: Last year I logged over 1800 miles in cycling. I did not reach my goal of 3000 because I broke my foot in late May. For 2014, I am going to rededicate my efforts to reaching 3000 miles on my bike. Speed: I would like to increase my cycling speed to 14-15 mph on average. Last year, I averaged 13-14 mph. As I lose a little more of my weight and continue to train, I think this goal will also be doable.

I am targeting two fitness events for 2014. On May 31, 2014, I am registered to ride 100 miles in the Tour de Cure, a fundraiser sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. This will be my first Century ride. I am hoping to recruit a number of family members to join me in riding in this event. There are many lengths of rides starting at 7 miles and topping off at the century. The second event that I am targeting is the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride sponsored by the Cascade Cycling club and Group Health. Both of these rides and events will be a way for me to celebrate my increased fitness and good health in tandem with a couple of others significant personal milestones. The Century ride for diabetes will be a good indicator as to whether I have the stamina for the STP.

Now it is my turn to check in with all of you and find out what your own plans are for 2014!  Stay strong and TTFN,