food

2017 SF Turkey Trail Trot

This was my 5th year and still one of my favorite races. The weather was perfect and I had a lot of fun. My race itself was not one of my better ones, but I didn’t care, it was a good time! The race is 5 miles through the various trails of Golden Gate Park. There’s also a 3 mile walk and 3 kids races for various age groups. Plus, there’s a ton of prizes for the winners and a HUGE raffle at the end. In fact, this was the first year I didn’t win anything in the raffle. Proceeds benefit the track teams for Lowell and Washington High Schools.

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Sunrise before the race

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Washington High School band

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the kids racing across the Polo Field!

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Turtles chillin on Spreckles Lake

I am very thankful this Thanksgiving Day Weekend for being healthy. I am thankful for, no matter how slow, being able to run. I can and will get faster! I have decided to really make it a top priority to attain maximal health and fitness, no matter what in 2018, so I’ll get a head start in the weeks before the new year. Sure, I overate and have a couple extra pounds, but now it’s time to get serious and dive headlong into fitness!

Keep Moving Forward!

Martha

 

 

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WE WILL RETURN TO OUR STORY IN A MOMENT…

After posting diligently about the San Francisco hills, I’ve taken a quick break and will get back to them later this week.

Things have been busy; my workouts have been great and I’ve been running well. My downfall comes with eating. I eat healthy, just as I always have, but losing weight is difficult. Combine that with the rare occasion when I have a cheat meal and I gain all my weight back. I’ve realized that I need to cut my portions back from what I used to eat. Even with all the workouts and running, I simply cannot eat as much as I used to eat. Such are the ways of getting older.

But giving up is not an option and if I continue to MOVE FORWARD, I will lose the weight I desire and reach my goals.

Have great workouts and continue MOVING FOWARD!!

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Part of the trail in Golden Gate Park

 

FOOD!

Food is not your mother, your father, your friend, your enemy, your wife, your husband. Food is not your dream date, but it can be your date from hell. Food is not your lover but it can break your heart. It can promise to love you and then leave you heartbroken and lonely the next morning.

Our lives are weaved around eating and what we eat. Like bees hard at work creating a hive, we create our world of FOOD, thinking about what we’re going to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner. Where are we going to eat? What are we going to buy? How are we going to cook the food we buy? It becomes obsessive to some of us. And that obsession replaces feelings, friends, and sometimes, life’s big moments.

Food is not a panacea, it is sustenance. Food is fuel for our bodies. We are living creatures and constantly moving, going. To do this, we need to eat to keep the engines firing.

When homo sapiens first evolved, we were hunters/gatherers. We ate what we could. But, as time went along, we learned that cooked meat tasted better and seasoned cooked meat tasted even better.

Like alcohol, drugs and other substances, food can be used to dull the senses. It’s probably misused in this manner more than anything else. To eat until one cannot move is to overeat. Food comas are not a very healthy thing to do, yet we still do it.

I’ve been developing and refocusing my view of food. We can change the way we see things. It’s never easy. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I get back up and continue moving forward.

Food is wonderful, it tastes great. But it shouldn’t take the place of real relationships and well, LIFE. In my fifties, I desire more than ever to be as healthy as I possibly can. This means that I have to make choices, many of which involve food. I am not willing to sacrifice my dream so I can have another piece of cake.

To be the best runner I can be and one day, an independent professional trainer, I must use strength and determination to see the horizon ahead.

So, focus on your goals and forgo those trivial cravings and desires you have, because in the end, most of the time they aren’t worth losing sight of what is truly important.

Keep Moving!!!

PONDERINGS IN A CONGESTED FOG….

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So, I’ve had a cold for a few days. I don’t feel too bad any longer. I did make it to work today. It felt great to leave the house and be in contact with other people. I contemplated going for a run tonight, but decided against it, figuring I will go out tomorrow night instead. I’ll rest one more evening and be more than ready for an easy run Thursday night.

During my down time, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (and eating unfortunately). I thought about starting another website to promote health and fitness for folks 50 and over, but then I reminded myself that even though that sounded like a great idea, one is enough for me and I can combine whatever I want to do within here.

Eventually, I will add more to this site. There will be more in 2017. I will add more recipes, more health info and a lot more content, especially for those of us who are no longer on the shy side of 40. I will be adding interviews with inspirational and professional people I think readers will enjoy. I’m excited about the improvements and additions I’ll be including and I really can’t wait for 2016 to end. I will write more about how the year was for me, but it’s not making an easy ending for me, I’ll say for now.

Until my Holiday post, I hope you don’t drink too much egg nog (there’s like a thousand calories in that stuff), keep working out, be kind to those around you, (we’re all stressed out) and take a little time out to appreciate what’s really important ( the material things aren’t it).

Cheers!

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View from the top of Kearny Steps

INCLEMENT WEATHER AHEAD

Today I ran 6 miles in the pouring rain. It was not the most fun time running nor was it my best time. I wore my running rain jacket and strapped on my Osprey Hydration pack. It was a multipurpose trip because I had to pick up my race bib for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and I had to buy my turkey. Because the turkey would be heavy, I needed to bring a sturdy shopping bag and my pack is the only running pack I have that I can stash the bag in. So much preparation!

I ran to Sports Basement in the Presidio to get my bib, one of my favorite places and then ran back to Safeway in the Marina, making up my run. Thankfully, the rain had stopped as I made my way home.

These are not easy days for many of us. For me, my medical insurance is skyrocketing next year. I don’t know how I’m going to make it. I can only put my faith in God and know that somehow things will work out. I pray every night for guidance.

On the positive side, I may have a running partner once a week. I was talking to a couple people at the YMCA and one very friendly woman was saying how she wished she had a running partner one night a week. I did explain that I’m not very fast but that didn’t matter to her.

One of the reasons why I don’t do group runs is that in San Francisco, the runners are very fast. Group runs usually consist of runners who can run 7:00 to 8:00 minute miles. The slow ones go 10:00 minutes per mile. I could never keep up with that, so I am usually always the slowest. I don’t want to be the slowest. I don’t mind once in a while, but always the slowest isn’t much fun and those who are faster can never understand that. They’re always very nice about it, but they don’t get it. So, for me, it’s better to run by myself; there’e much less stress and feelings of complete inadequacies.

So, we shall see if my running partner works out. And we’ll see if I can find that elusive personal trainer’s position I’ve been striving to find…..

I don’t want to end this on a negative note. I am very thankful for what I do have. I have a never-say-die attitude. I will not give up, I will not stop working towards what I want and neither should you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

 

MIDWEEK THOUGHTS

Why is it that I conjure up some of my most creative ideas and observances during a run and yet I can’t remember any of them afterwards? I say this, a bit out of frustration because I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block lately. Nothing I thought of seemed interesting enough to write about.

I gave the blog a little rest for a while, and I’ve determined that I do indeed need to be more active and maybe broaden up what I include on it.

So, I’m going to start writing more, start including more in my little site. I’ll add more recipes, more exercises, links to great websites I find and maybe in the not too distant future some videos.

I don’t know exactly what I will have, all I know is it will be MORE.

My running is steady these days and they have been good runs. I’m not putting in the massive mileage I was at one point, but I am striving to run faster. I’ve increased my running speed by about 30 seconds per mile on average, which is not bad.

And I have been losing weight slowly but surely. I’ll lose around three pounds, then stay at that weight for a few days, then lose more. I guess it’s working.

Look for more in the very near future!!

Cheers!

Best Salad Dressing EVER!!!

Cranberry Vinaigrette Dressing

My favorite dressing

After my Seniors Walk and a great gym workout this Saturday morning, I tried a new salad dressing recipe for lunch. I must say it is the BEST dressing I have ever tasted!

I collect cookbooks and every now and then I love to try recipes from them. I write next to each recipe how I liked it, what worked, what didn’t for future reference. My favorite cookbooks have the most notes. My mom did the same thing and now that she’s passed if I ever miss her I can look back at her cookbooks, read her notes and feel she’s still with me.

Since it’s Springtime, I try to steer my eating towards what’s available fresh and grown as locally as I can. I made a nice salad for lunch with baby spinach, asparagus, green onion and this amazingly, delicious salad dressing from the book: THE COOL MOUNTAIN COOKBOOK by Gwen Ashley Walters. It’s a very nice book showcasing recipes from some of America’s best winter resorts.

I tried out ASPARAGUS SALAD with BALSAMIC CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE from the Rusty Parrot Lodge in Wyoming. I will make it regularly from now on. It only takes a few minutes. You will be very happy you took them to make this!

ASPARAGUS SALAD with BALSAMIC CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE

4 servings

Vinaigrette:

½ cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup honey

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup chopped yellow or red onion

1 garlic clove, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salad:

1 bunch asparagus – about 30 spears

4 cups baby spinach

4 green onions, sliced thin

Optional: 1 ounce Goat cheese

Place the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes only. Then take out quickly and place in ice water so the stalks maintain their fresh green color. Take out and cool in a bowl in the refrigerator while making dressing.

Place all dressing ingredients except olive oil in a blender and blend for 10 seconds. Turn off and pour a little oil in, place cover back on, blend for a few seconds and repeat until all oil is gone. The dressing should be nice and frothy. It will still be a bit chunky and that’s fine.

Place the spinach in 4 bowls, add the asparagus stalks. Divide goat cheese pieces up between the 4 bowls and pour the salad dressing evenly between the bowls. Sprinkle the green onion slices on top and serve.

 

Age Makes a Difference

When I was younger I never had a problem losing weight. If I weighed a few pounds more than I should, I lost it right away. Of course, I was A LOT more obsessive about my weight and looks then. Sometimes I would go entire days without eating and later, after running a few miles, I would wonder why I felt so weak or cranky or tired. The mere thought of eating dessert was enough to send me into a trauma.

Have things changed! And for the better, thank goodness!

Life has so many twists, so many surprises and experiences. Through them we learn, we hurt, we laugh, we battle against all odds and hopefully, we continue to move forward.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve added some extra weight, as many of us do, but I’m not emotionally distressed over it. I am determined to lose it however. It’s not a massive amount, but I do believe that I can be a better runner and certainly a better trainer if I am in the best shape I can be. Carrying around extra weight doesn’t help me at all.

And I’m losing it the right way, with healthy eating and lots of great workouts, both strength training and running.

In my fifties, losing weight isn’t as easy as it was all those decades ago. Even a few extra pounds turns into a major chore. It really isn’t easy. And one careless night of bad eating can add those lost pounds in a snap, which will take me weeks to lose once more.

But one of my goals this year is to be a better runner and I really cannot do that unless I shed some weight.

And just after five days of healthy eating and workouts, I’ve lost 3.5 pounds. I know it’s mostly water weight, but still not a bad start!

Have great workouts this weekend!

Cheers!

TRIP TO NEW ENGLAND

My father passed away last October, but his desire was to have his ashes buried in his hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Since he lived in Florida for the last few decades of his life, he had planned it out with his second wife. my stepmom, to have a burial ceremony on the birthday after his passing in New England. So I took the time to head Northeast.

Running Trail in NH

Rails to Trails in New Hampshire

It’s been many years since I’ve been in that part of the country. It’s beautiful country; trees everywhere you look, rolling green hills lined with low stone walls and centuries-old churches and history, lots of history.

I stayed with one of my sisters in New Hampshire just south of Manchester. I was struck by how modern and sleek the Manchester Airport. Tons of charging stations and so clean and intelligently planned. Other airports could learn much from Manchester.

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New Hampshire woods

Thursday I went for the one run of my trip. There was so much to do and see I didn’t have another chance to run. But the run I got in was great. They have a series of Rails to Trails and the portion I used was beautiful! It meandered through woods and passed lakes. Few people used the paved path. It was chilly out! Luckily I started to get warm as I ran, for I started to wonder if I should have worn my long Under Armors instead of running shorts.

Later that day, my sisters I went out for dinner – LOBSTER! It was spectacular! We drove to the beach afterwards for dessert and coffee. I am really going to lose weight when I get back home!

Friday was spent with family, many of whom I hadn’t seen in many, many years. These times are not easy, it’s so good to reconnect, but also a bit emotional and draining.

Saturday I planned a day to myself. I drove out to Ipswich to see Castle Hill. A manufacturer or plumbing parts magnate from Chicago built this glorious mansion, no, castle on a huge hill at the ocean there and I needed to see it. I love places like this! I wandered around the grounds and then inside. It was in the 40s and windy, so it was hard to be outside for too long.

Castle Hill

Castle Hill grounds

My plane ride started extra early this morning, so it was nice to be back in SF before noon. Back to training and my regular routine tomorrow, which I don’t mind at all.

Cheers!

RUNNING IN MY 50s

Tomorrow is my birthday, which got me to thinking about what running is like now that I’m a little older and supposedly, wiser…

I’ll be 57 Tuesday and running these days is more enjoyable than it ever has been. When I get into a groove, I appreciate it more than ever. I ran 16 miles early yesterday morning and during a long stretch of two or three miles halfway through, I was able to relax, just run along, listen to my music and look at the calm and blue Pacific Ocean. That was nice.

But it’s also much, much more high maintenance. It wasn’t until just last year when I discovered I had to do strength training at least twice a week to keep from getting intense IT band and knee pains. I keep my hips and core strong, I work those area hard at the YMCA. I’ve learned to really enjoy those workouts, nearly as much as my runs. It’s a nice change for my non-running days.

I also find I have great balance and can move very swiftly in every day movements, much more so than non-runners in their 50s. If I have to run for a bus, just out of the way of a thoughtless cyclist or pick up a dropped pen quickly, no problem! All those squats and hill repeats have really helped.

My weight is an issue. I’m not too much overweight, maybe 15-20 pounds more than I should be, but it’s dreadfully difficult to lose weight now. Of course, with all this running, it’s very hard to lose weight because I’m always hungry. I tried to explain that to a non-runner at work and she couldn’t understand the concept. it’s just something I have to deal with and perhaps accept that I’ll never be a very thin runner.

I spend A LOT of time on my own running or working out. I’ve always been a loner-type person so I’m rather used to it, but it’s even more so now. Many people hate being so much alone, and there are times, I will admit that I’d love some company doing non-running things, but when I run I like to run alone. I’ve never been a big group runner. I’ve done group runs and I will do them, they can be fun, but not as much fun as running alone.

So what will my 57th year bring? I hope many, many more miles and lots more squats, crunches and endless pairs of running shoes.

Cheers!