Archive for the ‘Excercise’ Category

UP By Jawbone

 
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These pictures are from November when I first got the Jawbone UP, back then there was so much keenness to try this little bracelet.
I didn’t mind that I had to go all the way to Mount Vernon to get mine because the at&t store in Bellingham was sold out of the UP that morning.
The UP is basically a cool little wristband step-counter and sleep tracker that syncs with the Jawbone iPhone app and displays data in a user-friendly graph .

According to Jawbone,

UP™ by Jawbone® is the combination of a wristband and iPhone® app that tracks your activity and sleep and inspires you to move more, sleep better and eat smarter.


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As a self-proclaimed lover of ‘shiny new things,’ I took to the UP quickly and loved how unobtrusive and easy it was to use.
I’ve never been focused on tracking my fitness activity before; sure, I turn on my running app when I go running, but I’ve never tried to figure out overall how much I move in a day.
The band has three activity settings, regular, active and sleep. Active is for when you’re exercising.
I keep mine in regular mode most of the time except for when I’m sleeping. I thought I walked a lot, but wearing the UP put it in perspective.
I could do better, in fact I’ve made a few changes since I started wearing the band; I take the stairs, I try to take little walks during the day, I generally try to move more, and that’s what the UP aims to do.
I love the little buzzes (reminders) that remind me if I haven’t moved in two hours.
The sleep tracker is fairly helpful, it tracks sleep cycle, and shows light and deep sleep.
It has a built-in alarm clock that gently rouses you from sleep…
I find using the meal tracker a little cumbersome, same for finding friends who have the UP so I don’t use these features.

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The UP isn’t without issues, I’m on my second device – the first had battery issues, couldn’t sustain a charge past a day, and then one day it died.
The replacement works perfectly so far, but I’m not sure how long that would last.
In fact the UP has been bogged down with so much hardware issues that Jawbone has a ‘No questions asked guarantee’ refund
Still, I love my UP, it’s helped me make some little lifestyle changes, I try to walk more, I’m horrified at how poorly I sleep and trying to work on it.

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Of Half-Marathons & Cookies

Remember when I said I wanted to run a half-marathon this June? Well, I did this past weekend.
I woke up early last Sunday, went up to UBC and run all the way back with thousands of others in the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon.
It was a good run, I wasn’t expecting that and yet it was the first time I’d really felt good about running in a long time.
It reminded me of when I used to run the Capital Crescent Trail over a decade ago, running was fun back then.
I barely trained for this run, I started out with good intentions however in the end I ran about five times over four months and never ran beyond 7kms.
I wish I had trained, because although this was the most fun I’ve had running in a while, it didn’t feel whole, you get so much more from training – plus I could have done better.
I don’t know how I get back to that, but I want to enjoy running again.

Half-Marathon Shirt
Sun 26 Jun ~ 3 Sun 26 Jun ~ 1

For the past couple of days I’ve been thinking about… maybe aiming for a marathon next year.
Yes, I want to run a marathon!
I can’t even begin to fathom how I’d go about training for that, but one thing I know for sure is that, when I write about doing something on this blog, I usually end up doing it.
For those of you running types out there, here’s how I’ve fared in the three half-marathons I’ve ran over the past five years.
Year —- Time —— Pace(KM)
2007 — 2:06:12 —- 5:59
2008 — 2:20:39 —- 6:40
2011 — 2:18:49 —- 6:35

I’d like to be better, maybe finish under 2:00 hrs; and I won’t get there by not training.
I’m really glad I did this run; it’s awoken a passion (for running) I haven’t felt in a long time and that’s a good thing.

176/365 Almond-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies #mostly365

I made these awesome post-workout cookies on Saturday before the race.
I knew I was going to get pretty ravenous after the race, the last time I binged on bagels and bananas, this time I wanted to make something special.
I’ve been meaning to make these cookies for a while now, it includes all my favourite things; coconuts, almonds, oats and bananas.
This is perhaps my best cookie yet, it’s chewy and soft, and the flavours are just oh so wonderful.
The recipe is adapted from this recipe, which doesn’t have banana in it, but I decided to throw in my sad browning banana and that’s what makes the perfect post-workout cookies.
I had a couple of cookies after my big run, and then more throughout the day – I couldn’t help it, they’re sooo good!
I’ll definitely be making these again soon.

Flour/Oats/Almond/Coconut
Almond Coconut Cookies On Baking Sheet

Oatmeal Coconut & Almond Cookies (Adapted from Eat Good 4 Life)
INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons almond milk (or soy or coconut or cow’s or whatevs…)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat flour works too)
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Mash banana with a fork and combine in a mixing bowl with olive oil, honey, vanilla milk and sugar, and mix well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients (that’s the remaining ingredients) and mix well with a spatula.
  5. Make sure the dough sticks together, depending on the kind of flour you use; you may need to add a few tablespoons of milk or flour (until cookie dough consistency is reached)
  6. Place spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart and flatten slightly with a fork (mine didn’t spread much during baking)
  7. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until they begin to brown around the edges.
  8. Cool cookies in cookie sheets for about 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Almond Coconut Cookies Freshly Baked

Scenes From A Fleeting Weekend

 
These weekends… they go by so fast.
I didn’t get up to much this weekend, except feast on chocolates and panettone.
Oh and I went hiking…

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Walking On Snow

I’ll miss the snow on the mountains when winter passes.
I’ll miss the clear wintry white landscape and tranquil.
I’ll miss those fleeting moments of Zen.

The Perfect Scene

My hike up Dam Mountain this past weekend had a nice eerie feel to it due to low visibility.
The snow and fog blinded the way, giving an illusion of walking into the unknown.
It was very much unlike the weekend before when it was so sunny everything sparkled.
And the views… so clear you could see downtown; and the sea goes on and on till it becomes one with the sky.

These pictures are from that last weekend, I took a slew of them…

Sun at Sea
The sun haze view.

Hues of Blue
Textures in blue…

See
Downtown and beyond…

Snowshoers I
Here’s where we rest (but just for a while) before the final big climb up.

From Up
My favourite view, I could stay here forever…

Sat 19 Feb - 2 The Climb Up
Hey, it’s a steep climb and sometimes you fall, you laugh it off and keep climbing… kinda like life.

Detour
Sunbursts!

Tired
Farther Textures
Looking out…

A Clear Day
Looking down…

Waves
This is always the favourite part of my hike, the loop around the mountain coming down.

Wandering Soul

I’m feeling a little adrift this week; I’m blaming it on lack of sleep and quality exercise.
I know ‘lack of quality exercise’ implies there’s been some exercise, but the truth is I hardly exercised this week; I’m blaming that on the weather.
Hazy Sun
The weekend can’t come soon enough; an afternoon up on the mountain should help reset my lagging system.
I’m so so tired… I need a reset button.

Dam Mountain
The hike up to Dam Mountain now has an official extreme-work-out sounding name; The Snowshoe Grind
I like it! It’s just like the Grouse Grind.
I always thought the trail had quite a steep incline, but I couldn’t determine whether it was a difficult hike or I was just out of shape.
Now I know it’s a little bit of both.
It’s being billed to as the (winter) Grouse Grind alternative, which makes me feel better, I’m not just taking a hike, I’m actually exercising!

Sun, Sea & Land
This is the view you’re rewarded with once you finally make it up to the peak of the mountain.
From up here; a picnic, conversation, rest… and prep for the descent.
It’s supposed to be sunny this weekend; so we’re in for breathtaking views.

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Breaks are important too… to take a breather, make new friends and even get tips from the pros sometimes.

Sunny Winter Day

Showshoes Lone
The Grouse Snowshoe Grind is a 4.3km trail, and there’s hot chocolate and warmth down at the chalet when you’re down.


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