Friday, May 26, 2006

Adventures in Fitness

San Francisco, aka coldest city in the continental U.S.—Does this city ever warm up?? I've been here many, many times, but no matter the season, it's always the same: freezing. At least back east, we get snow with our low temps. Here it's beautiful blue skies, a wind like a mother*********, and cold.

Last night I ventured out for a short 60-minute run, to try to prepare for whatever horrors 21st Cent. Mom has in store for me. I left the very cool (pardon the pun) Hotel Del Sol, in the Marina district, and headed for the bay, and all that green stuff on the map that signals parkland.

I guess this is what skiing is like. Freezing your ass off while sweating like a pig in the unrelenting sun and did I mention the wind? I mean really. The wind was hurricane force. People should have been evacuating. There was zero shade. I ran along a park that had lovely views of the waterfront, and very smart people in wetsuits who were—what else?—wind surfing. There was no respite from the sun. And of course, I hadn't eaten much because I was on a plane all day, and they no longer feed you. Let's just finish up the run portion of this report by saying: not pretty.

Today: I sat in a conference room at Fort Mason, attending the Online Community Camp! (only no campfires) with people who were in SHORTSLEEVES and TANKTOPS, while I was busy shivering my ass off for eight hours. People actually opened the windows. I was wearing silk long underwear; a tank top sweater, a cardigan, a shawl, and a light coat. I looked like a bag lady. To make up for being miserably cold, I ate massive quantities of carbs.

A few days ago, following little Miss Life Is Nuts' example, I started a FitDay food and activity diary. Someday, when you're older, I may share it with you. You enter all your food intake and activities into it and it tells you how many things you are doing wrong. Actually it's a terrific motivator. When I saw today's carb overload, I knew action had to be taken.

But running was out. No way was I going back out into those frigid temps. But if it's Thursday, that means only one thing my friends: Bikram!! An hour and a half in a 105 degree (F) room was just what I needed. My friendly concierge found me a class a few blocks away. I packed up my running clothes, threw on flip-flops (note: FLIPFLOPS) to give the bunions a rest, and off I went. As I was filling out my registration card at the Bikram center, I casually asked the counterboy if there were showers. Um, no. Huh? When I leave a 90-minute Bikram class, I'm as drenched as if I'd gone swimming. If I tried to walk back to the hotel that kind of wet, I'd die of pneumonia.

What do do? I'm nothing if not resourceful, as I believe I have demonstrated before. I started walking back to the motel, and passed a movie theater, which was oh-so-tempting, and right next to it, a gym called "Crunch." I strolled in. Did they take drop ins? They did. What classes were coming up? Spinning! Perfect!! Almost as good as running! Almost as good as Bikram. Except, I was wearing flip-flops and class was starting in five minutes. No towel either. I asked counterlady, between her cell phone calls, if there was any chance she had any leftover shoes. She did!! What size? Size nine!!! My size!!! How disgusting is this? This is disgusting!!!! I bought a pair of socks from her, gritted my teeth, and pulled on some other person's old, dusty, rank running shoes. Oh, plus the shorts and top I'd brought for yoga. And off I toddled into a spinning class.

I must say I did OK for someone who hasn't set foot in a spinning class for five years. I even got out of the saddle and stood! Many times!! The main thing I hate about spinning? It's the most boring thing on earth. How do people stand this?? There's no escape. Nothing to look at except the trim young things in front of me who were not even breaking a sweat. It was a good workout, if only 60 minutes. But I will say, from my vast experience: Bikram is harder. Much much harder. They guy next to me told me it took him a month before he could get out of the saddle, and he was wearing bike shoes. Once he said that, I knew I had to rise to the occasion so I did.

At least the Crunch gym had a shower. No towel, and a drymax shirt isn't exactly a stand-in. It actually repels water, it turns out. So i'll let you use your imagination to figure out how I dried off. People were watching me, though.

I strolled back to the Hotel Del Sol ("ciao, ciao!" this is how they answer every phone call and greet you when you walk thru the teensiest lobby I've ever seen), then strolled back out for dinner. One french martini and some lovely broiled salmon later, and I'm ready for sleep, sportsfans.

Another hard day's work in the can.

16 comments:

21st Century Mom said...

You're killing me! I did no running, no spinning, no swimming today. I sat on a plane and in an office and then on a plane again.

I've stayed up late playing on the internet so it will be very hard to get up and go swimming tomorrow.

Saturday is going to be easy - really easy.

Try www.sparkpeople.com for tracking. They have a much better interface than Fitday and the users are filling the database with detailed nutritional information for every kind of prepared food on earth. Very informative (not necessarily in a good way, either)

susie said...

I love reading about other people's traveling experiences! Good for you finding alternate forms of kicking those carbs. Enjoy the rest of your trip...

Bob said...

Whew what a day! Spinning is boring and have fun in San Fran and with your RBF meet up.

Nancy White said...

So how was the online community event?

Lisa said...

I use fitday.com as well. Love it!

I miss spinning, but the gym I was a member of got outrageously expensive, so I don't go anymore. Glad you enjoyed it!

Hope you're able to warm up out here. Lord knows, I'm always FREEZING, so I can definitely feel your pain. :)

matt said...

i couldn't agree more with you about spinning. i always seem to get the instructors that look at me like i am a pathetic piece of #%&!. and i do wish to have children again some day. after a long stretch of time on those saddles i feel like i have permanently decreased my odds.

sounds like you had an awesome workout! enjoy your time in city :)

Donald said...

Mark Twain famously said "The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer I spent in San Francisco."

It's really unpredictable - if you're sheltered from the wind (as in, say, a baseball stadium), it gets hot in a hurry.

Just buy a SF sweatshirt somewhere and enjoy the city

Dori said...

That's so cool that you're going to run with 21CM. I hope the weather is nicer there than on the bay. I keep trying to keep a food journal, but I never last more than a day. Then I complain about gaining weight in the middle of marathon training and invariably somebody says, "Keep a food journal."

Sherri said...

Great post! And I'd never heard of "Bikram," so to Google I went...from reading, it sounds hard. Enjoy the rest of the trip (by the way, the weather in D.C. today was hot and HUMID even...and at approximately 4:00 PM, the sky opened up and is currently dumping rain - and there's thundering and lightening). Ciao, Ciao!

Jennifer said...

That's awesome! You are such a resourceful traveler- i need some of your skills.

Juls said...

Rent a car, and drive south about 20-30 minutes. You will find it nice and hot. I hope you are able to warm up and enjoy your time in SF, or elsewhere in California.

Susan said...

Are you trying to kill yourself with exercise?

French martini? What's this - a martini I am unaware? Must try for post marathon celebration in San Diego.

a.maria said...

hrmm. i've never spun or bikramed. you're such a cross-training queen jeanne!

(hee hee)

sounds like a fun workout... sorry to hear about the chilly weather. but man, after this mornings RIDICULOUS warm/muggy run, i would love to have some chilling winds blow my way!

have fun with 21 (hee hee. again. i'm a riot.) and take lots of pics!

David said...

SF is a wonderful place when the wind is not blowing. Good resourcefulness on your part to find Crunch. Did they charge you for the paper towels?
Enjoy the meet up with 21CM. Say hi to her for me!

Rae said...

You are so funny! I love when you travel AND how you keep true to your fitness plans. Can't wait to read the rest of your SF adventure!

eerive3 said...

Try San Francisco in November...