January 14th, 2009

running

Today's run, plus fitness progress

Decided it was time to deviate a bit from my usual routes. Ran up Hyde to Aquatic Park, but then instead of out to the end of the pier I ran up McDowell Road to Fort Mason, then back home along my usual walking route from there, Van Ness to Polk and then Pacific. Despite avoiding the very steep Hyde Street hill on the return, the route had more elevation than I'm used to, which may partially account for the very slow pace: 2.8 miles in 44 minutes, 15.6 minutes/mile. Definitely winded and feeling a bit of soreness in my muscles after.

I've been sticking more closely to the McDougall diet even though I'm not trying to follow it strictly anymore; I just feel better the more lowfat whole vegan foods I eat. I haven't managed to avoid stepping on the scale despite knowing that the information it provides is only of limited use. As of today I weigh 138 pounds, well on my way to my Feb 1 goal of 135 and ultimate goal of 125. I just started using a cute diet ticker in my signatures on the McDougall discussion board.

I also found through that message board a cool open-source program called CRON-O-Meter which provides comprehensive tracking of nutrients through USDA data. I'm not monitoring carbs/protein/fat, but it's useful to see how I'm doing on vitamins and minerals, since I don't take any supplements other than B12 (and occasional extra Vitamin C when I'm sick). If the source numbers and my reporting for the last couple of days are accurate, I've been eating fewer than 1200 calories a day, but not feeling hungry or deprived, despite getting over 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day as well. I'm also drinking a lot more water, partially because of the warm weather, which helps.
playing bass

Musical evening

Yesterday was the first rehearsal of my latest Blue Bear band workshop. It's the first one where I'm playing an instrument exclusively instead of singing. Though I've played keyboard a bit in prior workshops, this time I'll be playing bass on every song, and probably only singing backup if at all. boyziggy is on keyboards, my friend/former co-worker Jason is on drums, and one of the guitar players, Dom, was in my very first Blue Bear workshop, three years ago with Bill Spooner. We also have another guitar player, a tenor sax player, and a female singer, in addition to my great bass teacher Steve who will be singing backup and playing guitar.

I was excited by the songs others suggested, as I recognized and liked several of them. Steve wants to limit the set to eight songs, but I'm hoping we can do more. I'm also hoping I might get to sing lead on one song since we only have one lead singer, but we'll see. I'm just glad I held my own during the first rehearsal, as it was the first time I'd played bass with a full band. It helped tremendously that the two songs we rehearsed were ones I'd already worked on, though two members of the band didn't like the first song, "Wooly Bully" (Jason's pick), so that might not make the final set. It made for a great warm-up tune regardless.

I'm definitely going to have to build up stamina to make it through an entire set of playing bass. I'm used to having lots of breaks when singing, and for bass I'll be playing pretty much the entire time. I'm looking forward to the challenge though, especially since I have the time to devote to practice as I'm not working right now.

After the rehearsal boyziggy mentioned that laughingstone had invited him to see a show at the Hotel Utah, and that euneeblic might be coming along as well, so I decided to join them. The performer, Theresa Andersson, was a great treat. Live looping with vocals, guitar, violin, and drums. Highly, highly recommended. She's playing there again on Jan 22 - not sure I'll make that one as I need to start budgeting my entertainment more carefully (and am already going to two other shows this month), but do check her out if you can.