Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.

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T-Minus 24 hours

A day at the beach

Happy Friday everyone. For me this week has flown bye.  Lots of family dramarama, this nasty weather and the anticipation of my little stair climb tomorrow has kept things moving at a frightening pace. Maybe that’s a good thing? While the added stress has me a bit put off, sometimes distractions have their benefits. The key is to find my focus on race day.

Anyway here we are, T-minus 24 hrs. In spite of the shitty weather I went for a little run along Baker Beach this morning to loosen up the legs. I must tell you, there’s nothing better than a run along the beach in the rain. Nobody was out, not even the naked guys. I easily found my rhythm and had a fantastic run. I’m ready, I’m hydrated, I’m rested and I’m lookin’ forward to kicking some serious stair climbing ass!

Why am I doing this? I signed up for this event thinking that I might encourage some of you to joining me. I thought it would be a relatively easy goal for anyone to accomplish and because it’s a very good cause. After all, I am rather fond of breathing and I am fortunate in that my lungs are healthy so I wanted to do what I could for the cause, as well as those of you who seem to want to reach new fitness heights. That and the fact that I like doing new and different things and this is something I’ve never attempted. Maybe more of you will join me in the next challenge?

So, there you go — I start climbing tomorrow at 9:00, be a sport and send me some good juju between 9 and 9:20, breath deeply and frequently. Hopefully, this stair climbing business will take me less than 20 minutes; I’ve got shit to do. Kra-zy! I’ll send an update via twitter if you’re interested. Check me @motionstarved or on this site under the photo to the right.

Stay dry and I’ll see you next week, kiss, kiss…

P.s. Weather Lady says the sun is on it’s way back to SF next week! Hang in there!

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Just don't look up!

It’s the week before the big Fight for Air Climb. Yikes, 1,197 steps up 52 floors. That’s a lot’a steps and it’s all taking place in the stairwell of the B of A building here in San Francisco. If I wanted to, I could start stressing myself out by thinking about what’s in store for me this Saturday, but I won’t do that. I know better. Why bother, it won’t make the event any less painful and certainly won’t make this week pass any more smoothly.

Here’s the plan — My training is complete. It takes 3 weeks to reap the benefits of training so there’s no need to go out and hammer out another hard training session. I’ll exercise this week but won’t do anything that might stress my legs. Lots of yoga and easy endurance work. All I can do is trust that I’ve trained well and let my body rest and recover from the past weeks of intense training. I’ll make sure to drink plenty of water, get lots of sleep and eat right, keeping the fiber flowing. I sure as hell don’t want to carry any extra stuff up those steps. Know what I mean? I’ll make sure I have the cutest possible outfit ready to wear. Shoes ready to go and all the information I need to smoothly pick up my race packet and timing chip on event day. Early in the week (today actually) I’ll make sure to read all event info so I know the exact details of what I can, and can’t take with me in the stairwell, where I can park and so on. I don’t want any surprises the day of the event. It’s important that on the big day all I have to do is show up, and race. I’ll get everything done before hand so I can focus only on doing my very best.

So there you have it. I am confident and ready to go, unflappable. On the day of the event I will find a nice pair of buns and follow them up the stairs all the way to victory. I will feel no pain and dance up the steps to the rhythm of my smooth breath.

The best part of all this, when it’s over I get to come up with a new way to torture myself. A new goal, get ready!

P.s. It’s not a good idea to try something new the day of an event. New shoes, new food, stuff like that. You don’t want to find that GU gives you the runs while you’re ascending an indoor stair case or running down the road with thousands of people, same goes for shoes and cloths you don’t want to find out that your new stuff chafes. Stick with what you know works. This is no time for surprises.


Train your feet?

Foot Love

I’ve had many wonderful trainers and coaches in my life but not one of them has ever told me to train my feet. Fortunately, I managed to figure this out on my own through various aches, pains and research.

If your feet aren’t fit then how do you expect the rest of your body to be? Your feet support three times your body weight when you walk, when you run they support seven times and when you jump, 10 times your body weight! Think about that!

When we exercise we usually focus on everything but our feet.  When your feet hurt that affects your ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Remember, The anklebone is connected to the knee bone.  Keep your feet in top form, and they’ll support the rest of your body making everything you do in your life a little easier.

Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your feet happy.

Stretch your arches every day – I like to sit on my shins, butt resting on my heals with toes curled under. You can also stand with your toes against a wall (one foot at time) and lean slightly into the wall until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot. Do each foot twice. If you don’t like those ideas, just sit on the floor and pull your toes back with your hand. The idea is to stretch the bottom of the foot.

Stretch your toes – Squeeze your toes together (they might crack) and hold for a few seconds, then flex them up. Do this a few times every day.

Don’t forgetAnkle Circles and Toe Points to keep the supporting joints flexible.

Stimulate the bottom of your feet – The soles of the feet are extremely sensitive due to a high concentration of nerve endings. Post workout give ‘em a nice soapy scrub with the loofah to wake up all those neurons & synapses. A little lotion massage after is always a good idea too.

Rule of thumb – As soon as you’re finished working out take off your shoes. Your feet will swell from the workout (or hard day at work) so give em’ room to breath.

Running Shoes – Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Best foot friendly places to run – Rubber Track, Treadmill, Grass, and Dirt.

Any questions?

Giddy up!


Never underestimate

Friday, March 11, 2011, the day we all waited for the tsunami to hit San Francisco. We waited and waited but alas, like the snow, it never came. A blessing in this case.

I decided in case the 600-mile an hour wave did show up, I would take my stair running workout to the Lyon Street steps rather than to my favorite place, the Baker Beach Sand Stairs.

Off I went to Broadway and Lyon. Clad in my ultra cute Lululemon togs with the purple trim and a too tight Nike tee that showed off my previous days arms and pecs workout. My hair was finally long enough to pull back and I was feeling like All That!

10 minutes of warm up exercises, a mile run and I was feeling like a million bucks. My goal, 5 times up the 286 steps. A goal that didn’t seem too high as it was not uncommon for me to climb more than that in a work out. If I reached today’s goal it would mean that my base was firm and that next week I would be ready to add a 6th round, confirming that I was more than ready for the Fight for Air Race in two weeks.

Up the steps I went. “Push, push” said the voice in my head. Swinging my arms from cheek to cheek I found my rhythm and was doing great. The second time up I took the steps two at a time (that was hard!).

Feeling the burn, but still confidant I noticed a woman who had managed to stay just ahead of me. I wondered when I would have to navigate around her and that annoyed me. From what I could see, she was “elderly,” covered from head to toe in black sweat cloths and a big floppy hat. I waited a second at the bottom to allow her to make some progress, surly she would get in my way at some point, after all I was All That.

About ¼ of the way up the stairs for the third time I noticed “Grandma” slowing down so I made my move and picked up my pace expecting to blow past her. To my surprise Grandma was working me! Sensing me, never looking back she moved faster and faster, matching my gain, toying with me, keeping me just off her heals.

As we approached the last 50 steps the woman started taking two at a time jumping from step to step! In epic fashion neither of us looked over at the other, we were neck and neck now, flying over the steps in unison as we approached the final stretch. I was in shock! Who was this woman? The voice in my head now yelling, “GO! GO!” I made the crossing of the final step first. “You won” the woman said, but frankly I couldn’t see at that point. My glasses were fogged, eyes full of sweat and my breathing so labored that I couldn’t respond. If I won it was by a very thin hair. I walked a few feet to get my legs back but by the time I turned around GM had already started to descend the stairs preparing to come back up again. Ugh I thought!  Not again, I’m screwed!

I only made it back up the stairs one more time (4x’s total). GM was ahead of me the whole time. I didn’t (couldn’t) challenge her.  While my ego was certainly put in check I was very much inspired by this woman.  I’m going back next Friday to look for her. Something tells me she’s a regular, someone who enjoys being fit and enjoys “working over” those whose egos are badly in need of adjustment. A woman after my own heart! All I can say is, YOU GO GIRL!

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Stairway to your gluteus


Running stairs is fun. I know you think I’m crazy but I like running the stairs.  Not as much as I like drinking wine and eating pizza but in terms of exercise, running the stairs has its merits.

For starters, stair climbing is extremely time efficient as it can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes (depending on your pace and body weight). Plus, stairs work your butt, quads and hamstrings as well as give you a good dose of both cardio and strength building. It’s a double whammy.

Things to do on the stairs

  • First – get your legs good and warmed up
  • Mix it up – Jog up, run up or hop up
  • Lunge – don’t hit every step – skip a step – take every other step
  • Cross over – hit every step but cross your right leg over your left, and then your left over your right as you move up each step.
  • Side step – walk up the steps sideways skipping a step between steps.
  • Walk back down – it’s safer


  • Stand tall and bend from the hip joint. Never hunch over or swing your arms way out in front of you.  When swinging your arms think “cheek to cheek,” your fingertips should graze your hind cheek and then the cheek on your face. I learned that from my old chum Coach B. It’s very helpful!
  • When placing your foot down on the step make sure to get your entire foot on the step to avoid injury.
  • Push off from the bottom step. Think “push, push.” That too is helpful if you imagine your foot pushing your body off each step.

In case you’re wondering

  • Twenty flights of stairs is equal to about a mile, 16-20 stairs make up a flight.
  • It’s not too late to sign up the Lung Associations Climb for Air. The event is March 26th. It’s only 52 flights. That’s less than 4 times up The Filbert Steps and just a few more steps than 4 times up Lyon Street.

I hope you enjoyed my little video. That’s Diana, she calls herself The Whiner. I know it’s a little dark but we workout outside in the evenings. It was my first, I’ll get better…