Work Outs: January 31 – February 6, 2021 (The Beach is that way!)

A few weeks ago the main road we usually take to get home was closed while repair crews were dealing with all of the fallen trees and power poles (especially the latter) from the previous period of winds and rain that moved through the Santa Cruz area. So we took a back way to get home from some grocery shopping and such, which took us along the California State Route 1 coastal road, by lots of beaches. We stopped at one, that wasn’t too busy, for about ten minutes and had a look around before continuing on our way.

A bit of California State Route 1 not far from Santa Cruz.

Sun, January 31st

  • Recumbent Bike: 65 Minutes, Level 10, 70 – 80 rpm’s. I listened to the first half of Accept – Live At Wacken 2017 and varied the speed I pedaled to how I felt and the tempo of the music. I liked it when they brought in the orchestra complete with conductor.
  • I stretched a little then did the “Half Roundhouse Kick” Taekwondo lesson from Global Martial Arts University. Finished with three quick exercises, doing each for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest between each: Elbow Plank, Leg Switching, Hindu Squats. Then I stretched for ten minutes.

Calories: 2642, Protein: 152 g.

Mon, February 1st

Morning Walk: 3.18 miles. Calories: 2193, Protein: 120 g.

I see these plants everywhere and in goodly quantities around the coastal areas near where we live. The consensus of the various locals I asked about these succulents was that they are Ice Plants. They are apparently an invasive species that might have come in with ships hundreds of years ago, but according to Wikipedia was brought in for erosion control though “it actually exacerbates and speeds up coastal erosion.”

Rebecca wrote, “Also known as ‘Dead Man’s Finger’ because it resembles a hand reaching up from the grave.” 🙂

Too bad if that is true because I think ice plants are kind of pretty, especially when they flower. Also, according to Wikipedia and my local sources, the plant is reportedly edible and has a lot of different uses. One of my local contacts said that the plant is high in Vitamin C. So if I’m ever marooned on a desert island and see this stuff then I’ll try eating it to stave off the scurvy!*

Tues, February 2nd

Morning Workout

  • Recumbent Bike: 31 Minutes, Steady State Training, Level 10, 70+ rpm’s.
  • White Belt Drill #1: Side Kick Stretch, Elbow Plank (one minute hold), Front Kick Stretch, Jab, Leg Switching, Cross Punch, Front Snap Kick, Low Block, Half Roundhouse Kick Exercise, High Block
    • Do the ten movements moving from one to the next, resting only as needed to keep good form, since I am working on skills. (Do ten repetitions each side or for a 2-count.)

Captains of Crush Gripper (T):

Mid-morning I worked on the grippers while waiting at the Toyota dealership while our car was being serviced. I warmed up using a gripping egg and then the Guide and Sport level Grippers before moving on to the Trainer gripper. I also did a little finger extension work at the end.

  • (Set 1): Right = 8mm x 7 reps, Left = 12mm x 7 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = 8mm x 9 reps, Left = 12mm x 7 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10mm x 5 reps
  • (Set 5): Right = 4mm x 3 +2 reps, Left = 8mm x 3 + 2 reps
  • (Set 6): I did a final set with the Guide gripper where I moved my arm around in circles, down to my feet, behind my head, all over the place while working the gripper. I lost count of repetitions but I think it was in the 35 – 40 range with each hand. According to John Brookfield, in his book Mastery of Hand Strength, this “dynamic training” is to build hand strength “that can be applied to your particular sport or profession (21).

Afternoon Hike: 3.42 miles. Calories: 1995, Protein: 140 g.

The Pacific Ocean rolling in toward a sandy part of the beach.

Wed, February 3rd

  • Morning Walk: 4.07 miles.
  • Afternoon Run: 3.2 miles over mostly flat terrain on both trails and pavement. After the run, I strolled back for about a mile and once I found a likely spot off the trail I did White Belt Drill #1 in the park but substituted 20 four-count jumping jacks for the planks because I didn’t fancy getting down in the mud and then probably getting the inside of my car all dirty. Afterwards, I made my way to the car and did some quick incline side star planks on the fence before calling it a day.
  • Stretched for about 35 minutes in the evening.

Calories: 1994, Protein: 146 g.

Notice all of the ice plants!

I found this to be an interesting little scene near the beach. I thought the surf board was fun with the “bite” taken out of it. A cursory search didn’t reveal too much about the board or who Anne Frances Smith was. Perhaps once one can go to museums and such again, I’ll go by the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum and ask them about the board. I’ve never been so it might be good to go in any case.

Thur, February 4th

Morning Walk: 2.51 miles.

  • Afternoon Workout: Warmed up using indian clubs doing the exercises in this video and this one.
  • Standing Cable Rows (Hog Bar): 70 lbs. x 12 reps, 80 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Cable Lat Pull Downs (Hog Bar): 70 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Pilates DB Biceps Curls (alternating sets of I & II): 5 lbs. x 4 sets x 15 reps
    • My biceps felt like they could use something a bit lighter and different today than the usual curls I’ve been doing, so I dusted off a Pilates book a friend gave me for Christmas some years ago.
  • Incline Push-ups with Scapular Mobilization (3rd Stair): 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated DB Cleans: 12 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 15 lbs. x 2 sets x 8 reps
  • DB Shrugs: 50 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Exercise Complex) Shoulder Internal Rotation with Abduction (orange band) 13 reps, KB Sumo Dead Lift 35 lbs. x 15 reps, Face Pulls 15 lbs. x 12 reps, Shrimping, Z-Shrimping, Table Makers 8 reps, Snap Kick Exercise (each leg) 20 reps
  • Bridging: Worked on increasing flexibility with the eventual goal of touching my nose to the floor. I used to bridge a lot years ago with good success but got away from doing it. I’m not sure why I ever stopped.
  • I worked the “White Belt – Solo Drill 1” and “Solo Drill 2” Taekwondo lessons on the Global Martial Arts University website.
  • I finished the session by following along (as best I could — I find Yoga pretty challenging!) with “Day 1 – Ease Into It – 30 Days of Yoga” by Yoga With Adriene. If you are looking for some free, online yoga I’d suggest giving Adriene’s channel a try. I find her videos to be excellent.

Calories: 1984, Protein: 154 g.

An interesting set of (mostly) stone steps leading down to the beach. They were kind of steep but that made them more fun to scuttle down and then back up again. As usual, no general shortage of ice plants.

Live Long and Prosper!

Fri, February 5th

  • I did a morning stretch before starting the day. (I’m going to start doing this every morning, when I get up, because it felt really good and it instantly cleared away the wake up fog.) Then we walked 3.54 miles.
  • I worked with the indian clubs a bit, not for exercise but to learn some new swings.
  • Visited the chiropractor later in the day.

Calories: 1831, Protein: 158 g.

An interesting bit of rock art on the beach. I was highly tempted to add a small rock to the top of the pile but decided I didn’t want to risk bringing the stone tower crashing down so I contented myself with this picture.

Sat, February 6th

Coc Trainer Gripper (100 lbs.)

  • (Set 1): Right = Closed x 2 reps + 6mm x 5 reps, Left = 10 mm x 8 reps
  • (Set 2): Right = Closed x 2 reps + 4mm x 5 reps, Left = 10 mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 3): Right = Closed x 1 rep + 4mm x 6 reps , Left = 10 mm x 9 reps
  • (Set 4): Right = Closed x 1 rep + 4mm x 4 reps, Left = 8 mm x 6 reps
  • (Set 5): Dynamic Training with the Sport gripper. I did 20 reps with each hand. I couldn’t close it all the way with my right hand after 17 reps and after 13 reps with my left. (Not as strong in the dynamic aspect as the other day.) I ended with some finger extension work and some thumb training using the gripping egg.

I achieved a sub-goal, that I posted back in November, of wanting to be able to close the Trainer gripper to 10mm for four sets of five reps with my left hand. The eventual goal is to be able to close that gripper for five reps with either hand. My new sub-goal, again with my weaker, left hand, is closing the Trainer gripper to 4mm for four sets of five reps.

Calories: 2013, Protein: 90 g. (I lost 1 pound this week, so my total loss is 24 lbs.)

We’ll close the book (for now at least) on ice plants with this short video someone shared with me about ice plants burning during the August CZU Lightning Complex fires that hit our area in August: “Just like trying to light a watermelon on fire.”

Next week I’m going to get started on the roundup post for the “First of the Year” painting challenge. In the meantime, I’m going to try and produce something for Alex’s yearly “Fembruary” and Dave Stone’s “Paint What You Got” painting challenges.

* I think some of the locals I asked about ice plants were worried I wanted to plant some and as I understand you can buy them at some local nurseries, but I just wanted to know what it is. If I ever plant anything it is more likely to be things like squash, potatoes, cucumbers and the like.

19 responses to “Work Outs: January 31 – February 6, 2021 (The Beach is that way!)”

  1. I really like the California coastline as the weather at least in Southern California tends to be really comfortable to me. The coast is also beautiful with great cliffs to discover as you proved above 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think California in general has a very nice coastline, which is good considering how much of it we have. 🙂 Santa Cruz has some really neat cliffs, as you say. There is a little park called “Natural Bridges” in Santa Cruz that features eroded areas that have formed little bridges where you can (in parts that it is safe and doesn’t impact the wildlife) walk out. Other areas have eroded away completely to sort of natural pillar-like structures.

      I agree with you about the weather. I have found something to like about every place I’ve lived, but the moderate weather of the Monterey Bay area is the best of any place I’ve lived.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will have to visit Santa Cruz one day. It sounds awesome! I have spent most of my time in San Diego which has some great cliffs. Sunset Cliffs comes to mind. La Jolla used to allow you to get close to seals too which was neat. If I could afford living there, San Diego would probably be where I’d live in the US 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we really enjoy the drive up the coast. If one goes about 40 miles you go into a town called Half Moon Bay, which I remember fondly because that was one of the first road trips my husband took me on when we first met.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great progress on the workouts Ann, your determination is a shinning example to us all.
    We don’t see ice plants in the wild in the UK, but can be picked up at most garden centres and tend to be kept indoors in pots, like cacti they don’t require a lot of water so can be seen in gardens in hot dry areas.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Dave. I enjoy working out a lot. I find my main area where I have to exert some will and determination is in making sure I eat correctly. After I got out of doing doing athletics for money some years ago I became one of those people who was fat but still worked out. Great blood work, blood pressure, pulse and all of that when I’d go to the doctor, but Covid made me decide that I wanted to take things onto a new trajectory so I started being more organized in working out, focusing more on my weaknesses rather than just working on my strengths for fun, and also making better choices about how I ate.

      As I understand one can get ice plants in a few nurseries locally here too though there is some controversy locally between the people who are against planting non-native, “invasive” plants and those who disagree with them. Me, I don’t really have a strong opinion about it; I’m the sort who if I were going to plant something it would be traditional food items like carrots, tomatoes, squashes and such.


  3. Interesting Ann , we have it here as well ,one sees it at the beaches but I have never known what it is called. A friend gave me some and it has really taken off but as you said it was a weed I don’t think I will take any to the new place in the country, neighbores might not like it. We sold this house on Saturday and were happy with the price 😊and now we only have to pack up the few remaking things and move out in two weeks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Congratulations on selling your house and at a price you are happy with at that and good luck with your move.

      Yes, pretty much the same here. I wasn’t planning on transplanting the stuff; I just like to know more about the local fauna that I’m stumbling over during our walks. Being the sort of ground cover it is, someone brought up a good point that rats like it. After a couple of years of battling them, we seem to have the rat situation under control at our house with kudos to the local predators (foxes, coyotes, house cats, mountain lions … even the turkeys one time, etc. etc.) for playing their part so I think I don’t want to give any edge at all back to the rodents if I can help it. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks Ann! we are moving into the country and even though I was brought up with snakes i have a healthy respect for them as they are like you rattlesnake,pretty dangerous if on is mean to them. We do all the things to discourage them visiting us ,rat ,mice ,long grass and tend to grow snake repellent plants, so thanks for telling us that they like Dead mens fingers !!! Maybe a small pot! No said my snake fearing city family!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have a healthy respect for them as well. My main concern about rattlesnakes, they are here but not terribly common like they were when I lived in central Texas, is that I’ll surprise one and it’ll try to bite me before I even realize it is there. Glad they have those rattles because I’m more than willing to heed their warming for both my sake and the snake’s. 🙂

          Heh, yeah, I see a lot of snakes in areas with a lot of cover like with Dead Men’s Fingers. I suspect that their natural prey likes it there too and plus there are a number of birds, such as owls and hawks, that will take snakes so I imagine the cover serves both an offensive and defensive role for them. I mention the birds because back around 2015 or so, when I hadn’t been in the area too long, I saw a red tailed hawk, when I was out hiking, flying through the air with a huge snake dangling from its claws, limp, like it was dead rather than wrapped around him like it would be if it was still alive. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it but it all happened so fast and then the bird was gone.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’m glad you mentioned the dead mans fingers acting as great cover for 🐍, Definitely not taking any up counry😳. That would have been an amazing sighting, very rare I say, When I grew up on a farm as a youngster I saw a few interesting things but they were rare , two things that I do remember was seeing one snake eating another , it was. Bit creepy! The other was seeing a Kookaburra sit in a tree with a dead snake hanging from its beak. I remember dad saying that the l

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m not sure about how they kill them but your dad’s opinion about dropping them makes sense. I’ve seen seagulls do that with clams and mussels. From what I’ve seen of red tailed hawks, in the wild and stuffed ones up close in natural history museums, they sure look well equipped for killing both dropping-wise and beak/talon-wise to my uneducated eye.

              I’ve never seen a snake eating another snake; I can imagine that would look pretty creepy. Kookaburras are pretty neat, I kind of wish we had there here. There is a guy named Brad Walker on Youtube, whose channel I follow, who puts up little 30 second to a few minutes of birds – a lot of them Kookaburras — that visit him on his porch. I also like how the magpies down your way have voices that make them sound like technobirds. We have magpies, but they don’t sound anything like that. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • The Kookaburra is a pretty popular bird down here for that laugh it gives out but my favourite is the magpie, I had a family visit me each day at work and it was with a heavy heart that I had to say goodbye to them when I retired in November, have photos of them so I will do a post about them when I’m settled in .

                Liked by 1 person

                • That is a nice story. I bet it was sad to see them take their leave; they seem to have a lot of personality from what I’ve seen on Youtube. I’ll look forward to seeing pictures when you have a chance in the future sometime. 🙂

                  Liked by 1 person

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