Monday, December 31, 2007
I'm finding that my cardio endurance is definitely returning= as evidenced by my endurance on the elliptical, bike and treadmill. My heartrate recovery is pretty good at 18 seconds - my personal best is 10 seconds. Today after my strength training I did 45 minutes of cardio. For the first 30 minutes I did the elliptical at the fastest pace I've ever done. I used a really fast music (178 beats per minute) courtesy of DJ Steveboy - Rapid I movement. I stayed at a pace of 178 for most of the time but pumped it up to 244 for about 3 minutes. I did that twice. Then made it over to the treadmill and walked for 12 minutes and jogged for 3. I could barely move my legs so jogging was very slow (4.4).
Right now I'm wearing my knee brace and using heat therapy. I'll probably have to continue to do this following a tough workout like today.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
My hubby has graciously done this for the last 2 years, but I knew that at some point his desire to return to the workforce would outweigh his desire to be a SAHD. Well that time is now. Hubby got a great job and we are thrilled. I am so happy for him especially because it leverages his experience as a franchise owner and allows him to grow in a totally new area.
So while I'm totally excited , I'm a little scared. What this means for me is that I need to adjust. I need to be disciplined enough to workout out at home in the am and find time to make it in to the gym after work/weekends several times a week. I 'm a little nervous about this (quite frankly terrified) because I have been unsuccessful with consistent workouts at home - and after work is not likely to happen. I know that my weight loss success was in part the result of my schedule flexibility. Well, the good news is that this happened now instead of earlier . I think I am much stronger now than I was a year ago. It will be tough but doable. It will just take a solid plan and solid discipline. Yes I can totally do this.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It rocked! It was a great workout (660 calories per my heart rate monitor) and my knees held up quite well. This class was not a Taebo/aerobic dance style of kickboxing. It consisted of a series of kicks and punches on a weighted bag + jogging around the room. I really liked it and I plan to add it in to my workout mix. I even bought a punch card.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
So the damage is done - now on to the detox. I slid down the slope and now my task is to stop and get myself together. For the remainder of this week , I will begin detox and a return to a simpler, cleaner diet. Once all the leftovers are gone :), I'll begin with water, green tea and protein shakes. Then veggies and protein. Calorie goal will be 1500 a day and a burn of 300+ calories.
Monday, December 24, 2007
The truth is my mind feels like this should be easy, but my body is totally struggling. I made it through today's workout but really struggled after. I want to workout so badly but I am just struggling physically. My knees are really giving me trouble -- in fact worse than before my injury last week. I don't know if going to the dr will result in anything - but I probably should give it a try. "Deal with it " is what I keep telling myself. I know it won't always be this way - but it sure feels crappy.
On a more positive note - I have 2 weeks left until my FFF celebration starts. I'm excited and my girlfriends are planning to come on the spa weekend in May. It will be so much fun. Even if I have bad knees for the rest of my life - I will find a way to stay fit and fabulous , and I will not gain the weight back.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I've been icing and will try heat as well. I am trying so hard to not be bummed by this - but it really is making me a bit anxious. What is most troubling is that I feel like I seriously undid healing and I don't know what to do about it. I feel worried about not working out and that I will gain weight. I'm also worried about being off track with training .
I think my best approach is to take it easy - as hard as that is, and listen to my body. It is definitely speaking to me and telling me to slow down.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday was a crazy day. We had 3 parties and a piano recital + errands. Party #1 was a bowling party. My son needed me to tie his shoe. So I (having completely forgot about my recovery) attempted to bend down and tie his shoe. The pain and burning came without delay. In fact, before I touched his laces, I was on the ground screaming. I tried so hard not to cry - in front of the kiddies and all, but boy was I crying inside. Tears started streaming down my face and the other moms and the bowling alley employees ran over to see if I was ok. I eventually got myself together and carried on with the rest of the party. I went on with the rest of my day- without much fanfare, but I was in pain.
Today's workout was pretty good- 1hr 10 min of cardio. I did 10 miles on the bike, 2 miles on the elliptical and 1 mile jog. The jog was pretty good but painful. I was able to do 1 mile in 11.5 minutes. I probably could have gone faster but I felt like I shouldn't.
After the workout, I needed ice and realized that this little setback on saturday, probably put me back 3 weeks. I hope I didn't ruin any healing - but it feels like I might have. I will need to slow it down for a bit... train a bit , rest a bit. But I am up to 25 miles (woo hoo!)
Friday, December 14, 2007
OK - Training and diet recap for the week.
NADA... This week was a big ole bust. I ran on Monday, did a bit on Tuesday, bit on Wed - but nothing substantial. I have been feeling really sleepy lately. Like so sleepy that after I get up and get dressed , I have to go back to bed. And get this -- I go back to sleep. That is so unlike me. I've been a bit sick with a sinus infection - maybe that is it. Anyway - I'm a little off.
Food - well the Krispy Kremes made it back to the office this week. I managed to resist for about 30 minutes. Then I had one. But that is better than the last time - when I had 4.
I'm at only 13 miles for the month. I have 17 to go in order to make my goal of 30miles traveled this month. Between spinning and treadmill I'm sure I can do it. I'll make up a bunch tomorrow am (long workout planned) and Monday (spin). I will make 30 miles - even if I have to make it up during the holiday break.
It would be awesome to start the year 5 lbs lighter. I should let this go and focus on not gaining anything through the holidays. That would be a win.
Monday, December 10, 2007
- Lose 5 lbs -- so far I lost 2lbs
- 30 miles - anyway I can get it (swim bike or run/walk) -- so far I'm at 11 miles (7 bike and 4 total walk/run)
- Get closer to my FFF plan -- yup I've posted it in the sidebar.
I still have not hired a new Physical Therapist - but I will soon. Although I'm feeling fine without one - but I know I need to overcome my superwoman tendency - and get with an expert.
I ran my first mile today since surgery. Today's plan was to work out at home because I had hair issues with my girl. She is a preteen and I styled her hair in what was clearly a "little girl" style. She made me promise to redo it this am before she went to school . So of course I needed to allow ample time for redos. So I planned to do a little bit of walking and possibly a few minutes of running, bounce on the mini trampoline and then strengthening and abs. I got on the treadmill - feeling great decided to just run for as long as I could. I ended up running for 16 minutes - which was about 1.4 miles. Still a pretty slow pace, but I am so happy to be running without pain.
While I was running pain free, I decided that perhaps I didn't need to go through with the surgery on the other knee right now. I'm feeling pretty good and like I should be ok with managing with anti inflammatory meds and Ice. I've experienced quite a bit of muscle atrophy and it will take a good 2-3 months to get back to where I was. I'm not sure I want to do it again so close to the last surgery. My first event is in May and I want to be ready. My quads were burning last week during spin and I had a tough time getting through the class on Friday. I have so much strength training to do , that I really need to make this a big focus for the next 8-10 weeks.
Part of my FFF plan is to do 40 things I've never done before . I'm so excited about this - although I've only come up with 20 things so far. To get to 40 , I need to average 2 things a month. I think I can do that. One of the first things I am going to try is acupuncture on my left knee. If that goes well, I may not need surgery at all.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
I got up early and feeling good , decided to take spin class. Since this would be the first time in over 7 weeks, my plan was to take it easy. My expectations were low and I’d forgiven myself for bailing early before I stepped on the bike.
Well , it started out ok – I was a little tentative. I really raised my seat high so that I would not put pressure on my knee. Luckily, it was a fairly mild class in that Jeanine – the instructor, didn’t try to kill us (as she has done soo many times in the past). Not only was I able to keep up but I stayed the entire class. AND I didn’t wimp out. I pushed the resistance and the cadence, and eventually lowered my seat. I felt on top of the world . I’m sooo happy to be back in spin class. It brings me so much joy and ooh, the endorphin rush.
Baby got back..way too much
So one of the cruelties of the scale (at least my scale) is that – while it can confirm that I have not gained weight, it shields me from the cold hard facts of fat distribution. I’ve worked hard to manage my weight while recovering from surgery but of course I’ve done nothing to manage my fat. I mean, to go from regular heavy cardio to nothing for 6 weeks—things were bound to change. This cruel hard reality came crashing down on me this morning as I looked in the mirror at the gym . I have several favorite workout pants – some are more snug than others. Generally this is not a problem since the gym is full of snug attire and I’ve worked hard to make sure that someone won’t say “oh no she didn’t” when I walk by. Well these particular pants are snug and perhaps have a bit less lycra than others. Anyway Let’s just say that when I looked in the mirror at my “back” , I realized that there was way too much. I’ll have to stop getting dressed in the dark and do the butt check before I leave. At least until I can tighten things upJ
Monday, December 3, 2007
Only 3 things to say:
1. So – after an awesome workout last week and my not so awesome Physical Therapy session, I decided that I would continue my workouts and end the PT. So I said Buh bye to the PT sessions. This is not to say that I won’t start again with a different PT group, but right now the sessions are not that helpful. I may regret this later – but I am not happy with the quality of the sessions so I’m cutting my losses.
2. I overdid it Thursday and Friday and suffered all weekend as a result. L I’ll eventually learn how to take it easy.
3. I’ve 85% sure that I will have the other knee done sooner rather than later.. I’ll see how I get through this latest setback.
Ps – there is a Triathlon in California ON MY BIRTHDAY!! How awesome would that be!! I won’t sign up until I can run for 2 miles with no pain.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
So I’ve started to post my FFF plan and I’m excited about it (Especially AprilJ). I’ll keep updating it as I get closer. For those of you who will be participating with me - -adjust it for you. So if you already do 30+ in a month – double it. Do whatever works for you – just set the goal and stick it. If you already get 2+ massages a month – do something else that feels luxurious or that feels good to you. I’m planning activities that I never do (at least not regularly) .
I’m excited about this week’s workout. I’m adding a little more each day. Today I did 2 miles on the bike and I felt pretty good. I’m think I’m going to go to spin class on Wed. Problem is – I have absolutely NO quad strength. Can you believe that significant muscle atrophy starts to happen in about 14 days . I’m going on 25 days so that means I have nothing. I’m hopeful that I can make it through the class.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
What a crazy - up and down type of week. I had 3 really rough days when I thought I might not ever get back to walking or working out normally. And then I've had 2 days like today... on top of the world.
This morning as I was coming back from the store getting the boy's birthday donuts, I realized that I was walking normally. Yes , normal for the first time in 5 weeks. No limp, nothing. This morning I did a short workout on the mini trampoline and it felt pretty good . I even put on a La Tortura and channeled Shakira - and didn't look like I was having a spasm.
I also had a nice dose of reality this week when I met a former college basketball player who had the same surgery as one of the procedures I had. He told me that his recovery took a full 3 months - with aggressive recovery - including daily physical therapy from the college athletic staff. It was helpful to hear this -- instead of "well everyone is different" , my doc's line .
Anyway - enough of all of that . I'm ready to set some goals.....
- December goal -- Lose 5lbs and travel 20 miles by foot.
- 20 miles either on treadmill or elliptical or bike.
Monday, November 19, 2007
The first 2 ½ weeks were great. No weight gain – in fact I had maintained my pre surgery weight . Then it started. The first 2 ½ lbs came the 3rd week in – ironically just as I was getting more mobile. Becoming more mobile made me feel like full recovery was in sight and I would eventually get back to my routine. Perhaps that is why I started being less strict with my diet. I’m not sure. First Halloween and the remnants thereof, then the not so healthy family dinners –made out of love, then the dinners out. I’m not exactly sure when it happened , but somewhere between week 3 and now – I returned to pretty reckless habits. I can't remember the last time I meal tracked and I have not been as disciplined about water.
So here I am 4 weeks post surgery, with a weight gain of 6lbs. 6 ½ to be exact. I know what’s coming if I don’t take drastic action. I know what I need to do but I’m in a bit of a cycle right now and unfortunately food has been my best friend this last week. I get excited about what I can do, I’ll push the limits with my range of motion and then I’m grounded for the next few days. I’ve had to go back to taking percoset to help manage my post workout pain. The funny thing is I don’t feel like I am pushing it at all, I feel like I am really being cautious. But what I think is cautious results in major pain the next day. That bums me out and instead of talking about it - I will perhaps eat a bit more than I should. Or have a big cup of tea - with honey instead of Splenda. Or instead of a fat free, sugar free latte, I'll have a full version. I don't like being unhappy or feeling woe is me. After all it could be so much worse and I am grateful. But instead of allowing myself to feel bad, I'll trick myself into feeling fine. I'll soothe myself in the privacy of my silverware or latte.
So what is drastic action – when I still can’t break a sweat yet. Or when I have the holidays upon me. Drastic action is going back and reading “what works for me” , I will not let it be me, or other posts that demonstrate what I’ve done to be successful in this struggle. Drastic action is doing everything in my power to return to the healthy habits that I’ve created -daily meal tracking, 8-10 glasses of water a day, clean eating with a few shakes thrown in . Drastic action is recognizing that it is a journey and I am in control of where I go.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Go to gym – workout the parts that are working well -Abs and Arms. Focus not on what I can’t do, Focus on what I can do.
By planning to focus on what works – I felt really good going in. I felt in control and ready for a good workout.
Not only did I work out the working parts, I got on the bike – just for fun. Guess what – 10 minutes of full cycling . I almost screamed for joy when my leg completed a full rotation on the bike. I was sooo happy.
Then – feeling very badaxx , I jumped on the treadmill to see what I could do. I did a little jogtype walking thing at 3.2 (woo hoo) .
The amazing thing is that at 3 weeks post surgery despite swelling, atrophy, pain etc., running (or whatever I was doing) feels better now than it has for the past 6 months. I just may get the other leg done after all.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
But I don't plan on taking it lying down.
I have decided to be a bit more aggressive with my recovery- more movement, aggressive PT.
Aggressive strength training on all my parts that ARE working (other leg, arms ,abs). There is no reason why I should not be able to develop killer abdominals. Or why my arms should not be incredibly toned. Or why I should slack off on my eating (of course a few slices of holiday sweet potato pie notwithstanding:)
Back to no excuses!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I am motivated by and aspire to be Superwoman.
I am and have always been motivated by people who have achieved excellence in numerous areas of their lives. I always viewed the world as big and opportunities as limitless. I felt that I could and should do everything (and do it well) and always valued that in others. In my view - it is much easier to be really successful at 1 thing than it is to be really successful at multiple things- and therefore that became my goal. When I was in school - I was a great student, president of numerous clubs, involved in many activities outside .. and it felt great. I loved the feeling of "juggling" and keeping all balls in the air. As a result - role models are Superwomen (people like Julianne Malveaux, Gwen Boyd, Susan Taylor, Oprah, etc). who excel at public service, family, leadership, work, home, sports, etc. Further, because of my early exposure and friendship with many of these woman (by virtue of my involvement Delta Sigma Theta and many of my AMAZING friends), I viewed this multi-disciplinary success as truly attainable.
So I know this is problematic and probably the source of my addiction to activity - and my feeling of inadequacy. I was fortunate to have early academic and career success - but never celebrated it because it was not enough. I was fortunate to have early leadership positions in many organizations - but never really celebrated because in my mind it was not enough. I have always had incredibly unrealistic expectations for myself and unfortunately others. As I approach my big birthday and "come into my own" I am coming to terms with the fact that I can't nor do I want to do everything (nor everything exceedingly well). Plus I am just bad at many things. Although I still value the art of the juggle, I need to be ok with the idea of having fewer balls.
Friday, November 9, 2007
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.It is not just in some, it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Sometimes people are afraid of your light and it impacts how they react to you. Interpersonal relationships are so often based on how secure people are with themselves than their reaction to us. Sometimes I forget this -- thanks for the reminder Lo
Thursday, November 8, 2007
All went well with driving - especially since I took the Pacifica. When I got to the pool I was happy that the water was nice and warm. It was just perfect - no one there, calm peaceful water, just perfect. I normally go to the lap pools but of course - for now that is a little ambitious. I got in the water and attempted to just use the kickboard . I enjoyed the buoyancy and immediately felt a big release of pressure on my leg. That was nice. What wasn't so nice was that well, my leg forgot how to kick. It hurt and I had no control over what my leg was doing. After a few minutes of that, I decided to just walk or walk run as best as i could. So that was my swimming for today. One day as I'm completing my 30+ laps in the pool , I am going to remember this day, remember this feeling and smile.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Today- I got up and was able to lift my leg. Something that I have not been able to do post surgery. I was so excited that I decided that I was on a roll -- and that I should be brave and attempt to go to the gym. I got dressed (by myself), walked down to the car and drove to the club (A first!!) . Even if I didn't workout just looking at the equipment and being there would surely feel good. Well not only did I look but I worked out. I cycled for 10 minutes, elliptical for 4min and treadmill for 5 minutes. Ok so I wasn't able to complete 1 full revolution on the bike nor was I able to go faster than 1.5 on the treadmill , but any movement is good movement. I did a nice circuit and gravitron workout. I felt great and I know that each day will be better than the last. I finally feel like full recovery is in sight!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
So with the help of lots friends and family - I've finally completed the draft of my year long 40th birthday celebration. I'm inviting everyone to the party!
Here is the overview:
Theme: 40, Fit and Fabulous!!
Timeline - Monthly celebratory events beginning January 2008 culminating in December. There will be an official Birthday event in May (my actual birthday) but the celebration will be 1 year long.
Participation - I will invite everyone to participate virtually in most events as I will be celebrating you through my monthly events. Your participation will make me happy and hopefully make you happy as well. Just call your celebration Fit and Fabulous (whatever your age)
Prework - There will be prework in order to take full advantage of the celebration so we need to get crackalackin. Here's the deal: If you haven't done so already, try to complete the following by 12/31/07 . Can't be Fabulous if everything is not in order
1) Physical - if you haven't done so already this year
2) Mammogram - if you are in the age window
3) Flu shot -
4) Eye Exam
5) OBGYN visit
6) Dental check up -
If you are good on all of these things - great! If not let's get going.... Can't be Fit and Fabulous without these things....
Next - You will need to think of a really hard goal that will take you 6 months to get ready for or complete. Something you have been putting off. Write it down now. We will come back to this.
I will publish the schedule and events in a few weeks. Should be fun!!
Friday, November 2, 2007
- 10 minutes on the treadmill at .9
- Arms - biceps and shoulders
I was thrilled to get dressed in my workout clothes and go to my little gym in the basement. I am SO ready to be better, so I really pushed myself. The walking funny, immobility, pain.. is getting old very fast. I am really trying hard to push myself . I'm just slightly concerned that I don't seem to be progressing in my recovery. I will be starting PT this week so I'm hoping it helps ... In the meantime, I will keep working hard in my quest to get back to normal.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
So I am literally going stir crazy.
I am feeling good today – getting around quite well. But I need to get outside… soon . I’m really about to go crazy….
I know there is a lesson for me to learn out of all of this.. I know it.
I’m struggling to feel good about this decision. I am looking forward to the day when I can walk normally let alone do a little jog. I have decided to hold off on the left leg until I’m feeling better about the right leg.
So by the way – here is what I had done…..
1) Tendon rebuild – also called a tendon debridement . Part of my patellar tendon was missing due to damage. So the OS removed the damaged part and stitched together the remaining tendon in an effort to make it stronger. This was done with an incision
2) Chondroplasty – This was a procedure to correct chondromalacia and synovial plica (extra tissue under knee cap-). This procedure was done via arthroscopy.
I fully expected to be healed by now (or at least walking normally) but no such luck.
This has been an incredibly humbling experience in that I am learning that I cannot do everything – even if I want to. And it is totally ok to outsource or better yet – let some things go. It has been frustrating looking at something that needs to be done and not being able to do it.
All in all – I’m finding I am prone to be a little mopey these days. Not woe is me – but I think I am having endorphin rush withdrawal. I miss that feeling and I think it is messing on a chemical level..
Anyway – I know this is temporary and I’ll feel better soon.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Over the last few years, I was under the impression that I was missing so many great shows by not watching TV (save for CNNHN, Today and ANTM:0). Yeah sure, I Tivo a bunch and watch a few things here and there, but TV and I don't see much of each other. Well, I certainly had a chance to catch up over the last few days . Here's my assessment. "Samantha Who" is good, "Girlfriends" is good too (although this week felt forced) . Some shows are just plain crazy -- like anything on BET or VH1. I must say I developed a new found respect for Kimora Lee Simmons. Her show "Life in the Fab lane" on the Style channel - while lame and shallow - actually demonstrates that she is actually quite smart (or at least the people who work for her are in contrast not so smart).
Also I hopped my peg legged self on the scale and -- no weight gain !!
Finally - we have a budding starlet in the house. My sweetgirl has so much going on right now. She did an open mike night, a performance in a mall, a school competition for an original song she composed and get this... she auditioned to be in an Andrew Lloyd Weber play (on a whim) and she got the part. We are thrilled.
Ok really finally ---39yo epiphany #10: I now know what it means to "come into your own". It means - Hearing what others have to say about you and getting comfortable with the fact that you don't give a hoot. And really really really really mean it.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
2 laps around the room
Tighten quadricep muscles 10 times
10 foot flexes
Left leg squats next to bed
Small victories --
- 1st trip to washroom (alone!)
- trip down/up stairs
- Getting dressed for company
- Keeping my workout gear in view for inspiration
- Not having a pity party
Monday, October 22, 2007
It is 2 days since surgery and I never imagiined it would be like this. I cannot walk. Everything requires assistance. I cannot go to the bathroom alone. and it hurts enough to cause tears every time I attempt to walk. I normally have high tolerance for pain (2 kids - no epi) but this is a different level. Plus I have really bad headaches.
I know it will get better , but right now it sucks.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
T-48 and I’m feeling good.
I’ve had good workouts over the last week – although I’ve really had to scale back intensity. I stopped taking spin class about 2 weeks ago as my last attempt ended in me leaving class early because my knee hurt too bad. But… I have managed to find a way to have a heart pumping intense workout – with low impact to my knees. First I do an incredible treadmill walking workout – 10min walking at 4.5 with incline of 3.0., then upgrade speed by .2mph every 4 minutes until I am walking at 5.5. Stay there for 4 minutes then take 6 minutes to come back down to 4.0 .. This gets my heart rate up but doesn’t make my knees hurt…Hamstrings yes but not knees. Then I hop on the Elliptical (only on level 2 now) -- but run at a speed of 174-180 for 15 minutes+ cooldown. This is a good hour of solid low impact heart pumping cardio…
I’m feeling good about my weight . I’m 1lb above my lowest weight yet and – I’m ok with that. I could probably lose 1lb before Friday – just to start in a good place. If it happens great – if not I’m not stressing.
The Matrix is real?
So I just returned from Chicago and one of the highlights was that I got to see my dad. And to all of my friends who know him – YES he’s still “got it”.. For those who don’t know my dad – my friends have often said he is very attractive. And you know what he is. I have to give it to him. He is still very buff (avid bodybuilder and cyclist). Also – my dad is brilliant. He is a journalist (just published a new book) , has a radio show, frequently appears on TV and deeper than any ocean. Anyway – while visiting, we got into several interesting discussions (as we often do)- this time about the state of African Americans, Hip Hop, Jena and Simulation games. I was sharing with him the strange world of SecondLife.com. Would you believe that he believes (or is open to the possibility) that WE are living in a simulation – a la the matrix. I’m not well versed enough in the theory to articulate it here but read it for yourself here. This story in the NYT speaks of how there is high degree of mathematic certainty that we are living in simulated world. While discussing this it made me realize how closed mind can be- especially since I have absolutely no knowledge on the topic. Anyway, read it and let me know what you think…
Exercise is Magic
I am so convinced that exercise is magic – or at least is capable of magically making everything ok. Energy low ? exercise helps. Feeling blue?—exercise helps. Feeling fat? Exercise helps. Feeling too skinny? – exercise helps. Ate too much ? Exercise helps. Low self esteem ? Exercise helps. Health problems ? Exercise helps. Need a man? Exercise helpsJ . Not aging gracefully ? Exercise helps. Aging gracefully? Exercise helps show it off. Feeling nervous about surgery and the possible of not working out for a long time? Working out like a banshee up until the last moment… really helps.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
1) Make sure my weight is a low as it can be before surgery...so far I've maintained for the last few weeks. I'll make one last effort this week with really clean eating and 65-70% Heart rate activities. That means fast walking on incline and elliptical.
2) Accept that I will need to recover. Give myself time to heal . This means being out of work - not just working from home. Get adequate rest and just allow my body the time it needs. For some reason - I just accepted this. I thought I'd be able to bounce back in a few days. I'm in a more realistic place now.
3) exercise every day - even if I am doing bicep curls or tricep dips -- I will still keep it up.
4) Swim as soon as possible- I'm thinking I might be able to do it within 10 days or so.
5) Have a totally positive attitude. I will allow myself exactly 24 more hours to be nervous. After that I'm on to the recovery plan and getting stronger.
I'm off to Chicago - to speak at a conference, then I'll be back for 2 days then surgery!!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
- Work life balance is an action verb- not a destination. Sometimes my thinking is off in that I aspire to get to a better work/life balance- but I approach it as more of a journey. More time with family and friends, more time doing things I love , more time hanging out - not feeling pressured to do something, more time reading the books in my "to read" basket, More time decorating, etc, etc. What I realized over the last 10 days (as my life was turned topsy turvy), is that I will never get to the proverbial ideal state of balance. I must look at balance literally not figuratively. Balance is what you do - not where you get. Every action I take, every project I start, every trip I take is adding weight to one side of my "scale" . I must treat my balance objectives as if I'm standing in the middle of a seesaw and literally balancing . I must be strong enough withhold the weight of each side and I must constantly monitor what is on each side so that I don't get out of balance. I must constantly (daily) check my calendar to ensure that I am spending the right time in the right places. I must constantly evaluate previous weeks and adjust future weeks in order to stay in balance.
- I am fearless - except when it comes to surgery. I am not afraid of many things...but for some reason this surgery is freaking me out. My doctor added to my fear. I called him last week - almost ready to chicken out. He says he is more afraid of what will happen if I don't get the surgery. He said my tendon could possibly become completely detached. He also said I will experience some level of muscle atrophy and I should look to be walking in 10 days- with crutches. I have never been sick or hospitalized so I'm a little afraid of being down. I am really afraid of gaining weight after the surgery. I'm trying to think positive about this but I'm not quite in the right state of mind.
- If you set a 30 day challenge for your friends, you need to stick to it yourself. I don't know what is going on but I'm afraid I've been teetering on falling off the wagon. I don't know what it is but my workouts have been really weak. I've had some really great days and a few not so great days. Since speaking my doctor I've been a little afraid about working out too much. Plus - my knees have been hurting - perhaps this is psychosomatic? Maybe I'm bringing it on. My nutrition has been a little on the brink -- inconsistent. Some days were great - some days I had too many carbs -- bread + pasta.
I have to get my mind right -- because I don't want this surgery to be the event that leads to a me gaining the weight back. I want to look at this and be proud that I didn't allow surgery and recovery to impact my resolve. I want to return to triathlons next year faster and stronger. I need to work on my mind game ...I'm not there yet.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Yesterday – I saw Melisha. Now Melisha is not just any hairstylist, she is the most in demand hairstylist on the Eastside of Seattle. She is usually booked for weeks – even months and it took me 1 month of waiting before I was able to see her. How was she? Very good. When I left – my hair looked shiny and sleek and it was bouncing and behaving. My daughter even commented when I got home that my hair looked beautiful. And beautiful it was.
So the 30 day challenge that I made yesterday morning was weighing on my mind as I sat in the chair getting the final flat iron smoothing. As I sashayed out of the salon ( 60 dollars lighter), with the wind blowing through my tresses, I thought… I can’t possibly take spin tomorrow and sweat this out.
No Excuses – hair and all.
Well – this morning I got up and headed for the gym. Already accepting that I would have less than 24 hours of perfect hair and that I all but wasted my time and money at the salon.
Today’s class was intense and wonderfully hard. Of the 60 minute class, we spent 45 minutes of straight hill climbing with no recoveries. And my clothes and hair had all the sweat to prove it. When I was done I did a quick arm and ab workout and then dashed home to take the kids to school. When I left the gym – my hair was a wreck.
The amazing thing is that when I got home , my hair was dry and actually looked quite good. By the time I got dressed – it still looked pretty good. All in all – I did nothing at all and it looked quite pretty good. So yesterday wasn’t a total waste – in fact my hair is still bouncing and behaving. And best of all – I am on track with my 30 day challenge…
Although I think it might be too easy and I need to add “lose 6 lbs” to my challenge.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
What is hard these days - is staying on track with my clean eating plan. Sometimes it feels as though the resistance is hard.. the temptation is the resistance, the stress, the need for comfort, the restlessness. I have found such good coping mechanisms but lately I've had trouble using them. I am feeling a little off kilter and a bit vulnerable. All this resistance is part of the process right - part of the ups and downs of weight loss and staying on track. Today's mantra in spin class was feel the resistance and handle it. I am recommitting myself to handling it.
So I really miss my family - back on the east coast. I mean really. The problem is I'm not sure I am ready to go back. We are discussing this a lot these days. While I would love to go back, I would be neurotic about making sure that I set myself up for success from a fitness perspective. I would need to live near a gym (like 10 min away), I'd need to live in a really beautiful place - so that could have really scenic runs. Well all of that is premature - we've just been thinking. Nothing concrete.
I need a challenge and I'd like some company. So here it is -- I have 4 weeks until surgery (unless I chicken out - which I am seriously considering) and that is enough time for a good meaty goal. My goal is to be more consistent. I've been averaging 6-8 hours a week but it has been 2 hours a day 3-4 days a week. So I'm shooting for 1 hour a day every day - except 1 day on the weekend that would be 30-40 hours in 30 days. I would also like to reduce body fat by 1%.
If you read this - you are in. What is your big 30 day goal?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
What I wanted: to stay in the bed and do nothing.
What I needed: to get out of the bed and exercise really hard .
What I did : I attempted to weights before spin – but ended up feeling really inadequate, really fat and like a faker. I ended up doing a really wimpy workout. I went to spin class and felt great. I didn’t have to think, I couldn’t wallow in my inadequacy.. I just had to follow instructions. This was exactly what I needed.
Why was I in such a funk? Well…. that time… (guys: stop reading here)
So 2-3 days before that time, I get in such a funk that I need to lock myself in a room and not speak to anyone until it is over. I know that I cannot make any major /minor decision nor should I have any big meetings around this time. My husband associates any major job changes or statements about career changes with this time . He is right. It is amazing how my perception and outlook on everything is so completely affected during this time. I was in a meeting yesterday and got a complete anxiety attack (silent). I am leading a team on a pretty big project and things have been going really well. However, yesterday I started thinking that everyone was just setting me up so that I could fail. I started thinking that they were going to find out that I really didn’t know what I was talking about. I started thinking they were laughing at me. Then I looked at my watch and realized the date. I realized that they are not laughing at me and I know what I’m talking about. Not only do I know – but I’m an expert . Knowing that this anxiety/paranoia is part of the 48 hours of craziness that precedes “that time” makes it easier to get through these crazy feelings. Knowing also helps me control my sweet cravings. On these days – the best thing for me to do is to task oriented work and instructor led workouts. The tough part is that this has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older. A few years ago a doctor recommended I take a anti depressant for 2 weeks out of the month designed for people like me (women with Premenstrual dysphoric disorder- PMDD). I decided I did not want to go the drug route as there are several approaches to treatment. Especially since it lasts for only 48-72 hours of the month. Since coming to Washington – my symptoms have been much less severe. In fact, I believe that exercise (one of the treatment approaches) has cured me. But consistency is the key. The last two months I’ve had an increase in the severity of my symptoms and I’ve also slacked off in my exercise consistency. I‘ve been averaging 3-4 days a week vs. 5-6. This small changes makes a difference. I’ve been feeling that I need to go big (1 -2 hour intense workout) or go home. If I can’t get a big workout in I’ll not do anything. This is wrong – I need to work out consistently for 30-40 min a day even if it is not a “big” workout, even if I don’t have a big goal. My mind body and soul need daily consistent exercise.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Today’s spin class was nothing short of torturous. Janelle – the instructor told us up front that it was the workout that she hated most but it was necessary. I’ve been on the road for the last week so I wasn’t sure if I was up for such a tough ride. It was all high cadence , high resistance drills. For me it was brutal and wonderful at the same time. It was super hard and my quads and glutes were on fire. But surprisingly when it was over, I wanted more. I could have probably gone another hour. I was really wishing it was a 2 hour class.
Food – well my Treo is broken and therefore I’m not meal tracking. I am may have to use paper or Fitday but I love the portability of my Treo. I’ve been doing ok but notice that when I am stressed (or feeling out of control of a situation) I eat sweets. That was what happened with the Krispy Kremes and the random chocolates that I’ve been enjoying.
Surgery –So I am really nervous about the after effects of surgery . I’m concerned about exercising post surgery. I know I will be able to swim and I’m sure I can do core work and abs but I’m worried. For one I’ll be home and that means access to more food. Secondly I’ll be unable to do any cardio for several weeks – I am concerned about gaining weight. I have 3 weeks to come up with a plan.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Ok so I need to come clean . There was one little data point that I left out of yesterday’s blog post. I meant to include it but I er , forgot . Ok I was embarrassed.
My meal tracking from yesterday:
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggbeaters ( 120c)
sm Coffee with skim (80c)
Lunch - Sushi rolls ( 410c)
Dinner - Broccoli and 3 oz grilled chicken (350c)
Snack – throughout the day – thanks to the demons at work who brought in 20 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts that I tried so hard to resist but could not as the day went on………………….
4 (that’s right ) Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts at 200c a pop (800c)
Monday, September 17, 2007
I weighed myself this am and I was exactly the same as I was when I left. The last few days my stomach condition improved slightly and I had a few meals (and a little drinky drink). I have a bunch of 8am meetings this week so I will need to get up super early in order to get my workout done get dressed and make it in time.
Today I had my pre op appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. My plan was to inquire about getting both knees done at the same time instead of one at a time. So my doctor did not recommend it as he thought it would be too difficult for me to recover. He also mentioned that he was surprised it took me this long to decide to go through with the surgery as he reminded me that my patella tendonitis was “the worst he has ever seen” . He thought that the pain would bring me in sooner. He did a brief exam on both knees and said that both knees were “crunchy” – in that they make crunching and clicking sounds when I extend them. He said I should be able to get around roughly 10 days post surgery (with crutches) and I can consider having the other knee done a few weeks later. As he described it today – the surgery is a bit more complicated than I initially understood. What I thought would be a simple draining of excess fluid in my tendon , is actually an incision to remove damaged tissue , then stitching the tendon so that it will heal. In addition , he will use the orthoscope to remove excess tissue under my knee cap. In short – it is a slightly bigger deal than I thought. So 10/19 is the date. I contemplated chickening out again but then thought about how bad my knees have been hurting lately and how I’d like to continue to be active well into my later years. This surgery should help me keep my groove well into my 60's
Friday, September 14, 2007
My stomach is still a bit sensitive and I needed to take a bunch of tums today. Luckily it worked. The impact of this stomach sensitivity is that I have no hints of muffin top or back fat when I wore my little reception outfit. Not that this is a huge concern normally but my light food intake lately has certainly helped.
I worked out again today – just 1 hr 10 min of cardio. No weights…. Just 20 minutes running and 50 minutes on 2 different types of elliptical machines. My knees were still really hurting – even on the elliptical. I’ll have to start taking daily Aleves again.
So tonight – on the dance floor – as I was enjoying dancing to Jay Z, Biggie and SWV (yes) and dirty south music- a guy asked me to dance. So I say yes and then start asking him what company he is with. We start chatting and then we get on to age – he asked me when I graduated. When I told him he said no way. He kept badgering me and would not believe it when I told him I was 39. He asked to see my id. I was so amused (and flattered) that I obliged. He thought I was the same age as he was 31 J …. Although , hmm he was a little tipsy.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
The night life was pretty good too – with Target (yes red bullseye target) being the ultimate party host. Their party was off the chain amazing. Lots of old school, house and beautiful people. Our party was hot as well (I was pleasantly surprised). I spent about 4 hours straight dancing.
Today in between the end of my interviews and our reception, I visited the gym for a quick midday workout. I ‘m still pretty sore from the hard workout the other day, but i managed to do a nice upper body workout for 30 minutes and 45 minutes of cardio (run and elliptical). I think many men are not used to seeing a woman like me – so a few of them paused. I think they may have been a little jealous at my deltoid/shoulder definitionJ. I better chill out so that I don’t get too defined. Anyway, after the workout I was in so much pain, I could hardly walk up the stairs. My knees were throbbing and a little swollen. I took 2 Aleve and rested for a bit. I was fine later (on the dance floor) .
My nutrition has been pretty solid – thanks to a little stomach sensitivity. I can’t seem to eat anything lately without getting major abdominal discomfort. This has been helpful to staying away from bad stuff…J
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So I love lifting weights, the more I do it the more I love it. Talk about vanity – though. I really love the way sculpted muscles look and weight training for me is about vanity at the root. Although there are many athletes who do it to help performance. That would not be me. I do it because I love feeling and looking strong and sculpted.
So to justify my obsession with weights – should I consider a goal here? Well I could consider trying to qualify for a Ms. Olympia type fitness/figure or body building competition. Though it might be pretty impossible at my age and current body fat percentage- but potentially doable ? hmmm. Or should I just continue doing what I like because I like it. Yeah that’s where I am. I’m ok with being a little focused on the way my body looks – just for a few hours of the day. After all this is all new for me. I was always more concerned with avoiding looking at myself or living in denial about how bad I looked. I am ok with finally feeling good in my skin and wanting to look good in my skin too.
So today I did 50minutes of weights and 40 minutes of cardio. I did legs, abs and shoulders and then did elliptical and treadmill. I’m sure I overdid it and I’ll be a little sore tomorrow but oh well – it felt really good. I did 4 sets of deadlifts – these are supposed to be really good for that little space between the top of your thigh and the buttocks. If you need a little lift here – deadlifts will help. I also did the 6 other exercises on my leg circuit –including squats, lunges, bench raises, calf raises, hamstring curls and leg extensions . I did 4 sets – with the 4th being the post fatigue light set. When I do this circuit – my heart rate gets up to 70% because I take NO rests – only if I absolutely have to (because of dizziness) and if I do it is 15 seconds.
Today I am leaving on a red eye flight to travel to Hotlando for work. There will be no running outside (been there won’t do that again) but I will spend lots of time in the gym and possibly the pool. I will aim for biceps/triceps/cardio on Thursday, 90 min cardio on Friday and abs/back/chest/cardio on Saturday. My plan for food will be to stick to veggies and protein – with a few selected treats thrown in. No wine unless I really really want to drink.
My nutrition has been ok – except I have not been eating enough . For some reason my appetite is very funny lately and as a result I am not eating enough . I hope this doesn't negatively impact my weight. I have to make sure I eat enough so that my body doesn't go into starvation mode and hold on to weight.
Oh hair update.. my hair is holding up. It looks ok but feels like straw. I figure I have a few more weeks before the end are completely damaged from all of the flat ironing. Gi the pincurls are still working but not after the workouts. I am enjoying the look of it though. It is a welcome change.
Friday, September 7, 2007
With the Seafair Triathlon, I was able to get in and out by 9:30am and get to church in plenty of time. With the Subura Tri, the setup does not allow for you to reenter the transition area to pick up your bike and gear until everyone is finished. So let’s say I finish at 8:40 am, I will need to wait until 10:30 or so to get my gear. Which means I will be late for church and I won’t be able to leave early for the game.
I don’t have time to get a teaching replacement for church and I really want to go to the game. So buh bye Subaru.
I need to accept that sometimes big races are anticlimactic and leave you yearning for something else (my experience with Danskin). Signing up for Subaru was really an expression of that and me not knowing where to put my displaced energy. So I signed up for it – because I could. There was no incentive for me to do it: it was not close, I knew no one who was doing it, my family would not be able to come, and the schwag wasn’t particularly cool. Plus I really didn’t want to do it. I was just a little bored and not sure what to do with myself. The bottom line is I need to find a way to work out without a goal in mind… it is a little hard for me as I think I will lose purpose and slack off. It is something I really need to do. It will save me lots of money in wasted registration fees over the long run.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
First slide up: an African-American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the Glamour editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was "shocking" that some people still think it "appropriate" to wear those hairstyles at the office. "No offense," she sniffed, but those "political" hairstyles really have to go.
See the article here http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1188161099761
Can you believe this? As a corporate woman who wore a braids for a good part of the year, I find these comments incredibly offensive. But ...is it true? Is my image negatively impacted with a natural hairstyle? Does my choice of a style that supports my healthy lifestyle impact my image in corporate america? Does it negatively impact my earning power? Should I wait until I am a CMO to embrace my inner afro? This is a doggone shame that I even have to think of this and that people like prominent editors have opinions about a sistas hairstyle.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Ok – so I’ve been on the fence for the past year. I’ve feel like I’ve been waiting such a long time for Hilary and finally her time has come. I’m excited about Obama’s chances and I would love to see him make history. I’m familiar with both of their positions on the issues that are nearest and dearest to my heart – education, the war, economy – tax cuts, defense budgets and health care. I feel that both have a positions and I’m supportive of elements each candidates platform. Until this morning – I was a strong Hilary supporter – which is a bit difficult to manage in an Obama household. So what happened this morning? I saw Michele Obama on TV at the gym. I really like her. and her arms are terrificly toned – she must workout with weights . As much as I'd like to see a first man, I think I'd like to see Michele in the White House even more. Now I think I’m leaning toward Obama…. J
So here is what I’m doing these days: 12 reps of dead lifts (50lbs), 16 reps each leg of leg raises on a bench (44lbs), 20 calf raises, 16 squats with abductors (50lbs on shoulders), 20 calf raises, 12 hammer curls 15lbs per arm, 15 shoulder raises (30lbs). I do this circuit 3 times without resting more than 15 seconds. I got this workout from my man LL Cool J. Yes we go way back and from time to time he passes on good tips . Ok so not really … but I did get his workout book for valentine’s day from my hubbyJ. In addition to the great pictures , there is some pretty good advice in the book . I learned about super sets , the power and need for heavier weights and working past fatigue with lighter weights. I really want a more sculpted look so I’m going to be adding more weights over the next few weeks.
So by the time I finished the 3rd set , my heart rate was quite elevated. Then it was time for spin class. My legs are still fatigued from this morning’s class. I got the sense that my instructor was on a mission to take people out today… and she was enjoying it. The class was incredibly hard today (high cadence hills) and people were dropping like flies. I thought I saw her smirk a bit , as one by one people packed it in. Not me… though. I was like bring it on! It felt so good and made me realize that I love spinning perhaps a little more than I love outdoor riding. I can be totally focused on me- my breathing, my pace, the power in my legs, my position etc. While I love riding outside – I am usually thinking about the rain, the cars, the bumps in the road, etc. Today was totally inward focused and I loved it.
After spin – I did 30 minutes on the elliptical – super fast 176 at level 6. Then I did abs, stretched and went home to take a special little boy to kindergarten. 2 hours 15 minutes in total workout..
How’s the hair? I tried pin curls during the workout at the suggestion of my friend. It worked really well overnight but couldn’t stand up to my workout. After working out I looked like a shaggy mop head. I ended up having to use my flat iron to get a few curls. I’ll keep trying.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
To kick off my homecoming, I had a girls night out with a few of my close girlfriends. We ate sushi and drank sake (among other things) and just really enjoyed each others company and the sisterhood. Being with them and speaking with those who couldn't be there really made me appreciate the quality and longevity of my friendships. I have over 28 friends with whom I have a special relationship - a relationship with history. I can have deep conversations with any one of them - each with it's own context- based on my history with them. This was helpful because I've been feeling like my friendships in WA are not deep - they are nice, but for the most part superficial. It has made me feel somewhat lonely. Being in Jersey made me really appreciate and miss my friendships with history.
This week I have not worked out at all - other than a short walk with my kids. The main reason was the state of my hair. Just being in the NJ humidity created a bit of a puff head. Last night I could not get the comb through and just mushed it into a shape. My body has been craving some type of activity and I really am missing my daily dose of endorphins. I feel good about my eating as I've been really doing well. I didn't drink last night and I ate fish and veggies. I've actually been struggling to eat enough since we have been a bit busy since we got here. I am looking forward to next week - getting back into my routine.
I went to see my stylist today to get the "do" done. So no texturizer - because it would have required me to cut off 50% of the length and I'm not sure I'm ready to part with that much hair. So I got a relaxer and a trim - with just enough length for a ponytail. I didn't get any good advice on how to maintain it - as my stylist doesn't workout. She said whatever I was doing was working great since my hair is in such great shape. Well that would be braids and since I'm going for a new look - that is not an option right now. She suggested I wash it everyday after working out - or just put it in a ponytail. It is such a cycle -- If I wash it daily I'll need to deep condition it daily so it doesn't dry out. This would add 1hr 15m to my morning routine (which I don't have). If I don't wash it daily - I won't have a style -as it will be flat. If I try to curl it after sweating, it will damage it. I could always try working out in the evening - which is a one way express ticket back to my old fat self. Not working out is not an option. So workout + ponytail, no heat (flat iron, curling iron etc) is the only option. So why did I spend $202 to end up with a daily ponytail?
Monday, August 27, 2007
Why are sistas overweight?
Most studies identify diet and nutrition as primary causes. Supporting causes are lack of exercise and genetics. According to Women’s Health magazine , when compared with overweight white Americans, overweight black Americans are two to three times more likely to say their weight is average — even after they've been diagnosed as overweight or obese by a doctor. I know that story – I sure didn’t think I was obese – but I was. Also some women are encouraged to keep “a little meat on the bones” and use that as a reason for indulging in unhealthy foods and not working out .
Why do we skip the gym – and why did I skip it this morning?
There are probably several bodies of research that dig into this in greater detail, but my hypothesis is that hair has something to do with it. Not that the issue is vanity – but it is more about cost, time, effort and hair condition. Let’s say on average it cost $85-$125 to get the do done (relaxer, blow, curl) and then you go sweat it out. Then you have to use flat iron, curling iron etc to get it back to presentable state. Well that can cause heat damage and impact the condition of your hair. Plus – the time it takes to do all this (either in the morning or at night) can be upwards of 1.5 hours. In order to maintain my workout schedule – I decided that I would wear braids. With regular swimming and daily workouts – it is the one thing that works for me. During triathlon training season – it really works. But it comes with a cost too. Like – what if I don’t always want to wear braids and I need a change.
So that is where I am right now- removed my braids over the weekend and I’m managing hair that has not seen a relaxer since February. My husband (and I ) were ready for a new look. I have to confess, this morning I let my hair get in my way of working out. Here is why:
- Yesterday I spent 5 ½ hours doing my hair. After shampooing and conditioning it, I had a head full of knots and tangles. It took me hours to comb them out. Then I blew it dry, and attempted to straighten it with the hot comb. When that didn't work, I tried the flat iron. Section by section I managed to get it to be somewhat tame. I tied it so it would stay in place. Despite the tying – it is BIG and puffy.
- When I got up this morning– I thought about working out but could not fathom having to redo do my hair. I was also invited to go swimming at someone's house tomorrow after work. With braids I would have said absolutely yes. Needless to say - I am avoiding the water like the plague.
- Just the slightest bit of moisture or wind will send me into the land of the afro puffs. My hair is pretty big right now, with a bit o sweat it will be humongous. Plus it would require probably who knows how long to blow dry, press and flat iron.
So – today’s workout consisted of a long walk up the big hill with the kids. 2 miles with 2 kids . Fun - yes. A workout - no.
I will manage myself this week through my meals by keeping my calories super low and drinking plenty of water. I will do light walking , abs and maybe weights. I will endeavor to not sweat.
The more I deal with this , the more I realize that there has got to be a better way. I am super committed to working out and I am struggling with this. It is no surprise that others struggle as well. To the undoctrinated , hair issues may seem trivial and not at all worth avoiding a workout. But to us – it is real, oh so real.
I’m going to try a new style this weekend – hopefully it will work with my lifestyle. If not – back to braids it is. Other ideas?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
This was an amazingly relaxing weekend. We spent 2 days in Birch Bay- which is a amazingly serene little town on the bay - directly across from Orcas Islands and Vancouver Canada. We stayed in a cabin that was perched right on the water on a high bank. The view was one of the most beautiful sights I've seen in a long time. We played miniature golf, ate salad and grilled chicken, watched the sea lions, collected rocks on the beach and looked at the stars. It was absolutely perfect. Even the 2 hour ride there and back was perfect (with a little help from the last Mimzy DVD ). I did well with my on food - a few more chips than I'm used to and oh yeah a few bites of a smores- but overall pretty good. We did a 2 mile walk and a 1/2 mile hike. Nothing strenuous - just perfect for a mini vacation.
OK - now to the Afro...
Well I made the decision to take out my braids and go for something different. Problem is - my stylist is in NJ and my appointment is on Saturday the 1st. But since I am getting a relaxer /texturizer, I need to deep condition my hair several days before my appointment. The only window of time I have for this prework (remove braids, deep condition etc) is today. Since I have not had a relaxer since February, I am currently sporting... an Afro. The next few days will be very interesting as I try to flat iron, press and wrap my hair into submission. I am still planning to work out - and my hair has it's own plan I bet. Without braids, I am back to worrying about how my workouts will impact my hair. I only have 5 days to work through this...because my plan for Saturday is to get a texturizer that will allow me to do a wash and wear type of thing. I'm praying that my girl Grace, can hook a sista up:)-- otherwise it is back to braids.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Our plan this weekend is to go up to a cabin in Birch Bay which is in northern Washington. We are looking so forward to it. But first my workout and pre trip chill time....
I arrived at the gym at 6 ready for spin class. I knew we would have a replacement instructor. My expectation was that it would be Diane - a woman I've had once before. She is not as hard at Jeanine, but her music is awesome. Well Diane wasn't there - it was a another woman who was totally new to me. She seemed a bit too perky - so my expectations were a little low. Boy was I wrong. Her music was really good and the class was SUPER intense. I think perhaps even more intense than my normal teacher. We did a 10 min warm up and a 5 min cool down sandwiched between 45 minutes of seated hill climb speed intervals . It was pretty good.. in fact a few of the regulars left early (which never happens). Perhaps it was a coincidence - early meetings etc., but it was strange. New perky instructor kicked our butts. In fact people applauded when the class was over - again a rare occurrence. I will definitely check her out again.
After class - I spent the next hour luxuriating. I went to the hot tub then the steam room, then sauna - after all it was my day off :).
Here is my plan for the weekend: - Drive up to Birch Bay later this morning, pack healthy snack, chill , take a walk/hike, don't drink (unless I really feel like it), eat reasonably well and have a good time. I probably won't track but I will be very aware of what I eat.
The backstory-----How did I become a triathlete...
A few weeks later at the office, she mentioned it again. Now at this time, I had been contemplating joining my company sponsored health club (PROCLUB) and in particular the weight loss program called 20/20. After all, I had really packed on the pounds. I arrived in WA 50lbs overweight and pretty unhappy with myself. I actually started to think that completing triathlon would be a good goal...impossible but a good goal. I decided to go for it. At the same time I also decided to join the weight loss program. My first meeting with my trainer ..Anthony Parker was on 3/14/06. I told him ..in all of my fatness, that I wanted to do a triathlon. He looked at me and said hmmm, ok.
I began this really intense workout and nutrition program and began building my endurance. My first meetings with Anthony consisted of walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then doing stairclimber or eliptical for 15 minutes. Followed by a bit of strength training. I did this 3x a week (between 6am and 7:30) and then worked out on my own 2 other days. I had absolutely no endurance and could not run for more than 1 minute. Over the months, my endurance grew ..slowly at first then more rapidly. I also figured that I needed to improve my swimming skills if I was going to swim for 1/2 a mile. I took a Total Immersion Class.. which teaches swimming efficiency. Let's set the record straight here... I could swim well enough to save myself if I was thrown off of a boat. I was a decent (not great) swimmer. At the start of the class, I could do 1 (that's right ONE) lap and then I started breathing heavy. At that point I new the triathlon was totally out of reach. After all 1/2 mile was equal to 20 laps. I left the 1st day of class feeling scared and dismayed that I was too aggressive. Maybe I should have set my goal for 2007.
The next week's class, I asked the teacher what I needed to do to build my endurance. He said just keep at it, it will come. You know what, it did. Each week I got better and better. 4 weeks later I was able to swim 9 laps. I then started swimming before my workouts with my trainer (a little crazy but hey). My trainer was pretty impressed. I also started biking on the weekends. In fact in May I did a 30 mile bike ride as a part of the Tour De Cure for Diabetes. I really love biking...:)
Ok so I still had not tackled the most difficult part, the running. Not only could I not run but I absolutely hated it. I started adding running to my treadmill work. Anthony suggested intervals. We started with 2min run 2 min walk . I did this for weeks extending the time and the speed. I was up to running at 5.5 and walking at 4.0. Then Anthony said ..let's see if you can run a mile. I thought he was kidding. I did not think I was ready for that. This was May 5th (a day after my birthday). Guess what I did it. And I didn't feel like I was going to die. I was on top of the world. All day I had a little extra spring in my step. I just kept replaying in my head the "goal attained" message on the treadmill. I just could not believe it.
I kept it up, continued working out 5x a week. I took another swim class "Triathlon Swim Training" to help even more. This class was filled with drills and specific swim workouts. I really saw progress. By the end of the class, I was able to swim 28 laps. Now the challenge was to swim in Open Water. That's right. The triathlon was going to be in Lake Washington.
I finally felt like I could really do it. I didn't have a specific time goal , my goal was to finish. The week before the race I was sooo nervous. I was doing mini triathlons with a few really good girls. I kept up with them during the swim but one bike ride was particularly hilly and....they left me in the dust. I felt so bad and really began to rethink whether or not I should do the race. I spoke to one of the girsl about my bike performance , and she said that my bike was holding me back. That day, I decided to retire my 35lb mountain bike for a 19 lb feather light road bike. Boy what a differnce. This was a risky thing to do so close to the race but it worked for me.
The other thing to mention is that I met up with a wonderful group of women called the Soul Sistas. They are a group of African American Women of all ages who participate in triathlons and bike races. They are so awesome.We (the soul sistas) took pictures the day before the race... I'll post when available.
So the day of the race..... Everybody in the house is excited and up. My kids and my nieces - who were visiting from NJ are all up and ready to root me on. I left early so that I could get ready.The goal was to meet me by the swim finish. This was alll pretty tricky because there were 40 waves of swimmers starting every 3 minutes. All I can say about the swim is that it felt much longer than 1/2 a mile. I kept focused and didn't get nervous. I focused on keeping my breathing relaxed. It worked ...and by the way I wasn't the last swimmer in my group YEAHHH. I don't know how it all worked out but as soon as I finished my swim, I saw them. Byron , Tyler, Paris, Ahlia and Ivy were all waiting there for me with the most beautiful handmade signs saying GO MOMMY, Go AUNTIE, I love you. It was so terrific. Once I saw them I was energized.... Now on to the bike.
The bike was the best part of the entire race. I love my bike and I love to fly down the road. The entire 14 miles of the race was closed to traffic. Our longest stretch was on the express lane of one of the largest highways. Imagine flying down a highway with nothing in your way (but other riders on your right). It was so amazing. I was going pretty fast but could have gone faster - but wanted to save my legs for the run.
Now the run... I hate running and I am really bad at it. I am slow and not terribly efficient. After biking hard for 40 minutes, your legs are really worked up. During the after bike run, your legs turn into "bricks". They are heavy and hard to move. If you push through , you can get over the feeling and get into a stride. Well I also felt pains in my knee. So instead of running the entire 3.2 miles I decided to walk run. In the end it was actually fine - but while doing it I was a little disappointed. Danskin is great because there are so many supporters on the way. Cheerleaders who are yelling "go for it" from their back porch. It was just what I needed. In fact I heard Destiny's Child Im a survivor , on my way and that was what I used in my head to keep me going.
So when I realize I am about 1/2 mile from the end, I start getting super excited and very emotional. It is all coming together now -- all the training, the visualization of actually crossing the finish line and my waiting family. I got on my cell phone to cal my husband, just to make sure he was at the finisth line. He cracked up that I called:)
When you come close to the finsih line, there are all these spectators lined up waiting for you. It is so great! I ran through a narrow entry to the wide finish line area. And there they were.. my family (My hubby, kids and neices) - with signs and smiles. When I crossed the finish line, my name was announced and the official put a medal around my neck. Well I just lost it and started crying. I could not believe that I had just completed a triathlon. I was officially a triathlete.