What is this all about?

I started this blog to keep me accountable in my fitness and clean eating journey. My first post was in March of 2007 and I've been posting ever since. As you will see I've had many highs and lows...but this is all about the journey...not just the destination

Monday, April 30, 2007

Time to set a few goals

Today I woke up with the overwhelming need to write down a few very specific goals. I'm not sure what drove this need. Perhaps it was yesterday's ride and the realization that I need to be outside a lot more. I'm not sure. Anyway- I didn't write anything down yet but I did set a few mental goals. The first is that I want to run longer and faster each week. The second is that I will resist the chocolate jar at work. The 3rd is that I will do more weights more consistently and with purpose. The last few weeks have felt a little unstructured (vacation will do that) but I want to get more focused and purposeful with my workouts.
I've also been giving a lot of thought to my long term fitness goals. This idea of doing a 1/2 ironman in 2008 for my 40th birthday is quite seductive and I know in my heart that I can do it, but is that the right goal. On my girls trip last weekend, I mentioned that idea to one of my line sisters and she thought it was selfish. She wasn't directing the comment at me specifically - she just thought that women (especially moms/wives ) who work toward such goals are selfish. I guess one could say that. I have thought that at times too. (I'm sure hubby thinks that too). It is just so attractive and unbelievably awesome. What I know for sure is that I need a goal. I am totally motivated by goals - especially big ones that seem impossible for me. More to come on this -- I'm doing a bunch of soul searching and talking with my husband.
For this week - specifically for today - my goals were to run a 20 minutes at a 10 min mile pace (2 miles) and to lift weights focusing on abs and arms. I didn't go to the gym today because I have a super early meeting . Plus I was planning on being wiped out from my ride yesterday - but I wasn't . I ran in my basement gym (aka the inferno room) and managed to meet my goal- despite the sweltering heat. We are going to turn the heat off in a few days- since it will be warmer. I also did killer ab work ( Love CathE core max tape - the best Ab workout I've done) and squats. I did 5 ab exercises- 20 reps each for 3 rotations. Then I did 3x 20 reps of 3 different squat exercises. Finally I did biceps, shoulders and pushups.
My nutrition was killer --- burned 450 calories -- total consumed 1210 calories = 876 deficit.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Nice way to spend a Sunday morning

It is 9:45 am and I'm trying to type despite the numbness in my right hand. I have absolutely no feeling in my fingers. I'm sure I'll feel better after a nice hot shower. I am also drinking a hot cup of coffee in an attempt to warm me up. I just finished a nice 30 mile bike ride around the lake near my house. The best thing about the ride was that I went with a friend from work. I am usually such a loner when I work out. At the gym - I am at one with my music and usually don't talk to anyone. In fact someone asked me if I would mind working out with them and I thought Hmm I don't know about that. I think I enjoyed working out by myself because I could really focus or maybe I'm really antisocial -- not sure.
Today was a day of growth because I really enjoyed riding with my friend . We did an average of 14.6 mph and at times got up to 30mph and we chatted the whole way. It was a blast . I would have never done this if my friend hadn't asked me. I would have done the same ride in total silence by myself.
The ride itself was a good workout - not too hilly but good headwind so nice resistance. I burned over 1000 calories (woo hoo). The only problem was that it was pretty cold . We left around 7:45 and it was 46 degrees. I didn't wear gloves or a headband but should have. By the time I got back home, my quads were fired up and my toes and hands were numb. Unfortunately no sun this morning - but on the plus side no rain. When it is sunny -it is a pretty ride . Especially when there is a clear view of the mountains. It is such a nice backdrop to the lake. I think I got my heartrate up to 75% on one of the hills. Not because it was a tough hill - more because I couldn't shift my bike properly. I need to take it back for a tune up. It would have been a problem on a big tough hill.
Anyway - it was a great way to spend a Sunday morning. We are now off to church and then we are going to the Tulip Festival. Let's pray for sun:)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Run swim Run

Two things I am grateful for today1) having braids and 2) living 7 minutes from work.

I arrived at the gym -prepared to swim and then bike. I decided that I would make today my endurance swim instead of cycling. When I think about my readiness for the June triathlon, I am most concerned about my swimming prep - since I've not been in the pool as much as I should have. Instead of going straight to the pool - I decided to warm up with a quick little run -- 10 minutes of slow jogging. I then made my way back to the locker room to change. On my way there I saw Iron Jessica . Always good to see her -- I feel like I am training for IM vicariously through her (well eh not really). My plan in the pool was to swim 20 laps plus a few drill laps here and there. Mission accomplished . But I realized that a) I'm very slow and b)I could use a private lesson to improve my technique. I need to master bilateral breathing (on both sides) and really using my long arms efficiently. So I booked a private lesson with the swim coach.
After my swim - I dashed upstairs and changed again for my run. I am really grateful that I have braids. It makes these quick transitions possible:) . I did a nice easy pace at 6.2mph for 2 miles. I then did a bit of weights. I then dashed out and headed back home to get dressed. Played with the kids and made at work in time for my 9am meeting with 15 minutes to spare. Really loving my 7 minute commute.


I've tried to adhere to a clean diet- lean protein, veggies and whole grains. The truth is - most of the time my diet is clean...in public. Where I get in trouble is in private. Which is why is feel the need to confess. For the past month or so I've been sneaking chocolate. I say sneaking because a) it is not mine to take and b) I have not included it in my daily meal traking. On my way out of my office I pass a big jar of chocolate in my coworkers office. Sometimes I take three pieces , sometimes five and sometimes more. Never zero. Her selection ranges from hershey kisses to reese peanut butter cups. Yesterday was the first day I owned up to tracking it. Well 210 calories for 1 serving of 8 hershey kisses. There it is out... No more cheating. If it goes in my mouth it goes in my meal tracker.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Get back on track

I am still recovering -from my jet lag. My body still thinks it is on East Coast time - so I am getting up at 3am and going back to sleep at 5:30. I was too tired to work out today - no little voice , just too tired. I need to get back on track because my 1st race is in 36 days. I need to beef it up and swim at least 3 times a week between now and my first race of the season. Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's better in the Bahamas.....

I am a work hard play hard kind of girl. Unfortunately, I don't play enough. This trip to the Bahamas was all about playing. I had a ball. I hung out with my line sisters - many of whom I haven't seen in over 15 years. What was so terrific is that everyone looked sooo good. I was so happy that I lost weight because I feel that I look good too. I would have been embarrassed and not feeling so great had I not released the weight. I still have a way to go but I feel so much better than I did. It feels so strange for someone to say that I look good - without me launching into the whole "oh thanks - I lost a ton of weight". For many of them - they never saw me at my fattest - so to them I look like maybe I put on 10lbs or so since college. Not the 60lb+ that I really did.

Trip highlights:
  • I worked out EVERY day. I was at the gym every day by 6:30am -- even with the East Coast/West Coast jet lag.
  • I worked out hard- for at least 1.5 hours each day. I ran, did weights, cycled and stretched. My workout did not take a vacation.
  • For the most part - I did not let on that I was a maniac and that I am addicted to working out:)
  • I was pretty disciplined with eating and drinking on the cruise. I tried to eat pretty clean and didn't drink at all - (ok 1 sip of red wine). I wanted the Coco Loco on the beach but had a gallon of water instead. :)
  • I took a tour through the botanical gardens on a Segway. Not related to fitness - but definitely a trip highlight. Note to self: add Segway to Christmas list.


  • I realized that my stomach is very sensitive to tasting things I don't normally eat. While in Bahamas - I tried fried Conch and Fried Grouper. Tasty but boy did my stomach make me pay for it. Bottom line - not worth the stomach pains.
  • My cousin -needs to have more healthy choices at her house. Girl - you know I'm right. A little salad, fruit, some wheat bread. Hook a sista up... and yourself;)
  • Once I make a poor choice - It is hard to get back on track . On my 10 hour 41 minute travel day back to the west coast, I made poor choices the entire day. By the time the day was over I had consumed almost double my daily allotment . That's right - I had consumed almost 2800 calories. I'm totally embarrassed and ashamed but I promised I would not beat myself up.

All in all - I got back and maintained my weight. Exactly the same as when I left. My stomach hasn't quite returned to normal but I'm still cleaning up my diet. I proved to myself that I can be disciplined even when it is really hard and I have an out (vacation). I also proved to myself that I can totally screw up, forgive myself and still maintain my weight.

Monday, April 23, 2007

36 day until my first race -- am I ready?

The Issaquah Triathlon kicks off my Triathlon season. It is on June 2 and for many is the first race of the season. I am currently registered for 3 Triathlons and 2 century bike ride. If I mo am being totally honest - I don't feel ready. I need to spend way more time in the pool . I got out of a swim rhythm because I've been on vacation for 2 of the last 3 weeks. I didn't want to swim in the yucky pool in NJ and the pool on the ship was not conducive to laps. Ok enough with the excuses... I'm back now and need to get with the program.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Vacation -- here I come

So tomorrow I am headed off on a cruise to the Bahamas with 10 of my Delta line sisters from college. I am so excited - I can hardly wait. While I'm a bit nervous about my self control around the food on the cruise, I am totally committed to working out each and every day. I packed my workout clothes and I even packed protein shakes - in case I need it.
I'm a little worried about alcohol too. After all friends, good food, the islands... how can I turn down a good rum punch? I think I need a plan to help me get through this. My plan is this... I will be smart and disciplined and will still meal track. I will also workout as often as possible. I also will not beat myself up if I go off of my plan. My plan is to maintain my weight and not gain.
I am looking forward to no agendas and a few days of relaxation in the sun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Going to battle

Today I felt like I was in a battle. Not just any battle but a hard drag down fight to the finish. This was not a battle with fists or of words, but a battle of wills. As strange as it sounds - I was in battle against myself. My enemy is the little voice inside of me (I'll call her Luella) that talks too much. The little voice that tells me to sleep in because I need my rest. The little voice that tells me to take it easy and not work too hard . She can rationalize anything and tries to convince me to listen. I know this sounds crazy ...but it is what it is.
Well today we were in a strong battle. I woke up in time to get to the gym by 5:30 but I so warm and cozy in my bed, plus I was exhausted from working late last night. I tried to visualize myself getting out of bed and putting on my new workout top. Then the voice started, " You need your rest, you were up late and you need to rest. Take today off and take it easy. Plus your knees are sore.. you really need to sit it out today. " I sat there in the bed for a few minutes - and before I new it it was 5:45. I wanted to listen but I didn't. I got myself out of bed and decided that all those things were true, but I was going to go to the gym anyway. I putz and putz and got to the gym 10 minutes after spin class started. Luella won out on that one - because I decided that I shouldn't show up late to spin class (never had a problem with it before). Instead of spinning, I decided to do the Elliptical. At this point I realized that I was fighting the very thing that stands between me and success with my weight and health goals: my inner saboteur. This voice is there to keep me from accomplishing my goals and to convince me to take the easy way out. It was at that point that I decided that I was going to win... I kicked it into high gear and did 45 minutes of high intensity elliptical (high intensity means at a consistent speed of 185-200) . I love going this fast - especially when there are hunky men next to me who try to keep up. I want to say - don't even think about it.
When I finished, I was drenched and exhausted. The little voice came back and said that was great - way more than you had to do. Since I wanted to shut her up for the day.... I got on the treadmill and did 22 minutes of ladder work. I started at 5.8 and went up to 7.1. Then I did 5 minutes of sprint intervals - walk at 4.5 run at 8.5 for 5 minutes. Then I did weights and stretching. Take that!

As strange as all this sounds, the reality is that this voice - my inner voice can be helpful or hurtful at times. Discerning when to listen and when to battle is key to my weight and fitness goals. This is a battle not just for my fitness but ultimately for my life- and I will be fighting it every day. Each day I need to decide to win.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

soreness and body fat

I am so sore from doing the firm tape yesterday. I used really heavy weights and boy am I feeling it . I haven't felt like this in a long time. Plus I am also feeling quite a bit of knee pain. So - no workout today. I'm not so bummed because it really hurts to walk, let alone run.
Today I also had an body fat assessment at the Club. The assessment covers changes in weight, inches and body fat percentage. The last time I had it done was in October. The results were as follows: down 8lbs overall, 6 inches (3 hips, 1 waist, .5 arms .5 thigh ), 0% reduction in body fat. Can you believe it 0%. I was so shocked. So exactly where did the 8lbs come from ? Muscle. I can't imagine that. Anyway - My doctor and my trainer said I need to consider changing my diet . I also need to consider changing my intensity level when I work out. more zone 2-3 instead of constantly in zone 4-5.
I'm excited about my upcoming cruise... I'm hoping that all my soreness will be gone by the time I leave...

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I am reading an interesting book called the Eat-Clean diet. I bought the book to help me get refocused on my diet and nutrition – as I’ve been less disciplined over the last few weeks. I also feel like my diet may not be given me the energy I need. I had been meeting with a dietician pretty regularly but I haven’t seen her since January. So I decided to try something new. The other area concerning diet that works really well for me is meal tracking. This visibility to meals and caloric intake is super helpful for me in that it keeps me accountable and always aware of my caloric deficit. In order to lose 1lb, I need to have a weekly caloric deficit of 3500 calories. This means that I need to have a daily deficit of at least 500 calories. This is easy to do if I burn at least 500 calories working out and consuming 1500 calories a day. Since I usually burn on average – 700 calories I should have plenty of room…rightJ. Well lately (the last week or so) I’ve not been as disciplined in my tracking and I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed more than 1500. But since I’ve had days where I’ve burned well over 1000 calories working out – it hasn’t affected my weight. This is not ok. I need to commit myself to daily tracking because if something happens and I can’t get in the big workout days, I could be in trouble.

So back to the book… The author is a Tosca Reno – a woman who struggled with weight and conquered her unhealthy patterns to go on to become a national figure and fitness champion (in other words competing in female figure competitions). I was introduced to Tosca in Oxygen magazine – a great magazine for women’s fitness and body shaping. They mention clean eating quite a bit throughout the magazine – but I never knew exactly what it meant. Here is the scoop from the book:

Clean Eating is built on a diet heavy in fresh vegetable, fruit , whole grains and lean proteins. Ok so nothing new there. What is different is that you spread your meals over the day by eating every 3 hours. These meals need to be a mix of lean protein and complex carb (veg or wholegrain). The promise is that this revs up metabolism and provides satiety. It makes sense to me as it is similar to the diet my dietician prescribed for me on the 20/20 program . What is different here is the mini meals vs snacks. Before I would eat a 10 snack of an apple and peanut butter, now I am eating a mini tuna sandwich. The other big change for me is inclusion of more whole grains. I’m a little nervous about this as – I’ve made the building blocks of my diet veggies and proteins and for the most part have stayed away from most grains. Today was the first day I had Oatmeal in over a year. Tosca believe oatmeal (whole grain – I use steel cut) is a super food and should be consumed regularly.

The other huge aha from the book – was the statement that great bodies come from nutrition far more than exercise. In fact there is a formula in the book that lays out the percentage of effort required in each category to build the best body possible. The formula is 80/10/10. 80% of your body comes from nutrition, 10% from training and 10% from genes. Not rocket science but certainly challenging for me. I really had to ask myself if I was putting in as much effort into my diet and nutrition as I was in my workouts. The answer is clearly no. I plan my workouts based on information I read, I visualize myself riding up a hill in my neighborhood, I focus on technique and breathing while swimming – and then I just grab a prepackaged salad or skip a snack. My conviction is that I will put in as much effort into my diet and nutrition as I do into my workouts and I’ll give clean eating a go. I’m going on a cruise next week – with unlimited food options . I think I better get it down pat before I leave:0

Friday, April 13, 2007

Set a new limit...

I feel on top of the world. I got to the gym at 5:30 and did a quick strength training circuit (arms and shoulders) before my spin class. I pushed my weights ups so that it would be pretty challenging. I'm realizing that I am getting pretty strong - since my maximum weight is much higher than it was a few months ago. When I was running today- this really buff woman who I frequently see at the gym stopped me and said that I was looking really strong. Nothing better than a little positive reinforcement :).

Spin class was intense and awesome. Today was a hill climb and in order to really get the benefit of this workout, you have to really push it. Since only you know how hard you are working - it is easy to not push it. I do the exact opposite... I push it so hard that sometimes I can't pedal. My teacher is so motivating. Today's title comes from what something she said " The only way you get stronger is by taking it there ...set a new limit". I love this... set a new limit and don't go back. This is my mantra this week, set a new limit and don't go back.

When I weighed myself yesterday and saw that I was at my lowest weight in the last 14 years, I set a new limit. I'm not going back. When I did my strength training this morning and did 79lbs on the gravitron -- I'm not going back to 65lbs (my usual). When I ran this morning and did my speed intervals with a max of 8.6mph (I didn't look but it was around 7min mile:)- I'm not going back. Yesterday I was cranky and a bit depressed, but it was because I didn't work out. Well I'm not going back -- that was the last day I'm going to allow myself to be cranky and depressed. I was in a horrible meeting yesterday and felt marginalized . I stepped out called a friend and we prayed. I felt better and went back into the meeting. Prayer and working out are my strategies for not being cranky and allowing work issues to impact my joy. I'm setting a new limit and I'm not going back.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why I need to work out......beyond weight control

I woke up this morning determined to get in a good workout.Since I usually work out at home on Tuesday and Thursday , I was prepared to do my treadmill, mini trampoline and The Firm body sculpt tape. Well on my way downstairs, I realized that I needed to check for an email. Of course 1 email became 10 and I was distracted from my workout. By the time I finished working - 2 hours later, it was time to take the kids to school. I was so mad at myself. I have tried so hard not to let things like that happen. I usually prioritize my workouts as my morning "me " time and nothing - especially not work gets in the way. Well not today-- and I'm really bummed about it.
What I'm starting to realize is that I NEED to work out. When I don't work out I get irritable, cranky and can tend to be a down in the dumps. Working out makes me feel like I can conquer the world - confident, happy - all goodness. Today - for the most part, I felt ho hum and I was not on my A-game. I did something really stupid at work - by letting my emotions get in the way of a conversation I needed to have. An endorphin rush would have prevented that.
I'm considering going downstairs now (at 11:30) and going for quick run. I'll see how I feel after typing....

On another note - I bought a new book today called The Eat-Clean diet. It is pretty simple stuff but things I needed to hear and try to incorporate into my diet. I've been a little sloppy lately (a few too many Hershey kisses, etc). The basic idea is to distribute your meals over 5-6 small meals a day and to make lunch your biggest meal. No sugar or refined carbs and load up on the water. It is primarily veggies, lean protein and fruits (all low glycemic). I'm going to give it a try. I think I can do it - since my diet is relatively clean now. However I'm pretty sure I need to eat more frequently . the book recommends every 2-3 hours. I'll give it a try.

finally - today I weighed myself and was I've reached a new lower(yea!!) What that means is that my danger weight must come down too. I want to make sure that there is only a 3lb difference between my current weight and my danger weight (which by the way is the weight at which I say enough - back to strict diet).
So tomorrow is a new day - and I will make up for all those emails sent this morning - and maybe I 'll be a little more pleasant to be around.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This is why I'm hot

Today I was nervous about my hair. I had a pretty big set of meetings today -the type of meetings that could determine my future ;). I started worrying about my hair of all things. I am wearing invisible braids these days and I really love them. For some reason - I started thinking that I should have taken the braids out in order to give the right impression. Perhaps I wouldn't look "professional" enough. I started thinking that maybe I should have taken them out.

Then it hit me. In the profound words of MIMS in "This is Why I'm Hot ...I'm hot cause I'm fly". If I wrote that song I would not have said "I'm hot because of my braids ". I would have said- I'm hot because I'm faithful , I'm hot because I'm smart, I'm hot because I'm strong -physically and mentally. I'm hot because I have the dedication to workout and push myself every day. I'm hot because I have courage to do things I've never done before.

So -who cares about the braids -- that is not why I'm hot. And if those folks let my hair get in the way of realizing my hotness -- then they don't deserve me.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

sometimes you just blow it

When I get stressed I turn to food. I've come up with a few coping mechanisms to help me - because I know this about myself. I make hot tea when I'm really stressed - sometimes that works well. I will also distract myself by going to watch tv or read . Sometimes that works too.
What I also do - but I know it doesn't work, is stuff my face. We'll that is the space I'm in today.. I was stressed and anxious and I just grazed and snacked most of the day. It wasn't horrible things... but I had way too much. By the end of the day - once I tracked all my food - I'd consumed almost 21oo calories...and no working out.
Sometimes I blow it but I WILL get back on track tomorrow.

Friday, April 6, 2007

28 miles and counting....

A month ago I decided that I was going to attack my dislike of running by running more. I made a commitment to run for at least 15 minutes every day (except Sunday). Over 20 days that would equal 20 miles. I amazed myself by not only running for 15 minutes but also pushing myself to run longer and faster. As of today- I'm up to 28 miles. As it turned out I never run for only 15 minutes and usually do about 1.5-2miles a day. I never thought I would say this, but it actually feels good . Not in the beginning, but around minute 11. One day this week I actually ran for almost an hour (4.76 miles) and I had a good time. The key for me was the music. I absolutely love podrunner podcasts- in particular "cold sweat". It is the perfect tempo for my ladder runs. I actually look forward to running to that music - it is reminiscent of jamming at the clubs. I'm learning so much about myself, in particular -how very possible it is to conquer the things I dislike. Today running ....tomorrow waxing the floors.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Long run and I'm feeling good ....

Today I was feeling great when I woke up. I had already decided I was not going to swim but I was determined to get a good workout. Tomorrow we are headed off to our vacation at Great Wolf resorts with the huge indoor water park and I'm not sure of the gym situation. So I figured I'd get in a good workout today.
I started out on the Elliptical with 30 minutes of high intensity work - I try to go really fast to simulate running. This is the one surefire way to get my heartrate up. Whenever I do the elliptical I like to have really fast music so that i can keep the beat. I feel like I'm dancing... and from all of the strange looks I get I'm sure it looks pretty strange too. There was a guy next to me (real macho type brother) who thought he was really working it. He tried to keep up with me but after 5 minutes he slowed down to a more reasonable pace. I finished out at 40 minutes.
Then off to the treadmill. My goal was 20 ish minutes or 2 miles (whichever came first). I decided to play a new podcast called "Cold Sweat" . It was 152 bpm which I thought would be perfect for a nice slow controlled run. I also decided to try something different today. I'd read about a ladder workout - which is where you start out slow and build to a faster speed then go back down. It was awesome and it felt so good. I ended up doing 53 minutes and 4.76 miles. Here is what I did:
I started at 4.8 and worked my way up every 2 minutes. At 5.3 I was feeling great - jamming to my "cold sweat" podcast. I felt really good all the way up to 5.7. I stayed at 5.8-6.0 for 3 minutes each then worked my way back down to 4.8. This really worked for me. I am going to stick with this and start out a little faster each time. I then finished up with weights and stretching.
I stuck to a pretty clean diet today - in fact I resisted cake all week. I'm feeling pretty good about sticking to a good plan while on vacation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Confessions of a gym hog

So today was our 2nd day at Great Wolf Lodge in the poconos and we are having a blast. We spent most of the day yesterday at the indoor water park. I felt like a kid again. The funniest thing was my bathing suit. I forgot that after losing 50+lbs , I might need a new bathing suit. My bathing suit did not look cute - it was saggy and baggy in all the wrong places. So this afternoon I went shopping for a cute new bathing suit... and cute it is:)
Anyway -- I got up super early to make it down to the mini gym and get in a workout. When I got there there was only 1 guy there who was finishing up. I had the gym (room) all to myself. My plan was Elliptical , treadmill, bike and weights. I started on the elliptical - plan was to to 45 minutes. Well at minute 30, 3 people walked in the gym. They started hovering around the elliptical (oh did I mention there was only 1) hinting for me to get off. Well there was no sign indicating limits and I was feeling so great. One woman came over and said " Is someone going on after you?" I said I have no idea. I knew what she was up to.
I finished my 45 minute workout and then went on to the treadmill. Yeah that's right -- I made them wait. You know the saying "early bird gets the worm". I got there at 6:15am and they did not. I guess I was channelling my inner Bxxxx.
I did 2 miles on the treadmill - nice and easy and then went on to weights. There was someone on the bike and I didn't want to wait. I could have stared them down but I wanted to go back to the water park.

About Me

My photo
West Coast, United States
I am a christian woman, wife, mom to 2 great kids, a member of Delta Sigma Theta, A Jack and Jill mom, sister, daughter . I am also incredibly fit but wasn't always. I am a recovering fat girl - who takes it one day at a time.

Alonda the Triathlete!

Alonda the Triathlete!

The backstory-----How did I become a triathlete...

In February 2006, I went on a ski trip with my new colleagues from work. On the way back, I sat next to a girl named Wendy - a really friendly woman who talked about her experience as a newcomer to Seattle. She told me how her main source of making friends was through her workout buddies. She also mentioned that many of her friends participate in triathlons and that (get this) I should consider doing one too. I thought she might have been delirious from all of the skiing. I assured her that I was not the one. She obviously had mistaken me for someone else. Perhap my heavy coat prevented her from seeing what was underneath (50 lbs of extra weight and lots of evidence of no exercise). She continued with this crazy talk, speaking of how fun it is and how supportive the Danskin Triathlon is. I wanted to be sure that she and I were thinking of the same thing... Triathlon (swim bike run -some huge number of miles -all on the same day right after each other). Yup this was it. I chuckled and told her to have fun.
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.