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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

2 countries in one day and The Count

Today was my last day in Paris . I went running this morning and did a bit of work and then went out with a colleague in search of chocolate. The absolute best hot chocolate in the world is at a place called Angelinas on Rue de Rivoli - across from the Louvre. I introduced my coworker to it and she fell in love. Hubby and I fell in love with this chocolate over 6 years ago when we went to Paris. It is so rich and decadent and makes you never want to have Swiss Miss again Anyway - I ended up running about a mile and half and then walking about 6 miles. I saved up my calories for the chocolate and made sure that I tracked everything.
I arrived in Germany around 8pm and walked to my hotel from the airport. that's right walked. My hotel is connected to the airport - but it is unlike anything I've ever seen. There is a shopping mall in the middle of the airport -- literally! Benetton right next to the Airfrance ticket counter. A few yards down and there is a supermarket - yes a real supermarket - fruit and veggies and all. I needed to walk through this mall to get to my hotel. It felt like 2 miles...and I was exhausted. When I finally got the the hotel -and what a hotel it is- I thought I was going to pass out from exhaustion. I haven't quite got the sleep thing down yet (case it point - it is 2:15am now).
The hotel is pretty interesting. It is like I"m staying in a futuristic space station. It is very modern and feels very European. Quaint it ain't - but the rooms are very nice. For dinner I had Sashimi and something called Kasspatz'n mit - which is described as a traditional Bavarian vegetarian dish with lentils and roasted onions. Well - it was basically macaroni and cheese. That was a big disappointment because I was expecting a roasted vegetable type casserole dish. I was starving so I ate some of it and ate a big bowl of fruit salad.
Tonight I went down to bar to get coffee and was approached by a drunken old count. He just walked up and started telling me about how he was leaving for Barcelona in the am on his private jet and that I should come with him. He said he was a count and told me all about his castle and private jet. Well - other than The Count (on SS) he was the first real live count I've ever met . I ended up getting frustrated and took my coffee back up to my room.

There is a gym and a pool here - so tomorrow am I will get in a nice long workout and then I'm getting a massage. Then off to a day of meetings.....

more in paris

Today was a really terrific day. Running in the am in the Champs de Mars (park near Eiffel Tower) , a day of really productive meetings a fabulous lo cal dinner and then a walk by on the left bank - looking at the city of Paris. Not bad at all. I did really well with my eating today. I had salmon and fruit for breakfast, a salmon and cucumber sandwich (on a wrap) for lunch and chicken with chutney for dinner..
this am I went running on a track near the hotel and then went over running around town. Here are a few pics from my run....

This is a smart car. It is about as big as my leg:) Seriously it is so cute and there are a bunch of them zipping all over town.
Today I am going out for chocolate -- and a little sightseeing. then off to Germany

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I love running …..in Paris

So this is what I saw this morning as I went out for my morning run. What a sight. Like clockwork – I woke up at 5am and waited 20 minutes for it to get light enough to feel comfortable running. I am staying at the Paris Hilton (really) and it is right next to the Eiffel Tower. I couldn't resist getting out and taking it all in. There were lots of runners out this morning…and surprising they were pretty friendly. There were also a few armed guards decked out in fatigues and machine guns. That was a little strange but all in all it was quite wonderful. I ended up running about 3 ½ miles in about 40 minutes (I stopped to take a few pics). I felt really great and ready to get out of the valley.

Yesterday - I spent 15 hours traveling and spent time in Amsterdam had a meeting in Milan and then took a late night flight to Paris. I am not exhausted yet although I really should be. I have had about 7 hours of sleep in about 48 hours. I guess it will hit me tonight.

Today will be full of meetings and dinner on the town tonight. My plan is to enjoy coffee (and chocolate -1cup) and eat protein and veggies. The hardest challenge today will be to resist French bread..

Here are a few more pics…

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Valley

There is not clever way to start this post. I just need to come clean. The last week was what I am now calling my valley . Over the last 15 months, I have been consistently working out 4-5 times a day and meal tracking (on most days) in an effort to continue to lose weight and keep it off. My total weight loss over the last 15 months has been lost 58lbs and I've managed to stay within 1-2 lbs of my lowest weight. I have learned so much about weight control and how to use exercise to bring me joy. Well – the last week it was as if I forgot who I was or who I had become. After 4 days of not working out – it became easier to not work out and to be less strict with my diet. I reverted back to my old ways, just like that . It was scary that it was so easy. This blog is like a nagging voice that keeps reminding me to do be accountable. The days I don't blog it is usually because I am exhausted and fall asleep or because I am hiding from something. This week it was definitely the latter. If I didn't have this blog, I would probably have an easier time not being accountable – so I am thankful that I have decided to bare my struggles in such a public way. It keeps me accountable – not to the people that read this – but to myself.

Over the past week, I've had foods that I have not had in over a year – sandwiches, potato chips (not baked), pasta . In the moment- I remember feeling like I should stop but continuing anyway. The part of me that continues anyway is the old me. I remember thinking and feeling the same way when I was overeating. I knew it was wrong but in the moment – the comfort/satisfaction that I was getting outweighed the benefits of not doing it. As stupid as that sounds – it is my reality. Even now – when I know better. When I look back over the individual incidents, i can see a few fatal flaws on my part. 1) I brought these foods into my house. Something I had not done before. We were supposed to have a big cookout on Sunday before Memorial day, so much of the food in question was "for guests". Well it rained, the guest didn't show and we had a house full of chips. 2) I didn't take action to prevent me from overeating. When I am at my strongest – I am good about destroying the food or making it so disgusting that I won't eat it. I remember a time when visiting NJ , when I put catsup over a piece of delicious apple pie, just so that I would not have more than 1 bite. I didn't do that this week.

I still weighed myself every day and I gained 5lbs but quickly loss 4. Yes all over a week. So the net is that I am up 1. Here is what I think is going on….I've managed to change or reset my metabolism by working out so consistently. So a few days of not working out will not create a bunch of damage. I think this might last for about 1 week. I also believe that water and elimination are key . When I eat poorly and don't exercise, I don't eliminate as often (ok oversharing but hey It is my blog) and that weight stays with me (can be 1lb a day). Certain foods are more harmful than others. Overeating an omelet and salmon has a different impact on my weight than if I overeat a sandwich or pasta. The carbs are not metabolized in the same way. I felt my old fat self coming back – when I would look at the scale and expect to see a higher number. I remember distinctly on my way to my most obese self, weighing myself and expecting it to be higher. And instead of feeling grateful and ready to take corrective action, I would feel like I got a pass . I would continue the behavior until I reached the higher number, then I'd take corrective action. That is a totally different mindset than that of the new me. The new me sees the scale and expects it to go down. When it doesn't I take corrective action. My danger weight tells me it is time to take urgent strong corrective action. This week I did not take urgent corrective action when I saw the daily changes.. I watched – expecting the number to be higher…but i didn't stop what I was doing.

Why is this happening?

I don't know… at the heart of it I am feeling more stressed than I have been but not as stressed as I was in NJ . Although I think I may be getting there. I have a ton to figure out at work and a few added responsibilities in my personal life. I am also feeling upset with myself for allowing an incident at the gym to impact my workout . I should be able to not let anything get in my way …but I am . Perhaps the food is replacing my need to talk. I don't' know.

I do know that my spiritual connection is off and that is having an impact . When I start getting stressed and worried – it means that I've lost focus on who is in control. God knows everything that is going on in my life and I need to trust Him to work it out. When I start worrying and getting stressed I am not trusting him. I've been so busy lately that it has been hard to fit in my daily quiet times. Let me restate that in a more accountable way… I've allowed myself to become distracted and I've not been connected to God in a way that I need .

From here …where

So I am about to leave for a European business trip and I will be exposed to good rich food as well as be physically exhausted from the jet lag. My plan is to workout as much as possible and to apply restraint – but enjoy the food. I am not planning on drinking . I also will not do the Issaquah Triathlon because I will be arriving on the same day. I am going to focus on getting ready for the Seafair tri . My goal is to get back in gear and prepare myself mentally, physically and spiritually.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

So easy to go back...

This weekend was like a blast from the bad past. I can't explain it - I just need to purge it and move on.

First the purge:

It started Saturday am... Friday- After the intense spin class and biking to work -I was tired. A meeting in the evening kept me from falling asleep on the couch. From the late afternoon, until the evening , I was eating incessantly. Snacking here and there. Also the last 4 days I did not meal track at all. I guess I felt pretty confident after last week's 3lb loss. Saturday - my plan was to ride in the Tour de Cure but I got a big case of the yeah buts and didn't do it. The first reason I didn't do it was guilt. My daughter had a girl scout field trip and I was uncomfortable sending her by herself. I knew the other moms, but not well enough for my daughter to go all day without a parent. I was being a little ridiculous because hubby had already said yes. I realized later that this was mommy guilt. Because I did not go to girl scout meetings at 2pm on Weds, I did not know the girls well or the moms well. I felt compelled to go - so I did. The rest of the day I felt bad about not doing the Tour de Cure and bad about the mommy guilt. the result eating more than I should. I had a sandwich, and a little bit of pasta (both things I don't normally eat). I felt sick in the evening.

Sunday am I had a hair emergency - and didn't go to the BTB and I arrived at church late.

In short I was a total slug this weekend. It occured to me how quickly I can pick up old fat girl habits and how fast my body can return to being fat. It took all of 1 day for me to go back to mindless overeating.

Friday, May 18, 2007

50 hill accelerations........bike to work day

My quads are wondering "what are you doing to us"? When I got to spin class today, the instructor said I have something special for you guys today. I knew we were in trouble because she said she did this workout last week and it made her legs sore for 2 days.
This was probably the best and most intense spin class I have ever taken...and it was awesome. For the first time in over a year, there was a point in the class where I wanted to stop. ..but of course I didn't. Since it is hill climb strength ride day, I knew it would be tough. What I didn't know is that it would be tougher than any class I've ever taken. We warmed up and then it started. We cranked up the resistance equal to a steep hill climb and then we did a 15 second acceleration - with a goal of increasing by 15rpm (which is wicked hard on a hill climb). We increased the resistance to a very steep hill climb - where you want to stand but she encouraged us to stay seated. It is much harder when you are seated. We then did a 30 second acceleration. Again, wicked hard. We did this not 1, not 5, not 20 times. We did 50 of these in 50 minutes. My quads were burning .. but I felt really good and really strong. I don't think I've ever sweated so much. After spinning, I did weights (upper body gravitron, dumbbell) and abs. Then I dashed home and got ready to bike to work. As I was getting ready to shower, I had an overwhelming urge to take a nap. My spin teacher predicted it:). I took a 15 min nap and then showered and got ready for work.
Riding my bike to work was fun. I decided to take it easy, not fast enough to work up a sweat. The hardest part of the ride was the big long hill. I took it easy and handled it. I was most concerned about not sweating because I did not plan on changing. I made it to work fine and by 3:00 I was exhausted.
Riding home was fun . My goal was to beat the rain. I rode as fast as I could and ended up hitting 39 mph coming down the big hill. I beat the rain and made it home in 10 minutes .

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

You are strong and can handle anything.....

My grandmother's name was Alice but everyone called her "Coot". Many members of my family had nicknames - especially those from my grandparents generation. Names like Nap, Red, HC, etc. Most of these nicknames had something to do with how the person looked or some physical characteristic, not necessarily based on their name. Not the case today - of course. In fact I don't know any relative under 45 with a nickname (at least one so far from their name). Anyway, my grandmother's nickname came from the fact that as a child she was very "cute" . She wore her hair in two long braids and stood out as a very "cute girl". Her nickname was "Coot gal". Over the years as she moved from South Carolina to NJ and became a young woman, the name stuck. People dropped the "gal" and just called her "coot". This name stuck for the rest of her life. The irony is that while my grandmother may have been cute as a child - her personality was certainly not cute. My grandmother was one of the strongest women I've ever known. She was physically strong 5'11, 0% body fat and able to lift and move boxes and chairs (at age 70), Emotionally strong - never saw her get rattled by anything; spiritually strong and had incredible strength of character. She also was known for her right fist:).

Cootgal has also become a bit of a legend in my house. She was a really great storyteller and I've tried to keep her stories alive with my children. Whenever they get nervous about something, I tell them to pray and that the spirit of Cootgal lives in them . This makes them feel stronger.

Today during spin class, I felt stronger because of her. No swimming today (still have not gone back) just spinning, running and weights . I love Wednesday endurance rides because the instructor really forces me to push my limits. The instructor always tells us to go harder than we think we can and try to sustain it. I always go for it -with just a little more resistance than I think I can handle, a little more speed than I want. She said " You are strong and can handle it". Right at that moment, I thought about Coot . She worked as a seamstress, was a wife and mother to 5 children, grandmother, managed a huge garden (in the suburbs of NJ) and ran her house. She was strong and probably never thought there was anything she couldn't handle. She probably took a deep breath and handled it. I felt that way today during spin class. I am strong enough to handle the additional resistance and the additional speed. I just need to find my breath and I handle it.

I've had a lot of extra resistance in my life these last few weeks. Thankfully I am strong enough to find my breath and handle it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I think I could like running

I woke up today with plenty of time to get to the gym but I wasn't motivated enough to make it to the gym. I knew that I would work out - I just needed to match the activity with the motivation. I should have done a long bike ride, but for some strange reason I was motivated to run. It could have been because the sun was out so early and shining through my window. I put on my music (cold sweat podrunner) and did a 3 1/2 mile run around the neighborhood. I was able to actually lose myself in thought instead of counting my steps (like I normally do). Usually my running consists of counting my steps to just get through the run. today was different. It was a beautiful morning and I really enjoyed being out there.

What I didn't like was the after effects. I think I need to really reconsider how much I run. Earlier this year I was scheduled to have surgery on my knees to correct severe tendonitis and misalignment of my patella (as well as some extra tissue underneath my kneecap). The impact of this on a day to day basis is that I cannot sit for long periods of time without pain and I need to take an Aleve most days. After the run - getting around was pretty difficult . I was in such pain all day. I struggled walking up the stairs and getting up from a seated position. When I chickened out for the surgery, my plan was to run just enough to improve my time on the running split and transitions of the triathlon . My approach was to run more, ice and take Aleve. It seems like I do ok on days when I keep my runs under 2 1/2 miles. Anything longer seems to put damper on any other activities.

How ironic that the very day I realize that I could actually like running, I also realize that it is not something I can (or should) do very much of.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Emotional eating attack

My Saturdays are all about errands, kids activities and playing catch up. My challenge is always figuring out how to get a good workout in between all the activities. Last week I broke my run into 2 small segments :one in the early morning - the other in the afternoon. Sometimes I do my longer bike rides in the early morning. Today I decided to go out a run. Spring and Summer in the Pacific Northwest is absolutely beautiful. There is no humidity and you are surrounded with natural beauty - lakes mountains and beautiful trees. I left my house around 6:15 and headed up a monster hill , then along the roads and finally along the lake until I got back to my house. All in all 3.8 miles. Not long or intense but just enough for me to connect and clear my head. I ran along admiring the beauty of the mountains as a backdrop to the suns rays dancing in the lake. I came in a did some ab work and then got ready for the day. ' FYI A great tool for figuring out how far your neighborhood routes are is...http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/

Today's problem was food. After the run, I was tired but not exhausted. I ate a spinach omelet. Then, while waiting for my kids at gymnastics, I had a few mini ritz bits. Then I had a bite of their bagels. When I got home i had another omelet, then a few pieces of turkey. It felt like I just kept eating here and there all day. It wasn't that I ate horrible things, it is just that I had no plan or structure and it felt very strange. I was just grazing. If I go back to clean eating principles - I should be eating more structured planned meals - not a bite here a bite there. Also hubby made delicious pasta for his fraternity so I had a bit of that. I think I was having an emotional eating attack. I was not hungry for these things, just wanting to graze. This is a very dangerous place to be. I will allow myself today, but that is it.I need to make sure it doesn't become more than today.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

nothing today

what happens when I don't workout? I have a bad day. I should know this by now - even 15 minutes goes a long way. Today I woke up early enough- but made a choice to get a few emails done before work. Before I knew it, it was time to make breakfast for kids and go to work. What happened - bad day. On one of the emails I sent - I missed a word and it created all the wrong reactions. I was not on my A game... I had 4 pieces of chocolate (after almost 2 weeks with none) and I was not emotionally centered. A bit of a wreck.

I also discovered that I will need to be in Europe the week of my first triathlon of the season. I'm a little bummed because now I have to decide if I rush back from Paris in order to do the triathlon and also consider how such a trip will impact my performance. In a strange way - I think I will be fine .. in other words I wont fall apart. I've done at least 10 brick workouts so far - not the full distance but I'm pretty sure I have the endurance. My running is certainly better so my transitions should be ok. I'm prepared for the cycling. I think I'll go for it..

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

pent up energy

Today's moment of transformation came at exactly 14 minutes and 40 seconds into spin class. From minute 1 - 14 I was thinking more about yesterday and I was not in the moment. When I reached my moment, I became strong and powerful. In fact, today's ride was not hard enough. I struggled to feel challenged. I turned my resistance up to the max and really pushed my speed. It was hard but not hard enough that I wanted to stop. It felt good and i needed to work that hard today.
After spin class - I ran 1.5 miles in about 14 minutes. I did 30 min weights and then finished out with more cardio - 30 min on Elliptical. I guess I had a lot of pent of energy that I needed to work out.
No swimming today -- not sure when I'll go back.

Nutrition was ok today - but I was really craving a bagel today. I had a protein shake for breakfast, Tomato soup for lunch, tuna for snack and chicken and broccoli for dinner. 1330 all day. I need to add complex carbs...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Inappropiate Touching???

Improvement in running and cycling happens most with volume . In other words if I want to be a better runner - I need run more often, run longer and run faster. That is what I've been doing .. and it is working. I am a better runner and I don't hate it as much. Improving in cycling also requires volume (more cycling) with more intensity and longer duration. There are also opportunities to improve cycling with technique - bike shoes, clips, aero bars, pedal stroke, etc. I practice these technique improvements in spin class. Swimming improvement also comes with technique. However learning about these swimming techniques requires evaluation of the stroke by a professional . This is why I decided to take a swim lesson.
Last year I took total immersion swimming and triathlon swim training and I learned a ton. My instructor was a former Ironman finisher and a top swimming instructor.
This year I decided to improve my swimming technique and hopefully gain some speed through efficiency. Today was my 1 hour private swim lesson with the same instructor.
First red flag - we went into the private swim room. Most private swim lessons are in the main lap pool. For some reason, my lesson was in the private teaching pool - which is not visible by people in the main pool -or anyone.
It started out harmless enough. Watching my stroke and providing feedback. Then he
got in the water with me. Now I have never had a private lesson before, so I don't know what is normal and what is not. What I do know is that there is no reason why I should be able to tell how excited someone is. There were several repeated instances of touching and body part rubbing . I thought it was inappropriate. Since it was all in the context of swim lessons, I thought I was being silly. I kept saying to myself .. come on - this must be how swim lessons are conducted. This guy wouldn't jeopardize his job. This must be the way he does it. Then I started asking myself - is there any other way he could teach me this skill? Would he do this with a man? Would a woman instructor do the same thing? I also recalled that I had never seen any other lessons being conducted in this way. But hey I haven't seen all of the lessons. For some reasons - I didn't listen to my inner voice and I let it go. Part of me was curious to see if this guy was serious or if I was being sensitive. It happened a few more times but again in the context of "rotate your hips", "keep your head straight" etc..
All day I've been thinking about this incident and the feeling of his hands on my hips and feeling his excitement behind me... and I think my inner voice was right. Today I improved my swimming technique but I'm also pretty sure I became a victim.

Monday, May 7, 2007


This weekend we saw Spiderman 3. Good high tech effects - nice job on seamlessly mixing in the animation . There were 4 villains: Venom, Black spiderman (of course), Goblin and the Sandman. All of the villains go through some sort to transformation - most involve a costume with powers, except the Sandman. Since his body was decomposed then fused with sand particles, his transformation was really pretty dramatic. His real body is hidden under mounds of sand and he has to work to uncover his true self...
My moment of transformation always occurs during spin class. I am transformed from a groggy and lethargic person who doesn't want to be in class to a strong cyclist who says bring it on . I look forward to and wait for this moment. It usually takes about 15 -20 minutes or so. Those are usually the worse 15minutes of the day. During that time, I want to stop cycling and leave the class. This is the time when I think negative thoughts - usually about how out of shape I am and how I should ride more in order to make this class easier. Then like magic it happens... i am transformed. My thoughts turn from negative to positive. I start feeling a surge of endorphins and positive energy. I go from feeling weak to feeling incredibly strong. I turn my resistance up as high as possible, I push my cadence to well over what my neighbors are doing, I become competitive.I become very happy. That feeling usually lasts for a good part of the day. It makes me so happy that I got up and took the class.
My spin instructor said "Dig dig dig" for the endurance. It reminded me of the similarities between me and the sandman. The strong fit triathlete is buried inside of a groggy and lethargic person. She isn't always out. Sometimes I have to dig for her.. I have to uncover her and it takes hard work. If I don't work hard to bring her out she may stay covered up or worse.. get covered up with more stuff (life).

I got to the gym early but decided not to swim because a) I hadn't washed out all of my bathing suits and b) I have a lesson tomorrow- so I'll swim a bunch tomorrow. I did my leg and ab workout before spin class and then ran miles immediately after. The running was hard for the first few minutes and then it got easier. The funny thing is that it actually felt much bettr to go faster than it did to go slow. Also I actually enjoyed the run (of course once I got past my knee pain). My music is so good and it really makes a difference when running - I am positive that I would not be able to do even half of the running without my podcasts.

So far for the last 7 days, I'm up to 9 miles (target 8) 22 laps (target much more) and 40 miles on the bike (target more). My victory in all this is that running a little bit every day really is helping me become a better runner.

Nutrition was pretty good all day - I was at 1210 calories until 10pm. Around 10 I got a major case of sweet cravings. I tried hard not to let it take over me. I had a few grapes and some tea, but I just couldn't shake it. I then constructed the lowest calorie sweet treat I could find and boy did it hit the spot. 2 tablespoons of whipped cream (20 calories) , 2 tablespoons of sugar free chocolate syrup (15 calories) and a few shaved almonds (45 calories). I discovered an 80 calorie sundae and it was gooooood.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

a house full of folks

Not much to report today other than I had a house full of people over for a big potluck dinner. What a spread . We had about 20 guests and loads of food. I didn't really have a plan,but I felt pretty disciplined. I ended up sampling a few things, all good things of course. By the time I was done, I consumed roughly 1700 calories. Included in my sampling was a small piece of cake and a cup of the best hot chocolate in the world. Since it was my bday weekend ..I indulged. This is no powdered swiss miss - rather it is melted granulated chocolate from France. We brought it back a few years back and I've been stock piling it ever since. Every time someone visits Paris, I ask them to get me a bag of chocolate from Angelinas. I'm going to France in a few weeks and i will definitely get a few bags.. Anyway it was so delicious and totally worth every calorie.

In her book Winning after losing , Stacey Halpern (who recently lost 400lbs) talks about the moment she knew she was normal. She described it as the moment after she binged on a sleeve of Oreos. She said to herself that since she ate so many cookies she needed to move more and eat less the next day. What was normal is that she didn't binge more... she stopped and got back on track. She said you don't get fat from 1 binge... it is when you make 1 binge a day long, week long or month long binge.
It was not long ago that I had week long even month long binges.Well I don't do that anymore but I don't feel normal.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

A great use of 15 minutes

Today was no different than any other Saturday -- Kids activities, a few errands and house stuff. Today - I wanted to try to squeeze in a good workout. Last weekend I did my long bike ride on Sunday and this weekend I thought I could get in a bike ride plus a good run today.

Well I woke up early and was able to get in a 1 1/2 mile run - good pace at 6mph (took 15 minutes) . I had a meeting at 8:30 then figured I try to get another workout in before I picked up the kids from their activities. I was able to get in a 15mile bike ride and then 2 1/2 mile run.

What a great use of 15 minutes... run a mile and a half. If I can break my workouts down - I could increase my mileage.... I'm going to try to add an extra workout in at the end of the day once or twice a week -15minutes in the evening for a little run.

In the evening - hubby had a special date planned. We went to see a play called "Gem of the Ocean "by August Wilson. Very eh Interesting. (If anyone has seen this I'd love to discuss )

Overall this was a great calorie burning day (burned 1540!!) but I didn't eat nearly enough for my activity level. I had 1110 calories - protein shake, chicken breast , sugar free, non fat caramel latte, and 3 chicken nuggets (oops) from home not mickey d's . I can definitely do better - but we ran around a lot today so - the nuggets were from the kids food.
Weekly target progress: Run, 2 miles to go, Bike 25 miles to go, swim 20 laps. I have until tuesday at midnight.

Sore on my 39th birthday

Ok so the cartwheel and walkover were probably not the best idea. This morning I woke up too sore to run . I couldn't go to the gym today (or yesterday) because hubby had to leave by 7am. I did an ok cardio workout -- walking up hill and running on my mini trampoline, but it wasn't half as intense as I would have done at the gym. I also did a few weights and abs. The reason I had to take it light today was because I was trying to be a hot shot last night - by doing cartwheels and walkovers. Now my body is letting me know that I am not young and flexible anymore. Old and rusty is more like it
Lesson learned:
  1. It is good that I can still do gymnastics
  2. It is bad that I think I can still do gymnastics without warming up for at least an hour and taking an Aleve before and after.
  3. I should never try to do this when I have 6 miles left in the week to run.

As far as progress on my weekly targets: I can only add 1 mile to my run. I think I may have been a bit aggressive - but I will do as much as I can to finish strong.

For my birthday - our plan was to go see Spiderman 3 (not my choice). Little guy was so sweet about this. He said - we can go see Spiderman only if I want to go. What ever we do , it's ok as long as we are a family. I really wanted to either stay home and catch up on shows I've Tivo'd or go to the gym. I thought it would be pretty lame to be on a treadmill/or swimming laps on a Friday night especially a Friday night that is my birthday. As lame as it sounds , I would have had fun. I decided not to be a loner and to go to the movies with the kids and hubby. Well the movie was sold out so we ended up walking around a shopping area and hanging out at the game store. It was so hard not to make the night about food. The first choice I had was to go to a restaurant - a really delicious seafood restaurant. I wasn't hungry so I said no.

A year ago I would have never turned down dinner out on the town - no matter how full I was. I would have found room to just "taste" a few things. Today I opted for walking around and we ended up at a game store. We stayed there almost 90 minutes playing chess and other games. it was a blast.

So that is my Bday wrap up, sore from the cartwheels and hanging out a game stores. Just 30 minutes of cardio and strength. Nutrition - not terrific. 1385 calories : protein shake, tomoto soup and tofu, small salad, an Onion, Turkey patty , Tortilla chips and cottage cheese. Problem today was that I did not drink enough water. but it could have been much worse. The victory was figuring out how to celebrate in a way that does not revolve around food.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A cartwheel on the eve of my 39th bday

So the week of my birthday is always and interesting one. I usually start thinking about where I am in my life and where I'm going. Well this year was no different. This whole talk about goals and targets is part of it. What is interesting this year is that unlike previous years when my goals targets have been more career/professional focused, this year my goals and targets have nothing to do with work. As I approach my birthday - my goals for this year are around family lifestyle and physical accomplishment. For some reason , Passion is my guiding theme these days. I'm very much focused on living a life that is full of passion. Everything I do I want to do it with passion and if it isn't with passion - I'm not going to do it (at least not for long). What I realized yesterday in my mini triathlon workout is that my knees really hurt when I start running after a long bike ride. It is exactly the pain I felt while doing the Danskin. Passion does not equal pain (at least not in this context) so I have to really think about how hard I want to push my body... I love biking , like swimming (could love it) and don't love running . I also don't love the way when I have this knee pain. I feel weak and like I'm pushing through not finishing strong. Anyway - I'm thinking about all this in the context of what I want to accomplish this year. Turning 39 is really all about almost being 40. So I am really thinking about what I want to do/accomplish by the time I am 40. That brings me to the 1/2 Ironman in 2008. In order to be physically ready for this - I would need to train about twice as much as I do now and my running would need to significantly improve. Plus I'd need to really ask myself if I am passionate enough about it. I'm not sure.
What I am sure about is that -- my kids are runners and I am a cool mom. Here's why: today I took my kids to the track. They both said they wanted to come running with me. Well they did very well. They both ran almost 3/4 of a mile and sprinted for a good 400 yds or more. I was so excited. When we were wrapping up, Papita decided to do gymnastics. Well I couldn't resist the soft grass and open fields, so I got out there with her. I did a couple of cartwheels and a few roundoffs and even did a front walkover -- (Oh yes I did!). I almost did a backwalk over - but I need to stretch before attempting that one. Well there were a few girls playing soccer and they said " Is that your mom? Wow I wish my mom could do that" . Well on the eve of my 39th birthday , it is good to know that I still have a few tricks left.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A taste of victory

How is it that I can be so convicted and disciplined in some ways but such a saboteur of my own efforts. I've finally accepted that I will have these struggles every day. I won't be surprised by them - I will be prepared for that little nagging inner voice and be ready to fight. Each battle I win is a character building experience. I want to have as many of these little victories as possible. Today was a victorious day.

  • Last night I went to bed at 1:30 am and knew that I needed to be at the gym at 5am for my mini triathlon workout. I woke up exhausted - wanting to stay in the bed
  • Victory: I slept a little more but made it to the gym and got in a nice mini tri workout.
  • When I finished my bike workout - my legs were throbbing and I thought I could not run any faster than a light jog at 5mph.
  • Victory: I jogged for a bit then really pushed it. I ended up doing the fastest mile I've ever done at 7mph (8.57 min mile) and I didn't feel like I was going to die. This is really not a big deal to a runner, but to me it is huge. I've only pushed above 6.4 when doing 1 minute sprint intervals.
  • I was starving in the morning and wanted to have some of the kids delicious bagels and cream cheese.
  • Victory: i made a protein shake and prepared and packed my clean diet for the day. I had an awesome day with my nutrition. I ate clean all day.
  • I thought about the chocolate jar a few times and thought about having a piece.
  • Victory - I totally resisted and had nothing.

Weekly target status : run- 3 of 8 miles done, swim-18 of 65 laps done, bike-10 of 65miles . I have a ways to go - I think i'll need to workout 2x a day for 2 days between now and Sunday.

diet- breakfast: Protein shake, Lunch: roasted veggies, tofu, Snack apple/Peanut butter, Dinner: Tomato and onion stir fry , Snack : 9 cashew nuts. 1232 calories

Workout- 30 min swim, 30 min bike, 15m run burned 809 calories

Deficit: 1662 ...

Weight: down 1lb from lowest so far -- cumulative loss 55lbs

It was a good day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

what is love......

  • coming home and seeing 2 cartons of egg whites in the refrigerator (so that I can make my healthy omelette)
  • Looking out the window and being surprised with new lights around the pond
  • Looking in the fridge and seeing a really yummy flavor of diet dr pepper "caramel creme" with a sticky on it that says for you babe.
  • Seeing not 1 but 2 bottles of my favorite spice "coriander" seeds and crushed
  • Getting in the bed with my side of the electric blanket preheated to the perfect setting
  • coming home from work and having 2 little people run up to me screaming "mommy" every single day

feeling a little mushy -- and incredibly grateful that i have these moments.

Targets not goals ---- no go on the chocolate

I have been reading a book called Magical Running - to help me embrace my inner runner (since I hate it so much). One of the chapters talks about the difference between targets and goals. Goals should be about who you want to become (aka a lifelong exerciser, a running enthusiast, an ironman finisher, a person with 20% body fat etc.) and targets are more specific (ie finish a 5k in 20 minutes, finish in the top 1/2 of the Danskin Triathlon, etc.). Interesting. I can buy that. So today I did a little more thinking about my goals and my targets. I've decided I'm going to set weekly targets for speed and distance/time for each sport. Here is my first stab - since it is Tuesday:
For this week - run 8 miles at 6mph, swim 50 laps and 65 miles (indoor or out) . I will also have at least 2 brick workouts per week- I have to in order to get all this in. I need targets for weights as well - I'll build this tonight - after I read some more. Oh yeah and I also want to eat clean 5 days out of the week.
So here is where I stand. 2 miles down - 6 to go. no swimming and no biking.
Today I ended up doing work most of the early morning (##%%&%&:<) and managed to get in a bitty bitty workout. Too bitty to mention. AND I was not able to resist the chocolate jar. I had 4 pieces- ok 8 . AND I was famished today and ate like a wild banchee. Not bad things just a lot of them. I had sushi for breakfast and early morning snack, Tofu and tomato soup for lunch and 2 grilled chicken breast for dinner. 1340 calories but I burned practically nothing so no deficit today. Tomorrow my plan is to burn it up.
On the plus side-- my daughter said to me that she wanted to go running with me. I cannot believe it - -just like that out of the blue. What is so amazing is that I have been thinking about how I can get both kids into running - because if they are fast they will be better all around athletes. Who knows - we'll need something to fall back on if the academic scholarships don't come pouring in...

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.