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, July 30, 2007

The drs office.

So I've been ignoring my sickness for too long, I finally succumbed and decided to pay my doctor a visit. I woke up with pretty disgusting symptoms and decided to work from home and visit the doctor. I listened to my body.

Well - I won't go into details of the visit other than to say 1) It is official (I'm getting old:) and 2) I will not be contagious as soon as the symptoms disappear. The highlight of the entire visit was when the nurse checked my chart and saw me - she said" wow you have lost a lot of weight" . I've never seen her before but she could tell from the weight on my chart and the way I look now that I was a different person. My last weight at the dr office was in Feb 06. I actually weighed 5 more lbs than I did when I started my official weight loss efforts. Which means that I've actually hit the 60lb mark. Kind of hard to believe... Especially since I still feel pretty fat sometimes.

I've been tracking today and so far - no deficit. I'm at +210 calories for the day. I'm going to work out tonight -If I can burn 500c I'll down-300ish.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Singing in the rain

Since I teach Sunday School (until Sept) I need to be at church by 10:00 am on Sunday am- instead of 11. This makes a Sunday workout a little challenging. I usually don't workout on Sunday unless I miss a Saturday workout. Well this week I missed quite a bit . So this morning before church and against my body's wishes, I went on a 30 mile bike ride.

It was totally and completely awesome. I went on a new route that had a few really killer hills as well as some pretty technical parts (tight turns, windy roads, etc.). My legs felt great to be working that hard. I kept my speed in the 16-17m range most of the time - except on one particularly tough hill where I was at 10mph. Even the rain -that accompanied me for 80% of the ride, didn't put a damper on things. At one point I started singing to myself... The best part was flying down a hill at 36MPH :} . The worst part was almost getting killed at the bottom of the hill.

And since I am working on my promptness, I had to adjust my time and my plan. At 9:30 I knew it would take roughly 40 minutes to get back to my car - then back home. I then would need to get dressed. I decided to end the ride early take a short cut home and pick up the car later. Thankfully I did this because it definitely helped . In fact I was right on time for leaving with hubby and kids. If I had stuck to the original plan they would have left me home.

On the whole late thing. I read an article in O magazine that described me to a tee. It talked about people like me who are occasionally time challenged and those who are not. The time challenged are called polychrones and the punctual are called monochrones. Polychrones see time and activities as more elastic than fixed . While monochrones see time as finite as well as the activities. Polychrones have trouble with "dismounting" that is leaving one activity for another. The article gave pretty good tips on ways to help with the dismount. Like... say goodbye before you say hello (let everyone know that you need to leave by x time - even rehearse it), Put 50% of energy into the dismount ie wrapping up a meeting/conversation etc. There were several other helpful tips - It was a timely and helpful article . I am really committed to improving and so I'll take all the tips and tricks I can.

Tomorrow is my mini tri day... T-20 for Danskin so this will be an intense 20 days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No Excuses Lifestyle

Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent. They build bridges to nowhere are are monuments of nothingness and those who use them are seldom capable of anything else.

I learned this as a sophomore - while pledging DST and it has stayed with me. In fact, I taught it to my children. It is a reminder to me that anything is possible - when I rely on God and I don't use excuses as a crutch. I try to live my life in a "no excuses" manner. With exercise it can be hard to be completely free of excuses but when you commit to eliminating them , it makes you that much stronger.

This morning was a morning of no excuses. I woke up at 5am after arriving from Fla last night at 11, prepped for my trip today to Minn (another meeting- but just a short trip), and contemplated my workout . I needed to swim but I felt like sleeping. I am really feeling a bit sick- I was prepared to use that as an excuse for getting back in the bed. I put my body on autopilot and did not allow my mind to interfere. I went to my closet, changed into my swimsuit , grabbed my bag and headed for the gym. On the way I called my sister and mom - to let everyone know we arrived safely, arranged my hotel for this evening in Minnesota and checked my scheduled for the day. I arrived at the gym and quickly went down to the pool. When I walked into the pool area -I saw him "Coach loose hands". I wanted to turn around and not swim. After all this was the first time I'd seen him . I paused for a minute and thought about Seafair. I thought about my 23 minute time and how my goal is to do my best - and that was not my best. Living a no excuses life means - stuff happens.... handle it. Don't make excuses for not doing your best and pushing past your limits. I wanted to turn around - but I grabbed my floats, dropped my towel -- looked him in the eye and swam my laps.
I feel great- not tired, less sick and happy that pushed past the excuses.

Also today, a group of girls at the gym invited me to join them on their runs. I am so intimidated by them because I'm such a slow runner . I was quick to say "Oh maybe one day I'll join you". Then I thought about it. The only way I will get faster is to push myself and running with other people who are faster will certainly push me. What am I afraid of.. it might actually be fun. No excuses - I will join them .

I also am focused on cleansing my diet because the last week hasn't been great. I will accept no excuses from myself today - I am cleansing by eating shakes and protein and lots of water. No excuses.

I will be the best that I can be -- no excuses!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wet Disney, Germs and Pinkeye

As part of one of the preconvention meetings I attended this week , I was fortunate enough to spend some time listening to the former COO of Disney discuss customer satisfaction is done the Disney way. He explained how everyone who works there is charged with making each customer's visit magical. He discussed the 7 principles for satisfying customers - funny they all align with the 7 dwarfs (don't be dopey - speak to customers first and be nice, be happy - leave your problems at home, be like sleepy - make the experience like a dream, etc) . When I visited - I paid attention for evidence of this training. And yes - for the most part everyone from the ticket agent to the ride managers were trying to make our visit special. If only the rain had gotten the memo. It seems as though the weather changes things quite a bit.

When we arrived - it was mid afternoon and the weather was lovely. we got on a few rides and saw a little show(Enchanted Tiki Room). We then proceeded to wait 55 minutes for a ride only to have it close as soon as we were about the board . It closed due to inclement weather. We decided to wait it out and 2 hours later we rode splash mountain. The rest of our time there was spent running in our ponchos from shelter to shelter - trying to ride the indoor rides. When you try to complain or ask for consideration of a fast pass or something else, the employees simply reply " I'm sorry the weather is out of our control" . Not too magical. I'm just ranting...I know there is nothing they can do but it was a stark contrast to the earlier behavior.

Disney and places like that are hot beds for germs. We wiped the kids hands down after touching the rides. You just know that there are all sorts of germs living on everything. On our way home, I realized that I felt ill probably due teacup ride plus the rain. I woke up this am to find my right eye closed shut and full white discharge - tell tale sign of pinkeye. My throat is sore and I have sinus infection. I'm sorry Walt, my visit was far from magical.
I'm still planning to go for my run this am - but I'll just be sure to bring antibacterial wipes with me to wipe down the treadmill and everything I touch.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I can't wait until surgery

I have decided that I am going to go through with the surgery. I've done everything I can do - physical therapy, weight lifting, ice, glucosimine and I still find the pain difficult to work through. The problem isn't just when I work out, it hurts most when I am not working out. I can't sit for more than 15 minutes and walking up stairs is getting tough. So I've decided - I'm going to have surgery in September. I can use the fall to recover and then get going in January with training.
But first - there is the Danskin and Kirkland triathlons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


So this week I am in Florida for a work convention. I got up this morning an attempted to go for a little run ....aaaarrrgh. Am I a fool? It feels like 1000 degrees with 100% humidity. I promptly went back in to the gym - after 10 minutes outside. My calves are a little sore from Seafair, but I'm sure it is better to be active than not.

The kids and hubby are coming down later this week as are my sister and her family. It should be fun. we are all going to Disney on Saturday and then spend time with mom on Sunday. I am so excited about seeing them.

There is a pool here and a decent gym so I should be able to get in a few pretty good workouts.

Separate topic -- but good tip. Great way to listen to music - pandora music - msn radio powered by Pandora. You put in artist you like and it programs a station based on the composition of the song/artist you like. All free and the matching is spot on. I put in India.Arie and the selections made are all really good..

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Breaking down the 8 minutes

My goal for this year is to take off 8 minutes of my last triathlon time. Why did I pick 8 ? Well it feels challenging but doable. So here is my time from last year's Danskin....

Bib #5374

Overall Rank 1877 of 3967 (47th percentile)
Class Rank 332 of 1003
Swim time 00:19:21
Swim Rank 1294 ( 33rd percentile)
Transition 1. 00:04:08
bike time 00:41:49
Bike Rank 995 (25th percentile)
bike pace (mph) 17.7
Transition 2 00:03:36
Run time 00:39:33
Run Rank 2989 (75th percentile)
Run pace 00:12:45
Final time 01:48:29

So I am bottom of the top half overall, top 3rd for the swim, top 25th for the bike and 75th percentile for the run :(.

I figure in order to take 8 minutes off, given where I am this year.... I figure I can take 2 minutes off my transitions, 3 minutes off the run, an 3 minutes off the bike. I am a slightly better runner, better biker by a bit, and about the same swimmer. I am not thinking I will take much time off my swim because I have not been swimming as much as last year. In fact I have not been in the lake at all this year. I've done pool swimming but not nearly as often as last year. If I can do it in the same time - I'll be happy.
Well we will see... My first tri of the season is the Seafair Triathlon on 7/15.

Friday, July 13, 2007

all fruit is not your friend

One of the things I enjoy most about living in Washington is the fruit. Since moving here I've had some of the best apples in my life. Fuji, Jazz, Cameo, Pink lady, etc.. in addition to the standards. Also the cherries are delicious and plentiful. white cherries sweet red -- fresh off the tree.

Last week my neighbor came over and dropped off about 3lbs of fresh cherries that he'd picked on I was recently having a conversation with a good friend about cherries and how she and I love them . We were chatting about how they could be somewhat of a mindless food - in that you could keep eating the for hours. I am the same way with grapes.

The bottom line is that it all counts. At the end of the day - you need a deficit - period! Whether it comes from fruit or ho hos - I need to consume less than I burn. And I need to keep track of everything that goes in my mouth. Cherries are about 100 calories for 18 . Grapes are about 57 calories for 10. I think last weekend I ate 300 calories worth of cherries. That could have been a lean cuisine meal or something else with more density. but no I ate cherries. I'm getting back to being more diligent about meal tracking...so I'll need to be much better with my choices.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You have to suffer to get stronger.....

Wednesdays are great. Not because it is hump day or because I have the fewest meeting of the week this day. It is because it is the day I have my endurance spin class with my favorite teacher . I always feel great after her classes 1) because I always get a killer endorphin rush about 2 hours after the class and 2) because she always gives me great words of motivation that last far beyond the class. Today was no exception.

We did several long hill climbs and then a few sprints - but the one constant in this endurance class is that we have no recovery. Which means we are keep at a steady intensity level the entire class. This is great training because it helps you understand how to adjust speed to maintain intensity . This is especially helpful outside when it is easy to pull back just because you move from a hill to a flat.

She had us do quasi sprints on our hill climb - which is wicked. Just when you are pushing it and thinking you can't make it through the hill climb, she tells you to push your speed up. Today she said " This is when you get strong. You have to suffer a bit to get stronger". This is so true. As I suffer through hill climbs in her class , I know I will be stronger on my hill climbs outside. As I suffer through my runs in the morning, I know they will help my transition times in my triathlon.

It also made me think of the whole suffer , get strong rhythm outside of biking. Today I thought about work. Working here requires tough skin - since it feels like you are constantly looking in the mirror. There is constant feedback on your performance from all around. It is easy to take the good...(of course) and it can be easy to take the not so good. It is easy to shrug it off and say it is them not me. Hearing constructive feedback is always tough as there are so many factors to consider. Should you change based on feedback? Should you ignore it? I've done both. Once I made some changes in style based on feedback and realized after the fact that the feedback was based on one person's insecurity. Once I ignored it and got dinged later for ignoring it (but the person giving it was hmm... let's say troubled). Anyway - this time I got feedback from people that work for me. And you know what I realized -- they are right. I need to change. This is a part of my character where intentions and action don't match. It has to do with my punctuality (yes I'm guilty of sometimes arriving on CP time). What is up with that.anyway. Why do we have to be known for CP time. Why is it so common among some of us ? (not all of us sweet lo!) I don't intend to disrespect other's time but that is exactly what I do. I've known for a while that I've needed to improve in this area but I've not been as urgent about improving. So here is where I am going to suffer. It is a horrible trait that I hate in myself. I am going to need to be disciplined in ways that I haven't before (saying no, telling people I need to go, having lots of hard stops, etc.etc.) . Confessing this here is part of my suffering, these next few weeks will be tough but I'll demonstrate what I'm made of.

Friday, July 6, 2007

one ear plug and cellulite on an Ironman?

The plan: get up and out to the lake by 6. Get wetsuit, goggles and swim cap on and in the lake by 6:30.

The reality: found out my friend's mom was not doing well and probably not going to make it through the night. Decided to get swim stuff then go to nursing home before swimming to give my friend support. When I arrived - my friend was not there so I stayed with her mom for a little while. When I got to the lake, I put my wetsuit on - then attempted to put my swim cap on..and it ripped (aarrggh). Then I opened my earplug case and for some reason I only had one. I absolutely cannot swim without earplugs (crazy bad vertigo/dizziness). Then I looked at my watch and realized that I had exactly 1 hour before I was to be in a meeting at work.
Needless to say ---there was no swimming.

The realization: God doesn't make mistakes... but why did he make cellulite? As I was walking back to the car, other triathletes were taking off wetsuits and getting dressed. As I watched one woman take off her wetsuit , she not only revealed a cute 2pc swim suit, she also revealed thighs full of cellulite. Now this is not just any woman, this is a woman who on Sunday will compete in her 3rd 1/2 Ironman. Now in order to be ready for an Ironman - she does an awful lot of training. Too much training to support the theory that cellulite only graces the unfit. I took comfort in her cellulite. Comfort in knowing that I am not alone. Despite losing several inches from each thigh I still have a lovely pocket that just won't smooth out. But I digress....
I realized that if I don't get swim at least 3-4 hours this week, I am in big trouble.

I am feeling so strong...and I am

Because of the 4th of July being in the middle of the week - I got up (thinking it was Monday) and headed out for my heavy weight and then spin class. As I made my way down the stairs I realized it was actually Thursday and that I was not supposed to heavy weights . I ended up doing it anyway. As long as I've had 48hours of rest per muscle group , I'm good. Except squats... my quads don't fatigue as easily.
Anyway - today was my most aggressive and longest weight workout. I did 1hour of total body -heavy until fatigue workouts. All free weights. I felt really strong while doing my workout. Then I realized --I am pretty strong. Despite the lack of definition -- deep in the bowels of my thighs lie a complex network of muscle fibers - that when pushed can really go to town.

I did quads, abductors, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Biceps, Triceps, Delt and shoulders. Then I topped it off with a tough ab circuit. I made it a cardio workout by not resting more than 30 seconds (if at all) between sets. When I was done, I did 30 minutes of running on he elliptical - this burned 300 calories alone.

So far I am feeling really good. A little tension in my muscles but no soreness. I stretched really well afterwards. Perhaps that helped. I feel really good about my weight workout and my strength. I kept pushing myself with just a little more weight, just a few more reps .. and time and time again I surprised myself.

My nutrition was quite good today. Shake, soup and couscous and ground turkey. 1600 calories (I ate cherries for my snack). My workout resulted in over 1500 calories burned. This plus my basal metabolic rate and I had a deficit day of over 600 calories

Tomorrow I am going for my fist open water swim of the season. At the lake near my house. There will be a bunch of other swimmers out there so I won't be alone. I am looking forward it!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Week in review

Well i have exactly 11 days until the Seafair Triathlon. I am excited but not necessarily as prepared as I'd like to be. This triathlon is coed and as such will probably be rougher and more competitive than the Danskin. I'm feeling ok about the bike and run - the swim is the only event I'm a little concerned about. I've heard the course can be a little on the long side - in that they don't always measure accurately. I've heard it was as long as .75 mile. My plan is to get in as much swimming as I can between now and then. I'm concerned but not worried.

This week was not as hectic as last week - I still feel like work is consuming way more time than I'd like , but this week was better. I had a few 10+ hour days but took back the time by coming in later a few days.
Cycling was awesome as usual - both my outdoor rides and indoor spinning class. I could ride for hours - I love it so much. It is so freeing . I also got in a little running this week. Roughly 6 miles . This morning I did a little 3 mile run to the beach a the lake and back. I didn't intend to run - I just needed to clear my head with an outdoor walk. But when I left I started running and didn't stop until I got back home.

On the weight front - I lost the 2lbs ! I did it by adding more cardio and I think my heavy weight days are helping. I also devote 1 day to shakes and 10 oz of protein. the other days were protein and veggies and roughly 1200-1500 calories.
More swimming will probably result in another 2lb drop. My first week of active swimming always results in a loss. This is due to my initial inefficiency . I'll get better over time but hours of inefficient swimming burns a ton of calories . I highly recommend it :).

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.