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

Friday, September 28, 2007

No Excuses -- hair and all

Yesterday – I saw Melisha.  Now Melisha is not just any hairstylist, she is the most in demand hairstylist on the Eastside of Seattle. She is usually booked for weeks – even months and it took me 1 month of waiting before I was able to see her.  How was she?  Very good. When I left – my hair looked shiny and sleek and it was bouncing and behaving.  My daughter even commented when I got home that my hair looked beautiful.  And beautiful it was. 


So the 30 day challenge that I made yesterday morning was weighing on my mind as I sat in the chair getting the final flat iron smoothing.  As I sashayed out of the salon ( 60 dollars lighter), with the wind blowing through my tresses, I thought… I can’t possibly take spin tomorrow and sweat this out.


No Excuses – hair and all.

Well – this morning I got up and headed for the gym. Already accepting that I would have less than 24 hours of perfect hair and that I all but wasted my time and money at the salon.  


Today’s class was intense and wonderfully hard. Of the 60 minute class, we spent  45 minutes of straight hill climbing with no recoveries. And my clothes and hair had all the sweat to prove it.  When I was done I did a quick arm and ab workout and then dashed home to take the kids to school.  When I left the gym – my hair was a wreck.


The amazing thing is that when I got home , my hair was dry and actually looked quite good. By the time I got dressed – it still  looked pretty good.   All in all – I did nothing at all and it looked quite pretty good.  So yesterday wasn’t a total waste – in fact my hair is still bouncing and behaving.  And best of all – I am on track with my 30 day challenge…   


Although I think it might be too easy and  I need to add “lose 6 lbs” to my challenge.



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Feell the resistance and handle it /30 day challenge

Resistance -- I love it in spin class. I love piling on the resistance and challenging myself. I love feeling the tension in my legs and powering through it. I love how it feels to push through something that is really hard.

What is hard these days - is staying on track with my clean eating plan. Sometimes it feels as though the resistance is hard.. the temptation is the resistance, the stress, the need for comfort, the restlessness. I have found such good coping mechanisms but lately I've had trouble using them. I am feeling a little off kilter and a bit vulnerable. All this resistance is part of the process right - part of the ups and downs of weight loss and staying on track. Today's mantra in spin class was feel the resistance and handle it. I am recommitting myself to handling it.

So I really miss my family - back on the east coast. I mean really. The problem is I'm not sure I am ready to go back. We are discussing this a lot these days. While I would love to go back, I would be neurotic about making sure that I set myself up for success from a fitness perspective. I would need to live near a gym (like 10 min away), I'd need to live in a really beautiful place - so that could have really scenic runs. Well all of that is premature - we've just been thinking. Nothing concrete.

I need a challenge and I'd like some company. So here it is -- I have 4 weeks until surgery (unless I chicken out - which I am seriously considering) and that is enough time for a good meaty goal. My goal is to be more consistent. I've been averaging 6-8 hours a week but it has been 2 hours a day 3-4 days a week. So I'm shooting for 1 hour a day every day - except 1 day on the weekend that would be 30-40 hours in 30 days. I would also like to reduce body fat by 1%.

If you read this - you are in. What is your big 30 day goal?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

That time......

What I wanted: to stay in the bed and do nothing.

What I needed: to get out of the bed and exercise really hard .  

What I did : I attempted to weights before spin – but ended up feeling really inadequate, really fat and like a faker. I ended up doing a really wimpy workout.  I went to spin class and felt great. I didn’t have to think, I couldn’t wallow in my inadequacy.. I just had to follow instructions.  This was exactly what I needed.


Why was I in such a funk?  Well…. that time… (guys: stop reading here)


So 2-3 days before that time, I get in such a funk that I need to lock myself in a room and not speak to anyone until it is over.  I know that I cannot make any major /minor decision nor should I have any big meetings around this time. My husband associates any major job changes or statements about career changes with this time . He is right.  It is amazing how my perception and outlook on everything is so completely affected during this time.  I was in a meeting yesterday and got a complete anxiety attack (silent). I am leading a team on a pretty big project and things have been going really well. However, yesterday I started thinking that everyone was just setting me up so that I could fail. I started thinking that they were going to find out that I really didn’t know what I was talking about. I started thinking they were laughing at me.  Then I looked at my watch and realized the date. I realized that they are not laughing at me and I know what I’m talking about. Not only do I know – but I’m an expert .   Knowing that this anxiety/paranoia is part of the 48 hours of craziness that precedes “that time” makes it easier to get through these crazy feelings.  Knowing also helps me control my sweet cravings.  On these days – the best thing for me to do is to task oriented work and instructor led workouts.   The tough part is that this has gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.  A few years ago a doctor recommended I take a anti depressant for 2 weeks out of the month designed for people like me (women with Premenstrual dysphoric disorder- PMDD). I decided I did not want to go the drug route as there are several approaches to treatment. Especially since it lasts for only 48-72 hours of the month. Since coming to Washington – my symptoms have been much less severe.  In fact, I believe that exercise (one of the treatment approaches) has cured me.   But consistency is the key. The last two months I’ve had an increase in the severity of my symptoms and I’ve also slacked off in my exercise consistency. I‘ve been averaging 3-4 days a week vs. 5-6.  This small changes makes a difference.  I’ve been feeling that I need to go big (1 -2 hour intense workout) or go home.  If I can’t get a big workout in I’ll not do anything. This is wrong – I need to work out consistently for 30-40 min a day even if it is not a “big” workout, even if I don’t have a big goal.  My mind body and soul need daily consistent exercise. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I wanted more

So I’m trying to determine my 40th birthday celebration. I have a 8 months to go until the big day. Here is what I’m considering: ½ ironman in Florida, 5 sprint triathlons; a weekend at the spa with my girlfriends. I am thinking that my celebration will be long and extended. In fact – I may celebrate the entire year..once a month. I do know that the theme will be Forty, Fit and Fabulous. I’ll get it together in the next few weeks and then send out save the dates .

Today’s spin class was nothing short of torturous. Janelle – the instructor told us up front that it was the workout that she hated most but it was necessary. I’ve been on the road for the last week so I wasn’t sure if I was up for such a tough ride. It was all high cadence , high resistance drills. For me it was brutal and wonderful at the same time. It was super hard and my quads and glutes were on fire. But surprisingly when it was over, I wanted more. I could have probably gone another hour. I was really wishing it was a 2 hour class.

Food – well my Treo is broken and therefore I’m not meal tracking. I am may have to use paper or Fitday but I love the portability of my Treo. I’ve been doing ok but notice that when I am stressed (or feeling out of control of a situation) I eat sweets. That was what happened with the Krispy Kremes and the random chocolates that I’ve been enjoying.

Surgery –So I am really nervous about the after effects of surgery . I’m concerned about exercising post surgery. I know I will be able to swim and I’m sure I can do core work and abs but I’m worried. For one I’ll be home and that means access to more food. Secondly I’ll be unable to do any cardio for several weeks – I am concerned about gaining weight. I have 3 weeks to come up with a plan.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

how many donuts can one eat?

Ok so I need to come clean .  There was one little data point that I left out of yesterday’s blog post. I meant to include it but I er , forgot . Ok I was embarrassed. 


My meal tracking from yesterday:


Breakfast – Scrambled Eggbeaters ( 120c)

                       sm Coffee with skim (80c)


Lunch -         Sushi rolls  ( 410c)



Dinner -        Broccoli and 3 oz grilled chicken (350c)


Snack – throughout the day – thanks to the demons at work who brought in 20 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts that I tried so hard to resist but could not as the day went on………………….


4 (that’s right ) Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts  at 200c a pop   (800c)




Monday, September 17, 2007

The worst he has ever seen.

So back to normal today – after being in Florida most of last week with sporadic internet access. This is going to be a pretty crazy week at work – based on my calendar and I’m exhausted just at the thought of it. Since I got back yesterday and tried to spend as much time as I could with the kids, I didn’t get a chance to do my work catch up. So I did it this am – which means no workout. I’m bummed but I know that there was not much choice.

I weighed myself this am and I was exactly the same as I was when I left. The last few days my stomach condition improved slightly and I had a few meals (and a little drinky drink). I have a bunch of 8am meetings this week so I will need to get up super early in order to get my workout done get dressed and make it in time.

Today I had my pre op appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. My plan was to inquire about getting both knees done at the same time instead of one at a time. So my doctor did not recommend it as he thought it would be too difficult for me to recover. He also mentioned that he was surprised it took me this long to decide to go through with the surgery as he reminded me that my patella tendonitis was “the worst he has ever seen” . He thought that the pain would bring me in sooner. He did a brief exam on both knees and said that both knees were “crunchy” – in that they make crunching and clicking sounds when I extend them. He said I should be able to get around roughly 10 days post surgery (with crutches) and I can consider having the other knee done a few weeks later. As he described it today – the surgery is a bit more complicated than I initially understood. What I thought would be a simple draining of excess fluid in my tendon , is actually an incision to remove damaged tissue , then stitching the tendon so that it will heal. In addition , he will use the orthoscope to remove excess tissue under my knee cap. In short – it is a slightly bigger deal than I thought. So 10/19 is the date. I contemplated chickening out again but then thought about how bad my knees have been hurting lately and how I’d like to continue to be active well into my later years. This surgery should help me keep my groove well into my 60's

Friday, September 14, 2007

I got carded

More recruiting and interviewing during the day and receptions at night. I’m meeting really great people and I think we are changing perception a bit about our company. In the tech space, there are cool companies and then there is us. However our uniforms and our party – helped to change the perception that we too are cool and fun .

My stomach is still a bit sensitive and I needed to take a bunch of tums today. Luckily it worked. The impact of this stomach sensitivity is that I have no hints of muffin top or back fat when I wore my little reception outfit. Not that this is a huge concern normally but my light food intake lately has certainly helped.

I worked out again today – just 1 hr 10 min of cardio. No weights…. Just 20 minutes running and 50 minutes on 2 different types of elliptical machines. My knees were still really hurting – even on the elliptical. I’ll have to start taking daily Aleves again.

So tonight – on the dance floor – as I was enjoying dancing to Jay Z, Biggie and SWV (yes) and dirty south music- a guy asked me to dance. So I say yes and then start asking him what company he is with. We start chatting and then we get on to age – he asked me when I graduated. When I told him he said no way. He kept badgering me and would not believe it when I told him I was 39. He asked to see my id. I was so amused (and flattered) that I obliged. He thought I was the same age as he was 31 J …. Although , hmm he was a little tipsy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Midday quickie

So the reason I am in Florida (Hotlando) is that I am on a recruiting for my company at the National Black MBA conference. There are roughly 10k in attendance – all here either for development opportunities from the seminars or for the career fair. And what a fair it was. If you are black (or “other”) have an MBA, and are looking for a job – this is the place to be. All the big names in corporate America are here and ready to hire. I was busy networking and recruiting – in search of good candidates that we could potentially hire. I had a blast. I learned that I really like recruiting and I’m pretty good at it too.

The night life was pretty good too – with Target (yes red bullseye target) being the ultimate party host. Their party was off the chain amazing. Lots of old school, house and beautiful people. Our party was hot as well (I was pleasantly surprised). I spent about 4 hours straight dancing.

Today in between the end of my interviews and our reception, I visited the gym for a quick midday workout. I ‘m still pretty sore from the hard workout the other day, but i managed to do a nice upper body workout for 30 minutes and 45 minutes of cardio (run and elliptical). I think many men are not used to seeing a woman like me – so a few of them paused. I think they may have been a little jealous at my deltoid/shoulder definitionJ. I better chill out so that I don’t get too defined. Anyway, after the workout I was in so much pain, I could hardly walk up the stairs. My knees were throbbing and a little swollen. I took 2 Aleve and rested for a bit. I was fine later (on the dance floor) .

My nutrition has been pretty solid – thanks to a little stomach sensitivity. I can’t seem to eat anything lately without getting major abdominal discomfort. This has been helpful to staying away from bad stuff…J

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hard weight and long cardio--- I love it

I have a theory for why I need a big goal to help me maintain my workout schedule/intensity. Without it, perhaps I am uncomfortable with the implied vanity that working out so frequently creates (at least in my mind). Maybe I feel vain if I work out only for me – perhaps I feel guilty focusing on the way I look and my health, instead of just for performance. Working out for optimal performance for an upcoming event makes it feel like it is about the race, not my body.
So I love lifting weights, the more I do it the more I love it. Talk about vanity – though. I really love the way sculpted muscles look and weight training for me is about vanity at the root. Although there are many athletes who do it to help performance. That would not be me. I do it because I love feeling and looking strong and sculpted.

So to justify my obsession with weights – should I consider a goal here? Well I could consider trying to qualify for a Ms. Olympia type fitness/figure or body building competition. Though it might be pretty impossible at my age and current body fat percentage- but potentially doable ? hmmm. Or should I just continue doing what I like because I like it. Yeah that’s where I am. I’m ok with being a little focused on the way my body looks – just for a few hours of the day. After all this is all new for me. I was always more concerned with avoiding looking at myself or living in denial about how bad I looked. I am ok with finally feeling good in my skin and wanting to look good in my skin too.

So today I did 50minutes of weights and 40 minutes of cardio. I did legs, abs and shoulders and then did elliptical and treadmill. I’m sure I overdid it and I’ll be a little sore tomorrow but oh well – it felt really good. I did 4 sets of deadlifts – these are supposed to be really good for that little space between the top of your thigh and the buttocks. If you need a little lift here – deadlifts will help. I also did the 6 other exercises on my leg circuit –including squats, lunges, bench raises, calf raises, hamstring curls and leg extensions . I did 4 sets – with the 4th being the post fatigue light set. When I do this circuit – my heart rate gets up to 70% because I take NO rests – only if I absolutely have to (because of dizziness) and if I do it is 15 seconds.

Today I am leaving on a red eye flight to travel to Hotlando for work. There will be no running outside (been there won’t do that again) but I will spend lots of time in the gym and possibly the pool. I will aim for biceps/triceps/cardio on Thursday, 90 min cardio on Friday and abs/back/chest/cardio on Saturday. My plan for food will be to stick to veggies and protein – with a few selected treats thrown in. No wine unless I really really want to drink.

My nutrition has been ok – except I have not been eating enough . For some reason my appetite is very funny lately and as a result I am not eating enough . I hope this doesn't negatively impact my weight. I have to make sure I eat enough so that my body doesn't go into starvation mode and hold on to weight.

Oh hair update.. my hair is holding up. It looks ok but feels like straw. I figure I have a few more weeks before the end are completely damaged from all of the flat ironing. Gi the pincurls are still working but not after the workouts. I am enjoying the look of it though. It is a welcome change.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Subaru or Seahawks….

So here is my situation for this weekend. I just scored tickets to the sold out season opener of the Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay game. They are on the 35 yd line and in section 100 (in other words prime seats). Problem is – if I do the Subaru triathlon I will have a tough time getting back up north, getting to church to teach my class and then leaving early to make the kickoff.

With the Seafair Triathlon, I was able to get in and out by 9:30am and get to church in plenty of time. With the Subura Tri, the setup does not allow for you to reenter the transition area to pick up your bike and gear until everyone is finished. So let’s say I finish at 8:40 am, I will need to wait until 10:30 or so to get my gear. Which means I will be late for church and I won’t be able to leave early for the game.

I don’t have time to get a teaching replacement for church and I really want to go to the game. So buh bye Subaru.

I need to accept that sometimes big races are anticlimactic and leave you yearning for something else (my experience with Danskin). Signing up for Subaru was really an expression of that and me not knowing where to put my displaced energy. So I signed up for it – because I could. There was no incentive for me to do it: it was not close, I knew no one who was doing it, my family would not be able to come, and the schwag wasn’t particularly cool. Plus I really didn’t want to do it. I was just a little bored and not sure what to do with myself. The bottom line is I need to find a way to work out without a goal in mind… it is a little hard for me as I think I will lose purpose and slack off. It is something I really need to do. It will save me lots of money in wasted registration fees over the long run.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Glamour don't-- Oh no she didn't!

I was appalled to learn about a presentation given by a Glamour magazine editor at a lawyers convention... at the presentation of 40 or so lawyers, this editor from Glamour during her presentation on the dos and don'ts of corporate fashion stated:

First slide up: an African-American woman sporting an Afro. A real no-no, announced the Glamour editor to the 40 or so lawyers in the room. As for dreadlocks: How truly dreadful! The style maven said it was "shocking" that some people still think it "appropriate" to wear those hairstyles at the office. "No offense," she sniffed, but those "political" hairstyles really have to go.

See the article here http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1188161099761

Can you believe this? As a corporate woman who wore a braids for a good part of the year, I find these comments incredibly offensive. But ...is it true? Is my image negatively impacted with a natural hairstyle? Does my choice of a style that supports my healthy lifestyle impact my image in corporate america? Does it negatively impact my earning power? Should I wait until I am a CMO to embrace my inner afro? This is a doggone shame that I even have to think of this and that people like prominent editors have opinions about a sistas hairstyle.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

hilary and obama

Ok – so I’ve been on the fence for the past year. I’ve feel like I’ve been waiting such a long time for Hilary and finally her time has come. I’m excited about Obama’s chances and I would love to see him make history. I’m familiar with both of their positions on the issues that are nearest and dearest to my heart – education, the war, economy – tax cuts, defense budgets and health care. I feel that both have a positions and I’m supportive of elements each candidates platform. Until this morning – I was a strong Hilary supporter – which is a bit difficult to manage in an Obama household. So what happened this morning? I saw Michele Obama on TV at the gym. I really like her. and her arms are terrificly toned – she must workout with weights . As much as I'd like to see a first man, I think I'd like to see Michele in the White House even more. Now I think I’m leaning toward Obama…. J

LL Cool J and pincurls

Back to normal today . I am still on East coast time so I was up at 4:15 and out the door by 4:45. I started my workout with 40 minutes of weights -a pretty tough circuit with little to no rest between sets. I’ve learned a ton about the most efficient way to work out from a few sources and I’ve tried to implement the tips that work best. With regards to weights and cardio – starting my workouts with weights is more efficient than starting with cardio. It takes your body 15-20 minutes to begin to burn fat from cardio . Rather than wait- I do weights first at a pace that gets my heart rate up – that way I get double the impact.

So here is what I’m doing these days: 12 reps of dead lifts (50lbs), 16 reps each leg of leg raises on a bench (44lbs), 20 calf raises, 16 squats with abductors (50lbs on shoulders), 20 calf raises, 12 hammer curls 15lbs per arm, 15 shoulder raises (30lbs). I do this circuit 3 times without resting more than 15 seconds. I got this workout from my man LL Cool J. Yes we go way back and from time to time he passes on good tips . Ok so not really … but I did get his workout book for valentine’s day from my hubbyJ. In addition to the great pictures , there is some pretty good advice in the book . I learned about super sets , the power and need for heavier weights and working past fatigue with lighter weights. I really want a more sculpted look so I’m going to be adding more weights over the next few weeks.

So by the time I finished the 3rd set , my heart rate was quite elevated. Then it was time for spin class. My legs are still fatigued from this morning’s class. I got the sense that my instructor was on a mission to take people out today… and she was enjoying it. The class was incredibly hard today (high cadence hills) and people were dropping like flies. I thought I saw her smirk a bit , as one by one people packed it in. Not me… though. I was like bring it on! It felt so good and made me realize that I love spinning perhaps a little more than I love outdoor riding. I can be totally focused on me- my breathing, my pace, the power in my legs, my position etc. While I love riding outside – I am usually thinking about the rain, the cars, the bumps in the road, etc. Today was totally inward focused and I loved it.

After spin – I did 30 minutes on the elliptical – super fast 176 at level 6. Then I did abs, stretched and went home to take a special little boy to kindergarten. 2 hours 15 minutes in total workout..

How’s the hair? I tried pin curls during the workout at the suggestion of my friend. It worked really well overnight but couldn’t stand up to my workout. After working out I looked like a shaggy mop head. I ended up having to use my flat iron to get a few curls. I’ll keep trying.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sisterhood, Cravings and $202 later.......

So I'm back in Jersey for an extended weekend for a big family and friends cookout (aka "The FishFry"). My younger (and only) sister hosts a big family bbq where she and her hubby fry over 150 lbs of fish and others bring all sorts of side dishes. It is always a bunch of fun and there are well over 100 people. We have a bake off and tons of kids activities. So I'm super excited about seeing everyone.

To kick off my homecoming, I had a girls night out with a few of my close girlfriends. We ate sushi and drank sake (among other things) and just really enjoyed each others company and the sisterhood. Being with them and speaking with those who couldn't be there really made me appreciate the quality and longevity of my friendships. I have over 28 friends with whom I have a special relationship - a relationship with history. I can have deep conversations with any one of them - each with it's own context- based on my history with them. This was helpful because I've been feeling like my friendships in WA are not deep - they are nice, but for the most part superficial. It has made me feel somewhat lonely. Being in Jersey made me really appreciate and miss my friendships with history.

This week I have not worked out at all - other than a short walk with my kids. The main reason was the state of my hair. Just being in the NJ humidity created a bit of a puff head. Last night I could not get the comb through and just mushed it into a shape. My body has been craving some type of activity and I really am missing my daily dose of endorphins. I feel good about my eating as I've been really doing well. I didn't drink last night and I ate fish and veggies. I've actually been struggling to eat enough since we have been a bit busy since we got here. I am looking forward to next week - getting back into my routine.

I went to see my stylist today to get the "do" done. So no texturizer - because it would have required me to cut off 50% of the length and I'm not sure I'm ready to part with that much hair. So I got a relaxer and a trim - with just enough length for a ponytail. I didn't get any good advice on how to maintain it - as my stylist doesn't workout. She said whatever I was doing was working great since my hair is in such great shape. Well that would be braids and since I'm going for a new look - that is not an option right now. She suggested I wash it everyday after working out - or just put it in a ponytail. It is such a cycle -- If I wash it daily I'll need to deep condition it daily so it doesn't dry out. This would add 1hr 15m to my morning routine (which I don't have). If I don't wash it daily - I won't have a style -as it will be flat. If I try to curl it after sweating, it will damage it. I could always try working out in the evening - which is a one way express ticket back to my old fat self. Not working out is not an option. So workout + ponytail, no heat (flat iron, curling iron etc) is the only option. So why did I spend $202 to end up with a daily ponytail?

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.