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, December 31, 2007

Work it until fatigue

I didn't spin today (got up too late), but I had a killer workout. I did 1 hour of strength training - hard leg workout + arms + abs. I did a bunch of combinations and as usual , my own circuit on the bench (hack squats, deadlift, calf raises, bench lifts, leg raises, hamstrings, concentrated squats - 4 sets of to fatigue ). I'm really working on gaining my strength back. I believe I will get more value out of strength training at this time than I will from sport specific training. I not counting reps any more . I'm just focusing on working until fatigue. That might mean 15 on one leg and perhaps 20 on the other. It is all about working until fatigue.

I'm finding that my cardio endurance is definitely returning= as evidenced by my endurance on the elliptical, bike and treadmill. My heartrate recovery is pretty good at 18 seconds - my personal best is 10 seconds. Today after my strength training I did 45 minutes of cardio. For the first 30 minutes I did the elliptical at the fastest pace I've ever done. I used a really fast music (178 beats per minute) courtesy of DJ Steveboy - Rapid I movement. I stayed at a pace of 178 for most of the time but pumped it up to 244 for about 3 minutes. I did that twice. Then made it over to the treadmill and walked for 12 minutes and jogged for 3. I could barely move my legs so jogging was very slow (4.4).

Right now I'm wearing my knee brace and using heat therapy. I'll probably have to continue to do this following a tough workout like today.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A change is gonna come

We decided when we moved here that my hubby would be a stay at home dad and I would work (like crazy). What this has meant is that I am able to get up and go to the gym between 5:30 and 7:30am and work late if I need to. As a stay at home dad, my hubby has had responsibility for activity coordination, pickup/drop off and in school events. It has allowed our family to have a strong presence in the school - as my hubby is an active volunteer and PTSA board member. Plus it has allowed our kids to spend quality time at home with dad - helping with homework etc. It also gave hubby time to take a well needed break from a very stressful run as an entrepreneur. This has been priceless. It has also allowed me to be successful in my weight loss and training efforts.

My hubby has graciously done this for the last 2 years, but I knew that at some point his desire to return to the workforce would outweigh his desire to be a SAHD. Well that time is now. Hubby got a great job and we are thrilled. I am so happy for him especially because it leverages his experience as a franchise owner and allows him to grow in a totally new area.

So while I'm totally excited , I'm a little scared. What this means for me is that I need to adjust. I need to be disciplined enough to workout out at home in the am and find time to make it in to the gym after work/weekends several times a week. I 'm a little nervous about this (quite frankly terrified) because I have been unsuccessful with consistent workouts at home - and after work is not likely to happen. I know that my weight loss success was in part the result of my schedule flexibility. Well, the good news is that this happened now instead of earlier . I think I am much stronger now than I was a year ago. It will be tough but doable. It will just take a solid plan and solid discipline. Yes I can totally do this.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I was on my way to the gym but first needed to drop the kids off at Tae Kwon Do camp. I decided to hang around for a minute to check out how the kids were doing. It is amazing how martial arts transforms my kids into these focused little people. As I stood around, I saw a bunch of women congregating outside the next room. I soon realized they were there for Kickboxing. I'd thought about taking kickboxing in the past and thought hey - now is as good as a time as any. I'm already dressed - so why not.

It rocked! It was a great workout (660 calories per my heart rate monitor) and my knees held up quite well. This class was not a Taebo/aerobic dance style of kickboxing. It consisted of a series of kicks and punches on a weighted bag + jogging around the room. I really liked it and I plan to add it in to my workout mix. I even bought a punch card.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Farewell family -- now the detox begins

So I had 6 house guests visiting during the Christmas holiday and we survived! Yes we survived 10 people in the house without an argument, without bathroom sharing mayhem, without any shortage of anything. We had lots of game playing, fun and good food. We survived playing Wii and family fued (or shall I say losing family fued:() . I also survived a week of eating rich, heavy foods that only my mom can make. I relaxed all my rules and pretty much ate whatever I wanted. This means that I ate baked salmon, smothered salmon, mac n cheese, rolls, cake, cookies and iced tea. I feel so different after eating like this. I feel heavy, bloated and lethargic. While I visitited the gym, in no way did I acheive a calorie deficit.

So the damage is done - now on to the detox. I slid down the slope and now my task is to stop and get myself together. For the remainder of this week , I will begin detox and a return to a simpler, cleaner diet. Once all the leftovers are gone :), I'll begin with water, green tea and protein shakes. Then veggies and protein. Calorie goal will be 1500 a day and a burn of 300+ calories.

Monday, December 24, 2007

371/2 miles -- but at what cost.

I was determined to complete my goal of 30 miles before the end of the month- and I did it. I went to the gym today and did 8 1/2 miles on the bike, 2 miles on the treadmill and 1.5 miles on the treadmill. I was so happy to finish up before the 30th but I also felt like 30 miles a month is very much slackeresque - even through recovery. My plan was to ramp up to something that felt more like a stretch - but if feels wimpy (mentally) doing something that should be so easy.

The truth is my mind feels like this should be easy, but my body is totally struggling. I made it through today's workout but really struggled after. I want to workout so badly but I am just struggling physically. My knees are really giving me trouble -- in fact worse than before my injury last week. I don't know if going to the dr will result in anything - but I probably should give it a try. "Deal with it " is what I keep telling myself. I know it won't always be this way - but it sure feels crappy.

On a more positive note - I have 2 weeks left until my FFF celebration starts. I'm excited and my girlfriends are planning to come on the spa weekend in May. It will be so much fun. Even if I have bad knees for the rest of my life - I will find a way to stay fit and fabulous , and I will not gain the weight back.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Family workout

So today I took my mom to the gym and we had a nice workout and were able to chill for a bit in the sauna/hot tub. I've been really struggling with my knee - trying to be the hostess with the most. Luckily thought I was able to eek out a 1 mile jog and a bit on the elliptical. I am up to 27 miles and I'm sure I can push through to 30 miles.

I've been icing and will try heat as well. I am trying so hard to not be bummed by this - but it really is making me a bit anxious. What is most troubling is that I feel like I seriously undid healing and I don't know what to do about it. I feel worried about not working out and that I will gain weight. I'm also worried about being off track with training .

I think my best approach is to take it easy - as hard as that is, and listen to my body. It is definitely speaking to me and telling me to slow down.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

not just sucking it up

So I think I am really hurt. I probably should not have worked out yesterday. The bad thing about having a high pain tolerance is that sometimes I'm not sure when I should stop or suck it up. Since I'm having trouble walking again - I'm thinking I should take it easy for a few days. I'll ice , take a few days off and get back in the swing by the weekend .

Monday, December 17, 2007

On the job injury + 25 miles!!

Last week , I felt really great. Like so great that it did not feel like I had knee surgery 8 weeks ago. So great that I forgot that I was recovering. In my absentmindedness , I ended up doing something stupid.
Saturday was a crazy day. We had 3 parties and a piano recital + errands. Party #1 was a bowling party. My son needed me to tie his shoe. So I (having completely forgot about my recovery) attempted to bend down and tie his shoe. The pain and burning came without delay. In fact, before I touched his laces, I was on the ground screaming. I tried so hard not to cry - in front of the kiddies and all, but boy was I crying inside. Tears started streaming down my face and the other moms and the bowling alley employees ran over to see if I was ok. I eventually got myself together and carried on with the rest of the party. I went on with the rest of my day- without much fanfare, but I was in pain.

Today's workout was pretty good- 1hr 10 min of cardio. I did 10 miles on the bike, 2 miles on the elliptical and 1 mile jog. The jog was pretty good but painful. I was able to do 1 mile in 11.5 minutes. I probably could have gone faster but I felt like I shouldn't.

After the workout, I needed ice and realized that this little setback on saturday, probably put me back 3 weeks. I hope I didn't ruin any healing - but it feels like I might have. I will need to slow it down for a bit... train a bit , rest a bit. But I am up to 25 miles (woo hoo!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

30 miles or bust; Blog purity

So in an effort to maintain blog purity.. I'm going to focus on my fitness and training (and other random thought) in this blog and use my other blog to focus on my FFF plan and exploits. I also will be looking for input from others who are FFF to provide what is like to be FFF and what was the most memorable moment of that year.

OK - Training and diet recap for the week.
NADA... This week was a big ole bust. I ran on Monday, did a bit on Tuesday, bit on Wed - but nothing substantial. I have been feeling really sleepy lately. Like so sleepy that after I get up and get dressed , I have to go back to bed. And get this -- I go back to sleep. That is so unlike me. I've been a bit sick with a sinus infection - maybe that is it. Anyway - I'm a little off.

Food - well the Krispy Kremes made it back to the office this week. I managed to resist for about 30 minutes. Then I had one. But that is better than the last time - when I had 4.

I'm at only 13 miles for the month. I have 17 to go in order to make my goal of 30miles traveled this month. Between spinning and treadmill I'm sure I can do it. I'll make up a bunch tomorrow am (long workout planned) and Monday (spin). I will make 30 miles - even if I have to make it up during the holiday break.

It would be awesome to start the year 5 lbs lighter. I should let this go and focus on not gaining anything through the holidays. That would be a win.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Running again and 40 new things

So far I am on track with my December goals....
  1. Lose 5 lbs -- so far I lost 2lbs
  2. 30 miles - anyway I can get it (swim bike or run/walk) -- so far I'm at 11 miles (7 bike and 4 total walk/run)
  3. Get closer to my FFF plan -- yup I've posted it in the sidebar.

I still have not hired a new Physical Therapist - but I will soon. Although I'm feeling fine without one - but I know I need to overcome my superwoman tendency - and get with an expert.

I ran my first mile today since surgery. Today's plan was to work out at home because I had hair issues with my girl. She is a preteen and I styled her hair in what was clearly a "little girl" style. She made me promise to redo it this am before she went to school . So of course I needed to allow ample time for redos. So I planned to do a little bit of walking and possibly a few minutes of running, bounce on the mini trampoline and then strengthening and abs. I got on the treadmill - feeling great decided to just run for as long as I could. I ended up running for 16 minutes - which was about 1.4 miles. Still a pretty slow pace, but I am so happy to be running without pain.

While I was running pain free, I decided that perhaps I didn't need to go through with the surgery on the other knee right now. I'm feeling pretty good and like I should be ok with managing with anti inflammatory meds and Ice. I've experienced quite a bit of muscle atrophy and it will take a good 2-3 months to get back to where I was. I'm not sure I want to do it again so close to the last surgery. My first event is in May and I want to be ready. My quads were burning last week during spin and I had a tough time getting through the class on Friday. I have so much strength training to do , that I really need to make this a big focus for the next 8-10 weeks.

Part of my FFF plan is to do 40 things I've never done before . I'm so excited about this - although I've only come up with 20 things so far. To get to 40 , I need to average 2 things a month. I think I can do that. One of the first things I am going to try is acupuncture on my left knee. If that goes well, I may not need surgery at all.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spin again and baby got back.. too much

Spin again….

I got up early and feeling good , decided to take spin class.  Since this would be the first time in over 7 weeks, my plan was to take it easy. My expectations were low and I’d forgiven myself for bailing early before I stepped on the bike. 

Well , it started out ok – I was a little tentative. I really raised my seat high so that I would not put pressure on my knee.  Luckily, it was a fairly mild class in that Jeanine – the instructor, didn’t try to kill us (as she has done soo many times in the past).  Not only was I able to keep up but I stayed the entire class. AND I didn’t wimp out. I pushed the resistance and the cadence, and eventually lowered my seat.   I felt on top of the world .  I’m sooo happy to be back in spin class. It brings me so much joy and ooh, the endorphin rush.


Baby got back..way too much

So one of the cruelties of the scale (at least my scale) is that – while it can confirm that I have not gained weight, it shields me from the cold hard facts of fat distribution.  I’ve worked hard to manage my weight while recovering from surgery but of course I’ve done nothing to manage my fat.  I mean, to go from regular heavy cardio to nothing for 6 weeks—things were bound to change.   This cruel hard reality came crashing down on me this morning as I looked in the mirror at the gym . I have several favorite workout pants – some are more snug than others. Generally this is not a problem since the gym is full of snug attire and I’ve worked hard to make sure that someone won’t say “oh no she didn’t” when I walk by.   Well these particular pants are snug and perhaps have a bit less lycra than others. Anyway Let’s just say that when I looked in the mirror at my “back” , I realized that there was way too much.  I’ll have to stop getting dressed in the dark and do the butt check before I leave.  At least until I can tighten things upJ

Monday, December 3, 2007

I fired my PT and yes I overdid it

Only 3 things to say:

1. So – after an awesome workout last week and my not so awesome Physical Therapy session, I decided that I would continue my workouts and end the PT. So I said Buh bye to the PT sessions. This is not to say that I won’t start again with a different PT group, but right now the sessions are not that helpful. I may regret this later – but I am not happy with the quality of the sessions so I’m cutting my losses.

2. I overdid it Thursday and Friday and suffered all weekend as a result. L I’ll eventually learn how to take it easy.

3. I’ve 85% sure that I will have the other knee done sooner rather than later.. I’ll see how I get through this latest setback.

Ps – there is a Triathlon in California ON MY BIRTHDAY!! How awesome would that be!! I won’t sign up until I can run for 2 miles with no pain.

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.