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 22, 2008

Hot Yoga

I finally tried Hot Yoga. Last week was my first week of returning to 5+ workouts a week. I did P90x plus a few spinnervales sessions on the bike. Well this week, I finally got a chance to try Hot Yoga. A new studio opened near my house and I decided to give it a try. There was a great new member offer that was too good to pass up. $10 for 10 days. So far, I've done it 4 times . I think I am hooked. Bikram Hot Yoga was invented by Bikram Choudhury (more info here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikram) . It is a guided series of 26 poses done in a room heated to 105 degrees. I'm a little late to discover it as many folks around Seattle area have been doing it for years.
I am not exactly sure why, but I find myself wanting to do it again once I'm done. I really can't explain it. I think about it when I am not doing it. I know kinda strange. Let's be clear .. it is not easy. Nor is it enjoyable. It is rather tough and some of the poses are painful (at least for me). However when I'm done, I feel like I've put in a good workout and I get a nice boost of energy. It is not as boring as 60 minutes of straight cardio on a machine. I feel like I can challenge myself each time. Plus I am naturally flexible so - some of the poses feel really good.
So exactly what does this mean for P90x. Well quite honestly, I'm not sure. I will still do it - but I will fit it in between Hot Yoga. The Hot Yoga requires an additional investment - which really makes me think twice. I need to decide if I am going to join the triathlon club at my gym ($500) or do some form of a Hot Yoga plan (ranges from $99 a month to $600 for unlimited annual). Or do nothing and just continue my regular gym membership and do my hot workouts in the basement.
I think Im experiencing fitness ADD. I'll finish up my 10 day plan and then see how I feel.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wrap Up

So I wrapped up this week -2lbs and feeling just a tad stronger.

Here was my workout for the week...
M- P90x legs/back + 75min spin (brick workout)
T - Treadmill + ab ripper x
w. Arms and back + ab ripper x
Th- 75 min spin (brick)
fri - ab ripper x
Sat - spin + treadmill
Sun - none

In total, I give my self a b- for the week. I had a few A+ days and a few C days. My problem is late night. I love love love Tea with honey and honey has 150 calories per serving. I need to find a substitute or go cold turkey.

I'm beginning to give thought to what I want to accomplish in the next 12 months. I really thinking about how much running I should or could do. It is probably not in my best interest (long term) to do too much, however I would really like to have a big goal. Not sure if it will be a longer triathlon or somthing totally different. I'm thinking this is the year to add a century bike ride and possible a longer one. More to come...

Friday, December 5, 2008

I wanted to quit, but I didn't

So this week is a wrap....and I feel really good. 4 days workout 1 day rest. I'm feeling great about each workout - I pushed and I am really feeling it now. I did strength training and cardio each day. I did P90x 2 days and free weights the other days. 3 days of spinning and 1 day of circuit.

I am loving my home workouts. My bike trainer is all set up and I am using Spinervals to help keep me challenges with my at home bike workouts. That and P90x are enough to give me a workout that is equal to or greater than I would get at the club. Today I did a bike/run brick workout . It was super tough and I wanted to quit , but I didn't. I know that those moments when I want to quit are the very moments that make me stronger. This workout was 10 minute time trials with heavy resistance hop off bike run for 5 minutes building each minutes by 2 mph and getting up to 60% incline, the hop on bike and repeat. I did this 4 times. Then I did P90X abripperX+ . OMG... I need to keep working on this because I could not get through all of the exercises... I will though!

On the nutrition side... I did ok with my main meals -- but had a few too many snacks . Sunflower seeds and goldfish... No deficit -- but I didn't go over.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Muscle Memory

So today I had an awesome 90 minute workout. I spent the first 30 minutes doing a really tough strength training workout - focusing on upper body and abs. Then I popped over to do a 60 minute spin class. Both parts of the workout were extremely tough. The spin class was super hard - but felt really really good.
My weight training workout was the same workout I've done so many times in the past (3 sets each biceps, shoulders, pull downs, ball/ pushups and 3 sets of ball ab circuti). However this time - it really hurt and it was really hard to finish. I felt really weak.

I read recently that for every 2 week break you take from working out, it will take roughly 1 week to regain your former strength. That means I should get back to where I was in about 1 1/2 months. I do hope my muscles have a long memory.

On the food intake side, I did well today - so far I'm at a 500c deficit. Hopefully I will not do too much damage tonight..

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving plus deltas

So the week went well -- all things considered. My mom is doing really well , responding to Chemo much better than expected. As a result, I was able to get in 3 really great workouts. I visited the Bally's gym in Tampa and I was able to spin, do the elliptical and also get in a few really good strength training sessions. My nutrition was ok - definitely could have been worse. I had good control and ended with a deficit on 3 of the 5 days I was there. I was able to maintain, not gain any weight -- which is always a good thing.

I'm feeling really excited about using the next few months to really build a good cardio and strength base - upon which to build my skills for next year. I am not exactly sure why I feel so good - especially given my current body composition - but I feel really good. I'm definitely thinking about joining the triathlon club at the gym .. I think I'd benefit from the camaraderie and the structured workouts.

My focus over the next few weeks is going to be on building up my strength in my arms and quads. I need to make sure my quads are stronger this year- to help offset my knee issues. I've been playing volleyball lately - and boy does it hurts. I'm sure that my years of playing V-ball earlier in life is what caused my current knee troubles. While I need to take it easy - I'm working on securing volleyball scholarship for my 10 year old:) -- never too early to start.

So - the focus is on getting strong and building endurance -- and cleaning up the diet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

850 calories

So I am spending this week in Tampa to assist my mom. Just when I thought my mom was young and independent, wham - she gets surprise news that she has the "c" word. While the prognosis is good, it definitely makes you pause. It has been a time of reflection for all the things that we are grateful for. Also a time to think about how we take care of our bodies (or more correctly our temples). She and I have discussed how she needs to change her lifestyle WHEN (not if) she gets through this . Just staying with her made me realize how much of an effort it is to eat healthy. She shops for convenience and costs. So that means things that are often not fresh but frozen, and more starches/carbohydrates than veggies. We discussed how that needs to change -as well as how her lifestyle needs to change. I convinced her, that even in her condition, it is good to get out for a little walk.

I've also had a chance to do a little reflecting of my own. My tendency to turn to food for comfort is totally misguided and absolutely detrimental to my health. Well duh ... I knew that but I just was not listening. I need to listen and I will.

One of the highlights of my week was reaching out to John Ratey, the author of SPARK -the wonderful book about the connection between exercise and the brain. Well he wrote me back ! I was so excited. More to come on that at a later time- but let's just say that I am listening to my inner voice.

So far this week - I've had calorie deficits each day. yesterday my workout burned 850 calories in 75 minutes -- good stuff.
Today - I also ended with a deficit even though I ate a bunch of peanuts.

Tomorrow for Thanksgiving, I think it will be low key as well. It is likely that mom will have no appetite, so she and I will probably watch movies or something. I bought some of my favorite Kashi cereals - so I am set. Who says you need to have turkey on Thanksgiving. I am planning to have cereal and popcorn

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rock solid

What does it take for me to be rock solid in my commitment to clean eating and consistent exercise.

Rock solid and unwavering?
Even in the face of challenges that might propel me into emotional eating?

Rock solid - even in the face of finding out one of your loved ones has cancer?

Rock solid - through challenges at home?

Rock solid through challenges at work?

Rock solid - through traveling and busy schedules?

The answer is that it takes rock solid strength of mind and self love. This allows me to focus my attention on not on how bad the problems are and how I need comfort, but more focused on how healthy I need to be in order to deal with the challenges. I focus on how my clean eating and exercise is not just about weight loss or training. It is about me being the best I can be.

I've struggled a bit over the last few weeks through all of these challenges but I'm feeling much more rock solid lately.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot Strength Training

Hot yoga is very popular in my neck of the woods. It is practiced in a room that is heated to 105 degrees and is supposed to rid the body of toxins and promote greater flexibility . I've always thought about trying it. But just when I get serious about trying it, I remember my basement .

So I have a little home gym in my basement. It is the home gym when I use but it also doubles as a play room- which is not the safest environment since my 6year old son thinks he can lift weights.. but I digress.

I have a treadmill, weights, a mini trampoline, a chin up bar (that is sitting on the floor because I can't actually install it) , my indoor cycle station (bike+trainer) and some elastic bands. Oh yeah and of course my LL Cool J workout book and assorted Oxygen magazines with workouts flagged. All in all - I have enough to get a decent workout in my basement. And for the last few weeks, I've been doing strength training a couple of days a week at home. It all sounds fine until you factor in one small detail. My basement is literally AN INFERNO. It gets sooo hot that I have trouble working out on the treadmill because my lungs start drying out.....

The problem is that at night our old house gets pretty cold - so we turn on the heat. Well the furnace is in the basement and the venting system in the basement was so poorly designed that the heat blows right into the main room in the basement. There is no way to redirect it and we only have 1 zone - so if it is off in the basement --the rest of the house is cold. We have a window in the room and I keep it open , but it doesn't do much . But ...perhaps there is a benefit to this.

If one believes that Hot Yoga in a 105 degree studio is beneficial, maybe I'm selling my 120 degree basement short. Perhaps my Hot Strength Training is actually beneficial. Perhaps I'm increasing my strength and flexibility and ridding my body of unwanted toxins.... So who needs Hot Yoga when you have Hot Strength Training......hmmm
Burned 640 calories from exercise
Consumed 1760 calories --- In a moment of weakness I had cow chip-- put me over :(
But still had a 300c deficit.
the water is still probelmatic... I'm going to try adding lemon

Monday, October 13, 2008

Prework power nap

I got up at 4 am arrived at the gym by 5 ish. I did weights and then took an intense spin class. Usually Friday spin is the toughest, followed by Monday and then the Wed class is not worth attending since it is way too easy.

Anyway -- today's class was a super tough class. There were very little recoveries (reminded me of SEBY's class ) and lots of seated climbs. We then did these sprints at an level 8 resistance . My legs were yelling obscenities at me.

When it was all over , I felt great - as I usually do. Great because of the endorphin rush and great that I didn't stop -even though my legs wanted to.

The problem was that by 8:30 , as I was preparing to grab my laptop and walk out the door, I had an overwhelming urge to take a nap. So I did.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

weekly wrap up

So here is the scoop:

4 1/2 hours of cardio
1 1/2 of strength training

Better - but still not where I want
The good:
  • More conscious of sugar
  • More protein , less carbs
  • More water
  • Encouraged hubby not to get Pizza

The bad:
  • Difficulty staying strong when bad things are in the house
  • Struggling bit with non dairy creamer (which has absolutely no redeeming qualities)
  • Still need to drink even more water

Overall --1lb down

Not horrible.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a good day

Day by Day --- minute by minute... Yup that is what I did today.

Hard to get my butt out of bed. I was up late (and early) watching the international financial markets tumble and listening to debate post rhetoric. Anyway -- I finally got up and made it to the gym. I did heavy legs (5 sets of my circuit + hamstrings and squats) and hill climb on the treadmill .. (level 15 at 3.8mph).. Total calorie burn 622.

Food -- well, ok, so here is part of the problem. There are these cookies...called "Cow Chips" and I have had a love affair with them for the past 2 years. The good news is that these cookies are located in a mall that I don't visit too often. So I would have them every now and then. That is until last week. So I started a new gig in a new building (same company). The new building has a Cow Chip bakery right in the cafeteria. I think they pump the fumes through the exhaust so that as you approach the building you smell those daxx cookies. So my daily challenge is to resit the cookies. Some days I win, some days I lose. Today I lost.

Because I am committed to not eating more than 1500c per day, I needed to cut back on dinner in order to not exceed my goal. So while everyone else had chicken w/noodles and veggies. I had egg whites with veggies and a tablespoon of cheese. It was delicious.

So all in all
  • Calories consumed 1550
  • Calories burned 622

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

21 days...

So I'm definitely recommitting. I'm recommitting to being superfit..... Superfit means
  1. being able to have an above average heart rate recovery after rigorous cardio
  2. being able to maintain average heart rate above what is expected for my age group
  3. Being in the "normal" weight category (not low end of overweight)
  4. Having a body fat percent in the mid to low 20s. (low 20s is pushing it a bit)

and....I'm taking names. So join me...

Here is the deal..... I am committing to making good choices minute by minute, day by day for 21 days in a row. 21 days is the time it takes for something to become a habit...so say the experts. Good choices means veggies and proteins, shakes, very little sugar and refined carbs, LOTS of water, not more than 1500 calories per day. Daily exercise.

And I am going to be accountable. I will blog daily and report out progress.

Yesterday... 1 hour cardio/ 10 minutes of strength training/1900 calories :(

Today ..no exercise/1700 calories

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Name change?

Lately I've been wondering if I need to change the title of this blog. When I started it almost 2 years ago, I was on my way to transforming my body and my fitness level. I had gone from a sedentary person who was 60lbs overweight, to an incredibly fit triathlete. Through this blog, I've documented my struggles and successes..and it has been good. I reached the peak fitness - as evidenced by heart rate recovery, cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. and it felt great.

Well, right now I don't feel so great. Yes I am still much fitter than I was, and yes I am still a triathlete and yes I have maintained 43lbs of my 56lb loss. The difference right now is discipline . I am still working out but the biggest problem is discipline with food choices. In my mind, I know what I need to do...but I have trouble executing. I remember months ago having iron discipline -- no matter what was in front of me , I could resist. Now , well not so much. I am really having trouble with sugar - in particular.

When I think about what works for me -- I've narrowed it down to a few things...Good food choices "in the moment", consistent rigorous exercise - to maintain metabolism, consistent muscle strengthening and most importantly-- food tracking. Also this blog is a key factor in my accountability. I notice that when I don't blog , there is usually a correlation to my consistency and discipline.

So if I consider how I feel today, I would change the name to "My journey from being fat to an incredibly fit triathlete to being a struggling to stay on track triathlete" But I won't ...because the truth is, this blog (and the title) actually helps me to remember who I am and what I am capable of. I know that I am strong and disciplined... and can do anything I commit to. I just need to commit again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spinning and Biking

So today - I got up at 4:15 and got on the computer (in the bed -- sad I know). Then headed out to the gym to get a quick ab workout in before spin class. Yesterday I did arms and shoulders- courtesy of Px90. Which by the way, has a some really tough workouts . Even those without weights are pretty challenging.

Anyway, today I did spin - which was only moderately hard (new teacher - she needs to toughen up a bit) , then I came home - got kids ready, then biked to work.

Biking to work is something that I have always thought about, but I've only done it once. The barrier has been my outfits and the possibility of sweating. I've wondered "Do I carry an extra outfit? Wear my bike shoes and bring an extra pair? Do I wear a backpack or use my rack? And what about helmet head hair? "

Well today, I put all that aside , and decided to ride. Truthfully, my car needs to go into the body shop - because I ruined the spoiler . But I digress.... I decided to ride and it wasn't half bad. I wore a pretty casual outfit, with my Cole Haan loafers (No clipping in with my bike shoes) and wore my hair back in a ponytail. I wore a windbreaker - since the weather is so unpredictable. As I made my way up the small monster hill, I realized the jacket was a mistake. As I crested, I started to break a sweat. I made it to work and luckily had enough time to freshen up before my meeting.

I think I may do it again:)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So there is a new book out called Spark- the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. Essentially ,the book proves the strong and direct connection between exercise and mental well being. From my own experience, I've known for a long time, that this connection is very real.

The physical benefits of exercise are pretty well known. Exercise helps prevent diabetes, cardio- vascular disease and many other potentially life threatening illnesses. What is not often discussed, is the positive benefits of exercise on mental illness - depression and anxiety in particular. I'm sure this is because the pharma industry makes billions of dollars from anti depressants or serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). If people knew that there a great deal of research that proves that exercise is as effective as medication on depression/anxiety, the pharma industry would suffer -so of course the info is suppressed. The funny thing is that doctors are not certain about how these classes of medications work (SSRI, SNRIs, MAOIs). They are quick to prescribe- and adjust based on trial and error. Vigorous exercise on the other hand, is almost guaranteed to work. It triggers the same chemicals in the brain that many of the medications trigger. Endorphins and Serotonin are both released during exercise , and can have sustained effects.

I feel so strongly about the need to drive awareness and education around this, that I started a non profit organization devoted to driving advocacy, awareness and education around the benefits of exercise on mental health.

I started it because I've had my own journey in this area, and drugs were the first thing pushed my way. No one mentioned exercise or alternative therapy. The first recourse was to try medication. In my journey, I've learned a ton and I'd love to stop the over medication of America. There are so many uniformed conversations occurring in the offices of therapists and psychiatrist - and it is unfortunate that patients feel captive to the advice. Education in this area is key. The data is there... the proof is there. But what incentive does a psychiatrist have to push exercise instead of a drug? NONE. The proof exists and I'm glad this book is out. Hopefully it will help move the needle on awareness and the inclusion of exercise as a therapy (in addition to or instead of drugs).

I plan to do my part.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

pain and suffering

What happens when you do a heavy leg workout on one day and then follow it up with a 90 minute super tough spin class the next day? Oh and you are no spring chicken? I'll tell you what happens... Pain and Suffering . For two days I had pain in areas that I did not know existed. i had trouble doing everything, walking sitting , standing... everything.
Ok so - now I know that spinning is not a good recovery for a leg workout.

On the food side - I don't know what is wrong with me. I do well in the day .. but then at night it all goes to pot. Something happens around 9:30 when I NEED to have a cup of tea. Not just any cup of tea, I must have my special lose tea from France, with my special fresh whipped Vanilla Velvet Honey . Well at 200c for 2 teaspoons, this honey comes a quite a price. Oh then, I need cookies to go with it. Not just any cookies but Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies. So good, but so bad.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Get out of bed!

  • 5am - lying in the bed thinking about getting up. Feeling tired and loving the way the bed
    5:15 - thinking that I need to decide if I am going to the gym or not
    5:45 - Telling myself to GET OUT OF THE BED. Jumping up - thinking that if I
    get to the gym - perhaps I can catch 45 min of spin
    6:15 Hop on bike - but
    decide to listen to my own music instead of music in class. ( kinda rude but I
    was not in the mood for hard rock).
    6:45 - wanting to cry because my legs
    are ON FIRE. Hill climb -heavy seated climb and standing speed. Uggh
    7:15 - Still going
    because class is 90 minutes today ..yay
    7:30 - finish class.. feeling good but a
    little tired.
    8:00 thinking that I will be sore because of my heavy leg
    workout yesterday
    and this long spin class

    6pm - wrapping up my day, feeling a little
    soreness in my legs and back.
    8pm - definitely sore - having trouble walking up stairs.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Handle it....one day at a time

Some people are sensitive to caffeine, other to nitrates, some are even sensitive to red dye #14. I am sensitive to endorphin induced serotonin. Working out is like a drug. Spin class in particular, makes me a little high. It is somewhat of a spiritual experience for me. The woman that starts spin is not the same woman that finishes. Some time between minute 15 and minute 20, I transform from a struggling person who would rather be in the bed, to a strong athlete who feels like she can do anything. I begin the class saying give me strength, by the end of class I'm saying bring it on! What I like most about spin class is that you can make it as hard as you can handle. And handle it I do.

One of my favorite spin instructors would always say "It won't be easy...handle it". Growth happens during the toughest part of the class - when you are working the hardest. I repeat that phrase often - during spin class and at other times. The fact is, very few things are easy - and if they are it means there is no growth. Whether it is finishing spin class, staying motivated to finish my book, working through relationship challenges or work related issues.. It is not easy. My task is to handle it.

So I've been thinking about my need to have a big goal. I've decided that I don't want a big goal right now. Staying consistent and on track - one day at a time... is a big enough goal right now.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Journey Continues

So roughly 2 1/2 years ago , I started on this journey to improve my health by losing weight and getting fit. I knew that I was in a bad place being 50lbs overweight and unfit. I knew that the weight could shorten my life and create the environment for heart disease, diabetes etc. I knew all this , but couldn't get out of it. My mind wasn't in the right place , so I wasn't motivated enough to change my eating. I was using food in all the wrong ways... as comfort , as a stress reliever and overall as an outlet for my emotions.

I have always been someone who likes to set big goals and accomplish them. I get motivated by the challenge of succeeding . On some levels I think I have an addiction to accomplishments. However, when it came to losing weight, I just didn't want it bad enough. When I moved to Washington from NJ, I met a bunch of really fit people and had the support of a company sponsored weight loss program. I decided to get serious about the weight loss and used a triathlon as a motivation. After all , given my fitness level, completing a triathlon would be a humongous accomplishment. So my journey began . What an amazing journey it has been. I've learned so much, experienced the joy of getting fit, completed 4 triathlons, 2 50mile bike rides, lost 58lbs and motivated others to get fit. The problem with my accomplishment addiction is that once I accomplish something, the thrill is gone. It is hard to do it again.

So here I am, in an uncomfortable but sadly familiar place. My motivation is waning, the emotional eating is slowly but steadily resurfacing and my 5 workouts a week often get replaced by other priorities. The downturn started in April and I've not been able to get back on the train since then. Since April, I've gained 11 lbs and only been able to lose 3 . I feel like I am at a turning point . I need to get back on track or be a part of a recidivism statistic- the people that lose weight and then quickly gain it back. If past is prologue, the solution for me is to find big goal to go after. The goal has to be bigger than just losing weight . It has to be something that is more difficult for me than completing another triathlon. Sure I could set a goal of a longer triathlon - say a 1/2 Ironman, but I need to face the reality that my running game is not going to improve by much (given the condition of my knees).

This blog, strangely enough, keeps me motivated and reminds me of what I've accomplished. it is my way of staying accountable to my no limit, no excuses way of living. It is less about the fact that a few people read it (and I am so grateful for the support/love:) , but more about the accountability to myself.

So what is my big goal? What will keep me motivated? How will I not be a statistic? The journey continues.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Danskin 2008 - Race report details

I woke up at 4:30 am to the sounds of thunder and lightning. I just sat there thinking - not again. If it rains today, I am not sure I will do this race. After last year's really wet conditions, I didn't think I would be motivated enough to pull it off. Luckily it was just thunder , no rain.

My favorite bag was packed- I double checked everything off the list: wetsuit, 2 pair of goggles (i had a bad feeling about my new ones), chamois cloth (great for drying off), lotion (to treat the post race ash:), my new cap , sunglasses, bike shoes,etc. All ready. I felt nervous but ready to give it my best. My stomach was really nauseous but I figured that was due to nerves and possibly due to the ice cream I had the night before:).

I arrived and was happy to find a plum but debatable parking space. It wasn't a driveway , but was a small space that looked like a small basketball court. My plum space blocked it just a bit, but I did not see a do not park sign and I asked someone else for an objective opinion about the space. He thought I would be fine. So there I parked. I did leave a very long note apologizing in case it was not a space. I left my hubby's number in case they needed us to move. As if.....

So I got to the transition area, set up and waited. I looked around and didn't see anyone I knew. Usually I see at least one person. The women next to me were pretty excited first timers. They asked me if I'd done it before and asked if I was nervous. I said yes and yes. The best advice I could give them was to acknowledge the nervousness before and doing the race. Don't fight it , work with it.

The Swim
I got to the starting area and really wanted to get in toward the front to get in the first few waves. Since I was in the mixed age group vs the specific age group (40-44), there were over 1000 people in my group split over 5 waves. I shimmied my way to the front. I ran into a woman that I've run into every year on the swim. We caught up on the family, friends and our training. We both laughed at the fact that neither one of us had been in the open water at all. We ended by saying that we would meet again next year, same time, same place.

So I'm in the water - getting used to it - happy that it wasn't too cold. I put my goggles on and had a bit of trouble adjusting them, but they felt ok. I had trouble getting the suction right on one side but it was time to go. I started out really easy, very leisurely - just trying to get my space. I didn't kick at all - the entire swim, just used my arms and kept my rhythm. I had trouble spotting the buoys because I really could not see. I think my contact lens was not in position for most of the race because everything was just totally blurry. I didn't let it bother me, I just kept going. I swam into the canoes a couple of times, but just kept on my merry way. I wasn't swimming hard enough to get winded, but for some reason I kept swallowing water. I was able to zone out a few times, thinking about the kids, work, my upcoming vacation. For a good portion of the swim, I prayed. I just thanked God over and over again for letting me do this- for allowing me to be able to do this.
I ended the swim , happy that my inconsistent training didn't impact my ability to finish and vowing to get in the open water before the next triathlon.

My bike was racked pretty far away from the swim exit, so I ran as much of the distance as I could disrobing in the process. When I got to my area, I was so pleased with how well everything was laid out. Socks in shoes, sun glasses on helmut, gu in pockets, phone in beeno bag etc. I kept my tri suit on , but added my race skirt - which has two purposes : concealing jigglage and holding my race number. I saw hubby and the kids right by my area. I was soo happy , I ran over to give them a hug. Then I got my bike and off I went. Felt very nauseous.

Nothing really to say - other than I loved it- I pushed pretty hard hitting 40 mph a couple times. Going over the bridge with the sun hitting the water ..ahh beautiful. I had to keep focused on the road and not focus on the scenery. I averaged 19.5 mph .

I tried to be quick. I changed, caught my breath , got a Gu and I was off.

The run
Still nauseous and legs feeling very heavy, I jogged out of the transition area. I started running but after a few minutes, I realized that I didn't have enough gas in the tank to run the entire race. I know that my knees always hurt in the beginning and that I need the push through the first mile or so in order to feel good. I know these things, but in this case what I was feeling in the moment took over. So I sort of jog walked the entire 3.1 miles. I jogged a bit, walked a bit, jogged a bit , walked a bit. I saw several women with their music and I was kicking myself for not bringing DJ Steveboy. I know I can run farther and faster when he is with me.

It was a beautiful day for a triathlon - not too hot and no rain. I felt good about my effort - because I got out of it exactly what I put in. I was consistent with spin and less so with running and swimming. Plus I'm carrying 8lbs more than last year. I'm offering up no excuses - I got out of it what I put in. I didn't put in personal best effort and I didn't get personal best results -- except on the bike:)

As many people do, I have a little voice in my head that is very quick to tell me that I'm not good enough, or that I should have done better, tried harder etc. Not just for triathlons but for everything. After this race - I felt really good about silencing the voice- by feeling good about completing this triathlon. I'm a no excuses person and I could have used so many excuses for not doing it . I feel good about that.

Goal : Finish in bottom of 1st half - somewhere between 1:39 and 1:48
Actual : Finished in bottom of 1st half 1:46
Swim: 22:07 (Personal Record in 2007 -15;59 but shorter distance )
T-1: 6:09 (PR 2007- 4:07 )
Bike: 36:50 /19.5mph (PR 2008 by 4 minutes!!
T-2: 3:24 (PR 2008 by 32 sec!)
Run: 38:17 (PR 2007- 34:30 )

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Danskin 2008 -after glow

So the 2008 Danskin triathlon is history. it came and went - without incident ...thank God.

  • Making it to the club last night before closing to pick up my favorite goggles - because I thought the new ones might fail me.
  • Kissing the kids on my way out.
  • Calling my niece on the way to the race:)
  • Approaching the end of the swim
  • Enjoying the fruits of my very well organized transition area
  • Flying over the bridge looking at the beautiful lake on the bike.
  • Seeing hubby and the kids cheering me on and giving them a big hug.
  • Watching reunited friends stop and chat during the run.
  • Running up the hill to the beat of the drummers (who are there every year - thank God).
  • Crossing the finish line!!
  • Waiting for the last woman to cross the finish line and giving her a high five.
  • Thankful that I am able to do a triathlon - no matter how slow


  • Swallowing too much water on the swim.
  • Not being able to see through my goggles and swimming off course
  • Everything about the swim
  • Feeling sick from swallowing too much lake water.
  • Knee pain during the run
  • Oh did i say the swim.


  • Be grateful ...less competitive.
  • Swim more
  • Get in the lake before the triathlon (at least once)
  • Hang out with friends after - it makes it so fun!
  • Bring tums!!

All in all - I achieved my goal of finishing between my year 1 and year 2. So I finished 1:46 49 and that is 2 minutes faster than year 1 but 7 min slower than last year. Given my level of conditioning this year - that time is reflective of what I put in. I don't feel horrible, I feel like I got exactly what I gave. The swim was my PW and rightfully so. Today was my first time in open water (not all all recommended or something I will do again). Transition 1 was super long but I was so glad I got to see and hug my family:). All in all --- I am super grateful I'm happy it is over and I'm glad that I was able to draft off of my previous year's conditioning:) .

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Last year I completed the Danskin triathlon in 1:39 and I felt pretty good. I felt good because I knew that I gave it my best effort. I was most proud of the fact that I gave it 110% every minute - even through the pouring rain, even after crashing into the ambulance. In addition to giving it my best effort, my goal was also to take 8 minutes off of my previous time. I was happy that I was able to check that box. This year, my goals are less ambitious. My effort goal remains at 110% , I want to push it a much as I can every minute of the race. From a time perspective, my goal is to finish somewhere between last year 1:39 and the previous year 1:48. My worst time ever was 1:52 - that was at Seafair last year - where I swam off course. In the back of my mind , my goal is just to complete it . I'm excited but at the same time, I know that I am not in the condition I was in last year. I'm still fit from a cardiovascular perspective so I should be able to endure the entire way without passing out. I'm a bit concerned about my knees on the run but I am most concerned about the swim. I know I can do it, I'll take it easy and side stroke if I get tired. The key will be to start out slow until I get into a nice rhythm. I feel good about the bike - should be fun. I will do my best on the run - and start the power walk if I need to.
I'm still amazed at the fact that 2 1/2 years ago, I would have never imagined that I would be into triathlons. Just completing it is an accomplishment.
I think I will do this race in honor of Ntozake Shange - the author of the choreopoem "For Colored Girls Who Have considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf"

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I usually get an endorphin rush after working out. Today I didn't.
I ran 3 miles around my neighborhood. When I finished, I was sad.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Too heavy but ready

This morning I simulated the Danskin route by doing a 13m moderately hilly ride near my neighborhood. I needed to get to work in time for a 9 am meeting so I needed to be fast. I wanted to see how fast I could average . I did it in 37 minutes , roughly 20mph. There a couple of tough hills to conquer, but I felt really strong. On one of the descents , I got up to 47mph - whew.
The only problem was my pedals. Right now they are really tacky...they have a foot cage without the straps, so it looks and feels really bad. I am going to put install my new clips tomorrow. I'll need to ride a bit with the clips in to make sure I feel comfortable.

Tomorrow I will run, Thursday swim, Friday brick. Then rest Saturday , pick up my materials , rack my bike and rest. I feel moderately prepared, too heavy, but looking forward to completing it.

The pain went away just as quickly as it came.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My baby's home and strange pain

My baby's home. My bike that is. I put my bike in the shop because of trouble shifting the gears on hills. Obviously this is a huge problem - especially in my neighborhood..I need all 3 of my rings. Well it is back and I will take it out either tomorrow or Tuesday.

For the last 24 hours, I have been in pretty bad pain. Not the type of pain that is isolated to one part of your body , like a headache or stomach ache. This was all over body pain. Every part of my body hurt, it even hurts to breath. Walking around at the convention was tough, as was finishing up my afternoon errands. At one point, I needed to pull over and just rest - I was so drained that I couldn't drive. I called hubby and he offered to come pick me up. I said I'd call him back in a few . I wanted to see if it would go away. Since this is a symptom of my condition, I have a medication that I take that is supposed to give me a quick boost of energy . I took one and waited. After about 30 minutes, I felt a little better and was able to get back on the road. My body was still throbbing though.

Today was also the day of my daughter's birthday party. What a blast. She had it at a cooking studio inside of a supermarket. Sounds strange but it was the best party she has ever had. I shuffled through it , still in pain, really anxious to get home.

It is hard to believe that 1 week from today, I will be on either side of a triathlon - either looking behind it or staring at it as something I couldn't check off. Today I feel like there is no way I could even get on a bike, let alone ride it. Hopefully I am back to myself by Monday or Tuesday.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

bouncing to the beat

Today's early morning workout was focused on cardio endurance. The only problems was that I woke up with a lot of knee pain. So I popped an Aleve and went downstairs to the treadmill. Before getting on, I looked over at my mini tramp and remembered how great of a workout that can be. It is really good for legs and is intense from a cardio perspective. My heart rate usually shoots up quite high.

I decided to be gentle to me knees and do the tramp workout. I did 30 minutes of running on the tramp, bouncing to my favorite 175bpm podrunner podcasts -cruise control. When I was done I was soaked and exhausted. I did 15 min more of weights and then called it a day.

Today start is the 3rd day of my church's regional conference. Today are the gender specific classes. I'm planning to attend a class on fellowship and relationships. Since that is totally what I need right now. I have such great friends on the East coast but haven't developed the kind of deep friendships here. It has become so hard to make deep friends (beyond superficial/casual friends) that I figured this class should help . We'll see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wrap up 7 days to go

Well in 8 days , the 2008 Danskin Triathlon will be history. It reached capacity in less than 24 hours - which means that over 5000 women have registered. I have two friends from Jack and Jill who are also registered and 1 is woefully unprepared, while the others is on track to place in her age group. I on the other hand am somewhere in the middle - leaning towards unprepared.

I managed to get in 4 hours of biking, 1.5 hours of running and 1.5 hours of swimming. Enough? No way, but it is what it is. The swimming was the worst of all because right around lap 22 , I started to get a really bad headache - and very dizzy. I pushed through it for 3 more laps, then rested to see if it would go away. I tried to squeeze out 2 more laps but it is tough to swim if you are dizzy. I jumped out and got dressed. The headache became a sinus headache. It and the dizzyness stayed with me for a few days. I feel good about my ability to complete the swim - but I will probably need to take more rests than I have before.

Spinning was pretty good. Several really intense sessions . I feel somewhat prepared for the bike portion of the race. I'm not sure about my pace but I feel good about my ability to complete it

This is such a contrast to last year's prep , where I had such a "no excuses" attitude. I did notice that last year 1 week before the triathlon , I also developed a sinus infection. Hmm.

My 'no excuses' attitude is stuck back in the month of March. The events of this year have had an impact on me and unfortunately I'm not back to 100% yet. I know I will get there and that is ok. I've been really focused on building my faith and making prayer/reading the first thing I do when I get out of bed. There is a added confidence (which I really need right now) that comes from feeling really solid in my faith. Being solid in my faith, means doing my absolute best and praying that God will fill in the gaps (according to his will). It means that sometimes my best is not good enough and reminds me that God's plans are very different than my plans. My plans sometimes lead me off a cliff, while relying on God leads to comfort.

So - 1 week to go. I feel moderately prepared - but praying that I still have a bit of my previous fitness/endurance level. My goal is not to take 8min off ly time (i rocked ly), in contrast my goal is to finish. Last year I earned every bit of the 9min I took off my time. This year, I've earned the right to complete it and that is it. Under 2 hours would be great.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Getting the boy to run

Today I ran about 2 1/2 miles. Well sort of. I decided to go running with my boy - who at 6 is quite fast. He ran track this past spring and has several medals and ribbons to mark his many accomplishments. Well today - he needed quite a bit of prodding - or more accurately downright trickery.

So we started off going downhill with a slightly slow jog. By the time we got to the flat , he wanted to walk. I encouraged him that if he ran to the park by the beach, he could go play on the monkey bars. Woo hoo -- off he went. When we got to the park, he was surprised there were no other kids around and decided he did not want to go on the monkey bars. Well at 8am on a Sunday morning - the only folks in the park are the early swimmers and the fishers. We hung out with a few fishermen for a few minutes, learned all about what type of fish they catch and we took a look at the fish they'd already caught.

We then ran to his school, I challenged him to race me to the big slide. He did. When we got there , I did a nice little strength training workout for me while I was playing with him. So while he climbed across the monkey bars, I did about 50 step ups. I felt my quads and glutes burning , so I know it was good stuff. I alse did hanging leg raises on a high bar (monkey bars) for a nice ab workout. I ran around the soccer field and then up and down the hills.

When we left , we walked for a while and then I told him that I would be the tortoise and he would be the hare. I let him know that I would beat him with a fast walk - even if he ran. I told him that like the hare, he could not sustain his fast run too long and I would eventually beat him. Well as I suspected, he is quite competitive and wanted to race me all the way home. There was a pretty big hill involved, but despite that , he managed to run almost all the way home. Every time he turned his back , I would sprint to catch up with him. Good for me , funny for him. We made it home and this time the hare actually won.... or did he:)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wrap up.....21 days to go

What is going well....

  • My strength training workouts are slowly moving from wimpy to less wimpy..and it is not easy. I've been working on doing 2 body parts per day, 3 exercises each 12 reps. So far this week, I've done upper legs (quads/glutes)/chest, biceps/triceps + abs and shoulders/back. I didn't know how strong I was until I really pushed the weights . Wow what a difference. In all exercises - I increased my weight by at least 25% . I guess it was a little wimpy. Well no big differences yet - other than I am incredibly sore. But I'm feeling like I will get stronger and more defined.
  • Spinning - I'm feeling good about spinning and my level of effort. I've really been pushing hard in class and my muscle endurance is improving.

What is not going well....

  • Swimming - I'm am so not ready for the swim. I really need to be in the pool much more. My endurance is inconsistent. Some days I feel really good, others I feel really winded. I need to swim quite a bit more in order to be ready for the triathlon
  • Food/Water - Eating 5-6x a day and drinking a gallon of water has been really hard for me. Most days over the last week, I've eaten no breakfast, no lunch and dinner. It takes a bunch of prep in order to be successful at the 5-6 meals of protein/veggies. I have a better plan now - prepared eggs, chicken and salmon. The water - well just hard.
  • Cycling - I could get outside more. I don't know what is up - but I'm full of excuses lately. My outdoor mileage is really light. I looked at where I was last year at this time and boy what a difference a year makes.

Overall - there are 21 days left before the triathlon. I'm feeling a bit strange about it. The reason I had the surgery when I did (October) was that I thought I would recover enough to possibly get the other knee done and be ready for the triathlon this August. Well - I can't say my knees are in any better shape - post surgery and I don't feel like I am in great shape. In fact I am 11 lbs heavier and therefore slower. I feel so full of excuses that sometimes I am disgusted with myself. But I am encouraged and grateful . Encouraged because I know I can do this. I've done it before and even if I finish worse than my first race - I will still be happy that I did it- (i think-- yeah keep telling yourself that) . Grateful - because I can move my body and since movement is not always guaranteed - I can find a way to be grateful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bootcamp blues

Can I walk? I don't think I can. In fact I'm not sure I can move. This is what I thought this morning as I lay in the bed in pain. I felt pain in literally every part of my body. Strangely enough , it wasn't pain in my muscles. it was a different pain ...my bones hurt. I eventually got up and hobbled to the bathroom . Two Aleves later, I made it to work and carried out my day. What has me in such a state? Bootcamp by Tanji. Who is Tanji? Well she is this amazing fitness professional - winner of several female bodybuilding competitions, Former American Gladiator, etc etc. Just an all around terrific person. She hosted a bootcamp near my house yesterday.
Boy what a workout. We did things that bodies just aren't supposed to do . My body is just battered. i haven't work that hard in ...well i don't think ever.
But , you know what I'm going back next week.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The meeting

So I met with Tanji http://www.tanjijohnson.com/ for my physique evaluation and consultation.

The good:
I have good body symmetry and good form.

The bad -
I have very little muscle development and as a result a high fat/muscle ratio.

The fix:
My workouts are too wimpy -- in other words I have ton of variety but not enough focus. Also my weights are too light. I need to seriously increase the intensity of my weight training in order to see any improvements in muscle development. Also more muscle would help burn the surrounding fat. This is particularly true of my arms. The prescription:Eat 5 small meals a day consisting of protein and veggies. Eat at least 150 grams of protein per day . Drink 1 gallon of water per day :0 Do two body parts per day -consisting of 3 exercises - 12 reps each of heavier weights. Still do 5 hours of cardio.

The reality
Can I really do this? How can I fit it in? Do I have enough discipline.So here is what I'm thinking... The water - with a bunch of effort ..this is doable.The cardio - part of my triathlon training plan anyway.. not impossible. 2 body parts per day -- totally doable with a little creativity. I can bring a couple of dumbells to work and lift while reading mail or meeting. I can also squeeze in a few quick workouts while playing at the playground with kids. The food: this feels really hard. Lots of prep required in order to make this happen. I will give it a try

I'm up for a good challenge....let it begin!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Run, Run, Run

I really wanted a challenge today - but the problem was that I overslept. I really should know better.. I need exactly 5h and 2o min of sleep. If I go to bed a 1am , I will get up at 6:20. Never fails. So I got up and decided to make it to the gym anyway. With only 60 min to work out here is how I challenged myself ....
  • 20 min on the bike (level 15 Round the world)
  • 20 min on the elliptical (5 min level 11 at 180rpm, 10 min level 20 struggle to keep it at 130 rpm, 5 min level 11-190rpm + 2 min cooldown) - that was really hard....
  • 20 min speed sprints on the treadmill- -(two 10minute intervals : 4.2 rest 8.0 work)

Done - short and sweet

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where will it lead me

So I've been wanted to give myself a new physical challenge. Triathlons are super hard, but now that I know I can do it - it doesn't feel as challenging as it did the first time. Of course, I could always continue to challenge myself by doing more and doing longer distances - for example and Olympic and 1/2 Ironman. At one point that seemed pretty doable, but now I'm not sure my knees would appreciate it. I would still love to challenge myself to do at least 2 tris a season for as long as I can. And this is not to say longer distance are out of the question, I will have to let my knees/my health help determine how much training I can handle.

This does not mean that I have any desire to chance the intensity or frequency of my workouts. In fact , quite the opposite. As I get older, I been thinking about my body and how it will age. The bottom line is that I will get really fat if I don't change my body composition. Both Fat and fit are in my genes. My dad is buff in his 60s and my mom's side of the family - well not as much . So how will I tip the odds more in my favor ?..... weight training.

I've been wondering if it was possible for me to get ripped- what I really mean is really toned. Essentially - could I use weight training to change my body and my capacity to burn fat. Scientifically - the answer is yes (of course) but do I have it in me? So to help me assess this, I decided to get some official advice and possibly assistance. I thought about meeting with one of the trainers at my club - but I really wanted someone who specialized in female body building/weight training. I mean if I'm going to do it , I want to really do it. I talked to hubby about the idea of it , prayed about it and left the thought alone for a few days. Then the most amazing thing happened.

I started searching around the web for female strength training in Washington, and came across a several local events for fitness and body building competitions - right in my own backyard. I also found a link to a woman who is a fitness champion and a current TV "action hero" , who (get this) works out of a gym that is 10 minutes from my house. It gets better. She is African America and a boldly professes her Christianity on her site. Wow. I don't think I could have found a more perfect person. So I called her . We will see where this leads me.

Grunt Grunt

I'm not exactly sure why I didn't go into the spin room today. I was early and had planned to go, but something pulled me over to the circuit training room. Perhaps it was my less than excited mood- or it was knowing that the perky perky new spin instructor was teaching the class. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for high cadence work today. So I ventured into unknown territory... a circuit training class.

It started out fine - people looking around , teacher asking if I had ever done cardio or weights before. to which I replied " Well sometimes" . The teacher is quite good ..incredibly didactic with lots of energy and encouragement. Things were going well ..a little work on the cardio machines, some stretching and then some weights. That is when everything went downhill. It wasn't that I couldn't keep up, it was actually the opposite. I did fine. What wasn't fine was what I was hearing. It started as loud heavy breathing after each rep. Then as the we got further along in our sets, the breathing turned to loud intense grunting...after each rep. I was having enough trouble staying present and in the moment, now I had the grunting to distract me.

Once the class ended, I felt like I needed more so I did the elliptical (high cadence 190 + heavy resistance Level 20) and a sprint interval workout (15m 7.8/4.0) .

My lessons for today ---
  • I didn't love it - although the rapid changes from exercise to exercise appealed to my ADD side
  • Resistance bands can be useful - we used them throughout the class and they were pretty challenging
  • Aimless wandering leads to unwanted grunting

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't think about it, Be about it/ Brick hair

I almost thought my way out of it...but I didn't.

I woke up refreshed and alert at exactly 4:10am. When I looked at the clock, the first thing I thought was wow this is early enough for a swim before spin. I went through the required motions in my head : go to closet find bathing suit, put bathing suit on, pack bag, be sure to grab good goggles, grab cycling shoes, don't forget extra underwear, grab hair stuff , get big bag to accommodate hair stuff .

After thinking it through , I decided to go for it. But before getting out of the bed, I had to think through it again... and exactly what would I do. Would I do swimming drills or endurance- just swim laps? Would I run after spin -to make it a true brick? Well after 10 minutes of thinking, I decided that if I didn't get up I would think myself out of working out. This is exactly why autopilot works for me. If not, I over think everything. Just get my butt out of bed and go put on my bathing suit, grab my stuff and leave....as quickly as possible. Don't think about it... be about it.

The hair .....
so my 1 week old relaxer is still quite lovely. I'm missing the ease of braids, but I am glad that hubby is happy. Funny - I never knew he didn't like the braids while I had them :)
So I put conditioner on my dry hair and then put on my swimming cap. This is said to protect the hair from the chlorine.

The swim...
Good not great. I am learning that for almost everything, I need a warm up of roughly 10 minutes before I get my stride. I swam for 40 minutes but the first 10 were tough. I had trouble getting my rhythm. I felt really winded after a few laps. Then it kicked in and I felt like I could swim all day (slowly of course). I still have a ways to go before I feel completely ready for Danskin.

The hair...
So I ran upstairs to get ready for 6am spin...took off the swim cap, towel dried and put on a baseball cap and a scrunchie.

I worked really hard today. I pushed my resistance as high as I could maintain. Josh poured it on today and the music really kept me going . He played a little mix of Rihanna, Beyonce, Sean Paul, Bon Jovi...definitely better than 60 minutes of trance. My quads were burning and I was certainly reaching my upper limits of heart rate zones. My target heart rate is much higher than what the charts say (165 vs 140) and today I was pretty close to 188 on some of the climbs. But it felt good and I feel like I am getting stronger. One great tip I learned -- is to add hovering to my standing work. Hovering is when I am in an aero positioning and my bottom is hovering over the seat without touching it. This is an excellent way to fire up the quads, glutes and hamstrings without using the momentum that can come from standing.

The elliptical....
I decided to do the elliptical -- because all of the good treadmills were taken and I didn't feel like walking downstairs. I did 15 minutes of high intensity (165-180 rpm, level 6) running on the elliptical. For the last 2 minutes I cranked it up to 200 at level 2.

The hair
I washed and conditioned, and slicked it back into a ponytail. It worked and I think the pre swim conditiner helped minimize damage/dryness . Products used: Giovanni direct leave in conditioner . Thanks Michele --it works like a charm!

So all in all , my first brick went well. Nutrition and energy were a bit tough though. I didn't eat much during the day (1 protein shake and 1 protein bar) and had a slight binge when I got home-- but on all good stuff..egg whites and grilled chicken, and toast. I also had a wonderful 100 calorie desert (1/2 cup of whipped cream sprinkled with shaved almonds). The only downside to the day was that I ran out of energy pretty early. In fact needed to take long, long nap after work .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Random musings

The elliptical simulates standing cycling...
  • I realized this during an elongated standing interval during Friday spin class.

Short intervals make the time go by quickly..
  • My new at home workout 1 set of treadmill interval (10 minutes of 1m sprint/1 min jog/walk) 10 min strength train (1min each till fatigue) (repeat 3-4 times)

I have double hips
  • you know the part that curves out at below the waist (hip #1) then the part that curves out below the joint (hip #2) . That is the exact location of the extra 10 lbs
Skinny girls have cellulite too ....
  • Always refreshing to walk into locker room, see skinny girl in thong with orange peel butt.

True contentment is elusive

  • Temporary happiness is more attainable

I like yoga

  • The chanting ...I'll have to get used to.

Going on autopilot is totally ok if it works for you..

  • It works for me

It is really hard to get back on the wagon after falling off.

  • but get back on is what I will do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Will you love me when it is over?

Wednesday is usually my favorite day . The day usually starts with an intense endurance focused spin class, by 10 am I'm still pumped from my endorphin rush, I make wise food choices all day, I am pretty productive and I have a great night sleep. Well after today, I'm not so sure I'll still be loving Wednesdays.

So my favorite spin instructor went on maternity leave last week and today I met her replacement - Christine. I bet she was a bit nervous - wondering if we would like her and if the attendance would eventually increase (only 7 today vs 30 ). I'm sure she wondered if, after the class ended, would we like her enough to return.

The good:

  • Great skill building drills - she had us do heavy resistance with no hands so that we could isolate the pulling motion from the hamstrings. Certainly reinforces a benefit of indoor training . Can't do this one on the road.
  • Great example - she did all of the drills and toughed it out with the class. She didn't walk around telling us what to do. Plus it was very obvious that she was incredibly fit all around. Cycling is just one of the many things she does : Triathlete, personal trainer, circuit training instructor + 3 other spin classes.

The bad:

  • Music - not bad but too fast for too long. Need a better mix of BPM
  • The entire class was high cadence- even with the heavy resistance. When I say high I'm talking nothing below 100rpm. Occasionaly she had us go to 85- with high resistance. What the pho? Either I just can't hang anymore or that was really ridiculous. I made it through - unscathed but it did not feel good. In fact, I have never wanted a class to be over as much as I did with this class. I started watching the clock at minute 22.

    Later in the day , I was exhausted. No lingering endorphin rush...in fact by 4 I wanted to take a nap. I felt drained most of the day.

    If Christine keeps this up, I guess I'll need to find a new favorite day.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sore or Flare

So since I found out about all of my various illnesses - in particular my autoimmune disorders- I've had trouble distinguishing between what is illness related vs what is the result of working out too hard. Today was a great example.

So I woke up early - but I was totally exhausted and really really sore. Everything hurt...knees, quads, calves, shoulders, even my back. I thought perhaps my 3 sprint intervals and upper body work from yesterday were the cause. After all, I haven't done those sprint intervals since the fall.

But then later I realized ...that what I was feeling could be related to Lupus. Perhaps this is a "flare" . I think I walk around with so much pain so much of the time, it is hard for me to distiguish. Plus I really try to put my health issues out of my mind . I don't like to think about it or talk about it. The only time I think about it is when I am taking my 5 medications each day. But I view that as only temporary. There are no cures and the treatments only treat the symptoms . So why worry about it. I believe by focusing on the illnesses - I give them energy - which is exactly what they don't need. For some reason - that I don't fully understand, my body has decided to attack itself in multiple ways. My approach is and will always be to be as healthy as I can by taking good care of myself and listening to my body.

So listen to my body was exactly what I did today. I was really looking forward to my lower body workout today but my body said it was hurting, so I didn't work out. Even though I really wanted to . Hopefully tomorrow I feel better.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Too late to spin

So I stayed up pretty late last night - working on a few home projects. I woke up about 10 minutes too late to make it to spin class. I decided to go to the gym anyway figuring I could get in a bit of strength training and some cardio. Since tomorrow is a heavy lower body strength day, I focused on upper body today. I did lats, lower back, shoulders and biceps. Then I headed over to treadmill to do an interval workout. I read a really good article over the weekend that discussed recent findings behind interval training vs sustained cardio. According to the findings, interval training or training that pushes your anaerobic threshold for short bursts, is more effective than sustained cardio at roughly the same heart rate . So I did 3 sets of 10 minute intervals: 1 min at 3.8 rest , 1 min at 8.1 run - repeated 5 times per set. Then I did 10 minutes of fast walking (@ 5.4mph). I realized that 5.5 is my max - meaning that at that pace it is super hard not to run.
So although I didn't get in a spin workout - it was a very productive day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fresh hair

$100 bucks for a fresh relaxer on Saturday. Will I swim on Monday , oh no. How about Tuesday ..hmm I don't think so. Maybe Wed... Yeah maybe Wednesday:)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

One Line At A Time

I got up early today and I couldn't decide what to do. I knew I wanted a longish workout but wasn't exactly sure what to do.I planned a bike ride around the lake, but my tires were flat and my bike shoes were at the club. I tried unsuccessfully to pump my tires - but the air came out as soon as I put it in. That plus my faulty gear shift , was enough to make me bag the bike ride- at least until after I visit my friends at the bike shop.

I decided that I needed a running workout, so off I went. The plan was to run to from my house to Office Depot and then walk back. Office Depot is about 3 1/2 miles away - at the top of a pretty wicked hill. The first mile was as usual, not fun. I focused on my music - my most favorite podrunner podcast -Cold Sweat. As I approached the hill, I decided not to look up. I focused on getting to the next line in the side walk. Not on the entire hill . I is way too intimidating to look up at the hill. So one line at a time , I made it up the hill. There were at least 20 times where I wanted to stop , but I kept going, one line at a time. After I got up the hill , it became easier. After a while, I started to feel good. I felt so good that I didn't mind the rain. So good that I took a detour to the local high school track and ran around . So good that when I got to Office Depot , I passed it and ran a 1/2 mile more.
Turns out, I wasn't able to walk home (too many bags) so I called hubby to scoop me up.

This was the first time since surgery that I've run longer than 2 miles. As long as I can walk tomorrow, it certainly won't be my last.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A brick is still a brick

Today was brick day - but it was also the 4th of July. Because it was the 4th, the gym opened at 7 instead of 6 and there was no spin class. So I decided to brick it anyway that I could. So here is what I did:
20 minute warm up on the step mill , 30 minute bike (lifecycle, kilamanjaro, lev 13) , 15 minute run, 30 minute swim. So this was a totally backwards brick, but a brick is still a brick.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Can I get ripped

After being so fat for so long, the idea of being ripped is something that never occurred to me. From as far back as I can remember, I've always admired really toned bodies with well defined muscles --ripped bodies. I've subscribed to Oxygen Magazine (hard core fitness magazine for women - focused on weights and strength building) for years. I think this early admiration came from my dad. My dad - in addition to being a professor and journalist, is known for his brains and his body. He worked as a body building instructor for several years and is still quite buff - even at 60.

The admiration never really materialized into aspiration. Tucked somewhere in the back of my mind, I thought about body sculpting but only as it related to sculpting away the fat from my thighs. For most of my adult post-marital life , I've been overweight. In fact, all but 2 of the last 10 years I've been obese by all medical charts. I've always been pretty fit, yup fat but fit. But you certainly could not tell by looking at me. Despite my outward appearance, I've always known that underneath the layers of fat was muscles. I was and am strong. I was strong throughout my high school athletic activities and I'm still strong today. But ripped , I certainly am not.

Can I get ripped?
Today I attended a class at my club's new performance center. This is a specialized club that focuses on improving performance through specialized workouts on very fancy machines. These machines use compression and resistance to give you a very efficient workout. Before the class, I had to do an evaluation to determine my level of fitness. Based on my assessment - I am considered very fit. I am 100% sure that the guy who did my assessment was quite surprised at my score. After finishing the test and seeing the surprise on his face when he added up my score, I decided that I want to be fit but I also want to look fit. I want to be more than fit, I want to be ripped - at least a little. To give me a little motivation , I need a goal . So here is a totally wacky goal: be fit enough to compete in a local women's trifit/bodybuiliding competition next March. That would mean drastically reducing bodyfat, building pounds of lean muscle and losing 30-40lbs. Sounds pretty wacky , huh. But for some strange reason -- I'm drawn to the idea. We will see where I'm led.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A parting gift , a brick or shall I say a pebble

So today was my first brick. To be honest - it was really a pebble ...not quite a brick.

My favorite spin instructor taught her last class today before heading out on maternity leave. She decided to give us a parting gift... a killer workout . High resistance + high cadence = torture. I wore my hr monitor and after 61 minutes , it said I'd burned 1097 calories...and boy did I feel it. I was soaking during and after the class. I felt really good about working that hard. Since Danskin is in less than 45 days, I need to really cram in order to be ready. Cramming for a triathlon -- what an insane concept. So basically I'm trying to cram in a bunch of training time in order to feel good about my effort at the triathlon. I have accepted that I probably won't beat my time from last year, but I'm ok with that. What I'm not okay with is giving anything less than 110%. That means from this moment on -- the heat is on.

So today - my first brick equalled 61 minutes of spin class and a 20 minute run. Tonight I will do weights. Tomorrow run + weights in the day and swim at night. Friday brick --- swim, bike, run.

Bring it on!!!! I think I'm ready...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mojo Mojo where for art thou?

For 24 months -- I had it 5 days a week. Then it went away for a while... then it came back- then gone again. I had it one day last week..perhaps two days. For a while it felt like it was coming back and then "poof" it disappeared.

What a cycle .. I need to workout to feel good but if I don't feel good - I don't work out. Mojo - come back... please. I need you.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What if.....

What if I can't get back in shape in time for the triathlon in August.

What if my knee doesn't completely heal from surgery

What if I never do a 5k in less than 30 minutes, or 35 , or 40

What if my time this year is worst than my time last year

What if I don't lose the 12lbs I gained.

What if my body doesn't stop attacking itself.

What will happen? I'll still be me .... I'll still be a triathlete....I'll still be happy

I think.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jason - you are a jerk

I'm still working on building up my running endurance . I still hate it ... Oh er I mean , I'm working to embrace my inner runner. So I've been working on running a little bit each day. Today I ran 2.5 miles at about 12 mph. My knees hurt just a little bit - which is really great. Since I started to feel good at the end, it made me think that perhaps I need 1-2 miles to warm up first . Perhaps I can do a little more . That is if there are no dogs.

When I was in elementary school, I often walked home alone . I was in several activities and usually finished much later than my friends -- (no it wasn't detention:)) . Anyway - My walks home often ended with me perched atop a car. I was actually pretty good at running down the street and hurdling on top of a car. While this skill eventually came in handy in that I ran track (200 m Hurdles) in high school, the reason I did it then was because of Jason , the jerk. Jason used to sic his dog on me every chance he got. Why - I have no idea. I didn't know Jason. I just knew of him. I knew that he was really bad - didn't go to school, cursed, etc. I never said a word to Jason but he felt completely comfortable ordering his dog to attack me.

To this day - I am still afraid of dogs and unfortunately it affects my runs. Today, I saw not 1 but two dogs. When I saw the first dog, I just did what I always do - move to the other side of the street. With the second dog , I did the same thing, but the owner started talking to me. He tried to convince me that the dog was harmless - he didn't bite, yada yada yada. I wanted to say - look , I'm sure your dog is quite lovely and I bet he is harmless - but I am still haunted by the fond memory of being chased by a dog . As a result - the thought of being near a dog while running - freaks me out. It is nothing personal. But I said nothing and kept running...on the other side of the street.

Thanks Jason.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I am not Josh

Monday spin class is usually packed. So packed that it is hard to secure my favorite bike. The popularity is due to the teacher , Josh. Josh is one of the fitness directors at the club. He is the most approachable, most engaging , most encouraging person you could ever meet. Plus he is VERY easy on the eyes. Also his classes are usually pretty challenging - but he makes it bearable by providing clear instructions and awesome music. Today Josh was not there.

Seby was subbing for Josh. In a wonderful french accent, Seby introduced himself to the class by saying " Hi everyone, I am not Josh" . He said he did not have the same music as Josh and his class was not like Josh's. I had no idea what I was in for..nor did the class.

Seby uses high energy techno/trance music with a little bit of hip/hop mixed in. To say his class was intense , would be a gross understatement. I've been a pretty consistent spinner for about 2 years - and I don't think I've ever had a class that was as hard as Seby's . For starters - the warm up was at 110mph . It was a hill climb class and he didn't want us to drop below 75mph - even at the toughest resistance. His idea of recovery was standing....seriously a standing recovery. At first , I just thought boy am I out of shape. Then as I looked around the room at the grimaces and heard all of the heavy breathing, I realized that it wasn't just me.

When it was all done, I felt like I needed a t-shirt that said "I survived Seby" . I didn't wear my heart rate monitor , but I am sure that I burned well over 1000 calories.

So Seby - thanks for pushing me today. As hard as it was , I would gladly do it again.

Friday, June 20, 2008

It still counts...

So today I forced myself out of bed and made it over to spin class. I wasn't looking forward to the it because Friday is hill climb day - and I just wasn't up to it. When I arrived at class and saw a new teacher, I wasn't sure what to think. Did she know today was hill climb day? Would she be hard/easy? The folks in the class seemed a bit mesmerized by her. She was tall, blond with a strong Danish accent . Both her voice and demeanor were very gentle.... unfortunately so was the class. While I wasn't looking forward to a hard hill climb, I wasn't ready for a ride in the park. Don't get me wrong, spin is totally user controlled. The effort/difficulty is totally based on how much the user pushes the resistance and cadence. It wasn't that I was slacking off, it is just that she didn't push us that hard. It's all good, though. After all , an easy workout is better than no workout at all.
It still counts.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


One of my main goals in prepping for the Danskin is to lose 13lbs . To that end, in addition to sport specific training , I am focused on maintaining a daily caloric deficit of at least 300 calories. To do that , it means I need to consume 300 calories less than I burn. My personal diet application on my smartphone - is super helpful. It helps me keep track of daily calorie intake as well as calorie expenditure from exercise as well as a estimate of bmr (basal metabolic rate) calories.

Today - I did 1hour 40 minutes of cardio machine work. It felt really great and I am loving the endorphin rush. It was also nice to know that because I burned over 1140 calories, I ended the day with a 500c deficit.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Find something to feel good about

Day 2 of getting back on the spin wagon. Wednesday's used to be my favorite day because of the intense endurance work and the lasting endorphin rush. Today I was more anxious than excited. I knew wasn't as concerned about my cardio endurance as I was my muscle endurance. I know that even at 13lbs heavier, I am still pretty fit (from a cardiovascular perspective). The problem however was my muscle endurance. The last 3 months of inactivity has caused a serious reduction in muscle tone and endurance , no doubt. So I sat on the bike - ready to go as far as my body would take me. In my head I told myself to go hard but i was prepared to take off resistance if I needed to.

But I didn't.

I pushed and pushed and felt my quads and glutes burn with pain. At one point I yelled out - because it was so tough. I wasn't alone - the instructor was pouring it on today. As usual- she is very motivating and always manages to squeeze in some little line that keeps me going. Today the line was "I know your legs are on fire - they should be, but find something to feel good about. Your breathing, your posture- the fact that you are here". That was it for me: Find something to feel good about. I thought about it and started to acknowledge the things I felt good about - the fact that I had gotten my butt out of bed; that my bike pants still fit ; that spin class actually works both with bike riding and losing weight. That phrase was enough to sustain me through the rest of the 60 min of torture- without letting up on the resistance.

I should certainly apply this phrase to other areas of my life - perhaps it will get me through too.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Muscle burns fat -- so build more muscle

Today was my first day back in the gym in a long time. I decided to focus today's work on strength training. The plan was a full body workout with special focus on big muscle groups (quads, glutes hamstring, lats and abs) with a little arm work thrown in for good measure. To warm up, I did a nice easy run 1.5 miles at 5.6mph. It felt good - my knees hurt, but not too bad.

Being out of it for a minute, I knew I'd' need to start with lighter weights just so that I would be able to walk the next few days. I executed my workout on plan - however I wasn't able to keep the weight as light as a should have. Of course I had to push it just a bit. I'm sure I'll pay for it later this week. I added a lunge - clean&press combo toward the end that is just a killer. That was just enough to take my knee pain from a 4 to a 7...my cue to call it a day.

All in all - a good day and a great workout . One foot is back on the wagon.

Monday, June 9, 2008

33 laps and no hair drama

So today , my plan was to get in the pool and see if I still knew how to swim. I haven't been in the pool in a really long time . It took me a long time to get over the "incident" and not having braids like in previous years, made it tough to fathom swimming before work as a realistic option.

I arrived at the gym at 5:15. Believe it or not , I was the 3rd person in the lap pool. I planned a workout focused on drills and building up my endurance. I did 1 hour of drills (pulls, kickboard and immersion work) and ended up doing roughly 33 laps.... 33 slow laps. It felt really good to be back in the water - although my endurance isn't at all what it needs to be. It still felt great. I also used fins to help my legs. A woman recently shared with me how she rehabilitated her knees by swimming with fins on her feet. I gave it a try and it is certainly something I will keep in my workouts.

The most amazing part of the workout was my hair. So on advice from my new stylist, I covered my hair with conditioner before putting on my swim cap . When I got out of the pool, I washed my hair, added another round of conditioner and then blew it dry. You know what -- it wasn't horrible. Adding the conditioner before swimming is supposed to protect the hair and prevent the chlorine from penetrating the hair shaft. According to my stylist , the cheaper the conditioner the better. I used my magic tools - Infinity hair dryer/straightener and of course my CHI. I walked out of the gym with bouncing and behaving hair - and still made it home to take the kids to school:)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Is it me?

Last year , I wrote about how impacted I was when I saw a woman who , after losing weight but it all back on. In that post, I vowed that I would not let it be me. I vowed not to allow myself to regain the 56lbs that I'd lost. I knew keeping it off would be tough, but I was dedicated to success.

Today, I'm wondering if I am on my way to being "that girl" that gained the weight back. So far, I've gained 13lbs and it is super hard to get it off. I'm used to lbs dropping in days , not weeks. I know it will be a slow process but it is super hard - harder than I thought.

I gained the weight because I have been eating more than I burn. Quite simply. To prevent myself from becoming "that girl" , I'll need to be start tracking and working out consistently. The path is clear, I just need to jump on it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

13 weeks

The Danskin Triathlon is in exactly 13 weeks.  Some days I feel like it is not realistic to assume that I can get myself in shape enough to complete it – let alone meet my goal of taking off time.  Today I feel  – completing it and completing alone is the goal.  My head is saying “ you can do it”  -- go for it.  But my heart is hurting. Wondering if I can deal with not being able to do what I did or not being able to train the way I want to. Or accepting the fact that I may actually finish much slower than my first time.  I don’t feel so great about going for it.  I will though. I know myself – and that I can’t resist a good challenge.  The question is should I?



Thursday, May 15, 2008


Every now and then -life changing, perspective building experiences come along. When they do- you have a choice : choose to do nothing or choose to use the enhanced perspective to make a change.
The past 30 days have been quite perspective building for me. I :
  • came very close to death
  • was carted out of my house on a stretcher ( a first)
  • stayed in the hospital for 1 week (also a first)
  • took a leave of absense from work - (a first not due to a pregnancy)
  • Truly learned what it means to take care of myself
  • Reconsidered my life's purpose
  • gained an insane amount of weight from not working out (like 7lbs)
  • Taken more medication than I have in my lifetime
  • Learned about living in the present
  • Oh yeah -- I turned 40

So now what? I'm finally getting back into the swing of things -- but something tells me I cannot go back to business as usual. I have to press reset and move in a new and different direction. The problem is I am circling around what that change is and haven't quite landed yet. I know I need more balance in my life --in particular more self care/leisure. I also know that I need more passion - but I'm still figuring this out. I also believe that God gave me another chance and I need to make it count ...in a more meaningful way than before.

I'm doing quite a bit of thinking these days and I am really focused on being different - especially in terms of how I spend my energy.

I am still planning on completing the Danskin Triathlon in August and would like to squeeze in another. Problem is , I am so out of shape and my medical condition might get in the way of my training. I might need an intervention from Anthony - super trainer. I also have been struggling with food. I think the medication may also be having an impact as my appetite has certainly increased. I'm worried about my weight but I don't feel like it is impossible to get back down. I just need to hanker down and be incredibly disciplined. So far I am at a net loss of -47lbs -- which means I have gained 10lbs since January- (really in the last 2 months). I'm bummed but shaken up enough not to let myself go. Plus my clothes are getting snug and I refuse to buy new clothes in a bigger size.

I feel like my life has been turned upside down , but I am convinced that I will land on my feet. I have had the incredible support of my family and the best friends in the world. Plus my faith in God has grown exponentially. I am on an amazing (albeit perilous at times) journey , my challenge is to grow in wisdom and strength with each step.. Keep me in your prayers...

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I spent the last 4 days in the hospital.....
more to come when I am ready

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pooped kids and Bring it

So in an attempt to power up my home workouts, I ordered PX90 - which a series of DVDs that are made to push your body to the limits with intense strength, cardio and flexibility workouts. It is set up to be a 90 day challenge- where you rotate 12 workouts each day and take the workout up a level in intensity every 3 weeks.

Bring IT!! So the lead instructor - Tony Horton, has a slightly in your face (yet supportive) style. He often challenges you to "Bring it" as the only way to truly get results. Well so far, my assessment of this is WOW. It is pretty intense. I did the Core Synergistics and man, am I sore. Most of the exercises are combinations 2 or 3 levels deep. Like doing a lunge - while holding 2 dumbbells - (I had 20lbs) and while in the lunge... do a tricep kickback, bicep curl, then shoulder press, then come out of the lunge and do a squat. We must have done 25 of these- at least. Quite intense, for sure. Definitely worth adding to my rotation.

Pooped kids
So this week, my kids activities went into overdrive. the Boy started flag football and they both started track. Track workouts consist of 3 2 hour workouts per week. The workouts are pretty hard. I think they resembled my HS Track workouts . So I felt a little bad after I realized that now my kids have 6 hours of track, 2 hours of Tae Kwon Do, 2 hours of football (the boy) + piano. We just decided to stop gymnastics. So I felt bad about the activity and thought they were overdoing it. I was ready to let them not attend Tae Kwon Do - and sleep in. NO, NO - after an intense track workout the previous night, these pooped kids got themselves up and were ready to be a TKD at 7:30am. Hubby and I have been walking while they practice. We are going to take it up a level - even if we can only run 1-2 laps ..

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.