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

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A little grace, hour by hour and it's good to be sore

I have trouble finding the comfortable spot between perfection and good effort. I'm learning the value of extending grace to myself . I am such a creature of extremes -either I'm driving hard or I feel like a failure (or slacker). I'm accepting that sometimes it is ok not to drive hard - and that is ok. I'm learning to be more comfortable in the middle. It won't always be the case - as I think improvement comes from driving hard but right now I need to give myself a little grace.

I'm really focused on making good decisions in the moment - hour by hour, day by day. This approach has been helpful the last few days. I'm accepting that there are valleys and peaks. What is important is that I don't stay there.

I've had really good intense workouts the last few days...and it feels good to be working that hard. I also realize that I have a really solid base and so my cardio endurance and strength is solidly in place - even after not working out for little while. So I'm on my way back and it feels good.

Friday, March 21, 2008

so off track.... better coping skills

I’m so off track.

I’ve not been meal tracking….

or working out …..

or using healthy coping skills….

And it is having an impact.

I’ve put on 8lbs in the last month. How is that even possible?

I’m really bummed but I have seen the enemy and the enemy is me.

My coping skills are just weak. I’m not using what I’ve learned. I’m going back to old unhealthy coping. I really need to get myself back on track.

Friday, March 14, 2008

New level of multitasking

This week I've been super busy and trying to work out whenever I can. I'm off track with swimming - part due to my goggles and part due to begin too tired to get up at 4:30. Working out whenever I can has created some interesting new discoveries. The most notable is that my indoor riding (which is usually pretty boring) has improved quite significantly. Thanks to my bike book rack - I reached a new level of multitasking.. I was able to get in 2 nice 2 hour rides by reading during one ride and working during the other . Not sure that I need to continue to mix work and working out -- but for this week it really worked for me. With my wireless keyboard, book rack and monitor - I'm able to reach a new level of effectiveness.

Monday, March 10, 2008

a little vulnerable -

Quick checkin ....
Food: not great. In fact I'm a little worried . I've been really eating more and a wider range of foods lately. I'm being a clean eating procrastinator - saying things to myself like " I'll clean it up on Monday" . Bottom line - I'm not tracking and have been eating not solely for hunger. To be honest - I'm secretly a little worried about this Lupus thing. I promised myself that I would not make a big deal about it, just go one with life and deal with symptoms as they come along. There is no cure and medication only treats symptoms -- so why focus on it . The problem is that I'm not sure what is real and what is due to this condition. For example - I've been unusually fatigued lately. I just press through but then I think maybe this is due to the condition. Anyway I promised myself a one time rant, but I think I'm struggling through it with food. Sounds strange but not talking about may not be helping my nutrition.

Exercise: A little light this week. 3x this week (2 intense and 1 light). I really need to turn it up.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nice and strong.....time to turn it up

Ok so I'm feeling like my strength has returned to pre surgery state. I still have a bit of atrophy but I feel really good about the state of my muscle condition - especially quads and hamstrings. In order to get ready for the upcoming triathlon season , I need to turn it up. Especially sport specific cardio conditioning and technique.

My focus during the month of march will be on volume. I will need to get in as much volume in each sport as possible. Here is my tentative plan ---

Next 2 weeks...
M - swim 40 min, run 15

T - bike 1 hour 20 m, run 15

wed- strength train , bike 30 mi, run 15

thurs - swim 40 min, run15

Friday bike 30 , run 15

Sat - bike 2hr

Sun rest

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.