Wednesday, May 21, 2008
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
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
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...
The backstory-----How did I become a triathlete...
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.