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..

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.