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, November 15, 2010

Right now....

I have been up since 3:30 am because I couldn't go back to sleep. So I've been working on my book and catching up on news/emails etc.  It is 6:49 and I've been contemplating my workout plans for the last hour. If I wait too late, I won't be able to go.  I've also been thinking about my food plans for the day. So I'm writing it down....

Here is the goal:
Get my butt off of this chair and go downstairs and spin for 30 minutes. Then do 15 minutes of kettlebells.
Eat 1500 calories today and drink 65 oz of water

I feel like getting back in the bed...

Try this for a manifesto

I came across this post on someone else's blog. I read it and thought that it was meant for me.  Love it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm friggin tired of this!! On again off again..up and down..yo-yo weight gain, weight loss...Too big goals, too small goals... Feeling like it isn't enough. Enough! Enough of all of that. One day / One hour / One minute at a time. Do the best that I can do in the moment. No excuses.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't let it get to me....

Have you ever felt that something just wasn't right. Thanks to Oprah we are all encouraged to trust our gut..you know our intuition. Well sometimes it is really really hard. After all, how do trust your gut and go left - when everything is telling you to go right.  I feel like I'm living through that right now.

I've blogged before about how I relocated to San Diego for a job . A few months on the job , I had a sinking feeling that taking the job wasn't the right move. I've been here for about a year and a half and rather than look back and focusing on what I should have done, I've tried to make the best of it. We've had really great weekends and we've really enjoyed the San Diego lifestyle. It is absolutely beautiful and I've been able to really enjoy it.

About 3 weeks ago, I learned that the startup I joined, will be shutting down at the end of this year. I had a feeling it would happen in the next 12-18 months, not the next 3. So now all my efforts are focused on finding an exciting new gig.  The good news is that I have a few options, the bad news is I'm struggling to not get stressed out.

So I've been exercising more - to help deal with the stress. Taking more vitamins to make sure my body is in tip top shape. And I'm making better food choices.  I've done some pretty cool things over the last few weeks. I've gotten back into Bikram Hot Yoga, started going to spin class at the local gym and started taking a weight class.  I've also done my kettleworx workout. I'm trying to keep things interesting by doing  several different things. I am planning to take boxing class too.

It is so easy to fall victim to stress-induced emotional eating and couch potato behaviour. I'm working hard to not let it get to me. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

The future has a past.... or does it

For my book club, we read The Future Has a Past by J. California Cooper.  It is a collection of short stories that tell of love and triumph over unfortunate conditions.  We spent time during our book club meeting discussing the title. "The future has a past"... what did she really mean by that title? We didn't really land on anything profound.

For some reason, that title popped into my head this morning. I started to think about it in the context of moving to a new city and in the context of my fitness journey.  When you move to a new city, people don't know your past, they take you at face value...they take you the way you show up. Whether that is good or bad, fit or fat etc. They don't know your story nor do they care.  In some instances this is good. You get to create whatever you want . You can start fresh and change your old ways. Just start out the way you want to be. In some cases, it is not so good. Since I gained weight, I feel like a shell of my former self. I feel like this current body is on temporary loan and this isn't the real me. The San Diego version of me is so different than the Seattle version of me. The two are very different women...

For me.. my future has a past..and I'm creating it now. The next chapter in my life will more accurately reflect my the true authentic self and I am just discovering who she is. My future will be whatever I want it to be based on what I do now. The tiny little decisions that I make each and everyday are a part of my future. The decision to eat one more serving, the decision to forgo exercising, even tricking myself to believe that I cannot get back to where I was.. All make up part of my future. I am creating the future today.   

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fruit and Kettlebells

This morning I did the week 1 workout from Kettleworx. A friend commented last week that she didn't like the Kettleworx DVD. After doing it for a few days, I can see why.  The exercises are actually good, but the instructor is annoying and the structure of the DVD is ...well insulting. I mean - the entire DVD is made of rearranged slices from  few workout sessions and to make it worse...they are repeated . Sooo you end up watching the same segment twice...same corny jokes..same encouraging words. Really annoying.  That said, the exercises are really good. I'm usually pretty sore the following day. I am still on the 5lb weight. I will move up to the 10lb in a few weeks-- I'm on the lookout for another dvd.

Today's damage:
kettlebell workout 300c

bfast - coffee+creamer 40c
lunch - fruit salad and turkey 430c
dinner - butternut squash soup (I made it and it is fantastic) 280 c
cottage cheese w/pineapples 110c

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spinning to Dexter

Day two with my new bike... and I really love it. I'm making my way through the first season of Dexter and wow what a dark show. Anyway, doing well with food today and as a result managed to have a nice calorie deficit. In the end, no matter how you slice it, losing weight is a math game. It is calories in less calories out. That's it. No funny business, fad diets etc. The diet may help you with food choice or to feel full on lower calories or maybe even give more energy. Whatever the plan, it all comes down to the math. 

So here is my damage:
spinning 1hr = 720c

bfast - coffe + creamer 50c
banana - snack 110 c
lunch - salad (from Panera -- delish strawberry poppyseed salad) 300c
veggie soup (also from Panera) 150
Dinner - Couscous with chicken and broccoli (from Rachel Ray) 500c

Monday, September 13, 2010

My new love..

So I finally bought the spin bike that I've been eyeing for months!! I got a really great deal from Sports Authority - thanks to a $25 savings coupon located here: $25 coupon from sports authority..   Also I have to shout out my hubby who....donated all of his pocket change savings  ($330) to my purchase.  I saw him counting and wrapping coins and asked what he was doing.. he said I'm helping you buy your bike.  What a sweetie. I was feeling guilty for having a gym membership and wanting to buy this bike.. so he made it a no impact purchase with found money!  Thanks babe!

So onto the bike. So I used it today for the first time and it was awesome. It was pretty easy to put together. I needed a little help lifting it and attaching the pedals, but otherwise it was not hard at all. 

I did an hour this morning while watching an old episode of Dexter. I am super happy with my purchase and I'm looking forward to catching up on more shows.

Plus the immediate endorphin rush was great .

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ring the bells!! Kettlebells that is.

A few weeks ago I saw an infommercial for the Kettleworx program - which is a kettlebell program. The creator of the program Ryan Shannahan, promised a great workout in just 20 minutes a day. I've heard of kettelbells but never had a chance to try the workout.  Until now...
I was at Sports Authority, ogling over my latest craving Proform spin bike at sports authority   and I noticed the Kettleworx program. There were 4 different choices of kettle bell weights. I decided to geg the lightest one (5lbs) and then buy heavier kettle bells as I get the hang of it.  

Well - the the 20 minute workout was not easy at all. In fact it was quite hard.I definitely worked up a sweat and it was quite challenging . Needless to say, I will continue to work out with this program.  I'm looking to build up my arms and get rid of the flab. I'll keep you posted.
I'm also planning to buy this spin bike as well...because I plan to catch up on 24 (the show) and I would feel much better watching it while working out.

Monday, August 30, 2010

kickboxing with the little diva

Today , my 12 yo and I went to kickboxing at the local gym. I been in a bit of a rut lately and wanted to try something different.  The class was packed and the music was great.  I got into it....really into it. My daughter on the other hand, had all sorts of excuses on why she needed a break. Of course I told her to suck it up :) and wait until the class was over. She needed to dash out to fix her shoe, then she needed water, then her knee was hurting.. All in all it was still great to take a class with her. I'm so glad we can do that now.  Perhaps next time mama won't show her up:)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What's up?

So it feels like forever since I've blogged. I've been doing quite a bit of soul searching in the last few months.  What I've realized is that there is an inverse relationship between my weight and my happiness. When I am happiest I am thinner and vice versa. Looking at my current weight and the 2009-2010 chapter in my life, I think it is fair to say, I've been pretty unhappy.

What I've learned ....and more importantly , what I'm finally willing to admit:

1.I suffer from depression quite often... There I said it. As African-American women, so often we suffer in silence, believing we need to be strong black women.. My mom used to say " I can do bad all by myself, I don't need anyone" . She and others in my family were and are strong black women, who were able to deal with adversity and keep it moving.  I believe, they too suffered in silence.  Well, I decided to get some help....and it is working.  When I'm at my lowest ...food is my best friend. It allows me to continue to suffer in silence without having to talk to anyone. It allows me to continue to listen to others and be a good friend, while not admitting that I am suffering in silence. A grande caramel latte acts as my comfort and soothes me.. without asking any questions.

2.Depression doesn't come from God.... so where does it come from?   So many great scriptures to support my conviction that depression is a part of Satan's plan. Ephesians 6:12, 1Peter 5:8, John 10:10, Gen 3:1...  Bottom line... exercise, prayer and being open are all a part of God's plan.

3. Exercise = my anti depressant. I've written before about my need for exercise why I need exercise and how it helps me. The science supports this. As John Ratey notes in his acclaimed book SPARK, vigorous exercise has been proven to be just as effective as Wellbutrin ( a popular anti-depression medication).

So why have I been unhappy? I'm not sure... but I'm working understanding myself.  I'm working on seeking greater fulfillment in my life- through how I spend my time, greater significance through service, deeper connections to my family, getting the help I need and strengthening my relationship with God. and of course.... continue stop working out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sorry but.......

So today I went for a long bike ride with a woman I met a few weeks ago. She is a fellow cub scout mom and wants to get back in shape. She and I got to chatting on a cub scout camping trip and we set a date for walking and a date for a bike ride. I was super excited to have a buddy to go riding with me. I was responsible for scoping out the route....which was easy, because I had something in mind.

This was a tough week..I worked out 5 days this week before work and had been up really late each night at the kids play rehearsal. My body was exhausted but my mind was ready. I got up, prepped my bike and I was ready to go.

I met my friend about 1/2 mile from my house and we set off.  It was a beautiful morning..a bit overcast but beautiful nonetheless.  About 3 miles in,  we started up a killer hill. It was tough , but I could handle it. My friend struggled so I doubled back to walk with up the hill with her. In the end, she made it but walked all the hills. We ended up riding about 15 miles... with about 4 really good hills.

It felt so great to be back out again and on a really challenging ride. It didn't feel great to go on a ride that was perhaps too aggressive for my friend. I'll find a few less challenging rides for the two of us...or Maybe I will stick to walking with her and get in a few good solo bike rides..   Better yet, I may just join a riding club.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010



If it must be done...do it but why make it unpleasant

So I had a good friend visiting with me this week..and it was fantastic. She is the type of person that makes me feel comfortable and allows me to be myself. So I was sharing my frustration with running - (she, by the way is very fit and fabulous) and she said - Why do you do it if you don't like it?  hmm.. great question.  Well because I want to be better? "But why?" - she asked again?  Because ...I really  I told her that the reason I want to become a better runner is because I am not a great runner and I want to be better. The fact that I am not great is what is driving me to do more.  She said that was a little rebellious answer.  I thought about it and I have to agree with her. I am fighting against what I do well (cycling)...  I have knee issues, now ankle issues, but yet I still get out there and try to act like a runner.

Leave it to Di to have challenge my thinking...

My epiphany this week, was that I don't have to suffer so much. I found a way to run but not hurt Here is what I've done 3 times this week... I've gone to this  great park near my house and I run walk 2.5 times around (which is roughly 3 miles)... I alternate running and walking between the lamp posts. I'm not sure why this works for me but... I like it. The distances are really short ..like 1000 feet. So I run walk every 30 seconds. It looks a little crazy I bet, but it is working for me. Eventually, I'll run 3 walk 1 , etc.  If It must be done, I can at least make it less unpleasant....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Water.... the wonder drug

#1 - 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population.)

#2 - In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.

#3. - Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.

#4 - One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

#5 - Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

#6 - Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
#7 - A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
#8 - Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

#9. Drinking 5 glasses of water decreases likeliness to die from a heart attack by 41%.

Almost 2/3rds of our body IS water:
• Blood is 83% water
• Muscles are 75% water
• The brain is 74% water
• Bone is 22% water

Water - The True Fountain of Youth and Wellness

Simple water -- when it's pure and free of contaminants -- is truly a "wonder drug." Without chemicals, additives, or anything unnatural, a steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day (ideally ½ your body weight in ounces of water):

• Improves Your Energy
• Increases Your Mental and Physical Performance
• Removes Toxins & Waste Products from your bod
• Keeps Skin Healthy and Glowing
• Increases our Metabolism and Helps You Lose Weight
• Reduces Headaches and Dizziness
• Allows for proper Digestion
• Helps to keep you more Alkaline
• Aides your Kidneys, Joints, Back, Brian and is important for Pregnancy

The 2 Great Mistakes
#1 - Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. By the time your body feels thirsty you have already suffered the consequences of dehydration and have the reverse effects of the list above.
#2 – Do not turn to sodas (diet ones especially!), coffee, teas, beer or sugar laden synthetic juices to cure your thirst. Many of those options will actually only dehydrate you further (coffees and teas are a natural diuretic and many sodas and beers are made to keep you thirsty) or be a Trojan horse for other stuff you don’t want to ingest.

reposted from Darren Hardy Successcast

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why am I falling apart? God what are you up to?

So no Mud Run for me..... It just wasn't meant to be.  First I broke my toe...and now I have Achilles Tendonitis.  I have to accept , it just wasn't meant to be.  God is certainly sending me a message -- I guess the message is "stick to cycling my dear daughter, stick to cycling!"   After all, I love it and it doesn't hurt..  As I get older, I'm learning that it is ok to not do everything...just because I can do something , doesn't mean I should do something.  I have a deep stubborn, prideful nature that sometimes makes me believe I can do anything . The truth is (and I'm learning day by day) that while I can do many things - I'm just not excellent at many things (running included:)) .   I need to recognize and appreciate my strengths. This goes for fitness as well as many other areas of my life.

Since turning 40 ..I have been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome and Lupus.  This week I was diagnosed with Glaucoma and Achilles Tendonitis. I feel good but honestly I'm wondering what God is up to.  I trying to keep faithful and stay in prayer.... but the Glaucoma thing is a bit of a bummer.

God, I'm trusting you completely...so I know that this is just a little bump in the road. I know you have great plans for me. It is a little scary not knowing what they are and If I will be able to see.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jumping rope ....and negative reinforcement

So week one went well. I did my week 1 active.com workout. I did my 4 days of  the program and it wasn't horrible. I still can't say that it was enjoyable, but it was better than eh, wearing too tight shoes.
For some reason though, today I just can't get myself in gear. I am all dressed, but couldn't find my music. I searched (procrastinated ) looking for it but then thought it was too late to go. So I decided to jump rope...... That was challenging, but not in a fun way.  I think I'd rather run.

I'm really blah today. Probably not a good day to blog but some days are great ...some are not.
I also decided that I need negative reinforcement - since my motivation is really down lately. Positive reinforcement used to work well , but quite honestly I don't generally deprive myself of anything to appreciate a reward. So I'm trying negative reinforcement. If I don't work out (specifically don't run), I have to do something I hate... 10 extra push ups...10 extra minutes of jumping rope.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Running - treadmill vs outdoor

So I'm on a mission to become a runner. Week 1 -- so far so good.  Can't say that I'm loving it yet, but I'm getting through it.   My take on treadmill vs outdoor:
Great for tracking time, speed and doing intervals
Gentler on the body

Love the sights
Easier to pass the time
Hard to track speed and intervals are super tough
Hurts more while I'm running

I wish I could have the pros of the treadmill outdoor. Perhaps running on a track might help. I'll try that tomorrow am. Other ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am determined to become a runner .....

I've decided to overcome a big roadblock in my fitness life...my aversion to running. I will do it if I have to ..like .in order to finish a triathlon. But it is not something I enjoy. I remember one long run (6m) where I actually was enjoying it, but for the most part I spend each minute thinking about the finish line.   I'm signed up for a Mud Run on 6/6 and as much as I want to bail, I've decided to actually do it (kicking and screaming). 

So... it is a 10K and I'm going to do this couch to 10K training plan. I have exactly 10 weeks until the run. So here is my plan:
 Week 1: Warm up 5m walking, alternate 5m run, 1m walk (x7) then cool down with 5m walking.  I'll do this 3 days a week and the other 2 days cross train . I'm using active.com for the training plans and  to track my workouts.

On my cross train days I'll do my own 3-2-1 program which includes 4 basic exercises done in succession..
  • 15 reps of squats, calf raises, situps then push ups
  • 10 reps of squats, calf raises, situps then push ups
  • 5 reps of squats, calf raises, situps then push ups
  • 1 rep each --just for fun:)
I call it 3-2-1 because it is 3 sets of 5 then 2..and so on.  It is short and sweet and great for when I don't have time.

So I'm going to put spin on hold for a while (just until I get this running thing down) and force myself to run. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beautiful...but a little dangerous

Somedays I am overwhelmed by natural beauty around me. Today was one of those days. I got up early determined to spend an hour working out.. This was going to be before any chores or errands. I couldn't decide what to do. Since it was Saturday I had a little extra time and didn't need to rush so I decided to go for a run walk. Even at 7am it was absolutely gorgeous outside. I had also just downloaded a few new podcasts from Podrunner.com so I was ready to go. Just the flowers and lush green hills I saw as I ran through the neighborhood are enough to make me stop and marvel. But what really got to me today was my walk through the canyon.

First let me say that I made a huge mistake by walking through the canyon alone. After the horrific murder of a young runner a few weeks back, not many people are walking alone in the canyons these days. I decided to go for it and although I'm not exactly the target of a sexual predator after young teens, it was still scary. That said, It was so beautiful that I took a chance and I was so happy I did. God is amazing - that he created such beauty..and how grateful am I that I get to see it. Purple flowers against miles and miles of lush green vistas..absolutely beautiful.

All told today 3.6 miles -- roughly half and half running/walking. I could totally get used to this... but I will not walk alone in the canyons anymore.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I've got the victory over the chocolate!!

Alonda 1/ Chocolate 0
Today I saw the chocolate jar....and the chocolate jar saw me. Thankfully - our paths did not cross:)

Today's wrap up
25m Elliptical 250c...
20m weights (legs) 270c
Total - 520c

bfast....Protein shake 250c
lunch....chicken breast + salad 510c
snack....apple 120c
dinner...broc, meatballs 500c + english muffin 150c
snack....10 almonds 96c, tea w/splenda 0c
Total : 1626c

Felt victorious for staying on track today.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I am totally in love...

with spinning.. It is totally my thing. I feel so good when I'm doing it. It gives me such a boost for the entire day. I really love challenging myself with the standing work, the sprints and especially the hill climbs. I feel better and empowered when I'm all done. Which is the polar opposite of how I feel after running.I don't look forward to it, I don't enjoy doing it and I feel horrible after. So why do I do it..and even worse.. Why am I signed up to do a 10k run through a mud covered obstacle course?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I've become a statistic

A good friend asked "What's going on with your blog? Why haven't you been writing?

The lies:
Oh I've been so busy.
Oh with everything, I just haven't been able to keep up with it.
Oh it is just too much work to keep writing everyday.

The Truth:
I've become a statistic and quite honestly I'm embarrased.

I started this blog 3 years ago as a way to track my fitness journey and to keep me accountable. I've enjoyed writing about the ups (and there have been many) as well as the downs. I journaled about my first triathlon as well as my 5th. I blogged about what it felt like to complete a triathlon in the pouring rain. I wrote about the tears I shed as I tried on a pair of jeans that were 5 sizes smaller than jeans in my closet. Writing about the high points is easy - I feel triumphant, accomplished and incredibly proud.

There have been lows as well. I wrote about how I saw myself changing and my behaviour going back to my old fat girl ways. But almost always , I would get myself back on track. I fought to live a 'no excuses' life and my fitness level and weight was evidence of that life.

Today, I'm writing not about my accomplishment, but about my struggle and my next steps. For the past 3 months, I've wallowed in my shortcomings, in my inability to stay disciplined. I've felt bad about my weight gain. I'm finally facing the truth: that of the 57lbs I lost, I've put back on roughly 30lbs. There it is , I said it. I've become a statistic.

But I'm still in the game, and haven't given up. I let my life circumstances and my inability to deal, impact my fitness. I moved my family for a job, and that job turned out to be very different than I expected. I felt that I made a horrible mistake but I didn't want to admit it. So I ate. I moved away from friends and had to start over again, but didn't have time to develop friendships. So I ate. I worked 70+ hours a week for months and was incredibly stressed, so I ate. I had trouble expressing my self to my family, so I ate. I still worked out on occasion, but eating (especially drinking lattes)gave me a very familiar feeling of comfort.

So now what.... Now I know my demons and I'm attacking them head on. I decided to make a list of every problem I have with my wieght struggles. For each problem, I list solutions and steps I can take. So I'm back on my journey... I've decided that nothing (especially a job) is worth sacrificing my health. I'm in week 2 of being back on my way...healthy eating, working out 5x a week, taking care of myself and blogging.

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.