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 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.