Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Look Out Weight Room!

The beginning of this summer I worked on adjusting my eating, dealing with my heart issues that led to my food addiction and moving more. In July I began working out with more intensity and focus. Now, in mid-August, I am ready for the next phase... getting back into the weight training I love so much.
When I met with my trainer this morning, it was great to do the strength tests he ran me through and he was pleasantly surprised with my 65 stomach crunches in one minute. So was I! I am EXCITED to see my strength build and praying the muscles will help hold up the skin that is starting to sag a bit due to my over 75lb weight loss in the past six months after my surgery.
As we discussed my goals, we agreed that it wasn't going to be about the number I want to reach, but about the strength I want to achieve. We agreed on a percentage of body fat loss and percentage of strength increase as my goals. I am quite happy with that.
I also explained to him that I have wanted to complete and Ironman race. But, I don't want it to just be something I train for and then burnout. I want it to be a great extension of the fitness I already have established.
This year I had the blessing of volunteering for Ironman Boulder, CO., watching a dear friend finish, and meeting the woman who won this years race for the women's division. Danielle Kehoe was very kind as I shared my dream and my story with her. She took this picture with me and wrote an encouraging note on the Ironman Boulder poster I asked her to sign.
Tomorrow I begin my regular workouts again. I can't wait to see the results!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Process of Healing

It has been too many days since I've blogged. Way too many. I have lots to write, just not a lot of time to do it.

Here is what popped out today and it came out clear enough to share:

I did as instructed
A lunge like stretch
For my right calf
And now it shakes.

The weakness frightens me.
Will I ever regain strength?
This process of healing
Seems so S-L-O-W.

The frailty of my "rested" muscle
Reminds me how long I've been down.
How long will it take
To regain my endurance?

Endurance starts in my mind.
I have to choose it first.
One step at a time.
One stretch at a time.

This process of restoration
Will produce greater endurance
Each part, if not painful
Is definitely wobbly at the beginning.

Monday, October 22, 2012


So, I see the last post on this blog was my Triathlon # 4.

Well, here is the update...

I re injured my Achilles tendon from doing the triathlon - even walking it. So, it hurts every day, not inspiring me to work out or anything. I tried to swim last week but even just the kicking fired it up pretty bad.

But here's the deal. I have been paying attention to my nutrition. Sort of. Some days I do great, others, not so much. Sometimes I think if I could live on an island with nothing to do but sleep and eat healthy I would do just fine.


I'd miss my Love, my amazing sons, my extended family and dear friends.

I feel like I have been fighting this battle so long I will never win. Especially since I don't even know what winning looks like at this point. It's not a number on the scale or a size of clothing. It's fitness and health and taking great care of myself and those around me.

I am doing a Bible study on Nehemiah and I wrote in the margin what the "rubble" was in my life. It was the same dumb stuff I wrote in the margin of a study I did YEARS ago... weight and clutter.


Same issues YEARS later... what could possibly be wrong with me? Are these things the thorns in my flesh? Am I tolerating these sins and just numb to the disaster of them?

I have no idea. I find myself recognizing the progress I HAVE made and anticipating more progress in the future. But, what about today?

Baby steps... I just gotta keep working on it and be okay with progress, whatever it looks like.

My favorite quote from Pinterest to date: No matter how slow you are moving you are still lapping the people on the couch.

Yup. That's me. Not on the couch. Gotta keep going...

Many thanks for all of you cheering me on. It really helps!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Triathlon #4 - The Greatness and the Pain of It

Last month I participated in my fourth sprint triathlon. It seems a little nuts to me that only two years ago I was finishing my Very First Triathlon having had experienced the greatest physical challenge in my life. Yes, even more than birthing my children.
Last year I finished my Second Triathlon , Swam a Mile as a part of a triathlon team, and then my third triathlon. I didn't blog my third because even though it was a good experience, I didn't have any pictures and I pretty much crashed after a long training season.
This year my challenge has primarily been the achillies tendonitis that kept me benched all spring and most of the summer. I had minimal training time before this last race, but I was confident that I could participate well in two of the three events.
Here is how it went:
I left for the race at 4:45am so I could be there when the transition area opened at 5:30. I got my bike set up and my numbers written on my body. My friend Rick the "Rocket" wrote my participant number on my arms and then we joked about this being the only time he could ask a woman's age without getting slapped since he had to write it on my left calf. 
Meanwhile, my Love and my three fellas ate the blueberry muffins I baked the night before and came to cheer me on. They had to take a shuttle bus because the parking is minimal where the event is held. This is them, standing in line, waiting for the bus.
I visited with a few friends who were racing as well, prayed for a teary eyed friend who was getting ready to do her very first tri, and joyfully hugged a friend I haven't seen in years that happened to be participating as well.
I got in the water, got some seaweed in my mouth, spit it out and got busy warming up. My white belly stood out above the other more modest coverings of my competitors but I decided to just go with it knowing the people that love me don't care, I am fully covered and those who might be disturbed I wouldn't likely see again. Until next year.
The swim started and I felt great. The only problem was I kept getting sandwiched between two women who were doing the breast stroke and their frog like kicks kept catching my arms, abdomen, etc. It was rather irritating even though they kept saying "sorry" and were quite polite about it. I had to stop several times to let them go by or try to see past them to an empty spot in the water.
My swim finish time was 11:32 (my stopwatch said 10:48 but I hadn't gone across the timing chip mat yet). My 2011 time was 12:36. I was very pleased with that.
I walked up the hill to the transition and just took a few minutes to settle down. My adrenalin was pumping like crazy and I knew I couldn't ride my bike all shaky and spastic! I dried off my feet, got my socks and shoes on, drank some electrolyte drink, took a gel and headed out on the bike. I saw my family at the beginning of the bike yelling and cheering for me. It was great!

 I had an amazing bike ride! I passed MANY people, felt strong and powered through the hills. It took a good couple of miles for my legs to get warmed up for biking. AND there was a dumb headwind that made me feel like I was pushing harder than I should have to.  I felt incredible. I felt like some extraordinary athlete - until I looked at the pictures.

 My fitness has always been based on what my head wants and how my body feels, not how it LOOKS. It is only when I see how I look that it freaks me out. I am overwhelmed by my size and how I appear to others. Most of all, how I appear to my family. I don't believe for a second that I have to be a size 4 but, it is really hard to see what my body looks like in reality instead of in my head.
 I had to walk almost all 3 miles of the run. My achillies tendon hurt pretty bad. I decided to finish before I started - so I just kept going. You can see how much I love a challenge!
The joy inside of me is definitely coming out. When I see these pictures I can look past my body to the power inside of me that gives me what I need to finish well.
 My lil fellas are so proud of me. That is a gift in itself.
 After I finished we headed to have a meal together before my Love had to go out of town to work. My middle fella took this picture. It isn't my favorite, but it will do. I took the guys to our church for our chili cook-off and finally crashed for the rest of the day at home. Even with taking my time during the transitions and walking the "run" I still finished under two hours. That was my goal. It was a great day!

For a couple of weeks after my race I sunk into a deep depression. I knew what it was. I just walked through it and knew I would come out the other side. I have. For some reason this is common. The pictures didn't help with my despair, but again, my body is what it is right now - a work in progress. Just like me!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Triathlon #3 Reviewed to Prep for #4

Last year I completed the Wunder Woman Triathlon in less than two hours. There were pictures taken, but, unfortunately, with my Love managing all three of our fellas on his own the camera got left on the shuttle bus. So we never saw them.

I will settle for this picture though:

Yes, that is not me, but that is how I felt last year when I finished my third triathlon!
The time could have been better, but I felt so great on the bike that I powered out of gas there and forgot to save some for the run.

This year, I will get in the water, knowing exactly what to expect - the chill of the water taking my breath away, the need to get in and get adjusted so it doesn't ruin my ability to make the best swim time possible. It's only 400m. It may seem long to many but since I regularly train swimming 1000m it is pretty fast in and out... fast being relative since I swim the distance in just under 12 min when many swim it in less than 7.

I don't bother with comparisons. I am me, after all, mother of three young sons and many other older ones (who graciously let me adopt them) and I live happily (mostly ;)) with the Love of my life and being an athlete is only part of who I am. There will be seasons in my life when I can train harder and be faster, but for now, I am good with finishing 400m around 12 minutes.

Now the transition from the water to the bike is a little tricky. Gotta get the sand out of the toes and thankfully there is a good amount of grass to do that on, but still drying feet and getting shoes and socks on is tricky when your adrenalin is pumping at 1000 miles and hour (If only my legs could go that fast!). I have often tried to just take it easy, get my heart rate settled down and get on  my bike. Mostly that works.

Getting on the bike and pedaling out for the ride has been hard for me but this time I expect it to be fun! I am better trained than ever before to do this bike ride. It will feel great. God bless my spin teacher, my Love, and Iron Tony that remind me how much power I've developed over these past few years. YAY!

Last year I finished the 10.2 mi bike ride in 45:12:647. This year I hope to finish in less than 40 minutes. I can't wait to see what happens!

And now for the run... I told you already that I powered through the bike so fast that I used up all my energy before the run. This year, due to my achillies tendonitis history, if I have any pain, I am committed to WALK. This will be a STRETCH for me... I wrote about this in a BLOG earlier today.

I huffed and puffed through the first mile last year and had people stopping to see if I was okay. Yeah, that was embarassing. But I told them I was and kept going. Once I found my groove at mile 2 I was okay but really tired.

This year, I will keep moving at whatever pace I can. Last year's run was 43:22:911. I have NO IDEA what this year's run will look like since I haven't run a single step for months! I'll let you know!

There ya have it! I know this time is going to be great! I will stay far enough away from the people on the hills so that a repeat of last year's near wipeout doesn't occur again - a woman JUMPED off her bike in front of me when she decided she couldn't pedal up the hill again. I almost squished her and mangled myself! - I am stronger and more confident in my swimming, on my bike and well, the run, it will happen, one way or another.

Thanks for reading. I hope there will be pictures to post this year. :) But I will be happy to finish, have my Love and my fellas squeeze me at the finish line and know I worked hard and gave it my all!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Killing It!

Okay, so after MONTHS of being benched because of achillies tendonitis, which I am happy to say God healed, I have moved carefully back into training for another Sprint triathlon.

I almost didn't do it this year because I knew that my finish times wouldn't be as good as last year. I trained all summer long in 2011. This time I will have had maybe four weeks to train and I am not running at all until race day (I may walk, depending on my achillies, while much better than it was, gets a little achy after I workout really hard) but pushing hard for my best swim and bike times.

Cycling in Colorado with the fam this summer. I rode around with them for a while, but eventually, I needed to ride out on my own, push the pedals hard and WORK!

This was a year ago. I am smaller this year, but see the smile, it's for real. I don't believe in leaving any gas left in my tank at the end of a race or a workout smiling all the way to the finish line!

There is the brief overview... now for the point -

Killing It!

What does that mean anyway? Go Hard or Go Home!

If I make it all the way to a class, on time, without forgetting anything or anyone having a meltdown (including me - hee hee!) then I have to not just pedal away as if I have all day to do my workout. I need to BRING IT!!!

Killing it is - All I've got, full speed, pushing my body to work as hard as possible, burn the most calories and SMILING the whole time! - Yes, it's true. I do it! Just ask my spin instructor. I even whoop it up too! However, I don't smile when I swim, too much water gets in my mouth! I really smile when I'm done with my 1000m minimum!

I believe the point of exercise is not just to check a box to say I did my time, but to put all my effort into getting optimal performance from my body in the pursuit of the healthiest, fittest, and strongest me possible. Otherwise it isn't worth the time, effort or money for membership.

If you are struggling with getting a workout in, find your excuses (99% of the time that is what they are) and shut them off by DOING IT! I am a recovering thinker, a rationalizer and a procrastinator (when it comes to getting stuff done). I can always come up with a reason not to do just about anything. So I get it. I really do.

But, here's the thing...


IF YOU DO IT - WHAT CHANGES?                            YOU DO!!! :)

Working out hard  or "Killing It" pushes you beyond grunting through a class or finishing x miles on the treadmill or an afternoon bike ride.

"Killing it" requires you to work past the point where your brain thinks you can go. Not your body - sharp pain = bad. Be careful here. I pray about it and ask God to let me know how hard I need to push my body past my brain screaming, "Knock it off - this is too hard!" I didn't listen to Him last week when I knew I should back off a bit and ended up having to skip some workouts while my achillies settled down again.

Today, I saw a friend's post about killing it in his workout. I had almost rationalized not going to class today, but just those two words reminded me of the whole point of why I am stretching into the athlete God has called me to be. So I went to spin class today and "killed it". I felt like Jello when I was done and smiled all the way home. I am so glad I did it. I never regret a good hard workout. Ever.
Now, I have to go... boys, dishes and other housework requires my attention and I can easily rationalize typing some more!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dear Sleep,

Dear Sleep,

We have this strange connection. I know I need you and you need me but we never seem to come together long enough. I am pretty sure you are one of the key components to my wellness success and yet I don't make time for you.

I am going to take some time to explain what I don't like about you even though I know what I say won't change you.
- You take up my quiet time
- You can play hard to get
- You make me want more of you
- You ... okay so there aren't that many things I don't like about you...

So why don't we spend more time together?

Here are a few things I do like about you:
- You like me.
-You refresh me
- You provide time for some rather interesting dreams
- You keep me humble (snoring like a freight train can sometimes do that)
- You help me do a better job being me

I miss you. I need to make more time for you and since this week I am challenged to do that, I am going to step it up and put time for you in my schedule. Please be patient with me since you and I both know there are other people involved in this relationship.

Yawning Mommy