Updatey Goodness

I think it is HILARIOUS that I started my last blog post with “I think I’ll write something every Wednesday!”… and then wrote nothing for over a month.  Typical!

I’m still Weight Watching (down 29.8 pounds, woot!  But it barely shows, wahh).  I mean, my clothes are looser, but I can still wear them.  My face looks a little bit thinner, but overall?  It looks like exactly what it is – a drop in the bucket that is my long-term goal.

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I am definitely eating cleaner and healthier, and feeling well and energetic.  I sleep well and I mostly wake up feeling rested and refreshed.  However, when I get tired it hits me fast and hard.  I’m good, I’m good, I’m good… and then I am asleep in a corner, drooling on my arm.

Triathlon training is getting a little intimidating and overwhelming.  Not physically – Coach Irondad knows what he’s doing and doesn’t ask me to do anything I can’t handle – but mentally and emotionally, for sure.  Looking at the days and weeks ahead, I’m feeling a lot of “Oh shit, how am I going to be able to fit this in and make this work?”  But there is really no wiggle room – I HAVE to prepare for the 70.3 I’m doing in December.  Lately I’ve been wondering if I’ll be able to complete it in the time allowed (8 hours, 30 minutes).  I’m honestly not sure.  Though I’ve been training consistently and losing weight, I haven’t really been getting any faster… and I am ridiculously slow. Stress!  Self-doubt!

Nothing to do but keep giving it my best.

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Sup guys?

I just “ran” for the first time in months (and the time before that was probably months as well).  The quotation marks are because I only had to run for a total of 5 minutes – and even that I did at my usual lumbering pace.  It did not feel good.

Platitudes that are not consoling me:

  • Every journey starts with a single step
  • You’re still lapping everyone on the couch!
  • The only bad workout is the one that didn’t happen

Still, hey, I’m glad I did it.

63% of a Workout is Better than 0%

Man, this week has been kind of a shitshow on the weight loss/triathlon training adventure. I missed my workouts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Today, I went to the pool, but only because my coworker was meeting me there (for which I am so, so grateful!), but I got there late and was only able to do 1400 meters out of the 2400 yards that were on my program before I had to leave for work.

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On the plus side, even though I was at the pool with all the SRS BSNS athletes, I managed to overcome my self-consciousness and do flip turns most of the time. My OTHER coworker, who used to be a competitive swimmer, taught me last week. My flip turns are pretty sloppy and I’m sure quite entertaining to watch, but I am doing a somersault at the end of the lane and a few seconds later I am swimming in the other direction, so… win?

I am considering another mini-challenge on this blog where I report in every day, but just about my training. I REALLY want to form the habit of doing all of my weekday workouts before work.  The reasons for this are sixfold:

  • Snooze-sleep is not good sleep anyway, and that’s what I currently do between 5am (when I intend to get up and exercise) and 6:30am (when I actually have to get up and start getting ready)
  • Very little can interfere with pre-work plans, but things can and often do come up in the evenings (having to work late, social plans, errands to run, just plain tired, etc.)
  • The things I want to do are always available in the mornings (pools are open, running outside isn’t as hot, it’s not too dark to bike safely)
  • Training after work means having to find motivation and get-up-and-go… TWICE. I have to do it in the morning anyway to start the day, but having to do it AGAIN after work increases my chances of flaking on myself dramatically
  • I feel good and have more energy throughout the day when I exercise in the morning
  • It would mean no stupid calorie checkbook projections!  When I plan to work out in the evening, I’ll often pre-enter my planned exercise into MyFitnessPal to see how many calories I have available for snacks, dinner, etc. Guess what often happens? I’ll eat the calories, but not do the workout. Fail.

So, I think I’ll try that, starting next week.  Til then, everyone!

TWE: Day 10

Day 10 – Tuesday, April 8

  • Weight: 222.6
  • Net Calories: 2408
  • Exercise: ugh! Was supposed to swim, didn’t get up early enough. Decided to switch Tuesday’s workout with Wednesday’s (a 90 min bike ride), but then got lazy, and didn’t even do that… but I still ate the extra calories I expected to burn. Whomp whomp. I did get my work-break walks in though, as well as some dancing for burlesque practice.

Triathlon in four days! It’s time to work on my race plan and packing lists. I think HITS Palm Springs will remain my Olympic distance PR – I’m carrying more weight, this course is hilly, and the water temperature is ridiculous – but that doesn’t mean I can’t kick ass!

TWE: Day 5

Day 5: Thursday, April 2

  • Weight: 222.4
  • Net Calories: 738 (please no alarmist exclamations of “you’re starving yourself!” – trust me, I’m not. I ate 2271 calories, it was just a very active day)
  • Exercise: 30 minutes of walking, 60 minutes of biking, 60 minutes of running (with walking intervals)

As you can see, my weight was up a tiny bit yesterday, probably because I’d gone over my calories and not gotten good exercise on Wednesday. Everything has its price.

(Spoiler alert) today’s number on the scale was moving in the right direction again, but I had the shittiest swim workout this morning. It was supposed to be endurance sets (3x500m), plus warmup and cooldown. I did the warmup and two sets before having to call it quits because I was running late to work. I was also, even in the slow lane, constantly in everyone’s way. Tina Turtle.

Image But hey – no training is bad training, right?

Race Report: Inaugural Downtown LA Turkey Trot 5k

I’ve done THREE races in the past few weeks, and I haven’t yet written about any of them. Unacceptable! Here’s the first. I’ll give ya my take on the Spartan Race tomorrow, and the HITS Palm Springs Olympic Triathlon on Tuesday. Pinky swear!

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I think that the whole idea of a race on Thanksgiving day is just brilliant. You get up early and burn a few hundred calories (before consuming a few thousand), it’s a great start to the day before all the food and family craziness begins, and it’s NOT FOOTBALL. (Last year I watched parts of four games. That’s, like, three and a half games too many for me.) Also, people dress in awesome costumes.

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Tell me you don’t want to go jogging with this guy.

Alex and I are training for a half marathon in January, so it seemed like a good way to get a maintenance run in. Plus, we had a pretty good time last year at the Newport Pie Run. My younger brother Raymond (I first typed “little brother,” but let’s face it – at 17 he has scraggly facial hair and towers over me, so that’s not really appropriate) was also considering doing the New Year’s run, so to test the waters we got his registration for this, too. It was his first official race – d’aww!

The route was through downtown Los Angeles, which is familiar but still pretty. There was a pretty decent hill that I remember hating during the LA Marathon in 2010, but despite that, Alex and I took no walking intervals. Score!

Speedy McYoungster placed 19th in his age group, and Alex and I maintained a respectable (for us) sub-12:15 minute per mile pace. It was a lot of fun. And now that we’ve done the inaugural one, I’ll probably want to run it every year that we’re in town. Maybe try the 10K next time!

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The Sting

Wow. There’s so much I want to write about — I’ve had some crazy awesome training over the past week, a bunch of it with Coach Irondad – but I have to write one thing at a time, and I have to start somewhere. So I’ll start with the first thing that comes to mind, and that is the sting of so often being the fattest and the slowest.

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As you know, my life sort of imploded this year. From August through October, I was pretty much in survival mode. I ate whatever I wanted (and didn’t track it), I barely exercised, my sleep schedule was whack, and I certainly was not using my Game Plan. Result: I gained back more than 20 pounds and lost most of my fitness.

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This makes me very sad.

But since then, things have improved. I’m settling into my new job and getting back on the wagon a little bit at a time. And I’ve been trying to take advantage of my LA Tri Club membership, because it’s easier and more fun to do long workouts with a group (and because open water swimming solo is not terribly safe).

But the truth is, I’m really not in good enough shape to keep up. I tried an ocean swim a couple of weeks ago and had to cut it short when I could no longer see the group (in fairness, I did tell them to go on without me because I didn’t want to keep holding them up). I did a group ride on PCH this past Saturday and I believe they waited for me for at least 15 minutes (maybe longer) at the turnaround point, because I rode so much more slowly than everyone else.

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Now, I’ve never been fast, and I don’t really ever expect to be. Even at my best, I was at the back of the pack. But I have to say, it really stings to be working so hard and still coming up short. The feelings always come in stages:

1) Panic as I start to fall behind. (Oh man, I can’t go at the pace they’re going! What’s going to happen?)
2) Irrational blaming of others. (Alex is pushing the pace, with those crazy long legs of his! or They said this route was going to be flat!)
3) Self-loathing. (This always happens. I am the worst. I am a fat slob. Why do I kid myself and even try these things?)
4) Ridiculous determination. (Well, I am just going to run 5 miles, uphill, every day for a year until I’m amazing and this never happens to me again!)
5) Acceptance. (Ok, I’m just gonna swallow my pride, gut it out and finish this, and try again next time.)

Now I KNOW (in my head, if not in my heart) that the last bit is the most important. I know it’s about finishing and doing my best, and not about competing with anyone besides myself. I know that the athletes and friends with whom I train are kind and compassionate people who mean it when they say that it’s ok, and they’ll wait for me, and they hope I come out again.

That doesn’t really stop it from stinging. It’s no fun, being the fattest and the slowest. The only solution, though, is to keep working at it – both my fitness, and my feelings. And that’s one of the things I love about triathlon, constantly working at pushing out of my comfort zone and becoming someone I really like.