Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeling the Burn and Finding the Love of Exercise...

We all know that we have to exercise... for weight loss... to be healthy and feel good.  Exercise has not always been my friend, but I have found ways to LOVE it!  Two years ago, I started a weight loss challenge at my YMCA, which was a turning point for me in regard to excercise.  My trainer, Laura (she so TOTALLY ROCKS!) introduced me to spin and boot camp... two things I had never done before.  We did entire workouts in the basketball gym, in the gymnastics center (yes, I still have nightmares about the foam "pit") and in local parks.

The training and the exercise was great, but there was something different about this "gym" environment... new friends.  I have been a regular at LOTS of different gyms in the past, but this weight challenge group was something very special!  We support each other, we laugh with each other, we sweat with each other and we have become friends!  After two years, there isn't a day that I walk into the YMCA that there isn't someone there that I know, asking how I'm doing and what event I'm training for next.  And the best thing is that there is now a group of us that are training for and doing all sorts of events... together! 

I believe I have mentioned that I am currently training for my 3rd triathlon... the 2011 Rose Bowl Triathlon.   Below is a post from my regular blog called, "Wooooo Hooooo" where I shared my very first triathlon experience, which happened to be the 2010 Rose Bowl Triathlon.  I CAN'T WAIT to get back to the Rose Bowl in 2 months and SHREAD last year's time!!!  I hope you enjoy the story and GET INSPIRED!!!  If I can do this, ANYONE CAN DO A TRIATHLON!!!!

2010 Rose Bowl Triathlon
(originally posted March 23, 2010 on "Wooooo Hooooo"

Champagne Time!  Leeza, Me and Dave after the race!

There are some events that are SO BIG that I can't highlight them in just one day... I need a WHOLE WEEK of 365 postings to do them justice... and this is one of them!  This weekend, I competed in and FINISHED my first TRIATHLON!!! 
"Laura's Angels!"... Laura, Paula, Leeza, Heidi, me, Kellie... at the start line!

Jeff's frat brother, Dave Carlson, asked Jeff to do this race with him and Jeff passed... so I said I'd do it with him... and then I recruited several of my YMCA training buds to train and do it, too!  I've completed 2 marathons and a metric century, but this triathlon was BY FAR the most fun event to date.  I'm sure it was the fact that the race includes running, cycling and swimming... not just one event.  I was a bit concerned about running on my pulled hip flexor, and it hurt from the first step I took, but I ran slowly and evenly and didn't stop!
They write your race number all over you, but this number is special... your "age" for the year is your age by December 31st... I'm only 39 (40 in September), but according to the triathlon "powers that be," I'm 40 now... hummm...

The cycle section ROCKED!!!  Although I am afraid of my road bike, (more specifically, I'm afraid of becoming one with the pavement... which I have done several times and have scars to prove it!) I decided that there were enough cute paramedics around that if I crashed, I would be in good hands, so I went FULL SPEED!  I cranked up the gears on the down hill and FLEW!  Our trainer, Laura, drove all that way to support us.  She is WONDERFUL, but sure knows how to yell at you to get you to work harder.  When I passed her, she wasn't yelling at me... she was laughing and cheering saying, "Holy Cow... you're kicking ass, Tracey! GO, GO, GO!"  (Do you know how long I've waited to hear her say that!?)  Now... THAT... was a moment!   
I LOVE the look on that guys face... I just FLEW by him and he is thinking, "Where the hell did SHE come from!?"

The transitions weren't as scary as I thought... except for the bike to swim... here I am, not very confident about my weight... tearing off my clothes down to my swim suit as fast as I can... family, friends, other competitors all cheering and giving me advice... when all I was thinking was that I needed a moment of privacy... I had to make sure "the girls" were still in place and that my suit wasn't riding up my rear as my clothes are flying off.  No such luck in a triathlon... if I was going to have a "wardrobe malfunction," it was going to happen in front of everyone!
Right after the swim... me, Heidi, Leeza and Kellie... WE DID IT!

The swim... now, there is a HUGE story during the swim, now affectionately referred to as the "Who Ha and the 4 Minute Kegel..."  I promised that I was going to post it here, but decided that there are just some stories that are not appropriate for my blog. (Sorry, Mike!)  Let's just say, the swim was tough, but only a few short minutes and it was over.  And by the time I got out of the pool... in a swim suit... with my running bra still on... dripping wet... goggles on my forehead... looking like a drowned rat... I didn't care WHO was standing around looking at me!  I had FINISHED my race... my girlfriends and their families were there... Dave, Mari and Shaney were there... Laura was there... and Jeff and Anna were there... all was good!  Oh, and I knew there were champagne cocktails waiting in the car... OJ, fresh strawberries and champagne... well deserved and OH... SO... YUMMY!  It was a PERFECT day!


Melodrama said...

I just want to tell you that I LOVE your blog. I wish I was as brave as you to put everything out there like that. talk about self motivation! some of my girlfriends decided not too long ago that we need to get lean and mean. I don't have a really awesome inspirational story like you do but I want you to know when you are cravin that cheeseburger I'll be somewhere in the world (not as good as california ;]) crunchin on celery with ya :]

Sorry if its weird because Im Jess's friend but, ROCK ON!
-melodie :]

Tracey Locher said...

Hi Melodie! Why would it be weird for you to be following along because you're one of Jessica's friends!? It doesn't matter how old you are, how tall, or if you are a girl or guy, we are all struggling with our weight and can totally use some motivation and inspiration!

I think it is very cool that you were the first "follower" on this blog and I also am VERY proud of what you are doing in the Air Force!!! I'm looking forward to you telling me how celery tastes in different parts of the world!!! ;-)

Dave-o said...

Tracey... We're going to kick butt at Pasadena. After a bit of a hiatus (or maybe just a big decrease in my workouts), I'm back in the pool two days a week and biking a couple times as well. I'm not running yet. The new orthotics are taking some getting used to. But I'm hoping to go out for a couple one mile runs over the weekend to start getting in shape.

Your new blog is great. You are so brave to put yourself out there like this... but I know you can do it. You never cease to inspire me.