Monday, September 26, 2016

1st Month Results...

I have bad news, good news, better news and best news... starting with the bad news...

... I didn't lose any weight this week...

... but it was my birthday week and I did cheat pretty well that day, and I still didn't gain any weight...

... I have lost 5.5 pounds in 4 weeks... and kept it off...

... and the BEST NEWS... I've lost 4.0" from my body!!!  It is so funny to see where inches come from... and what didn't change.  I lost 1.5" from my waist, but nothing from my hips.  I lost 3/4" from my right thigh, but nothing from my right upper arm.  My left upper arm was the 3rd biggest loss at 1/2" and then 1/4" from my bust, left thigh, and both calves.  Ha, ha, ha... that cracks me up!!!  Wonder where it will come from next month? :-) 

This weekend marks my last race of the year and the start of training with my Coach, reaching toward those 2017 goals.  I'm thinking October should put up some good numbers with my workouts more than doubling from what I've done during this off-season.  Here's to losing more pounds this week so I can have new photos to share!  One day at a time...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Plateau and first priorities...

It is Week 3 weigh in and I'm the same as last week.  I'm not complaining... almost 6 pounds in 2 weeks... I'm happy with that!  What you might not know is that after 14 years in our 55 year old home, we are doing a full gut job kitchen remodel!  We've been getting ready for this remodel for months... cleaning out the garage to stage all of the materials, cleaning out closets and purging stuff... research, pricing, shopping... and it is time.  The timing of this project is two fold... get it done before the holidays... and get it done before my 2017 training starts!  We only have a few short weeks to take care of business, and this weekend was cabinet clean out and temp kitchen set up.  We've moved furniture out of our dinning room to set up the temp kitchen.  I have to admit, I'm very concerned about eating right without a kitchen, but this photo shows that I've got my priorities ready...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 2 - Already an inch off my waist...

First off, I must say that my sweet Husband, Bike Mechanic, Sherpa, Photog, my EVERYTHING is amazing!  I've been having issues with my shifting for about a year and a half now.  Jeff has tinkered, and replaced and rebuilt and cleaned and everything he could think to do for me so my bike would work properly.  He finally gave in and just replaced my cables, my housings, my chain and rear cassette... and my handlebar tape (so she is pretty!.)  He cleaned and lubed my brake levers/shifters and gave my bike a total cleaning/adjustment. Since I've been off season, I haven't been on my bike (except for races) since April.  Today, we did a test ride and I don't think my bike has been so smooth, shifted so well, been so AWESOME ever!!!  SOOOOO HAPPY!!!!! :-)

As for weigh-in for the 2nd week, I've lost another 2.6 pounds... 5.6 pounds in the first (2) weeks... 14 pounds to lose in the next (15) weeks! After looking at these photos, and the difference, we did a measurement... in (2) weeks, I've already lost 1" in my waist.  We didn't do any other measurements, but know the first month results will be great!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Success... one day at a time...

Week one done, and I'm (3) pounds lighter!  I'm not exactly sure where those three pounds came from, but as long as they are gone and not coming back, I'm a happy camper!  This time around, I'm not using Weight Watchers to track/plan my food.  I've used Weight Watcher plans for my weight loss since I was 13 years old, but I'm trying something new this time.  I'm using an app called, "My Fitness Pal."  One of the biggest gripes I had with old school WW was that you had to find and then figure out your calories, fat grams, carbs, etc for every item you ate and I hated how much time that took!  Maybe WW has gone digital since the last time I was there, but I felt it was time for a change.  My Fitness Pal has had every single item I've eaten in their database.  I just type in what I ate, and it gives me the full breakdown of that item, loads it into my diary, and saves it for future meals so I don't have to look it up again.  I can even save my own recipes for future use.  I have the app on my phone, too, so I can update my daily tracker from anywhere.

My Fitness Pal also tracks my "Training Peaks" workouts and is now logging my daily calories into my Training Peaks calendar.  When Coach and I get back to training next month, he will be able to see my workouts and my daily food summary!  I think the fact that I will be able to use these two apps together is going to be a great asset... especially as my training gets back into gear and starts to build.  I will need to eat more to fuel the training, and I think this might be the key to keep a proper balance.

17 pounds to go... 17 weeks until the end of the year.  As long as I keep at it one day at a time, success will be mine!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Time to Start the Work...

I've been working on my weight and my confidence for many years now.  I started with a great group of friends/support at my local YMCA, started losing weight, did my first sprint triathlon, moved up to the international/olympic triathlon distance races, lost 50 pounds, and have now done (2) 70.3 (half Ironman) distance triathlons.  I have pretty much been on a plateau for the past (4) years and have settled by sitting around 200 pounds, training, racing, and totally enjoying this great sport and the support group/friends of triathlon.

As I just posted, I have been having some issues that have set me back, but I have some new goals!  This blog... posting my photos, my weight, my journey... as tough as it may be at times, has been my biggest form of accountability, and it is time that I got back to work!  I don't like the photos that are posted here.  And although I can't see my insides, I can see from these simple photos of my outsides why I'm not feeling good... strong... confident... sexy...

So, it is time to get to work...

1)  Lose 20 pounds by the end of the year.  I have been as low as 195 on my triathlon journey, so I am almost 20 pounds up from there at this point.  I have been there and I can get there again!  INSPIRATION - We have several special events coming up in the new few months that I would like to look great for.  Also, this is the first step for goal #3 below...

2)  Oceanside 70.3 2017 - I almost finished my first 70.3 in 2015.  I finished my second 70.3 in 8 hours 8 minutes in 2016.  My 2017 goal is to finish under 7 hours!  That is going to be a HUGE improvement to make, but I know I can do it!

3)  ... and Most Exciting, Challenging, Nerve Wrecking, Freaking Me Out goal... USA ATHENA
TRIATHLON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!!!  The date and location of the 2017 Championship hasn't been announced yet, although it has been in Michigan in June for the past several years.  I'm not sure which distance would be my forte at this point (they have Sprint, Olympic and 70.3 distance races) but I would really like to go for this huge goal!  And yes, it is the Athena Championships, but for me to be competitive, I will need to lose weight.  I am currently 47 pounds above the minimum weight for this race class, and would like to get to within 15 pounds by race day.  32 pounds in the next year... I've lost 50 in a year... I just have to find the key to getting past this plateau and make it happen!

So here we go with the first dose of reality...  I've taken measurements, I'm on a new food/exercise diary program, and ready to make this happen... Day One...


Sunday, August 21, 2016

I'm Back... and finally listening to myself...

I can hardly believe that it is August and I have only posted once this year!  Quite a few things have happened, so let's jump into some photos, then chat about some new things that are happening...
I FINISHED MY FIRST 70.3!  I could write for days about this
amazing day, but this moment, with my friends and family
cheering as I'm running down the finishing chute... so incredibly happy,
and so intensely emotional... THIS is what it feels like
to finish a half Ironman!
This has been a remarkable Gold Medal year for me, placing 1st in
each triathlon I've raced in so far this year (except Oceanside, of course!)
Summer vacation brought time at The Lot and a fraternity
brother reunion...

... a weekend in LA at Jessica's place
and a trip to Universal Studios and the new
Harry Potter Wizarding World (AWESOME!)
24 years of annual family vacations, this summer was the
last family vacation to Campland on the Bay.
... and just like that, it is Back to School time!
We have had a great and packed summer, but there has been something going on behind the scenes that was causing some issues.  Last summer, for the first time in (5) years of training, I decided to take a small break from training.  I was TIRED and figured both my body and mind needed a little down time.  Although I backed way off, I still trained about 5 hours a week and enjoyed the break.  In October, I was back at it, ramping up to start my Oceanside training with my new Coach. 

Months of constant training, long weekend workouts and, as expected, I was tired, but about two months before Oceanside, I became constantly exhausted.  I figured that was to be expected as I was training (6) days a week, weekend workouts were now hours long each day, and I was working full time and taking care of a family... of course I was tired!

I decided that I was going to take another break right after Oceanside.  Although, spring and summer is the regular race season, I felt I had to get some rest.  I took one entire month off with NO training at all, but what was weird was that I found I had even less energy after that month and my body started feeling really bad.  Made sense to me... my body was missing the activity and wanted me to start moving again.  So I started doing 2-3 half hour runs each week, which is almost like doing nothing compared to my normal schedule, but I wanted to see how I would feel.  Not only did I have no energy at all, I was now putting on weight like crazy.

After (3) months of this, I decided to listen to my body as there might be something wrong, and I scheduled a physical.  I trust my doctor and knew that when I explained how I had been feeling, albeit seemingly understandable effects of taking a training break and, let's be honest, being an Athena and getting older, that she would take me seriously, and she did. 

The results recently came back and I'm severely deficient in Vitamins B12 and D.  I did some research and as I was sitting here reading about the effects of these deficiencies, I started crying because all of the lack of energy, the body hurting (tingling in feet, tender calves, weakness, heart palpitations), lightheaded, memory loss, and more... all of the things that I had been feeling were listed there in black in white.  Several of these things I hadn't even mentioned to my doctor, because as stand alone symptoms, I could explain them away, but put together, they add up to these deficiencies.

A week ago I received my first of my new monthly B12 shots and have started taking Vitamin D supplements.  I'm very optimistic about starting to feel good and getting my energy back.  Looking back, I'm sure these issues started more than a year ago, and have just gotten worse as I ignored the signs.  I can't believe that I finished a half Ironman and have done so well in this year's races while having these issues, and I CAN'T WAIT to see how this will effect my training/racing! 

Next post... the start of two new journeys... :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

(2) Triathlete's Coming Through... Desert International CRAZY Race Reports...

Mr. Cool, calm and collected before his race... :-)
Small clarification... Jeff did a reverse sprint one year ago, but this weekend, he did his first beach start, 500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3.1 run.  He is now totally and officially a triathlete!  :-) 

For the 5th year, Jeff, Anna and I headed out to La Quinta for the Desert International Triathlon weekend.  For the past (3) years, we have been camping at the race site (campground is 1/2 mile from the start) and for the 3rd year, weather was a MAJOR part of this weekend.  I've got a pretty cool story to share, so buckle up, and enjoy the ride...
The sprint distance race was on Saturday and Jeff had PERFECT conditions.  Cool, not cold... calm weather... beautiful views.  Camping onsite gives us the luxury of heading to transition early, setting up, then going back to camp to eat, relax and finish pre-race preps.  I, on the other hand, new photog for my sweet husband, was a mess... camera, chairs, cow bell for cheering, emergency supplies he might need, etc. Thank goodness my nerves didn't transfer to Jeff.  Pre-race photos, chatting with our tri friends, and time to line up in the swim chute.  Here are photos to tell the story of Jeff's race...

Just out of the water... having a great time... time to
get on with the bike!
Transition time... Jeff is already on the bike and ready
to go... perfect example of a cyclist doing a tri... "get...
out... of... my... way!"

... and there he goes... My favorite finisher!

Back at camp and lucky Abby gets to wear Daddy's medal...
Tons of stress at this moment... nobody knew
that this was my first race with my Garmin...
and that I just set it wrong and couldn't reset. 
Quick smile for Jeff and back to TOTAL FREAK
OUT!  Reminded myself I never had this
technology before... just... time... to... race!
Great day... back to camp... family afternoon... weather so calm we made a campfire and smores... and the trees started to rustle.  Have you seen the movie, "Twister...?"  When the winds start to slowly rustle and the next thing you know you have a Cat 5 tornado coming through your drive-in movie screen...?  That pretty much sumarizes the next 10 hours.  Camping neighbors started pulling up their canopies, putting away their chairs, pretty much packing up their outdoor living spaces.  We decided to follow suit, and within a few minutes, the winds started picking up and a neighboring site lost their easy-up to the wind.  All night long, the wind HOWLED, bumped and crashed and we found the winds got up to 70 miles per hour.... trying to get some sleep because race morning was coming...

5AM and the alarm goes off... and the wind is still howling.  I jumped up and got to the public bathroom to get ready... and found a camper... head to toe in dirt... and all of her belongings around her.  She had spent the night in the bathroom because the wind had torn her tent apart.  I got back to the trailer and Coach and Steph had just arrived from their hotel 30 minutes away. (They had come in from Vegas for the weekend to support us and race with us.)  Concerned about the race conditions, we got down to the venue.  We found all of the port-o-potties blown over, the entire race village was gone... every tent had blown away... several of them were in the lake... the Race Director had the event on hold.  It was 1.5 hours before the race start and nobody in transition... maybe 50 people milling around chatting about what was going on. 

Time to get it done...!
I walked back to camp to eat just in case we were going to race.  Coach stayed at the venue to see what was going on.  Sun was rising and wind was still blowing... slowing down at times, then blowing hard again.  Coach called and said the RD was moving foward with the race, but we discussed the safety issues of racing in these conditions.  Although this was my 2nd most important race of the year (behind Oceanside just four weeks away and becuase I had done this race for 4 years and never reached the podium) we decided it was too risky to race.  I decided to pull out of my first race.

FINALLY... lower back pain killed my great ride, but I'm
actually happy to start running... WHAT!?  Happy to run... ?
We spent the next hour watching the race venue... we could see the swim start from our trailer.  They kept trying to get one of the (6) or so swim markers out onto the course, but the wind kept stopping them.  By now, there should be hundreds of triathletes on the beach in their wetsuits, if the race was a go.  Nobody was there. 
Winds calmed a bit and they got one of the swim markers out on the lake... then another half hour of no movement.  
We decided to walk down to the venue to turn in my timing chip (shoot, I was already going to lose my entry fee, I didn't want to pay another $30 for my chip.)  Walking through camp, we came across several other athletes that bowed out, too. 
Then I got a call from Coach, who had already turned in his chip and left, but decided to come back for one more check...

Starting to run... feels good... sandstorm hasn't started yet...
Things were moving fast... race was on... wind died (for the moment)... people setting up in transition... and here I am, having one of those nightmare moments... the traditional race nightmare... either you are naked... or you show up to a race late... or you show up and forget something you need to race like your running shoes or your bike...

...I ran back to the trailer, did my last minute prep, had Jeff get my fluids together, I grabbed my pack, I jumped on my bike and FLEW down to the transition area... riding over grass, through the park... to a transition area that was totally empty... I heard the announcer say, "Wave One, one minute..." (I was wave 5 and there was only 2-3 minutes before each wave start... and it usually takes me a minimum of 1.5 hours to set up transition, potty, body marking, potty, fueling, mental prep, potty... HOLY COW!)

DONE!  So happy my Coach was here and raced with me!!!
Coach met me at transition... "You get in your wetsuit, give me your transition stuff."  I started throwing stuff at Coach to set up... I'm still giggling thinking about those 5 minutes... I was telling my coach how to set up my transition area... as much as we all do it the same, we all want it set up our way.

Ran out of transition... I'm not body marked yet... CRAP!  Ran to find someone official, "Do you have a Sharpie... do you have Sharpie?" (note to self... have a Sharpie in transition bag)  Found someone... number on my upper arm and then had to strip off my wetsuit to my ankles so my age could be marked on my calf... AUGH!  Only in triathlon is it OK to strip off your wetsuit in a rush, put your butt in a stranger's face, and asking him to hurry and write your age on your calf... :-) 

FIRST PODIUM in (5) years for this race, and totally LOVE this
celebration photo!!!
Race had started... had to run into the water... although my quick bike to transition and Adrenaline were working as a "warm up" I had to get water in my wetsuit and my face in the water... even though they were announcing "Everyone out of the water."  Got over to the swim start.  Time to focus... crud... I usually spend the morning getting mentally ready... almost time to go.
Coach was beside me... "Ready to go...?"

I can't tell you the number of responses that I would have liked to have said at the moment, but it was time to go.  At the end of the day... swim, longer than expected due to the wind moving the buys... bike... OK until the last (4) miles when the wind started back up... and I can't explain the misery the windstorms caused on the 6.2 mile run. 

Racing is racing... part training... part luck... a LOT of mental grit.  Feeling AWESOME after this weekend and time to make these dreams come true.
(4) weeks until Oceanside... time to make it happen! :-)