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... :-)