Happy Belated Halloween!!!

BELATED BOO!!! Did I scare you? No? Well, POO! Yeah I got you there, huh? As any parent knows, POO trumps BOO on the scare meter, anywhere, anytime!! But, is it scarey enough to get you moving? Are you running from your computer, screaming in fear? Good then I have succeeded in my task to get everyone out and exercising off all the sugar we ate yesterday!!

OK, so I have to confess something…I’ve been a little lax in the running lately. There…I’ve said it. Isn’t the first step in solving any problem, admitting that there is a problem? And now I’m gonna want to lace up my runners and hit the pavement. ..right? NO? CRAP!!! Well, I tried!!! In my defense, I have been walking 3 miles 3 times a week with my hubs. So I’m not sedentary, just a tad lazy. Well, maybe lazy isn’t the right word… running in slow-motion might describe it better.

So since I started writing this a couple days ago… yeah maybe lazy is the right word… I added a 2 mile run to my hubby walks. That’s a total of 5 miles!!! Eventually I will have hubs running the 3 mile walk and then I’ll be running 5 miles three days a week. Not bad… I think what I really need is to find a race to sign up for and get myself inspired!!! Stay tuned!!!

Run Hubby Run….

I enjoy my runs… I mean absolutely LOVE my runs!!! Well, most of them. But, I’m beginning to realize that other people DO NOT enjoy theirs as much. And one of those people is my darling husband! Now, to be fair I must say that he is just beginning his running regime, and I’m not sure that anyone really LIKES it at the very beginning, what with all those side stitches and, of course, the breathlessness. But, for those of us that pushed through that painful beginning, is the, ummm, how to describe it… hmm… bliss, ecstasy, euphoria, elation… must I go on? I think you get my drift! So my goal is to get the hubs to stick with it long enough to reach that euphoric threshhold, with hopes that from then on it will be a MUST DO!

How to accomplish this? Yeah, I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to try to take it slow and work him up to a 5K race. We went out this past week and ran/walked 30 minutes, in a 2 minute run/3 minute walk. It went GREAT!! He said I run a little faster than he does, but he kept up and we did it! We started out another day, but the rain started and we had to stop after a walk around the block 😦

Never fear… we are going to keep this up… even if it kills me! Today is suppose to be another rainy day, so maybe we can squeeze in 30 minutes between FLORIDA’s liquid sunshine! I would like to set a 3 day a week schedule, increasing our run time each week until eventually we are running a 5K in 30 minute!!!!

Watch for follow-ups to follow!!!

I TRI-ED!!

Yep...that's me!

Yep...that's me! The one with the cap and goggles!

It’s official…I’m a TRIATHLETE! I am no longer a “newbie” or “tri virgin”! I know, I can’t believe it either! I completed my first triathlon Sunday, Mother’s Day and my 44th birthday,  with 1688 or so other women! Way to go ladies!!!! It’s true…She swims…She bikes…She runs…She Rox!!!! Wooohoooo!

I experienced every emotion during this 3 leg race. From terror as I entered Bay Lake (yeah, swimming’s not really my thing!) … to exuberance as  I sprinted to the finish line with the crowd cheering me on! (Thank you to said crowd for powering me through!) My results were better than I expected, but then again, I really didn’t expect to make it out of the lake! My personal goal was to finish in under 2 hours and I did that! In fact, I finished in 1:48:59!  Not bad, for a first timer! 600th out of 1688 women! Yes I’m bragging just a little! Can you blame me? I’m still wearing my medal proudly!!

Here’s a brief run down of the race…after a night of pasta loading, an annual jammie (as in PJ’s) trip on the monorail, and a brief stint of homelessness due to being locked out of our cabin, we finally went to bed at 11:00P.M., only to wake up before the alarm at 4:30AM. Yeah, sleep was not a big priority for me. We had coffee and tried to eat, but evidently food wasn’t high on my priority list either! We suited up, piled on the golf carts and headed to the transition area. Nerves were jumping off all over the place! I set up my little transition area (complete with a birthday balloon that sings) and then wandered over to the lake to see exactly what a ½ mile swim looks like. By this time I think I was in shock, so I couldn’t tell you if I thought it was farther than I expected or not. I was comforted by the number of lifeguards and swim angels (people treading water with swim noodles for those of us who need a little help) strategically placed every 50-100 feet on both sides of the course. Surely, they would fish me out (no pun intended) when I start flailing about!

My loving family found me on the beach by the lake, and I nervously chatted with them while awaiting the start of the 1st wave.  You see there were 22 waves, each 3 minutes apart and each with a different color swim cap. I was in wave 6, yellow caps (not a good color for me), scheduled to start at 7:15A.M, just after the survivor wave, pink caps, my friend Suzi’s wave.  As I hugged my husband, mother and children and accepted their good luck wishes, I felt the nervous tension bubbling up and tears popped into my eyes. Who knew that I would get so emotional? Why? I am a strong woman about to spend the next 2 hours proving exactly how strong I am. Starting this adventure with tears is not what I expected!

So they call our wave into the staging area as the pink capped survivors walk into water. This wave gets an amazing cheer from the crowd! They are all women who have had or currently have cancer. When you think of what they’ve been through, you can’t help but get a little choked up! They are my heroes!  And here come the tears again! What is going on?

Swim?...check!!

Swim?...check!

So, here I am, standing in the sand, tears running down my face, watching my heroes paddling their way through the course, when I hear the announcer call the yellow wave into the water. Hey, that’s me! Before I knew it, I was in the water, and then I was swimming.  Again, I think I was in shock, so I can’t really tell you what my emotions were, but I was crawling along. It was crowded and people were everywhere, with arms and legs splashing about! I think I went into a slight trance, because the next thing I knew I was watching the ladies beside me stand up and walk out of the water. And sure enough when I reached my foot for the bottom it was there! I had done it! And I didn’t even need to noodle swim! WOOOHOOO! My swim split was 22:52…not bad for a scrappy swimmer.

With the hard part done, I was on my way to the biking portion.  But first I had to run (barefooted, mind you) through sand, across pavement, grass and even mulch to the transition area which was quite a ways away. The women in front of me decided that running was over rated, so we walked. When I finally got to my transition area, I quickly pulled on my socks and shoes, clicked my helmet into place and pulled my bike from the rack.

I think now is a good time to tell you about the bikes that the women use in this race. Most experienced triathletes have invested hundreds and some even thousands of dollars on the latest, greatest and lightest bikes, with teeny weeny tires, that threatened to break the speed of light, and clip in pedals, which seems like being hand…well…foot-cuffed to your bike. Even some newbies rented these super light, super fast bikes. But for some of us, we just used what we had and for me that was a clunky, heavy mountain bike with thick tires and a hint of rust. Oh, and did I mention that the brakes rub? Yeah, that means I have to push harder to travel the same distance.  But it’s a bike… and it’s my bike!

Bike? Check!

Bike? Check!

So, we had to walk the bike out of the transition area and down the bike path until we reached the pink “mount line”. But, most women stopped as soon as they saw the line, and tried to hop on their bike, only to be reprimanded and told to mount after the pink line. So it was a bit of a traffic jam, but cleared quickly. We rode out the bike path and onto the service roads throughout Disney. Now, living in Florida, there are a couple things that are certain…it’s usually hot… sunny with a chance of rain… and flat…as in no hills. So, how then, did the organizers of the bike portion of this race find not just one, but multiple hills to torture us with? Don’t they know that there are no hills for us to train on around here? And the hills weren’t placed at the beginning of the ride…no…it was towards the middle and end, when our legs were already rubber. As if that weren’t bad enough, the course required us to make U-turns, really tight U-turns, which are tough when you’re on a bike and surrounded by bikes…not to mention doing this while being foot-cuffed to your bike! But after about 49 minutes, I was done with the second leg of this adventure!

After returning to the transition area, I racked my bike, took off my helmet and quickly covered my matted hair with a hat (bad hair day doesn’t even begin to cover it), downed some Gatorade and headed out… music free…for my favorite event…the run. OK, so let me fill you in on my running experience. I love to run! I love to run to my music! I run to the beat of the music that is playing in my ear. But, I was told that if I was caught with an ipod, I would be disqualified, and all my hard work would be for nothing! So, I made the decision to run naked, yeah, that’s what I feel like when I run without music. But, I set off strong, using my breathing as my beat. I passed up the first water table and just kept my pace and breathing steady. I felt good and strong as I ran down the bike path. After what seemed like 3 miles, I heard a volunteer tell a runner that was already on there way back from the out and back course that they were halfway there. WHAT?!?! I was still on my way out and I felt like I should be done! Where’s my music?!?!?! I need some Green Day and Bon Jovi!!

Run? Check!

Run? Check!

As I came around the first of two U-turns, I saw a woman with an Ipod! Wait…what…she has music? How could this be? I had to hold myself back from tackling her and taking her Ipod! Son of a …..arggghhhhhh! So, I swallowed my anger and frustration and picked up the pace. I needed to get this over with! Then, I saw Suzi up ahead, walking, due to a knee injury, and I picked up my pace to catch her! As I caught up to her, we turned onto the final ¼ mile! Only a couple more minutes and we would be finished with this whole #$%^^$ adventure!  We could hear the crowd in the distance and the cheers were getting closer with every step! Suzi was running through the pain…you go girl! Before I knew it, I was in the shoot with hundreds of people lining either side, cheering loudly! The adrenalin kicked in and I took off at a sprint to the finish line! I don’t know if it was the desire to finish the race or the desire to get away from all the eyes starring at me, but I turned it on and I was DONE!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!

After taking a moment to turn in my timing chip, collect a flower and a medal, I hugged my mentor-friend-survivor, Suzi, and the tears were rolling again! The emotions were unexpected and uncontrollable! I found my family and hugged all of them tightly, relieved to see them again and not from a stretcher! We made our way over to the food pavilion and waited an hour or so until the transition area opened for us to claim our bikes. The adrenalin fizzled and the lack of sleep started to make itself known! I was tired, not physically, like I thought, but emotionally.  Warning…this race really zaps the emotions!

In retrospect, my 1st triathlon was rewarding, exhilarating, surprising, frustrating, phenomenal and inspirational!  It was so much more than I expected, and by far the best birthday gift I could have given myself! I am proud of myself, but most of all I am relieved! Relieved not only that I finished, but that I didn’t make a complete fool of myself in the process!

Next challenge…hmmmm…I think maybe the Disney Marathon in January!  What do you think? Care to join me? Come on…you’ll only regret it for a little while!

Lose It

Lose It!

Lose It!

Ok all you iPhone and iPod Touch users, I’ve found an app that I can’t live without! And I think you won’t be able to either! It’s called “Lose It” and it’s a free (yup that’s right, I said FREE) application available at iTunes. Why is it so great? Well, it helps you Lose It…weight that is! You set it up with a few simple questions about your current weight, and your goals whether it be to lose, gain or maintain. From this information, Lose It sets up a per day calorie intake goal. Then, when you eat you simply enter it into the app. They’ve made it really easy, because they have databases with the most popular name brands and restaurants. Can’t find your favorite Tofutti Fudge Bar? No worries, you can enter it in from the nutrition info on the box. Have a special recipe, but don’t know how many calories or fat grams… it’s OK, because you can add it. Adding a new food or recipe is a breeze!

Now comes the best part!!! It also tracks your calories burned through exercise. And I don’t mean just those burned through aerobics, spinning or running. It also counts calories burned through house cleaning, vacuuming and (whisper) sex!  I know….it is SOOO COOL!!! So, imagine you have made it through dinner and you’re at your limit for the day, but you’re still a little hungry. You forgot that you actually cleaned the house and vacuumed the carpet. Enter those in and BOOM…you have another 150 or so calories you can eat!! It actually makes you want to exercise and clean!

Well, I originally started this back in February and did great tracking for a while, then went on vacation and let it lapse for a week or two. Then, I started again a couple of weeks ago, and have been diligent about logging everything! AND, I have lost…drumroll please….5 pounds! Whooooohoooo!

So if you have an iPhone or iTouch, I highly recommend this application!

Thursday!

_dsc5198So I haven’t written in a while! Not because I didn’t want to! I have been trying to work a little, you know…bring home some bacon… earn my keep… rake in some dough. That paired with my training schedule leaves me no time for blogging. Not to mention, keeping up with Facebook, Twitter and just regular emails…I have NO TIME!!! But today my bike ride got delayed slightly, so I thought I would try to shoot out a quick Thursday morning howdy-ho! Sup? NM, U?

So today is a tri day! I already went for my morning 5k run, my bike ride is within the hour, and I’m swimming tonight! I do love the days that I can actually do all three events at their full length! I feel that if I can do all three spaced out throughout the day, I should definitely be able to do them back to back the day of! Well, that’s what I’m hoping anyway!

Fast Forward…doooododoooo dodooodooddooooo

OK, so I just got back from my bike ride and I went a tad over the 12 miles, that I have to ride in the Danskin Tri. I actually did 20 miles!! Huh, go figure! Now if I just need to keep a float for 1/2 mile swim tonight! I am sooooo hungry! I am finding out that the diet of an athlete is totally different than the diet of a non athlete. I am hungry all the time!!! And not just hungry…STARVING…FAMISHED!!!! I started looking at what I eat in a day and what I should eat in a day. Yeah, I don’t eat enough! Nice problem to have, right? Not really! Let me explain!

I am a vegetarian. More specifically, I like to call myself a pescetarian, since I eat fish. But, I also eat dairy and eggs, so I have many ways to get my protein. I’m also now trying to eat more fresh foods and pulling away from the processed and manufactured foods. If it has an ingredient that I can’t say, I won’t eat it. I just feel better when I keep to the real food! The problem is trying to come up with an on the road, mid-workout snack that is packed with carbs and proteins. My standby is a baggie filled with almonds and craisins, but that gets a little old after a while! I would love a power bar, but again, there’s a lot of junk in those bars and they actually tend to be as bad for you as a candy bar. I tried making a power bar, but the ones I made are gooey and just don’t travel well! So a lot of times I go off for a long run or bike ride without a snack. That’s not healthy, and it makes it really difficult to get the calories I need for the day!

So according to my computations, with all the exercise I did today, I should take in 2500 calories to sustain me. And this will allow me to lose 1 pound this week. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t eat 2500 calories everyday, unless I am working out like I did today! My base calorie intake should be around 1400. Then, when I add exercise, I can add calories. It makes you aware of how your body works and what it needs in terms of fuel. I didn’t reach my 2500 calories today! I am soooo tired I can’t stay awake! I have to go to bed….RIGHT NOW!!!!

GOODNIGHT!!!

How to eat like an Athlete!

dsc_2796I’m hungry! I’m hungry all the time!!! This is expected since I’ve upped my workouts, right? I don’t know! I am trying not to gain weight while training for this triathlon, but my body is making it really hard! It’s screaming for FOOD!!!! I tried the “fill up on water” trick….NOPE, didn’t work! So what am I doing wrong? I want to look like an athlete, not a blubbery whale! How? What do athletes eat and when do they eat it? I am beginning to believe that it’s all in the timing! So I did a little research and here is what I found…

Weight Loss

Weight loss is a numbers game! It’s actually basic math! To lose 1 pound you have to expend 3500 calories more than you consume. Sounds like a lot right? Well break it down a little farther. If you want to lose a pound a week you would divide that 3500 calories by 7 days which gives you a 500 calorie deficit per day. Sounds doable right? Just cut out two 20oz Cokes…right?  Turns out there are a number of ways to lose this weight. You can eat less (not an option when you are training hard), burn off 500 calories through exercise (I’m doing that), or you can combine the two, eat less and burn more. This sounds simple, but doesn’t help me stop the cries for food! There must be more!!!

Fuel

Turns out that the body is fueled by carbohydrates. Hmmm! So what are those low carb dieters using for fuel? If you think of your body as a car, the carbohydrates are the gas, and protein is the oil. Would you put oil in your gas tank? Wait…I really don’t know anything about cars…so, let’s think of it as laundry, since that’s what I know! We have a load of clothes that needs washing. Think of the detergent as your fuel and the fabric softener as the protein.  Would you pour just fabric softener in your washing machine to clean your clothes? No! So why eat high protein when you are trying to fuel your body? Protein is used to repair the muscles after an intense workout. Like fabric softener is used to soften fabrics and prevent static. While the protein will fill you up, they are not as efficient as a carbohydrate in providing energy! Just like fabric softener will make your clothes smell good, but it won’t clean your clothes like detergent!

OK, now I feel like I am beginning to understand my diet flaw. I tend towards protein packed foods, because, being a vegetarian, I just figured that’s what I needed. I’ve been trying to stay away from carbs, thinking that they were BAD!!! Turns out, not all carbs are bad! The complex carbohydrates that come from whole grains found in oatmeal, multi grain bread and whole wheat pasta, are much more effective at fueling your body. Simple carbs that come from highly processed, white flour found in white bread, regular pasta and processed cereal, do not work your body to it’s maximum. So eat your carbs, but eat the brown ones!

Timing

DO NOT SKIP MEALS!!!! This is key to eating like an athlete! You must eat breakfast! I’ve heard my mother tell me this for years! But I’m just not a big fan of breakfast. I like my coffee alone! But according to everything I have read, you must “break” your fast in the morning with a high quality complex carbohydrate, such as oatmeal. If you exercise in the morning, make it a smaller size portion so you don’t feel weighed down.

Evidently, if you eat a big meal you should do so 3-4 hours before exercise. Smaller meals are fine 2 hours prior and snacks can be eaten right before and even during exercise, depending on how you feel!  Really, I can eat while I am exercising? This sounds wrong! But I will try!

And contrary to popular opinion, eating after a workout is a must! The experts say you must eat a balanced meal within 2 hours after your workout! This meal should include complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats. This will help the body repair the muscles and rev up the metabolism, so more calories are burned throughout the day!

So I have found that I was just doing the wrong foods at the wrong times. I am making the change and with any hope my body will stop screaming for food! I’ll keep you posted!