P90X Week 5 – Let’s Do This

So last week’s P90X training didn’t go as planned, but I’m ok with this. In my defense, it was the planned slow week and I did ok in the beginning of the week, but Thursday and Friday got all crazy. You see, I started working part time (2 days a week) and I just didn’t have time to fit in my workouts. And then Saturday and Sunday, well, they’re always just ridiculous around here, so yeah, not a lot of P90X-ing going on for the last 4 days.

I did start running this week!!! Aaah it’s like coming home again!! Strap on the running shoes, plug in the earphones, crank the tunes and just GO! This is my personal “time out”!! Oh how I’ve missed them. I fit in two runs last week and this week I plan on 3, which is what the Doubles P90X Plan calls for. YES, I’m going to try to do the Doubles. I may need resuscitation after, but I’m going for it!

As for the diet situation… I’m doing great with eating healthy. It’s easy for me being that I LOVE VEGGIES!! I load up the fridge with colorful veggies and eating is a piece of cake… well, you know what I mean. I am still doing the Dr. Oz test for dairy intolerance, and I have to say, I am feeling much better. I think I may just continue to eat this way, since I see no down side. I enjoy Almond Milk and Soy Yogurt, and surprisingly I haven’t missed cheese, much. Now to be completely honest… I am still eating feta. But, it’s because no one else in my family eats feta and I can’t stand to throw away a pricey cheese. But, once it’s gone, it’s gone!! I won’t buy anymore. The bonus is that I’ve lost a few lbs in the process. That’s not my #1 priority, but I’ll take it! Who wouldn’t? I mean bathing suit season is rapidly approaching and I plan on rocking my bikini/ tankini/ one piece by my girls’ weekend in April. Yeah, that’s right Mama’s gonna “suit up” and in the words of Barney Stinson, “It’s gonna be legend-… wait for it… and I hope you’re not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!”

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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!!!

Free… Yes, F-R-E-E… Marathon

What does the word MARATHON mean to you? Yes, the obvious answer is 26.2 miles of running, walking or crawling, depending on who you are! To me, it’s one of those love-to-hate things like child birth, deep tissue massage or dieting. You know, the intense pain before the immense pay-off! I mean, think about it… when you decide to sign up for that race, you agree to:

  1. commit MONTHS of your life to training
  2. forfeit a couple toe nails for the cause
  3. run through at least a couple pair of rather expensive shoes
  4. live with the aches and pains in the hams, hips, quads and knees
  5. forfeit your normal social life for one centered around the long weekend runs

AND, for all this wonderful (code word for torturous) fun, you would normally, pay (happily, I might add) a couple hundred dollars just to register!!!! Well, I found a F-R-E-E marathon!!! It’s called The Really Big Free Marathon, and it’s in VEGAS on November 3rd!!! WOOHOO!! Here’s the rub… registration opens on March 24th at 12:01AM PST. Yes, that’s Pacific Standard Time, which is 3:00AM for those of us on the East Coast! UUGGGHH!! Eeeh, what’s a little lost sleep in the grand scheme? RIGHT?!?

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!

How was your Fat Tuesday?

fat-tuesdayYesterday was Fat Tuesday! A day filled with excess in preparation for the 40 days of deprivation that begins with lent at the stroke of midnight! This is suppose to be a day of eating and drinking and excess. But for some reason I decided that I would blow it out with exercise instead of food or drink!! Not with the intention of giving it up for 40 days, mind you, but it just felt right!

I set out for an innocent bike ride, only my third in the “recent” past! After a very long, 90 minute ride the day before, I decided that I would ride for about 30 minutes and then run for 30 minutes. Sounded like a great plan! A little cross-training to ready me for the impending triathlon! I set off on my little ride, thinking that it would feel easy after the previous ride! OH BOY WAS I WRONG!!! I got 2 minutes into my ride and my legs were SCREAMING at me, already! You see, my legs didn’t really like the previous ride! And the fact that I was making them do it again, made them rebel! We struggled a little but finally found a gear that they would tolerate and we set out! It was a beautiful morning in Central Florida, blue skies and sunny, but cool with an occasional gust of wind.  Once my legs and I got warmed up, it felt great and I contemplated going a little longer. But the plan was to run too! So I begrudgingly turned around 15 minutes in and headed back to the homestead to begin phase two of my exercise excess day!

I felt great as I rounded the corner into the driveway. I was excited to head off on foot for my 30 minute run. But as I got off my bike, I noticed something was different! My legs got very angry again!!!! They refused to work properly! I think they knew what was coming! I tried to walk my bike into the garage, but my muscles weren’t having any of it! The term “rubbery” doesn’t even cover it! I, being a Taurus and, therefore, stubborn as hell, decided that I WAS doing this and my legs would just have to get over it! I grabbed my iPod and set out. As I walked down the driveway,  I noticed that my ankles were frozen in a flexed position. I have never experienced this feeling before! I cranked my music and started on my way. But my legs again complained! And this time I knew they meant it! I could barely pick up my feet! My stride was similar to that of a very old person with groin problems! I got a couple hundred yards from my house and I started to think that there was no way I was going to be able to do this! And even if I could, it would take me 4 hours to finish the 3.5 miles I usually finish in 30 minutes. But Fat Tuesday excess and my Taurian stubborn streak took over and I pushed on! It got easier the longer I ran! My legs finally relented and fell into the step. The run was actually very relaxing as I wasn’t pushing for time! I just wanted to finish two sports back to back.  I returned home and was surprised that I actually ran a better time than I had expected.

I am now wondering how in the world I am going to be able to complete a 1/2 mile swim (who knows how long that will take), followed by a 16 mile bike ride (at my current rate 90 minutes), and then run a 5K (usually takes me about 27 to 28 minutes)!!! This will be somewhere around 3 hours of exercise back to back! How will my legs react, then? Will they allow it? Maybe they were just rebelling because they thought that Fat Tuesday would be a vacation for them! Here I sit still wondering what many people wonder on the day after Fat Tuesday…”what have I done?”

Your Mind – Your Run

believe-edited-by-baiI am up early this morning, for no apparent reason. Ok, it could have been some sort of snoring, snorting or choking sound coming from either my husband or my dog, (I couldn’t tell) but shhhh don’t tell them. So here I am 6:30 am, still dark outside and a little nip in the air. It is a perfect time to go out for my long run. Today, according to my training schedule, I am to run 6 miles in 66 minutes, a little slower than I like, but I have to remember I’m training to run longer not faster. So I need to set a slow and steady pace and let me mind wander.  But what will it ponder today? What did it ponder yesterday during the race? Hmmm, I don’t really remember. It’s kind of like trying to remember a dream. During the dream, everything is so vivid and alive, then you wake up and poof, it fades. Yesterday, I remember feeling as though I was solving all the world’s problems, but now I can’t remember even one solution. Why not?

When I run I try not to think too much about form and speed. I enjoy allowing my mind to flit from how to get the kids to clean up their rooms to feeding the hungry around the world. And it happens just that quickly too. One second I’m planning our dinner menu and shopping list, the next I’m wondering how we can achieve world peace and then it’s on to what size shoes does my son need. My excuse…I’m a Mom, it’s what I do! Or, maybe, this is just a manifestation of my undiagnosed ADHD-type tendencies? I don’t know but I always feel better when I return!

I think it is a form of self-help therapy. Not only are you solving problems, but you also aren’t thinking about how long or hard or hot this particular run is. It’s the theory of distraction. Here’s a question to ponder…if your body feels exhaustion but your mind is too busy to process it, are you really exhausted? I think that is where I will start my run today!