Monday, April 30, 2012

Country Music Half Marathon Race Recap

Team Super Stove before the race

I've put off writing this recap for a couple days now. I guess I just don't know what to say about the experience other than I went, I ran, I conquered.

Obviously, I couldn't be happier with my performance. If you had told me in February 2011 I'd go from not ever wanting to do a half-marathon again, to doing my 2nd one in 3:35 to finishing this one in under 3 hours, I probably would have rolled my eyes and told you to get out of my face.

KG likes to constantly remind me that not oh so long ago I told her, "Karen, not everyone is made to be a runner!"

But now, I am a runner.

The morning started out with a 3:45 AM wake-up call. Considering my corral didn't leave the gate until 7:43, a 4 hour lead time seems sort of ridiculous looking back. But I heard from a co-worker the interstate was backed up from downtown all the way to the airport by 4:30 AM. Traffic is not your friend on race day. We didn't take the interstate.

We parked at the finish line and took the shuttle to the start line. We basically walked right up and got on the shuttle and we were at Centennial Park by around 5 AM - it was still dark outside.

I should have taken a picture of my breakfast, but I had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter in the car. I have eaten this (bagel + peanut butter) my last 2 races. It's sort of tradition now. I also had coffee on the way.

Since I knew we had so much time to kill before even starting the race, I brought a banana along with me.

I made the decision to not wear my camelbak for hydration. I thought I'd be fine with the hydration provided on the course, but I regretted this decision by mile 2. I trained every week with my camelbak. I should have just worn it. I carried my phone, ID, and honey stingers in a SpiBelt instead.

After the mandatory port-a-potty visit, we meandered around towards the start line. By this time, the first gun was well past. It was probably about 7:20 when I went into the corral. Just so we're clear, the corrals were a clusterf*ck. I was originally assigned to 32, but I got moved up at the expo to corral 28. I was doubting my abilities so I thought I might go in more at 29, but the back corrals were missing for some reason and when I went back a little farther in the line, I found the end of it. Knowing I was way faster than where the walkers would be at the end of the line, I went back up to find corral 28. There was 27 and 29, but no 28. I ended up getting in just behind the 2:45 pacer. Sure, that was a pipe dream, but I figured it was better than having to run around people.

Well, I still had to. I'm not sure what the heck happened in the back corrals, but even though I started up early enough to be with a 2:45 pacer I had to consistently weave in and out of people who were walking the first few miles and pretty much the whole race. It kind of pissed me off. Don't get me wrong, I am all for people walking these races. Hell, I walked my first one and it took me over 4 hours to do it. But, I also was courteous enough to know to start in the back corrals and not with a 2:45 pacer. Corrals is where Disney has it right. They have volunteers checking your bib before you can enter a particular corral. Why have corrals if no one is going to hold people to them?

This with the fact that because there was no corral 28; twice the amount of people began during my start. Apparently this happened at least one other time during the start as my co-worker who was closer up in corral 17 also had two corrals go at the same time and experienced the same over crowding.

I know I took this part too seriously for what my pace actual is. I mean, I am no where near more "serious" runners, but I was dead set on killing this race and with every person I had to weave around or slow down for, I expended energy.

Energy that couldn't afford to be expended since it was HOT. I can't believe it's taken me this long to complain about the heat. I guess I expected it, but it was as sunny as can be and in the 70s, which feels like 90 when you are running. Since I didn't start until 7:45, I was hot before we even started. This is where I complain that they don't have enough water stops on the course and complain that most of the water stops were running out of water by time I got there. I mean what did the walkers do? If you are hell-bent on having a race in Nashville at the end of April, please have enough water. This complaint has come withe me all the way from CMM 2009. That's all I'll say about that since I know it's beating a dead horse. So note if you plan on ever doing this race: carry your own water.

Now that my two major complaints are out of the way, I'll say the first 6 miles were pretty much great as far as how I felt. I felt strong and pretty much kept to my intervals. At the 10K mark, you turn to go back towards downtown. The next 2 miles of the course are shitty. There's no other way to put it. there are about 5 BIG rolling hills along this stretch and it was by far the part of the race I was most angry about. All I wanted to do is get back to the Music Row area of the course. That stretch was a nice relief until I hit kind of a wall at mile 9. The one thing I will give this race is the amount of spectators. I never felt bored because it was fun to people watch the sidelines and every mile or so there was something at least interesting to look at even though I know the city like the back of my hand. Mile 10 I got a little bit of a 2nd wind because in my head I thought, "oh there is only 5K left. 5K is nothing, I'm basically done." Of course you forget the last 3 miles are certainly the worst.

I was unfamiliar with the course at the 10/11 mile mark. They've changed it since 2009, which is fine but when I kept thinking we were going to go straight there would be another turn. Then the stupidest part of the race happened. You come out of the Nashville Farmer's Market/Bicentennial Mall area and get back on what I think is James Robertson Parkway. You turn left to go away from downtown (the finish is just across the river from downtown at Titan's stadium). So you turn right and you have to go up what is probably only a few hundred feet just to turn around a median to go the right way towards the finish. S-T-U-P-I-D. This is at about mile 12, so I am pretty much done at this point anyway, but really they couldn't find somewhere else to make up this couple hundred feet?

Between mile 12 and the finish you wind back through downtown a little and I swear there are like 5 or 6 turns. Not the best mentally when you know you just have to make it over a bridge and the finish will be RIGHT. THERE.

The last two miles I really had to talk myself into finishing strong. I knew I had to average a 13:40 pace to finish in 2:59. My Garmin was at about 13:25 with 2 miles to go. I knew I couldn't slow down and in fact needed to speed up a little to not miss my ultimate goal. I made myself stick to running the last two miles of preset intervals of half-mile run, quarter-mile speed walk.

I ended up running the last 0.7 mile to the finish line at a strong 12:30 minute pace. As I came over the bridge to the finish, I felt chilled and slightly fuzzy. I knew I was about to take a turn for the worst if I didn't get some hydration soon. As soon as I crossed the finish, I grabbed 2 bottles of water, a Gatorade and a bag of pretzels (along with the cold wet towels they were giving out - great idea!) and found a place with no crowd to contend with and recovered.

I was done and I knew I conquered it.

Although I had a victorious race with a strong finish, I have no desire to do the Country Music race again. I'm not sure if it is an issue with Competitor (we'll see in Seattle, I suppose) or if the Nashville stop has just gotten too big for them to handle without extra logistics planned for. The course is painfully hilly, and the timing of the race (late April) is way too hot for Nashville standards. I didn't enjoy the process of this race as much as I did at Mercedes and Disney (but of course, how do you beat Disney).

Post race meal was Sonic, followed by dinner and margarita's that night with the whole Super Stove crew. Of course my post-race eating habits bled over to Sunday as well. :)

There is no shortage of fitness related goals here, but first I am planning on taking this week off from at the very least running. My ankle has been a bit sore since the race and although it's already improving I'm concerned there may be an issue with it from overuse since I've been training for half-marathons for 8 months straight.

I still love races, so as mentioned, I am planning on doing the Seattle Rock n Roll half-marathon while I'm there for a conference in June and I was already planning to do St. Jude in Memphis since I love a good winter race. St. Louis Rock n Roll and Disney Princess 2013 are on my radar too. Amongst all this, I am also planning on doing my first sprint triathlon in July. I will start training for that next week while I also try to keep up my endurance for Seattle.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Official Race Finishing Time

2009 Country Music Half Marathon Time: 4:18:08

2012 Disney World Half Marathon Time: 3:34:55

2012 Country Music Half Marathon Time:
Earning an 1 hour and 20 minute course PR and a 37 minute half-marathon PR today? PRICELESS

Hopefully, I can get my thoughts together about the race and post a more comprehensive recap in the next day or two.

Friday, April 27, 2012

House Challenge Final Results

KG and I in New Oreleans NYE '08

Six weeks ago KG proposed a challenge. Basically we had 6 weeks left of our half marathon training and we both felt like food goblins had been taking over our weighloss efforts despite logging double digit miles each week.
We decided the winner would be whomever could lose the highest percentage of weight loss in 6 weeks.

The Results

My Percentage of Weight Loss - 6% (15 pounds)
[editor's note: since KG has been weighing in on whole numbers and my scale tracks tenths of lbs, I rounded mine up to 246.6/247 starting weight and 14.6/15 lbs lost] 

KG's Percentage of Weight Loss - 10% (17 pounds)

There wasn't even question going into this week who would prevail. If this was the Biggest Loser Ranch, I'd be going home. Am I mad that I let someone who only had 10% of her body weight to lose in the first place beat me? Hell yeah, it sucks because if I had been more diligent, I could have at least given her a run for her money. BUT what's important here is over 6 weeks I lost 15 lbs, which is an average of 2.5 per week.

I feel like the challenge got me back on track somewhat and hopefully I can take this and continue to lose. Now we can focus on this race tomorrow! Hurrah!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Randomness Wednesday & Pre-race Anixety

In keeping with my new Wednesday theme, here are my random thoughts for the week (albeit most are race related).

  • I made chocolate chip cookies for a work function last night and I binged on sampling them. I say binged because it made me feel gross last night and even worse this morning. I ate like 6 or 7 of them. I miss the willpower I used to have when I could make a baked good for someone else and not even sample it.
  • I'm on the straight and narrow the rest of the week. I literally felt hungover this morning from all the butter and sugar, but the scale was OK this morning, so go figure.
  • Friday is the final weigh in for the house challenge. It's already determined I will lose the competition, but I hope to lose a pound or two to round out my amount of weight loss over the last 6 weeks.
  • Sunday is also the 6 year anniversary of my brother's death, which is just always generally makes this time of year hard.
  • The biggest thing on my mind by far this week is race day. In 72 hours I will have (hopefully) have completed my 4th half marathon! Crazy. What's even crazier is that I have at least one Triathlon and 3 more half marathons on the calendar for this year...Wow!

I'm pretty much suffering from the worst pre-race anxiety ever. I have a storied past with the Country Music Half Marathon. In 2009, was my first half marathon I ever did and it was miserable. I had never even done a 5K, but I trained as well as I could have for it and on race day the temperatures were in the 80s by time I finished with my 4 hours and 18 minute time. The course is hilly and unforgiving and when I finished I swore I would never do another half marathon again. Of course we know I took that back when I completed the Mercedes half in Feb. 2011, but for some reason the CMM still freaks me out. We have unfinished business and I'm scared it's going to kick my ass again.

 KG and I getting off the pre-race shuttles in 2009.
(PS: this is KG's FIFTH year doing Country Music...hollar!)

 Group shot before the race in 2009.

Deep down I know I'll be fine, but I think maybe I'm pressuring myself too much. I signed up for the race with an expected finish time of 3:15, but not-so-secretly I am hoping to crush even that time.

The weather report is a big part of my anxiety. The forecast has been all over the place - from a high of 85/low of 65, down to a high in the mid 70s and lows in the 50s, now to this:

Not ideal, but if the morning starts out in the 50s, and I'm finished by 11 am then I shouldn't want to die too much.

Basically, I can't control the weather so I need to stop worrying about it. I'm completely trained for the race and there's nothing else I can do except visualize the 13.1 miles and in the wise words of Nike, just do it.

Enough of my randomness and anxiety - I'll post the results of the house challenge Friday and of course I'll get that post-race report up just as soon as I can. For more real time updates on race day, make sure you're following me on Twitter - @emtucky.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weigh in - Crazy 9 pound weekly loss

Last Week's weight - 241.2

This Week's weight - 232.2

9 (NINE!) lbs LOST

97.2 lbs lost since June 2010

Yep...NINE pounds...NINE! That is definitely my highest one week loss in the history of this blog, but I guess that's what happens when you gain almost 7 lbs in a week too. Still, I netted 2 lbs and have netted 14.4 pounds over the last 5 weeks. So progress is definitely happening, but I know I need to work on the huge gains followed by the huge losses every couple of weeks.

This puts me 2.8 pounds from my 100 lb loss (since starting the blog) milestone. I'm going to try and hit it next week, but I won't be mad if it doesn't happen. I'll be weighing in early (on Friday) to close out the house challenge, so only 5 days to lose 3 lbs is pretty stiff competition. The important part is to keep losing.

House Challenge Check-in 

Here we are at week 5. I'm back on track, but KG is still plugging along with her huge numbers relative to her weight. I'm not sure what she's doing, but I'm pretty sure if I could bottle her willpower and drink it, I would.

These are cumulative, week-over-week results.

My Percentage of Weight Loss - 5.8% (14.4 pounds)

KG's Percentage of Weight Loss - 9.5% (16 pounds)

Final weigh in coming on Friday. There's no way I could possibly pass her at this point. I would have to lose 9 lbs this week just to catch up with her. And THAT is not happening in 5 days. But I can still lose a few pounds to finish out the challenge strong - and I would be happy with that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Making Progress When the Scale Isn't - An NSV

I did a little exercise the other night - and not the aerobic kind. I wanted to take a look at where my weigh ins over the last 7 months have left me. It's no secret that I've struggled with the number on the scale during this time so I took a look at my first weigh in every month and graphed it - nerd style.

Proof my "roller coaster ride" hasn't just felt like one. It has been!

Luckily, I may have not kept up with what I've been eating over those 7 months; HOWEVER, I have trained for 2 half marathons during that same time (Correlation? Maybe another post for another day) and all that work hasn't been for naught.

In recent weeks, I've had my most exciting NSV to date other than maybe the day I truly buckled my seatbelt on plane for the first time without an extension or riding a bike as an adult for the first time last summer.

I tried on these size 16 pants...

And they fit! They completely and utterly fit! (No, I didn't buy them because frankly they were ugly on me.) But the important part is THEY FIT!

Then something mind blowingly awesome roommate who is 5'4" and by all terms in my eyes "thin" said she may have a dress I could fit into from when she was heavier.

So I tried it (also a size 16) on...

What, the Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Are you kidding me? It fits PERFECTLY!

Like I said, Mind. Blown. I always thought of Karen as my little "skinny" friend. The fact that I am now able to fit into some of her old clothes - even if they are her "bigger" clothes - is amazing to me. I also inherited a shirt and some pj pants.

Not to mention a 16 is only 2 sizes away from the size I've always had in my mind that I would feel "normal" at - a 12. I don't know why this number is in my head, but as mental as it sounds it just is.

Aka it is the size I've always thought of as I-will-never-in-my-life-get-there. So, maybe that 12 is attainable after all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Random Hump Day Thoughts

One of the bloggers I follow - In this wonderful life... - does a "Midweek Randoms" post every Wednesday. I always have a lot of random thoughts that I think "oh I should post that to the blog" but I never get around to it, or they aren't really important enough thoughts for a whole post. We'll try this and see where it goes.

I just got this email for WDW Marathon Weekend 2013 registration. I want to go back. Badly. Every time I see one of those Disney Vacation commercials, I get a little giddy and a lot nostalgic. Marathon weekend doesn't work with my schedule this year, but I'm hoping the Princess half might?

I'm still 90% sure I'll be doing the Seattle Rock n Roll half on June 23rd. I'll already be there through Friday for a conference, so why not? Who says I'm addicted to racing?

Speaking of races, we are exactly 11 days out from the Country Music half. This is the point in the taper where I start to be a worry wart about hurting myself. I don't try any new activities and I've always convince myself that I am going to fall down and break something making me unable to race. I keep feeling like I have a twinge of a pain in my right ankle. Am I imagining this because of my worry wartness? I'm trying to take it easy and have slowed down my pace on my last few runs. Hopefully it's nothing.

Oh and here's the weather forecast for the day before the race. All I can hope is that Saturday is cloudy. 83 degrees? I might die. Again.

On a happier note, my scale said 235 this morning. Wooo-freaking-hooo!

I still haven't started officially training for the Tri yet. I don't know what my problem is, but I need to establish a new schedule to incorporate swim and biking. Oh, and I still haven't found a swimsuit. I think my new business venture is going to be designing swimwear for long torso-ed plus size girls that don't want to show off their back fat in a criss-cross backed swimsuit. thanksfornothing SPEEDO! Sigh.

Still trying to trudge through my '5 Things' list each day. Monday was a pretty good success. But I'd give yesterday an F. Perhaps today I can get myself back to average with a C.

That's enough randomness for today - off to get some of those items checked off my '5 Things' list!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe: Buffalo Shrimp Tacos

I've been in a little of a food rut lately. I don't know what I "feel" like eating so I haven't been pre-planning my meals. Combined with the fact that over the last several weeks I've tried to make a conscious effort to eat less meat. I'm not sure I would ever go back to being completely vegetarian, but I like the idea of limiting poultry, beef, and pork. Every now and then I'm going to crave these things, but as long as I'm not missing them why not focus my diet on fish, seafood, beans, and protein rich whole grains like quinoa?

But sometimes I get tired of eating beans, lettuce, veggies, etc all the time. I like lots of flavor and these combinations can sometimes taste the same. I also want meals to be quick fixes since I don't get home from the gym until 7 pm on most nights.

I saw this recipe pinned on KG's Pinterest page (you all know you're addicted too, don't play!) and it inspired me. I don't really fry anything at home anymore since that's pretty much counter intuitive to weight loss, and I wasn't really feeling chicken as I haven't made chicken at home in a couple weeks.

So enter Buffalo Shrimp Tacos.

I'll try to remember the ingredients from memory. This was for 1 person.

3 corn tortillas
1/4 avocado - cut into 3 slices
4 ounces (15 medium) shrimp
1 Tablespoon Frank's Hot Sauce (because there is nothing else for buffalo flavor)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Blue Cheese crumbles
Shredded lettuce for topping
Your favorite ranch dressing for drizzling (approx 1-2 teaspoons) [I used Fat Free Kraft b/c it's what I already had]

1. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Saute shrimp until cooked through. Transfer to bowl and add hot sauce, toss to coat.

2. Heat each corn tortilla in clean skillet for a few minutes on each side until warmed and lightly toasted.

3. Top each tortilla with 1/3 of shrimp, 1/2 T of blue cheese, 1 slice avocado, lettuce and a drizzle of ranch dressing.

For 3 tacos it is approximately 450 calories and 33 grams of protein. It is a little higher in fat (17 g) because of the shrimp, tortilla, avocado + cheese combo, so you could adjust to using low fat cheese if you track fat (I personally don't), but remember avocado and shrimp are good fats and your body needs these.

I'm currently obsessed with the shrimp/hot sauce/blue cheese combo that I made it into a salad for dinner Sunday night and again for lunch on Monday. And now I'm out of shrimp - such a shame!

Tell me: What is your go to recipe for when you are in a food rut??

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weigh in - What. The. @#%$

Last Week's weight - 234.6

This Week's weight - 241.2

6.6 lbs GAINED

88.6 lbs lost since June 2010

Seriously, what the @#%$ am I doing? I do not even know. I went ape sh*t crazy this week, apparently. I think what scares me about this the most is I saw old habits coming into play. Eating when not even hungry because I'm "bored" or "lonely".

I even said to someone on Friday, "I'm just going to start over on Monday." NUMBER #1 rule of weight loss - don't do this!!

Yesterday I pulled myself together with a 6 mile run, some spring cleaning, and running several errands that I needed to get done. I believe part of the issues with my weight loss is that I have been procrastinating everything lately. So my new daily exercise is to write down 5 things I want to get done at work and 5 things I want to get done at home/in my personal life that day. They can be simple things such as "take out the trash" or bigger picture things. It's just a start to how I am tackling the habit of procrastination I've fallen into.

House Challenge Check-in

For 3 weeks I was doing well. I may not have been winning, but as someone pointed out 12 pounds in 3 weeks is great results.

Then came the terror of Week 4. So here is where we are at. 2 weigh ins left. These are cumulative, week-over-week results.

My Percentage of Weight Loss - 2.2% (5.4 pounds)

KG's Percentage of Weight Loss - 8.3% (14 pounds)

I don't plan on winning this, but if I can regain control I'll be fine to buy KG an onion ring tower of deliciousness.

PS: My weight was back down to 239.2 this morning - so it's a start!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sugar: Is it killing us?

[Source: Uwe Hermann]

I came across an interesting blog post this week: Sugar: It's Killing Us and Our Children. The post outlines how we are feeding our children (and ourselves) too much sugar, and cites that each American consumes 152 POUNDS of sugar a year.

One thing that surprised me is how much sugar is in ketchup - 10 g!! I know some of that is naturally occurring, but still that seems like a lot. For comparison, there are 10.5 grams of sugar in a Reese's peanut butter cup.

The article also mentions Gatorade. How after a 1 mile run your child does not need a bottle of Gatorade. So true! I very rarely drink sports drinks even after long runs. Usually I opt for a banana after my long runs. According to Calorie Count, there are 42 grams of sugar in 12 ounces of Gatorade. And don't think that the sugar free version is any better. You're only trading sugar for chemicals!

[Source: Saxarocks]

While I was looking into Gatorade, I took a look at a popular water "supplement" - Vitamin Water. A bottle (20 ounces) of this stuff will run you 32 grams of sugar! That's about 8 teaspoons of sugar just in one drink. They have no real nutrition sustenance and if we are eating properly in the first place we don't need the "vitamins" these sugary drinks offer.

If you are tired of plain water and need "flavor" opt for water with lemon or a flavored, caffeine free brewed tea.

Admittedly, I am a complete sugar addict and I've recently realized how much eating sugar just makes you crave more sugar. I will never "cut sugar out completely," but I can make conscious choices to consume more natural sugar rather than the refined stuff. By limiting it in my coffee and tea, and making choices of moderation. Also, cutting artificial sweeteners when possible (diet coke *cough*cough*) because I feel the "fake" forms of sugar are just as bad - just in a different way.

By adding more vegetables into my diet, I can naturally reduce the amount of sugar I consume in whole grains. I will always eat 2-3 servings of fruit a day because I love bananas, apples, and berries. And I will never cut out whole grains completely. But if I make sure I have something green on my plate at every meal, I can also ensure I am getting 3-5 servings of veggies too. I seriously can't wait until the Farmer's Market at work opens the 1st week of May.

Posts like the one above make me scared for the future of my nieces. "Treats" are given to my 4 year old niece regularly by everyone in her life. It's hard for me to comment on this because I am not a parent. I can't say "what I will do when I have kids" because it is too easy to say what you will or will not do when you aren't already in that situation. But I hope that I can share my love of "healthy" food with my niece every time I share a meal with her.

I know there are a lot of other conversations going on out there about sugar - 60 minutes recently did a piece and the video linked in the post above are two things I'm planning on watching this weekend.

For me, the next step in this journey is being more conscious about what I am fueling my body with and it's topics like these that will help me establish the best guidelines for myself to ensure I am treating my body with the best respect possible.

Thankful Thursday: Running Edition

I guess it's time for my weekly monthly Half Marathon training update.

Frankly, training is going great. I feel more than prepared for the race in 2 1/2 weeks. I don't want to gloat, but damn I've worked hard and I can't help but toot my own horn.

It's now onto my FAVORITE time of half marathon training....TAPER!

I won't do more than 6 miles in one run over the next 2 weeks. And I love that feeling! Yesterday I end up going out for 3 even though I didn't really want to. I skipped my normal run Tuesday because I went to happy hour instead. Then Wednesday I thought, "oh well I'll just get home and run around my neighborhood." Instead I changed and headed to a park nearby work.

Oh, the things your body surprises you with...

This is my fastest recorded 5K time, EVER! And it is beyond my "I want to run a 5K in under 40 minutes" goal. Can't wait to officially get a race time like this recorded.

This followed a great 12-mile run on Sunday. Yes, on Easter Sunday I got up at 6:00 am to head out to the country side and run along horse farms and country roads. It was beautiful and a great setting for 12 miles.

Obviously a bit slower pace than my 3-mile run last night, but I am more than thrilled with where I am.

Clearly, training for 2 back-to-back half-marathons has done wonders for my pace. I can now confidently say I am a runner. And more importantly I can definitely say I love running.

When I think back to where I came from 10 1/2 months ago, it's honestly unbelievable to me. I completed my first 5kin100days run on May 30, 2011. Prior to that, I had a hated relationship with running. One which landed me on bedrest for several days the previous summer. I started out what some would barely consider a running pace - around 15 minutes per mile, now with consistent training for the last 7 1/2 months I'm breaking into the 12 minute mile range. Truly unbelievable!

Therefore, I have to say I am grateful for my body. Thankful for the abuse it allows me to put it through so I can be capable of going out and running 10, 12, 13.1 miles. I need to remember this thankfulness to properly take care of this body and also not succumb to "stinkin' thinkin" thoughts about this body. It's the only one I've got and it must be cherished!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Stop! It's Tri Time: An Update

I know, the blog title is super cheesy...just stick with me here.

A couple weeks ago I threw all my triathlon fears into a random blog post. Lucky for me, there are A LOT of you out there that had some great feedback. Whether it was just general words of encouragement or actual tips to make this Tri thing really happen, I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH!

Tri Clubs.

Many of you suggested I take the plunge and join the local triathlon club. I know this is probably the most efficient way to get on board with a multi-sport event; however, I am just not a group exerciser. I don't even like group exercise classes at the gym or meeting my friends for runs. The most I enjoy is meeting to go for walks in the park with friends. Exercise is therapeutic for me. It's where I think. It's where I contemplate life. Problems. Happiness. I don't get the same affect from group exercise sessions. So for now, I am tabling the tri club; however, I may revisit it if I feel like I just can't do this without that support.


I realized my biggest concern was what to wear for such an event. Being a larger person, I know I am not comfortable with doing any sort of public changing or running in a any sort of 2 piece. I also know financially I couldn't afford to go out and buy a trisuit at this point. Thankfully, Diana kindly emailed me a ton of tips and one of them was to just wear a one piece swimsuit with bike shorts (or other fitted shorts) over it. Then, I could essentially just swim, bike, and run in this one outfit. I will test it out (since there's a chance of chafing) and hopefully it works out.

The bike.

My bike was another hot topic of conversation. My bike was a hand-me-down last summer from my aunt. Yes, it is old. BUT, I did spend quite a chunk of change last summer getting it fixed up at the local bike shop. They said it was in great shape and gave it a full tune up, plus replaced the wires, tubes, and tires. I only rode it twice last year so it was ready to go this year (except for a quick air refill on the tubes). No, it is not a road bike. BUT it has several gears and I have rode 13+ miles on it in one trip over rolling hills so I know I can make it work for a sprint tri.

Thank you to Melanie, who suggested the REI bike clinic. I checked my local store and they had one coming up April 12th, so I am signed up and ready to learn!

However, I am still learning to ride the bike with the most efficiency. I am not a pro at when to shift gears and I am probably not using natural momentum to the best of my ability because I tend to get shy on downhills and brake. I plan to read up on this and practice, practice, practice.

The Pool.

My plan is to get in the pool hopefully sometime this week. Now that I am tapering for the Country Music Half, I feel less pressure on my training for that race and for the next two weeks I will be focusing on swimming and biking until I fully transition into Tri training on May 1st. I finally ordered two new swimsuits so as soon as they come, I'll be heading out to join the Y. It's the most expensive option, but also the fool proof option (as in, I know I'll actually get my training done).

The Race.

Right now, I am targeting the Wet Dog sprint triathlon in Decatur, AL. The only downside is that it's in the I may wake up and realize how crazy this plan is and switch to a race in September. The goal is to just do at least one tri in 2012. It will happen.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weigh in - Keep on rollin'

Last Week's weight - 236.6

This Week's weight - 234.2

2.4 lbs LOST

95.2 lbs lost since June 2010

Not sure where that 233 number came from a couple weeks ago, but it seems like I can't get back there. In reality, the 2 lbs is fine because at least I still feel like it's moving in the right direction. Though, I know I could have had more self-control and tracked better this week so I Linkthink that's why the number can be a little disappointing to me.

On the plus-side, the weekend was full of some NSVs, which I'll post about this week so I can't go too Debbie Downer.

House Challenge Check-in

This brings the week 3 totals to the following. These are cumulative, week-over-week results.

My Percentage of Weight Loss - 4.9% (12 pounds)

KG's Percentage of Weight Loss - 7.7% (13 pounds)

Still kicking my ass...Three weeks for her to hopefully screw up and for me to catch up.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Over the weekend I cleaned out my closet. I took everything out I knew was too big and any winter stuff that still fit, I packed away. While packing those items away I found my "Jared pants" that I kept from my highest weight.

So I tried them on....

Excuse the unkempt hair...I was mid-cleaning!

It was unbelievable to be reminded how far I've come. I started on the upper end of size 28. I was starting to "grow out" of size 28 and I feared where I would be able to buy my clothes because I already had trouble finding 28s in a brick and mortar store (Lane Bryant was really the only place I shopped).

I am thankful I have lost 119 pounds from my highest weight. I am thankful I have the support of my friends and family who have been there to encourage me. I am thankful that even though I haven't lost much in 6 months, I have not gained anything either. I am thankful for the support and encouragement of those who read and comment on this blog. It's true, I'd like to lose another 40 lbs, but even if I don't realize that goal on the scale I know that I am healthier and fitter than I was 4 years ago. And for that I am thankful.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weigh in and Challenge Check-in

Last Week's weight - 233.6

This Week's weight - 236.6

3 lbs GAINED

92.8 lbs lost since June 2010

As told in my post earlier this week, I was showing a 3 lb gain mid-week. I went from 233 on Sunday, to 236 on Wednesday (for no reason), back down to 234 on Friday, and then yesterday I pretty much gave up, ate everything in sight, and ended the week back up 3 lbs. So mad at myself.

It also didn't help that my workouts were dismal this week despite starting off the week with a 45 minute bike ride on Sunday., Monday and Tuesday were fine. Then, I got new shoes with inserts on Wednesday so my run Thursday was bad, bad, bad and fearing I injured myself by trying to run straight off in my new inserts (plus laziness), I pushed my run to today.

Excuses...all of it.

Trying to remain focused and just moving on from this. That's all I can do.

House Challenge Check-in

This brings the week 3 totals to the following. These are cumulative, week-over-week results.

My Percentage of Weight Loss - 3.9% (9.6 pounds)

KG's Percentage of Weight Loss - 6.5% (11 pounds)

She's kicking my ass. The end.