Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ironman March Challenge Wrap Up

As a reminder, I committed to participate in Caitlin's (from Health Tipping Point) Ironman March Challenge where I will complete the Ironman distances in swimming, biking, and run/walking during the month of March.

I didn't give a Week 4 update, but you can see previous weeks' updates here, here, and here.

The last full week of the challenge, I hit a wall. Well, it actually started out great the first three days with a 1,000 meter swim, 14 mile spin ride, and 2.85 mile run respectively. Monday the 25th was my normal yoga class, then Tuesday I skipped the 6 am spin class I've been trying to make my "normal" class and just figured I would go to the 5 pm one. But then I started the juice cleanse Tuesday morning...

I was so weak by time I left work on Tuesday, there was no way I would make it through a 60 minute spin class. "I'll just go tomorrow," I thought.

Well after only 4 hours of sleep because of hunger induced insomnia (seriously, I was so stupid), I didn't feel like doing much Wednesday either. Then Thursday I missed the 6 am spin again and couldn't find an evening class, so I just went to yoga (my favorite instructor is going to be out for 3 weeks and it was her last class).

So I ended Week 4 with just an additional 1,000 meters of swimming, 14 miles biking, and 2.85 miles running to add to my totals. Not the best week for the challenge, but looking back it's not horrible for this point in my training calendar either.

For the last 3 days of the challenge, I started out at the pool Friday with a 1,200 meter swim, thus completing 4,100 meters this month, a few laps over the 2.4 miles required for the challenge.

Friday after coming home from the pool, I was still in my flip flops and had a little clumsy incident that involved a chunk of skin the size of a quarter being ripped off the top of my big toe on my left foot. So there's that now.

Saturday, I only got 5 miles of biking in. But the good news is I picked up my bike from being tuned up and it's riding great! I just timed the ride way too wrong and I hadn't eaten in several hours and didn't have any energy to do a longer ride. (All excuses I realize.)

Admittedly I have had a very lazy week and weekend, and that carried over to today with the holiday and the crummy weather we have, I didn't get out and do anything today.

So my final challenge totals were:

Swimming: 4,100 meters
Bike: 58 miles
Run/Walk: 19.49

So obviously I didn't complete all of the biking or running totals. After the showing I had the first two weeks, I really had no way to hit the bike totals, but if I hadn't hit that wall this week I should have hit the run totals.

All that to say, I do think the challenge was a success because it helped jump start my triathlon training. I went from swimming and biking very low totals to swimming 1,200 meters at a time and biking 20+ miles a week. So I'm proud of myself for that.

I have 6 weeks until the first race on my calendar this season, and being that it is a mini spring triathlon (200 yard swim, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run), I know I am ready for it and I can start focusing on my 2nd race (TBD), which will be a longer sprint triathlon, and maybe even an Intermediate distance race at the end of the summer.

I can't wait until May 18th and I'm out there again!

Weigh in & Weekly Goals

Weight Last Week: 261.2

Weight This Week: 259.0

2.2 pounds LOST this week

Lowest Weight Recorded: 232.2 on 4/22/12

70.4 pounds lost since June 2010

Second loss in a row. If I can keep it up next week, it will be the longest losing streak I've had in a very long time.

This week was a bit off because of the lack of cardio I did and the juice cleanse. But I managed to stay on track food-wise.

I'm looking forward to getting back on schedule with workouts and continuing my streak of healthy eating. Feeling more motivated than I have in a long time.

The upcoming week isn't without challenges, since I have several after work events planned and a friend in town, I'll be eating out several times this week. My main goal is to make good choices, even if I am eating out with friends.

Goals this week:
- Drink at least 75 oz of water a day
- No binge drinking if I do have drinks out this week (no more than 1-2 drinks)
- Follow the menu plan I've planned out
- Do all scheduled workouts

Have a great week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 1.5 - Juice Cleanse/Detox and Final Thoughts

I've been procrastinating on writing up this final post about the cleanse/detox. I don't think I wanted to admit that it didn't seem to help me very much. This post completely resonated with me. Maybe it's because it wasn't long enough - most cleanses last 3 days - but I don't think I could have survived longer than I did.

When we left off I was experiencing hunger induced insomnia. I ended up laying in bed until about 6:30 am before getting up to get ready.

Had my last sweet greens juice when I left the house at 7:15. I was starving. So hungry, I was at the point of nauseousness.

12 oz sweet greens - kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, apple, grapefruit, lemon, and ginger

I met Betsy at my work at 8:00 and immediately followed it up with the wheatgrass shot and smoothie she brought me. Those curbed my hunger until about 11:00.

 Wheatgrass shot - with lemon wedge (not shown)

I had the 'Super Green Salad' with zucchini hummus around 11:30-12:00. It was HUGE and REALLY good, and I so much appreciated eating actual food again.

Super Green Salad - soft mixed greens, sprouts, peppers, celery, carrots and
homemade zucchini hummus with homemade tahini
Why I wanted to do a cleanse
Mostly, I've felt really out of control over the last 4 months. I thought of this as my way to "restart" or "reboot" my healthy eating habits I've so soon forgotten. Admittedly, I have done hardly ANY research into juicing or detox cleanses. I know there are people on both side of the fence. It comes down to the fact I just wanted to experience it for myself.
How I felt after the cleanse
I had normal "pizza and ice cream" cravings immediately following the cleanse. Again, I'm not saying this is everyone's experience, but this was mine. In the days following the cleanse, I've tried to eat as clean as possible avoiding dairy and meat as much as possible for the last few days. That said, my diet has not been 'perfect'. I was craving chocolate and ice cream so much I stopped and got some So Delicious No Sugar Added Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream Wednesday night. For dinner I had black bean and veggie tacos - meat and dairy free. 

I still had low energy Wednesday night and talked myself out of doing any workouts. Was this the cleanses fault? Well, technically it's an excuse. But since I only slept for about 4.5 hours on Tuesday night, my fatigue was real.

I will say the cleanse helped me realize how bad my coffee addiction was. I didn't realize it, but I was probably drinking 4-5 cups of coffee a day, loaded with half and half and sugar. I'm not comfortable with that and I'm happy to say I've cut back to either 1 latte (no sugar added) and 1 cup of black coffee or just up to 2 cups of black coffee a day. This is something I'd prefer to keep going.

The cleanse DID also help me reset my mental approach to what healthy eating should look like - FOR ME. More fresh veggies, fruits, beans & legumes, whole grains, and less meat and dairy. Also, my portions have been noticeably smaller, even if I have been hungry more often (every 2-3 hours instead of 3-5).

I returned to meat and dairy eating yesterday when I had a bowl of chicken tortilla soup and 1 chicken taco at my favorite taco place. Normally I would have the same portion of soup and 2 tacos, and I was stuffed just after 1. So, yes my portions have been smaller.

This morning I had a work breakfast and ordered eggs - first time since the cleanse and I ordered them without the cheese or sour cream. The salsa and veggies gave the eggs plenty of flavor and I didn't even miss them. This is how I hope to continue my lifestyle - cheese and high calorie condiments in moderation.

Will I do it again?
I don't want to say never, but I most likely won't. Don't get me wrong - the juices and salad were quite tasty. Betsy is a hugely talented raw and vegan food chef. Every dish of hers I've had is SO delicious. But - at no fault of her's - I felt like I was starving myself. By my calculations I consumed about 1400 calories on Tuesday. Not enough for my 6'0", 260 lb frame that needs twice that just to exist, nevermind the calories I burn by MOVING and EXERCISING every day. Like I keep saying, this was just MY experience, and other people may have a wholly different one.

I do think there is something to giving your digestive system a break from hard to digest foods (meat, dairy, high fiber beans and legumes). So I would consider a food cleanse, supplemented by cold pressed juices (low on the glycemic index, like ReBoot's) sometime in the future.
All in all I'm really glad to have had the experience. I'm chalking it up to another learning experience for what does and doesn't work for my body. And in the end that's what all of this really is about.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 1 - Juice Cleanse/Dextox

I've been intrigued by juice cleanses and detoxes for awhile now. When my friend, Betsy, who is launching her raw/vegan food business next month - Reboot Health & Wellness - mentioned she could design a 1.5 day cleanse for me, I decided to take the plunge. Below is the menu and what was sent to me by Betsy prior to starting the cleanse.
All of our juices start with organic fruits and vegetables that are cold

Day 1:
2 glasses of water with lemon
1 sweet greens smoothie (12oz. drink first -:strawberries/blueberries/banana/pineapple maca/hemp/chia/arugula/coconut water)
1 Rehydrating Flush (12 oz): watermelon/cucumber/strawberry/basil 1 Clean Green (12 oz): fennel/celery/cucumber/mint/lemon
2 Sweet Green Juices (24 oz): kale/romaine/cucumber/celery/apple/grapefruit/lemon/ginger (1 for lunch and 1 for dinner)
1 Red Zinger (12 oz): Orange/carrot/beet/ginger

Day 2:
2 glasses of water with lemon
1 2oz wheat grass shot (shoot with lemon wedge)
1 green lemonade 1 sweet greens smoothie 1 lg salad – soft mixed greens for digestion with zucchini hummus as dressing for lunch 
Here is my timestamped journal of yesterday - Day 1 of the cleanse/detox. 

5:30 am - Alarm for spin class went off, snoozed too long, decided to take evening class

6:30 am - Woke up a 2nd time, reset alarm for 7 am and tossed and turned for 30 minutes

6:55 am - got up 5 minutes before alarm, had first cup of room temperature lemon water

7:00 am - Shower, get dressed, and ready for day

7:15 am - Really wanting a cup of coffee, I resist

7:20 am - 2nd glass of lemon water

7:45 am - out the door with 12 oz smoothie in hand - it's delicious!

 12 oz - strawberries, blueberries, banana, pineapple, maca, hemp, chia, arugula, and coconut water

8:00 am - wishing I had coffee during my drive into work

8:20 am - walk into work with about 4 oz of smoothie left

8:35 am - Finish rest of smoothie

8:45-9:30 am - Complaining hardcore to co-workers that I really need coffee. Office mate Megan suggests black coffee. Message Betsy to complain. Take 2 Excedrin Migraine to stave off impending headache.

9:30 am - First bathroom trip

9:35 am - Betsy calls me and talks me off the ledge. Suggests green tea instead.

9:40 am - Feeling better after talking to Betsy, decide to hold off on a hot caffeinated beverage and make warm lemon water

10:23 am - Starting to feel hungry, make 2nd trip to the bathroom

10:30 am - Rehydrating Flush Juice - very refreshing and again delicious!

12 oz - watermelon, cucumber, strawberry, and basil

10:38 am - trying to drink slowly to savor, stomach grumbling

11:10 am - finished Rehydrating Juice 

11:48 am - feeling hungry, munching on some raw almond herb crackers made by Betsy

12:02 pm - trying to hold off on green cleanse juice for lunch until 1 pm

12:25 pm - 3rd bathroom trip 

12:35 pm - stomach physically rumbling 

1:02 pm - started Sweet Green Juice  and refilled 25 oz water bottle for 3rd time. 

12 oz - kale, romaine, cucumber, celery, apple, grapefruit, lemon, and ginger

1:52 pm - finished Sweet Green Juice - Was not a particular fan of this one because of the strong celery flavor of this one.

2:01 pm - 4th bathroom break

2:02 pm - I ask my co-worker (who is also juice fasting), "Can't we just go to Rand and get a green salad?"

2:58 pm - Real hunger is starting to set in.  Trying to wait until 4 pm to have 4th juice.

3:08 pm - Message from Betsy talking me off the ledge: "don't be hard on yourself -be kind today so you can purge" 

4:19 pm - drinking 4th juice - Clean Greens; hunger goes away

12 oz - fennel, celery, cucumber, mint, lemon

4:26 pm - realized I never had that cup of coffee I so badly wanted at 9:30 this morning! Win!

4:45 pm - bathroom again - lost count how many times I've peed today.

5:00 pm - ultimately decide to skip spin. I feel too weak to do such a strenuous workout. Decide to go with co-workers another co-worker's house to visit her and new baby instead. Still not feeling hungry.

7:45 pm - get home and realize I am STARVING. Immediately down the Red Zinger, my favorite so far. Still hungry, so I have my 2nd Sweet Green and last juice of the day. Still feeling hungry. Watch 2 episodes of 'Girls' and some 'Friday Night Lights'.

10 pm - Asleep

3 am - wide awake, starving. 

3:30 am - realize I'm not going back to sleep anytime soon and watch 3 more episodes of 'Friday Night Lights' until it's time to get for work. Have 0.5 a day left of the cleanse.

Check the blog later tonight for the last half-day of the cleanse and my thoughts on it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Nashville Craft Beer Week - Wild Cow Beer Dinner

I often say, "I love food, I'm just trying not to love it as much as I used to." But as a true foodie at heart, I still love going out to eat to my favorite restaurants, and trying new ones.

When I found out March 18-24 was Craft Beer Week in Nashville, I knew I wanted to find at least one event to participate in. When Betsy invited me to a "Beer Dinner" at Wild Cow - the local vegetarian and vegan restaurant in Nashville - last Tuesday night, I immediately accepted and waited in anticipation for weeks - I was pumped to experience 5 courses each with their own beer pairing. I've frequently dined at Wild Cow for quick and healthy meals. While I'm not vegan or even vegetarian, I there are specialties I enjoy from the Wild Cow menu - including their chickpea salad (which I have tried to recreate at home) and "Prince Fielder" sandwich.

Craft beer and a 5 course vegan menu? Yes Please!

The featured brewery was Green Flash out of San Diego, CA. They had Bounty Bev, a local beer distributor, there discussing each beer selection in between each course.

Beer: Green Flash 'Hop Head Red'
Soup: Curried potato and turnip soup

I'm not a huge fan of IPAs, but this was a nice accompaniment to a spicy curry soup. This one had a nice malty start with a hoppy finish. Also, I realized this night that I enjoy a "hoppy" brewed beer in small doses (like our 6 oz pours).

Beer: Green Flash 'Palate Wrecker'
Salad: Mixed local greens with pistachios, dried peaches, dried mangoes, & caramelized red onions

 A high alcohol-by-volume beer coming in at 9.5%, this was another brew I didn't know if I would like because of it's "West Coast-inspired IPA" component. It complemented the salad nicely, which was semi-sweet with the dried fruit and caramelized onions.

Beer: Green Flash 'West Coast IPA'
Appetizer: Collard Green Wraps with cabbage, kohlrabi & green curry hummus

This was my favorite food - the collard wraps were so fresh and delicious. There was a  bit of a spice to the hummus, and the citrus flavors in this beer were perfect to cool down the spiciness.

Beer: Green Flash 'Rayon Vert'
Entree: Stuffed Acorn Squash with roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, pumpkin seeds, cranberries and orange zest.

This was my least favorite course. The Rayon Vert was anticipated to be my favorite beer, since it was read to be more balanced than the previous 3 ultra hoppy selections, but I don't know if it was just that I was ready for dessert and that Double Stout or what - I just wasn't feeling it.

The acorn squash dish was entirely too sweet for my tastes. As an entree, I was ready for something savory, especially after the sweetness in the salad and the upcoming dessert - I didn't really need more dried fruit in my life. The creme fraiche was the best part of this dish!

Beer: Green Flash 'Double Stout'
Dessert: Chocolate Stout Cake with Ganache Drape Beet Glaze & Smoked Paprika

Another one of my favorite courses, but who doesn't love dessert?! The cake was a bit dry for my tastes, but the beet glaze and chocolate ganache more than made up for it. I have dreams about that beet glaze (I. Love. Beets.) The portion was huge and could have easily fed 2 people. However, I ate the whole dang thing because the thought of leaving it on my plate was too sad!

The beer was overshadowed by the decadent cake, but I love a good stout so it ended the meal on a high note.

Overall, the dinner was really good. I left feeling full and satisfied, but since the dinner was packed with veggies and good-for-you grains, like quinoa, I certainly didn't feel "blah" from eating the meal. It was a perfect night spending time with friends.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weigh in & Weekly Goals

Weight Last Week: 263.4

Weight this week: 261.2

2.2 pounds LOST this week

Lowest Weight Recorded: 232.2 on 4/22/12

68.2 pounds lost since June 2010

I fought this week for every ounce that I lost. When I did my menu plan for the week, I planned it loosely around the Carb Lover's kickstart plan.

This week I'm also going to do something I've been wanting to try to re-start my previous healthy living. I'm going to do a 36 hour juice fast to detox and kick start my metabolism. It is scheduled to start Tuesday morning and will end Wednesday lunch with a "super green salad". My friend Betsy, who is a raw and vegan chef and co-founder for Reboot Health and Wellness, designed the program for me. I'll definitely be posting to write how it goes.

As far as workouts, here's the plan this week:

Today: C210K (I was going to swim too, but I'm feeling pretty tired and sore, so I'm going to add the swim to Friday's workout)
Monday: Active Rest/Yoga
Tuesday: Spin
Wednesday: C210K and 5 miles on indoor bike
Thursday: Spin
Friday: W4D2 of C2K (approx. 2.25 miles) and 600 meter swim
Saturday: W4D3 of C210K (approx. 2.25 miles) 14-16 mile bike

It's a busy workout week to finish up the Ironman March Challenge. Let's get ready!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ironman March Challenge - Week 3 Update

As a reminder, I committed to participate in Caitlin's (from Health Tipping Point) Ironman March Challenge where I will complete the Ironman distances in swimming, biking, and run/walking during the month of March.

You can check out the original Ironman March Challenge post and download the printable training plan on HTP.

So yesterday concluded Week 3. We have 10 days left (including today).

The goal again this week was to swim 872 meters, bike 25.3 miles, and run/walk 6 miles. Plus, I still needed to catch up on a lot of biking, let's see how I did.

March 15-21:
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 mile bike ride on the greenway near my house
Sunday: 1.75 mile run and 650 meter swim
Monday: Nothing - missed yoga due to a GMAT prep class went to
Tuesday: 10 miles in Spin
Wednesday: 2.25 mile walk/run as part of C210K
Thursday: Nothing - missed yoga because of a meeting that ran long at work and I was too lazy to go to the gym

So my weekly totals were 650 meters swimming, 22 miles biking, and 4 miles run/walking. Yikes I'm behind.

My week was a bit hectic. I had plans Mon-Wed nights and having that much on my social calendar just tends to throw me off. I was also REALLY sore from my weekend workouts and without my gentle/stretching yoga on Monday it was hard to motivate myself by Thursday to do yet another day of cardio. I know, excuses, excuses, but it is what it is. This next week should be MUCH better because I have NOTHING on my calendar in the evenings. I plan to focus, focus, focus.

10 days to do 1,962 meters of swimming, 73 miles of biking, and 9.56 miles of running!

Here's my plan for the rest of the month:

March 22-28
Friday:  1,000 meter swim
Saturday: 14-16 mile bike ride
Sunday: W3D3 of C210K (approx. 2.25 miles) and 600 meter swim
Monday: Yoga
Tuesday: 45 minute spin (10-12 miles)
Wednesday: W4D1 of C210K (approx. 2.75 miles) and 5 mile indoor bike
Thursday: 45 minute spin (10-12 miles)

March 29-31
Friday: W4D2 of C2K (approx. 2.25 miles) and 600 meter swim
Sat: W4D3 of C210K (approx. 2.25 miles) 14-16 mile bike
Sun: 45 min spin (10-12 miles) or bike

I realize my biking miles are VERY heavy in order to finish the Ironman distance. All I can do is try on that front. I'm confident I won't have any problems with the swimming or running (funny how biking is my weakest sport and the one I'm most behind on).

At least this challenge has kept me on task for triathlon training and really that's more important than being a few miles short of riding 112 miles in a month.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Woman lost 200 pounds, now miserable?

First, watch here:

This story immediately caught my attention on Good Morning America today. The headline was "Woman Loses 200 Pounds, Now Miserable" and told the story of Jen Larson, who had gastric bypass surgery at 308 pounds, and how after losing 200 pounds found herself miserable.

"What, the what?!" most people were probably thinking watching this story over their morning coffee. But I was intrigued by the headline and I was enthralled once the segment came on my TV. I stood there captivated, understanding all to well what Jen lamented about her significant amount of weight loss, feeling the anxiety come over me from how much I identified with exactly. what. she. said.

GMA Interviewer: Did you find yourself becoming more obsessed with your weight when you were thin?
Jen: Absolutely. You know, being thin didn't make me happy. I'm still looking in the mirror and I'm still hating what I see and how is this even possible?

Shut. The. Front. Door. This. is. me.

I often try to articulate how much more self-conscious I am about my body now that I've lost a significant amount of weight. I always feel uncomfortable when I mention it to friends, family, etc, so I don't do it very often. But the truth is, I NEVER looked in the mirror when I was heavier with the same HATE and DISGUST that I do now that I am smaller. Especially now that I'm up 25 pounds from my lowest weight. I am still 5-6 dress sizes SMALLER than my biggest, and yet I look in the mirror with disgust EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Another "Ah-ha" moment was when they interviewed Psychoanalyst, Bethany Marshall, "Obese people live with the fairytale or the illusion that if they lost the weight their lives would be better. But what happens is when they lose the buffer they feel people are scrutinizing them."

I never thought that weight loss was an automatic fix to all of life's problems, but the part where she talks about the buffer being lost is so true. When you carry around an extra 100 or 200 pounds, you feel like you have an invisibility cloak protecting you from the scrutiny of public eyes. Although this is ludicrous. I'm here to tell you I am more "noticed" at my current size than I ever was at 350+ pounds. People look you in the eye more often, hold open doors more often, make friendly conversation more often, and then there is the issue of extra attention from the opposite sex. These are all things I've had to figure out how to internalize and deal with and I'm still figuring it out.

I truly believe these are things hindering my weight loss. I've had to re-learn to live in new skin, so to speak, and I think my inability to do that at the moment is turning me back into the food addict I was at 355 pounds. I am regressing and spiraling out of control.

I don't want people to think that losing weight is a bad decision. It 150% was the best thing I've ever done for my life and gave me SO much more confidence and ability to live life with fewer worries. I am glad I am still fighting to continue until I am 100% the healthiest and strongest I can be because I know that is what's best for my quality of life. However, seeing this segment gave me a voice. It made me realize these feelings - every single one of them - are normal. Now that I have this realization in the back of my mind, I feel like I can approach this next chapter of the journey with clearer eyes and continue to fight the good fight.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What do you need to start Tri-ing? Not Much!

I started writing this as a comment in response to this Swim, Bike, Mom post. After typing, and typing, and typing I realized this was much better posted as a blog post rather than a comment.

I don't wholly agree with SBM's "wear one thing" & "don't put anything else on" rule. I completed my first sprint tri last year at 6'0" and 240 lbs, which makes me about an 18/20, and most women's triathlon clothing doesn't fit someone of my frame size. What to wear on race day was one of the biggest "mysteries" to figure out during my training.

I didn't want to spend $150+ on a triathlon suit when I wasn't sure if I would actually enjoy tri-ing. Especially when I would have to order specialty size or go to a men's cut. In fact, I didn't want to invest much money at all in triathlon gear until I realized I did in fact love it. So I ended up wearing my plain black Reebok one-piece swimming suit and a pair of Men's XXL compression shorts for the swim, and then pulling on a pair of mesh basketball shorts for the bike and run.

My advice to beginners (still being a beginner myself) is to NOT go out and buy a bunch of unnecessary gear. You DO NOT NEED a triathlon suit/kit to complete a sprint triathlon, unless you have an extra $100-$150 laying around and would just feel more comfortable doing this. I just don't want anyone using the expense of the sport as an excuse to not train and complete their first race when they really want to.

Here's what my "gear" consisted of during my triathlon training and race:

-One piece no-frills swim suit (with supportive straps and full-coverage)
-Pair of compression shorts
-Pair of old school Speedo goggles I previously had (I paid $5 on clearance for them years prior)
-Swim cap (purchased half way through my training)
-Pair of  mesh basketball shorts (pulled over compression shorts after the swim)
-Hand me down bike from the 90s - with proper safety tune up
-Water rack and water bottle on bike
-Properly fitted running shoes
-Sweat and moisture wicking socks
-Garmin 405 GPS enabled watch (this is not mandatory, I just happened to have been gifted one the Christmas before my first triathlon season)
-Hard work, determination, a training plan, and a commitment

Now your mileage may vary. I didn't find the need for padded bike shorts on my training rides and/or padded triathlon shorts for my race because I was only riding twice a week and not that far most days. I may buy a pair this year because I'm planning on spending A LOT of time on the bike and I can already tell it may

Also, I am small chested, so I didn't feel uncomfortable riding and biking in just my bathing suit with shorts pulled over. If you are a better endowed woman than I am, you could easily wear a sports bra under your swim suit.

My point is, you can get by with less if you need to. You do not need clip-in pedals, a fancy bike, or lots of fancy gear for a sprint tri.

I would love hear other people's comments about their experience on completing their first tri and sharing their best tips and practices!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weigh in & Weekly Goals

Weight Last Week: 258.6

Weight this week: 263.4

4.8 pounds GAINED this week

Lowest Weight Recorded: 232.2 on 4/22/12

66 pounds lost since June 2010

I feel ridiculous with this weigh in. I went from 256 earlier in the week (after a 2 lb gain last week), to this all in a matter of two nights out.

It started Friday with sharing bottles of wine and dinner out. But that was nothing compared to Saturday's mess. I can't even list what was consumed because you wouldn't believe it anyway.

This weigh in was Sunday morning, I'm sure I'm up even more today because I ate a whole 12" pizza yesterday. Yep. The pants that were just getting back to fitting normal again last week are too tight today. I feel bloated and angry.

I did get two workouts in that accumulated to 12 miles on the bike, 1.75 miles running, and 650 meters in the pool.

Here's the workout plan for the week:

Today: Rest/Yoga
Tues: Spin
Weds: Run
Thurs: Spin
Fri: Swim
Sat: Bike
Sun: Run/Swim

Although I have 3 dinners out already planned for this week, I have healthy lunches made for the week. My focus is on portion control and drinking enough water.

It's all I can do to not lose my shit this week.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ironman March Challenge - Week 2 Update

As a reminder, I committed to participate in Caitlin's (from Health Tipping Point) Ironman March Challenge where I will complete the Ironman distances in swimming, biking, and run/walking during the month of March.

You can check out the original Ironman March Challenge post and download the printable training plan on HTP.

So yesterday concluded Week 2. We have 17 days left (including today).

The goal again this week was to swim 872 meters, bike 25.3 miles, and run/walk 6 miles. Plus, I wanted to "catch up" on my biking since I didn't get much in the first week. Well, my body had other plans this is what my week looked like:

March 8-14:
Friday: 2 mile walk/run as part of C210K
Saturday: 1,000 meter swim in 30 minutes. (I was damn impressed I was able to go this far. I'm chalking it up to my new fancy goggles.)
Sunday: 4 mile walk/hike
Monday: Active rest/Gentle Yoga
Tuesday: Spin class - counting as 12 miles (see below)
Wednesday: 1.72 mile walk/run as part of C210K
Thursday: Active rest/Yoga

I was on a roll until I hit the spin class on Tuesday. I knew the class would be hard. Spin is hard. But I love it just the same. I always say that it's the only group exercise class I'll get up at 5:30 AM for. Seriously, you don't see me going to Body Pump at 6 AM do you? :)

So, it was hard. 45 minutes is a lot longer than I've ridden or done cardio for since December. I knew it would wear me out. But I wasn't expecting what happened after I got off the bike to happen - I almost fainted.

I've had the symptoms before - twice to be exact. Once from having an reaction to Penicillin and then a milder version after the Country Music Half Marathon on April 2012.

While we were stretching after our ride, I started to feel dizzy. I tried to shake it off by stopping my stretch to no avail. The room started to get fuzzier, and I started to feel more like crap. I exited the room to find help (I didn't want to make an embarrassing scene in front of the class). And found the staff member overseeing the fitness area. I told him what was happening and he was about as unhelpful as a pile of wet rags. I repeatedly asked for medical assistance/first aid and he repeatedly told me they weren't trained for such incidents. His exact words were "well if you have a cut or need a band-aid or something". REALLY Middle Tennessee YMCA?!! You don't have ONE person in the building at ALL TIMES trained for first response medical care in case one of your members has a heart attack or stroke on the floor? What about if one of those kids that come in after school to play basketball drop from an undiagnosed heart condition? After he left me alone (yes really) to "go try and find someone" I started feeling normal again, so I just went back to the classroom to gather my things and left.

Although I felt tired the rest of the day, I didn't have any other symptoms. The next day while running, I felt a little off so I didn't push myself very hard and did walking intervals for the last half. My intent was to wear the heart rate accessory with my Garmin, but I forgot the watch on the charger Wednesday morning.

Honestly, I was scared to go back to spin. I don't know if it was just the extra histamines in my body from seasonal allergies attacking me post-exercise, if it was low blood sugar, or if there is a more serious issue I need to be concerned about. Bradycardia (when your heart rate drops to below normal levels - usually in the 40s or under) runs in my mom's family - both she and my aunt have been diagnosed with it, but it only presents symptoms for them when their body is under stress. Exercise = stress on the body. It's something I need to get checked out, but I am dragging my feet.

My original plan was to spin Thursday, rest today. Since I didn't want to risk spin again, I did yoga yesterday and gave myself extra rest. Then, I planned to get in the pool this morning (at 6 AM mind you) and I got there and the pool was closed? So frustrating! I realize they probably posted signs for weeks, but since I wasn't planning on swimming during the week this week, I probably didn't pay attention to them. Why don't they send email reminders to the members when parts of the facilities are closed???

So it's been a rocky week that has pushed me further behind on the bike portion of the challenge.

My weekly totals are 1,000 meters swim, 12 mile bike (1 spin class), and 7.72 mile run. My totals overall are 1,250 meters swim, 17 mile bike, and 12.64 miles run.

I don't know if I'll "catch up" on my bike totals. I will try my darnedest if I feel alright at my next spin class (maybe Sunday), but I'm not going to risk my health.

Here's to 17 days and 2,612 meters of swimming, 95 miles of biking, and 13.56 miles of running left!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Weigh-in this week - just a few days late

I consciously and unconsciously didn't post my weigh in this week.

Meaning, I didn't want to post after I stepped on the scale Sunday morning, but I knew I still needed to in order to stay truthful in the part of this journey I'm in....a really sucky part.

But here it was:

Weight Last Week: 256.4

Weight this week: 258.6

2.2 pounds GAINED this week

Lowest Weight Recorded: 232.2 on 4/22/12

70.8 pounds lost since June 2010

I've been doing better this week on nutrition. I did realize that the dishes I made for meals this week were both high in fat - pulled pork and Philly cheese steak stuffed green peppers (I usually cook 1-2 big dishes that I can eat for lunches and dinner all week). But I've been watching my portions and adding LOTS of veggies alongside them.

When I did my mid-week weight check this week I was at 256.2. Yay! Then I realized I hadn't posted my weigh in this week and decided I should go ahead and do it to hold myself accountable through the weekend. I have three social outings/parties that will have alcohol present this weekend and I'm really going to try and limit myself. I'm laying off the beer and opting for not-as-bloating wine or vodka with club soda.

Last night I revisited my Sparkpeople app and found this:

The last time I logged my weight with SP was 5/12/12 and I was 236. I am exactly 20 lbs over this weight. It's frustrating and hard not to get down on myself that I let these 20+ lbs creep back up. I have been having trouble focusing on the day-to-day choices that add up to equal pounds lost. My normal cycle is I will eat well for 3-4 days and then have a binge day, give up and eat like sh*t for 3-4 days. Although I've lost around 8 lbs of the holiday weight I gained, I'm only doing well maintaining that loss and not continuing to lose.

It's clear I am not going to reach my 20 lbs loss goal by March 31st as I planned. My new goal is to be as close to my pre-holiday weight by losing 12 pounds over the next 6 weeks until the day I leave for the beach on April 26th. 2 lbs a week is very reasonable for me at this point.

Exercise has been good this week, at least from a "getting to the damn gym" perspective. I've worked out every day since Saturday. I'll do yoga tonight and then do some swimming in the morning, and have workouts in all 3 sports planned for over the weekend. I still have 9 weeks until the kick off to my triathlon season with the Cedars of Lebanon mini-Sprint Tri. My goal this year is to do 3 events, culminating in an Intermediate distance Triathlon in August or September.

Gotta stay focused in order to reach that goal.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ironman March Update - Week 1

I committed to participate in Caitlin's (from Health Tipping Point) Ironman March Challenge where I will complete the Ironman distances in swimming, biking, and run/walking during the month of March.

You can check out the original Ironman March Challenge post and download the printable training plan on HTP.

On to my update for the first week (March 1-7).

The goal was to swim 872 meters, bike 25.3 miles, and run/walk 6 miles. Since I am just getting back to the gym from winter laziness/ankle sprain 2013 this is what my week looked like:

March 1-7:
Friday: nada
Saturday: 250 meter swim (first time in the pool since September and my goggles broke)
Sunday: 3 mile hike/walk
Monday: Active rest/Yoga
Tuesday: 5 mile indoor bike
Wednesday: 1.92 run/walk on treadmill
Thursday: Rest

So obviously my totals are 250 meters swim, 5 mile bike, 4.92 run/walk. And I'm starting out behind.

I'm not too concerned since I'm just now gearing up back at the gym. I'll hit the pavement tonight for another approximate 2 miles, then swim tomorrow (and hopefully get out for a hike in the afternoon), and probably do a spin class Sunday.

I'm going to try and add a little more to the outlined weekly totals so I don't have to play "catch up" all during one week. Overall I'd say the challenge has kept me motivated to keep moving forward with training for my mini spring Tri on May 18th. Anything to motivate me at this point is a good thing!

If you are interested in participating in the Ironman March Challenge you still have time! Check out the original post and commit today.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Weigh in & Weekly Goals

Weight Last Week: 258.0

Weight this week: 256.4

1.6 pounds LOST this week

Lowest Weight Recorded: 232.2 on 4/22/12

73 pounds lost since June 2010

 - 75 ounces of water AT LEAST (goal is to drink three bottles (25 oz each) at work) - Did pretty good! I could have drank more water over the weekend, but overall I completed this.
- Stick to the meal plan I wrote out - I had 2 unplanned eating out excursions over the weekend, but honestly I did good on this too. I cut out a lot of eating out I was doing for lunch.
- Gym/workout 4X this week, get back on schedule! - Done! I got in Yoga 2X, 1 run, and 1 swim - moving forward with an actual triathlon training plan this week.

Goals this week:
Water, water, water
Follow week 1 of triathlon training
Only eat out a maximum of 2x

Happy Monday!