Saturday, October 29, 2011

DVD Challenge Week 1- 30 Day Shred

Well challenge accepted and I have kept it up. Doing the DVD has really kept me doing my strength training and to be honest I don't want to let everyone down that has read this and has seen on twitter. So week 1- I guess that's what we call it since it was the first full week- was fun and a bit of a challenge but that's the point!

By the end of this week I was sick of hearing Jillian's voice and really sick of the HORRIBLE music that goes with the DVD so I went with my own music blasting and the DVD running. I have to say by the time I reached the end of this week I have decided I will be doing Level 2 now. I am in a bit of a quandary though is it 30 calendar days? or 30 days of the DVD? I guess we will get to 30 calendar days and see... then maybe go for the 30 days of DVD? What do you guys think?

So I have to say the photos don't seem to have changed much- oh well but here ya go

And the Stats:
This week's workouts- Sat- Cycle 19.09mi, DVD #2, Sun- Run 3mi, DVD#3, Mon- Swim 1900yds, DVD#4, Tues- Run- 2.62 (hill repeats), DVD #5, Weds- Bikram Yoga, Thurs- 1500yds, DVD#6, Friday- Cycle- 10.9 (speedwork), DVD #7 (level 2)

Weight Friday Morning- 183.2lb (down 2 lb)

Nutrition- Example: Breakfast- Cereal w skim milk and Mix1- 360cals
Lunch- potato w ground beef taco meat little sprinkle of 50%fat cheese and some cashews- 537cals
Dinner- Chicken, mashed butternut squash, asparagus- 215cals
Snacks- mini Luna bar, mini cheese, mix1- 331cals
Total: 1443 cals <- better but still need to get this up!

Thoughts- Some of the exercises are easy and I was so proud when I started Level 2 and I could do the skate move with the jump. Last time I did the DVD was before and after my hip surgery and that move hurt a ton! So win! I am also shocked at how some moves are no problem and others I just must not use those muscles while training! Crazy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My 2011 Season- How to Learn from Your Season

I know I did my 10 things I learned this season but I read this article on Active this morning which got me thinkin I should try to answer these questions. So here goes
1. In hindsight, were your season goals clear and attainable?
Considering my big season goal was to finish a half iron and I did. I would say yes the were clear and attainable.

2. What were you most proud of this season?
Top would be finishing the half ironman with a close second of keeping the dedication to train for the half ironman. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to that finish line, not just on race day but for the months leading up to it.

3. What would you like to duplicate next year?
I am definitely going to stay with my coach, Balance Multisport. Sorry your stuck with me! I want to continue to take on new challenges like I did.

4. What frustrated or disappointed you the most this season?
I want to work on my run and cycling speed. I am starting to work on that now for the off-season with hill work and speed work.

5. What do you not want to happen again next year?
Nutrition issues! No more puking, swelling etc. I need to get this all figured out!

Here's where the questions get tough!

6. What did you learn by going through these experiences?
I really learned that it is going to take a lot to keep me from finishing a race! Not puking, not a flat tire, not even a incoming storm could keep me from crossing the finishline.

7. What decisions did you make that were empowering for you?
Deciding to change coaches to go with someone who was more similar to me really paid off. I am still working on nutrition in daily life and racing. I found I have a great support group around me now, with D being my biggest supporter!

8. What habits seemed to hold you back from achieving your potential?
My mental preparedness. I need to work on mentally being prepared for a race and going into it with a level of confidence. (I need to work on this for other parts of my life not just racing!) Along the same lines I need to learn not to rip apart my performances and see the accomplishment for what it is!

9. What decisions should you make in order to have your best triathlon year ahead?
Decide what races are A and stick to it, those are the bigger deal and the larger focus. This will help with the mental racing issues, I'd think. Every race can't be an A race some days are meant to build up to bigger things and I need to be sure to keep that in perspective. It will also help in appreciating the accomplishment of that A race or that not A race!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cycling: Yes I have the RIGHT to be on the road!

I was out for my Saturday ride just a lil hour 15 jaunt around the homestead. Lately I have been riding with D but Saturday he decided he was going to lift at the gym while I rode. I decided to take the route that isn't super hilly for a little change. And while about 2 miles into my ride I had my first fight with a passenger of a car! This is how it went down.

I was riding just to the left of the white line of the shoulder to avoid all the sand and pot holes. A car pulls out of the lot to my left turning into the lane of traffic I am traveling in. He pulled in just as I was coming by pushing me off into the shoulder. Luckily I am not a novice cyclist and I just adjusted instead of freaking out and crashing out. As they did it I screamed "REALLY?!" And we pulled up to the one light in town. The female passenger rolls down the window and goes "Really what?!"
I said "You nearly hit me."
"Well, we didn't. And you are on a F*ckin Bicycle, get off the road and on the shoulder where you belong."
"Actually, if you read the rules of the road I have just as much right to be on the road as you do."
"Actually, according to the rules of the road you have to be off the road on the shoulder."

Then the light turned green and the driver finally pipes up and he says "Well at least I didn't hit you!" and they sped off.

I was fuming! Which actually fueled a great ride. I couldn't believe how wrong they were and how they chose to fight with me about it. I couldn't believe the driver hung his hat on *not* hitting me even though he could have easily caused a crash! A crash that he would have been 100% at fault for! I know I am bound to have a lot more run ins with cars- hopefully none literally! I have done 3 and a half hour rides and never had someone be so blatantly rude or WRONG!

Just for clarification I did look it up- the basic rule in Massachusetts is "Same Roads. Same Rules." This site has some great info on the rules for cyclists and motorists in Massachusetts, "

And I did check with a cop on Sunday. He said I was right I am allowed to be on the road cops prefer that you stay as far right as possible to be safe but I am allowed to be on the road I don't have to be on the shoulder. Then the very nice officer asked if it happen somewhere in his area that he could do something about it. haha :)

Anyway- I just wanted to make people aware of their rights as a cyclist and make motorists aware to be careful! I have a hope that maybe my fight with the woman in the car will cause someone that saw it to think twice, or look twice, to keep cyclists safe. I know the guy that was driving the car behind them slowed way down and looked all the way over his shoulder before he made a left to be sure I wasn't coming close. Hey maybe it paid off a little?!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Challenge is ON!

The Challenge has started!!! As I said in my last blog post I decided to take on a new challenge to help combat my post season blues. I will be doing my DVD- 30 day Shred with Jillian Michaels and heading back to Bikram Yoga. So its ON! Well actually I decided to start it on Wednesday night by taking my "off day" and going to Bikram Yoga. Anyone who has done Bikram knows it is far from an "off day"- 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises in a room that is 105 degrees with 40% humidity. FUN TIMES! Actually I really like it. It helps me a lot mentally and really helps me physically too. So this is part of my month long challenge.

Yesterday before I started Day 1 of my DVD my friend Kissing_frogs read my challenge and decided to join me- virtually. Perfect another motivator! So here's the plan on the virtual challenge DVD portion: We came to the decision we will do the DVD 5 days a week MINIMUM- with the goal of 6 to 7. We will do level 1 for 10 days, level 2 for 10 days, level 3 for 10 days giving the 30 day shred!

I did my run that my coach wanted me to do yesterday then it was time to start the challenge. After much debate (since I am not pleased with what I see) I have decided I will post before (now), progress and after pictures. I guess it is the best way to gauge if the challenge works. So here we go.... please be gentle- try not to judge me too much!

The Challenge Deets:
Do my coach prescribed workouts for swim, bike, and run- generally 6 days a week and races are planned in here too. Do 30 Day Shred DVD- 5 days a week minimum with the hope of 6 or 7. I will also be doing Bikram Yoga as often as I can with my schedule- trying for at least one day a week. I will post progress photos every Friday and weigh myself on Friday mornings- hopefully it really works and the photos get better and the scale shows the hard work! I will also post a day of the week's nutrition- just so people can get a feel for what I am eating too. And of course... my 2cents on the whole thing will come along with the posts :)

The stats:
This week's workouts- Mon- Swim 1400yds, Tues- Bike 7.91mi, Wednes- Yoga, Thurs- Run 1.89mi and DVD Day 1, Fri- Swim 1500yds (still need to do DVD Day 2)

Weight Friday Morning- 185.2lb

Nutrition- Breakfast: 1 apple w 1tbsp honey, spices and 1/3c granola- 247 cals
Lunch: veggie chilli, cornbread, red fat cheese, apple- 383 cals
Dinner: ground beef taco meat on a salad w chips, NF sour cream, and cheese. dessert- GF cookie w strawberries and SF caramel- 605 cals
Snack: tortilla chips and salsa- 152 cals
Total: 1,387 cals <-not enough! need to work on this!

Thoughts- I am not going to lie- Day 1 of that DVD was not easy. I have done it before and my stamina and endurance are way better but there are some muscles I just haven't used in a long time- youch!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Post Season Blues

As you may have noticed from my London blog and my other post season wrap ups the season is over here and I am lacking some motivation. I am not a fast runner- so fall running races aren't super appealing to me. I am not a fast cyclist so put that with my not a fast runner and a duathlon doesn't really sound appealing. Plus- lets be honest a duathlon takes out what I am good at- SWIMMING! So with races right now consisting of mostly 5ks and 10ks and duathlons I am kind of stuck in a rut.

The other big thing that contributes to my lack of motivation and being stuck in a rut is I seem to have some sort of health issue that keeps me from losing weight. I can workout and eat right but it just doesn't come off. So when you aren't racing and you aren't seeing results its hard to go to the gym. At least when I'm racing I have goals to keep me going everyday. This whole lack of weight loss is another whole blog story for another time but anyway- to help myself get out of this I have been trying to come up with ideas.

I started coming up with a race plan for the next couple months of a couple 5ks and a 10k and even a late winter half marathon. Okay working down the right path. But to be honest- I know even if I don't train I can finish all those races. I am stubborn enough and have a decent level of fitness. So let's see I need something else!

Last night while at home I came across my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. 3 different levels of 20 min full body workouts. Wheels started turning- I know I need to keep up my swim, bike and run fitness over the off season to be ready for next season but- I could add more right? I need to work in more strength workouts anyway right?

So thoughts for a new challenge are: Continue my regular workouts my coach is giving me right now- so my swim, bike and run- but now let's add doing the 30 Day Shred DVD everyday for a month. I will take some before pictures and blog about the experience to work as a review of the program and see what we get for results.

The other thing I am going to bring back to my routine is Bikram Yoga. For now starting with my "day off" from coach and possibly adding more days as my schedule will allow. So I think I've got it a new challenge, a new motivation, a new goal with any hope this will help get me over these post season blues. Hey who knows maybe if it works out in a month I will pick a new challenge.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Army Ten Miler- Race Recap

After my much needed break in London I was home for a mere 3 days before heading to Washington, D.C. Now anyone who knows me knows I am in DC enough to potentially call it home if not my second home so flying there was no sweat. The plan was to fly down Friday afternoon get to the expo spend a bit of Saturday sight seeing then run Sunday. Well the best laid plans don't always work out. I have seen all the sights of DC MANY times but D in all his travels to DC hasn't seen any so I was planning on playing tour guide.

When we arrived Friday afternoon we were still fighting jet lag a bit from London. We decided not to rush to the expo and be rushed looking through it and just take the night easy. We went to what is quite possibly D's fav restaurant for dinner Chic-fil-a. It was nice to have a very low key night. We decided to get to the expo in the morning.

It was CRAZY packed. The line to get in almost reached the street. But like any good military operation things moved quickly and we had our numbers quicker than expected. While walking around and spending WAY too much money- like I always do at an expo we ran into a couple co-workers who were running. Always nice to see friendly faces.

We headed back to the hotel to relax and get off our feet. Now to be 100% honest- I didn't have much expectation for this race. I had heard it is very crowded and I honestly just wanted to take it all in- running around the mall and just being in the environment. Somewhere in my brain I came up with the idea of wanting to finish in about 2 hours seemed to make sense with my half marathon times. After a great dinner of risotto (a gluten free GEM pre race!) we picked up some breakfast options that we could do in a hotel room with no fridge and no microwave- cereal soy milk and some bars.

I laid out my race clothes after laboring over the capri, short, skirt decision- I went with capris and my new headband- "this is my race pace" and my new arm sleeves "if it wasn't for me you'd have no body to pass". The plan was to walk from the hotel to the Pentagon- I went with the follow the crowd method. It paid off and we got to the gates just as they were opening the start area. D was in wave one and I was in wave 3- slightly different paced runners huh?! D hung with me for a bit back with the slow folk and then headed up toward the start a little before 8.

As I was standing by myself waiting on my start time of 8:15 I made friends with the girl standing next to me. I know shocking huh?! We got to chatting and realized we both wanted to run about the same pace- hopes of a 1:45 with actual thoughts of being around 2 hours. She had never run a 10 mile distance before and honestly it was my first 10 miler but not my longest run so I figured this could be fun. We decided to stick together. To be honest it was great. Sometimes you worry about wanting to run a race with someone you don't really know (at all) but pacing was good a little bit but not too much conversation. We hit the 10k timing chip and I am fairly certain it was a 10k PR at 1:03- though the silly timing pad company had a different time.

On the loop back around the Air and Space museum I slapped hands and saw a co-worker. Let me just say that city isn't as flat as it looks. The long slow down hills killed my quads and the long slow up hills were crushing my calves. The 14th street bridge was a smasher! The sun was coming up and it was starting to get hot and that up hill climb was tough. Just as we hit the mi 9 marker we went by 2 Wounded Warriors both single leg amputee's. I turned to my new running buddy and said "okay that's all I needed to make it to the finish- I think this is tough on 2 legs I can't imagine how hard that is!"

With that we finished out the last mile- I was trying so hard not to puke before I crossed the finish. I crossed the finish at 1:44:50 by my watch- 1:45:50 officially. I can't believe I not only killed my thoughts of 2 hours but made it in the lower end of the time I thought. My new running buddy crossed a bit before me and was so excited to have finished her longest race. The finish line was congested and I quickly started to seize up and was desperate for water. When I could finally get some moving room and some air and water I felt like a million bucks. I had a good race.

D had a great race too when I found him around the Finisher Coins. He had a 10 miler PR by 3 min! I was happy to have a new found running buddy and to have finished in well under the time I expected. I will definitely do the Army 10 Miler again- hopefully next year. Next time I will write down a faster race time so I don't have to do so much weaving around people walking before we even hit mile marker 1. But great race awesome environment and if you want a race filled with motivators what is better than running by a ton of Wounded Warriors?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

London- A much needed break!

About 2 weeks ago while driving to a meeting on travel I called my coach. I had a horrible feeling- did my half ironman steal my mojo? We had a great talk. I told her I had a AWFUL break down on reach the beach the weekend before. I was running my second leg at about 1 am it was a VERY hilly 9 miler. I was so mad about people passing me and how slow I felt. During my run in my head I composed the email to my coach saying I was quitting. No more swimming, no more biking, and definitely NO MORE RUNNING! Obviously after I finished I realized it was just the run talking. But given that I had just done my half ironman then a sprint triathlon then reach the beach I had reached my physical and mental breaking point. Coach told me that was completely normal experience for reach the beach, and after doing an half iron and my mojo would come back.

On Monday I left for a much needed vacation to London for 7 glorious days. A few months ago D and I found a great deal on tickets and our friends offered to host us at their lovely home. We got on the plane with little plans for what to do when we landed- other than the booked tickets to Buckingham palace and a 5k the other 5 days were whatever we felt like.

Both of us quickly realized when there isn't anything else to stress you out sleep is so grand! We both slept like rocks. It also helps that the guest bed was SOOOOOOO comfy! We did go see everything we planned to see: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Big Ben, Eye, saw a show- War Horse, Piccadilly Circus, shopped on Carnaby St., and went to the British Museum. In between all the walking all over London was the 5k.

London was in the middle of a week of indian summer- temps 80-85 everyday. The race was a lunchtime 5k. It was hot and my legs were dead from all the walking. My time was slow- but I ran a race in London.

Other than the walking around everyday and the 5k all the workout clothes I packed didn't get used. I actually took a break. Mostly because by the time I got out of bed each day it was so hot and humid. I had no bike to ride for my planned training and the one day we were going to swim we slept through the alarm. I have to say normally I would feel horrible about this but right now I am starting to think it was the much needed break I was looking for.

Work had me stressed to my max. I was physically and mentally done with training and now I can honestly say I am looking forward to my next workout. I think London was just the break I needed. Hopefully I will feel the same way when I am slugging through the Army Ten Miler on Sunday. EEEK! I think I will just go out to enjoy it!