Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 to Go!

Today marks 100 days to go until my first sprint triathlon, the Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse Women's Triathlon on Saturday, August 7th. On this milestone day, I would like to reflect back on the days leading up to today and look forward to the next 100 days and beyond.

Looking Back
I really have no idea what made me want to attempt a tri, but it's been in the back of my mind for a few years now. I can't remember where or when, but a few years back I ran across a book called "Slow Fat Triathlete" by Jayne Williams. Jayne proves that you don't have to be skin, bones, and muscle with 1% body fat to complete a tri, so I think this is what motivated me to attempt a tri...someday.

Due to motherhood and secondary infertility issues, someday was put off for a few years. I finally decided to stop putting my life on hold and actually live it, so I signed up for the Iron Girl on the first day registration was open.

Since that day, I have accomplished many things:
  • I attended a 7-week swim clinic at the YMCA. On day one, I couldn't swim two lengths of the pool without gasping for air and having to resort to a breaststroke. At the end of that first session, I cursed the day I signed up for the race thinking the swim would defeat me. By week three, I was able to do all the lengths using a freestyle stroke and by week six, I was able to swim 900 yds without stopping to rest.
  • I attended the YMCA's 8-Week Ride group cycle class. Since "graduating" from this class, I have been a regular participant at the 6:00 AM weekday classes and have purchased a pair of cycling shoes.
  • I have increased my run time from 20 minutes to 34+ minutes. Running caused pain in my hip, but I've also purchased a proper pair of running shoes from Fleet Feet which have done miracles for me. Thank you Sarah for all of your help!
  • I have lost 9 pounds. Although I wish I had lost more, I know that this is the best way to get it off and KEEP it off.
  • I have met some great people: Kelly Covert (local triathlon "rock star"); Sue Montminy (8-Week Ride instructor, Core Conditioning instructor, and Total Health Coordinator at the YMCA); George, Katie, Kelle, and Matt (cycle instructors); Debbie and Shioban (8-Week Ride classmates and first time triathletes like me); my swim clinic classmates (Sorry! can't remember names!); Patty Hendry (Cuts instructor); and the list goes on and on!
Here is the time I've spent since January 1st:
  • Swim: 11 hours, 45 minutes; 16,325 yds
  • Bike: 21 hours, 45 minutes (no distance, cycle classes)
  • Run: 2 hours, 42 minutes (no distance, mostly treadmills)
  • Weight Training: 25 hours
  • Yoga: 2 hours
  • Abdominal Class: 1 hour
GRAND TOTAL: 2 days, 16 hours, 12 minutes
Not "spectacular" but pretty good if you ask me!

The Iron Girl's mission is to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle and, so far, I think I have been able to accomplish this.

Looking Forward
Although I have accomplished a lot in the last few months, I still have much more ahead of me:
  • Get used to open water swimming
  • Start getting out on my actual bike after it gets made over from a mountain bike to a hybrid
  • Get faster running
  • Increase core strength
  • Brick training
  • Cross the finish line!
It is going to be a bittersweet moment when (not if!) I cross the finish line. In the last few years, I have had two goals in life: finish a sprint triathlon and have another child. As it looks right now, my first goal will be accomplished, but not my second. If I had a choice between the two, I wish it were the second. However, when I cross the finish line, I will have proved to myself and many others that I can achieve something I set my mind to. Unlike training for a triathlon, when it comes to getting pregnant, there are so many factors that I have absolutely no control over. I'm hoping my husband and son will be there to meet me as I finish. Every month I don't get pregnant, I realize more and more what a miracle my son Alex is. When I cross the finish line, I want him to be there to help me remember that I'm a winner no matter what happens in the fertility department of my life. As my blog is titled, Mommy is definitely trying/tri-ing to do her best, and that's all I can ask of myself. Not everything is going to go my way in life, but I just have to continue to fight and do my best. Hopefully this is a great lesson I can teach Alex.

Although my hair looks a little funny all pulled back, I love this picture because I love to cuddle with Alex. I feel so loved when he's in my arms like this.

Life After August 7th
Once I cross the finish line and participate in the post-race festivities, I will go home to hydrate and sleep because I have my 25th high school class reunion to attend that evening. I'm probably going to have a beer in one hand and a big glass of water in the other that night.

A couple days after the race, I've got a massage in my plans....ahhhhhhhhh!

What will happen in my triathlon future? I'm not sure. I'll decide within that week after. Hopefully it won't be my last. I have visions of adding some sprint tris in 2011 and maybe go to Olympic distance in 2012. No grand visions of Half Ironman, but who knows!!!!

TTFN! 100 days to go!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Losing Weight on Vacation? Is it Possible?

Yes, it is! I actually lost 2 pounds on my vacation to Florida last week! Woo hoo! Somehow, I have a feeling it had NOTHING to do with the fact that we went out for ice cream 4 times AND we had peanut butter/chocolate cake w/ ice cream for my father-in-laws birthday AND I had key lime pie 2 times. Just think of the weight I would have lost if I had stayed away from all those treats! Wow! I do have a feeling that it had to do with the following:

Maintaining Training
Took a few days off, but I still got in...
  • two 1-hour yoga classes on the beach
  • two 1-hour group spin classes at the local YMCA
  • two 32-minute runs
Fresh Fruit
Just about every day I ate a fresh grapefruit picked that day from the tree in the neighbor's back yard. I'm so happy we brought some home with us.

Fresh Seafood
During the week I had grouper, shrimp, scallops, crab, salmon, and mahi mahi. I already eat seafood at least once a week, so maybe I should make an effort to increase what I eat at home.

I'll try to get some trip pictures on here in the next day or so.

103 days to go until Iron Girl!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Am I a Triathlete?

So, when you start to have dreams about triathlons, are you then considered a triathlete? I had my first tri-dream last night. All the authors of triathlon books, magazines, websites, etc. have said that your legs will feel a bit heavy after the bike ride and it will take a little while to get them adjusted for the run. In my dream, I couldn't get my legs to work at all for the run. It was like one of those dreams where your legs are moving as fast as they can, but your body isn't moving. In the dream, I was able to move if I did something like a side step, but I wasn't getting very far with it. Also, people kept yelling that I had an eating disorder. What?!?! That's something I definitely don't have. Weird!

Running Issues
I'm wondering if my dream is because I'm now worried about the run. Until recently, my left hip has been doing pretty well. About two years ago I was running just about every morning. Eventually that summer my hip started hurting so bad that at times I had difficulty even walking. After going to a physical therapist at Sports PT, I got my hip feeling better, but I really haven't run on it up until now. A little over a week ago, I did my first outdoor run and its been bothering me since. I've been wanting to get my run analyzed, so I decided to do it this weekend at Fleet Feet.

This weekend they were celebrating their 10th anniversary at their new location, so I headed out to see what they had to offer. Since it was busy, they took my name when I arrived and I looked around while I waited. Not long after I was greeted by Sarah who took about an hour with me.

First, she measured my feet and I discovered that my feet are between normal and wide width AND I had high arches. That's something I never knew! She then put some neutral running shoes on me and took me to the treadmill. After filming me run, we discovered that my arches are collapsing too much when my foot strikes the ground. This is causing pressure on my leg and hip. No wonder my hip got bad because of running!

Sarah then went and got me about 4 brands/styles of running shoes to try. All gave extra support in the arch and were a bit wider than a normal shoe. She also put in an insert which gave me even more stability in the arch. After trying them on and giving them all a short test run, I decided on a pair of Saucony's:

I'm wearing them just walking around right now and will try to run with them for the first time on Wednesday. I want to give my hip a couple more days to heal. Hopefully I'll get it feeling good enough that I can get in a few runs in Florida next week.

Aqua Woman
Today my wetsuit should arrive, so my next post should have an amusing picture of me modeling it. Hope it fits!

Only 117 days till Iron Girl Syracuse!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marching On!

I'm disgusted with myself that I only got in one swim session. I've been trying to get in a swim every Sunday, but this month I had a cold one Sunday, SU/March Madness party another one, and church/birthday party another. Then the Y was closed this last Sunday because of Easter. I MUST figure out a way to get in my Sunday swims and some weekday ones too. Since the weather is getting nicer, I can go swim at lunch and won't have to worry about coming back to work with wet hair.

Looking ahead, I asked my husband to buy me a wetsuit for an early Mother's Day present. I ordered a sleeveless one for $99. I will model it once it arrives next week and will post the picture here as long as I don't look like a fool!

I didn't reach my goal of 10 hours but maybe the goal was unrealistic. At the beginning of the month I struggled with getting up for the 6:00 AM weekday cycle classes, but I've now conquered that. Maybe April will be better.

I bought my first pair of cycling shoes at the Bike Loft:

(First image post!)

I'm looking forward to using them in cycle class then transitioning outside soon. Next Thursday I'm attending a sports nutrition seminar at Syracuse Bicycle and will bring my bike there to discuss adding road tires, aero bars, and a bike computer.

I had a pretty decent month, but now my hip is bothering me again. I'm going to go to Fleet Feet on Saturday to get my run analyzed and possibly get a better pair of sneakers. Hopefully that will do the trick.

Weight Training
I'm wondering if I'm doing too much of this. I might go down to only one day a week. I've been working out since January, but I've seen little weight loss (only 7 pounds). I know muscle weighs more than fat, but as much as I work out, it seems like I should have lost more than that. So, I'm thinking I'm putting on too much muscle. Or maybe I'm eating like crap! I think I do pretty good eating, but I do slip up at times. I'll experiment with decreasing the weight training and see what happens.

123 Days until Iron Girl!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Can It Get Any Better Than This?!?!?!

High Temps for the Next Week:
  • Today: 72*
  • Tomorrow: 79*
  • Saturday: 81*!!!!
  • Easter Sunday: 70*
  • Monday: 62*
  • Tuesday: 62*
  • Wednesday: 70*