Thursday, July 25, 2013

My own personal Ironman

I've thought about writing this post for a long time....long before the hubs decided to train for Ironman, long before I thought I would want to attempt one.  Don't get me wrong - I don't think that everyday life compares to actually completing an Ironman, but you've got to admit that some days (especially when you are training for a tri) feel like your own freaking personal Ironman...

Event #1 - Morning Workout
My day starts around 4:15 am. The alarm clock actually goes off before that, but I'm a snoozer - I push that snooze button 2x before I crawl out of bed.

My weekday and weekend's sad that 5:45 is considered "sleeping in"!
I literally race my dog out of the room...sometimes I beat him out the door, sometimes I don't. (Note: Sometimes racing my dog out the door is it's own event - he gets crazy when he knows I am getting up to work out!)  I get dressed in the living room (because of previously mentioned dog) - either in my ratty gym shorts (for a strength training day) or my running gear (for a running day, duh!).  Then I proceed with the day's workout - it ranges from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what I am doing that day. 

Some early morning P90X up in here...
Usually, because I have pushed the snooze button too many times, my workout becomes a race against the much can I do / how far can I go and still be done in time to hit the shower at 5:15????  It's always a challenge.

Next, I shower and proceed to get ready for work.  Then, I head to the kitchen for my egg whites and a carb (oats, granola, whatever) and make the Kiddo a waffle to eat with her chocolate pudding (yep, she's a creature of habit, too).

Typical breakfast...egg whites and a carb.  In this case it's granola and almond milk, yum!

Once done, I finish getting ready for work and the Hubs wakes the Munckin...the Munchkin tends to be a bit grumpier than the Kiddo in the morning and needs some help getting ready.  (Getting the Muchkin dressed in the morning can sometimes be an event all by itself...)  Once we're all ready, we make sure everything is in the car (including the kids) and head to the daycare. Yes, I will admit that on more than one occasion, we've left a bag or a lunch at home and I've had to go back.  Sigh, it happens! 

Yes, I know, it's hard to believe these two would ever give me trouble in the mornings!!!

After the kids are safely dumped dropped off, I make my way to the park and ride.  Once on the bus, I can surf the internet, answer work emails, read or sleep.

Not really my bus, but you get the idea. (source)

Event #2
Once I get off the bus, I power walk my way to the office (about 5 blocks) and grab some coffee.  I may or may not be greeted by one of Houston's transients along the way. 

You need fuel in Ironman, the same is true for the work day!  When the schedule permits, I have my morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack.  Again, like Ironman, sometimes things go as planned...sometimes they don't.  You have to adjust and keep plodding along.  Sometimes the day is 8 hours, sometimes it takes a little longer than you anticipated to get the job done.  (To be honest, sometimes work just tires me the hell out.)  Once the work day is over, I power walk back to the bus stop and hang out until a bus decides to arrive.  Usually in the afternoon, I am greeted by a nice man on the street who tells me he loves me or calls me beautiful each day...and yes, this man is a complete stranger.  Gotta love Downtown Houston!

Once on the bus, I read some more.  Or sleep.  Or surf the net.  Or answer emails.  Or sleep.  Once at the bus stop, I either head home or to the gym...time for round two!

Thank you Jesus for the Nook and the iPhone Nook app!!!

Event #3
If it's a swim or spin class day, I head to the gym and get'er done.  Not my favorite part of the day just because it delays my arrival home (que mommyguilt).  But, I am usually happy I've been there once my workout is complete.

This and the spin room are my home away from home during tri season! (source)

Next, I head home...obviously, my favorite part of this event! Typically, the Hubs gets home a couple of hours earlier than I do, so he has already taken the kids to swim, gotten them to finish their homework/practice violin, etc. We typically eat dinner together and then get the kids bathed and tucked into bed (much like getting the Munchkin dressed in the morning, this can sometimes be an entirely separate event on it's own!!!) If it's early enough, we might have some time for playing outside...although in the summer, it's usually still 95 degrees and we end up watching TV or playing Wii. Sad, but that's part of living in Texas!

Getting some outdoor time!

Ahhhh, the cool down can begin!  Peace and quiet in the house are typically what happens here...with the occasional cry of "I'm thirsty" or "I'm scared" coming from the kids.  This is usually the only time we have to clean house, fold laundry, etc.  Once the Hub's Ironman was over, we brought hired a cleaning lady again.  The funny thing is that when cleaning lady is coming the next day, we are scurrying around trying to unclutter and do all the pre-cleaning that needs to be done, lol!  I wish I could say that I finish my "race" feeling recharged and ready for more.  That does happen, but not often.  To be honest, I am usually pretty darn tired by the end of the day.  Once any household stuff is done, we are usually too beat to read or stay up for the news...once my head hits the pillow, I am pretty much out.

And then we wake up and do the entire thing over again.  Sigh.  Is there any wonder why we sooooo look forward to the weekend?

An Ironman?  No, not really.  Exhausting ?  Abso-freaking-lutely! 

What does your weekday routine look like?  Do your days feel crazy-full, too?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 3

Moving right along into week 3....something like 160 days 'till the big day!

Monday, 7/15 - Run, 3 miles / Swim - 35 minutes
This was one of the best runs I've had lately.  I have been using one run per week to run interval in my neighborhood...nothing really structured, but more like run fast for two light poles, recover to the next light pole, repeat.  I need to get to a track, but the one near our house does not have lights that early in the morning. Never fear though, because Woodlands Fit will be starting up a weekly track workout on Tuesday nights!  Whoot!

As for the swim, I registered for a triathlon that takes place on August 4th.  I figured I better get my arse in gear and actually start the swim workouts.  I had to re-activate my gym membership, since it's impossible to swim laps in the neighborhood pool without having to dodge kids.  The swim went better than expected, especially considering I've done no swimming at all since training for TriGirl a year ago!

Tuesday, 7/16 - Shoulder, Tri and Bi workout (P90X)
It's been awhile since I've done this workout.  It's my favorite and I've been upping the weights for the past few months, hoping that I will see more results. 

Wednesday, 7/17 - Run, 2.67 miles / Swim, 30 minutes
This was the day that I couldn't seem to get my shiznit together.  I pushed the snooze button too many times, which did not leave time for my entire 40 minute run. I ended up with a 26 minute run instead.  Ugh.

For my swim, I had every intention of leaving work on time and getting to the pool no later than 6 pm and be home by 7:15-ish.  Instead, I stayed later than expected, the bus took forever to arrive and I ended up in the pool around 7:15.  Boo!  I hurried up with a 30-minute workout so that I could be home in time to help put the kids to bed.  Sigh.

Thursday, 7/18 - Leg Day
Normally, I would either do the P90X Legs and Back or the Brazil Butt Lift.  Instead, I decided to do my own combination of squats and lunges with weights...ow!

Friday, 7/19 - Rest Day
Hey, everybody needs a little rest, right?  I had the day off from work for a family outing, so decided to sleep in a bit.

Saturday, 7/20 - Run, 4 miles
This Saturday marked the start of the Woodlands Fit training season!  It was great to see so many running peeps ready to go.  We ran our 4 miles and then had a gait analysis for those who were interested. 

Sunday, 7/21 - Bike, 30 miles
My biking is nowhere close to what it was this time last year.  I feel slower and it seems like it takes more effort to maintain my pace.  I know with more time on the bike this will improve, it's just a matter of finding the time.  My average pace was 15.5, but this time last year it would have been around 16 - 16.2 mph.  I've got some work to do!

How is your training going?  Any upcoming races?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Goofy Challenge Training - Week 2

Marathon training has begun!  Okay, so I didn't post a re-cap of week 1 and I am not going to bore you with the I'm just picking it up at week 2.

Monday, 7/8 - Brazil Butt Lift - Boom Boom
Yes this workout is cheesy, but it works!  I try not to do this one the day before I run, because I am super sore the next day.

Tuesday, 7/9 - 3 mile run, P90X Ab Ripper X
Nothing noteworthy here..decent tempo run, but the heat and humidity are awful.

Wednesday, 7/10 - P90X - Shoulders, Chest and Tris -and- 30 minute swim
I love this P90X workout...lots of push-ups and hand weights!  And, this was my first time in the pool since I was training for TriGirl last August.  I just swam - no drills or anything - I was just checking to be sure I still could swim. I actually felt better in the pool than I thought I would, although it may not have been the smartest move to do an arm workout before trying to swim!

Thursday, 7/11 - 3 mile run
This was a totally craptastic run...we all have those, right?  I don't know what happened, but I actually walked a bit.  Twice.

Friday, 7/12 - Rest day/Ab Ripper X
I really wanted to get in one more really good leg workout, but my right hip flexor has been sore for a couple of days and I am doing my "long" run tomorrow...I decided to make it a rest day, but still throw in some ab work.

Saturday, 7/13 - Run, 4 miles
I was pretty excited that this weekend is the 1st weekend of Woodlands Fit!  This year, I am volunteering as Assistant Coach for the full-marathon red group.  The inlaws were in town, which meant that the Hubs and I were able to get in a 4-miler (together!) before heading over to where the group be doing our time trials.  The time trials help us establish which pace group the runners will be in. We had a great turn out and it was awesome meeting all of our new victims runners.  Fun times!!!

Sunday, 7/14 - 25 mi Bike, 1 hour kickball
I have been back on the bike for about a month now.  I am fortunate enough to have a great place to ride within a mile of my house -and- a friend who is willing to ride with me each week!  We are both training for an upcoming tri and have just started riding consistently again.  We are pretty much the same pace, so we're able to talk while we ride and catch up on what's been going on over the week.  It's been fun!  We've had a few other folks ride with us here and there...the more the merrier!

And yes, that does say KICKBALL.  The Hubs and I joined a fun group of folks who play (red solo cup) Kickball every Sunday afternoon.  It's a more grown-up version of kickball where red solo cup is provided and each player is required to keep their cup filled to the top O at all times.  So you kick with the cup in hand, run with the cup, catch the ball with the cup, and in my case yesterday, faceplant with your cup.  It's a blast and a good way to get in some sprinting. :-)

This is me kicking...I think I need to work on my form, lol!  Thanks to Chelsi for all the great action shots!

What are you training for right now?  How's it going?  When was the last time you played kickball?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Random Fact Friday – The Stupid Diets Edition

So as you all know, I have been on a nutrition kick for awhile now.  While my eating has improved exponentially, I know I still have a lot to learn and a lot of work to do. I'll admit, my biggest challenge has been my sweet tooth – I love sweets, especially chocolate!

While I've never been extremely overweight, I have struggled with my weight and body image issues my entire life.  I remember thinking my thighs were fat when I was only 10 or me, back then my thighs were nowhere close to being fat.  Muscular, maybe.  Fat, no. 

That's me on the left, circa 1982...this was at a sleepover and we're dressing up in my old dance costumes.  Yeah, and I was worried about my thighs?!?!?

I grew up taking dance and went on to be on my high school's dance team.  We weighed in every week and I remember being concerned about my weight…I was all of 108 lbs.  Something about being in leotards so much makes you really take notice of every little thing.  Every bulge, every jiggle.  In college, I was at my thinnest at 118 and 140 at my heaviest. 

High school graduation weekend!  My hair added an extra 2 inches and my fake-bake tan is just too much!

Yes, I have been in the "overweight" category.  I guess I would have fallen into the "thick", "chunky" or "chubby" category.  At my heaviest, I was around 162 pounds (give or take a few).  I thought I'd share some of the stupid crap I tried in my younger years that I thought would help me lose weight.  I'd love to hear your experiences, too.

Random Fact #1 – High School = awesome metabolism
In high school, I was on the dance team.  We danced during our regular class hour during school, then practiced for 1 ½ hours or more after school.  Then, 2 - 3 days per week, I'd go to gymnastics classes in the evening.  I would eat a regular school lunch and be sure to grab a pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Coca-Cola from the vending machines before dance team practice.   Oh, and before gymnastics, we'd sometimes stop at Sonic for a Footlong Coney with Chili, Tater Tots and a large Cherry limeade. I suspect that due to all the activity and just being young, I had awesome metabolism, because my weight never crept up past about 110 in high school.  Sure, I "dieted" in high school using my Mom's Weight Watchers tips, but it would only last a few days. 

Dance days...

Random Fact #2 – Early college years…
I was completely clueless about food in college. Because I was not as active, my weight crept up.  I took my required Kinesiology classes and went to the occasional gymnastics class, but that was about it.  I didn't realize how much all that activity had been helping me burn off all that junk food.  I remember thinking that I didn't want to gain the "Freshman 15", so I’d eat a McDonald's side salad for dinner sometimes with no dressing, sometimes with low-fat italian…can we say no nutritional value?  I didn't even add a chicken breast.  And, to make matters worse, I probably had lite microwave popcorn and a Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch.  Later, I had a brief career in pageants where the desire to be skinny peaked - I tried fasting, the Cabbage Soup Diet, the 3-Day Diet, SlimFast, Dexatrim pills and just not eating.  Yep, fad diets with hardly any calories, no nutritional content at all…I'm pretty sure I threw my metabolism into a state of shock.  I also did a few pageants, so the pressure to be slim was even greater.   I remember speaking to a woman at a pageant when I was 19 who told me, "You’re 118? To do this, you should be around 108….but, it's no big deal, you can get that weight off in about a week." And this woman had a HUGE container of SlimFast under her desk! 

Me at my thinnest post-high school weight..umm, yeah, please excuse the hair, puffy sleeves and all the beading, lol!

Random Fact #3 – Later college years…
When I transferred to a large university I did a lot of walking.  But still, the eating (and drinking) wasn't really in check.  I ate a lot of Lean Cuisines and frozen Healthy Choice dinners.  I gained about 10 lbs.  Toward the end of my college career, the new recreation center opened and I found a new love of fitness.  I started riding my bike to campus, I roller bladed (a lot), I started using weight machines and walking the indoor track. 

Right before my final semester, I went to Cancun with some girlfriends.  In order to get ready for the trip, I tried a very extreme 2-week diet plan and regime of supplements called "Cybergenics Quick Trim".  I was eating six small meals a day, drinking almost 2 gallons of water per day (the 1st week) and taking a zillion different pills a day.  While it was a crazy program and probably not the healthiest, I learned more about nutrition than I had ever known – protein, good carbs, hydration, etc.   I lost 10 lbs in two weeks.  I looked pretty damn good!  I kept the weight off all summer…and then I started my first "real" job.  At a desk.  With too much fast food nearby. 

Random Fact #4 – Going to the Chapel…
So, here I was…a year in a sedentary job in a super busy office with not enough time to take a lunch break.  One employee would take our orders and grab us each a meal from McDonald's, KFC, etc.  Or, if we brought our lunches, someone would run out and pick us up some ice cream sundaes from McDonald's in the afternoon.  It’s no surprise that the weight I had lost for my Cancun trip had found its way back.  In an effort to lose weight for the wedding (and lose it fast), I decided to try Metabalife pills.  I was already stressed out about the wedding, but now I was stressed out and a jittery bunch of nerves.  It was insane.  But yet, I kept taking it and I lost a few pounds.  As I mentioned before, after the wedding I gained 30 pounds and felt miserable.

Me at 160 lbs...this was just a few months before I decided to make some major changes to my eating!
Random Fact #5 – Lifetime Member, baby!
I had been active my entire life, but became a total couch potato with my hubby.  This was after getting married, but before having kids.  I wasn't happy with how I looked, but I continued to eat crap and not workout.  Finally, enough was enough.  I was sick of having to buy bigger clothes…when my size 12 pants started getting too tight, I decided to take action and join Weight Watchers.  I remember getting my first 5 lb ribbon and being so excited…then it hit me, I had 25 more pounds to go!  Could I really do it?  I learned so much through Weight Watchers – the most important being portion control.  I learned to like fruits and vegetables.  And I learned that I could still eat pizza or chocolate…just not go crazy with it.  I loved knowing that I was in control again.  I started walking with a friend after work and I started taking ice skating lessons.  I joined a gym and started using the weight machines again.  I started cardio kickboxing classes and bought the TaeBo videos.   I loved being so active!  I lost 34 lbs and managed to keep almost all of it off.  Well, until I had kids.  Sometime in there I also found my love of running.  I ran 3 marathons and kept running until about 20 weeks into my first pregnancy.

Random Fact #6 – Post Kiddo
After having the Kiddo, I went to Weight Watchers again.  I managed to get off all but 7 lbs of baby weight.  I was 140 pounds and still felt pretty good.  I was running again. A year after I had the Kiddo, I ran 3 marathons.  I was baffled as to why those last 7-8 pounds would not come off, but I knew I was in decent shape and didn't worry about it.

Random Fact #7 – Gaming the System
After having the Munchkin, I lost some of the baby weight with the help of Weight Watchers.  But the weight seemed even harder to get off this time.  To make matters worse, I felt flabby.  The Hubby decided to order P90X.  I was hesitant, but ended up falling in love with it!  I loved getting stronger and building muscles.  I was getting definition back that I hadn't seen since my dance/gymnastics days!  Then, half-marathon training kicked into high gear and I had trouble finding time to fit in the P90X workouts.  And, even with P90X, my weight stayed the same.  I went back to Weight Watchers, but now I had learned how to work the system…yes, I could eat those Hershey's minatures…they were only a few points.  Frustrated with my weight loss plateau, I sought the help of an expert – I saw a nutritionist.

March 2009, approaching the 1 year birthday of the Munchkin...after WW, but before the nutritionist.

The nutritionist really made me aware of my pitfalls – I was eating too much sugar…those 100 calorie snacks were NOT my friend.  I was not eating enough protein.  Making some basic changes to my eating habits, I managed to get back to 142 again.  But I got stuck there…for 4 years!

Random Fact #8 – Clean eating?  I wash my veggies, what do you mean?
I started reading more and more about clean eating before I ran NYC in 2011.  And, I found that by eating clean(er) and cutting way back on the sugar, I could actually lose a few more pounds.  I was at my all time lowest post-pregnancy weight (139) when I ran NYC. 

In NYC, eating clean(er) and getting lean(er)

Unfortunately, there were the holidays and an injury right after that and my weight started creeping up.  And up.  As my weight started to creep higher, I decided to try something new – I made an appointment with my Chiropractor. Yes, that's right my DC.  He knew a lot about nutrition and I saw some amazing results from my friends who were also working with him while running and doing triathlons.

O.M.G. this took my attempts at clean eating to a whole new level.  I started eating almost NOTHING processed.  And can I say WOW?  It was hard in the beginning.  But, within a few weeks I felt better and I noticed some major changes – my belly was flatter, I could see my muscles.  Within a few more weeks I found that I had cheekbones.  And a collarbone.  Who knew?  I won't lie, I constantly struggle with staying on track.  The holidays stretched my willpower and I caved.  A lot.  I finally feel that I am getting back on track, but it will always be a daily struggle. 

Me at a comfy 132 lbs...not skinny by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm happy with it!
So why am I posting all this?  I guess I want people to know - you do not have to be obese to have eating and body image issues.  Just because someone is thin, doesn't mean that person doesn't struggle daily to eat well.  I struggle.  EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  As you can see from my past, my weight has yo-yo-ed back and forth.  A LOT.  I want people to know that they are not alone in their struggles. 

I am also posting this, because I am going to gradually be changing my blog. Rather than always focus on running, I will be shifting to a balance between training for running races and tris, nutrition and strength training. Being fit, lean and mean is a combination of working out and eating well. I hope that you will enjoy this and share your experiences, too! 

What crazy measures have you taken to lose weight?  Is it a daily struggle, or do you find it easy?