Friday, December 30, 2011

Anorexia: Take it Seriously.

I received an email today from my doctor.  It seems that someone he and I work with is worried that I am "exhibiting signs of anorexia."  They felt that he should be aware of this "as my doctor", and asked him to speak to me about it.  This is not the first time I have been accused of this, and I'm sure it won't be the last...

Every winter (up until this one) I have always put on 5-7 lbs of "winter-weight."  The reason for this weight gain is because I like good food, but I'm not a huge winter sport person.  Bottom line:  The same calories are going in, but less are being burned up.  Come spring again, and I start running more outside, riding... Training.  And the winter weight comes off.  Every year without fail, I get accused of being anorexic.  Even 5 pounds on my frame makes a pretty noticeable difference, but it doesn't mean I'm starving, or exercising excessively.  The first place I gain and lose weight in is my face, but my body does seem to have a place it likes to settle at.   At the peak of training, my weight is usually between 120 and 124, depending on where I am in my menstrual cycle (currently I am 122 lbs).  I am 5'5", so that puts my BMI at 20.3, which is in the healthy range.  Calculate your BMI here.

I actually put quite a bit of consideration into fueling my body.  Last year I even consulted with a nutritionist on several occasions.  I went to her specifically because I wanted to make sure that I was feeding my body what it needed to train and perform and recover.  I take my health very seriously.  I take my body, and not just how it looks very seriously.  With the Ironman being an event on a whole new level for me, I have already started researching how to get adequate nutrition and I already plan to see a nutritionist again to get a new and improved plan.

I have made some dietary changes since training started though, and this co-worker has heard me talk about them.  People tend to hear what they want to hear, but the only changes I have made to my "diet" are the following: No alcohol, no junk/sweets (ie candy, ice cream, cake, chips, etc.)  I didn't eat a lot of junk food before or drink a lot, so this isn't a huge change. lol  It just sucked a lot during the Christmas holiday season! lol  I am still the "foodie" I always have been! lol  1.0 knows, don't ya' 1.0? ;)

I do not binge or purge.  I do not use laxative, diuretics, or enemas.  I do not restrict my food intake in any other way than described as above.  Do I exercise obsessively? Hahaha...Some may say so!  My answer...Hell no!  I think my goal is an achievable one.  I am following a published training schedule.  My training does not take away from my time with my kids or my job, and it makes me feel happy.

Do I want to be fat?  Heavens no!  But I'm not fat!  I'm 34 years old, and I am in the best shape of my life!  I have a pretty smokin' bod. :D  Yes, I have some stretch marks...shit, I've had 2 kids!  Do I hate my tiny little booblets? Yes!  But oh well!  What's that saying... anything more than a mouth...never mind.  lol  As for all of my flaws my mother loved to point out, it has taken awhile, and I can still see them when I look in the mirror, but I see myself differently.  I'm really proud of what I have been able to make my body achieve despite of my asthma.  I am proud that I am showing my sons that if want something bad enough and you work hard, there are no limits to what you can do.

Oh and by the way, my doctor wasn't worried in the least. :)

Please read the information below and educate yourself on anorexia.  If something there sounds like something you or someone you know is suffering from, talk to your doctor...or mine. ;)

I'm the woman next to the stroller! I don't want to look like her again, but my healthy lifestyle ensures that, not anorexia.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, occasionally chronic, and potentially life-threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain minimal body weight within 15 percent of an individual's normal weight. Other essential features of this disorder include an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, denial of the seriousness of the illness, and amenorrhea (absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles when they are otherwise expected to occur).

There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa. In the restricting subtype, people maintain their low body weight purely by restricting their food intake and, possibly, by excessive exercise. Individuals with the binge eating/purging subtype also restrict their food intake, but also regularly engage in binge eating and/or purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas. Many people move back and forth between subtypes during the course of their illness. Starvation, weight loss, and related medical complications are quite serious and can result in death. People who have an ongoing preoccupation with food and weight even when they are thin would benefit from exploring their thoughts and relationships with a therapist. The term anorexia literally means loss of appetite, but this is a misnomer. In fact, people with anorexia nervosa often ignore hunger signals and thus control their desire to eat. Often they may cook for others and be preoccupied with food and recipes, yet they will not eat themselves. Obsessive exercise that may accompany the starving behavior can cause others to assume falsely that the person must be healthy.

Who develops anorexia nervosa?

Like all eating disorders, anorexia nervosa tends to occur in pre- or post-puberty, but can develop at any time throughout the lifespan. Anorexia nervosa predominately affects adolescent girls and young adult women, although it also occurs in boys, men, older women and younger girls. One reason younger women are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders is their tendency to go on strict diets to achieve an "ideal" figure. This obsessive dieting behavior reflects today's societal pressure to be thin, which is seen in advertising and the media. Others especially at risk for eating disorders include athletes, actors, dancers, models, and TV personalities for whom thinness has become a professional requirement. People with anorexia nervosa will often mention that the sense of control they develop over eating and weight helps them feel as if other aspects of their life are under control. The presence of depression and anxiety disorders may increase the risk of developing anorexia nervosa.

How many people suffer from anorexia nervosa?

Conservative estimates suggest that one-half to one percent of females in the U.S. develop anorexia nervosa. Because more than 90 percent of all those who are affected are adolescent and young women, the disorder has been characterized as primarily a woman's illness. It should be noted, however, that males and children as young as seven years old have been diagnosed; and women 50, 60, 70, and even 80 years of age have fit the diagnosis. Some of these individuals will have struggled with eating, shape or weight in the past but new onset cases can also occur.

How is the weight lost?

People with anorexia nervosa usually lose weight by reducing their total food intake and exercising excessively. Many persons with this disorder restrict their intake to fewer than 1,000 calories per day. Most avoid fattening, high-calorie foods, and often eliminate meats. The diet of persons with anorexia nervosa may consist almost completely of low-calorie foods and or beverages like lettuce and carrots, popcorn, and diet soft drinks.

What are the common signs of anorexia nervosa?

The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is a preoccupation with food and a refusal to maintain minimally normal body weight. One of the most frightening aspects of the disorder is that people with anorexia nervosa continue to think they look fat even when they are bone-thin. Their nails and hair become brittle, and their skin may become dry and yellow. People with anorexia nervosa often complain of feeling cold (hypothermia) because their body temperature drops. They may develop lanugo (a term used to describe the fine hair on a new born) on their body.

Persons with anorexia nervosa develop odd and ritualistic eating habits such as cutting their food into tiny pieces, refusing to eat in front of others, or fixing elaborate meals for others that they themselves don't eat. Food and weight become obsessions as people with this disorder constantly think about their next encounter with food. Generally, if a person or their family fears he or she has anorexia nervosa, a doctor knowledgeable about eating disorders should make a diagnosis and rule out other physical disorders. Other psychiatric disorders can occur together with anorexia nervosa, such as depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse disorders.

What are the causes of anorexia nervosa?

Although the precise causes of anorexia nervosa are unknown, we do know that it is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Scientists have studied the role of personality, genetics, environment, and biochemistry of people with these illnesses. Certain personality traits common in persons with anorexia nervosa are perfectionism, neuroticism (anxiety-proneness), low self-esteem, and social isolation (which usually occurs after the behavior associated with anorexia nervosa begins). Many people who develop anorexia nervosa had been good students and athletes.

Eating disorders also tend to run in families, with female relatives most often affected. Relatives of someone with anorexia nervosa are over 10 times more likely to have an eating disorder themselves than relatives of someone without anorexia nervosa. The heritability of anorexia nervosa has been estimated to be over 50%. Behavioral and environmental influences also play a role in vulnerability to the illness. Stressful life events or transitions may precipitate the illness. In studies of the biochemical functions of people with eating disorders, scientists have found that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine are decreased in those with anorexia nervosa who are at a low weight. People with anorexia nervosa also tend to have higher than normal levels of cortisol (a brain hormone released in response to stress) and vasopressin (a brain chemical found to be abnormal in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder).

Are there medical complications?

The starvation experienced by persons with anorexia nervosa can cause damage to vital organs such as the heart, kidneys, and brain. Pulse rate and blood pressure drop, and people suffering from this illness may experience irregular heart rhythms or heart failure. Nutritional deprivation along with purging causes electrolyte abnormalities such as low potassium and low sodium. Nutritional deprivation also leads to calcium loss from bones, which can become brittle and prone to breakage (osteoporosis). Nutritional deprivation also leads to decreased brain volume. In the worst-case scenario, people with anorexia can starve themselves to death. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. The most frequent causes of death are suicide and complications of the malnutrition associated with the disorder.

Is treatment available?

Recovery from anorexia nervosa is possible. In long term follow-up studies, about half of individuals fully recover from the illness, a small percentage continued to suffer from anorexia, and the remainder continue to have other eating disorders. For some, anorexia nervosa can be relatively short-lived, whereas for others it can become a chronic and debilitating illness. We do not yet know predictors of clinical course.

Luckily, most of the complications experienced by persons with anorexia nervosa are reversible when they restore their weight. People with this disorder should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible because eating disorders are most successfully treated when diagnosed early. Some patients can be treated as outpatients, but some may need hospitalization to stabilize their dangerously low weight. Weight gain of one to three pounds per week is considered safe and desirable. The most effective strategies for treating a patient include weight restoration, individual, family, and group therapies along with psychiatric medications as needed.

To help people with anorexia nervosa overcome their disorder, a variety of approaches are used. Some form of psychotherapy is needed to deal with underlying emotional issues. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is sometimes used to change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Group therapy is often advised so people can share their experiences with others. Family therapy is important particularly if the individual is living at home and is a child or young adolescent. A physician or advanced-practice nurse is needed to prescribe medications that may be useful in treating the disorder or associated depression or anxiety. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any psychiatric medications as they can impact weight and have varied risks and benefits. Finally, a nutritionist is necessary to advise the patient about proper diet and eating regimens. Where support groups are available, they can be beneficial to both patients and families. It is also important to realize that some people require a coordinated team of professionals from many disciplines to maximize their chance of recovery.

What about prevention?

New research findings are showing that some of the "traits" in individuals who develop anorexia nervosa are actual "risk factors" that might be treated early on. For example, anxiety, low self esteem, body dissatisfaction, and dieting may be identified and interventions instituted before an eating disorder develops. Advocacy groups have also been effective in reducing dangerous media stories, such as teen magazine articles on "being thin" and pro-anorexia (pro-ana) websites that may glamorize such risk factors as dieting.

More Information on Anorexia HERE

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Houston, We Have a Phlegm Problem.

Tuesday's workout was an hour swim followed by a half hour run on the treadmill.  Getting up that morning was not easy, but I managed it.  The workout routine was an interesting one:

300 yd warm up
8 x 50 yd drills
16 x 25 yd @10 sec
1 x 400 yd @60 sec
16 x 25 yd @10 sec
8 x 50 yd drills
200 yd cool down

I liked the 25 yd sprints with the little 10 second rests in between.  They made the time pass very quickly, and kept me entertained.  The 400 was a little sucky.  Sometimes the laps are hard to keep track of. lol  I enjoyed the swim though. 

Oh.. One thing about swimming is that you can't drink water while you are doing it.  Hydration is something that I am usually very anal about, so to be cut off from drinkable water for the duration of an entire workout...well, it sucks.  I do always get out of the pool at least once to take a drink out of the fountain, but when I do, I always am thinking about how this won't be possible during my race.  I will really have to hydrate before my race, and remember to compensate on my bike for what I didn't get during my swim.

After my swim I decided to take a quick dip in the hot tub.  It felt nice on my arms and shoulders.  I didn't stay in very long though, because I still had a run to do.  My run was rather uneventful.  I took it nice and easy.  Again, I wished that I had brought Gu or beans or something to re-fuel with between sports.  My tank got low and I wasn't feeling great by the time I was finished.  It's time to restock!!!

I saw this and thought it was really cute for a tri-suit.
So it seems that I have caught a head and chest cold.  I started to feel it coming on, on Tuesday afternoon at work.  It started with a headache, which I pretty much still have.  I woke up yesterday with a nasty sore throat, my chest burning, and a general sense of crappiness.  I was very happy that it was a scheduled rest day.  I took the day off of work too.  Today I woke up still feeling crummy.  I went to the pool, but I wasn't able to complete the scheduled workout, and had to abandon it.  I did what I could, and then I sat in the hot tub, which felt nice.  Ryan met me for this morning's workout!  He is also doing the Lake Stevens Ironman, which is pretty cool!  He recently dislocated his shoulder, so he was also taking things easy today.  Hmm..he needs a nickname, doesn't he?...

I am still supposed to ride for 30 minutes today...  I think in light of my cold, I am going to skip that part of my workout today and give my body and lungs a rest.  I hate being sick.  I am keeping my rescue inhaler (Albuterol) handy, and I started using my steroid inhaler (Flovent) again yesterday...two puffs twice daily. *sigh*  I hate asthma. *pout*

Monday, December 26, 2011

And so begins Week 2!

Bouldering. :)
 I got a good start today to Week 2 of training!  I have been missing the climbing something fierce, so I went to the gym today and had a fun session with 1.0.  My shoulders felt good, so I am glad that I rested them.  There were a lot of new bouldering problems, and a bunch more in the works.  Exciting stuff!  I was careful not to overboard and be too risky with my moves.  I hate being such a suck, but this Ironman thing obviously means a lot to me...a lot more than one stupid hold on a wall!

Downstairs, there was a V2 problem I started working on.  I got the start.  I got the end, but there was one move in the middle that was giving me trouble.  I hope I don't regret it tomorrow how hard I worked on getting it!  My arms were tired, but I finally passed that spot!  Yay!  Sadly, I was so tired at that point, I couldn't put the whole thing together and do the whole thing from start to finish!  LOL  Dang-it!  Oh well, that's just how it goes sometimes.  I had a blast trying, and that's all that matters.  In this video, it shows me getting past the hard spot and I am almost to the end and then I fell! D'oh!  (Then I threw a mild tantrum. Heheh)
On the trainer!

When I got home from the climbing gym, it was time to get my "real workout" done. :)  On today's agenda: Bike 30/Run 15 Brick, Quick change.  Since the sun was already going down, I really had to hustle.  I decided to put The Girl on the trainer and ride inside.  That went fine, as usual.

At the 30 minute mark, I jumped off The Girl and made a break for the front door.  It was cold out and raining, but it felt pretty good.  The 15 minutes passed quickly.  A mile or so in I remember thinking, "Yeah!  This is TOTALLY why I use to run all the time!  I LOVE running!"  That really made me feel happy.  There is so much joy in my life right now...  I am really blessed...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Faster Than a Speeding Pitbull!

My Girl looks so sexy I can't even stand it!
After my ride yesterday, I stopped in at Bothell Ski and Bike. I treated myself to a very cute Castelli jersey, which was 50% off. I think all of their short sleeve jerseys are 50% off right now incidentally... I got to talking to one of the kids (ok.. a young man) who works there...I didn't catch his name, but I've seen him before, and I asked him about lowering my bars. He said it would be really easy and that he could do it really quick for free if I brought in my bike. I had no intentions of letting him actually touch her, but I thought I could let him show me what he was talking about. ;) It turned out to be a very simple thing, and because Donny was there helping (you can trust Donny.. he has been there forever), I let them flip my stem. My bars are significantly lower now! My girl looks so sexy I can't even stand it! I mean check her out!! She just looks like she wants to go fast!

I wasn't supposed to ride today, but I really wanted to try out the new positioning of my bars. I went to The BGT. Today is Christmas and it was windy, but the sun was starting to poke through as I started my ride. The lowered bars felt really cool! I was pleased with them immediately.

There were a lot of people on the trail in the Kenmore area, and right around where I pass the bike shop, I passed a group of young people who had 3 leash. *sigh* Well I can say now that I can out ride a Pitbull! LOL I jumped right out of my saddle and I bombed outta there! My heart was pumping so fast! I was pretty impressed with my get-up-and-go though! lol Yup. I owned that dog. :D Needless to say, they were all on leashes when I passed them on my way back! I made a funny comment about "really having to turn on the heat earlier," and they all laughed. I didn't want to be a jerk. They had obviously learned and corrected the problem.

I did have a 35 minute run to do for training, so I kept the ride short. 26 minutes to be exact...just enough time to have a little fun with my new bars. By the time I got back to my car, the sun was shining brilliantly! What a glorious day it turned out to be! My run went perfect. No complaints. I love the bike ride warm-up! I can tell that the climbing has helped strengthen my core. I can feel the difference especially when I run.

My first week of training is complete! 29 more weeks to go! :)

Total training time spent: 6 hrs, 26 mins.
Total unintentional weight lost: 4 lbs! 
Total unintentional weight gained back on Christmas Eve and Christmas due to eating blueberry pancakes and ice cream, and drinking beer: 4 lbs! (Com'mon!  I had to cheat for the holiday!!)
Giving My Girl a bath after her Christmas ride today. 

How Bikes Can Save Us!

I stole this from Recycled Cycles Blog. Pretty cool. Thanks!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Once you go Cervelo, you can't ever go back...

Tonight's workout was tiring! I got to the the pool and I can't say I was so happy to be there that I was dancing a jig. :/ I was tired and feeling unmotivated...perhaps a little lonely. I think I wish I had someone to train with more often. Sometimes the company is nice, but the down side is that it is hard to mesh schedules, and a late cancellation can result in missing a workout altogether! Ok, ok! So I have trust issues! LOL Anyway, my swim started out rough. I really had to talk myself into it, but before I knew it, I was nearly halfway through my workout! The second half pretty much breezed by. I like swimming. This time I made sure to bring Gu and have it at the ready poolside. I think this was really helpful in getting me through my workout, especially because I didn't have much to eat beforehand, and I was working on getting a headache.

This workout was a swim/bike brick, quick change (swim 60min/bike 30 min). I planned ahead, so my shoes, socks, towel, and skort were at the ready in my locker. When I finished in the pool, I made the dash to the locker room, and then upstairs to the gym to hop on a stationary bike. This is where things went a little sideways... First of all, I have no experience on those flippin' contraptions! I hopped on and started pedaling, and tried to figure out how to set the dang workout, but quickly noticed that my feet needed to be in the stupid baskets! I had to stop pedaling to get them in... D'oh! Then the computer turned off, so I had to set the program again. Then, I realized that my seat was too low. Good grief. I stopped again and adjusted it. The computer stopped... Really?? I started it again, started pedaling, only to still be unhappy with my seat height! I had to stop and fix it, and you guessed it, the computer turned off again! Some "quick" change! I proceeded to spend 30 of the most uncomfortable minutes of my life on that torture machine. How the heck do people sit on those HUGE-A** seats?? That was ridiculous! I can't live through that again. I am going to have to work something else out for Thursdays...

Lesson of the day:
If you ride a custom-fit Cervelo, riding a stationary bike at the gym will be nearly unbearable. Don't do it!

Swim workout details:
(#34) 1 Hour
300 yrd WU
8 x 50 DR
4 x 125 @20
4 x 175 @30
4 x 125 @20
8 x 50 DR
200 yrd CD

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week 1: Dec 19th and 20th

I decided to make some changes to to my week 1 training schedule that I posted previously. Taking Monday off to rest just doesn't make much sense to me at this point because my Sunday long runs aren't that long and I don't need the recovery that bad. Mondays really are such a convenient day for me to train, schedule-wise. Wednesdays however, suck in general, and I would much rather save myself the stress on an already stressful and long day. Here is what I came up with for this week, week 1:

Monday: PM Bike 30 mins/Run 15 mins - brick, QC
Tuesday: AM Swim 1 hr/Run 30 mins - brick, swim workout #33
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: PM Swim 1 hr/Bike 30 mins - brick, swim workout #34
Friday: PM Run 30 mins
Saturday: AM Bike 70 mins
Sunday: AM Run 35 mins

Yesterday was officially the first day of training! I put my bike on the trainer and rode inside since it was already dark out. 1.0 came over so that he could escort me during my running portion of the evening. The bike felt fine...boring as usual on the trainer of course. Since this was meant to be a "QC" or a "Quick change" brick, I had my running shoes at the ready so that when my 30 minutes on the trainer were up, that I could jump off and dash out the door. I'll tell ya, I like warming up on the bike a little before running! It makes that first mile a lot less torturous! The run was just a shortie... 15 minutes is all, and it went fine. The cold night air felt nice. My heart hate was way up there... I'm not sure I feel like blogging about that yet...

This morning I was not feeling the love when my alarm sounded and it was time for me to go hit the pool. I can't say that I like popping out of bed to exercise... I did it though! I headed to the Y and busted out my first real swimming workout! It went great! I was highly impressed with myself! My right shoulder felt only the slightest hint of "something" that I wouldn't even classify as discomfort. I copied workout #33 out of the book onto a piece of paper and put it into a ziploc baggie, so that I would have it to reference while I was in the pool. I just left it on the pool deck at the end of my lane. I have to pat myself on the back for that one. Oh! I bought ear plugs, but I managed to lose them before ever even using them, so that back pat from before...take backs?? (See below for swim workout details.)

After the swim, I hurried out of the pool, dried off, threw on a pair of running pants, socks and shoes, and went upstairs to hit the treadmill. I ran a nice easy 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, (I did turn on the heat for the last 3 minutes though.) It felt good, but I did wish that I had brought a water bottle and some sports beans or something. I will be better prepared next time. It doesn't help that it is Christmas time and I am avoiding shopping like the plague. It is no excuse though... I need to take better care of myself and properly fuel and hydrate my body.

I am looking forward to having a rest tomorrow. I had planned to climb on Thursday after training, but I am considering skipping it for the rest of this week to rest my shoulders. Perhaps I will wait and see how I feel. Climbing is so much fun, and I just know I will miss it!

Here is the breakdown of "#33":

300 yrd warm up
8 x 50 yrd drills
12 x 100 yrd w/ 20 sec rest between each
8 x 50 yrd drills
200 yrd cool down

Total yrds: 2500 (which equals about 1.4 miles!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

I went to the new Bellevue gym last night with 1.0. It is ridiculous huge, and it has some really awesome bouldering/climbing! The bouldering problems are fun, and there are so many to choose from!

ng rather weird happened to me though..a lot of the bouldering is really high off the ground, and I experienced a little acrophobia! The whole ground was a mat, but it was a LONG way to drop!

y only complaint about the place was that it is more of an "activity center" for Bellevue families than it is a gym for actual climbers. There were kids everywhere, and tons of parents and grandparents just standing around...watching. Watching?! Why weren't they climbing?? Weird. The kids were distracting and the parents were annoying. The climbing culture has definitely been lost at this place. :/ I will go back, but it will be on a weekday, when kids should be in school, and their parents should be on some boring conference call at work or something.

My right shoulder has been hurting after my bouldering sessions I have noticed...not so much after climbing on the ropes though. It makes the drive home with my stick-shift roller skate car fairly uncomfortable. The pain is always gone by morning though. I try to be conservative, and call it a night when I start to feel it come on. Last night though, both shoulders really ached. This morning they feel much better, but I am a little sore all over as I did get a dang good workout! ;) I am going to have to be very careful of this so that I don't injury myself and inhibit my ability to swim!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Play time is over already?!?

Last night I was reading "Be IronFit" by Don Fink, which is a lovely Ironman training book that Greg gave me (thanks again TG!), which challenged me to "pick an Ironman race date and count out the 30 weeks of training." Of course my race has already been chosen, and my race date is July 15, 2012. I had done the math roughly in my head before, and figured that training would start right after the 1st of the year. My math was wrong... 30 weeks before 7/15/12 is next Monday! Click here to check out Don Fink!

Upon realizing this, my heart nearly stopped! I totally had it in my head that I had 2 more weeks to "goof off," eat treats, drink beer (like I'm a big drinker, but still! lol), and well, not be all weird like I get when I'm training! Now I have only a few days left, and I feel like I still have prep work to do! I still have to pick my pool, and draft up my training schedule and finalize it! Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be rather "thrown off" by a big change in plans. lol I'm actually taking this all really well.

Luckily I have TG (Tri-Guru) (Side note: Why do I nickname everyone?), because he came over, we went for a nice 32 minute run, and then we went over the book together and he answered a bunch of my questions. By this weekend I will map out everything and have it all printed out and ready for Monday, Dec 19th, which will launch Week 1!

Here is a rough draft for week 1 training:

Mon 19: Rock climbing/rest day
Tues 20: 1 hour swim in morning, 30 minute run in evening (may switch order)
Weds 21: 30 mins easy pace on bike trainer with quick transition to 15 minute run.
Thurs 22: 1 hour swim in morning, 30 mins easy pace on bike trainer after work. Climb in PM?
Fri 23: 30 minute run
Sat 24: 1 hour bike outdoor (if weather permits).
Sun 25: 45 minute run easy pace.

Swim: 2 hrs, Bike: 2 hrs, Run: 2 hrs
Total: 6 hours training + climbing time bonus.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's fun to stay at the YMCA!

This afternoon I went and checked out the pool at the local YMCA. It is actually a fairly new facility and is really nice! The pool is 25 yards long and has 2 lap lanes open all hours of operation, and then 4 lanes open at daily scheduled times. They also have a full gym with free weights etc., cardio equipment, including treadmills - which, despite the fact that I hate them, they do help me run at night when I don't have an escort. They also have free spin classes, yoga classes, and a rather dorky climbing wall. ;) All of this is available to me for $60/mo., which is a bit more expensive than just going to the various local community/rec pools, (my Tri-Guru friend Greg quoted me $40 monthly) but I have to say, you just can't beat the convenience! Not only is it closer, but the lanes are open at all times, which is a huge plus. I also like that there is fitness equipment and classes. Anywhoo, they gave me a free pass for a few days, so I could try the place out!...And I did!

Well folks, it appears that remember how to swim! Thank goodness!!! I never did look at the clock, so I am not sure how long I swam for, but I tried to just take it easy and familiarize myself with the "scene." My first length down the pool was more tiring than I was expecting. I had to remind myself to slow down. I got water in my nose too. lol From there, I did a full lap, including a flip turn, which also resulted in water in my nose. lol I stopped at that point and rubbed on my sore shoulder, rested, regrouped, and reminded myself that I was only there to "test out the pool" and not to train!! I did a few laps of breast stroke and then started alternating breast and freestyle. This felt really great. My nose was remembering what to do. My ears were remembering how much it sucked to be full of water however... I think I might have to look into plugs...

I am home now, and I am feeling refreshed, and full of excitement and hope. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monkeying Around

Climbing last night was fun!!  Got out on the ropes with 2.0.  Nice to have a good climbing partner.  I really learn a lot from him.  Fun bouldering tonight with 1.0.  Progress has been made.  I did stop early for a sore shoulder though...  No sense in risking injury right before I start swimming.  
Did I just mention swimming??  I am going for my first "swim test" this week!  This isn't training, I swear!  I'm just checking things out. ;)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

O M G... I just signed up for a half Ironman!!!!!

Your registration is complete!

You will receive an email in the next few minutes confirming your registration.

Purchased at: December 10, 2011 12:52 AM
Event Confirmation #: ********************

Want some company? Invite a friend to participate!

Event Name: 2012 Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Date & Time: July 15, 2012 07:00 AM
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Our Deepest Fear...

I keep finding myself day-dreaming about the Lake Stevens Half Ironman in July... Is this really what I want? Am I going to become another one of those triathletes?? lol First running, then cycling, then I decide I have to be a rock climber too ("just for my off-season"), and now what's the logical step CG? Of course! Pick up another sport and likely expensive hobby, and sign up for not just any triathlon, but a flippin' major triathlon! Go big or go home, eh? I haven't swam competitively for over 20 years! (Um...that made me sound old...)

Here's the thing... I'm starting to taste it. I am starting to taste it like I tasted the half marathon before I conquered it, and the STP and RSVP, and well, pretty much any other big goal I've made. Ever since I rode the Kona Ironman bike route, this shit has been on my mind, and there have been two burning questions:

1. Will I fail?
2.What if I succeed??

I would like to share something that is very special to me for several personal reasons. I encourage you to read it several times over...even daily. :)

Our Deepest Fear ~ By Maryanne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear in that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel unsure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
As we let our own Light shine,
we consciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"I'm gunna ride that man right outta my hair..."

Everything in my life changed this summer. I needed healing in a bad way, and a trip to the Big Island, a week before Ironman Kona, was just what the doctor ordered. It was a start at least. For the 5 ridable days that I was on the island, I put in about 300 miles on my Cervelo RS, including the 112 mile Ironman Kona bike route which I will tell you all about here!

9-22-11 Journal entry:
Free upgraded rental!
"I've arrived in Kona and already I feel so happy I could cry. A good cry though. Everything about this trip has just been nice so far! On the plane, I thought I had lost my credit card so the flight attendant gave me the movie rental for free. I ended finding my card, thank god, but he still wouldn't accept payment. A very sweet old guy with lots of personality. I sat next to the nicest Canadian couple. I talked to them he whole way over. The time passed very quickly. When I arrived, my bike was in one piece and my rental car had been upgraded for free to a mini suv!!! Now I won't even have to take my bike apart to take it with me in the car! What amazing luck! As I was driving from the airport, I saw bazillions of cyclists on the roadside. I'm in heaven! Really! I'm truly in heaven! This is just what I needed!!!

Did I mention t
hat this morning at the airport, I had pedis with Marissa?? It was so much fun to catch up with her. She is doing so well working at TSA. I'm really proud of her. She is proud of her! :) My horrible athletic feet look not half bad for my hawaiian sojourn!

The hostel I'm staying at is called Patey's Place. I've stayed there once before when Jon and I were here for he Hilo Marathon years ago. They are not open for check in until 5pm, and seeing as it is 4pm, and I am starved, I am here in Kona at Island Lava Java waiting for my ahi fish tacos. I've eaten here before and it isn't bad if I am remembering correctly. I'll go check in after I eat.

Man, I can't wait to get on my bike!!! I don't think I'll have time today though before the sun goes down. Boo hiss. It is drizzling a little so it isn't too hot...perfect cycling temp! Maybe I should see about driving the ironman course tonight before dark if I can squeeze that in...or at least hit up a bike shop...

Rain in Hawaii is still better than rain at home!
I found the bike shop and it was a really nice place! Big and really good inventory! A super nice guy named Dave went above and beyond to give me all the info I needed about where to ride on the island. We sat down on the floor of the shop together in from of a huge map of the island and we talked at length for a good part of an hour! I bought a map, some Butt'r, and a few Hammer Heed packets, thanked him profusely, and hit the road. It was pouring by this time!

Since I wanted to ride early the next morning, I needed to get my bike out of the bike box and reassembled. I couldn't do this outside because it was like a freaking monsoon, so luckily the guy at the front desk was nice enough to let me bring my project into the
office. Along with the young man running the front desk, there were 2 other guys hanging out in the office, so I had quite the audience for my little project. lol Although I watched Jesse very closely while he disassembled my bike and packed it away, it wasn't without some head-scratching and fumbling that I got my girl put back together. I am pretty proud of myself that I did it though!! I think those guys were fairly impressed too. lol"

On the Queen Kamehameha Hywy, going through the lava fields.
9-24-11 Journal entry: "Friday morning I woke up way too early. I had trouble sleeping as usual. A disturbingly high number of cockroaches in my room weren't really helping either. I had decided that this was going to be the day for my big Ironman route ride, so I packed up and headed to Starbucks for breakfast. By the time I left Starbucks, I was so excited, I actually felt like I was going to vomit. lol The sun was starting to come up over the mountains in the west and the sky was turning pink, and everything felt alive and exciting and wonderful. The old Alyssa was starting to peak out!

Queen K. Hywy
Windmills! Yeah! It didn't surprise me!
You lucked out this time cows!
I drove back to the hostel and dropped off my car and started from there. The first hour breezed by at an average speed of 17.8 mph. It got much harder from there. At roughly 25 miles in, after battling a strong headwind for a short while, I stopped at a shopping center where the bike shop from the day before has their sister store, but they weren't open yet. Instead, I went to Starbucks and had a chocolate milk and refilled my water bottle. I had a nice conversation with a nice couple from Medford, OR, and then went on my way…or so I thought. I made a wrong turn, which I figured out quickly, but when I went to turn around, my handlebars, which I apparently had not tightened down correctly when I reattached them, slipped, causing me to fall off my bike like a big dork. I wasn't hurt at all, but I felt like an idiot. So I picked myself up and put my chain back on, (it fell off in the hoopla) and I careful rode back towards the bike shop. The shop was still not due to open for another half hour, so I hung on the road hoping another cyclist would pass who would be carrying an allen wrench. Finally one did, but he wasn't. Damn. I ended up waiting until the shop opened and the guys at the shop took good care of me. Thanks again Bike Works!!! When I left the shop, the bike computer Jesse lent me had somehow switched itself to German and reset itself. Ok, I'm just going to admit it, I kinda freaked out. For whatever reason, tracking miles and speed helps me mentally on long rides, and the loss of this ability shook me. After frantically trying to fix the computer for far too long, I did eventually give up and get a grip. I was shocked when I realized how far behind schedule I was, and I was worried about the heat and the wind. The sun was hot and pounding down on the black top, but so far the Queen Kamehameha Highway had only been really windy for the past few miles, but I knew the worst was yet to come, (and it was.)

The stretch along 270 to Hawi started decently, but soon the side wind picked up and I was actually scared that I was going to ge
t blown over! Mile after mile was like this and the sun was intense. There is no shade at all on this route, and the temperature must have been in the mid 90s by then. The cross wind was gnarly. I was gripping my handlebars so tight that my arms ached. The wind was constant and wicked, and felt like it was going to take my wheels out from under me, but every once in a while, a huge gust would blast me, and I would swerve and weave and I would have to fight not ending up as a road-rashed heap of hurt on the highway.

t when I really thought I was out of steam and fuel, and everything else, I made it to Hawi, the blessed turn around point. I was so happy to see that Hawi was a cute little town that included several places to eat. Had it not, I had already planned to go back a few miles and slaughter a cow on the side of the highway with my bike tool, and eat it raw. Kohala Coffee Mill's food was much better! I had the yummiest chicken teriyaki burger ever!"

I am smiling, but that didn't last. lol
My descent back down from Hawi was not the exhilarating high speed coast down in drops that I was hoping for. It was downright sucky actually! lol The wind was getting worse, and it was just too dangerous for me to go fast, even if I could. My back was starting hurt, which was strange. Going down into drops wasn't comfortable or doable at all... I felt like a big wind sail sitting up like an idiot in the wind, but with my back killing me like it was, I couldn't bare to lean forward. This slow-going was discouraging, but had to be done. Risking an injury was not an option. Strong gusts were still threatening to wipe me out, and this was wearing on my arms and my nerves. I was also really starting to notice the affect that the sun was taking on my skin. I have always had suck good skin, and I have always tanned so easily, but I could tell that even my nice olive skin was no match for this many hours of direct Hawaiian sun. I needed sunscreen, and soon!

My dermatologist is going to kill me...
Finally I made it to the bottom of the hill on the road to Hawi and stopped in at the gas station. I bought drinks to refill my water bottles, a ice cream bar, and a banana. I drank quite a bit, ate the ice cream, but felt a little sick, so I stuck the banana in the back of my shorts for later. I searched the store for sunscreen, but all I could find was a huge bottle and it was really expensive! Being as cheap as I am, I refused to buy an expensive bottle of sunscreen that I could not carry with me, so I decided to just carry on without it. My skin was concerning me though. It was hot and red, and I assumed that was why I was feeling icky. I figured that sunscreen really wasn't going to save me now! lol Without my bike computer I only had a rough guess of how many more miles I had to go...35...40? I'd live. I hoped...

By the time I made it back onto the Queen Kamehameha Highway, I really was pretty wiped out. right side of my lower back was screaming. What in the hell was wrong with me?? I was so frustrated with this pain. I had done this distance many times before and this grade was a cinch. WTH was the problem?? The wind was blowing directly in my face. Mile after mile just drug on and on and I wasn't having much fun anymore. I was physically exhausted and mentally exhausted as well. Life back home was creeping into my head...not really on a conscious level, but all of my hurts and burdens were there, weighing down my bike, making each pedal-stroke painstakingly hard. Around 25 miles from the finish, I hit my wall. I stopped on the side of the road and got off my bike. I pulled out my phone, and I posted the following on my Facebook page, "If there ever was a time I needed encouragement people, this is it! I have 25 miles to go and I am spent beyond belief. Send me energy across the ocean, because I really need it!!!" Ten people responded with words of love and encouragement. Ten people sent their energy across the ocean, and I somehow found a way to absorb it and get back on my bike, wipe my tears, and finish my ride like the strong woman that I know that I am. I was so very proud of me that day. I will never forget that accomplishment, not even when I top it.
This shot is just plain bitchin'.

Decisions... Big ones.

I have a lot of decisions to make in the next few weeks. These decisions will affect not only how I will train, but how much time will need to be dedicated to training, and when that training will need to begin. It may be the difference between whether I will be able to date in year 2012 or not...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Beautiful Girl

Yes.  That IS my dining room!

I finally got my beautiful girl mounted in her rightful place of honor. She looks like a piece of art! I love it! My dining room is my new favorite room now! Woot! A big thank you to my awesome friend Ron who helped make my vision a reality! :)

A Cold December Ride on the Centennial with a New Friend!

Today's ride was just plain enjoyable.

Back in July, on the bus ride home from riding the STP, I had met a guy who happened to be the son of a nurse who works in my department at the hospital. He had tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I had been the one in the [hospital I work for] jersey, and when I confirmed that I was "one of them," he said that he had been drafting off of me for most of the day. That is when we also figured out that I also knew his mom and had worked with her for the past 5 years! Small world! Since this random meeting, I had been meaning to call him for a ride, but just never did until about a month ago, and it only worked out that we could actually do it today.

Although it was only in the mid to upper 30's, it was dry, and once the fog cleared, the sun was beautiful. The ride was amazing and felt great. Ryan keeps a good pace and keeps me on my toes. I really enjoyed riding with him. It turns out that he does a lot of different kinds of riding and racing.. He does tri's and cyclocross, and half marathons! He is also a climber, but taking a break due to an injury. Hmmm... Sounds like I may have found a possible training friend! Woot! He kept telling me I should really do a tri... Hmmm... I am really starting to think about that one...

Total mileage: 34.53 miles
Calories burned: 1743
Average speed: 16.2 mph
Ride notes: Feel great. No aches or pains, just feeling a little out of shape cardio-vascularly, since I have been taking a little time away from the bike lately. I did use my inhaler once at the half way point, which did help. I will use it at the start of ride next time.

Yesterday's Ride: 12/3/11 Centennial Trail
Total mileage: 20.05 miles
Calories burned: 891
Average speed: 17.1 mph
Ride notes: I pushed it hard! Very nice ride but I felt the absence from the bike. lol I used the inhaler before I started. I could not have kept that pace much longer than I did I don't think. Great ride though.