Monthly Archives: October 2007

10/29/07 Training Camp #1 (Days 29-32)

Monday.  Big weekend, but before I record the details of the weekend a little bookkeeping.  The goal of my blog is to document my journey and I have to keep track of the good, bad and outrageously ugly. 

Thursday I did get out and do 3 loops in the park before the deluge returned.  It was painfully slow.  Once again I felt like I was working sooo hard and going nowhere.  And I was right, each loop was 24 minutes!  Yikes, what was going on?  I had even put on my good wheels. I swear that was as hard as I could pedal.  I don’t think I have ever done 24 minutes even at leisurely pace. 

Friday.  Beck’s Day 29 was about resisting food pushers.  Nothing too new there — I’m the only food pusher I know, lol.  WW meeting, however, was a shocker.  I was pretty sure I didn’t lose much weight.  I was ready to hear my down .2 or something.  I almost hit the floor when she told me up 3.6!!  What!??!  That’s crazy nuts.  I didn’t feel any heavier.  My clothes weren’t tighter.  I had done the math I had no reason calorie-wise to be up.  Only one possible explanation was I had our book club meeting at my apartment and I ate a late dinner and drank a fair amount of wine (for which I counted the points).  I knew I was exactly 70 points over for the week is approximately 3,500 calories which if I hadn’t eaten I probably would have lost (since WW is based on losing 1-2 pounds a week).  Since I ate those calories I was ready to accept my pennance of not showing a big loss, but a gain?  A HUGE gain?  What the heck was going on?

I knew the number wasn’t real so I didn’t get that bugged out about it.  I knew it had to be a combination of retaining water/hormonal fluctuations/high tide/mercury rising/satellite signals crossing/alien abduction….  There were a multitude of reasons.  All I knew is I had counted all of my calories and IT WASN’T MY FAULT!!! lol.    I guess this is part of the process of learning to deal with the ups and downs of weight loss.  I had to just focus on staying on track and big weekend coming up and I was going to be tested.

First Training Camp of the season went well.  Probably the biggest difference for me is I didn’t go up there scared out of my mind.  Last year I was so nervous I kept thinking “this will be the weekend they find out I’m a fraud, a poser, an interloper….”  This year I was very calm and I was strangely looking forward to getting a good workout in.  I just want to ride my bike for a couple of hours and feel good about it.

It was much easier for me to pack this year too.  I knew what to bring.   One little tip I did this year worked very well for me.  I laid out all of my water bottles for each activity — long run, recovery, bike, second bike, run, recovery.  I put the dry formula into each bottle and labeled them with a black magic marker.   Then when I got to camp, I just filled the bottles with water as I needed them.  It was so much easier than measuring out baggies and bringing baggies of stuff with me.   Also it helped me plan out my calories for each leg of the weekend.  (Granted this would only work if you have amassed the same huge number of water bottles that I have…) 

The first day we started with a pilates class. (Trilates as they call it).  It was hard and I could only do have of the exercises because of my shoulder.  I definitely felt some pain when I tried to do some of them but it was a good class nonetheless. Then we headed out for our run.  The run was up a mountain trail and back down.  I wasn’t going very fast up at all but I did just keep on moving so that was good.  Systemically I feel I have the energy.  Muscularly I feel like I am always sore and tight.  Then again I was running uphill so what could I expect?  I’m not that comfortable running on trails — I just see hundreds of opportunities to trip and fall but I managed to remain upright.

It was also Day 30 for Beck’s plan which was stay in control when eating out.  I thougth that wasn’t going to be too hard because I was at training camp and we had a group dinner.  But in reflection I think I ate too many calories to support my workout on Saturday and I will think this through better next time.  I don’t want to pooh-pooh the effort but really I did only 1 hour Pilates session (of which I could only do half) and and a 1:30 run (granted it was uphill but it was downhill too!).  I drank 1/2 of a serving of Infinit during the run so I don’t think I could justify the humongous cookie I ate for dessert.  (Plus I ate 3 enchiladas AND potato salad for dinner, I think that was too much…)   Oy, live and learn.  Big workouts do NOT mean big eating (necessarily).  I have to count the calories and make sure that I am supporting my workouts but not overeating. 

On the second day we had our big bike.  We caravanned to a park and then we basically rode up a mountain, down the otherside, turned around and rode back up and over.   On the way back up we did a little out and back on the infamous Clove Road.  I say infamous because last year I remember (not so fondly) the short, short, steep, steep bump at the end of the return on Clove road.  Last year, while trying to get over the evil bump my bike was shaking and I was about to fall off.  I refused to give in and I nearly killed myself to make it up that stupid, stupid little bump.  I was so mad that that little bump tried to take me down.  Sure I can climb a mountain but the bump?  Made me cry (figuratively speaking of course!).

This year I was determined to stand to get over that little bump.  Let me tell you, it wasn’t any easier standing.  I’m pretty sure I did it wrong.  I don’t think I’m supposed to lean so far over my handlebars that I can touch my wheel, lol.   It was hard!  It’s only two freakin feet but it’s like climbing a set of stairs with your bike.  Made it back to the main road and Bike Bully Charlee says “we’re done early, let’s go back and do it again.”  I know this sounds sick but I wanted to see if I could do it any better so I agreed to go back down and try it again.

This time I said to myself “stand up straight and climb.”  I stood up and tried to suck in my stomach really hard and felt something go POP!  Arggghhhh, that little bump was sooo hard!!!  “I sprained my stomach!”  I yelled to Charlee — she didn’t care, she was in Bike Bully mode.   Now a few more people had joined us at the meeting spot.  I was bragging all over the place that I had done the hill twice.  “C’mon” Charlee goads everyone, “let’s do it a third time!”  So now that I’ve bragged that I did it twice, the others have to go do it twice.  I don’t want to do it a third time, I’ve sprained my stomach, afterall and that could be serious!!!  Nobody cared.  One of my new teammates says “c’mon, just half way down the hill.”  Well halfway is the hard part, I’m no dummy!!

I start to follow them back down and then I turned around.  I was not going back to do it a third time.  This is just stupid!!  I say outloud, ooph, I can’t do that bump again.  Screech.  Bike comes to a halt.  Oh NO!!!!!!  Why did I say that?!?!?!?!  Not the cursed “I can’t.”   I hear the mountains chuckle “oh we heard you alright, you said you can’t do it, we’re calling Eleanor Roosevelt,  we won — we beat you.”  I rolled my eyes let out a little frustrated whimper.  I take it back, I didn’t mean to say I can’t.  I meant, I meant…..  Forget it, it doesn’t matter, I said it and it is out there — there is no recourse.  I groaned as I turned the bike around and went down that stupid little freakin’ evil bump for a third time. 

Not only did I not do the bump any better the third time, but all three times I stood out of my saddle and leaned so far over my handlebars that my nose almost touched my wheel.  (I’m pretty sure that is really wrong, I think I’m supposed to stand up straight and climb.)  But as ugly as it was, I did it.  Then I made Charlee go around and tell everyone that I did the hill 3 times (it’s not polite to brag about yourself but you can enlist your Bike Bully to do it for you!).  ROFL!!!  (Later, that night I told Charlee my stomach still hurt from when I sprained it, she said I probably sprained it laughing at my own jokes!!)  Bully!

I think my only negative on the bike ride is I definitely froze up on several of the same downhills I bombed down last year.  I didn’t like having to ride to the right of the white line — all the little crags in the road seemed to get bigger and bigger the more I looked at them.  For some reason I was really freaked about riding on the white line so I didn’t want to that either (where that new fear has come from I have no idea).  I wanted to ride in the road to the left of the white line but I was afraid of the cars.  So I just kind of chickened out and actually braked a lot going down some of the bigger hills.  A couple of times I found a straight away going downhill and no cars coming to I took it.  But even then the max speed I hit was only 38.6.  Nothing over 40.  (Though to be fair, not sure if I ever got over 40 on Sylvia — that just might be a Tina thing). 

Opening up my brake lever before I started helped tremendously.  I had been suspicious that my tire was rubbing a little too close to the brake pad.  When I spun it seemed okay but when I rode it I felt a little friction.  I think I need to have that adjusted.  I’m pretty sure it had been rubbing which is why I had those strangely slow loops in the park on Thursday. 

After the 3 hour bike we did a 40 minute flat trail run.  Oy, that hurt.  My quads were starting to cry a little but I was still surprised when I hit the 20 minute mark that I was moving.  I got a chance to talk to the coach who gave me a few things that I have to work on.  Basically I have to start drilling my feet to lift up instead of shuffling.  I have to do isolated foot work (like in Chi running the lift the foot over the imaginery rod in my ankle).  First one foot, then the other, then both. 

On the bike I’m to start practicing standing on my bike on the flats for 1 minute at a time.  That will work on building my quads (which will help in my running.)  I’m also to do more isolated foot work on the bike so I start to work on my kick up for my hamstring and I’ll get more of an even rotation on my bike and better kick on my run.

In the pool I’m to work more on kicking and start incorporating the choke stroke into my repertoire.  I was actually kind of mad at myself for not thinking of that.  The coach pointed out that since I breath to my left, doing the choke stroke (holding my bad, right arm at my side) will actually start to train me to breath to my right so when I can really swim I will be a more even swimmer and breath to both sides.  Duhh, why didn’t I think of that?  Otherwise he was happy with the routine I made up (once I add in more kicking).

Sunday was Day 31 of Becks.  I had to “Decide about Drinking.”  That was eay, I decided I wanted a HUGE glass of Cabernet when I got home.  LOL  I was wiped out and all I really wanted was to put my feet up with a couple of glasses of red wine.  So that’s what I did. (That’s not exactly what Beck’s meant…)  I fully intend to do my month of January (at least) no drinking again (this will be year 3).  Right now I’m pretty happy limiting it to a couple of glasses of wine on Sunday night (no workouts on Monday).  Besides the added calories, it’s just really hard for me to workout the next day with any alcohol.  Of course I will make exceptions as the occasion merits (holidays, book club meetings, lol) but I think my general rule of thumb is to limit myself to two glasses of red wine on Sunday evening (with friends).  That way I won’t feel deprived and I won’t abuse my points or liver either. 

Day 32 (today) is about preparing for travel.  I wish I had read that on Friday.  But it is still okay.  I pretty much made a plan for the weekend and followed it.  The only part I didn’t think through was the Sunday afternoon…. Next time I will think that through a little better (and get some vegetables in there!!!)

Today I have a much needed massage.  I’m pretty sore but I feel good, ready to rumble another day.



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10/25/07 Working It (Day 28)

Thursday.  I started today with a huge laugh.  I’m not feeling any lighter this week and tomorrow is my WW meeting.  Coincidentally today’s topic in Beck’s is “Prepare for Another Weigh-in.”  The first thing I read in today’s topic is “Don’t even THINK about skimping on your diet today so that the number on the scale looks better tomorrow.”  ROFL!  If someone walked by my apartment right when I read that they would have heard a howl of laughter…  OMG, am I THAT predictable?  Of course I was going to try to skimp a little today so I would be lighter tomorrow, that’s part of the game, right?  Just like I never eat Sushi on Thursdays because that will make me retain water and weigh more on Friday.  Thursdays are make up days for making any adjustments that need to be made before stepping on the scale for the big weigh-in.  I know how to play this game — I invented this game, or so I thought.

Okay, busted.   Have to eat normally today.  I was already a little nervous because I am hosting my bookgroup tonight and I have to make something good to eat but I don’t want to blow all of my points by making a big heavy dinner.  So I’ve researched some WW friendly recipes and will be making those.  But no nibbling while cooking but also no starving myself waiting for dinner (but if they’re late, I’m eating!! lol).  Oh what a game this all is…. I’m saving points for 2 glasses of book-discussion-wine, so there!!

I have to prepare myself that tomorrow is probably not going to be a big loss again although I totally deserve something because I’ve been doing so well all week.  (This is where I am supposed to practice saying “Oh Well” and keep on going.)   I have documented every morsel that has gone into my mouth.  I am technically 11.5 points over for the week but that shouldn’t cause me to gain weight.  A point is about 50 calories so I’ve eaten about  550 calories more than I should have — that should just make me lose less than I should have, not gained.  It takes 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound.  If I take in 3,500 calories less than I expend then I lose a pound and vice versa.  WW is based on having me lose about 1-2 pounds a week.  So by math I should lose between 1/2 pound and 1 pound…  Let’s see how that math works tomorrow.  I am NOT obsessive compulsive, much…  (But I’m laughing at myself, does that count for anything?)

Yesterday I really tried to focus on relaxing and thinking this is a healthy life-style, you can do this.  It’s not that hard if you take a little time for planning.  That’s when the little voice chimes in Yeah, I know that, been here before….  I have to work on shutting up that little voice — she’s a real kill joy…  I have done a great job on shopping, cooking, measuring and recording all of my food and workouts for the week.  I have to admit, it is getting a little easier every day with the journaling (and planning) because a lot of the meals that I make have been repeats of other meals and I can just click on that meal and add it to my online tracker. 

I am forced to think of one of the Beck’s lesson where she made me tally up exactly how many minutes a day it takes me to track.  It was about 4 minutes.  Now if she asked me to tally up how many minutes I spent thinking about how much I didn’t WANT to track — it would have been significantly more, LOL.   Sad but true….  It seems like I spend much more time fighting tracking than actually tracking…  So now when I think “oh, that’s too much trouble” I kind of roll my eyes and think, 4 minutes?  I can’t take 4 minutes a day to keep track of my food?  And now it is probably even less because a lot of it becomes second nature.  I don’t have to look up every single item and I can just click and go.

I am pretty pleased with my workout yesterday.  I wanted to take an active rest day but I didn’t want to totally avoid the pool so I went down and made up a very nice little swim routine for myself.  I made a set that was comprised of the following laps and focus:

  • Lap 1 — kickboard, trying to pick up speed as I went
  • Lap 2 — Scull half way concentrating on keep shoulders DOWN (no hunching), then swim on left side up and right side back.  Focus on arm straight out, hand pointing at bottom corner of pool, head position chin on shoulder looking straight down my arm.    Roll to breathe and return to exact same position. (I was surprised how often my head went out of position).
  • Lap 3 — Skating drill.  Old drill from Total Immersion where you do an underwater switch and pull (kind of like swimming without bringing your arm out.)  Focus was rolling to breath to either side every third stroke.  Maintain balance.  I’m out of balance a surprising amount — but it got better each set.  Skate drill up and back.
  • Lap 4 — Modified back stroke 1 length.  Modified back stroke is where you keep your arms at your side and flap your arms like a bird (not over your head).  I concentrated on pulling down with my lats and not my shoulders.  Made a big difference in how it felt. Also concentrated on keeping shoulders down, no hunching.  Return lap was a very slow finger tip drag.

It took me 10 minutes to complete one set.  I know it sounds really slow for just 4 laps and it is because there is actually no swimming per se, it’s just a lot of kicking.  I repeated the exact same set 5 times for 50 minutes of drills.  Toward the end I was getting pretty good and I was starting to feel some balance and a little more power but I didn’t push it.  My shoulder really didn’t want to do anything more than the 1 length of finger tip drag.  I started to think that if I really focus on these balance drills and breathing evenly to both sides I might end up a better swimmer for it in the end.  Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise?

The thing that made me the happiest was that the 50 minutes flew by.  I had been worried that the longer I stayed away from swimming the harder it was going to be to get back in the pool and do laps.  I don’t feel that way now.  As long as I keep the format to doing sets and multiples of fours and eights laps, I think I will be okay.   Next time I will definitely increase the number of kickboard laps but I really got a lot out of focusing on head position and balance.  Plus my legs were kicking non-stop for 50 minutes so that has to be worth something…  I felt I definitely could have done more (but I also wanted to give my body a rest yesterday so it was the perfect amount).  I hate to keep guessing when I’m going to be able to swim the crawl because my estimates are getting farther and farther into the future….  One day at a time.

Bike workout for this morning was cancelled due to rain.  I’m going to go out early afternoon and do my timed loops anyway. I don’t mind a little rain.  If it is slippery I won’t do timed loops, just the best I can.  If rain doesn’t let up, I go for a big session on the stairmaster/elliptical and ride tomorrow.  Have to earn my activity points somehow!!!   Shhhhh…. Beck’s said I couldn’t skimp on my diet, she didn’t say I couldn’t do a little extra working out!!   LOL Always looking for a loophole.


“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan”
Eleanor Roosevelt


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10/24/07 Seven Question Technique (Days 26 & 27)

Wednesday.  I was in a lot of pain yesterday, my shoulder was killing me and the pain spread across my neck to my other shoulder and up the back of my neck.  I was trying everything to loosen it up — Aleve, Tiger Balm, back bend over my Pilates ball, head rolls, shoulder rolls, heating pads.  Like my quads and hamstrings on Sunday my shoulders and neck just revolted and refused to release.  Obviously that impingement was still there in my shoulder and was getting a little angry. (Plus I can’t seem to stop habitually shrugging up my left shoulder).  I broke down and called Lesley my massage gal in desperation “please, help me, I can’t even think straight”  I was close to tears.

I hadn’t had a massage since July because quite frankly I was afraid to have anyone hurt me.  Since I am now poking around trying to break up my muscles I figured it was now safe to have a professional give it go.  I’m going back to acupuncture and will start having regular massages to see if I can’t just get this thing fixed once and for all.  I am also feeling the instinct to start using light weights with my shoulders so I’ll try that today as well.

Last night’s practice was a little disappointing.  I thought I would have done much better considering I had such a miserable run on Sunday and now I had  a day to rest and a massage.  I walked to the park feeling okay (sans shoulder).  We did some short drills and then hill repeats on Strawberry Hill working on form (I didn’t go gut out or anything.)  I went up and over and then back up and over Strawberry Hill (everyone else did it twice).  Then I did two lower loops.  Nothing too long so I don’t know why I was soooo slow.  My first time mile was a 12+ (I stopped my watch at the wrong spot so I think it was more like a 12:15 or so.  My second timed mile was a 13!!!!  Ouch….  I was working hard too…  Like Sunday I had to really push myself to move.  All of my leg muscles are strangely strained….  I’m not really sure why.  I didn’t stay for the core session because that just hurts too much so I’m not going to do that yet.

Ala the Becks System I will try to give myself credit for getting to practice and doing the best that I could.  I also walked to and from the park and I did a warm up jog from Columbus Circle to the boat house.  So I think I got 4 miles in there somewhere.  The only explanation I can think of for these pained muscles is I must need to increase my stretching.  I think I’m stretching but obviously not enough….

Today’s workout is a swim but I am going to make it an active rest day.  I will go to the pool but I’m going to concentrate more on trying to relax my muscles — see if I can do some extra stretching and maybe more circular motions for my shoulder.  I’ll do a session on my pilates reformer (I finally did the short spine motion the other day which is good — it’s kind of like doing the plough in yoga but using the reformer).

Food-wise I am doing alarmingly well.  In some ways it is kind of freaking me out.  Why am I so strangely in control?  What is different?    I’m even writing out meal plans for training camp weekend and bought foods that will travel easily to camp so I will have plenty of options while I am there.  Who is this person?  (Of course I have always brought food with me to camp but I didn’t count out the points and figure out almost hour by hour how many calories I would need and would consume).  They gave us a tentative schedule of what we would be doing hour by hour so I copied it into my food planner and added what I would be eating….  I’m a little scared of me right now.  lol

The Beck’s plan has been quite interesting yesterday and today.  Yesterday was about identifying and correcting thinking errors.  The book displays a chart of 12 of the most common thinking errors including everything from (one of my favorites)  “All-or-nothing thinking” to “Exaggeration” (making a situation worse or better than it really is).  I think the most alarming part of this chart is of the 12 common thinking errors, I employ about approximately, well, 12 of them…. lol   Yikes, who knew I was such a mistaken thinker?  (Don’t answer that.)

The chart also has columns with descriptions of the thinking mistakes, examples and what she calls Helpful Responses (the responses with which I am to retrain my brain.)  It was interesting to watch the process of my own thoughts.  I focused on the “All-or-nothing thinking” and the “Discounting-the-positive” because although I employ all of the thinking errors, those two are big ones for me. 

I am an All-or-Nothing thinker from way back.  Either I’m perfect on my diet (in my job, in my housekeeping, in my schoolwork, in my training or in my relationships) or I’ve completely failed.  Rhodes Scholar or Bowery Bum — nothing  in between.  None of that pesky middle ground for me.  I am not comfortable in grey areas.  Either we are doing this or we are not.   Anything less than 100% is, well, less than 100% and that is not acceptable — or so my errant thinking goes.   When they came up with that expression — “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” they had me in mind.  Notice that the last couple of weeks that I have even described my adherence to my weight loss plan as 100%, perfect, scary….  I am retraining my brain to recognize that “making a mistake is definitely not the same as total failure.” 

The other thinking mistake I focused on from the chart (and believe me I could spend the next twelve weeks working on each one of the the thinking mistakes) was one that goes hand-in-hand with all-or-nothing thinking which is “Discounting the positive.”  Her example of this kind of thinking is  It doesn’t matter if I’ve lost a few pounds.  I deserve credit only after I’ve lost all of the weight I need to lose.  Whoa, how did she reach into my brain and pull that one out?  I’ve been practicing the helpful response of giving myself credit for every positive action I take.  Not always easy because I am quick to pooh-pooh anything this is not a huge achievement.  What’s the big deal about losing 1/2 a pound when I need to lose at least 20?  And in line with the other thinking mistake I quickly jump to 20 or NOTHING!!! 

It goes without saying that these thinking mistakes don’t just apply to food.  I often wait for projects to become a big enough challenge so I have to complete it all at once (or not at all).  Why bother filing 10 pieces of paper when there are 10,000 pieces?  And if I don’t file the 10,000 pieces, I’ve failed.  Same thing. 

You can imagine what black diamond slopes I let my brain ski down when I didn’t complete the Ironman — 10 months wasted, down the drain, failure….   That’s simply not true and I have to learn to give myself credit for not only the good races I had for me (St. A’s and Tupper) but also for sticking out the program in the first place and making lots of improvements in my overall fitness and skill levels.  Okay, so maybe I didn’t reach those goals either but I did make some progress.  (See, it’s hard to break mistaken thinking habits.)

Today’s project is to take one (or more) of the thinking mistakes and apply her seven question technique to them.  I find it interesting that these 7 questions could be asked of any situation (work, school, training, relationships).  This is a technique to use to help think out of the box — break the habit of the mistaken thinking or sabotaging thoughts.  I’ll demonstrate the technique by attacking one of my own mistaken thoughts.

1.  What kind of thinking error could I be making?  I’ve been thinkingI don’t know how long I can keep this all up, this is hard working, plotting, planning, chopping, shopping, journalling, tracking — for the rest of my life?  I’m not sure I can do this.” 

2. What evidence is there that this thought is true or untrue? Evidence that it is true is based on past performance.  I’ve done all of this before and then slowly let it slip away.  It’s hard to be perfect forever (though I come darn close, lol)…  Evidence that it is not true is that past behaviors don’t guarantee future ones.  I write my own destiny.  I am not a prisoner to my previous habits.  Plus now I’m doing these exercising to reprogram my brain and I have no evidence to suggest that this won’t work.

3. Is there another way to view this situation?  What is it?  I could look at it as, finally, I get it.  I’m free from the mental prison of perfection and I can look at this as a life-style, not a life-sentence.  (Oooh, that was good, I just made that up, lol)

4.  What is the most realistic outcome of this situation? Realistically I am probably not going to be a size 2 by Ironman.  Realistically, my left thigh is not going to be a size 2 by Ironman or EVER for that matter.  I can simply strive to be on track and be comfortable with wherever the process leaves me in July knowing that I will keep on going and enjoy living my life as a healthy and active person.  There is no time deadline, I’m changing who I am for the rest of my life, not for this one race.

5. What is the effect of my believing this thought and what could be the effect of changing my thinking?  Well if I believe that I am not going to keep going, then I probably I won’t.  If I change my thinking I will be successful.

6. What would I tell [a close friend of family member] if he/she were in this situation and had this thought?  I would tell them to lighten up, trust the process, live in the moment, be grateful for the health you do have, strive to be the best you can be but forgive yourself for being human.

7.  What should I do now? I will just focus on today — one day at a time and keep on keepin’ on….  And I think I’ll do some filing….


“Have no fear of perfection–you’ll never reach it. “
Salvador Dalí

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10/22/07 Weebles Wobble (Days 23-25)

Monday.  Weekend in review.  Wow, just when I’m starting to feel a little confident that I’m getting ahead, doing better — wham, the universe knocks my ego down a peg.  Seems that’s how it goes, build me up, knock me down, build me up more, knock me down further — like one of those Weeble toys (Weebles Wobble but they don’t fall down).

Saturday I couldn’t join the group swim because, well, I can’t swim yet.  But I could join the group bike again in Jersey.  We did more drills and then headed out for our first set of hill repeats — first repeat sitting, second repeat standing (ouch, couldn’t make it up the entire way but only had to sit once on the first hill), then sitting standing  for the last repeat — I did more sitting than standing but I did try to do 10 pedal strokes up and 10 down.  Was suprised how hard it was.  Hmmm…. was my cardio workout on Friday coming back to haunt me?

We did this hill repeat drill for 20 minutes.  I managed to get 5 repeats in and I was spent.  The last two repeats I just sat and got up it as best I could.  I signed up for St. Croix half ironman in May because I wanted to attack “The Beast”?  What was the vintage on that bottle I must have been drinking?

Then we did some single leg drills followed by another set of hill repeats — attacking the hill this time.  One repeat sitting, one standing, one sit/stand whatever you have to do to get to the top of the hill as fast as you can.  This was not as steep of a hill but I was already starting to feel it.  My quads were not happy.  I was aware of my heaviness and my lack of leg power.    I made it up with a lot of encouragement from my new teammates (and can I say once again we have a lot of REALLY nice people on the team.)  Finally, I made it to the top of my last repeat — I see the coach, he tells me good job, I say “Oh. My. God. that was Sooo hard.”  And then he says probably the best thing anyone could have said “Broken Heart, Broken Bones, but no Broken Connie.”  I only had ten more feet to go (about 1 pedal stroke) but I gave it my all.   What a great line to throw to me.  Of course I have now adopted that as my personal motto and have been singing that to myself all weekend….

On the ride home from practice I was acutely aware that I am getting nowhere on my bike.  I was, without a doubt, the absolute slowest person at practice.  Less than Sparkly, Fit/Not Fit — I don’t care what you call it, but every single person on this team is a faster rider than I am (and I don’t think I’m that bad of a rider!)  Yikes, I forsee a humbling cycling season ahead — although I think I will be better for it.  I was pedalling, pedalling, pedalling and going nowhere.  I refused to put it in my big chain ring becuase I felt I shouldn’t have to do that to get a certain amount of speed.  But everyone, EVERYONE was passing me with ease getting home.  Geez, this is going to be a long season.  But, everyone, EVERYONE was really nice and paused for a second or two to say hi/goodbye/whatever so I have to give them all kudos.  They may be twenty-something with zero body fat but I can’t hate them because they are really nice people (darn, lol!).

I’m was pedalling home like Mary Poppins  thinking I don’t care, keep a cadence of 90 and the fact that I am only going 11 mph will be explained some day. I’m pedalling felt like I was  going ninety rpm to nowhere.  Then I got passed by a train of testosterone.   My coach followed by two of the assistant coaches gunning it, full force — all in Red speeding past me.  My Mary Poppins hat almost flew off my head!   It was an amazing wall of muscle passing by me like I was sitting getting my nails done.   Whhhhhhooooooossssshhhhh… I heard the wind from their wheels whisper “you are staaaannnnddddiiiinnnggg stilllll pilgrim.”  Whoa,  is that what real riders look/feel like up close?  Supercalafragalicious Expealidotious!!

 On the ride home I took the opportunity to practice my bunny hops on Riverside drive.  Sorry to say, I still can’t hop (I told Coach George that I think I’m too heavy to hop, he said no, I just have to think lighter, lol)  Worried about yanking my shoulder again, I had meditated long about the steps necessary to bunny hop.  I realized I was starting in the wrong foot position and my butt too close to the saddle.  So I kept trying to jump over the metal expansion dividers on Riverside Drive.    I kept trying to get momentum, stand up on my bike (in 9/3 position), bend my knees to “load the jump”, then… lift offf!  Nothing.  I tried again and again.  On one jump I think I felt my front tire leave the ground enough to swipe a piece of paper under it, but that was it…. BUT, at least I didn’t yank my shoulder or kill my knees this time so I will keep trying…..

I made it home 4 hours later from when I left.  I was most surprised that I made it home okay.  I thought for sure I would be wiped out, but even though my legs were fatigued, I did not bonk and had plenty of energy to get home.  I thought for sure that I would have had a huge energy zap.  (I had loaded two water bottles each with 1/2 serving of Infinit and drank that through practice).  My big advantage this season is smarts — knowing what energy I need to get through workouts!! Well, that’s something at least…..  If I can’t be fast, I had better be smart!

Went to a party on Saturday — did my best to stay in my points — too many party weekends in a row, time to buckle down.  I went over a few points but I figured one of the twenty kazillion hills repeats atoned for my disgressions….  I also adhere to the old adage that calorie consumed in good company are not counted (okay, okay, I counted them — geesh, points police are everywhere….)

Sunday I got up to do my run.  Goal was 1 hour 30 minutes with a 6 mile hard run in there.  Of course I had to get out my let’s-back-these-numbers-down-to-me calculator.   After much going back and forth, I realized that my regular workout of running from Columbus Circle, do two loops and back down should be fairly close (okay, I knew it would be 10 minutes short but I figured I would do an out and back to finish.)

Without a doubt this was the hardest, HARDEST workout in my physical memory (I’ll admit my memory is still a little foggy)….  I made it up to the reservoir at an easy pace — 13+ mph…  Not worried about it because I had already determined to warm up to Engineer’s gate before starting my timed mile.

I was definitely supressing some choice words on my first timed mile.  Every muscle in my legs was joining into a revolution.  It wasn’t my heart-rate effort,  I just couldn’t run.  My calves were screaming, my butt hurt, my quads hurt and my hamstrings kept trying to curl….  Great, this was going to be a long run…. 

After the first loop (which was a 12:15 althought I thought it would be a 13:15) I HAD to stop and stretch my calves for a minute.  They were killing me.  KILLING ME!  Every inch of every muscle from my ankle to my knee and from my knee to my hip (front and back) was experiencing cramps on top of cramps.  It felt like a marathon and I wasn’t half way done yet…. Wow, you’ve come a long way baby — in the wrong direction!  The second loop felt like a 15 minute mile and it turned out to be a 12:20 which was weird because I swear I felt like I was moving backwards.

I ran using sheer determination for everything past the warmup.  On the way back down from the reservoir, I had so many muscles singing at once they made a choir.  Even though 90% of the bridle path from the reservoir is downhill I was still running on will.  At exactly 1:21 minutes I hit a small uphill on a new stretch of the path and my legs just stopped.  Dead in the trail, my legs refused to go any further.  “C’mon”, I pleaded, “9 more minutes”!!!  But my calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes voted they would have nothing of it.   They refused to move.  I walked back up to the roadway and tried to finish out the end.  I was 4 minutes short — so shoot me. 

 Without a doubt one of the hardest workout weekends I can remember.  I’m quite sure I had equally hard workouts last year, but I don’t remember them. 

Food is going okay, I’ve made my menu plans for the week, I’ve logged in my food.  I’ve gone grocery shopping….  I’m committed to this week.

Becks plan Day 23 (Saturday) was a good one for me.  It was about overcome feelings of unfairness.  Why do I have to leave the party at 8:30 to go run in the morning?  Why can’t I stay out drinking?  Why can’t I eat that and that and that?  Why don’t I have a metabolism of a 20 year old?  Unfair!!!  I often think my having to diet is unfair — why does that person eat all of that and stay so skinny?  But one of the realities that Becks points out is everyone experiences some kind of unfairness in life.  If I really think about it, I am very lucky in so many ways that if this is my one burden to bear, I got a pretty good deal.  So I won’t let the “excuse” of unfairness stop me from getting to my goals. 

Day 24 (Sunday) was also appropriate — Diminishing Discouragement.  I started thinking on Sunday (while my legs were  contorting into pretzels) that this seems like a long, long journey — both Ironman and weightloss goals.  How long do I have to keep all of this together?  The planning, the journalling the training, seems like a ton of work.  As if reading my mind, Becks reminds me to focus only on today and to not look too far into the future.  If I think about it, it’s very Zen — stay in the moment.  Any given moment is not unbearable, it’s the expectation of the next moment that kills me.  Stay in the moment and I’ll have no expectations to make me suffer!  Whether that is in dieting, training, racing or simply living.  The key is to “start where you are” as Pema Chodron always reminds me.

Today Day 25 is about identifying Sabotaging thoughts — paying attention to your thinking.  What are the thoughts that I let creep into my head that send me down the slippery slope?  For me, it’s a lot of  “shoulding.”  I should do this, I should do that.  I can be very hard on myself and bring the Puritan Work Ethic to a new standard.  At WW we say “stop shoulding on yourself!”   Start wanting.  I should ____ vs.  I want to _____.    This goes hand in hand with can’t vs. won’t.   I can’t track, oh yes I can track, it’s just that I won’t!!!

I’ve come down with a bit of a cold and feeling a little knocked down.  But the good news is, all historical evidence suggests that right after I get knocked down I pop right back up…  First training camp coming up this weekend so I have to make sure I have plenty of wobble in my weeble…..


Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes

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10/19/07 Celebration! (Day 22)

Friday.  Great results to report.  Had a great meeting at WW and I was down…….. 3.2 pounds!  Shut up!  No way!  Way!  I knoooow!! I am really happy and I have to say I deserve every freakin’ ounce of that weight loss.  I planned, I shopped, I chopped, I cooked, I tracked and stayed within my points every day!  I have to say in the realm of WW I was badass!  (Can I say that? Oh, okay just this once….)  That’s four weeks in a row a loss — 2, .4, 2, and 3.2!!!

I’d like to give Becks credit for my 5.6 pounds loss in 3 weeks (and I do) but I give the greatest credit (besides to mysel) to my two buddies who are working the program with me.  Without them checking in on me and helping to motivate me every day, I’m not so sure that I would have had the dedication to get this diligent.   I’m going to need them for a long time to come because I know motivation is fleeting.  It’s one thing to get high off of the initial success but when the dark, long days of winter and Pad Thai are calling — it’s not so easy.  I think that loss of motivation is what the Beck’s plan is really trying to address — lots of people lose weight, how do you keep on losing weight and then how do you keep it off?  That requires maintaining motivation — that requires building new skill sets.  I’m nervous to even think that this might actually be working — am I reprogramming myself?  I guess only time will tell.

[Today is Day 22 of Becks where I am to “Learn the Power of Oh, Well.”  If I didn’t like the outcome on the scale I am to train myself to think “I don’t like this, but I can’t change it, so I’ll accept it and move on.”  But, if I lost weight I am to celebrate each 1/2 pound loss….  so….. I’m a celebratin’!]

If I can pin point the single thing I learned from last season that will help me the most this season was learning how important it is to eat the right amount of protein/carbs directly after a big workout.  I didn’t find that out until I met with the nutritionist later in the season and once I started playing with that I realized that a lot of the outrageous hunger I experienced earlier in the season could have been controlled better had I eaten properly post-workouts.  So this week I ate some protein and carbs after every workout and I felt totally in control all week and did I mention I stayed within my point range?  And it wasn’t hard?  This is mind-blowing to me.

For example, on Tuesday I knew I had a big run night so I ate my biggest meal with carbs as lunch, then a lighter mini-meal at 5.  Then  after practice I had an apple and a tablespoon of almond butter waiting for me (and some lowfat chocolate milk).  Normally I would have woken up starving on Wednesday because I had been trying to be “Good” I would have skipped eating and gone right to bed.   I’ll gladly eat the apple and peanut butter and milk so that the next day I’m not taking bites out the cabinetry in my kitchen.  That might be the single biggest lesson I have ever learned about fitness in the last year.  WHEN I eat is almost as important as WHAT I eat.   I have a short window of time to replenish my glycogen stores.  If I don’t eat within that 1/2 hour of a big workout (I mean > 1 hour at high intensity) then I spend the next 48 hours trying to make up for it.  If I eat in that window, I am in control the next 48 hours.

I had a good workout in the gym this morning.  Kind of freakin’ myself out with all my little improvements showing up in one day.  I decided to give the rowing machine another try this week — last week it hurt too much.  I figure if I just get on every week and try, eventually it will work.  Imagine my surprise when I got on and did my first pull and NOTHING!  No pain.  Whoa…. I pulled again, no problem.  I got ten minutes on the rowing machine before I started to feel a little soreness in my shoulder blade  (not in my arms or legs, in the muscles around my shoulder blade).  TEN MINUTES.  Wow.  I was so happy.  The rowing machine is right up there with my pilates reformer as the number one machine that makes my knees feel better.  Something about the bending action on those machines make my kneecaps realign and whenever I use them my knees feel better afterwards.  I was thrilled to get ten minutes in on the machine.  Thrilled!

Then I hit the stairmaster — this week equipped with some house dance music to keep me going.  I had a little breakthrough on that machine too.  Our goal is supposed to be to “run” on the stairmaster.  I have never been able to run on the stairmaster — my sessions have always felt more like hiking because I let the stairs drop too low before I pick up my feet.  It is more like slog, slog, slog than click, click, click.    I honestly don’t know what happened today.  I started out on level 3 just trying to keep going.  Then the music picked up and I picked up my feet a little more.  Then I remembered what the coach said that this was about lifting your feet quickly.  I kept trying and trying repeating “fast feet, fast feet”  and then about 10 minutes in — I got it!!  I was running on the stairmaster.  I never even let the steps drop — click, click, click — my feet were going so fast.  I looked over in the mirror and saw my knees going up, up, up.  I couldn’t believe I was doing it.  I knew it was right.  I couldn’t really keep it at level 5 or 6 too long, but even at level 4 I was running.  Bizarre!  Wow.  Every 30 seconds I would try to up it to level 5 or 6 then back down to level 4.  I had so much sweat pouring off of me.  I simply couldn’t believe these were my legs doing this.  When I hit the 20 minute mark I was so happy!  It wasn’t a long session, but I think I did it right!

Then it was onto the elliptical machine.  I have been practicing the no head or shoulder bounce.  If you watch most people on an elliptical you’ll see their heads and shoulders bobbing up and down.  We’re not supposed to do that.  We are supposed to squat just a smidge so we keep our shoulders and head steady during the workout.  Not easy.  I tried it last week and I could do it, but to stay like that for 20 minutes was really hard.  I put it on an interval session for 20 minutes and I kept my head and shoulders still the whole time — even going in reverse!  My butt was burning like a bonfire!  I was just shocked.  Who is this person?  Whose legs are these?  What the heck is going on?

Then I hit the pool.  I wasn’t expecting any miracles there (and I didn’t experience any).  But I did another 20 minutes in the pool, slow finger tip drag, sculling, kicking.  Just whatever I could do without hurting myself.  I got more laps in with my finger tip drag but I really can’t do it for more than a length then I start to really feel it.  So then I just switch to something else and keep alternating.   I figure if I just keep trying every couple of days, like the rowing machine, one day I’ll get in the pool and I’ll be swimming… Until then I am focusing on perfect balance in the pool — when I bring one hand over I keep it there until the other hand comes over and I try to replace one hand with the other.   Not so easy….  But I’m getting better at it.

So all around I am so happy I could do all the things I could in the gym AND see definite improvements over what I could do last year at this time.   I’m getting really exciting to see what I can do with losing more weight, getting fitter, faster and stronger.  I’m very happy.


“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
Oprah Winfrey

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10/18/07 Pop Quiz (Day 21)

Thursday.  Yesterday I went to the pool to attempt, yet again, a swim.  I deliberately went early because I remember at 4 p.m. there are several, let’s just say, “eccentric” characters who go to the pool.   Turns out there is no good time to swim on Wednesday afternoons — I got there smack in the middle of some aerobics class and every lane was packed.  Even the slowest lane had the blind guy who dog paddles and the woman who should be submitted to Guinness for the slowest backstroke on record.  I looked up through the glass ceiling at the heavens and said “this is a test isn’t it?”  I received no answer but I knew it was a test, it had TEST written all over it in big letters.  Okay, that’s the way the universe wants to play it, fine, I got into the slow lane with the blind guy and the backstroke record holder and started my drills.

I’d like to say I’m getting closer to being able to swim, but I’d be lying.  I do force myself to do a very deliberate finger-tip drag and I can do that for almost a whole length now then I switch to the kickboard to give my shoulder a rest.   I was very excited to find that I can tuck the kickboard under my arm and side kick.  Even more excited to find I can sidestroke without the kick board.  Breaststroke is a no go.  Sculling drills seem to be good as are side swimming drills.  I’m just going to keep trying and one of these days I’m going to swim a lap then two and then keep on going.

This morning we had bike practice.  I have to say probably not one of my better practices.  I’m a firm believer in practice (and school) is what you bring to the table, not what the teacher or the coach brings to the table.  It really is what you put into it.  Of course a good coach/teach can motivate and “inspire” you to do better, but the bottom line is you have to show up with a good attitude and willingness to work.  I kind of showed up behind some kind of weird dark cloud.  I wanted to work, but I seemed to be going in the opposite direction as everyone else.

We did some warmup drills around the lower loop and then some of the “compulsories” as one coach likes to call them — figure eights, serpentines and then the bunny-hop.  I really wanted to work on my bunny-hop but even while they were explaining it, conceptually it was not registering.  I tried to jump up and pull my bike up at the same time and all I ended up doing was yanking my shoulder on the first pass.  Arrows of fire went shooting down my arm.  Chap.  That wasn’t right.  That was the herky-jerky not the bunny-hop.  I tried again, same thing.  Okay forget it.  That hurts way too much and it’s obvious to me that I’m not jumping over anything this morning. (My dreams of jumping over bodies was quickly dissolved as well.)  Okay, it’s not happening today — let’s just mark this question off as not answered.

Then they split us about according to level of fitness.  They had us self-evaluate and go to the group we thought we should go to.  Really fit go this way, not so fit go the other way — it was up to us, go whereever we wanted — speed doesn’t matter.  Well, I’m looking at a group of REALLY fit people.  I am obviously the most out of shape of all of them so I’ll go to the not-so-fit group.  These are mostly twenty somethings with zero body fat and I’m clearly not that so a no brainer.  Then pretty much everyone DASHED to the really fit group and all that was left on my side was me and the four really not confident riders.  I thought for a second, ehhh, this isn’t broken up by fitness at all.  Then I laughed to myself.  Of course these type-A people are all going to jump into the really fit group.  I’m the only schlub that would raise her hand to the coaches and say “who me?  I’m not even CLOSE to fit!”  Mark this one as Wrong Answer!  So although it wasn’t a bad ride it certainly wasn’t a workout for me.  I still don’t know how to answer that question — Fit or Not Fit? I needed to answer “Other” to that multiple choice question.

When I got home I had a message from my garage that someone had broken the window on my car.  Oh great, I had loaded the back of my car with boxes of books to take home to CT.  Someone broke into my car to steal books?  I went down and looked at the car, dismayed to find that Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita was safe and sound but my Alpine stereo was gone with wires dangling in its place.  I just shook my head.  It’s inside my garage for goodness’s sake.  I knew I was being tested.  I looked up at the moldy ceiling and said “I’m not going to lose my temper or get upset, if that’s what you are trying to do to me, forget it.  I’m not going there.”  I walked up to the office filled out a report that will go nowhere and brought my car over to the dealership to work on it.  They can fix the window but can’t supply me with an “after market” radio –I would have to go back to the old radio.  Never mind, I’ll sing to myself I said. 

Then I called the company that installed my NEW car radio (just put it in a year ago).  They don’t have that model or anyone who can install a new radio, I’ll have to go to another town 45 minutes away from my house in CT….  I look up to the sky “oh, you’re good….  But I’m still not cracking…” 

In the afternoon I took my bike out to do a couple of loops at my own pace.  I was going to meet Charlee but that fell through so I decided to just go for a ride on my own anyway.  I felt like I NEEDED to get a workout.  (I know!)  And I had to work off the six point whole wheat wrap I ate for breakfast!!  (Be careful, a whole wheat wrap at Lenny’s is 350 calories just for the whole wheat tortilla — and it has 9 grams of fat.  Healthy is not so healthy!!!)

On my way to the park, I was kind of herded (apparently out of spite) to the gutter by a yellow volkswagen.  As I hit the gutter I rode right through a big wad of broken glass.   Great.  Pssssssssssssssssssssst.  Front tire goes flat in seconds.   Great.  A flat tire.  I’m in trouble.  I pulled over to the side, looked up at the sky and said “what’s this? another test?!?!?”  I take out my tire levers which I have remembered thank you!  And I think, well, okay, let’s figure out how to do this.  Coach says “use your teeth if you have to” (he was kidding).  I knew I had to figure out a way change this tire.  I insert the tire lever as the last time.  I take the second tire lever and try to insert it with my right hand — no way.  Not happening.  Okay it has to be lefty, but I can’t hold too tightly with my right hand either.  I give it a shove.  The tire lever breaks in half.  I looked up at the sky and just burst out laughing.  You have got to be kididng me.  That’s a question on the test?  Do tire levers break?  Only I could break a tire lever.  But I have three so I keep trying.

I try holding the tire between my feet and my knees.  I squeeze as tight as I can and use my left hand to get the tire lever in and start to push it away from me.  Holy moly, it’s moving!!!  I was so excited.  A couple more jimmies and the tire was off!!  Woo Hoo!! I did it, I got the tire off and I did it with basically one hand (and two feet and two knees, but I did it!)  After that I got the new tube in and tire put on and then onto inflating the tire.  I had brought a clumsy hand pump with me because I didn’t trust my ability to use the one CO2 cartridge I had on me.  Can’t pump with my right hand so I did the same thing — tire squeezed between feet and knees, holding the pump still with right hand and pumping with the left.  I did it!  And it held! 

I was on Columbus Avenue pointed toward home and thought “ah what the heck I’ll just head home.  I give up.  I guess I’m not supposed to ride today.”  Then the light bulb went off.  That’s the test isn’t it?  I looked up at the sky, you want to see if I’ll quit, right?  Well I’m not going to.  So there!  Take your test and… and.. well, I don’t know what’s appropriate to tell the universe to do with its test but do something because old, UNFIT me is going to ride in the park — test or no test!   So I turned my bike around, headed into the park and did two loops before coming home.

Every day this week I have been perfectly planning, preparing and tracking my meals.  I have been well within my point range and not only that I have made healthy and nutritious food out of my own kitchen.    It’s Day 21 of Beck’s which is about “preparing for the weigh in.”  The idea is to psychologically prepare myself for whatever the scale says.  I’m not so worried about it.  I think I’ve done a great job this week on managing my food.   Tomorrow is WW meeting where I check in and get my test results.  I am sooooo going to Ace this test.  Just wait and see!!



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10/17/07 My Visit With Eleanor Roosevelt (day 20)

Wednesday.  Monday was an okay day.  I didn’t get any exercise in which was a disappointment but I had a lot on my plate.  Food-wise I did FANTASTIC!  I entered my menu plans for three days into my tracker and I ate only what was on my plan!  Amazing!   I was so proud of myself that I did again yesterday!  Had a little epiphany that if I made menu plans for three weeks I would basically just get to reuse them and eventually it would become so easy I wouldn’t have to even think about it.  Ah…. is that how they do it?  (I’m inspired by one of my friends who went from being overweight to being a “Savage” girl who competes in figure competitions.  She writes down all of her meal plans a week in advance and sticks to it.)  A small investment early in the week pays off.

The biggest advantage in writing things down ahead of time takes the guess work out of everything.  Just like I get a workout plan each week from my coaches, following a meal plan leaves no doubt.  Either I am following the plan or I am not.  Either I  ran the distance assigned or I didn’t.  Either I ate the foods assigned or I didn’t.  None of this “well, I’m kinda on plan and I kinda ate the right foods but I wrote it down later.”  That’s like going out for a workout, doing whatever I felt like, writing down what I did and saying that I was following the coached plan.  I wouldn’t fudge my training plan (well, okay, maybe once in awhile I fudge but 90% of the time I stick to it.)  Same thing with my diet — plan it out and stick to it.   Ah…. easier said than done.

Yesterday was Day 19 of the Beck’s plan. “Don’t decieve yourself.”  All that “everything is two points stuff” has to go.  Weighing, measuring and calculating.  I did it for Monday and Tuesday and once again, like most things it’s not that hard to do once you commit to doing it.  If you commit to swimming 32 laps, 30 laps is not 32.

Today is Day 20 of the Beck’s plan.  Today’s topic is “Start Over This Moment.”  The idea is if you slip off your plan that you get right back on in the next moment.  You don’t give up the rest of the day because you had one slip up.  She makes a great point that it takes 3,500 extra calories to gain a pound.  One slip up of 500 calories is not going to make you gain weight, it’s the 7 slip ups that are the problem.  So nipping it in the bud and continuing on plan is the goal.  You don’t give up the whole training season for one bad workout.  You pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say, I live to “tri” another day.

Last night I had run practice in the park.  We ran up to the reservoir and did some pickups and then timed miles.  I did well for me and was really pleased.  On Tuesday I did a 12:30 and 12:50 something (I was supposed to just run my regular pace and get a benchmark).   Last night I did a 12:15 (that was supposed to be my half marathon pace) and then I ran an 11:42 (that was supposed to be my 10k pace).  I was really happy with both of those times.  I felt the 12:15 really would have been maintainable for 13 miles and the 11:42 — eh, not really sure I could have maintained that for 6 miles but definitely 2 miles so that’s good.  Still 10 months to go.

After practice we did core work again.  I really can’t do any of the stuff they are doing.  I can’t kneel on the ground.  I can’t do plank and I can’t do full bridge.  I can’t really even do crunches without my shoulder hurting.  So I just left half way through.  It’s not an efficient use of my time.  Might as well go home and work on the reformer.

As happy as I was with my times (knowing they will just keep getting better) I was really not into doing the run at night.  I’m so much slower than the rest of the team.  My best mile last night was an 11:42.  They warm-up to the reservoir at a 10 minute mile.  Even if I did my fastest run, I wouldn’t keep up with their warm-up.  I end up doing the entire workout on my own and I have to just keep asking myself, why don’t I just do this in the morning in the daylight?   When I’m awake?  This morning I couldn’t help but review the multitude of reasons on my list for why it’s not necessary to go to practice on Tuesday nights. 

  • The only person pushing me is me.  I can do that just as easily at 10 a.m. as I can at 7 p.m.  In fact I can do it better as I am a morning person.  Worked last year!
  • It’s not as demoralizing to run by myself on Tuesday mornings as it is on Tuesday nights where even the next slowest person is much too far ahead of me (any hopes I had of catching her are long gone).  It’s not fun to be reminded through the entire night that I am the slowest person BY FAR on the team. 
  • It’s a late night, I didn’t get home until 9 (well, I did walk home and I guess I could take the subway).  Nonetheless it’s hard to unwind at 9 and fall asleep.
  • I have to eat well past my end-eating-time.  If if I wasn’t hungry, I know I have to eat something to replenish my glycogen so I won’t be starving the next day.  By the time I got home I was hungry.  (BUT!!  I had planned for my after-workout snack and stuck to it!!)
  • It’s hard to get up early when I go to bed so late.  I like to get up at the crack of dawn.  I don’t like feeling tired before I even start my day!

As I was puttering around getting ready and muttering all of these reasons under my breath I got a little visit from Eleanor Roosevelt.  (One of the disadvantages of having ghosts who follow you around is you are never left to agree with your own reasoning unchecked.)  So Eleanor and I had a little convo as I made the bed.

Eleanor:  Hmmm….  Sounds to me like someone needs to be reminded that “You Must Do the Thing you Think you Cannot!”

Me:  Huh?  What are you talking about?  I CAN do it, I just don’t want to do it.

Eleanor:  Same thing.  (She’s much less formal in the afterlife…)

Me:  I’d like to read the fine print on that contract.

Eleanor:  What about that ad you liked in triathlete magazine that said “A real Athlete is a good Sport?”

Me:  What are you talking about?   I’m not being a bad sport.

Eleanor:  Really?  Are you sure?  The point of being on the team is to train with the team.  Are you being a good sport by walking away and training on your own?

Me:  Well, that’s my point, exactly!  I’m technically not training with them on Tuesday nights.  I’m training by myself so how’s that being a bad sport?

Eleanor:  Maybe by refusing to “play” because you can’t win is being a bad sport.

Me: I don’t have any delusions of winning, I don’t even mind being last.  I just don’t like being miles behind.

Eleanor:  When you are out there race day, will it matter how far ahead or behind other people you are?  Isn’t it better to get used to being last now and not feel uncomfortable with it on race day? 

Me:  I have PLENTY of opportunities to practice being last, I don’t need to add insult to injury, thank you very much.

Eleanor:  Well, isn’t this a test of your inner strength and fortitude?  To keep going when you really don’t want to?  Won’t that make you stronger?

Me:  I didn’t ask to be stronger.

Eleanor: Actually, I think that’s EXACTLY what you asked for.

Me:  With all due respect, don’t you have someone more important to haunt today?

Eleanor: I’m going, just dropped in for a little gentle reminder.

Me:  Groan. Lucky me.

So that’s how my morning-after started.  Eleanor is one tough chica. I don’t want to go to Tuesday night practices but if I’m going to have to go have a tête-à-tête with Eleanor every Wednesday morning, I guess I’ll have to go, for now….. 


This is the quote that sits on my desk.  You’d be surprised how many times each day the challenge to “do the thing you think you cannot do” pops up.


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