Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week Three Report

Today marked the three week milestone in following the Racing Weight program contained in Matt Fitzgerald's book of the same name.  Last week wasn't my best effort.  I was quite ill each time I ate, and found it tremendously difficult to get 30% of my diet from protein.  I only skipped one workout - and that was Thursday when I traded weight training for yoga.  Not bad for a girl with a stomach ache all week.

Oh, and I lost another 1.2lbs.  That's 3.8lbs in 3 weeks.  I pretty excited to measure my body fat next week at the one month marker.  I would be so thrilled with a 1% reduction!  That means more to me than the weight number.

Got up and did my fasting long workout for the week.  Today was supposed to be an hour and ten minute run, nice and slow.  I ended up running a bit longer to get a nice even 7 miles on my legs.  It was SO dark and only 40 degrees.  It was peaceful and crisp, and nice to just cruise the "hood loop" times 1.5.

My stomach has been a real pill today.  I've stuck to simple foods such as bananas, toast, protein powder and nuts.  I had a little chicken breast for lunch.  I am very grateful that I didn't have an all out attack, but distressed that several times I was nauseated to the point where I needed to stop and focus on feeling better.

Tomorrow is a new day!  I have a technique swim on the schedule.  I'm kinda excited about using my new paddles and fins.  I'm sure my arms will want to fall off - but I will have some PRETTY muscles.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Check In

Just a quick check in.

I've been pretty sick this week.

Each day, I get up early and have my banana and 1/2 cup of coffee and head out to the gym or hit the road.  I drink my sports drink while I work out, and after my shower I have an all natural nut-based energy bar.

My stomach doesn't hurt at this point.

Then I get home and have some coffee with honey and soymilk and make myself an egg wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla with a little salsa.  That's where the trouble starts.  I get such severe stomach pain that I can't breathe!  It lasts about 20 minutes and then recedes into nausea and a feeling of fullness that sometimes prompts me to skip lunch.

This all started about 3 weeks ago, when I added meat and dairy back in to my diet.  I really made my digestive system mad with that and had some gas pain for a while.  That seemed to subside and then this gradually came on.  Truthfully, I thought I might be pregnant (OH DEAR), but that is NOT the case.  I'm not sure the addition of animal products is related, but that's my time marker.

It seems that I can tolerate sort of "basic" foods.  The good old B.R.A.T. diet seems to be okay at times.  Protein powder (soy) mixed with PowerAde is my go-to recovery drink, and that has lately been my lunch as well.  I thought it was getting better until this morning.  We came back from the gym around 10:30, and I made brunch.  David cut up a pineapple and I scrambled eggs and made toast.

I love pineapple - but apparently - it no longer loves me.  I have never, ever, EVER, had pain like that.  I could feel it coming on and went to tell my husband that I was going to be indisposed for a little bit.  I sat in front of the commode and begged God to make it stop.  I've heard of people wishing for death, before.  This was nearly one of those times.  I was in so much pain that I wasn't even able to have a lucid thought.  I made it to my bed where I cried in agony.  I lost about 10 minutes or so in there, and when I opened my eyes, the pain had subsided and left a nauseous feeling.

I didn't eat anything else today until suppertime.  I made baked chicken and quinoa with veggies.  I had about 3oz of chicken breast and a small amount of far so good.  I started to feel a little queasy and feel SO FULL from just that tiny amount of food!  My energy level is in the toilet due to all of this, and the earliest the doc can see me is next Thursday.

I think I will have to call and see about getting in earlier.  If I have an ulcer, they can treat it - and I can be on my merry way!  No time for this.  No time at all!

Monday, October 17, 2011

You Are What You Do

When I started whittling away at my extra weight, I set a goal.  According to medically approved charts and generally accepted percentage ratios, my ideal weight is somewhere between 117 and 139.  Split the difference (wow what a spread!) and you come up with about 130lbs for my ideal weight.


I set my goal, counted points, calories, and even sometimes carbs and lost my first 30lbs.  I added more exercise and discovered that I really loved running.  I started weight training - to keep from hurting myself while I was running - and saw the next 30lbs go...but at half the rate of the first.  Still with my goal in mind, and a new athletic skill set in hand, I set out for that magic number.  I was pretty sure at that point that I wanted to look like this:

Thin.  That's what thin looks like, right?  Okay, so I've never in my adult life weighed 130lbs - so this must be what I'm shooting for.  And if I continue my steady diet of Smart Ones, Skinny Cow's and diet soda, I can be there in no time!


But what I found out along the way is that I REALLY like this exercise thing.  A year ago, I did a round of P90X and loved pumping some iron!  I have found the sport of triathlon to be fabulously challenging, and would love to loose another 15lbs for one reason and one reason only:

To go faster.  I want to be leaner.  I want more muscle.  More POWER!

I figured out that what I really want is to look perform like this:
Chrissie Wellington.  SuperCool.
You can't be an IronMan World Champion on diet pop and frozen diet dinners.  The body needs fuel.  It needs training, it needs to be stressed and recovered.  It just needs you to tell it what to do.  If I pound the belt on the treadmill each day between bites of rice cakes, eventually, I could be as thin as I want to be.  And if that's what you're in to - then go for it.

For me - I will continue to chase a number - but this time it's body fat percentage.  My first goal is to reduce by 7%.  That should bring me down to a better point for muscle performance.  The better I can perform, the more calories I burn.  Did you know muscle burns way more calories than fat?'s true.  Give me more of that!

The body will always adapt to the demands placed on it.  For better or for worse.  It just takes time.  God willing, I've got plenty of that.

And - here's one more of Chrissie on the bike - just because I want to:

Sunday, October 16, 2011


What an amazing day, the Lord has made! My day started out with my weekly weight in.  I am down another 1.2lbs to make a loss of 2.6 in two weeks.  The training in week 3 of Racing Weight starts to ramp up the weight training - but I'm ready!  I've spent the last two weeks learning how to get 30% of my diet from protein, now is the time I get to use it.

Apart from the weight loss, I've gained confidence in the pool, and increased my sprinting ability on the bike.  All of this goes together to make me a better runner (okay and a triathlete).

Which brings me to my race report for this weekend.

Now, I don't want to forget to add that we had a wonderful Sunday service, and some great discussion at Sunday School.  I confess, I did spend much of the sermon making origami for my girls.  But, they were quiet and at least OTHER people could listen!

Okay - race report:  Governor's Cup 5k 2011

David and me, ready to run!
This race is kind of special to me - it was the very first race that I ran back in 2005 - I think I came in around 38 something.  The second time I ran it was in 2007.  I made it across the finish line in 40:38 with a 13:05 average pace.  We had our 3rd child in June of that year and I was just getting back to running.  My husband cheered me on and held fast to the assertion that he would only ever be seen running if someone was chasing him.

Today we ran together.  We did a Half Marathon in May together and it was absolutely wonderful!  We have such a great time laughing and joking along...pretty sure everyone thinks we are a little off.  Today was no different.  Being a 5k, it was easier to push the pace and try to keep up with hubby.  He did a great job of encouraging me on in the last half mile, and got a full on sprint out of me at the end!

Time: 30:07
Pace: 9:42
Overall Place: 157 of 285
Place in Gender: 81 of 182
Division F3539 Place: 8 of 18

A much better race this year and 8th in my age group.  Are you kidding me!?!  I'm SO happy!  My husband is so sweet for running with me.  I really wanted to come in under 30:00, but maybe next time.  I'm grateful for our friends Chris and Karen for taking the kids while we ran, and I'm grateful to God for a strong healthy body with which to run!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Aqua Girl!

Swimming, today, was enjoyable!

I've been messing around getting used to the water, and very afraid to try any other strokes but the ones that I'm very comfortable.

The breaststroke is one that I usually do to warm up.  It requires that I practice some rhythmic breathing and gets my face in the water.

Back stroke is my other "go to" stroke.  I have placated myself lately with the notion that the backstroke is nearly like freestyle - only flipped.  I could do backstroke up and down the lanes all day long.  On my back, I can breathe.  Whenever I want.

Freestyle has been my nemesis.  Try as I may, I only make it halfway down the lane before I'm sputtering and spitting water.

I've covered all my bases - I have goggles, and earplugs, a proper swim suit and a swim cap.  Each time I get in the water, I think how outwardly  comfortable I am.  The water at the Y is probably a tad to warm - like no complaints there.

But I get going with the stroke that I need to work on and can't breathe!  In the past, I had avoided the water - only swimming once every two weeks.  I used swimming as a default cross training when the weather was bad and I couldn't run or bike.  I didn't dedicate myself to betterment.  I took lessons as a child, and I guess I figured it would be just like...riding a bike.

Through watching YouTube videos and talking with other swimmers, I have learned the secret to freestyle breathing.  Yes, Virginia, there is a technique.  I guess when you turn your body to take the breath, if you only turn your head out halfway, there is a "bow wave" that your head creates - giving you a pocket to breathe in.  Truthfully, while I was watching these helpful videos, I wanted to cry "BS" all over that!

But instead, I pretended that I didn't know everything for a minute, and attacked my 1200 meter endurance swim with careful attention to detail.  I still warmed up with 200m of breast stroke, but I committed to half of my session being dedicated to practicing proper breathing.  I did the "up" portion of the lap practicing freestyle and rewarded myself with the "back" portion in backstroke.

I felt so wonderful about my swim today!  I was really dreading it - and trying to get out of it - but am glad that I did it.  A 1000m swim used to look like an all day venture to me!  But today I did the 1200 in about 40 minutes.  I feel like I did the first time I ran my usual route faster!  It's like swimming PR, baby, and it feels great!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Thinkin'

What a hell of a week.  No time to talk, just keeping on.  Not really that terrible in it's parts, but all put together - thinks have been pretty exhausting.  Here's my wah-wah...just thinking "out loud."

  • The kids - wow, did anyone else experience any "transformations" due to the full moon??  My 9yo dear daughter has been the most resistant in school 2yo has found is "screaming, whining voice," and if my 13yo calls me Mother one more time I'm going to prove to him that I'm still tougher than he is.
  • The training - following the low volume triathlete plan from Racing Weight.  Excited to do some speed interval training on the bike and get in the water twice a week - but it's taking some getting used to.  A little different than just pounding the pavement and taking a spin on the bike each week.  Oh, and the weight training...yah.
  • The house - what a mess.  Thank God for my husband...he does dishes and laundry and bathes kids.  Good thing...I haven't been.  Providing a home cooked meal twice a day and keeping the bathroom from becoming a health hazard has been all.
  • The finances - SO stressed out over this.  They are offering Financial Peace University at church in November.  We are SO there.  I will do everything that is prescribed if it will get us out of this hole.  Lord, make me obedient, please!!
  • The ministry - not mine, but the one I am blessed to be involved in.  Wednesday nights are for AWANA around here.  Sometimes I'm way to worn out to go - but I go anyway - and am always blessed because of it.  Last night I worked with a 5th grader that had never seen a Bible in her life.  She was so proud of herself when she could say her verse from memory.  Ah-maze-ing!!
  • The marriage - I so wish I could have something left over for my husband.  By the end of the day I can hardly hold a conversation with the man.  He's always finding ways for us to be together, even if just for a couple of hours.  This week he entered us in a local 5k at the last minute...quality of time over quantity.  I can't say what we would do without generous, loving friends that babysit for FREE.
I've just felt terribly alone this week.  Funny, because I can't even use the restroom without another human being present.  I need to find some other women to train with.  I read blogger/runner/Mommas but there's no substitute for real, human, conversation.  I called up Team In Training and am considering partnering with them.  Just not so sure I could raise the funds that they require for participation.

Blah.  What a terrible post.  Had to get it out - and couldn't even crack a joke about it.  Tomorrow, I have a nice swim on the schedule.  My goal is to take it easy and do my best.  I've watched enough YouTube on rotary breathing that SOMEthing should have sunk in by now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

One Week Review

Week one of following the Racing Weight plan is hereby deemed a success.

I can't say I followed it to a "T" but I did my best.

I set my calorie limit at 1700/day and aimed to get 30% of my calories from protein.  That was harder than it sounds.  I had to go back to eating meat and dairy - and of course, the swelling in my feet and ankles is back.

I'm going to stick it out and get this last few pounds off.  When I start training again for my next event, I will go back to the vegan diet.  It's got a great carb ratio for endurance sports.

The Quick Start Guide includes Low Volume and High Volume training plans for runners, cyclists and triathletes.  Each 8 week plan has two days of strength training that is outlined and illustrated move by move in a preceding chapter.

I am following the Low Volume plan for Triathletes.  I have not yet competed in a tri, but have been biking and swimming this year, and have high hopes!  The training days look like this:

Monday - Interval Swim
Tuesday - Strength Workout (I added a yoga session as well)
Wednesday - Bike (30min easy) + Run (hills)
Thursday - Strength Workout (Another yoga session, here)
Friday - Bike Power Intervals
Saturday - Endurance Swim
Sunday - Fat-Burning Run (slow pace, fasting)

The time has finally come where I count a strength/yoga day as a "rest" day.  ???  I had to switch some of the days around, and my Saturday swim wasn't probably as intense as intended, but all together I feel that I tried my best.  Swimming is not my thing.  Yet.  I didn't feel especially fatigued from this 7 day plan, but did go a little nuts on the calories on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Damn weekends, anyhow.

Feeling pretty good about the plan.  I do feel that 1700kcal/day is about to starve me sometimes...but I'm trying to burn fat and loose weight - so a little deprivation is okay.

And I lost 1.5 pounds.


Yah - I feel super.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day In The Life

Beth, over at Shut Up + Run does periodic posts about the "everyday wonderfulness" of our lives.  Her recent post is on par with her usual style of writing, and she even challenged other bloggers to write their own exciting post on their not always so exciting lives.

My life is probably the antithesis of excitement to some...maybe to much excitement for others.  Whatever it is, it's mine and a gift from God even in it's frustrations.  So here it is - A Day In The Life of Life Is Beautiful.

5:30am - alarm on cell phone vibrates to wake me up.  I'm not a morning person.  At. All.  So I get up and immediately sweet talk the coffee maker (that HAS a timer on it that I never remember to set!)
I know, I'm very sexy at 5:30am.  Try not to stare.
After eating half a banana and sucking back a little coffee, I go out for a bike ride or a run.  On a swim day, I'm already in the pool halfway done with my workout by now.

7:00 - home to shower and get ready for the day.  My husband is great about helping with the kids before he takes off for work.  

7:40 - daycare sweeties arrive, let the fun begin!  I'm still caffienating, the kids get to watch a little TV and I go upstairs to wake "The Beast."
Like mother like daughter.
We start home school at 9:00.  My 4th and 8th graders do school at the table or in their rooms, and the pre-K and toddler set sits quietly and colors or does playdough for those 2.5 hours until lunch.   Ha, ha!  Sigh...I do try - but it lasts about a minute.
A rare scene.
We take a "break" from 11:00ish to 12:30...well, the kids get a break and I make and serve lunch and put the 4 little ones down for (hopefully) a nap.  Our 4.5 year old isn't too terribly convinced that she still needs a nap.  But at least I can still get her to go potty...and she's teaching her little brother!
"Look, I'm holding my shirt up!"
I spend the "hopeful" nap time trying to teach my 8th grader 9th grade Algebra, and convincing my 4th grader that Independent Reading Time isn't a torture tactic.  I, sometimes get to do some yoga while they are doing book work - and I take pictures of the wrinkles that are forming on my neck.
Dear Lord, I'm getting Granny's chicken neck!!
3:00ish - the little kids start waking form naps, the big kids get done with school, and if all the stars and planets align then we get to go outside.
4:00 - I send a daycare sweetie home and start supper.
5:30 - all additional young'uns are gone and I have a delicious, nutritious, home cooked, dinner prepared that no kid would touch with a 10 foot pole.  
Stir fry - yum!
The rest of my evening is spent breaking up fights, cleaning up messes, and doing some light reading:

Pretty much like everyone else.  The only difference when you have small children is that you tend to find messes you aren't real sure you WANTED to find.
Poopy hand?
My husband and I take turns putting the kids to bed - so when it's my turn, I go in and sing 47 songs to the Little ones, and then go and pray and visit one-on-one with the Biggers.  Bed time for me is (hopefully) 9:30...but you know it's usually closer to 10:30.  

And if I'm really super-duper blessed - I get to get up and do it all the next day!  Would love to see YOUR Day In The Life Post!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Don't Be Confused

I frequently make this mistake in naming one of my favorite Star Trek characters.  Lt. Commander TUVOC not TUPAC.

Do NOT confuse either one of these.  On either end.  The tubes look the same - honest!

Yikes - don't get these confused...unless your cooking - and even then.
And finally...don't ever, ever, ever, let me find you confusing these two:
Just a little funny for your day. Having a bit of a high stress week (ah the joys of home schooling!) so needed a little laugh. Headed for our church's Women's Retreat tomorrow - time for a recharge.  Phew!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Racing Weight

Closing up the racing season, I've decided to try another approach to weight loss.  After loosing 60 pounds in 2010 using calorie counting and exercise, I've struggled with the last 20 in 2011.  I lost 7 pounds in the first few months of the year, but have been in a holding pattern since then.

I realized in the last several months, that my endurance sport activities were somewhat hindering my weight loss efforts.  I went looking for sound advice and found plenty of weight loss advice out there for those that are looking to get off the couch.  But not much to go on for those that are already working out 5+ hours per week.  I guess it's assumed that "those people" are already at an optimal weight.  Simply increasing my activity and lowering my calories is not sufficient at this point.

I knew that I need to "clean up" my diet, and was curious about timing my nutrition around my workouts.  I've been swimming and cycling more, and don't want to abandon my new interests.  How to continue training the way I want to, fuel nutritiously and adequately, and still loose body fat?  Enter Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald.

This book reads like a Runners World magazine.  There's plenty of science and cool athlete back stories.  Matt isn't asking me to never have another chocolate bar, or workout 12 hours a week.  It's about moderation, and about timing my clean fuel around my specific workouts.
The points system is used to assign points to high quality foods.  The goal is to get as many points as possible in a day.  The author allows for one "freebie" drink per day such as a soda or a beer, and also gives leeway for up to 3 cups of coffee per day, lightly sweetened of course.

The quick start guide has all the direction to make the necessary calculations needed to determine how many calories you burn in a day and the nutrition portion operates on a basic calorie deficit principle.  It is suggested that you count calories for the first 2 weeks to get your bearings, but the author writes to those that are already choosy about what goes in as fuel.  No need to get things down to the gnats eyebrow, here.

Unlike other "diet books," Racing Weight includes an amazing 8 week training program specific for your sport.  There is a separate chapter for runners, cyclists, swimmers, cross country skiing, and triathletes.  A separate chapter illustrates over 30 strength training exercises that are utilized on sport specific weight training days.  The over-arching goal is to maintain muscle mass, loose body fat, and continuing training to increase performance in my sport.

So, I believe it's time to bid farewell to my "insurance policy."  I want to be lean and fast.  I want to be able to swim fast, bike hard, and run light.   I know that this new book won't loose the weight for me - but I'm hoping that the sane advice and the training direction will help.

My Mid-Section Insurance Policy
Bye-bye little belly, hello faster times and tougher races!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Market to Market Relay

Market to Market is an 86 mile relay race that is run from the Old Market in Omaha Nebraska, to the Haymarket in Lincoln Nebraska.  This is the 4th year.  About 200 teams of 6-8 runners run 2 or 3 stages of an average of four miles each stage.
Lynn, Chris, Aaron, Mark, Shaun, David, Myself, Dave
Our team was named the Southview Striders after our church Southview Baptist Church.  We were in the first wave that began at 6am from Omaha.  I don't know how the other six participants slept the night before - but combine nerves with a sick 2 year old - and David and I didn't get much sleep.  Our alarm was set for 3:30, and coffee was a must.

I didn't get any pictures of the first two exchanges due to it being dark and heavy fog.  The temperature was about 40 degrees and there was little to no wind.  A perfect day for a race!  My husband, David, was runner #3 and had three legs of the race.  I was runner #7 with two legs.
David takes off on his second leg of the race just outside Omaha
Don't let anyone ever tell you that Nebraska is FLAT.  Those cornfield lined, country road miles were brutal.  Just when you crest one hill, there's another one staring you in the face.  My first leg was 4.5 miles and was rated Moderate/Hard.  I averaged a pace which I was pretty disappointed in, frankly.  After a month off for an injury, I had my pace back down to what I had reported for this race.  I didn't get enough time to train on hills, and had two terrible nights' sleep in a, I did my best with what I had.  I feel badly that I didn't perform like I had reported that I could.
My first hand off in Springfield, NE.
It was quite the adventure!  As soon as you hand off to the next guy, you grab a snack and a drink and hop in the van to the next exchange point.  We had some fast runners on our team, so we had to haul to the next point.  I was pretty sure that everyone got to take a nap during my legs. You're welcome, team!
Fun in the van
David and I don't get a whole lot of time away from the kids.  I admit, I was pretty concerned about the both of us leaving all day.  My Mom was watching the kids, and our 13 year old son is responsible with a Capital R, but it was still hard for this Momma.  It was really nice for us to be together and doing something that we love with people that we love, all day.  Our church family is the BEST - and these guys on our team represented the heads of some of my favorite families.
Hubby and I having The Best Day Ever!
I was happy that all of my previously injured areas held up so well.  My hamstring was bugging me a little, but ever since the pull of a lifetime back in July, it just hurts sometimes.  My second leg started out okay. It was my last run, and I was so irritated with my previous run, that I decided to run this one as fast as I could.  I was doing okay until some jack-ass passed me and gave me false info - "just over half left!" - when really the finish was around the next bend about half a mile away.
A happy start to leg 2.
I realize this was my own fault, I didn't have a Garmin, and my GPS in my phone is jacked - so I had no way of knowing if this was true.  I felt I was running hard enough to be nearly done, but wasn't sure.  I was so deflated by this info that I walked for about a minute to recover my breath.  I rounded the corner, saw the exchange point, and sprinted.
Dang, was I ever happy to hand that one off!
I averaged a better pace on the second run, but still not what I was shooting for.  I was tired.  Really tired.  I did my best, but still am not proud of what that best ended up being.  My husband is irritated at my bad attitude.  I guess I might need a few more good nights sleep to sort it out.  I'm probably being silly.

Hubby ran the second to last leg of the race (#19) which is on the trail that we run/bike on a daily basis.  He handed off to our awesome friend and Pastor, Aaron, who ran to the end where we all joined up and ran the last quarter mile together to cross the finish.
Almost done!
And now for a little stage #19 dancing:

We all crossed the finish line as a group at Haymarket Park in Lincoln.  It was a great experience...something very different from what I'm used to.  I'm so glad for what I have learned about pacing strategies during my Half Marathon training.  I, at least, knew better than to burn myself out on the first leg.
All done! I am calling to order a pizza...
I was glad for the time with David, and had a fun time with "the guys."  Being away from the kids for that long was too hard, though.  I think I'll stick to my 5k, 10k, and half Marathon races.  Next stop - first Triathlon in 2012!