Tuesday, February 28, 2012

23 1/2 Hours a Day

I wanted to share this video with you today.  It is almost 10 minutes in length - but trust me - it's worth the watch.  If anyone is pressed to make their time on the computer "count" it's me.  So just settle down and watch it.

It is a very brief over view of a study that was done with regard to a treatment that reduced symptoms in some of the most common chronic ailments in the country.

What did you think?

Did any of the findings surprise you?

Can you limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 1/2 hours per day?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Indoor Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Today, I completed the Grand Island YMCA Indoor Sprint Triathlon.  The events involved a 500yd pool swim, a 12 mile spin on the LeMond Spin Bikes and a 5k trip around the indoor track - which worked out to be about 40 laps. (!)

My Mom and Grandparents live in GI, so it's always fun to go there for a race.  We arrived Friday night before the race and hung out with the Grannies.  The kids slept pretty well - our older two crashed on the couches and our little ones slept on the floor next to our bed (thanks Bro for letting us crash in your room!).  We were all sacked out by 10:30.

I only slept in 2 hour intervals - but thought that better than the last race I slept for...that one I didn't sleep at all!  We got up and snuck out of the house a little after 6, leaving the kids with the Grands.  

Drawing for my lane.

The event was well organized and small.  Most folks were competing as a team, with one person doing each event.  We were able to choose our own bike in the cycling room, and had to draw for lap lanes.  We only had to share a lane with one other person - nice!

Pre-race "gun" show.
I am a fairly new swimmer and not real fast or confident, so I decided to treat the swim as just another daily swim practice.  I started out with a nice, relaxed freestyle - but switched it up with some breast stroke in with the free and wrapped it up with back stroke.  They had volunteers counting laps and they signaled when there was one lap left.  I felt I swam easy and achieved my goal of a "no stress" warm up.  I exited the pool to find my loving husband and biggest fan, standing there with my special needs bag.  I dried off, put on my shoes and my hat and hoofed it to the cycling room.
Swim time: 12:27

Spinning as fast as I can!
I entered the cycling room and was happy that I had been able to set up my bike previously.  It was all ready for me to hop on and go, go, go.  The AWESOME volunteers had even set me up with a towel and I left my bottle of Gatorade there as well.  Not sure about those bikes...I averaged a SMOKIN' cycling time. I had very little tension and was spinning at about 130rpm's.  I didn't feel overly fatigued, but still challenged. I knew I needed to save something for the run.  The music in they were blaring was TERRIBLE, so I was grateful for my iPhone and Google Music.  And headphones...  At mile 11, I signaled a volunteer who came over and watched the clock until I reached the required 12 miles. 
 Bike time: 24.36

The cycling room was "close quarters."
T2 saw this Momma on some wobbly-bobbly legs...hubby was right there with me, directing me UP-stairs to the indoor track where I knew I had a 5k to complete.  

I was never SO grateful to start running.  I'm coming in to Triathlon from a running background.  I love to run long distances - so pacing is a good 'ol friend of mine.  I started out just getting my groove on - my stomach was sort of upset and I was kinda looking for a place to loose my...gatorade.  After a few laps on the track my tummy settled down.  My music was spurring me on and I was gliding along.  There was this one dude that kept passing me so damn close I could feel him SWEAT on me.  Grrr!!  But after lap 15 HE was walking and I was running so PLPBT!!!  In fact, lots of people were walking, but I was getting stronger!  At lap 30/40 I stepped on the gas, and at lap 35, my sweet husband told me I was set up for a personal best for 5k and I should GO!  Go, I did, and this Momma managed a 5k PR after swimming 500yds and biking 12 miles.  HA!
Run time: 29:45

Total Event Time 1:10:44

My "Award"  - My Split Sheet!

Like I said - this was a very small event.  They gave awards for the first in each Team Division, and first place in Men's and Women's.  I actually placed 2nd in the Women's Overall division, but didn't receive a trophy or medal.

That's okay.

I'm so dang proud of myself I don't need a medal!

When I first laced up a pair of trainers and started running in 2005, my long term goal was to work my way up to "a triathlon" by the time I turned 40 (in 2015).  The fact that I am 3 years ahead of schedule is nice.

A year ago, I would have given my left pinky finger to have an average pace anywhere in the 11:00's...now I'm busting out 5k's after a swim/bike in 9:45.  Things are getting better.  I am getting better. I need a new "When I turn 40" goal.  Shall I learn how to practice Karate?  Maybe Trail Running, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing?  Hmmm...Maybe this:
1.2mi swim, 56mi bike, 13.1mi run.
Eh - maybe.  

Finally, I leave you with a video from the cycling room.  Complete with me being a total smart-ass AND losing the pedal because I forgot to tighten the stirrups.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Bank Holiday!

Workout today - 1500yd swim.  This was not a hard workout.  I am doing my best to "taper" for a sprint tri on Saturday.  And I may or may not be using it as an excuse to eat and rest.  :P

I had the day off today, so I came home from the gym at about 6:30am and changed back in to my PJ's, grabbed a mug of coffee and my newest Cooking Light magazine and hopped back in bed!  My husband either thinks I'm insane or brilliant...but I hear it's almost the same thing.

It wasn't to long until I had a little visitor:
Perfect Mother / Son moment...with boogies.
After some quality snuggle time, another little person realized that Momma was hanging out in her room:
What?  You don't give your toddlers smart phones to keep them quiet?
We had a fun day at a School's Out Party given by the Children's Ministry at our church.  Those ladies work so stinkin' hard just to give the kiddos a good time.  They had the kids making their own ice cream, a craft, and then fed them lunch.  

We got done at the church about 1:00, I called my 13yo son to see how his babysitting gig was going.  He was done already and - with check in hand - was ready to go to the Pet Store.  He's been saving up for a fish tank set up and had the final moneys, yay!  I love to see a child accomplish a goal - whether it be making it to the potty in time or saving up for a large purchase - it's all pretty cool!

We had to visit the kitties up for adoption at the Pet Store.
I have not mourned the passing of reliable nap time so much as I did today.  Our *nearly* 3 year old still really needs a nap, but if he doesn't get it by 1:00pm or so, it ain't happening.  Until 6:00pm when he just can't take it anymore:

Poor, sweet, baby. So tired!

Not a bad Monday.  Grilled some steaks for supper, and got to wrap it up by holding a new born baby boy.  Does life really get any better?  I guess people with Grand kids say that it does.  Wow - now THAT'S grace!

How did you spend President's Day?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Numbers That (Don't) Matter

Husbands birthday, our anniversary, kids' ages, lowest price on milk, how fast I can pretty-up to leave, what time the kids need to be at church/practice/lessons, how many scoops of formula to 2oz of water, how much the house payment is, dosing of ibuprofen per body weight, how many servings to cook for dinner...

How many yards I can swim how fast, my personal best for 5k, 10k, 15k, Half Marathon, how much for new peddles on the bike, monthly membership at the YMCA, what time to get up to get the workout done, average pace, elevation, number of reps, rest between sets...

Resting heart rate, blood pressure, cholesterol...

These are all numbers that matter to me.  They serve a purpose in my life.  They cause action, asking "what's next?"

It's taken me about 10 years, but I have finally decided on the numbers that DON'T matter anymore.

My weight, my hip circumference, my waist size.

These numbers don't mean a damn thing to me anymore.  They don't help me buy clothes (every shop has slightly different sizing!), they don't effect my health anymore (now that I'm at an appropriate weight), and they don't help me to plan, care take, or compete.

I've tried to loose "these last15lbs" for almost a year.  I'm done.  With a workout schedule that has me working out 6-7 hours a week and a love of a healthy diet (okay 90% of the time), I am in the best shape of my entire life.  Would I be a faster runner and cyclist if I weighed less?  Sure!  But why?  I don't desire to be competitive in any way other than with myself.  I once came in 9th in my age group and nearly fell over with surprise!  Pretty sure there were only 12 women running...  HA!!

I run and bike because I truly love it.  I practice yoga because it helps to control chronic back pain.  I swim because I wanted branch out and learn a new skill.  Our children love going to the YMCA, our son lifts weights, our daughter did her first run/swim brick last month! It's not about being thin anymore.  It hasn't been for a long time.  

So, I'm going to concentrate on numbers that matter.  How many cupcakes to make for my daughter's birthday, how many weeks til Hubby and I run another Half Marathon together, what size shoe does our growing 2yo wear, what time is the party at church...

Numbers that matter.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

One Week Til I Tri!

One week from right now, I will (hopefully!) officially be a Triathlete.  I've been training in all three disciplines since October, and my first Tri is next Saturday.  It's a sprint distance with a pool swim, small town, limited participants...all the right components for a first go.

Yesterday morning, I did a "confidence swim" to see just how long it would take me to swim the required 500yds.  I wasn't able to do it all freestyle, but I got it done in just over 10 minutes.  I'm pretty apprehensive about coming our of the swim dead last - but my plan is to use these big 'ol bedonk-a-donk legs that God gave me to kill it on the bike.  *grin*  I've done a kajillion bike to run bricks, so I'm confident that I can run on those tired legs.

Workout today - 30 minutes moderate output on the bike, 3 miles moderate on the treadmill.  I meant to do 6 on the 'mill like last week, but I may or may not have had a searing pain small twinge in my right ankle that forced me to stop.

Darn it.

I ran in my old Kinvara's for about 100 miles to long...my ankle was starting to hurt on runs longer than 8 miles or so...I got the PureFlow's just in time.  Or so I thought.  Maybe no running this week - I'll just work on my swimming and rest until race day.

And after my first Triathlon is complete? Well, it's back to running.  I have a race in March (10mi), April(10k), May(Half Marathon) and June(10K) that will take up my time until the Cornhusker State Games Triathlon the end of July.  That is - if I even like triathlon.  I'm pretty sure it will rock my planet like peanut butter in oatmeal, or parmesan cheese on popcorn - but you never know!

I just love the idea of branching out to other sports.  Getting to know people that do other things...learning new terminology (wow, just as I was finally getting the running jargon after 6 years!!), and if you love gear like I love gear - look out Daddy - we now have THREE sports to buy gear for.


So, without sounding to sophomoric - I hope I do good, 'cuz the training has been a blast!

Please, Lord, don't let this Momma Cat drown!!

Favorite Things

It's time to share some of my favorite things!

First up is an application called Pocket Yoga.  This application is available on the Android market and on the iPhone.  I really liked this ap and used it a lot.  You can choose from 3 different practices, depending on the intensity of the workout you desire.  There are 3 different duration choices (30, 45, or 60 minutes) and 3 difficulty levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced.)  This is well worth the $1.99.  I used it a couple of times a week for about 6 months.  I've recently discovered another ap in the Pocket Yoga family called  Practice Builder.  If you are someone that has done enough Yoga to know what you like - you'll really like this.  I've had a lot of fun building my own sequences.  It's nice to be able to put together a short routine that I can do before bed, after a run, or any time!

Butter!  Who doesn't like Butter?  A little dab will do ya - it's a natural food - and darn it, it just tastes good!  Choose unsalted to reduce sodium.

Seriously - if you don't cook and bake with real butter, you really should make the switch.  I grew up in a family where my Mom was always watching fat and calories.  In the '80's it was all about low-fat and non-fat, so I never had anything but margarine.  When I got married, my husband preferred real butter (his Mom grew up on a diary farm, go figure) so I learned about the glory of real butter.  You can actually use less, due to the lack of water content that exists in butter substitutes, and there is definitely more flavor.

Next up - The Stick.  If you ever wondered how to work those kinks out of your muscles, this is the ticket.  I'm a big believer in the foam roller, but for more direct pressure on things like quads and calves, The Stick is the ahhh-mazing.  I used to use my rolling pin - but when the kids complained about the rolled cookies "tasting funny" I figured I better spring for the real thing.  I paid about $25 at the local sporting goods store.

Those are a few of my favorite things right now.  How about you?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One Month IF Report

I just wrapped up 30 days on a style of Intermittent Fasting (IF).  The protocol I followed, allowed for me to eat during an 8 hour window.  I chose the hours of 9am - 5pm so that I could have meals with my family.  I didn't count calories, but ate a balanced, whole foods diet.  Here's how it turned out.

  • I had about a 75% adherence to the program.  Normally the wiggle room was on the weekends where we had popcorn after dinner with a movie.  Some days I was able to push my "break fast" until 10 or even 11am to extend the fasting window from the night before.
  • I lost 3.5 pounds.  My body fat scale showed "no change" but I'm not sure it's working properly.
  • I noticed a difference in the composition of my tummy and resurrected a shirt that was deemed "to clingy" before!
  • I found it much easier to wait to eat if I drank more water.
  • In the last 5 days I noticed a daily headache (though late in the day about 3pm) and a serious inability to recover from hard workouts.  After training, I just felt like it was a supreme effort to get through the day.

As you can see there is some good (hello Peach Colored "Clingy" Shirt!) and some bad (bad recovery).  I failed to realize, that this protocol was followed by body builders, and not endurance athletes.  Also, while I agree with at least one fasting workout per week to train the body to dip in to fat stores for fuel, I should have been smarter with my recovery fuel.  That's like trying to wear new kicks on a 20 mile run.  Doink.

Now for the really bad.

Since Sunday, I've felt really, really, REALLY tired.  I'm training for my first triathlon, I have 4 children, I home school, I own a home daycare, I am very active with our church.  "Tired" is not a foreign concept.  But THIS was debilitating.  It all came to a fine point yesterday when I was near comatose.  I was SO incredibly tired and I just couldn't take the fasting anymore.  I ate yesterday.  I didn't do much housework.  I snapped at my older kids.  I was not a happy little monkey.

With some clarity of mind after a feast of trail mix and buttery toast, I realized that I was probably allowing my body to eat my muscle tissue.  Not cool.  Like I said - some fasting workouts are good for you - but most current sports nutrition wisdom will tell you that you need a recovery snack within an hour after hard workouts.  Most days, my workouts end at 6:30am, so I would need something to eat by 7:30 to help my muscles recover (hello...your HEART is a muscle!).  I feel  really silly that I didn't take this in to consideration.  All I saw was NO calorie counting = LOSE weight.  Duh.

So - going forward, I think that IF is a great way to train yourself to eat less by really responding to hunger cues.  I also think that having a policy of not eating after supper is something I will stick with.  But, I think that I will begin to, once again, have breakfast when I come home from the gym - and maybe go back to having that half a banana and a swig of soy milk before my brick workouts.  I feel pretty stupid that I sacrificed my recovery like that.  I, long ago, stopped working out to "get thin."

But life is about learning and moving on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kick Pull CRAZY

Workout - 1500yd swim / 45min

I did a kick set out of the November 2011 issue of Triathlete Magazine and added 6x50 pull to make 1500.  I still feel like I don't belong in the pool and am just this side of drowning.  Friday, I'm going to see what I have to do to get 500yds strung together without stopping.  I know I will have to combine breaststroke and a possible flip over on to my back to get it done.  It's really hard to get used to breathing heavy in the water.  Timing is everything!

I keep thinking that I will look back on my first triathlon (coming up on 2/25!!) and laugh about what an inadequate swimmer I was...and hopefully feel happy about how much better I will have become.


I haven't been writing much because I'm going through a "thing" right now.  Everyone has those times when they are just tired and don't wanna.  I find that the isolation and constant demand of the SAHM/Daycare Lady gig compounds this in to a tight wad of stress that sits between my shoulder blades.

I don't wanna cook or clean anything.  I don't care about your shoes, your fish tank, your pew-pew, or your baby dolls.  The next person that asks me to do something for them WHILE I AM ALREADY BUSY is going to get a shoe print on the behind.  I think everyone's voice has gotten 50% louder in the last week.  I don't want to pick up after you and you and you and you and you, and I wish I could just have ONE COMPLETE thought without having somebody BUTT IN with their needs and wishes.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snowed In

We had a little snow last night and this morning.
8am - we went on to get about 12-14 inches total.

I think I experienced the "Worlds Longest Morning" this morning.  Somehow, being unable to go anywhere makes time pass more slowly.  I am a stay at home Mom and a home daycare provider - so being at home all day is the usual for me.  Not being able to leave and go about our usual Saturday fun wasn't so easy.

I made coffee and hung out in my pj's while my Superman husband scooped snow.  Finally, about 8:30 or so, I decided that the clunker treadmill in the basement was going to be my only option for a run today.  It is barely electric and the readout is broken.  I just run on it at a moderate pace for a specific time and guess about the distances.  Today - the schedule called for 6-8miles, but I made it 5 on the old clunker.  Some running is better than no running.  For the sake of my sanity and my family.

Two little "snow angels" in the yard with Mrs. Snow Lady
After that "fun" my husband made some fantastic pancakes, and I bribed suggested that the kids all take naps so that Daddy and I could to.  I may or may not have bribed them with making a snow man afterwards.

My husband was really helpful with cleaning up the dishes today - and since I had a nice clean kitchen, what better thing to do than to bake?

I made some herbed bread to go along with our tomato rice soup.  I had some cans of tomato soup and made up a cup of rice to put in it.  That, along with some additional spices of my own and a can of "Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes" that were purchased by mistake, made a really nice dinner.  The bread was easy, quick, and very impressive right out of the oven on a cold winter day.

I decided to do a Photo a Day Challenge to help inspire me to write daily.  Today's is supposed to be a stranger, but I don't really get that one - why? - so I decided to do #3 - hands.
My left hand.

This is my left hand.  I keep my nails short and don't bother painting them.  I am married, but don't wear my ring much, because as you can see, my finger gets a nice ring of red that lasts several days each time I wear it.  I put it on Thursday and had to take it off this morning.  My hands look O.L.D.

I hope all of you who are snowed in still have power and that a tree didn't fall on your house.  So far we are 50% good for that.  A small tree split and is leaning gently on our living room windows.  No big deal.  Stay home, stay warm, and count your blessings!  Church is canceled for tomorrow, so I'm going to bake some more bread and make some more soup.  Happy Snow Weekend!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Just Here for the Conversation

I went to the Fallbrook YMCA this morning rather than the Downtown location.  I needed to fit in a swim and a bike today, and while I like the pool better Downtown, they don't have spin bikes.  The stationary bikes are okay - but they only have 3 and they are always occupied by someone barely peddling while reading a magazine.

Which brings me to my ROD - Rant of the Day.

Folks who come to the gym and occupy space but don't really work out.

Now, let me preface this by saying that when I started exercising, I weighed 230lbs and smoked a pack a day.  I couldn't even get through a 30 minute Sweatin' to the Oldies DVD.  Well, back then it was on VHS...but you get the picture.  I'm not being judgy-wudgy, I am glad that they are doing something but these examples are annoying me:

  • The two women that "water walk" and take up an entire lane chatting.  Water walking is GREAT exercise.  However, floating and barely propelling yourself with the errant foot tap to the bottom of the pool will burn exactly 6 calories.  In the meantime, there are people that would like to use the pool.
  • The two dudes that occupy side by side recumbent bikes and talk REALLY LOUDLY.  Riding the recumbent bike is GREAT exercise.  But barely pedaling while checking out much younger women while making sure we all know the gory details of your recent colonoscopy will burn exactly 3 calories.  And...I'm still waiting for a bike...
  • source
  • The woman on the treadmill that is walking and talking on her cell phone.  I have been guilty of answering a phone call while on the treadmill.  I had to stop running and quickly see what the emergency was, hang up and continue my workout.  But, honey, chatting with your BFF while the treadmill is set on 2mph with an incline of zero, is going to burn exactly 10 calories.  Yes, you get points for actually moving your body - but a serious detraction for being rude.  You do know that everything echos in there, right?
So sue me - I'm a little peeved today.  Maybe I'm just jealous.  I don't have a workout partner. *cry*  My husband and I run races together sometimes, but we don't get to train together much.  If I did have somebody to workout with, I would hope that they would push me to new levels.  I'm sure there would be some chattin' going on - but hopefully more training than chatting!  I don't care if you want to talk while you get your sweat on - just don't forget to SWEAT!