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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Last week Theexsaffa mentioned the phrase, “what you put in is what you’ll get out” in one of his comments on my posts. It immediately reminded me of when I read Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. It’s been a few years but I remember how a section of the book talked about how innate ability is overrated. Many times the people who are the best at what they do, who are true “masters” become so after roughly 10,000 hours of working towards it. The whole “overnight sensation” / “innate genius” thing isn’t really accurate – from computing, to sports, to business to music, and he talked about many well-known examples as evidence.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but reflect on that again after that comment.

In younger days, I was always looking for shortcuts. How to get the best grade in school with the least amount of work. How to lose weight fastest. How to train for a race in the least amount of time. How to get promoted quickly. The truth is, shortcuts don’t really work. Not for the long-term anyway.

Every day, in every goal, I’m reminded that what you put in, is what you’ll get out. Sure, I have some innate skills and abilities that may put me above others in certain areas. But even some of those are actually from mastering the skill too. For a silly example, anyone who knows me IRL thinks I’m an extremely fast reader – that’s just a skill I have. But I argue, I am now. I started reading, actual children’s books, at age 4. My parents spent every single night when I was really young reading me books and trying to teach me to read alongside my older sister. I immediately took to it, loved it and for my entire childhood I read for at least an hour a night, and when caught up in a book I would secretly read hours into the night under my covers with a flashlight. Sometimes I would read my school’s summer reading books then steal my older sister’s books and read hers too. By the time I was in high school, I was reading at least a book (for fun in addition to school required books) a week. By college, especially in the summer I could finish an entire book in one beach day. So yes, I’m a fast reader but when you think about it, I’ve been working on that for years and countless hours. Even a small skill like reading fast takes hard work and dedication.

Something else that I’ve learned along the way is how good it feels to work hard. To put hard work in and to see and feel the progress. I actually love the journey, sometimes more than the end goal.

In Flywheel for weeks I’ve been progressing, but hitting around the same overall power or just above (the power score comes out of your RPM and TORQ – or your pace and resistance). I try to go weekly, on Fridays, and each time I feel myself working and pushing harder. This past Friday, I really saw how hard work pays off.

On the women’s side, I won every race, and then I won the overall TORQ board. And most importantly, I beat my own total power personal goal by a landslide.

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Last night I got on my bike for 3 minutes. It was raining and cold but I hadn’t been on my bike in over 2.5 years. I also hadn’t ever used clip ins, and my pedals had been switched so like it or not I was using them.

Two almost topple overs and I felt confident enough. Ha.

I went inside, ate buffalo chicken wings, finally drank some water and went to bed.

In other words, the best race prep ever!

This morning I woke up, again to a windy rainy day, and started my routine with coffee. Then I tried on the bathing suits I bought at Target the day before (it was so crazy I never tried them on) and got myself excited for St Thomas. At least I wasn’t nervous for my race, ha.

The Husband drove and came to cheer me on which was pretty exciting. I got through the normal prep, bib pickup, bike set-up, potty and got ready to go. It must have been the weather because a good 40 packets were leftover of no shows. I do recall looking around thinking this was the first race I’ve been at where 98% were in true biking gear with pretty legit lightweight bikes. I felt a little out of place.

First up, a 3 mile run. I couldn’t believe how fast people started out. Quickly I was among the last 10 people (granted there were maybe 60 of us total) but the fear of being last kept me running. I heard two women directly behind me and hearing them pushed me. I could not stop. I could not let them beat me.

Quickly the run was over. In 29 minutes and 22 seconds I finished. Under 10 minute miles, which actually for me are pretty solid. I finally felt warmed up.

T1 was a little slower than normal. My first time switching shoes. I was so anxious about the shoes that I put my helmet on backwards! It wasn’t until Hubby and someone else shouted to turn it around that I realized what I had done. I ran my bike to the road, clipped in and was off.

Holy moly I was flying! The bike portion was only 11 miles, full of hills and turns, but I knew coming off so many intense flywheel classes I had it in me. I passed 5 bikers immediately, and continued to pass a few on the hills. I remembered how much I loved the bike, how strong I feel on the bike and how somehow hills are where I am my strongest. But I also couldn’t shake the mental awareness to be careful, of being clipped in, of taking slick road turns and going too fast. At times I felt myself coasting out of that fear. I’m just not used to being on the open road. At one point I passed a car speed reader on the road and I registered at 25mph!

And just like that it was over. In what was probably about 35 minutes or so. I say about because here’s where things get frustrating.

I dismounted, got my bike back in, transitioned and ran (wobbled) back out. Only 2 miles and I was done!

I was finished and back in the car by 10 am (a race start of about 8:30ish) and yet…

the friggan chip time stopped me at transition 2. Somehow I checked in to transition 2, but it didn’t check me out and so I don’t know my actual bike (it has me at over an hour, probably the cutoff time?) and no second run time.

I’m trying to stay positive. For as much training as I did, and without great pre-race prep, I felt awesome. Endurance wise I felt absolutely fantastic. (Groin wise I don’t, clearly my body wasn’t used to my actual bike.) I feel amazed at myself for using the clip ins (and amazed at how much more efficient they are!) I’m happy with my run times since lately I’ve been doing closer to 11 minute jogs! But I wish I knew the exacts. Gosh I really wish out of it all I had my exact bike time, the one area I’ve worked so hard!

But hey, I did it! I got a great workout in and I am so much more excited for my TRI in June.

Now it’s time for a nap. ☺️

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I had a long conversation with my Mom on Tuesday. It’s funny actually, in the past few years, especially since getting married I tend to go to the Husband for almost everything but, there are still times when I need my Mom. She asked exactly what everyone else has been asking. Well, in her therapist like Mom way.

Why are you doing the half-ironman?
For a number of reasons I said, first for fun, second for fitness and third it’s something I’ve always had in the back of my mind to do in my lifetime.

Well, are you having fun?
The answer was no. For a few months now, it’s obviously clear I’ve been struggling. Workouts that should be fun became a chore. Training somehow always became lowest priority. Anxiety and stress was always looming. I found myself so moody and negative when thinking of the months ahead. The whole point was to enjoy the next few months as much as possible before trying to expand our family, and I feel like we’re now in the opposite place. I’m wishing away the time.

Are you getting fit?
Yes, although I’m not losing weight because I’m stress eating. I keep wanting to try to change around my diet but keep fearing of messing with my training. But endurance and strength wise, I’m doing really well. I would regret stopping training in all ways or not doing something with my training.

Is this the only time in your life you think you can do a half-ironman?
No, it’s not. I hope it’s not at least. I have future fitness goals of all sorts.. a half ironman… a marathon…short races post baby like 5ks and 10ks. I want to do it all for the rest of my life.

And so the answer became a bit more clear. I’m not doing the half-ironman this year.

I am signed up and doing a triathlon at the end of June in its place, when my Mom will actually be home from Alaska and plans to come watch. A race that is 4 miles from my in-laws meaning everyone can come watch, and then we can all go to a celebratory breakfast after.

I don’t know if I’ll regret this decision. I just know that right now, I don’t. I feel relief. I feel happiness. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Something in my gut kept saying now isn’t the time – some fear, not even about physically finishing but more so the risks involved – and it wouldn’t go away. And so now, I feel pretty pumped about competing in a regular triathlon. One that with my recent training, I’m actually excited to crush in comparison to any tri I’ve done before.

The hardest part, or so I thought would be, was telling everyone. Each conversation I felt like a failure when I started to explain that I’ve dropped out this year. Yet each time, friends and family were unbelievably understanding and all reminded me of the same thing – if I’m doing it for fun, and it’s not fun, it’s defeating the purpose. It’s been sort of  a “duh” moment really.

This Saturday I’m going on an early morning ride with two girlfriends. Then this Sunday I have my duathlon. Then a few weeks of training, training that I’m actually really excited to do, and training that won’t be taking over my life, before crushing this June triathlon. In the meantime, I want to just enjoy the next few months. I want to go St. Thomas with all the women in my family in May and lay on the beach, eat, drink, and get a few workouts in – relaxing in the best possible way. I want to eat healthier. I want to spend time with the Husband and friends. I want to make plans at last-minute, I want to sleep in, I want to have a glass of wine or two without feeling guilty. There’s a real possibility we want to start trying to expand our family this summer, and more than ever, I need to be honest with myself about how I want to spend my time.

So here’s to the next few months – enjoying life and being true to myself.

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I was bordering on panic mode around my half-ironman this morning. To the point I looked into postponing to a later race (not possible). I haven’t been consistent with my training and I don’t feel ready.

Let’s be honest though, I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready.

But I have 10 weeks. Some crazies train for half-ironmans in 10 weeks alone. I have a base, even if my mind is telling me I don’t. I can swim 1.2 miles now. I can bike 40 miles at a 17mph pace without feeling tired. I need to do a few more long bike bricks. Running, well, I can jog/walk at a 5.0 mile pace the whole damn time if needed. Anyway, I know exactly what to do to make myself feel prepared and more positive. And seriously, I’m not just saying this, I will be thrilled, tears of happiness thrilled, prouder than hell of myself, if I can finish this race without getting cut off.

I started to list out what I need to get done in order to feel less panicked:

-Commit to prioritizing my training for the next 10 weeks.

-Celebrate each training week and build up my confidence.

-Get my bike work done. (Tune-up, clip in pedals, a flat tire kit, and an extra water bottle cage.)

-Get a few outdoor rides in.

-Participate in the duathlon I signed up for at the end of April (3 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run) – the perfect opportunity to get a little more used to my shoes and get the race feeling back.

-Watch a few training videos. (What to pack for the race, changing a flat, and other nutrition tips.)

-Practice with nutrition.

-Practice race outfits.

-Practice transitions.

-Book my race hotel room, Friday –Sunday.

 

Here’s my training that I want to accomplish this week. I will stick to my plan, these workouts are my top priority, and I know I have no reason not to be able to. I can do this. 

Week10

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I broke my lent promise this morning. When my alarm went off at 5:40, I shut it off. I didn’t even snooze, I just said, absolutely not. I’ve had over a week straight now of 5:40am mornings. I actually have been loving my morning workouts and really do like getting them in before work.

However, yesterday, I hit training hard. I got up at 5:40 and took an intense flywheel class. When lunch time rolled around at work, I took another. That’s almost 2 hours of intense biking. I’m talking all out each class, hills and sprints for 600+ calorie burning classes, and somehow I found myself having the energy to go harder in the second class. In reality, that’s just a blip of what I’ll be doing on race day – but I think the combination of my 6 days straight last week, (Saturday off), then another couple of days of hard training in combination with getting my period and my body just wanted sleep this morning. I am not even sore per say (I’m tight for sure) but I just wanted more than 6 -7 hours of sleep (especially because I’m still adjusting to the Husband coming into bed, tossing/turning/and talking). And so I slept another glorious hour and woke up at 6:40 feeling much, much better.

My boss has said a few times that I should feel free to adjust my work hours since I’m putting an average of 5-10 night hours in total each week with this project. So today I am finally taking her up on that offer and I’m leaving work to catch a 4pm train. That gives me enough time to head straight to the gym, get my hour run in, then pick Bentley up, heat up my leftovers for dinner and start my night calls.

I’m having severe hatred towards the scale right now. I feel great. I’m eating better (not fantastic, but better for sure and I’m tracking calories and portions), and I’m working out 6 days a week. My clothes are fitting better, my body feels more energized and my stomach feels like it’s slowly making its way back to the inside of my pants (versus hanging over… 😉 ) So whyyyyy isn’t the scale budging? I know the whole losing inches, gaining muscle, but seriously? Can’t it budge a few pounds and make me feel better?

This weather is really getting to me. I normally love snow and winter, but I’m over it by February. It’s March 25th and we are getting hit with 3-6 inches of snow tonight. This is the first time I ever remember being truly depressed about the weather. The temps are still frigid, and even down to the low teens at night. It just feels windy and dreary. I need warmth and sun. I want to feel motivated to go for a walk outside or happily walk to my car at 5:40am instead of constantly shivering, and feeling unmotivated to go outside. If it wouldn’t set off my old addiction (still going strong!) I’d probably go fake tanning just to feel warmth and sun. Bring on Spring, please!

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Sometimes all I need to stay motivated is to see my progress. Not just “feel” it, but see data in some form or another that proves I’m making progress. I know I can see it on the scale, a few pounds lost in the last couple of weeks. I know I can see it among my training plan – longer, harder workouts. But something about seeing the data from Flywheel, to literally see that I have consistently pushed harder each class, makes me so very happy.

Flywheel_Progress
I don’t care as much about MAX TORQ (resistance) in that it really depends on the instructor you get (some prefer hills, some prefer sprints). I also think the average speed is pulled from who knows where because, while it’s one hell of a high intensity class, unless you’re faster than Lance Armstrong, you’re not going an average of 30mph. However to see my total power (an equation of RPM and TORQ) jump higher and higher each week – confirms my feeling that I’m working hard, getting stronger and faster.

Sometimes that’s all I need to keep pushing forward. It’s what  just motivated me to sign up for a duathlon in a month. A short course, but one I love, (actually, I first referenced it here), and I would love to have a mini-goal on the way to this bigger 70.3 goal. A good way to ease myself back into the tri scene, get comfortable on my bike, and go into an event with confidence.

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A good week

This has been a tough work week. Long, long hours –and a lot of feeling like I can’t do anything right. I was trying hard to get good sleep too, only to be woken up by Bentley every few hours. He’s had a strange few nights this week where all he wanted to do was sleep in our bed even though he normally loves his crate. For two nights we allowed it because we didn’t want to hear his whining, and never should have – I hardly slept that little bed hog– and then he thought it could be the norm – so much so that when it was bedtime he would run upstairs ahead of us and jump on the bed and pretend to be asleep…I kid you not. I ended up letting him whine it out at 3am last night for about 10 minutes before he fell back asleep in his crate. We plan to be careful about allowing him in our bed because there’s no way all 3 of us will be sleeping there nightly.

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Anyway, you know what has been keeping me sane? My workouts and eating healthier. I’m not just saying that, I mean it 100%. I’ve been following my training plan and tracking my eats (and portions) in MyFitnessPal.

I’m also currently taking part in a DietBet with Chris Powell and his wife that started this past weekend. The whole concept is interesting, but one that speaks to my wanting to win, socially motivated and loving free money self. Essentially you put in $30 and your goal is to lose 4% of your weight in 4 weeks. If you lose your 4% target, you’re guaranteed to get your $30 at a minimum back. In this case, the pot is $116,490 among 3,885. Now it’s unlikely (and unheard of) that everyone who enters actually loses their 4% target, meaning those of us who do, get to split their money. Usually they say you get anywhere from 1.5x to 2x your initial buy-in. Either way it has seriously kept me motivated and made me think twice before grabbing a pre-bed treat.

As for my workouts this week? I’ve hit them all so far! I’ve switched around the days slightly (I decided to use yesterday as my off day instead of Saturday since I worked out Sunday – Wednesday and my legs just felt dead). Even with losing an hour of sleep (painful) I pushed myself to get in a few workouts before work, and still hit my other workouts after work.

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…yes AM.

I can’t believe how much better I feel after only a week. I feel better in my clothes, I feel more energized, I feel excited about training and most of all, I feel more sane.

It’s been a really good week…and a great deal that I made with Becelisa. 😉

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