Friday, March 29, 2013

Exposing your weaknesses!! What are you willing to give up?

Most of us go through life being taught to be strong...to be tough...show the world that you are galvanized against the negative and show only the positive. In this world of Instagram, Facebook and Tweeting our lives away, we want to show our friends and the world that all is well...

But sometimes....the struggles of life are not a "well" thing.  They are tough... they sometimes are not pretty...sometimes...they are just plain UGLY.

You can imagine that, as I  enter a lap pool, take the track for a run workout, or I get on my bike for a long hill repeat each week, that my weaknesses come to the surface pretty quickly.  I mean...a 4'11" 178 pound 49 year old woman is not your typical idea of an athlete.  I look more like an athletic supporter (insert your own joke here) than an athlete...let alone a TRI-ATHLETE.  Throw the word Ironman into the conversation, and people shake their heads and say "No way!".

Being yourself and showing the world you aren't OUTSTANDING at something can be difficult..but sometimes...every once in awhile, people will look deeper than just the "big girl on the bike." They find there is a passion....a desire...a LOVE if you will of a challenge....of a sport...

Now that is really me.

The last few weeks have been a challenge.  A cold that turn to bronchitis made working out difficult..and then for a week it made it impossible.  When someone with an eating disorder doesn't feel well...the first thing they turn to for comfort is...yes you guessed it...food.  Improper eating leads to poor performance..and, well...you get the picture.

I am better this week....the chest infection is gone...the workouts on track...and the eating...well, for me, eating is always that issue that constantly needs attention.

What are you willing to give up to make your dreams come true? For me, it has been difficult to TOTALLY give up food that is NOT part of a training table.  Do a long workout: a beer and a cheeseburger is totally doable since you burned ALL those calories.  Complete ALL the workouts on your week's plan...why not grab an ice cream to celebrate.  To most people, that's not a bad way to think...but to someone who is addicted to food...it's a very slippery slope.

I found myself in a slide...but I caught it in time.  I really need to sit down each day and determine that giving up those foods that are not helping my body achieve this Ironman goal is much more important than any bite could possible taste.

Back on the wagon...back on track....one step, one pedal, one lap at a time.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Workout Weekend with a Goal

Triathletes the world over view some of their weekends at the "long" weekend.  It is on these weekends that we do our long workouts...perhaps a long run...or a long bike workout....even an open water swim might be in the mix...but usually..these are the days that we have the time to really focus on our endurance.

For me...it is focusing on a lot of things.

I have had people in the past ask me...why aren't you just happy with losing most of your weight?? Why do you have to do so much "physical" stuff??  I mean...there are lots of gastric band or gastric bypass patients who would be happy with the weight loss you have achieved.  A lot of those patients have gain most if not all their weight back and see no hope.

I guess the reason I go out and do the things that i do is to give those people hope.  I understand what its like to sit at home and wonder how the hell am I going to even get STARTED on an exercise plan...or an eating plan....or work my way to a 5k, 10k, marathon or triathlon.

As Coach Sway told me today...small goals lead to large goals.

My goals this weekend were to bump up my mileage on the bike to 30 miles....and to run 5 miles under a certain time.  For most people, the time I need to complete my run under would be extremely easy...but for me..it's a different story...

This body wasn't built for running.

But I am determined...and I got up on Saturday and completed that 30 miles....and ENJOYED every minute.  I love the bike....I love getting up early, watching a killer sunrise and enjoying the environment around me.  I love seeing others out on their ride and I just plain love being on two wheels.  Fast, slow...it doesn't matter....the bike is my happy place.

But the run....hmmmmm....not so much

Running is tough.  Im happy to report that it is improving but as I woke up this morning, I began to have the debate in my head of whether I would actually DO this workout today.  You make all kinds of excuses: Im tired. Ive been sick.  I can do it tomorrow.....and then...you realize...that if you want those  bigger goals in life...it's going to take achieving the small ones....

So..as I chased my golden retriever around my house for my favorite pair of running shoes, I got ready for 5 miles.  Just 5 miles.  A few months ago...5 miles was not an option after a broken foot and surgery to repair my gastric bypass and replace it with a gastric band.  I put on a fuel belt loaded with 2 small bottles of fluids with electrolytes ....and Im off.

I walk/run using a method knows as The Galloway Method...but as I have been training...the goal is to make the running portions of my workouts faster.  The first 1/3 of my workout felt great.  The air was cool...the sun bright...a glorious day.

The second 1/3 of the workout...I can feel the soreness in my quads from the bike workout the day before.  I focus on other parts of my body that don't hurt...and keep moving forward.

The last mile...my mind wants to quit and just walk....and I guess this is where you have to have the argument with yourself...how BAD do you want it.  Do you want to achieve this goal so that you can gain the next one...or be stuck in a rut...stuck in this spot and not moving forward.

I pushed.  I whined. I complained to myself....but I finished...with about 2 minutes to spare.  Im sure the people watching me walk back to my house must of thought I was crazy with this big grin on my face...but you have to celebrate those small victories....so that you can get to the big victories.

Keep pushing forward....237 days until Ironman Florida.