Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I'm not going to lie, last week was a rough motivation week for me.  Although I did eventually get to a few of my workouts, my heart just wasn't into it most days.  Each day I knew I would feel better after my workout, but that didn't motivate me to get started.  As a result, I also didn't feel like you might imagine. Quite frankly, this week hasn't started out much better for some reason. Before I go into possible reasons, let me start off with what I did accomplish.

First, I finally signed up at 24 Hour Fitness and completed my first swim, yay!  Man, it was not easy!  I swam 300 meters, which is the total distance of the swim in my upcoming sprint triathlon.  It is amazing to me just how hard it is cardio wise even though I run frequently.  Not only is the cardio hard, but I am terrible at form and I think that I'm even worse because I constantly over think it.  It's a vicious cycle really.  Never the less, I completed it.  I had to stop every 25 meters and catch my breath, but I did it!

Okay, so that was my only real accomplishment, but I did run a couple of times and I walked to school with the kids every day, and then walked back to pick them up at the end of the day so at least I was getting some exercise in!

The very best part of my weekly workout was my Sunday workout.  The workout began with a half hour stationary ride using my brand new Travel Trac Comp Mag + Trainer (which I picked up for a mere $60 after sale and coupons from Performance Bicycle,) followed by a 4.22 mile run with one of my favorite guys who just happens to also be my seven-year-old son.

Let me start by saying that I sure wish I had an ounce of the energy this kid has!  My neighborhood is literally uphill in both directions, or at least it feels that way.  We had only planned on doing a 2.8 mile loop up into the upper part of our neighborhood and back down to our house, but instead we decided to take a short detour up into the mountain behind us.  Let me emphasize the "mountain" aspect of this run!  My little guy ran three miles all up hill (with part of that up the mountain) and never broke a sweat or gasped for air once.  In fact, he talked to me the entire way! I, on the other hand, turned bright red in the face, had to stop answering him because I was breathing so hard and was sweating significantly.  When we got to our turn around point on the mountain he said, "I wonder when I'm going to start sweating?"  What?!  Oh to be young and in perfect shape again!
Me and my little man!

So...moving on, why was I so unmotivated to workout if I was clearly having some great workouts?  Well, I have a few theories on this. The first one, I'll admit is a bit sappy and pathetic.  My oldest son and my husband were away at my son's science camp.  Although I didn't feel like I was all down and out and lonely, I think I felt like part of me was missing.  This is ridiculous and silly since they were only gone four days, but it really changes the flow of life when such a great component of your life is missing.  For example: I didn't have to hurry and get up to make lunches or drive him into school, and instead of taking advantage of that extra time to workout I slept in.  There are many routines that just weren't necessary while they were gone that sort of left me feeling blah and unmotivated.

As if the first reason wasn't enough, I have a second theory which brings me back to an earlier post where I mentioned that I had had a tummy tuck back in May.  It turns out that the recovery time for a tummy tuck with liposuction (which is what I had) is quite lengthy all in all.  While the scar looks remarkable and I move around with ease these days, I still swell up every time I do a lot of cardio. On top of that, I can never quite get my electrolyte balance right.  Apparently, your lymphatic system has to reset after such surgery and mine is still working out the kinks.  How does that play into motivation you ask? Because of all that my body is doing to restore itself to its pre-surgery self, I seem to fatigue easier, I don't have the capacity to run as long or as hard as I could before and I'm always a little on the bloated side.  These things also leave me feeling blah.  It gets frustrating at times because I am hard on myself and think I should be a great deal further along than I am I guess.

The last reason is by far the most pathetic I'm afraid.  I am a girl who was raised in Utah, a place with four beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) seasons!  While I love the perfect weather out here in sunny Southern California, I am down right tired of having only one season!  I can handle two seasons, but for the love of God and all things good, we need to change it up and introduce rain back into the picture.  We have been in this ridiculous drought for so long that I'm over looking at all of the dead plants around me. I'm over not having a little bit of weather to change things up. I know, I know...most people would be stoked to have nothing but sunshine and warmth all year 'round.  Even I prefer the sun to the rain, but sheesh...every now and then I need a little diversity.  I told you it was pathetic!

Now you know why I was unmotivated, as ridiculous as it all must sound. Although my husband and son are back home and our routine is going back to normal, I'm still pushing myself to get the workouts done. However, I'm far less unmotivated now as I was last week. 

The point in all of this is that we all have blah moments, but you have to keep forging forward.  Regardless of my lack of motivation, I have forced myself to get to the pool, spin on the bike and even run a short distance with my adorable son.  I know this week is a lot easier because I kept going last week even if the workouts were short. You can do it too!  Get out there and just do a short run or a quick yoga workout, but whatever you do...DO NOT GIVE UP!  You got this! We've got this!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Bike!

I'm a little late in my posting this week as the kids went back to school after three weeks off for Christmas. You would think this would give me all of the time in the world to focus on posting, but it always seems to be a complete circus when we head back after a lengthy break. Today is the first day that I finally feel like I can take a breath of air and focus long enough to get my post up, which I have been dying to do since Saturday!

Why Saturday you ask?  Saturday afternoon my husband took me out on my first official training ride, YAY!!!  We rode a total distance of 9.25 miles and followed it up with a short 1 mile run.  I'm not going to lie - riding on the road was nerve wracking at best for me. The first 3 miles I was hyper aware of everything, especially the passing cars.  However, as I got further into the ride I slipped into a more focused state of being and realized several things that I am going to attempt to share here.

Let me start by explaining that I am riding my hybrid bike which is simply a bike that combines road, mountain and touring designs into one bike for a wider range of use as discussed at REI's site.  My husband bought my Schwinn hybrid many years ago because I had expressed interest in wanting to ride around with the children, but in reality that happened very seldom and my poor bike sat and collected dust for the majority of the time I owned it.  Because I am only just starting out in triathlons I refuse to buy anything else until I know whether this sport is for me.  The hybrid is perfectly fine for what I am attempting to do.

Now with that understanding, the first thing that I began to notice on my ride, after I got passed the fear of being flattened like a pancake on the side of the road, was how angry my hands were getting at the constant vibration of the road.  Now, I'm not sure if that was entirely from riding without gloves or partially because of the type of grips on the bike, but I am positive that my hands itched like crazy for a greater part of the 9 mile ride.

The second point of notice was that I am no expert in a multi-speed bike's function.  It shouldn't be that difficult, but since I was hyper-focused on staying alive I think I may have over thought the process of shifting into the proper gears at the proper time.  The good news is that by mile five I was beginning to get the idea but, sadly, not before my chain slipped off and my husband had to help me get it back on.  All well, it is our mistakes that we learn the most from, right?

The last thing I realized during the ride was that, aside from the hills, riding isn't terribly difficult.  Let me not diminish the effort it takes to bike great distances.  It was still difficult and tiring, but it is very different from running the same distance.  I found that I wasn't really sure where my fatigue levels were at. Just when I thought I might be starting to fatigue as I crested the top of a hill, we would get enough of a break coming down that I felt re-energized. The problem with this is that it really is hard work and I could see myself easily pushing too far and not being able to make it back. This would suck.

All of that being said, I really enjoyed the ride and was disappointed that it was over as quickly as it was. So much so, that when my husband said "Now I am going to go for a short run." I said, "Me too then!"  This brings me to the things that surprised me most about riding:

The biggest surprise for me was how heavy my legs felt after I got off of the bike.  Like I just said, the ride didn't seem that difficult in the grand scheme of things. So when I walked up my stairs and found it very difficult to lift those legs of mine, I was somewhat shocked.  I mean, it makes sense when you really think about it, but I just hadn't expected it. This discovery is very important, however, because I still have to run 3.1 miles after I get off of the bike in this race.  For this, I was glad my hubs had decided to do a quick run because it gave me a good idea of what to expect as I transition into more brick workouts.

The second biggest surprise was how ridiculously hungry I felt not too long after the ride was over.  In fact, I discussed this yesterday with my brother-in-law (who is currently training for his third Ironman race.) He initially thought maybe it was due to the time on the bike, but I run for 45 minutes often, and although I do feel extremely hungry afterward, my hunger from a run is nothing like the hunger I felt after the ride.  He agreed that he is always starving after a ride, but he rides A LOT more miles than I did on that first ride.  Maybe it was coincidence, but something I definitely found surprising.

The last surprise was how wiped I felt the next day.  Really, this is probably more because I am not used to a structured exercise routine anymore. Nevertheless, I really didn't have a great deal of energy the next day and ended up taking a day off of my training which I probably needed anyway.  It's not good to push too hard when you first start out which is something I'm not very good at adhering to, unfortunately.  It is always better to start out slow and work up to more days and more difficult workouts.

All in all, it was awesome and I can't wait to get out there for my next ride.  Now I just need to focus on getting into my swim routine, yikes!  Once I have that down, I feel like I can really focus on putting everything together.  For now, I would love to hear from anyone who rides.  Did you find any of the same surprises when you started out?

Monday, January 4, 2016

OMG! It's Official!


Hopefully, you all had an awesome and safe New Year and are ready to start on those resolutions!  I wasted no time in beginning mine when I signed up on January 1st for the second event in the 2016 LA Tri Series at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA which takes place on April 17th (OMG!)  The event I registered for is the Tri Express which consists of a 300M swim, 11.4K bike and finishing up with a 5K run - no problem, right? Wrong!

Okay, confession time. While I have all of the confidence in the world that I can bike and run the distances, the swim has me shaking in my boots.  Remember my last post when I confessed that I'm not a great swimmer? That is definitely part of it but if I am going to be perfectly honest the real fear for me is the body of water, which for this race is a lake.  Yup, you read that right.  I have an irrational fear of large bodies of water and what lies beneath them, not to mention the frigid temperature of the water itself.  While I'm pretty sure I can get myself safely up to the 300M distance by April, when I think about stepping into that cold lake and swimming with a gazillion people who may or may not be bumping into or pulling on me or what may or may not pull me under from below, I can't help but feel a little nervous.

You may be asking yourself why in the world I would willingly sign up for something that makes me so nervous? The answer is simple - I want to overcome my fear.  Additionally, I would be lying if I said that I didn't thrive on the adrenaline that is produced from the fear itself.  Nutty, I know, but absolutely true. Despite my fears, I am truly excited and can NOT believe I'm actually doing this!

Now that I've gotten the confessions out of the way let's talk about what I'm doing to get myself prepared for this race.  Right after I signed up my sister handed me the same book she had bought for her husband when he signed up for his very first triathlon called, Your First Triathlon by Joe Friel (straight forward, right?) I'm not too far into the book, but so far he has some sound advice and positive words for the newbie like myself. For example, start small by signing up for the sprint distance (which is what I did) not the Olympic distance as has become the trend apparently. Stay tuned for more thoughts on the book as I get further into it.

In addition to reading up on preparing for my first triathlon, I've started running (as mentioned in my previous post), will be signing up for a gym membership (because it is way too cold to swim in my pool which is currently a crisp 45°F), and getting my bike serviced and road ready.  I know it is only the fourth of January, but I seriously feel so behind already. I'm hoping everything starts to fall into place and I can put aside that bit of anxiety.

The training isn't all physical though, it is important eat well while training. While I haven't really changed my diet yet, I do intend to revamp it and focus on clean eating.  I know, I know. I should have started that up right away but I'm weak and find myself snacking with the kids and eating on the run as we spend the last week of Christmas break hanging out together.  Over this week I intend to clean out all of the bad food from the holidays and bring in the healthy food.  More on the diet changes as they develop.

So that is it!  I am signed up, preparing for, and anticipating my first triathlon.  It's crazy and exhilarating and I can't wait to really get into my training.  What about all of you, have any of you signed up for a race or set a New Year goal to get in shape?  I would love to hear what you are doing to prepare, how you've structured your training, and if you have any fears or worries about achieving your goals.