Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's is upon us!

A little review is in order.

At the beginning of 2006, I could thrash through the water for 20 minutes or so, with lots of breaks and very poor form. I couldn't run more than a minute or two, and walking 5 miles just about killed me. I hadn't been on a bike in 5 years, and when I tried spinning, it hurt so much I quit after a few minutes. Oh, and I weighed about 222 pounds.

Now: I can swim smoothly for a few hundred yards at a time, and go for 30 minutes without too much trouble (very slowly though.) I can run (plod, slowly) for 30 minute straight (if it's flat ground!) and cover nearly 2.5 miles. (Did I mention the slow part?) and I can do a 50 minute spinning class or 30 minutes on the ellliptical trainer. I've lost about 23 pounds, a clothing size or two, one of my many chins, and generally feel better, sleep better, am more cheerful and optimistic.

My goals for 2007: Run the Sharon Classic in May (5 miles, hills) - run more than walk, finish not-last. Complete the Pawling Triathlon in June (just finish!). Lose another size (OK two would be nice but slow and steady...) Keep focusing on injury prevention. Find ways to make it social to maintain my interest. Perhaps take a Total Immersion class in New Paltz.

Also - dance more (occasional real dancing ie at Arts In Motion, plus a ballroom class w/ Fred...)

I have other goals too, but this blog is just about the triathlon preparation and physical fitness!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Standing still

The holidays, the holidays! It's an avalanche of cookies! A tsunami of chocolate! And so many opportunities not to exercise! Yesterday I thought I'd go running (shooting for distance and consistency, as per my new bible, Triathlon 101, which says forget the speed work and "fartleks" and other fancy stuff til much later) but instead we went ice skating and to a dance performance. Skating feels like exercise, sort of - my rear end is definitely telling me I did something yesterday - but I don't think it added much to my cardiovascular abilities. But yes, it's fun and a great way to to spend time with the kids. Speaking of whom, they're out of school for the next two weeks, which puts a crimp into everything - my morning workout schedule is nearly impossible with them. Of course I could have gotten out of bed at 7:00 today and gone for a run before Fred left ... but did I? I did not. So no whining allowed. But I've been zealously sort of) doing my back and "core" exercises, and I think it definitely hurts a bit less. Elbow - still sore. Shoulder/upper back - a slight improvement. The knee I conked so hard on the counter at the coffee shop I thought I'd start to cry, or throw up, or both - still achy. Mysterious pain in my right thumb? Still there. Bizarre unexplained spider bites/rash which prevents me from using the heart monitor? Healing, for sure. Mood? Fine!

So why "standing still" - because I didn't really add onto my times or distances in the last 2 weeks - still working out 4-5 times a week, but maintaining. I guess that's the best I can hope for right now! Come January, the preparation really begins!

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I finally found what I think is the right book for me: Triathlon 101. The others were way too technical. (I really don't need five pages of bike diagrams showing the ratios of various parts, and I'm defeinitely not taking blood tests to determine my lactate uptake rate (I made that term up, but people apparently really do take blood tests as part of their training)! This book is much simpler. (Not that I've actually started reading it yet, but the intro makes it sound like the perfect thing for the beginner.)

I went running, sort of, today. I've not been feeling well (but won't whine about my elbow, or my rash, or my nonspecific but decidedly weird feeling under my ear here!) and when I set off (trying to step 90 steps per minute - THAT is hard!!!) my back said, "Hi there, remember me?" and my knees chimed in quickly too, in a very annoyed tone. I brought my camera, so I stopped a lot to shoot what I think will be some rather nice pictures for my photoblog. I felt a bit guilty about not training full-out, but at least I got out the door.

I saw a friend the other day who used to be fat like me, and now she is thin and beautiful. (She was always beautiful.) She drinks green tea and sips chicken broth while cooking dinner (and drinks something like 196 ounces of water a day!) -- I thought I might borrow a trick or two. 64 ounces of water and a few cups of green tea seem like a good place to start to jumpstart the weight loss - I've been stalled out for two months now. (Not that I am unhappy - having lost 24 pounds is a reward in itseld and I'm feeling reasonably patient about the next phase.)

I've been good about my back exercises and did a little weight work today too. Tomorrow if I"m feeling better I'll start a more intense week again: swim spin swim spin swim. Or almost that much. Something's burning gotta go!

Friday, December 01, 2006

An intense week

My friend Beth told me to alternate intense, building weeks with recovery weeks. I'm not sure which one this was: I worked out every day, Monday-Friday. Monday: 20 minute swim. Tuesday: 50 minute spin class. Wednesday: 20 minute swim. Thursday: 30 minutes on treadmill, with sprints and walks. Friday: 30 minute swim. Tomorrow I'll do Pilates (protecting the back)and some elliptical. Sunday, probably rest (going to the city.) I have to get a grip on the eating, and my back still hurts. Next week I'll focus on low-intensity, improving technique, with at least one other day off. The following: ratchet it up a notch. I guess this is still the off-season!