Monday, April 28, 2008

Some observations

Remember the slogan, "nothing tastes as good as thin feels"? That only is useful if you know how thin feels, isn't it? It's been so long since I've been thin I don't think I remember what it feels like! But I am starting to remember what it feels like to be fit, ever so slightly, since I've been taking my workouts more seriously. In fact, I'm starting to feel like a triathlete again since I've actually done all three disciplines semi-regularly lately.

In the last week I have been doubling up on workouts a lot. For example:

Friday: swimming a.m, running p.m.
Saturday: Spinning in the a.m. plus a tiny bit of weights/core; teaching my daughter to ride a bike (which involves running up and down a hill a bunch of times, plus running at tempo speed for a few minutes every time she took a playground break.
Sunday: heavy gardening.
Today: swam 25 minutes in the a.m., ran 50 minutes in the afternoon.

I like how this makes me feel. I've lost a few pounds, and the increased feeling of well-being (I'm taking my vites again too) helps me make better food choices. (Though I'm still a slave to my impulses most of the time!)

I like how I feel when I swim. I'm so glad I started again!

Saturday is the 5-mile Sharon Classic race, and while I don't have any illusions that I'm as fast and fit as I was this time last year, I am not worried about at least finishing!

Another random observation: 95% of this effort - this focus on eating and exercise and competition - is beneficial to my life. But to the extent that it's a diversion from attacking (or addressing) some underlying issues I've been avoiding, well...I need to fit that in too.

I have all these interesting insights when I'm running, that I plan to write here. I forget most of them by the time evening comes and I finally have a chance to write them. So this will have to suffice! (Besides, still too many distractions: my older daughter is avoiding bedtime by quizzing my husband about basketball (he's watching the playoffs), geography, science, and enough other topics of interest that he'll forget to tell her to go to bed. (She's a clever girl!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A DOH! moment

I haven't been swimming much since school started last fall. I haven't lost any weight, and in fact, have been gaining, since last fall.

I went swimming tonight for the first time in months. One lap winded me. One.

Why haven't I been swimming? Doesn't matter, a pile of lame excuses. Time to start again. As in, tomorrow, 8:30am. See you at the pool.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A new thing to whine about

(or whinge, as they say down under and across the pond.)

I went out running at noontime with my marathon group. One new girls, sixth grade, slim as a blade of grass, left us all in the dust without breaking a sweat.

Meanwhile I chugged along as usual, only to find some weird twinging and pinging on the bottom of my foot. It wasn't enough to stop me but it was annoying and if I'd done more than the three slow miles we covered, it might have become a problem!

The Sharon Classic 5 miler is in 10 days - I haven't even covered the whole course yet! Yikes!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Thank you !

LBTEPA, TriGirlThea and Ultra Iron GeekGirl have been so kind and supportive. I love blogworld - it's so much better than real life sometimes! (Not as messy, that's for sure!)

So here are some random questions that all of you, who are more experienced than I, might be able to answer.

Electrolytes: other than drinks, where do you get them? I had that awful, awful stomach bug for days. I drank plenty of water and ate lightly while I was on my trip (couldn't find nuun or even Gatorade in Costa Rica!) When I got home I continued to eat more or less normally, and did have one nuun (dissolved in 16 oz water) on the first day home. Could I still be depleted in some way? (Yesterday was my first day without any symptoms at all, but the diarrhea ended about 4 days ago.)

Normal Muscle aches: I hadn't been to Pilates in 2 or 3 weeks. I went yesterday, and today my muscles hurt in all the predictable ways: that feeling you get when the muscle breaks down a tiny bit and needs to rebuild. Mostly in my core, arms and shoulders from all the planks and pushups, but my quads too. My glutes still hurt from my first real run since I got back the previous day. I know I probably should have soaked in cold bath right after the workout, but I didn't. So what do I do now? Take the bath now, a day later? Skip my run today? Take Ibuprofen? Run as usual? Or maybe a lighter one as per Misty's advice, though today normally would be my "long run" - I have 2 weeks to go before my first race, which is 5 miles - I haven't done longer than 4 this spring and not more than 3 since being sick.

Bicycles: Last fall I was given a very old road bike - it's from about 1983. It's steel frame, noticeably lighter and faster than the Trek mountain bike I'd been riding. But it has a few things that are a challenge. The shifters are on the stem so you have to reach around the top tube to shift, which takes a lot of balance - I imagine it will be tough on hills. And the other thing, which seems more difficult for long rides, is that you have to be in the fully bend-over position to reach the brakes. Riding upright feels wrong anyway, as the handlebars are narrow, so if your hands are on the top part it feels unstable. But riding for mile after mile in that bent-over position is hard on the back and especially on the hands - I just took my first ride of the spring, 40 minutes, and my hands and wrists really felt it. This is normal and I'll get used to it, right? (i.e. new road bikes have the same setup?)

Friday, April 18, 2008


OK here's the situation.

I lost 35 pounds and successfully completed 2 sprint triathlons, a 5 mile race and a 10k last year. Then, everything went to hell.

I gained back 10 pounds, injured myself, and developed a fear of deep water swimming.

Since February, I have been carefully watching and tracking my eating, running and spinning 4 or 5 times a week (mostly consistently) and have even started hypnosis. In that time I lost no weight to speak of, but did work up to running (run-walking) up to 4 miles in about 50 minutes.

Then last week I went on vacation in Costa Rica, where I did not run, but hiked up mountains, vigorously, for hours almost every day. (By the way CR is FANTASTIC!!!! Photos to come!) On the second-to-last day, I got Montezuma's Revenge, badly, and the entire contents of my body were expelled at fire-hose force for three straight days and I had no energy at all. While recovering, (since I'd basically lost my appetite) I decided to cut back my eating even more - I think the calorie limits I was following (about 2000 a day) just were too much, even given my height, girth and workout intensity/frequency. I've been doing that for nearly a week.

I'm now back and feel mostly fine, physically. My weight this morning: the same as it's been, give or take, for two months. I ran Tuesday and pooped out (no pun intended) after a mile. Today I went out for the first time with the Marathon Project group - I was out of gas after 20 minutes and didn't complete 3 miles. (It's hot and the course was hilly.) I suppose it's possible I'm still weak from being sick. But it feels like I just will never get strong, never get fit, never lose weight - I feel completely discouraged, hopeless, like giving up and quitting.

It's hard to get motivated when I'm not improving. It's hard to focus on goals when they seem so unattainable.

How do I get my mojo back?