Another First

Monday, October 24, 2011

Over the last few months I've accomplished a few "firsts". I ran my first 10km event and a half marathon. I started taking time out for me and putting my health first too. On Sunday I added another first to the list - I completed a triathlon.

I signed up for Triathlon Pink at the beginning of Round 3 of the 12wbt as a new challenge for myself. The course I selected was the "long course" consisting of a 300m swim, 9km ride and 3km run. The swim didn't have me concerned at all. I'm an ex swimmer from way back and I knew that even without training I'd be able to swim it somewhere between 6 and 7 minutes. The run didn't have me worried either - 3km these days is just a walk in the park. My worry was the ride but I knew I could complete it, it was just about how fast.

Before I knew it race day was less than 24 hours away. I'd only gone for one swim to make sure that my new goggles worked and that my bike pants didn't fall down. I'd been running 3 times a week still so no problems there but the bike hadn't made it out of the garage. DH dragged it out on Saturday afternoon and lubed her up with some WD-40. I took it for a bit of a test spin on Saturday afternoon to check the seat height and the age of the bike was a little telling from all the growning of the gears but it make the 3km around the block and I didn't have a back up plan.

Sunday morning we arrive down at the Runaway Bay Sports Center and go through registration.  I'm number 54 and am thinking this isn't too bad, I won't be first in the pool so I'll have people to follow but it won't be too choppy either. I head over to rack my bike and prepare my transition area. All of a sudden it dawns on me that only 5 bikes down from mine are all the kids bikes and the kids race is first. That means that I'll be only the 5th person in the pool!

After a bit of milling around I bumped into a couple of the other 12WBT girls doing the medium course prior to heading over to the pool to watch the kids start.  The speed of some of the kids in the water was amazing! Their bikes came in all shapes and sizes, from KMart $50 bikes to full on professional looking racers. Before the majority of the kids finished I got the marshalling call.

The call for "Long Course Athletes" had me giggling as I don't consider myself an athlete at all. As they went through the briefing the nerves were increasing, even though we kept getting told its just for fun. Then it was time to go to the pool deck.  It was almost like we were on parade as we had to walk around the entire pool to spread everyone out.

It seemed to take forever for them to get us ready to start and then it was all systems go. It had been that long since I'd been in a pool without swimming in my own lane that I'd forgotten what the churn of others drafting off the side of you was like. A couple of kicks to the lower body as I turned to the first can reminded me of playing water polo at high school. I become extremely happy to be one of the first in the pool!

Before I knew it the swim was over and it was off to my very first transition. According to Steven I was too slow during transition! I kept getting the rubber from the fake grass stuck to my feet and I was worried about blisters and getting socks on with wet feet isn't the easiest thing to do when in a rush.  Then I was off for my first real ride on the old clunker.

 I pedalled for all my worth. According to my watch I maxed out at just over 27km/hr which I think is a pretty good effort on an old and rusty mountain bike! I've got to admit that it was rather disheartening to have the bike in top gear and getting passed by all the girls on the fully decked out road and hybrid bikes but you've got to start somewhere! Just under 20 minutes later and I've finished my 9km and heading back into the transition area to start the run.

I was expecting my legs to be really heavy after getting off the bike but the pushing of the bike through the transition area must have loosened things up - either than or I didn't ride hard enough!

The run was a little bit of a different challenge for me and it wasn't due to fatigue. It was because I didn't have my iPod. All MP3 devices were banned at the event, and after some of the craziness I saw out on the course I could understand it. I just never realised how much I actually managed to zone out with those little buds in my ears. After just over 20 minutes, and numerous time of evil Kym telling me to walk and not giving in I managed to cross the finish line.

Today I found my official times.  My splits were:
Swim - 5:34
Ride - 19:59
Run - 20:47

Giving a total of 46:22. I'm still in total shock about my swim time. I never expected to get into the mid 5's, especially without training - maybe its time to take swimming back up ....

It's now official I can add another "title" to my list now. I am a Triathlete and even though I might not do another triathlon for a while I WILL do another one as I absolutely loved every minutes of it and I want more!


Blog Challenge #4 - Motivation and Habit

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blogging challenge number 4 from Kath is on.  Its the start of week 5 and by now a lot of the hype about the 12wbt has worn off and so too has the motivation that hangs off that hype. So this week we're reflecting on who we were and who we now are.

1. Describe in 25 works or less the you that you were before 12wbt.
I was overweight (who am I kidding - obese), tired, grumpy and not the person that I wanted to be or a good role model for my kids.

2. Now - who are you now?
I've turned into an exercise junkie. I've got more energy and I'm showing my kids that an actively lifestyle can be fun. I'm a half-marathon runner and soon to be triathlete.

3.  What has been the hardest thing to make habit THIS ROUND?
This is a hard one, and I can't think of an answer.  Maybe its because its my second round and I've been doing this for long enough for it to have sunk in but not long enough for me to have become complacent.  Ask me next round and I can guarantee you that my answer will be different.

4.  What has been easier to make habit than you thought it would be?
In one word - exercise. Its become a lifestyle not a chore.

5.  How has your body changed THIS ROUND?  I'm starting to see muscle definition.
My weight loss has slowed (as expected) but my measurements are still decreasing and more and more muscle is making itself seen.

6.  How has your mindset changed this round?
I'm no longer focused on the numbers of the scales. I don't care if I don't get to my "goal" weight. I just want to be fit and healthy and my lifestyle choices will reflect this.

7.  Finish this sentence "I now know I am strong because ..."
I now know I am strong because

8.  Finish this sentence "I am proudest of ..."
I am proudest of the fact that I have stuck to the program, I've seen the results, I've felt the change and I'm not going back.

9. Finish this sentence "In 8 more weeks you will see me ..."
In 8 more weeks you will see me kicking my heels up and glowing, while enjoying all that summer has to offer.

10. What word applies to you now - that you never would have used before 12wbt?


The Dreadmill

Friday, October 7, 2011

If it wasn't already official, it now is - I loathe the treadmill for steady state runs. Yes the tready serves it's purpose for rainy days or some no thought required interval training but I've got no idea how people only train on it. The image below almost perfectly sums up my feelings on it.

Source: via Kym on Pinterest

Treadmills have an evil reputation. They like to spit people off the back of them if they lose their attention for more than a split session.  In general they can't do a negative incline (I only discovered tonight that my DH's gym has one that goes to -3%).  Add to that the aided motion that they give you when running and its just not for me.  On the other hand in a home situation they quite often find a new work purpose.

Source: via Kym on Pinterest

I've had two days in a row that I've had to resort to the dreadmill. Thursday it was raining when I woke so it was either run in the rain, which wasn't very appealing, or go and do a full on interval session at the gym. I think I had a few people concerned with my running that morning. I was sprinting for 30 seconds and then resting on the runners for 30 seconds. I also discovered that the treadmill sounds like it might take to the air at 16km/hr! I was worried the whole workout that I was going to be one of the statistics of the person getting thrown off the end, and I even had the kill switch attached to me.

Source: via Kym on Pinterest

Tonight I was catching up on my Tuesday cardio session that I missed as my body decided it needed to rest.  I decided to attack a fair portion of the Mini Milestone Challenge.  It consisted of an 8km run, 20km bike ride and 2km row.  For some reason the gym was uncharacteristically busy for a Friday night and all the cardio equipment was in use. I decided that so I wouldn't be an equipment hog that I'd break up my session.  I started with a 4km run, using the random program. Big mistake! When running 4km outside it is fairly easy for me, even with hills involved. I realised the main difference, outside I get some "recovery" due to the downhill parts.  Add to that no fresh breeze and an unchanging view and I loathed every second of the run.

Jumping on the rower for the 2km was a welcome change until my forearms started to kill me. 11 minutes after starting and it was off to the bike. While I'm complaining about cardio equipment I'll add my gym's bikes to the list. I avoid the recumbent ones so I can't comment on them but the upright stationary bikes just don't work well for me either.  I don't know if my upper body is just too short or if the design is wrong but I keep sliding off the saddle. 23 minutes later and 10km down and its time to jump back on the dreadmill ...

Now I understand the terminology about "brick session" when it comes to triathlons. My legs felt so heavy for the first 1.5km after getting off the bike. I was at the point of almost walking at one stage and then all of a sudden things improved, as much as possible on the treadmill, and the heaviness was gone.

After I'd finished the last 4km I decided to skip the last 10km. I'd been going for 1.5hours and burnt 700 calories.  No guilt here about not completing it either as this isn't my Mini Milestone Challenge, that's on Sunday. I'm tackling Mt Gravatt again ....


Find the Joy

Monday, October 3, 2011

For our third blogging challenge Kath has set us a more light hearted topic - FIND YOUR JOY!

Make me a list.

Or as my Gran used to say - count your blessings - every one.

Make me a list of all the NON FOOD self nurturing things that bring you joy. Count your blessings.

For some reason the first thing that popped into my head when I read the topic was Happy Gilmore.
"Think of a place that's really perfect. Your own happy place. Go there and all your anger will disappear."

So why not try and use that same sort of idea to stop you're self reverting back to the old habits of eating for comfort when things aren't going the way you'd hoped.  Who would have thought that I'd be relating Happy Gilmore to health, well being and fitness! Anyway here's some of the things that make me happy:
1.  Spending quality time with my husband.
2.  Being a SAHM for my girls. I'm not a home full time and cherish the time I have with them - even if some days they can drive me a little nuts.
3.  RUNNING! Some of you may not get it yet but if you keep with it, you will find your happy place out on the pavement. Just don't look for it on the treadmill. 
4. The first smell of rain on bitumen.  It reminds me of primary school - more specifically Grade 3, sitting near the window.  The years when you didn't have a care in the world.
5. Watching my girls sleep. They look so angelic and peaceful, once again without a care in the world.
6.  The buzz you get after a workout. Knowing that you smashed it and you'll be sore tomorrow but it's worth it.
7. Getting a sleep in! I can't remember the last time I had one of those.
8. Holiday's with my family.
9. Sitting outside in the sunshine, just watching the clouds float by.
10. Spending time with friends.
11. Music. It doesn't matter what sort - rock, classical, folk you name it. OK I do draw the line with some of the pop stuff.  I could just listen, sing along in the car or dance around with the girls. One of my favourite quotes is on the wall on a collage in front of me.
"Music ... I love it for what it makes me remember and for what it makes me forget" Anon

My list could go on and on but I'll pull it up there. Thank you so much Kath for making me think about my own happy place.


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