On a Journey to Wellness

Come with me on my journey to losing weight, getting healthy and going out to meet the world head-on!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Triathlon Training: Week THREE

Another week of training. This week has felt looong. But that doesn't mean bad. I was able to conquer a few things and that makes me very happy and very hopeful.

One day, right?
First thing is I've noticed I've been doing a little better with my running intervals. Again when I went running earlier this week I would stop after five minutes and do some sort of interval training; push ups, jumping jacks etc. I noticed that I was actually going a little farther this time in my five minute runs. Hopefully this means I'm getting a bit faster. I've been having motivation issues where I can't keep a rhythm going and I keep stopping mid duration. The second run later that week I spent working on trail running. I'm getting better at it and even managed to survive going up a steep, long fire road. Was I a speed demon up this hill? Absolutely not! But the fact that I did it without stopping was a proud moment.

Cycling has been going pretty well too. My poor old bike needs to be lubed up and I think there's something up with the second gear but other than that it's been going fine. Last week I was thrilled that I made it up the hill that had been plaguing me. This week that hill was fine and I had a new hill to conquer.(Check out the pic below,) Once I finish the first hill I have a nice mile or so that is a pretty easy/down hill but then there's another hill. It is a giant cul-de-sac that goes gradually uphill and once you reach the other side it suddenly does a steep drop. Well I decided to tackle this cul-de-sac this week in the rain! Let me just say cool mist weather is great when you're  huffing and puffing up a curved incline but that weather is scary when your glasses suddenly fog up and you're dropping faster than 30mph. But I did it!

Sad and frustrated.
One thing I didn't get to do was swim this week. :(  My car's power steering is still not working and it is unsafe to drive it in these roads, not to mention driving it like that would kill the rest of my car. I was almost convinced I would swim in my camps pond, but when I walked over yesterday and put my feet in the water to check the temperature I cursed. The water was FREEZING! I do not have a wet suit and I promised myself  I'd keep myself healthy and not get a cold. I then, very grudgingly, accepted that I would not be swimming this weekend and instead I decided to start practicing my transitions.

Therefore, yesterday I tried my first bike-to-run  transition. Twenty minute bike ride with a 2 mile run after. Let me tell you, suddenly changing your work out feels WEIRD! My thighs and hamstrings were completely confused and trying to catch up for half a mile. My fingers were numb from the bike ride and I didn't re-gain feeling until a mile in to my run. By the end I felt fine but my run was slow and like I mentioned I kept stopping. Grrr.

So today, already acknowledging that a pool was not in my near future, and being really upset over the fact that I can't keep my pace going, I decided to do a long run just for the heck of it. I took off my watch, I turned off the sound in my RunKeeper so as not to hear any updates from my phone but still have it log my progress, and just went for it. I did the same 6 mile loop I do with my bike, except this time I jogged the whole thing. It felt AMAZING. I kept the pace steady and slow, the type of pace where you can keep a conversation going. I conquered both crazy hills and enjoyed the downhill treks. I worked out the few aches I was getting on my sides and knees and just. kept. going. It felt really good to just continue. I did stop a few times but none were longer than 20 seconds. Here are the results of today:
This map shows you what route I took, my mileage, my pace, my speed and even how many calories I burned!
Mile 1 and Mile 3 are the big hills I've been mentioning. Although my pace was crazy slow it felt great to just keep going and keep going without stopping. Once I finished my route I knew I could probably keep going, but I also knew my legs were tired and hadn't run that long in a while so I decided to stop and stretch instead. It wasn't about the mileage or the pace. It was about running and enjoying it. I haven't actually enjoyed my running in a long time. Thank goodness I can still have that feeling.

I'm a bit tired now and a bit hungry. My meals have not been going well. I haven't been tracking my food at all and I know I've been over eating. All this training will be wasted if I continue doing this. I am going to re-start calorie counting. I'm going to just count whatever I eat next week and then start lowering the calories little by little. I understand that I'm working out a lot more and I have to fuel correctly but this doesn't mean third helpings on bread and adding a ton of butter to my toast. I can do this.

I hope your Monday morning will bring energy and I desire and fire to do something good for your body and mind.


p.s. Weigh in will be tomorrow or Tuesday. The menstrual cycle is doing it's thing so I'm not too excited about the number I'll see on the scale.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Weigh In/ How do you swim with no pool?

Happy Tuesday everyone.

Hopefully the week has started off right for all. I was finally able to weigh myself this morning, the beginning of my third week of training, and here are the results:

Current Weight: 214.6 lbs
Week 2 Weight: 216.0 lbs
Week 1 Weight: 217.4 lbs

Total weight loss: -2.8 lbs.

I've also been measuring myself. I have lost 1.25 inches on my hips and lost 2 inches on my waist. Small numbers maybe but I'm thrilled! I'm hoping I could keep this trend going, lose the other .75 inches on my hips and weigh closer to 210 by the beginning of February.

Things are going well on that front.

Not going so well is my poor car. I finally got it checked and it looks like I need to replace a part to get my steering back. This means I won't be able to drive it until I get paid. I don't get paid until the beginning of February. Put it together and this means no pool for this week. This may not seem like a big deal but it'll put a hell of a dent on my training. I'll have to figure something out. I'll swim in the camp pond if I have to!

This whole scenario, although fixable really puts me in a sour mood and has me inwardly moaning over my finances and my lack of organization with money. It's one of those things that remind you why you have to be more thrifty and responsible with your budget; so that you aren't stranded when emergencies arise.

I may sound like a born and bred Southern Californian when I say I feel like I've lost a limb when I don't have a car but I feel it's a lot more important to have transportation when you live in a remote area like I do, and not just be a whiny little girl who has to walk to the bus stop. There is no bus!

Ok done with that. All will be ok. My training is going well so far and I'm going to make sure it keeps getting better.

Good luck to all!


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Triathlon training: Week TWO

End of another week of training. I definitely had some progress this time and that gives me hope.

If you run up hills long enough, you too can have these sweet  buns!
Early in the week I started cross training while running. The first day of running I ran 2 miles but after 5 minutes of jogging I would stop and do ten reps of  a different activity like jumping jacks, push ups, crunches, and burpees. The second day of running I finally tried a bit of trail running by using the horse trails rather than the road (the benefit of living in horse country is that instead of greenways we have horse trails. lol). I also decided to try tackling a large uphill fire road by doing a couple of sprints up part of the hill. This looks like it's the start of a new routine. Hopefully by the end of this I'll have buns of steel!

My new trail running shoes also work well for cycling.
As I've mentioned before cycling is my biggest weakness. I have been trying to steadily go up a road without dying. The first day I was breathing so hard and going so slowly I felt like a tortoise would surpass me while giving me a glare. However the next day of cycling I was able to do a bit of stretching before mounting the bike and that helped me not only get a better start but I managed to go all the way up the hill! And boy once I made that hill going down was like a roller coaster. I checked my phone app's statistics later and I was going 30mph down hill. What a ride. LOL. This was probably my proudest moment all week. :)

This is what my commute to the pool looks like.
This weekend I drove down the hill to the aquatic center. I decided that I would add one or two lengths each session and will also work on swimming a certain amount of lengths without stopping. Yesterday (Saturday) was a total of 13 lengths (26 laps) and I swam 3 lengths without stopping at a time. This morning I swam 15 lengths, swimming 4 lengths at a time. With this pool it takes 17 lengths to swim a mile so I almost swam a mile this morning! I was really excited and I almost swam those extra lengths but I was already pretty tired and didn't want to push myself too soon. I'll tackle that distance happily next weekend.

One thing I now have to watch out for is my car. Driving up and down the hill is a 30-40 minute one way commute on a windy road. My car has been good in the past but lately it's been acting up a little bit (happens when you own a well used 1999 Honda sedan). As I was driving down the hill this morning I suddenly realized that my power steering had stopped working. If you've never had that happen to you it makes turning left and right so hard that you have to use all your strength. I survived the ride down the hill but then had to head to the mechanic once my swim was over. All is well now but if my car continues to fall apart it will be hard to head down the hill and meet my swimming quota.

I can't see any changes in my body yet. I've been eating way too much lately to expect any weight loss this week. However I've continued to wake up feeling healthy and refreshed every morning. This is the sign that is telling me my workouts are slowly working wonders to my body. I also love knowing that I already did my workouts and don't have to worry about them around dinner time. It's still dark and cold out and I know that if I had tried to schedule my work outs in the evening after work I would have failed my training already. LOL. The only thing I'll probably miss in the future is sleeping in. I have to wake up at least by 6 am every morning to get my work outs in and wake up at 7 a.m. the latest during rest days because I have to get up for work anyway.

I'll do a quick post with my weekly weigh in tomorrow. Have a happy MLK day tomorrow American friends and hope everyone's weekend has been a happy and eventful one.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eating everything in sight!

I'm in the middle of my second week of training and I feel like I'm taking it too easy. I haven't been able to get past 3 miles cycling, my runs feel disgraceful ( I keep having to walk/jog rather than continue one pace) and I wish I could swim more often.

However every session I make sure I push myself a little farther and I started doing some easy cross training during my runs as well. I think I need to work on stretching.

But what I really noticed was my appetite! Just last night our dining hall was serving hamburgers for dinner. (Not bad.) I ended up eating one burger with two slices of cheese, one slice of tomato, lettuce and onion. Then I ate a stuffed bell pepper stuffed with marinara sauced ground beef. Then I went back and ate another burger patty with a slice of cheese and some mayo and to top it all off I ate two apples. This was only dinner!

And after the last apple I didn't feel stuffed. I felt full. But not overly full. I need to watch my food in take during these training days. I'll end up gaining weight rather than losing it!

More updates to come this weekend.

Have a great rest of the week!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Triathlon Training Week ONE

It's been one week since I came back to the mountain. The second I returned to work I started my triathlon training. I looked online for different beginner work out schedules and made a similar one for myself. In order to get a good idea on what in the world I would be training for I had the opportunity to check out the park where the race will take place. I took pictures. 
The lake!
 and up and up and up
The park has a lot of different semi-connecting trails and a nice, calm, human made lake. I checked out the lake to see just how long the swim was going to be. It seemed calm and I became excited about the swimming part. Across from the south shore (where the transition stations will be) there is a trail head for the start of the cycling and the run sections. The run starts at a rocky, steep hill. It levels out but then continues to climb up and up and up. 

You know you're in So Cal when you see cactus.
The cycling loop
  At some point during my exploration I cut across the picnic area and came back on a section that will be part of the cycling loop. There are hills in the cycling section but they are more wide and more like a fire road than the running trails. I admit I got lost with all the connecting trails and roads but I became very excited as I continued to explore. Although most of the race will be off road, the area is beautiful the roads are relatively smooth and/or do-able.

 I made it back to the car and was just about to leave when I suddenly realized that I hadn't touched the water! I ran back down to the lake, took off my socks and shoes and walked in to the water up to my knees. It. was. COLD. I stayed in the water for a minute to see if the cold would subside but it didn't! In fact my calves were cold for 15 minutes after I left the park. This means I'll eventually need a wet suit. 
I'm not a fan of cold water. 

Nervous but excited
The experience made me feel very nervous because I know I'm not fit enough to do everything just yet. But of course that's the magic word; yet. I know that it's going to be a challenge to get myself fit enough to do this sprint triathlon but that's the point. The point is the journey and the training, not necessarily how quickly I finish the race. Nervous yet enthusiastic I returned to work up the mountain and started my training week. 

When I got back I logged my weight and my measurements (217 lbs, size 18, 46"bust, 41"waist, 49"hips) and took my before pictures. I'm hoping that by April the after pictures will show a more fit, toned, happier looking person. Maybe I'll even lose weight! 

One of the mornings looked like this. brrr
The hardest part of training so far has been getting up early in the morning and actually getting my ass outside. It's hard because I'm not used to snow or ice on the ground and the cold weather makes me the laziest sloth in the universe. Luckily I know myself well and before I even started I wrote down all the reasons why I was doing this training and I even included pep talks.   

With all this prep and internal motivation I have been getting up each morning flip flopping running for cycling and even set up recovery/rest time. This weekend I was able to go to the nearest pool (a half hour drive one way) and got my swimming on. It feels AMAZING being back in the pool. It's going to take some time getting used to waking up early and forcing myself to work out and push myself a little more each time but I know that it will all be worth it in the end. I already feel a change because when I wake up in the morning I no longer feel bleh. 

One week done 12 more to go!

Till next time!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year Weigh In and Good Start

So it's 2013. I'm still trying to get used to it. I weighed myself yesterday morning to see the holiday damage.

Current Weight: 217 lbs

That seems pretty decent with the amount of carbs and sugar I've been eating these last few weeks. I did gain 3-4 lbs but I'm just happy I still weigh under 220 lbs.

My goal for the rest of this week is to lose one more pound and start next week with 216 lbs. I'm hoping that by February I'll be somewhere in the 210-215 lbs bracket rather than the 216-220 lbs bracket. Let's start there. LOL

On New Years day I finally got a chance to go on a hike near my home town. I have never hiked near home although I knew there were some trails out there. It ended up being a beautiful hike.
The trail was wide, very popular this morning, and a very gradual up hill climb.

It was a beautiful day and due to the rains the day was so clear I could even see the L.A. sky scrapers.

I really enjoyed the view of the valley and the view of the mountains in the distance.

It was a 5 mile loop. Once we hit the 3 mile mark the trail started descending. There were many different people there, families, hiking friends, couples, cyclists, seriously focused power walkers, and even a guy who was doing bicep curls with a large rock as he hiked. The way down was more straightforward and a bit steeper. I'm hoping to go back this weekend and hike it again the opposite, more steep side. It was a great way to start the year.
Returning to the trail head after the hike. 

I came home and I saw that my family was still lying down watching the Rose Parade. I sat down, ate breakfast, sat down and finished watching it with them. It was great.

Let's start this year off right.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Years Virtual 5k!

I decided to do a New Years Virtual 5k hosted again by Kiley from Daily Vitamin F.

 I decided to take a companion with me this time. Her name is Samantha (Sam for short).
She was begging me for my phone by trying to shake my hand. LOL

Sam and I went out on New Years Eve mid morning. We started off easy going through our neighborhood. It was an out and back so on the way back we picked up the pace. I let her lead the pace for most of it, i.e. she made my lazy ass run! 

 It was a beautiful day and you could see the mountains in the distance covered in snow. This view really reminds me of why I love my home town. It's gorgeous!
We finished our walk/jog 5k in 48 minutes 17 seconds.

 My printer didn't agree with me so I wasn't able to print out my New Years bib, but that's ok. It wasn't that much about the race this time but getting out and getting active. Sam loved it and so did I.

 Have a great year everyone!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year? Let's do a Triathlon!

Happy New Year Everyone! Now I admit I have NO IDEA what to expect for 2013. I usually have a feeling at the beginning of the year. For 2012 I felt a bit unsure but interested. It turned out to be just that, ups and downs that balanced themselves out. This year's feeling is... I just don't know!

So I decided to start something. I did something absolutely insane and registered for a triathlon! It's a short triathlon and it's held in April near my home town. It will be a 1/2 mile swim in a man made lake, a 7.5 mile bike ride (I chose the recreational race because I don't care about division awards and just want to do something new) and a 5k trail run.

It's going to be an interesting 3 months of training. I'm excited! I'm SCARED! I'm going to do it. I am going to have to spend the first month getting myself fit enough to even do that much individually. I'm going to have to spend the rest of the time getting better and learning to put them all together.

Since I started running I always had that dream in the back of my mind
 "Wouldn't it be awesome if I could do a triathlon one day?"
 Well the time has come! I have a friend that did a triathlon about a year ago and while I congratulated him I mentioned my dream to him. As I kept mentioning how I didn't own a bike (at the time), how I wish I had access to a pool, how I had to get better at running first etc etc etc, he kept interrupting my whining and kept saying. "Start now. Do it. Just do it" Well I'm taking his advice. Just. Do. It.

Last night I talked to two other awesome people that have changed their lives and have started doing bike and running events and they also had the same mentality telling me, "You don't think you can do it because you've never done it before, but if you just go for it you'll see that you can." and "You're going to get hooked!"

All this talk has pumped me up and thankfully my excitement is taking over my fears right now. LOL

I'm not really sure where to start. I'm going to have to do a lot of homework and start this week.

Wish me luck and good luck to you in your new endeavors.