Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Farewell to Sugar

Beginning tomorrow, I am eliminating all added sugar from my diet.

(WHAT???? ARE YOU CRAZY!!??!!??)

Actually, yes I am! My weight has been pretty much stuck where I am now for almost a year. (I gained a little over the holidays, lost it last month, and am right back to what I call my "set-point".) I decided that if I ever wanted to get below that point I have to get serious. So, I joined the Spring No-Sugar Challenge on I won't go into the nitt-gritty details of the challenge, but basically any added sugar or sweeteners (sugar, honey, corn syrup, syrup, fructose, glucose, splenda, equal...) are off limits.

Now let me say, this is not just about losing weight. One of my goals for the year is to eat more whole foods and less sugar, so this is just going to give me a little more motivation.

To mark this day, I have decided to write a little poem.

A Farewell to Sugar
My friend,
sweet on my tongue
a kiss of dark brown goodness,
I will miss,
miss the golden beauty
of a bee's bounty
breaking my fast,
miss the warmth of
clouded with cream,
miss the doughy deliciousness
stolen off the mixing spoon.
my sweet, sweet friend.
I will find you anew
in the scarlet heart
of a berry flecked with seeds,
in the chewy bite of a date,
in the pearl of pear juice
making a path down my chin,
in the crisp crunch of
a crimson globe.
Farewell and hello.

February in Numbers

February's totals:

Bike: 10h 25m 17s
Run: 6h 38m 06s - 41.5 Mi
Swim: 6h 18m - 16900 Yd
Strength: 18m (all core work--don't laugh, some is better than none!)

Total: 23h 21m 17s

Pounds lost: 0

Masters Swim: 2

People I have convinced to race Irongirl Syracuse: 4

For those of you who are curious, the flossing is going great! I hardly even think about it these days! It is my new good habit!!

Not bad for a short month! My half-iron training begins on Monday, so next month should look fantastic.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Beating Heart

Today I did a Lactate Threshold (LT) test. For those of you who don't know what that is, but would like to, here is a link to a great article--LT Article

The test I did was similar to the one in the article. I warmed up for about 15 minutes, and then, beginning at 5.8 mph, upped my pace by .2 mph every 2 minutes, until I felt I could go no longer. I made it all the way to 8 mph.

Once I graphed my results (using the spreadsheet I downloaded from above link), I found out my LT is 181. Now what do I do with that??

I will use that number to set my heart rate training zones, so I can be sure that I am not training too hard when I am running. I think I will find, initially, that all of my paces will slow a bit, but that is not actually a bad thing. Running at a pace that is comfortable will build up the oxygen delivery system of my body, and, ultimately, make me be able to go faster for longer!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Sunday Report

This was an interesting week for me. I had great workouts, but eating was completely out of control!! Here are the numbers (and I won't be including the number of times I ate junk I shouldn't have!):

Swim: 5500.00 Yd 2h 01m
Bike: 3h 16m 20s
Run: 9.68 Mi 1h 33m 38s

Total: 6h 50m 58s

Flossing: every day!!

Balance is everything, and it's definitely something I struggle with. I do a lot of things, and really try do them all well. However, I can always tell when I have too much on my plate because I start to feel like I can't do everything well. This week I had great workouts and practicing (last performance in a while is this afternoon), but my eating was definitely not great, and I felt like a less-than-stellar mommy.

The more I think about this, though, the more I realize that this is what life is about--taking these experiences and learning from them. Seeking balance is tricky, and balance is something that is constantly changing. I will feel happier and more fulfilled if I can flow within the balance instead of always trying to force it. I will stand in the middle of the teeter-totter instead of running back and forth to each end.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Masters

Last night at 8:30 p.m. I went to Masters Swim at my YMCA.

This was my workout for my first masters swim:

1h 00m
2600.00 yards
02m 19s /100 yards

Warm-up: 650 yds.

Main Set:
8x25 on 30" free
4x25 on 35" mix
8x25 on 30" free
4x25 on 35" mix
8x25 on 30" free
4x25 on 35" mix
Do above twice

Cool Down: 300 yds

If you do the math you will see that my total yardage didn't quite make it to what it should have been, BUT I feel as though I held my own. I was in the second slowest lane, and definitely kept up with everyone in my lane.

I have a Masters degree in flute performance. I guess, technically, it means I have a mastery of performing the flute. I think I still have a ways to go before I master the instrument, if that is even possible.

So if I go to a Masters Swim does that make me a master of swimming?

One can only hope...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm fast and I have proof.

My proof is in the form of a speeding ticket!!

I was on my way to the gym yesterday, minding my own business, not in any particular hurry, and I got pulled over. Of course, Ryan and Noah were wondering why we were stopped, and then the sheriff's deputy came up to the car. I innocently asked him if I was going too fast, and he said, very nicely, that I was, and then proceeded to very politely tell me that I am not public enemy number one (that is a quote, the way), but I was going way too fast. I didn't feel like I was going fast--I wasn't even in a rush!! Shouldn't that count for something?

Here's the problem...I have a little bit of a history of speeding. So I had to call the attorney that I used to work for to ask him to "take care of it." How embarrassing.

If only I could somehow translate my speediness while driving into speed on the run, I would be all set!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sunday Report

Swim: 2200.00 Yd 45m
Bike: 1h 20m
Run: 4.89 Mi 45m 20s

Total: 2h 50m 20s

A dismal week of workouts, mostly because it was just a crazy week. Noah was sick on Monday, so no gym. I was practicing like mad for my recital. Then there was the no gym bag episode on Friday. Are these excuses? I'm giving myself a pass this week because of the recital and the sick child, but this will be the lowest total you will see in a long, long time!

On a good note, I think I have finally made flossing a habit (finally, a good habit!) I hardly even have to think about it these days!

Here's to a new week, my friends! Train hard--I plan to.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Evil in the form of a cookie.

Eleven thin mints!! Eleven!!! How in the world can I stop eating these beautiful little circles of minty chocolate? They find their way into my mouth even while my brain is saying, "No!! Not the Thin Mints! You will never stop once you have begun!"

Two Samoas. This was before my trainer ride which was before the eleven Thin Mints which was before the guilt that is making me post this sad, sad window into my love of circular cookies sold by cute girls for an outrageous price.
Evil, hateful little cookies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Almost-Lost Workout

I had a busy morning planned today. Here is what was supposed to happen:

8:00 Drop off boys at babysitter's and head to gym
8:30 In the pool for 45 min.
9:30 Run for 45 min, then shower at gym
11:30 Be at church for rehearsal
12:30 Be on my way to Oswego for rehearsal at 1:30
3:45 Home in time to get Ryan off the bus

I packed my bags (flute bag, gym bag, purse--which is a big bag), the boys backpacks, everyone's lunch (in lunch bags), and loaded everything into the car. I drop off the boys and am at the gym at 8:35--a little behind schedule, but I planned some cushion time for that. I grab my iPod out of my purse to put it into my gym bag and...

my gym bag is not there!!

I waffle. I do have my swimsuit on under my clothes, but no towel, goggles, swim cap, running gear, or underwear. (See above schedule and note I am not heading home until 3:45.) I really want to run (and dry off), but to go home and come back would take 40 minutes!

So, I swam anyway. I found some old goggles in my trunk and went for it. And I had a great workout. 45 minutes and 2200 yards. Not bad, I say!!

I head home for my unmentionables and finish the day. I didn't get my run, but I did get great self-satisfaction in my determination to not let circumstances affect my workout.

And the funny thing is, the thing I missed the most from my bag was not my towel or my underwear or my goggles, but my swim cap!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Crazy Taste of Spring

Yes, my friends, that is my shadow. During my beautiful morning run (4.89 miles/ 45 m 20s), I happened to look over at the snow and thought to myself, "Wow, I look like a real runner!"

Then I realized, I was looking at my shadow! Now for those of you who are lucky enough to live where the sun actually shines, you may not appreciate this rare sighting, but here in Syracuse, NY, where we have seen cold and snow and sub-freezing temps for weeks on end, it is like a breath of spring air!! I was so stunned by the sight of it, I couldn't help but laugh. I'm sure that the person in the car that passed me right then thought I was crazy!

It was also so warm I wore capri running pants! Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!

Unfortunately, that was at 8:15 a.m. At 4:30 p.m. this is what it looked like outside.

What does it mean if the groundhog sees his shadow? My name isn't Phil, but I'm guessing a bit more winter!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Sunday Report

This will be quick. It's late, and I'm beat.

Swim: 3300.00 Yd 1h 10m
Bike: 2h 32m 42s
R: 10.00 Mi 1h 35m

Total: 5h 17m 42s

Flossed: Every day

A very light week (I took three days off), but I got a lot of practicing in which was definitely the priority.

Something that I noticed (and not for the first time) this week, is that when I have a light training week my eating is not as good. It seems so strange because you would think it would be the other way around, but definitely not for me. When I'm good, I'm good, and when I'm not, I'm not.

I love Sunday, when I can begin again!! Have a great night!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Tri Sermon

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things. Philippians 4:8

Brothers (and sisters): My fellow triathletes of all shapes and sizes, sprint finishers to Ironmen, and those who have the desire but have yet to finish.

Whatever is true: The sport of triathlon is the best sport. A trinity of three equally challenging but very different sports, brought together to form a symbiotic race of endurance, skill and raw guts.

Whatever is noble: The first person who crosses the finish line, the last person who crosses the finish line, and the person who tried but didn't make it.

Whatever is right: Training smart and training well.

Whatever is pure: The feeling of your heart beating in the 10 seconds before the race begins; the pride you feel when you catch a glimpse of the numbers on your arm the day after a race.

Whatever is lovely: A completely empty pool; a beautiful sunrise on a morning ride; the first warm day of the season; the feeling that a run could last forever and that would be okay.

Whatever is admirable: Starting the race, any race, any distance; sacrificing for your training; pushing through the pain to cross the finish line; making the decision to tri.

If anything is excellent and praiseworthy: Please feel free to put your most proud training or racing moment here.

Think on these things.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What to do with a bad workout and my favorite new treat.

So I got to the gym today and was all ready for a great workout. I hopped on the treadmill with a plan to run 30 minutes followed by a 45 minute swim. What is that saying about the best-laid plans??

I began my run and my achilles was so tight. I stopped after half a mile and stretched and began again. Still tight. I stopped and stretched. Began again. Still tight. After 1.5 miles I stopped and decided to walk. The walk felt fine, so I ran a bit. All in all I got 2.5 miles in about 25 minutes. Not bad, but my mental state was not great. (Let me add that I think my achilles was tight because I wore high-heeled boots yesterday for about 8.5 hours...ever a slave to fashion am I.)

After my not-so-great run, I headed to the pool. Saw a good friend in the locker room and had to chat. I'm trying to convince her to do Irongirl Syracuse in July. She mentioned something about not wanting to swim, but I totally think she can do it (right, M.??). I make it to the pool deck and see a few others who want to say hi. As I head over to the single lap lane that is open with one person swimming in it already, I see another woman making her way over, mere seconds ahead of me. I scoot over as quickly as I can and get there at the same time as the woman who is laden with a flotation belt, kickboard, dumbbells, fins and a styrofoam cup of steaming coffee. (I guess she was using caffeine as her nutrition.) I asked her if she was swimming laps, and then basically convinced her to let me swim first. Fortunately (for her) the other person in the lane only had about 15 minutes left. I ended up swimming a pretty good 1200 yards before I called it a day. (I still don't get the really just became my justification for practically jumping in before she could even agree to let me!!)

So, I got about 50 minutes of training in, but my heart just wasn't in it. Here is the thing, though--fifty minutes of less-than-stellar training is way better than nothing, right? What does one do about a bad workout? I call it a day and then move on. There is always tomorrow.

Now on to my new favorite treat. I was at Earth's Own Marketplace in Liverpool (if you haven't checked it out, you should), and found dates in their bulk food section. Oh my. If you want a sweet treat that is all natural with tons of fiber and anti-oxidants, try some dates. It is like eating candy. One date has about 25 calories, so don't overdo it!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Sunday Report

Happy February! I know I just posted a bunch of numbers yesterday, but I'm trying to stay consistent with my Sunday reports. (I also had a great run today that I want to include for the week!)

Swim: 3650.00 Yd 1h 22m 13s
Bike: 2h 42m 33s
Run: 11.91 Mi 1h 49m 01s

Total: 5h 55m 47s

I had two big accomplishments this week.

1. I weighed myself for the first time since January 1, and after a month of consistent training, very clean eating, and hardly any obsessing, I lost 5 pounds! I put the scale away this morning for another month.

2. I completed the month's worth of swim workouts I committed to, and my average time per 100 yds dropped from 1:59/100 yds to 1:51/100 yds. Still not super fast, but faster!! The average was taken from my 1000 yd time trial on Friday. Hopefully the speed will translate to even longer distances.

Another big week of practicing ahead of me. My two recitals are getting closer, and I still have a lot of work to do. I've decided not to stress about the workouts, because this is the last month for a while that I will have that luxury.

Have a great week!