Birthday Fitness Trifecta

So I had a crazy idea…and recorded it this morning, you know, for accountability. There was no way I could put this out there and then not do it.

After my 37 laps, I relaxed and refueled back at the hotel room. Because it was still much to warm outside, I decided to wait just a bit longer.

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An hour after this picture was taken, it had cooled all the way down to 82. (There really needs to be a sarcasm font.)

Time for the burpee extravaganza. Behold, my need to work on correct form, among other things.

After that “fun”, it was on to the run portion of my little endeavor. Here I am all happy with myself because the damn burpees are done!

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And yes, it’s still a bazillion degrees out. I ran 3.72 with zero elevation as hilariously evidenced by the chart on my Garmin. Definitely no Whidbey Island hills here!

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While swimming, doing burpees, and running, a few things occurred to me.

1. Putting things up on social media creates accountability. I use it. My inner sloth needs that counteraction.

2. Sunblock is essential. I applied, but not enough. I am currently a lobster.

3. I could have easily not said anything about my birthday plans. I could have done my little exercise birthday thing and not recorded it. I didn’t have to post it after it was recorded. But I did. Do I look like a “fit” person? Nope. Do I fit into a size 6? Nope. Will I someday? Maybe. (Do I want to be featured on the People of Walmart site? Definitely not!) My point, though, is to move; to be healthy. I’m not a decoration for clothing. My function is not to be small, pretty, a size 0, have thighs that don’t touch, or any other physical aesthetic. I’m a person. I will not feel bad for taking up space, moving in that space, keeping up with my kiddos in that space, or feeling comfortable in my own skin. I love feeling strong. I feel better in my body when it moves on a regular basis, and I feed it the way I should, consistently. My goal is health. And to teach that to my children. I will not hide behind cameras until some elusive someday. Someday is today.

4. The gift my husband gave me this year was time. Time to do the things that light me up, that make me feel like me, and not simply the roles I am in our family. What a valuable gift. I am beyond grateful.

5. It’s time to get back to business. I am no longer as healthy as I was two and half years ago. I could blame the 15 month deployment, the kids, etc., etc., but really – the truth? The truth is I got complacent. I let things slide. My diet wasn’t where it should have been. I didn’t work out as often. Earth shattering? No. It’s just time to not be complacent any longer.

Here’s to another year, a new beginning in a new home, and lots more faith, fitness, family and fun!

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I Tri’d

Whew. I did the dang thing!

Here’s the milage breakdown:

7 mile warm up from T2/Finish line to Goss Lake/Start line

800 yd swim in Goss Lake (warmer than I thought, thank goodness!)

19.5 mile bike ride

3.8 mile run

When I signed up for this race, I misread the distances and thought it was a 12 mile bike ride. And I had no clue about the “warm up” ride to the start line. Oh, well. Like most things I’ve done – I jump in first and ask questions later! I’ve yet to regret a race or event, and usually have a pretty good time doing it. You know, aside from the pain.

What I was unprepared for (among MANY things!) was how hilly the bike course was! (Here’s a link to the map if you are nerdy about elevation details like I am!) There were some TOUGH hills. When chatting with other triathletes, they were surprised that people (like me) would pick this one as their first Triathlon. “It’s such a crazy race!” Yeah. No joke. I think the website lied when it said, “great race for beginners”.

Oh well. I did it. And if I ever do another tri, I’ll be sure to find one that is a bit easier. There were a few DNFs (Did Not Finish), and while I was WAY at the back of the pack (so far back that I couldn’t SEE the pack!) I finished what I started.  There is no way that I could have quit knowing that my minions were waiting at the finish line. I didn’t care how bad I hurt or the fact that both of my knees were basically giving me the finger for the entire 3.8 mile run portion.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how bad a person sucks at something. It’s that new things are attempted. I am not a huge fan of swimming (unless its just for fun) but perhaps like childbirth, when the pain and memory fades from this race, I’ll be eager to sign up for another one!

Mad props to the triathletes out there! You all make marathons look easy!

Athlete

It’s funny what wakes her up. A hint of warm weather, seeing other runners, looking at events online to plan out the race calendar all start to stoke those sleepy embers.

Today it happened to be a bottle cage for her bike.

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water bottle cage side (Photo credit: billjank)

My inner athlete has been simmering and quiet for a while. Having to be content with garage workouts, dreadmills, and repetitive videos – she’s itching for the adrenaline of race day. That palpable energy of competition, encouragement and wondering if her preparation was sufficient. (And if it wasn’t, no problem – she’ll just fake it ’till she makes it! And have the t-shirt/bragging rights!)

It’s been a long deployment cycle. Winter has been long for her; too long. It’s time to get up and get moving. She’s getting antsy. The light at the end of the separation tunnel is now visible.

So she signed us up for the Warrior Dash and (drum roll please…) Tough Mudder. This inner athlete and I argue. Frequently.

Her:  “C’mon! You know you want to!!”

Me: “I dunno, do you think we can?”

Her: “DUH!”

Me: “Okay….but-“

Her: “No buts! Just sign up for the damn thing and figure out how to get through it!”

Me: Sigh. “Okay – here goes nothing!”

And she’s right. (Don’t tell her I said that!) Every time I sign up for something I’m unsure of, I do it, have a great time, and have never once had regrets.

And even though we’ve done marathons and mud runs together, there is one other thing she is dying to become:

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A triathlete.

The seed was planted when she spotted the sticker on the back of a fellow bootcamper’s car. She even stuck a toe in the water with a couple of biathlons shortly before leaving Hawaii.

She went and did it today – we are signed up for the Whidbey Triathlon! (I think she may have forgotten just how much she will have to practice swimming! Hello, biathlon trauma!) Yeah, and a wetsuit will definitely be needed. Even in August!

My inner athlete is awake and ready for swimming, biking, running, icy waters, and a little electro shock therapy.

Let’s do this!

Watch me!

Outlook

I went out and got myself a new outlook. I felt awful about my first biathlon and I REFUSE to feel that way again this Sunday.

A common thread in my life (that my mother will attest to) is that I like to “know it before I know it”. In other words – I expect to be an expert at things I’ve never done before. Yeah, I know it’s not logical. But I do get frustrated when I’m not good at something or when it doesn’t come easily. (Insert 3 year old temper tantrum here.) I’m becoming more adult in this area… Please have patience with me!

While I was frustrated with last month’s biathlon results, I just can’t get upset about this one-whatever the results may be. IT’S ONLY MY SECOND TIME! Duh.

I’ve done everything I can (taken swim lessons, practiced, ran, etc.) to better my times for the next race. Aside from this, I have absolutely NO control over how choppy that water is going to be. I have no control if a shark decides to make me his tasty treat (although that might make me swim faster!) there are just some things that are outside my control. I’m prepared and I’ve practiced and the times will be what they are. I can’t take it so seriously. I am supposed to be having fun too, right?!

(And when I do beat last months time – you can be dang sure I’ll be doing a happy dance ALL OVER the place!)

Frustrated and Quitting

So lately I’ve been in a funk. I’m so thrilled with the progress I’ve made and the wonderful experiences with fitness I’ve had over the last 6 months. As I approach my goal weight and learn to live in a space of maintenance, I find myself frustrated. Mentally, I’ve been frustrated with a couple of my workouts, not being able to do the things that just last month I did no problem. I also haven’t been able to get the dang scale to move in a month. I feel like I’m backsliding. And then the familiar voice in the back of my head says stupid crap like, “Ah, screw it. Who cares? Eat the crap. You’re getting ready to move soon. Look how far you’ve come, you can cheat a bit.” And the excuses start rolling.

Swimming is mentally throwing me for a loop. As I’ve mentioned I’m not Michael Phelps. I can swim well enough to save my life and perhaps the life of my child, but that’s about it. And I’m all signed up for another biathlon. I wouldn’t say that things come easy to me, but usually when I try something new, I don’t get this frustrated because the progress usually happens a bit faster. Sunday I went for a practice swim and the water was CHOPPY to say the least. I think I swallowed half of the ocean. I was spitting salt all afternoon. And I quit. I stopped swimming and gave up. I was distracted too because the kiddos and hubbs were there, but still I just quit. I sat on the beach and watched my battle buddy finish her practice.

I despise being a quitter. And I hate it when I can’t figure out how to do something.

So the next day I hit the pool to work with the kickboard and get some laps in so I can attempt to get this breathing/stroking/timing thing down. I didn’t quit, I kept at it and did the laps I set out to do. I didn’t feel like very much headway was gained, so I signed up for my first swim lesson. I’m looking forward to it. I know I only have a couple of weeks until the biathlon, and really with the move, I know my time is running short.

Ultimately, my only goals for this biathlon are:
1. to not drown (or be eaten by sharks)
2. to not be last
3. to beat my first biathlon time

So with all this, plus the looming move on the horizon, I just don’t want to quit. I don’t want to leave the island knowing I could have done just a bit more. In our bootcamp class, our instructor always talks about how when she counts down the last 5-10 seconds of say a plank position for example, some people give up and break the pose. And then she screams, “WHY WOULD YOU QUIT WITH ONLY 5 SECONDS LEFT??!!” (I have been the person she screams that at by the way. Not my favorite.) I have to make the choice to give it all until the very last moment. Hold the plank, do the skiiers and up and overs until the last count, go faster, go harder, get stronger.

I can’t just give up because we are moving locations. That’s an excuse to fail.

I don’t want to fail.

I like the way I feel, I love the things I’ve been able to do. I can’t go back to having no energy and being exhausted at 9 am everyday.

Frustration is bound to happen, and can be worked through. Quitting though – quitting is not an option.

I am not a quitter.

Get Over It

So I was all excited to do my first biathlon this morning. I really wasn’t thrilled about the swimming part, but I’ve done all kinds of things I thought were impossible and this would be no different.

Until I finished dead last.

I hate being last. I hate not being good at something. Forget that this is something I’ve never done before. I did not want to be last. At every race, it’s always one of my goals. My other goal was to finish the run portion in under 30 minutes. I didn’t achieve that goal either.

So I can do one of 2 things: I can stop doing things that I may suck at, or I can stop sucking.

I think I’m gonna stop sucking. Because, as my wonderful husband pointed out, what was I doing one year ago? I was frustrated, out of shape, over weight, lethargic, and not motivated. I have to look at how far I’ve come to comprehend the idea that I can improve. Greatly.

And my competitive nature will demand that I improve. So February biathlon – I will get you done in under an hour! And as a trainer I know says, “How do you get better at swimming?! You SWIM!”

And that’s what I will do!