Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sucker Punched

Life really has a way of sucker-punching you sometimes. You take two steps forward, and then someone or something comes along and kicks you in the gut, making you flail helplessly backwards to a point further back than where you started previously.

I just had a blood panel done from the doctor and my effing insulin and glucose levels are elevated. No, I am not diabetic… I have something called PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) and they want me to go back on Metformin. And just the thought of having to take it again has me crying. Not only will I be in the john for ninety percent of my day, because it does a number on my system (not to mention I already have IBS so yeah it does a double number) but now I will essentially be locked into my current weight no matter how much I exercise no matter how much I eat right. That mother effing drug was the sole reason of my frustrations the past couple of years, and FINALLY when I went off it I started dropping weight again. And now, this new doctor insists it will HELP me, insists it WONt lock me into my weight but I know he’s full of it…because it will.

Plus, the last time I took this stupid medicine, I would get horribly sick if I didn’t eat every four flipping hours… and yeah its easy to do when you are at work- but on weekends or vacations or any number of things its not easy- at all. And then if you don’t yup back in the john for the rest of the day again- and nauseaous and with a case of the shakes. I can’t do this again.

If anyone knows of anyway to avoid having to take this damn medicine. I have to go back in for another blood panel on Friday- this time fasting before I go in. I’m hoping that the elevation was just from all the crap stuff ate over the weekend, drinking regular pop even and eating dinner ridiculously late last night coming home from class. Please God let it just be that.
If I have to go back on Met- it will break me. I just can’t do it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Polar Bear Swim

Well, considering winter hasn't officially come yet, and fall is just begining I'm sure you are probably wondering why I would entitle my post "Polar Bear Swim' well, that is what I felt like when I got into the pool today. Oh My Goodness lifetime... Its called HEAT....lets try it! The pool was glacial. I mean, I shaved this morning, and now you wouldn't know it! Freezing with a capital F. Insane. Nothing says feel goodness like walking in the rain from the parking lot to the gym, putting on a damp, cold bathing suit (from said rain) - forgot an umbrella and you always have to park at the ass end of the parking lot at my gym, and then jumping into a freezing cold pool. Loves.It.

Anyhow, I have come to realize that what I eat at lunch and whether or not I have a snack before I work out make all the difference. Wednesday, I ate a 100 calorie pack of Almonds at about 4:00. Today, I had a tiny lunch and no snack- I got in the pool swam a 100 and thought I was going to die. mental note pack snacks.

I really need to be better about my food choices. With classes I find myself eating really late (like on my way home from class at 10:00 and yes, that usually means going through a drive through. Usually, I'm embarrassed to admit, it's Taco Bell. Well, actually only on Thursday classes because the effin thing is right across the street from my school. Even on days that I don't have class though I find I am so busy that I'm snacking instead of eating a meal. This weekend, aside form homework- my husband and i are planning on drawing up a menu for the week and trying to pre- prepare as much as possible for the week so that we don't run into the same situation.

I also today got a lesson in controlling emotional triggers. There is a certain person that I have to deal with every day. This person is miserable, spiteful, jealous, must be the center of attention at all times, and complains constantly. They are a total negative force to me and the people around me. They were exceeding miserable today bitching and moaning about everything. And FINALLY without being confrontational, without getting upset or forgetting what I wanted to say because I get so shaken, the past two days I have been able to stand up for myself and put this idiot in their place. Halleujiah! Its one brick in a long path I'll have to clear for myself.. but I am so done with unhappy people. Just because they are miserable, that is not something I need to take on and let it ruin my day. And it felt really really great to be able to work these things out in my head... its been great distraction while exercising to think about this stuff and have it worked out before I get home and allow it to ruin my night, my weekend, or whatever.

I have too many things to focus on, that wasting my energies on unhappy miserable people that will always be in the situation they are in because they lack the motivation to change anything is totally useless.

Yay! Me! Hell yeah!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And So You're Back, From Outer Space

So, I just looked at the last blog I did and it was September Twenty Flippin first. Oy.Vey.
No, I haven't swam, biked, or ran since then. I totally fell off the effin wagon. Argh! School- I tell you, what on earth told me I could handle three classes in one semester god only knows... but pretty much everything other than school has someone fallen to the wayside. I even had to drop out of choir. I will say though :tangent- teachers disrespectful of students time:
Quite honestly, professors should flipping realize that #1 their class is not the ONLY class that most students are taking #2 that most people who work full time and going to classes are doing the bulk of their homework on weekends,not the night before class. It is totally ridiculous for any professor (and in my case all THREE of my professors) to email assignments at 6:00pm the night before class and expect them to be handed in. Which, of course they have to be handed in.. but not without a lot of swearing, a lot of groaning and just general pissed-off-ed-ness. I have found that even on my "gym" days (Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays) Ive had to bypass the gym to get home to do some insane assignment. :end tangent:
Now, I know that people say "if exercising were my priority I would make time" True. It's not that it isn't a priority it just isn't my number one priority and perhaps therein lies the problem. However, school to me is more important at the moment---- and maybe that is a sign of predestined failure. I don't want it to be.. Im going to try like hell to make sure it doesn't happen. And I will sure as the white of my teeth, NOT take three classes next semester. Or, if I do, they'll be online classes.

Thankfully, I have a really super support system, who have been e-mailing me wondering when I'm going to blog again and when I'm getting my arse back in gear. And I am especially grateful to two people specifically. In the spirit of anonymity - since I've made it a point this far NOT to reveal the who's, or where's of myself.... I will just say my S-I-L and my triathalon inspiration, whom I will refer to as my MB (motivational buddy) have seriously been fabulous, and I wouldn't have made it back to the pool without their nudging. <3>

So yeah- pool day 1 today. After a comedy of errors, including not being able to find my swim cap (which consequently discovered in my laundry room [I can only assume it was wrapped up in a towel with my bathing suit at some point or another] my elusive goggles on the other hand are MIA) and that brings me to point numero dos.

Obviously, always carry spares. Unfortunately, I had to purchase a new swim cap at Lifetime when I got there ($15.99 TOTAL rip off.. but what's a girl to do) then I discovered that my usual Speedo Vanquisher goggles are M.I.A Thankfully I have another pair of goggles as "backup" but they sucked- they worse than sucked.. I dont know another word that could accurately describe the disdain I have for said crappy goggles but I had to stop every 2 laps just to get them to unfog (even AfTER spraying them pre-swim with anti fog). Fail. Hard-core fail.

Lesson learned- spares should always be of equal caliber to your main set - otherwise what is the point. So, alas, I will have to go and purchase a new pair of goggles as I have been unable to find the missing pair. And, they are hot pink, so it's not like they would be hard to spot :o(
I really liked those goggles... it may sound crazy but they were nice and broken in... new ones will take time to get them to the right give and bend.

I was actually kind of scared as to just how much I would fall behind considering I haven't been in the pool for three weeks, but surprisingly I felt great. I cut off my workout at 1000 yds, because a. it was my first day back and b. Lifetime apparently, even though I was told when I joined that lap pools are ONLY for adults, and there is a whole SEPARATE pool for kids and their swim lessons- there were only THREE lap lanes dedicated to adults, the rest of them filled with little kiddles taking their swim lessons- ridiculous. I'm sorry, I don't care if Lifetime makes money off of those buggers or not- Adult lap lanes should be adult lap lanes, period. If they don't have enough room in the additional pool for all of their classes, tough. Or schedule swim lessons earlier or later than the 5:30 rush.

So, yay for being back in the saddle. One of these days, probably Friday or Saturday, I'm going to have to contend with Gustav ..... he's been taunting me for weeks.

Until tomorrow

Monday, September 21, 2009

Finding Balance

So, I'm starting to rethink the whole taking 3 classes in one semester thing. I just have a feeling that I have totally over-committed myself this semester, and I have no idea how it will all work out. I haven't been back to the gym yet. I'm feeling better, but I still have a horrible, wet cough as this thing makes it way down and out. I don't know when would be the time to start again and when is the time to stop and let my body heal. Maybe I should be working out again, but I can't see how that is possible when I still cough every five to ten minutes. I'll see how I feel as the week progresses. I know I am losing all the ground that I gained by not working out, but at the same time, I don't want to pull away resources my body is using to fight the infection to exercising and breaking down the body to build it up again.

I'm so confused. I have no idea what to do. I have actually become afraid of falling back and losing ground. It seems like it is always the same battle with me...I'm on track for a really long time and then something derails me, and then suddenly a week turns into two, two turns into a month, and then a month turns into two before I finally find my way back to gym again. I just don't want to lose that focus. At the same time, the class load that I am taking is overwhelming me. I think it's just the anticipation of being overwhelmed, considering I have all of my projected projects and assignments for the whole week already completed. I need to stay focused, but my head keeps spinning and the little devil on my shoulder keeps telling me that I'm never going to be anything but a failure. I keep fighting against it now, but I am terrified that one day soon, tired or stressed, or sick of the never ending infinite pile of research, papers, books to read along with the smattering of other assignments piled on me, that I am just going to totally give up on the whole working out thing, and use school as the excuse. Why do I do this to myself.

I just need to stay organized and focused. I'm four weeks ahead of schedule in one class, and have the syllabi's for my other two classes, where it seems that it is going to be a fairly predictable 11 weeks... I guess I just feel this sense of impending doom, or impending stress, or some gut feeling that everything is going to come to a shrieking, screaming, flailing head somewhere around the middle of November.

On a secondary note, I mentioned to my mom that I was going to compete in a triathlon. I was actually kind of afraid of what she was going to say, because for some insane reason, even though I am thirty years old, I still allow the opinions of both of my parents to rule my own motivations ... and when they tell me they don't think I can do something, instead of being motivated to prove them wrong, I lay down in defeat instead. So I was sort of nervous that she was going to tell me I wouldn't be able to do it, and that I would believe her. Instead she made a comment about being concerned for my knees, and then said she would be there to cheer me on. It actually kind of shocked me. But, in a good way.

So, currently, I'm spinning... in a mental way instead of in the way I should be (as in the calorie blasting, fat burning way). I am spending far too much time in my head and not enough time in the gym. I wish I had like a sickness timer that would pop out like the little buttons in a Thanksgiving Turkey to tell me when I'm well enough to head back to the gym...not that I have copious amounts of time to spend there right now- but I know I have to find a way to make time. Hopefully this week will bring academic clarity- and I will be able to find a schedule and a routine that I can fall into.

Hoping for the best- otherwise, I may need a padded cell before the semester ends

~Millie :o)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Gustav: *evil laugh*

Millie: *cough* *sniffle* *cough again* What do you want Gustav?

Gustav: Where ya been Millie. I can hear your jiggles getting jigglier by the second. What's the matter, did I sour your fire and passion with the ass whipping I dealt you?

Millie: Leave me alone Gustav *cough again* I'm sick... You don't scare me, I just can't even breathe without coughing- let alone get beat up by you for a half hour.

Gustav: Come on Millie.... you're not going to let a little old sinus infection hamper your training. I hear you haven't even been to the pool in a week. Ohhh you are going to hurt so bad when you finally get your jelly butt back in that water...and you don't even want to know the depths of hurt you will feel when you finally get back to training with me.

Millie: Gustav *wheeze, cough* leave me alone. I know, I know- I haven't trained since last Friday. It's been almost a full week. But all that cleaning last week, all that exposure to dust- having to de-clog the vacuum cleaner- wreaked havoc on my sinuses.... and now not only is it in my sinuses but it's drained to my chest *cough again* so! I haven't lost my fire. I haven't lost my drive. The determination is still there, and I hear you calling me over and over and over again, but you-pinhead- are just going to have to WAIT.

Gustav: alright Millie....but I'm waiting, oh boy am I waiting..... waiting, and plotting, *evil laugh* and planning my many, many ways to torture the sweat out of you..... I anxiously await your return. Muuuhahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Small Stuff

So, as I was driving to make another deposit at the Salvation Army, there was a flashing sign for a storage company that say "Clear the clutter out of your house and your life" and then encouraging people to rent storage shelters with this company. I just thought it was so apropos
considering that is exactly what I'm doing. However, I think it is a bit of an oxymoron (perhaps not the right phrase my brain is a bit dead today) to tell people to de-clutter their lives by dropping off (and then paying for) a giant warehouse to store their clutter instead.

I've been crawling around getting dirty and dusty as we set our new office up and do a total overhaul of our clutter filled house. I possess a collection of t-shirts that I have but wouldn't ever really wear out in public, but are more around the house shirts. I found one that I purchased two years ago when visiting my best friends little sister at the University of Iowa. It's an absolutely adorable Green Tshirt with Hot Pink writing and a hot pink Iowa Hawkeye. The largest size they sell at the football stadium is a 2xl. When I bought it, two years and 65 pounds ago (could be more, but I broke up with my scale don't I wont know until October 1st) the tshirt was sooo tight on me and the IOWA letters were almost at my throat instead of across the girls where it was supposed to be. I am pleased as punch to report that as of today, the Tshirt fits! And "Iowa" sits proudly across the endowments. Now granted, I probably still wouldn't quite wear it in public as it also shows off the flabby pockets in the back buuut the mere fact that it could *almost* be worn in public made me very very happy.

Other things that I have noticed... I am able to pick up that would seem too heavy in previous experiences. For example: my old computer desk. My husband and I were able to carry it out of our office together. I dont know if he just had the heavier side or if I truly was holding my own ;-). I choose to believe the latter.

I was at Kohl's on Wednesday looking for towels because usually their sales start on Wednesday (which it didn't) and because I still have 2 Kohl's gift cards from last birthday and xmas from my mother in law that I have yet to spend. So, there I am at Kohl's disappointed that nothing is on sale yet and I'm about to walk out when a bookshelf catches my eye. It's from their "Destination Dorm" section ... a black three tiered bookshelf originally $99.99 on sale for, get this... 19.99. I was all over that little nugget of money saving goodness. Only, I didn't have a cart.. I had walked in planning on only getting towels. I could have walked up to the front and gotten a cart, but too far to walk up and back again and up again again (hey.. no one magically changes overnight) so, I decide to just lift this ginormous box and carry it. I heave it up off the floor and start heading for the checkout. Sales ladies left and right are trying to stop me offering to get me a cart, to which I replied "no its okay it actually isn't as heavy as I thought it would be"

So, me... the tubby, flabby wanna-be triathlete maneuvered a large box containing a steel(aluminum) eh whatever some kind of metal bookshelf all the way up to the checkout counter and then all the way out to the car, loaded it, unloaded it when I got home and set it up. Perhaps I don't have a gun show yet, but I at least must have some form of ammunition in these ol' arms, so woot woot for strength and stamina.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Things...and things...and more things

So, it's been a while since posting (ok since Friday but it seems much longer than that).
I wanted to say a few things unrelated to working out. after my post about my experiences with weigh-ins growing up I got some flack and some interesting comments from friends (since at this moment they are really the only ones reading my blog)

I don't want anyone to think that I am posting these experiences looking for sympathy, or to serve as judge and jury against either of my parents. I forgave both of them a long time ago for things that happened in my childhood, but forgiveness doesn't change things that happened. Everyone is human, and no one is perfect. By understanding this, it doesn't make excuses for anything that happened, but it does help better to empathize with situations and motivations for doing things. I need to discuss them because they need to be let out into the open to be examined and let go. Any experience that I talk about is simply that... my experience, my perceptions, my understandings, my feelings. They don't need to be excused, discussed, debated, changed, or attempted to change, because they are mine and mine alone.

Swimming especially is very reflective for me, because I am alone with my thoughts for an hour. The slap- splash of the water is very hypnose inducing, and takes my mind all sorts of places. The best thing for me to do is to blog about what emotions came up while exercising, examine them, find out the where's, why's, how's etc, and move on from it. I easily have 20 years of repressed emotions that I was always afraid to say or feel because I put everyone elses feelings ahead of my own. I didn't want to rock the boat, I didn't want to start an argument, I wanted to make everything calm, I just wanted to be liked, I just wanted friends, whatever the motivation was at the time, I spent a very long time afraid to be.

My intense fear of confrontation has hurt me both personally and professionally, and I keep telling myself that I don't care that those types of people, the ones who seek to destroy you, aren't worth my time, that I don't care about them. I repeat the phrase over and over again to myself almost on a daily basis, when something upsets or bothers me, that "I don't care"
But, obviously I do care, or else I wouldn't be allowing it to bother me. I think I am over-full of repressed emotion, and it's time to deal with it...piece by pieces. A wall is built brick by brick, over years and years... I'm hoping to dismantle that wall in pieces. So this journey is not only a physical journey to achieving a goal, but an emotional one as well.

Essentially, I think everything started going downhill in 7th grade for me. There was other stuff before that, but it's not important in the grand scheme of things. New school, full of people that had known eachother since kindergarten, the only one in the entire jr high with divorcing parents. (At that time I guess divorce wasn't as common as it is it was a Catholic school) I was teased mercilessly day in and day out for 2 years in that school.

My knees had started getting bad in 7th grade, so I had to miss gym class... then I was teased for always missing gym class so I would just miss school all together thinking that would solve the problem which only increased the fodder. Teachers, students, they all joined in on the fun. My 8th grade year book has a "where will they be in 20 years" at the back of it... mine says "She will finally have come to school enough days to graduate". Couple this with the war zone I came home to every day and you have a 2 year stretch that was a never ending battle zone. My older sibling was in high school, could see the expanse of a life free from drama ahead of her once she went to college. She had a drivers license, friends, a job, and was gone from the house most of the time. My younger sibling was little, 7 1/2.

I was the one that took the verbal barrages, as the younger sibling was too young to understand or be affected by what either parent was saying...and I tried to protect her from most of it, taking the brunt myself instead. Always trying to keep the boat stable never wanting it to rock, both parents felt and still do to this day that my loyalty lies with the other. Both have told me that I am an untrustworthy tattle tale time after time after time even now, twenty effing years later, I still have to fight against an unfair stereotype. Which is why I found myself navigating the trecherous land mines of my adolecsent years totally and completely alone. When you are 11,12, 13 and into your teens, life is hard enough to navigate, throw in a hardened, afraid of confrontation, self dependant into the mix and it is an emotional cocktail of destructive disaster. Imagine having to battle the "mean girls" when you have been trained to emotionally ball into a fetal position and surrender instead of standing your ground... what happens when a bully realizes you are an easy target that isn'tgoing to fight back and isnt going to tell on them.

Usually, a person like that would have perceptive parents that would realize things were amiss with their child...and why did she want to stay home from school so much...why was it that she spent the hour and half until you got home from work crying in her room instead of doing her homework. Usually parents would march into the principals office and demand something be done, ask questions, wonder why teachers were accessories, why no one ever put an end to it.
But, when you have parents who are focusing all of their energies on battling eachother....

The cheese really does stand alone.

I had no friends, - the ones from my grade school had all moved on and the few people in the new school that I did hang out with were more acquaintences than friends. When we would spend weekends at my dads house, he would always ask me why I didn't have people spend thenight like my sister did...didn't I have any friends. And the answer was, no I didn't. I would actually frantically go through the halls on Fridays and ask everyone and anyone if they wanted to have a sleepover. Which is probably why people thought I was weird, but I was so desperate to show my family that I was "normal", that it didn't matter how many people I had to ask.

Once I graduated from that school and moved on to my high school I thought everthing would be different, it would all change now that I was in a new school getting a fresh start with dozens of other girls also getting a fresh start in a new school. Unfortunately I was battle weary and really had a hard time trusting anyone...and not everytime but there were enough times even in high school where I had put my trust in someone only to have it shredded and passed around a very small school like a toy.

The rest will need to wait for another day. It's almost 11:00 and I have lots to do. I took the week off to organize the house and get rid of all this junk. Apparently I have an affinity for collecting junk, both emotional junk and physical junk. So it's time to purge it all. Off to make another deposit at the Salvation Army!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Traithlon Distance Swim

So, today, still a bit sore from yesterday's workout with my masochistic treadmill, who I have now named "Gustav" (seems fitting in my head anyhow) I decided to make it an easy swim day.
The sprint distance swim for the Triathlon I will be competing in is 750m, and I decided today would be a nice day to swim the distance straight. I figured, since I usually swim about double that, that the swim shouldn't be too hard...just the swimming without stopping would be the challenge.

When I swim usually, I swim for 1 hour and switch strokes/focuses because I easily get bored with a stroke and lose motivation and allow my head to tell me I'm too tired to continue. In order to keep my head from convincing the rest of my body that I'm tired I switch about every 200 yards to a new stroke or a different focus in a typical workout until I reach 1400 or 1500m I tend to think in matters of yards because most standard pools are yard length, but the pool at Lifetime technically is 25 meters...though the standard measuring rules for swimming pretty much says if it isn't 50 meters in length it's measured in yards... so I guess my pool at lifetime would be like 35 yards long or 25 meters long, but whatever makes no difference to me, thirty laps, forty laps, sixty four laps all the same to me, I don't differentiate the slightly longer length of my current pool.

Anyway- that was a slight tangent from what I was intending to talk about- I decided that I would see how in my current state I would fare in a 750m swim without stopping. I switched off every 100 yards freestyle and breastroke. I did this because from watching the swim leg of the triathlon in June, a lot of people couldn't swim freestyle the whole time due to bunching up of people and not being able to get into a rhythm. So, I figured I would switch between freestyle and breastroke. It took me about twenty minutes to swim a 750. It could have been faster than that but I'm not really sure because I had to wait a bit before actually getting into the pool (who would have thought the Friday of Labor Day weekend, in an almost totally empty gym entirely, the pool of all places would be packed) so I think I got in around 5:30 and i got out of the pool about about seven minutes to. A very exciting realization for me.

Yes, the swim leg is only one portion of the triathlon but the fact that I could complete the swim leg equivalent in a relatively fast pace without even feeling winded or tired in the slightest is a great sign. That means I will be able to hopefully swim the first portion and still have plenty of energy reserve for the bike and the run leg. I am very, very buoyed today by this realization. With still nine months to go, and every week adding distance or resistance to build my stamina... I am getting fairly confident that my triathlon just might be an attainable goal after all!

So, I wanted to forewarn the handful of readers that I have... I have next week off from work, and I'm going to spending a lot of time paring down the mountains of stuff that I have accumulated over the years...and I have a feeling that with a 8 hours a day to be with my thoughts I know a lot of things are going to start to surface so I have a feeling I will be blogging quite a bit next week.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Treadmill Has Masochistic Tendencies

Ok- so admittedly I am addicted to Big Brother.  I love that flipping show.  I don't know what about it I am drawn to every summer, but without fail it chains me all summer long.

So, today was a run day- but since I didn't want to miss tonight's live eviction (even though technically, I watch it on time delay so I can fast forward through the boring stuff)  I rushed home so I could have dinner and workout at home before Big Brother started.  I know, my life shouldn't revolve around a television show, but I digress.

It's a Treadmill day, and  feeling strong from the past few workouts that I've had, I decide to do a preprogram. I sort through the programs and find one that says 3.5 (which I normally walk)  with up to a 7.0  incline  and I think "hmm it will be hard, but I'm sure I can do it, it's not like it will be 7.0 the whole time"   Below, is the transcript of the conversation that went on between me and my treadmill:

M-  Okay, starting off , 2.0  a bit slow, geez my heart isn't even pumping....boring
T-   Oh, you don't like 2.0  huh?  How about a bit of 2.5?
M-  Hmm.. a nice pace but nope  not even a twitter in the heart beat
T-  OH YEAH?  Well How about THIS....  2.5 with an incline of 2.0
M-  Hmm... feels good..  I can do this alright we're doing well
T-   damn, you're still keeping up.....  2.5  with a 4.0  incline
M-  Mmm  I'm starting to feel it  yup the leg muscles are starting to work
T-  Oh yeah?  Starting to work huh?  3.0  with a 4.0 incline
M-  Mmm  starting to sweat, definitely feeling it
T-  getting tired?
M- Nope  I'm good
T-  Well then....  3.0  with a 5.0 incline  how about now?
M- I'm definitely working for it...but so far so good
T-  well then, take this ms I don't feel a thing....  3.5 with a 6 incline
M-  Yikes... okay I can keep up.. I'm good, stay strong it cant last forever
T-  Can't last forever huh?  Guess what.....  3.5  with a 7.0 incline.
M-  OMG hang on, stay strong.. you can do it, breathe, breathe breathe....ignore the leg cramp
T-  Ohhh leg cramp huh?  ... poor thing...   3.5 with a 6.0
M- Hmm  that drop in the incline didn't do much for the burning
T-  well if you're going to be ungrateful  3.5 with a 7.0
M-  Oh God, I'm not going to make it, how long have I been going for? 17 minutes?  13 minutes left to go, how long to I have to stay on a 7.0 at a 3.5  surely this has to be over soon
T-   3.5 at a  6.0
M- Oh thank goodness
T-  3.5 at a 5.0  
M-  ahhh sweet sweet sweet relief, I feel it coming
T-  How do like this bitch?  3.5 to 7.0
M-  What?  No... we had a good thing going here.. you were slowing down, we were starting on the decline
T-  suck it up... keep going.
M- But it's 14 minutes surely we can slow down a little while...please
T-  3.5 to a 6.0  -  keep begging
M- I dont have much breath left to beg... seriously, I can't take much more
T-  3.0  to a 5.0
M-  ok  a bit better... thank you
T-  3.0 to a 4.0  
M- mmmmm much better
T-  you're weak!  you need more to get rid of that joggle ass-  3.5 at a 4.0
M- Please, please not again...
T-  You're mine now  3.5 at a 5.0
M- I don't like where this is headed
T-  *whip crack*
M-  *cry*
T- *evil laugh*
M- *whimper*
T- 3.5 at a 6.0
M- *glances at countdown-  prays for a quick end*
T- 3.5 at a 7.0  as retribution for the glance at the clock
M- *sniffle*
T- Buck Up Cowboy, bite through the pain
M- *grimace*...  ten minutes left....surely we can start cooling down now
T- *evil laugh*-  hold the 3.5
M- *sweating profusely*
T-  Had enough?  Are you gonna call uncle?
M- Uncle! Uncle! Dear God Uncle!
T-  Too bad. *Laughs again*
M-  Please... stop the insanity.... 
T-  starting to second guess that handful of pretzels you ate at the office today aren't you
M- Yes, I'll second guess anything just please, I think Im dying
T- well, a dead tubby wouldn't be nearly as fun as a live one - 3.0 at a 5.0-  How's that?
M- more..please...more
T- *sigh*-  Fine....  3.0 at a 4.0
M- is it cool down yet?
T- seriously?  was my generosity not enough?  We can go again?
M- no no, plenty generous *gasp for air*  but look, we only have five minutes
T- very well  2.5 at a 3.0
M-  thank you treadmill, thank you
T- 2.0 at no incline----  end of workout
T-  check your pants... I think your thighs set fire to leggings.
M-  -checks pants...discovers hole-.... 

1.5 miles, a gallon of sweat and now 15 minutes later... I am still sweating, and I need a new pair of leggings. 


A Day Behind

So, I'm going to have to figure this whole schedule thing out. Wednesdays are going to be crazy work to pool to choir to home... but no blog time!  Oh my.  I guess I could blog at 9:30/10 when I get home from choir practice.  Who knows, it will work itself out.

So yesterday, Wednesday was a pool day.  I felt great, I mean like insanely great. I was fast, I was efficient, I didn't tire...did 1500 yd  yesterday woot woot.  And ironically enough I didn't feel like I really "pushed" myself to where I thought I would be hurting in the morning, but of course, I was hurting this morning.. not bad but my thigh muscles kept locking up on me as I sat at my desk job all day long.  

I wake up this morning feeling all good because I've been tracking my food (for the most part.... most of the time I forget to write something down in a day...and I seem to fall off track on weekends...ugh weekends, my other Achilles heel)  I get on the scale thinking "oh I'm sure I've lost at least 2 pounds (I haven't weighed myself in a few weeks)  Nope... GAIN.  Three Pounds. 


My scale and I are in a fight right now.  I'm not speaking to it.  Actually I'm quite mad at it. I don't understand how one can work their ass off, track ninety eight percent of what they are eating and still post a gain. (:Tangent: -Weekends  the weekends are my Achilles heel- I forget to include half the shit I eat on the weekends-not that I'm bad on the weekends, I just have so much to do in such a small time frame that by the time I get home and remember, I have forgotten what Ive eaten that day.  And I definitely consume more calories on the weekend, than I do during the week but it's not like I'm out there binging like the hot-dog eating contest guys.  But it's like  Oh so and so wants to meet up this weekend, we haven't seen them in forever... dinner.   Well, we are free this Saturday and we have no plans... what should we do.... movie.   Man, I have a lot of homework this weekend, and Ive got to get out of the house, lets go to the bookstore..... Starbucks.  So, its those effin sneaky little calories that are apparently killing me.  I don't know.. it just pisses me off to no end.     :end Tangent: )  

I told myself that I wasn't going to look at the scale, because this has been going on for 2 years now. I swim and swim and swim and swim and swim til I practically have effing gills growing out of my neck- and I've been stuck at  the same weight forEVER.  The first 65 flew off. I am still stuck in tubby hood...posting a three pound gain after spending two weeks swim bike running. I hate it. 
So, I am breaking up with my scale until October 1st.  Depending on how this works out, we'll see if the once a month thing will be regular or if I will just break up with my scale for good.  

The scale and I have never really had a great relationship anyway.  It has always been a fear filled anxiety ridden experience for me for as long as I can remember.  And actually, the year before my wedding, my now husband-then fiance- suggested we go on a diet together and to start that diet, we would have a public weigh in, so we each knew each others goals.    I couldn't do it.  I actually broke down into a hyperventilating crying mess.  It freaked me out to no end to have him stand over the scale and look at it.  And I don't think it really had to do with embarrassment over how much I weighed, because we'll we've both sort of gained weight together over the years.. but it brought so much flooding back from when I was a kid and I would have weekly weigh-ins.  I remember I would have to get the scale out of the bathroom that was in our downstairs and bring it into the kitchen, next to the kitchen table so that my mom could see how much I weighed...and I would be petrified.  There were numerous times where I would try and move the needle back into the negative, and hope she didn't notice when I stepped off the scale again.  I don't really remember the consequences for gaining weight.  My dad says my mom would hit me, but honestly I don't remember.  And I'm not trying to accuse anyone of anything or let anyone off the hook for anything- it's literally a black spot.  

I do remember getting dragged out of bed forcibly, sometimes by my hair, and sent into the basement to do Jane Fonda while my mom drove my sister to school.   For the first couple days, afraid that she would turn around and come back to spot check me, I would do it... but eventually when I knew she wasn't going to spot check me or have a hidden camera anywhere I would shut off the tape and watch cartoons for forty minutes, and then fast forward the tape 40 minutes, and make like I had been working out the whole time when she would come home from dropping her off and make like I'd been doing it the whole time.  
When the Jane Fonda workouts failed, I was shipped off to fat camp in California.  After the Monika Lewinsky book came out, and she says she was sent to fat camp as well, my mom insists that we were at the same one, that she remembers me calling home complaining about a mean older girl named Monika.  *shrugs*  I don't remember that either, but I was only 9.
At nine, I wasn't really a tragically heavy kid either...I'm sure had I been in an encouraging family instead of a discouraging family, I may have turned out normal...well fairly normal anyway.  

Alright, that's enough of a trip down memory lane for the night.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Murphy's Law

Today was a bike day, mainly because my whole schedule has gotten turned upside between the start of classes, the blowing off of weekend workouts and the shuffling of things. I'm going to have to figure this out better, but for now (until my other class starts next Tuesday) it's a bike day. Anyhow, because today is a bike day and tomorrow will be a swim day (I have choir on Wednesdays and I don't want to go to choir practice all grody and smelly from huffy puffy cycling) so alas no Cycle Fit class.

I get to the gym only to discover the swimming pool TOTALLY empty. Figures. The one time I don't have my swim gear and I could have enjoyed the wide-openness of a lap pool all to myself. It would have been a slice of heaven, as tempted as I was to swim in my leggings and tshirt I figured the gym probably wouldn't appreciate that so I headed upstairs.

So, no Cycle Fit class on Tuesdays. Instead, I grab a bike on my own and choose a little pre-progammed workout. I huff and puff my way through 30 minutes.. okay .. I didn't really huff and puff. I sweat like a pig but no huffing or puffing. Thanks to my triathlon inspiration friend, I now have learned how to pedal properly (with the heel not with the toe) and did a thirty minute program, managing to go in that time frame six miles. Six miles, not bad. Definitely not triathlon pace but good enough for now. That's two miles every ten minutes, a mile every five. Hey.. at least I bike a faster mile than run/walk :-) And I feel great, not tired, nice and sweaty, on an endorphin high I guess.

I leave the gym and head to the grocery store to pick up a few things and drop off a Redbox movie. Forgetting that I'm in my huffy puffy clothes (the bottoms being spandex pants that we already discovered are NOT my friends) I walk into the grocery store and shop unabashed in pants that expose every wiggle and jiggle. Of course, then comes the checkout... it would figure that I would run into someone from my church choir at the checkout. And I'm all like "yeah I'm all sweaty from the gym" and they're all like "ohhhhh how nice"...looking at me wondering exactly what I could possibly have been doing at a gym.

I finish at the gym and being fairly hungry and not wanting to have to wait to cook something when I finally made it home, I decide to stop at Subway... where I run into yet another choir member. Unbelievable. So now, not one, but two choir members have seen my jiggly joggly ass...and as I'm kneeling in church on Sunday (its a church choir) the two of them are going to be like "thank you god she is not wearing spandex again today, had she, I may have had to poke out my retinas.

The whole summer, I haven't seen one choir member, not one. And yet the one day I'm covered in sweat, all my jiggles hanging in the wind, I run into not one, but two.

Don't know what I did to Murphy, but apparently he felt I needed three lessons today.



Monday, August 31, 2009

Ahh the Weekend

So, remember how on Friday after skipping my workout to hang out with friends, I swore to myself that I would wake up early on Saturday morning and head to the gym?
Yeah-  didn't happen.
Classes started this week for me and my husband, so Saturday was a mad rush to get to the bookstore (his)  before it closed (at noon) 
:Tangent-  college bookstores:  I don't understand why on earth college bookstores would open at nine and close at noon the Saturday before classes start.  That to me is just beyond any form of intelligent reasoning.  So, everyone and their mother (literally...and throw in a couple of dads and probably some siblings as well)  are crammed into a tiny bookstore probably the size of a "large" studio apartment in New York, elbowing past each other trying to find which of the seven Macroeconomics books on the shelf pertain to their class.  Its just insane.  It would make far more sense to be open on both Saturday and Sunday and offer some semblance of a normal time period so that people could come by and pick up their "revised edition" books that aren't acquirable online from a used book source or on Ebay, or Amazon, thus resulting in spending a small fortune equatable to a down payment on a Ford Focus for books.  So, thank you book store and book publishers for having ridiculous hours, and prices. :end tangent:

Anyhow-  I had plans to get together with some friends from high school for an outdoor concert on Saturday night, so after the book store was running to the grocery store to get things for the picnic at said concert. Also, I live about an hour and half away from said concert so time slipped by at a ridiculously fast pace on Saturday and I just didn't find the time  to go the gym.
I know, it sounds like excuses, and honestly perhaps it is, but it is what it is now.  And fear not because I got my come-uppance in the end.

Said outdoor concert was apparently popular with the over 60 crowd, so much so that every parking lot for the concert venue was full 2 hours prior to the concert.  Which resulted in our having to park at the ass end of the earth and hoof it to the main gate.  Keep in mind this is 4 women, intent on having a good time, loaded down with enough food and wine to feed a small Ethiopian tribe probably for a week, at least (we overpacked-by a lot)  and in flip flops (the kind my podiatrist yells at me for wearing every time I see her)  the $3.99 cheapie kind, from Walgreens.  

On the way there, the walk wasn't so bad. (granted we were walking at a Toddlers Pace as the child didn't fit in her stroller -thanks to the aforementioned over packing of food)  Weighed down with tables and bags even didn't phase me, and I thought "hmm maybe this whole Triathlon thing is starting to pay off"... I felt pretty good about myself.  That is, until the exit.

A gallon of Sangria later, toddler in the stroller, arms full of bags full of untouched food and the table, we head back the way we came.... this time a pace much faster than previous.  Keep in mind my friends are all in insane shape.  A Triathloner, a Marathoner, and a "boot-camp"er and then me... the huffy puffy tubby triathlete-wannabe.  By the time we hiked the length of the parking lot, I was sweating, when we made it down the first block, I was hurting, by the time we got to the car, I was seriously questioning how I am ever going to run a triathlon when I can't even keep pace with a few friends, carrying maybe an extra five or ten pounds of bulky bags and a table.  Ok maybe it was closer to ten pounds, but regardless, it was a not a far distance.  And the pace was a clip but its not like they were running.   A Quarter of a mile....... and I'm supposed to run five?  Whoops, darn metric system-  grr run three... not five, its a five K not a five M-  oy vey

I know,  had I asked, my friends would have gladly slowed down for me. But that's not the point.  The point is what if I'm working for a goal that is totally unattainable?  What if I have set my sights so high that the realization of failure is going to come crashing down on me. 

I have a problem with my left foot.  Ive had it since I was in about 2nd grade.  My foot turns in just slightly.  They caught it after I repeatedly would get disqualified while swimming the breaststroke because they thought I was flutter (Freestyle) kicking instead of frog (breaststroke) kicking.  My parents gave me the option of wearing the required brace or waiting to see if it straightened out on its own.  It didn't.  By junior high it was affecting my knees.  Growth spurts, and weight gain had aggravated a problem in my knees... the problem was there anyway - my knee caps slip and lock-  but the weight and getting taller accelerated the problem.  My parents were mired in a messy divorce, and when my mom did take me to a doctor, they told her to take me to a shrink because the knee problem was because of the weight gain and the weight gain was a result of my parents divorcing.  Well separating.. they didn't divorce til a long time later, but that is a post for a different day.  The ankle problem of years past wasn't even thought of, no one ever bothered to consider that is where the problem originated.  At 13 something still could have been done to rectify the ankle.  At 30, there is nothing that can be done.  My foot will permanently be turned inward.  It's very slight, you wouldn't even be able to notice it unless you looked very closely.  The problem really isn't the turned foot, it's the resulting damage to the tendons that concerns me.  

The podiatrist told me that because of the inward turning foot, the tendons didn't develop properly.  So, when I lift my foot, the tendons should pull the ankle off the ground, but instead of pulling it off the ground it peters out halfway through the motion which forces the ankle back on the ground again.  The result is what is perceived as dragging my feet (well, my foot really- mainly it's the left one that this affects)  

My family, for as long as I can remember, always just assumed I was slow and lazy, that my foot dragging was no more than a weak attempt at actually trying to keep pace.  The criticism has been endless from all family members telling me to pick up my feet, stop dragging my feet, how can I walk like that, pick up the pace, walk faster, don't shuffle etc etc etc.  After a while I gave up trying to keep up with any of them, and I just walk at my own pace.   Most of the time they all walk on by, leaving me behind, but I'm used to it now its been happening for so many years it has just become the way it is at this point.  

I'm really afraid though that as I'm running that foot is going to come down at the wrong time, and I'm going to trip, or roll over my ankle or catch the top of my shoe and bend it many things go through my head that I worry about.   I mean, I know I'm still a year out surely this is stuff to worry about later and not now.  Now I should just be focusing on plugging along slow and steady, but I seriously have a hard time doing that.  

I walked the treadmill today, 1.0 incline at between a 3.0 and a 3.5 ( I got bored with the straight walking thing, so today I did one of the preprograms...actually was quite fun)  I did a mile in 23 minutes.  23 minutes for a mile.... again, and I'm supposed to do 3.2 in about thirty after swimming a quarter mile and biking 22. I feel great though.  I probably could have gone for more, but at the moment I'm only supposed to be going for 20 minutes.  My gait, however, must be fairly uneven, because if I don't hold the handlebars my left foot forces the the belt or whatever its called on a treadmill to push up and throw off the smooth rotation.  I know that's that tendon thing again...and if it shows up on a treadmill... i wonder how it will show up on a concrete run.

For now, I guess it's just brick by brick.  I guess I need to adopt a "One Day At A Time" kind of mentality.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Sooo maybe I took a day off....

Ok, there was totally a plan in place to go to the gym from work, but then life happens, friends that you are never able to get together with because of schedules suddenly become free, and you jump at the opportunity because staying connected to people is what life is all about right?
So, the plan is to drag my happy rear out of bed in the morning and head to the gym  then.  My weekend is unbelievably packed so, tomorrow morning will be my only opportunity to get some exercise in.

So, not much to blog about today... however.. I've started reading some of the other blogs..mostly other triathletes, runners, swimmers etc.  So, I noticed on one lady's blog she talked about pushing herself so hard she crapped her pants.  Um, I'm sorry, but quite frankly, if you are to the point that you shit your pants-  haven't you exceeded the tolerance level that your body can take.  Perhaps if you have to push yourself to that type of limit, perhaps the Hawaii Ironman is just too much of a physical toll.    That kind of extreme is just something I don't get.  Maybe someone can explain that to me, but if the satisfaction of leaving a doodie in your shorts and having to sit with it for another however many miles til you finish your marathon... 1.  why on earth would you even mention it in a blog?  2.  How uncomfortable to be running with a wad in your pants the length of the marathon.  

Seriously, if I ever get to the point (and from where I'm sitting right now that would laughably be a point that I can't even see over the Mt. Everest of training I would need to do) where I'm sitting at a table excitedly talking about how I pushed myself past my physical limits and lost control of all of my bodily functions... someone will need to find a stretcher and take me away somewhere, because I can not see how that would ever, in any stretch of the imagination be considered, in my book, a glowing accomplishment.

And another thing, while I'm on the tangent of other bloggers.  What is with all these bloggers asking for money?  Like the "Oops I crapped my pants" girl.  She says that if her training has helped me in any way, that I should consider donating to her through her nice little paypal link.
Um... well, your blog has taught me to consider running with Depends.  Other than that, no, nothing notably worth while that couldn't be found in numerous blogs across the blog-o-sphere.  What ever happened to offering advice, helping your fellow man, extending a hand without expecting anything in return.  Why should anyone feel like they have to pay for something so minuscule?

Seriously, if you find what I write to be funny, insightful, helpful, annoying; if you find yourself rolling your eyes at me, or whatever emotion I evoke.. great. That's good enough for me.
I think bloggers seem to forget that they are blogging for themselves, not for other people.   It's not like a bunch of strangers called my house and said "Hey stranger, I don't know you, but ever considered running a triathlon?  Why not blog about it, so we can read it."

Aside from the fact that you are on a free freaking site.  I mean "Blogger" is provided at no charge to whomever sets theirs up.  I made the choice to purchase a domain name, and have it forward to blogger, mainly because I just wanted a website address that didn't have "Blogger" in it.   However, I'm certainly not going to make anyone else donate to me because I choose to write what's in my brain.    

Alright :end tangent:  :-)

Have a good night everyone!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blogging in my mind.. great distraction....and thats about it

So, I must admit, as I have been working out, I have a running commentary in my head of things that I could include in my blog. They sound great at the time...some of them even make me laugh (well as much "laughing" you can do when you are either a)under water or b)huffing and puffing )

Regardless, I'm sure if my brain were hooked up to some form of auto feed as I swam or biked or ran, you would laugh your pants off...or be VERY insulted by the never ending trail of expletives that I scream in my head as I sweat. Unfortunately, by the time I leave the gym and make it home I have already forgotten what things I was mulling over in this ole brain of mine.

For now... I guess I'll bore you with the small details.
It was a swim day. A great swim day might I add. I think it must have been the nuts that I ate before leaving work. Trader Joe's has these little individual size packets of nuts and berries (I forgot the name of them, and I'm not going to take the time and break my stream of consciousness to go into my kitchen to find out.) But, if you go in the nut aisle.. you will find them : big bag containing a bunch of little bags. Good stuff.

Anyhow- my swim...phenomenal. Currently, I can't lift my arms because I had a nice long intense set of backstroke/freestyle sprints with my paddles. Which by the way, I love paddles. Not only do they make you feel like you are really toning your arms, but they make you look really smooth and sleek in the water, plus you move really fast with them on. So, after leaving the pool and going back to the changing room.. I spent five ridiculous minutes trying to get my bra back on, because I could not reach around my back or lift my arms up because they were fairly tired, so the girls hung free on my way out. I am just the pinnacle of class aren't I?

Well, I came home and literally made a mad dash to the computer. I can't really remember what else I wanted to blog on (I'm sure whatever it was, was as prolific as this piece of prose has been) so, I'm going to peace out for the moment. Dinner still awaits and a bit of TV time.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cycle Fit & Posers

Today was a bike training day.  Since I now know (and thank GOD that I did not over-estimate my abilities and join a spin class) that the "Cycle Fit" class is  more my caliber (read: slow, sweaty, huffy-puffy, beginner), this is going to be worked into my regimen   in rotation with the swimming and the walk/jog.

So, this morning when I left for work, I grabbed the workout bag that has been sitting in my trunk for a while (because I've been strictly a swim workout for a couple of months now)  When I got to the gym, I realized my "Workout T-shirt"  was a shirt my dad picked up for me on one of his trips out to California.   I'm sure you're wondering "Who cares what T-Shirt you are wearing"  Well, it wouldn't be a problem except the T Shirt said "Stanford Swimming" 

First of all, I do not possess anywhere near the acumen to even dream about ever attending Stanford... and then on top of it, to be part of the number one most elite of all swimming schools in the country,  is totally laughable (especially considering I am no where near a swimmers physique).   Walking around with a "Stanford Swimming"  Tshirt would be like walking around with a noticeably fake Hermes bag.   (If you are scratching your head on the metaphor... Hermes is probably THE most expensive hand bag on the market...and are fairly hard to knock off.. so carrying around a fake one would be obvious to most people that you are a total poser.... just like me in the Stanford Swimming T-shirt.

So, there I am, the Tubby Triathlete  in the Cycle Fitness class, sweating my ass off, praying to gods of religions I don't subscribe to, just to make sure I have my bases covered, just  to get me through the half hour class.   I made it however (ok,.. I did stop once and fake an untied shoe so I could stop the burning in my feet.) thinking I'm doing fairly well, until I made the mistake of stealing a glance at the mirror in front of me.  First of all, no matter what the author of "Slow Fat Triathlete"  says... spandex is NOT your friend.  And watching the jiggles and the joggles as I huffed and puffed was enough to turn ME off from that cycle class.. I won't be surprised if I come in Friday and the mirrors are blacked out.

To backtrack for one second....has anyone else had an insane burning in their arches like I experienced?  The arches of my feet felt like they were on fire. I'm not sure if it's just poor muscle tone in my arches (if one can tone foot arches?) or because of the sunken nature of them.  I technically have inserts from the podiatrist that I'm supposed to be wearing (its just so hard to cram them plus my feet in gym shoes)  but perhaps I'll have to try that with the next class... as that could be the reason for the burn in the arches.

Anyhow, Cycle Fit... *thumbs up*  (albeit a sweaty, tired, half hearted thumbs up because that's as high as my arm can go right now)


Going Public!

Normally, I am a ridiculously private person. I don’t really share much with many people.. good or bad. After a fairly rocky childhood, I have somewhat come to believe that the only person who will always be there for me and never let me down… is me. So, I find it really, really difficult to ask for help… to me I would rather cut off my left arm, boil it, season it and eat it for dinner (you should be thinking “woah” right now..especially since I am a vegetarian.)

I think that I also tend to keep things private, because just in case I try something and I fail, no one knows that I failed, so I can’t be judged, castigated, looked down upon, etc by anyone for not being able to do whatever it was I set out to do. Believe me, I know there are people that would relish the opportunity to make sure to keep me down with their comments and criticism.. so I need to balance the negative with the positive. I know people will probably think I am insane for setting a Triathlon for a goal.. instead of setting a more attainable goal like “Lose 20 Pounds” but personally, at this juncture in my life I think it’s time to Go Big or Go Home.

So, keeping this in mind… this blog is a way to force myself out of my usual “suffer in silence” zone, and actually try to connect with people and find a network of support. I’m hoping that if I know that people believe in me, the positive support will buoy me through the rough days. And of course, to use yet another swim analogy…You wouldn’t just dip your toe into a freezing cold pool, then your leg, torso arms etc… if one wants to “get over” the initial shock of the cold, they take a running cannonball leap into the water and over stimulate their senses.

I have decided to do this by reaching out and building my network of support. After I finish posting this blog, I am going to put an announcement up on Facebook that I have started this thing, and you know once something is on Facebook, it’s official. There will be no turning back, without me having to eat major crow for giving up. But, I need to prove to myself and mini-me in my brain telling me I’ll never be able to do this, that I’m in this for the long haul- and no matter what my butt will be at that start line come next June.

Here I come world....


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Public Lap Pools are like High School Lunch Rooms

Imagine, it's your first day of high school, and you are heading to the cafeteria for your lunch hour. You have your tray of food, and scan the room... jocks at a table, preppy girls at another, weirdo's at another, etc. You make your way to a table, hoping you'll fit in when you sit down. We were all there... the self consciousness thoughts, hoping desperately you will be accepted, walking past table after table wondering if people are staring at you, and if that whisper you caught was referring to you. Now imagine yourself, making that walk in a bathing suit, with people staring up at you from designated lanes. 

You can see in their eyes a glimmer of hesitation, and you know they are thinking "Do not get in my lane".  So, to save the rest of you from possibly ruining someone's workout, annoying them, embarrassing yourself, preventing you from getting in over your head and give you an idea of where you can start your swim workout, I have broken down into categories the types of swimmers you will find on an average day at an average pool.

My pool has five lap lanes. On any given night, four out of the five lanes are doubled up (2 people to the lane). Most lanes are filled with the Uber-Jock (also known as the Ironman, or the Super Triathlete... or "Elites" if we are using technical racing terms) They are most easily identified by their multi colored swim caps touting the last Ironman they competed in, their Swedish goggles that they wear because they heard all the Olympians like them, and their head to toe body suits. They will have a gamut of materials with them at the pool's edge. Fins, Stroke Paddles, Pull Buoy, Kickboard, a bottle of power ade or some other form of electrolyte drink, and their very precise workout regiment, usually wrapped in a plastic bag or possessing some other form of water proofing. The Elites are pretty much untouchable. Unless you are of their caliber, don't even think about thinking about getting into a lane with them. They won't share, and in the off chance they decide to get into a lane with you... be prepared.. if you are not as experienced of a swimmer, they will over power you, intimidate you, hog the lane, and make you feel like you are swimming in oceanic waters with a category 4 hurricane coming in. Usually if an Elite tries to share a lane with me, I just leave. Its not worth the hassle for me.
(:Sidenote: Women Elites are a hundred times easier to share with, much nicer, less arrogant, and much more respectful of space) If you have to share...choose a woman Elite over a man Elite.

After the elites, you have career swimmers, also technically know as "Masters Swimmers". These are the types that swim on a daily basis as their form of exercise. Most of them swam in college, and have continued on into their professional lives.  A "Master Swimmer" is group that meets at most gyms and Y's, usually 3 times a week for 2 hours.  They swim intense regimens to stay in shape and compete against other Masters Swim Clubs once a month.

  If you were applying them to another avenue of exercise, they would be your step-aerobics or Pilates 3 kind of people.  They usually can be identified by their lap-swim specific bathing suits, goggles (just your run of the mill Speedo's, Nike, TYR etc- that can be purchased at Dicks or Keifer Swim Shop), water bottles, kick boards, fins, paddles etc. They are in the pool to git'er done. If you are not an experienced swimmer, or can not swim more than a stroke without stopping, this is another "table" you don't want to sit at. If you have to, they are much easier to swim with than the elites... but should also be avoided if you are not of their caliber.

After career swimmers, you have your regular or seasoned swimmers. They are usually just a slight step down from the career folk. They are usually seasoned swimmers either just getting back  into the sport, or have developed enough swimming acumen to be fast enough and strong enough to complete a full swim workout. Seasoned swimmers look pretty much like career swimmers, but they usually are not wearing signature lap suits (the ones that are cross backed and designed to help repel water and high necked). They are usually wearing average suits you can find at any department store. They will be experienced enough to be doing flip turns, watching the sprint clock to time their passes. The only difference between the seasoned swimmer and the career swimmer is time. They are slower than the career swimmer, and have shorter passes (ie a career swimmer can usually go at least 400 yards before breaking or switching to a different stroke or focus) a seasoned swimmer will usually swim in smaller groupings.. a seasoned swimmer just getting started again will usually swim in 100 yard passes, and move up to 200 yard passes and beyond.

Seasoned and Career swimmers are the most compatible for lane - share.

After the seasoned swimmer, you have the water aerobic folk, or the ones who swim at a glacial pace just to say they are swimming. Usually are the easiest to share lanes with, but if you are of the seasoned or career category, they are the most frustrating to share with next to elites, because of said glacial pace. You can identify them by their bloated swim trunks, or the suits with skirts, their ginormous Wal-Mart goggles, and no swim cap. They also are not familiar usually with pool etiquette and do not bother to keep to circle swim or side/side and instead take up the whole lane and don't pay attention to you while you are swimming and end up running into you repeatedly.

Next up would be the hopeless cases. These are the ones who can't put their face in the water, who flap around back and forth up and down the lanes and believe they are getting a good swim workout. If you are scoping lanes.. these are usually the ones to wait by, as these hopeless swimmers tire easily, and usually don't spend more than ten minutes in a lane before exiting with a "wow, what a workout" remark to you as they get if you and them are in the same league.

So... in this corner..... at 5'9 weighing in at - NOYB.... iiiiitts Millie!
Using a Speedo Silicone cap, Speedo Vanquisher goggles, Speedo Pull Boy, TYR Paddles, TYR Kickboard, Fins ... and a bathing suit not from any reputable swimming store (because they do not go up that large...bastards)

That's it from this "Seasoned" Swimmer for today!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Built-In Distractions & Excuses

Well, today was a planned swim day, but with the start of fall semester, a new domain site that I just signed up for, and about a gagillion other things I found to distract myself with, instead of swimming at the pool, I am at home. The plan is to make today a "Run" day instead of a swim day.
I must get organized. The plan is to follow the "Couch to 5K Program" to train for the running portion. The first few weeks are more walking and jogging for short spurts. This I know I will be able to survive. It's when we get down to full on running, I'll be praying that I don't die.
At the moment, I am swimming 1400 Yards which consists of:

4 x 150: Free (50) Breast (50) Back (50)

Followed by 100 Back
100 Breast
100 Free

4 Suicides : Sprint 50 free
Slow 50 Breast

Cool Down: 50 Back/ 50 Breast

This changes rotation with stroke focused/kick focused plans.

But, I'm sure most people don't really much care exactly what I'm doing in the pool.

I can't say that after last Monday's "Fat Bitch showdown" with an Ironman, that I'm not exactly enthused with the thought of returning to the pool today, so I guess finding an "excuse" to skip a pool day came easier than it normally would.

The Ironmen are still in training for I believe it's the Madison Ironman event. So they have monopolized the five very small lap lanes at my gym. When I used to have a membership at the Y I was all for sharing lanes (ok that's not 100% true- I would begrudingly share a lane, if I had to... but most of the time I am a one person per lap lane kind of person)

However, at my current gym, the lap lanes are about half the width of a normal lap lane, my armspan during breastroke and butterfly strokes touch the lane dividers on either side. So, trying to share said unbelieveably, and restringly skinny lanes with another person is next to impossible. Try and squeeze a tubby triathlete, plus a bulky muscle-man in a lane, and it's laughably uncomfortable. So, typically, I wait until a lane opens up, which negates the necessity to share.

So, last Monday, aforementioned meat-head muscle man makes a beeline for the very lap lane that I am about to jump into after a thirty minute wait. I decide "screw him, I've been waiting thrity minites, Mr. Self-Entitled can not just breeze out of the locker room and into a lane without having to wait like the rest of us. I proceeded to jump in my lane, ignoring the "Hey....HEY!" from the opposite end if the lane. Mr Muscleman, insisting on getting my attention yells from the other end " THIS IS MY LANE". To which I replied, "Sorry, I've been waiting thirty minutes." He then tells me to share, to which I reply, you can share, you just got here. I pull down my goggles, kick off the wall to which I see him slap the water and call me a "fat bitch" before ducking under the lane and moving into the next one.

Everyone who I have told about my encounter said I should have reported him, but the satisfaction of the jerk getting evicted, was nothing compared to being able to keep my private lap lane.

So, instead Monday will be a run day, and Tuesday, when apparently no one feels like swimming and the pool is next to empty, will be my swim day...until my other class starts next month. Then, I will have to rework everything again.

Do I intentionally over-fill my calendar just so I have a built in excuse when things don't work out, and I end up having to quit? Definitely something to mull over, because it's almost like, in a month from now if I stop going to the gym, I can always say "oh well, school just got to be too much" and that is how I will justify it in my head instead of having to admit failure or defeat.

That, will not happen this time. Time constrained or not- I will find a way to make it all work.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No Backing Out Now

I've created this blog, so that I have someone- be it a virtual someone-  to keep me committed to this insane adventure I have decided to embark on.  Why a triathlon? You may ask.
Well, inspired by the multitude of sizes of women who competed in this years Women's Sprint Triathlon, the driving force being a close friend of mine.  I figured if these women, of all shapes and sizes can get out there and do this so can I.   So what if I have 2 bad knees and a bad ankle- along the way, I'm hoping they will strengthen as the weight comes off. I have almost a year mind you. 

When you ask someone what the hardest part of a triathlon is, they all say the swimming, hands down.  Well, I already swim on average 1200-1400 yards daily, so I figured, if I already have the "hard part" nailed, then the rest will be gravy.  My Achilles heel, will be the run.  I've never been much of a runner, and at my current weight (which at this moment, I am not going to name but trust me, it's high)  I'm sure my feet, ankles, calves, thighs, hips are all screaming "Nooo!" in unison, but  it's just a matter of getting started.

I am armed with a copy of "Slow Fat Triathlete"  which is going to be my go-to bible,  since it seems there are others of the portly persuasion who have also heard this call to insanity.

I've promised myself that no matter what- I will compete.  Even if I have to walk it.  Even if I'm just starting the run portion when they are dismantling the stage, and people are pulling away... I will compete, I will finish.  I don't wait to be afraid of failure anymore.  Better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all right?  

Hang on, I'm sure it will be an interesting ride.