Friday, January 29, 2010

Greek Yogurt, Gossip Girls. Rest Days and Sore Legs

Ok, first- before I forget. I've never eaten Greek Yogurt before. I bought one at Trader Joe's last weekend (yes, just one- because I didn't want to me mad I'd wasted my money if i bought a whole mess of them and then ended up not liking them) We grocery shop on Saturday's so that sad little Greek Yogurt has been patiently waiting it's turn every morning, getting passed over time and time again. The pitiful bridesmaid yogurt to the Dannon Light & Fit bride yogurt that was chosen every day before it.
Finally, this morning, deplete of any other choice But the greek yogurt, I broke down and tried it.

I must say, the consistency threw me off for a second or two. But it actually isn't bad. And for 14 grams of Protein per serving (I know, I was blown away too!) it's totally worth it to me to try it. Ive been so good this week with preplanning and making sure that all of my food choices were wise, and healthy. I have had no processed sugar at ALL this week. (yay me) and with the execption of one Diet Dr Pepper with lunch, everything else was thumbs up food wise. :)

So, I heard through the grapevine, that there are some people that I went to school with (whom I haven't talked to SINCE high school save the brief Facebook exchange when they friended me to scope my profile). I have heard that some of these people- who were never even friends with me to begin with- seem to have taken a vested interest in my training. And, not in a good way. Apparently this group of pitifully catty "mean girls" have decided to make repeated jokes regarding my efforts. It's like, seriously- have I time warped back to 1994 again? I didnt realize we're suddenly 16 and back in high school again. I mean my god- most of you are married, with kids, living in houses three times the size of mine, driving cars worth double my annual salary (ok double is a bit melo dramatic but seriously more than I would ever want to spend on a car), they run their marathons and post their pictures on facebook and all pat eachother on the back, and yet they feel the need to use me as fodder for their gossip? Who am I to any of them?

In the grand scheme of things- these people do not even register on my radar. I couldn't care less what they do day to day- so why in the world do they care what I do? What do they gain from tearing me down?

The old me, would be crushed by crap like this. I would spend days, even weeks, wondering why they didnt like me, or what I did to suddenly make myself the focus of their ridicule. But honestly, I'm SO over it. Apparently some people never leave high school- they hold tightly to their "Glory Days" when they were actually somebody. I think its more the size of the school than the school itself. I mean when you go to a small school the people you talk to talk to other people who are friends with said haters.... Im sure people who go to big huge schools where there are hundreds in their class have people who gossip about them and they never even know about it.

Let them talk- haters are always gonna hate- I guess I should be honored that they feel so threatened by what Im trying to accomplish for myself that they feel the need to make fun of it.

That's fine. Bring it I say- all your BS is only more motivation for me to swim that extra 100 when I feel like there is lead in my arms.... or spend an extra ten on the treadmill when I don't think I have anytthing left..... and these bitches have lit the fire fully under my rear end- and I will not walk sheepishly into Spin Class on monday, but rather charge in there and make myself the best I can.

And... next fall- when the alumni magazine comes out... there will be a picture of me crossing the finish line wearing a Tshirt that says "Suck It" with me giving them the double finger.

Ok- maybe not the last part (mainly because its a Catholic school- I doubt they'd publish a picture of me flipping the bird with a Tshirt that read "Suck It") but it would be cool wouldn't it ? :)

Tomorrow is a rest day- thank goodness because I am so sore. I feel great otherwise, but I'm glad that these couch to sprint programs have rest days programmed in- and they are so right I really super need it.

OH- on a side note. So there was this discussion on the Beginner Triathlete site today regarding swimming and "improving swim times" Being a swimmer, I felt I could contribute to the discussion with my experience. The question was regarding getting faster and whether or not taking less recovery time (ie breaks in between sets of laps) and swimming full effort repeatedly would help to improve splits. I told him that the better thing to do would be to extend the length of sets- ie swimming a 150 instead of a 100 or doing 10 sets of 100's instead of 8 sets of 100's ... and extend the amount of laps he did and once the stamina was built the speed would follow.

Everyone else was under the impression and all agreed with each other that it would be better for him to reduce his recovery time and swim full out for a length of time to improve his speed.

I personally don't agree with this sentiment- as the key to speed in any sport is stamina and not necessarily repeatedly drilling yourself over and over again in short bursts. That would be like if a runner trained only in 40's . Maybe that is the difference between seasoned swimmer and a triathlete. Triathletes are just trying to get by ( I mean I too am guilty with this on the run leg- I'm sure a seasoned runner would have better ways for me to better my run as opposed to the couch to 5k plan)

But everyone loudly disagreed with me. So- whatev. I just wanted someone to know that I still think I'm right.

Anyhow a nice relaxing non exercise day is ahead of me tomorrow. Yay!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Millie- The Silver Streaker

Yesterday was a swim/bike day, but it snowed (again) so I went straight home
and worked out on the Treadmill. Gustav was NOT happy about it, let me tell you.
So unhappy in fact, he stayed silent all through my workout.
So, it was just me on my own. In my defense, there is a reason that it becomes
ridiculously difficult to get to the gym on days when the roads are bad.
The lovely city in which I work, though the boast an enormous population of
McMansions, apparently doesn't deem it necessary to spend its abundance of tax dollarson it's streets. They are rarely ever plowed or salted when it snows, and don't even get me started on the potholes large enough to swallow a small tribe of nomads (not that nomands frequent these parts, but trust me, the potholes are huge)
Anyhow, to get to my gym, one would need to make an unprotected left hand turn
across a four lane divided highway. This is not the easiest task to complete on a good weather day, throw in slippery roads and bad conditions and it's suicide.
So, when the weather is like this, I find it better/ safer to just make my right hand turn head home and work on my treadmill instead.

I'm actually quite proud of myself, I did an entire treadmill workout without holding onto the handlebars once. Grandted- I was walking at a 2.5 with no incline, but to be able to keep my balance and not "slip" on the treadmill is a really big deal for me. I actually found that if you keep your arms up by your chest, it really does help keep you centered.
Which, is ironic to me, because those are usually the people I am watching and wondering if they realize how silly they look. So I guess I will now be one of those "silly" people

At this pace, which I call my "fist pumping speed walk", I'm good to go with the "Silver Streakers. Just get me one of those "Nana's Angels" Tshirts decorated with Puffy Paints, a sweatband for my forehead,and an old school radio head set.

So, my days are all screwed up. I know. But they're going to have to shuffle a bit anyway. There have been a handful of people, from friends who are personal trainers, to friends who have competed in Tri's previous, to people on the Beginner Triathlete site who keep touting the benefits of a Spin Class for Triathlon trainers. So Im going to sign up for a Spin Class :eep!- super huge, enormous, EEP! with a capital E and an exclamation point: I hate more than anything looking like a schmuck. I am petrified of taking a spin class.
But, I'm going to do it- even if I look horrible. Even if all people can stare at through the whole class is the jiggle when I wiggle. I'm told it can be as intense or as moderate as you choose so hopefully I can hack this. I have known for sometime I would have to eventually overcome my fear of spin class. I am way too easy on myself when it comes to bike riding
on my own. And I know in order to really get the most out of the bike leg, Im going to have to develop the muscles needed for that leg (not to mention, when I go bike shopping next month, I want to actually be able to get on a bike and cycle around to try them out without looking like a total A hole in front of the sales person) So- Spin class. Next week.
Boy oh Boy am I skeeeered!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Years Resolvers & Valet Parking

So, I understand that everyone has to start at a gyn sometime, and that everyone at one time or another was a "newcomer" to the gym. However, when I joined THIS gym, I joined in the summer time. When I joined the Y previous to this gym, I joined in the summer time. Never, and I mean never, join a gym, if you're serious about working out, in the winter.

Yeah, I know they are offering "No Joiner Fees" right now- but they offer them all year round. They'll do it again in March and then probably again right before summer starts- like Memorial Day weekend.

People who join the gym in January typically get automatically labeled "Resolvers" and most in the gym either privately in their heads, or publicly with others in the class or area of the gym you are in, are taking bets on how long you last before you drop out.

The gyn is chocked full of them. So full in fact, that the "Valet Parking" sign was out in front of the gym today, so that the precious people wouldn't have to exert themselves, before going into the gym to exert themselves. (well- and it's really cold today, so I guess I'll spare passing judgement for the day- well, actually, I lied- I'll still pass judgement on you, just privately in my head, and not in my blog (lazy asses) ... oops, too late.

So, thanks to this influx of newcomers- there was actually an honest to goodness LINE for machines. Thankfully, I don't mind riding the old school bikes (the ones that sit straight up and don't have fancy TV's on them) so my wait was short (about ten minutes).... everything went fine on the bike. It was only 20 minutes, a short bike day because it was supposed to be a bike/swim day.

Unfortunately- the stupid pool was full of kids again! I don't understand this Lifetime! You have TWO POOLS. WHY do you insist on holding childrens swim lessons in the lap pool!?!?! Yeah great it's open family swim time in the other pool- there is stil PLENTY of room to do both at the same time.

Why reduce the lap lanes to two- when clearly judging by the amount of people WAITING for LANES - that lap swimming is immensly popular with the afterwork crowd?!?

And, don't even get me started on the muscle men. I don't know if it's the self-entitlement of the suburb I'm in, or if it's just that Triathlete/Iron men are that full of themselves, but they do NOT obey the unwritten rule of waiting patiently by the hot tub until a lane opens up. They just cut ahead of everyone and jump into a lane- they don't even care if there are already two people in the lane- they'll just muscle their way in and hope that someone leaves just because they are intimidated (which someone usually does, because who wants some ginormous muscle man swimming up your rear end every lap)

So needless to say- no swim workout for me today. In a way I'm not overly concerned because, swimming is my strongest and considering I swim about 2200 in an hour, doing that leg of the Tri isn't what is concerning me. But on the other hand it does bother me because I only worked out for twenty minutes today.

It is so frustrating. It almost makes me want to go back to the Y. There are pluses and minuses for both the Y and Lifetime, but at least at the Y the pool was warm, there was 8 lanes plus an open area for the water aerobics people, it's the same price, but the Y isn't as convenient as Lifetime is, especially after work.

What a dilema. I really wish someone would just open a swim club somewhere that was pool specific, was open early in the morning until like 9 at night and didn't allow kids. Is that really too much to ask?

Anyhow- tomorrow is another bike/swim day. The front desk people suggested I try coming in the morning. He told me that no one is in the pool and 630 - 700

I'm debating on whether or not I want to jump into a frigid pool at 630 in the morning.


People Really Piss Me Off Sometimes

It's forty five minutes until I can have my "snack" for the day so I need to do something or else I'm heading for the company licorice. I hate having to be so regimented with food, but if I'm not, I actually forget to eat until I'm absolutely starving and then when starving you never making the correct food choices. So I have to put myself on a clock breakfast 8am, snack 10:30, lunch noon, snack 3:00 post workout recovery protein shake, then dinner once I get home - roughly 630. Most of the time dinner is enough to keep me satiated until breakfast the next morning, but occasionally, if I have worked out fairly hard..... or if the ice cream tooth rears it's ugly head.......... I will also have an 8:00 snack.

Anyhow, on some days, you really start to realize how much time you have wasted settling. Be it taking jobs because the job pool was shallow, and you needed the money and then you stay because you are comfortable, or you waste time with fair weather friends that really don't do anything for you. With settling you end up wasting more engery, being upset, frustrated, and lose focus and motivation because it seems like everything is working against you. When in reality, the only thing working against you, is you. There is no permanence in anything really. If a job is unsatisfying you can leave, if you want to make more money, change careers do a million things that are related to careers, anyone is capable of doing them. It just takes drive and perserverence. Just like a triathlon.

Of course, there are days when frustrations mount, and even though you are on a path to change, today the change still seems just past the grasp. For me, I just have to keep telling myself that I am better than this, stand up for myself when needed, and put people in their place instead of just rolling my eyes and chalking it up to "how they are" because by doing that I have learned, it only nonverbally gives people permission to continue acting the way they are. Yeah, confrontation sucks, but sometimes it's needed in order to truly move forward.

oooh look at that, 3:15- snack time. Come to momma big juicy orange.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Poor Tubby Millie, Sweating on the "T", with G U S T A V e

Gustav: Millie... aren't you supposed to be doing a bike/swim today?

Millie: It's snowing.......

Gustav: The gym and bike are both inside, are they not?

Millie: Well, yes, but I decided I would swap my bike/swim day with my Run day ....

Gustav: That isn't really how it works, but since you're here *evil laugh* you will pay for your laziness.... On the Treadmill *whip crack* .... *evil laugh*

Millie: *puppy dog eyes* Be gentle on me.... remember, I haven't seen you since the middle of last semester

Gustav: All the more reason to whip that jelly roll and jiggly trunk into shape... I said MOVE

Millie: Let's start out nice and slow... a nice warm up pace to get back in the swing of things... :sets treadmill to 2.0:

Gustav: The triathlon is in four months lazy bones... and since you swapped your bike swim day with tomorrows run day- it's only a short run day- 20 minutes, no time for pussyfooting around :changes to 2.5:

..... what's that music?

Millie: Oh- it's a spin CD my dad gave me... I figured it would keep me motivated.....

Gustav: But- your sorry excuse making ass decided that the little dusting of snow was too much for you to have to drive through to get to the gym- so instead of biking like your supposed to be doing, you're here with me.... so, where does spinning fit into that?

Millie: Back off Gustav, I happen to like it.... :hums 'Hey There Delilah'

Gustav: If you have enough breath to hum, you aren't working hard enough :increase to 3.0:

Millie : *huff* *puff*

Gustav: Huffing and puffing at a 3.0... I have got my work cut out for me... let go of the treadmill

Millie: I need to keep my balance

Gustav: When you're out there running that Triathlon- I'm fairly certain that there will be no handlebars to hold onto while you're running.. let GO

:increases speed to 3.5:

Millie: *whimper*

Gustav: Listen- even Miley is telling you hands off... hear her? "So I put my haaaaaands up! They're playing my song"
Hands- UP Millie

:increases speed to 3.7:

Millie: Please *pant* Gustav *pant* 3.7? *pant* I *pant* can't do this *pant* First day back... remember?

Gustav: Very well, 3.5 ..... You're almost at the 18 minute mark anyway. I was having so much fun. These short sessions don't involve nearly enough torture for my liking :slows to 3.0:

Millie: well, thursday is a bit longer... and Sunday, you have me for forty minutes

Gustav *evil laugh* ahhhh yes, something to look forward to

-20 minutes-

Gustav: So, you went 1.1 miles in 20 mintutes... at that pace you will be crossing the finish line LONG after the race is done. At that pace, you are slower that the SLOWEST Athena time posted on your precious Triathlete site.

Oh Millie, we have a LONG way to go.... be prepared.... you are mine for the four months.....

I'll make a Triathlete out of you yet......


** Technically, Gustav has no "E" in it, but I needed my improvised ditty to flow. In case you're scratching your head... instead of sitting in a tree k i s s i n g ... im sweating on the T (treadmill) with Gustav.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What A Discovery!

So, my bestest Motivational Buddy told me a while back (and I forgot about until she reminded me recently) about a website called Beginner Triathlete dot com, and I can not tell you how over the moon excited I am about this discovery. There is a wealth of information on this site for anyone who is thinking about or is in the process of training for a Triathlon and the people on the site are super helpful, really knowledgeable and so willing to give you any advice/guidance you are looking for. There is EVEN a section for Tubbies like me working for their first triathlon goal (though, I don't know how much I like being referred to as a "Clydesdale" well- actually tubby men are Clydesdales... tubby women are Athena. I'm sure that Greek God is shaking her fists at the idea of a bunch of fat sweaty women being called "Athena".

Anyway, my spirits are totally buoyed. I realized while looking over the training logs they have provided me, that I have not been training smart. I was raining blind, just doing what I thought was right to "condition" myself for the real training. Well- I wasted all that time "conditioning blind" that technically I am grossly behind on the true training anyhow. But even the training guides say that for the first triathlon, the only goal one should have is to finish it, and that truly is my only goal. I just want to finish... even if they are taking down the stage, and the pomp and circumstance, picture taking and celebration is long over- I want to finish. Just so I can say I set a goal and followed it all the way through.... plus, as silly as this sounds, I really, really want one of those Triathlon stickers for the back of my car. The ones that have the swimmer the biker and the runner. Perhaps competing in only one triathlon wouldn't really qualify me to be worthy enough of said sticker, but I don't care- it is my motivation for this race... I am in pursuit of the right to stick that sticker on the back of my car.

So, my new workout plans have me working out like this:

Mondays (light days) swim/bike Tuesday all run day (well- walk for me currently) Wed Med swim/bike days Thursday Run day Friday Heavy Swim Bike day Saturday rest day Sunday long run day.

Another friend of mine suggested instead of walking on the treadmill, that perhaps I could build better stamina on the elliptical. I;m not sure if that is a good idea or not, but the friend who told me about the possibility started on an elliptical to increase stamina and ran a half marathon over the summer- so who knows.

My dad also just found a workout bag for me that is big enough to hold ALL of my gear in one place. Hooray for that, it is insane trying to juggle two separate workout bags, plus a bag for a change of clothes because none of my bags are big enough to hold all of my swimming gear, plus workout clothes, gym shoes, odds and ends and a change of clothes. So I'm super stoked.

Anyhow, my husband and I are doing an all out reorganization of our Kitchen and cabinets. With both of us in school plus training for this triathlon, we are trying to make everything excuse proof, as well as get everything streamlined so that there are always easily prepared in less than fifteen minutes meals for us to grab and go.

I am feeling so positive again. Who knew that being armed with some new information, getting a few "atta girls" and some good advice could carry me along so well :)


Monday, January 18, 2010

Keeping Up With The Kardashians, A Lightbulb!, Procrastination and Avoidance

So, I was watching a segment on E! News about "How the Kardashians Keep Their Rockin' Body". Trust me, I did not tune in specifically for this, it was simply one piece of th E! news experience for the day. Anyhow, I wanted to share with you, some of the exercises that they showed because seriously, as much as I hate to admit it- they work, fairly well.

One of the Kardashians, the one who is neither pregnant or married- I can't remember her name and seriously its not important enough for me to break my thought train to go look her up- showed the audience a few moves with a balance ball. Including Lumber Jack Chops (bringing the balance ball across your body and down, and then across your body bringing it back up)

This one works really well to tone a swimmers arm. Additionally, same Kardashian also showed us that to tighten the core as well as firm the tush at the same time squat over a chair and bring the medicine ball overhead in a circular motion rotating first to the right and then to the left.

She filled the rest of the segment with unimportant fluff that has no bearing on my blog- but I thought those two exercises would be interesting to share with the swimmers of the world :)

I signed up at today and printed out my official "training logs" and a lightbulb hit me. So last year all those times that I was all like "ha ha you dumb Ironmen, you are only in the pool for a half hour while I spend a full hour swimming circles around you." Yeah, there's a reason that they were only in the pool for a half hour and it had nothing to do with the fact that they possessed less stamina than tubby ole Millie. It's because that is what their training logs tell them to do. I mean, seriously- where I even thought that some giant buff to the extreme iron man would have LESS stamina in the pool that me?- I have no idea. But now, just thinking about it, I kick myself over and over again. I'm such a dork.

I spent the evening in the pool. I love the pool. There is something so relaxingly hypnotic about the slap pull slap of the water as I make my way up and back. In the water, everything is tuned out. It's the most solitary form of exercise, in which you are entirely dependant on the mechanics of your own body to propel you through. And, unless you workout with an Otterbox (which I do on occasion, but today it was just me and my thoughts hanging out) the silence is both refreshing and medatative.

I really do need to get my butt back upstairs and start working with the bike again (oh yeah- and that running thing.......)
I must say, I am all kinds of freaking out about both the bike and the run- for different reasons. The bike I am confident that by come Tri time, I'll be just fine. But I haven't hauled my happy ass on an actual bike since like the 7th grade. And I know that there's that trite little saying about it's as easy as getting back on a bike, but I am petrified that when it comes time to bike hunting to purchase my new bike that I'm going to get on the bike and look like a total ass- and the sales person is going to be like "yeah, and YOURE planning on doing a Triathlon. ... you do realize that Biking is a big portion of that."

Im sure it will be fine, when that time comes. Right now, it's still winter and my biking is done inside on a stationary but soon, I will need to purchase a bike and start training outside..and hopefully when the time comes I'll actually remember how to do it again!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year- Reaffirmed Resolve

So, clearly I took the end of 2009 off. Well it wasn't like a decided vacation or anything- more like a holy crap what the hell am I doing, where am I going, and what time is it? kind of psychotic spiral into chaos. Mental note- do NOT take three classes (in person) whilst working full time, trying to train for a triathlon, worry about your husbands impending job loss, and oh yeah- because the cadillac insurance ran out at the end of the year, attempt to have a child as well. There, I said it. Yes, we were also mired in the process of A.R.T (assisted reproductive technology). Cleary, since I'm blogging about reaffirmed resolve and I'm not saying sorry guys no triathlon for me, it obviously didn't work. And it sucks. It worse than sucks. The whole world is pregnant right now- well at least everyone in my world is anyhow. And no one gets how hard it is to be happy for other people when you are screaming inside. If you havent walked in those shoes you have no idea what I'm talking about and will make snap judgements about how I'm just jealous, but it's not jealousy. I don't know how to describe it.... you want to smile but you know the smile you give will be a dead giveaway to the tears you cried on the way over.... and you want to be excited but inside all you are thinking about is how it should be you.... and you want to spend every waking second talking about names, and experiences, and doctors appointments, and baby registries with your happy and excited friends, but every one of those conversations is another proverbial nail in the coffin of the dreams that you allowed yourself to dream.

Hope is an addictive drug.... and when the hope is gone all you have is a bottomless pit of despair and self loathing. And now, the insurance is gone.... everything from here on out is paid out of pocket. And, a twenty five thousand dollar price tag is not anything we can even begin to fathom .. not now anyway. So here I am staring down the nose at 32.. well ten months from now anyway.... with the never ending drone of a clock that reminds me daily what a total failure I am, wondering if we will ever get the chance before the clock stops for good. And then if we do by some miracle come up with that 25,000 (for one round- might I add).... and that doesn't work... adoption, yeah - anywhere from 25,000 to upwards of 40,000 dollars, depending if you adopt locally or internationally.

My choir director made an offhand comment a year or so ago about this couple that adopted these babies from china... and how, obviously if God had wanted them to be parents, he would have given them their own children. What he said haunts me daily.... I try to tell myself "oh yeah, and God thought it was o.k for someone like Casey Anthony to be a parent ad kill her kid 2 years later... or it was o.k for all those drug dealers, or child abusers, or strippers, or all the other never ending strands of "undesireables" to be parents, but God has decided that whatever baggage I have doesnt make me fit to be a parent? But still.... the voice is there... always.

So, rather than continue this downward descent in self exiled madness- I've decided that I will only focus on that which I have control over. Back to square one. I havent been in a pool since the end of October when all the madness started.... so its going to hurt, badly... I know this. I'm prepared for this.

Will I be ready to compete in June's triathlon? probably not, since they have already all started training for it.... but I'm taking it one day at a time. This time, I'm not quitting.

I have a laptop now :) and ... fancy that it fits in my gym bag (in a protective case of its own might I add) so... I can bring it with me and blog right after my workouts.. instead of having all these thoughts in my head while im swimming or biking or walking... and then try to remember them while I change... and go back to the parking lot (thinking... its a health club idiots why are you circling the lot looking for upfront parking) in the car on the way home (Beep Beep- you &*&#^& idiot.. do you KNOW how to drive) home (to Hi Honey how was your day.. etc etc blah blah blah) whats for dinner im starving,... (dinner... relax... and THEN blog) by then its like...crap.. what WAS I going to say anyhow?

So- yay for portable thoughts. Tomorrow (once the blizzard passes), as I'm snowed into the house today- will be my next foray back in the pool.