Monday, June 28, 2010

Why Yes, That IS a Naperville Women's Tri Cap I'm Sporting This Morning

I now remember, however, why I switched to Silicone caps in the first place. Latex caps are restrictingly tight- they bind at your forehead and pull the teeny tiny neck hairs out as you are swimming. Halfway through my swim, as much as I wanted to keep the cap on, for prides sake- I had to take it off and switch back to my Slicone cap. (TYR in hot pink) Another thing to add to the Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down list. Silicone Caps- Thumbs Up Latex Caps- Thumbs down.

Well, it was most definitely painful getting back in the water today. I think I barely crossed the 1000m mark. And even that was a struggle. But, swimming stamina builds very quickly so I am not concerned in the least bit.

After reading cover to cover, Jillian Michaels "Master Your Metabolism" I am armed with a plethora of information regarding toxic environments, and how they mess up your endocrine system. Things as seemingly harmless as Plastic Containers, and pesticides are doing a number on our systems. Not to mention processed foods, and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) - ie Super Plants...(which most of the time you don't even know you are eating!)

She provided a very interesting example... she said that you need to think of food like someone in a foreign country. Processed foods would be like the tourist that doesn't speak the language but gets their point across somehow by making hand signals or pointing... the person isn't being understood, but they make do. And that is what our bodies do with processed foods... our body doesn't quite know how to handle and interpret them, but we make do. INteresting way of putting it, but it makes total sense.

Another interesting point that Ms. Michaels discussed was how many hormones are in the foods we eat- from our dairy (our milk cows are fed hormones and antibiotics to keep their milk up long after nature would have had their udders dry up) and those hormones are passed on to the consumer. They are also in the meat that people (myself excluded) eat and are even in things like Ranch Dressing, Granola Bars, Shampoo's, Makeup, places you would never even think that they would be.

I would highly suggest checking out her book. What she says makes a lot of sense. And, even though she is very Organic-centric...she is also a realist when it comes to living a totally organic lifestyle. Obviously most people don't have the expendable incomes to shop entirely at say a Whole Foods, but she lays it out very simply on things that Should be purchased there and things that can do without.

So, this past weekend, I purged my kitchen, went to Whole Foods (which I have aptly dubbed "whole paycheck" and am going to try being as clean, organic, and chemical free as humanly possible. I'm going to give it one month to start. We'll see if I feel any different or see any signifcant changes hormonally in that time (well and of course the weightloss would be a plus as well)

I am going to follow her "Master" plan until Triathlon time. I also do still intend on joining weight watchers. I was going to go after work yesterday but realized that I would be joining and then not able to attend next weeks meeting because of the 4th of July and being out of town. So, that is the plan for tomorrow.

Until then...

~Millie :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Closed Gyms, Rainy Days and Disappointments

Good old Lifetime Fitness ... closed this whole week for rennovations or something like that. Its a shame it couldnt have been shut down last week while all the triathletes were in recovery. But alas, no pool. Then, the lovely Chicago weather that has been blowing through here has been nothing but severe thunderstorms practically all week long, so no outside workouts. Thankfully, the pool portion of the club reopens tomorrow- Hallelujah!

While Ive been on shut down, I did some shopping on Amazon for some new books. I have purchased:

The Athletes Plate- Real Food for High Performance by Adam Kelinson

Strength Training for Triathletes by Patrick Hagerman


Workouts in a Binder- Swim Workouts for Triathletes by Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen.

They just arrived Wednesday, so I'll keep you updated on how well they work. There are a few things, off the top that I do have to say on the new books:

#1. This swim workout binder, is definitely NOT for the Sprint Triathlete. Considering that most sprinters dont swim more than a 1,000 m or 1200m by the time Tri day comes along, and the shortest workout in this binder is a 2500 m ( umm holy crud) Oh, wait. I stand corrected, these are all workouts in yards... but still, thats still a holy crud.

These will be a stretch even for me, and my heavy day is a 2000

I bet these could easily be modified though... It looks like they are broken up into 2 sets (A and B) so I'm assuming you could just do one of the sets and that would cut it in half. But that is still a lot more swimming than most people do.

I'm excited to get in the water and try these out though. They are broken down into different sections: Endurance Training, Endurance Speed Training, Muscular Endurance (Distance) Muscular Endurance (speed), Stroke Force, and Anaerobic Endurance. And the binder is about the size of a 4 x 6 note card and totall water proof (and stands upright for pool side viewing)

The Athletes Plate is not a Vegetarian book, however, the receipes look simple enough that I can modify them to work for vegetarians.

What I found interesting, which - warning- this will be a fairly long tangent, because this was the precipice of the entire saga that I am about to lay out- is that according to this book which uses the Harris-Benedict forumla for calculating Basal Metabolic Rate (ie- the amount of calories you need to consume just for your daily functions not including exercise.) And, according to this I should be consuming about 2100 calories a day- thats without exercise. When factoring in days where my workouts are 2 a days (at an hour each, the amount of calories that should have been consumed- according to this book should have been around 3800 calories. So, I most definitely under consumed (if this book is correct) throughout all of my training. Which would explain why I only lost 4 pounds, if in fact this is true.

So, in search of truth, I decided that I am going to find a nutritionist and figure this stuff out. That now, armed with my finishers Triathlon medal, people will have to take me seriously when I tell them how much I work out...because I have the medal to prove it. My husband changed jobs earlier this year, so we no longer have Cadillac Insurance... we have really crappy insurance now actually. But, we're about 80% sure that nutritionists are covered under the new insurance plan, because we took out the additional supplemental coverage- and the HR person that is at his company *thinks* that means they are covered but she isn't sure and isn't "authorized to answer those kinds of questions" so, the dietician said she would look into it for me.

Well, in order for it to be covered under insurance, I need a note from the Doctor saying that I have PCOS, and that seeing a dietician is in order to help get the disease in check. The doctor that originally diagnosed me (in 2004) I don't see anymore. I didn't like her and changed ob/gyne's probably about six months after I saw her. She was a really opinionated piece of work that refused to listen to you when you talked to her, and walked around as if she knew everything. Anyhow, I switched doctors. I send the sheet to my doctors office asking him to please fill this out, so that I can bring it in with me when I meet with the Dietician. Well, HE refuses to fill it out, because he isn't the one that diagnosed me with PCOS, and according to my records, the original Fertility Doctor that I saw, apparently wrote in my file that he disagreed with my diagnosis of PCOS because I am a-symptomatic (ie I have no cysts on my ovaries, I just have out of control hormones) - so he believed that with "diet and exercise" I would be perfectly fine. Yeah, the guy was a tool. My current Reproductive Endocrinolist pretty much said the other guy was an ahole. Just because I'm a symptomatic doesn't mean that I don't have it, my hormone levels are all crazy which is right in line with a PCOS patient etc etc. Except, he says he can't fill out the request for a dietician because he is an RE and the form calls for a Primary Care Physican or an OB/GYN. Are.You.Kidding.Me

I just want to go somewhere that I can say- LOOK- this is what I workout in a day... I'm a vegetarian, I have PCOS, help me.
And have them say okay eat X Y Z come back in 2 weeks.

Because everybody has an opinion on what should and shouldn't be eaten. Some say dairy is bad for PCOSers bc of the hormones in the milk, so buy soy others say Soy is the worst thing, just drink hormone free milk. Some day only complex carbs others say ohh no stay away from them completely. Some say yes to dairy some say no dairy. Some say the worst thing I could do for myself is to be a vegetarian. Well sorry I won't compromise my priniciples for anything, it just wont happen.

I' just frustrated beyond belief. For now, until I figure all this crap out, I'm going back to weight watchers. If nothing else, it will be good to have somewhere to be held accountable week after week. And, we know how much I love those pats on the head to keep me motivated.

The gym opens back up tomorrow, and I will be there bright and early. I have the next Tri to train for. Even though Im doing it as a relay with my dad and sister, I still plan to train for it as if I were doing the entire thing. I think I may do the whole thing anyway- even if we are in the relay category.. I haven't quite decided yet.

I intend to continue my brick workouts on Saturdays (tomorrow I won't lest I shock my lazy system which has been taking a loooong extended break the past two weeks) but from next Saturday until well, as long as I decide to the Triathlon and beyond! I will continue with bricks on Saturdays at the very least.

Alright, I had intended to post much more, but my short attention span has already derailed my thought train.

Have a good weekend everyone!


Friday, June 18, 2010

My Thumbs Up/ Thumbs Down List

Throughout this crazy year, I have been able to find a lot of products, services and companies which I feel are noteworthy enough to include in my blog. I have 2 lists a Thumbs Up List and a Thumbs Down List. Obviously the Thumbs Up list are companies or products with which I have had very good experiences with and the Thumbs Down list are the ones I am not thrilled with. Of course your personal experiences may differ from mine, but with ALL of the things that are out there... I figured it might be a nice jumping off point for people.

******* we interrupt this blog for a brief disclaimer*******

I certainly am not Oprah, and I am not getting paid for my opinion on any of these companies. I do not received anything free, and have no interest in any of these companies successes or failures. These are strictly MY opinions based on my OWN experiences at these particular companies.

***** End Disclaimer*******

As I was saying, my list grows daily based on items that I come in contact with that I particularly enjoy.

So, briefly I will give you a rundown of what I have posted so far:

Bike Forums- I can not tell you enough what a helpful group of people post on this forum. Most are bikers first- a lot are also Triathletes or at the very least compete in Aqua Bikes or Dualthons if not full Triathlons. You will find everything on this site from training tips, nutrition, tips for biking, tips for training, and even forums broken down by geographic location. They are SO much nicer than the people at Beginner Triathlete. If you are looking for people to answer questions for you on just about any subject this would be the place to go to.

I found it entirely by accident, googling local bike paths, but I am glad I did. Every Manic Panic moment I had leading up to race day was answered quickly and honestly from people who had experienced the same things I had. And, they are Clydesdale/Athena friendly (even have a whole forum dedicated to the Tubs!)

Gatorade I know a lot of the hard core athletes and trainers are going t disagree with me on this one. But I am really impressed with the new line that Gatorade has out. Its the G line. G1 is for priming (taken fifteen minutes before a workout) G2 is taken during an INTENSE workout (this isn't for a thirty minute jog around the park) and the G3 is taken post workout/ recovery.

I used it during my brick sessions as well as on Triathlon Day and I felt great using them.

Junonia This is a great website for women to go to for all of their sports gear needs. Especially if you are a plus size or a super-plus (their gear goes all the way up to a 6X (32-34) . So many times I hear my really heavy friends say "I wish someone would make legitimate workout clothes for someone like me... " and this place does, It is where I purchased my Triathlon suit from. They also have normal workout clothes as well as swim suits and every day clothing.

Bras - Especially with plus size women, but really anyone who was kissed by the boob-fairy and is naturally well endowed, there is always an issue with "the girls" when working out. For me, personally, I have never been able to find a sports bra that gives me the support and coverage I need without feeling like I am being squished into a mammogram chamber of a bra. Most sports bras simply press the girls up against your body so hard that they practically go numb.

I had numerous friends suggest Enell Bras. And I do own two of these, but I have to say, even Enell Bras hold the girls flat against the body, instead of holding them up like a normal bra would.

This is why I decided to try the Shock Absorber Bra in the first place. The Magazine Article that I read said that it was a bra designed to move with the bodys "Natural Movements" without "restricting" So pretty much it allowed the girls to do what the do without making them feel like potatoes in the masher.

I 100% suggest this bra for any woman who is a size C or bigger. Most of you will be able to order them right off of Amazon. I believe the Amazon site has sizes up to a D. If you need a DD or beyond, you'll need to contact Shock Absorber directly to workout a shipping arrangement to the US.

This bra is also great in the water, which was the other issue I had with Enell. Enell is lined in cotton or some form of breathable fabric, which once wet chafes like no ones business...and if anyone has ever experienced chafing in not so pleasant areas, it is NOT fun. The shock absorber bra dries quickly, and always stays comfortable, breathable and does not shrink, bind or in any way deform while it dries or sits wet against your body.

This is absolutely the best bra I have ever owned. Worth every penny! (and no, they are not cheap. I believe they are about fifty dollars)

Swimming Gear I do not have near enough experience in biking or running to feel knowledgeable enough to give any suggestions on those sports, but considering I come from a swimming background. Here are a few things I think ANYONE training for a triathlon needs:

Swim Plan- this website will workout great plans for you to use to build up skill and endurance. It works and changes as your skills sets improve and you can change up the workouts as often as you like. If you are following a typical light medium heavy swm workout schedule, I would suggest creating three workouts for yourself each time you ask for a new workout so that you can alternate between the tree.

Swim Outlet dot com- They have hands down the best prices on the internet for anything under the sun swimming wise. They also have a Triathlete section but they are not Tubby Friendly (neither are their swimsuit sections if you are a super plus.) If you wear a sie 20w and below you will be fine on this site. Some suits say size 24 but when I purchased and wore them, the show I gave to the early morning crowd was enough to scare me off those suits (even still today) because they are cut with a normal swimmers physique in mind and not a tubbys (really, ridiculously high on the leg area.... and when you think of most tubs, there is usually a pleasant roll of chub that protrudes from that general area.....)

While we are on the subject of Swim Outlet- here are my favorite swimming supplies:

Speedo Vanquisher Goggles- least likely to fog, scratch, etc. They are mirrored so they #1 make you look bad ass and #2 protect your eyes if you swim outside (I dont know if they have as much protection as say polarized sunglasses do, but they def help with the glare of the sun off the water)

Zoomers by Finis- ANYONE looking to develop their stroke should work with fins. I am not kidding- there are so many people that say no no its not needed just work on stamina, work on stroking, work on building up your laps.. but the key to a good swimmer is strong legs, proper kicking and strong arms and proper stroke return.

Zoomers are the BEST fin out there. Plus for the ladies, they make your legs look really toned and defined. - perfect for short and skirt season. If you are just starting out with them- use the blue ones either just with a kickboard or in combination with your swimming.

And, do NOT and I repeat do NOT trust any swim gear by Nike. Nike needs to stick to what it knows... Running. For swimming, the brands that are your safest bets are Speedo (the original swim gear company) and TYR - anything else, I wouldn't trust.

I think that is everything. Hopefully, this little section will be helpful to you.

I have a list of dislikes as well... I think they are pretty self explanatory if they havent been included in this post already.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Blow By Blows of My First Triathlon

The day before was the "Multi Sport Experience" in downtown Naperville. It was pouring when we arrived, so we waited out the storm in a little cafe and then walked back when the rain let up. Because it was still soggy and slightly drizzly, it sort of took the air out of the balloon of the event. There wasnt really much to experience, as most of the vendors were hunkered down in their tents and everyone was trying to avoid getting wet. So I grabbed my anemic swag bag (last year, they got these neat backpacks to carry all their swag in.. this year it was a plastic bag with 2 snack size luna bars, a little container with aspirin and the likes and a bottle of sunscreen... clearly evidence of the recession. :)

I got numbered, picked up my Tshirt and since it was raining again, and the next course talk wasn't due for some fifteen or so minutes, we decided to leave.

My husband and I drove the bike course all the way through so I could gauge what to expect and have a map of it in my head, which did help to alleviate some of the immediate panic (which decided to rear its ugly head around my 3am potty break, preventing me from returning to sleep. From roughly 3 am (my clock is about fifteen minutes fast so it was probably about 2:30 when I woke) until I prematurely turned my alarm off at five to 5 I played over and over in my head all the possible things that could go wrong. From passing out from heat stroke, getting hit by lightning, wiping out on a wet road, being unable to traverse the hills because my legs would be too tired, having my knee give out on me on the run leg, getting kicked unconscious in the pool- forgetting my timing chip, forgetting my bib number, you name it and I worried about it. I must have gotten out of bed and checked my Race Day bag about ten different times to make sure I had this or that.

As it turned out, I forgot both my watch and my knee brace on race day. The watch wasn't that big of a deal because I think it might have been better that I didn't know how much time was going by... but had I had my knee brace, I probably would have fared much better in the run leg. Without it, I was afraid that every step would cause my knee to give out on me- disabling me from the competition. (So, my "run" time was just a nose hair faster than a snail's pace).

The morning of, we packed up the car, I attempted to get some fuel into my system and we were off. The set up and wait were uneventful... but Triathlon's are definitely a whole lot of Hurry UP and Wait.... You rush to get to the transition area by the requested 5:45am time.. get your self situated and your transition area all set up (which for me lasted all of twenty minutes)... and then you just stand around and wait until its time for you to start. I didn't know, however, that the pool had been open and available for warm ups. We spent a lot of time just standing around and shooting the breeze with the other triathletes and it had never occurred to me to go and check if the pool was available to people wanting to warm up.

THe Elites start the Triathlon off at 7am. And, if you have never attended a Triathlon before, it is worth showing up at the beginning of the race to watch them compete. You can't take your eyes off them... they are so, well, athletic and it is so impressive to watch them just slice through the water as if it were air. The quickest Elite finished the swim leg in just under eight minutes. (To give you an idea of how fast that it... at the Rome Olympics, the Gold Medalist finished a 1500 meter (double the length) in fourteen minutes ... so she was practically at a MENS (who traditionally finish 2 or so minutes faster because of how much more upper body strength they have) Olympic level pacing there!!!

The Swim:

My wave is finally called and it is time for me to proceed to the starting gate. I wasn't really nervous.. more apprehensive I guess would be the word. Sitting there waiting the world sort of stopped for a minute and in my head I'm thinking "Can you really do this? Are you SURE that you trained enough for this thing?" then the buzzer went off and we were in the water .... Too Late to turn back now. THe water was murky and you could not see a THING ... you could barely see your hand in front of you. Which is how I took a foot to my jaw. She didn't kick me hard.. because for the most part, people were still floundering about trying to jockey for space in the lane. But it still shocked me a bit, forced about a gallon of water down my throat and gummed me up enough so that I was bottlenecked! The last thing I had wanted to be. I had had a game plan- I was going to stick to the outside! I was going to swim around everyone to avoid the bottle neck. Yeah... all the plans go out the window when you actually GET into the water and GO. I actually when I first got in suddenly lost the ability to breathe. And I remember thinking to myself.. my goodness... I swim every day... I'm not afraid of water.. Why on earth can't I breathe??? This is ridiculous. It took me about 100 meters before I found my breath and my rhythm but once I did, it was smooth going from there. I had to breast stroke most of the way, because I had to spot where I was going and breast stroke was the quickest way for me to be able to keep my eye on the buoy so I could stay straight and still move with quite a bit of speed and power.

Out of the pool in just under fifteen says my husband who was clocking me with the stopwatch feature on his watch. However, my little chip thingie says 17 I believe... I attribute those 2 minutes to my attempts at getting up the sand hill to the timing pad. Stupid sand hill. That is also the reason, I'm sure of it, why my legs felt so dang tired by the time I got out of transition.

The Bike

I want to back up for a second to going to the Multi Sport Experience. While we were waiting for the rain to pass, before we decided to wait it out in the cafe... we were under the viaduct of a parking garage across the street from where the event was (with a large contingent of other Tri's that also did not want to get soaked by the downpour) And this parking garage was near the mouth of the bike leg. As I was standing there (and mind you, I drive this road home every day) I notice the water is streaming quickly and steadily past me almost river like. I think to myself.. thats funny that water is moving almost as fast as if there were a hill........... and I look up ---- lo and behold its a dag gone hill! One that had not even entered into my fretting previous to this because I was more concerned with the BIG hill at the back half of the course.

(This rainy event would play in my head ALL night long praying over and over again that I didn't have to jump off my bike and walk the hill right at the start of the bike) I didn't have to thank goodness.

I didn't have to bail at all. Though, I must say though... that there are most definitely HILLS by my definition (which is any change in cadence in which your legs have to work harder than they previously were is a HILL..... and there were plenty ... most moderate enough that you didn't really notice them ... but there were a few on the back half of the course that definitely gave me a workout.

The first loop I did fine. The second loop, that unfamiliar bike seat starting talking back... and by time I hit the midpoint of the 2nd loop I was in PAIN. Which is why my second leg was so much slower than my first. I had to slow down every so often and literally just stand on my bike while it coasted just to give that general area some relief.

When I arrived back in transition, everyone in my wave was already out on the run course... and apparently when they came bakc to transition they just threw everything wherever and racked their bikes with no consideration of other people around them. Someone had actually racked their bike so it was on top of my transition bag. My water bottle was six bikes away from my towl, my gym shoes were smushed under someones bike tire (a different someone from where my transition bag was) and there was no room for me to rack my bike anywhere!!! A lady who had already finsihed with the race helped me move some bikes around so that I was able to rack it and head out for the run. That transition was at least a 10 minute transition, maybe even longer

The run was, well... laughable. It started with a HUGE hill that one needed to clyesdale up (not an easy task when your legs are jelly from a bike ride) once I made it out to flat land, and the stitch in my side abated, (somewhere between mile marker one and the turn around point) I thought I would attempt a jog to speed things up a bit. L. O. L is all I have to say to that. Without a knee brace my knee came dangerously close to betraying me... so I had to pull off it and just walk the rest of it. There was a point just before mile marker three (right before the turn into the park and the finish line) where there was no one around me and it was almost eeerily quiet... I saw my Mother In Law walking up the street to meet me and I shouted to her "oh my God, am I the last one on the course!?!?" She laughed and was like no way... there are people just turning in their bikes and heading out on the run. (thank goodness, I didn't finish DFL)

The last quarter of a mile though slightly slow going was the best feeling I have felt in forever,.. and seeing that finish line... hearing the announcer announce my name as I approached and people cheered... it was amazing. I loved it. I want to do it again and again and again. :)

A few weeks ago.. my husband and I were somewhere that had a television I don't remmeber where and they were showing the broadcast of the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon. I said to him "if I end up liking Triathlons.... One Day a looooong long time down the road... when I'm able to.. I want to do THAT triathlon."

I did some research and its a qualify only triathlon. Apparently it's one of the hardest in the country to complete. Open water swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco Bay.. followed by a grueling bike ride (all hills- its san francisco afterall) and a run (in the sand... my favorite as we already know)

So- the chances are slim to none that I would ever even QUALIFY for a race like that... but it does look cool (way to set the sights high Millie....)

However.... they do have a modified event "Sharkfest- Escape from Alcatraz Island" which is a swim only event- and you do not need to qualify to participate..... just a one and a half mile swim in open water... wetsuit required.

I want to do it.

I will do it!

It is going to be my next goal! (After the Tri at the end of the summer of course)

Next Summer (hopefully) ...... Sharkfest 2011- Escape from Alcatraz Island!!!!

I'm in recovery for the next few days... I'll be trying to fidget with my blog a bit add the segments I had promised to add.... but I wont be working out again until Thursday....

~Until then.... Millie The TRIATHLETE!!!!! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Am Officially A Triathlete!

It's Sunday night, and after a hot shower a nap and some dinner, I'm finally starting to feel "normal" again. I still am in disbelief that I actually finished. I keep having to remind myself that YES I did just complete a Triathlon. I didn't make an ass of myself, I didn't fall, I didn't have to bail and walk up hills, and I finished in a respectable enough time. I finished in 2 hours and 47 minutes. Slower than my projected 2:32 but it was those transitions that got me. Im still trying to process everything from today, so this is going to be a short post. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night (I spent the better part of the night fretting about the race) so my brain isn't working all that well. I will write a better wrap up post tomorrow, but I am still just totally amazed at what I accomplished today. And I honestly could not have done it without my very large cheering section! I felt so loved, so buoyed by all the support that it really kept me going.

I also wanted everyone to know that I renewed the rights to See Millie Tri for another two years. Even though this was the end of my solo triathlon journey... I still have so much to go and this really is just the beginning for me and a whole new world of "YOU CAN!'s " I also have the Co-Ed Naperville Triathlon to look forward to in August with my dad and sister. And I am so thrilled that I get to share this experience with them. I can not even do justice to the feelings of accomplishment, fullfillment, satisfaction... Id don't even know how to describe it, but really, crossing that finish line.. knowing that I followed something through from start until finish I just can not even verbalize how that feels. Im sure the writer in me will return after a good nights sleep... but right now Thank you.. everyone.... family, friends, complete strangers that read my blog and send me emails.... I really do share this with each and every one of you!

Until tomorrow...

Millie xo

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Courage Is Not Action Without Fear, Rather Action In Spite of Fear

Tomorrow is almost here. My bags are packed. My gatorade is chilling in the freezer. It looks like tomorrow is going to be a hot one. Lets hope the rain stays away long enough for us to get our race on! My biggest concern, still remains the bike. Im not going to make any excuses, it is what it is at this point. Hopefully the hills do not get the better of me. I can only have faith at this point, faith in myself, faith in my training and of course, faith in the big guy upstairs, that I will make it through this. I know I will. Whatever doubt I have is merely all the fear manifesting itself. I had a really cute tshirt all prepared with a little rockstar emblem on the front and my website on the back... but as I was ironing on the stuff on the back, apparently it affected the logo on the front and it got all messed up. Thankfully, I purchased 2 of the same orange shirts. So now, instead I'll just be wearing a plain, boring, orange shirt. Oh well.

Anyhow, whatever tomorrow holds- triumph or failure, I know that its in the journey and not in the destination in which I can measure my success..and that even if I "fail" tomorrow by racing standards, I am already a winner in so many aspects. I have great friends and family who have held me up in support for months, and on the darkest days when I didn't think this was possible, they would carry the torch for me. Regardless of what happens tomorrow, I am such a better person because of this journey.

Looking towards tomorrow with hope and expectation.... (ok and still a lot of fear... but I'm managing it)


Friday, June 11, 2010

Almost Game Time!

I can't believe I'm writing this and two days from now I will be attempting the greatest, scariest, most intense feat I think I have ever attempted. I am a ball of nerves, and so, so afraid that I am in over my head. But, there's no turning back now. I have set out on this path for such a long time now, that I would be doing a great injustice to myself if I did not see this thing through.

My greatest concern now, is the bike. With the new seat that isn't exactly comfortable, and a course that looks more than menacing to my timid eyes... I am so afraid that I will make it through the first leg of the course and then not have anything left for the second loop. As flat as everyone tells me it is, it looks kind of hilly to my eyes. Maybe my legs won't notice the inclines because they are gradual enough... but I think about how I feel doing the course at Springbrook and how cashed my legs are after going around that one time.. and I am petrified that they are going to feel the same way at the end of this course. Thankfully, there is a good stretch of course that IS really flat.. but there are some hills on the back half of the course that have me fretting mightily.

Unfortunately, the naysayers and jokemakers have gotten the better of me today. I have spent a better part of last night and this morning talking myself up, telling myself not to pay attention... but there a few people that I work with that have made jokes about making sure there is an ambulance near by, and that I should have my heart checked out before racing...and that I should pray that it rains so that I can bow out gracefully by saying "I had intended to race today, but the darn rain... I guess I just can't" without looking like I quit. I'm glad my attempt at this triathlon is so entertaining and humorous.

I did have a very nice surprise today though, which has given me a sliver of confidence, just knowing that there are so many that believe in me and stand behind me. I'm attaching the pretty flowers I received today, from one of my cheerleaders :)

I only hope that I can meet the expectations that everyone has ... well and myself...I hope that I can do this, for myself.. to prove to myself, that I can ... and make everyone proud.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Final Week!

The signs are up all around town announcing the Triathlon route for Sunday. Aghhhh! I can't believe it's already here! Saturday was my last hard core workout. I did another 30/30/30 brick.
Big shock, I know, but the lap lanes at 6:00 on a Saturday morning were packed... so another woman who was waiting decided to thumb her nose at the new "no swimming outside without a lifeguard present" rule and went out there... I followed. There were actually a few others already in the lanes out there who had also thumbed their noses at the new rule, so I was relegated to the Yard length lap pool instead of the Meter Length Lap lanes. My math and deductive reasoning skills are not exactly sharp to begin with, but at six in the morning they are non existent. I thought that a meter is double a yard's distance, so I swam forteen hundred yards. I'm swimming and a half hour is about to pass and I'm thinking to myself "How can I be this slow? I usually swim a 750 in like fifteen minutes..." Long after my brick was over (actually while standing in line waiting for assistance at the Apple store) I decided to google "Yard to Meter conversion" and found out I had actually gone much much further than necessary.
1000 meters = 914 meters so they are very very close to eachother. I could have swam 800 yards and been essentially at race day length.

The rest of my brick went off without a hitch. I felt great!

As I had previously discussed, my computer tanked. I have a laptop (which I am posting on now) but my actual desktop computer (which contains a million music files, thousands of pictures and all FOUR (yes four) of my Manuscripts..only two of which were actually backed up.... so I was in full fledged panic mode.

Thankfully, the lovely people at the Apple Store informed me that my hard drive was not the issue and that they would be able to recover everything off the hard drive and migrate it over to my new computer (YAY!- Huge sigh of relief)

So, because of the expense of the new computer.... no Tiffany earrings for me :( Maybe for my birthday, but the husband's words sounded something like this "What .... are we on a "how fast can we drain our savings account" kick"

And.. he IS right- I mean, I HAVE spent a lot of money between, the new bike, all the supplies for the Triathlon, outfits, helmets, gloves etc.... now the new computer... I know it isn't SENSIBLE to want $500 earrings.. but they are soooooo pretty!

I have a new bike seat now. The people at Performance Cycle were great. I went in there Saturday after the Apple store and explained to them that my bike and seat were fairly new, and I didn't even have to say anything else, and they replaced it. They didn't have the seat I was using in stock :( but they gave me something "similar" to what I had... which is not similar at all except in look I guess, because it is rock hard and makes my butt ache. I hope I can get used to it before Sunday (all while still tapering! ) If not, it will be thirty minutes to an hour of teeth gritting.

I'm non descript in how Im feeling these days. I migrate between feelings of calm, feelings of guarded self confidence, and then chasms of pure unadulterated white hot panic. Thankfully, the panic moments are a bit further apart then they used to be... but they are still there. Hopefully that panic can be converted come race day to some really great adrenaline.

The forecast for Sunday varies (depending on who is giving the forecast) between Thunderstorms.... Muggy thick humid weather in the high 90's, and just regular old 90 degree weather (and not so humid) so either I'm going to be roasting... soaking... or soaking and roasting. That's how I spell good times!

I wanted to take a brief soapbox moment to discuss the importance of specialty shops (like Performance Cycle) they are so much better versed than the big box stores (like a Dicks or a Sports Authority). I went to a New Balance store on Friday (I was killing time waiting to meet my husband at the movie theater) and decided to check it out ( I needed no lace shoe laces for the race anyway) and the people in the store (mostly high school kids) replied "I dont know" to practically every question I answered. As opposed to when asking a question at say Fleet Feet or Performance Cycle when you ask a sport specific question they will give you the kinds of answers you are looking for. They are also much better at recommending gear, supplements, etc and really listen to you and are invested in insuring your success..unlike a place like the Big Box stores where the kids are just there for a paycheck. - For example: I was looking for a dual water bottle holder to use on Tri day. At Dicks (where I went first) the kid "didnt know if they had any" [they didn't] and the next person suggested I try Wal Mart.
Long story short, when I was at Performance Cycle, I asked them if they had dual water bottle holders, and the sales guy (who remembered selling me my bike) told me that a dual water bottle holder wouldn't work with my bike, because my bike is not a Tri Bike and there is no mount for it. And suggested I just add a second single bottle mount to my bike instead.

I'm going to also be adding a new feature to my blog " Millie Likes" I know I'm no Oprah, and my favorite things carry little clout (however, I, unlike Oprah do not get paid for my opinions or giving my seal of approval) I just have tried a lot of different items, and want to pass along the things I find to be the best.

That's all for today

Less than a week to raceday!

~Millie :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

As If I Needed My Week to Get Any Worse

It wanst so bad when I woke up this morning. I felt pretty good as I left for the pool However, the pool was crowded, as usual. Tried swimming outside, but apparently, the "Lifetime police" have started to patrol the outside pools, resulting in no swimmers allowed in the outside lap lanes.
The inside pool was finally starting to free up with more people swimming outside, but because they don't have a lifeguard that early in the morning, no lap swimmers allowed. Seriously, they are lap swimmers, swimming in four feet of water. They obviously are fairly astute swimmers considering that they are LAP SWIMMING. And, we don't have a lifeguard in the INSIDE pool, why on earth would one be needed in the outside pool? Whatever Lifetime... seriously you have bigger things to worry about. Like why adult women would drop a gag-inducing #2 in the toilet and not bother to flush it- are we really four years old?

I got home, intent on doing a nice long bike ride to raise my confidence, and to maintain my muscle memory. I was feeling great, doing a nice long stretch, I hit my enorphin rush and kicked it up a notch. I was biking up a hill when all the sudden I feel myself jolt hard forward, putting way too much weight on my arms. I'm like "what the heck?" and I try to shift my weight so I 'm not leaning so far forward. No such luck. I slow down, and begin to dismount from my bike, when the seat lurches forward forcing me to lose my balance and fall off my bike. Thankfully I was almost competely stopped so it was more a loss of balance than a full fledged fall, but regardless, it was embarrassing. I take a look at the seat, and it is at an odd angle dipped sharply forward and to the right. I try to jostle it back into position and no go. I figure, we'll I'm only 2 miles from home ( of course today is the day my cell phone battery died on my way home, so it was charging at my house as I was out on my bike) and I decide to ride back. I make it maybe a block, when the seat loosens even more, to the point that the bike is unrideable. In frustration I pound the seat- and it falls right off. So now, me, the tub, has to walk my bike almost 2 miles back to my house, bike seat in hand.

All I could focus on the whole time was how people must be looking at me thinking "haha look at the chub, too heavy for her bike, broke her seat" It was humiliating, and exhausting. It took me at least thrity minutes probably more to get home. And the whole time, those seeds of doubt turned into full blown thorny bushes. And I seriously am questioning what the hell I am doing.

I need to buy a new seat. Riding the seat when it wasn't probably aligned bent the frame of the seat. It figures. :( Now, I'm going to have to get used to a new seat with only about a week left until the Tri. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do.

On top of that, I get home, and my main computer is totally fried. I bought an external hard drive (because of course nothing on the m effer is backed up :( ) and I can't even get the computer to stay operational long enough to install the external. It;s just one problem after another this week. I don't know how much more I can take.

So, now, I need a new bike and a new computer. Thankfully I have a laptop to use, but with 2 students in one house, we use both laptops and a main computer during the school year. And, all of the programs we utilize for school are of course on the computer that apparently already has a foot in the grave.

I'm so glad the weekend is almost here, I'm just on bad luck overload. Hopefully I can get a bike seat and still have enough time to workout on Saturday. That was supposed to be my last long workout before I start tapering to recover before next Sunday. Hopefully this is the end of the road for the line of bad luck. I can't deal with anymore roadblocks.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yesterday was a bad day

It started off ok. It was a swim morning, and everything went as it should. Usually, I get to work fairly early and do a blog before work starts, but unfortunately I hit the ground running as soon as I walked in the door, making it impossible to blog all day. It was a crap day. Busy, shorthanded, and just all around a crap day. My lab has allergies, which resulted in a yeast infection in his ears. Over the weekend his ears swelled, and I had to bring him into the vet yesterday after work. Apparently the whole world is out of school now, and getting the eight miles from my work to home took me well over an hour, thus missing my vet appointment (we have attempt # 2 this afternoon). I got home late, was infuriated when I walked through the door, let the dogs out, and remembered that I had signed up to give food to the local shelter through my church, and ran off to Costco to buy the promised Granola bars. It wasn't until I entered the church (at 7pm) with my granola bars in hand, that I realized it was Tuesday and not Monday (darn those holidays) and that my donation was due at FIVE OCLOCK on TUESDAY. 2 hours late. I held in my expletives until after my body was physically out of the church, and headed home. No evening workout. I did however, get to the store and pick up some Race day supplies as well as a new water bottle holder for my bike.

No morning workout today, I've dropped my swims to three days a week. Tonight is both a bike and run (hopefully I can squeeze them in plus taking my dog to the vet) before the hawks game starts. If it wasn't for the fact that Tri date is fast approaching, I would just take today off completely. My whole body aches. I ache in places I didn't know existed. I hope it's just tired muscles and not that I am getting sick. THAT would be just my luck.- I'm not even kidding. I never get sick, except when it's time to go on vacation, time to get married, time for me to do anything else that is large and grandiose - that is when my body decides to get sick. The rest of the year, healthy as a horse.

I was reading TriMarni's blog today and she had a little blurb about pre-race fueling. It was actually quite ironic, because someone wished me good luck via my FB wall and told me to "carb up" the night before the race, and her advice was exactly the opposite. She suggested (which currently I am trying to do for the most part- with Memorial Day weekend this past weekend it wasnt the EASIEST thing to do) to eat as clean as you can the 2 weeks leading up to the race. No pop (oops, had a Diet Dr Pepper with lunch, darn and I thought I was doing so well) no processed foods, nothing fried, no booze, and I was surprised at this one, no sports drinks because they contain high fructose corn syrup. Which I had just introduced gatorade into my workout's because they have actually been helping to prevent the "oh shit" feeling. I think I may ignore her on that one.. I'm completing not competing and its not like im doing an iron man.

I also read a very interesting article in my Lifetime Fitness magzine about how toxic environments (be it work, school, home) deplete you of motivation to work out, because you only have so many of whatever type of chemical in your brain it is that helps you deal with toxic people... and those are the same chemicals in your brain that provide you with motivation (im really generalizing and summing it up here... but it is an actual peer reviewed study by some college... and if I had the motivation to get up and get it from my bedroom I would. I'll post the actual information later. The interesting part though is just how connected having shit days at work and wanting to go and work out are totally inter related.

As the day draws nearer, it just seems like there is always a road block in my way. Yesterday (and now today) its the damn vet. My husband informed me last night that the grass needs to be cut "sometime soon" I said, well, so then cut it. His reply, I work late by the time I get home its almost dark. Well too effing bad, I have a week and a half before my Tri the LAST thing I have time for is lawn work. I'm seriously considering just hiring someone to cut it. I'm glad that there is only a week- and a half-ish left until the tri, because my life can return to some semblance of normalcy and I wont spend all of my waking hours fretting about it, working out or just general obsessing over the tri and it will just be done, and I can just exercise for the sake of exercising without obsessing how my lack of energy or desire to workout on a day will affect my performance. But at the same time, those little panic goblins are roasting their smores over my fear bonfire, waiting for a weak moment to pounce into my conscious thought and tell me how terrible/slow/out of shape/ not good enough/ I am and why am I even thinking about attempting this.

I'll just be glad when tri day comes so they will just shut up.

Tri Marni, as well as Slow Fat Triathlete both say that I should be spending these days leading up to the Tri "banishing defeatist self thought, and only surrounding myself with positive mental images and postive thoughts... but how the heck do you do that when your whole head is filled with negative ones?

Til Tomorrow