Monday, August 22, 2011

A Friendly Challenge Amongst Friends

So my friend Meredith (whom I have previously referred to as my MB [motivational buddy]) and I have entered into a friendly wager.  In order to ensure that we both continue to strive towards fitness through the fall, where most people post Tri season tend to put on the brakes and pack on the pounds-  we have decided to put some money where our motivation is.

She and I have entered into a friendly competition to log 100 hours of exercise between now and the end of the year 12/31/11.  That breaks down to five hours of exercise a week-  which is completely doable considering the massive amounts of hours we log during Triathlon training months.  We will be checking in on the 15th and 30th of each month, logging our hours on a nice spreadsheet-  I'm still trying to find a way to keep dual counters here on the blog- but I have until the 3oth to figure that one out.

Anyhow-  the "loser" will pony up the cash for a spa day.  If by midpoint checkin someone is drastically behind in hours (ie they only have 6 hours total logged) they can buy back into the challenge at $5.00 an hour.   We each will have "Pony Up" jars to put money into depending on who loses or wins each checkin.  (Mine is not yet decorated- but I will post both tonight or tomorrow).

This is also great for me because it keeps me motivated to continue to train (which I need to do anyway) and focus on the 5K in October.  This is also an excellent motivator for me because I have so many things that are going on after the 5k.  My birthday is at the end of the month in October.  Then in November, I get to meet Skinny Emmie  when I attend an event in Louisville- so I want to look ab fab for that!  Then later in the month is my nephew's birthday so I'll be flying to San Francisco to go see him-  and since I come from a family of Paparazzi  cameras will be flashing at all of these events - and I want to look good :)  

I am quite excited for this little challenge win or lose (moneywise) we will still both come out winners (healthwise) in the end - but seriously, I want to win! :-D   So, here's to a great competition  and many, many hours of logged workouts!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Family Who Tri's Together- The Bike

As promised-  the 2nd recap of our family tri, done by my Dad.    I did quickly want to say though, that my dad will be 64 on September 4th-  and he is a biking phenom.  The outfit he wore for the race from Map My Ride he got because of how often he is out there riding and training, while also using the IPhone app "Map My Ride"... and because of how frequently he uses it, they sent him that outfit-  insane huh?  Gives you an idea of just how much bike riding he does.  He rocked it on the bike, as Ive told you-  so instead of muddying up his recap with my intro, I'll just get to it :)

"Waiting"  by Fred Pfeifer  (looking dapper in his Map My Ride cycle gear)


That’s the worst part.

I’m the second leg of our three leg Sprint Triathlon, the bike part, while my youngest daughter, Elizabeth has the last leg, the 5K. Melinda is our swimmer and thus gets seeded to go first. While she’s in the pool busting her butt to make good time, I’m waiting.

I pace nervously back and forth, counting the cyclists as they pass through transition at what seems like Olympic qualification speeds.

And I’m still waiting.

She must be in the pool by now. But no word comes from our support team of Tom and Mike who are shooting the event for us again this year.

So I wait.

Elizabeth, our sprinter and third leg of our relay team has long gone down to pool side to cheer on her sister. Leaving me all alone with my thoughts.

And waiting.

To help pass the time and ease the nervousness I strip off my Three P  T-shirt, then check my watch. The digital seconds seem to leap over each other counting up the minutes that I am not on the course.

I pace.

And I wait.

Then I hear her!

“Dad! Dad! Daaaaaad!! 
Get ready, she’s coming!” and I see Elizabeth screaming at me and urging me on my bike.

The transition goes faster than I had hoped. Much faster than last year. Within seconds I’m running to the start. I hear a young girl, (or maybe a boy not sure as I don’t look up), telling me to stay off the bike until I get to the red line.
Red Line? What red line?

Then I see it and I push ahead, running full speed. I try to clip in as I mount the bike but the clips keep slipping off. What the! I try again, no luck and I’m losing speed. I curse myself for wearing new bike shoes with clips that only a contortionist could handle. But then I feel it. CLICK! Left foot is in.  Click, right foot locked in. Now down to work.

I gain speed as I push forward. Of course I am going downhill which accounts for the increase in speed, but I’m actually passing people. Like the kid with the three wheeler, then the man with the oxygen tank on his back! Then came this elderly lady who was on an antique bike with a basket full of groceries in front. (Hmmmm, maybe she wasn’t part of the race but just out doing her Sunday morning errands. Who knows?)

I count off the miles as my first of two loops come to an end. I’m grateful that I’ve been riding all year just to prepare for this event.  Feeling good. Aint nothing going to slow me down! One lap to go and then it happens, just like last year.

My energy drops. My thighs are screaming. And the sun is really, really bright in my eyes. Oh and I’m hungry too.

“Oh no, not now, not here, I can’t let those girls down”, I tell myself. I try to dig deeper, remembering how this bike group I wanted to join dropped me after one event because I was too slow.  “Too slow? Gosh darn it all if I don’t post a better time than last year my own daughters will drop me! Can’t let that happen!” So I change gears, push hard and before I know it I see the finish line. Could it be over already? I push on, harder, faster  pedaling for all I’m worth. I turn the corner. And there is the finish line.

And Elizabeth.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Three Times the Effort, Three Times the Pain

Image from Becoming Who I Want to Be
I have the next post from the family triathlon ready to post- I'll probably put it up tomorrow (Sunday) but wanted to give some updates on other things previous to posting the next leg.

So- classes start again on Monday- and I seriously already have books to read and papers to write and the dag-gone term hasn't even started yet.  Anywho~ I wanted to let you know of an addition I made to my page.  If you go to the main page of my website, there is now a tab labeled "Brutus the Trainer"...  he has his very own section now on the ole blog.  He will be doing "Ask Brutus" segments about exercises, proper form, and pretty much anything else he decides to blog about that is exercise related.  He also graciously gave me a picture to put up (not in a speedo ;-)  ) as well as his contact information in case anyone in the Chicagoland area is interested in hooking up with him.  (I mean, in a trainer/trainee sense of the word-  not the "other" interpretation of the word :stinkeye: to the one who did a google search for "Brutus in a Speedo" )  The link to his spot on MY site is HERE  if you want to skip my page and go directly over to his site.. you can click HERE  

Speaking of Brutus-  and yes, even though I can safely call him "Will" now (which I do when we're training- except when he decides to be brutal and then I tell him he is Brutus the Brutal)  Ive been referring to him as Brutus for so long now, that when discussing him here, it seems weird to refer to him as Will.   But anyway, since the Tri is over and school is about to start, Brutus decided it was time :sound the trumpets:  Evaluations!!! (:half-hearted clap:) -  I personally think the only person who is excited about evaluations, is the evaluator-  not really ever the evaluatee...  and meeting with Brutus the Brutal not one, not two but THREE times this week=  exhausting.  I think every musculature in my body hurts. I have discovered (through the avenue of pain and ache) muscles that I did not even know I had, or would have even ventured to guess existed.

This was also the first week I ever had back-to-back meetings with Brutus the Brutal...  and seriously, after two days with him I was crying, then one day of rest and today was a full on beating not just an eval...and I think today and tomorrow are pretty much going to be Aleve dependant days.  Personally I think that when he went and looked at his evaluations he was like "Hmm, Millie's been holding out on me... I can push her much harder than I have been"  and decided to go for broke.  And let me tell you, not only did he go for broke, but he overdraft the account.  I was DRENCHED-  and I mean like my kelly green Notre Dame tshirt was Oregon Ducks Evergreen by the time I was finished with the workout.  AND not only that, but my red face lasted until at least 11:00- maybe even longer.  It was a hard workout...and trust me, I am feeling it.

Not only was I put through the rigors of a 2 day evaluation (of which I think I did pretty well- especially considering how HARD the brutal one worked me today)  but have also been put on a new "Lean, Mean, Triathlete Machine" diet  lifestyle .  We'll see how well the restricted calorie intake, and having to say goodbye to my favorite food group- the carb- fares.  I mean, no pastas at ALL- not even the Barilla multigrain ones I have been eating.  Being an endomorph sucks, seriously.

I think I'll survive on the no sugar thing- I mean it's been two weeks- and though I have stepped slightly off the path since the Tri finished (to enjoy a pop at the movie theater, and a few samples of chocolate from my friends new Dove Chocolates Business venture)  for the most part- I am avoiding processed sugars.  So really its just finding alternatives for lunch and dinner that don't have so many carbs in them.

Also, this week- now that evals are over, I'll be starting the Couch to 5K program to train to run the Have No Mercy 5k  in October.  If you are interested in being part of Team Millie Tris  and run with me in the 5K I would love to have you!  :)

So, those are the updates for now.  I think I may pass on the homework for today and spend some "recovery time" on the couch with some Pay-Per-View  :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This Triathlete is Powered By #ROCKTAPE


So, I have to insert a shameless plug here for my absolute favorite invention for athletes.  As I have said numerous times- I have terrible knees.  I have had problems with my knees since I hit my first adult growth spurt in junior high.   I remember the first time my knee went out, I was in my kitchen practicing a cheer leading routine for cheer leading tryouts in seventh grade, and I went up into a Herkey Jump and when I landed I heard a cluck, my knee gave out and then it was shooting pain.

Many doctors later, we found out that I have Patellar Tracking (Ie my kneecap does not like to stay in place)  It slips and then locks out of joint.  It is SO painful.  And typically happens the most when I am running or walking. Since then, whenever doing strenuous exercises I wear knee braces... but not only are knee braces cumbersome- but they also slip, bunch and just overall are not very comfortable  and even with them on, I still always feared that my knees would still slip because I never felt totally secure in braces.

When I first started training for Triathlons, my friend Caroline told me about Kineseo Tape called Rocktape.   When properly applied, Rocktape keeps my kneecaps tightly in place, giving me the confidence and stability I need to perform at my best.  I can not even form into words how much Rocktape has changed my ability to perform.  It has given me confidence in my strides that otherwise I would not have had.

My dad's friend Margaret competed the Triathlon with us on Sunday, and she is a taping pro-  and thankfully, was able to tape me up...  and my knee felt great!  No Pain (even after the event) no slipping, and the knee felt as strong as ever nice and securely taped in place.

If you have a problem joint I highly suggest taking a look at Kinseo tape instead of a brace.  It is flexible, waterproof, but provides a level of security and stability that a typical brace cant.  They also have dozens of videos on their website on how to properly tape any problem joint that you have.  It definitely takes some practice (and seriously I didn't even know that you aren't supposed to touch the adhesive side of the tape, and that you are even supposed to rub it down with the a piece of the back part of the tape-  little tricks like that make a world of difference).  I am always leery about trying out new things, because I never know how well they are going to actually work- but I have been pleasantly surprised by Rocktape over and over again.

In the interest of integrity, I want you to know that I am not being compensated for this post.  This is solely my opinion based on my own experiences with the product.  As always, I Blog With Integrity.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Family Who Tri's Together

Over the next few days, each of us will be posting our experiences in our given leg of the Tri.  We'll go in order, and since I had the swim leg- that means you get me first (which is fitting since its my blog and all )  :)

Tri day came, and I felt really good and relaxed at the start of the day.  I had continued to tell myself that "its only a 400"  while I was training for it, so I wouldn't put a whole lot of pressure on myself.

To give you a better idea (which I'm sure if you've been reading my blog with any frequency you'd know anyway)  but I swim between 1600 and 2000 meters on the mornings that I go to the pool.  Over the last few weeks Ive been swimming every day but once I get mired in school I'm lucky if I can get in three swims a week.  But my swims are broken up into 400m passes (so I swim 400 meters-rest-400 meters-rest etc)  So a 400 to me, really is nothing.

The only thing I had been really nervous about was when I had looked on the website, they had changed the course and made the entire course in the deep end.  I was really leery about swimming the whole course in the deep end, as I know that the swim portion of a Triathlon is a full contact sport.  They actually ended up moving it back to the traditional race course (half in the shallow end half in the deep end).

They had a moment of silence for the Triathlete who died in New York a few weeks ago.  This story has totally haunted me since I heard about it-  because the last race she did was the Naperville Women's triathlon in June.  (That is the Triathlon I did last year)... and it just really hit home that no matter how prepared you are for these events, there is still a bit of danger that each athlete puts themselves into competing.  Just a scary and sobering thought.

The race was self-seeded as it was last year (ie - you get to choose when you enter the water based on how fast you think you can swim the 400).  I hung back until the almost end (12 minute heat)- mainly because I wanted to make sure my family had arrived... and also I figured that the hyper competitive people would be long long gone before I even got into the water.  Problem with waiting that long, is that most people who are in the 12 minute heat are the ones who -aren't- all that comfortable with swimming.
Now, when I did the women's tri last year, they had members of like the Navy or Coast Guard or something like that (really cute guys) that would swim along side you (your "swim buddy") if you felt you needed one.  This Naperville Tri is a USAT sanctioned race so no swim buddies for nervous swimmers.

I get into the water, try to Clydesdale through my first 100, and Im just starting to get into a groove, when I tum my head to right to get some air, and suddenly I inhale a lungful of water due to a panicked swimmer flopping and flailing around -pushed water into my open and expecting mouth.   I managed to expel all the water, but the fight response set off my adrenaline system and I launched into a full fledged panic attack.  I switched from freestyle to breast stroke as I tried to get my breathing under control, and unfortunately it was to no avail.  It was near impossible for me to try and get my breathing back under control.

Thankfully, with swimming, you kind of get used to continuing on when you can't catch your breath, since once you get into your workouts, you are usually out of breath and continue to push.  It was just not the graceful way I wanted to complete my leg of the race.

I finished though, and managed a fairly decent time (roughly ten minutes) - and overall as Team 3 P's we rocked it!  We shaved like fifteen minutes off last years time- maybe even a bit more.  Our total time was 1:34  so yay us!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Motivation Monday- Duane

The recap of my own race will be coming shortly-  I'm waiting for the other legs of the 3Ps to send me their race wrap ups.. but I am absolutely THRILLED to be able to bring you the most extrodinary story of one of my favorite and most supportive Triathletes:  Duane.  The guy is  work horse.  He's up long before any of us would even think is humanly possible to train and just recently competed in his first Half Ironman!  The dedication and stick to it ness required to prepare for a half Iron Man deserves our thumbs up on its own, but when you read his story you'll want to get up and cheer.  So, without further ado -  my Tri friend-  Duane:

Duane Now 

Duane Before 

Well I just had my first "Did Not Finish" (DNF) in a triathlon. My first attempt at a Half Ironman fell short. For those of you who may not know, a Half Ironman is a 1.2 mile swim, then a 56 mile bike, then a half marathon, all in a row.

I made it through the swim (had a good swim) and conked out at mile 21.2 of the bike. Not the day I had imagined or trained for.
Did I fail by not finishing? Nope! You may think "But you didn't finish the race"  Well, in life, sometimes we just have to make it to the start and take a risk to be considered a "winner".

Let me share a little bit about me. In February 2006, I weighed almost 500 pounds, had a leaky heart valve, my cholesterol was 240, triglycerides were 800, I suffered from chronic back pain for 20 years, and I could not walk half a block. I was headed to death shortly. I realized my daughters may lose their dad. And I was not confident and really beat myself up a lot. So, I made some changes. My cholesterol is now 124, my triglycerides are 101, my back pain is totally gone, and my leaky heart valve is cured. I can ride a bike 64 miles, I can run/walk 13.1 miles, I can swim 1.2 miles. I have finished 9 triathlons, I have 1 DNF at a Half Ironman, not so bad so far.

Now I am down to about 350, I still have  along way to go but it is a journey, not a destination. Fitness is not easy for most people. Most of it is in our minds. My friend Jess Hogue at Shape Plus taught me several things that led me to, well, my current mindset:

    First, before I go to bed at night, I decide "WHEN" the next day I am exercising, not "I know I should" or "I want to but . ."  Not exercising is not an option!

    Second, "No Excuses!" Oh this one really will get me on my soap box! I work full-time, have two teen daughters (I'm single by the way ladies), and I can get in lots of hours of triathlon training each week and people tell me they don't have time to get in 30 minutes,  3 or 4 times a week? Baloney! Be honest!

   Third: Make yourself a priority! You have kids? You will be a better parent if you take care of yourself first!

I currently workout 8-15 hours a week. Now you may think you could never do that. Well, if you tell yourself you can't, you can't! Maybe becoming a full Ironman like I want to is not your goal, but I bet you want to be healthier, have more vitality, and feel better too! So, where was I? Oh yes, you may need an epiphany, a paradigm shift. I now see it as normal to workout a lot. How do you look at fitness and exercise? As painful? As boring?  Is it easier to get our butt off the couch for an hour a day or be dead 24 hours a day? Hello!

Do I ever mess up? Do I ever blow off working out? Yes! But I am honest with myself about it. I don't say "I'm too busy" or"I'm too tired", etc. I admit the truth "I don't want to, so there"  It really is not perfection we seek, only serious progress.

Jess had me make a list of all the things I wanted from working out, losing weight, and getting healthy when I started working out in 2006.
Here are  a few that have come to pass: Not having to wear a seat belt extender on airplanes, being able to sleep well, no back pain, feel better, buy smaller clothes, get through turnstiles easier, and for those of you who are obese you will get this one, and this is embarrassing, but, to be able wipe my butt without contorting!  What do I have left on my list? Buying clothes in a regular store and of course, finishing a full Ironman triathlon (yes, I know, I'm not right, but when I am 80 years old and doing triathlons and looking like I'm 60, who will be right in the head then? Me! (and you? Hmmm).

Is fitness easy? Not for most of us! Is it worth it? Yes! (and you know it deep down)

So, people who meet me know I am confident. Was I always that way? No! But fitness and health improve not only our bodies, but our minds and our emotions and attitudes! I had huge struggles with this race. Knowing I probably would not make the race cut-off, I raced anyway.  I knew I would have to walk around in front of three thousand people in my bathing suit, still with too much fat on me. I fretted about that for months. But you know what, when race day came , I knew I had done the work and deserved to be there. I prouly lined up in my swim wave and loved it! I was about to start the biggest triathlon in my life! In the end, many people had DNF's that day, even the pro who won last year.  And I did not have a Did Not Start (DNS).

I thought for sure as hard as I trained, I would make the bike cutoff and at least get out on the run. But it was not my day. Would I do the race again? Heck yes! I made it through the swim in a Half Ironman triathlon and part way through the bike! My kids are proud of me. I'm proud of me. Now, isn't it time you are proud of you? If I can do this . . . . well, you know the rest!  Email me at if you ever want to talk. I know I sound like I'm nagging at times . . .  "well I am! Now make that list of what you want form working out, from getting healthy. It is what will sustain you in your quest! Now suck it up, get your butt moving, and "No excuses!"  Oh yes, DNS's are not allowed.

I echo Duane's statement that everyone has the time to exercise. I know that I've said it before, and I will say it again- its just about priorties! :) Duane also wanted me to share with you the video of his very first Triathlon. You can check it out here:

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tri Day is Almost Here!

Only a few more days until the Tri... I'm cautiously excited.  Why the caution you ask?  In the middle of the night last night, I got out of bed to use the W/C, stepped over my sleeping dog and I tweaked my knee.  For a few minutes I couldn't even put my foot down it hurt so bad, but the pain subsided after a few minutes and now today it just feels tight.  I'm not so worried about the swim, but more so concerned about the run through the sand into the water  and the run out of the water into transition. I ran out of Rocktape  and need to get some more-  I'm sure once I tape it I'll be fine.  Stinkin knee. And its not even like I did anything that would cause it to be hurt.  I stepped over a sleeping dog - thats it.  Grr.

My stupid gym is having problems with the chemicals of their pool.  Yesterday morning, I got all the way to the gym just to find out that the pool was closed-  I went back after work to see if it had reopened, and the inside pool was still closed, but the outside pool was open.  So, I tried to get a workout in the outside pool- but as Ive kvetched about a billion times- stupid swim lessons take priority over lap-swimmers, so we all got pushed into three lanes (and by all I mean we were all already 3 to a lane before they moved us into three lanes)  At that point I gave up and just went home.  So yesterday's workout probably only consisted of about a 400 -  maybe a 500.  I was so hyper focused on dodging flailing limbs from the kids in the lane next to me, and staying fast enough to not get passed in the circle swim that I didnt actually count my distances.  They still hadn't gotten their tish together this morning so it will be attempt numero three will be tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Asking For Help

This morning, while swimming, I noticed an old man a few lanes down getting into the pool.  Now, there isn't anything really spectacular or note worthy about a retiree swimming laps in the morning, and originally I had noticed him because he looked like a man in my choir and I was going  to say hello.
After my next pass, I notice that he has stepped away from his lane (which someone else abruptly occupied- which I thought was incredibly rude, but I digress)  -  and sat next to the hot tubs, futzing with his goggles.

After I swam a few more passes, I noticed his shaking hands were still struggling with the goggles.  I asked him if he would like to borrow my spare pair (I actually have like 4 spare pair, but I gave him the ones that had the easiest sizing straps).  He tells me that he lost his original goggles and he bought a pair in the cafe, but he cant get them to fit.  So he takes my pair and tries to trade me for the ones he bought, and I tell him to keep them they were cheap.  I  go back to swimming, finish up my set, get through my cool down and notice he is still struggling with the goggles.

I had intended on sitting in the hot tub anyway, so I walk up to him and ask him if he wanted me to try to get the size right, that sometimes those goggle straps could be a bit tricky.

He replied with a terse, no.  As I sat in the hot tub, I watched as his shaky hands were unable to loop the tip of the strap through the slit of the goggle on one side, and were unable to undo the knot he tied in them on the other side.

Fifteen minutes later, I'm  finished with my Hot Tub soak and he is still struggling getting more and more frustrated.  Eventually he gives up, throws the goggles down in frustration and goes into the pool and swims with no goggles on at all (considering how liberal they are with the chlorine in that pool, I have to imagine that was not a comfortable feeling on his eyes)

It made me think though,  how often would we rather suffer the consequences of our own stubbornness, than accept help from someone?  Personally, I would rather cut off my arm than *ask* for help-  but if help is offered, and I truly need it I would gladly accept it.
Which, isn't all that much better than the old man who wouldn't even accept offered help.

Where do you rank on the help scale?  Will you ask for help?  Do you accept help when offered?  If you used to be like me and have become more open to accepting help from others, how did you get past the hurdle?

~  in case you were wondering what happened with the goggles, while he was in the water, I picked them up from the ground unknotted them, relooped them and left them on his towel before going into the locker room...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Brutus to the Rescue!

So its been quite a day!  I packed my bags last night intent on going to the gym this morning (even with my poor legs still whimpering from Saturdays workout)  and my stinkin phone died in the middle of the night thus losing its ability to double as my alarm clock.  I woke up at my normal go to work time thing you have got to be bleeping me.  So I take my packed bag and say "Okay I'm going to go to the pool after work"  but that pinhead mother nature had other plans-  yet another stinkin thunder storm. ARGH!

Still intent on getting *something* done today, I text Brutus and I'm like "crap dude- what am I gonna do" and he's all "its cool, grab your resistance band and do 100 reps of this and a 100 reps of that and you're good to go"  and now my arms arent all that thrilled with me, but I gotter done!  Woot Woot!

Which, goes to show that even when there is a road block, you can usually find another way around it on the path to your goals!

Now, lets just hope this rain passes through and we dont have to repeat this same junk tomorrow.  AND lets super hope that theres no rain in the forecast for Sunday!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Brutus The Return

This morning was my first session training with Brutus.  As Ive said before he is at a new gym now, and is now an independent trainer -  free from the restrictions of a corporate gym.  (look for his page in the coming weeks in case you are in my area and looking for an awesome trainer!)

Anyhow.. I pull up to his new gym, and from inside I can hear music, grunting and groaning, and as I buzz around the parking lot, there are people flipping over gigundo tires, others jumping in and out of said tires  as well as a class full of people doing a work out with barbells.  My first panicked though was "holy (expletive)-  this place is HARD CORE"  as I stood staring in awe and amazement...and of course that thought was immediately followed by "Holy (expletive) I'm so (expletive) screwed...."  Brutus and I met up and I was seriously shaking in my ever loving boots, petrified that over the summer I had softened into gelatinous goo and that Brutus would be disappointed in how huffy puffy I had become since our last meeting.   Brutus said though, that I did well (hopefully it wasn't just the PC way of saying "damn girl, you didnt just fall off the wagon, you took a flying leap, and then rolled down the hill") -  so hopefully I really wasn't as bad as I had feared I would be.

Now, when I say this gym was hard core-  I'm not kidding.  I'm used to my gym- where I formally trained with Brutus... Bright Lighting, Granite counter tops in the bathrooms, saunas, spas, pool, salon, cafe, etc etc-  you get the idea.  His new gym-  nothing of the sort.  It is there to work you OUT.  To make you sweat, and swear, and sweat some more...and maybe suffer a bit... and then sweat some more  and get a workout.. not a sensory experience.  It was actually really refreshing.  It really is a kind of place where no one really cares what you look like or what you're doing, because everyone else is so busy working their asses off that they don't have the time or the inclination to pay attention to yours.

And,  this is the first time I have ever worked out in a place with no air conditioning.  I find that I like it more than I thought I would (now granted I probably drank about a gallon of water between the sweating and the being hot)  but I got a good hard sweat going and it felt great!

You know how they say that you never really know what you're missing until its gone?  Well, I want to append that a bit - and you never really know what your missing until it returns.  I am So So SO glad to be back with Brutus!  No one can make me sweat (and feel great about doing it)  like he can.  And, seriously, I feel flipping great-  with the exception of some soreness in the muscles in my thighs and above my knee caps ( I guess 50 squats will do that to you :stink eye to Brutus: )  but I am so so glad to be back to getting my butt kicked!

Perhaps Im still on an endorphin high- but seriously in just one visit - my outlook has gone back to I CAN!  Where in previous weeks, it had started to dip back down into the "I'll Never Be Able To"...

So, Yay for awesome workouts with kick ass trainers!

One week til the Tri-  woot woot!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still Sugar Free- Going Strong

So-  there is still a bit of debate over whether or not the RDA 25 grams is processed sugars or total sugars including those in fruits, vegetables and milk.  But- I figure that as long as I stay away from processed sugars, avoid caffeine and such and stick to just whole foods like fruits veggies, whole grains etc- that I'll be abiding by the sugar fast guidelines.  Ive asked around multiple times and keep getting differing opinions on what the RDA means... but since I have no dietitian friends, I'll stick with whats working.

It's amazing the kid of food amnesia we can develop.  This summer- in the midst of crazy summer term insanity- I was drinking Starbucks  every day-  and sadly- sometimes twice a day- once in the morning on my way in to work and on my way home- to keep me pumped long enough to rip through the 200 + pages of reading I had to do, or finish whatever paper I had.  I was getting probably five hours of sleep on a good night, and then waking up and doing the same thing again.

I'm quite certain my adrenal system was in a constant state of flux.  Between the caffeine highs ( my drinks of choice:  Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee from McDonald's in the morning)  and an Iced Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks on my way home.)  and the inactivity between work and coming home and plopping my butt in front of the computer to do homework, it's no wonder I've taken two giant steps backward.

Now- the Sugar Free Iced Vanilla Coffee only has 4 grams of sugar in it-  however, if on the occasion where maybe I ordered a Large Vanilla Iced Coffee and forgot to say "Sugar Free"  it jumps to a whopping 41 grams of sugar and 230 Calories

Now... the Iced Caramel Machiatto... Im actually afraid to look up, but I will, because well, that's what this is for... it's a come to jesus post on what a bad bad summer Millie has had.

Venti (yep- the big one)  Iced Caramel Machiato-  are you ready?  ...  its bad...

330 Calories (ouch)
and 44 grams of sugar.
But surprisingly, it has 14 grams of protein in it..  that's good right! :)

So,  it was most definitely  a never ending yo yo of ups and downs of the caffeine merry go round.

Three days in the books.  No caffeine, no pop, no processed sugars.  So far so good.  Right now I'd kill for some ice cream, but since its almost bed time I think I can ignore it for another hour of so before I nod off for the night.

I had a great swim this morning. A great swim.  There was no one in the pool for the first 45 minutes of my workout.  I did end up taking in a lungful of water again today-  and now I know it had to do with poor form and body positioning.  But, when I'm paying attention to what I am doing and don't completely check out, I'm fine.  If you are just starting out swimming -  if you really focus on your body positioning, pull your abdominal muscles in and keep your body just barely under the water, it is far less exhausting than if you allow your middle to fold and droop into the water.    Once I finally checked myself and took in the proper form I was making excellent time.

I didn't do a "check" 400 today because I figured instead I would work on speed- so my workout consisted mainly of drills (25s, 50s and 100 meter sprints)

I noticed yesterday that they changed the swim course for the Triathlon.  In all the Tris Ive participated in - in Naperville- the swim course has always been the same-  a snake back and forth along the lanes of the   lagoon-  with there being some shallow water- where you could actually stand and run around the buoy to the next lane  and then some deep water.

This race, instead they have us swimming out to the deepest section of the water all the way in the back of the lagoon and racing out there  in the deepest of the deep water.  I'm not gonna lie- I'm a bit freaked.  There are a lot of novice swimmers for whom this is their first foray into Triathlons- and they grab and shove and kick-  I'm so afraid I'm either going to get a lungful of water, a kick to the face, or heaven forbid have someone wrap their arms around me and take me down with them.  I'm sure it will be fine- and I always find something to stress over-  but it definitely has me a bit freaked.

Saturday is finally my first meeting with Brutus at his new gym.  We had to reschedule from last weekend because there was some kind of function being held at what was supposed to be our training time.  So, yeah, Millie won't be able to walk for the rest of the weekend, I can feel it!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The First Day Is Behind Me

Well,  I thought going sugar free was going to be fairly easy-  but I am quickly discovering just how much sugar is in everything we eat.

My day started with a Protein Bar :  2 Grams Of Sugar (I'm feeling fairly pleased with myself, as the bars I have are very low in sugar)

Post workout I have a smoothie consisting of Frozen Blueberries, Pomegranates, and Strawberries, Plus Skim Milk, Protein Powder and Flax Seeds.

Total Sugars (now granted, these are "good" sugars) but still:   25 Grams  and that was just breakfast!

My lunch consisted of Vegetarian Meat Loaf, Some Veggies and a Nectarine.

The Nectarine has 14 grams of sugar in it.

Dinner was taco night at my house..  Black Beans, Cheese, Sour Cream, Veggies (Green Red Yellow Peppers, Onions)

8 grams of sugars in the veggies

SO, just in "good" foods alone,  I consumed 46 grams of sugar yesterday.  Almost double the RDA
and that did not include one piece of bad sugar anywhere in my day.

I did break down and have some diet 7up around 7oclock because I had an out of control headache and felt like I was going to be sick.  Turns out after research this morning, that Diet 7Up is actually the best of the diet drinks containing no sugar- so I guess yay me on that small piece.

Anyhow.. I don't know if the headache was sugar with drawl (is that even possible when I still had forty something grams of sugar)  or if it was weather/allergy related.

We shall see what today brings!  On to day 2

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Going Sugar Free for 14 Days

With the Tri coming up in less than 2 weeks, I felt I needed a bit of a challenge to make sure I keep my eye on the prize.  I know, the Prize technically is the Triathlon, but since I'm participating as a relay, I'm having a hard time staying focused- and I really don't want to rest on my laurels thinking "Oh it's just the swim, it will be fine"  because I don't want to just do fine- I want to kill it.

Something last week- that of course I can't for the life of me remember right now, got me to thinking about how much sugar we consume every single day.  And its in everything not just the obvious things like pop and candy bars...  Milk!  Ketchup (I actually don't eat or like Ketchup but I'm trying to make a point here)

According to the USDA  a woman should eat NO MORE than 25 grams of sugar every day.  TWENTY FIVE GRAMS.  

Do you know how many grams of sugar are in say,  a can of pop?  27...  in ONE can of pop.

How about in Yoplait Yogurt?   In just regular old Plain Jane Vanilla Yogurt-  17 grams of sugar in one serving

Milk?  12Grams of Sugar (for 2%)  Skim Milk 12 grams

Turn that into Chocolate Milk you have a whopping twenty six grams of sugar-  almost as much as a can of pop!

The point is- life has become dominated by sugars... so I'm going to do a two week expirament on myself.

Starting Tomorrow:  Monday, August 1st 2011...  I'm going to keep track of and try and stay under my daily sugar intake allotment.  And, I am going to attempt to avoid processed sugars completely.  The only sugars I will have are naturally occuring sugars, like the ones in fruits...  and obviously the ones I can't avoid (like in Milk)    We'll see how close I can stay to the 25 gram requirement each day.

It should be an interesting two weeks.

I welcome your suggestions if you've gone sugar free :)