Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Updates!

I didn't workout yesterday. I was just enjoying myself too much, getting into the Christmas Spirit: Shopping, hanging lights, putting up the tree. I just couldn't seem to bring myself to strapping on a pair of running shoes and huffing my way around the neighbor hood. I think it was good though - I have a feeling my body needed the rest.

Today though - :)

First - My honey surprised me by loading me into the car and driving me to the Cow Palace where they were having a bike expo! Granted, I know next to nothing about bikes but even I know quality 'horse flesh' when I see it. I picked up some nice biking gloves, a tiny little 1.5 liter water pack and...

A new bike!

I take back everything I ever said about road bikes being 'no big deal'.

Seriously! I grew up riding 10 speeds from Montgomery Ward. This trail bike of mine is the nicest bike I've ever owned. Then today I sat on a quality road bike - O...M...G...! It was like... wearing silk after lifetime of wool underwear! Totally different beast! Once I rode it I knew I had to have it :) luckily it was totally in my price range.

Of course when I got home, at 9:30PM,I HAD to ride it. I happily road the new bike for almost 30 minutes and I was still ready to go more. It was just too cold and too foggy to keep going. Still - just goofing around I made it 5.5 miles - without even trying! Bike riding is fun again. Although, I do understand for the first time ever why people wear padded underwear! I have a pair but could take 'em or leave 'em. Not with this bike... OUCH!

Golden Gate at Night

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Knee's OK!!

I figured if there was going to be 'hell to pay' for my fall yesterday that today would be the day I would know it. Well I did a 60 minute bike ride with no problem.

Ok 'no problem' is a little optimistic:) But without my knee bothering me.

the ride itself was hard. Really hard. Coach wanted us to keep up a 90RMP cadence. So I popped my 180BPM training MP3 into my shuffle, put one earpod in and went for my ride. I couldn't believe how hard it was - even on flat surface. (my elevation change was only 10 ft from top to bottom). I was tired and wanted to quit after the first 15 minutes! It didn't help that the town I live in is so tiny (and all the roads in and out two lane back roads with no shoulder that everyone likes to drive 1000 mph on) one loop, completely around my town is only 6 miles :) I really hope I start to enjoy this training soon because I don't know if I can last 5 months of this otherwise. Please tell me this will get at least a little easier? :P

The other thing that was bothering me was my right hand. I have no idea why but it keeps going numb on me while I'm riding. Something's getting pinched in my wrist I guess - I just wonder if there's something wrong with the way my bike is set up that's causing it.

But - my workout is done and now i'm going to shower and get ready to go on a cruise on the San Francisco Bay and have a wonderful thanksgiving dinner! :)

Oh and I made it 12 miles in the hour I was out. I think I managed to pick up the pace a bit :) 12 miles an hour is better the then 11 MPR I got on Saturday and the 15 MPR I got the week before that! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tenatively - I'm OK

So I decided to try the measly little 15 minute run that was on my workout schedule for tonight. The initial verdict? My knee is sore but not painful -- if you know what I mean.

Since I was only running 15 minutes I decided to push it a little. Run just a smidge outside my comfort zone. It showed in my times. 1.1 miles in 15 minutes - that's a 13.38 min/mile - probably my best so far! :)

However, I have found that running intervals with my watch is kind of annoying. I was hoping I could figure out a way to make it beep every minute while the stopwatch was going, but apparently it doesn't have that feature. That means I spend a lot of time looking at my watch. I have my eye on the nike+ and now I want it more then ever - it's on my Christmas list for sure.

The only other 'hassle' I'm having is now that the weather is cooling off I'm finding my lungs are complaining. I have an inhaler for times like these but I don't really like using it. I was hoping a little conditioning might get rid of this wheezing. we'll see :(

But I'm going to focus on the positive- I might not have totally FUBARed my knee! yay!


Well, winter is here and in SF that means rain.  This is not our first rain of the year, but it's been long enough since the last one that it might as well be.

So I'm walking at lunch time.  Grabbed some lunch have my umbrella - just walking along minding my own business when WHAM!  On foot goes out from under me!  I didn't have a chance to even think.  My hands were full of food etc so I couldn't catch myself and instead landed smack on my knee!  I was to shocked and worried to be embarassed.  And totally pissed off that I might have really hurt myself - and not even while training!

I banged the knee pretty good.  Broke skin through my pants.  there are even little marks from the pebbles that are embedded into the sidewalk.  All of that I can deal with.  What I don't know is what the impact is going to do internally.  I've got it elevated and I packed on the ice.  Guess it's just wait and see now :(  Worse part is, training for a tri you use your legs for everything - swim, run, bike.  there's really not one of those I can turn to if this knee desides it's going to fuss a bit after this fall.  When I was lifting weights I could always focus on upper body if the lower gave out or vise versa, but this.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Long Hard Swim

Even though it's written differently in our plan, Tuesday is usually my rest day because it's the night I have choir and there's no way I can do that AND train in the same night.

Well, this week because of the holiday - there is no choir.  So when I got home last night I made the executive decision to rest.  It made sense since we had just swum on Sunday and the next workout was another swim.

Well, I got home tonight and seriously could not seem to get my butt out of the house and to the pool!  I dinked and I dawdled... Soon it was almost 9:00PM and I still hadn't left!  My little devil kept trying to find excuses not to go, but finally I flicked him off my shoulder and just went.

Honestly, it wasn't the best feeling workout ever.  I pretty much had to talk my way through the whole thing, but I did it!  I really tried to focus on all the things the coaches had pointed out to me.  It wasn't easy!  Hips and feet up, rotate, don't twist, high elbows move arms forward don't swoop them in circles....gah!  Of course as soon as I would focus on one thing the other 10 would fall out. It was frustrating, but I persisted.  Worse was I just had no energy.  Usually once I start exercising I do alright, but tonight it just wasn't happening.

One good thing, I set a new distance milestone.  600 without stopping! :)  It's almost as if I can feel myself getting fitter!  As I was going through that first 600 I kept having to tell myself, do this 600 and then you can quit.  Then I said, well you did that 600 so this 400 will be easy, and I finished that one.  The last set of 200 was the worse!  I had to talk myself into starting and then coax myself through every 50, but I finished!  In total - 1500 in 40 minutes.

There;s a few reasons I can think of for this workout being so hard:

1)  I've been taking allergy meds (yeah I have allergies and a cold right now - fun!)
2)  I've cut way back on caffeine to try to make room for more water
3)  Just two weeks ago I was laying on the couch with a 100 degree fever and I haven't completely recovered from that
4)  I've really been watching my calorie intake to try to drop some lbs.

Or - it could be I was just tired :)  Or my psyche was trying to test me to see if I really am going to follow through with all of this.  If it was - I won.

BTW - I've been doing all my Christmas (and other) Shopping through

I know this will sound like an advert, but it is SO easy - and it's great to know that some of every dollar I spend is going to LLS!

I shopped at Hot Topic, Vitamin Shoppe, Lane Bryant and more!

I've also been running searches through

Yes - it's not as nice as google but it is cool to watch my fund raising money go up by .02 every time I search for something.

If  you need to get something anyway I sure would appreciate you using those links to purchase it and the people who benefit from the cancer research done by LLS would appreciate it even more!

PS - you can also buy gift certificates at some of these places!

Of course you can always just click the purple button on the right and donate that way :)

Time to shower now and get some rest for another day of training.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Gifts that Give Back

'tis the season for Christmas Shopping and the folks at are making the season doubly bright!

This holiday season, send a gift that means an automatic donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! When you shop at any of over 700 participating online stores through iGive, a portion of each purchase is donated to the fight against blood cancers!
It's free for you, and you pay the same (or less!) than you would by going directly to the store. Shopping online means no wasted gas and no more standing in long lines at the mall.

Save money, save time, and send gifts that give twice. What could be better than that?

Sign up at:

or you can begin shopping and searching by going here:

The best part is it's stores you were probably planning on visiting anyway:

American Eagle Outfitters
Ann Taylor - LOFT
Toys R Us
Best Buy

even TurboTax!

Of course I'm always willing to recieve donations the 'old fashioned' way:

You can visit my fund raising page:

or mail a check made out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to:

Shawn Mueller-Boddy
429 Chase Street
Mountain House, CA 95391

Happy Holidays everyone - I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.


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Shop and Donate!

tis the season for Christmas Shopping and the folks at are making the season doubly bright!
This holiday season, send a gift that means an automatic donation to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!  When you shop at any of over 700 participating online stores through iGive, a portion of each purchase is donated to the fight against blood cancers!
It's free for you, and you pay the same (or less!) than you would by going directly to the store.  Shopping online means no wasted gas and no more standing in long lines at the mall.

Save money, save time, and send gifts that give twice.  What could be better than that?

Sign up at:

or   you can begin shopping and searching by going here:

The best part is it's stores you were probably planning on visiting anyway:

American Eagle Outfitters
Ann Taylor - LOFT
Toys R Us
Best Buy

even TurboTax!

Of course I'm always willing to recieve donations the 'old fashioned' way:

You can visit my fund raising page:

or mail a check made out to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to:

Happy Holidays everyone - I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.


The Weekend Update

Wow, what a weekend!

It all started Friday (don’t they all?). 

Friday night was a team social.  It was great getting to know people in a more casual environment.  Of course the most discussed topics were training and fund raising but it was great to get to know people and get some great tips and ideas.  As is usual with me, socializing ran long.  I ended up not getting home until about 11:00PM.  That’s not much of a problem except that I hadn’t run yet J  But I had gone into the evening knowing that if I was going to socialize I was going to get my workout in no matter what time I got home.  And I did.  It was a 20 minute workout (as scheduled) and in an effort to push myself just a little I choose the ‘harder’ of the two beginning workouts.  That meant of every five minutes I ran for 2 and walked for 3.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I did it without any real issues and managed to get 1.3 miles logged for the evening.  I did find that my lower legs hurt really bad when I was done but nothing a little hot water in the shower and a few ibuprofen couldn’t take care of.  
Saturday morning though I was like this:
Please Mom - Just five more minutes
I just didn’t want to get out of bed!  But I did.  We had an ‘unofficial’ bike meet up planned for the morning and I wanted to join the others and get my workout out of the way early.  We met up at 8:30 and a quick glance at those who had shown up made it really clear to me that these weren’t people who I could keep up with.   Let’s just say I was the only one with a trail bike and NOT wearing lycra.  I wasn’t that worried about it though – I’ve come to terms with my lack of exercise prowess and I’m simply looking to improve – not keep up with everyone else right now.  

Anyway, a quick coordination w/cell phones etc and we were all on the road.  I feel back as I expected but worked to try to keep up my speed and my cadence.  I did alright but I have to admit late in the ride was sick of cadence and several times down shifted and muscled my way up the hill.  I find rolling up the hills in a high gear just to keep the revolutions per minute but barely moving at all more tiring then just getting up as quickly as possible J  Granted I know people do the whole cadence thing for a reason but after an hour of it I was pretty tired of feeling like I was getting nowhere.  All it all I did a 60 minute bike ride and made it 11.3 miles.  There were a LOT of hills, some of them big, so I don’t feel too bad about that.  I am looking forward to at least getting to the point of enjoying riding the bike again.  At the moment it’s a lot of hard work!

Sunday morning was another early day.  I didn’t have to be there until 10:30 but the coached workout was about 2 hours from my house (if traffic was bad).  It was going to be the day they taped us while swimming and gave us feedback on our stroke.  I felt I had already come a long way on my own with my swimming so I wasn’t too nervous about it.  I ended up getting there really early but that gave me plenty of time to warm up.  I rolled through the first 700yards of the workout in less than 30 minutes.  Everything seemed to be going well.  I had been a little stiff and sore when I first got in.  Feeling the run in my lower legs and the biking in my gluts but everything loosed up quick.  This ended up being one of the most fun workouts I had attended.  While we were waiting for our group to be taped and then waiting for the results to be reviewed the bunch of us, about 6 women, as just kind of chilled in the pool and chatted.  It was a fun bunch and we laughed and joked.  It was nice to be around a bunch of people interested in the same things as me.    

Then came the swim analysis.  Turns out I have more to work on then I thought.  I didn’t realize that the years I had spent in Synchronized swimming had messed up my stroke so bad L   So, the things I need to work on.

1)      Feet too low.  This is such a leftover from Synchronized swimming and the ‘no splash’ rule.  I need to actually work on breaking the surface with my feet when I swim so that I get my hips out of the water.

2)      Over rotation.  Yeah – I’m one of the few people who got told that.  The problem is I’m over rotating my hips (think baseball swing) and it’s causing my body to twist instead of rotate.  I’ve got to work on keeping my entire body on the same rotation axis and not let my hips lead my shoulders too much.

3)      Arms/hands too high.  Again with the synchronized swimming K  when you’re doing water ballet, it’s all about the flash.  Arms go high and the movements are big so that it shows up to the crowd.  I need to remember to keep my elbows up but not leave so much room between my hand and the water.  I see a LOT of fingertip drills in my future.

Uh – I think that was it J  it was enough.  A lot of my workouts are going to be about drill drill drill.  They promise me it’ll all ‘click’ eventually.

It was a little hard to judge this workout – because of the start/stop and the taping.  I think I ended up doing about 950 yards in the three hours I was there.

Then it was the last run of the week.  I was a little skeptical when the coach said he wanted us ‘beginners’ to do 3 minutes of running and 2 of walking.  Three minutes?!  I only just bumped up to 2 minutes the other night.  But I figured I may as well try – how can I say I can’t if I haven’t even tried?

To my surprise I did manage to do the 3 minute intervals – and I was very proud of myself too.  1.4 miles on Sunday to put the cap on my day and week.

So the biggest positive out of the weekend (besides getting to know some really cool people better?).  Well the swim video did manage to show that I still have a bit of muscle underneath all this… fat.  While coach is showing me one of my stroke flaws I keep looking at my shoulder caps and going.. Yes!  Look at those sirations!  Do you see that separation!? Lol – I’m a freak.  I really made me want to get back into the gym and lifting weights.  I haven’t felt this strong a urge to do that in AGES – would love to get back to this – (and better).

The Hulk Nov

Right Bi November

Left Bi November

So totals for last week?

Swim:  2.1
Bike: 11.3
Run: 5.7

Total:  19.1

To Date:  38.5

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I knew it would happen

And yet it still surprises me...

I'm getting better!  I'm getting faster!  And I'm recovering more efficiently!

How do I know this?  Well, tonight I did 1500 Meters in 37 minutes!  Up 'til now my pace (including rests etc) has been about 2 seconds per meter.  Today I dropped that to about 1 second per meter.  Best part!?  I feel fantastic.  In fact I feel better now, after the workout then I did before I started.  I love that feeling!

I am, however, feeling yesterday's workout.  My legs are NOT happy with me right now.  My tibialis-posterio - (the muscle running along the inside of my ankle?) hurts really really bad.  probably caused from launching 230lbs around the track :P  Funny thing, it doesn't hurt when I'm wearing heals - only flats - or when I'm barefoot.  I'm supposed to run again tomorrow - we'll see if I can.  In the meanwhile I'm stretching and taking my vitamin"I".

Looky Looky!

So one of my very good friends bought one of the shirts I made for Breast Cancer awareness Month.

I'm now selling these shirts with all profits going to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society!

You can get one yourself here!

Another Wednesday Night in the Bag

After last weeks disappointing Wednesday night workout I was really hoping that this one would be better.

I wasn't disappointed.  The track was open this time and it made for 100% better workout environment.  It also helped that I had gotten to know a few of the team members at Saturday's workout so I was a lot more at ease overall.  A few times during my workout one of the runners would 'stop by' to walk with me while they recovered - it was much nicer and I felt a LOT less 'alone'.  Not to mention the number of 'non-team' members who cheered just when seeing the TNT shirt :)  it felt good.

We started the workout with a warm up lap.  I went at 'my' pace (slow) but didn't worry about it much since the track was so full of people that I was never by myself.  Then we all lined up for our first 'marker set'.  Basically testing our current fitness level so we can tell how far we've come in a few weeks.  I wasn't looking forward to this.  I know I 'm slow and I knew it was going to take me a LONG time to grind out the 2 miles they were asking us to run.  A part of me was afraid they were going to ask me to stop before I got through 2 miles because it was taking so long, but a part of me was hoping that they would.  They didn't.  The head coach was at this practice and he stood there the whole time - giving me my time at every lap and shouting out encouragement.  At about my fifth lap I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish I was really hurting from the knees down and my legs felt like they weighed a ton each!  I kept at it and magically, about lap six, I started feeling better!  Yes, my lungs weren't feeling great.  I was still coughing crap out from my cold, but I didn't feel like I was going to keel over anytime soon either.  I ended up finding a pace.  A rhythm of running and breathing that felt like I could go for more then a few steps.  By the last lap I was running the entire .25 mile.  I finished the two miles in 31.35 minutes.  Yes it's slow but it's actually an improvement.  Most of my training runs before now have averaged about a 17 minute mile - obviously doing 2 miles in just over 30 is much better then that.  What really surprised me was getting an 'all right!' and a high five when turned in my time.  It was confusing - but nice :)

After that we did the same as last week;.  one circuit around the track and then some core strength exercises. Again this was much better then last time.  The head coach kept an eye on people while they were working.  Helped with form and gave out pointers.  All it all it was much more focused, organized and actually more fun.  

In total I ran/walked 3 miles last night  - and as of yesterday I've lost 5.4 lbs.  I'm on my way on every level.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The first day of the second week

I debated with myself all the way home about my workout tonight. I had started coughing in earnest before bed last night and it had continued into the day today. While the cough didn't feel like anything serious (just the cold running it's coarse)and my head was feeling better than ever, the constant *hack* *hack* *hack* was wearing me out. It was a perfectly valid reason not to work out. And yet - this little voice in my head kept saying, "is it? Are you just looking for an excuse to sit on the couch?"
Two things in conjunction really helped me to crack down and get 'er done. Team in Training and this Blog. You see, I've discovered I'm a pretty competitive person. Not with other people, but with myself, and seeing how lousy a showing I've made so far in my fitness has made me really want to show VAST improvement, the kind of improvement that shows each and every week. I can't do that if I spend every day arguing with myself about whether a sniffle or a splinter or a 'bad day at work' is a good reason to skip a workout. I want to take full advantage of this next five months. I want to look back on all of this and go... I can't believe just five months ago I could only do 11 laps in 15 minutes. I'm at a really unique point in my fitness career. One that doesn't come along very often, I'm a beginner. This first year of learning a new discipline I can probably make bigger improvements then I can make in all the rest of the years I practice it -- combined! For instance -- a few years back I started running. Like now I could plod along at about a 17 min/mile pace. In about three months (and about 40 pounds) I was zooming along a 12 min/mile pace. When else in your career can you expect to get a 5 minute per mile improvement just like that!? But it took consistent work to get there.
All that to say I did my workout tonight…
Just so you don't think I'm pushing myself blindly I went in fully aware that I might have to cut it short - or lay back a bit. I didn't have to do either. Apparently the moist air was what my lungs needed because I hardly coughed at all once I got there. I did my 1000 meter workout and better yet, finished in 35 minutes! I even dropped my stroke count down 2 strokes to a new low for a few lengths - not consistently but I know the potential is there now - so yay!
and that's all your getting out of me tonight -- I'm bushed! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Update

Thank you to everyone for your well wishes!

Ohhh so much to catch up on…

I had trouble sleeping on Friday night, partially because I had done so much sleeping over the previous two days, and partially because I was a little worried about Saturday’s workout. I just wasn’t sure what to expect. Would I be the only one not in Lycra? The only one who didn’t own a $10k racing bike? (all I have right now is a trail bike with road tires on it). Yeah, I worry too much, I know

Saturday morning came early. I was supposed to be there at 7:45AM and I live an hour away. I had packed the night before so getting ready was relatively easy, and the drive to the workout was uneventful (whew!). I even found the rest of the team without incident. Even better I wasn’t the only person not in lycra - yet.

The day started with a nutrition/hydration and short swim clinic, all good stuff. There was a lot of stuff in the nutrition clinic that repeat information for me (I am a professional dieter after all – just ask me about protein, carbs, fat, basial metabolic rate and/or calorie deficit! But there was some stuff specific to endurance sports that I found really interesting and that was good to add to my personal knowledge store. The hydration clinic was really good and swim clinic was great if short.

Finally, after all that we hit the locker rooms and pool. Now, I had gone to this workout with the promise that I would only workout if I was feeling ok. Well, I had the sniffles still and a bit of a cough but no fever and I was feeling strong so I went ahead and decided to try.

The pool (heck the whole school) in San Ramon is amazing, crystal clear and HUGE! The water was the perfect temperature for the day (which was quickly warming up to the 80+ high of the day). We started with a few kick drills that are pretty standard – and that I use in my personal workouts too. It was nice to have the stuff that I’ve been doing on my own validated. I did alright on the kick drills – got caught in the face by another swimmer who accidently lost her way but otherwise it went alright. Then came the ‘marker set’; we were supposed to swim for 15 minutes and see how many laps we could do. I was in a lane with some rather quick swimmers and because of that I felt the need to try to ‘push’ myself a bit. For some reason when I did that I completely let my newly learned swim form fly out the window. Of course that meant I was swimming less efficiently and loosing even more ground on the fast swimmers then if I had just swim my own pace. THEN because I was pushing, I was losing my breath – layer on top of that still recovering from a cold and I didn’t show the way I would have liked in the marker set. I ended up having to ‘pull out’ to rest a few times and let others pass me. At one point I thought I was going to have to give up on swimming all together – I just couldn’t seem to catch my breath anymore but a little coaxing from the coaches had me back in the water and chugging a long. One coach reminded me that I wasn’t getting the rotation that I should and that ‘clicked’ with me. Suddenly I realized I had been fighting against myself. I slowed down, checked my form got my efficient stroke back and was able to do four more lengths in the remaining 5 minutes. My total? 11 laps. (550 Yards). After that was a 10 minutes cool down swim in which the coaches were going to talk to us one on one on things to work on to improve. Apparently the rotation that had been pointed out had been my one major flaw because I wasn’t stopped again. Better yet, with my efficantcy back I was able to keep on swimming through the 10 minute drill! That means I got 15 minutes in AFTER I thought I was going to have to pull out. Yay!! Thank you TNT coaches! - I believe my total for the day was 950 yards for the 45 minute swim.

Then it was a quick change, and the joy of learning how hard it is to put on a sports bra and biking shorts (under my sweats of course – I’m not wearing lycra in public!) while fresh from the pool… Crap that was a work out in and of itself!

Everyone gathered out in the parking lot with our bikes. The coaches gave a short bike clinic with the focus on changing tires, divided us into groups (advanced, intermediate and beginner) and sent us on our way. I had taken off with the intermediate riders because coach had described ‘beginner’ as someone who couldn’t take a water bottle out while riding and/or didn’t know how to change gears. Unfortunately, due to a few ‘oops’ by me I didn’t actually take off with the intermediate group and I found myself over a block away from the group as we started off. One of the coaches happened to see me in the waaaaaaay back and slowed to let me catch up with her. What I got over the next five miles or so was my own personal bike coach. I actually didn’t realized how ‘BAD’ I was at something I had been doing since I was five years old! She explained about tempo and quickly got me out of the gear I was in. Coming from a weight lifting background it seemed really natural to me go on the lowest gear and ‘muscle’ my way through the ride, up the hills etc. It was really counter intuitive to me to sit there spinning my peddles too fast and to feel as if I was getting ‘no where’. The good news is she didn’t have to correct anything else in my ‘bike form’. My tempo was all that was really off. It’s going to take me a while to really get the hang of it, but that’s probably the first time I’ve really used the gears on my bike  I have a feeling they are going to continue to get a workout as the season goes on. I didn’t go as far as everyone else in the intermediate group, but I was pretty happy with the 11+ miles I did go. (PS – I wasn’t the only one not in Lycra! Or on a trail bike)

All in all Saturday was a great day and a great time with the TNT group. Guess it’s much easier to get to know and to pull together with people when you can actually see them by the light of day!


This morning was another early coached workout. I had to be there at 8:15 and again it was about an hour’s drive. I was chuffed to be able to find the place without too many wrong turns. The TNT folks were really apparent in the parking lot and easy to find. I appreciated that!

After a little chit chat all the runners split into advanced, intermediate, and beginner runners and took off. I hadn’t really thought about warming up first – I kind of thought that was part of the team run thing. So, when everyone (even the beginners) took off at a run I just shrugged and walked to warm-up/wake up my legs. As I expected I eventually caught up with the beginners and we ran/walked together for the 20 minute workout. As far as I can tell I went 1.5 miles in that 20 minutes which is a slight improvement over the 1.4 from last Saturday. There was some social time after the workout that was a lot of fun – best was standing there as the Iron team showed up for their workout. I have nothing but the upmost respect for the folks that are doing the Ironman. Totally blows my mind to think of doing that kind of mileage and the training that would have to lead up to it – hats off to all of you!

Oh and the whipped cream on the top of this workout filled weekend? After running 1.5 miles, hubby and I threw ‘the Zeus’ Day 1 - 062308 - The Zeus in the back of the FJ and took him on a 4.3 mile hike in the Pleasanton hills. Honestly hills seem to be my real ‘trouble spot’ both running and biking (probably due to my weight) so I figured a little extra practice lugging my backside up a few couldn’t hurt.

Without the hill work this afternoon here’s my stats for the past week (plus one day).

After missing two days of workouts due to illness my totals for Nov 9th through Nov 16th:

Swim: 2 miles
Run: 5.9 miles
Bike: 11.5 miles

Total: 19.4

Add my hike from today and that’s 23.7 miles. I think that’s an excellent start!

The best part – even though I’m still recovering from my cold (stuffy head, sniffles and a cough) I feel better right now then I have felt in years. Honestly! I had forgotten how wonderful regular exercise can make you feel – mentally, emotionally, energy wise. It’s even been easier to eat right.

I’m excited and looking forward to the next week – heck the next five months!

(PS – on top of everything else I managed to squeeze in an audition for a local select choir group (yes I auditioned sick – what could I do?) so keep your fingers crossed for me!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Still Sick

And the frustrating part is that I know better!  Any time I'm writing a new program for someone or when I'm talking to a new exerciser I always tell them that the extra stress on your body can also stress your immune system and so you should take extra care.  Take your multi, drink lots of water, get pleanty of vitamine C.  Extra rest if you can.  But did I do that?  No!?  BLEH!

I've rested now though.  LOTS of rest - still not 100%  but at least my fever has broken.  I just want to be able to join in on the team workout tomorrow - I've really been looking forward to this one!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


One of my biggest fears - I guess it's good I got it now and now at the end of training eh?

My throat hurt so bad last night, it was like swollowing razors.  I'm running a feaver and my nose... oh my nose.

Why now!? 

Everyone throw a big pitty party for me.  I'm going home to crawl in bed and sleep - I want to be better by Saturday and the next group workout!  I WILL BE BETTER (don't you wish it was that easy?)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

First Team Workout

I struggled all the way home on how to write this post.  Do I hand you, the reader, a pair of rose colored glasses to view my exuberance through.  Do I go through the rah rah, go team, motions?  We’ll it may not be the PC thing to do, but I’m not going to do that.  You’re going to get me here.  The good the bad and the ugly…

So, I preface this by saying you’ll probably get a lot of background in this post that leads you might not care or want to know about – I’m adding it because I believe it’s important for you know what my ‘filters’ are when I tell a story and it gives you a better basis to form your own opions.

Alright – enough of this… On with my story.

First let’s say I don’t like being cold so I really layered myself up for this workout.  SF at night can be a bit chilly to say the least.  For legs, I started with tights – just regular ol’ off the shelf tights that you buy in the drug store.  Remember Joe Namath and his panty-hose adds.  Well I don’t know if that was just a publicity stunt but I do know that where I grew up (Wyoming) the boys on the football team wore panty-hose for warmth ALL the time – cause it works.  Then I put a light pair of yoga pants over the top,  shorty running sox and my running shoes went on my feet.  On top I girded myself with two bras – on of them a compression sports bra (to answer the unasked question a few folks had) a body armor turtle neck, my team in training shirt and then a running jacket over the top.  When I first got outside with all that on I was a little worried that it wasn’t enough, but it turned out to be just right.

So the ‘about me’ part:  Let me start by saying I really don’t enjoy the ‘unknown’; probably why I’m a project manager by trade.  I like things planned, organized and I like knowing what to expect.  This is probably made ‘worse’ by my streak of perfectionism.  I’m sure there’s a few out there who can relate.  Second, I’m navigationally challenged.  There are a lot of factors to this I suppose.  I'm not required to wear glasses to drive, but I like too because it makes it easier to read signs, plus I have a bit of night blindness so driving at night is frustrating if I need to make out details like teeny tiny street signs.    Unfortunately, my glasses were stolen recently, so driving at night means a lot of squinting and a lot of missed turns. All of this balled up together had me already stressed out about tonight, our first ‘team’ workout.  I was going to have to drive myself to a place I had never been before, in the dark, in San Francisco, and there were people counting on me to be there at a certain time.

Like a good self navigator I printed up my driving directions from google maps.  Google said it should take me about 17 minutes to get where I was going, so leaving myself a little time for wrong turns etc, I left 30 minutes early.  Well, it wasn’t enough.  Traffic was... well… San Francisco traffic.  I sat through one stop light through three cycles.  When I finally got to the last turn on my map it was already 2 minutes to show time.  CRAP!  And of course at that moment, I made a wrong turn, one that took me WAY out of my way K  I finally found the parking lot I was supposed to park in 7 minutes past the start time.  I was stressed, flustered, and a little angry.  Then the next shoe dropped.  When I pulled up to the parking attendant I was told, “Oh, you’re with team in training?  Well the track is closed, there’s an event tonight, do you still want to go in?”


What now?  I had no way to get a hold of anyone, there wasn’t a TNT person in site and I was faced with a BIG decision.  Do I wander around trying to find someone when I’m already 7 minutes late or do I just go home?  Remember how I said I hate the unknown?  Well this was right up there with really bad moments for me and part of my brain said “Screw it!  Go home!”
But I didn’t.  I took the ticket, parked my car, grabbed a few things and hustled to the track entrance.  Luckily I instantly recognized two of the people standing out front as the coaches.  I was already in a bit of a ‘bad mood’  so I didn’t take it well when I was told.  “The track is closed so we’re going to workout on the other side”


What ‘other side’ – what does that mean? 

When I asked they did explain really clearly where I needed to go but I was really off put by the ‘why don’t you already know this attitude’

So, off I hustled again to find the ‘rest’ of the crowd.  I found them without much incedent.  I had missed most of the blah blah… but got there right before the coaches took over.  That was fine with me.  They apologized about the track (yeah ok – not your faut), explained that it changed their plans a bit, but we would make do (ok fine – lets workout).  First, let’s warm-up.  Everyone – one lap around the stadium… Go. (eh what!?)

I guess being it was a ‘team’ workout I kind expected things to happen more… team like? Perhaps if it had been on the track as intended it would have been ok but instead we were each left to struggle along on the streets in the dark.  Ok – I struggled, everyone else ran K  When I decided that I would do my Weekday workouts with the San Francisco part of the team I forgot one thing.  San Francisco people are fit (sorry – they are).  I, am not.  So, being told that I needed to go out there and run nearly .75 miles for a ‘warm-up’, kinda got me to feeling bad.  OK REALLY got me to feeling bad.  Yeah I know, it’s not a competition.  But Damn-it I wanted to feel a part of something.  Instead I felt more alone the running on the streets then in my own home town.  Because I didn’t know what this workout would be like I didn’t bring some of my standard running gear like an ipod or a watch.  So I had nothing to pace myself with, nothing to distract myself with – it was just me and the road, ok sidewalk really but you get the point.  I really got balled up feeling sorry for myself too.  Luckily one of the mentors eventually caught up with me during one of my walking breaks and asked how I was doing.  She kept pace with me for a while and at least got me to stop feeling sorry for myself.  I was still a little grumpy but not feeling sorry for myself.

So I finish my first lap.  Running hadn’t been fun and walking too fast made my shins hurt but I thought I did ok.  I at least didn’t feel like I had lead legs like on Sunday.  When I caught up with everyone else again they were already explaining the workout.  I had missed 3/4ths of the explanation and no one bothered to fill me in.  I figured I could just follow the crowd and figure it out.  For the most part I did.

I did my planks as directed for my ‘strength training’ (sorry I’ve spent the past few years pretending I was a serious weight lifter – I squat 225 and bench 140 so it makes me giggle to call planks ‘strength training’) and then started out on my second lap.  The second lap was easier and loosened up enough to play a few mental games with myself.  “Keep running to that post, good now past that bench”  I was struggling a little against myself though because I really needed to answer a call of nature and when asked about a bathroom the leaders shrugged and said “Find a tree”.  Uh… no!  I suffered instead.  Most of the time I could ignore it so no biggy…  I was actually really happy with how well the second lap went.  Much easier then the first and I ran a LOT more.  Of course by the time I got to the gathering point most people were already out again.  I didn’t let that get to me and instead did my next set of strength moves – the opposite arm leg thing.  It happens to be one of those core workout moves I’m good at, so I went through it and moved on for my next lap.

As expected lap 3 was harder.  I couldn’t run as far and probably not as fast either.  I focused on not overdoing it and keeping my form good.  People passed me – some not for the first time.  There was one really nice man who at least said “Hi” or something else friendly as he passed.  He was my hero for the night and one of the reasons I kept going.  One thing that kept rolling through my head… “I’m the only one walking!”  It was starting to depress me again but I did my best not to think about it.

Next strength move was the side plank.  Again one I’m not too shabby with.  I was happy to see that at least this time the coaches seemed to be paying attention to people.  Up ‘til now other then a short explanation at the beginning they had been really hands off.  This time they were timing people by counting off seconds as they passed.  I would have liked to see them to just a little more.  I walked by one girl doing pushups so horribly that it was wonder she didn’t permanently disable herself.  Granted, my Dad is a personal trainer and I’ve trained to be one too (but have let my weight and general out of shape-ness keep me from doing it).  Between that and my background in ballet I can be a bit OCD about proper form.  But it’s not for me to walk up to someone and suggest improvements.  Probably end up embarrassing us both.  But for the coaches… I mean isn’t that why they are there?

Any who… Started on lap 4 and was really feeling all the running.  I was dragonass.  I think I walked most of the last lap – I just couldn’t seem to get my legs under me anymore!  Although I know he was trying to be nice, I kind of wanted to ‘kick’ happy man when he passed me and said “Last lap huh!?”  -  Uh no.. I’m only on 4 and we were supposed to do five!  Thanks for reminding me that EVERYONE else is a whole lap in front of me.  But I know he was being nice – and he’s still my hero for the night.

I hit the gathering area at the end of lap four and found out that YES this was my last lap.  Coaches and everyone was packing up to go home.  Secretly I was glad cause I didn’t want to push myself around another time.  I did do one more set of strength moves – push ups – before signing out and heading for my car.

So – in summary:  I did 3 miles of run/walking plus core work in about an hour.  The workout was more a mental challenge than anything.  I really need to stop letting the negative thinking get to me.  I’m glad I’m in team in training and I think this is an awesome cause but I really do hope we become more of a ‘team’ as the weeks roll on.  I could really use that.

As for nutrition… I set myself some goals for this week (My ‘diet’ week starts on Wednesdays)

1)    Drink no more than three Liters of Diet Pepsi (Yes I know it’s a lot but for me that’s cutting back) Check

2)    Drink 1 Liter of Water – I drank more then I usually do, but didn’t drink the whole liter, Yet.  Maybe I’ll go down and finish it after I’m done typing.

3)    No Sugar - yeah sugar seems to be a big ‘binge’ item for me.  If I’m going to over do it – this is usually the thing 80% of the time – Well I forgot about ‘no sugar’ and had one mini chocolate bar early in the day, but later remembered my self promise and that kept me from having any more so ½ a victory

4)    5 meals a day – Not so good here.  Need to plan better

5)    Every meal have protein and carb –Breakfast – No, Lunch – yes, Dinner – kinda (I waffle on cheese being a protein) – post workout No

6)    4 Cups of some kind of veggies (cooked or raw) – big fat 0

So I’ve got a ways to go here.  I’m really going to have to clean this up if I want to reach my race goal weight.

Alright – enough out of me!  If you made it this far… THANKS!! lol

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In the Zone

Funny how a rest day is what use to gauge gauge that I am indeed in the Training Zone. Why? Because when I get to the end of a rest day feeling like I have an excess of energy and I find myself toying with the idea of doing some training to burn it off. Then I know I've got myself into the Zone. I've been here before - I know it, I love it! What's important is that I hold myself back these days - take the rest, accept the excess energy as a bonus and don't burn myself out. That was my major mistake in the past. I'm going to do what I can to make sure it doesn't become my mistake this time.

More does not always mean better!

Oh and man am I sore. and in the weirdest place! Luckily the weight lifting I've done over the years seems to have paid off in some ways. I'm not super sore in my shoulders or back like i might expect after swimming but where I hurt.. and I do mean HURT is up high on my ribs just under my pecs... I think it's the top set of rectus abdominis. I guess the arm sweep isn't something I normally do in my training.

Time to get some 'rest' on my rest day! Tomorrow's the first team workout and I can not wait (even if it is a run and the thing I suck the most at)

The 2008 Winter Tri Team

Yes, I'm in there somewhere :)

My Honorees

Although doing a triathlon has a dream of mine for several years, I am doing the Lavaman in HI for not only myself, but for everyone who's effected by Leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes. With this in mind there a few few people who I will be specifically honoring during my race on March 29, 2009.

First: My cousin Katie Mueller. We thought she had beat the Leukemia the first time it hit at six, but a few years later it came back and she lost her long hard battle. I wish I had known her better...

Next: The brother and sister of a good friend and coworker: Cheryl Knowles, and Mike Walby Both lost to Leukemia

And then there are the Team Honorees: Lauren Bishopp, Henry Gruen, Mark Zafra, Maya Wiegel-Murphy, Michelle Arnau, and Ulysses Basconcillo

I will do everything I can to honor you all.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Day two of training. It's currently taking all I have just to type this. I'm pooped. Beyond pooped! My arms are shaking right now. It's good thing I can type this and I don't have to write it by hand!

Why am I so tired you ask?

Well today was a swim workout and I decided to go all out (again). Since swimming is my strongest sport my thought is to use my swim workouts to push myself as far as I can. I'm also putting a lot of effort and focus into perfecting my stroke - all in all it requires a lot of concentration and it's a lot of work. But man will it pay off! :)

So tonight I went in thinking I wanted to better last week's workout. I did. I swam 2200 meters (1.4 miles) AND (for anyone who knows something about swimming) I brought my strokes per length down by about 3 strokes! All I did was make a few minor changes and POOF I was swimming more efficiantly. I know as my endurance improves and I get used to this changed swimming style that I'll be able to shave off a few more.

The only 'mishap' of the night was at the end. I was trying to be all 'macho' and 'pop' out of the pool onto the desk. Problem was as I launched myself out of the pool my left calf cramped... BAD! I had to dump back into the pool and try and get it worked out. I did work it out but MAN did it hurt - it still hurts now and will probably be sore for a few more days :|

Well - I should get to bed now! Thanks to everyone for their support and donations so far!

If you want to leave a comment on my TNT donation page

If people would like to how to make comments that will appear on my TNT donation page, which is:

Comments will appear at the bottom of the page, and there are three steps to doing so.

1. Select or enter your desired donation amount in the donation area on the left hand side of my TNT web page.

2. A donation page will appear, and you can fill out all of the required data: name, address, phone, e-mail address, and credit card information. Towards the bottom of the form, just above the "donate now" button, is a checkbox that says "I want to edit my privacy options and/or send a message. Check this box.

3. A new data entry area will open up where you can specify additional data, including:

A message that will appear on my TNT web page at the bottom
Making your donation anonymous (but I won't be able to send you a thank you note)
Hiding your donation amount
Changing the way your name is shown on my web page
Specifying a name that your donation is in honor of or in memory of (you can also e-mail me honoree names using a link on my TNT donation page.

I want to thank Art ( for letting me 'borrow' these instructions from him. They were so much better then I could have come up with on my own!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The start of training

Yesterday was the team in training kick-off.  I got to meet my team, my mentors, my coaches.  I'm even more sure then ever that I'm going to hit this challenge head on and that I'll be seeing the finish line with a smile on my face come March.  I just can't see myself failing and that's an awesome feeling.

The other nice thing about yesterday was talking with all the participants and finding out that most of them are just as freaked out by the fundraising portion of this as I am.  It was great to get to talk to people who've been through this before and who could tell me things like "Most people don't respond to the first email you send out"  and other helpful things.  Not that I'm not still freaked out :)  After all, I pledged to raise $5000!  I've got a few more ideas I need to push through.  A letter writing campaign, so food sales and the like.  What I would like to do is figure out a way to do some sort of big 'event' - I'll have to think about that for a bit (although not too long).

Today was my first day of actual training (as set out by my coach).  I was really excited to be started at last and headed out the door for my run first thing this morning.  What I wasn't expecting was how hard it was!  I mean, the workout was relatively easy as written.  And I followed it, but I had a serious case of 'lead legs'.  I don't know why but it seemed to take everything I had just to put one leg in front of the other - like I was running through molasses or something.  But I made it through, got my workout in and logged a few short miles.  (1.4)  My Route I do know it'll get easier over time.

The rest of the week should be really busy

Monday is a swim, Tuesday I have choir, Wednesday is a 'coached' workout (run and weights), Thursday is a swim, Friday is a bike ride, Saturday a coached swim/bike workout, and Sunday a coached run.  Even though that sounds like a lot, it's still very short mileage and very reasonable speeds.  we've got a ways to go and the coaches are taking it easy - giving people a chance to build some endurance.  It's great! :)

Alright - off to get some rest

Team in Training has kicked -off

Focus now

Right now you have available to you everything you need to take one step forward. Once you take that step, you will have even more available to you to keep going.

The more persistently you move forward, step by step, the more momentum you build. And it is a process that you can begin at any time.

Focus on the one step that you can take right now. Let go of all regrets and resentment about what has already happened.

Let go of all fears and anxieties about what may be yet to come. Put your energy into where you are, and use that energy to do what you can in this moment.

Though there may be noise and confusion all around, you can transcend all those distractions. Decide to focus on the task at hand, for that is what will move you forward.

Think of how great it feels to be moving in a positive, productive direction. Focus your energy right now and make it happen.

Copyright 2007   Ralph S. Marston, Jr.

Tri Training Update - 11/09/08

Hello again friends and family,

I just wanted to send a quick email to let you know how things have been going for me with my training. As you know I am working with Team in Training to do the Lavaman Triathlon in March, and I?m fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Yesterday we kicked off the Team in Training winter season. It was so amazing to meet and talk to so many people who are all working toward the same goals: get into shape, run a triathlon and find a cure for blood cancers.

Although I?ve been training up till now, with the kick-off, I started training in earnest today. I did my first ?actual? training run, outside, in preparation for the six mile run that will be part of the triathlon. I won?t kid you, it was hard; probably one the hardest of season, but I made it through and I?m so happy to feel as though I?ve made that first giant leap onto the path toward my goals. It?s hard to believe that the woman I was today, huffy and puffing along my neighborhood sidewalks in my baggy sweatshirt will very soon be left behind.

On the fundraising front, so far I?ve raised $150 of the $5000 I?ve pledged. And I want to thank everyone who has donated already. Your continued encouragement and faith in my ability to accomplish my fitness and fundraising goals are more than I could hope for. I hope others will find it in your heart to contribute to the fight against Leukemia and blood related cancers. Your donation can make a difference in someone?s life. May you realize success in your own endeavors, and may we all go the distance. Thank you for your generous support.

Please click on the link below to go directly to my personal fundraising page. No amount is too small. Every dime makes a difference.

You can track my ongoing progress at:

If you would rather send a check, please send it to:
(payable to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)
Shawn Mueller
429 Chase Street
Mountain House, CA 95391

P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Swim Swim Swim

I decided to try a real actual swim workout tonight instead of just swimming laps. WHEW! what a workout. I ended up doing a total of 1900 Meters (almost 1.2 miles) at the end of it all but each and every lap was a challenge. I'm completely toast! But happy and excited!

Training is well on its way (by SAMBoddy)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mmmm Fall

I made it through the week without incompasitating myself.  I consider that a huge plus.  Now it's late Sunday night and time to start all over again with a Monday.  I'm ready though.  I've got my workouts posted on a new board that I bought over the weekend.  It lets hubby see what I've plan to do throughout the week so that I don't always have to answer "What are you doing tonight?"  Should take a bit of stress off of both of us.  I've also brought out that age old fall/winder companion, the crock pot.  We had pot roast out of it today and MAN was it good.  Fantastic stick to your ribs food perfect for keeping warm as the weather cools down (we got our first rain of the year over the weekend).  And for keeping the energy up for training.  I'm watching my portion sizes so as to keep to my WW plan and keep on track for weight loss.  I'm looking to Wednesday's weigh in to be a big deal...

Otherwise I'm just hanging in there and waiting for 'official' training to start.  I'm ready for it - tired of feeling like I'm treading water here.  Let the good stuff start!