Thursday, April 30, 2009

100 Days - Day 1 - I used to be that Way

Make a list of any fears or negative behaviors that have hurt your weight-loss success in the past.

  1. Getting to the 170-175 lbs mark and then stop following the diet. Adding a nibble here a taste there, until weight loss slows and eventually all progress is lost!

Actually - I think that is my biggest fear - everything else I might write just comes down to that one thing! But here some bad habits that are a breakdown of the 'big one'.

  1. Believing I can have 'just one' and that turns into 'all'
  2. Believing I can do it (go off plan) 'this one time' and that turns into 'all the time'
  3. Skipping one workout, then two, then three, then -- not seeing the gym in months
  4. Letting feelings of deprivation and of 'it's not fair' be excuses to eat things that arn't on plan
  5. Feeling justified in eating beause I'm stressed out or sad

    (I'm sure I'll come up with more!)

    write up new endings for each fear or behavior.

    1. I used to believe that I could have 'just one' and would end up eating 'all', but now I know that just one is too much and I stop this behavior before it starts. If I find myself in the middle of eating them 'all' I stop and say 'no more!' and don't use the "I've fallen, may as well finish what I've started" excuse.
    2. I used to believe that I could use the excuse, 'just this once', to go off plan, and would end up using it ALL the time, but now I know that there is never a good reason for putting your dreams and goals on hold. A party is still a party even without the cake and ice cream. Thanksgiving is still a holiday and a time to be thankful, even without eating 1/2 a pumpking pie. Going to a fancy reseraunt on date night is still a romantic occasion if your eating chicken and steamed veggies.
    3. I used to skip a workout(s) and let that missed workout be an excuse to miss another, and another, but now I don't go two days in a row without doing some sort of excercise. I don't use not getting to the gym or not being able to go outside as a reason to not get the blood pumping and make myself a healthier happier person.
    4. I used to use excuses like "I don't like being deprived" and "It's not fair that they can and I can't" to go off my plan, but now I acknowledge that I have those feelings and then move on. Those thought and others like them are feelings that I can choose to dwell on and be effected by, or that I dissmiss and move on from - I choose the laiter.
    5. I used to use stress or sadness as a reason to go off plan, overeat and even binge, but now I choose to confront my emotions in other ways such as turning the problem over to God, going for a walk/run or even just acknowleding, examining and accepting those feelings as a part of me and a part of life. Covering them in cheese sause and eating them hasn't worked before and it's won't work now.

    100 Days - Introduction

    Step One - Choose your best diet plan

    Already did that - Medifast

    Step Two - Do your plan for 100 days

    Ok - doing that starting now

    Step Three - Track your progress

    I signed up for a free account at "StartYourDiet" It lets me track my goals and also put a 'sticker' on each day. When I feel I've had an 'on plan' day - one that would cause me to lose weight I put a on a green dot. When I've had a day that would cause me to maintain, a yellow dot. When I've had a day that would cause me to gain, red.

    Create a vision for the future

    I've done this so many times before. But I know it's a good excercise, so I'm going to do this again!

    10+ Reasons Why I Want to Reach and Maintain My Goal Weight
    1. It will be easier to run - a few pounds is a few minutes per mile!
    2. I'll look good in my tri suit and in my finish line photos!
    3. Buying clothes is so much more fun when you are skinny!
    4. I'll finally be wearing proof of my abilities on my body and can start my own Personal Training Buisness
    5. Boots that fit and zip over my calf
    6. I can go back to Hawaii and/or Mexico and wear 'real' shorts
    7. Stretching and flexablity is better skinny
    8. Looking sexy for my hubby
    9. No longer feeling like the 'fat girl' everywhere I go (like yoga class)
    10. RESPECT for my knowledge about diet and excercise
    11. Pain free running!
    12. I'll not hate seeing pictures of myself
    13. Wearing any Halloween costume I want

    My 'Why' (written)

    Finishing a triathlon last month was an amazing point in my life. I can't even
    begin to describe how great it feels to accomplish something so - big. 5 months
    of training for one day of intense focus and a life time of bragging rights. And
    yet, the day has a bit of a black blot on in.

    I can barely stand to look at the photos of myself the day of the race. I look so awful standing there in my tri suit, or later in my bike shorts... or frankly in anything. Every photograph makes me cringe and feel a little sick to my stomach. I struggled through the 5 months of training and on race day itself 80% more then anyone else because of my weight! Hauling 240 lbs up a hill is so much harder then hauling 130. And given the fact that my heart and lungs are probably encased in a layer of fat.
    It's a wonder I finished at all.

    And the injuries... There's no doubt in my mind that the struggles I had with leg, ankle and foot injuries were all related to the fact that I was trying to run at 110 lbs overweight. It really is a wonder they didn't just give up on me all together!

    I don't want to give up being a triathlete. I want to continue to race, to be a solid 'middle of the pack' finisher, not just 'happy to not be last'.

    But it's not just the racing. I'm tired of many other things. tired of clothes not fitting, of not being able to wear the styles I love. I'm tired of not being able to be sexy for my hubby by wearing things like stocking and lacy underthings. I want me back! The real me that's self assured and confident!

    THIS is why I'm doing the 100 Days Program and I'm sticking with my plan!

    Stuffy head or stuffy body?

    My weight has been doing some really weird bouncing around weight wise this week. I finally figured out that it was my allergy meds. I guess whatever is in them causes me to retain water. Granted, I know water isn't fat and that only effects my scale weight, but, at this point, with a race coming up on Sunday I really would like to see my scale weight as low as possible. Easier on my feet, knees, hips etc.

    Luckily, the wind seems to have died down. I didn't take any meds today and have managed to be headache free. Just a little sneezing and some sniffles, but those have died down as the day has moved on.

    Tomorrow's weight should really prove if they were having the effect on my weight that I thought they were.

    Other then that - things are going well. Still no major battles with cravings. I'm still finding that I think about having food when I see certain things but as soon as I tell myself "no" the feeling goes away. If I could ever get as disciplined about my exercises -- whew what progress I would be making! :)

    Started a new 'mental exercise' program "100 Days of weight loss". I'm going to be posting my thoughts and insights from that program here too. Starting today :)

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    So What's Next?

    I've been battling with headaches (sinus) for the past two days. Stayed home from work today to try to sleep some of it off. I've cleaned out my closet, getting rid of some clothes that are just getting plain ratty and packing away others that are too small. I went through my 'closet of shame' and sorted everything by size so that I can easly transition into the next size when I reach it. I have everything from size 18W (that I wear now) to size 10 (that I wore when I was at my lightest a few years ago.

    So now what do I do? It feels weird to me to not be battling through every day, but just sitting here waiting for the weight loss to happen. I almost miss all the planning and charting and agonizing - Ok - I'm not. But there's still a part of me that feels weird not doing it.

    I think that what's bothering me is normally after the first week or two the initial excitement of a new diet wears off, the motivation lowers and I start to struggle. But here I am, mid week four and although that rush of "I'm on a new diet!" - the 'honeymoon stage' is over and yet here I am, still rolling along. It's strange that I feel a little 'lost' without a battle to wage. Did my weight and obsession with controlling it really take that much of my mental energy and focus, even when I wasn't dieting? If so, what can I do with all this 'extra' I have now? I feel a little lost right now. It's not an all together 'bad' feeling - it's just -- odd. Has anyone else felt like this? Like, since food is no longer the center of my life, the center of my focus, the center of my unhappiness--what's next for me?

    Monday, April 27, 2009

    An 'Ah-ha' moment

    I think I've discovered something about myself in the last three weeks. I don't know why it's never occurred to me before. Maybe I just wasn't ready to know it.

    A LOT, and I mean A LOT of my eating was (I guess) impulsive, or just bad habit.

    For instance, I find that several times during the day when I'm in the kitchen I'll see bananas sitting there. My brain goes, "Look a banana, they are good for us, we should have one". I don't have to be hungry, and it's not something I was craving, I just saw it.

    Where I really noticed that my eating was a habit was when shopping. I drop into drug stores and little quick marts a LOT to grab something to drink. What I've found is I have a REALLY hard time not picking up more then just a drink. Again, I'm not hungry, I'm not craving anything - I'm just there picking up a soda, and for some reason can't pick up a soda without picking out food as well.

    In fact, I can think of many a time when I've actually walked through the store several times looking for something that 'sounds good'.

    In the past, while on a diet, I would justify my purchases by getting protein bars or something 'healthy', for 'just in case'. And then 'just in case' would end up being sitting in the car right out front :

    I love that MF gave me the reason to stop and take a look at these impulsive habits. I've always known I was an emotional eater, but dealt with most of that when I did the Weigh Down Workshop. I know when my compulsion to eat is driven by emotion, I know what to say to my feast beast at those times (I didn't always do, it, but I had the tools if I chose to use them) Now that I've found this other little 'trick' my feast beast plays on me, I feel... stronger, empowered.

    Since I 'failed' on my last diet 2 years ago, and while I gained 70 pounds in 29 months, I have felt so hopeless and helpless.

    This new insight into me is what I need! Bring it on - I want more! :)

    By the way - we went to Outback steakhouse on Saturday night. They have the BEST grilled chicken and steamed veggies! NomNomNom! When they brought the bread to the table I really thought it was going to be hard. But, I refused to fight with my feast beast. (It's like arguing with a child really). I said, "I'm in charge, I'm not having that, and I refuse to feel deprived!". Instead of focusing on what the bread must taste like and having fantasies about melted butter, which would only make me feel deprived and resentful, I focused on how good it felt to have lost 15 lbs, and how awesome the new workout outfit I had just bought was, and how awesome it's going to be on the 3rd to swim/run/ride a bike almost 20 lbs lighter then last time I did a triathlon.

    I know, if I can just keep focused on the positive, I'll make it through this time!

    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    It's Weigh in Day!

    Time to see how I did :)

    Weight this morning: 222.4! yay! That's a 3.3 pound loss for the week.

    My average weight last week was: 228
    My average weight this week is: 224

    So, my average was down 4 pounds! that's excellent!

    Exercise wasn't perfect but, I just get better every week :)

    Saturday was a 10K run in 90 min
    Monday: Yoga for 60 min
    Tuesday: 60 min power walk at lunch including taking the stairs to the Coit tower. Hit the gym for 45 minutes of weight training (chest) and a 30 minute run at home with the dog.
    Wednesday: 45 minutes of weight training (back)
    Thursday: 30 minute walk at lunch, 45 minutes of weight training (shoulders), and 30 minute run w/the dog (in the wind! it nearly blew me over!)
    Friday: 60 minutes of Yoga at lunch, and 45 minutes of weight lifting (arms)

    Total for the week: 540 min!

    Now - before you go telling on me to nutritional support about my exercise :)

    Medifast thinks I burn 2225 calories a day without any exercise at all. Unfortunately, that's not true. The last time I had my metabolism tested I got 1750, and my body bugg says about 1850. With exercise, Medifast believes I'm burning 2600+ a day. With all that I did last week, I averaged a 2886 and that's including the HUGE day I had on Saturday when I burned almost 4000 cal! But, I do believe that I'm doing fine with my burn to cal ratio :)

    Now, this next week should be interesting. Hubby and I plan to get some exercise in this weekend including a bike ride and probably some hiking. I would like to get one more run in too. (we're done with weight lifting for the week). Monday, we'll be back in the gym. I'll be going a little lighter with the training during the week because on Sunday I'm doing another Triathlon! (yay! I'm so excited!)

    Because my Tri is going to be 2+ hours of exercise, I'm going to take the advice of NS and do 4-2-1 that day (4 MF meals, 2 L&G meal and 1 Added snack (of either whole grains or a fruit). It'll be interesting to see how my body reacts to the extra food. But, honestly, I'm more interested in doing well at my tri then the 1 lb or so the extra food might cost me.

    I'll be sure to post pictures!

    So, weight goal for next week: 1% that's 2.2 lbs. that means

    Sun: 222.1
    Mon: 221.7
    Tue: 221.4
    Wed: 221.1
    Thr: 220.8
    Fri: 220.4
    Sat: 220.1 - for weigh in!

    Of course it would be REALLY nice to be out of the 220's next weekend, but I'm sticking to the original plan - 1% a week! Even so that will be close to 20 lbs lost since my first Tri in March - I can't wait to see if my performance improves because of it. I just can't see how it can't.

    Alright - off to wake up my sexy husband (or maybe just crawl back in bed with him *smirk*)

    Everyone have a fantastic and OP weekend!

    Forgot to mention: I met my goal for this week so I'm going to go get a pedicure! I would love to get a manicure too, but just don't think it'll be worth it - after all, I'm supposed to be in the pool 3 days a week - my fingernails just don't stand up to that kind of abuse! :)

    Friday, April 24, 2009

    Is that... Progress?!?

    After the string of aches pains and injuries before Lavaman, I decided it was time to strip my run training back down to the basics and start over again. I spent two weeks just trying to build myself up to 'normal'. Doing runs three days a week but only on the treadmill. First with my brace and then without. Everything seemed to be going ok. Then came the 'big' test. On the 18th I did a 10K.

    I came into this race wanting to learn a bit more about myself. I wanted to take what I had learned from Lavaman and see how it felt while racing on my own. Could I push a bit harder? Can I spend more time outside my comfort zone then I did that day? Plus I thought it would be interesting to see how my run performance would be when not proceeding it with a swim and a bike ride :)

    So Saturday we got up at the 'Butt-Crack' of dawn and headed up to Columbia for the Old Mill 10K.  My husband and his son were also entered and it was kind of exciting because it was the first time we had all done something like this together.

    In case you aren't familiar with this area, Columbia is a tiny town in the Sierra Foothills, that has been turned into a State Park.  From their website:

    The Gold Rush to Columbia, California began on March 27, 1850 by a small party of prospectors. News of the discovery spread and they were soon joined by a flood of miners.
    Unlike many 
    settlements that have changed with the times, Columbia, California seems to be frozen in the 1800's. Today, Columbia State Historic Park is the best preserved of California gold rush towns.
    As a popular destination for school living-history programs, special family gatherings, or a year-round getaway, Columbia State Historic Park offers a unique blend of museums, 
    displays, town tours, live theater plays, and shops, restaurants and attractions.
    When I read about their 10K I thought it would be a nice easy 'fun run' for our family to try as a first time.

    We arrived an hour before out start time and picked up our race packets.  It became very apparent that this wasn't a run that was used to people coming from 60 miles away to participate.  We got a lot of "Who's kid are you?  Should I know you?"  looks from people.  But everyone was very friendly and helpful.  A short wait in line and we had our t-shirts, ribbons and race numbers.  We pinned each other and then went for a short warm-up.

    The time leading up to the start was easy going.  We watched them launch the three races that were starting before ours.  It was fun to watch the casual folks file in for the 2 mile run.  One older couple were there in jeans and t-shirts saying "We may as well get our Sunday walk in today!".  Then the LITTLE kids lined up for their 300 yard run.  We had entertained ourselves watching the 3-8 year olds, 'warm-up' and 'stretch' with mom and dad before the race.  They were all so serious as they lined up to start.  The starter told them "GO!" and they were off... kindof.  A little girl and boy had gotten tangled at the start and crashed to the ground upsetting them both.  And one little guy just stood at the starting line looking confused.  They untangled the two 'crashers' and both of them started running again but the little boy lost at the starting line just started crying when dad said "come on!  let's run!".  They were all so cute! :)

    After that was the start of the kids mile.  These were the 'serious' 14 and under runners (most probably 10 and under).  They got started without a hitch and we were left to just wait for our race to start.

    Finally 9:15 rolled around and we were ready.  I got my Garmin ready, unsure how accurate or regularly the mile markers were going to be on the course, and with a pace goal in mind.  I wanted to run for a full mile at a time, with 1 minute walk breaks in between.

    The first mile was a gradual uphill climb.  I put my head down and just kept chugging.  My husband had been battling plater faciitis and didn't want to injure himself by running so he kept pace with me by fast walking (Yes, I run that slow :)) The run course was a funny thing - winding it's way through city streets and even parking lots before finally coming out on the highway shoulder.  The way was VERY well marked and there were volunteers at all the right places to make sure everyone got through the higher trafficked areas.  The hills were taking their toll on me though and I was struggling to keep running.  But I didn't let my doubts win though and kept on running.  I slowed to a walk at the first water stop right at mile one.  The water felt great and I had two cups because it was starting to get warm out there.  They were calling out times as people passed and I learned that I had finished the first mile in just over 14 minutes! whoo hoo!  I left the water stop at a quick walk feeling really good about my race so far.

    It took me a little bit to figure out that somehow I hadn't set my watch program right.  It didn't signal me to start running again after one minute.  I made quick alterations to my plans and figured I would start running at 1.25 and I did.  The route continued to climb and it was getting hotter.  Luckily the scenery just got more and more beautiful!  The hills were an amazing shade of green where they weren't completely covered with wildflowers.  The houses hiding in the hills were amazing, each one left my husband and I going --- "Oooo I want that house!"  I just kept pumping my arms and moving my legs.  I dropped to a walk again at the two mile marker (matching my watch exactly) and started evaluating the route in front of me.  The gradual rise was giving way to a brutal hill.  I shook my head and looked at my partner.  "I'm going to have to walk the hills" I admitted.  He just shrugged and told me "Whatever you need to do".

    There was nothing else I could have done.  Near the top of the hill I checked my watch and I was only managing and 23 min/mile pace and yet my heart and breathing were worse then when I had run that entire first mile!  I took half a second to catch my breath and then started jogging down the other side.  At mile three was another water stop and again I took two BIG cups of water.  They called our times again but I was too focused to pay much attention - it was over 30 min.  After that was another climb, then another drop and then a field?  We just kept following the arrows and the volunteer's directions and we were pointed through a fence and onto the airfield.  The race route went through the airport and two of the runways! (How's that for small town - lol).  I started out thinking the run across the grass would be easy, but I was wrong.  The grass was cut, but had a weird springiness to it that made it almost like running in sand.  Somehow I had lost my husband, and when I looked around mid-field as I hit the 4 mile marker I was surprised that I couldn't see him anywhere.  I started walking again as the path pointed to what looked like a nice shady spot under some trees.

    Shortly after passing through the trees and starting back on a road again I heard noise behind me and turned to find my husband running to catch up with me.  He hand sprinted through the grassy part.  I gave him a quick kiss hello and we started back into our pace.  I found out that what was separating us was that I was running the downhills - whereas he had to slow down the on the downhills because they hurt his foot more.  Before I knew it we were back at the mile one water stop which was also mile 6! Almost done and I was going to finish in GREAT time.  I picked up the pace a little more.  It was a gentle downhill now and I tried pushing myself to give just a little more.  At one point I started to really feel the effort and thought about dropping to a walk but thought - NO I'm going to finish this strong, I'm tired of leaving gas in the tank.  So I kept on running.

    As we turned the corner to the finish line my husband started piling on the speed.  Even on his worse day and my best I can't keep up with him but I turned it up a notch too.  He came in the finish line well before me, but turned around and waited in the shoot for me to cross the line.  I was thrilled to have finished in 1:39:25 - and again, was NOT last!  That's just over a 16 min/mile pace and considering that the grassy airport area was the only part of the entire route that wasn't uphill or downhill, I was really pleased with those results!  And best of all, I had ran the entire thing without my brace on - and was pain free!

    Oh and my Step Son - for whom this was his first race EVER -- he took first place in his age group! :)  He wants to know when we're going to race again.

    The next few days of recovery were a little tough.  All the downhill running had really made my hips sore!  But it was normal muscle soreness that went away after the allotted time.

    This week I've been back outside running again.  I've started back with a couch to 5K running plan with the hope that slowly building the miles/minutes will keep me from ending back in that 'bad place'.

    Yesterday I was starting to get the lower leg pain that had plagued me all during my Lavaman Training. It was frustrating. I went for a run with my new running partner (My Great Dane Zeus), and came back in pain. I quickly grabbed ice when I got home and wrapped both legs in it. Once they were comfortably numb I got into a position that stretched the painful area and just sat there for about 10 minutes. Then I loaded up on the ibuprophene before heading to bed.

    I woke up this morning with that familiar sense of dread. What's it going to feel like when I put my feet on the ground? I wiggled my feet a little under the covers....hmmm. That's strange. I threw my legs over the side of the bed and sat up. Then slid forward and started to put weight on my feet. Wow - really strange. I stood up and took a step. HUH!? where was the pain? I took some more steps... oh heck yea! I mild twinge in my foot is all that's there. No tight calves, no heal pain, no icepick in the side of my foot!


    Attitude Adjustment

    I apologize if my post before offended anyone. I wasn't trying to minimize the work everyone's putting in to lose weight, or the research that went into the plan itself.

    I suppose I should put some of what I said in perspective. The last time I lost significant amounts of weight I was on a program that required 640 minutes of exercise a week (that's 1.5 hrs a day/6 days a week). Planning, adjusting, and preparing my meals took me at least an hour every day, and the results? I lost 13 pounds in 5 weeks.

    On this plan, well I'm not even supposed to be doing exercise yet (even though I am, for other reasons). Food prep? Well when I got my shipment of food I dumped 5 meals into 35 ziplock bags. Every morning I reach into my 'food box' and walk out the door. At night, if I'm running late I stop in Jack in the Box and grab an Asian Chicken Salad w/Grilled Chicken (removing the oranges and you've the perfect lean and green), or I go home and throw together a lean meat and micro some frozen veggies. And I've lost that same 13 lbs, but in two weeks. Yes, MF is easy :)

    That being said, I do understand that ANY weight loss is good for my body.

    And then I tried looking at it from an even different perspective. A lot of my 'body role models' are what some might consider body builders. I've studied body building and body builder's diets for a long long time. When I started to think about what they REALLY do to drop the fat... :) Well a typical diet will consist of Oats, Protein Powder, eggs, Chicken and green veggies. Almost exactly what I'm eating on Medifast? Some female fitness competitors drop their calories down to the 600 Cal range to strip the Body fat before a comp, and hey they didn't impload from the effort!

    I'm done. I'm done worrying, I'm done feeling guilty. I'm done with all of that. It's time to get to the business of losing weight. I'm going to be thankful for the gift this program has given me... HOPE!

    Thursday, April 23, 2009

    Feeling Guilty

    April 4th I started a new diet. A Plan I found online called Medifast. (You might have heard of it, they are advertising EVERYWHERE right now.

    I've been struggling since I started this new program. Not with the food, or with cravings or anything 'normal' like that, but with Guilt. I'm not even really sure where it comes from! I guess I kind of know where it comes from.

    Over my years of dieting I've gradually been lead into the cult mentality that the best foods are whole, natural foods. And that weight loss should be done 'sensibly', through healthy foods and loads of exercise. That eating right should be about good health and not just dropping the pounds. It's also been drilled into me to never, ever, ever, under the penalty of permanently destroying your metabolism, and causing your internal organs to melt, should you drop below 1200 calories a day - period.

    And yet, here I am on a diet that consists 99% of packed, preprocessed foods and that is consistently WELL below that magic 1200 calorie per day mark.

    How do I reconcile these two things? I feel as if somehow I’ve given up - that I'm cheating and taking the easy way out...

    Wait? The easy way out? .

    Does that mean that I believe that dieting and weight loss has to be hard? .

    When I think about it, I have to answer honestly that yes, there is some part of me that believes that losing weight has to be hard. That 'dieting' (the hard kind) is the price I pay for being fat. That by being on this plan where I'm not constantly arguing with myself to make the 'right choice', where I'm regularly passing the chocolate without a struggle, that somehow I'm not 'paying my dues' and there for it can't be real and can't last...

    It's a strange concept to think about. I think I'm slowly starting to come to terms with these thoughts and feelings but not completely. One thing I've been doing to help is to keep my veggies in the 3+ cup range. I've also been toying with adding fruit back into my diet because leaving it out every day is a major source of guilt. .

    Eventually, one of my life goals is to become a personal trainer. I love helping people change their lives through exercise, but I know that eventually someone's going to ask me for advice on how to lose weight. At this point, I don't know what I'm going to tell them. Do I advice them to go the 'healthy' route and perhaps struggle and fail the way I did? Or do I point them to MF as what worked for me? I guess I'll have to ask myself that question again, 100 lbs from now. .

    Confused - but 15 lbs lighter

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    The Mental Side of Weight Loss

    Anyone who's followed my progress for a while will know that I'm a diet book junkie. There aren't many out there that I don't own and have read through. Lately I've found that I'm not as interested in books that talk about eat this/not that, and instead am drawn to those that speak to what keeps me from eating this and not that. Over the years I've found some good ones and I feel like each one adds at least one solid tool to my weight loss tool chest:

    This was the first of such books. It gave me so much to think about and so many great tools when it came to attacking those mental barriers - I've read it all the way through at least twice, and have highlighted all the parts that really spoke to me so that I can easily review them.

    Like the "Thin Commandments" This book is just chock full of tidbits. What I love about this one is it all set out with assignments and daily tasks to help make the ideas permanent.

    An excellent companion to Dr Becks book. Both really highlight how to recognize the irrational thinking that we use when allowing ourselves to overeat. "The Feast Beast" can be a bit challenging to get through. Dr Trimpey's writing style is very... clinical... but she gets her point across and it is all so powerful that it's worth the time to plow through.

    Mrs Castillo recommends that you 'Stop Dieting' to lose weight - a technique I've never been able to put into practice, but that doesn't make the rest of what she has to say any less valid. She's got some excellent exercises that delve not only into solving the overeating issues, but getting you to exercises as well.

    This is my latest book. Mr Gabrial suggests you stop dieting, and use his techniques to, instead, turn off the fat program in your brain. Again, I can't tell you why I don't/can't stop dieting. Fear of being 500lbs is probably part of it :) BUT I love much of what he has to say. His methods of visualization, and other mental exercises are explained better then any other place I've read them. And his explanation for turning on the weight loss program in your brain explains my recent experience with lack of cravings or interest in any food but what's on my plan.

    But, Mr Gabrial's thoughts on visualization brought up something else for me. You see - I was on a plan a while back, on a program with a coach and I was seeing progress and success like never before. But something happened and I never really figured out what. I fell off the horse, I fell HARD and never managed to get back up, until, 2+ years later I've gained back the 40 lbs I lost and 30 more! It still stuns me to think about and it makes me cry to go back and read those blog posts... what the hell happened!?

    Well a little thought popped into my head last night, my husband and I were talking about how both of us tend to be perfectionist. How we have a habit of dropping out of things we feel we won't be 'the best' at. I was telling him that I had to overcome that idea when I did Lavaman, and as I continue to do races. I'm no where near 'the best'. Heck right now I'm struggling to be 'middle of the pack'. But I've found some kind of peace with that - I've found that by changing my mentality, by focusing on the fact that I'm better then the 100's of people I know who have never even finished a Triathlon... There's a certain level of perfection in just being there and doing it when others haven't and wont.

    But what about weight loss?? Well one thing I didn't blog about (I wish I had) was all these creeping negative thoughts that I kept holding at bay. I had surounded myself with photos of bodybuilders and fitness models in an attempt to motivate myself and give myself inspiration. But more and more I found negative thoughts popping into my head. "I'll never look like that" "No matter how much I work out I can't make my legs longer or my breasts perkey." "excercise can't give me long flowing hair..." I had come up agaist my inner perfectionist and even though I never ended those thoughts with "Why even bother" I do have to wonder if that had a lot to do with me 'giving up'.

    It's certainly something to watch for, and the awesome thing is, now I know how to answer that when it does come up.

    And, as if God (or the universe if you prefer) was reinforcing the thoughts I expressed to my husband last night - I got this in the mail today:

    Hello from David Greenwalt,

    In the last Club Lifestyle success tips email I discussed
    how anything worth doing is worth doing poorly for
    a while. I also discussed how anything worth having
    is going to take a period of discomfort endured until
    real success is achieved.

    What If I Don’t End Up As Good As …?

    Sometimes the roadblock to weight-loss success is a
    feeling that you’ll never measure up anyway so why
    bother. To that thought I say the only person you should
    compare yourself against is yourself. Less than one
    percent of us has the genetic ability to look like
    a model. But we all have the ability to be leaner and
    healthier than the average American.

    Your obligation is to do your very best. Don't worry
    about how that compares to someone else. Just do it.
    Everyone is unique. Everyone has their own special
    contribution to make. You'll only discover yours by
    taking action. If you decide in advance that you'll
    never be as good as so-and-so, then you forgo the opportunity
    to find your own unique skills. Winners refuse to even
    acknowledge the competition, by blazing new trails.
    Comparing yourself to others will only bring you down.
    Set off in your own unique direction. Get into action
    make it happen.

    Be sure and stay tuned for the next issue of Club Lifestyle
    tips. In it I’ll discuss how the only way to grow is
    to make mistakes.

    Sincerely yours in health,

    David Greenwalt CSCS
    Leanness Lifestyle
    Muscle Audio

    P.S.: Share this message with a friend—just please
    leave it intact as is.

    Become a member today! All you have to do is visit

    You can take a FREE 30-day test drive!

    --- how awesome is that!?

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Adding Excercise

    I'm much happier with yesterday's numbers out of the BodyBugg.

    On Wednesday I spent most of my day sitting in front of the computer except for the time I was at the gym. My total burn for the day was 2632. However yesterday I forced myself out of my desk throughout the day and went for walks, or just went down and up the stairs. AND I went to the gym and did my weight workout and took a spin on the stationary bike. Total burn for the day? 2950! over 300 more calories just by getting out of my chair a few times in the day! yay!

    The plan is to do the same today - in fact I'm going with a few of the other girls in the office to go do yoga at lunch. I'm looking forward to that.

    Tomorrow's my 10k and I'm anxious to see how my new diet effects my doing that. It's going to be very telling for how my next triathlon goes and how I handle nutrition that day.

    Everything is going along swimmingly - keeping my fingers crossed that my next shipment of food will arrive today!

    Going strong!

    Going to Lavaman had more then one positive effect in my life... it's gotten my husband back in the gym! yay! I'm so much stronger and dedicated when my training partner is right there beside me! When we stop at the gym tonight on the way home, It'll be the the second week in a row that we've made it all five days! And we both feel fabulous because of it!

    We're both doing a 10K this weekend, and I'm meeting but with a bunch of teammates from TNT on Sunday and we're doing a bike ride. I love my new life - making fitness a part of everything we do, and having friends who do the same thing. It's empowering.

    Weight loss is going great - down almost 14lbs since Lavaman. I know that'll only help in every race to come!

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Whoo Hooo! - I can't wait!

    Sunday, May 3, 2009



    Congratulations on your entry in the 11th annual
    scheduled for
    Sunday, May 3, 2009 at the Oak Shores Day Use Area located on the west shore of Lake Berryessa.
    We trust that your training has gone well and hope this event will be an ample reward for your effort.
    Come prepared to have a great time and pack a picnic to enjoy afterwards!

    This is the official "ENTRANT NEWSLETTER." Nothing will be sent via regular mail. All
    triathletes will
    pick up Race Packets, which include your timing chip, race numbers and swim cap at
    PACKET PICK-UP on race day (details below).

    Please read the following information carefully and PRINT IT OUT to review again before race day.



    When: Sunday, May 3rd, 6:30 AM – 7:45 AM
    Oak Shores Day Use Area, Napa, CA

    Rack your bike FIRST, then come to Check-In.

    What to Bring to Check-In:
    Photo ID — NO ID, NO RACE!

    RACE PACKET contains:

    • Velcro ankle strap timing chip (which you will wear on either ankle for the duration of the event)
    • Bike number (which goes over the top tube of your bike near the handlebars)
    • Bike helmet number (which sticks onto the front of your bike helmet)
    • Run Bib Number (which must be worn on the FRONT of your jersey). Please Note: This bib number
      is also your ticket to regain entry into the transition area to recover your bike and gear after the event.
    • Swim Cap



    When: Sunday, May 3rd, 6:30 AM – 12:00 PM
    Oak Shores Day Use Area, Napa, CA

    • 6:30-7:45 am Transition Set-Up and Check-In
    • 7:50 am Pre-race announcements
    • 8:00 am Race starts approximately at this time
    • 11:00 am Informal Awards ceremony will be held at the finish area,
      announcing the winners for all age groups in each category. Full results will be posted at
      within 48 hours of the event and personalized award plaques will be mailed six to eight
      weeks later.


    • Rack your bike and lay out your transition gear in the transition area.
    • Racks are NOT pre-assigned, but are first come first serve.
      Please be respectful of your fellow participants who've arrived and set
      up their spaces ahead of you. *If it comes to our attention that you have been
      disrespectful of your fellow participants, you may be disqualified from the
    • The transition area is for athletes ONLY. No spectators will be allowed in the transition
    • Be sure to make a mental note of where you rack your bike.
      Racks will be labeled to help you.
    • A bike mechanic will be available for any last-minute emergencies.
      This does not mean you should count on him inflating your tires. You
      should arrive with a ready-to-race bike.
    • Anticipated RACE START is 8:00 am. Do not arrive at 7:45 a.m. and expect to set up your transition area in time to compete!


    TRANSITION CHECKLIST: Following is a list of items that you will need or may want
    in your transition area:

    • Small towel
    • Wetsuit
    • Goggles
    • Bike
    • Bike Helmet REQUIRED!
    • Bike Shoes
    • Bike Gloves
    • Sunglasses
    • Socks
    • Running Shoes
    • Running top and/or race belt
    • Running Hat
    • Nutritional Aids (water bottles, sports bars, gels, etc.)
    • Sunscreen

    Following the swim, there is a short
    200-yard run back to the
    transition area. Most athletes opt to run this barefoot. However, if
    you prefer to have shoes for this short run, some athletes choose to
    leave a pair of flip flops or their run shoes on the beach near the
    swim finish.



    The half-mile SWIM starts in self-seeded, ability-based waves of 100 swimmers each. This means that athletes choose which wave
    to start in. Fastest athletes (those shooting for a top-five finish in their age group) are asked to go in the first wave. The
    final wave is reserved for new triathletes and tentative swimmers. Everyone else figures out where they fit in between.

    Before the start of each wave, the Race Announcer will ask the next 100
    swimmers to enter the water. As you enter the water, you will
    walk across a timing mat and your timing chip will record which wave you are about to start in; your personal race clock will
    begin ticking at the start of that wave. Starting the swim this way minimizes passing during the swim and the bike, making for a
    safer, saner event. View

    Each group of athletes will enter the water before the start of their wave. The swim course follows a clockwise, triangular
    course, marked by orange buoys. Swimmers must keep the buoys to their right at all times.

    After the swim, there is a 200-yard run to the bike transition area.
    Remember: The transition area is for athletes ONLY. No spectators will be allowed in the transition


    The 11-mile BIKE course begins at the main
    entrance to Oak Shores, turning right onto Knoxville Rd. and traveling
    north. You bike out to the turnaround at the north end of Putah Creek
    Bridge (5.5 miles), then return southbound on Knoxville Rd and go past
    the main entrance and enter in at the south entrance to Oak Shores. Entire bike course
    is closed to traffic. NO HEADPHONES!
    View BIKE MAP.


    Your safety and the future of this event depend upon ALL athletes adhering to the following rules while
    out on the bike course:
    • Absolutely NO HEADPHONES! Athletes wearing personal listening devices will be disqualified.
    • Bike helmets are MANDATORY! Your bike helmet must be fastened before you mount your
      bike and may not be removed until you return to transition area and have dismounted your
    • All participants must obey all normal traffic laws during the bike portion of this event. This
      means riding as far to the right as practicable, no cutting tangents and especially no crossing
      the centerline.
    • Cyclists must ride single file at all times. Participants may pass slower riders when conditions
      allow and the pass can be made quickly. After passing a slower rider, cyclists must resume
      riding as far to the right as possible.
    • No riding two abreast. NO DRAFTING or riding in packs.
    • All participants must obey all directives from race officials, volunteers, CHP and Napa County
    Any violation of the above rules will result in penalties (TBD based on violation) against the offender.


    Runners will exit the
    transition area and turn left onto Knoxville Rd heading south to the
    turnaround (1.5 miles), then return northbound along Knoxville Rd,
    entering Oak Shores at the south entrance, down to the dirt path and to
    the finish line. Runners should stay to the right at all times.
    RUN MAP. There will be one aid station as you exit the
    transition area and one that you'll pass at the turnaround at mile 1.5. Runners MUST stay in the lakeside
    lane of the road at all times.


    The following cutoff times are cumulative from the start of the last swim wave.
    • Swim: 25 minutes
    • Bike: 2 hours
    • Run: 3 hours
    More Cutoff Time Details Here


    • Be sure to pick up your well-earned t-shirt after the race.
    • There will be plenty of post-race snacks for you to enjoy in the
      finish area.
    • You will need your run bib number to retrieve your your bike and transition gear.
    • You must pick up your bike by
      12:00 NOON.
    • We ask for your cooperation in keeping the finish area clean. Please put trash in the trashcans.

    Your ankle-strap timing chip will record all of your discipline and transition splits. An informal awards ceremony will be held
    at approximately 11:00 am. There will be some prizes
    donated from IslandersWear, The Framery, Health Spa Napa Valley, Gotts Winery and Juice Beauty which will be handed out at this ceremony, so stick around
    to take home your prize! Personalized individual award plaques will be mailed to athletes
    six to eight weeks following the race.
    Full results will be posted at



    ~5520 Knoxville Rd., Napa, CA

    Please note: These are slow, narrow, winding roads. You should allow AT LEAST 40 minute drive time from Napa. From
    the EAST side of the Bay Bridge, you should allow at least 1. 5 hours
    drive time. Please plan accordingly.

    From Marin County (Allow 2 hours)

    Take Hwy 101 north. Take Hwy 37 east. Take Hwy 121 towards Napa. Turn left onto Hwy 29. Take
    the Trancas Street east. When Trancas ends, bear left onto Hwy. 121 (Monticello Road). At Moskowite
    Corner, turn left (north) onto Hwy. 128. Turn right on Knoxville Road toward Lake Berryessa. Continue
    along the shores of the lake until you reach the Oak Shores Day Use Area.

    From Vallejo (Allow 1 hour 15 minutes)

    Take Hwy 29 towards Napa. Take the Napa-Vallejo Hwy Exit, which turns into Hwy 121. Take Hwy
    121 (it may also be called Monticello Rd.) east towards Napa. At Moskowite Corner, turn left (north)
    onto Hwy. 128. Turn right on Knoxville Road toward Lake Berryessa. Continue along the shores of the
    lake until you reach the Oak Shores Day Use Area.

    From Winters in the Central Valley (Allow about 1 hour and 15 minutes)

    Pick up Hwy. 128 in Winters and head west. Turn right onto Hwy. 128. Turn right on Knoxville Road
    toward Lake Berryessa. Continue along the shores of the lake until you reach the Oak Shores Day
    Use Area.

    • Parking is limited, please carpool if possible!
    • Limited parking will be available in the Oak Shores parking lots on
      Sunday. There will also be parking along Knoxville Rd. and in the Smittle Creek lot (about 1 mile north of Oak Shores on Knoxville Rd.)
      NOTE: Participants who park in the
      Oak Shores parking lots WILL NOT be permitted to leave until all cyclists
      and runners have come off the road
      (about 11:00 am).


    We look forward to seeing you at the NAPA VALLEY
    on May 3rd!


    Wendy & Dave Horning,

    Jessica Grace, Michelle Ruettinger


    Enviro-Sports Productions, Inc. | PO Box 1040, Stinson Beach, CA 94970 | 415.868.1829 |
    Except for the whole 'taxes' thing I had a good day yesterday. I was right on plan with my eating, and I got my workout done.

    Back Workout:

    V-Bar Pulldown: 3x(80x12)

    Wide Grip Pulldown: 3x(90x12)

    Seated Cable Rows: 3x(90x12)

    Barbell Bent Rows: 3x(85x12)

    And then a 30 minute/2 mile run/walk

    At the end of the day I downloaded my first day's worth of data from my bodybugg. Other then my 'normal' sitting in front of the computer, I took a 10 minute walk, and did my weight/run workout. I was a little surprised to find at the end of the day that I had only burned 2510 calories!

    Since the bodybugg gives me a very detailed view of how much I'm burning at any time I got a real eye opener. Sitting in front of the computer (which I do all day, every day, even through my lunch) only burns on average 1.3 calories a minute. That's less then 100 calories per hour! And is the same burn rate as sleeping! No wonder I gain weight so easily!

    During the short leisurely walk I took to the corner store I averaged almost 7 calories per minute. That's a HUGE difference!

    What I've learned is that I need to get up and get away from my computer more often. Sitting in front of the computer through my lunch is doing me NO GOOD! Even an easy walk along the bay will make a big difference in my daily burn. I've also got a new goal that every time I get up to use the bathroom I'll walk up and down at least one flight of stairs.

    I can't wait to see what a difference just these small things will make in my total at the end of the day today!

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    a new toy!

    We went to the gym last night and had an excellent workout.

    Calf Raises
    Leg Press
    Stiff Leg Dead Lifts

    Then I got on the bike for 30 minutes and spun - I had a goal to make it 10 miles and did!

    As we left I noticed they had a display on clearance items and in there body bugs! I've wanted a body bug for a LONG time now. I've been researching, talking to people that have them and while no miracle pill I've heard good things about them. It's already given me another short term goal - to be able to move to the small arm band. I can't wear the smaller of the two bands without it cutting off the circulation in my arm :)

    It's was interesting to see that I've already burned 690 calories since midnight last night - all while sleeping ;)

    I can see this being a big motivator to me to get in 'accidental' calories such as parking further and/or walking to the corner market instead of driving.

    Time to go get breakfast now! hope everyone has an excellent day!

    Monday, April 13, 2009

    Long overdue Update


    Now that the fundraising is pretty much over (although you can still donate through the end of this month)I want to get back into the habit of posting here.

    I finished my traiathlon! you can see the race report at

    I'm still training - I've a few other triathlons lined up for the summer and I'm really excited about them now that I have this one under my belt.

    But the big deal here - on this blog is about losing weight... wanna know how I did with that?

    Well, as of right now I'm down to 228.8!

    last week I hit the gym and did resistance training all five days!

    I also got in two runs, two bike rides and went hiking for 3+ miles on Saturday.

    Life is feeling really good right now.

    My weigh in day is Saturday and I was 230.2 on 4/11

    This week plan is:

    5 days of weight training
    3 days of running
    3 days of swimming
    3 days of biking

    this morning was chest and MAN have I lost a lot of strength :( I only hope it'll come back fast

    Incline Bench Press: 3 x (95 x 10)
    Flat Bench Press: 3 x (95 x 10)
    Decline Bench Press: 3 x (85 x 10)

    after that I jumped on the treadmill and did interval training

    Basically I warm-up at 3 MPR for two minutes then bump it up .2 MPR each minute until 5 MPR, run at 5 MPR for 2 minutes and then drop back to 3.2 and start up again. I did that until I hit 2 miles (30:11)

    I was hoping to get a swim in today as well but that doesn't look like it's going to happen so it'll have to wait until tomorrow.

    Food is 100% on plan today and I see no reason for it not to stay that way!

    Oh yeah - almost forgot: Goal for Saturday is 227.8!

    Lavaman Lessons and "What's next?"

    First of all - thank you to everyone for your support in this.  It meant a lot to me to be able to share this journey with all of you!

    As for Lavaman and what I learned here's a list:

    1)  I'm stronger then I think I am
    2)  It's ok to swim aggressively.  I don't have to slow down and let the other person pass me
    3)  I'm a better swimmer then I gave myself credit for. I should take advantage of that
    4)  Don't assume the timer stops when you get out of the water - keep hustling through to transition.
    5)  Transitions don't have to take 10 minutes.  I don't have to fear leaving transition
    6)  Training on hills, even when they tell you this will be a 'flat race' is still a good thing
    7)  Being undertrained is not the end of the world
    8)  A good nutrition plan really does make all the difference in the world
    9)  Running into random people a few days later who also did the race, is just as fun as doing the race yourself

    And yes - I am thinking about doing Lavaman next year.  After finishing in the 700's how could I not.  I mean it's a race I almost can't help but do better at next year!

    As for what's next for me?  Well I've a list of races I want to do.  Some for fun and to get some more confidence, some to challenge myself at the longer distance again.

    Before I left for Lavaman, I wrote a training plan that pretty much takes me through the entire summer.  I started on that 4/6.  The goal is run 3x per week, bike 3x per week and swim 3x.  So far so good although I haven't hit every workout - I feel like I'm continuing to improving my general fitness which is really the reason for all of this in the first place.

    I've also started on a new nutrition plan.  I know I can only improve my bike and run times by dropping pounds (I've proved that to myself before when I've lost weight).  If all goes according to plan, when I return to Lavaman I'll 100lbs lighter as well as better trained!  (I've dropped the first 10 already).

    I'm also back to weight training 5 days a week.  What a joy it is to have barbell back in hand - AND hubby and I might be taking yoga at least 1 day a week :)

    So - a typical week looks like this for me:

    Monday (AM)
    Weight training
    Run - Treadmill Intervals

    Monday (Noon)
    Swim (per

    Tuesday (PM)
    Weight Training
    Bike - Trainer Cadence Training

    Wednesday (PM)
    Weight Training
    Run - Treadmill Distance

    Wednesday (Noon)

    Thursday (PM)
    Weight Training
    Bike - Distance

    Friday (AM or PM)
    Weight Training

    The remaining Swim/Bike/Run workout are not set in stone - depending on my race schedule, and what we are doing over the weekend, different things will happen different days.  If there's nothing 'special' going on I'll probably be running and swimming on Friday and then Biking either Saturday or Sunday.  However, this week I have a 10K race on Saturday so I'll probably swim/bike on Friday.  My goal is to have one entire day of rest per week.

    And yes, I realize that all looks really aggressive.  But, when I say 'run' I'm usually talking about 2-3 miles.  Bike is in the 10-15 mile range and the swim,  we'll that's a bit more, but I love to swim :) .  Weight training is a 5 day split and usually only takes 30 minutes or so (Chest on Monday, Legs - Tuesday, Back - Wednesday, Shoulders/Tris - Thursday and Bis/Abs on Friday).

    It may sound strange but it feels good to be in charge of my own training again.  Now I just need to hold myself accountable.

    I'll try to update my progress every week or so!

    Wednesday, April 8, 2009

    Race Report - Lavaman 2009 - The Race

    I got to bed relatively early the night before the race and didn't have much trouble falling asleep. I woke up once to the sound of the wind howling, but ignored it and went back to sleep. I had set the alarm for 5:00 AM because we had to be down in the Hotel Lobby to meet the team at 5:45. If I'm well rested I have a pretty good internal alarm clock and sure enough I found myself waking up on my own, knowing the alarm clock was going to go off at any second. I rolled over to look at the clock and groaned to myself. It was only 2:00AM. Apparently my internal clock was still on Pacific time!

    I didn't have any trouble falling back to sleep though and enjoyed those extra few hours.

    When the alarm did go off, I was ready for it. I hit the floor 'running' It took me almost no time at all to get ready as I had done all the worrying about what to wear the two nights prior. All that was left to do was to put on the clothes I had laid out and eat.

    The Bagel and cream cheese I had purchased the day before made a perfect breakfast. I chased that down my morning dose of caffeine, and by 5:30 I was ready to walk out the door.

    I met the rest of the team in the hotel lobby and we all prepared to walk/ride down to the race start together. My transition bag was just a 'bag' and wasn't really fit for riding with so I chose to walk my bike down. Since everything in my bag was carefully sorted, and I didn't want to mess with it too much all I wore was my tri suit, TNT shirt and my running shoes. It never occurred to me that walking a mile in my running shoes without socks was a bad idea. I was about 1/2 way there when I noticed the 'rubbing'. About 3/4 of the way I felt a sharp pain that I knew was serious bad news! ^*(^*(^@!#

    I tore off my shoe and sure enough I had a blister AND it had already ripped!

    I thought to myself "Seriously!?" could anything else possibly go wrong!?

    (11 days later and I'm still fighting with this fricking blister)

    I limped the rest of the way to the transition area - one shoe on, one shoe off, pushing my bike with my large purple transition bag slowly sliding off onto the ground.  I'm sure I looked a mess!

    I found my number in the bike racks and noted that the space was just as tight as they had warned us it would be.  I joked with the men on either side of me that I was glad they were there because it meant that their bikes would be out my way when I got done with the swim.  The both laughed and joked in return although the guy on the left commented that he expected me to be gone when he got back from the swim.  I laughed at that - assuming the 6 minute head start he would have on me would get him into transition well before me.

    Then it was time to find a porta potty and then stand in line to be numbered.  Overall the mood was very relaxed and easy going.  It was good to finally be there and I was getting so much energy from the people around me I was pretty much 'buzzing' with it.

    I happened to be a little 'late' to the marking line so I was standing in a bunch of 'locals' rather then TNT folks. It was cool to hear them chatting so casually about a race that was a 'really big deal' to someone like me.

    Marked and chipped I was ready to eat my banana and then head down to the swim start.

    Talk about wearing your age on your sleeve - I mean leg :) I was a little bummed when they told me I needed to move my timing chip to the left leg as that was the leg I would need to put a brace on, but I was pretty much rolling with the punches that point.

    The energy levels kept going up as we all waited for the swim start.  Some people were getting really nervous and worried, some were really quiet and introspective and some seemed to be like me, in the moment and enjoying the hell out of it.  I tend to be like this for big events in my life.  Spend the days leading up to it worrying about all the details and the day of - just going with the flow.  I usually figure if there was something to worry about I had already worried about it and done anything I could to solve the problem if I could.  At this point it was in God's hands :)

    And then the Pros and relay teams lined up.  We watched them take off with a big ol' WHOOP and the race was started.  

    Then the red capped Men 

    Next, the yellow - Men 40+

    and then the pink capped women - <>

    and then my group 40+ women were in
    We were supposed to 'self seed' ourselves and frankly I had no idea were I should be so I hung out at the back.  The only time I had 'raced' with others I had been struggling with learning how to swim in my wetsuit and I was one of the last in, so I figured the back was a good place for me.

    And then we were off...The water felt great, the temperature perfect and there was hardly any surf.  It actually felt much calmer then the day before - it was encouraging, maybe the wind wouldn't be that much of a factor after all...
    And suddenly I discovered that the back was NOT the best place for me...  I wasn't even pushing myself and was passing about 1/2 the pack.  In fact I couldn't push myself otherwise I would have been running people over!  I kept a steady pace as much as I could, squeezing through when I found an opening and mostly trying to avoid people.  I have a pretty balanced swim stroke so swimming in a straight line isn't that hard for me.  I normally just have to make minor adjustments as I go.  Being able to 'site' on the bottom was real boon as well.  I would pick a pit of corral or plant and just swim toward it.  Unfortunately, not everyone was so fortunate.  I found myself constantly having to stop or slow to avoid being run over by people who were obviously (to me) going the wrong way!  twice during my swim someone passing in front of me going parallel to swim course! I have a feeling that I'm going to have to learn to swim more aggressively in future tris.  

    Except for avoiding collisions the first trip 'out' was pretty uneventful.  I was swimming well, breathing well and felt great.  the practice swim the day before had taught me my lesson and I was keeping the water out of my face as I breathed and all was good.  I rounded the first turn and headed to shore.  It looked so far away!  but I knew I had felt good all the way out so it couldn't be as far as it looked.  Again, I kept my head down and just swam my pace.  I passed a few more people including a few 'yellow caps' and 'pink caps' from the waves before mine.  As I make the turn near the shore to do the last leg of the swim I had this rush of joy... I had done this swim the day before, this was a piece of cake!  I really got into it then, paying a lot of attention to what was going around me, watching for people cutting across my path and trying to work it so I didn't have to slow down to let them through.  I was squeezing through narrow and narrower gaps and generally being more aggressive (without punch, hitting, scratching or kicking anyone).  I  made the final turn and took a good look at the shore - there were two big palm trees to site on and I kept them firm in my mind.  I was pushing myself now, keeping a steady pace.  I had found my rhythm.  Every time I check my trees there were right were I expected them to be. At one point I spotted two sea turtles swimming under me and I raised my head and yelled - look turtles!  Then I realized what a dork I was being and got back to swimming

    Suddenly there was someone pushing between me and another swimmer.  Ok fine, you want to go faster?  I let her push her way through and then got back into my groove.  Suddenly I was running over someone.  the swimmer who had pushed through was now stopped, head up, checking her sighting.  I swam passed her, only to have her sprint past me and stop again!  When I passed her the second time I realized I had had enough of this.  I started upping my pace, breathing was now every right stroke instead of every fourth and I was bearing down on the shore not willing to passed again.  I wasn't.  Coming into shore with the crowd cheering and music playing was just awesome!  I came out of the water with the biggest 'swimmer's high'!  

    I couldn't help myself I ended up coming out of the water with both hands in the air as if I had just finished the race! :)

    I saw my coach on the sidelines cheering me on.  He looked a little surprised to see me so soon.  I hadn't show the potential to be a solid middle of the packer at any of the practices.  I waved and shouted "That was fun - can I do it again!"  and I seriously meant it - which bodes well for some of the longer races I have planned for this year :)

    There was a short run to the transition area that I didn't push on - I could have gone much faster - still I was pleased with my time:  under 40 minutes was 20 minutes faster then I had thought I would go! :)

    As I hit the transition area they were announcing that the leader was headed back from his bike ride.  I kind of had to laugh at myself for being so proud of my swim when this guy was nearly done with the swim AND the bike already.   I was kind of shocked when I got back to transition and my neighbor on the left hadn't come back from the swim.  Turned out he was right, I did finish the swim first.  In fact the guy on the right of me was just leaving as I cruised in having just finished his transition from swim to bike.

    I took my time in transition.  I mean - really took my time.  It wasn't that I had a lot to do, I just dawdled.  Luckily, when I had packed and put everything but the  kitchen sink in my transition bag I had thrown in a roll of athletic tape.  I tapped up my blister, put on a wrap (not my brace) on my ankle hoping it would help support it during the ride and save it for the run, put on my bike shoes, bike shorts and my tri top and then I was ready to go.    It took me over 10 minutes.  WAAAY longer then it needed to.  

    I was finally on my way!  I walked to the mount line, mounted my bike and off I went.  Sorta... as I came out of the main start area and was heading toward the first turn I could see what appeared to be a traffic snarl up.  There was a line of cars backed up waiting to turn left (I was going to turn right).  As I rolled forward the shuttle bus from the hotel swerved over into the right hand lane blocking my (and other riders) way!  Volunteers were waving and shouting at the guy as he made his own way through the traffic holding up a clump of bikers.  I just kept going slower and slower.  I couldn't tell if this guy was turning left from the wrong lane or was turning right or what and I certainly didn't want to end my lavaman being run over by a bus!  But also knew I didn't want to stop!  After my mishap yesterday trying to unclip I would do almost anything to not have to put a foot down.  Finally they got everything sorted and I was REALLY on my way this time.

    I quickly got into my bike rhythm.  I could feel the wind on the turn onto the highway, but it wasn't anything like the day before.  I just focused on trying to keep my cadence even and shifting when necessary.  I played a cat and mouse game with one rider.  He would pass me on the inclines (I carry too much extra weight to be a good hill climber), and I would scream past him on the down hills (That extra weight has to be goo for something).  I passed one of my teammates standing on the side with a flat waiting for the SAG vehicle.  That got me thinking about my back tire and I eyed it warily.  It had 'felt' full this morning, but was it really!?  I had also noticed that a muscle in my back into my glut was tight.  I was hoping it would work itself out as the ride went on and not get worse, but it was slightly annoying on every downstroke.

    I tried to keep those worries out of my head as I continued.  I downshifted as I came to the 'big' hill.  Again I just focused on keeping my pedals moving.  If any spot on the 'out' side of the ride would be a challenge this one would be it.  

    Suddenly there was a distraction on the other side of the road.  There was a pack of riders on the decent and they had gotten bunched.   Someone was blocking and I could hear the yells.  "On your left!"  "Get out of the way!"  "Move over!"  I shook my head and went back to griding up the hill VERY glad I wasn't caught up in THAT.  Near the top of the hill a man was parked with his truck.  He was sitting out on his folding chair in nothing but a speedo.  For some reason that struck me as odd and added a bit of levity to this long grinding hill.  As I got closer he shouted, "you're almost to the top, this is the worse one!"

    I have to admit, speedo wearing old guy race fan, that was awesome of you and a great mood lifter for me.  Thanks!

    Yes there were more hills after that, but he was right, that was the worse one!

    A girl in blue had passed me on that hill.  Ok, no problem, but, I rolled down the decent of that hill, she started to get down on her areo bars and got wobbly - just as I was passing her.  This made me have to slam on the breaks and it killed my momentum for the next hill...  I got a little frustrated, but figured hey, it happens.  But I never seemed to get that momentum back again through to the turn around.

    The turn around was as they described it, tight and fast and... speed bumps!? huh?  luckily I was already going slow when I saw it.  I laughed to the volunteers as I came on it, jokingly complaining "No one told me this was a cylocross race!"  They laughed in return, and I even hurt one of them repeating my comment to someone who hadn't heard.

    The water stop at the turn around was a new experience for me.  It was probably one of the few things I hadn't practiced.  I grabbed an ice cold water from the first person and drank a bunch of it down.  I still had plenty of water on my bike so I tossed the 1/2 empty bottle to another volunteer as I exited and just kept on going.  I found out later that a few teammates had stopped and gotten off their bikes at the water stop.  The thought hadn't even crossed my mind.  I just rolled through.

    As I came up the big hill from the water stop I realized that the way back wasn't going to be easy.  The wind had kicked up - a LOT and it was out to get me.  Luckily the way back was in total down hill, but it had some inclines too.  The worse thing about the wind is it didn't let you enjoy the decents.  I had to put as much energy into going downhill as I did going up!

    My legs had started to feel a bit trembly at this point.  Nothing to worry about but I noticed it.  My bake tire seemed to be holding up, and that was a postive thought.  But, my feet had started to go numb!  I peddled on, wiggling my toes as I went hoping that this was just a passing thing.  It wasn't.  The numbness turned to pain, so that each peddle stroke felt like someone was pounding the bottom of my foot with a hammer.  I kept going.  I started curling my toes with every downstroke and that helped, but after a few minutes of that my calves started cramping.  I knew I needed my calves for the run later so I stopped.  Finally I curled my toes and jammed them agains the bottom of my shoes so they would stayed curled without my having to hold them there.  While painful to my toes it at least have me some relief from the hammer pounding.  Some.  What I desperatly wanted to do was to get off my bike and take off my shoes.  It soon became all I could think about.  I didn't want to stop though.  Again, yesterday's 'crash' was still fresh in my mind.  Plus my legs were trembling so bad I was afraid when I put my leg down it would give out on me.  What if I got off my bike and couldn't get back on again!?  Instead I found a point where I could coast a little and managed to coast and balance myself long enouch to undo all the straps on my shoes.  The extra room gave me a little relief.  So I kept riding.  Soon I found myself doing down the 'big decent'.  Even with the wind I was able to take advantage of this one and found myself coming up fast on blue bike girl again.  This time I wanted to give her pleanty of warning and I started screeming 'On your left'!  She stuck to the middle of the lane.  "On Your LEFT!"  I yelled again.  Nothing  "LOOK OUT!" I screemed as I passed her, and she drifted into meand I hovered with my bike tire rolling along the white dissqualification line.  I put on a burst of speed and got around her as fast as I could.  I needed that momentum!

    The rest of the ride was just a blur.  I dutifly ate my energy gells, drank my water and peddled.  My brain took up a chant of "please stop hurting, please stop hurting, please stop hurting" as if I could will the hammers to stop pounding on my feet.  I reached the turn around spot from the day before and felt a little bit of excitment.  Then I was coming to the light to turn off the highway, and then I was making the turn into the beach and there was the dismount line.. OH GOD!! the DISMOUNT LINE!  I was going to have to stop.  In a panic I unclipped both feet.  There was no way I was going to do something stupid now.  Only I unclipped too early and I wan't going to be able to coast all the way to the line.  so I pedled a few strokes with my heals to make sure I didn't accidently clip in again.  And then the moment of truth, I stopped.  I leaned to one side and my foot hit the pavement and... my leg held!  In fact, it felt really strong!  Oh yeah!  I just just finished the bike!!!  I swung my other leg over suprised that the shaking I had felt early was just shaking, my legs were holding me up just fine!

    I had hopped to do the bike in under 2 hours.  The wind and all the fiddling with my shoes and cost me time (mostly the wind), and instead it had taken me 2:10.  Later I looked at my watch and found out that I had averaged over 12MPR on the way out (uphill) and under 10 on the way in (downhill).  Some people out there estimated the wind was gusting up to 30MPR.  It certainly felt it!

    T2 was even longer then T1 over 11 minutes.  I think I was just trying to put off the run as long as possable.  I sat down and rewrapped my blister, put on a pair of socks, put on my brace and put other pair of socks over that, hopping that would help cushion it.  Then I put on shoes, stripped off my bike shorts and put on a running skirt, and a visor and I was ready to go.  Again nothing that should have taken so long.  I just hung around :)  I listened to one girl who was streching having just finished the race.  She had been in the wave before me, had stepped on a sea urchin at the start and had had to leave the water to go to the first aid tent to have the spines removed - THEN hit the water and started her swim.  Here she was, done for the day and I was only 2 thirds through.

    The man on my left came in as I was changing.  He had caught up to me during the bike.  He ended up leaving for his run before me.  I just couldn't seem to get myself out of transition.

    Finally I bit the bullet and headed out.  It was time to face my nemisis - the run!

    I trotted through transition to the start of the run... I didin't like what I saw.

    But I had faced this lava path yesterday.  I knew it was coming I knew what I needed to do: walk and take it carefully.  And I did.  I knew the only way I was going to get through this part of the race was taking one mile at a time.  And that's what I did.  "Let's do mile one" I told myself, and I was on my way.

    the first part of the run was along the 'resort' roads.  Nice and shady, little rolling hills.  There was lots of shelter from the winds and I agreed in retrospect with a lady who rolled passed me and commented "This is my favorite part of this run"

    But, it was uphill - not my strength and I struggled to keep a decent pace.  I just wan't happening.  I had wanted to run/walk 15 minute miles but my pacing was closer to 17 - dang!

    I kept at it.  The first water stop came into view and I congratulated myself for making it 1/6th of the way.  I grabbed tepid water and continued on my way.  We were climbing out of the trees and shelter now.  It was getting windier and hotter.  I could feel the waves of heat coming off the ashfault and I knew that I had better start taking in more then water on the run.  I'm a sweater and I would need all the electrolites I could get later on.  I kept chugging on other runners slowly picking me off one by one.  At Mile two I hit the turn off for the 'back' portion of the run.  I congratulated myself for making it 2/3rds of the way and had a gatoraid and a water, then kept on going.  Mile 2 to 3 was a bad spot.  the wind was horrible, there was not a spot of shade and the view none existant.  The only 'good' thing about it was now I was seeing runners on the 'back' part of thier 'out and back'.  Almost everyone I saw shouted encouragement and I shouted it right back.  I was running 1% of the time now and just wishing the whole thing would be over.  But I was walking - I didn't have my head down, I was trudging.  I was focused ahead, swingining my arms, jogging when I felt I had 1/2 a shred of energy.  Finally I hit the waterstop and turn around... 1/2 way!!! horray!

    I turned around and found myself facing a down hill with the wind at my back.. YES!  the next mile was still hot and windy but I ran more and now I was seeing all the folks who were behind me.  I shouted encoragement to them as they passed.  I hit the turn off from the road and the mile four water stop and was greated with a hug cheer from the volenteers and the offer of ICE!

    "Do you want Ice in your bra?"

    Never did I ever imagine being so happy to hear such a suggestion!  "YES!!"

    I dumped ice down my tri top, drank down a gateraide, sipped water to get the 'yuck' taiste out of my mouth and then dumped the rest of the water on my head, and I was off.  

    the next mile was all through the hotel grounds and it was - wierd.  On the first leg it was ok... just a sidewalk through big grass lawn.  Then a turn with an ocean view - nice.  Then just as the crowds started to get thick the race route diverted down the side of the cliff.. WTF?  Oh - there's a trail here.  I single track dirt - OMG I HAVE TO RUN ON THIS trail!?

    I picked my way along the dirt trail just praying I didn't fall off.  My pace had slowed to an absolute CRAWL.. At one point the 775 people who had ran the trail before me had caused it to break down completely and there was nothing left of it.  I just scrambled by and hoped for the best.  At last I saw the end and I was up on the hotel sidewalks again.  But now I was in the heart of the hotel.  I straighted my skirt and did my best to set a decent pace.  I wanted to look like I belonged in this race when I passed all these people.  Frankly 1/2 of them wern't even paying attention.  As I ran I had to dodge through hotel guests and at one point had to push a little boy as he turned around and almost ran smack into me!  There were a few guests who were cheering the runners as the went past and I appreciated that.  But man that pool looked good!  wouldn't it be nice to stop... NO!

    Soon after the run route left the hotel and dropped into the beach.  I was at mile 5, the last water stop!  I grabbed more ice and put it down my top, grabbed a gateraide and water, dumped water on my head and then turned to do the last mile.   A girl I had cheered earlier had caught up with me, we turned to each other and assured each other, "last mile!".  "This is the last push" she told me

    I nodded, and she asked, "Do you have any children?"

    "Yes, three"

    "Me too.  Remember in delivery, when you gave that last push before the baby was born?  That what this is, the last push"

    I thought about that for a split second.  and then shrugged, "All of my children were born in less time then this race is taking me...."  was all I said before watching her back dissapear in front of me.

    And then I faced the beach.  Yes, the lava run at the begining had been bad, and the hike up the hill into the wind had been too, but this... this was sadistic.

    This was like the lava run at the begining, but someone had mixed it white bits of coral in with the lava.  Nice... There was no running this last mile for me.  I was almost defeated.  I was having to pick my way along unstable footing with shakey legs.  The black lava rock was collecting the heat and then the white coral would refect it back up at you.  I did the onlything I could do, put one foot in front of the other.  I could hear the celebration at the finish line now, but it did nothing for me.  I just wanted to stop moving!  My watch told me I had hit mile six and I felt something  new under my feet... Sand!  Oh yeah it's not rocks... oh crap it's sand!!!

    My shoes sunk into the soft white stuff and every step seemed to drag the energy out of me.  I could hear the cheering.   There were a few spectators out this far and they were starting to cheer for me specifically.  I picked up my head and tried raising my feet higher.  "Your doing great!"  I heard.  "Keep going, you're almost there!"  "It gets better as you get closer, the sand is packed tighter"  was the one that finally got me moving.  

    "It gets better..." I clug to that statement in my head.  I was running now, lifting my feet high to clear the sand, focusing on my breath.  Breath in one two, woosh out one two... "Just keep moving your arms - your feet have no choice but to follow"  I kept thinking.

    And then I was in the chute and people were yelling and asking for high fives and I started smiling... I did it! I did it!

    The funny thing - I wasn't as elaited as I had expected to be.  I was tired and most of all just GLAD it was over!

    My coach was the first person to hug me, my husband the second...  

    I had to wait to get my race metal but I got my TNT 'tri' pin.  I couldn't seem to get enough water, but was too hot/winded/tired to eat.  And I was certainly too tired to walk back up to the hotel just yet.

    I sat in the shade, watching the awards.  Three people from our team were in the top three of thier class, and two of those were first.  That was pretty awesome.

    In all - it was a great experiance and now that it's over - I can't wait to do it again!

    My coach gave me my finisher's medal at the after party, and I caught up with my 'last mile buddy'.  I thanked her for her words out there.  An awesome day overall.