Sunday, November 23, 2008

On a Happier Note....

My cousin sent this link to me yesterday. If you need some uplifting of your spirit, check it out:

The Sky Angel Cowboy

Sick, Fat, Depressed, Blah, Blah, Blah....

This has probably been one of the worst weeks of the year--at least that I can remember. In a nutshell:

Started feeling a little sick last weekend, but instead of resting, pushed myself through too much--life and workout wise.

Instead of resting on Monday, which would have been the wise, smart thing to do, pushed myself through 2:15 on the trainer. Went to the pool but just couldn't get in. My head, sinuses and stomach were a mess. I was cold, the water was cold--it didn't happen!

Tuesday took the day off. Did stuff at home. The new bed arrived--YEAH! Felt MISERABLE all day. And fat. And depressed.

Wednesday again pushed myself through 2:20 on the trainer, thinking I felt better. Went to the pool in the afternoon--felt way too bad to swim--again.

Had a hard time sleeping all week due to the sinus infection. Decided NOT to go to the doctor because--wait for it--every time I go they insist on weighing me. I haven't weighed myself in weeks, and I know I've gained a bunch of weight. I've tried really hard to watch what I eat. I have no appetite now, which actually means no appetite for HEALTHY food. I'm not eating a lot, but what I am eating is not filling my nutritional needs, so I fell hungry all the time. When I'm hungry, I can't sleep. So the circle goes.

Took Thursday off--completely--only left the house to pick up my son from school--it was late, and cold and he had a bowling match that night. Another miserable night--no sleep, no healthy food, YUK!

Friday I had to take Peanut to her coop class--last one until February-YEAH! Decided I'd try to swim. It actually felt good, until the aerobic class started and the waves got too much for my head/stomach to take. Got out after 1500 meters. I had taken FOUR days off of swimming. I can't remember the last time I didn't swim for four days in a row!

Saturday I felt a little better. Did 2:20 on my trainer. Did some weight training for the first time in a week. Short 1000 meter swim. Drove all over the place. Up until late. Felt horrible again.

Sunday, decided to rest, go to church, follow my friends on-line in Arizona. Still feel tired, fat and depressed. I hate the cold, I'm not crazy about the holidays. I'm really not a food person. I don't really like to eat. Or cook. Decided not to do a whole turkey this year. Nobody in our house really likes it, but they do like the trimmings. Maybe a breast. Sweet potatoes. Cranberry sauce. Dressing. I think I can manage that.

The kids have school on Monday and Tuesday, then off until next Monday. Yeah! Hopefully I'll feel better, this rest will have done my body some good, I can start eating healthy again, and maybe, just maybe, I can lose some of this unwanted weight.

I didn't take any time off after Louisville. Didn't feel I deserved it since I did so horribly and didn't finish. Maybe not a good idea for my body. Maybe the rest will help. Maybe if I take it easy, the weight will come off. Lots of maybes.

It looks like Ironsnoopy, Moose, Kara and Mike are rocking in Arizona. May not be up to see everyone finish. Need to get some sleep.

Oh yeah, the new bed is great! Roomy, comfortable, sweet!

Even though I'm a little down, I'm not out. This too shall pass. I tend to get this way when the weather is cold, gloomy, dark, yukky! Nothing to train for, nothing to look forward to in the immediate future.

Peanut starts her gymnastic season soon. Unfortunately, I will probably miss a lot of her meets. You know that thing where two parents can't be in the same place at the same time deal!

Hope eveyone has a great week.

Until next time--God bless!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tough Week, Pity Party, Strong Faith

It's been a tough week in almost every way. The weather is really wreaking havoc with my body--I think I'm having a full blown RA attack. Tired, nauseous, bad appetite, joint and muscle pain, depression....yeah, just about everything.

I really tried to back off my workouts this week. In fact, I actually took Thursday off. Well, it wasn't really a "rest" day as we prepared our bedroom for the new bed, which was supposed to arrive on Friday. Hubby took Thursday off work to dismantle the waterbed (no simple task--we haven't done it since we moved 10 years ago!) and clean the carpeting.

We were told by phone Thursday night that delivery would be between 9:30 and 11:30 on Friday. I needed to take Peanut to her coop class, so Hubby took the morning off work. Soooo....I get a voice message from him telling me that the company (who he WORKS FOR!!!) called to say that, uh, your mattresses aren't on the truck. Need to reschedule! WHAT!!!! Long story short, it's one of the ways they "save" money (but if you ask me, lose customers!). How absolutely stupid. Because he works for the company, he made several calls to let management know what happened. Turns out they're in the process of "changing the delivery process". Well, I should certainly hope so. It's a wonder the company is still in business!

So, delivery is now scheduled for Tuesday. We were thinking of painting the room since it's almost totally empty, but Hubby has a lot going this weekend, and I'm feeling really crummy, so it may have to wait after all.

Friday was a really stinky day! Rode on my trainer for 1.5 hours early, dropped Peanut off at her coop and headed over for a swim. It was a miserable swim. The water was cold, I never warmed up, and everything hurt--especially my stomach. You may know how difficult it is to swim when you're stomach is upset and you feel nauseous. I kept telling myself I should just stop--but NOOOOO! I finished the entire 2500 meters in spite of feeling awful.

After I showered, I realized I had one of those horrible headaches I've been getting. YUK! I felt like my head was going to explode. I had too much to do the rest of the day, so resting was out of the question. Turned out Hubby didn't have to work last night, so he was able to pick up Peanut from the gym.

In the meantime, I had a major meltdown at home. Sick, tired, sore, headache, fat, bloated, starving, don't feel like eating, blah, blah, blah! Went to bed feeling miserable with the whole family ready to throw me out the window!

After an OK sleep (I was so hungry it was hard to sleep much) I woke up early and decided I had to shake this depression. Dropped Peanut at the gym early (she had an 8:00 practice today--normally it's 11:00) and headed for an inside workout. The fitness center I visit on weekends was closed last week for remodeling. I was really looking forward to some new treadmills. turns out all the treadmills were replaced, but none with the kind that I like (they have a more forgiving belt). Rats! I felt lousy but somehow made it through the strength training session.

Got on the treadmill not knowing how far/long I would run--1-2 hours/5-10 miles. I decided to try a new nutrition again (Perpetuem--last time didn't go so well). Bad idea. After about an hour my stomach really started to bother me. I was sweating like crazy, but freezing cold from the air conditioning. Everything was hurting, including my feet (need to wear my new shoes) but again, I WAS NOT GOING TO QUIT! I finally stopped at 10.5 miles because I ran out of liquids. YEAH, MADE IT!

Well, I spent a lot of time in the bathroom after that run--at the gym and again at home! Yuk. I still feel kind of shaky now.

That pity party thing--has to do with the whole weight issue. We were supposed to go to a big banquet tomorrow night--found out yesterday it's "formal attire". I have nothing even resembling that, and what I do have I can't squeeze into, and I don't have the time, money or ambition to go out and buy something. So--it ain't happening, which is OK with both of us. My head/mind/body is a mess regarding my weight. Just don't know how to solve the whole issue. I keep saying I'll let it go--but I just can't. In fact, I decided this a.m. that if I can't get to a good racing weight next summer--there IS NOT going to be any racing. HA! Maybe that will help, but I'm not that optimistic.

So, I'm driving home, listening to some Christian rock on the radio and thinking how horrible my life would feel right now if I didn't have my faith. The world is a mess, and frankly, I'm not convinced that the "new administration" has the answers for our country. I feel like garbage and I really don't like the way I look. I do believe, however, that God is in control of all things. ALL THINGS! That includes this crazy world and its politics, and most importantly my life. I will continue to leave myself in His hands.

Hoping to feel better soon. A big shout out to my friends racing in Arizona next week. I hope you enjoy the warm weather and have great races! Have a safe trip and a fun time.

Until next time--God bless!

Friday, November 7, 2008

It Really is November

After a beautiful weekend and three really nice days, November has hit the Chicago area. It's cold (40's), windy, and dark. And with the change in time, it gets dark here by 5:00! YUK! This weekend will be inside for sure. They're talking SNOW for the Bears game on Sunday!

I've had a lot rolling around in my head this week. My main goal was to decrease my "training". Uh, OK, not too bad. Still haven't taken a day off, but have done less swimming for sure this week. Three good rides on the trainer, two good runs--one outside, one on the treadmill, three good strength sessions. Hope for one more of each this weekend, and maybe a good swim.

Of course the change in the weather has really affected me physically. Most of my joints and muscles are sore, but it's something my body will adjust to as the winter arrives. Good and bad days....good and bad nights.

I read two articles involving off season nutrition and weight loss for the triathlete. They seemed to contradict each other. They were in the SAME MAGAZINE! One article stressed not to worry so much about what you eat--within reason of course. Don't count calories, etc. because it will definitely back fire. The other article stressed the IMPORTANCE of eating less calories vs. more exercise. It SEEMS (although the data is not air tight) that eating less is the way to lose the weight. HA! Tell that to the trainers/contestants on the biggest loser. Seems like they really stress EXERCISE. You don't lose weight, must be due to slacking off in the gym!

(I have done both--still not working!) If I EVER get this figured out, it will definitely be a miracle.

I know several people who did AMAZING at Ironman Florida. Congratulations to all who participated! Saw a lady at the fitness center today who I met a couple weeks ago. She had a great race and enjoyed her first Ironman. According to her, she never got her heart rate above zone 1, did not race or ever push, and finished around 12:30! Oh my gosh, a time I could only ever dream of. It must be nice to have that much natural athletic ability. Oh, she also mentioned that the last month of training went really bad! And her training partner finished around 11:30.

So, that's all I got. I've spend a lot of time driving kids around this week. More to come this weekend. The new bed comes next Friday--yeah! We were thinking about painting before it came, but...maybe not. Too much work and not enough time right now.

Hope everyone had a good week--enjoy the weekend. Only two weeks until Ironman Arizona!

Take care and God bless!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Rest vs. Addiction

Meriam-Webster defines rest: repose , sleep ; specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities; a: freedom from activity or labor b: a state of motionlessness or inactivity c: the repose of death.

Definition of addiction: the quality or state of being addicted; 2: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal ; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

It's been a tough week in many ways. Suffice to say, I'm struggling with what should be off-season rest. There are many reasons for this, but I'll just say that I definitely have a mental and physical addiction to exercise. A bad thing? Not necessarily. But in my case, something I really need to work on.

I've read several blogs/articles relating to what triathletes should do during the off-season. The number one thing on the list: rest; relax; some deconditioning is good. Spend time with the family, doing something else you really like. Do some other form of physical activity which doesn't involve swimming, biking or running. Yoga anyone? How about kickboxing or pilates?

In my head, I know all of this is true. The last two years I have taken almost no time off. Thank God I haven't really been injured, which is usually the only reason I slow down. I did taper for ironman, and I felt absolutely horrible. I can't even explain how bad my body felt. I really think this was a contributing factor to my belief that I couldn't finish an ironman race. (Story for another time.)

Having said this, I know it was not a good thing. Three years ago, before I did my first half iron distance race, I lost about 35 pounds in 5 months. Over the past two years, while training for half and full iron distance races, I have gained about 10 pounds. One of the reasons I don't like taking time off is that I'm very concerned about my weight. I'm so afraid of gaining weight that I am now having an impossible time losing. However, I need to do something different. After all, what I've done the last two years HAS NOT WORKED! Not sure why, but for me, training harder and eating less is not the answer to weight loss. Maybe my body needs a big change. Less training, more relaxation, a time to destress.

Sounds easy, huh? For most people, yeah, I guess it would be. But for me, not so much. I am a very disciplined person. If I could be as disciplined about rest as I am about training, I would probably be a much better triathlete.

So, with all this in mind, I decided I would back off on my training starting on Tuesday. Less mileage, alternate high and low intensity, concentrate on form, not worry so much about distance and time.

I REALLY TRIED! I did OK on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. My plan for Friday was to swim only. But I woke up, and really wanted to ride on my trainer, so I did. I swam a little less than normal, so not too bad. I wanted to ride outside on Saturday, but the weather was really yukky for me to ride. I decided on an outside run. I was even cold running. I gave myself three choices on the run: 7.5, 11 or 9.5 miles. I opted for the 9.5 because I was COLD! I felt really good, so if I wasn't cold, I might have gone for the 11. Glad I didn't.

I had a really bad day yesterday. Stayed up too late, couldn't get to sleep, just a mess. When I woke up this a.m., I felt miserable. I ended up doing some strength training and a 2500 meter swim. Which means I did not have a rest/recovery day. Oh well. I feel like an addict. Every day I try to start over. I'm hoping to have a better week this week. I'm going to work out a plan and try to stick with it.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the athletes who completed IMFL. Elizabeth, Leigh Ann, Adam--you guys all rocked! You all had great times, and it seems like the weather was GREAT! I envy each of you--all that hard training paid off.

That's all I got. Not a happy camper--for all the wrong reasons. Hope everyone had a great week and weekend.

Until next time--God bless!