Friday, June 27, 2008

What Friends Do...

...when they are bored...
Thanks Courtney. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Official Photos

I received the official photos from the Tri. Guess I'm still celebrating inside. :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Next Challenge

Recently, while taking my daughter Cassie to Gymnastics class, I got a wake-up call that could not be ignored. I sat and watched 3 year old Riley, a classmate, attack each tumbling obstacle without fear and full of spirit. You might think that this is no big deal for a 3 year old, but Riley has only one arm. 6 months prior, Riley lost his arm to an extremely rare form of Cancer.

I was quickly reminded of the scare we, as a family, experienced when Cassie was 3 months old. She had one pupil more responsive than the other. We were told it was symptomatic of either Neuroblastoma (Brain Cancer), or a harmless birth defect (Anisicoria). Going through the process of diagnosing Cassie was one of the darkest times experienced as a family.

There in the waiting area, as I became acquainted with Riley’s Mother, I could only imagine how their life was turned upside-down as a result of Riley’s diagnosis. My eyes became weepy, remembering what we went through with Cassie, and realizing that it was merely a fraction of what their family experienced.

Our family was blessed in that Cassie’s diagnosis was Anisicoria, a harmless birth defect. So to that end I feel the need to pay it forward, so to speak, and take action to help others dealing with and surviving Cancer. I will be participating in the LIVESTRONG® Challenge Austin this October, running a 5K and bicycling 90 miles, raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. While I am only obligated to raise $250, my personal goal is $3,000.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation believes that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist, Lance Armstrong, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to live life on their own terms. Their mission is to inspire and empower people affected by cancer and they serve this mission through advocacy, public health and research programs.

Whenever I feel like pressing the snooze button instead getting out of bed, I remind myself of why I chose to sign up for this event. I’m doing this because one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. I’m doing this for Riley, who has become one of those three. I’m doing this because our family is grateful Cassie is healthy and we don’t want to take that for granted. Mostly, though, I am doing this because I can.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Glycogen... and stuff

The Very Good Question Section

By Patrick Gamboa B.S

The old adage that your body is a temple is well known and still has relevance today. Without a solid foundation a temple can not be successfully constructed and will eventually collapse. The same holds true for the human body. We at ISSA strive to educate our trainers regarding the synergism between proper exercise, nutrition and behavior modification to effectively draw their clientele into not just a good lifestyle, or even a better lifestyle, but the best way of life; a fitness lifestyle.

The importance of nutrition is imperative as the foundation of any successful fitness program. The core of this foundation should be based around food. Just as certain compounds are necessary to build a solid foundation in a building, specific foods are necessary to build a solid nutritional foundation. Since we have already discussed which foods aid in building this foundation through past articles, we will focus our attention on why certain foods that are considered healthy, actually may not aid in fat reduction.

With the advent of so many nutritional approaches to achieve the ideal look, numerous inquiries regarding the practice of omitting fruit, fruit juices or any of its derivatives from a diet have surfaced. Fruit is a healthy food, full of nutrients, high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low in fat and calories. It is a common practice for bodybuilders during pre-contest preparation to omit fruit from their diets, as it should be for anyone looking to minimize bodyfat. We will discuss the chemistry behind the efficacy of this practice.

Our bodies can only absorb monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, or fructose), the single units of sugars and starches. Once absorbed through the small intestines into the portal vein, and then circulated into the bloodstream through the liver as blood glucose, our bodies can put glucose to work in three ways:

  1. It can burn the glucose immediately for energy if blood glucose levels are not at a stable level of 20 grams blood borne glucose circulating per hour.

  2. If it is not needed for energy immediately, then it is converted into glycogen in the liver or muscles. The liver has the capacity to store 100 grams of glycogen. The muscles have the capacity to store between 250-400 grams of glycogen, depending on muscle mass and physical condition. Liver glycogen supplies energy for the entire body. Muscle glycogen only supplies energy to muscles.

  3. If the body has an excess of glucose, and all of the glycogen stores are full, the surplus glucose is converted to fat by the liver and stored as adipose tissue (bodyfat) around the body. If needed, fatty acids can be burned as fuel (BUT the fat cannot be converted back to glucose).

Now that we have outlined how our bodies use glucose, we will discuss why fruit (fructose or fruit sugar) is detrimental in an attempt to maximize fat loss. Since muscles have the specific purpose of contraction, they have a limited number of enzymes for glycogen synthesis. Muscle only has the necessary enzymes to convert glucose (and nothing else) into glycogen. The liver, however, is able to make glycogen from fructose, lactate, glycerol, alanine, and other three-carbon metabolites. Muscle glycogen, which is similar in structure to starch, is an amylopectin (branched chained polymer containing hundreds of glucose units). Unlike muscles, which can only supply energy to themselves through the stored 250-400 grams of glycogen, the liver is responsible for supplying energy to the entire body.

If you have fruit, fruit juice, or any of its derivatives, the following conditions occur:

Referring to the three ways the body uses glucose, assuming that blood glucose levels are adequate, the glucose will then be stored as glycogen. Muscle does not have the necessary enzymes to synthesize fructose into glycogen; therefore the liver converts this fructose into liver glycogen. It would only take three, 8-ounce glasses of orange juice to fully replenish liver glycogen stores. Since the liver is responsible for supplying energy to the entire body, once its stores are full, a rate limiting enzyme in glucose metabolism which is responsible for signaling the body to store glucose as glycogen or convert it to fat (phosphofructokinase), signals the body that all stores are full. If the glycogen stores are signaled as full, then the third way our body uses excess glucose is to convert it to fatty acids and store as adipose tissue. In essence, fruit sugar is easily converted to fat.

Many may be asking why then is fruit low on the glycemic index? If it does not cause a sudden release of insulin, then how could it ever be a poor food choice? Once the fructose (fruit sugar) enters the liver and liver glycogen is already full, then it can not be used by the muscles for glycogen or energy production. It is converted to fat and released back into the bloodstream to be stored as adipose tissue. The low glycemic response is based on the fact that fructose leaves the liver as fat, and fat does not raise insulin levels.

This is the biochemistry behind the recommendations to limit fruit in your diet. As mentioned, fruit is a very nutritious food full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and low in calories and fat. If your goal is to exclusively to minimize bodyfat, then it is advisable that you consume more complex carbohydrates, which will go to replenishing muscle glycogen stores rather than fruit, which will only replenish liver glycogen stores, and is useless in muscle glycogen replenishment.

-Patrick Gamboa B.S.

1. Costill DL, Sherman WM, Fink WJ, Witten MW, and Miller JM. The role of dietary carbohydrates in muscle glycogen resynthesis after strenuous running. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 34: 1831-1836, 1981.
2. Shafrir E. Fructose/sucrose metabolism, its physiological and pathological implications. Sugars and Sweeteners, Kretchmer N and Hollenbeck CB, Eds. CRC Press, 1991pp. 63-98.
3. Herbert V, Subak-Sharpe GJ. Total Nutrition: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need. St Martins Press, 1987 pp. 54-55.


And I'm not talking about the "enhancing" kind.

Hubs got my XM Radio working again in my car (thanks!) it makes my work commute so much more bearable. I love listening Dr. Oz in the morning, but man! I think being armed with too much information is just as bad.

This morning he had a couple toxicologists on. They were discussing, among many other offensive environmental challenges, the ongoing issues of plastic bottles. They shared a little poem which helps you to remember which are the bad and which are the good.

4, 5, 1, 2, all the rest are bad for you.*

*1's have some ?'s surrounding them, but they're not necessarily terrible.

So, if your bottles is labeled 1, 3, 6 or 7 -- figure out what you want to do. The Camelback bottle I lifted from my Husband is a number 7. Ugh.

Take it for what it's worth -- depends on how militant you want to be about eliminating the plastic from your life.

I am certainly no professional... I'm just sharing this info that I heard on the radio (which is for entertainment puposes only) because I'm nice like that. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What He Said

"Pain is tempoary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever."

Lance Armstrong

Darren found this in his one of his Men's Health mags...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

I came... I tri'd... I finished!

I did it! I finished the tri. We could not have asked for better weather, but by the time the run started it was getting HOT!

The lake was fairly calm and instead of an in-water start, they did a time-trial start, every 5 seconds. I really liked that. The swim was a challenge, but not nearly the chaos I had prepared myself for.

I crossed the swim start and had to wait as the lifeguards were actually bringing an athlete back. This guy was cut and buff... I was so curious as to why he didn't make it to the first bouy; of course it could be anything. That kind of made me a little more nervous. Anyway, my time had started, but I couldn't get in the water until this guy was in.

Darren took some video of me swimming; I couldn't believe it was me. Except for my droopy elbows, I was doing pretty good. About half-way I back-stroked it to get a rest to try to pull it out the last third.

I didn't try to speed through my transitions, I was just steady and took my time.

The bike... not to be tootin' my horn, was a joke after doing the MS150 in April, that was a breeze. The run on the other hand... oiy! The first mile seemed longer than the last. I probably walked a mile/jogged a mile total.
The total elapsed time was 1:15 when I crossed... that's from start of the entire race. I was one of the last couple dozen swimmers to jump in. I'll get my official times tomorrow.

I feel very accomplished right now. I feel like I could do it again and I definitely won't stop the swimming. I can only imagine how well I would have done if I had enough pool time under my belt!

Anyway... that's it. I'll leave you all with some pictures:

Mommy in her Uglies

Waiting for my Swim Start

Finishing the bike

Crossin' the Finish

My Finishers' Medal

My New Lucky Numbers

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Orca and Food

Legs are still super-sore from Tuesday's workout. I decided I would rest yesterday, and watch Cass at gymnastics and just plan to swim today. I'll only do the distance needed for the tri, to test out my tri suit.

Speaking of which, I know it's been the ongoing saga. My Husband thinks I'm nuts and my debit card doesn't know if it's debiting or crediting my checking account anymore, since I've bought and returned so many pieces of tri-apparel it's downright silly.

So I tried on the pink and gray Orca (pictured in the previous post) for Darren, and he could see through it! It is gray, and I guess that will happen if you have it s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to capacity (it is a UK size 14)! I did find a size larger, 16 (yay!) and that will work just fine. It is black and white, so let the "Shamu" jokes begin. And if it doesn't, well, it just has to!

That said, I am finally feeling confident about it. My new Orca will show up today and I will test it tonight -- nothing like waiting until the last minute, right? Maybe I'll even learn to dive through a hoop. Or better yet, maybe I'll get some free din-din and someone will toss me a fish or two after my swim :)

After the tri I am not committing to any other major challenges other than focusing on getting rid of the last of this FAT and cycling. News to come on the cycling front though. :)

New food plan was discussed at my last training session and got the details:


Cottage Cheese, 2% Milkfat, 0.75 cup (not packed)
Organic Steel Cut Oats, 0.5 serving

Morning Snack
Kroger Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, 1 tbsp
Nutrition Pro V60 Protein by Labrada, 1 serving

1 C. Lettuce
1/2 C. Cherry Tomatoes
1/2 Small Sweet Potato
1 T. Balsamic Vinegar
Jennie-O Lean Ground Turkey, 4 oz

PM Snack
Nutrition Pro V60 Protein by Labrada, 1 serving
Kroger Organic Creamy Peanut Butter, 1 tbsp

Chicken Breast, no skin, 4 ounces
Broccoli, fresh, 1 cup, chopped

Evening Snack
Almonds, 20

Total Calories: 1,251
Protein: 153 g / 48%
Fat: 43 g / 32%
Carbs: 61 g / 19%

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

6/10 Workout

I might regret today's workout, but it felt really good. At the moment there's a whole lotta twichin' going on. I decided to forego swimming since the leg workout was challenging:

Alt'd Hack Squats (new for me) and stationary lunges (active recovery)
Hack Squats *all the way down*
25 x 55 lbs.
15 x 100 lbs.
12 x 145 lbs. (barely... thought I was going to fail at 10, but somehow did 5 more?)
3 sets 15


Alt'd leg curls and SLDL's (active recovery)
Leg Curl
15 x 70 lbs.
15 x 75 lbs.
8 x 85 lbs.; 10 x 55 lbs.

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
25 x 50 lbs. (I told him I did more than 50 on my own *shrug*)20 x 60 lbs. (he got the picture)15 x 60 lbs.


Squats w/35 lb. weight
1 set 30

3 sets of 25

Swiss Ball Raises (for lower abs)
3 sets of 25

Monday, June 09, 2008


Today I'll be swimming. Go figure.

Being larger than your average triathlete has it's challenges with finding the appropriate gear. Just ask Darren... he's had to hear me stress over it all weekend.

It's just not cost effective for companies to manufacture plus-size tri-suits. As for me I'm in the land of the lost; no longer plus-sized, but still larger than the average athlete.

I've had challenges finding plus-sized athletic wear. I remember how good it felt to find quality equipment. I remember how excited I was to be able to walk into the average sporting goods store and buy shorts and a top for working out, right off the rack. It's not about fashion or vanity, but rather having the right gear, and being comfortable/ It gives you more confidence and more enjoyment. It was like a dream come true. I know there are other plus-sized athletes with the same challenges, as whenever I Ebay'd any of my pieces they always sell!

So I visited a store today, called Tri on the Run. They had 1 piece tri suits. Essentially it is lycra bike shorts and top, with a super supportive bra, all-in-one. It allows you to wear the same thing for the swim, bike and run.

Lycra... Ugh! Shows every roll in the bakery!!

Please answer me this though: Who's bad joke is it to name the company that manufactures a lycra suit after a whale; Orca? And why does it have to be the one that fits me. That's the picture of it.

I told Darren this, the first thing he asks is, "Is it black and white?" (inferring whale-like design to match the manufacturer's name) No, it's dark gray and pink, but it does say "Orca" across the chest. LOL

Clearly, I need to find sports that have cuter, more modest clothing.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekend and TriPrep

My tri is next weekend. Yesterday I managed to get out the entire swim/bike/run (or *wog* in my case). I feel pretty good about it now. The swimming, as suspected was a challenge, but I'll just float to recover if needed.

Today I did a swim and bike brick. I will be laying of the weight training this week, with the exception of Tuesday and all my cardio will be in the pool or on the bike. That's all from me!

I stressed yesterday about finding the right gear to wear for the tri. I Don't really know why I put it off for so long. I raced around yesterday and found a ZootSuit top -- in an XXL which fit perfect on the upperbody, but around the hips, the lycra-on-lycra, slips up and bunches at my waist. Not. Attractive.

Why is it I can't find a sport with more flattering clothing? like tennis... with those cute skorts? LOL Just when I start feeling good about my progress, I have to slap my fat into lycra from head-to-toe and bare all the rolls in the bakery! :)

So, today I'm returning the ZootSuit top. I ordered, what I know will be a comfy and quality product from Junonia, is another tri top. Had to pay extra to get it shipped here faster, but I'll feel much better about it in the end.

Well, I'm off to do Mommy things... laundry, food shopping, etc.

Note for Courtney: How about the mileage count starts after each of our tris and we have time to recruit some others for the *virtual* team. Just a thought. September in SA could be entertained for sure. :)

Friday, June 06, 2008


Okay, so there's just 7 days until the tri. Aaaaaack!

Today is a day of "rest" from the gym. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to do all three events. I will bring my bike to the gym, on my car. I will swim at the gym, run out to do the bike, come back to the gym and do the run/walk. If I can get through it tomorrow, I know I'll be good to go next weekend.

I've had a couple "WoW" moments in the last few weeks; mostly shopping related. I can shop in the misses department totally. XL's always fit, and most L's are fitting now. Bought some shorts at Macy's... size 16! Not 16W and NOT pull on; tailored chino shorts. Even bought a 14 misses top. Women's sized tops are just too big now, as are the bottoms. I can't really believe it, and I feel like maybe the sizing changed, or something, and that it's not my body getting smaller. LOL Tried on a 38 DD bra and it fit. That freaked-my-freak, but still haven't had the courage to walk into a VS and try anything on for fear alarms would sound!

While my body is clearly changing that scale is just not moving! What-ev-ah!

It's all good though. It's all good.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

My Girlie-girl Weekend

My trip to Dallas to visit my best friend was fun and relaxing. The main reason for my visit was to go see Sex and the City (and a little self-indulgent celebratory shopping). Of course, like all the reports say, it was fantastic. I have to say though that if you never watched the series, you 'd probably enjoy it, but you'd miss out on the nuances of the characters and the significance of some of the one-liners.

Of course the fashion was great as usual; the couture bridal gowns... my God! Don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but they were gorgeous!

Heard today that SJP was a little peeved at designer Nina Ricci's people for telling her that the silver number she wore for the NYC opening had never been worn. On the contrary it had been previously worn by one of the Lohan girls for a mag shoot, as well as worn by some socialite attending function.

Of course none of it is about the dress being worn, it's about the deception. Still though, while I'm pumpin' gas at almost $4 a gallon, she's getting free luxury gowns to wear. It kinda puts things in perspective. I know it's not nice to have people lie, cheat and deceive.... but she has the choice to wear their designs or not. Hopefully the next time she'll choose the later. Bad business on Nina Ricci's behalf. Don't F*ck with a fashionista.

Saturday we started our day at the Zen Spa and got a pedi and my first facial. Beth says the facials weren't really that great, but on the whole it was a relaxing experience and I feel like my face does look brighter! The pedi was better than Canyon Ranch.... just awesome.

Just 12 days until the triathlon. Just start swimming, swimming, swimming.