Friday, February 26, 2010

Swim Time Trial #2

2/26/10 1,000 yd Time Trial -- 1,000 yd / 00:23:03
1/29/20 1,000 yd Time Trial -- 1,00 yd / 00:23:22

Last TT was 23:22, so some improvement; not sure how significant 19 seconds is?. Started okay, but really felt schlumpy in the middle. Laps ranged from :57 to 1:17. Right-hand started going numb during swim, so that was pretty annoying. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look What I Found: Food Porn!!

I totally raped this blog of a WLS post-op  I found today, Up My Kilt. of this Cranberry Quinoa salad recipe.  So much good-for-you stuff in it!  I can't wait to try it.

Look at that... isn't it beautiful?  :) 

1 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoon sunflower seed kernals (salted or unsalted)
2 green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Mix the quinoa, cranberries, carrots, green onion and sunflower seeds in a bowl

Add the honey to the cider vinegar in a microwave proof cup and heat for 30 seconds, stir to dissolve the honey. Add olive oil and stir well or use blender to mix.

Blend dressing in to salad, add salt and pepper to taste. chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Thursday 13 - Favorite Fab Food Finds

13 favorite food finds that help me eat healthy and fuel training... 

  1. Cabot Reduced Fat Cheddar (perfect snack when paired with a crsipy Braeburn apple!
  2. Fage 0% or 2% Greek Yogurt (so versatile! Smoothies, dressings, replace sour cream!)
  3. Dole Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries (use them frozen in my smooothie to make it thick, instead of ice.)
  4. Sambazon Acai Smoothie packs (antioxidant that reduces inflammation. 'nuf said)
  5. Mandavah Agave Nectar (love this natural alternative in my coffee; good but "spendy")
  6. O.N.E. Coconut Water (chock-full of potassium and easily absorbed. Use in my workout hydration!)
  7. Orrowheat Sandwich Thins (when I want more of a bread texture than grainy)
  8. Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Breads (awesome good carbohydrate source)
  9. CorOmega - Omega 3 Supplement (no burps and quickly absorbed)
  10. Dole Frozen Blueberries (frozen berries thicken my smoothies without ice)
  11. Cytomax - for workouts
  12. Click - Yumm! Cocholate Espresso Protein
  13. Barbarra's Whole Wheat Fig Bars - Great portable training food!

    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!


    10 Best New Healthy Breakfast Cereals

    10 Best New Healthy Breakfast Cereals

    Kind of surprised at the sugar content though. As a rule from my WW days, I look for cereals with less than 10 g's of sugar. 

    7 Day Food Diary

    Ironically enough "O" and I share the same dietary goals. 

    I found some meal ideas here that I might try so I'm posting for reference.  My big challenge is actually getting in my complex carb goals. 

    From Oprah.com:
    When you read through Oprah's food diary, you'll notice right away that her diet is healthful but far from dull. She averages about 1,700 well-balanced calories daily, and her diet is about 20 percent protein, 30 percent fat (and rich in healthy fats), and 50 percent carbohydrates (good ones like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables). Thanks to all the yogurt and calcium-enriched soymilk she consumes, she's getting an average of about 1,100 mg of calcium daily. Lots of fresh foods prepared simply help keep her sodium levels well within recommended levels. She's a real fiber champion, too, averaging 34g a day.

    DAY 1
    Mix for 30 seconds in the blender:
    4 ounces calcium-enriched orange juice
    1 cup mixed berries
    1 banana
    1/2 6-ounce container Yoplait Original Harvest Peach yogurt.

    Serve with a handful almonds (about 12).

    2 slices Wasa crispbread topped with:
    1 tablespoon peanut butter
    1 teaspoon SaraBeth pineapple apricot jam

    1 slice Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread with 2 teaspoons light mayo, topped with: 3 ounces smoked turkey, sliced thin 1 slice pepper jack cheese, 1/2 cup grilled onions brushed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 thin slice avocado, 1 slice tomato, Lettuce
    8 ounces sugar-free iced tea

    6 fresh-scooped watermelon balls
    Remaining yogurt from breakfast

    1 cup wild rice with 2 cups mixed vegetables (broccoli, green peas, or carrots) sautéed in 2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets, 6 ounces total, grilled with a little olive oil

    DAY 2
    1/4 cup (dry, about a cup cooked) steel-cut oatmeal topped with: 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
    1 cup nonfat milk with a splash of hazelnut coffee creamer

    1 6-ounce container Yoplait Light Key Lime Pie yogurt
    2 tablespoons chopped almonds for topping

    2 slices Wasa crispbread topped with 2 ounces turkey, 1 ounce pepper jack cheese, 2 fresh basil leaves
    1 cup Curried Squash Soup

    1 pear
    1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese

    Pasta with mixed veggies and chicken: Sauté 1 cup chicken breast strips with 2 cups vegetables in 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken stock. Add 1 cup cooked Barilla PLUS pasta and the juice of 1 lemon and lots of black pepper.

    DAY 3
    1 serving Chocolate-Strawberry Smoothie, blended with 1 tablespoon wheat germ

    1 apple, sliced, with 4 teaspoons peanut butter

    Southwestern Veggie Burger Supreme
    1 orange
    8 ounces sugar-free iced tea

    1 1/2 cups vegetables grilled in olive oil
    1 hard-boiled egg

    1 can Slim-Fast Optima Creamy Milk Chocolate
    2 slices Wasa crispbread and 1 ounce cheddar cheese

    DAY 4
    1 slice Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread toasted, topped with 1 fried egg, 2 slices turkey
    8 ounces water flavored with 1/2 of a squeezed lemon

    1 green apple
    5 thin Parmesan cheese slices (about 1 ounce)

    Grilled turkey burger: Ground turkey meat combined with finely chopped green onions, red peppers, and garlic to form a patty, and grilled. Serve on a seven-grain bun and spread with 2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon mustard. 2 grilled vegetable kabobs composed of cherry tomatoes, mushroom, zucchini and onion.

    1 can Slim-Fast Optima French Vanilla

    Bowl of cherries (about 1 cup) with 1/2 banana, sliced, and 1/2 peach, topped with 6-ounce Yoplait Original Harvest Peach yogurt, 3 tablespoons walnuts and 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal.

    DAY 5
    Best Life Cheerios Mix: Combine 1/2 cup Cheerios, 2/3 cup Weetabix Crispy Flakes & Fiber, and 1/4 cup All-Bran. Top with 1/2 cup blueberries, 2 tablespoons almonds and 1 cup non-fat milk.

    Iced decaf skim latte (12 ounces)
    Small handful of cashews (2-3 tablespoons)

    2 open-faced turkey melts: for each melt, 1 slice Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, spread with 1 teaspoon light mayo, topped with 1 ounce turkey, 2 slices tomato, 2 basil leaves and 1 slice cheddar cheese. Melt in a toaster oven.
    Rest of the tomato, sliced
    1 cup grapes

    1 ounce dark chocolate

    Grilled Snapper with Eggplant, Squash and Potatoes
    1 cup brown rice

    DAY 6
    Oprah's Fruit and Yogurt Breakfast

    1/2 whole wheat pita dipped in 1/3 cup hummus

    Arugula, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad
    2 ounces fresh mozzarella stuffed into the remaining 1/2 pita

    2 slices (2 ounces) turkey breast
    1 grilled red pepper

    Slim-Fast Chocolate Banana Smoothie: Blend until smooth: 1 can of Slim-Fast Optima Creamy Milk Chocolate, 1 ripe banana and 6 ice cubes.
    3 tablespoons trail mix

    DAY 7
    1 serving Strawberry Orange Smoothie
    1 slice Ezekiel 4:9 Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Bread, toasted, with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

    1 slice Wasa crispbread topped with 1 ounce cheddar cheese

    Fruit bowl: Combine slices of banana, apple, peach and mango with 6-ounce container Yoplait Light Boston Cream Pie yogurt and 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts.

    1 ounce dark chocolate

    3 cups mixed-lettuce salad tossed with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a splash balsamic vinegar and topped with about 2 ounces grilled shrimp
    2 beets, 1 ear roasted corn, 1 sliced tomato and 1/2 roasted pepper 1 scoop homemade mango sorbet

    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    The Green Season! (And I don't mean money)

    It starts off with those cute little girls wearing their little green uniforms with their endearing... okay, sometimes impetuous, prompting to purchase their evil Girl Scout cookie goodness.

    You know you shouldn't, but you can't help yourself. 

    You know how it goes... you've just been grocery shopping and working diligently to avoid lunching at every sample in the store in an effort to minimize the chance of hip enlargement.  You are successful, but you are weak from your effort.  You are beaten-down as you exit, but you feel victorious.   Then, there *they* are! They kick you when you're down!

    Yeah, I was suckered in by my Daughter's dance class classmate. There's only 3 girls in her troop -- so as you might imagine they had to sell a boat-load to reach their goal and get their badge of evil-goodness.  So really, I WAS HELPING

    I do think I can justify just about anything if I think about it hard enough.  Call it a gift. :0

    And I'll come "clean", I did save some thin mints in the freezer.   I can actually have a serving without getting swooshy-in-the-head.  And, if I burn a sh*tload of calories training that day, I'm not worrying about 1 serving of them.  No workout?  No thin mint treat... because that's how I roll. :)

    That said, once the season is over, it's over.  A sigh of relief to be had by all. 


    Much to my surprise I learned today the Shamrock Shake still exists!  Thank goodness I'm "rearranged" and care about what goes in ('cause these are chock-full of chemicals I'm sure!) I LOVED these when I was a kid.  I mean REALLY loved these.

    Just looking at the picture reminds me of how excited I would get going to Mickey D's with Gram -- Because Gram would ALWAYS let us have shakes with lunch (and the bad marshmallow cereal for breakfast!). 

    I'm sure Eggy has a minty shake fix.  For today and always, I'll just have to settle for enjoying the refreshing picture.  *sigh*

    Ran and did spin last night.  Nothing crazy to report.  Just still sore from Sunday, but it seems better today.

    Also made the herbed chicken parm from my previous blog-post.  It's a make-again, for sure!

    Might be doing a Duathlon this weekend. Hubs was supposed to do his first multisport event, but hurt himself training.  My coaches are evil and won't rearrange my schedule to give me even a little rest before the Du, so if I want to do it, I have to expect that it's just going to be for fun, not for a great or even good finish.  We'll see how the weather is.  I don't want a repeat of Du The Bear

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Doesn't Matter if you Win or Lose...

    From one of my favorite Blogs on training and competition, I give you "Chuckie V"

    "But because I've won, does it really make me BETTER than the next player? ... Really, success is as much a process as it is a result. It is never final, just as failure is rarely fatal. And besides, this whole sport (and all sports, not unlike life itself) is just that: a sport. A game. Fun. Recreation."

    Sunday, February 21, 2010


    Today's run/bike/run was a challenge, but it was good :)

    I had a hard time with dinner (Spinach and Black Bean Lasagna) last night; just couldn't eat, so if  I couldn't eat, I made sure I got to bed early.  To bed by 8, up by 3:30

    I was supposed to do my first run at my IM pace and my second at my Half IM pace, but I reversed them.  Oh well.  :(

    Run 1:  3.47 miles 12:58 pace (this surprised me)
    Bike:  30 miles / 15 mph
    Run 2:  2.43 miles 13:34 pace

    1st run felt pretty good.  When I got on the bike though my legs were tired.  My second run was weird.  I felt pretty tired initially, then it was like my legs felt better.  *shrug*

    Had breakfast at home (ezekiel muffin and egg) and half cup of coffee

    Drank Cytomax with 1 T. of Whey for the Runs and Endurathon on the bike.  Not sure the Edurathon agrees with my tummy.  I did my hammergel every 30 minutes, so I'm not sure how much I need the Endurathon, if I'm doing gels.  I might be okay with Cytomax with some protein and Hammergel.

    This week's challenge is another swim time trial.  Seems like just yesterday I did the other one!  

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Tomorrow's Challege

    So tomorrow there is a run/bike/run challenge.  I'll get to the FC at 4:45 setup my bike and head out to run :30 at my "half ironman" pace (I keep telling my coach I don't have a half-ironman, nevermind an ironman pace... but whatever.  :-P ).

    Next, we hop on our bikes for 2 hours, then hit the road again for for :45 minute run at our ironman pace.

    Spinach & Black Bean Lasagne


    It's a "Home Day"!

    "Home Day" is what my Cassa-a-frass calls Saturdays and Sundays.

    I'm feeling a little better each day.  Zpaks are my friend.

    I did get in a run/swim last night, which was okay.  I definitely felt the effects of rest on my swim.  I actually felt pretty good in the water.  Just wish I had been feeling a little better than alright.  1700 yds in, so that's good.

    I'm still behind another swim/run session, but since I'm not 100% yet, one of my coaches said to keep today as a rest day.  I have a run/bike/run challenge tomorrow morning that I need to be recovered for.

    So today will be some domestic goddessing needs will be addressed and I may make some of the things from my Thursday Thirteen list I've been meaning to make.  My car is also in desperate need of a cleaning... inside and out.  If I do that, it is guaranteed to rain tomorrow. Hmmm.

    There is a 1 mile open water swim race in April I am considering... Not sure why it makes me nervous to consider it; look what I swam last night! 

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Friday Fill♥Ins

     1. Johnny Weir is poetry-in-motion on the ice

    2. I ♥ the 2010 Olympics. (but haven't been able to watch much this week!)

    3. And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom

    4. Just to it if you get an urge.

    5. Having sweet dreams about you, Emmy Lou Harris.

    6. "What does it take to make a rainbow". (one of my Daughter's favorite books)

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to feeling better; tomorrow my plans include swimming, biking and running and Sunday, I want to chillax with the family at the park BBQing some burgers.
    Join in the fun!  Do your own Friday Fill♥In!

    Thursday Thirteen -- Effin' Late Again! :)

    13 Things new things I've made or am going to make:

    1)  Creamy Chicken Chili - I made this.  It was not a "make again" for my family.  I think we all had a problem with the fact it was white.  No prejudice, it just screws with your mind... like when Clear Coke was out! 

    2)  Avocado & Grape Tomato Salad -- I have not made this yet.  Dying to though!

    3)  California Roll Salad - Stolen from Leslie's blog... and so glad I did.  I've made this over and over again!  in fact we make a batch and 4 of us share it at work!

    4)  My copy cat version of Panera's Fuji Apple Chicken Salad -- I get more hits on my blog for people searching out healthier versions of this recipe.  Recently I corrected the recipe as it called for 1/4 C. olive oil when it should have been 3 T.!

    5) Great for when cucumbers are in season!  I've made my Cool as a Cumber Salad and loved it!

    6) And, for the food porn category, I gived you my stuffed porkloion with sausage, apples and walnuts recipe...this gets lots of hits from the search engines too!  Family loves this; can't help but become "Martha" like when you make this. :)

    7)  Another favorite hit on my blog is one I got from Melting Mamma who I think got it from another source.  Low carb pumpkin bread, made with almond flour, not regular flour.  If you love pumpkin, you will love this!

    8)  Want to make this:  Shrimp Pad Thai

    9)  And this... Herbed Chicken Parmesean

    10)  Freakin' making these again, fo' sho'  Shelly's Protein Cookies

    11) Least favorite recipe  Mar a Lago Burger (it was from Oprah too!).  We all hated this one.  It did not make the "Make Again" list!

    12) My very own Italian Turkey Sausage & Eggplant Casserole.  Easy and good :)

    13) Another great one from Shelly, Shelly's Simple Summer Shrimp Salad
    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

    Tuesday, February 16, 2010


    Last night's swim was fine, but I could still feel how tired I was.  It was just recovery and drills so I took my time and tried to focus on technique, since all form goes to hell in a hand-basket when I start swimming fast.  :)

    My 50's are getting better -- I really can feel myself cutting through the water... beyond that? I'm more like a submerged submarine.  It will get better though. The better I get at pulling and kicking, the better I will get overall.

    Some kind of cold crept up on my yesterday -- been coughing non-stop with congestion, but not the normal kind of congestion I usually get -- throat is raw and coughing hurts.  Wah!  Someone call me the wha-m-bulance, please -- and pass the Nyquil.

    My husband, Darren, committed to doing his first multisport event. I'm proud of him for finally taking the plunge and making the commitment!  He's going to do fine, I'm certain of it.  He is working hard to make the most of his training leading up to the Du. He even joined BAM! and has himself a USAT number. He's all official. 

    Lonestar is less than 70 days away. :)  Time is going to fly.

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Git'r Done!

    I know my Husband will highly appreciate the title of this entry!

    So one of my faves, Judith, who is a cyclist, left me a note to think about.  She calls her blog "The Dreaded Diary Pages", but I don't find it dreadful at all! :)  Anyway, here's what she said, and I need to remember this:

    "... it is all about getting the job done and sometimes 100% is not your best effort but it is 100% of what you can do that day..."

    And thinking about it, that is 100% okay -- that's the part I have to remember.  So, thanks, Judith!

    If I look back on last week's training I really hit it hard.  I gave it my all.  By far it was the hardest of my 8 weeks -- and I still managed to get in a little extra swim and bike mileage/time!

    So, I have to keep in mind that with proper tapering, rest/recovery and nutrition on race day my performance should be better than what I see in a a time trial smack-dab in the middle of my training.

    This week is easy swims, lots of easy biking and a running.  Coaches say we have something "special" planned for Sunday, in the way of a run/bike/run, but the details are not out yet.

    I also get worried when they use the word "special"

    Sunday, February 14, 2010

    What a Week!

    Okay.  I made it through this week.  100+ miles logged between swimming, biking and running.  I'm proud I managed to get it all in, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm beat.  Wore down.

    Yesterday's bike time trial went okay.  I didn't have any expectations going in, so this way I wouldn't be disappointed.

    It was only the 2nd time I was out on my new bike... I've been spinning on it, on a trainer, for the last 8 weeks indoors, but had only ever taken it on the road 1 time before.

    I had to do a 15 mile time trail, my average speed was 16.7 -- not light speed, but it's someplace to start.

    It was 37 degrees when we went out, and I gave it my all.  Can't ask for much more than that.

    Later, I had to do a 2 hour long, slow run.  Between the week's training and the TT earlier that morning, I was spent.  Seriously.  It took everything I had to finish my horrible run.  After an hour in, I was thinking, "there is no way I'm going to make 2 hours."  Nothing was wrong, other than tired.  The mental challenge is really proving to be relentess.  I really have to work at overcoming the negative thoughts.  I did make it through my 2 hours... and this this morning for 2 hours of spin.  Thank goodness there was no run on my schedule.  I think I might have cratered.  :)

    So, this week ahead is recovery. No extra miles, decreased intensity.  Recovery is important and I will respect it! 

    Friday, February 12, 2010

    Lance... Hilarious

    Some Race Tips

    Just a few race tips from the Timex Ironman team...

    1. Listen to your body – train as much as you can absorb, not as much as you can, in any given time period.
    2. Recover like a champion. You body repairs and becomes fitter and faster between training sessions when the stress is removed.
    3. Use lubricant like Body Glide or Suit Juice on your neck and areas that chaff, as well as on your wrists, ankles and on the outside of the cuff and ankles of your wetsuit to aid fast removal.
    4. Flush’ your wetsuit before the race – use water from a bottle and pour it down the neck and wrists of your suit. Pat out any excess, but make sure there is a thin layer of water throughout your suit. This will help lubricating at the joints and ‘seals’ it tight to you so that you aren’t holding excess, and will make sure that it is easier to remove in T1
    5. Calculate your calorie needs throughout the race and practice your nutrition strategy accordingly, making sure you have both enough calories, salts, and fluid for the event.
    6. Put your goggle straps under your swim cap to avoid them being knocked off in a frantic swim start. Consider using two caps if the water temperature is cold.
    7. Put Vaseline in your trainers at rub points like the heel and arch to avoid blisters. Be careful of water on the course: wet feet will probably lead to very sore feet later in the race.
    8. On hot days, don’t put ice under your hat – put it down your lycra top. Cooling your head first will send signals to the brain that you aren’t overheating and lead to poor thermoregulation.
    9. When you feel like you can’t go on, COUNT to a hundred. Then do it again. And again. And again. Low points will come, but they will go too.
    10. If you feel like telling someone off during a race, chances are it's because your blood sugar is low and it is a sign that you need to take in some calories.
    11. Make easy days very easy! No point going into a key session fatigued -- otherwise, go hard!
    12. Include what you enjoy. We all have certain activities and sessions that we enjoy in our training. They will help you stay motivated and more importantly, enjoy the process of getting fit for a race.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    2010 Galloway Gallop Family Fun

    A little chilly but a great race experience for both Daddy and Cassie!  Daddy did his 5k in an 11:12 pace and finished 7th in his age group!

    Cass had a ton of fun earning her medal in the Kid K.

    Cassie chillaxing before the race; after having her face painted, of course!

    Daddy and Cassie after Daddy crossed the finish with his PR

    Cassie, excited to start...she's the one with the mouth wide open! 

    There's my kiddo.... running like the wind!

    Thursday 13

    13 Things I'm Grateful for...

    1)  I'm grateful for my Husband, my Daughter and their unending love and support.  I'm grateful that each day they help me maintain the desire to be a better than I was the day before.

    2)  I'm grateful we're all healthy! 

    3)  I'm grateful my Mother is resilient.  Divorcing after 32 years is tough.  I'm even more grateful she is talking to me about it; anything is better than nothing.

    4)  I'm grateful my Sister is fulfilling her dreams of owning a dance studio and hopeful too for the fulfillment of her Husband's dreams to own his own restaurant!

    5) I'm grateful that almost everyday I find something that makes me contemplate my current effort and helps me keep motivated

    6) I'm grateful I'm not 347 lbs. any more.  Enough said.

    7) While I may not have a ton of friends, those I have are quality.  I'm grateful that I'm surrounded by like-minded people who are also motivated and inspired to be the best they can be.

    8)  I'm grateful of my Woot deal on a digital photo frame.  At any point in my day I can look at it and be reminded of a moment in time.

    9)  I'm grateful for slow-days at work that allow me to blog (Shhhhh!)

    10) I'm also grateful and do not take for granted that I have a job. 

    11)  I'm grateful to finally some clarity and see a path towards a career change. Patience will be key.

    12) I'm grateful I have patient coaches who put up with newbie questions!  71 days until Lonestar.

    13)  I'm grateful I still think of my G'ma, often.
    The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010


    My Garmin was found!  I'm so happy!

    That's Good

    "To be yourself in a world that is
    constantly trying to make you something else
    is the greatest accomplishment."

    Tuesday, February 09, 2010

    Should not, What's Up, Lost It and What's Coming

    I really need to be getting my a$$ to the track right now, but I want do get a quick update in before I forget.

    So it's been about a full week now of eating the new diet.  I have to say that overall for my workouts I do have way more energy, and that's a good thing.

    It is not making for any adverse effects on the scale either, as the trend is actually moving downward.  Another plus.  Admittedly, it does feel strange eating carbs in this manner.  I know it's a dietary standard, but I haven't done this for 10 years I would guess.

    My nutrition for my mad spin day would have probably worked well again, had I not forgotten to eat my powerbar.  Still a good workout; now I know that nutrition was definitely key there.

    I've made some observations in swimming that kicking and pulling better are supposed to help.  I nearly killed myself last night kicking and pulling and today felt the effects of that session -- I did intervals at lunch and I'm not sure which part was the workout:  the actual swim or the race to get showered, re-dress and back to work in a timely manner.  :)

    Lost my Garmin 305 at mad-spin this weekend too.  That hurts.  Doubly so since Darren and I share the device.  I keep praying it will turn up somewhere.

    Coaches have added an extra swim to my schedule, so I'm taking things day-by-day to accommodate everything.  Google Calendar is my friend. :)

    I also get to do a time trial on my bike this weekend.  Having only taken my bike on the road once, this should be an experience.  With the winter here, my bike has more trainer miles on it than outdoor miles.  I do ♥ my Kinetec trainer though. :)

    Off to the track...lickity-split!

    Friday, February 05, 2010

    Day 3

    Some observations after moving to 50% Carb / 30% /  Protein/20% Fat...
    - Scale is moving downward.
    - Did a 45 min fartlek run, 1 hr swim and 1 hr spin yesterday, and left the gym feeling freakin' awesome!
    - I woke-up this morning feeling good too!  Took 5am spin at the Y.

    So, so far -- so good. I'm not seeing anything scary happening and I seem to be feeling good, which ultimately this is about.

    Leaving the gym last night with some spring in my step, even after swimming intervals which generally wipes me out, pretty much astounded me. 

    We'll see if week 2 confirms everything I feel on Week 1, but at this point I'm optimistic.

    My First Tri - Danskin 2003, Austin

    I don't think I've ever shared this race report here, as it was from back in 2003, my frist triathlon experience.  It was pre-weight loss surgery and pre any notion I would want to continue with triathlons and one day complete a full Ironman.

    The Birth of Team "Tri Divas"
    Courtney, Alana and I met through Weight Watchers. I suppose by now, it’s almost 10 years ago. Each of us have weight-loss goals we have been working towards obtaining, but since losing weight was not our only goal, we wanted to be fit as well, we all started doing different types of physically demanding athletics. Our level of activity was something that we all had in common.

    I decided, when my weight loss seemed to slow down tremendously at 260 lbs. with a long way yet to go, I needed a new challenge to focus on. I decided on the Danskin Triathlon. This was something even a beginner, who could dedicate at least 6 weeks of training time, could complete – or so the write-up implied.

    I mentioned the event to Courtney. She thought it was a terrific idea. She and her best friend Alana both decided to dedicate themselves to doing it. Well, as things would turnout, life got in the way. Since training obviously was not a priority for all of us, January became February, and February became March. Time was escaping us, and tensions were high. None of us wanted to say that we couldn’t do it.

    Courtney came up with the idea for the relay team. I didn’t even know you could do it as a relay team. This would be the perfect answer for us. It would give us a great first-time experience, and allow us to see what it was all about.

    So it was decided. The next day, Courtney created and registered, officially, team Tri-Divas. There was no getting out of it now. We were committed.

    The Day We’d Been Waiting For...
    After getting to bed later than we hoped on Saturday night, we woke at 4:30 am to set-off on our challenge. I was really nervous, as was Courtney and Alana.

    We nibbled on some protein bars, just to get something in our stomachs, and headed towards the course. By the time we parked, shuttled, and got to the transition area, there was already a flurry of activity. The sun was just coming up over the lake, and the waters looked calm. It was beautiful at 72 degrees with a slight breeze. We dropped our bags in the transition area and checked out the scene.

    I really thought I would stick out like a sore thumb, given my size. Not the case at all. There were women who are larger, smaller, fit and less fit; all kinds were there. Really, the only really "triathlete" looking women were the Elite class, who compete in these things for a living. So, suffice it to say, I became more comfortable with my body, in less time than I thought I would.

    Eventually the waves of participants were being launched. We were the second to last wave to go (out of 25 waves, I think). Each wave had 100 women in it, so the water filled with swimmers quickly. The first swimmer exited the water, completing her .75k in about 17 minutes. The support shown by the spectators was so amazing. As mothers finished the swim leg, an exited the lake, their children were rooting them on and their husbands were professing their love, running along side them up the hill to the transition area. When the team Teen Survivors (teenagers surviving breast cancer) started exiting the water I got the chills. Here I was taking on this challenge. Knowing what it meant to me, I couldn’t begin to fathom how they were feeling that moment.

    I couldn't watch Alana start the swim, as I had to go get my bike setup. I had yet to pump my tires and get my gear together at the bike rack. My nerves were really bad by this time. They had blocked entry to the transition area (where my bike was) until 8:15, so I couldn't get back in. With Alana launching at 8:25, I was concerned I wasn't going to be ready to make the transition.

    Alana completed the swim in less than 40 minutes. A totally amazing feat, as the winds had picked up tremendously and made the water choppy, to the point that it was white-capping. Couple that with the fact she had never swam in open water, let alone in this type of event! As I saw her come into the transition area, my adrenaline was pumping. I was so motivated by her accomplishment.

    We exchanged the chip, and I was on my way. I was so worried I was going to do something stupid, like not being able to get clicked into my pedals, while hundreds of people were watching. Thankfully nothing like that happened. Although after I made the first turn from the start line, my athletic bra (a full body tank) rolled up over my stomach and took my jersey with it. An awful site for the spectators, oh well! Needless to say, I noticed the breeze and fixed it. Just my luck to the most loathed part of my body hanging out for the world to see. Ugh!

    This ride was the biggest challenge of all my rides. If the high winds weren't coming right at me, they were moving across me. It was difficult to keep a slow, steady pace when folks were passing me right and left. I knew that in order to finish, that was what I was going to have to do, use my energy wisely and conservatively.

    While huffing and puffing up a hill, I kept my sense of humor. A volunteer, riding a mountain bike with a fully-loaded backpack of repair gear, seemed to pass me effortlessly. I yelled to him, between breaths, “Do you think you make that look a little more difficult? Just look like you’re struggling, for me? Okay?” He laughed and said while he pointed to the backpack, “but I have all this!” I just shook my head and laughed. It actually helped to get my mind off the current incline I was challenging.

    After about 4 or 5 miles into the course, I started passing folks who had previously passed me. Conserving my energy was now paying off, and that started to build my confidence. I had a few moments where I just knew I had used the gears precisely as I should have. It was as if, for a moment, I was an expert rider. I was able to make excellent use of the downhill momentum. It felt so good to get it right. I really felt like an athlete.

    At the half-way point, the watering station was asking, "Drink it, or wear it!?" I chose to wear it. The volunteer drenched my chest with a cup filled with cold water. It was so refreshing. I felt amazingly reenergized. I knew at this point I had two large hills ahead of me, before I got to the last, and largest hill of them all. These next two hills had me going speeds of over 30 mph on my practice rides. I knew I would need to maneuver them conservatively in order to have anything left for the big one.

    Going down the side of the second of the two, I was now staring at the largest, and last, hill in front of me. I heard the cheers of the 5Kr's, running along the perimeter of the park, rooting me on. I wanted to root for them in return, but I couldn't yell back as I was out of breath, so I left them with a thumbs-up. I was stroking as hard as I could, wishing I could keep my breathing as steady as I was managing to keep cadence. The hill was so steep; I could feel my quads quivering with every stroke. A volunteer began rooting me on, "You're almost there... keep that angry rhythm going!" I was angry and it was obvious. This hill beat me each time in practice runs. I didn't want to get off the bike and walk it. I was grunting and cursing the wind with every pump my legs made. 15 to 20 feet from the top of the hill I had to get off and walk. I was mad, but not nearly as defeated I had felt during my practice rides, because this was the furthest up the hill I had ever made it, and I realized that immediately. Even though I felt that given the challenge the wind presented, this would be my worst time. I was okay with it -- I knew it was the hardest of my previous runs there.

    While walking up the hill there was another woman walking feeling about as bad as I was. I yelled to her, “Come on, let’s ride!” We both got on and got back to the business of riding. We made the second-to-last turn into the park together, and were now on what starts out as a flat road. My legs recovered a bit and I was on my way, picking up speed. I felt bad leaving her behind, but knew we helped each other get going again. I made the final turn, and could see the finish line on the top of what is the most deceiving hill of them all. It doesn't look like much, but after doing rest of the course, this hill may as well be as large as the tallest and steepest hill of the course.

    I was determined to not get off my bike, as I had in all my practice runs when I’d walk back to my car. Not today, damn it! I was riding right to the dismount line. I grit my teeth and starting grunting again. I came in like I meant it! I got to the dismount line and crossed the finish line, completing the 20k in 1:09. I was crying, trying to drink water and gasping for breath all at the same time. Later I would find out that 1:09 was my best time on the course ever – improving my time by over 20 minutes from my last ride!

    Courtney and Alana came running up to me to see if I was okay and to make the transition – good thing too, because I wasn’t even thinking about the chip at that point! I couldn't even talk. I raised my leg and motioned to them to take the timing chip. I told them, "Go, go, go!!!" After they made sure I was okay, they were on their way. As I walked to my bike back to the rack, people were rooting for me, "Good job!" "Great finish!" It felt so good.

    Still crying because I couldn’t believe that I finished, I got back my spot, racked my bike and started to recover. Next to my rack sat this seventy-something year old woman. She asked me if I was okay. I told her I was fine, just that I was so happy to have done it. She told me that she had just completed the 5K portion of the tri with her two daughters who were about my age. To top it off, she was a breast cancer survivor. She told me her story. I told her, she was my hero. They had just finished in 2:12. I shared with her our team’s story, how we met, how much weight we lost, and she said, “Now don’t make me cry!” We settled on being each other’s hero for the day.

    The sun was getting hotter and hotter and the storm was getting closer to the lake. I drank some water, ate and apple, and recovered. Then I went to find Courtney and Alana on the 5K course. They were moving fast, because I went to one of the checkpoints, where I thought for sure they’d turn up, and they were no where to be found. I knew that Courtney was feeling like she had less of a challenge than Alana and I had, simply because she had done 5K’s before. But the wind, which had picked up even more by now, and the terrain presented just as much of a challenge for her as it did for us. I knew she would take on the challenge, in the exact way she takes on everything! I walked the course backwards from the finish to find them, and I did. They were just coming up the last big hill. We walked the last 1/4 mile together. The closer we got to the finish line, the more cheers were heard from the spectators. They announced our team name, and our individual names, and awarded us medals around our neck. Never did a piece of metal mean so much.

    On the back of the medal is an inscription, "The woman who starts the race is not the same woman who finishes the race.", better and truer words could not have been inscribed in its place.

    I am not the same woman I was before. I believe fully, we are stronger than we feel, and braver than we ever could imagine we would be. Do not ever underestimate the power of belief.

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Day 1

    So today I'm starting a new way of eating; a way to facilitate the fueling I need for training.  Sunday proved to me the right nutrition definitely leaves me feeling better.  It's been years since I allowed myself carbolydrates in a routine fashion, but I'm going to give this a "go" for at least a few weeks.

    The premise is that on top of my Resting Metabolic Rate, I'm burning more than 6500 calories weekly in training alone. My RMR is what my body burns just existing, which is about 1800.   So, as you can see, eating 1400 calories a day leaves me with a HUGE deficit, and that still doesn't inlude the calories you burn just doing what needs to be done day-to-day.

    After my visit with Doc W. and getting the okay to try this macronutrient ratio, I'm going to target the following:

    1700 calories a day
    50% Carbs, 30% Protein and 20% Fat

    Again, this is not something all RNY Post-ops should do -- I'm doing an average of 10 hours a week intensive training, so my body needs the readily available fuel that carbs provide.  If I were not training, I would NOT be attempting this.

    If after a couple weeks I don't see adverse effects on the scale, I will continue. 

    So here's Day 1:

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Shrimp Pad Thai - MyRecipes.com

    Shrimp Pad Thai - MyRecipes

    Herbed Chicken Parmesan Recipe - MyRecipes.com

    Herbed Chicken Parmesan Recipe - MyRecipes.com

    3 Year Post-Op Check-up.

    So yesterday was my annual visit with Doc W.  A few months late, but that seems to be how I'm rolling these days.

    Of course we couldn't go over bloodwork, because we had not drawn it yet, but we went through the standard exam, all the questions; everything is good.

    I was exactly the same weight this year as I was last year -- which wasn't a newsflash to me, but honestly I was waiting for some hint of disappointment from him.  Thankfully, I didn't see it.  He really believes I'm doing the right thing.  He also added that at 3 years out, most of his patients have gained weight back.
    We did do a full-body Dexa Scan.  I had not had one since the week before my surgery in 2006.   The results were pretty damn good too! I gots me some good bone-z!  My bone density has actually INCREASED since my surgery, which he said is "rarely seen" in RNY post-ops.  He said it's for sure contributed to my 2 years of weight training post-op and the running I started this year.  Everything looked really good and it made me happy to actually see a measurable difference somewhere; that something I intentionally did made me that much better. 

    So we started talking diet. He did agree that given what I'm doing training-wise, he sees no problem with reducing protein and increasing carbohydrates. He said that while he wouldn't routinely reccomend that to other RNY post-ops in general, but because of my training he it would be to my benefit and might also help with shedding the weight. He thinks my body is in "survival" mode because I may not be giving it what it needs to fuel my activity.

    I also talked with a dietician/friend who used to specialize in Bariatrics -- she also told me that over time, post-op, the duodenum (in the stomach) learns to absorb protein more efficiently so the need to get 50% of my diet from protein is not really necesssary at this point  (of course she added the disclaimer that this info came from an RNY surgeon; not a study). When I told her I was doing (45-50% protein/30-35% carbs/20-25% fat) She strongly suggested reducing the protein, and upping my carbohydrates for sure. She didn't really favor seeing my fat lower than where I've been keeping it (22 - 25%). 

    We looked at a week's worth of training (from 1/4 through 1/10) and just the training roughly totalled 6500 calories burned. She doesn't write dietary protocols for endurance athletes, but she has access to info and said she'd get back to me with what she can find. 

    So, in the last couple weeks I've increased my carbohydrates a little... not much, because truthfully I'm scared sh*tless to do so. But I have tried, and much to my surprise, the scale has started to creep down.  Add to that, this past weekend I played with my nutrition on my 2.5 hr. spin followed immediately by a 30 minute run.  I had some oatmeal before-hand and drank 72 oz. of Cytomax with 2 T. of whey protein in each.  Then I did gels every 30 minutes.  After the mad-spin was over, I had the best brick run ever!  I'm going to say it was because of the nutrition.  I even got back on the bike for another 30 minutes after the run. 

    Bloodwork to follow; hopefully it will also corroborate the fact I'm doing what's right :)